“And we never talked about that.” by Julia on her couch

Friday August 31, 2018
11:38pm
5 minutes
A Love Letter To Lost Sisters
Hywel Tuscano

we never talked about the way he mishandled me and the way I let him. we never talked about how it was weird he didn’t mention that we’d be sharing his bed. we never talked about how early he wakes up and how late he’s banging around for. not about how I was feeling about my stuff. not about how I was feeling about him. we never talked about how he kept using my towel and saying he wasn’t. we never talked about the fruit rotting in the car. we never talked about the lines he crossed or tried to. the ones we both said we’d be mindful of. we never talked about how many times he told me the same story. how many times he’d break the pattern of the room by injecting a silly pun.

“And we never talked about that.” By Sasha on her couch

Friday August 31, 2018
12:02pm
5 minutes
A Love Letter To Lost Sisters
Hywel Tuscano

We never talked about how it was that you came to be so full of crimson temptation and peaked righteousness. It just appeared, somewhat like you did, sat across from me on the train. We never talked about it because I thought that to love you I had to endure (that’s another story) and that unconditional means forgive forgive forgive.

We started speaking less altogether, just a grunt or a thank you or a goodnight. It happened slowly, as many things do – corrosion, erosion, rustt, growth.

“I’ll quit smoking when God admits he fucked up.” by Julia at King Street Station

Thursday August 30, 2018
9:57am
5 minutes
Nigh
Chris Emslie
 
I could ask God for some help here but God has been fucking up a lot lately. You know the God in the sky, the God in my chest. I can’t ask that God for help cause that’s the God that has been making things hard for me. What am I supposed to say? Thank you? To myself? Oh. Maybe I am. So I could say thank you to myself for fucking up? I see what you’re doing. Use my own mistakes as information. Gratitude for the fuck ups because they’re the real teachers, the mentors, the believers and the seers. They’re the ones who think I’m capable enough to handle the mistake and learn something.  Thank you fuck ups. Thank you God in me for fucking up and showing me what I need to adjust. I am grateful. I am responsible. I am the one in charge of leading this whole damn thing. So you’re saying if God is in me then I can ask myself for help? Believe that I already have what I need, and if I can ask the question I can certainly answer the question?

“I’ll quit smoking when God admits he fucked up.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 30, 2018
7:21am
5 minutes
Nigh
Chris Emslie
Fewer gifts and more
honest conversation
okayyyyy the sound
of your voice is a
lullaby a butterfly
kiss a warm wish
Less comparing
because that’s
capitalism talking
that’s the fear that
stuff makes us
enough but really
what makes us
enough
the laughlines
and the pit in
your chest that’s
filled slowly
through music
and a conversation
with an old friend
Who cares about
where we’re going
if the present is
full my heart is
bursting wide
begging the season
to change to mark
this bigness inside

“the truth is” by Julia on B’s couch 

Wednesday August 29, 2018
1:03am
5 minutes
Close Encounters
Meg Torwl
 
I wish the inner me wasn’t so hurt. So confused. So left alone that I wasn’t able to summon some strength to say how I really felt about the whole thing. But behind the veil of this screen, the protection of “fiction” I can find some semblance of vindication. Thanks I’ll say. For inviting me to the party. Then for forgetting to tell me where the party is. Then for forgetting to welcome me. For forgetting to introduce yourself to me. Thanks for having me and not telling me I could eat. Thanks for having me and then leaving the room when I began to speak. Thanks for talking to your friends during the hard parts. Thanks for being more concerned with your phone. Thanks for blaming me for the guests staying too long. Thanks for forgetting to remind anyone I was there in the first place. Thanks for leaving me when I didn’t know how to find my way home.
And still none of this is the real truth. 

“the truth is” by Sasha on her bed

Wednesday August 29, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
Close Encounters
Meg Torwl
The truth is, I never trusted you. Mercurial creature, shape-shifter, appeaser, provocateur (just for the sake of it), for your sake, not for the sake of the receiver. Most adept at playing “truth”, the only truth is that I never trusted you. The gut doesn’t lie. I know it now like I never have before. The gut knows. The brain in my gut is the smartest one I have. I will not apologize for my softness, for the times I kept quiet. I was guarding my gut, my guts, my heart, my everything. I am done with this “you are broken”. I am done with your self-absorbed, self-hatred, afraid to actually be free, preaching and lying and cheating and drugging and you are a sham. You are a fake.

“a constant nagging of hopelessness.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday August 28, 2018
8:44pm
5 minutes
My Tongue’s Memory
Antonette Rea

You only feel hopeless in small doses, when you’re fighting with your girlfriend, or when you can’t seem to get on top of laundry. You’ve never felt it for a prolonged period of time. Your therapist says you’re lucky. You’ll take it. Sleep’s been illusive these past few weeks and you wonder if it has something to do with the forest fires. You had asthma as a kid. You thought you grew out of it, but you feel like you can’t get a deep breath, like you can’t get enough air.

“And we created a hybrid,” by Julia on D’s chair

Monday August 27, 2018
1:38am
5 minutes
Poetry Is The Song Of The People
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Altogether in the forest
I remember us walking in a line linked like breakfast sausages
It wasn’t cold or I had on a good coat, I can’t exactly recall. But Illiah was wearing a red rope around his neck with a hangy medalian. a piece of wood with a stamp on it maybe.
and as we gathered around the mother tree, Jara started to sing and we all started to sing too. as if we knew the song. as if our bones were already in tune.I remember feeling like warm water was being poured over my head, cascading down and blanketing my spirit. I never wanted to leave. I never wanted to wake up.

