“The meaning doesn’t matter” by Julia in her office

Friday December 13, 2019
12:26pm
5 minutes
Bunthorne’s Song
W.S. Gilbert

We can all let go now
there is no discovery of meaning because the meaning doesn’t matter anymore
So anything you were holding
release
anything you were imagining would change into something else
say goodbye
it is was something nothing
it doesn’t need to be investigated
the meaning
has left the building

I personally would like to take that personally but that’s my personality trying to make it about me
trying to blame something internal or past tense for the pain I feel in the right now
and it’s not about me
even the no shows or the blank stares
or the awkward bumbling about
I want that to be mine so I can transform it into something good
but I don’t need to make it mine to transform it

I can think it into meaninglessness by remembering that meaning no longer matters
I can will it into atoms and particles, the way it was intended
by not even clutching my fist around it to begin with

It’s not mine!
It never belonged to me
And here I was thinking that I had some divine right to it
that I earned it or deserved it
but it was never mine or anyone’s and it was wrong of
me to remove it from its den and blow it up

“And the show won’t stop.” by Julia in her office

Thursday December 12, 2019
11:45am
5 minutes
Theater
William Greenway

not if you’re sick, not if you’re wondering
not if you’re late to the party or fumbling
not if you don’t want to or you think you can’t
not if the door opens or it slams
not if the weather punishes you and only you
not if the sadness turns too blue
not if the schedule says that it won’t
not if the gravel road bumps or it don’t

The show won’t stop
the show won’t wait
the show won’t pop
the show won’t wait

not if you’re tired, not if you’re confused
not if you didn’t like what’s in the news
not if you got lost or took a different route
not if you succumbed to the shadows of doubt
not if you were hungry or if you needed to sit
not if you wanted to but couldn’t make it
not if you bent down to smell the flowers
not if you stayed up until the wee hours

The show won’t pop
the show won’t wait
the show won’t stop
the show won’t wait

it has to go on
it must

“Something continues and” by Julia in her office

Wednesday December 11, 2019
3:35pm
A Birthday
W.S. Merwin

This is how it goes
I wait until I know
the answer in my bones
and then I unload
the only thing I throw
are feelings at the wall
and if a yell unfolds
I’ll hurl it in the cold

This is how it is
I hold on to my skin
and shiver underneath
the seeming arbitrary
with passions dimmed
I fight the light within
until I am destined
to do it all again

This is how it hurts
it always comes in spurts
With hope interspersed
it really could be worse
but nothing cures the curse
like a living breath first
and if I am not sure
then I will become more terse

This is how it is
how it hurts
how it goes

“Why don’t you just” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday December 10, 2019
9:11pm
5 minutes
a text message

C: brush your teeth as soon as you wake up and then you’ll be ready for the day. Then you don’t have do it again.
M: But I eat, so, what am I supposed to do, have food breath?
C: Ever heard of mints?
M: Yeah. I have.
C: Fine do what you want, that’s what you always do anyway.
M: Yeah because I’m a grown man. That’s what grown men do.
C: Yeah. Right.
M: What?
C: Nothing. I said right. I was agreeing with you.
M: I don’t buy it.
C: I’m serious. That’s what grown men do.
M: But?
C: What?
M: You don’t think I’m a man.
C: That’s not what I said–
M: You didn’t have to. I heard it in your tone. So why don’t you just say it?
C: Well, this is a trap. I’m not saying anything, listen, you’re the one–
M: Cause you don’t have to say it. You don’t think I don’t notice? When we go out and you’re always trying to tell me which shirt I should wear, or if you think my hair’s too long for my beard?
C: You ask me my opinion! That would lead one to believe that you needed the second set of eyes.
M: But you hear how you do do that right?
C: It’s not like I’m trying to put you down!

“my friend the monkey” by Julia on her couch

Monday December 9, 2019
9:37pm
5 minutes
My Friends
Taro Gomi

J: It’s already tomorrow, can you believe it?
A: DON’T say that, we haven’t gone to sleep yet.
J: But that’s how late it is.
A: You have just ruined this moment for me.
J: Why because you can’t be in two at the same time?
A: Yeah, exactly. Can you?
J: I guess not…
A: Okay then, now we know.
J: Know what?
A: That we can’t be in more than one moment at once.
J: Is this for sure?
A: Well think about it.
J: Okay I can do it.
A: How?
J: Easy. My body can be in one moment and my mind can be in another.
A: But that’s cheating, you can’t split yourself. I’m saying you can’t fully be in more than one moment at a time. You can’t. Not all the way.
J: Ugh can’t you let anything be cool for even just one minute?
A: That depends, am I fully in that minute or..
J: PLEASE STOP.
A: What?
J: Ruining it.
A: Hey, you started it.
J: You’re the kind of person who looks at a shooting star and then has the nerve to make sure everyone knows it’s a burning rock!
A: That’s what you call being REALISTIC.

