“There are moments when art attains” by Julia on her couch

Saturday November 16, 2019
9:27pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Oscar Wilde

it’s the here, the now, the paint contained by canvas,
the wall oozing imagination, the hallway singing, the contemplative violin cloaking everything in sadness. it’s the heart of an artist, the pulse of an entrepreneur hoping to convince you that this feeling needs you as much as you need it. it’s that circle of friends who gather around the experimental, who bring their dogs to wag their tails, who sit there listening to the latest thing this artist is obsessed with.

“There are moments when art attains” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday November 16, 2019
10:47am
5 minutes
From a quote by Oscar Wilde

Mina tells me and Candy that she’s writing an opera and we roll our eyes because what does someone like Mina know about op-er-a… but then, then she comes over and talks to my Dad about sheet music and baritones and other fancy things and I mean holy crap, she is writing an actual opera. I hate how impressed Dad is, like Mina is super smart or something. She’s not. She’s just regular smart. In fact, I helped her with some geometry homework just the other day! I try to tell Dad that Mina isn’t all that special, I mean, writing an opera as a seventh grader is cool, I guess, but it’s not special. Dad says that I should celebrate my friends, not feel threatened or jealous. “You have your own gifts, Jeannine,” Dad says, folding the corners of his stupid dumplings.

“I remembered a story” by Sasha in her bed

Friday November 15, 2019
9:41pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Laurens van der Post

I remembered a story
swept in a smile
wrapped in a burlap sack
I remembered how the world
was born of a bang and a rising
steam and a roar opening the cosmos
to this very reality that we
have the audacity to question
that we tempt like a sailor docked for
one night a month
I remember how things used to smell
new car is actually poison you know
I’m sorry to be the one to tell you
Your nostrils flaring up to the sparks
dancing you towards death
I remember how things were when
we were all playing our part of the charade
sparklers burping nostalgia
Let’s take a walk
Let’s ride our bikes down to the water
Watch the colours come out to play
just for us
I remember a story
that doesn’t have an ending
that isn’t sure if this is the beginning
or the middle
that in being remembered
knows that she is worthy

“I remembered a story” by Julia at her desk

Friday November 15, 2019
4:40pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Laurens van der Post

papa used to make up stories on the spot
after being begged
after we climbed him like baby baboons
after we heard one good one and knew
there had to be more where that came from

sometimes he’d do it with his eyes closed
and the telling would be the only thing
keeping him from sleeping
he’d say “I’m just resting my eyes”

mama never made up stories
but told the same ones over and over again
usually to teach us a lesson
but sometimes because she couldn’t hold
a memory any better than she could hold space
for Bastien’s learning disability

mama didn’t want any stupid kids and that’s
what she thought she got
she and Bastien were so much a like
you’d swear he had the same thing she did
although she’d never admit that she had
anything but a lack of patience

papa doesn’t remember the tales he used
to tell us, and that’s how you know he
was really in the moment and not somewhere
else wishing he wasn’t

mama doesn’t remember hating Bastien

“A flawless flagpole clinks” by Julia blow drying her hair

Thursday November 14, 2019
3:32pm
5 minutes
Small-Town Autumn
Donna Steiner

According to the other people’s house in a new life that is so far away from the city, we have to pay for the first day of the year and then we can go back into town. I’m sorry I’m late for these things but you know how much you love me.
One day it will make sense for us.
I don’t want anyone to figure it out so for now you have to try to drive the truck back to the shop..try to find out how much you owe…you see what I am trying to say? Don’t let them catch you.

“A flawless flagpole clinks” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday November 14, 2019
7:26am
5 minutes
Small-Town Autumn
Donna Steiner

A broken orange crayon making marmalade on the dusty sidewalk.
Crows cawing all the way to high heaven at sundown. Coffee and a cigarette
on the corner of Main Street with the bakery and the bank. Seasons in slow motion, like rolling a piece of gum between your fingers. Gets less and less sticky.
That’s where I’ll be. With the God forsaken, the brave,
the most ordinary. With the obese, the obtuse, the downtrodden, the real.

Washing dishes for fifty bucks a night and a good meal at Al’s Place,
Loretta hosts karaoke on Saturday’s and I sing along to every song I know,
scraping ketchup and chicken pot pie crusts off thick white plates,
sometimes eating a fry or chicken finger if it’s clear they haven’t been touched.

“Though I had quit drinking” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday November 13, 2019
4:22pm
5 minutes
Free Rent at the Totalitarian Hotel
Poe Ballantine

I was still having dreams about putting the pine into my veins
even after I saw what the stuff could do to me
If I were ever strong before, it was the thing that brought me to my knees
And old boyfriends to their knees with what happened the night before
did we really break up and was it true, this bout of insanity?
Nobody asked if it was the birth control, but it was the birth control
mixed with whatever I was swigging before leaving the house
Memories weren’t the only thing I was leaving on the floor
And if I’d come home a blur with missed calls it wasn’t on the tip of my tongue
to blame the gin
I couldn’t see the lines connected, the outer or inner, the shapes stopped
making sense all together
And then my warning came in the weight of a small healing cat
sitting on my legs while the woman examined my history of traumas and blacking out
She called it an allergy
and it was then I realized my body had been begging.