“And we created a hybrid,” by Sasha at her desk

Monday August 27, 2018
7:15am
5 minutes
Poetry Is The Song Of The People
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Finally they are laughing again. It happens without them knowing. Sat around the table, eating homemade caesar salad and garlic bread and baked zucchini. Who knows what was even said, or what was even funny, but they are laughing and they haven’t in a long time, not all of them. When you lose a child, or a sibling, when you lose someone young, you forget how to laugh, or they did. We can’t speak in generalizations, but it’s easy to imagine that this is what happens, that this is what the grip of grief does, that this is what it’s like now. Finally they are laughing again, on this Monday at the end of August, as summer wanes and traffic buzzes and a fruit fly lands on the pineapple on the counter.

“Light becomes me.” by Julia at the desk

Sunday August 26, 2018
9:46pm
5 minutes
Here Be Monsters
Lisa Foad
I have friends sending me long distance healing. I am blessed beyond reason.
When I remember this love I am lift. I become light.
Earlier my lover told me he loves looking at my eyes naked. As if he could see me better without mascara. I used to look at other women who didn’t need makeup with reverence. How much love they had for themselves, how nice their eyes were naturally.
I wanted to believe him better. Let him love me the way he loves me.
I am sad at how radical leaving the house without filling in my eyebrows has become for me.
Why when I am this loved from across the world. Why when I am this bright and grateful and open? Why do I question the quality of my light? Why do I sit and wait for someone else to tell me that they see it. Feel it. Notice it.
If I believe I am light then light will become me. It will be the best accessory. The sweetest outfit. It will bathe me in its glow. And I won’t need to line my eyes in purple paint to draw attention.

“Light becomes me.” By Sasha on her couch

Sunday August 26, 2018
8:22pm
5 minutes
Here Be Monsters
Lisa Foad

Light becomes me
like blue does
and rest does
even now when
everything is
upside down
and changing

Light becomes you
like a white shirt does
and rest does
even now when
you aren’t getting
very much
and you feel
like you’re failing

I’ve never loved
you more than the
moment I fell into
your arms near the
bookshelf that saturday
that morning I’ll
always remember

I’ve never loved
you more than now
watching you sleeping
watching your face
change with the dreaming

Here we are
on the edge
this new jump
it’s higher than
we’ve ever gone
and I know there’s
a peak of doubt
and a plunge of faith
but all I can

hear is all the
ones who have come
before saying

You’re ready
You’re ready
You’re ready

“But fuck that kid. He was a shitty poet.” by Julia on D and M’s couch

Saturday August 25, 2018
9:53pm
5 minutes
A quote from Alex Leslie

I want
to tell
you that
you are
so damn
good
but I
can’t cause
I don’t
like to
lie if
the truth
saves
don’t get
me wrong
I still
think you
deserve love
and all
the nice
things in
life
but you
can’t write
cause you
refuse to
see your
own heart
even when
it begs
you to
bleed
look you
are so
damn good
at so
many things
and one
day you’ll
find your
peace
paper and
pen and
pencil and
ink and
blank page
will love
you better
if you
know it’s
how you
see the
world

“But fuck that kid. He was a shitty poet.” By Sasha on her bed

Saturday August 25, 2018
9:32am
5 minutes
A quote from Alex Leslie

It’s true that everyone has a story to tell, and I don’t want to sound snobby, but not everyone can write. It’s a craft, like woodworking or pastry. I’m sorry but it’s true. I’m not saying I’m the best or anything, but when I was in seventh grade I did have a teacher tell me that I could become a novelist. I’m not a novelist, but I am a journalist and journalism is the hardest written form if you ask me, because you’re turning facts into something someone actually wants to spend their time on. Did you know that human beings have shorter attention spans than goldfish? Studies actually show that! We are fucked, but that’s not the point, that’s not why I’m here. I’m here to say, that if you want to learn about writing, you’re learning about reading, about patience, about re-writing, about sitting with your ass glued to your desk chair when everyone else is having fun and getting married and going swimming.

“I’m old enough to be that girl’s mother,” by Sasha in her bed

Friday August 24, 2018
10:14pm
5 minutes
My Mother’s Body
Marie Howe

When I’m on the bus
or downtown
I see these packs
of wolf-girls
and I think

“I could be your mother, howler”

There’s a power
in that I didn’t
know to be true
until I got a disdainful
look until I was
standing in front
of the classroom
asking them to write
poems and a few of
these wolf-girls
look at me like
I’m old
I’m gross
I’m uncool
HA!

Jokes on them
but it does feel strange
because I used to be
one of them
judging less overtly
though

I used to be one of them
and now I’m old enough
to be that girl’s mother

“I’m old enough to be that girl’s mother,” by Julia in T’s kitchen

Friday August 24, 2018
7:11pm
5 minutes
My Mother’s Body
Marie Howe

we sit at the diner without speaking. Lulu is mad at me and I am mad at her. the drive was long, quiet, peanut butter stuck in the back of the throat. when I pointed out the horses grazing in the field she gave me the finger. Lu knows i loves horses. she even loves them more than me. I don’t know where I went wrong. i’m old enough to be that girl’s mother but I am not her mother. they don’t tell you that trying to parent another person’s kid will pulverize your heart into something you wish you could snort. Madelyne isn’t sending any instructions from where she is. how to handle a kid who hates me for not being more. when she was just my niece she used to beg Mad to sleep over in my truck. I guess that’s a hope worth tucking beneath the hip.