“my friend the monkey” by Sasha in her living room

Monday December 9, 2019
9:11pm
5 minutes
My Friends
Taro Gomi

She’s shy about the way her ears stick out. Henry Kitteridge made fun of them once in second grade and to this day, forty three years later, she tries not to tuck her hair behind her ears. She doesn’t question this, just like she doesn’t question how she shaves her legs, plucks her few stray chin hairs, waxes her eyebrows, gets pedicures if she’s wearing sandals, uses mouthwash, gets a bikini wax, sucks in her stomach, and purses her lips. Her grandmother once said, “shame that you got the Collins lips.” Rings in her ears every time she puts on lipstick. Even the expensive stuff. She sees how some young women have stopped shaving their armpit hair (some even dye it!) She sees the overgrown brows, the fluidity of gender, the way that things aren’t what they used to be. They are changing.

“what God told me in a dream once” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday December 8, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
A Poem In Which God Is Both A Metaphor And Not
Chloe N. Clark

 

Careening towards the impossible we are doing it
we are flying and the wings are spread and it feels so right
for the first time in a long time
it feels so right
I open the little windows on the advent calendar
the one we had when I was a girl and you were nowhere to be found yet
Eight little windows
catching up

A doll
A duck
A candle
A book
A violin
I put it on the window sill
the light shines through
illuminating the face
the bill
the flame
the cover
the strings

catching up
to myself amidst the flurries falling
catching my new heartbeat
my new reflection in the glass

God told me in a dream
that it wouldn’t be what I thought
It would be better

“what God told me in a dream once” by Julia at her desk

Sunday December 8, 2019
6:57pm
5 minutes
A Poem In Which God Is Both A Metaphor And Not
Chloe N. Clark

It was the day I discovered the Ouija Board. Brett and Lauren convinced me and Jenna to play. I didn’t want to. I didn’t think it was a very good idea.
When Brett asked the question, “What is written on the back of my ring”, the one his mother used to wear that he now never takes off, I waited with my breath trapped in my chest. The pointer piece started to move on the board and I felt like I was watching my worst nightmare come to life. It hovered over the initials, T…..S…..Brett was shocked. He took off his ring to show us the same two letters.

Later that night I woke from a dream to find the silhouette of Jesus on my wall. I stared at it, him beaming at me from the shadow. His beard and eyes, soft. I opened my mouth and almost spoke. Then the figure began to laugh. It was high pitched and getting bigger and bigger. Jesus was laughing at me. And I knew right then and there that I had invited the devil into my room, just like I always feared.

“occupational hazard” by Julia at her desk

Saturday December 7, 2019
9:03pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Tracee Ellis Ross

It’s going to be hard to forget your birthday tomorrow. When
for the last eighteen years I’ve wished you a happy one.
I’ve thought of you. I’ve hoped you were well. And now this.
It’s maybe easier for you, I don’t know. I say maybe because
anything is possible. Not being in each other’s lives is
possible, as we’ve already established. Maybe you don’t think
of me at all. That would also be possible, as anything is.
I dream about you still. You’re angry in my dreams, at me, and
you’re trying to make sure the whole world knows how shitty I am.
I am avoiding you in my dreams for the most part but sometimes
I yell. Sometimes I tell you just where to shove your misguided
notions about me or in general. I don’t usually feel good when I
wake up, but I do feel alive. And like I’m processing this massive
shift that you and I both know will take as long as it takes.
Or maybe you don’t consider it at all. I’m not underestimating you.
I know how awful that can feel. If you’re reading this, which is
possible, know that you didn’t get erased from my memory. I still
consider you.

“occupational hazard” by Sasha in Jolie’s bedroom

Saturday December 7, 2019
5 minutes
8:29pm
from a quote by Tracee Ellis Ross

 

I guess it’s an occupational hazard she says
when I tell her the truth about you
unravelling ball of red yarn in my hands
I don’t have the thesaurus for hearts
or for your heart at least
but I do know that the strands between us
the quilt we have been so diligently needling
tells us secrets like
almost
persimmon
legacy

She wants all the details of the time and place
the horizon’s hue the fingerprints
I don’t know

Crack my knuckles which I do not do
it doesn’t work
crack my head against the wall
I think I can
I think I can

“Flowers called despair” by Sasha at Lewis Street

Friday December 6, 2019
3:02pm
5 minutes
I planted my garden
Joan McNerney

If we lined up all of ourselves would we see the part that knows the rules?
would we laugh at the lines crossed out and the delicacy of the skin under the eyes?
I am grateful for the snow today
How it weighs down the thoughts that long to helium up to the heavens

I never could’ve guessed that this is where I’d be on Friday December the sixth
curled against a body born of mine her toes a beauty closer to God than I’ve ever pinched between thumb and forefinger
words tossed to a stranger on the other side of the line with the deftness and assured ness of a woman who knows exactly what she wants

My smell has changed again
the one that comes from deep inside and draws some near and pushes others away
My smell is the clementine skin, the vanilla bean, the earth
reaching towards a new kind of living
reaching towards a new kind of love

 

“flowers called despair” by Julia in her office

Friday December 6, 2019
2:20pm
5 minutes
I planted my garden
Joan McNerney

The lady walks by after having her side pricked with 1000 volts
The man tells her he’s sorry for hurting her
She screams only once when she notices the pain even though it is deep and has been hurting her steady