“Though I had quit drinking” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday November 13, 2019
7:20am
Free Rent at the Totalitarian Hotel
Poe Ballantine

Quiet fell like a blanket over my head, weighty and full. I wished that I’d known what quiet would do to me earlier, before today, before Wednesday. That stroke of genius could’ve come on Monday. So be it, though, so be it. Samson keeps talking about wanting something and then when he finally gets it he doesn’t even want it anymore. Not my relationship to this quiet. A raven picks at a pile of leaves to my left and I remember when Samson told me that Gilly was pregnant and how we drank beer on the wrap around porch. I had already quit drinking, but Creemore’s on the porch was our thing. I could never refuse him. I still had a beard. We didn’t kiss that night, but we did the next time we saw each other. We did kiss that time. When did I start measuring things in kisses? When did Samson tell me that we had to stop hooking up? When did Gilly look at me like she knew about us? When did quiet begin to feel like the real escape?

“Twenty years ago” By Julia at her desk

Tuesday November 12, 2019
4:14pm
5 minutes
The Unspeakable Things Between Our Bellies
Lidia Yuknavitch

It would seem that 20 years ago
some big fundamental decisions
were being made about who I
would be.

I would be winning first place
for a poem written for the legion’s
Remembrance Day competition.

I would be practicing my comedic
timing in Mrs. Foss’ grade 6 class
storming out of the portable with
flair only to enter a proper beat later
announcing that “I forgot my pencil”.

I would be collecting my classmates’
loonies and twonies to pitch in and
buy Mrs. Foss a surprise bucket of
bubble gum for her birthday and reign
supreme as her favourite after hearing
that one of her former students was
now the godmother to her oldest son,
Zachary.

I would be inviting the new girl into
my friendship circle so she would never
have to feel what I felt when for the
first year I was made fun of for being
good at french and knowing my times
tables, and being tripped into the snow
for having spinach stuck in my teeth.

I would be wearing a grey sports bra,
without even realizing I had breasts
but wishing I had what the new girl
had, even though her bra was padded.

“Twenty years ago” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 12, 2019
4:25pm
5 minutes
The Unspeakable Things Between Our Bellies
Lidia Yuknavitch

Twenty years ago I was thirteen

wearing overalls to hide the breasts I never asked for
plaid shirts from Gap Kids
hair down my back
I’d read the whole young adult section at the
Beaches Public Library
Knew that words were my salvation
scribblers overflowing crushes and mood swings
back and forth and scrambled and fried
poems and letters and finding who I was
in the ringed pages through the blue ballpoint
I was hiding more than my body
balled up underwear in the corners under the bed
balled up wrappers in the bedside table drawers
Who teaches the art of hiding to the young one
with traces of purple mascara
Ill matched concealer belonging to some old lady
covering barely there but so so there pimples
Smelling of Clearasil and soy chocolate pudding

I hid to chrysalis myself
shroud myself in all the flimsy layers
in these tender years of temptation and agony
awkwardness and emotion and longing

I hid to be sought by someone who might save me

the only option I’d been given at the time to consider was
a man
the one in the jagged little fantasy ripped from the Rolling Stone
glued to the collage on the wall of my basement bedroom

“winter chess championship” by Julia on her bed

Monday November 11, 2019
5:48pm
5 minutes
Mr. Oleander
Brian Doyle

It has been 24 hours and the bed is sinking

There is proof of the sinking and one day I will show it to you

A warning, that I will have to say I Told You So and you should really prepare for how that’s going to feel

I won’t say the other thing, though

I know how much you hate it

Checkmate

Sorry

I said it

I had to say it, let’s be real

This is another win for me and yes I’m keeping score and yes you’re keeping score

This is the winter championship and it’s a who’s who over here

It’s a do or die

It’s a prove or be proven

I am not actually sorry

Not even for saying the thing that you hate

It is a competition and I am competing with you so there is no room for apology

There is no room for softness and I’ve already told you my stance on that

Remember the framed art sitting on the kitchen shelf

It says We Don’t Do Soft In This House

And yes I made the art

I wrote the poem

But you let it sit there and you have referenced it before

You have been complicit and there is no time for taking anything back

But we could play on the same team for once

I am not offering a forfeit but a surrender

A surrender to this thing we’re going to have to carry

“winter chess championship” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday November 11, 2019
5:42pm
5 minutes
Mr. Oleander
Brian Doyle

I want to be doing better at this abstract artwork
Splatter splatter the red and the doubt and the blue
Texturize with sand and the contents of popped pores
Popped bubbles
Exploded hope
Pop pop goes the imaginary gun into the temple
into the church
Pop pop

My life is my art after all
You tell me of her fingers and I shudder but pretend
that I am a statue and I cannot change expression

I’m busted though
You know my face too well
Have seen it on the best days under the sun
in the field of dreams
Swollen and drugged and birthing
Grieving and aching and hurting
Coming and wailing and eating
Hating and loving and faking
Being and gazing and crowing

