“apartment door was closed and triple-locked” by Julia at her desk

Monday March 18, 2019
8:56pm
5 minutes
The Langoliers
Stephen King

I can’t have you look at me that way
With eyes dripping pity
Boy you never looked less pretty
I don’t want your face to say
You knew better all along or
This is a self-inflicted song
Weeeeeooooo the wound is pulsing
Weeeeeooooo the pressure rushing
I’m not cut out for this
Can’t handle a setback or a twist
Where’s the paper I signed up for
Can’t recognize my signature from a blood stain on the floor
Weeeeeooooo the ground is home
Weeeeeooooo this place is normal
Maybe I was wrong once or twice
But I never kept the knife jabbed in
Who are you to know my sins
Can’t have judging eyes
No one look at me

“A yellow ball of sun. “ by Julia at Kits Beach

Sunday March 17, 2019
6:19pm
5 minutes
The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

Maybe he’s a magician. He knew which cure I needed.

I said, I won’t be leaving the house today and he opened all the windows. Slowly he nudged
me out of one.

He threw down my tiny backpack after me with a row of Oreos wrapped neatly in the front pocket.

I didn’t thank him then because I still hated him for making me leave.

My body ached from the elephant standing on all my bones.
She was heavy but I didn’t want to be rude so I let her plant her home in me.

The first set of steps set off the fire alarm or the something alarm: Somebody save me or kill me please.

I kept moving, thinking of his wand or special drink. Whatever he used to work his magic on me to get me out.

I walked and walked with a slowness that might suggest a destination was out of the question.

Then I found my feet on the dirty sand filled with broken shells and cigarette butts.
The ball of sun told me where to put myself and I listened to him too.

I closed my eyes and sat there, staring directly into a hot face. I said to myself, Oh. So this is what he meant.

“wonders what’s in this woman’s fridge” by Julia at her desk

Saturday March 16, 2019
8:21pm
5 minutes
Malarky
Anakana Schofield

I go round to some houses that have giant fridges and a pantry filled with a lot of the Costco packaging. Giant boxes of shredded wheat, giant tubs of peanut butter, giant rolls of paper towel. The fridges upstairs have chocolate bars half-eaten, caramel M&M’s, bocconcini, tiny humus cups with pretzels, and lime Perrier.

I am not hungry but they tell me to eat. And since I am here, and curious, and low on money, I save my rice leftovers. Leave the container in my bag and find as many things in the giant fridges to eat as I can. Anything already opened? Anything about to go bad anyway and finishing it is doing them more of a favour? Their leftovers sometimes taste better than mine. Because I didn’t make them. Sometimes old fries from a restaurant with a little bit of aioli.

“wonders what’s in this woman’s fridge” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday March 16, 2019
7:54pm
5 minutes
Malarky
Anakana Schofield

Hoisin, grainy mustard, almost finished mayo. Vegan butter. A half eaten pear, browning at the edges. A full carton of Tropicana. Sliced turkey in brown paper, three pieces left. A small wrinkled lime, forgotten in the crisper. A head of romaine. A stray jalapeño. Two oranges. A pepperoni stick on a plate, two bites gone. A carton of blueberries. Three organic eggs. A knob of old cheddar, in cling wrap. Tomato paste in a squeeze tube.

“a long, slow, squirmy moment for both of us.” by Julia in her bed

Friday March 15, 2019
12:48am
5 minutes
Orange is The New Black
Piper Kerman

It’s been better than usual. Better than the best peanut butter. Nut Buts, he called it. And who was I to complain to the universe for anything. I put on my acceptance hat and my acceptance capris and I walked along the beach saying thank you. And I find the sweetness in every word he makes up. Every language I learn because of him. There is play and youth and love in it. I say thank you thank you.

“a long, slow, squirmy moment for both of us.” By Sasha on her couch

Friday March 15, 2019
11:09am
5 minutes
Orange is The New Black
Piper Kerman

In the middle of the night
I’m listening to your rise and fall,
A breath I know by heart, tracing
the outline of your dreaming,
a sound in which magic thrives, a place
where the edges are soft, and there’s
good listening.

