“hair slicked in waves” by Julia at her desk

Sunday March 31, 2019
8:20pm
5 minutes
Push
Adrienne Gruber

When the party’s done, over, you name it, do you go, we go, are we going back to your place, the bar, the next stage in our relationship?

Got questions for all the sweeties out there with hair-slicked-waves, with promises to burn, with ideas of how why how why, with roadmaps marked, checked, ripped from all the momentum.

If I told you I wanted to lay quietly with my legs between yours, no talking, no quipping, no music, no mustering, no interpreting, would you tell me it was too easy to do, too hard, too dumb, too beneath us, too much of a waste of time, too good?

When the moment’s over where do we go, you go, I go, have to see, need to see, want to see, dream of seeing, see in dreams, see in dreams? Where, why, how, are you, me, are we good at answering these questions or just good at asking them.

“hair slicked in waves” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday March 31, 2019
7:50am
5 minutes
Push
Adrienne Gruber

Hair slicked back in waves the men lunge forward as we walk back, heels clicking the cobblestone streets, tempting and sweating and breathing and hoping, and are we lost now? It doesn’t really matter. Names we don’t know and names we do and beer by the pitcher even though we don’t really like it. Tapas served with everything, maybe that’s why we order more beer. I’m dizzy and you’re kissing a very tall Jorge in the corner and now I’m not sure about getting back to the hostel or getting back home or my boyfriend a million miles away or if we’re going to make it, you and me, me and him, this and us.

“Eat bread and understand comfort.” By Julia on W and B’s couch

Saturday March 30, 2019
9:21pm
5 minutes
To Begin With, the Sweet Grass
Mary Oliver

Some days are so low
So low the ground feels high
So low the stars aren’t shining

No reason
Except everything

The grass aches
The leaves lie
The world keeps spinning and something else that doesn’t feel true

Why when some days are the opposite
The singing
the squeezing
the good
The feeling
The family
The forever

I am not asking for this

Maybe I’m asking for this

And I know that I could be
the one to trade with
So I try to write down
all the very good that I know
The blessings, counted
The love
The roof
The everything
Even this low
Because I only know it
if I know the opposite
and if
I didn’t this would
feel normal

“Eat bread and understand comfort.” By Sasha at her desk

Saturday March 30, 2019
6:21pm
5 minutes
To Begin With, the Sweet Grass
Mary Oliver

She isn’t sure what to make of the fact that Jed is making bread again. It’s been three years since there was yeast germinating on the counter. She forgot what it was like to wake up to the smell of a fresh loaf of sourdough on the counter. She forgot about cutting into the crusty exterior and dripping pieces into olive oil and balsamic vinegar. She doesn’t ask Jed what’s changed, or why he decided to start up again. She doesn’t want to disturb the stillness of the flour, the bubble of the fermentation.

“concern also has been expressed” by Sasha at her desk

Friday March 29, 2019
9:48pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

You scrub the walls and dust the
hard-to-reach corners way up
way up beyond
where I can reach

I watched you ironing your shirt
this morning and talked and talked
and then I said

“I guess I’m feeling a bit chatty”
and you smiled
and it was all there
the waiting and the mystery
the stillness and the movement
the arrivals and the departure

The great letting go
required
on both sides

We are living in more
love than ever before and
I know it’s because
we have scrubbed the foundation
we have eaten handfuls of
clay in the face of doubt

We have come through the tunnel
and now we shield our eyes from
the exquisite brightness
of this living

“concern also has been expressed” by Julia at the bus stop

Friday March 29, 2019
6:25pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

I made a scene at dinner. Call me premenstrual, or incapable of having a nice night out, or insensitive to the needs of the room. Merel has said that about me before. She has said “read the room” and I think she means like a book. So does that mean let the book tell me what I’m experiencing? Am I not supposed to draw conclusions?

Someone asked a specific question and my face turned hot and my eyes filled up and my voice got loud. I don’t know that I was entirely inappropriate, all of us casually at the Cactus Club for happy hour. I am not happy! But the rest of them turned very small. I didn’t want small I wanted bigness. I wanted a fight or a debate or a hug or something.