I never learned how to play the real game of chess
I’m teaching myself your game now
A piece moves here and I put one in my pocket
in the moment you go to the bathroom
Save it to smell later
when you’re gone

Doing dishes you laugh to yourself
and I know why but I ask anyway

Her fingernails
My stomach churns a strange bitter butter
Gag on the image of curling and breaking
Squeezes body things
out of body places
out of dreams

“more than anything else, men and women seek happiness.” by Julia on her bed

Sunday November 10, 2019
7:25pm
5 minutes
Happiness Revisited
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

If they seek the internal smile
the spot inside the chest where
the acceptance seems to sit
then they will seek the same
smile in the chest of another

the soul the soul
the soul the soul

Man seeks man and or woman
seeks smile in woman and or man
seeks acceptance of his own acceptance in woman and or man
man is good

woman seeks woman and or man
seeks smile in man and or woman
seeks acceptance of her own acceptance in man and or woman
woman is good

the levels are vibrationally matched up, see?
See the soul? Okay, see how the soul sees?
Yes, the soul is at a place and from that
place the soul can see another soul but
usually from the place the soul is, because
the vantage point is particular to the place

That’s how souls meet
because they are vibrating on the same frequency
as one another or in the same realm, or space
and if the soul inside the person is seeking
something that is like the soul inside their
human flesh then it’s possible to find
happiness in another if the happiness is
within

But what is happiness…

the soul the soul
the soul the soul

seeking souls
seeking acceptance

“more than anything else, men and women seek happiness.” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday November 10, 2019
8:09am
Happiness Revisited
Mikhail Csikszentmihalyi

A: What do you want?

B: For me and those around me to be happy.

A: What does “happy” mean?

B: You know it when it’s there and you know it when it’s not…

A: Hm.

B: Hm?

A: Yes. “Hm.”

B: What do you want?

A: I care less now about “happiness” than ever before.

B: That’s funny becuase people always tell you how “happy” you are.

A: Yeah… I know. 

B: … Go on…

A: I care more about presence and am I living in a full hearted way, am I trusting myself…

B: Right – 

A: I wasn’t done – 

B: – Oh, I thought – 

A: Don’t you think that happiness is a state that we long for but it’s the longing that actually takes us out of the moments where we might truly be happy? Like, there’s always more we want?

B: Maybe. I don’t know. I think that when real happiness is present for me, I know it’s there. And then it goes, and I know it’s gone. It’s more about recognizing when it’s there, however fleeting.

A: Mmm.

“In this realm of,” by Julia on her couch

Saturday November 9, 2019
5:43pm
5 minutes
St. Sebastian
Tony Hoagland

I should go outside
again
twice today would be
a lot
but I should go to
make
something of myself
build
a better version of
rest
than the avoidant one that
plagues
me when I stay inside

I should breathe in the
salt
air of the sea and thank
someone
outside my body for
giving
and when that’s done I
should
put down my sword and
stop
fighting or is it the
other
way around?

I should tear the veil
laced
and swinging back and
forth
I should kiss from the
heart
I should open my skull
and
let the sky gods lick
me
clean until it is dry

I should go outside
while
the night is still young
while
the space is still fluid

“In this realm of,” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Saturday November 9, 2019
5:11pm
5 minutes
St. Sebastian
Tony Hoagland

I bake an angel food cake with all the sweet misgivings
I serve it with strawberries and softly whipped cream
We eat quietly
Deliberately
Eyes flicking from plate to you and back again 

I want for nothing but the sound of your chewing

I want for nothing but the pillow on my tongue 

I stack the dishes in the sink to do later
Tomorrow maybe
I run water and crumbs are swept down the drain
Goodbye tiny misgiving morsels
Farewell to you and you and you and you

You stoke the fire
Open the damper
Add a big log 

My hands are still sticky
From the sugar and the egg whites
My hands are still sticky
From all the things I am unable to truly
Let go of

My hands are still sticky
From your bodily things that I crave
And despise and crave again

 

“Later I found the fork” by Julia on the 4

Friday November 8, 2019
11:25am
5 minutes
Because These Failures Are My Job
Alison Luterman

later I found the fork in my bag next to the bloodied napkin. two big splotches. culprit? not the fork, nope, although you’d like to believe it so. “Professor Plum, in the backpack with the fork!” but nope, not so. no so. did you think to inspect the collection of decorative pins on the backpack, inspect for blood or a motive at least? nope, didn’t think so, could be the fork but it’s not so, already ruled out the clue. the clue is in the wound. always check the wound. ahh yes, the hole in the fingertip is the same size as the pin tip. which pin? the one that looks safe, yes, look again, always verify with evidence. Always verify. the blood splotch? ah yes, inconsistent with a small wound. but nope, think of the napkin. the way blood spreads on porous materials.

