“having petals more or less united” by Julia at the desk

Saturday May 30, 2020
8:23pm
5 minutes
Flower Finder
May Theilgaard

My mother and father never disagreed in front of us
They never would have gone over the other’s head
and we tried to be sneaky
as if they never spoke
as if they didn’t close the door after we had gone to bed to discuss us all at length
This was how they created a unit
Energetically, though, I wonder if they ever considered
Sometimes one of them would be angrier than the other
Maybe that was planned to so we’d still feel safe

When my parents picked me up from my first party in the 9th grade
they had to carry me to the car because I had passed out

When I woke up in my own bedroom wearing a friend’s clothes
I found cuts and bruises all over my face, with a chipped tooth to boot

When I finally summoned the courage to leave my room and talk to them
my head was spinning and I could barely move

Out in the kitchen my mother did all the seething and vocalizing of disappointment
while my father sat calmly trying to teach me about orange juice chasers and limitations

“La vita con te é fantastica” by Julia at the desk

Friday May 29, 2020
10:51am
5 minutes
from a birthday card

Amore, quando ho ricevuto questo cartolina per mio compleanno (auguri, auguri)
ho pianto tanto-per il tuo cuore, per la tua mente, per tuo ala tua capacità di esprimerti
in questa nuova lingua che hai lavorato così duramente per imperare e praticare.
Che regalo. Per questa donna con un piede in Italia, e un qua. E anche tu, Amore,
con il cuore pieno di pasta ed espresso, ed la voglia di scoprire una vita bella,
diversa, lontano via di tutto che conosciamo qui.
Voglio dirti la stessa cosa…La vita con te è fantastica, e so che riusciremo a
a trovare la luce insieme.

“give me advice!” by Julia at the desk

Thursday May 28, 2020
8:51pm
5 minutes
from an email

I’ve been forbidden from giving advice and there’s nothing I can do.
I was told I can’t give it unless it’s asked of me, so who am I to
argue the great horoscope writer of these days? Maybe she has a point
these unsolicited comments that might not be helpful even though I
think I might see the light.

Lord rest this urge to give words when the silence is sweeter than me.

I have been listening with a scrunched up face like I’m about to say
something but I don’t, like I hear an opening to give a small piece
but then I won’t, cause the listening tells me I didn’t hear the words
that set the stage for giving more words.

I’m getting better at it. I’m realizing how little I’ve done in the
flesh and Ghandi said it best-when a woman asked him how to get her
son to stop eating sugar for a week he told her “Give me one week
and I’ll get back to you.” What did he need the week for? To practice
not having any sugar himself before he could tell her anything.

“channel your energy” by Julia on the couch

Wednesday May 27, 2020
5:15pm
5 minutes
from a fortune cookie

There’s a slice of moon hanging in the west just for me
I can see it from my balcony
and last night I noticed her there
sending off the divine light
pulsing in the almost June sky

I bleed with the new moon and I dance on the bathroom tile when I am visited by the great knowing

When I see her I call her out by name the way I do when I see a hummingbird or a field of horses along the side of the highway while driving past

This naming is a sacred thanks and there is delight and a childlike essence pointing the finger

This belly of filling and emptying
and filling again is a holy magic trick

I am forever sliding through time with a memory tied to my finger
pulling the history through the sky like a kite on a string

“can have a foul odour and taste” by julia laying down

Tuesday May 26, 2020
9:41am
5 minutes
Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Label

Tabby prides herself on her cooking. She’s been living on her own since she was 17, left home earlier than she meant to, had to find a way, found a way. She loves chopping parsley, and walnuts, and mushrooms. She likes to cook with music playing, she’ll shuffle a playlist and see what ingredients are inspired by the new artists or the old songs. Tonight, a pesto, but with some substitutions. Ever since her last period she’s been forgetting more and more. After measuring out the salt and pepper, she pours in a quarter cup of white vinegar. She remembers that vinegar can be a substitute for lemon juice, and since she forgot to buy lemons, she only has one option. The acid lingers in her mouth for hours. She can’t figure out why.

“Wild Gourmet Fish” by Julia on the bed

Monday May 25, 2020
1:08pm
5 minutes
West Coast Select Flyer

Haley and Hartley miss making shrimp skewers.
Shrimp has been expensive lately, and the old grill is kaput.
Haley and Hartley can eat other things so it’s okay.
Hartley says the grill never really worked that well.
Haley thinks he’s full of shit because she used to grill
all kinds of vegetables and never had a problem with it.
Hartley got rid of the grill one day and said it was done.
Haley wondered if Hartley was exaggerating and
didn’t want to do some necessary things with it first,
like check to see if it needed a deep clean (like most
things in the apartment) before tossing it to the alley-way
mafia coming by in 10 minute intervals to go through the
bins. Hartley told her that it was for sure done and it
never worked that well to begin with and Haley didn’t go
down and check so she decided to accept the fate of the
old grill even though she couldn’t bring herself to believe
what Hartley was telling her about it. Maybe because once
Hartley threw away some of the mason jars she had stored
under the sink next to the grill. She went looking for them
one day because she was storing them for a reason and they
weren’t there. It took a week for Hartley to admit that he
had thrown them out. He said he didn’t think she needed them.

“positive descriptions of the world” by Julia at the desk

Sunday May 24, 2020
8:46pm
5 minutes
Perceiving Ordinary Magic
Jeremy W. Hayward

This day is a glorious foreshadowing of what is to come
The morning is fresh and free and the afternoon a dark tear
the rest, as it happens, opens up like a wild orchid and
the grass never looked so green so vibrant so nourished

The rain follows to wipe clean any bad mouth tastes and the
sky is hazy again in a way that reminds us we can’t always
bask in the heat of the sun for we would never remember what
it feels like to retreat back into the hole and find comfort
wrapped in a fuzzy blanket that keeps migrating from chair to
the couch to the bed

When all is said and done the rain forest drips on a feathered
song and continues continues continues and the cycle of rebirth
is as beautiful in the thick as it is in the wide

This is what it means to open the chest at the seams and watch
as the exchange of oxygen enters while the beast gently floats
out out out into the place where it can become cloud again and
fuels its purpose of filling until it overflows

“the notion of being thawed back into life”by Julia on the bed

Saturday May 23, 2020
7:28pm
5 minutes
The Childhood of Jesus
J.M. Coetzee

It’s about asking the inner self to reveal its well intentioned heart
Asking asking
and the receiving, ooh, yes that’s the good part
being ready
staying ready
what does it mean to be ready
what does it mean to give out

This notion of returning
and I can get behind it
home the place that you might
have left but has never left you
home the place that turns the dial toward the sunlight so you can see
home the place that allows the laugh from within to ripple out
give out
yes I know what I want it to sound like

If there is a memory of what living feels like it might be a simple saturday shopping for vintage t-shirts across town
not having any where else to be and knowing that
knowing it so deeply it vibrates within giving out
thawing the stone
smoothing out the brick

Maybe there is another way
for another day
another day

“excluding any personal opinion” by Julia on the couch

Friday May 22, 2020
7:48pm
5 minutes
The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Leo Tolstoy

You can all put your opinions aside cause no one can deny what that man just did. Okay as soon as they said it was going to be a physical elimination, we knew Jordan was going in because everyone knows how good he is. It’s hard to watch a trainwreck about to happen and you can’t do anything about it. This man had one hand and he was still in it to win it, bringing his A Game to to the whole damn thing and when the other guy landed on his shoulder you knew it was over. Then he played anyway. Never quitting. Never letting anyone take away his love for the challenge. Then he still goes back to cheer on the next guy up, about to lose as well, but damn what a man. Then he was all tears and so were we and you had to know those fuckers felt bad too. Good luck sleeping at night now, throwing him in to purgatory without a chance in hell. He’s the Michael Jordan. He’s the one who won’t give up.

“the notion of being thawed back into life” by Sasha in the tent

Saturday May 23, 2020
4:44pm
5 minutes
The Childhood of Jesus
J.M. Coetzee

The thaw comes after a long time of being chilly. Inside the intestines, lungs and gallbladder, the kidneys and the blood. She didn’t realize until the thaw began. The release of small drops of body water. A body of water. Our bodies are water. She didn’t realize what had been frozen for oh so very long. She stretches into the end of May like a cat. Spine twisting. She leaves a trail of moisture in her path. Not suspect at first, but the thaw picks up pace and then she’s dripping at all hours of the day and night. She realized that being naked is the easiest way to weather this strange storm. She only wears a bathing suit (blue one piece from Target from her Bubby) when she goes to water her vegetable garden, just in case Tom and Bob next door are trimming their roses. She doesn’t want to upset them.