The lady carries a vase of yellow tulips, all standing at attention except one
One droops to kiss the bottom of the vase
to smile a love letter at the new parquet floor

The lady smiles and gives a tear to the tulip
feels bad for her fallen sister
Say she needs to find a chopstick to hold her up

But when I see her bending tulip I do not see despair
Beauty is in the unique
In the one of a kind, the kind that looks down but is no less bright

I tell the lady this and she laughs
Maybe she will see it too

“a single bird within a constellation” by Julia in her office

Thursday December 5, 2019
3:29pm
5 minutes
irrelevant
Sophia Cannazzaro

I’ve told you the story about Nonna and the bird
the one that sat in a nest near the archway of our front door

I have never known her like that again
the day she scooped this tiny bird from its home and placed

him gently in my pocket
I was five and I found it to be magical

I don’t know if she was trying to make me laugh or delight
in life’s tiny fuzzy adorable things but she did both

And she confused me for years later

Why didn’t I know her that way in Italy?
Why didn’t I know her that way when we were inside the house?

When I got old enough, I grieved the tiny bird that
would have died shortly after my Nonna let him live

inside of my jean skirt
What mother would return to him then knowing that

he had been touched by human hands, greedy at the
fluff of him

“a single bird within a constellation” By Sasha in her living room

Thursday December 5, 2019
11:09am
5 minutes
irrelevant
Sophia Cannazzaro

 

I type the story out again and again
in the little box of light I hold in my hands
a cage
a tomb
a bible
a brilliance
fingers cramping around corner
middle finger on my right hand buzzing these days
not sure why
not sure

The rush of a ping back he’s back there it is
where did I go
how did I get so far away from this
avenue of myself
dumpling skin
feathers around my eyes
rose water in my bones
calling towards
a nakedness
a truth
a remembering

I roll the thought of who I used to be

between fingers
a lotus flower of intent
a bull of maybe
testing the raging waters
where the gyre meets the sky

“I step into the cold silence.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday December 4, 2019
9:15pm
5 minutes
New Planet
Misha Penton

 

I wish my back didn’t hurt so damn much. I don’t say these words out loud, but they echo as though my head is an elementary school gymnasium and it’s indoor play for the younger grades. Goddamnit, I’m not going to be able to go near a school for awhile. Dad taught Grade Seven for forty three years. Can you imagine? I step into the cold silence of the basement, down the stairs, around the wall, hear the hum of the furnace and see the boxes, piled as neatly as they could be. Dad was organized. That’s one thing he was. Was. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to that.

“I step into the cold silence.” by Julia in her office

Wednesday December 4, 2019
2:19pm
5 minutes
New Planet
Misha Penton

It feels more like an autumn day than spring, something like October keeps ringing in my ears and against them.

A resistance here, a noticing. These two have never come together before.
And now in my bigger boots I can sense the weighted thought and it is attached to me.

The breeze whisks the hair around my face into a halo of buzzing. I cannot pretend I do not ache for sunny days, but this, this aliveness is more than
I thought I would know.

The air around me is still and I can hear a quiet humming.
I listen and find grace in the willingness to acknowledge.

It’s not hunger, it’s not sleep, but grief collected.
And here I count the withered leaves, one and two and three upon the ground.

It feels more…

“he became a living legend” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday December 3, 2019
4:29pm
5 minutes
from Elvis Presley’s gravestone

 

Billy never thought he’d learn to ride bareback. He never thought he’d be able to bake a chocolate cake. He never thought that he’d write poetry, or learn to play slide guitar, or have an old mutt named Sam Cooke. Billy was born on a farm and when you’re born on a farm you think you’ll die on a farm. At least that’s how it was for Billy. He was one of six siblings, two of them twins. He was second youngest. He faded into the background in photos, at meals, in school cafeterias. Billy never thought he’d get a motorcycle and ride through Chile. He never thought he’d learn Spanish. He never thought he’d fall in to love with Carmel.

“he became a living legend” by Julia in her office

Tuesday December 3, 2019
2:08pm
5 minutes
from Elvis Presley’s gravestone

He gave a call to his grandmother every Friday at 3
She liked to sit and knit a scarf or a blanket as he he’d speak
The wind was sometimes louder than the other days he’d ring
but she would stay on the line not to miss a thing
He’d tell her about his week at school and how he won the game
He’d ask her what news she learned even though it was always the same
He’d tell her she was his favourite and no one could come close
She’d smile and wipe a drop from her eye and say she loved him most

One day the phone rang and rang without her familiar greeting
she did not answer when he dialled and left him afraid of feeling
What would he do without this woman who had held his tears
Now that she was resting peacefully no longer here
He left a one final voicemail to tell her of his day
and knew that he could tell her that he loved her one last way

“as an introvert” by Sasha on her couch

Monday December 2, 2019
9:17pm
5 minutes
from an article in open-book.ca
Natasha Ramoutar

