We let other people fight their own battles.” By Julia at her desk

Wednesday April 24, 2019
6:24am
5 minutes
A quote by Roxanne Gay

Bless! The return of the original format! OF EASE.
Before we curse them, let’s thank those birds, they know who they are, for being so protective of their babies. Maybe they don’t know none of us are after crow eggs,
because we can’t really do anything with them, but they perch stalkingly.
Surely other animals are a risk, need a warning, but outside our window, we hear them forming the chorus of summer mornings. We cannot be angry, although, believe me, we’ve tried.
It’s lighter now than it’s been. We’re up too so this day is not only for them. The crows. Thank you. I should say that again before I forget.
I wonder if they’re trying to tell us something important that we don’t already know:
Spring is a lie!
Hurry up!
Come check out this sunrise!
Okay, SPEAK. You have my full attention, I say, lighting another cigarette.
My mother would be proud of how much I am like her
even after she cautioned me not to be.

“a moment of time” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday April 23, 2019
9:00pm
5 minutes
Stepbrothers
Don Shewey

This, my love, is for you: I want to acknowledge your life. What a great gift. Isn’t that funny, that even on your birthday, you are still the one giving? I love you. I want to say that first in case I run out of time. I LOVE YOU! I wanted to yell that once so you could hear it all the way where you are. Where are you now? Taking a moment out of time and stringing it on a long chain to wear around your neck? You could do that. I think you could do anything. If I were there I’d say this to you, but hearing it so many times would get old. Here’s a good place to make a joke about age but I actually don’t find that funny at all. I find it inspiring. I’m so glad you are growing and knowing and finding yourself inside. What’s to laugh at about that? I’m not saying no laughter, cause let’s be real, your perspective is never boring. It’s perfectly dark. Perfectly edgy. Perfectly you. Happy birthday! I love you. Ah see, I would never run out.

“her notebook is reserved for” by Julia at her desk

Monday April 22, 2019
8:44pm
5 minutes
You Are Our Witness
Debbie Urbanski

jotting down ideas
making lists:
grocery
to pack
to do
etcetera
recipes
things in point form, bullets, pew pew
asking questions
reminders
love notes
money coming in
ideas to revisit
songs
letters to self, also love
interviews
memorizing
story shaping
deep investigations of the heart
deep investigations of the mind
deep investigations of the body
reasons why
reasons why not
sketches made from spelling errors
secrets
swear words
memories
reliving dreams
letters never meant to send
penmanship practice
workshop plans
titles
the date
the time
Accountant information
poetry
timed writing
free writing
bad writing
good writing
new writing
risky writing
flow charts
calendars
gratitude

“no one can remember” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 21, 2019
8:03pm
5 minutes
Anthem
Terese Svoboda

We reach back into our skulls for candy or god or something that smiles at the past of us. There are no guarantees for this existence and no one can remember every single warning sign. I don’t think that’s how it works. If we could then hindsight would be out of a job. It would be sad to see something imperative for lesson learning rendered useless.
It, is, after all, everyone’s biggest fear. We want our lives to have purpose, to affect change, to be worth writing down.

We want our children to need us, our parents to see us, and our friends to rely on us. And in turn we rely on them. It’s a cycle of life we would be silly to ignore. We need each other. We keep one another useful by our belief that we cannot navigate this realm alone. We were never designed to in the first place.

“no one can remember” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday April 21, 2019
4:41pm
5 minutes
Anthem
Terese Svoboda

The worst of it has come and gone, or at least that’s what Norma says. When the virus spread across the state we knew that the world would never be the same. I was young then, twelve, barely a woman. Some can’t remember before the virus, before we counted our fingers and toes every morning, checked our bodies for marks and scabs. Who would be next? The government went down soon after, the virus reigning supreme. Norma says that God is still the highest power and that he has a plan for us, but I’m not so sure.

“because they don’t realize” by Julia at W and B’s table

Saturday April 20, 2019
8:57pm
5 minutes
Real Roger
Harold Ober

They’ll come home
Late
Shuffle the key in the door
and shush the boots crashing into each other

Shhh shhh
Go to sleep boots

They’ll fumble with the key house and the key ring and the key to the universe
At this hour, the key is water
They’ll fumble with the water
Pour it into a cup with the lights off

Shhh shhh this is gentle

And spill most of it onto the floor
They’ll sop up the accident
the almost
the not quite
Let the fridge door slam by mistake
They’ll tiptoe into the living room
remove their coat, floor,
bag, couch,
scarf, couch,
pants, floor

They’ll creak along the dead spots of hardwood and shift their bones around

Shhh shhhh almost

“because they don’t realize” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday April 20, 2019
4:53pm
5 minutes
Real Roger
Harold Ober

How will I teach you how to love your body
in a world where a choir of voices sing
BE SMALL
HOLD IT IN
DON’T
STOP
YOU ARE TOO MUCH

deafening crescendo
coming from all sides
every time you leave home

at least that’s how it felt to me
often
sometimes
mostly

How will I teach you how to love your body
when the lineage of women hating themselves
runs as deep as the lineage
of love and water

That is my work
my task from the very first day

Strength and wisdom
in your muscles and bones
blood like fire
burning up towards a sky
that forgives all the hurt
carried in cells
all the shrinking

We will not shrink

You will hear me praise
how my body carried you
and made you who you are
and fed you and carried you

You will hear me celebrate
the stretch marks and dimples
and you will believe me
because I will be telling the truth

You will hear me speak of the beauty
of all bodies
ones like yours and ones like hers
and ones like mine and ones unlike many
and you will hear me
sing louder than the choir

A lone voice
a mother’s voice
swallowing the many
with the power of the matriarchy
that only knew what they knew
and now we know more

“And you arrive light” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday April 19, 2019
9:08pm
5 minutes
Summer Lines
Judy McGillivary

you arrive by light
a kiss on your lips
from the other realm
a story in your veins
that i know and
i don’t know

you arrive bright

you arrive by light
full pink moon asks
to expect the unexpected
line up the crystals
on the window ledge
throw my head back
and laugh at all the
ways I thought I knew

you arrive bright

riding on the tail
of a shooting star
teaching me about
surrender and chaos
and letting go
ripening me to the truth
a sliver of mango
sprinkled with chilli and lime
holding my hand as i

arrive too

“And you arrive light” by Julia at her desk

Friday April 19, 2019
7:28PM
5 minutes
Sumer Lines
Judy McGillivary

It’s just like I imagined you would. You arrive by an orb of light, tiptoes off the ground, stardust encircling you.
I think I dreamed this in that liminal space where I could hear the voice of my own inner child laughing.
I am not trying to convince you, there would be no point. I know what i saw after I drifted out of this world and into the lucky one that let me see. It was lucky. It was beautiful. I would recognize you anywhere, rainbow milk sweet, the twinkling sound that shimmer makes when it hangs suspended over the top of the trees.
You arrive now and in this readiness sits a basket of more open.
More open cause that’s the only way to more of you.
I keep my arms wide like bird song and I let the night glide alongside me.