“Excluding any personal opinion” by Sasha at the dresser

Friday May 22, 2020
7:21am
5 minutes
The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Leo Tolstoy

Excellent extraterrestrial beings are congratulating their fellow friends
For the solid score of flesh eating disease on the high seas of planet earth
They’ve planted and sowed and watered and spit and shit and spat and moved
Their long fingers across the faces of the frozen zombies and they are

Goddamn delighted

That the flesh is finally falling off the bones and the frozen zombies are now
Sitting in their bathtubs filled with lentils and hairbrushes and they are
Scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing
The pure unadulterated extraterrestrial joy of a mission that’s been accomplished that has been in motion for millennia

“and took another profound drag on it” by julia on the couch

Thursday May 21, 2020
7:59pm
5 minutes
The Bonfire Of The Vanities
Tom Wolfe

Before she answered she exhaled a ring of smoke. It floated away and she watched it. Brandan had a knack for drawing out a monent. Her collar bone, pertruding
out of her pink v-neck, seemed to be angrier than she was.
“he can have the kids, I want the house.” And that was what she said. She took another profound drag on her cigarette and then closed her eyes as if for the last time. She opened them slowly, but that was all she said.

“and took another profound drag on it” by Sasha in the window seat

Thursday May 21, 2020
7:13am
5 minutes
The Bonfire Of The Vanities
Tom Wolfe

When she wakes up in the middle of the night, the crickets shrieking outside the cracked window, she thinks about how long the money in her bank account might last, when she might be able to see her mother again, and how her hips ache. She gets up and pees. She drinks from the bathroom sink. She squints at herself in the mirror, hair looking surprisingly good. “Huh,” she says. She pads back to her bedroom, stopped to peek in on Nassau. Tucked into his bed shaped like a rocket ship, he’s still except for the small wheezing chest – up and down and up and down. His inhaler on the bedside table, next to his comic books and green stainless steel water bottle. She leans over her boy, listening to the quality of the wheeze. Should she wake him? He’s fucking beautiful – Larry’s exquisite eyelashes, her mother’s jawline, her cheekbones, and lips all his own. Nassau furrows his brow. Turns over onto his side. Coughs. She tiptoes out of the room.

“nobody should let them in that night” by Sasha at the table

Wednesday May 20, 2020
2:44pm
5 minutes
Wuthering Heights
Emily Bronte

The night of the accident was the first one that really felt like summer. Becca and Sam were in shorts. Maybe pushing it a little, but whatever. Dylan and Stuart had joints tucked behind their ears, a lighter in Stu’s back pocket. The Zippo that his big brother James gave him for his seventeenth birthday. That’s where they got their weed too, and their beer when they drank. James liked the power he held over Stu when he did shit for him. He liked when Stu owed him something. You never know when you’re going to need a favour, or a cover. Stu didn’t think that James would be in the barn when they got there, and he didn’t know that James had dropped acid three hours earlier, on his way home from his job at the Garden Centre. “Who’s there?” Stu called when he heard something. The barn creaked. James whistled the whistle that their Grandmother had taught them in case they got lost in Walmart or the woods. “Shit,” Stu mumbled.

“nobody should let them in that night” by Julia on the bedroom floor

Wednesday May 20, 2020
9:24am
5 minutes
Wuthering Heights
Emile Brontë

She whispered in her sleep state
something along the lines of
I do not need to wait for him…
And when the morning came and his
skin wrapped around hers, she could
only flutter her eyelids and sink
deeper into him.

The night before she had reached
a grand conclusion, sitting on the
veranda, sipping lemon water, sifting
through uncomfortable feelings.
She realized that she could leave without
him in tow, and without his permission,
surely, in a world safe enough for all
of her to wander through.

The sun setting pink in the sky was
reflecting off the clouds, a smoke
signal for her to pay attention to
and she noticed the way it rivaled
her desires to be free at last
from the confines of miscalculated
duties.

In the morning light she could have
left him right then and there and
worked very hard not to feel any
particular way about it but then
in that moment things burst open
and all she could want was everywhere
she already was.

The permission to leave, was enough,
and she gave it to herself without
discussing it with anyone outside
herself. It came from within and she
honoured it with a solitary bow
from the top of her head all the way
down to the centre of her longing.

“so for a long time the king was defeated” by Julia on the patio

Tuesday May 19, 2020
9:08pm
5 minutes
The Jewish War
Josephus

Listen
I want to tell you something
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
if you are interested in receiving it I would like to give you what I know
You are a grand elastic band and
you play in the chorus of your dreams
you are the bending inbetween
the conversation point of seams
brought together intersecting
into something undeniable
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
I am happy that you’re here

Another story, similar but not
the same, is the one where the
king was defeated, yes the king, even the king, and for a long time
he told himself the story of how
defeated he was and he believed it
so deeply he knew just how to respond as if a court jester were sent to entertain him with a cruel joke of forever this way

and he did not laugh but summoned the jester all the same
every night he told himself what he wanted and the jester came to
tell him what he already knew he’d hear and he did not laugh
(The jester tried many approaches, you see, joyful at the opportunity to do his job…)

“so for a long time the king was defeated” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Tuesday May 19, 2020
11:44am
5 minutes
The Jewish War
Josephus

Look Lauren, I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m saying it’s unlikely. Recovery won’t be straightforward, okay. You’re going to need intense rehabilitation – physiotherapy will only be the start of it. You’ll need occupational therapy and you’ll have to get your home outfitted to accommodate – … It’s going to be a long and hard path. I believe in you. I believe you can do it, but I don’t want you to have some idea of how it’s going to look or how it’s going to go. Any progress is good progress, is against the odds. You have your age on your side, and the fact that you’re in decent shape. Do you have insurance? I don’t see anything noted on your chart here…

“they must not wait for him” by Julia on the couch

Monday May 18, 2020
11:58am
5 minutes
Tacitus
The Histories

They must not wait for him
for he will never be ready
not the level they wish him
to be and so they must forgo
the waiting game and play on-
play something else.

He has tried but he has also
decided on a subconcious level
where his priorities lie and
he will hang on because it doesn’t
feel good to let go because what
would that even look like?

He is ready with a response and a can-do attitude but underneath he
has already jumped ship! He cannot do what they are waiting for him to do. He will eject himself from the capsule before the signal because he thinks he’s drowning!

Then they are there waiting for him trying to get out of the water, flailing around, because he didn’t trust them to save him! But they were there the whole time.

They knew at the outset based on his blood pressure, censors all tubed up in him, that he was scared and going to act from that place!

“they must not wait for him” by Sasha in the kitchen

Monday May 18, 2020
2:22pm
5 minutes
Tacitus
The Histories

You slice off the end of your finger. You don’t scream. You don’t curse. You don’t fall to the floor. You look at the fingertip on your cutting board. You sigh. You see your father’s face, flushed. He’s just come in from the garden. He’s just come home from a long night shift. He’s just grilled three pieces of salmon on the propane barbecue. The blood starts to drip onto the floor, pooling on the linoleum. You used to faint whenever you saw blood. Daddy helped to train your mind to bear it. “Like a marathon runner, or a samurai fighter, Danielle!” He’d get down and look you right in the eye. Your eyes are the same colour as his. People used to stop you on the street and comment on it. Act like you didn’t know.

“serious minds settling down to discuss” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday May 17, 2020
10:09pm
5 minutes
Dreams
CG Jung

It is not morose to think of death
all the little pebbles collected in the pockets of my jeans
I wonder why I feel weighted at the end of the day
Laugh as I line up twelve stones on the dresser top
swiped from a little mouth
stolen from a little hand

Death is as life is
Innate in our vitality is our undoing
The paradox of living is the constant dying
It is not odd to consider how we distract and fear this
It is odd to not consider
To stick our heads into the dry earth
Fill our mouths with cheese and grapes
Turn our eyes to the bright blue light

I walked barefoot on the driveway today
Didn’t mean to do it
But did it

“serious minds settling down to discuss” by julia on the bed

Sunday May 17, 2020
7:37pm
5 minutes
Dreams
CG Jung

Let’s put on our boots in case we want to walk into a forest
in case we want to smell what’s before us with open lungs
in case we want to move toward the earth instead of toward the city

Let’s give gratitude for the people cutting in front of us for the third time, edging us off the path and onto the grass toward the swallows and the dragon flies

Let’s not set the alarm for how long we’ll give to each collaboration, staying still with every moment until a new one bursts forth, until the call of the red-winged black bird gasps us immediate because of the expansion in our chests now

“The words merely drifted” by Julia on the storage chair

Saturday May 16, 2020
2:17pm
5 minutes
The Right Stuff
Tom Wolfe

jessica fron across the street
sits in the upstairs neighbour’s
parking spot
Upstairs neighbour returns in her vehicle, jessica doesn’t move, waves her back inching along, apologizes right away for taking her spot and upstairs neighbour
steps out of her car with a bag of beers for the weekend

jessica asks how her social distancing is going, noting thr bag of beers, too many for one person or two but maybe it’s not when it’s a long weekend like this one (although one might argue that for two months every weekend has felt “long” to say the very least)

the words drift up from the hot pavement and I hide behind the tree swaying a bit when the wind
moves through

I think I would be friends with jessica but not the upstairs neighbour
sometimes you can tell depending on which words are used and the tone and the general judgment that all of us are prone to employ with strangers or people who live across the alley

“The words merely drifted” by Sasha at the table

Saturday, May 16, 2020
3:34pm
5 minutes
The Right Stuff
Tom Wolfe

Words like javilins like tennis balls
like popcorn like ice water
Drifting from my mouth to your mouth
Catch them
Venus fly traps
Catch them and swallow them
make them into new words
Words I didn’t say
Sharp
Bouncy
Catching a kernel in the throat

Words these sweet friends
turned scorned lovers turned awkward strangers

Betrayal has a jet stream that lingers
long after the word purges from tight lips

Catch this one and volley volley volley
You’ve been practising your spikes
The ball comes when I’m least expecting
Tired and stretching
BANG
First thing in the grey morning
BANG

“Ooh! A fun challenge!” by Julia on the couch

Friday May 15, 2020
10:59pm
5 minutes
from brittab.com

So Nany is always misunderstood. She freakin talks to Anessa every day and Aneesa knows it and she didn’t have to call her trashy. She knows how Nany feels about that. She knows she’s getting personal over Nany putting her hands on her when Anessa is obviously blowing it out of proportion. Like Kaycee has a girlfriend but why is Aneesa getting involved? To protect Nany or Kaycee, neither of which seem to require any protecting. Then Aneesa forgives Nany, which she obviously should because she knew Nany was drunk even for Nany and actually needed a glass of water instead of Anessa inserting herself in a story line that has nothing to do with her. Look, I’m just saying I see Nany, and I get her and she’s a good friend every time even when her friends are hurting her.