I walk to the bathroom, holding
my heavy belly in both my hands, tracking
the street lamp light with half-open eyes.

We found each other again in the tangle
of bed sheets and tongues, discovering
how to do this in all the Pisces
fullness. It’s taken patience.
It always does.

Back in bed I try to fall back to sleep,
turning from one side to the other, a pillow
between my leg, a pillow
where you were.

I write poems to our daughter
in the air with my pointer finger,
my counting sheep.

“staring into the eyes of a giant wasp” by Julia on her bed

Thursday March 14, 2019
10:10pm
5 minutes
Micro
Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

So I had just finished eating a strawberry Passion Flakie and I was on cloud nine. I loved those things more than a good hug when your insides get antsy: creamy, soft, chewy, cool. I may have had two. And there I was standing on the low A bar of the swing set, the old rusty broken down swing set. The top pole was missing a cover on both sides and I discovered that if you sing into it, the echo was so brilliant you sounded like a rock star making love to a microphone. I made up a song, naturally, and I tested it out amplified. The next thing I knew, two hornets had found the leftover Passion Flakie on my lips. The scream rang out like a bell; tortured, honest, amplified.

“staring into the eyes of a giant wasp” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday March 14, 2019
6:20pm
5 minutes
Micro
Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

Man gets on my bus and he smells like piss and oil. “Morning,” I say and he leans in close and shows me his teeth.

“Gotta get to the teeth doc!” Looks like it’s been awhile.

“Take a seat, and we’ll be on our way,” I say. The old lady sitting close moves a few seats back, bringing a handkerchief to her nose. In the rearview mirror I see several people scowl.

“Gotta get to the teeth doc!” My man says again.

I drive because it’s an honourable job. People are always gonna have places to get to. I like my current route. I’m thinking to ask about staying on it for awhile.

End of the line. Man’s still there. He’s fallen asleep.

“with some bullshit approach” by Julia in her room

Wednesday March 13, 2019
10:26pm
5 minutes
Created By
Richard Christian Matheson

LEEDS
with some bullshit approach, too, that’s why I’m pissed. If his lies were at least creative I would be able to give him that. It’s disappointing how unclever they are. I thought he was more of a man that that.

MNERA
You want him to lie to you?

LEEDS
Yeah, with some attention to craft, is that so much to ask?

MNERA
Wanna know what I think?

LEEDS
You waiting for me to answer that, seriously? Just say what you think, Mnera, for Christ’s sake.

MNERA
You’d be surprised at how little you’d want to hear it if I didn’t ask you.

LEEDS
Okay I take it back. You happy?

“with some bullshit approach” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday March 13, 2019
5:47pm
5 minutes
Created By
Richard Christian Matheson

What scares us fascinates us
Oh such delicate creatures
The news is a fear machine

We glue our eyeballs to our
tiny screens and scroll
The extinctions
The exhaustions
The exhuming
The extreme

Risk and learn
Power off the empathy
because the heart can’t

bear all the hurting

Everything we do
impacts who we are
who our children are
who our parents are

We do everything in connection
Multiplicity
There isn’t organization in the chaos

Turn off the light when
you leave the room
Turn off the tap while brushing teeth
Say

Thank you

“He had to warm the guy up fast” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday March 12, 2019
8:53pm
5 minutes
The Obsidian Chamber
Preston & Child

So Ray is playing ball this year and he’s got one hell of an arm. I was warming him up in my backyard last night and that kid almost took my nose off. One hell of a pitcher. He looks like he’s having fun too and that’s in spite of Rory coming to every practice with his stupid lawn chair trying to get inside that poor kid’s head. Surprised he wasn’t on my porch hollering at me. Ray gets all of his attention. His other kid, well shoot, I don’t even know her name. She don’t play ball, that’s all I do know, or Rory would be splitting his rage between the two of them. Maybe she’s better off. I can’t tell, really. Ray seems to have his head on straight but at his age he could just be showing his shyness. He doesn’t want to be like his dad, so there could be some intentionality behind it as well. Either way, that kid’s arm. I’ll tell you, if I were hitting against him this year I’d be out at the batting cages every damn day.