“silence flourishes sea-green.” by Julia on the 9

Thursday April 18, 2019
3:32pm
5 minutes
Overdose
Seamus Dune

It’s a flash of light and boom I’m in front of a bunch of humans and boom none of them are laughing and boom wasn’t I funny before this?

They say be a teacher, you’d be a great teacher, but I am too much like the dark side of my mother when teenagers are making me yell over them. I said a few times boom and again boom but nothing, they weren’t interested because, and I know, they were uncomfortable.

Teach! They say, as if boom it’s so damn easy.
The silence though, after a dreamy patch of vulnerability, is enough to
stitch my chest up ugly, leave a mark the size of my old me and keep me jagged, string hanging. My head is the only place silence won’t inhabit and the rest of me can’t handle it. I guess I have some core strengthening to do.

One kid did make me laugh today and that part was very good.

“silence flourishes sea-green.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday April 18, 2019
3:33pm
5 minutes
Overdose
Seamus Dune

In the stillness
of the early morning hours
silent and ripe

This is the first time
in my life that
I’ve had this kind of
t
i
m
e
to rest and
be and
centre and
prepare
and rest

and meet
whatever guests
arrive at the door

“Every morning a new arrival”
Rumi says and it’s true
now more than ever before
it’s true

In the sea-green quiet
of three in the morning
I touch ecstasy in the
low down hiccups between
my hipbones
I touch fatigue in the
never-quite comfortable
I touch anger that my
mother won’t get watch
her love hold our girl
I touch the petty jealousy
that lives in clenched jaw
that smacks me around
when I’m least expecting

“Why are you still here?”

“the best part of her life” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday April 17, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
The Politician
Patrick White

The best part of Syd’s life was the three weeks in the summer she spent at the lake. She’d overlap with her brother and his family for the first few days and then they’d head back to the city. Richard, her old mutt rescue, loved their time at the lake, too. They’d fall into an easy rhythm – rising with the birds and sun, going for a short walk with a mug of coffee in hand, a swim, some food, another walk, reading on the deck, another swim, some food… The summer after the divorce, the first time she came to the lake without Henry, she thought she might get lonely so invited different friends up on weekends, but now she cherishes these slow easy days, following her nose, drinking in the sunshine.

“the best part of her life” by Julia

Wednesday April 17, 2019
8:53pm
5 minutes
The Politician
Patrick White

It smelled like discount brisket mushrooms and the spinach on its last legs
the crust of good intentions on the insides of some bowls
We ate enough to see feelingly
It felt of seeing enough
Seeing feelings as enough

Before hands met skin
Before the playful spin ritual
There in the The Too Salty Not Enough Flavour Will You Still Love Me
I had a moment of doubt then it left again
I’d take crust anyway

“pulling its guts out” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday April 16, 2019
12:19pm
5 minutes
Identify Hunt
Elaine Bougie

“I need fries. Right now. And mayo. Fries and mayo. Right now.” The server (tall, tattooed, thin-lipped), nods and walks away. “And a gin martini. Dirty,” she calls after him.

Jane slumps on her bar stool. It’s only Tuesday. Jesus Christ. Her feet hurt. Her skirt is too tight around the waist. Rebecca was going to meet her here but texted to say that she has a migraine and needs to go straight home. Lies. Jane knows that Rebecca uses her migraines as an excuse when she’s sleeping with someone knew. Migraine, my ass. Since Marnie had the twins five months ago she’s never able to meet, so Jane doesn’t even bother to text her anymore. It used to be the three of them, Tuesdays and Thursdays, drinking their stress away, laughing into the wee hours.

“pulling its guts out” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday April 16, 2019
7:32am
5 minutes
Identify Hunt
Elaine Bougie

It’s no secret I like poppingsquishing pulling the guts out of my woundsand forcing myself to take a lookI always take a look and that’s problemonumero uno. Here’s me, I am me here in the bathroomand all I have to do is brush my teethand wash my face to get out of here aliveBut the first thing…It’s no secret.The first thing is I take a look.And as I’m looking, a thing I could have savedby not looking finds a moment to show itself.Little forest of peaking heads, white,sore, clustering together to ensure the increaseof attention on them.They, if I’m being honest, are usually molehillsuntil I take a pincer claw and blast theminto mountains. I have done this before,cast this unnecessary spell as if the biggerthe better. I do believe in being big as beinggood but this is not the softest of transitions.Look! Quick! She’s defenseless! And for her next trick, she will destroy a perfectlyinnocent face…

“Like the blueprint of a lake.” By Sasha on her couch

Monday April 15, 2019
10:53am
5 minutes
Weatherman
Norman MacKenzie

The wind is blowing south
and I send incantations into the
open mouth of the yellow tulip

When will you come?

The blueprint of my favourite lake
traced on my insides by your unborn fingers
We’ll spend hours on that dock
dipping toes into glass
fishes grazing the summer heat
spitting watermelon seeds
dragonflies flirting with newly
appointed freckles

When will you come?

I make another batch of granola
stock the chest freezer with soup
clean the dust bunnies from under the couch
read about the miracle of how my body
will open

the tulip

and you
in all your divinity
in all your grace
in all your knowing
will arrive

“Like the blueprint of a lake.” by Julia at her desk

Monday April 15, 2019
6:36am
5 minutes
Weatherman
Norman MacKenzie

It’s been a game studying you
wondering where your true north is
and if you’re following it.
I like knowing that somewhere out there
you hold a map of you the size of your history
and on it is marked all the places
you’ve walked instead of taking the car
I know where your feet have been but
where was your heart? There are stretches
of cartography dipped in blue and I know
that’s when you found the water, believed
yourself lake, swam in the light.
When travelling you don’t bring a camera with
you when you leave. You don’t have any need to prove
you saw anything or to show the world how
you’ve seen it. You take it in, mix it around with
whatever you already have in there (blood, life, decisions)
and you tell yourself what you have seen.
and you remember it better that way.
I don’t often write about you in the positive
because sometimes I think it would be less
graceful of me to prove how I see you to
the rest of the world. The only one who
knows how good you are to me is me. And you.
You know because you designed it.
And I follow you because you have built
such a beautiful blueprint

“a stretch of road, a write, and birch trees” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 14, 2019
5 minutes
The Death Of The Partisan Girl
Tom Wayman

It’s that open road song that you’ve been singing
Got that twitch in the eye again, that ache in the toe
Standing too long in front of miniature motor homes again
A look you get caught in the lip when you’re planning our next steps

I’ve been singing louder these days too, and maybe this time we could
make more space for writing a few lines with each other in mind
It’s that open road song that you’ve been singing
Stretch of highway and the yellow lines prove themselves without pushing

We’ve finally found excitement here and to be honest I don’t
want to leave but if you go, I go, and then we’re promising
we’ll put our hearts out there to build from scratch again
All I know for certain is that if we see a new view from behind
the windshield then I’ll start a new notebook and I’ll bring a fresh pen

“a stretch of road, a write, and birch trees” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday April 14, 2019
3:04pm
5 minutes
The Death Of The Partisan Girl
Tom Wayman

Grief has a way of tossing around the heart
a big ginger cat pawing
the beating thing
back and forth and down
by the curb
a stretch of road ahead
that’s sketched in the colours
of a face you’ll never stop missing

You’re not the only one
who wakes up with tears on her pillow
the words to a song you haven’t thought of in years
swinging from the branches of the
dawn mind

You see other people rushing and hustling
and calling and tripping
and a friend tells you that you’ve changed

I have changed
you say and your voice catches
because isn’t change the only thing
that we can count on?

