“but took that nasty” by Julia on her patio

Monday June 22, 2020
6:30pm
5 minutes
anti-immigration
Evie Shockley

there were more words to write
There were more candles to light
This would be the last of something but not the least
this would be the hope of something underneath

The words might sing off the page tonight
The words might laugh off my face tonight

I want to say goodbye so you know I mean it
So you see the meat on the bones and know I’ve leaned in

Nothing is forever is a colour I have never met
But this handshake I know well
this nasty turned nail in the wall that I’ve held

It’s a good thing people prefer So-Longs
See You Soons and someday in person

It’s a good thing this happened and kept happening and keeps happening

I want to say Good but not Bye, bliss but not buried,
this something open-hearted whisper and all its remembered harmonies

I will wait for the edge to present itself once more
I will decide which cliff to leap and which to climb

Of course I will carry you.
I will have room in my pack all the way with you.

And with a promise to
spread glue
hurl impossible
and soar.

“but took that nasty” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday June 22, 2020
9:31pm
5 minutes
anti-immigration
Evie Shockley

I’ve put this off all day because I’m not sure
how to wrangle the fullness of this particular wave

Will I cup my hand and move it slowly left to right
watch the shadow throb on the wall

Will I wave like Lola does with the enthusiasm of
having just mastered something pedestrian and wonderful

I will not wave

That is not the summation of eight and a half years
of a daily pause or a daily play that in it’s collection

Forms a revolution
I will feel the heavy heart of a goodbye that has been

A long time coming
Goodbye catches on my teeth and turns to salt water

This gentle place has seen the best and the worst
The burning and boring

The empty and the quiet
The dark night and the wisdom of growing

Thank you for reading all the strange wonderment
Thank you for finding the pearl in the compost

And believing what you heard between the lines
Thank you for the patience and the listening

My brilliant beloved trusted friend Julia
Thank you for how you rise

Thank you for the passion with which you fill every second
Of these five minutes

“And when the revolution frees me” by Sasha in the bedroom

Sunday June 21, 2020
2:07pm
5 minutes
Because We Are Not Taken Seriously
Stephen Dunn

Happy Father’s Day
I am beyond words grateful to know you
As a daughter does
As a daughter can
Know your fortitude and your ferocity
Your intelligence and your imagination
Your creativity and your generosity
Your tenderness and your tenacity

I am grateful for every chapter of our story
From being the baby in your arms asleep
To my baby in those same arms dancing
How you hold what you love close
The pull of time a web that weaves
something magic
ancient and new

The revolution won’t wait for you
And I admire how you know this
How you listen with full attention
To what we are saying
Punctuated by deep breath and tears
The prickle of your pride
Fathering daughters is something
you are well suited for

“I almost hear your voice:” by Sasha in the bedroom

Saturday June 20, 2020
11:17am
5 minutes
Full Consciousness
Juan Ramon Jimenez

If I am really writing, I am looking the feathered fish
right in the glassy blue eyes, fantasizing
about kissing a new tongue, Killing an old belief
Atonement for the little lies that build a chain
That house a dog
Barking to all eternity

The tannic truth that always leaves
Legs on the glass,
Nectar of maybe swirled.

I almost hear your voice now:
Giving me notes on the syntax and the rhythm,
Alliteration is lazy,
Voice is derivative,
Punctuation doesn’t serve a purpose.
Your baritone reaching in to my vulnerable folds,
pulling out, pushing in, pulling
out, filet after filet, after lemon wedge, after peony.

I’m exhausted by men who are too fucked to ask questions,
Dole Whip a critique masked as a suggestion, wearing the clothes
of a wolf, wrapped in cellophane and oceanic fury.

Salty lick and suddenly I’m believing every word you say,
Trusting your “Nah” and your nod more than my own.

“gags, oh gags” by Sasha in the bedroom

Friday June 19, 2020
9:02pm
5 minutes
Black Matters
Keith S. Wilson

You hold me like a malachite in a clenched hand
These fingers curled around the hope that this
Could be the time
the place
the person

the knowing
Knowledge is your scaffolding
Emotions are a weird frozen untrustable

Cut off the crusts of the
Promise sandwich and see how the bread dogs
Sogs
Yawns
Brittle and aloof

All the you’s and
all the me’s
Treading water in the same pool
of the same river

You hold me like a jade on your tongue
Eucharist of temptation
Sweaty small of the back begs questions
Words can’t ask

I take off my clothes
A corporeal deliverance
Contemplate the seven sins
The seven circles of whiteness
The seven years that held
a lot of dinosaurs
Spiderwebs
Foggy morning wetness

A lot of bones
Hymn to the light on the quivering horizon

“Her bigness sweeps my being” by Sasha in the bedroom

Thursday June 18, 2020
1:02pm
5 minutes
America
Claude McKay

Supple in her sweeping she walks in to rooms and people
Notice the broadness of her shoulders or maybe
it’s just her command
Her gaze is chestnut and pride
A few nights sleeping under a bridge when you’re seventeen and
High on meth
And your gaze changes for
Ever

June calls for brightly coloured beads and Slurpees spiked with vodka
Drum and bass sweaty thighs sticking to garden chairs
Ice cubes melting in bellybuttons
Asking for what she actually wants for once in her life for
Once in her fucking
Dream she is the real versioning vision of who she knows herself to be

When she turned forty
She promised to forget about all the assholes who took her for granted
She’s wasted so many hours with a clenched jaw
Focus on the love her cat gives her in the morning
Paws pressing into her forehead
Nails flirting with a scratch
Her cat saves her life and she never thought she’d be someone
To say that

Always hated when people spoke of cats in such a way

She turns up CBC radio
Opens a window
Picks up Rocco
Pats his calico head and picks gunk out of the corner of his eyes
She’ll make waffles for breakfast

Because it’s June 18th
Because it’s Thursday
Because she’s here and she slept decently well last night and she doesn’t feel the growl of an unanswerable question in her elbows

“if the seas of cities” by Sasha in her bedroom

Tuesday June 16, 2020
11:49pm
5 minutes
if something should happen
Lucille Clifton

If I position myself just so
in the right light
She thinks
Maybe then maybe then
maybe then the truth will land
and the nervous giggle won’t crescendo
fall flat in the face of so much strange

A third of life in the rear view mirror
at best
She thinks that she knows about
seasons changing
And how to tend to bruised palm
The best method for soft boiling an egg
What she needs when she’s tired and lonely

If I position myself
In the magic hour patina
Feel for the dew of desire
She wonders
about asking outright or if
it’s most palatable to keep playing
the game a little longer

“10. going, going, gone” by Sasha in the trundle room

Monday June 15, 2020
12:52pm
5 minutes
alternate names for black boys
Danez Smith

  1. Take a seat and observe how the room twirls and smokes, scoffs and languishes. You are the eye of the storm in your silence and watching.

