“never showed me where the wreck lay.” By Julia on the 99

Thursday January 31, 2019
10:09pm
5 minutes
Foe
J.M. Coetzee

Each one pointed to a different place of hurt
Here, the wreckage of the heart,
the spot where the rib cage was invaded, break and entering
Here, the spasm of the lower back,
deep breath a kind of torture
Acquitted somehow of all charges

I wanted to ask-Did I do this to you?
Was it by my hand you know this?

I should have asked where else it throbbed, reminded you of your punishable naked
unwalled

“never showed me where the wreck lay.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday January 31, 2019
1:36pm
5 minutes
Foe
J.M. Coetzee

Hunting for treasure like yeah yeah yeah I’m bored okay I’m bored. Jimmy made mistakes all the time and no one yelled at him must of been because he had those baby blues. I get a stiff leg every now and again and I’m not so quick to get up I need a minute nothing wrong with slowing down a little. I’m bored by Thursday and by Saturday I can’t believe that there’s still another day left in the week. Didn’t used to be that way I was a way cooler guy when I was younger enjoying the moment and all of that jazz. You see enough people lose everything get laid off get screwed over and you start to go what’s the point right what’s really the point.

“The coach was bullshit.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday January 30, 2019
11:56pm
5 minutes
Created By
Richard Christian Matheson

It wasn’t my fault. Coach was bullshit. I tried telling Stevie and Jay from the get-go that Coach was a turd, didn’t know what she was talking about, didn’t know her ass from the ball… Nobody listened to me! We had a good reputation, man, I mean, we weren’t seven time champions but we gave Crescent Hill a run for their money every year! When Coach Peterson retired I knew we were effed. I’d seen Coach Jenkins sniffing around the court, trying to butter up the team, trying to use her jokes to make everyone like her. I’m not gonna fall for that shit!

“The coach was bullshit.” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 30, 2019
8:00pm
5 minutes
Created By
Richard Christian Matheson

So, it’s three days before the tournament, right. Everyone is freaking out, tensions are high. Nobody wants to lose, team is gearing up to represent ourselves as best as we can. So, we find out that fucking Brian is planning on putting his kid, Heather, in as starting catcher. Girl has caught a grand total of zero balls. Spends her time fixing her mask and trying to get up from a squat.
So all three pitchers, that’s me, Sara, and Cara, decide we’re going to meet with Brian to tell him we think he should start Christine cause she’s more experienced, and this is her last year before she moves up. It would be better for everyone. So we approach him like a flying V-determined. graceful. I’m in the front cause I’m the brave one.
Fucking Brian LOSES IT.

“I’ve got questions.” By Sasha in her bed

Tuesday January 29, 2019
10:36pm
5 minutes
From a text

I’ve got questions and most of them
have to do with how many times this
will break my heart

Don’t mean to lean heavy on a tired
metaphor we are all tired aren’t we
isn’t that what everyone says when
asked how they are
Tired?

Keep circling back to this again
and again the monotony but also the
surprise every time
and the break is still a break
is still a break

How many times can the same thing
hurt in new ways but not different ways
one of those albums where all the songs
sound like a variation on the single
on the title track

My title track is this tonight
and the other nights that have ended
as this one will

“I’ve got questions.” By Julia on her couch

Tuesday January 29, 2019
10:06pm
5 minutes
From a text

I wonder a lot
about the way you sway
the way you say my name
the way you drink champagne
You can say so much with such little pieces of you
I could have asked a better one than Why
It seems we’ve all become experts at that one
How is a good one
When is another
You’re not bigger than the ocean
but you act like it
I have questions about that
About the hours you keep
the thoughts you believe
the stories you yell
Bigger than the ocean
While still
so much smaller than this

“As the cab works its way” by Julia on the 2

Monday January 28, 2019
6:06pm
5 minutes
Hello, Goodbye
Brady Emerson’s

Cab driver is talking my ear off on the way to the airport. It’s 3am, he must be lonely. I am leaving this city and I’m not going to look back. Do I tell him that? Do I say, listen, I tried my best, I worked hard, I made out with a stranger on my softball team? I don’t know what else I could have done. Maybe committed to the white walls in my apartment, hung a plant or two on the balcony. I never did end up going to the Indian place I said I wanted to try. Do I say, listen, some cities don’t fit the way you think the way expensive shirts get donated to Goodwill when they don’t slim your shoulders as promised. Do I say, I am too tired and angry and mad at myself to talk to you right now?

“As the cab works its way” by Sasha at her desk

Monday January 27, 2019
4:01pm
5 minutes
Hello, Goodbye
Brady Emerson

As the cab works it’s way around the corner, I press my face up to the glass. Mama will make me clean it with vinegar and newspaper. She always knows when it’s me and when it’s Bailey. The dog doesn’t have to clean up after himself, but he gets put in the laundry room until he whines enough that Mama feels bad. Daddy packed a larger suitcase than usual so I asked him how long he’d be gone for this time. “Not sure, honeybunch,” he said, sad like the day Grampa Jones died. How he could not be sure, I don’t understand but I shouldn’t have to given that I’m only just starting Grade Four. Mama knows that Daddy might be gone until the snow comes, so she hugs Bailey in bed for a long time and I have peanut butter and jelly for dinner.

“The road ends at a washout” by Julia on her couch

Sunday January 27, 2019
11:13pm
5 minutes
Nomads
Poe Ballentine

I think all good things must come to an end sooner than we’re ever ready for them.
Why would we want the good things to end?
It’s hard enough getting the good things to start.