“Ooh! A fun challenge!” By Sasha at the table

Friday May 15, 2020
3:25pm
5 minutes
From brittab.com

Monica shrugs her shoulders. She feels Dan’s eyes on her body, taking in the rise and fall of her chest as she breathes. She remembers when she used to lie with her head on the soft place between his shoulder and his clavical. The easy silence between them. Now, a layer of plexiglass between their hands as they reach, palm to palm. “I don’t know what happened, Danny, he doesn’t have a father figure, he dpesn’t have a role model,” Monica repeats herself. Dan knows that she does this when she’s anxious. He remembers how she bailed him out at least a half a dozen times when he was working with Len and Gary. The way she’d peel out of the parking lot in her old red Honda Civic, tires screeching and then rail into him, repeating and repeating as he bit his tongue and said, “I’m sorry, baby.”

“if you are not comfortable I totally understand” by Julia in the couch

Thursday May 14, 2020
11:06am
5 minutes
from a text

If you are not comfortable asking me I totally understand
but if you are comfortable making it my problem because you’re not comfortable asking me then I will not.
I will not be a backwards bending stick.
I will not stop slamming doors.
I will not stop yelling if I think it’s funny.
I will not stop taking things too far but I will recognize that sometimes I need to flip the switch on to realize that I too preferred it off.
I want a vacation from this expectation.
One person expects me to be laughing when it’s not funny.
One person won’t understand where I am coming from even after explaining it 65 times.
One person will sigh out deeply and hope for ammends.

“if you are not comfortable I totally understand” by Sasha on the couch

Thursday May 14, 2020
8:45am
5 minutes
From a text

I dream of walking to Ideal, Lola toddling along beside me. Ordering an Americano, handing over my travel mug, eyeing a chocolate beet muffin. I dream of grocery shopping at Ko on Roncesvalles, navigating the tight aisles, selecting almond butter, mirin, dried mango. I dream of going to see a play at the Theatre Centre, and running in to someone I know. Someone I went to school with. Someone who gives me a full body hug, a really good squeeze. I dream of kissing. I dream of Wednesday morning breakfast at Lou’s, maneuvering the stroller by the recycling bins. I dream of Friday afternoons at Chloe and Fern’s, drinking tea and watching the girls chase each other around the kitchen island. I dream of a bath in my tub, even though I actually like the tub here better. My tub is my tub.

“We invite you to read” by Julia at the desk

Wednesday May 13, 2020
8:34pm
5 minutes
Canada Council For The Arts Newsletter

There’s a man over there singing on the bench

when someone passes him he stops singing and says “Hello!”

And when that someone keeps going instead of stopping what they’re doing

the man says “Hello! Goodbye! Good Hell!”

By the time the person has realized what he’s said, he’s started singing again

Should I have stopped?

They wonder

Should I have taken ten seconds out of my day?

What if he was going to want to talk to me for longer than 10 seconds?

What if I would have been the only conversation he had all day?

The worry doubles and the man keeps singing there on the bench

He doesn’t wonder if the passersby are having enough conversations

He doesn’t ask of them anything actually

He is inviting them to smile

He is inviting them to read the room and see a thing and it’s a giving, actually

He is giving what he can and at some point it’s the singing

And at some point it’s the song

It’s the smile, the stopping to notice

The noticing

The engagement

The opportunity

He gives to whoever might pass not picking based on any other statistics

Gifts can be like that sometimes

“We invite you to read” by Sasha at the table

Wednesday May 13, 2020
4:03pm
5 minutes
Canada Council for the Arts Newsletter

Gemma secretly wanted to name her daughter after her dead mother, “Frances”. Liam thought that was morbid, so they called her, “Molly”. Gemma closed her eyes, three-day-old Molly at her breast. Not quite drinking and not quite sleeping, Molly made Gemma both dopey and highly alert. She knew that she and Liam weren’t going to last. They were doing her best. Oops. They were doing their best. Liam hadn’t been sure about wanting to be a father, but when she’d gotten pregnant, he’d put on a brave face. His refusal to attend the birthing class that Gemma signed them up for wasn’t the first red flag.

“we are on the verge of something.” by Julia on the bed

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
5:55pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chödrön

Choice
a choosing thing
I choose you
I choose this
I choose the something that I am on the verge of
I see it in the window
I gaze at it from the street
I envision myself wearing the purple cloak
the golden cloak
the light bathes me
if I choose to be cleansed
a choice then,
a choosing thing
I choose this
I choose us
I choose the future me
who will carry this history of recorded words
I choose these words for her
so she will see when she looks
back on all that was and wasn’t stamped in ink
that was and wasn’t chosen to be eternal
that this love for her is
boundless now and always so
purple
gold
clear as day and pure as night
this choice to choose herself
and to do it daily
twice daily
all the live long daily
so she will know
that she is what love knows
because she is holding up
the mirror and taking a deep look
she will choose love too
knowing that this love
this thing
this me
has chosen her

“we are on the verge of something.” By Sasha at the table

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
1:48pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chödrön

Four olive pits on a plate painted with roses, a crack on one corner. Fifty three days since I’ve been home. Six green peas on the high chair tray, leftover from lunch. One tea bag in the bottom of the blue and white mug. Hundreds of ants chewing through the wood that keeps us warm and dry. Three drops of poison spread across the beam in the living room, the kitchen counter corner. One pandemic. One water bottle emptied and filled, emptied and filled. One nub of red candle. One small chipmunk on the deck railing, watching me write. Eleven seconds left on the timer. Two eyes, blinking.

“I bend double under its gaze,” by Sasha in her room

Monday, May 11, 2020
10:03pm
5 minutes
All the Room You Need
Lorna Crozier

Under this gaze
the weight of my face feels heavier than water
Air rising to the surface
Mist on the lake

I wish that I could tell you something good
Something effervescent
Hear your laugh buoyant as fireflies
But all I can muster is a bullet point report on the state

of my heartbreak
Sent in a little blue bubble
from the end of the road

Sometimes I think about looking back
on this time

What might still sting
What might create a shiver
laughter
What might be frozen
beneath

the new layer of the new thing
that’s right or wrong

“I bend double under its gaze,” by Julia on the couch

Monday, May 11, 2020
12:48pm
5 minutes
All the Room You Need
Lorna Crozier

Watching this house finch live its best life on the wire outside my apartment is a reminder that I too may perch and sing and drink a cup of sunlight and warm my bones

It is all this body needs and when that rings true sometimes there is a period of great avoiding

the insides can be enjoyed when they are scrubbed clean of all the sand and hair collecting under furniture and in the hard to reach crevices

then the sitting can be proven good even if the body is now stuck to a couch or other inside thing

with a hope in the broom
chaos is swept to the side, and then reimagined with the new placement of certain objects

the pepper grinder now here on the placemat and the big popcorn pot finally washed and upside down to dry

Restoration
chirp chirping

“We think you’ll like it here” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday, May 10, 2020
1:17pm
5 minutes
From an email

Shadows of birds move
across the white birch
I eclipse myself
as they do
spreading wings wide
and riding the cold wind west
I gather rocks in my pockets
carefully swiped from Lola’s mouth
Find them at the end of the day
when I undress for a bath
wondering why I am weighted
Lay them out on the windowsill
Little grey gravel pieces
I’ll return them to the road tomorrow

It’s a rollercoaster
I say over and over
Until I believe that the nausea
might be attributed to something
other than the inevitable letting go
It’s inevitable for all of us
Not just me
Letting go
Meeting our mortality
in every ending
I don’t speak in forever anymore
Scoff at those that do

There is not certainty
Anywhere but sitting with the stream
She’ll swell again next year
I can count on that
The trilliums are coming
Despite early May snow
I can count on that

“We think you’ll like it here” by Julia, standing

Sunday, May 10, 2020
10:42am
5 minutes
From an email

Carmello films himself sanding wood for a new armoir that he plans to put in the bedroom
“First you have to have a plan”
he says to nobody, believing himself a guest on a late night talk show that cares about woodworking or Carmello in all his deadpan humour