I am most hurt by silence. By the fear I’ll go off the handle. One person agreed with me. And one person probably now thinks I’m the devil.

Merel says I shouldn’t make assumptions about the intentions of others. But I read the room and I still have to decide if I like it or not, don’t I? Merel would tell me to breathe before thinking anything at all.

“Is it the beginning of a poem?” By Julia in the bathroom

Thursday March 28, 2019
10:30pm
5 minutes
The Poet Always Carries A Notebook
Mary Oliver

I tell the woman my name after she asks and make a joke about my last name rhyming with wedgie so she’ll remember how to pronounce it.

She looks at me for a minute then I explain that it came from some unkind yet quite creative grade fours when I was the new kid in school. I laugh, she laughs, everyone sitting near us laughs. And then she begins to talk about how a pebble in a stream can change the course of a river and I’m going where she’s taking me. She uses it as a teaching moment to remind the class that even small moments can stay with us our whole lives and we don’t know which pebbles people are walking around with in their pockets.

It even hits me hard and I’m the one joking about it.

She tells me, maybe that’s the start of a poem. It already rhymes…

“Is it the beginning of a poem?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday March 28, 2019
10:02am
5 minutes
The Poet Always Carries A Notebook
Mary Oliver

Forest walk. Billy runs ahead. His back legs are starting to go. Happens to German Shepherds. He still runs like he means it. Runs like he’ll live forever. Ferns are shooting out in every direction. I forgot for awhile that it’s spring. Stream under the second bridge is rushing. Stop and close my eyes and breathe in the damp sweetness. Feel Billy’s nose at my fingertips. Start a poem today. Just start. Haven’t written in too long. Fixing the leaky roof. Volunteering at the shelter. Banality. Bathes. Cuddles with Billy and falling asleep.

“We need drugs” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday March 27, 2019
9:31pm
5 minutes
A quote by Wendell Berry

I understand why you’re saying
that you need the drugs and you need
the numbing and you want to go

I understand the reaching
towards something beyond
what you’ve known

Sympathetic to what your
heart is breaking towards
but it’s not there

sweetheart
it’s not there

Here with the bones
the blood the shit
the sex the words
the dirt the misunderstandings

Here

Everything else
is

“We need drugs” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday March 27, 2019
8:02pm
5 minutes
A quote by Wendell Berry

Let’s get through the wedding, the heartache, the backseat, the rain.

Give me drugs and I will write you the world’s worst poem, but my heart will be honest. Does anyone want that?

You said earlier the way I see the world is authentic and that’s why you love me.
I said, what do you mean, and you said I don’t filter things to make them better, and I said am I mean? You said no. That was a good answer.

We need some shrooms for the dance party in a couple weeks. That would be smart wouldn’t it? Find the light in the room and float to it?

The third time I did them I wrote the best song I’ve ever felt. It was full of pain and lonely but, hey I went all the way in and came back out again. In retrospect I could have done them with a friend but I was curious about what I would do on my own. I danced with the moon. I don’t know if a companion would have yielded the same results.

“my mother is waiting” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday March 26, 2019
8:07pm
5 minutes
The Greeter
T Kira Madden

Call the woman who decided you were good, the one who heard a whisper of you and was convinced. No shouting match with the sky gods, the enough of you was felt by her first. Call her on the phone and hear her laugh. The real one that she gives you at her own jokes, the real one that you cannot will not forget.

My mother is not waiting by the phone but she will run to it.

After getting rid of all the portable ones in the house, she went out and bought phones with long, curly
cords. She was born running, the woman can run up stairs and around tracks and to the neighbour’s house to give her infant the Heimlich Manoeuvre. My mother was ready and is ready. She doesn’t have call display but she knows it’s me by the tone of the ring. She knows me by the song on the other end waiting for her.