  2. It’s been so long since you’ve been in a group, since you’ve been at a party, that you don’t remember where to find words or place laughter. You bite your tongue a hundred times before you slice with a something small and the man in the rimmed glasses cocks his head and looks at your breasts.

  3. You wonder how many people here are pretending, how many people are holding in a fart or a pee, how many people really wish they were someplace else, swimming in a cool lake, touching the papery skin of their mother’s forearm.

  4. It used to take you hours to get ready for something like this, standing in front of the mirror, a bottle of tequila on the bathroom counter, swigging and painting your face for battle. Today it took you exactly six minutes to brush your hair and put Vaseline on your unruly eyebrows and chapped lips.

  5. You arrive late, as usual. Toss your jean jacket on the back of a chair, on top of other jean jackets and cardigans. You smile without showing your teeth. You forgot to brush them. You wonder about your breath, and if you’ll even get close enough to anyone to smell their toothpaste, their IPA, their roast chicken dinner.

“10. going, going, gone” by Julia at the desk

Monday June 15, 2020
9:17am
5 minutes
alternate names for black boys
Danez Smith

When mornings summer there is a wild eyed hope for the day.
A warm breeze beckoning, the rickety wooden chair seeming easy.
There are plans and lists and joys and items. All languishing
on the vine. A cool green grape rounds the mouth of hunger and
we wait for the severed head from its body to make its way down
the tube.

By the middle of the day there is a leaf blower competition from
both the front and the alleyway and through the on and off the
crows protecting their wired haunt snap and hurl their elastic
throats. It will be harder to pretend that this isn’t the day.

How quickly can motivation mumble into something softer. It comes
with hesitation. Acceptance of stillness sometimes begs the test.

I have never not grown after a deep surrendering.

Goodbye These Five Minutes ❤️

t5m reading

Dear Reader,

Over the past 8 and a half years, we have set the timer for 5 minutes, and shared our daily pieces to this site. It is incredible to see: thousands of posts and thousands of hours practicing in this way. We have also released a compilation of our earlier writes, facilitated writing workshops, writing groups and readings.

We are grateful for the pocket-sized stories that have anchored us both amidst the many changes we’ve experienced. These Five Minutes has connected us throughout our travels and living in different countries, during our tribulations and our triumphs, through our grief and our growth. No matter where life has taken us, we have practiced showing up to the page, and we thank you for sharing in that with us.

Today we’re here to announce that the time has come for us to part ways with These Five Minutes. As of today, we will be writing for one final week and sharing to the site before we sign off from this life-changing project. It has been a pleasure being here, and we have endless thanks for those who have joined us on the journey. We hope you’ll always be able to find five minutes everyday to do whatever it is that you love, just as we have.

With gratitude,
Julia and Sasha

Feel free to keep up with us in our artistic endeavours.

Follow Julia: www.juliapileggi.com (personal site) and @juliapileggipoetry (Instagram)

Follow Sasha: www.sashasingerwilson.com (personal site) and @sasharsw (Instagram) t5m reading

“not with legends and poems” By Sasha in the bedroom

Saturday June 13, 2020
5 minutes
12:26pm
Frederick Douglass
Robert Hayden

I feel the end approaching
Horizon hazy and grey
Uncharacteristically cold for June thirteenth
I sit with the heavy cherry in the bottom of my throat
Breathe past it
Down to a belly that has grown my life and her life
Housed my shame and pleasure

We are going to say goodbye
All the endings lined up in a row
To point and shoot at
Light a match to
Or caress and care for
Kiss and hold close
Hold in the space between chin and neck
An orange passed around a circle
The small frog in the grass that’s here and then
Disappears

I feel the end before I meet it
Anticipate the taste of this year and how
One day
I’ll think back to these months and shake my head

All the endings lined up on death row
As the days turn to weeks turn to months
And suddenly it’s here
We’re there
I’m here
It’s now
It’s done

Okay
Thank you
Okay

“for us to breathe.” by Julia on her patio

Monday June 8, 2020
9:31pm
5 minutes
A Small Needful Fact
Ross Gay

If I am picturing it correctly, the stomach is filling like a balloon
yes a balloon, slowly growing, expanding, reaching. This is a comforting
thought, the balloon, dipping into the edges of the body and retreating
again to fold, this balloon on its way to floating.
As far as I know there is nothing else living there. It is a hollowed
star, a lampless light, the silhouette of breathing and nothing else.
There doesn’t need to be much more, really. There is the in and out the
big the little the wide the narrow and it is constant and it is bigger
than anything in there. It can pilot the ship on its own. Nothing to
contradict if there is nothing else in there. Nothing to distract from
the process of breathing, tell everyone you know there’s nothing else
in there so don’t bother poking around. You won’t find what you’re looking
for, no mechanism to blame or stoke, no wire to trip over, I am telling you.
If I am picturing it correctly, this is all there ever was.