“I know some of you like to finish the wood so it looks uniform, but for me the best part is highlighting the pieces that don’t customarily belong. It’s more assymetry for me these days that really excites me about being in the shop”

Carmello’s bedroom was in need of a revamp ever since Lydia cursed him out for not having enough space for all her things

“Maybe it’s time for you to downgrade some of your shit”
was the wrong thing to say to Lydia and he hadn’t heard from her since

Carmello began like this, slowly transforming himself and his life into something that a woman like Lydia would be proud to share, maybe even brag to her tit mouse friends about

“He always thinks of the little things, the fine details, the sweet intricacies”
He heard himself say in Lydia’s voice

“what tiny synapses” by Sasha at the table

Saturday, May 9, 2020
1:30pm
5 minutes
Supermarket Lobsters
Robbie Gamble

Jinny can’t stop jerking off. She sneaks into the bathroom on her break and touches herself. She wakes up and masturbates. She goes to sleep with her hand in her pyjama bottoms. She washes her hands more than she used to. Isn’t yet at the part in the story where she questions her shame, her queasy feeling when she thinks about anyone knowing that she’s orgasmed six times today, thanks to herself. She used to despise the term “horny” but she’s reclaiming it, whispering it under her breath when she feels howshe really is just that – “horny horny horny hornyyyy…” There isn’t a suitable synonym. She’s tried to think of one, synapses firing red and ready. There must be another word for it! She’d just started online dating again, after deleting the apps at Christmas after three dozen strange, awkward, boring dates. She’d connected with a few people before the pandemic started, but things got strange and tense once everyone was in isolation. Robi, who wore a beaded necklace and overused the moon emoji, wanted to do a FaceTime date but Jinny said no.

“what tiny synapses” by Julia on the couch

Saturday, May 9, 2020
12:23pm
5 minutes
Supermarket Lobsters
Robbie Gamble

I ask her
what is the first thing you think to do when you get high
She says
I want to water my plants, tend to my garden, sometimes dance
I ask if she asks her body what it wants to do and she says
Of course
And then the conversation is firing from mouth to mouth
the room turned on lit up by
our collaboration of this follow thought all the way in on itself and back around and out again
always out again and the gift is a giving kind and we give thanks
the story we are weaving voices wrapping around each other in a seamless slow build a catchy tune satisfying chorus and we are yes and follow the impulse follow the thought follow the impulse follow the thought until we are both floating from the roaring buzz beneath our tongues a trill a la la la la la on the tip of tomorrow today tonight tonight we revel in this divine coming together of things in this realm

“when you went to Vermont” by Julia at the desk

Friday, May 8, 2020
10:00am
5 minutes
she is in the kitchen now
Nora Pace

I didn’t wait up every night I stayed up
I rubbed one out like it would be my last time
fell asleep in a crooked pocket of the couch
and remained despite the spinal chord damage
the knots now forming

If you were in a different time zone working
sleeping finding yourself in a bigger city
then this house would become a time zone all
on its own a spinning thing of waking sleeping
sliding across sheets and floors and into
breakfast without thinking about another
person’s hunger

It could have been a disaster but I don’t
linger on moments in between when you step
yourself out of town out of my life for six
weeks or something like that loosing track
and not counting and we stop calling each
other on the phone this distance making the
heart grow fonder for a thing that this isn’t

And it was worth noting how many boxes I
ticked off the list and all the living I
did without the help of another person’s
hunger telling me when it was time to eat
time to cook up the browning green beans
time to get out of bed

“when you went to Vermont” by Sasha on the couch

Friday, May 8, 2020
7:41am
5 minutes
she is in the kitchen now
Nora Pace

When you went to Vermont you never expected to see your first dead body. Hard to believe that you made it to forty-five without ever encountering a corpse, open-casket funeral or something. You wear gators for rain over your hiking boots and quick dry pants as further protection against tics. You’ve never been scared of something the way that your scared of tics. Maybe it was seeing Claire get Lyme’s and how her doctor acted like it was all in her head, just like the endometriosis and the depression. Maybe it was that something so small could have such a huge impact, a life changing crippling, debilitating impact. You aren’t one for attention-to-detail but when you come in from a walk you strip down and scour every millimeter of your body. It’s hard because you’re hairy. You suit up, and head out from the cabin you’ve rented. You’ve hiked since you were a boy, trailing mountains and bush with your beloved father who could do no wrong in your eyes, even though all he could do was wrong in the mother’s. You take the path you’ve scouted, but turn south instead of north, descending down into a deep valley. Three miles in, you see something different that the milieu of greens, golds, and browns. You walk closer.

“When the rains come,“ by Sasha at the dining room table

Thursday, May 7, 2020
2:12pm
5 minutes
Monologue of a Fly’s Shadow
Danielle Hanson

I wonder if I’ve ever felt like home to you
and if that even matters now
that we are where we are
beyond the blue horizon staring the sun in the face
Retinas recycling remembered debris
I am positing what might come next
staking ground and digging in heavy heels
What is mine now
What is yours
What is the new “ours”
Hour after hour of
Am I in denial or
Am I this okay
Am I this not okay

I wonder if you’ve ever been home to me
I certainly thought you were
But I thought a lot of things
that now feel second cousin and estranged
Living in Paris or Dubai
Wearing hand me down traumas
bright jangly jewellery dripped from neck and wrist

You say that you notice how you’re
less quick to judge
Quote something from the bible about stones
We’ve been fighting the whole car trip
the tannin of sadness thick in my mouth
staining my teeth I run my tongue along
count the smooth edges
I open the window and let the gush blast me
A bomb of maybe spring
Maybe delicacy
Hope the fresh air might change the station

“When the rains come,” by julia on the couch

Thursday, May 7, 2020
8:13pm
5 minutes
Monologue of a Fly’s Shadow
Danielle Hanson

If I’m laying in the earth when the rains come
leave me there
let me drink at the mighty fall
let me drench in the midnight sink
lather my bones so they are ocean ready
force out the salt of my skin
till I am as clean as the first day of spring
leave me there to swallow what I’ve thirsted for

Do not bring a bucket
do not dry my hands
do not move the muck from my eyelids
I will be purified by the ends of this and I will have waited

After a new wind has blown me
if I’m laying when the rains come
leave me
oh leave me there

“the creek below babbling” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday May 6, 2020
10:07pm
5 minutes
The Fawn
Jenny Burkell

Everyone seems to want to say that things are going to get worse. Do things always get worse? Especially when you feel they can’t, expect they will? The funny thing is, the creek babbles and the leaves burst on the trees that were bare. The funny thing is, despite how bad things are already, I’m doing pretty well. In some ways, I’m doing better than ever. Freckles have sprouted on my nose again and this feels like hope in the shape of a pigmented constellation that looks a little bit different every year. I make up song after song on walks up the road, singing more now than I ever have, or at least more than I have since childhood. I just can’t stop singing.

“the creek below babbling” by Julia in the bed

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
8:52am
5 minutes
The Fawn
Jenny Burkell

things like messages make themselves clear when the stillness settles in and
Mother Earth is uninterrupted

She speaks a calm tongue
into the anxious ear and
the system of things, the
rolling mechanism of flesh
and bone and cartiledge and
organ begin to allign

She doesn’t have to say
much, in fact, less is
more and She knows it
without hammering it
over the head

Another indication that
there is more to this web
than the flies caught in
it is the morning air and
that is all there is to
decipher because it’s not
meant to be confusing

Sometimes a tiny built
thing in the woods calls
and the flesh and bone move
toward it as if drawn to a
flame of constant conjuring

“And it speaks to certain devils“ by Julia in the couch

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
8:27pm
5 minutes
Another Vision
Patricia Nelson

This devil on my shoulder
has been trying to take over

if I let him speak he sings
or hisses but either way I listen

This devil thinks we’re friends
I guess cause he looks like me
and I look like him

Been tap dancing on my spine
every night right at nine

it comes after the dinner is done
the belly full and I am laying
like I have already won

it’s a deep sigh almost comical
hear the saturation of breath
trauma full

but while I’m laying I’m easy target for this devil’s grip to tighen

and the old air goes in and out

“And it speaks to certain devils“ by Sasha in the trundle room

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
11:16am
5 minutes
Another Vision
Patricia Nelson

“We think that by protecting ourselves
from suffering we are being kind
to ourselves,” Pema writes.