We were never really friends although I believed us to be.
I thought you liked me and I liked you in the same way and we were…good for each other.
It only took a thousand messages left without reply for me to figure it out.
You’re the kind of person who thinks offering yourself is all you need to do.
You’re the kind of person who thinks I would be lucky to receive your invitation to the land of zero follow through.
There can only be room for certain friendships now,
not whatever it is we’re doing.
We don’t need anything from each other and we never did.
I thought I did but then I got to know you and realized the
only thing I need from you is for you to stop pretending like
any of your empty promises mean something.
I won’t be around for that kind of shit anymore.
The next time I might not be as kind about the whole thing.
Maybe if you were as honest with me as I am with you we could save a whole lot of energy.

“The road ends at a washout” by Sasha in the bathtub

Sunday January 27, 2019
9:18pm
5 minutes
Nomads
Poe Ballentine

Dear P.,

I move to Alaska because I want to live at the end of it all, where the road meets the horizon, where the sun feels like a star and it doesn’t rain as much as it does here. I’m twenty seven and I don’t know my ass from my mouth, but at least I’m not afraid like everyone else is, afraid to leave home. “Home” is a word that feels strange in my mouth, foreign, like “Barcelona” or “beloved”.

I’m sorry that I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye. I know that was a long time ago, but I never stopped thinking about you. Riding bikes around the track at St. Mike’s, shooting the shit, pretending we were big shots. Alaska takes a part of your heart when you’re there for long enough. A part of my heart that’s shaped like you. P. I’m better now than I was then, in almost every way.

“I was acting like a” by Julia on her couch

Saturday January 26, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
The Only One She Told
J.E. McCafferty

Liar liar pants on fire
Said last time I thrived on dire
Fought my battles walked the wire
Fakery began to tire
All those people believing deep
held me up as the grim reaper
Wished I could have climbed much steeper
But I was a dream-catch eater
Held the wish to drown the mole
We couldn’t take any souls
I swear we tried, we did not know
Then god opened mouth and ripped me whole

“I was acting like a” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday January 26, 2019
7:23am
5 minutes
The Only One She Told
J.E. McCafferty

I was raised on goodness and beeswax crayons
Imagination prized and emotional maturity celebrated
and Self Knowing the greatest gift the greatest way
I was raised on expression and trust
hope and faith and that we can hold it all
we can know it all we can be it all we can do it all

I was a lucky pigeon
I have a privilege I sometimes I feel I
need to apologize for
Blue eyes means yes
Smile wide means yes
Not really but maybe sometimes

At least if you do your best
you’ll know
you’ll know that you did your best
and usually that’s good enough

HA

lucky pigeon

“They say looks aren’t everything,” by Julia on the 84

Friday January 25, 2019
9:40pm
5 minutes
What to Look for in a Horse
Brett Elizabeth Jenkins

I want to see a person and not make any thoughts up about who they are and what they do and why they’re wearing what they’re wearing. I do make up some thoughts about some
people but mostly I thank myself quietly for being me instead of them. They are busy being them, wearing the shoes they wear, the big bright buttons on their slacks, the cool hat, the stupid shoes. I am not judging. Stupid shoes is not an opinion, it’s a broken ankle waiting to happen. What makes a shoe more stupid than its shape is where that shoe is worn. Managing a restaurant? Stupid. Walking the dog in a rainstorm? Stupid. The person I have no problem with. Or maybe I do. Maybe I’m one judgemental piece of shit projecting my unexamined insecurities on people just passing me on the street on their way to the grocery store. Looks aren’t everything. But it’s what you see. It’s what you notice. I don’t think the flower kingdom is going around saying, here I am, but I’m not just a pretty face, I matter, I’m important. Everyone knows flowers matter but if they self-claimed it they wouldn’t have time to simply live it.

I may have lost the plot a little bit here.

“They say looks aren’t everything,” by Sasha on the 33

Friday January 25, 2019
5:31pm
5 minutes
What to Look for in a Horse
Brett Elizabeth Jenkins

They say that looks aren’t everything but it’s easier
to get a job if you’re good looking it’s easier to find
a mate if you’re good looking the world is easier if you
are good looking so “they” don’t know shit
There’s nothing wrong with it survival of the fittest
or whatever it’s always how it’s been beauty is a commodity
and a wealth greater than wealth at least if you’re good looking
you are going to have people that love you
I’m not bitter I mean people say I’m a pretty handsome guy and
I’ve a girlfriend I’ve had one girlfriend I’ve asked a girl out
I’ve gone on a date or two

“law of human psychology” by Sasha at her coffee table

Thursday January 24, 2019
10:01pm
5 minutes
A quote by William Pickens

“Shit, it’s uh, it’s um… It’s – …”

Mika forgets her new phone number. She’d started to rattle off her old one and then stopped part way through. “I had to change my number because… You don’t need to know that, um – …”

After twelve years of the same ten digits it takes a while to update. Mika thinks about the brain and plasticity and how memory works.

She sees a flash of Kyle sledding. She blinks. She sees Izzy there, too, eating snow off to the side.

“Miss?”

Mika digs out her notebook. She knows she wrote her new number down in there.