At some schmoozy party I realized I didn’t have the words
or the gumption or the booze in my veins
the class or the courage or the push push move
to say something to anyone
that was the moment that I knew I had changed

I thought that I was an extrovert to the very core
wore the badge and was proud to display it on my red coat
with the toggles and the fake fur trim on the hood
but then something happened and I woke up and I’d changed

“as an introvert” by Julia in her office

Monday December 2, 2019
11:33am
5 minutes
from an article in open-book.ca
Natasha Ramoutar

It’s been hard lately to smile out loud.
I am smiling on the inside but if I’m not making it loud
then everyone thinks I’m not happy.
This is a problem. My insides are not matching my outsides.
But I don’t want to twist my mouth into a shape that
hurts me, then I really won’t be happy.
But not everyone gets it.
Out loud makes me tired. It feels like I’m wearing
a mask because I have to have it on.
I think happiness looks all kinds of ways and can be
quiet and can be still and can be about the feeling
and not about the performance of the feeling.
Maybe it’s because I feel happiest when I’m by myself.
I feel like I can recharge and regroup and reset.
When I have to go out into the world I have to be
more of what people expect and that gives me a headache.
When I’m by myself I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.
Annie, my best friend, is the opposite of me.
Everyone wonders how we got to be such good friends.
Annie is different. She can smile on the outside with other people no problem and with me she can be still.
We smile together too but it’s not because we think we have to.
I wish I could be more like Annie when I’m with people.
I think having that skill would make things easier.
But I wouldn’t want to trade everything.
That’s the thing with comparing.
You have to trade your whole self for someone else’s
and you might not want to give up some of what you have.

“since I let myself think about” by Sasha in the bath

Sunday December 1, 2019
10:31pm
5 minutes
I Never Liked Your Friends
Alexandria Maillot
Sharks swim in the water in the place where I live
circling and hoping for fearless playmates
oh the sweet innocent oh the venom toed hope
of any variety of any shape of any texture of any taste

I can’t believe that I’ve jumped in again
swirling towards chaos or the rush of being desired
I don’t even know what it all looks like anymore

I hate how heartbreak has made me better
in every sense of the word
the b touches the e with softness and smoke
the two t’s are lovers that no one knows about
the e and the r parents to a new thing that has

never been born before
I hate how heartbreak looks good on me most days
and the jeans fit just so now
just so I can remember the time before the time
the time before the second hand caught up
the time before time

I ride the shark into the black and blue
the coral reef glows fluorescent
tension expels herself from my form
I am oh
I am oh
I am oh

“since I let myself think about” by Julia on her couch

Sunday December 1, 2019
8:06pm
5 minutes
I Never Liked Your Friends
Alexandria Maillot

mushrooms and pizza crust
mountains of cheese
decadent pudding
vanilla milkshakes
black cherry yogurt
mint chocolate
driveby burger dorritos
roti
roti
roti
hazelnut cream sea-shells
nutella filled donuts
double-baked almond croissant
lemon meringue pie
zia’s easy cheesecake
zia’s tiramisu
zia’s porcini mushroom gnocci
zia’s sweet-milk tarts

“I have eaten his emptiness” by Julia in her kitchen

Saturday November 30, 2019
8:36pm
5 minutes
Visit from an incubus 
Laura Murphy

it was 3AM
came to me in a dream
fed the beast
broke the cycle

didn’t tell anyone
didn’t believe it at first
wrote it down
walked around

by dawn there was none of me left
I had eaten so much of what was weighing him down
my skin held his emptiness

my arms lifted a different hope from their bones and one I did not recognize
one that did not belong to me

the dream kept speaking as if it knew better
and so I listened
one body freer of their limits and counting

“I have eaten his emptiness” by Sasha at the kitchen table on Nassau Street

Saturday November 30, 2019
9:11am
Visit from an incubus 
Laura Murphy
Look, I’m glad that you reached out to Barry. I’m glad that he responded. I’m glad that you met him at the Starbucks on Queen Street. I’m sorry that he didn’t mention how different you looked, how different you feel, how much you’ve changed, how much you’ve become yourself. Some people aren’t looking, not really. Some people like Barry. But, you’ve done it, right? You’ve done it now. It’s done. It can stop taking up so much brain space, right? You can give that space to something else, something more meaningful, something more of the present… Barry left our lives a long time ago, buttercup. Sometimes people go when they are meant to, and things don’t get wrapped up… just how life goes, right? I’m sorry that I yelled when you said that you wanted to get in touch with him. You had your own relationship with the guy. My relationship with him doesn’t have to dictate yours. I guess it just caught me off guard.