“‘You talking to me like that in my home?'” by Julia in her bed

Thursday August 23, 2018
11:01pm
5 minutes
Rum Punch
Elmore Leonard

there was a time when dad needed to have the bedroom doors open so he could keep tabs on us
never mind that we were teenagers going through it
never mind our rights
he must have had one bad thing happen to him about privacy about the door being closed
I don’t even think he had a particular reason but it was something to cling to. And lord knows how important it is to cling to something.

“‘You talking to me like that in my home?'” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 23, 2018
8:02am
5 minutes
Rum Punch
Elmore Leonard

Mica uses her tongue to lick the centre out of the Oreo cookie. It’s not a real Oreo, it’s a gluten free knock off that her sister bought at the health food store on Princess Street. She’s on her fourth and she’s in a trance, she’s in another dimension. She’s sat on her sister’s floor and suddenly she is love, she is presence, she is God. Her sister won’t be home for three more hours, and her mother is at her Women’s Group and her father is in the basement painting war figurines.

“if you fed your neighbours” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday August 22, 2018
8:39pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rebecca Solnit

you should feed them the bullshit
hi how are you good I’m good we’re good she’s good
no we can’t hear you coughing no we didn’t realize we were so loud
no we don’t have any sugar for you to borrow
you should tell them you are practicing a scene for acting class when they catch you screaming your lungs off
spilling your own secrets
about who you really are
you should tell them the thing they want to hear
i’m happy we’re happy he’s happy we’re good we’re staying together we’re really good actors we’re really passionate people

“if you fed your neighbours” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday August 22, 2018
8:03pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rebecca Solnit

It’s hard to write today because he’s sick and she’s bursting and sometimes the dichotomy of so much joy and so much sorrow is just too heavy to hold
It’s hard to write today because I feel like shit and the room is spinning and I never thought it would be quite like this I never did
It’s hard to write today because I’m more tired than I’ve ever been and the city is burning and the smoke is strangling us and I’m scared to my bones
It’s hard to write today because I’ve got so much to say but it’s all secrets and when I have to hold back my writing suffers my writing sucks

“the freedom to do as we please” by Julia on the plane

Tuesday August 21, 2018
10:51pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Wendell Berry

The place of more freedom is waiting for you.
And me.
Together we will see.
Hand over heart swear to the sun and the moon.
You say me and I say you
and you say you
You say this and I say true.
You choose me and I
choose me and I choose
you and you
choose you.
You keep leaving me babe.
And I keep coming home to you.
The heart knows how to
grow: slowly slowly.
It pumps what I use.
It gives it back to you.
I don’t want them anymore.
I don’t need them either.
You’re the only thing I’m after.
In your arms I find my freedom.
Come take this piece,
this experimental page.
Walk beside me walk me up to your lips and wait.
You will always see me, babe,
so you say, so I believe.
And I will always see you, babe.
Underneath.
Underneath.

“the freedom to do as we please” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday August 21, 2018
5:19pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Wendell Berry

it’s the burnt toast on the floor and the crackers in the cupboard and the possibility however slim of mice it’s the freedom to do as we please eat chocolate pie for breakfast drink whiskey and rum til we’re crosseyed and giddy it’s the smell of fall knocking on the door and then running away and then coming back and hoping for a laugh it’s the tickle of a memory you thought you forgot it’s the toes touching when it’s too hot for more it’s the almost finished bottle of ketchup in the fridge that no one dares finish because what if there’s a spontaneous barbecue

“Be a lamp,” by Sasha in her bed

Monday August 20, 2018
11:11pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rumi

“I don’t want to be a lamp”
young Billy did say
Sitting a top
a big bale of hay

“Of course you don’t”
His mama replied
picking him up
as she softly sighed

“I want to be a table
or a whale or a star”
Billy wiggled about
and they didn’t get far

The cows were grazing
and the pigs were in mud
Billy liked to watch the kittens
jump with a thud

“Come on now honey
It’s almost time for bed”
“But I’m not tired”
Is what Billy always said

They got to the house
and said goodnight to the barn
and while Billy brushed teeth
his mama spun yarn

“Be a lamp,” by Julia at Paul’s place

Monday August 20, 2018
11:13pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rumi

Be the light in the room

Set yourself to bright and go

I know about the seeing

About the illuminating

Walk into a dark place and

Turn the switch

Then how bright the room will be

The glow will be from you being the light in the room

The whole house will be a beacon

For airplanes passing over head

Or be the fuzz in the room instead

The complicated thought

The blur that keeps lines unapproachable

If it is easy then be the fuzz

But if it is good

Then be the light

“the thin woods and across the highway” by Julia on Amanda’s couch 

Sunday August 19, 2018
10:00pm
5 minutes
November 1968
Brian Doyle

My best friend is a deer whisperer. She is pen pals with at least three of them and one doe with her faun. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was a deer in a past life. She knows exactly how to breathe around them. She knows exactly what to hum. This month she asked one of them for protection and she granted it. She said her grace when she realized how  steadfast it all was. Nothing else in life is this sure. I hope when she writes them she tells them about me. Maybe they will love me by proxy. Maybe they will send their Forest Friends to keep me safe too.