“law of human psychology” by Julia at the bus stop

Thursday January 24, 2019
4:08pm
5 minutes
A quote by William Pickens

Lynn was excited to drop her psych classes and start taking theatre. She knew she belonged on stage, or with actors, or in a daydream maybe. She had never done anything for herself in her short life. Both her parents were doctors, one therapist, one orthopaedic surgeon. She was supposed to be a doctor too, and they said the field of medicine is up to her. That was all that was up to her. She started seeing the theatre kids around the halls, wearing black, singing in unison. Lynn didn’t remember the last time she let herself sing outside of the shower. It looked incredibly freeing! Maybe even spiritual. All this time she wished she could tell stories to audiences willing to hear them. She pictured herself being blinded by he stage lights and glowing from the inside out. If she left psych she would have to pay for everything else on her own. Lynn couldn’t wait to start working as a relief receptionist at the ESL centre to finally be in control of her own destiny.

“my Swahili instructor” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 23, 2019
8:16pm
5 minutes
Archipelagoes
Rochelle Smith

You can learn a new language at any age. You can learn one in your 20s, in your 30s, up till the day you speak no more. It’s not one of those things on the list that become impossible after celebrating a certain birthday. It won’t be easy, but it won’t be impossible. Some things on the list that become impossible after a certain age are the following: doing the splits if you are not a gymnast, birthing a baby, moving a couch, and pulling all-nighters. I purposefully did not include exact ages because every body is different and there are exceptions to even vaguely set rules.
I know for a fact it is never too late to quit smoking, or cut out certain issue-causing foods, or take up growing pot in your backyard. There is no limit to how much you can surprise yourself in this life— no matter how many stories you make up and believe.

“my Swahili instructor” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday January 23, 2019
1:41pm
5 minutes
Archipelagoes
Rochelle Smith

All the other women in this class are at least fifteen years older than I am. All of them are recently divorced. All of them. There are twelve of us. I won’t make assumptions about divorce rates rising, but wow oh wow, it is a bit… alarming. There must be something about taking up a new language in a popular book or something. I’m going to Tanzania so I really need to get this, it isn’t a whim or a therapy tactic or something. I like Rebecca best. Out of all the Divorcees. She’s down to earth and talks about stuff other than child support and Brene Brown.

“What Jesus was doing” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday January 22, 2019
10:20pm
5 minutes
Love Thy Neighbour
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Oh this again. He was trying to welcome me home, I believe. And sell me to church. All the right people, my people would meet me there. All the grace I will know is from Him. Gospel of John. I’m supposed to have read it by now. Maybe everyone knows I’m the kind of person to go running to scripture. Proving in words somewhere that the divine in me is seeing me. I have always been persuaded. I exist there because I liked being the vessel. I liked being the experiment, the data, the pioneer. Tell me what is best and I’m still the one who has to execute. I like being the one who walks into fire.

“What Jesus was doing” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday January 22, 2019
6:52am
5 minutes
Love Thy Neighbour
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Sit still. Don’t fidget. Don’t pick your nose. Sit still. Sit stiller. Pay attention. Sister Judith is falling asleep. Don’t laugh. Don’t giggle. Don’t kick the pew in front. Jesus is watching. Mother is watching. Don’t elbow Russell. Don’t look at Russell. Russell is picking his nose. Ew, Russell! Sit still. Sit still. Hands to yourself. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. Stand up. Sing. Don’t sing too loud. Mother is watching.

“I imagine him alive.” By Julia in her bed

Monday January 21, 2019
9:28pm
5 minutes
Stories We Keep To Ourselves
Bill Glose

I imagine him alive with dark hair covering his tiny little head
He has a perfect face
Maybe a few years from now he’ll need glasses just like you
His dark hair transforms into light hair later like mine does in the sun
You are holding him and cooing in his face and everything is sweet now
I keep him alive by not leaving him
That is my only job
I picture him loving me before he leaves home
Some of them only realize how much has been done for them after they build their bed behind walls that no one can wonder against
He is kind to insects and birds
He is funny because of you and only you
From me he learns how to hum
From me he learns how to weep
From me he learns how to stare into the nothingness past the room and bright noise
You smile extra hard these days

“I imagine him alive.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday January 21, 2019
1:55pm
5 minutes
Stories We Keep To Ourselves
Bill Glose

He’s running along the beach
He doesn’t leave footprints in the sand
He floats above like the sand flies
Leaving no trace
Making no impression

I’m watching him from a nearby
piece of driftwood
Back and forth he goes
One end becoming the other
Horizon becoming sky

He doesn’t see me there
Lost in the movement of his muscles
Found in the meditation of waves
Lost in the between-world wonder
Found in the bits of seaweed and shell

I call out to him
He doesn’t hear me
The ocean thundering before us
Dusk wraps around our shoulders
Takes us back to the center
Takes us back in time

“making dinner for my family” by Julia at Rivendell

Sunday January 20, 2019
11:08pm
5 minutes
The Other, Invented Man
Matthew Vollmer

I’m chopping onions to simmer for my man
Tonight we feast and I feed him and he wants me
Tomorrow I’ll surprise him with a new dish I’ve never made before and I’ll feed him and he’ll want me
If I were alone I would get resourceful
Start with one egg and see far I can stretch it
See how many meals one egg holds
If I have no one to please or impress,
no one a barometer for if I’ve gone to
the grocery store in a while or chosen something I was curious about tasting
When he’s home I put on the alien, the apron, the mask
I find a different reality
If I had a full family I would cook for them
I wouldn’t need to feel anything after that

“making dinner for my family” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday January 20, 2019
9:43pm
5 minutes
The Other, Invented Man
Matthew Vollmer

I used to think that I’d be
keeping long hours in dank rehearsal halls
Poorly heated
Poorly lit
Weaving stories out of breath
blood bones
breaking beauty like bread

I used to think that success
was measured in letters
in selling out a run
in someone saying
“I saw myself on that stage
in that stranger”
“I know myself better now”