“I was supposed to have the afternoon off” by Julia at her desk

Saturday April 13, 2019
8:02pm
5 minutes
Truckin’
Ken Mitchell

We’ve been burning the midnight oil! It is the right kind of burning.
The burning out part is coming, surely, and if it comes in the afternoon, we will take it off, let the smoke rise, and take a nap.

This is trying to be something with too many metaphors. What do you call that anyway, a poem?

We’ve been working on our RELATIONSHIP. We’re not up watching TV, I’ll tell you what. Since B has come back from his work trip in Nevada, he’s been saying, no one is safe, not even us. Between you and I, I think he caught a bug, but I love the man, I’ll tell you, so I’m willing to put the long hours in if that’s what he needs! Even if it’s a bit strange. I mean, what’s he worried about? Me leaving in the middle of the night if we’re not up the whole time discussing our needs?
B never needed anything before. I find it refreshing!

“I was supposed to have the afternoon off” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday April 13, 2019
8:02am
5 minutes
Truckin’
Ken Mitchell

Bill is rolling a cigarette out behind the dumpster and I’m pissed because I’m trying to quit but he’s there tempting me every time I want to take a break.

“WTF Bill!” I say, and he doesn’t look up. He licks his lips. “You know I’m tryin’ to quit! Least you could do is pull that milk cart outta sight, or somethin’!”

I go for a walk around the block. This guy is not going to get to me. This guy is not going to get to me. I’ve smoked for six years and I don’t even want to think about how many days this has chopped off my life. How Bill’s heart is still beating is a question that remains unanswered. The guy must be at least sixty now, but he has that ageless wrinkle thing goin’. Hard life, I guess.

“You would hide your bitten nails under the table” by Julia on the walk home

Friday April 12, 2019
9:45pm
5 minutes
The Intellectual
Benny Anderson

Well the jealousy found me. Always does. In the shape of a voice I would never expect. It sounded like sorry but stung like theft. And where does that tiny piece live now? In the back pocket of weak jeans? Clinging to a bit that solves my puzzle, otherwise used instead as coaster under tepid glass?

Why couldn’t I be loved like sister instead….lifted, whole.
It pangs at my hip.
Gnaws at the cut of my eye.

“You would hide your bitten nails under the table” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday April 12, 2019
8:46pm
5 minutes
The Intellectual
Benny Anderson

You would hide your bitten nails under the table. That’s what you’d do. You should’ve sprung for a manicure. Can’t remember the last time you did that. One of those places called “Chic Nails” or something, with TVs on the wall and so many tiny bottles to choose from. Flushing forty bucks into the toilet, but whatever. Lots of guys like that. Groomed nails. Whatever. You look at your hands and you see your childhood, your bad haircut and your ill-fitting jeans, cuffs rolled up. You have child hands. Drove your mother crazy, how you bit your nails. She tried everything. Told you she’d give you a dollar for every week you went without biting. “It’s nasty, Viv,” she’d say. You’re nasty, Viv. Why’d you say yes to this date anyway? He probably likes fishing. He probably has a hairy neck. He probably has pepperoni nipples.

“under his dark eye-lids” by Julia at her desk

Thursday April 11, 2019
10:23pm
5 minutes
Faces Of The Sun-Man
Rienzi Crusz

He’s staying up late again eating stale Cheetos cause somehow that makes him feel better. He is bothering himself and it’s punishment, maybe for letting himself get this alone. Loneliness is worse when you hate yourself on top of it.

The Cheetos in the bag turn his fingers fuzzy. He is careful not to smear them on any of the furniture. She wouldn’t let him hear the end of it. Too bad she’ll never know one way or the other what he’s up to since she broke his heart into a shape that no longer fits inside his chest.

He thinks about wiping them underneath him, just to see. And maybe to spite her. Who buys a white couch anyway? Stupid fucking white couch. This is a place where liars sit, he thinks to himself. This is where liars pretend they’re going to be just fine.

“under his dark eye-lids” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday April 11, 2019
8:09pm
5 minutes
Faces Of The Sun-Man
Rienzi Crusz

Didn’t trust him the moment I met him, something about those deep sunken eyes. He’d seen things, you know? But, we had to work together so I did what I had to do. You spend enough hours in a car with someone and you find a redeeming quality or two… Didn’t like him smoking all the time. Didn’t like how he liked to make rude jokes about women, about how needy they are, or stupid… “Cut it out, Smithers,” I’d always say. Every single time.

“Shoot, right, you got daughters,” he’d roll his eyes, light up a cigarette.

“It’s not about that. You can’t talk like that.”

Smoke rings.

“imbalance and improperly-tuned segments” by Julia on her bed

Wednesday April 10, 2019
9:31pm
5 minutes
Later, When I Am Carried Forward This Far
Parm Mayer

You wouldn’t want to blame the word now would you? Unless it was the wrong one, I guess.

Equality is not the same as equilibrium. Balance is stronger. Why else would they teach that? They being the universe, obviously. On the sea saw of life (metaphor, check), there is up and down but there is always both. You could count on it. Or you could trust it. Think about why your hear about trust. Yes, about the universe. Because it works. Because believing in yourself is a medicine you don’t need a prescription for, and hey i’m a Doctor! Give yourself whatever you need. Cause limit is only a five letter word. You could crush it —if you wanted to.

“imbalance and improperly-tuned segments” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday April 10, 2019
8:18pm
5 minutes
Later, When I Am Carried Forward This Far
Parm Mayer

Gladys segments the grapefruit for Penny. She likes Wednesdays, but it hasn’t always been that way. She likes Wednesdays now that Hank drops Penny off on his way to work and she gets to spend the day with her granddaughter. A first grandchild is always something extra special, Doreen said. Gladys scoffed. But it’s true. Penny is the cutest kid Gladys has ever seen. She patiently waits in her highchair, watching as Gladys adds small pieces of apple and a few almonds to the plate. “You’re being very patient, Pen,” Gladys says and Penny smiles.