“my mother is waiting” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday March 26, 2019
6:04pm
5 minutes
The Greeter
T Kira Madden

My mother calls
grace on her lips
grief crawling out
between her fingers
that thick sludge oh God
how do we bear
this kind of breaking
again she’s losing love
again she’s splitting open
she knows in a different way
this time

My daughter was a seed
in me in my mother’s womb
She carried us so well
grew us strong in heart
soft in hip
grew us brave

My mother sits
by the bed of her beloved
vigil in the stillness
in the nurses coming and going
speaks to him with the care
she spoke to my sister and I
when we were girls

“Falling in love is appropriate for now” by Julia in her bedroom

Monday March 25, 2019
10:42pm
5 minutes
Handy Tips on how to Behave at the Death of the World
Anne Herbert

Help, is anyone out there? Is anybody reading this? There are a lot of people worried and seeking and I know them. I am them. We might recognize one another at a party. Yes there’d be bread at this party. That would be giving the party a lot more value.

I’m…I guess..I’m wondering if I’m alone. I mean I know I’m not, I’m talking to you. You’re there. You’re looking at me and I’m you. Aren’t you? We? I feel united and excited and loved by that. That thought, the you me we thing, that acceptance, yes, that permission. I can say I love me and that would be like saying I love you and then you’d know love. I know love for me because and only because I see you in me, and you, YOU, you are easy to love. Easy to love with hands cuffed. Easy to love with lids droopy. Easy to love in the dark when the words hurt more than heal and your warmth does the talking. Easy to love like that.

“Falling in love is appropriate for now” by Sasha on her balcony

Monday March 25, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Handy Tips on how to Behave at the Death of the World
Anne Herbert

today we called and told
you that we love you
and when i said it
you said “thanks, sister”

the tears were the
cord connecting my mother
and i across the mountains
the prairie
across the great lakes
a rocky expanse
full fledged
far flung

today we called and told you
that we love you
and you said hello
you heard us
you knew it was me and him
and this little one
nestled
and growing

today was a hard day
a soggy day
a heart on the floor
in the throat
in the guts day
soggy and heavy and
hurting

the only thing
left to say is
i love you
love is the only
word that holds
all the other words
in the bowl of the “o”
in the cup of the “v”

“tired, bearded men” by Julia at her desk

Sunday March 24, 2019
8:58pm
5 minutes
Ways To Take Your Coffee
Leath Tonino

They’re tired because they are always worrying about their beards. Always trimming, and rubbing, and massaging them. They’re up early cause they need to style it so it looks naturally luscious. They need to style it so people will be attracted to them and understand on a deeper level that they care about details. That they care about expression. That is a good beard. One who has been sculpted by the hands of caregivers, thoughtful displays of affection and respect for their face.

Okay I started this off with more of a punchy vibe and now I’m all enamoured by men and their facial hair. Women have makeup as acceptable face alterations. Men have hair to coif and style and exude charisma out of. It’s art, when you think about it: all those tight lines and varying levels of rigidity.

“tired, bearded men” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday March 24, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Ways To Take Your Coffee
Leath Tonino

I pour another pitcher of beer and bring it to another table of tired, bearded men. These men don’t have manners. One might grunt and I might interpret it as a “thank you” but who really knows. One might look me up and down, lingering on my breasts, and I might narrow my eyes a little before walking away. Back behind the bar I look out at the full room, all these tired, bearded men drinking their beer and talking and stinking. Mari comes and stands beside me and says something in Spanish that I don’t fully understand.

“Everyone deals with breakups” by Julia on her bed

Saturday March 23, 2019
6:39pm
5 minutes
Love Running
Joseph Holt

Maggie got her heart crushed again. Did you see her leaving the cancer benefit? She was wasted. Nobody is a better friend to that girl than the bottle. She was supposed to give a speech too, but she made Alison deliver it on her behalf and told her to tell everyone she had a medical emergency. I don’t know if she keeps going for the same types of women—you know, the ones who disappoint her— or if she’s stretching herself thin and she’s actually the hard one to love. Everybody goes through it but somehow she’s enduring another breakup every month. Maybe she should just be by herself for a while and figure out what she wants. And if she stops working a little bit so at least they have time to really get to know her before they dump her.