Now the sacred carrot
celery and onion
meets lentils and then broth
I spend Sundays in the kitchen
listening to Emmylou Harris and
This American Life
I lie down when I’m tired
and sing to my belly until
I drift off to sleep

Now I think that success
is having a fridge full of goodness
ready for the week
and that the stories we weave
at the table over steaming oats
the story of right now
is the greatest win of all

“poorly aimed prayers” by Julia at Rivendell

Saturday January 19, 2019
10:18pm
5 minutes
On Why I Must Decline To Receive The Prayers You Say You Are Constantly Sending
Tony Hoagland

Jesus apparently lives in my heart and has never left even though I left him. He’s also quite feminine, the woman tells me, “Read the gospel of John and you’ll see how feminine he is.” I am now the prodigal daughter coming home. I had to leave in order to grow myself and wonder out loud with enough spaciousness to find something. Now I am returning and this is good because I am looking for the truth and that’s where I’ll find God too. She wanted to leave the room while I confessed how I’ve rejected him, or how I’ve felt disconnected, or why. Then I told her I wouldn’t do it if she left and so I made her stay. Maybe she had something to do for ten minutes that really couldn’t have waited and she was hoping I was into counselling myself. But maybe she thought I was strong and wanted or needed the stillness.

“poorly aimed prayers” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday January 19, 2019
8:28pm
5 minutes
On Why I Must Decline To Receive The Prayers You Say You Are Constantly Sending
Tony Hoagland

I light candles nightly now
What am I saving the special for
I earn the tonic of beeswax
and glow the elements close
here as I stoke the growth
as I reach inwards and around
and down and up
Linking hands with the women
who have come before
the women who have bled
have birthed have braved
I lean towards the light and
aim my prayers seven generations
back seven generations
forward towards the centre of
the heart the centre of the earth
I blow out the candles before
brushing my teeth and turning in
the smoke washing my face
washing my day washing my hands
the sacred so close
the sacred everywhere
cusp of the full moon
swelling

“he fell like the rain,” by Julia at the Rivendell Cottage

Friday January 18, 2019
11:22pm
5 minutes
In The Beautiful Rain
Tony Hoagland

Her eyelids sank, heavy with dust
collected in the creases
So
many
damn
intricate
feelings
Sleep stretched out like a cat before her and she put her hand out to scratch under its chin
The night and all its bigger shadows
loomed in and around, sort of stalking
Her mouth a steady waterfall pointing ground-ward
He, on the other hand warmed up another cup of tea in the microwave
Flipped the pages of his book like punishment
Pushed the bed so far away
it
turned
into
the
couch

“he fell like the rain,” by Sasha in the bath

Friday January 18, 2019
9:04pm
5 minutes
In The Beautiful Rain
Tony Hoagland

She lifted her hand to her face
her hand the mirror that she trusted more
her face the face that she’d always known
She traced her nostrils and opened her mouth

He fell like the rain in the morning
and at night he gathered the fire to
close his eyes and trust the dark
Her sleep breath lifting him away

The laundry is on the couch and
needs to be folded
socks and T-shirts mixing cake
mixing bodies and story and dust

Someone will do it tomorrow
One of them whoever has time
and is feeling generous to the other
or to themselves

The recycling needs to be sorted
and taken out to the bins in the alleyway
where men with grocery carts pick through
all the after-thoughts all the forgetting

Hoping for a treasure

“I met Luke after my marriage ended.” By Sasha on her couch

Thursday January 17, 2019
10:17pm
5 minutes
The Ghost of a Boy
Piper Vignette

I didn’t mean to meet Luke. I was minding my own business. I was keeping my head down. Ever since I left Allison, to distract myself from the crippling guilt and regret, I’d become obsessed with Ayurveda. I read every book I could get my hands on. I mentored with an Ayurvedic doctor. I cooked lentils, rice, cauliflower. I cut out onions and garlic. I was in the co-op weighing red lentils for dahl and there he was – wearing wire-rimed glasses and a red sweater with worn elbows. He looked like he’d just woken up. He was staring at me.

“What are you gonna do with those?” He asked, a sparkle in his eyes.

“Dahl.” I said. I wasn’t interested in a flirty bulk food section exchange. I hadn’t flirted with a man since graduate school.

“I met Luke after my marriage ended.” By Julia on M’s couch

Thursday January 17, 2019
1:33pm
5 minutes
The Ghost of a Boy
Piper Vignette

You could say I manifested it; the end of my first marriage the way it is written. By that I mean death, and not
some fault of our own. We might have stopped trying. Stopped listening. Stopped seeing Love in the reflection of each other. I think we were lucky enough to preserve our relationship before it got so sad we committed any of those aforementioned acts of betrayal. I think those are worse than cheating anyway. Sex is something I can justify as “not personal”. But I suppose you’re right, if I claim to have manifested my late husband’s death. I guess that is a fault of my own I should be less light-hearted about. My intentions were that he would die and leave me while we were still in love. I didn’t know it would happen so soon or that it would work so well. If I believed in manifesting at all (before this) I would have made sure I had pots of money and enough hair product to last my entire lifetime. I would have manifested some inner peace.