Walls made of feathers and playing cards
ash and lightning
photographs and receipts

Erected with a very well scrubbed poker face
A very well stocked pantry
A very good pretending disguised as meditation

Then a flash of light and you’re
sat across from the devil
wearing the clothes of someone

You thought you knew so well
Paint a layer of nice between
two slices of bread you kneaded for many years

“As if on the ego of a king.” by Julia swaying in the bedroom

Monday, May 4, 2020
8:43am
5 minutes
The Gee Whiz Element of Tropical Storms and Symphonies
Jen Karetnick

the sun wakes me from my sleep
at the right time or is it you
who wraps my body in love at
the right time
I am dreaming these days in drop shadows and Air Jordans
I keep forgetting to set the alarm

I can believe that the sun is making its way through my window to remind me that my aliveness is contribution enough
and I do, heart filling up
an ego of a king

and Michael Jordan always gave his best and led with his best and that was what made him legend
but I am just to lift my head and
be a part of this beautiful system of things moving in and out?

when the birds sing they do not ask if their choir can be heard because it is not for us alone
and my leaving the bed then is not for them alone but for the desire to be a part of the great wheel spinning

I lay in the sliver of sunlight left on my balcony and wonder why I didn’t seize the day sooner while it was covering the part with the chair

I used to stare into it every morning but that
was in another year

“We are very happy to present a virtual conference this year” by Sasha in the trundle room

Sunday, May 3, 2020
10:52pm
5 minutes
From an email

I get emails that I delete before reading. They invite me to online live readings videoed performances live stream dance classes cooking shows and library debates I don’t even know anymore I don’t even care anymore what is it that we are trying to do anyway? I get emails that I send to a folder that is called “Creative maybes” but it’s where emails go to get buried in more emails and why haven’t I set a “vacation responder” that says, “Please don’t email me anything that you think might be “of interest” because I haven’t even spoken to my dearest friends in too long and I don’t care about your think-piece or your feelings about char.”

“We are very happy to present a virtual conference this year” by Julia in the cave

Sunday, May 3, 2020
10:50pm
5 minutes
From an email

I know this might be weird to tell you this but I don’t want to be at a virtual conference. I don’t want to be seen by strangers I normally wouldn’t have to see. I don’t need to make friends with an online buddy. I have some friends that I want to prioritize. I make great friends in person. Online I wear fake eyelashes when an instagram filter installs them for me perfectly. I don’t have to explain that some people will be wearing wigs. I don’t want to see everyone’s wig.

“between the kitchen and living room” by Sasha on the couch

Saturday, May 2, 2020
9:43pm
5 minutes
From a text

Turn the page and find colours there in the lines and the letters
Close eyes and taste the sweet kiss of possible
Laugh in the bathtub at the ladybug crawling towards towards towards
Lola is a kindred grace her discovery of the world the tonic of rainbow

I dance to the sound I hear when I think of you
Feel the rise and fall of body on whitewashed floors
Body to body your body in my hands your hands in my body
Close my eyes and remember through tongue and fingertip

Ouija board cloud game where the ghosts are back and rolling
Light show on the lawn like the good old days when farmers
Would gather for Canada Day roast up some hotdogs and pour beer
Into jars or even drink straight from the cold can

Hang their hats on the belief that they knew what was coming
Hold their children in the arms as the sky exploded in blaze

“between the kitchen and living room” by Julia

Saturday, May 2, 2020
1:06pm
5 minutes
From a text

I have been floating
today between the kitchen
and the living room
doing most of my living
in the kitchen where the food
is being turned into action
into love

At 8am I chop the red pepper
the green bean the red onion the purple cabbage the garlic the mushroom

I like the way they sit cut side by side like different age groups in a church leadership club

I turn off my need to wonder at myself through the outside lens
I listen about David Wojnarowicz
to Thomas Beckman and his Violance
to the sound of the egg crisping up on the bottom

The living room, where I am now
is a place to record all the living I have been doing while alive in the kitchen

the packet of pens and coloured pencils lay outstretched

“The cost of rural housing” by Julia on the bed

Friday, May 1, 2020
1:55pm
5 minutes
Life After the City
Charles Long

Bobbie-Jo wants to buy a house in New Brunswick. She has never been to New Brunswick, doesn’t have any friends from New Brunswick, does not currently work in New Brunswick, or even know the capital of New Brunswick.
Bobbie-Jo doesn’t care about the rules and the way things “oughta go” because watching her aunt Aimee lose her mind while trying to keep everyone else in it was torture at best. Bobbie-Jo knows about dreams instead, about leaping up and out. About maybe landing on a star or something like it. Bobbie-Jo knows the prices of homes in New Brunswick are better for her than they are here. She doesn’t need to live in a big city. The prices are even better for her in the country. Bobbie-Jo writes her big ideas on the back of an old Lifehouse poster for No Name Face.
She maps out her next few years in a broad sense. Things aren’t here they are there. Things aren’t happening, they’re slipping away. Bobbie-Jo sways to the beat of her own night music.

“The cost of rural housing” by Sasha in the trundle room

Friday, May 1, 2020
11:05am
5 minutes
Life After the City
Charles Long

So being here with the robins and the apple blossoms
the sloping fields and the red winged black birds

the swamp and the cedar forest and
the big chest freezer and the turning garden

I think about rural living and how good
it feels to wear the same fleecy six days in a row

And add a log to the wood stove
while the girls make a “show”

Wildflower heart blooms ripe
I catch my own eye while brushing my teeth

And see someone new
Someone who I didn’t know I needed

Didn’t know I missed

“Knock! Knock” by Julia on the couch

Thursday, April 30, 2020
11:23pm
5 minutes
Villa Incognito
Tom Robbins

You buzz up from the lobby and I buzz inside then I buzz you in and everying is going to be alright

I forget I’m wearing the apron
I know I’ve left the ribs under the broiler for a smidge too long

the apartment smells like almost sex
When you come in we kiss and drop
the sharade for a minute to laugh
we laugh we laugh
“It’s nice to see you again” then some more kissing

I forget how quickly I will give over a playlist
and you do not take the bait
forget that you don’t “know” where the cutlery is

The first night on the patio and
I am wearing earrings and you are looking cute and nervous in your easy smiling way

The clouds are clay coloured with all this pretty blue

“Knock! Knock!” By Sasha in the bedroom

Thursday, April 30, 2020
11:30am
5 minutes
Villa Incognito
Tom Robbins

Minnie Gowan’s “Knock! Knock!” is out of a horror movie. At least that’s what Veronica thinks.

“Why don’t you just, like, actually knock on the door? Why do you yell that when you can just… knock?!” Veronica smiles at the end, to offset the tone.

“Turn the magnifying glass back on yourself, Vee,” Minnie stands with the fridge door open. “Where’s your orange juice?”

“Finished it this morning,” Veronica raps her knuckles on the table. Knocking on a door is way simpler than yelling. Maybe I do have control issues, she thinks.

“What other beverages do you even have?”

“Um… soda water? Actual water? Tea?” Veronica reminds herself why Minnie is here. To go through Penny’s things, to organize the paperwork for tax season, to help get things together.

“Hargrove was a stop on the greyhound route” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Wednesday April 29, 2020
5:12pm
5 minutes
Andy Catlett
Wendell Berry

It wasn’t going to be long before we were snaking through the mountain roads. It wasn’t going to be long before the Gravol would kick in and I’d be asleep while you sit beside me trying to resist squeezing my leg to see some amazing cliff drop or a baby bear or trees clear cut. I fucking hate the bus but it’s the only thing we can afford and your grandmother is sick and we’ve gotta get up to Qualimbrook. Your grandmother raised you so she’s really more like a mama to you and now that Nancy is back at work she doesn’t have anyone looking after her on the daily, or that’s how you put it. Hargrove is a stop along the way and you’ll wake me up to pee and get an ice cream sandwich. I fucking hate these small town stops where I can feel everyone staring, everyone judging, everything thinking that they are better.

“Hargrove was a stop on the Greyhound route” by Julia in the kitchen

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
6:16pm
5 minutes
Andy Catlett
Wendell Berry

Barry was taking the bus. He liked to get there pearly early twenty-nine minutes ready on the platform ticket in hand scone in belly newspaper under arm and affirmations playing into his ears with navy blue foamed headphones with a too long loopdy looped navy blue cord looped around fingers and tucked into pockets and trying to take over Barry and his whole life just by being so obvious and getting coiled around everything like kitchen cupboard and drawer knobs

Barry was 5″7 and not a hair taller although one hair did stuck up considerably which is where he began concluding his height giving statements with not a hair taller almosy wagging his pointer finger into the arbitrary air and all its surroundings

“The summer wore on,” by Julia on the couch

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
10:35pm
5 minutes
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
Jacqueline Kelly

Grier was masturbating again
upon waking up from long stretches of her day lived in the awayness
of naps and leaving a moment
to sleep over it

Her eyes would flutter open
and closed and she would reach
for the calendula salve on the
side of her bed because it was
already there for the palm hand skin

In moments of stress, Grier would force herself to climax so she could find the great open mouthed haaa that followed: the peace, the whatever that unhinged her personality from her bones and let her lay naked of the stories she told herself

She would stay like that sometimes for half an hour, unencumbered by all the external demands she invented

“The summer wore on,” By Sasha at the kitchen table

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
9:37pm
5 minutes
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
Jacqueline Kelly

The summer stretched ahead of Bernadette like a desert. It made her mouth dry just thinking about it. She was supposed to work at the garden centre again, where she’d direct seniors towards dahlias and hanging pots and overpriced chicken poop and flirt with Charlie. She planted to earn twenty cents above minimum wage. She planned to have a good T-shirt tan by the end of August. Now, with the garden centre closed and no real job prospects aside from helping Pete with his filing (yawn), Bernadette felt like summer was an expanse of nothing in a way that she hadn’t since she was a kid and summer meant burning day camps and trying to amuse herself with popsicle sticks. She felt her stomach turn to porridge, and sink low. Did she need to go to the bathroom?