“the thin woods and across the highway” by Sasha at the Airbnb in Mount Pleasant

Sunday August 19, 2018
10:56am
5 minutes
November 1968
Brian Doyle

She climbs and climbs
like she never knew she could
the thin woods reaching
towards sun
towards starlight
towards eagle feather

She reaches a highway
and wishes it was a
river she was crossing

Eagle swoops down
lifts her up
carries her across

She shares water and
bread as a thank you
and the bird leaves
a feather in exchange
for her smile
for her goodness
for her trust that
inter-species friendships
are not reserved for the
domesticated
it’s only that too often
human beings
are afraid

“Bible under his arm,” by Julia at the Chelsea Hotel 

Saturday August 18, 2018
2:06am
5 minutes
The Unbreakable Thread
David James Duncan
She tore the stickers from my sister’s bible. Said the devil would get in easier that way. We tried to stop her but she wouldn’t listen. That’s what happens when teachers take students to Christian conferences outside of school hours. The guy who was praying over us said one of us should tell our testimonial to the guy with the headset and maybe we’d get to go on stage. I didn’t have a good story. No decayed turned golden tooth or a broken turned perfect leg so I didn’t go up. My sister was still sad about her troll stickers being destroyed by a tiny troll woman in track pants wearing a giant cross around her neck. I think I wanted to believe it so I did. The place was buzzing with people speaking in tongues and swaying with their eyes closed. I swayed with my eyes closed too. It was the only thing that came natural to me.

“Bible under his arm,” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday August 18, 2018
7:40am
5 minutes
The Unbreakable Thread
David James Duncan

Things got weird when Malcolm started carrying his Bible under his arm. People didn’t take a lot of notice in the first week, thinking it was just some new strange thing he was up to. But a month in, Betty sat her son down.

“Malcolm, why are you carrying around that Lord book all the dang time?!”

Malcolm thought for a moment before answering. Not his usual.

“I’m a Christian now, Mom,” he took the Bible out from under his arm and put it on the kitchen table. “And I suggest that you start reading the Holy Book before your soul is too tarnished to save.”

“What the he – heck, Malcolm! When did this – …?”

Just at that moment Tammy came in the door hollering about lasagna. She was still in her volleyball uniform.

“What’s the matter with you two?” Tammy opened the fridge and drank milk from the carton.

“trying to pry one of them” by Sasha in her bed

Friday August 17, 2018
11:07pm
5 minutes
Ship
Tony Hoagland

My father makes the sign of the cross and asks me what he can do to help. I tell him nothing, what’s done is done. He says that there’s always something to be done, and I say, “Not this time there isn’t.”

At confession I tell Father Mendes that I had to have an abortion and he gasps.

At school Maria holds my hand walking down the hall and I feel all eyes on me. I used to be invisible.

My mother won’t look me in the eye, and mutters prayers under her breath when we’re in the same room.

“trying to pry one of them” by Julia on the 505

Friday August 17, 2018
2:37pm
5 minutes
Ship
Tony Hoagland

The smallest one didn’t speak very loudly. Brandan started calling her “Small One” and she liked it so much that she stayed small. Even after a game where she spent most of her time smiling at dandelions, you had to pry Small One off the field. She didn’t want to go home to Bad Dale or Claudia, Bad Dale’s chihuahaha. Small One tried to sing to Claudia once and she bit her square in the cheek. The next time Brandan saw Small One at practice with a band-aid on her face she whispered to her, “I bet you’re not so small afterall.”

“slow puffs of steam” by Julia on b’s bed

Thursday August 16, 2018
5:18am
5 minutes
What Happened During The Ice Storm
Jim Heynen

It was bad. The night was over. The buns were on the table. He thought they had cooled off by now but alas. They had not. The puffs of steam shot out and punctured his eyes. It was bad. It was really bad. He wanted a pork bun. He wanted to enjoy it. He was not patient. He laughed too loud. He didn’t know who he was yet. His eyes were on fire. He couldn’t see. He couldn’t really see. He couldn’t listen to his own laugh too loud at 5am. The puffs of steam shot out of the bun and into his eyes because he was hungry. He was greedy. He was obsessed with his own hands. He never said thank you to his mother. He never once held the door for somebody just passing through.

“slow puffs of steam” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 16, 2018
6:02pm
5 minutes
What Happened During The Ice Storm
Jim Heynen

She bakes because her favourite thing is the smell of bread rising, butter browning, cookies crisping. She bakes because her mother bakes, and her grandmother baked, and so on and so forth.

She limits her baking to Saturday, and brings the treats to her meditation group on Sunday afternoon.

“These are the best lemon squares I have ever had, Rachel,” says Glenn, who lead today and accidentally hit the gong with his foot when he was readjusting his seated position.

“Aw, thanks,” she says, and she knows he’s telling the truth. Her lemon squares are the best.

“You should open a bakery,” says Carol.

“I’ve thought of it, but I worry that if it’s my job I won’t love it as much anymore.”