“He had to warm the guy up fast” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 12, 2019
8:03am
5 minutes
The Obsidian Chamber
Preston & Child

friend who is no longer friend
who the net couldn’t hold
who is gone now from this everyday
it’s not how i ever thought it would be
but i do know that love comes and goes
and open heartedness only gets us so far
always gets us to the truth

friend who is no longer friend
i hope that you are finally finding the peace
that you so desperately want
or wanted then i hope that
you are supported and enveloped in prayer
it’s okay that you broke things
forgiveness beads in my hand
counting to one hundred and eight
every morning and night

friend who is no longer friend
i don’t know if we’ll find our way back
to each other in this lifetime
but what i do know is that love is the god
i whisper to and who sings through
my voice moves through my body
water finding the same source
finding other water

“This song.” by Julia on her couch

Monday March 11, 2019
6:01pm
5 minutes
Freedomland
Richard Price

Might be the thing I tell you
Might be the first thing I say
Baby you’re not going to well up
Your eyes don’t work that way
Might be the thing you remember
Might be the last thing you hear
Darlin’ I can’t stop myself thinking
That I’ll be the one shedding these tears
Some of these days will be dipped in summer’s haze and we won’t be able to see the cracks
But when it gets cold and the winter wind blows, we’ll be left with all of the cruel facts
Might be the thing I tell you
Might be the first thing I say
I wish it were different but now I’m a lingerin’ even though I cannot stay
I’ll miss you the most in the mornin
Cause that’s where our bodies would meet
These blankets with only me will get so lonely without you beside me

“This song.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday March 11, 2019
10:08am
5 minutes
Freedomland
Richard Price

We go for nachos before the breastfeeding class. I’m proud of myself for remembering that I should put the seatbelt under my belly, not across. I don’t spend very much time in cars anymore. We order the ones with smoked tofu, corn, pickled onions. We add guacamole, obviously. A good order of nachos feels like you’ve barely made a dent when you’re already starting to get full, and that happens, and I like it. We pack up the leftovers, pay the bill, and I go to the washroom. When I come out, our song is playing. I watch you as you put on your coat and hat, this being who I know so well, who is still such a profound mystery. I am transported back to our wedding day, swaying and twirling in your arms in the middle of a circle of so many that we love.

“no matter how uncomfortable staying has become.” by Julia on the 99

Sunday March 10, 2019
5:27pm
5 minutes
Devil With a Briefcase
Jan Janzen

Hey if you’re reading this, this is for you. I know you as a 14 year old girl with bruised calves and giant beaded necklaces. I know the you that regifted me a notebook with an angel on the front cover and a devil on the back. You didn’t know at the time I wasn’t the type to like that sort of thing or that my reasons were the same as yours were when you gave it away. I know you in the mouldy elevator singing at the top of our lungs, performing on the cafeteria stage wearing matching scarves, sitting in the student council office during 3rd period spare. I know you falling to your knees with joy the day I brought you back a crispy chicken sandwich after lunch.

“no matter how uncomfortable staying has become.” By Sasha in her bed

Sunday March 10, 2019
4:07pm
5 minutes
Devil With a Briefcase
Jan Janzen

You finally know what it is that you need to do
Now it’s just a matter of cracking open the outer shell
Scrambling yourself
Daring to be reborn

You sit with what it is that you need to do
for many long weeks
Sunday to Monday feeling like Winter to Fall
Time is a strange charade

A Sunday in March you dream about flying
your wings are the colour of the future
You can’t put your finger on the truth on your lips
but it’s there and it’s ready