“Higher!” By Sasha at the kitchen table

Monday April 27, 2020
9:22pm
5 minutes
Higher Higher
Leslie Patticelli

When the sound of the rain is louder than the sound of your breath
In your own ear leaving you closer to where you thought the pepper might be
Sneeze up and sneeze down and dream of the world that might bloom from this strange chrysalis of change and quiet

Maybe the busiest of the busy with the lists that run out like toilet paper from the bottom of the fancyfancy shoes
Maybe these people will learn to breathe in one nostril and out the other
Sprout cucumbers and raspberries in small pots

Maybe the scared ones the ones who keep their doors double locked and would rather see their strange Auntie on Skype than at the tea shop
Will feel like they finally belong on the planet that never really told them that they were wanted and that they were precision and that they were free

“Higher!” By Julia at the desk

Monday April 27, 2020
12:08pm
5 minutes
Higher Higher
Leslie Patticelli

I am sitting on Summer’s stoop
plucking away at the pink toy ukulele
and I am smiling cause I’m blocked
by the big beautiful tree I wanted
to believe was a cherry blossom
I am humming away and the bottlers
and the baggers and the lookers and
the passersby go about their going

A hummingbird is right in front of
my face and she is singing harmony
with me for an instant I am reset
to a vibration I long knew from my
first mother’s womb

I am proud flesh born or a woman
graced with some kind of wing, trilling
her and I both, all three, all of us

I am staring into the sun setting
with acceptance for this god given
glow and I am perked up filiform
tuned to the same channel as the light

I am hello to Jamie the bottler who
introduces himself to me
I play him an f and he goes on bottling

I am pointing out the lime green
just above the sun’s upper cheek

“After I hung up on him” by Sasha in the bedroom

Sunday April 26, 2020
10:03pm
5 minutes
Facts About Dead Trees
Lisa Baird

I hung up the phone
Didn’t hang up on
But did hang up
Pressed the red button
Was something strange
in the static
in the quiet
in the pandemic
“what even is this anymore”?

I kicked a piece of gravel
called “Why?!”
to a turkey vulture
who glides where
perspective is silky
where I am the rightful size

The sun stoops
to touch my chest

Right in the rise
where love’s hand goes
Feeling breath
Feeling life
Feeling “yes”
and “no”

Hours turn to days
and the cedar forest turns
bark to promise

A promise of black flies
zucchini hot from the sun
The river rising and rushing

Guiding me back

“After I hung up on him” by Julia on the couch

Sunday April 26, 2020
1:17pm
5 minutes
Facts About Dead Trees
Lisa Baird

I called him back

told him I loved him
told him I was sorry
told him I’d been thinking
told him it wasn’t me it was this
told him it wasn’t him it was me
told him I loved him
told him he was right
told him he was wrong
told him I loved him

I laid face first on the couch

I held my eyes with sticky palms cupped
I deep breathed
I beeathed all the way in
I asked myself
I asked myself what
I asked myself but what really
I removed the top layer
by diving into the pit
face first
I asked myself what
I asked myself is there something you need
I waited
I wanted him
I waited
I wanted him not me
I wanted me not this

after

“The internet traded my personality” by Sasha at the kitchen island

Saturday April 25, 2020
4:12pm
5 minutes
Vancouver for Beginners
Alex Leslie

What is the photograph on the chest of drawers in the bedroom? Is it your mother? Your mother’s mother? Your mother’s mother’s mother? These women all carried the seeds of you in them and that’s really all that matters. Cut-out dolls in different shaped dresses, similar shaped bodies, strange toes, ground molars. You’ll scan this photo one day, but for now it only exists in hard copy and there’s something about the impermanence of that that is bold. You’ve never known anyone who has had a fire, but the threat is there, especially now. I remember when you showed me around the house and I looked at the recipes on the fridge, opened the cupboards, tilted my head to read the titles of the book shelves.

“The internet traded my personality” by Julia at the desk

Saturday April 25, 2020
12:43pm
5 minutes
Vancouver for Beginners
Alex Leslie

I don’t want to mention the INTERNET
but now it’s too late and this is
something I resist so I know the only
option for it is to persist

If I name everything in one shot will
it stop begging to be referenced in
all future proof of living?

I works so hard to prove existence
without discussing the WORLD WIDE WEB
because this web is a bit of trap for
me and I already have issues with going
out into the world beyond my dreams

I guess if I say that this is BLOG
on a WEBSITE that I utilize it will
stop trying to wrestle itself into my
life

I guess if I say that there will be TAGS
referencing the text that I wrote in
CATEGORIES on the right of the SCREEN
that you will know what I’m talking about

I wish you could just read this in a
book like the good old days but how
would you see it or look at it if it’s
a thing you need to hold in your hands?

Does it feel like I’m forcing the mentioning
of the VIRTUAL SPACE because I most
certainly feel the push and I don’t like it
even a little bit

I don’t even have enough INTERNET lingo
to keep this going for five minutes without
stopping and so forgive me if there are not
enough ONES AND ZEROS

“A man parted his beard” by Sasha in her bedroom

Friday April 24, 2020
11:11pm
5 minutes
Animal
Kim Goldberg

These days are liquid, aren’t they? Flowing downwards towards something but no one is really sure what. Are you craving more salt? Replenish those stores. Tired feet trudge and grudge towards something that is new, warm, unsure. What day is it? What time is it? I’m writing by the light of a small flashlight I found in a drawer that most certainly does not belong to me. I am a thief.

What have you stolen? What have you let go of? What have you vowed you’ll never tell anyone? What have you lost that you’re still trying to find, when you ball socks or fold T-shirts? When you organize books and batteries and ball-point pens?

“A man parted his beard” by Julia at the desk

Friday April 24, 2020
10:12am
5 minutes
Animal
Kim Goldberg

A man parted his beard and I saw the great
white space between yesterday and today
It was wide and wide and great and there
we found some clarity because we dared, I
think, to ask of ourselves that courtesy.

A man twisted the red out of his face and
then one day overnight or in a blink there
were so many silver strays and things looked
like they made more sense more wise sense
All this time the man was living living

The facial hair goes through some stages
of grief just like the rest of us
at first there is a rough stubbornness and
soft things are always getting poked
instead, denying the possible softness
being hurt like that, unaware

There is an anger at one point, so the
man parts his beard to see what’s underneath
skin still young and learning

then it grows some more but changing
shape and colour and being too long
suddenly it is just right and it’s
all a cycle of time that no one is
marking up on the calendar

“I had a voracious appetite” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Thursday April 23, 2020
9:43pm
5 minutes
You Never Stop Saving The World
Don English

She is a hungry one
opening the door
searching for something
she could sink her teeth into
let the juice dribble down
her chin land on her breasts
stain her shirt
lift the shirt to her lips
and suck

She wants every last drop

The insatiable
doubt
longing
lust
desire
ambition
ambivalence

She doesn’t overthink
not this one
she opens
the lower right crisper
removes a perfect pear

Bites

Then it’s a spoonful
the memory of her grandmother’s tiramisu
sneaking finger-fulls
from the covered bowl
hoping no one notices

Dipping a ladle into the pot
bubbling tomato sauce
pouring it into an espresso cup
drinking it down
tiny cup after tiny cup
grating fresh parmigiana
cracking black pepper

She is a hungry one
The best ones are
Know how to feast and feel
Relish and release

Know how to fill a freezer
blackberries when they are ripe
small jars of pesto
pizza and cookie dough

“I had a voracious appetite” by Julia at the desk

Thursday April 23, 2020
6:50pm
5 minutes
You Never Stop Saving The World
Don English

When I was little
5, 6, halo hair of fuzz
ringlets underneath
I sauced my face a smile
like the Joker on Nonna’s
Bones

Her ribs were silky smooth
the meat would slide off
and you could slurp the juice
off a clean sword

They were my favourite
growing up I wanted to
be exactly like my father
if he held a hot pepper
while eating then I held
a hot pepper while eating
and if he didn’t wipe his
mouth until after he was
finished, I would smile
sauce all over the table
until I had gotten full

There’s a photo of me looking
satiated and filled with
glee after finishing my plate
and likely bites off my sister’s
picky plate and my brother’s
baby plate, meat sauce on the
collar of my balloon patterned shirt

I liked being the favourite
in some way, eating when
maybe I wasn’t really hungry
but in the mood to taste
something

My father liked a girl who
could eat and any kid that
didn’t say ew before trying
something as if they knew
everything about everything
except how to ride a bike
maybe or to finish their
dinner before begging for
dessert

“Women who sit, unwashed” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday April 22, 2020
9:39pm
5 minutes
Do You Know Any Lazy Women?
Cynara Geissler

Dina sits, unwashed, at her kitchen table in her red terry cloth robe. It’s three in the afternoon. She spent the morning in the garden with her hands tickling worms and dandelion roots. She’s never had a garden before. She’s also never spent five weeks alone, untouched, unmarked by the whiskers of connection with her Mom and Dad, her best friend Dan, her neighbours Ellie and Mark. She decided she wanted to grow peas and lettuce, carrots and tomatoes. Start there. She sprouted things in little pots on her window sill before transferring them to the raised beds she built out of old wine boxes. She is not a handy person, or doesn’t consider herself to be one. Maybe she is. She built those beds and used drill and even got under her sink on her back, screwed and fiddled and fixed a leak. She took a shower after coming inside, watched the dirt circle down the drain.