“Maybe you’ll come to love it even more,” Glenn smiles. “That’s just as much of an option…”

“My miracle is not that you can’t knock me down” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday August 15, 2018
7:10am
5 minutes
Monday Night Class
Stephen Gaskin

you know that you’ll find yourself
finally
in your forties
you’ve heard that it can happen
for some people
in their thirties
but that’s just not you
you can’t even remember to
take the recycling out on the
proper day
or survive a month on
plenty of fish
you know you’ll find yourself
eventually
before death
you imagine that that’s what
that means
eventually
it’s a miracle that you often say
“I’m fine,”
when asked
“How are you, Melanie?”
you know that you are fine
most of the time
occasionally you drink too much
and on those nights
you wonder if anyone
is fine at all
if anyone has found themself

“My miracle is not that you can’t knock me down” by Julia at G and C’s house

Wednesday August 15, 2018
9:01am
5 minutes
Monday Night Class
Stephen Gaskin

weak knees she said
she didn’t want to marry someone who had weak knees
what about running?
does that just go out the window? I know how she feels. when indigo’s shoulder slipped out for the eleventh time in three days, I got worried too. how will we play catch for the rest of our lives? timidly? it’s worrisome. And it’s so very mortal. I suppose nothing lasts forever. we are, at best, temporary. I guess I’d choose an unexpected shoulder pain over a partner who can’t even take a night walk. I’d rather good shoulders though too.

“Hey, man, fuck that.” By Julia at The Common on Bloor

Tuesday August 14, 2018
11:44am
5 minutes
A quote by Elvis Presley

I have never been to florida and now addie is planning to have her wedding there. she says it’s so dean’s family can drive there and some of them don’t handle flying very well. when we were young she used to invite me but I was never allowed to go. my mom said there was something she didn’t trust about florida but she had never been there either. addie wants the resort to plan the wedding because she plans events for a living and wants a day off where friends and family can drink and eat and tell her how awesome she is. if people give her a hard time about not doing a tradional (stupidly expensive) wedding at a hall she usually flips them the bird and tells them to fuck off.

“Hey, man, fuck that.” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday August 14, 2018
8:13pm
5 minutes
A quote by Elvis Presley

I’m not sure what you’re hoping for here, is it retribution? A break? A line in the sand? A banana split? You know what? Fuck you, man. Fuck your entitled face, and your big voice, and your rude disposition. I’m tired of your shit. I told you to have your stuff packed up, and to be out of here on the first of the month and now it’s the fucking fourteenth and that’s just insane. What makes you think it’s okay to act like this? Did someone teach you it was totally fine to take advantage of people? Mila was supposed to move in two weeks ago, man! She’s staying at her parents place because she refuses to move in when you’re still here! You’re ruining my relationship!

“have another cup of coffee” by Julia on the 511 going north

Monday August 13, 2018
10:34pm
5 minutes
A quote by Joan Didion

in the days before these ones I was waking without assistance
the sun bright enough to light the room
the birds bright enough to sound the alarm
he wished I drank coffee
he begged
his headaches kept him from peace
his breakfasts too small to count
I would shake my head fuzz slowly
I would sometimes wonder at the fridge
but I did not drink my alertness
I did not know how to work the machine
which buttons to press
how long to wait at the foot
of an appliance

“have another cup of coffee” by Sasha on her balcony

Monday August 13, 2018
7:08am
5 minutes
A quote by Joan Didion

How many points?
How many calories?
How much fat is in half an avocado?
Is this nourishment?
Have I had enough broccoli?
Weight Watchers?
Have you lost?
Have you gained?
Am I succeeding?
You do not know
how full of health
she is
I am
we are
BMI is a lie
Did you know that
What about
What about
What about
“She’s looking so beautiful! She lost a bunch of weight, and not like she had much to lose, but… She just looks so healthy!”
BARF.
Actually, though.
All these gorgeous chickens vomiting in the bathroom.
“Could you please pass me some toilet paper?”
Everything is points.
Here are your points.
If you don’t reach your limit, you’ve succeeded!
If you aren’t listening, then you aren’t losing.
But here’s the thing –
when you’re losing, you’re
actually winning!
And who gives a flying fuck
what you feel like and if you like your life!
Thinness is the prize and GOD I am displaying
it on the mantle.
Who has a mantle anyway?
How many points, though?
How many calories?
Is this an indulgence?
“I know I shouldn’t
but I think I’d like the
brownie
sundae
cookie ice cream sandwich”
DON’T FEEL BAD PLEASE
DEAR GOD FEED YOURSELF
FEED YOUR GOODNESS
FEED YOUR HEART
YOUR DAUGHTER DOES NOT
GIVE A FLYING FUCK
ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE
PUTTING IN YOUR MOUTH
AS LONG AS YOU ARE
FULL FED LOVING
TURNED ON

“the splendid ugliness of this disguise.” By Julia in Jess and Rick’s nook

Sunday August 12, 2018
11:10pm
5 minutes
Ode to Invisibility
Ellen Bass

behind this mask is a person afraid
of not living up to the hype she bestows upon herself
to the hype she gets from others
it is ugliest when she lies to herself
big dreams and cotton candy promises
do this then you’ll…
be this then you’ll feel…
one day you’ll wish upon a star and
find yourself among the wreckage
little lives left losing
little hopes laid to rest in the fields
filled with shoulds but didn’ts
knows but won’ts
the mask looks confident
the mask looks like a lot of things

“the splendid ugliness of this disguise.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday August 12, 2018
7:36pm
5 minutes
Ode to Invisibility
Ellen Bass

I buy another black pair of jeans, another white T-shirt, a blue blazer, a grey pair of leggings. $364.99. I buy a coffee at Starbucks. $6.21. I buy food from the hot bar at Whole Foods. $14.10. I Car2Go home. $6.45. I sit on my $2,475 couch and I go on Facebook and I see that fucking Cathy is in the Dominican Republic again. Who is that disgusting hottie she’s holding onto is that her new boyfriend SHOOT ME?! HOW DOES SHE DO IT. Onto Expedia. I text Jacquie, “What are you doing next week?” I see that she’s typing back, and then she stops, and then she types, and then she stops. “What the fuck?!” I throw my phone across the room and luckily it lands on the footstool. $220.