You thought that staying with yourself
in all your stunning wretched you-ness
was just the practise of being alive
But it’s not and you’re not and now you’re

Pushing your fingers through the first bit of light

“You must unlearn the habit of being someone else” by Julia at her desk

Saturday March 9, 2019
9:33pm
5 minutes
A quote from Herman Hesse

I say this to myself. I say this to you as me thank you universe as mirror
I started this thinking I was going to channel someone else’s tone and make a profound discovery about all my major opinions. I wonder who she wanted to be like or sound like or only wished she could express half as well as. Maybe I’ll ask her that. The first breeze of the morning. I’ll bet she’ll say something like that as her response. Something loose like an escaped curl from a tight bun. She’ll say that was her inspiration. That was what she tried to emulate. I could use my own voice but I’m still not sure which one she is.

“You must unlearn the habit of being someone else” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday March 9, 2019
8:14pm
5 minutes
A quote from Herman Hesse

We are all just doing the best we can right? Or, maybe not all of us, but most of us are. When I meet you, you are charcoal fingertips and over-steeped green tea. That was a long time ago. I know that I want to be someone like you, but not quite you, a little less smoky, a little less bitter. You are looking for salvation, or at least a good kisser. I am looking for someone who can teach me about caring less what people think. That was a long time ago. My breath catches when I realize that we’re drifting, that we’re changing, that we’re leaning away. I’ll keep this my secret until you find it, in the front pocket of your red suitcase, or underneath the stairs.

“**NEW CLIENT TO DAZZLE!**” by Julia on her couch

Friday March 8, 2019 6:11pm 5 minutes From Nannies On Call Hello fuck you very much, I have a lot to tell you actually, I quit, for one, second, full disclosure, going to bad mouth you guys on the internet. I don’t care about your clients. I think a place that is bad for the people who work there is going to breed something far worse for the clients than what I say. What I want to say is I don’t know how I’ve put up with it for so long. Kind of a stay-too-long-at-all-the-wrong-parties kind of gal. I know I could have left sooner, but, full disclosure, I needed the job and if I valued myself even a smidgen more I wouldn’t be as complicit. I really want to talk about your no emergencies rule. How the fuck are you sleeping at night? Three misses and you’re out even with a doctor’s note? FUCKS.

“**NEW CLIENT TO DAZZLE!**” by Sasha on her couch

Friday March 8, 2019
5:02pm
5 minutes
From Nannies On Call

Hi Rebecca. Good morning. How are you? Nice cardigan. That’s your colour. You must be a True Winter… Are you? Those colour wheels? Do you want Miranda to get you a matcha or something? Okay… okay, so… Okay Rebecca, there’s a new client coming in today and it’s your moment. Stan brought them in, but he’s swamped and we talked and we think that it’s your moment. I know you’ve been here six months and we haven’t really given you the responsibility that you were hoping for. I heard a bit from Janice that you were worried? We like to take our time and really hand select the first big pitch someone does, right? And… the time has come, Rebecca. Are you ready to dazzle?

“Roads here are nuts.” By Julia on her couch

Thursday March 7, 2019
8:20pm
5 minutes
From a text message

Earlier today the damn weather forecast never said nothin’ about no snow. No rain in there neither and somehow we had both, now didn’t we. Nobody spectin’ a downfall or downpour or whatever. Nobody out dressed thinkin’ it’s back to winter out here. Not after all them sunny days we got. We was laughin’ cuz Spring was tryna tell us it was ready. Yesterday I saw all them robins scurryin’ about too so what’s up with that! It got me real angry when the man opened the door for me this mornin’, saw the skies and said, “Just miserable. And you haven’t got an umbrella?” Wanted to punch his rich little mouth right offa him. I said, “It’s snowin.’” with a hook in my voice that told him I was it was feeakin’ news to me too.