“Later I found the fork” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday November 8, 2019
7:38am
5 minutes
Because These Failures Are My Job
Alison Luterman

I used to steal rice pudding from Mrs. Crasinski’s house. She paid me five dollars to feed her demented cat when she went to Sarnia to visit her sister and I justified the inconveniece (which, in hindsight, was minuscule) by stealing her delicious homemade rice pudding. She always had a big jar of it in her fridge. I think she served it to the ladies who would come over for Bridge on Tuesday afternoons, and to her granddaughter, Cassandra. I feel really badly often about a whole milieu of things, but at the top of the list is stealing rice pudding from this poor, lonely old lady. She never noticed I don’t think. I never ate enough to really put a dent in the big jar. I’d take a fork from the cutlery drawer and eat it with the fridge door still open, a rush of adrenaline and milky sweetness surfing through my veins. 

“I am a young, talented writer.” By Julia on her couch

Thursday November 7, 2019
8:45pm
5 minutes
Citizens of the Dream
Cary Tennis

Mr. Zeiler hands out
the assignments
thinks it’ll keep
us busy long enough
to let him finish
his chapters

I am alive with the
possibility of writing
my very own story
I cannot wait to explore
this world and these characters. that will emerge from my brain

Mr. Zeiler says 10-15
pages is best, is most,
is more than enough
By the time I get to 15
I am just getting started

This scenario I’ve lifted
from my favourite sit-com
is a perfect container for characters like me and also like the ones from the show and I keep going

I glue in extra pages
when I finish what I was
given and begin to forego
illustrations to fit in more words

“I am a young, talented writer.” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Thursday November 7, 2019
8:32am
5 minutes
Citizens of the Dream
Cary Tennis

Mike thinks he’s got the best ideas. Everyone thinks theirs ideas are best, but Mike is really out there with how he thinks his are. He fights for his ideas. This goes against everything I’ve been taught about collaboration and about general good manners. And, I want to be more like Mike. His ideas are usually pretty decent, but they aren’t the best. But the fact that he is so committed to them, to getting through to the rest of us, to being clear – leads to a lot of the content we’re creating being Mike’s. I hate the guy. Let’s be clear about that. His ego is B-I-G. Seriously. But maybe I hate him because I actually wish I was a little more like him? Maybe I loathe his tenacity and self-assuredness because these are qualities that I do not, in fact, possess?

“Yet as quickly as the idea came to me,” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday November 6, 2019
3:02pm
5 minutes
Water, Water Everywhere
Ariana Conrad

I write to save my life these days
To give oxygen where there isn’t any
Into the nooks and crannies of the uncomfortables
Into the old shed of the afraids

I am not being hyperbolic

Okay maybe a little

My survival doesn’t depend on these words
Skipping stones across the page
Towards a rising sun
Red and available

A grouse flies up over the brush
The leaves piling on the salty earth
Makes the sound of a heart beating
My ear pressed to your chest

As quickly as the idea comes to me
To continue the story I started two years ago

To write what I know and what I don’t know
To write my future into being
It leaves

Wings of a heron spread wide 

“Yet as quickly as the idea came to me,” by Julia at her studio

Wednesday November 6, 2019
2:50pm
5 minutes
Water, Water Everywhere
Ariana Conrad

There was a song on the tooth of me
this morning as I flew myself down
a red clay hill and in the acid moon
dust there was a high like no other
it rang on it did and then was gone
but not before it tripped the tongue
into playing out for all the birds
to hear. The song was a good reminder
of the only things that matter and
it had no words so what does that
say to you in a place where ideas are
wearing words as party hats
A celebration of the dream still living
and the flying flying down the steepest
slide you ever did cycle on
so deep and down and fast and good that
your shoulders dislocated from their
sockets and flung you from sleep most
dramatically
The song that was left singing on
the edge of a smile ready to burst
forth from the lips was a tune no
recording would ever fossilize and
so the moment and all its clever
wanderings was made whole simply
by resting into it and holding what
was left to dissolve there on the tongue

“I am plagued by one question” by Julia on the 351

Tuesday November 5, 2019
6:25pm
5 minutes
Fifty Shades of Grey
E L James

Will you still love me tomorrow?
yea, promise

Why do birds suddenly appear?
cause remember, you’re free

Where’a the love?
everywhere, everywhere

When will I see you again?
In our dreams…

How…

how…

Who’s loving you?
all of us, me, I am, me

Who do you think you are?
a bag of cookie crumbs

What’s love got to do with it?
I don’t know how to answer this without restating the question.

Can you come home?

“I am plagued by one question” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday November 5, 2019
12:33pm
Fifty Shades of Grey
E L James

I walk through my neighbourhood, brick house upon brick house, a sprinkling of Halloween decorations still up, dancing dizzy in the wind. I write the story in my head, under my breath, for the hundredth time. The morning I got that message that changed everything, I had said to you over breakfast, “I trust you. I completely trust you.” The irony’s metallic taste doesn’t change no matter how many times I repeat the story, no matter how many times I go over and back, writing and re-writing. Lola sleeps in the carrier, her breath a rising and falling against my chest, our ribs a convex puzzle. A woman rakes leaves into a pile. She wears khaki overalls and bright red gardening gloves. I keep circling back to the places where there are holes, to try to patch them up, to try to see if they’ll hold this time better than the last. 