“Night Sight” by Sasha on the daybed on Nassau Street

Friday November 29, 2019
2:41pm
5 minutes
She’s got that night sight baby
those purple shades carving starlight across her brow
She’s got that x-ray vision baby
can see through the bullshit and the ego and the weather
She’s got that rhythm baby
fingers snapping toes dancing hips moving towards Sunday
She’s got that green thumb baby
Planting seeds in pavement wastelands
returning a season later and
it’s an old growth baby
we’re all growing old
She’s got those laser beam ears baby
hearing the elder folk prophets spitting hope
She’s got that funk in her heart baby
smiling and crying and not that much bubblegum
between them

“Night Sight” by Julia in her office

Friday November 29, 2019
11:37am
5 minutes
from store.google.com

Night sight brings me good lights and everything in between
where the sheets give off steam and the silent sky screams

Night sight holds my throat with grace and opens up the window
to the voice that’s bouncing around

I’ve been waiting for something as good and calm
the days go by like rocket ships and everything blares on

The morning is a humming bird and quickly does she pass
so afternoons can move and groove and then they’re gone at last

But evening breathes a sigh of sweet and stillness echoes underneath
a nectar worth preserving and oh it fills the cup
a weight in every drop

Night sight closes my eyes tight and folds my gaze inside
and the hope can reside safely

Night sight wishes with her hands light giving off the insight
that can’t be seen in the day

“The life. The death. The rebirth.” by Julia in her office

Thursday November 28, 2019
1:15pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

We spiral in and out and in and out
the only thing that’s sure is this
will repeat itself
and how long the out and how far
the in the deeper gone the harder still
and how will all our moving parts
meet up in timeless space

We dance our hearts out when the music
pulls the strange doubt from our skin folds
the lull the hum the distant one keeps us
in time when place is free from confines
and if there is a boundary painted
we will dance harder than anticipated

We wait until the timing’s right but
we are not the ones to decide so waiting
stays and waiting sits but waiting never really is
and who decides but time herself hardly fixed
upon the shelf

We log our journeys by the sun each day
we live another one and when we hold our smiles
to the light, the night the night falls soft again
Where does Time go if not stuck inside our silly show
does Time remind the seasons to roll on no matter
where we are

We spiral in and out it’s true
the end the middle
beginning to relive the life that
first must die and start it all over
and start it all over

“The life. The death. The rebirth.” By Sasha at the kitchen table on Nassau Street

Thursday November 28, 2019
10:56am
5 minutes
From a Facebook post
The waves today remind you
of how you crash and roll towards
the life the death the rebirth
over and over you cycle and recycle
turn the leaf and gold is there

Last night you dreamed of
strangling and braiding hair
pressed between your past and your future
sweaty back and angel toes
Okay you say when the dawn
stirs you towards morning
Okay
When you think you know
is when you are actually on the doorstep
a small blue bowl in your cupped hands
you raise your fist
you knock

The wind took you home
from the waves and the uneasiness
brought you back to the small row house
where you’ve unpacked your things
where you boil eggs
where you call you mother

and ask her what time she plans to arrive

“the deity manifest” by Julia in her office

Wednesday November 27, 2019
11:21am
5 minutes
Egyptian Mythology
Geraldine Pingh

she sometimes feels far away
as in not in this body at all
as in on vacation where she
gets to rest and be taken care of

she doesn’t live in the skin
if the skin doesn’t warm her
or if the bones shake too much

nobody wants to stay in a house
that rattles when the winds come
when the weather changes even
slightly

sometimes, today, right now
she is away away laying low
and breathing slow and she is
not questioning the sand

she is said to be within
but I don’t think that’s how
it works when the body threatens
the spirit by being so sad
as in not in the room
as in not feeling the floor

she comes and goes and I believe
she wants to stay but when there
is such a deep unknowing she does
what’s best for herself

she does not stay where she is not
wanted when she is smart enough to name it

she will check in every now and then
but if the conditions aren’t worth it
she doesn’t have to think twice about
the door

“the deity manifest” by Sasha at the kitchen table on Nassau Street

Wednesday November 27, 2019
10:03am
Egyptian Mythology
Geraldine Pingh
I never wash my hands after I pee. I always wash my hands after I poo. I know that Mama said wash your hands whenever you do your business, but I do not see the point when peeing, cuz pee is sterile! It’s probably more sanitary to pee in the bath if the tub hasn’t been scrubbed than not pee! It’s your own pee after all! Shit. I mean… Haha! How did I get talking about this? I guess I just wanted you to know something intimate about me, something that I wouldn’t normally tell someone, especially not someone who I barely know… Do you wash your hands when you pee? I have my best ideas when on the toilet. Crap. I really want to move away from the toilet talk. But… I guess I’m just nervous. Really nervous.

“along with some common words” by Julia in her office

Tuesday November 26, 2019
11:59am
5 minutes
How To Read Egyptian
Mark Collier & Bill Manley

We’ve got more to say and some of the words aren’t respected here. Here. I’m saying that with a slant. In. Italics. Get it? It’s a head nod and it’s sarcasm, and great now it is the reason why some people say some. Female. comedians aren’t always. Funny. Because they. Always. explain the joke. I still hate that sentiment, but I. See. Now. See?
Along with some common words, there are a whole slew of swears and shares but again, it’s the. Place. That’s important to consider. Sometimes the right word in the wrong place makes it the wrong word. Well, no, actually, more than that. Now it’s not the wrong. Word. But the wrong. Thing. And isn’t that worse, or, isn’t that. The Worst? I could be putting all of this in italics for real but then the people looking to decide if things are wrong or not are going to have an easier time and I’ll be honest, I am not interested in helping the word/thing/thought/idea police. We should call them thieves. That’s more. Appropriate.