“Everyone deals with breakups” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday March 23, 2019
7:15am
5 minutes
Love Running
Joseph Holt

Keri gets her heartbroken again and we roll our eyes because it happens so often, and it always looks the same. Doesn’t feel the same, I’m sure, but from the outside it looks it. She falls in love with some schlub (man posing with fishing rod! Man posing with woman who has been cropped out of photo! Man holding a bow and arrow!) she met on OK Cupid. It’s all, “Ohmygosh, Glenn is the one!” It’s all, “Sorry I can’t hang out tonight, Chris and I do Wing Wednesdays…” We roll our eyes. Okay, Keri. Whatever. When this one breaks your heart we’ll still be here. We’ll take you our for white hot chocolate, we’ll listen as you sob, we’ll let you sleepover and hog the covers.

“Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other.” By Julia in her living room

Friday March 22, 2019
8:13pm
5 minutes
A quote by Pema Chödrön

Said the Hellstorm to the Artist:

You will be damn insufferable and someone needs to come and wash you out, oopsie whoopsie itsy spider, time to crawl on back up. Said: don’t you remember where your boots are? Pull up the straps and go jump in a puddle. You do remember fun, don’t you? You need me as much as I need you. All that summoning of me you do, I’m just coming since you called me. I’m a good friend. Ever heard of loyalty? That’s me. I make you damn clean again. Sparkling. Smooth out your edges after so long of bruising myself against them. After I pelt you and you resist me, over and over again. I make you soft and grateful. You can thank us both for that.

“Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other.” By Sasha at her desk

Friday March 22, 2019
5:09pm
5 minutes
A quote by Pema Chödrön

creatures of polarity
as delicate as we are gruesome
wretched as we are glorious
all of the holy
all of the profane
we scream for freedom
and crave confinement
squeezing and pulling
pushing and yawning
it’s a strange thing
to think
what is it for?
the birds call towards
the centre of the earth
the worms reach for the
sunlight
what is it for?
the rise and fall contained
in each breath
in each love
in each betrayal
in each death
of each moment
of this
here now
dying into life

“as the cells of his scalp” by Julia on Kits beach

Thursday March 21, 2019
5:06pm
5 minutes
Candlelight
Tony Hoagland

It was disgusting because it wasn’t my filth. I guess you could make the same argument that it could be less repulsive due to my separation from it, but let me set the record straight: I threw up in my mouth the moment this woman left her apartment. Well, in her defence it was a short term rental and she was probably getting a cleaner with the deal or whatever her husband’s work was willing to pay. But in the meantime, to live with so much food on the floor it could feed a small family for days…I shouldn’t continue. You’ll get so grossed out. Okay but let me say one thing, her sweet 9 month old had extreme eczema and when he’d wake up from his nap or if he got upset he’d start ripping at his little head. There was bits of his scalp all over the apartment—on the back of his high chair, on the changing mat, on the carpet. I considered if his home were clean that he might be less upset at the things he couldn’t control and less hell-bent on destroying his own skin. I also know that these things aren’t likely connected. But I wondered.

“as the cells of his scalp” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday March 21, 2019
7:36am
5 minutes
Candlelight
Tony Hoagland

Take out the trash to the bin in the garage. Wheel the bin to the curb. The neighbourhood is still sleeping. Mandy and the boys are still sleeping, too. Jacob was up in the night crying. Mandy went to him, and then came and got me. He was dreaming about monsters again. “No more scary movies,” Mandy whispered as we climbed back into bed forty minutes later. Thank God for the coffee maker, wooing me towards the kitchen when the alarm goes off. Thank God for coffee. Mrs. Henderson across the street in her quilted housecoat and winter boots. She waves.

“How are you holding up?” I say, and then regret breaking the silence, fracturing the stillness of this Wednesday morning.