“like food processors” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 16, 2019
8:21pm
5 minutes
On Becoming A Cat
Emily Mitchell

In the middle of the night I hear you whispering sweet words into the pillow
They’re for me
I kiss you back to sleep
I stay awake wondering about the light dancing across the ceiling
I was tired before this and
now maybe it’s denial
The past few days have felt impossible
Each of our hollow seems to be bouncing off every surface in sight and you might not be rubber but I’m definitely glue
I wonder at the dancing light, the collective sadness seaping into my skin, the way waking up never arrives without a headache anymore

“like food processors” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday January 16, 2019
6:31pm
5 minutes
On Becoming A Cat
Emily Mitchell

I don’t know what to say when I see you
so I don’t say anything I don’t play that
game anymore the one that all the pleasers
before me pressed into my cells a cookie cutter
a yearning for love

I don’t want to say anything to you
when I see you so I don’t say anything
I feel my heart beating and the music
doesn’t distract and you must carry the
weight of your selfishness
that is your bag of rocks to shoulder

I don’t care about rudeness or pleasantries
in this space I don’t care about hurting
I care about honesty and being true to
myself and my belief that even a hello
can be a lie

“the host raised his glass” by Julia on the 4

Tuesday January 15, 2019
6:54pm
5 minutes
Notes on Surrender
Krista Bremer

Petra was a beer lover. She was the kind of person who knew better than to cheers another with an empty glass. Even if she wasn’t thirsty, she would pour herself a sip of something to seal the deal. On the night of Kat’s engagement she had already drank her share before the thing even started. Still reeling from finding her boss dead in the foyer that morning, she knew she would need a little help getting through her best friend’s party.
Dylan wasn’t the nicest guy in the world, but to leave the world lonely, just steps away from the Naloxone?

“the host raised his glass” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday January 15, 2019
8:41am
5 minutes
Notes on Surrender
Krista Bremer

Adam raised his glass and I thought, ‘I don’t know this man.’

I do know this man. He’s my husband of thirteen years, but in these moments, in some moments, he’s a stranger.

That’s the weird part. No matter how well you think you know someone, there are still moments when –

“Thank you all for being here. I used to try to imagine what forty would feel like, what it would look like – ”

Bert chortles.

” – … I am so fortunate to be blessed by a beautiful family,” Adam looked at me, I smiled. “Mimi, you have done it again, this meal is stunning. Thank you.” People clap. Henrietta rubs my back. I felt like I was floating above these sixteen people, gathered in our dining room, at the table I set, finishing the meal that I chose, sipping wine that I bought.

“We cross dirt roads” by Sasha on her couch

Monday January 14, 2019
11:06pm
5 minutes
A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration
Elizabeth Alexander

A crow flies overhead
calling to her love
calling to her self
She is her own love

Wings spread wide she
soars towards the sun
an ascension
a wild flight
This flight of love

It’s dusk now
She’s reached where
she’s going
She lands
She settles
Sweet she calls
Sweet one she calls

On a dirt road below
A girl walks
Maybe five or six
She’s alone
She spots the crow
She smiles
She knows that crows
are as smart as her
but in different ways

Sweet one she calls

“We cross dirt roads” by Julia on the 4

Monday January 14, 2019
4:29pm
5 minutes
A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration
Elizabeth Alexander

Woman beside me: red nails that match her red boots. Noticed a red scarf and sweater too. All red. All showing.
Man beside her: grey coat, grey slacks, grey beard. He’s looking at her.
She’s provbaly reading this.
It was so foggy today the sun turned into a ball of white, outlined as if with crayon. You can drift into road on days like this. You can find yourself dissappearing without trying.
I can’t say I’m doing my best to be seen.
I think everyone in my life is sad right now and only some of them know to include me in that.

“endure burning” by Julia on the 84

Sunday January 13, 2019
5:55pm
5 minutes
A quote by Viktor Frankl

Yesterday my hair caught on fire in front of all the people I didn’t know. I am grateful. Everytime I let a part of me burn I watch myself rise from the ashes and grow longer in the backbone. That, and it’s nice to be reminded that I’m always saved in the 11th hour. My intuition pounds on the door of me and it sometimes takes going up in flames to answer the call.
How can I do more work around hearing the rap rap rap before I turn into smoke? After all, I was right about you, wasn’t I? I knew there was something off about you the first time I saw you blink like that. I hope you never try your hand at poker. Or motherhood.

“endure burning” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday January 13, 2019
5:42pm
5 minutes
A quote by Viktor Frankl

I wonder what you’ve told them about me
about how I walk on my tip toes in the morning
not to wake you
about how I braid the tassels on my red scarf
I wonder what you’ve told them about my burning
my breaking my owning my betrayal
I wonder if they know what my face looks like
when I’m sleeping
The wild wild west they say
The Wild West
A story that we all know the ending to
My devotion will break me
I’m still alive
I’m still here
I’m still

I wonder what you’ve told them about me
and the sound of my whistle my voice when I’m singing
Torn up inside the will to survive the will to
Will I ever be able to forge through winter
Will I ever be able to stop laughing

“How are you feeling?” By Julia on her couch

Saturday January 12, 2019
12:27am
5 minutes
From a text

It’s been a year and some things are still buried in the yard alongside all the other bodies too cold to touch

I wonder sometimes if you’re waiting for me to wear an apology that doesn’t belong to me on my back—
Maybe thinking it’s owed to you or something. I have to try not to take that on at all because you can’t always get what you want.

It’s been a year and some days I think you don’t notice how much we’ve both changed. Some days feel like I’m right back where I started, eating lies around you to keep you up.

I don’t want to tell you how I really am. What I really think. I’m not sure if you deserve it.