“For adult use” by Julia on her couch

Monday November 4, 2019
6:18pm
5 minutes
from the the sticker package

For adult use.
for adult use!
I told them to repeat the phrase and now look at me!
I am for adult use, right?
Or for child’s, kid’s, youth’s, what have you?
Oh no one.
Maybe no one’s.
Maybe for no one’s use but my own?
No but, environment. ENVIRONMENT, right.
I am for the universe and not for you.
Okay I am not for you but I am for the universe, environment, right?
For adult use would be more like thing, toy, book, object.
I am not
I am not an
I am not an object but but you could argue.
one could argue…
For who
for whose use then in fact am I?
IN FACT!
I want to tell you something
I want to tell you something
when you don’t know what to say you can repeat the phrase and now look at me!
You can repeat
you can repeat and that’s the use!
For general, in general, generally speaking:
It is clear the use because it is repeated often!
It is repeated and now you remember it
it is of use to your memory
I told them to repeat
And so one of them did:
baseball baseball
baseball baseball baseball baseball
baseball
by the 17th baseball it became hysterical
and he was serious
and I was laughing
and they were rolling their eyes, roll roll little eyes
in the back of their ten year old brains
and I thanked him!
WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY….

“For adult use” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday November 4, 2019
9:21am
5 minutes
from the the sticker package

I’m not sure what you’re getting at here, with your well shaped nose and your strange scent… Is it pizza? Is it oil of oregano? Are you sick? I mean I see that you’re tapping into some sort of cosmic importance, or trying to. Maybe the trying is enough? That line between your eyebrows is getting deeper each day that goes by, each time you lie through your teeth. Good teeth. Straight teeth. Your father spent thousands on those teeth. I wonder if Kaitlin will get your teeth, or Nancy’s. You are good looking and that’s irritating to me. It distracts from the evading evading evading. It’s only when we’re lane swimming, side-by-side, going at our own paces, that I truly feel I know you. 

“choose return” by Julia on the toilet

Sunday November 3, 2019
10:29pm
5 minutes
Google flights

they asked me to answer
“I get lost when I…”
and I said
Look at a map
as if the entire cartography buisness is out to get me
as if the moon isn’t bright enough on its own
as if I’ver ever gotten to where I wanted to go by taking directions
from somebody else
and I know I am the designer of this route, this life, and the instructions, however well meaning, however clear to other eyes, are not useful to me
I have never followed in the footsteps of another and felt whole
I have never relied on a drawing to lead me home when my heart always knows

the navigator of this body is terrible with maps and yet moves forward anyway

“I get lost when I…”

“choose return” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday November 3, 2019
8:19pm
5 minutes
Google flights

Lois has never been on an airplane. She has never been through airport security. She has never purchased overpriced nuts at a kiosk near the departure gate. When she booked her trip to Nashville, Lois went on Google flights, like Dennis had recommended. “They somehow aggregate all the flights,” (Lois does not think Dennis knows the meaning of aggregate), “and then you have all the information about all the flights in the world right in one handy dandy place!” (Oh Dennis, who wears loafers and uses terms like “handy dandy”). When Lois packs her carry on suitcase, she carefully rolls each T-shirt, tank top and pair of underwear. She’ll wear one pair of black pants on the flight and bring her jeans. Who needs more than two pairs of pants over a long weekend? 

“Where is the equal of Love?” By Julia on her couch

Saturday November 2, 2019
6:02pm
5 minutes
Antigone
Sophocles (Trans. by E.F. Watling)

In the quiet lull of the fridge humming, the crack and button of the inner wall, the very reason for breathing–that is where the equal of love lives.

On the couch in the dark, our third eyes kissing, our fifth lip talking, the neck skin soft from holding all the travelled breath and the still, the still.

I found you again from the inside out and cosmically we both landed in a galaxy far away but made of this one.
We touched the only pulse and it reset the clocks and untied the knots.

The equal of love was in the freedom there, the choice to stay.

“Where is the equal of Love?” By Sasha in her living room

Saturday November 2, 2019
2:19pm
5 minutes
Antigone
Sophocles (Trans. by E.F. Watling)

Love in equal parts
Freedom and possession

Hold close but not tight
Love in two movements

The before

The after

The third in the space between
In the artichoke heart
In the guttural
In the water below the surface

Not frozen yet
But it will be when the first frost comes

I used to think that love was the shape of a circle
I’m not so sure now

Love is a horizon at dawn

Love is the sound of my daughter tasting dried mango

Love is the taste of a new kiss

A kiss that used to be one thing
And is now another

“To the future with hope” by Julia on her couch

Friday November 1, 2019
9:13pm
5 minutes
St. John’s School Motto

on the first day the slate was washed clean
whoosh the spider out

on the day before that the
bathroom spider appeared
to be tight-rope walking

with ease; flair even
but the steam made it difficult and the pelting

spray came on more like an
attack than collaboration
and things were very up in the air

When the shower spider collapsed from its corner
it landed on the floor of
the tub and started to flail
around

trying to climb the wall of the tub to free itself from the assaulting heat coming out of the woman standing

the woman waited for a moment to see what the bathroom spider needed

she grabbed the pair of tweezers sitting on the small table outside curtain

then bent down and let the bathroom spider attach itself to them so she could

lift it out and onto the tile where it could decide where to go from there

“To the future with hope” by Sasha in her bed

Friday November 1, 2019
9:21pm
5 minutes
St. John’s School Motto

I try to write my letters to the future with hope in my pen

Free flowing blue and green turn to 

Where will we be with the storm comes?