“along with some common words” by Sasha at the kitchen table on Nassau Street

Tuesday November 26, 2019
11:49am
5 minutes
How To Read Egyptian
Mark Collier & Bill Manley

The blue house has a rocking horse in the bay window. The curtains are off white, matching the trim. The door has a cut out, that Penny peeks through before she greets her guests. Penny bought the blue house when she first moved to Reading, for $24,000. She paid for half of it with her inheritance from Aunt Kendra, and the rest she paid off with a good mortgage. The rates were different in 1992. Penny decorated the blue house with white lights for the holidays, and a green wreath on the front door. The rocking horse had been carved by Penny’s father, an expert woodsmith.

“niches of great magnitude” by Sasha at the kitchen table on Nassau Street

Monday November 25, 2019
9:08pm
5 minutes
At the Mountains of Madness
H.P. Lovecraft
Cherry invites Roland over for coffee cake and Earl Grey Tea. She doesn’t know how he takes it, but she guesses sugar, no milk. When Cherry’s daughter Erin went vegan three years ago, and started sending Cherry articles and documentaries to watch, Cherry stopped buying cow’s milk. She still ate Brie cheese sometimes, and chicken if someone was serving it, or bacon with brunch at Christmas. Erin was very convincing from the time she was little. Roland arrived three minutes past one. Cherry hadn’t known what time to invite him for – late morning? Late afternoon? Early afternoon seemed like the best option, following lunch, before things got close to supper, or the sunset. Roland’s wife Augusta had died in August, and Cherry  waited the appropriate amount of time before she invited him over for tea. She had butterflies in her belly when the doorbell rang.

“niches of great magnitude” by Julia at St. John’s School

Monday November 25, 2019
2:20pm
5 minutes
At the Mountains of Madness
H.P. Lovecraft

When one is loved, OKAY REALLY LOVED
bam bam bang bang whoopty doopty yes and yes and yes,
then that same one, that same gooey ooey loved up one that
was previously, what, right, yeah yeah yeah, loved but not really,
right? Cause we never ever know the magnitude when we’re feeling
low down down down woah all the way down to the bottom without
a buoy to cling to no sirree no sirs
no misses no no no none of it.
Previously unloved, not outside, but inside, the one wasn’t doing any self love and that’s the way to feel the outside love you gotta know, you gotta know that now.
And when they are previously unloved or so they think
and so they believe then it all seems the same
and grey and tiring and god awful.
That’s the way it was
so the way it is when there is LOVE
all that gigantic love, the right kind of love
that you can believe in between your toes and know
how far down it reaches even if you can’t see
it cause it lives there always pulsing pulsing through
you, in you, right, in you.
The way it is with all that gigantic love, and get this,
you’re gonna laugh, stay with me, don’t fall over!
Is the smallest of spaces.
You feel tucked in, you know? You feel like you’re
sleeping in the palm of a walnut shell.

“Don’t let the exclamation point fool you.” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 24, 2019
5:27pm
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

Not Happy. Not thrilled. Not at all okay.
Okay? Get it? The question mark is rhetorical.
Don’t answer that. Read the room, you know?
you know. Not happy. Not thrilled. Not great.
Could it be about passion, hmm? Could it be
anger? DO I HAVE TO SHOW YOU THE VOLUME or does
the rage fall flat when all you see is the blasted !! !!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I see how you can get it twisted.
Good liar. Good at feeling the thing but not in front of anyone.
Not good at hiding the feeling, but excellent at lying about it.
That’s even worse, now you know, now you know, but you’ll say
you don’t if you see the s m i l e !
See? SEE? SEE?! All different.
I am all different and all angry and all the opposite of okay.
Not thrilled. Not happy. Happy during rage but not about the rage
that now I feel because of you not being able to read the room.
The rhetorical question. Don’t answer that. No question mark.
Not an invitation. Not something for you to hang your dumb old hat on.
See the rage, feel the not okay now?
See what’s being tossed around?
Don’t let that shit fool you.
Don’t be so naive out of convenience.
Who is fine anyway.
Who is ever fine ANYWAY.

“Don’t let the exclamation point fool you.” By Sasha at the table on Nassau St.

Sunday November 24, 2019
1:40pm
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

Punctuation matters. Line breaks matter. Doing what you say you’re going to do matters. Remembering birthdays, first days, death days, and anniversaries matters. Doing the laundry matters. Chickpeas in the pantry matters. Telling the truth matters. Telling someone they are having a very good hair day matters. Listening to your inner voice of quiet wisdom matters. Brushing your teeth matters. Getting outside into the fresh air matters. Relaxing your jaw matters. Phoning a friend when you want to curl up in the fetal position (from the fetal position?) matters. Breathing deeply matters. Compost matters. Doing your best matters.