“I have entered you quietly” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday April 9, 2019
8:21pm
5 minutes
Your Room
Robert Sherrie

I saw you seeing the ships the way I would and it made me feel alive
I like knowing parts of me can be transferred on to you like a patch or a scarf
I wear you gently
That is to say with care
I walk you around outside
I keep you facing the ocean, the silky lavender dress streaming
This is how I share you
I dance you on the inside
I slide on dead wood
splash around bit, whoop a knot out of my hair
I want to know how I have entered you
How you might wear me inside and out

“I have entered you quietly” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday April 9, 2019
7:10pm
5 minutes
Your Room
Robert Sherrie

I saw you watching the sunset
on the beach at the end of Cherry
Alone with your red toque as a friend
and as she slung down low
almost eclipsing the horizon
I heard you sing a line
of what might be my favourite song

Music is the language you speak
when you aren’t sure of your surroundings
or you are the most sure
and I do too
this is what connects us
by a multi-coloured embroidery thread
of energy and grace notes

We’ve never spoken but we know one another
like we know the dew on the blades of grass
or the squint of dawn and dusk

“good-luck puppet” by Sasha at her desk

Monday April 8, 2019
6:41pm
5 minutes
Fetish
Pierre Reverdy

“Good luck,” you say, brushing my hair out of my eyes.

“Thanks,” I pull back a little. You grimace. “Thanks,” I say again, and I mean it this time. I really do.

“Are you nervous?” I want you to go and find your place in the stands. I don’t have time for this. I need to warm up.

“A little. Not really… I need to – ” I see Alisha already on the field doing drills. “I need to start – ”

“I know. I’ll go. I’m sorry.” You put your hands in your pockets. “Have a good game.”

You lean in to kiss me and I lean in to hug you and you end up kissing above my head.

“good-luck puppet” by Julia on L’s couch

Monday April 8, 2019
2:21pm
5 minutes
Fetish
Pierre Reverdy

Meda says I’m not allowed to carry her around anymore. Says the face is chewed off too rough and it’s scaring the cat. I tell Meda that the cat does not get a say in this.
“You’ll give her nightmares,” She tells me, “don’t you care about that?”

“Oh I’m sorry does the cat find herself screaming in the middle of the night, unable to get a single thing done the next day, Meda? Does she get behind on all of her chores, Meda, all of her living?”

I realize I am yelling now and the good-luck puppet appears to disintegrate further with each decibel. Meda isn’t looking at me.

“I am not trying to be cruel about the cat, Meda, I’m really not. I don’t want her to suffer. Much. “

“The room is dingy” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday April 7, 2019
9:35pm
5 minutes
When She Leaves Me
James Wyatt, JR.

The room isn’t exactly dingy, but it’s nothing fancy. You starfish on the bed and sigh. I check out the bathroom. I start running a bath. I don’t have tub in my studio apartment. It almost deterred me but then I remembered my budget and how I promised myself I’d finish my novel this year and the more I paid in rent the less I could write because I’d have to work at the bar and good grief am I really forty two years old and pouring pitchers of beer…

“Shall I join you?” You call from the bed.

“If you’d like!” I call back.

“What would you like?” You say, appearing in the doorway.

“The room is dingy” by Julia on her couch

Sunday April 7, 2019
8:49pm
5 minutes
When She Leaves Me
James Wyatt, JR.

They sat there on the curb
him, in his own piss, her holding blood. Where could they go at this desperate in the morning. He shivers.

“If we go back now, we’re fucked”

“Nobody is going back. Nobody is even talking about it, do you hear me? “

“I said ‘if.’ To remind us that we could go back and we’re not.”

“I can’t do this by myself.”

“I’m not going. “

She pushes open the door to the room. It stays open, falls off the track.

“Nice”

“Throw your bag over to keep it shut.”
She coughs.
“We’re fucked.”

“Does not oblige you” by Julia on the bathtub

Saturday April 6, 2019
11:44pm
5 minutes
From an email

Not owed to yesterday
I am today’s collaborator
Fierce
Funny
We make choices as a team
The breath of fresh air on skin
The light rain nesting in puddles
Today the silver fish do not get murdered
Today the silver fish contributes something
Anything
Not sure yet
Today is for second chances
For walking straight into love
For breathing into things
For picking a good movie to only watch a third of
Today I give everything and then more when I think I have none left
I smile
I look up
I see the face in front of me
I make a laugh come out of an impossible woman
Today is what tomorrow will never be
And what I will carry on my tongue

“Does not oblige you” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday April 6, 2019
11:00pm
5 minutes
From an email

Gus does not oblige you and it pisses you off. He used to follow you around, when you were kids, when you were ten and he was eight, when the grass grew tall around you cuz Daddy was too busy with the calves. Gus thinks he is becoming his own man and maybe he is and maybe he isn’t, but what he is is a dick most of the time. Good thing that Marla and Bernadette get along as well as they do, keeps things running, keeps things together. Meals are a bit tense, a bit strange, but all the kids screaming and laughing and Bernadette cutting up everyone’s meatloaf and Gus giving you side-eye from the other head of the table.

“Maria’s self-view was that she was inadequate” by Sasha at her desk

Friday April 5, 2019
10:02pm
5 minutes
Spirituality in Clinical Practice
Len Sperry

Maria secretly smokes menthol cigarettes. She doesn’t eat after seven o’clock. She starts the day with a jog around the block (“Good morning, Ron!” “Good morning, Mrs. Feldman…”) and makes sure the roses don’t need trimming. Maria eats cottage cheese and cantaloupe for breakfast, and a cup of black coffee in her travel mug to go. She’s got to drive to the other side of town today to prep an open house. Maria worked at a daycare before she started in real estate. Dwayne is on night shifts so he’ll sleep until two or so. She gives him a kiss when the alarm goes off at six thirty and then there’s no looking back. She used to go in to say goodbye before she left but that often resulted in him trying to pull her back into bed and she doesn’t have time for that.

“Maria’s self-view was that she was inadequate” by Julia in the bathroom

Friday April 5, 2019

8:17pm

5 minutes

Spirituality in Clinical Practice

Len Sperry

Can only write with one hand

Cannot read maps

Cannot read lips

Can only chew one one side of mouth (cavity)

Can hold grudges

Cannot decide quickly

Can lose track of time

Cannot multitask

Can underestimate task load/length

Can fall asleep sitting upright

Can dream scream

Cannot remember which books have money inside

Can stare blankly

Can want to help even if it complicates

Cannot drink a lot

Can blame others

Can check likes too often

Can only tie laces using bunny ears

“The relevance to actual practice has been questioned” by Julia on M and N’s couch

Thursday April 4, 2019
9:06pm
5 minutes
Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Practice in College Mental Health
Stewart E. Cooper

I mean they say practice makes perfect right? Hi! I’m here to tell you that the only thing practice makes is you better at making messes. What’s the perfect thing? What’s the perfect thing I’m supposed to need anyway?