“Roads here are nuts.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday March 7, 2019
5:40pm
5 minutes
From a text message

The cedars are telling me how
Step slow
Listen
Trust the roots

Moss on the undergrowth
Step slow
Eyelashes wet from dawn
Quiet like the beginning
and the end

In through the nose
and out through the mouth
Faith in the one foot
in front of the other

Surrender in the new
in the trusting
in the perfect
curve of the reach
of the fern

Rumi writes of the field
and it’s where I’m
going

I’ll meet you there

“There are certain cautions” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday March 6, 2019
8:51pm
5 minutes
Prescription for Nutritional Healing
Phyllis A. Baluch, CNC

There was yellow tape outside your old house
off Gibson there, that house where you hid your first stolen watch.
The watch that belonged to your uncle there, Dominick?
You remember him?

He slapped you so hard it sizzled. Left a bacon stain on your cheek and you were fourteen so he ceased to exist to you from that day on. You took his favourite keychain too. But he found that.

I walked by cause I always do even though you don’t live there anymore. I know you did. The bedroom door where you scrawled your brother’s name: backward and spelled wrong

“There are certain cautions” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday March 6, 2019
7:11am
5 minutes
Prescription for Nutritional Healing
Phyllis A. Baluch, CNC

Look before crossing the road. Wear a bike helmet. Go to the doctor if something is up. Don’t read texts while walking. Buckle your seatbelt. Try your best to have some savings. Have a good handful of friends you can really count on. Write down the birthdays of people that matter. Eat green vegetables. Learn the times tables and learn them well the first time. Organize receipts. Listen to the signs. Renew your passport.

“I can feel it changing!” by Sasha in the bath

Tuesday March 5, 2019
7:02pm
5 minutes
Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller

New moon coming round the corner
all coy and wondering
what might this March carry
in her womb

What did you want me to be
when you asked the fate-filled
question in the mountain belly
Who did you think I’d become

Traffic soundtrack
and the bath draining
belly swollen with the future
you finger-picking in the living room

Dishes from dinner in the sink
soup for tomorrow’s lunch already packed
this is the me that I’ve become
Full of the tide

“I can feel it changing!” by Julia on the 19

Tuesday March 5, 2019
4:23pm
5 minutes
Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller

It’s as if we never faced off that one night in June-you with your clever excuses and me with my tone trying to remain bigger than you.
I honestly thought you’d have more to say, the sand beading little reminders under your feet.
Where did you even go?
I swear I watched the you I knew get wiped away clean like two eyebrows drawn on, finally private enough to die.
Where did you even go?
I can’t speak for the me I was that night, edging closer to a storm, betraying my wisdom.
I hate seeming so small, fragile.
I went back in time, if you were wondering.
I landed on a year of my life that I am embarrassed about when looking at photographs.
Puffy bangs, sun-kissed cheeks,
all of the wrong teeth now missing

“Our self-centred fears whisper at us all day” by Julia on the 19

Monday March 4, 2019
5:42pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah Anyway
Anne Lamott

It’s one of those probing kind of voices
The one that gets in your head and lingers
Untucking sheets from bed frames
Lingering in the corner with the spiders too quick to spot
What if they’re looking at me
Laughing at me
Mad at me
Sorry for me
What if they’re all one team and I have no one left to pick to stand behind me
Pulse pulse throb throb
The echo alone enough to flip your eyelids inside out
No sleep for the talked about
No rest for the worrying
Everyone seems to have their own personal list, monogrammed into every towel meant for coming clean
The secrets etched in the base of our skulls tend to burrow into those silky memories
stripping them grey

“Our self-centred fears whisper at us all day” by Sasha on her couch

Monday March 4, 2019
11:32am
5 minutes
Hallelujah Anyway
Anne Lamott

Wake at four in the morning
turn over turn over sigh and
get up to pee and return and sigh
the brain is off on her race
around the track of worry

Funny where the mind goes
when there’s no distraction
when there’s the peek of the
streetlamp and the sound
of your love’s breath

What if nothing goes how
I hope it goes?
What if I can’t take it?
What if I can’t be there
when he goes?