“Women who sit, unwashed” by Julia at the desk

Wednesday April 22, 2020
9:05pm
5 minutes
Do You Know Any Lazy Women?
Cynara Geissler

I am not a women who sits unwashed
unless you count today
yesterday
and then before that too there was a stretch.
I don’t care anymore, I’ve decided, if that makes
me an unlikable narrator.
I’d rather be a reliable one.
I’d rather you put your trust in my hands and let me show you.

Sometimes I get mad when you question my honesty, but what I’m
most upset about is you not trusting your own which leads you
to all that not trusting anybody else stuff.

I am not a women who sits unwashed
not usually.
Or usually what’s the difference now.
What’s the difference if the bangs are
frizzed out or if they frame the face.
What’s the trajectory from the couch to
the office when the office is sometimes
bed sometimes breakfast.

I won’t hide about that part.
There’s no table cloth right now because the tables
tell a different story.
The tables house the pens, the weed, the hot water bottle,
the slow cooker, the squishy baseball, the camera.
The tables suspend all of the parts of ourselves we might need
ambling from room to room

“find the right question” by Julia on the office chair

Tuesday April 21, 2020
7:29pm
5 minutes
quoting Ann Hamilton

I ask myself What Do You Want
and when I answer I hear a lot of leaves rustling
I hear surf meeting shore
I hear a baby laughing like a goddamn dream machine perfect thing
I sit in the pit there and I hear what it’s like to be loved.
That sounds good to me.
That sounds like something sonically created for me to hear for me to listen to.
Meant to sound good so I keep my ear out for it, to the ground for it, palms open for it.
When it’s lullaby it rocks me out of my trouble and when it’s The Prodigy I give it my moving. It wants dancing.

“find the right question” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday April 21, 2020
7:36am
5 minutes
quoting Ann Hamilton

If there was any doubt
Things aren’t going back to normal
What was normal anyway?
Bits of hair in the hairbrush
A half rolled cigarette on the table
Wine in the cupboard above the sink
Wind in the veins

I am not going where I thought I was
Neither is he
Neither are you
The robin’s are here though
With their red bellies and worms in their beaks

I hear the same song in the stillness
The one where the start is small and the rise is like the rapids

Normal for me was the tea steeping in the morning and the little sticky fingers
Walking to the fruit market to get scallions cilantro and lime

Normal for me was the quiet ending to the day
Hands open lying face up
Counting blessings
Like stars

“as good as it will get” by Julia on the couch

Monday April 20, 2020
7:50pm
5 minutes
Rainbow’s End
John Paul Lederach

Hello if you’re reading this I want to start off saying a few things. 1) Happy 420 you beautiful specimen! I hope you were able to secure some quality bud during this time and I know since it’s your birthday someone will have gotten it for you and I am not really worried.
2)At 4:20 today I wished you a happy birthday and I know people won’t believe you were actually born at 4:20 on 4:20 but this is their loss, and it’s really only for you anyway
3) I think I am currently as good as I will get. I miss you a lot, but when I cant see you, I am convinced: this is my height. My max. My high will only be about yay high and I will never fully live outside this body without you.
4) I don’t care if that last part got real. I friggen love you and if you realize that now, then good, goddammit.
5) I am lighting up a toke for you right now in your honour cause I know you and know I’ve actually got to bring you back up after that last one.

“As good as it will get” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday April 20, 2020
11:12am
5 minutes
Rainbow’s End
John Paul Lederach

You make a weird symbol with your hands and it’s not the first time and I have no idea what you’re doing or why. I wonder if this is proof. I wonder if this is the real sediment at the bottom of the jar, when left undisturbed it settles, but when moved at all it makes everything cloudy. The symbol is kind of like an L but also like a W and I think about all the words that start with L and end with W. LOW. I wish I didn’t care for you the way I do. Your strange freckles over the bridge of your nose. Your noisy belly gurgling when you’re hungry. The way you yawn.

“and to spread right living” by Julia on the couch

Sunday April 19, 2020
11:46am
5 minutes
quoting Cal DeWitt

Etta James on the radio
wailing her heartsearch
into my sunday ears, open
for the human feeling
or rain to echo with familiarity

We woke up against all odds of indifference, still loving
each other in this house built
on good bones and countless fears looked straight in the face

With B, yesterday, the discussion
of naming the fear outside the
body became ripe and we both drank at the juice like eager fruit flies

When it was flung from my experience into her heart she
swallowed enough for me too and I could step back from my puzzling
to hear all the good words

A Sunday kind of love

“and to spread right living” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday April 19, 2020
10:50am
5 minutes
Quoting Cal DeWitt

Make no mistake about it, there is no going back to normal. No way, Jose. Midge called me the day before she got sick and she said that everything was going to “hell in a handbasket” at her place, Lancaster Court or whatever it’s called. I knew that I had to get out of here so I called Reggie to see if he could come get me out, but because Tabitha has that Crohn’s disease or whatever he said it was better that I don’t come and stay with them. I understand but I also reminded him that I labored with him for sixty-three hours. Sixty-three. Hours. “Aw, Ma…” He said. “You know I’d do something if I could…” I called Leah, but she’s got her hands full with all those kids and step kids and a foster dog and whatever else… “Ma! I can’t hear you! Can you speak up?!” Benji started electric guitar lessons so he and Maya could start a little band in the garage but they don’t have power out there yet so he’s practicing in the house. Ha! “CAN YOU PLEASE COME GET ME? I DON’T WANT TO GET THIS GODDAMN VIRUS!” I say, trying to cut to the chase. “Aw, Ma…” Leah sounds absolutely exhausted. “Let me talk to Cal when he gets home from the hospital, okay? I know he’s going to be worried about you being here given his exposure… I mean, he’s sleeping in the basement and staying away from the kids, but the last time we talked about it his take was that it’s best if you stay where you are!”

“the great spiritual geniuses” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday April 14, 2020
5 minutes
8:03am
Quoting Maria Popova

This day
Your thirty first birthday
arrives in a strange time signature with notes you’ve never heard
let alone played.
This day
Your first birthday as a father Your first birthday holding a moon in your open outstretched palms Lifting her up
so she can see the world from
up above
perspective
play
passion
the cascade of giggles you incite in her is angel music
reading her the same books
over and over
bathing her strong body
singing her silly songs
knowing that she is
Unequivocally
the best art you’ll ever make
This day
Marking your precious wild heart Celebrating the you that you’ve been
the you that you are the you that you will be
These three men standing shoulder to shoulder These you’s that I have known
and do know
and will know

I would now say it’s obvious” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Saturday April 18, 2020
9:52pm
5 minutes
Quoting Ellen Davis

Hilary makes a list of her most burning questions. It’s long. Twelve pages. Double spaced on lined Hilroy paper. She hands it to her mother, whose full name she just learned is Wendy Julianne Renate Goldstein. She addresses it to her mother by this full name, unsure of how to spell “Renate”, spelling it “Renata” and then “Ranata” and then “Renate”. Hilary misses playing soccer with Archie and Luis, doing times tables with the whole class and seeing how Juan looks at Liza’s mouth to copy the numbers she’s saying. She misses the smell of Ms. Polly sharpening pencils. She misses the sound at recess, stopping in the centre of the school yard and letting all the rush happen around her, the frenetic joy of one hundred and twenty kids burning off their tuna sandwiches, their fruit roll ups, their leftover souvlaki, their orange wedges. The list is so long that I couldn’t possibly do it justice, but the questions that stand out to Wendy, the questions that Wendy will never forget and will tell to anyone who will listen sixty years from now are: “What is the weather?” “Why do we love?” “What do you hear when you die?”

“I would now say it’s obvious” by Julia on the bed

Saturday April 18, 2020
4:09pm
5 minutes
quoting Ellen Davis

There is a place that I will go from now on when I need to hear the wisdom of life that has lived out its lessons before me

Inside the spiraled well is a water so deep I need only float its surface to connect to the network of hidden truths

I would now say it’s obvious that it is a place I’ve already been, but some lights are worth keeping on

The first time I visited I might have been alone in the house and brought a deep breath down with me

I latched myself to the shimmering hoop and trusted that its circle was the right shape to provide a distribution of my leaning weight

when I landed there atop the surf it bled me from the inside out and I knew

“Perfection will do you in.” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday April 17, 2020
8:12am
5 minutes
Perfection, Perfection Father
Kilian McDonnell

I tell my father that I feel the bitterness of failure wrecking ball swinging on the end of a long line
I pace the gravel roads and tears fall onto my coat track marks bird songs the distant whine of an ATV
“I’m doing my best
I don’t know what else to do”
He reaches through the phone line to right where I am
Did you know that this is possible?
The way that I reach back in time
to when my parents’ marriage was ending here in these same ponds
letting go skidding across ice
heartbreak held in the tender privacy of trillium leaves of curling buds
I don’t remember hearing what they said
but I do remember watching them through a slender window
yelling on the small hill where the garden is
“I’m doing my best
I don’t know what else to do”
“One moment at a time”
My father says and he’s right and it’s true “Write down your dreams”
And I do and it’s the gospel of my wholeness “Turn to literature”
Mary Oliver and Rumi
bell hooks and Lorna Crozier