“how are you feeling?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday January 12, 2019
10:42pm
5 minutes
From a text

A: How are you feeling?
B: Today. Shitty.
A: How shitty? What kind of shitty?
B: I saw someone who is too afraid to face me, who can’t meet me how I need to be met, and I was tired and sad and I saw someone, and it was –
A: Take a deep breath?
B: I’m fine. I’m breathing fine.
A: Okay…

B: How are you?
A: I’m good. I’m great!
B: That’s nice.
A: When you’re shitty, I can still be great. It’s not a competition.
B: I know. I’m glad you’re great.
A: Why can’t you just be happy for me?
B: I am!

A: Dad said that Ming is off dairy so we can’t do rice pudding on Sunday.
B: Good for Ming.
A: Ha!
B: She always feels sick. It’s good she’s doing some investigating. I’ll bring something else. I’m sick of rice pudding anyway.
A: But we always have rice pudding for dessert –
B: Yeah, and sometimes things have to change. Sometimes change is healthy.

“grateful to be where we are now.” By Julia on her couch

Friday January 11, 2019
12:06am
From a Christmas card

A garden preened to the high heavens mocks my morning walk to the compost heap left bubbling
I hate these neighbours and their tireless knees
How some people sit like that I will never understand
My mother didn’t meet her green thumb until her 60s so maybe there’s still time for me. Not sure why my father didn’t force me into the earth when I was young and curious. Some life skills I fear I may never own
My garden wouldn’t make sense anyway-a clump of rosemary, a hill of daisies
I have never been willing to look so far ahead into a year
It’s the same pill I swallow when packing my things even if only for the night

“grateful to be where we are now.” By Sasha at her desk

Friday January 11, 2019
5:03pm
5 minutes
From a Christmas card

You’re grateful I’m here. I can see it in the release of the line on your forehead, an inch above your eyebrows. It’s been disappearing slowly, and now it’s gone. Three days in to my visit. We haven’t even had sex. I have my period. We’ve kissed a lot. Made tuna sandwiches. Watched Seinfeld.

“Why don’t you move here,” you say, casually folding laundry on your bed. I’m knitting a sweater for Cassidy. James Taylor plays on Spotify.

“You know I can’t.” I look up.

You are grateful I’m here. You usually come to me because it’s hard to get away. My kids. The cat. It’s easy for you to travel. You have less baggage.

“You are my real mother, aren’t you?” by Julia on her couch

Thursday January 10, 2019
8:54pm
5 minutes
Life After Life
Kate Atkinson

I used to want Zia Vilma to be my mother cause she knew how to french braid, and make her own halloween costumes, and turn an old pair of leggings into a choker with a broken heart earring as the pendant.

She was the only one spent time with us, who played cards with us when we were little and begging to sit at table with all the adults.
She lit up when she saw us.

My own mother was a little different than she is now. She used to scream at us more then. She used to whip her eyes shut when she was yelling out all her demons.
I hated that face she made. I was afraid of it. she couldn’t look us in the eye.

“You are my real mother, aren’t you?” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday January 10, 2019
7:04am
5 minutes
Life After Life
Kate Atkinson

I knew it was coming. It was like when my grandmother used to know that it was going to rain. Her bones would ache. I woke feeling agitated, restless, cold. Nelly had been out late with Rebecca, and she slept later than she usually does. Even for Sunday. I made waffles and turkey bacon. I made a second pot of tea. She came downstairs rubbing her eyes, bun askew on top of her head.

“Morning,” she yawned, but there was a coolness.

“Honey… – ” I looked at her and she held my gaze.

“Rebecca said that Barb said that you have something to tell me?”

Fuck Barb. I can’t believe I used to trust that woman. Fuck.

I knew it was coming but then when it does it still feels like a sledgehammer, like a slicing, like open-heart surgery.

“skin hanging from a chicken soup bone.” by Julia desk

Wednesday January 9, 2019
8:51pm
5 minutes
Tuesdays With Morrie
Mitch Albom

If ever you should leave me, leave a note in your hand
by the bedside where you slept with your mouth open and
if ever you should leave me, do not go before you say
what goes in your mother’s bone broth soup in case I get sick one day
Because without you I don’t know if I’ll be able to
go on in my usual cadence, whistling simply will not do
I will be sad and lonely, and the house will be so quiet
your laughter will not fill it, how I wish I’d learned to file it
If ever you should leave me, don’t forget to mention Sweet,
where all the toilet paper is in case there is none left by the seat
I will miss your generosity, and where you stored the sieve,
I’ll be so lost without you, I won’t know how I will live

“skin hanging from a chicken soup bone.” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday January 9, 2019
4:51pm
5 minutes
Tuesdays With Morrie
Mitch Albom

I make chicken soup with the bones of the seasons before
Frozen in Ziploc bag
Stacked with
forgotten bananas
pumpkin seeds
pine nuts
containers of squash soup

I make soup for the parents of new babies
and bodies that are tired and grieving
Bodies that are growing
Bodies that are strong
I make soup for my own lonely heart
and the lonely hearts peppered here and away

There’s been a lot of soup this winter
and pretending that candles are wood stoves
There’s been a lot

“A master-beggar art thou.” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday January 8, 2019
10:13pm
5 minutes
Kim
Rudyard Kipling

I don’t want your money but if you send a cheque I’ll cash it
I don’t want your pity but if attention’s coming I’ll stash it
So many times I’ve said I wouldn’t stoop so low
but every day is turning me into a master at limbo
surprise yourself with pleasantries or avoidance or a feeling
never say never cause the holy spirit’s teething
wants a bite of my earthly flesh and all the lies I let in
this is how you get on your knees and pray for all the sinning
I don’t want your money but I’ll take it if it’s there
cause I don’t like to waste things like guilty almost care
I’d rather have your praise but I guess beggars can’t be choosers
I used to crave the fame when I was caught up with the losers
Now I don’t know where I am supposed to be going
Put the money in the hat and hope it don’t start snowing

“A master-beggar art thou.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday January 8, 2019
10:04pm
5 minutes
Kim
Rudyard Kipling

I make you cinnamon buns. I let the dough double rise and listen to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. I make the filling (butter, cinnamon, sugar, salt). I make the cream cheese frosting. I whisper that you’re my little darling, and these buns are my little darlings, and in the quiet of this Saturday night, the world is my little darling. I’ll bring you the buns tomorrow morning, after I bake them, while they are still warm. You’ll be surprised to see me, but I’ll be holding a tray of the best damn thing you’ve ever smelled so you won’t be able to send me away, to refuse me, to ask me to go. You’ll invite me in. Coffee will already be brewing on the counter, in your red french press.