“All above us is the touching” by Sasha in the basement

Sunday June 7, 2020
4:02pm
5 minutes
Elegy
Aracelis Girmay

All of the lonely people wishing for a touch
on the forearm from the new fingertips
the sizzle of the egg
the tongue on the earlobe
wishing for a spark
the fire starts low in the belly
spreads quick
suddenly there is no pandemic
is no risk
is nothing
but the want
for a touch
the longing for a taste

Above us is the promise of change not made
by someone at a podium or with a microphone
the sun watches as we disobey orders
as they burn cities
topple oppressive monuments into murky water

I’ve been clenching my jaw again
scratching my throat
losing sleep over the dead ones
the living

“I didn’t blink when the water” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday June 6, 2020
1:15pm
5 minutes
The Truth
Ross Gay

She says she can’t stop crying
and I can’t either but for
the same reasons
and different flooded shoes

Don’t take the bait of the snarl
a curly tongue wearing pepper and fear
the same reasons
and another restless morning

The distractions are numb toes
and scrolling clown faces
try to temper the burn
peel the puffed grave

“I lay on a moment” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday June 4, 2020
10:10pm
5 minutes
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou

I can’t reconcile the
lightning striking now the
strange smell
lilacs and revolution the
temptation to stay quiet
stay small

I made a small vow the
kind of promise whispered
to the water against the window
I will notice how it feels
in my body when I feel shame
my privilege taking up
too much space too much
oxygen all the sorries in
the world collected in
hands that can barely
hold a rocking city

I will read more listen
more reflect more dismantle more
talk to my parents more
the uncomfortable the un
comfort
able

There is no place to get
line in the desert
or trail in the sky
nothing is the same
everything is the
same
know
ledge is power

“This describes well what I’ve said” by Sasha on the couch

Tuesday June 2, 2020
1:03am
5 minutes
Mencius
Mencius

You say “I’m sorry that that happened to you”
I say “Thank you”

It’s the kind of exchange that builds muscle
slowly over time

You tell me about midwifing a cow
and smoking hash on the beach

I tell you a few strange details
starting and stopping

not sure what’s too much
I am most often too much

Peering out the window into darkness
lightning strikes

the sky illuminated in wonder
and loneliness

I didn’t set out to write something so sad
but it’s a strange time to want to touch

toes while lying on the floor
trading songs like passport stamps

here’s where I’ve been
and here and here

“describe what it might be like to be her child” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Sunday May 31, 2020
2:39pm
5 minutes
Room To Write
Bonni Goldberg

You walk around the corner with an apple piece in your hand
extended in a reach that says “yes” and “look!”

You just learned how to tip toe and
smell the purple lilacs

I read a headline this morning that there might be rolling
pandemics every five or ten years now

and I almost threw up
a wave of sadness that you were born into this world

How will I explain it all when your questions grow
wider than “Hot?”

I was always so sure that I was to be a mother
I never imagined such grief as your bones and blood grew in my body
At eleven weeks of holding you here
my small world exploding
and now the big world breaking and burning
little and big
nested like dolls inside one another
your hand in mine now
as you step up a stair

“having petals more or less united” by Sasha in the trundle room

Saturday May 30, 2020
2:09pm
5 minutes
Flower Finder
May Theilgaard

She puts a magnolia in the barrel of the gun
Weeps and weeps and wails
She thinks of her mother
doing crosswords at the kitchen table
stewing chicken thighs on the stove

She wears a blue face mask
doesn’t wear contacts because if she gets tear gassed
they’ll stick to her eyes and blind her
She leaves her glasses at home
doesn’t want them to break

She can see enough to know that something is building
a rising fire tide with the crowds and the four hundred years
of brutality and systemic oppression
She wishes that she’d taken other electives when she was in college
She should’ve studied history
She should’ve read biographies

She makes eye contact with a young boy on the shoulders of his father
Broad shoulders getting him up close to clouds and perspective
a new story being written by his fingers in his father’s hair

“Wild Gourmet Fish” by Sasha in her bed

Monday May 25, 2020
11:02pm
5 minutes
West Coast Select Flyer

Flaking off the pieces and popping them in his mouth
he is an animal too and knows it when he eats this good trout
from his uncle Rod’s farm way up way up the coast

He spent a summer there when he was seventeen
wishing he was back home smooching Bethany and touching
the blonde hairs on the back of her thighs

He didn’t know then that that summer would be one
of his best even though he wished he was somewhere else
He didn’t know then that being out on the boat with Rod

and his crew was the most connected he’d ever feel
to other men and to the sea and to the world and to
the life cycle that spins a Wheel of Fortune

He didn’t have a cellphone and barely had a clue
or a bank account or understood how to apologize
but he had the salt wind in his face and an ache

in his belly and tears in his eyes

“positive descriptions of the world” by Sasha in the trundle room

Sunday May 24, 2020
10:31am
5 minutes
Perceiving Ordinary Magic
Jeremy W. Hayward

Let’s go back to the time before the
anarchy and debauchery and the excuses dressed
as Big Cats

Let’s paint in sand and cello music
wrap ourselves in rhubarb leaves and moon juice
take a page out of the book of birds
and fly
and sing

There isn’t anything the matter
but everything hurts

Anyone who says otherwise
is wearing dress up clothes
musty from being in the attack
stinking of detergent
from being worn and washed

“the notion of being thawed back into life” by Sasha in the tent

Saturday May 23, 2020
4:44pm
5 minutes
The Childhood of Jesus
J.M. Coetzee

The thaw comes after a long time of being chilly. Inside the intestines, lungs and gallbladder, the kidneys and the blood. She didn’t realize until the thaw began. The release of small drops of body water. A body of water. Our bodies are water. She didn’t realize what had been frozen for oh so very long. She stretches into the end of May like a cat. Spine twisting. She leaves a trail of moisture in her path. Not suspect at first, but the thaw picks up pace and then she’s dripping at all hours of the day and night. She realized that being naked is the easiest way to weather this strange storm. She only wears a bathing suit (blue one piece from Target from her Bubby) when she goes to water her vegetable garden, just in case Tom and Bob next door are trimming their roses. She doesn’t want to upset them.