“He thumped his chest” by Julia on her couch

Sunday March 3, 2019
8:01pm
5 minutes
Casual Vacancy
J.K Rowling

The colour of the room struck her as “underwhelming”
The glow of the yellow hall lights cast a sickly feeling throughout the apartment and she realized it was not this place alone
The whole street seemed to be cloaked in bad light and she wondered if it was her issue to overcome, or her city to leave
She tried to remember if this was ever a true problem back home
The walls were warmer, she concluded, more exposed brick and architectural appreciation
She couldn’t help but think that the people who put up with a light so unsettling were not to be trusted
She didn’t trust women with bare ankles during the winter months either
Both seemed to happen a lot here

“He thumped his chest” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday March 3, 2019
4:12pm
5 minutes
Casual Vacancy
J.K Rowling

Bruno thumps his chest and runs around the dining room like he’s high on something. I hate this family. Who has three kids under the age of six and then pawns them off on babysitters ten hours a day? Who expects said babysitters to potty-train their little vermin? Who thinks it’s okay to leave housekeeping duties to a babysitter who is making sixteen dollars an hour and being punched, puked on and screamed at?! Why do I do this to myself! Milo sticks his hand in his diaper, pulls out some shit, and tries to eat it. I’m leaving.

“scratched plastic Fisher Price drum set” by Julia on her couch

Saturday March 2, 2019
9:10pm
5 minutes
(Lady)bug
Ilyssa Goldsmith

It was hard to read about the babies she found laying on the floor with dog shit. I read the case notes on some of these households and decided maybe this social work stuff isn’t for everyone. Maybe I’m not strong enough to witness that. I think I’d want to get too personal, with them, you know? Ask them if anyone’s hugged them lately from the bottom of their hearts and waited the requisite 6 seconds to synch up the heartbeats. I would want to sit there all day and say I’m here, okay, for you, I’m here right now and I have nowhere else to be. I’d bring them a gift basket and say it’s just what I do for everyone. Or maybe I do it for everyone. See the resources right now don’t allow for any kind of extraneous measures. No radical acts of kindness and those workers are fighting fires that won’t ever go out. They’re tired. They don’t have time for everybody.

“scratched plastic Fisher Price drum set” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday March 2, 2019
9:14am
5 minutes
(Lady)bug
Ilyssa Goldsmith

Toys piled high in the corner
Stuffed rabbits and beanie bottomed bears
Cabbage patch kid with freckles and red hair
Plastic kitchen utensils and bowls
cutlery and plates
have been in many small mouths
many small hands
Scratched Fisher Price drum set

Moira doesn’t care to move things
out now that the kids don’t play
with this stuff anymore
She holds on
As we all do
She imagines the sound of the play
of them when they were smaller
when they weren’t rushing in and out

“Why don’t you get rid of this stuff, Mom?”
Angela says with furrowed brow
Too much lip gloss
“I will one day,” Moira
kisses the top of her daughter’s head
remembers when it smelled like Cheerios

“breaks the silence” by Julia on her couch

Friday March 1, 2019
11:06pm
5 minutes
The First Treatise
Yara Farran

Nothing puts a bug in the ear of silence more than talking about the future and being ready for what comes. You’re happy I’m happy.
You’re not thinking the same things as me. The full air is now like a blunt knife to the neck skin. It bruises before it breaks. It costs a different degree of commitment to finding out what happens. What comes.
I’m sorry you’re sorry. I liked the quiet then too. I didn’t know it was going to do so much changing.

“breaks the silence” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday March 1, 2019
11:02pm
5 minutes
The First Treatise
Yara Farran

Sat by his bedside
day after day
The Don River moving
outside the floor
to ceiling windows
winter holds on
like holds on
How can we let go?

You astound me with
the openness of your heart
how it can break and bear
the greatest weight at the
same time
How you are capable
with your head in the
jaws of the beast

You both really like
the doctor this month
He’s honest
He reads poetry
When Death Comes