“play the role of devoted son.” By Julia at G and C’s house

Saturday August 11, 2018
1:33am
5 minutes
Tincture Of Mother
Alan Craig

you can call them while you’re walking home on the busy bridge and tell them you love them.
you can ask them if they can pick you up from the airport or have the bed made ready.
you can tell them what you’re afraid of and that you need their help.
you can bring back their phone charger so they don’t have to spend the money on a new one.
you can make them laugh and get a good reaction when you try out your jokes.
you can be honest about the pot you’re about to smoke on their porch after midnight.
you can make as little noise as possible so you don’t wake them up.
you can take them to the best sushi place in town.
you can make them dinner for the first time and show them the sunset.
you can thank them for the good advice, the good company, and the good food.
but you cannot ask them for the toothpaste.

“play the role of devoted son.” By Sasha in her bed

Saturday August 11, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
Tincture Of Mother
Alan Craig

You groomed me to be your little sidekick. Until I was thirteen or so, I liked it. I ate it up like a peanut butter sandwich. The role of devoted son was the best one I played. I could’ve earned a medal, or a Golden Globe, or at least some kind of pin/ribbon. God knows I didn’t have enough coordination for the school musical, and I wasn’t fast enough for softball. But being your boy? I had that down pat. You taught me exactly how you wanted to be treated – always “Maman”, never “Mom” or “Mother” or “Mummy”; a gin and tonic with a slice of lime and five ice cubes in your hand at 4pm; “I love you,” and kisses on both cheeks before getting on the bus. When Papa left you sat me down (drink in hand), in the parlour. We only ever sat in the parlour when we had guests over, important guests, colleagues of Papa’s or the Westford’s from the across the street who you always wanted to impress. You said, “You’re my man now, Francois.”

“it has been six and a half years since you died” by Julia in her sister’s bed

Friday August 10, 2018
10:48pm
5 minutes
Welcome to the Club
Marion Winik

I don’t remember the day you died but I remember how you lived. Your chest was an open x-ray. Here, the place where love scarred you. Here the place hope left. You smiled through your eyes, through the pain, and we knew we were getting the best of you left in you. We knew you were telling the truth when you said you wanted us to find what makes us happy. I remember how you sang Elvis at New Years and Easter and my dad’s birthday. You left every room you entered brighter. You entered every room.

“it has been six and a half years since you died” by Sasha on her balcony

Friday August 10, 2018
7:18pm
5 minutes
Welcome to the Club
Marion Winik

I wake up in a cold sweat. Felix is sleeping at my feet, like he always does, and when I jolt awake he digs his nails into my ankles. “Stop it!” I yell. He does. He comes up to lie beside me, purring. Cats are dicks. Then, it hits me like a tree falling – I missed it. Oh my God. How could I? I just… It’s been six years since you died, six years yesterday, and I missed the anniversary. I didn’t light a candle. I didn’t call Mia. It was just any other Thursday, where I drank a green smoothie, shat, went to work, procrastinated, stirred the pot in a team meeting, asked Don if he wanted to make out in the handicapped washroom (he said, “No thanks, Becca…”), came home, went to yoga, made pirogies for dinner, cuddled Felix on the couch while I watched three episodes of Queer Eye and then I went to bed.

Eyes roaming distant waters,” by Julia at Amanda’s place

Thursday August 9, 2018
1:26am
5minutes
Wandering At Oblique Creek
T’ao Ch’ien

we both belong to the salt bath healing
you and I both know it
the way we know the rub of a cricket’s chirp
the slow fade of a mosquito’s sting
the good bridge before the song changes key
we know how to put our skin far away
how to put the bon in voyage
how to ask for forgiveness

we both learned it in a book that repeats

in a child’s colouring pages

some times you take a lover from another continent

and you study the places they’ve used to hold their bookmarks

“Eyes roaming distant waters,” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday August 9, 2018
3:52pm
5 minutes
Wandering At Oblique Creek
T’ao Ch’ien

You walk to the lake before sunrise. You barely stumble on the path because you’ve tread it so many times but once or twice there is a new root, a new rock, and you almost trip but you don’t because you’re listening. When you arrive at the water’s edge, the light is rising. The sun isn’t on the horizon yet, but the light is reaching up up up up up and there are colours like you’ve never seen before – a new lilac, a new azure, a new lapis, a new rouge. You find a place to sit, the quiet, familiar dome of a boulder that you’ve sat on many times before. You unfocus your eyes over the still glass of the water. Sky and lake blend. You and this place are one, these birch trees, these ferns, these cedars.

“full of tenderness” by Julia in Amanda’s kitchen

Wednesday August 8, 2018
11:36am
5 minutes
Chant
Wang An-Shih

I sleep in your bed when you’re away and I toss and turn and have nightmares about people breaking into your apartment because I’ve done something wrong in a past life to ruin the trust you have in me. On a different night I dream of having to find an outfit for prom. 13 years later and I wonder what I have accomplished since then. Still trying to fit in. Still worrying if I will be perceived by them as I perceive myself. On the night with the nightmares I am landlocked to the bed. I can’t rise. I can’t wake up. Sleep paralysis plays a slideshow of disturbing footage and I’m not allowed to leave. I’m not allowed to leave. Your bed used to be softer. I think you gave that one to our parents. I think your heart full of tenderness gives everything to everyone. I’m sorry my body heavy with jet leg and self-doubt can’t ease into the gift. You’d be sorry if you knew it was hard, and it shouldn’t be hard. It should be soft. You’re sleeping on the cold ground right now and I pray that your bones aren’t wet all the way through. I hope you’re sitting on the garbage bag instead of a damp log. I hope you find peace in the stillness of the wilderness. You impress me. Someone who knows when to say yes.