“Excluding any personal opinion” by Sasha at the dresser

Friday May 22, 2020
7:21am
5 minutes
The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Leo Tolstoy

Excellent extraterrestrial beings are congratulating their fellow friends
For the solid score of flesh eating disease on the high seas of planet earth
They’ve planted and sowed and watered and spit and shit and spat and moved
Their long fingers across the faces of the frozen zombies and they are

Goddamn delighted

That the flesh is finally falling off the bones and the frozen zombies are now
Sitting in their bathtubs filled with lentils and hairbrushes and they are
Scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing
The pure unadulterated extraterrestrial joy of a mission that’s been accomplished that has been in motion for millennia

“nobody should let them in that night” by Sasha at the table

Wednesday May 20, 2020
2:44pm
5 minutes
Wuthering Heights
Emily Bronte

The night of the accident was the first one that really felt like summer. Becca and Sam were in shorts. Maybe pushing it a little, but whatever. Dylan and Stuart had joints tucked behind their ears, a lighter in Stu’s back pocket. The Zippo that his big brother James gave him for his seventeenth birthday. That’s where they got their weed too, and their beer when they drank. James liked the power he held over Stu when he did shit for him. He liked when Stu owed him something. You never know when you’re going to need a favour, or a cover. Stu didn’t think that James would be in the barn when they got there, and he didn’t know that James had dropped acid three hours earlier, on his way home from his job at the Garden Centre. “Who’s there?” Stu called when he heard something. The barn creaked. James whistled the whistle that their Grandmother had taught them in case they got lost in Walmart or the woods. “Shit,” Stu mumbled.

“they must not wait for him” by Julia on the couch

Monday May 18, 2020
11:58am
5 minutes
Tacitus
The Histories

They must not wait for him
for he will never be ready
not the level they wish him
to be and so they must forgo
the waiting game and play on-
play something else.

He has tried but he has also
decided on a subconcious level
where his priorities lie and
he will hang on because it doesn’t
feel good to let go because what
would that even look like?

He is ready with a response and a can-do attitude but underneath he
has already jumped ship! He cannot do what they are waiting for him to do. He will eject himself from the capsule before the signal because he thinks he’s drowning!

Then they are there waiting for him trying to get out of the water, flailing around, because he didn’t trust them to save him! But they were there the whole time.

They knew at the outset based on his blood pressure, censors all tubed up in him, that he was scared and going to act from that place!

“serious minds settling down to discuss” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday May 17, 2020
10:09pm
5 minutes
Dreams
CG Jung

It is not morose to think of death
all the little pebbles collected in the pockets of my jeans
I wonder why I feel weighted at the end of the day
Laugh as I line up twelve stones on the dresser top
swiped from a little mouth
stolen from a little hand

Death is as life is
Innate in our vitality is our undoing
The paradox of living is the constant dying
It is not odd to consider how we distract and fear this
It is odd to not consider
To stick our heads into the dry earth
Fill our mouths with cheese and grapes
Turn our eyes to the bright blue light

I walked barefoot on the driveway today
Didn’t mean to do it
But did it

“Ooh! A fun challenge!” by Julia on the couch

Friday May 15, 2020
10:59pm
5 minutes
from brittab.com

So Nany is always misunderstood. She freakin talks to Anessa every day and Aneesa knows it and she didn’t have to call her trashy. She knows how Nany feels about that. She knows she’s getting personal over Nany putting her hands on her when Anessa is obviously blowing it out of proportion. Like Kaycee has a girlfriend but why is Aneesa getting involved? To protect Nany or Kaycee, neither of which seem to require any protecting. Then Aneesa forgives Nany, which she obviously should because she knew Nany was drunk even for Nany and actually needed a glass of water instead of Anessa inserting herself in a story line that has nothing to do with her. Look, I’m just saying I see Nany, and I get her and she’s a good friend every time even when her friends are hurting her.

“we are on the verge of something.” By Sasha at the table

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
1:48pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chödrön

Four olive pits on a plate painted with roses, a crack on one corner. Fifty three days since I’ve been home. Six green peas on the high chair tray, leftover from lunch. One tea bag in the bottom of the blue and white mug. Hundreds of ants chewing through the wood that keeps us warm and dry. Three drops of poison spread across the beam in the living room, the kitchen counter corner. One pandemic. One water bottle emptied and filled, emptied and filled. One nub of red candle. One small chipmunk on the deck railing, watching me write. Eleven seconds left on the timer. Two eyes, blinking.

“We think you’ll like it here” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday, May 10, 2020
1:17pm
5 minutes
From an email

Shadows of birds move
across the white birch
I eclipse myself
as they do
spreading wings wide
and riding the cold wind west
I gather rocks in my pockets
carefully swiped from Lola’s mouth
Find them at the end of the day
when I undress for a bath
wondering why I am weighted
Lay them out on the windowsill
Little grey gravel pieces
I’ll return them to the road tomorrow

It’s a rollercoaster
I say over and over
Until I believe that the nausea
might be attributed to something
other than the inevitable letting go
It’s inevitable for all of us
Not just me
Letting go
Meeting our mortality
in every ending
I don’t speak in forever anymore
Scoff at those that do

There is not certainty
Anywhere but sitting with the stream
She’ll swell again next year
I can count on that
The trilliums are coming
Despite early May snow
I can count on that

“the creek below babbling” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday May 6, 2020
10:07pm
5 minutes
The Fawn
Jenny Burkell

Everyone seems to want to say that things are going to get worse. Do things always get worse? Especially when you feel they can’t, expect they will? The funny thing is, the creek babbles and the leaves burst on the trees that were bare. The funny thing is, despite how bad things are already, I’m doing pretty well. In some ways, I’m doing better than ever. Freckles have sprouted on my nose again and this feels like hope in the shape of a pigmented constellation that looks a little bit different every year. I make up song after song on walks up the road, singing more now than I ever have, or at least more than I have since childhood. I just can’t stop singing.

“And it speaks to certain devils“ by Sasha in the trundle room

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
11:16am
5 minutes
Another Vision
Patricia Nelson

“We think that by protecting ourselves
from suffering we are being kind
to ourselves,” Pema writes.