“there were also many miracles then.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday January 7, 2019
7:02pm
5 minutes
The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoevsky

There were more miracles then. That probably dates me… I know there are still miracles, but it seems like there used to be more. Maybe it’s because the sky was bigger. There weren’t so many big buildings blocking the blue. There were more miracles, like, when I was a little girl. Big ones and small ones. Acts of grace and God, acts of kindness, surprising twists and all the rest. With the buildings came less birds because the birds fly into the buildings, the buildings are in their flight path. No one thought about the birds when they built those buildings. That’s why I told your grandfather that we had to move North. We had to get away from those buildings.

“there were also many miracles then.” by Julia at her desk

Monday January 7, 2019
5:44pm
5 minutes
The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoevsky

There is a door that leads to the magical world of peace beyond peace. I found it once in a dream when I walked through my parents’ closet. It opened into a landscape that I could only describe as pure joy. The sun was warming, the grass was singing. I longed to stay there forever and when I woke up I went downstairs and tried to find the door again. It had disappeared. I have never been so sad in my life. To know a place exists but to not know how to get there. I could have cried my heart dry that day. And some days here, and now, the place blurs from my memory all together and leaves me in a house of despair. I could walk to the ocean and then all the way to the core of it in one hollow breath. The people around continue to walk about in their aimless, pointless way. The anchor is so heavy it’s as if the simulation is broken. The seagulls do not even bother to dive past.

“There is no rule that is true under the circumstances” by Julia at her desk

Sunday January 6, 2019
8:40pm
5 minutes
Synchronicity
C.G. Jung

We have to shift every time
it is not something we’ve done once
and always know now
We are reminding each other often
Today there were tears and maybe
that’s the only thing we can
expect after all these days

Walking along the beach today
you say that no matter what
you think it’s going to be in
your head, the only certainty
you can rely on, is that it won’t

I believe people can change and
retract their previous opinions
That’s what learning is all about
Knowing a thing you didn’t know
before and seeing through a different
perspective

We have to shift every time
We know nothing will be as
we think it will even if we want
it to be it with all of our heart’s
deep and steady longing

I suppose we have to get good at
believing in the great presence
of love unconditional
When it is there it is always there
and there is no need to question it

Walking along the beach today I do
not even think to question it
I have it in my skin
and I know it

“There is no rule that is true under the circumstances” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday January 6, 2019
8:42am
5 minutes
Synchronicity
C.G. Jung

We ask ourselves why and how and when and then hold hands and call Red Rover. We swim in the same ocean we pollute and forget the connection between the food we eat and the rising temperatures. We plug our ears when it doesn’t concern us and when it does we scream to the sky and beg for more. Under the circumstances, we are perched on the edge of the precipice, stratus clouds no longer reaching a hand down to help. It rains and rains. The rich get richer. Somebody says that it’s too late and in the heartbeat of my unborn daughter I feel the drum of hope. Hope no longer blind faith or unsubstantiated optimism, but hope like a conversation, like the space between then and now and then.

“He was young and handsome” by Julia at the table

Saturday January 5, 2019
5:36pm
5 minutes
The Elephant Vanishes
Haruki Murakami

This year we didn’t look at old photos of you
and Mom wearing your brilliant sweaters at Niagara Falls.
I think there was too much going on, but I missed it anyway.
Tracing the outline of your fro,
curls I know intimately since they landed on my head too.
Thank you for those, by the way.
When I was little and everyone said I looked more like you
it used to break my heart.
I don’t know why I thought it was anything but a compliment.
You were young and handsome.
You are still young and handsome.
I am in awe of how big your heart has grown in these sixty-two years of living.
Sixty-two years today.
You have gotten so soft and there is all this room for me now.
Thank you for that too, by the way.
I am looking at the photo of you holding me for the first time
a month and a couple weeks after your thirty-second birthday,
and the look in your eyes as you look down at me
is turning me into something sweet.
Thank you for that.
That is how I see you too.

“He was young and handsome” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday January 5, 2019
9:02am
5 minutes
The Elephant Vanishes
Haruki Murakami

It’s your birthday today
You’re young and handsome
bird-like and dying
empty and full
at the same time
“This too”
I whisper
“This too”
I wail

I saw the most wondrous thing
was there for the birth
of a star child on the first
day of the new year
this year of mystery
babies
loss
learning
breath

I don’t know if I’ll
see you again in the flesh
in the bone
bird-body
sun-shower

It’s your birthday today
the same week cancer took
both A. and D.
the same week a star child
was born
the same week
the same life
a birthday
a deathday
a new day
a new day

“The horse flung his head up” by Julia on her couch

Friday January 4, 2019
1:19am
5 minutes
The Pearl
John Steinbeck

I saw a horse on a plate and I wanted to get it for you

She was galloping over a fence
I was happy for you

It takes a real horse to be happy for someone else

You have to be free enough to see what is really there

I don’t know how often I’ve been the horse, been free

I am supposed to sugar coat this so nobody gets scared off

This is a good place I can promise you that

It doesn’t need the knot in the foot to remind us all

“The horse flung his head up” by Sasha at her desk

Friday January 4, 2019
8:12am
5 minutes
The Pearl
John Steinbeck

The whippoorwill flies at night, sings in the morning, nests in the afternoon. Like you did, when days were shorter and nights were longer. Like you did when 10 pm was early. The whippoorwill’s song is a memory of August days in the hammock on the porch, reading books, sending shivers into the corner of your imagination, chasing worlds that might be possible one day. The whippoorwill was believed to be a bird of witchcraft. Yes please, you say, yes please.