“There are a lot of good reasons” by Julia on her couch

Saturday November 23, 2019
5:15pm
5 minutes
smittenkitchen.com

one: you’re the one I love
two: you’ve got two options when I can’t decide between more
three: the third time I saw you I saw you all the way inside you
four: the four walls we share are made better by your light
five: you always talk to me when I’m writing these
six: the sixth year we tried to face it
seven: the seventh year we tore it all down
eight:the eighth year we rebuilt everything
nine: we found that we have nine lives too and all better after jumping
ten: after ten years I would give you a ten out of ten but it still doesn’t do you justice

“There are a lot of good reasons” by Sasha on Nassau Street

Saturday November 23, 2019
4:39pm
5 minutes
smittenkitchen.com

There are a lot of good reasons for endings
the clocks change
or the hearts do
There are a lot of good reasons to say
”That’s it, I guess”
to call it quits

to throw in the towel
to bid farewell to what was
and welcome in what is

There are a lot of good reasons
to persevere
to see what’s on the other side of
resistance?
Fear?
Blockages?

There are a lot of good reasons
to allow yourself to be lit by the streetlight
and only the streetlight
to turn off all the other lamps in the house
and feel the glow of only what comes through
the window

There are a lot of good reasons

“Still coughing” by Julia at her desk

Friday November 22, 2019
5:04pm
5 minutes
From a text

Bitsy’s brother clears his throat over the phone and it is the worst sound he makes.
It is the worst sound to hold there in the ear, without warning, right there.
He doesn’t know how loud it is, or how frequent, and telling him now after all
these years might be hard. Might be hard to say, Listen I Love you but your throat-clearing
is aggressive. My Bro, I love you, but you just need to pull the phone a little bit away
from your mouth when you feel one coming on. Listen I love you.
He’s not coughing anymore which is good. Now he believes he has to clear it even if there’s
nothing really there. It’s a trick of the mind. The old sickness still clinging.

“Still coughing” by Sasha in the office on Nassau Street

Friday November 22, 2019
10:31am
5 minutes
From a text

Vera’s still coughing seven weeks after she first gets sick. She goes to the walk-in clinic on the corner by the bank and waits for a long long time in a waiting room with lots of sniffly children and elderly people wearing masks. Finally she sees a doctor who looks like her granddaughter (who looks like she could be her granddaughter) and says that she’s still coughing. The doctor smiles, and asks why she isn’t wearing a mask. The doctor prescribes a puffer and cough drops. Vera scoffs at the cough drops but says she’ll get the puffer from her pharmacy, not the one in the building.

“You receipt” by Sasha at the table on Nassau Street

Thursday November 21, 2019
11:04pm
5 minutes
From 

You stash your receipts in a Birkenstock shoe box
under your desk near the waste basket and the recycling bin
You stash your receipts for the whole year and then come tax time
you sort them into piles
the things you’ve done
the things you’ve eaten
the things you’ve bought

It’s all there
The blue v-neck that you spent forty dollars on
and then stained with pasta sauce the first time you wore it
The coffee meeting with the boss you might’ve had
had you gotten the job
The French film at the underground cinema
with the popcorn like you make at home
(Olive oil, garlic powder, nutritional yeast)
The ferry ride to see your sister and her new twins
The work shoes
The sushi lunch where Charles forgot his wallet and you paid

It’s all there in piles of thin paper
some faded numbers
some smudged ink

You use the calculator on your phone and
add each pile up

“You receipt” by Julia on her couch

Thursday November 21, 2019
8:29pm
5 minutes
From an email

the bill comes and when I flip it over I see that I spent too much on punishing myself again
afraid of being big
but why tell them all that I am, lion, lion, lyin’

It’s the loneliest place, you know the one that used to be, the one that was
was was was and nobody cares about you past tense
nobody
nobody
nobody remembers
nobody cares

when I revisit every item on the receipt it’s clear i’ve wasted my money
put the bets on unknown needs of the masses
now I know what they’re after
now I know
it’s not me at my best
it’s not me at my worst
it’s not me at all

and there’s no flow left
nothing left
no more room in the brain
no more space in the drain

“You are going to have to give and give and give”

Wednesday November 20, 2019
9:41pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Anne Lamott

What you want to say is the truth.
And you don’t know who’s reading this now after all the times you’ve talked about it.
Here’s a place where you do what you do and then afterwards another thing. A new thing.
A new.
What do you want them to know?
How ready you are? How sure?
Or the thing that scares you more.
How desperately you want to be a part of the ecosystem and how afraid you are that it might take more than a day.
How you want nothing more than for them to hold you useful, for them to know you good.
Is this where you tell them you’re ready but you give a damn so you feel shaky behind the eyes?
Is this where you say that you asked for them and the universe was good to you and gave you what you needed?
When do you tell them the truth?
That you don’t know everything and that you’re willing to learn?
That this whole thing is messy but you’d rather spoil your shirt than sit around waiting.
You are going to have to give and give and give some more.
But you are going to have to receive some too.
You’re going to have to fill up on what they have to offer.
You’re going to have to let them evolve your heart and your hands and your mind and your soul.
That’s the fear. That you will be different.
But I promise you that you will able to handle that.
You have always done this.
You have always found a way.