I practice not hating myself
I practice not destroying my face
I practice not jumping to conclusions
I practice deciding
I practice the ukulele
I practice patience
I practice anger
I practice not giving a fuck
I practice not stealing.
And yet.
I am still a pile of shit most days.
I am still regretting my pop and pinch and pick and pull.
I am a full blown mess and some days I know how to clean it up and some days I wish I could evaporate into thin air and live somewhere that doesn’t require a face.
I practice these five and this five and those five.
I practice telling the truth and still find myself lying.
I practice words lit by a nightlight in my bathroom.

“The relevance to actual practice has been questioned” by Sasha in her living room

Thursday April 4, 2019
10:30am
5 minutes
Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Practice in College Mental Health
Stewart E. Cooper

Practise doesn’t make perfect. Nothing makes perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist. Nothing is something spun from gold. Something is nothing spun from imagination. Sun’s peaking out and it’s okay now, baby, rest now, baby, shhhhh now, baby.

You’re sure of yourself and you’re sure of God and what more do you need, hm? What more do you really need. Fry an egg in good butter, make some toast, salt and pepper and you’re good to go. Out the door, on your way to shine bright, baby, I’ll be okay here, me and the piano music. I’ll be okay.

“‘small healings’ take place every day” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday April 3, 2019
9:36pm
5 minutes
The Human Elements of Psychotherapy
David N. Elkins

Healing found in the gummy smile of a three-month-old
lentils stewed by her mother in my belly
full and empty
both and.

Letting the light in
embracing the magnolias
carpeting the sidewalks
cool air on my toes.

There is no treasure map
for this
and we are not lost
both

a break in the clouds
for a beam of sun
massaging tired eyes
reaching achey heart.

This morning a hundred and fifty
voices sang Let It Be
four thousand kilometres
away we joined in
You could hear us

and my mother spoke
elegance and beauty

her articulation
clear and practised
all the years of
reading poems aloud.

I’ve been praying
to ancestors
to unborn ones

to the hummingbird
drinking sweetness
on the balcony
all hours of the day.

“‘small healings’ take place every day” by Julia in her couch

Wednesday April 3, 2019
8:29pm
5 minutes
The Human Elements of Psychotherapy
David N. Elkins

Earlier there was a chance to take the regular route home (a shortcut I had found a few years earlier to maximize the usage of my time), and a fork in the rode that would lead me to the water. I almost went the usual route, the reliable path, the pace I had already established. But something (water) caught my attention. It had “been a minute” since I had visited (a phrase my students taught me. ‘A minute’ could mean a week, a year, a while. All very fascinating) and I was more drawn then decided. I saw all of the neon shorts running and it seemed like a good idea even though it would add 4-6 minutes to my commute home, depending on the abundance of runners, and other stoppable fixtures in nature. Immediately I was drawn into a labyrinth. Upon my exit I saw a seal up close. Wild!

“My brother finds out this Friday” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday April 2, 2019
9:11pm
5 minutes
From an email

Is it better to assume than to make an ass out of myself? Don’t answer that. I’m nervous. I get chatty when I’m nervous. I mean, common problem. Are you writing this down? I just said I was nervous. Really know how to make a speaker feel listened to. Please don’t write this. I don’t represent myself well on paper. I’m often misunderstood. Not in a whiny way. Out of context. People can’t formulate their own opinions anymore because there’s not enough data. Things are being hidden away, we’re getting tricked, we’re falling…falling for all of it…

You know people will believe what is being fed to them especially when it’s not shoved down their throats. I don’t blame them. It’s quite logical. More efficient if you think about it.

“My brother finds out this Friday” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday April 2, 2019
7:43am
5 minutes
From an email

The morning is quiet.
Your candle is burning.
It was hard to light because it’s burned down low, but I did it.
Got soot on my fingers.
Rubbed it on my robe.
The lilies are opening in slow motion.
The whole apartment smells like flowers.
Bloom after bloom, one by one.
You are close by, I think.
You can be in more than one place now, I think.
“I can’t believe I still have tears,” I say.

Traffic on Oak street hums while I try to meditate.
Seeing you in photograph form and my breath catches in my throat.
I want you close but it needles the sore spots.

I’ll call my mother.
I’ll wash some dishes.
It’s hard now, belly so big with babe.
I’ll take my vitamins.
I’ll think about my mother,
washing dishes,
taking vitamins,
finally resting.

“to stockings in the wash” by Julia on her couch

Monday April 1, 2019

9:24pm

5 minutes

Second Ultrasound

Stephanie Yorke

Mind wanders from you to them to this and I’m still pissed about the dirty lunch container left mocking me on the coffee table. Could have brought it to the kitchen when I was done. Then I would have washed it with the rest of things.

Mind wanders from here to that to all my stupid choices. Like that time I volunteered myself to film a commercial without getting paid and now every single person I know tells me they keep seeing it. Stupid like the time I didn’t drink enough water, felt the effects, and promised never to let that happen again until it happened again. And again. And again.

Mind wanders from that to this to

now to later to the way it could have been. To the almost.

I’m sorry what is there to say? I’m over here angry. I’m angry for you. I’m angry at all my shit but it’s nothing in comparison. It’s just shit.

“to stockings in the wash” by Sasha in her bed

Monday April 1, 2019
8:14pm
5 minutes
Second Ultrasound
Stephanie Yorke

I’m glad that the last thing I said to you
was “I love you”
those three words that
rock on the still water
held in perfect tired hands

you left
this life last night after
all these months of becoming
the truest pearl of yourself
the gruff softer
the truth closer the music soaring
above us in smoky curls

a sob is so close
the only language I know is water
connecting across provinces
across blood helping me to hold
my mother my sisters

these little lights

“hair slicked in waves” by Julia at her desk

Sunday March 31, 2019
8:20pm
5 minutes
Push
Adrienne Gruber

When the party’s done, over, you name it, do you go, we go, are we going back to your place, the bar, the next stage in our relationship?

Got questions for all the sweeties out there with hair-slicked-waves, with promises to burn, with ideas of how why how why, with roadmaps marked, checked, ripped from all the momentum.

If I told you I wanted to lay quietly with my legs between yours, no talking, no quipping, no music, no mustering, no interpreting, would you tell me it was too easy to do, too hard, too dumb, too beneath us, too much of a waste of time, too good?

When the moment’s over where do we go, you go, I go, have to see, need to see, want to see, dream of seeing, see in dreams, see in dreams? Where, why, how, are you, me, are we good at answering these questions or just good at asking them.

“hair slicked in waves” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday March 31, 2019
7:50am
5 minutes
Push
Adrienne Gruber

Hair slicked back in waves the men lunge forward as we walk back, heels clicking the cobblestone streets, tempting and sweating and breathing and hoping, and are we lost now? It doesn’t really matter. Names we don’t know and names we do and beer by the pitcher even though we don’t really like it. Tapas served with everything, maybe that’s why we order more beer. I’m dizzy and you’re kissing a very tall Jorge in the corner and now I’m not sure about getting back to the hostel or getting back home or my boyfriend a million miles away or if we’re going to make it, you and me, me and him, this and us.