“This is the beginning of the beginning” by Julia at her table

Thursday January 3, 2019
8:56pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chödrön

This is excellent timing. The beginning of the beginning.
Good. Not to worry. It’s not the end, it’s all new.
Nothing to fear! The world, at this point, is your oyster!
Don’t like oysters? Don’t get caught up in words! They’re
just words! But they are excellent words, aren’t they?
The Beginning of the Beginning! It’s exciting. What will
you do? Set a schedule? Make a plan? Cross of the items on
the list? It’s all up to you, isn’t it. It’s yours to do
with what you like. If you are looking for an example of
what to do now since it’s the beginning and not the ending
then I will offer that to you. I am planning (see!) to
BEGIN the process of the end. Confused? I understand. You.
I understand how you might be. If this is the beginning,
should I be so defeatist? I have all this time to make
a new thing at the beginning of the beginning. I could
do whatever my heart desired, after all. And that is why
I am happy to announce my retirement! I am beginning to
retire from this life that no longer keeps me tuned in!
I want to go back home. I’m as surprised as you. I only
realized today how much I hate it here.

“This is the beginning of the beginning” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday January 3, 2019
4:38pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chödrön

More compassion, soft ears, green vegetables, dancing, reading, surrender to the mystery of it all, quiet, nature, calling far-away loved ones, patience, filing, writing, movement, sleep, boundaries.

Less judgement, sweet stuff, jaw clenching, catastrophic thinking, Instagram, tension, impatience, screen time, expectations.

“heaven is great, earth is great, people are great” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 2, 2019
10:21pm
5 minutes
Living the Wisdom of the Tao
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

There’s a man I walk by everyday on my way to the grocery store. He has a different sign all the time but I know he’s asking for help. I’m waiting for the day he transforms from his sidewalk seat to a radiant standing man with a flowing robe. He will smile at all of us with his kind warm heart and say, “Sorry fuckers, don’t have room on this trolley for the inconsiderate.” Then all the people going in and out of Whole Foods will think about things for a minute. And I will be just like them. Because I have ignored him. I don’t even know what he looks like. I feel bad that I don’t want to give him anything so I walk with my head high in avoidance. I am aware enough to know that I am avoiding the aspect of myself that needs help, the one that doesn’t want pity, the aspect that is not making enough money. I am him and he is me and this lesson is a little too late learned for flowy asshole Jesus.

“heaven is great, earth is great, people are great” by Sasha on the 99

Wednesday January 2, 2019
2:13pm
5 minutes
Living the Wisdom of the Tao
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

It’s okay, I mean, I’m okay. Things are okay, Brad, I don’t know what you want me to say… Everyone is happy sometimes and sad sometimes, right?! It’s not even about the balance of being happy and sad I don’t think… It’s about the quality of the feelings. Like, when you’re happy, are you really free? Is there still a little balloon in your chest slowly deflating? Don’t lie to yourself about it. No point in lying about that little balloon, she probably just needs acknowledgement! When you’re sad are you really letting yourself, like, go there? Are you crying and stuff? I don’t know how to take how you’re looking at me… We haven’t seen each other in, like, three years, and now you’re acting all concerned? Sometimes I’m really happy. Sometimes I’m really sad. That’s it.

“I can be courageous enough to feel” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday January 1, 2019
8:14pm
5 minutes
Comfortable With Uncertainty
Pema Chödrön

The sorrow I’ve been pushing into the deep hole of me has started to itch
It rubs up against the sides of its cage and begs for fresh water
Don’t you know you cannot burry sadness alive?
The clock on the wall clicks more than ticks and I think everything around me is breaking
At dinner the light is soft and golden and everyone is in a perfect mood but me
The air in my lungs escapes before I know what I am saying and the room tunnels into the shape of my hurt
All those years of doing my best and being told to go back to the old me-the one who is better understood by shopkeepers and mothers and fathers and groups of afraid
I feel this pit beginning to take root and I am not sure what I’ll be if I pluck it from the dark mud where it’s been lost
How easy to say Fine instead of Not Fine
How easy to say sorry after the garden has been torn up
I am courageous enough to feel all this and all this that cannot be named

“I can be courageous enough to feel” by Sasha on the 9

Tuesday January 1, 2019
1:23pm
5 minutes
Comfortable With Uncertainty
Pema Chödrön

She didn’t want to go. It was freezing old outside and the thought of putting on all those layers only to take them off when she got there was almost too much to handle. She thinks about her therapist saying that sometimes self care looks like staying in, having a bath, reading a book, and sometimes self care looks like getting out, being with people, having a slice of cake. Liam had said that it would mean a lot to him if she came, this being his first gig back with the band after surgery. She didn’t want to go. Sometimes being a good friend means showing up. She knows this. She knows.