“Perfection will do you in.” By Julia at the desk

Friday April 17, 2020
5:02pm
5 minutes
Perfection, Perfection
Father Kilian McDonnell

Today I took the kitchen shears
which they tell you not to use
and then I cut bangs by myself
which they tell you not to do
and then I said who knows who
knows and then I left the curls
on the counter because some
of them looked too nice to
throw away

I knew attempting this would
not yield perfection
because they tell you not to
attempt doing this at all
and since I’ve been prone to
overblown expectations on my
hair and myself and my hair

Since I was young with bangs
cut by my Zia Patricia who
was at the time a retired
hair-stylist due to all the
chemicals destroying her skin
I longed for what my sister
with straight hair got when
I received a 90s regret instead

I was told by the professional
naysayer in my head that bangs
are not for me because they
would get frizzy and they
wouldn’t be very easy to dry
properly without a diffuser
and then it was all white
noise because I did cut them
and when I dried them they
looked as okay as I predicted

“in the dirt in the corner,” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Thursday April 16, 2020
10:01pm
5 minutes
Ara Poetica #100
Elizabeth Alexander

The lake glistens like she knows the secret of how to be flow and roll waves and sunlight and sleet and snow
Thaw and freeze and do it again
The lake kisses each morning like the sweetheart that it is cradles dawn and dusk in the belly of her flowing
Wax and wane and do it again
The lake remembers the scratch of the motor boat the fishing line
the garbage collecting in the corners
Grieve and release and do it again

“in the dirt in the corner,” by Julia on the couch

Thursday April 16, 2020
9:01am
5 minutes
Ara Poetica #100
Elizabeth Alexander

Jam says it’s funny how clean the apartment feels, and sort of thrown away, like a whispy dream to nobody.
I say, that’s because someone’s been cleaning it, and less whispy more caged, more Please Look Around.

I don’t expect Jam to see things the way I see them but I do get mad when he doesn’t. As if it’s his lack of wanting to instead of his eyeline a foot above mine.

I am angry not because I am the one doing it but because that means when it needs to be done I have to pick myself off the couch and put my ideas on the shelf while I hit all the corners and all the close to the ground things I can see.

I have to remain responsible, scheduled. I am the one who has to keep my eyes open.

This morning Jam told me he loved me with his whole heart and his whole mind and his whole body and while I looked like I was asleep I was very much awakened by that. I thought he had forgotten his old habit of whispering affirmations alongside the call of the birds as the sun rises.

“many years in the making” by Julia leaning

Wednesday April 15, 2020
9:06pm
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett

It has been many years in the making mix
the wet ingredients folding into the dry
light dusting of risk on every surface
there won’t always be this moment so I
have to be in it for as long as it lasts.
Pretty good plan. You know you can do
anything for 60 seconds. I don’t know
the proof of that but I’d like to think
it was the truth of that and time and I
are riding high on the 60 second climb

When it gets messy it puts ideas into
action someone has to deal with
what will we do about the scissors there
and canister of pens in every room
To clean it would require the decision
to move onto something easier to look
at to stomach to hold space for but
the idea to clean only came from the
mess in the first place and how else
would you notice the clean?

“the great spiritual geniuses” By Julia at her desk

Tuesday April 14, 2020
April 14, 2020
11:21am
5 minutes
quoting Maria Popova

It’s hard to start when the clock keeps jumping ahead
you put your face in the internet for 10 seconds and
then you forget why you went there in the first place
and usually it was to look up a recipe not fall down
a rabbit hole of other people’s lives and what
they are doing to fill their days and their empty

The great spiritual geniuses of our time are
advising against screen sucks as a device to numb
the heartache and if the great spiritual geniuses
of our time are advising anything then I want to be
on the side of things that takes a deep breath when
they’re saying it and sees which part of my body it
lands in

According to some other profound thoughts from the
20th century geniuses it is clear to me now more
than ever that history has always repeated itself
but the words to describe it shift and shoot over
time and when the discovery of consciousness and
self was put into words that we could use the
whole system of language itself began to brighten

Today there are few things still dark but with
an artificial light we confuse the thing for
pathway or guide or leader or mentor and it’s
where time gets stuck in a continuum of
backwards backwards yesterday

“Voice and wisdom” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday April 13, 2020
2:45pm
5 minutes
Quoting Brene Brown

Who decides that it’s going to rain? All night and all day filling potholes with mud puddles and leaves with April’s tea. That night, a reprieve, finally at longest last, moths
flock to the light of the lamp in the window. Bodies like buds, wings like paper, flying in circles to be close to the bright. I don’t know the things I thought I knew
but I know how to care for my wonder, stroke
my breaking like the perfect head of my daughter,
know that this too is the point, this too
is as miraculous as the hummingbird against the azure sky.
Wisdom brings me good jokes and simple songs, thank goodness, I laugh out loud at the whirlpool of past and present here, in my hands, catching story, alchemizing cells to rain
to whatever coming next.

“Voice and wisdom” by Julia on her bed

Monday April 13, 2020
11:17am
5 minutes
quoting Brené Brown

We crossed the river in our dreams
Last night I sunk in the dissapointment of my friend’s judgement of me
I worried about what she’d say
and then I did what I wanted anyway
Told her the truth when she asked anyway
even when the other friends shook at my decision to bare the courtesy of honesty
she was mad all the same but
that did not make me feel less confident
Sometimes you have to accept the angry coming from someone else who
expected things to go their way since it is, afterall, their movie

When my heart remembers a dream like that I take it personally
I drink the wisdom from the cinematic showing of some unconcsious question

I apply it to the every day and moment after

“Pink Pearl” by Julia on her couch

Sunday April 12, 2020
8:46pm
5 minutes
from the Dixon eraser

They called her Pearl
she liked to wear a string of them to dinner when her grand babies visited

Her grand babies were all grown up and and she took great pride in filling their glasses with red wine

She liked that they could raise a glass to one another, laugh at the same jokes, and see each other as friends

Pearl would often mix Cocoa-cola into her wine
she liked things sweet as can be
added a teaspoon of sugar to her water, same as she did for her grand babies when they were still babies

Sometimes she would fall asleep at the table in mid laugh
her dyed blonde curls grazing the glass

Sometimes they would shake her awake and others they would leave her there

“Pink Pearl” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday April 12, 2020
7:56pm
5 minutes
from the Dixon eraser

We go down to the Pink Pearl and Jerry tells me I can order whatever the fuck I want off the menu. It’s fancy, like napkin swans and all that, waiters in little asshole vests and ties. I didn’t ever go to a place like this before, right? I’m glad I’m wearing my nice shoes, like, my black work shoes and that I showered a few days ago. Nobody, and I mean nobody knows how Jerry got rich, but the guy has a lot of money, like, more than anyone I’ve ever rolled with before.

“Whatever the fuck I want, eh?” I say.

“The world is your fucking oyster, Kyle…” Jerry sucks on his teeth, like he does and my stomach, like, turns a bit, like, what does he want from me that he’s wining and dining me? But I’m gonna go to fucking town. It’s not every day a guy like me ends up in a place like that.

“you find solace here” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Saturday April 11, 2020
9:31pm
5 minutes
From Julia’s 2017 notebook

Oh the tiny mittens in the round rooster bowl on the table. The wind curling through branches with long fingers. I wonder what you sound like when you sleep? What you taste like in the morning, dreams still wet in the corners of your eyes, lips pursed and searching. I wonder if you know what’s happening over here, in this forest tranquility, in this strange madhouse of sunrise and sunset, of oatmeal and salt water, of baths and nightmares. The world cracks open, spills her yolk, makes our hearts sticky. The phoebes will nest soon. I wonder if you look up at the stars and feel the shell, feel the longing, feel the possible? I lay on my back on the deck, felt the circular cascade of constellations, felt my breath in my back, in my tired electric body, in my small house. It’s funny, the moments when my mind turns a page and it’s you there.

“you find solace here” by Julia at the desk

Saturday April 11, 2020
10:25am
5 minutes
from Julia’s 2017 notebook

I got it in time and I know it’s the truth
this enjoyment is fine until it tightens the noose
Can I be quiet still
can I open the door
is there something I’m missing
always searching for more
you find solace here with the click and the clacking
you love it so much you can never go back and
if you do you can ride the next wave that’s coming
sometimes nothing feels fun
but I’m certain that it’s still sunny
It’s been a trip so far but I know it’s just starting
every day in a jar I can examine closely
I could keep piling dried flowers into it or
I could leave it half full to sit with the sore
It’s the thing I am wondering if it ever grows sour
all this silver lining needs a cloud to cling to or devour
and when the hunger strikes
feeling it is alright
you find solace here with your fork and your knife
there’s no wrong and no right
only long days and nights
when the light’s off it echoes
but it’s still finding its heroes
in movies and candles and notebooks and sex
sometimes it’s the office
sometimes it’s the bed
ok just one minute left
I know I’ve said what I said
but this whole thing captures a moment
even if that moment’s filled with dread
soon it will change from this thread
another thought in my head
a hope or a high that I can hold onto instead
This is what will be read.