“full of tenderness” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday August 8, 2018
6:52am
5 minutes
Chant
Wang An-Shih

Gimme a minute sweet one I’ve got water boiling on the stove
Gimme a minute honeypots I’m on the phone
Hold on darling there’s something I need to finish here
Can you wait?
Why not?
Okay…
Hold on…
HOLD ON…
Okay.
What is it?
A caterpillar?
My goodness!
You’re right!
Can you could those legs?
How many do you think she has?
Gentle.
Gentle!
See that little yellow stripe?
How do you think she feels about it?
It’s not quite time for lunch yet but I have some apricots if you’d like.

“whose eyes are a thousand blind windows:” by Julia in Amanda’s kitchen

Tuesday August 7, 2018
11:52pm
5 minutes
Howl
Allen Ginsberg

We wait for each other to stop speaking
silence drifting between us in our car seats
Sometimes saying nothing is saying everything
How shame lives in my cheeks when I can’t
“say nothing”
“say nothing”

We spend three hours staring into each others’ eyes
separated by green tea and a key chain
and some blurry tears streaming without warning
We don’t call me what I am but later I feel it
The reckoning of too much information shared
Too much honesty not yet checked in the echo

We both say how lovely it is and how sad it was
and how soon we will do this again
nobody is crying now
The summer night too hot for tears to puddle

“whose eyes are a thousand blind windows:” by Sasha on her balcony

Tuesday August 7, 2018
7:30am
5 minutes
Howl
Allen Ginsberg

He’s got a tight face. I wonder about plastic surgery (try not to judge, each to their own, I guess)… He’s expressionless, which is super odd given his job, given that he’s a self-proclaimed actor. I wonder how much he actually works. It might sound awful, but his eyes are hollow, like looking into them is very unsettling. I bet he pulled the wings off flies as a kid. Maybe still does. I bet he googles weird, really weird shit. You know those people who you see and you just know that if you went into their search history it would be worse than a murder show?

“You should always be sure” by Julia upstairs at Amanda’s

Monday August 6, 2018
10:55pm
5 minutes
The Law of Success
Paramahansa Yogananda

you won’t always be sure. some things take learning and living. some opinions need to be deconstructed and rebuilt and seen with new eyes. this happens for me and it makes me unsure. because if you must always be sure then where is discovery? were we born sure and lost it? will we ever even be? other people’s shoulds make me unsure. they can’t be taken as gospel when we all have a unique pattern to follow. we’re all stitching our hearts up with different yarn. how can we be sure about anything? unless we’re sure about being loved. this one, no matter who or what, is something true. and I am sure.

“You should always be sure” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday August 6, 2018
7:02am
5 minutes
The Law of Success
Paramahansa Yogananda

The thing is, we’re never sure
And we leap anyway
Off the edge
Whatever that looks like for you

It’s often a dock
like the one at Knowlton Lake
Sometimes it’s a cliff
something I would never do

Every big decision
doesn’t come from a place of sureness
It comes from an inkling
like the loons calling at dusk

Did you hear that?
Was that their song?
Is it time?
Is it now?

We’re never sure
or maybe I’m never sure
But I am on the other hand
My gut whispers “Go”

“all-new, feature-length” by Sasha at Jericho Beach

Sunday August 5, 2018
1:30pm
5 minutes
Teamsters and Tutus
Simon Lewsen

Do you ever hear the soundtrack of the movie of your life playing? Do you ever imagine the Norah Jones, Gypsy Kings, Tori Amos, TLC, Marvin Gaye… It happens to me most when I’m on public transit, usually a train, occasionally a bus. Looking out the window and there it is – the music.

What’s the song that plays the most in your head?

Have you ever been to a concert and thought, “this must be what heaven is like?”

Have you ever heard the quote, “Without music life would be a mistake”?

I once thought that if I didn’t have music I might shrivel up and fade away. I don’t think that anymore, I’m in a better place, but I get it. I get that.

“all-new, feature-length” by Julia at Amanda’s place

Sunday August 5, 2018
7:24am
5 minutes
Teamsters and Tutus
Simon Lewsen

it’s the movie of our lives
the stop and go the faraway
the you call me in the morning on your way to buy peaches from the market
the me call you back before the family reunion and the butter tarts
the mesaages of sweet when I wake up and you still asleep
in another time zone
the missing you from here
and I point to my heart so you know exactly where here is, where here lives in me, where I carry you
it’s the meeting at a wedding two summers in a row
a new suit and a new pair of heels to show our loved ones
look, we’ll say, we’ve done all this growing
and the credits won’t because the movie isn’t over yet
it’s only just beginning
it’s only taking shape even after all the years and tears and open wounds
and still we both look at each other and say, I’m into this so far
this is going to be a good one
I can tell

“Hear splash blue” by Julia in Amanda’s bed

Saturday August 4, 2018
1:53am
5 minutes
Here Room Sleeps
Dale Smith

She’s the colour of the sky

You’d think I meant blue but

I mean lime green

It’s that line that hovers in between the pink and the purple

It does a good job of loving me there

She does

Oh I’m the sunset then I guess

And sometimes she’s the whole sky

And sometimes she’s the sun too

I don’t know what colour I am to her but she is the lime green to me because she is the in-between

The always centred

The glowing line of equilibrium

She is subtle and yet she makes the whole picture sing

When she’s not the whole sky she is the reason the whole sky wakes up

She is the sun and the lime green and the sky and I am happy she is above me and she is above me

That’s where she should stay

“Hear splash blue” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday August 4, 2018
2:42pm
5 minutes
Here Room Sleeps
Dale Smith

“Do you hear that?” Mimi tilts her head up, and cocks it a little to the right.