Shake the dreams of rose gardens and squash blossoms 

Loosen the grip of even trying to imagine

Let alone plan

It’s in the quiet that possibilities creep in

Ink across a strange page

My daughter’s squeals in the next room

Getting her diaper changed

Climate collapse isn’t the story I was promised

Isn’t the dream I was told would come true

“Anything is possible”

Three words bigger than a 

Maybe

A grief catches in my throat most days

And it’s not for my puny hurts

It’s hard to wrap our hearts around the severity

Of it all

“unromantic daily love” by Julia at Viet House

Thursday October 31, 2019
12:12 pm
5 minutes
quote from Marie Howe in bombmagazine.com

I love you friend
I love you pencil

I love my pencil
more than my friend

am I a bad friend
or a bad pencil holder

everyone knows if
you love your pencil

you would not let
anything get in the

way of the relationship
unless it’s true what

they say, it being if
you love your pencil

let it go and if it
comes back it’s yours

that’s how you know
and they is actually

christina aguilera
in one of her hits

and everyone knows
that if you let go

of a pencil that pencil
is never going to find

its way back to you
because that’s just the

way it goes but if you
lose a friend or let the

friend go then you have
to wait for it to come

back to you to know and
sometimes the waiting is so long

“Unromantic daily love” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday October 31, 2019
12:19 pm
5 minutes
quote from Marie Howe in bombmagazine.com

There’s a bowl with a chicken on it in sitting in the middle of the round table in the kitchen. My mother keeps oranges and lemons on the counter. “Never refrigerate your tomatoes,” she says. “Only buy tomatoes in season,” she says.

It’s strange coming home after so long away, after inventing and re-inventing myself. Montreal is good for that – choosing who you want to be, and then if that changes again, it’s okay. It’s all good. My brother Liam never left. Lives three doors down from Mom. He has had a string of girlfriends, but no one’s “stuck”. That’s his word. “Stuck.”

Mom’s hanging up her coat in the closet. 

“Stephen?! Is that you?!” I still know where the hidden key is. 

“no words can describe it.” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday October 30, 2019
7:03pm
5 minutes
from a Youtube comment

envy for someone else’s sadness. what’s the word for that? not to carry it so they don’t have to…not that kind of want, or the kind of want they write about. no honour. I’m not hunting honour and maybe that’s a helper word. to feel anything deeply and be able without a shadow of a doubt to call it sadnesss. to know. that is the envy. not to guess, not to be the holder of another’s circumstance but to tongue the name of the insurmountable hill. the climb that almost kills you but slowly because you don’t know the word.
when your eye skin is hot and tired from never crying. if there was anything, a name would be the all.

“no words can describe.” By Sasha in her living room

Wednesday October 30, 2019
12:30pm
5 minutes
from a Youtube comment

The colour of emotions change with the oak and maple
rust coloured apology
golden longing

It’s beginning to feel normal
the way that the heart leaps and falls
teeter totter and swing set
wind through the jungle gym whistles under breath

Light a candle for those who have come before
those who have loved with the pale azure sky
those who have said goodbye to all that they new
red as the blood on the tip of the finger
pricked by small pains
big pains
all the pains

“Get yourself a back brace” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday October 29, 2019
8:52pm
5 minutes
Me Talk Pretty One Day
David Sedaris

giddy up ponies, The Nationals have forced a game 7 in the world series. Martinez gets EJECTED from the game and he is pissed. Trea Turner manages to calm himself down, okay with the help of Cabrera, and then he’s okay, but Martinez needs to air more, needs to release it cause it’s poisoning him and it’s one bad call after another around here.
Get yourself what you need before tomorrow: a back brace, massage, heat therapy. I’m talking about you, I’m talking about Scherzer. This guy wants to pitch in his sleep and you can see it but not so sure about those neck spasms telling him, enough, please, enough.
Rendon is going to sleep like a baby tonight or not at all. That beauty hit, that perfect out, that double, those RBIs?

“Get yourself a back brace” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday October 29, 2019
12:23pm
5 minutes
Me Talk Pretty One Day
David Sedaris

You let things get messy. Dishes pile up on the counters. Recycling balloons. Newspapers and flyers on the porch. Leaves collect, and then begin to decompose. You’ve always had a bad back. Started as a football injury in the tenth grade. Some elephant of a guy took you down and you felt something snap. You didn’t cry on the field, but you wanted to. You cried later, alone in your room, in your twin bed with the red flannel sheets. Your feet hung over the end. Your mother knocked on the door and brought you your favourite minestrone soup from the diner on the other side of town. Margie used to say that men have back issues because of unprocessed anger. You wonder about that now, lying on the floor, dust bunnies under everything, mess all over the place. Your eyes sting.