“we minimize our vast social problems.” By Julia at Bean Around The World

Wednesday March 20, 2019
3:57pm
5 minutes
Filling the Void: Bruce K. Alexander on how our culture is making us addicted
Jari Chevalier

1. How are you? GREAT, AMAZING, NEVER BETTER, !!!!

2. Do you need anything? NOPE, NOTHING, I CAN HANDLE IT ALL BY MYSELF, !!

3. Is there anything you would change about yourself? I’M A PERFECTIONIST SO I GUESS THAT’S MY WEAKEST STRENGTH IF ANYTHING, …

4. What do you think we’re lacking? VULNERABILITY IS SO IMPORTANT AND IF MORE PEOPLE WOULD BE EMPATHS LIKE ME IT WOULD TAKE THE LOAD OFF CAUSE I FEEL SO MUCH THAT I HAVE TO SLEEP SO MUCH AND HONESTY AND COMFY BEDS AND MELATONIN AND AUTHENTICITY ARE SUPER NECESSARY,!!!!!!!!

5. What do you want more than anything? NOT POWER NOT FAME NOT MONEY NOT CONTROL NOT LOVE JUST FLOWERS, !…!

“we minimize our vast social problems.” By Sasha on the 9

Wednesday March 20, 2019
1:12pm
5 minutes
Filling the Void: Bruce K. Alexander on how our culture is making us addicted
Jari Chevalier

I’m planning a party for Jess’ birthday and it hits me that you won’t be there. This is one of those firsts that Priya, the grief counsellor I’ve been seeing, has talked about. This is the first time I really cry. I’m not a crier, and not because I don’t think men should or something like that. I’m just not a crier. But today I let it all out. No one’s around so it’s fine. I sit on the kitchen floor and I cry and cry and cry. I don’t worry about Adam getting home, or what it might sound like to the neighbours. It just all comes out.

“exhale passively” by Julia in her living room

Tuesday March 19, 2019
9:44pm
5 minutes
Physiotherapy Instructions

Yesterday you asked me why I had given such a deep sigh. I thought it was self-explanatory: I needed it. But why did you need it? Cause you are exasperating. But you didn’t like that answer. You don’t think you’re exasperating. Sometimes I blow out air that’s keeping me angry at you. Sometimes it holds the place of my longing, my crying. I do not exhale passively around you since I decided I was going to give you the full range of me. Here, this is me existing without alterations, reservations, or tiny lies.

Yesterday I shook my hips around while we were laying in bed. I didn’t stop to apologize and you did not ask me to stop. The body sometimes needs permission to be alive. To exist.

I like it better this way. The breathing more intentional the view in front of me tangible, clear, echoing.

I shake and breathe and you ask me why and I tell you why. I’ve always wanted an intimacy like that.

“exhale passively” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 19, 2019
4:21pm
5 minutes
Physiotherapy Instructions

You always learn things the hard way, Patricia, and that’s just not how it has to be! When I was your age I was cautious, I was careful, I was paying attention to what was happening around me! I see you, all a mess all the time, running around like a chicken with your head cut off and, frankly, I feel bad for you. Why don’t you take a page out of Gin’s book? She’s really got her life together, and she’s three years younger than you! Virginia knows what she wants and she isn’t afraid to go for it, but not at the expense of her pride or self worth… or reputation.

“apartment door was closed and triple-locked” by Sasha on her couch

Monday March 18, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
The Langoliers
Stephen King

Paul doesn’t know when he started checking. He can’t answer Shauna when she asks. He sits quietly, top button of his green shirt buttoned, hands folded in his lap.

“I’m not mad,” Shauna mutters, which is a strange thing to say.

“Is it getting worse?” Paul keeps his eyes on his sneaker laces.

“I would say so…” Shauna takes her hair out of a ponytail. She needs a haircut.

“I guess it has,” Paul blinks ten times.

“I just wish you’d come to me before all of this,” Shauna gestures to the apartment door, closed and triple locked.

“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.

“A yellow ball of sun.” By Sasha at her desk

Sunday March 17, 2019
12:13pm
5 minutes
The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

A yellow ball of sun in her mouth
she shakes her curls and curls her toes
Electrified by the season she is all muscle
and heart all arms and goodness

An avocado pit in her hand she
holds on and holds on and releases
only when the time is right
New sprouts growing only stapled
to the possibility

She isn’t afraid of dabbling
or babbling and she isn’t self conscious
it’s a miracle in this time
miracle on the wingtip of crows

“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 hummus 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