Walls made of feathers and playing cards
ash and lightning
photographs and receipts

Erected with a very well scrubbed poker face
A very well stocked pantry
A very good pretending disguised as meditation

Then a flash of light and you’re
sat across from the devil
wearing the clothes of someone

You thought you knew so well
Paint a layer of nice between
two slices of bread you kneaded for many years

“We are very happy to present a virtual conference this year” by Sasha in the trundle room

Sunday, May 3, 2020
10:52pm
5 minutes
From an email

I get emails that I delete before reading. They invite me to online live readings videoed performances live stream dance classes cooking shows and library debates I don’t even know anymore I don’t even care anymore what is it that we are trying to do anyway? I get emails that I send to a folder that is called “Creative maybes” but it’s where emails go to get buried in more emails and why haven’t I set a “vacation responder” that says, “Please don’t email me anything that you think might be “of interest” because I haven’t even spoken to my dearest friends in too long and I don’t care about your think-piece or your feelings about char.”

“between the kitchen and living room” by Sasha on the couch

Saturday, May 2, 2020
9:43pm
5 minutes
From a text

Turn the page and find colours there in the lines and the letters
Close eyes and taste the sweet kiss of possible
Laugh in the bathtub at the ladybug crawling towards towards towards
Lola is a kindred grace her discovery of the world the tonic of rainbow

I dance to the sound I hear when I think of you
Feel the rise and fall of body on whitewashed floors
Body to body your body in my hands your hands in my body
Close my eyes and remember through tongue and fingertip

Ouija board cloud game where the ghosts are back and rolling
Light show on the lawn like the good old days when farmers
Would gather for Canada Day roast up some hotdogs and pour beer
Into jars or even drink straight from the cold can

Hang their hats on the belief that they knew what was coming
Hold their children in the arms as the sky exploded in blaze

“The cost of rural housing” by Sasha in the trundle room

Friday, May 1, 2020
11:05am
5 minutes
Life After the City
Charles Long

So being here with the robins and the apple blossoms
the sloping fields and the red winged black birds

the swamp and the cedar forest and
the big chest freezer and the turning garden

I think about rural living and how good
it feels to wear the same fleecy six days in a row

And add a log to the wood stove
while the girls make a “show”

Wildflower heart blooms ripe
I catch my own eye while brushing my teeth

And see someone new
Someone who I didn’t know I needed

Didn’t know I missed

“Knock! Knock!” By Sasha in the bedroom

Thursday, April 30, 2020
11:30am
5 minutes
Villa Incognito
Tom Robbins

Minnie Gowan’s “Knock! Knock!” is out of a horror movie. At least that’s what Veronica thinks.

“Why don’t you just, like, actually knock on the door? Why do you yell that when you can just… knock?!” Veronica smiles at the end, to offset the tone.

“Turn the magnifying glass back on yourself, Vee,” Minnie stands with the fridge door open. “Where’s your orange juice?”

“Finished it this morning,” Veronica raps her knuckles on the table. Knocking on a door is way simpler than yelling. Maybe I do have control issues, she thinks.

“What other beverages do you even have?”

“Um… soda water? Actual water? Tea?” Veronica reminds herself why Minnie is here. To go through Penny’s things, to organize the paperwork for tax season, to help get things together.

“Hargrove was a stop on the greyhound route” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Wednesday April 29, 2020
5:12pm
5 minutes
Andy Catlett
Wendell Berry

It wasn’t going to be long before we were snaking through the mountain roads. It wasn’t going to be long before the Gravol would kick in and I’d be asleep while you sit beside me trying to resist squeezing my leg to see some amazing cliff drop or a baby bear or trees clear cut. I fucking hate the bus but it’s the only thing we can afford and your grandmother is sick and we’ve gotta get up to Qualimbrook. Your grandmother raised you so she’s really more like a mama to you and now that Nancy is back at work she doesn’t have anyone looking after her on the daily, or that’s how you put it. Hargrove is a stop along the way and you’ll wake me up to pee and get an ice cream sandwich. I fucking hate these small town stops where I can feel everyone staring, everyone judging, everything thinking that they are better.

“Higher!” By Sasha at the kitchen table

Monday April 27, 2020
9:22pm
5 minutes
Higher Higher
Leslie Patticelli

When the sound of the rain is louder than the sound of your breath
In your own ear leaving you closer to where you thought the pepper might be
Sneeze up and sneeze down and dream of the world that might bloom from this strange chrysalis of change and quiet

Maybe the busiest of the busy with the lists that run out like toilet paper from the bottom of the fancyfancy shoes
Maybe these people will learn to breathe in one nostril and out the other
Sprout cucumbers and raspberries in small pots

Maybe the scared ones the ones who keep their doors double locked and would rather see their strange Auntie on Skype than at the tea shop
Will feel like they finally belong on the planet that never really told them that they were wanted and that they were precision and that they were free

“A man parted his beard” by Sasha in her bedroom

Friday April 24, 2020
11:11pm
5 minutes
Animal
Kim Goldberg

These days are liquid, aren’t they? Flowing downwards towards something but no one is really sure what. Are you craving more salt? Replenish those stores. Tired feet trudge and grudge towards something that is new, warm, unsure. What day is it? What time is it? I’m writing by the light of a small flashlight I found in a drawer that most certainly does not belong to me. I am a thief.

What have you stolen? What have you let go of? What have you vowed you’ll never tell anyone? What have you lost that you’re still trying to find, when you ball socks or fold T-shirts? When you organize books and batteries and ball-point pens?

“A man parted his beard” by Julia at the desk

Friday April 24, 2020
10:12am
5 minutes
Animal
Kim Goldberg

A man parted his beard and I saw the great
white space between yesterday and today
It was wide and wide and great and there
we found some clarity because we dared, I
think, to ask of ourselves that courtesy.

A man twisted the red out of his face and
then one day overnight or in a blink there
were so many silver strays and things looked
like they made more sense more wise sense
All this time the man was living living

The facial hair goes through some stages
of grief just like the rest of us
at first there is a rough stubbornness and
soft things are always getting poked
instead, denying the possible softness
being hurt like that, unaware

There is an anger at one point, so the
man parts his beard to see what’s underneath
skin still young and learning

then it grows some more but changing
shape and colour and being too long
suddenly it is just right and it’s
all a cycle of time that no one is
marking up on the calendar

“As good as it will get” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday April 20, 2020
11:12am
5 minutes
Rainbow’s End
John Paul Lederach

You make a weird symbol with your hands and it’s not the first time and I have no idea what you’re doing or why. I wonder if this is proof. I wonder if this is the real sediment at the bottom of the jar, when left undisturbed it settles, but when moved at all it makes everything cloudy. The symbol is kind of like an L but also like a W and I think about all the words that start with L and end with W. LOW. I wish I didn’t care for you the way I do. Your strange freckles over the bridge of your nose. Your noisy belly gurgling when you’re hungry. The way you yawn.