“Eat bread and understand comfort.” By Julia on W and B’s couch

Saturday March 30, 2019
9:21pm
5 minutes
To Begin With, the Sweet Grass
Mary Oliver

Some days are so low
So low the ground feels high
So low the stars aren’t shining

No reason
Except everything

The grass aches
The leaves lie
The world keeps spinning and something else that doesn’t feel true

Why when some days are the opposite
The singing
the squeezing
the good
The feeling
The family
The forever

I am not asking for this

Maybe I’m asking for this

And I know that I could be
the one to trade with
So I try to write down
all the very good that I know
The blessings, counted
The love
The roof
The everything
Even this low
Because I only know it
if I know the opposite
and if
I didn’t this would
feel normal

“Eat bread and understand comfort.” By Sasha at her desk

Saturday March 30, 2019
6:21pm
5 minutes
To Begin With, the Sweet Grass
Mary Oliver

She isn’t sure what to make of the fact that Jed is making bread again. It’s been three years since there was yeast germinating on the counter. She forgot what it was like to wake up to the smell of a fresh loaf of sourdough on the counter. She forgot about cutting into the crusty exterior and dripping pieces into olive oil and balsamic vinegar. She doesn’t ask Jed what’s changed, or why he decided to start up again. She doesn’t want to disturb the stillness of the flour, the bubble of the fermentation.

“concern also has been expressed” by Sasha at her desk

Friday March 29, 2019
9:48pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

You scrub the walls and dust the
hard-to-reach corners way up
way up beyond
where I can reach

I watched you ironing your shirt
this morning and talked and talked
and then I said

“I guess I’m feeling a bit chatty”
and you smiled
and it was all there
the waiting and the mystery
the stillness and the movement
the arrivals and the departure

The great letting go
required
on both sides

We are living in more
love than ever before and
I know it’s because
we have scrubbed the foundation
we have eaten handfuls of
clay in the face of doubt

We have come through the tunnel
and now we shield our eyes from
the exquisite brightness
of this living

“concern also has been expressed” by Julia at the bus stop

Friday March 29, 2019
6:25pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

I made a scene at dinner. Call me premenstrual, or incapable of having a nice night out, or insensitive to the needs of the room. Merel has said that about me before. She has said “read the room” and I think she means like a book. So does that mean let the book tell me what I’m experiencing? Am I not supposed to draw conclusions?

Someone asked a specific question and my face turned hot and my eyes filled up and my voice got loud. I don’t know that I was entirely inappropriate, all of us casually at the Cactus Club for happy hour. I am not happy! But the rest of them turned very small. I didn’t want small I wanted bigness. I wanted a fight or a debate or a hug or something.

I am most hurt by silence. By the fear I’ll go off the handle. One person agreed with me. And one person probably now thinks I’m the devil.

Merel says I shouldn’t make assumptions about the intentions of others. But I read the room and I still have to decide if I like it or not, don’t I? Merel would tell me to breathe before thinking anything at all.

“Is it the beginning of a poem?” By Julia in the bathroom

Thursday March 28, 2019
10:30pm
5 minutes
The Poet Always Carries A Notebook
Mary Oliver

I tell the woman my name after she asks and make a joke about my last name rhyming with wedgie so she’ll remember how to pronounce it.

She looks at me for a minute then I explain that it came from some unkind yet quite creative grade fours when I was the new kid in school. I laugh, she laughs, everyone sitting near us laughs. And then she begins to talk about how a pebble in a stream can change the course of a river and I’m going where she’s taking me. She uses it as a teaching moment to remind the class that even small moments can stay with us our whole lives and we don’t know which pebbles people are walking around with in their pockets.

It even hits me hard and I’m the one joking about it.

She tells me, maybe that’s the start of a poem. It already rhymes…

“Is it the beginning of a poem?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday March 28, 2019
10:02am
5 minutes
The Poet Always Carries A Notebook
Mary Oliver

Forest walk. Billy runs ahead. His back legs are starting to go. Happens to German Shepherds. He still runs like he means it. Runs like he’ll live forever. Ferns are shooting out in every direction. I forgot for awhile that it’s spring. Stream under the second bridge is rushing. Stop and close my eyes and breathe in the damp sweetness. Feel Billy’s nose at my fingertips. Start a poem today. Just start. Haven’t written in too long. Fixing the leaky roof. Volunteering at the shelter. Banality. Bathes. Cuddles with Billy and falling asleep.

“We need drugs” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday March 27, 2019
9:31pm
5 minutes
A quote by Wendell Berry

I understand why you’re saying
that you need the drugs and you need
the numbing and you want to go

I understand the reaching
towards something beyond
what you’ve known

Sympathetic to what your
heart is breaking towards
but it’s not there

sweetheart
it’s not there

Here with the bones
the blood the shit
the sex the words
the dirt the misunderstandings

Here

Everything else
is

“We need drugs” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday March 27, 2019
8:02pm
5 minutes
A quote by Wendell Berry

Let’s get through the wedding, the heartache, the backseat, the rain.

Give me drugs and I will write you the world’s worst poem, but my heart will be honest. Does anyone want that?

You said earlier the way I see the world is authentic and that’s why you love me.
I said, what do you mean, and you said I don’t filter things to make them better, and I said am I mean? You said no. That was a good answer.

We need some shrooms for the dance party in a couple weeks. That would be smart wouldn’t it? Find the light in the room and float to it?

The third time I did them I wrote the best song I’ve ever felt. It was full of pain and lonely but, hey I went all the way in and came back out again. In retrospect I could have done them with a friend but I was curious about what I would do on my own. I danced with the moon. I don’t know if a companion would have yielded the same results.

“my mother is waiting” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday March 26, 2019
8:07pm
5 minutes
The Greeter
T Kira Madden

Call the woman who decided you were good, the one who heard a whisper of you and was convinced. No shouting match with the sky gods, the enough of you was felt by her first. Call her on the phone and hear her laugh. The real one that she gives you at her own jokes, the real one that you cannot will not forget.

My mother is not waiting by the phone but she will run to it.

After getting rid of all the portable ones in the house, she went out and bought phones with long, curly
cords. She was born running, the woman can run up stairs and around tracks and to the neighbour’s house to give her infant the Heimlich Manoeuvre. My mother was ready and is ready. She doesn’t have call display but she knows it’s me by the tone of the ring. She knows me by the song on the other end waiting for her.