“the speed at which galaxies are retiring” by Julia on the toilet

Monday October 28, 2019
11:35pm
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Bill Bryson

they don’t wnt to be here nymore
cn’t even sy their nme nd
i get it
i get it
been getting it since lst christms when nothing felt like it mttered cuse nothing does but then, then, it ws the deepest low but nobody knew
sw smiles cndy wrpped some versions of the function so noone thought to sk if it were ll the wy down low or if it were circling something else
smiles cndy wrpped
sold to the voidnt ones
the esy sit nd sy little
ones
nd glxies too re leving cuse one dy everything does
boy you’d be shocked t how
quickly things tht were re no longer

“the speed at which galaxies are retiring” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday October 28, 2019
10:06am
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Bill Bryson

We took the shortcut to the lake. Stopped for fries and then to pee in the bushes. The lake wasn’t frozen yet, but it had turned, and was icy when I put my finger in. You made a fire and we sat in silence for a long time. Reverie. Grief. Wonder. A shooting star.

The shortcut didn’t used to be a shortcut. It used to be the scenic route – winding country roads with fruit stands that sold the best peaches. Then the subdivisions were built, the Walmart moved in, and the Starbucks, the Best Buy. Looking out the window, we could be anywhere.

“bouncing out of the freaking roar” by Julia at her desk

Sunday October 27, 2019
8:36pm
5 minutes
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Tom Wolfe

On the bus, I’m on the bus, I’m wailin’
watch me wail, mamma, watch me wail, darlin’
And the whole bus bumpity bumpity bump bumps
and the whole bus hummitty hummity hum hums
and the whole bus shakes and rattles and roars
and it roars
it roars out the windows and back again
it drills out orders and broken conventions
it figures it out as if there were nothing
to figure out and the whole bus, the whole bus
it’s rip roaring, out the roar, bouncing
and it’s ripppppp roaring with the handles
flicked free, they’re all flicked free and our
faces are all flicked freeeee
as an eagle song, free as an eagle bird bouncing
bouncing in and out of the bus, the bus, the whole bus
With the pick me ups and the bring me downs we’re
all back and around, top, bottom, back and around
the whole thing
the whole bus is the proverb, the journey, the taste
the medicine, the magic, the metaphor, the mooooooon
the whole moon is the whole bus and we’re riding the
waves, the tides in and out and the moonie moon moon is
pulling us a stop in the woods, a stop on this bus in
the woods so we can see ourselves in the reflection
the reflecty flec flection, the easy beezy buzzzy
was he…..was he….was he on the bus? was he on
the bus or on the moon? Or in the mOOn or in the MooN
was he us he or is he thus we are all the moon and
the bus and the big beautiful glowing dream of a thing
watch me wail mamma, on the bus, i’m wailin’
watch me whale, whaley wail WAIL

“bouncing out of the freaking roar” by Sasha in her living room

Sunday October 27, 2019
3:13pm
5 minutes
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Tom Wolfe

I’m writing standing up
perched on tip top toes
alone on the mountain
where the ice kisses the sky

I’m writing with my toes in sand
the ocean singing soft and sweet
weaving verses to songs
I’ll compose the melody for later

I’m writing in a bunker
ten feet below ground
so deep that I can’t hear the streetcar
or the car horns or the sirens

I’m writing to save my life
on a gurney in a terror zone
in my bedroom under covers
in a walk in amidst shoulders and thighs

I’m writing a love letter
I’m writing an ode
I’m writing a war cry
I’m writing a eulogy
I’m writing a day

“the human body, as all of nature,” by Julia standing in the living room

Saturday October 26, 2019
10:34pm
5 minutes
Prescription For Nutritional Healing
Phyllis A. Balch, CNC

the hunan body
has its limits
is limitless
has its pains
its strenghths
its smells
its aches
its sadness
its death
its rebirth
has its secrets
its cold
its freeze
its warmth
its expansion
its kindling
its burn
its flame
its shedding
its growth
its song
its crunch
its hunger
its rest
its love
its light
its shadow
its love
its hum
the human body
has its endurance
its fight
its burial
its roots
its love
its love
its love

“the human body, as all of nature,” by Sasha at Bowmore

Saturday October 26, 2019
3:26pm
5 minutes
Prescription For Nutritional Healing
Phyllis A. Balch, CNC

I’m glad for the season changing, the cool weather bringing space that heat won’t, that light can’t. I’m glad for sweaters, scarves, boots, layers, soup, tea, the slow cooker. I’m glad for my Mom’s salad dressing with maple syrup, lemon, garlic, olive oil. I’m glad for you, that you’ve had this time away. I’m glad for naps with Lola at my breast, her breath rising and falling in her perfect, tiny belly. I’m glad for this attic bedroom, where I’ve spent nights with different lifetimes, different lovers, different “you’s“. I’m glad for the leaves changing colour in quicker momentum than the last five years, everything happening faster, but also slower, but also slow.