“I have to give people credit” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday April 8, 2020
9:02pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook Post

They want to help and be of value
they want that over success
they want to lift up the little guy
they want to stretch their little hearts out
they want to drink water before they feel thirst
they want to pad the hallways and bed frame corners
they want to go to bed at a decent hour
they want to get up early and run
they want to run
they want to burst out running
they want to eat pancakes for dinner
they want to leave non-perishables in the book houses
they want to make signs and mark their thanks with their hand prints
they want to move over when the intersection gets tight
they want to burst out running
they want to stretch their little hearts out
they want to sleep in
they want to call their mothers
they want to share their first born’s first words
they want to take silly photos
they want to applaud
they want to bang on the drum
they want to see each other’s face
they want to heal their hurt
they want to keep the ocean happy
they want to listen to their bodies
they want to hold their boyfriends
they want to eat at the same table
they want to cry into each other’s arms
they want to whistle at the chickadee for having the same love call
they want to go to bed early.

“Whoa, I was toasted” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday April 3, 2020
12:33pm
5 minutes
Ode to American English
Barbara Crooker

Lola kisses my belly in the bath over and over
“Your old house!” I say the first few times
she keeps going and I stop talking or pepper a “thank you”
a “thank you, my love”
her cherubic shape all convex freedom beauty
four top teeth commander
a wrinkled nose smile
Lola kisses the stairs she’s just learned to climb

a few tumbles when she’s wearing her brown bobbly slippers
when she test the limits of her strength
her capability brings her boundless glee

so much so that as she races towards my outstretched arms
stepping stepping step step step
She falls
a look of
“how could I?”
I wait a long wait
feels long
Will the tears come?
If they do
I scoop up under her armpits with my hands
Feel my mother’s hands in my armpits
Tempering and soothing so many falls

“You fell” I say
“Let’s keep walking”

Lick a tear from her cheek
a juicy plum
Smell her hair
orange and soap

Lola kisses the baby doll
sinks her teeth into the plastic foot
“Bee-bee! Bee-bee!”
She calls for her father in the morning
with a voice bigger than I’ve ever heard her have
When did she become this mystery concerto?

“Da-da?! Da-da! Da-da?!”
“Lo-la!” He calls back
“Hi honey!” He says

“Who win” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Thursday April 2, 2020
5 minutes
9:59pm
To fight aloud, is very brave
Emily Dickinson

Contradiction contraptions, that’s what we are really. Yeah, okay, sinew and bone, guts and thoughts, science and stories, paradox, paranoia, precipitation, pragmatism. Contradiction though, through lungs, longing, losing, loving, laziness, lamentations, leaping, lachrymose and luminous. How can I be this big and this puny all at once? How is it that I can feel chest splitting expansiveness at the exact same moment as my clavicles cave,, shoulders slump, and the lump in my throat baloons seven sizes?

The double-tonguing tonic of a fast talking lover juxtaposed by the doldrum pace of booted feet walking in mud. A global pandemic now, right now, this very second, while a shooting star falls in through the window and lands on my lips?

“That’s what I like about disappointment:” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday March 29, 2020
7:21pm
5 minutes
Disappointment
Tony Hoagland

I thumb the disappointments
One after another
Colourful beads on a piece of long fishing line
Sturdy but transluscent
Ends held together by a knot

Thumb catches on the recent additions
A red glass sphere
I should’ve added more salt to the bread
A small blue bead for yesterday’s neglectful lateness
A small wooden bead for today’s dismissive shrug
Puny injustice sails between cell towers
I lift my hand high up and wave
Trying to find a signal

A big oblong dark bead is heavy
The anchor
All the times I’ve betrayed myself by
accommodating
By not speaking what is true
By making myself small
Contained within the small purple flowers
Hand painted by someone a long time ago

Who also has a circle of disappointments

You do
And you do
And you do too

How you carry yours might differ
Or when you put it down
Put it in a nightstand drawer
For a better sleep
Or rushed sex

Put it under an oak tree
To rest in the sun

“You wish you were in the woods” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Saturday March 28, 2020
9:02am
5 minutes
To A Frustrated Poet
R.J. Ellmann

The scrabble board spells
M-O-P-E
W-A-D-E
R-I-F-T-S
I scan through the years of scoresheets
Kept in the bottom of the scrabble box

And find the ones of yours and Mom’s
The intimacy of your handwriting
Penmanship says so much about who we are
Your nicknames
How you won

In four days it will have been a year
Of missing you
Of thinking that you’ll be there when
We visit Bowmore
In your cardigan and your socks
Patting down the stairs to say
Hello

In four days it will have been a whole year
Of you being gone

Death is a strange seed planted
Growing
Waiting sometimes
But growing
Inevitability reaching towards unknown

I miss the sound of your voice
The sharpness of your edge
The wisdom that would crawl between the cracks
A surprise that I learned to appreciate
Inwardly

I knew when I was saying goodbye
That I wouldn’t see you alive again
But you held on to the hope
That
I imagine
Buoyed you in those last weeks
Hope like a balloon
Hope carrying you by an orange string
Across the Don Valley

“We want the suns and moons” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday March 25, 2020
6:48pm
5 minutes
A Physics
Heather McHugh

The woods are still. No grouse raising leaves. No wind through the branches. The quiet of magic hour sends a quake of loneliness through my core. The house is warm and there’s no reason to have chattering teeth. There is not distraction here in the way that there is with a wifi signal and a bus revving past and people a straightforward phone call away. I breathe. I uncross my legs to feel my feet on the wood floor. I’m sorry if this is boring. I’m sorry if you came here for escape and what you’ve found is more of the same. What you’ve found is yourself. I’m sorry if you were hoping for something more interesting, less mundane, more exhilarating, less quiet and sad. The fridge hums. The sunset paints an orange stripe at the horizon, growing more and more vibrant by the second.