“my mother is waiting” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday March 26, 2019
6:04pm
5 minutes
The Greeter
T Kira Madden

My mother calls
grace on her lips
grief crawling out
between her fingers
that thick sludge oh God
how do we bear
this kind of breaking
again she’s losing love
again she’s splitting open
she knows in a different way
this time

My daughter was a seed
in me in my mother’s womb
She carried us so well
grew us strong in heart
soft in hip
grew us brave

My mother sits
by the bed of her beloved
vigil in the stillness
in the nurses coming and going
speaks to him with the care
she spoke to my sister and I
when we were girls

“Falling in love is appropriate for now” by Julia in her bedroom

Monday March 25, 2019
10:42pm
5 minutes
Handy Tips on how to Behave at the Death of the World
Anne Herbert

Help, is anyone out there? Is anybody reading this? There are a lot of people worried and seeking and I know them. I am them. We might recognize one another at a party. Yes there’d be bread at this party. That would be giving the party a lot more value.

I’m…I guess..I’m wondering if I’m alone. I mean I know I’m not, I’m talking to you. You’re there. You’re looking at me and I’m you. Aren’t you? We? I feel united and excited and loved by that. That thought, the you me we thing, that acceptance, yes, that permission. I can say I love me and that would be like saying I love you and then you’d know love. I know love for me because and only because I see you in me, and you, YOU, you are easy to love. Easy to love with hands cuffed. Easy to love with lids droopy. Easy to love in the dark when the words hurt more than heal and your warmth does the talking. Easy to love like that.

“Falling in love is appropriate for now” by Sasha on her balcony

Monday March 25, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Handy Tips on how to Behave at the Death of the World
Anne Herbert

today we called and told
you that we love you
and when i said it
you said “thanks, sister”

the tears were the
cord connecting my mother
and i across the mountains
the prairie
across the great lakes
a rocky expanse
full fledged
far flung

today we called and told you
that we love you
and you said hello
you heard us
you knew it was me and him
and this little one
nestled
and growing

today was a hard day
a soggy day
a heart on the floor
in the throat
in the guts day
soggy and heavy and
hurting

the only thing
left to say is
i love you
love is the only
word that holds
all the other words
in the bowl of the “o”
in the cup of the “v”

“tired, bearded men” by Julia at her desk

Sunday March 24, 2019
8:58pm
5 minutes
Ways To Take Your Coffee
Leath Tonino

They’re tired because they are always worrying about their beards. Always trimming, and rubbing, and massaging them. They’re up early cause they need to style it so it looks naturally luscious. They need to style it so people will be attracted to them and understand on a deeper level that they care about details. That they care about expression. That is a good beard. One who has been sculpted by the hands of caregivers, thoughtful displays of affection and respect for their face.

Okay I started this off with more of a punchy vibe and now I’m all enamoured by men and their facial hair. Women have makeup as acceptable face alterations. Men have hair to coif and style and exude charisma out of. It’s art, when you think about it: all those tight lines and varying levels of rigidity.

“tired, bearded men” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday March 24, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Ways To Take Your Coffee
Leath Tonino

I pour another pitcher of beer and bring it to another table of tired, bearded men. These men don’t have manners. One might grunt and I might interpret it as a “thank you” but who really knows. One might look me up and down, lingering on my breasts, and I might narrow my eyes a little before walking away. Back behind the bar I look out at the full room, all these tired, bearded men drinking their beer and talking and stinking. Mari comes and stands beside me and says something in Spanish that I don’t fully understand.

“Everyone deals with breakups” by Julia on her bed

Saturday March 23, 2019
6:39pm
5 minutes
Love Running
Joseph Holt

Maggie got her heart crushed again. Did you see her leaving the cancer benefit? She was wasted. Nobody is a better friend to that girl than the bottle. She was supposed to give a speech too, but she made Alison deliver it on her behalf and told her to tell everyone she had a medical emergency. I don’t know if she keeps going for the same types of women—you know, the ones who disappoint her— or if she’s stretching herself thin and she’s actually the hard one to love. Everybody goes through it but somehow she’s enduring another breakup every month. Maybe she should just be by herself for a while and figure out what she wants. And if she stops working a little bit so at least they have time to really get to know her before they dump her.

“Everyone deals with breakups” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday March 23, 2019
7:15am
5 minutes
Love Running
Joseph Holt

Keri gets her heartbroken again and we roll our eyes because it happens so often, and it always looks the same. Doesn’t feel the same, I’m sure, but from the outside it looks it. She falls in love with some schlub (man posing with fishing rod! Man posing with woman who has been cropped out of photo! Man holding a bow and arrow!) she met on OK Cupid. It’s all, “Ohmygosh, Glenn is the one!” It’s all, “Sorry I can’t hang out tonight, Chris and I do Wing Wednesdays…” We roll our eyes. Okay, Keri. Whatever. When this one breaks your heart we’ll still be here. We’ll take you our for white hot chocolate, we’ll listen as you sob, we’ll let you sleepover and hog the covers.

“Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other.” By Julia in her living room

Friday March 22, 2019
8:13pm
5 minutes
A quote by Pema Chödrön

Said the Hellstorm to the Artist:

You will be damn insufferable and someone needs to come and wash you out, oopsie whoopsie itsy spider, time to crawl on back up. Said: don’t you remember where your boots are? Pull up the straps and go jump in a puddle. You do remember fun, don’t you? You need me as much as I need you. All that summoning of me you do, I’m just coming since you called me. I’m a good friend. Ever heard of loyalty? That’s me. I make you damn clean again. Sparkling. Smooth out your edges after so long of bruising myself against them. After I pelt you and you resist me, over and over again. I make you soft and grateful. You can thank us both for that.

“Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other.” By Sasha at her desk

Friday March 22, 2019
5:09pm
5 minutes
A quote by Pema Chödrön

creatures of polarity
as delicate as we are gruesome
wretched as we are glorious
all of the holy
all of the profane
we scream for freedom
and crave confinement
squeezing and pulling
pushing and yawning
it’s a strange thing
to think
what is it for?
the birds call towards
the centre of the earth
the worms reach for the
sunlight
what is it for?
the rise and fall contained
in each breath
in each love
in each betrayal
in each death
of each moment
of this
here now
dying into life

“as the cells of his scalp” by Julia on Kits beach

Thursday March 21, 2019
5:06pm
5 minutes
Candlelight
Tony Hoagland

It was disgusting because it wasn’t my filth. I guess you could make the same argument that it could be less repulsive due to my separation from it, but let me set the record straight: I threw up in my mouth the moment this woman left her apartment. Well, in her defence it was a short term rental and she was probably getting a cleaner with the deal or whatever her husband’s work was willing to pay. But in the meantime, to live with so much food on the floor it could feed a small family for days…I shouldn’t continue. You’ll get so grossed out. Okay but let me say one thing, her sweet 9 month old had extreme eczema and when he’d wake up from his nap or if he got upset he’d start ripping at his little head. There was bits of his scalp all over the apartment—on the back of his high chair, on the changing mat, on the carpet. I considered if his home were clean that he might be less upset at the things he couldn’t control and less hell-bent on destroying his own skin. I also know that these things aren’t likely connected. But I wondered.