“You are going to have to give and give and give” By Sasha in the house on Nassau Street

Wednesday November 20, 2019
8:23am
5 minutes
From a quote by Anne Lamott

What they don’t tell you is how
you are going to have to give and give and give
and just when you think you’re empty
that there’s nothing left
something arrives with the morning mail
that asks for more
more more more more more more more

What then?

You feel like you’ve written this before
a deja vu of fingers on keyboard
of the kettle boiling
a banana over ripening on the counter
a house that has become home
in four days
record time
Give more
more more more more

The mailman makes his rounds
dropping letters and grace

receiving a poem in your email
written by someone you know
is the very thing
you didn’t know
you were waiting for
this morning

“I have continued to struggle” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday November 19, 2019
9:26pm
5 minutes
From a letter 

you were born in toronto
you thank your lucky stars
when people ask you where
you’re from you don’t have to lie or embellish

now after all these years your area code is worth something and when people discover you never changed your number they seem offended and you are proud

didn’t think you’d be here this long, but here you are, still here, still here

you remember the day you looked out at the skyline and said two years max as if the timeline were drawn in the sand without factoring the storm

it takes longer than you thought it would to find home in a new place and three seems like the magic number; the beginning of the not so terrible, maybe even good

you’re still here now
still here

“I have continued to struggle” by Sasha in the house on Nassau Street

Tuesday November 19, 2019
7:46am
5 minutes
From a letter 

I have continued to struggle with how to formulate sentences
seeing colours where words should be
hearing music instead of punctuation
A bluejay call is a comma most days
Purple for emotion words
I feel
Joy

I wrote an essay in blues and greens in elementary school
and my teacher teased me in front of the class
She thinks that a scribble is a paragraph! He laughed
holding up my page
cheeks burning bright

I met someone who got it once
Her name was Madison and she had freckles and black hair
Her voice was like a leaf blower
Church bells
Thunder
She knew words as smells

 

“This is a” By Julia at her desk

Monday November 18, 2019
8:10pm
5 minutes
From an email
limit and it’s sign
this is a
notion of history repeating
warned ya
this is a lazy walk to the water
a rainy night far from consequence
truth or dare
would you ever make the more interesting choice
and follow something though for once
never know what will be at the end
or in the middle
there are ways to transport our minds and
our worries in a zigzag pattern
so they don’t reach z via the curse of the straight line
this is a limit
this is a hard stop
this is a pivot instead of a complaint
this is
a risk worth repeating
the notion of history and then some
a rainy night without the mechanism of truth
this is a sign
this is another 10 years zooming by
uncomfortably and thankfully
in a zigzag pattern

“This is a” by Sasha in the house on Nassau Street

Monday November 18, 2019
7:53pm
5 minutes
From an email

This is an apology wrapped in yesterday’s newspaper
left on the stoop of your house, leaves collecting
around it’s frayed edges, dampness spreading
across the surface. This is what I wish I could’ve said.

I’m trying to say I’m sorry less. My father told
me at dinner on Sunday that he thinks my proclivity towards
apologizing comes from trauma and that this only
occurred to him recently. I agree, I say, and I do.
I’ve been working with this already, I say, and I have.

Even with the current commitment to saying sorry less
I still need to apologize to you . We have different
relationships to “sorry” and maybe that’s also due to trauma.

“Coming today” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 17, 2019
9:31pm
5 minutes
From a note on the table

B’s coming today from Thunder Bay. She texted earlier saying she doesn’t know exactly when she’s set to arrive now on account of the highway moose.
When I asked her for details I didn’t get a response for over 2 hours and that worried me. Finally she wrote back saying, “Dead already, RIP, still coming” which from B is a miracle. I think it was blocking the road but I’ll have to wait till she gets here for the information. If she had hit the moose she would likely cancel her trip without even telling me. B is prone to last minute cancellations depending on the severity of the unexpected circumstance.
When I was last in Thunder Bay I also saw a dead highway moose and to tell you the truth I wasn’t as shocked when B told me about hers because of it. I somehow planted that in my memory as a Thunder Bay thing, which is unfair since I was only there for a few hours. I guess I could remember it for having the “Best Chinese Restaurant” as well but I ate at that restaurant and it was clear that Thunder Bay had a penchant for hyperbole. Well I don’t know about all of Thunder Bay, again, it was the only place I ate.

“Coming today” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday November 17, 2019
8:24am
5 minutes
From a note on the table

We’re awaiting the arrival of the scented candles but they should be coming today. Deliveries usually arrive in the afternoon… The ones named after the neighbourhoods, right? Which one are you after? High Park. High Park… Okay. I haven’t been to High Park in a long time. My aunt Jessica used to take me skating on Grenadier Pond. Have you ever done that? She’d force me to wear her fur hat. I would put up a valiant fight, but she always won. Aunt Jessica is dead now. She never had kids of her own. She was a very good aunt. I think she might’ve been a lesbian, but never came out to family. She had a “friend” – Ethel – who I imagine was her lover. You’ll be back later for the candle? Oh. Okay. Yes. Well… try to make it for a skate this year, yeah?