“They’ll be able to describe it” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday March 24, 2020
10:49pm
5 minutes
Teaching a Child the Art of Confession
David Shumate

We will be able to describe these strange limbo weeks
one day
In the future
When things are (aren’t) back to normal

My father says that the data shows that after a big event
People want things to return to how they were
They don’t want change
They want their coffee back
Their subway to the office back
Their Tuesday game night back

On the radio today
The broadcaster says that the funeral homes in Italy
Can’t keep up with the bodies
They are sending them to an ice rink
I gasp
No one can gather to mourn
so priests are holding rites online
But many seniors don’t have the Internet

From the corner of the back deck where I get reception
I speak to my sister
A world away
Three hours away
In the city

She says that they’ve run out of some fruit
some greens
And won’t be able to get stuff delivered until Friday

I make a mental note to update our inventory spreadsheet
Today we ate four eggs
Kale stalks
Green onions
Cilantro
Three pieces of bread
Avocado
Millet
Corn
One can of black beans
Dried mango
I must be forgetting something

The call keeps cutting out so I find myself
shouting into the melting birch forest
“I can’t stop thinking about that the babies and kids are safe!”
Something barks or howls in the distance
I turn around to look

“A marriage is risky business these days” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday March 22, 2020
10:03am
5 minutes
Wedding Poem for Schele and Phil
Bill Holm

Language is alive and that’s one of the many reasons language is one of the loves of my life. The definition of a great many words has changed, personally and politically, over the course of the last year, the last month, the last few days. Language becomes the beaded rosary tossed from one house to the next with a, “Hello!” Or Matt Galloway on the radio. I am smitten with the way words look and taste and feel. I especially love the word “yes”, the word “birch”, the word “you”. If you (mmm), dear reader, come here often, you know the most beloved words because you see how I overuse them, how I lean on them, walking stick beauties, how I should think wider to catch different words in my net, but I’m not in a place to use bigger and different, I’m in a place to use familiar and cozy and known.

“The spring is compressed” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday March 20, 2020
10:08pm
5 minutes
A Brief Lecture on Door Closers
Clemens Starck

The spring is coming
This is optimism in the shape of buds on the pinky’s of trees
temptation of the thaw in my chest as I flirt with a step on yawning ice

The pussywillows sway as the phoebes sing
Sun speaking a brave prayer as she opens her mouth wide
This is the light that encircles us all

I unpack weeks worth of groceries into the droning fridge
Spinach and oranges
Apples and cheddar cheese
Bread and half a mango
Tofu and a jar of red lentil soup from the freezer back home

Nadeem starts a fire in the wood stove
The roar catching in my heart as it lets down
As it feels the quiet in ventricles and chasms

Mom sent an email about ticks
And how we shouldn’t go walking in the woods or let
Lola crawl in the tall grass 

Especially as it gets warmer
Trading vigilances
Swapping one worry for another

This is the light that encircles us all

“FEEL YOUR FACE” By Sasha on her living room floor

Thursday, March 19, 2020
7:02am
5 minutes
Burma-Shave
Traditional poem

FEEL YOUR FACE

(AFTER WASHING YOUR HANDS)
THE FACE THAT YOU’VE ALWAYS HAD
AND WILL ALWAYS HAVE
LOVE THIS FACE THAT TELLS THE WORLD
WHO YOU ARE
USE YOUR FINGERTIPS TO FALL IN LOVE
WITH YOURSELF
THE WAY THAT YOU CARESS

A LOVER
OR A CHILD

THE TENDERNESS

THE PASSION
THE ADORATION
THE UNCONDITIONAL
I LOVE YOU NO MATTER WHAT
SAY THIS OUT LOUD
I LOVE YOU NO MATTER
STRAY HAIR
WRINKLE LINE
FRECKLE
PIMPLE
I LOVE YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE
NOT WHAT YOU ARE
CAPITALISM TELLS US NOT TO LOVE OURSELVES
JOKE IS ON THE MARKET
CRASHING LIKE A WAVE
JOKE IS ON US ALL
WHEN LEFT ALONE WITH OURSELVES
DO WE LOVE
DO WE LOATHE
DO WE LASH OUT
DO WE LAUGH
DO WE REMEMBER THAT THE ONLY
THING WE CAN REALLY COUNT ON
IS THIS MOMENT
AND THEN
THIS ONE
TOUCH YOUR FACE
(AFTER WASHING YOUR HANDS)
AND THANK YOUR FACE FOR HOW SHE’S
KNOWN WHAT YOU NEED AND TOLD OTHER’S
SOMETIMES WHEN THE WORDS WEREN’T THERE
THANK YOUR FACE FOR HER CROOKED NOSE
HER BRAVENESS
HER FULLNESS
HER HERNESS

“I would have missed so many smells” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
6:10pm
5 minutes
Ode to My 1977 Toyota
Barbara Hamby

I imagine that more poetry is being read aloud
and more people are saying “I love you”
More baths are being run
and shared
More parents are playing with their kids
actually playing
getting down on the floor and being alligators and fairies and brave

They say that the canals in Venice are crystal clear
and deer are walking the streets of Tokyo

In the breaking down of everything we know
something new
a shoot of green from frozen ground
a smile with a neighbour who I’ve walked past many times
my baby sleeping tucked in my coat
her baby sleeping tucked in hers

I listen to the sound of my heartbeat
the sound of my husband talking on the phone

the sound of my father’s footsteps walking up the stairs
the sound of my neighbour on her porch smoking a cigarette
the sound of the bus accelerating up the street
heartbeat these sounds
their own rhythm of here
now

I imagine that more bread is being baked
more songs are being sung along to
more phone calls are being made to grandparents
and long lost siblings and friends who felt a bit forgotten

“Permit me to add my first” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 17, 2020
11:32pm
5 minutes
Old French Fairy Tales
Sophie, Comtesse de Ségur

Today while walking, and trying to keep a six foot distance between myself and all others, what a strange game to play at nine thirty in the morning, speeding up and slowing down to match the jogger in red sweatpants, the stroller mom, the UPS guy… today while walking, I was thinking about what this all means to animals, like, are any wolves getting sick? Are seals barking warnings across waterways? Are the robins who suddenly seem to have descended upon the front yards of the neighbourhood here to whisper to the worms, “Watch out!” And the pangolins, oh the pangolins… are they riddled with guilt, whispering bedtime stories to their tiny children while wiping tears? Maybe these creatures couldn’t care less and are sighing relief that we finally have something to slow us down and make us quiet.