“as the cells of his scalp” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday March 21, 2019
7:36am
5 minutes
Candlelight
Tony Hoagland

Take out the trash to the bin in the garage. Wheel the bin to the curb. The neighbourhood is still sleeping. Mandy and the boys are still sleeping, too. Jacob was up in the night crying. Mandy went to him, and then came and got me. He was dreaming about monsters again. “No more scary movies,” Mandy whispered as we climbed back into bed forty minutes later. Thank God for the coffee maker, wooing me towards the kitchen when the alarm goes off. Thank God for coffee. Mrs. Henderson across the street in her quilted housecoat and winter boots. She waves.

“How are you holding up?” I say, and then regret breaking the silence, fracturing the stillness of this Wednesday morning.

“we minimize our vast social problems.” By Julia at Bean Around The World

Wednesday March 20, 2019
3:57pm
5 minutes
Filling the Void: Bruce K. Alexander on how our culture is making us addicted
Jari Chevalier

1. How are you? GREAT, AMAZING, NEVER BETTER, !!!!

2. Do you need anything? NOPE, NOTHING, I CAN HANDLE IT ALL BY MYSELF, !!

3. Is there anything you would change about yourself? I’M A PERFECTIONIST SO I GUESS THAT’S MY WEAKEST STRENGTH IF ANYTHING, …

4. What do you think we’re lacking? VULNERABILITY IS SO IMPORTANT AND IF MORE PEOPLE WOULD BE EMPATHS LIKE ME IT WOULD TAKE THE LOAD OFF CAUSE I FEEL SO MUCH THAT I HAVE TO SLEEP SO MUCH AND HONESTY AND COMFY BEDS AND MELATONIN AND AUTHENTICITY ARE SUPER NECESSARY,!!!!!!!!

5. What do you want more than anything? NOT POWER NOT FAME NOT MONEY NOT CONTROL NOT LOVE JUST FLOWERS, !…!

“we minimize our vast social problems.” By Sasha on the 9

Wednesday March 20, 2019
1:12pm
5 minutes
Filling the Void: Bruce K. Alexander on how our culture is making us addicted
Jari Chevalier

I’m planning a party for Jess’ birthday and it hits me that you won’t be there. This is one of those firsts that Priya, the grief counsellor I’ve been seeing, has talked about. This is the first time I really cry. I’m not a crier, and not because I don’t think men should or something like that. I’m just not a crier. But today I let it all out. No one’s around so it’s fine. I sit on the kitchen floor and I cry and cry and cry. I don’t worry about Adam getting home, or what it might sound like to the neighbours. It just all comes out.

“exhale passively” by Julia in her living room

Tuesday March 19, 2019
9:44pm
5 minutes
Physiotherapy Instructions

Yesterday you asked me why I had given such a deep sigh. I thought it was self-explanatory: I needed it. But why did you need it? Cause you are exasperating. But you didn’t like that answer. You don’t think you’re exasperating. Sometimes I blow out air that’s keeping me angry at you. Sometimes it holds the place of my longing, my crying. I do not exhale passively around you since I decided I was going to give you the full range of me. Here, this is me existing without alterations, reservations, or tiny lies.

Yesterday I shook my hips around while we were laying in bed. I didn’t stop to apologize and you did not ask me to stop. The body sometimes needs permission to be alive. To exist.

I like it better this way. The breathing more intentional the view in front of me tangible, clear, echoing.

I shake and breathe and you ask me why and I tell you why. I’ve always wanted an intimacy like that.

“exhale passively” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 19, 2019
4:21pm
5 minutes
Physiotherapy Instructions

You always learn things the hard way, Patricia, and that’s just not how it has to be! When I was your age I was cautious, I was careful, I was paying attention to what was happening around me! I see you, all a mess all the time, running around like a chicken with your head cut off and, frankly, I feel bad for you. Why don’t you take a page out of Gin’s book? She’s really got her life together, and she’s three years younger than you! Virginia knows what she wants and she isn’t afraid to go for it, but not at the expense of her pride or self worth… or reputation.

“apartment door was closed and triple-locked” by Sasha on her couch

Monday March 18, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
The Langoliers
Stephen King

Paul doesn’t know when he started checking. He can’t answer Shauna when she asks. He sits quietly, top button of his green shirt buttoned, hands folded in his lap.

“I’m not mad,” Shauna mutters, which is a strange thing to say.

“Is it getting worse?” Paul keeps his eyes on his sneaker laces.

“I would say so…” Shauna takes her hair out of a ponytail. She needs a haircut.

“I guess it has,” Paul blinks ten times.

“I just wish you’d come to me before all of this,” Shauna gestures to the apartment door, closed and triple locked.

“apartment door was closed and triple-locked” by Julia at her desk

Monday March 18, 2019
8:56pm
5 minutes
The Langoliers
Stephen King

I can’t have you look at me that way
With eyes dripping pity
Boy you never looked less pretty
I don’t want your face to say
You knew better all along or
This is a self-inflicted song
Weeeeeooooo the wound is pulsing
Weeeeeooooo the pressure rushing
I’m not cut out for this
Can’t handle a setback or a twist
Where’s the paper I signed up for
Can’t recognize my signature from a blood stain on the floor
Weeeeeooooo the ground is home
Weeeeeooooo this place is normal
Maybe I was wrong once or twice
But I never kept the knife jabbed in
Who are you to know my sins
Can’t have judging eyes
No one look at me

“A yellow ball of sun. “ by Julia at Kits Beach

Sunday March 17, 2019
6:19pm
5 minutes
The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

Maybe he’s a magician. He knew which cure I needed.

I said, I won’t be leaving the house today and he opened all the windows. Slowly he nudged
me out of one.

He threw down my tiny backpack after me with a row of Oreos wrapped neatly in the front pocket.

I didn’t thank him then because I still hated him for making me leave.

My body ached from the elephant standing on all my bones.
She was heavy but I didn’t want to be rude so I let her plant her home in me.

The first set of steps set off the fire alarm or the something alarm: Somebody save me or kill me please.

I kept moving, thinking of his wand or special drink. Whatever he used to work his magic on me to get me out.

I walked and walked with a slowness that might suggest a destination was out of the question.

Then I found my feet on the dirty sand filled with broken shells and cigarette butts.
The ball of sun told me where to put myself and I listened to him too.

I closed my eyes and sat there, staring directly into a hot face. I said to myself, Oh. So this is what he meant.

“A yellow ball of sun.” By Sasha at her desk

Sunday March 17, 2019
12:13pm
5 minutes
The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

A yellow ball of sun in her mouth
she shakes her curls and curls her toes
Electrified by the season she is all muscle
and heart all arms and goodness

An avocado pit in her hand she
holds on and holds on and releases
only when the time is right
New sprouts growing only stapled
to the possibility

She isn’t afraid of dabbling
or babbling and she isn’t self conscious
it’s a miracle in this time
miracle on the wingtip of crows