“No…” This happens often, but I play along. I got a good sleep last night so I’m feeling game.

“It’s it’s it’s it’s BLUE!” Mimi laughs.

“You’re hearing the blue?”

“M-hmm.”

“Mimi, how are you hearing a colour?”

“It’s easy! You just feel in your tummy and your tongue and some other places like maybe the liver or the kidney! And it’s clear that it’s BLUE.”

I haven’t heard her explain something like this before, about her experience of the world.

“Mama, are you crying?” She touches my face.

$750-million investment” by Julia at Amanda’s place

Friday August 3, 2018
1:04am
5 minutes
From an Enbridge ad

okay so universe, are you there? are you comfy? i’ve got a few things to run by you. i’m not going to beat around the bush. i know i’m worth it. i mean big time big money big big big time worth it. when i think of everything i know and want to know and can do and will do i’m pretty pleased with myself and there is love all around me. so i guess what i’m telling you is i am ready. i have put the long hours in, i’ve been truthful, i’ve been patient. if there is something else i’m missing, shoot me a message and i’ll add it to the list, no big. but if you see me telling you that i don’t need any more nos-that i want to invite the yes into my life full force, then hit me with your best shot. amen.

“$750-million investment” by Sasha at her desk

Friday August 3, 2018
9:33pm
5 minutes
From an Enbridge ad

It’s a million dollar
three point two
seven point nine
three and half
oh my word
it’s dollar symbols
and decimal points
and I can’t even
count that high

They are building a
new skyscraper and
every new story
makes me
every new story
gives me
I joke about
going down there
and getting a tour
dressing up
I’ll wear heels and
you’ll wear a three
piece suit

Two million
down payment I can’t
believe I ever thought
owning a house with a
garden and a bird bath
was going to be

Oh wait
here are the angels
in blue

Oh wait
we’re getting
somewhere

“But when he reached the age” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 2, 2018
9:35pm
5 minutes
Atheist at the Pulpit
Larry Krotz

It wasn’t okay for you to smile like you used to. When you reached a certain age. Suddenly upturned corners of mouth and sparkler eyeballs means something you don’t want it to mean. Shit. Why does that have to happen. You have to start thinking about the kind of shirts you wear. The boys in your class stare. Shit. You stop playing soccer at lunch on the icy field because you’re not sure about how things are moving. You steal subway tickets from your babysitters wallet because no one thinks you’re a kid and you don’t like when the bus driver makes a scene and asks to see your birth certificate. You carry it in your yellow wallet, though, just in case.

“But when he reached the age” by Julia at YVR airport

Thursday August 2, 2018
9:07am
5 minutes
Atheist at the Pulpit
Larry Krotz

Elliot, Romy’s kid, had a wine stain birthmark on his hair line. It bled out a bit toward his eyes and cheeks but framed his face in a sweet way. He smiled at me when I caught his eye. It made me feel good. then I watched him smile at anyone he looked at and realized he was not in love with me alone but with people. With life. That made me me feel good too. he pointed at the man on his bluetooth next to me. As if to say “you’re the one that I love the most.” I liked his birth mark. I imagined the skin kissed red to be extraordinarily smooth and squishy. My best friend in high school had a wine stain birth mark on her arm. Her skin was so fun to press myself into. She used to get teased but she was so beautiful. People really suck the life out of you when they dont understand something.

“a family house can remain empty” by Julia on the couch

Wednesday August 1, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
The Highest Bidder
Kerry Gold

My sister answers the phone when I call even if she is with her friends. My brother did the same a few days ago when I called him on his birthday. He was at Montana’s eating a burger before going to the Falls. I felt bad for calling but it felt like he would have chatted all day. That’s the home I’m going back to. The house emptied of the three of us years ago. I was the first to leave and stay gone. I keep boots and books and pictures there. I like going back if we watch the old home videos. We all keep saying we should turn those VHS tapes into DVDs so we can keep our memories longer but no one ever does. If I can find my old glove in the garage I suspect we’ll hit the field behind the house and go long.

“a family house can remain empty” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday August 1, 2018
1:03pm
5 minutes
The Highest Bidder
Kerry Gold

Snap and we’re sat at the table and we’re talking about more money than I’ve ever had/dreamed of (that’s not totally true) and Snap we’re talking about a house a place where we’ll grow and scream and hug and make salads and Snap I tell you my secret and you hold it like you hold me Snap to the gentleness of the realization that words aren’t enough and the present is all we have and Snap okay baby you say okay baby we’ll do it Snap how do I deserve this (that’s not really it) Snap scrolling and scrolling and scrolling Snap rock a by baby on the tree top Snap lines of credit and how will the mortgage work and life’s short but also let’s hope life’s long and there’s no time like the present but timing is everything Snap