“it was just sort of whispered around my family” by Julia in her bed

Friday October 25, 2019
10:04pm
5 minutes
Choosing Happiness
Veronica Ray

the weird thing was we were all saying it just at different volumes

when dad tried to make us keep our doors open he didn’t really know why and he didn’t know how to tell us that so he stood his ground

unfair it’s unfair but it would not get brought up at the dinner tribunal

no one said it then or ever or louder than a whisper because it was all still in beta: what might happen if we disrespected any of them,
even unintentionally

better than what they got we were told, and sure, it was, and sure, they learned, but we had so many questions answered with “because I said so” it stopped making sense when you heard it

and “why” felt like the emptiest hug, the most out there on a limb next to I love you

that whispered around our family too but at least we fixed that one when it counted most

“it was just sort of whispered around my family” by Sasha at Bowmore

Friday October 25, 2019
3:10pm
5 minutes
Choosing Happiness
Veronica Ray

Stories woven like rugs by fingers nimble and tired
You weave from your side of the loom
I weave from mine
and we meet in the middle
sometimes
Where the colours come together

I did a bad drawing of a rug a few months ago
A bad job actualizing a metaphor with coloured pencils
I offered it to you as an olive branch
Trying to make sense of the chaos
Parse the fury
Re
collect the pieces

The rug was ripped out
But here’s our rug
I believe in our rug 
We made our rug 
We get to choose where it goes

I said something like one of these lines
You were as generous as you could be
holding the piece of recycled paper
unsure of everything especially this

“it doesn’t experience rejection” by Sasha in her living room

Thursday October 24, 2019
9:05pm
5 minutes
The Tao Of Warren Buffett
Mary Buffett & David Clark

I’ve got nothing tonight
all runny nose and empty
chapped lips and thirsty
fingers don’t know the tune
let alone the rhythm
let alone the plot

I’ll tell myself it’s fine
there’s nothing left to do
sink full of dishes doesn’t matter
and it doesn’t that’s true

I made a pot of lentil soup today
soothe my sick
went to freeze two containers
once it’d cooled
only to discover there were already
two containers
of the same soup
in the freezer

Twelve times a day at least
I think about how I would freeze time
if I could
memorize the arch of her eyebrow
the curl of her smile
the way her half moon eyes
cast a shadow of eyelashes
when she’s sleeping in my arms

This is the hardest work I’ll ever do
and no one sees it
The immensity of the loneliness
grips my guts
holds my throat

I find my own face in the reflection
in the window
the late fall garden
on the other side
of the glass 

“it doesn’t experience rejection” by Julia at the studio

Thursday October 24, 2019
4:54pm
5 minutes
The Tao Of Warren Buffett
Mary Buffett & David Clark

it’s easy to poke the bear
when she is sleeping and
is it smart, tell me, is
it wise?

she might throw you across
the room and that is assuming
you’re poking an inside bear.

I would throw you if I were
that bear. I would throw you
up and down and back and
around and that might just
be my impulse to launch things.

Like a child, i can throw stones
too, into a river, or lake, all
the live long day and the water
doesn’t get mad that there are
heavy objects being hurled.

It doesn’t experience that
sweet feeling of rejection.
And why should the ocean be
humbled? She has worked far
too hard and long and up
and down and back and around
to be anything but big.

and if a bear is the weakened
heart, then yes, poking her
would only get you better
acquainted with the room.
A room and all its edges,
the floor, the ceiling, the
corners, the nails sticking
all the way up.
But that is assuming you’re
poking an inside bear.

“That time I was in London” By Julia on D and M’s couch

Wednesday October 23, 2019
9:06pm
5 minutes
Tumble Home
Amy Hempel

so I’ve been thinking about you lately. you’ve shown up in my dreams a few times and there was peace between us. a hug.

I want to write to you and forgive you for everything but I think that means I have to forgive myself for my part too and I haven’t wanted to say i’m sorry.

I haven’t wanted to give you that because I wanted you to be the full culprit and take the full blame and remain the full bad guy. but I wasn’t always the best of friends to you either.

I didn’t think our last visit should have gone the way it did but before that was I great to you? No. every drunken sleepover ended with me yelling at you. I could never handle my liquor and I could never handle how mean you were to me. sensitive. and you made fun of me for that. so I didn’t want to forgive you because I stand by my sensitivity. ask any of my true friends and they’ll tell you the same.

but I am sorry I wasn’t always honest with you sober. I was afraid. of how much like you I could be. of how much like you I always was.

“That time I was in London” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday October 23, 2019
5:40pm
5 minutes
Tumble Home
Amy Hempel

I fell for you in your
tiny apartment in London
the strange pipes creaking
and seven roommates making
food in the early hours

I got sick that trip
shivering and shaking
seeing auras of light
around bodies and doorways
you brought me
bone broth and daisies
you told me
“everything is going to be ok”

you told me
stories about when you were young
and how your father never
raised his voice
his hand was another story
your mother smoked
Salem’s by the carton
braided your sister’s hair
so tight that her head itched

When I was finally well enough
to emerge from your small bedroom
my healing cave
we went for curry on the corner
”burn the last of it out of you”

you said