“Souvenir, n. Memento.” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday March 16, 2020
10:40pm
5 minutes
A New Primary Dictionary if The English Language
Joseph E. Worcester

I hope I’m sketched in your mind with my head thrown back in laughter
Mouth wide and slightly crooked bottom teeth peeking out as they do
As we do
My fingers circle the ring circle the circle
My commitment to myself to
Always be true
Always be kind
Always be free

A different marriage
Always
What a big word for someone who hasn’t been here that long

That’s what I say to strangers when they comment on
my little girl’s staring
”She’s new here! She’s just figuring stuff out!”
Try to keep it light
but when they ask her to smile
I snarl
smile

I say
”She’s feeling how she’s feeling and I guess she doesn’t
feel like smiling”

Why
are we telling baby girls to smile
Smile
Who cares what you’re actually feeling
Just
Smile
It feels better for me if you’re smiling

“Souvenir, n. Memento.” by Julia at her desk

Monday March 16, 2020
12:38pm
5 minutes
A New Primary Dictionary if The English Language
Joseph E. Worcester

Remember me this way:

laughing
filled with holes and holy
dreaming in colour
writing songs on cocktail-napkins
writing notes in the margins of newly discovered books
smelling like garlic
chopping garlic
eating garlic
with a good idea unraveling
with a lose curl hanging down my back
with an eye for fresh haircuts and new shirts
with a penchant for over dramatization in the name of comedy
laughing
open arms and long hugs
humming along to Mozart
dripping water across the bathroom floor
showering by candle light
in candle light, flickering, relentless
reading the funny labels of things not meant to be funny
with a leather-bound notebook from Firenze
wearing the blue Adidas runners from 2003 even though they’ve lost their tread

Remember me in your pocket, folded, going with you wherever you land.

“You will be very welcome” by Sasha on the comfy chair

Sunday March 15, 2020
1:43pm
5 minutes
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum

You will take yourself to the quiet of the centre of the forest.
You will tell yourself that you’re sorry for all the times you betrayed the quiet knowing in the space below your heart, the space around your heart, the pearl in the cavern of your heart.
You will drink from the well where your mother drank when she was ripping stickers from the life she thought she’d sewed. We never know. We really never know.

You will wait for dusk and greet him with a kiss.
You will paint your face with the colours of the sunset, relish in the dusty pink and cool grey.
Wink the happy birthday song, even though it isn’t your birthday, but it will be, and why not.

“Sap moves in the veins” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday March 13, 2020
1:40pm
5 minutes
The Day Dream
Nora Acheson

Sap moves in the veins of the maple tree
weaving liquid to gold
Sit it on the stove for long hours
Sing songs in the sugar shack to make the brew thick
I want to know her in ways that she only knows a sister
I want to taste the sweet of the secrets she keeps between her lips
I’m sorry that I never told you so very many things
Dragging cheeks across the stream
Making a party in the forest because
Who knows how long any of us

Has left

“I knew I should meet you here” by Sasha in her bathroom

Thursday March 12, 2020
11:09pm
5 minutes
War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy

I knew that something was wrong when there was silence
like after an explosion or in the very middle of the night

I had bought dark chocolate and organic wine
rolled a beeswax candle and brushed my hair

The lightness of excitement eclipsing the pandemic
A tall order really but it did and that’s just fucking true

We sit in your car and cradle faces
crescent moons

We walk through earth that was muddy yesterday
but is cold today

We speak in lurches and tethered torment
teeth tipping and topping

towards a way through
crash laughter I can’t help it

I often can’t find words in your physical presence
where do they run to?!

Eloquence is something I think I have in my palm at all times
but all I had then was the piece of jade

I’d tucked in my pocket
Tiny protector

Bringer of soothing and harmony
I hope it’s in your pocket now

“Supposing the force of gravity in any similar medium” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday March 11, 2020
10:35am
5 minutes
Newton’s Principia: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
Sir Isaac Newton

The force of two hands pushing against each other
the friction of opposing desires colliding in the space between voices
shouting
The quiet of lust
The staccato of fear as it snakes and shimmies through the waterways
of the city
the country
the continent
the world

A daffodil sits on my kitchen table having opened overnight
How did she do it?
The light through the stained glass window
Lola eating a circle of banana
and then scrunching her nose as she smiles
Salve on my scared heart

What does your scared heart
tell you as you wash your hands?
Those twenty seconds of suds and warmth
a chasm between the possible panic
or possible breath
or possible love sent out to
the lonely
the vulnerable
the sick
the grieving
the ones who plug their ears and
pop their bottles

My scared heart tells me that
this is a time for slowing down
For phone calls and hot baths
and warm water in blue mugs

My scared heart tells me
it was only a matter of time
It is only a matter of time

 

“On the dank and dirty ground.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 10, 2020
3:51pm
5 minutes
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

William Shakespeare

On the dank and dirty ground, you see a shiny penny. You pick it up. You turn it over and over in your hand. You’ve heard stories about these copper discs, how they were once used to buy things like candy and newspapers. Your father was once standing on a crowded subway platform and he looked up, smiling, thinking of a funny video he’d seen earlier that day, shared with him by you, of all people, and someone else on that crowded subway platform had decided to throw a penny in the air, and it hit your father right on his left front tooth and that tooth chipped, the small bony piece flying up and then down, never to be seen again. You love your father’s strange tooth, now mended, but the shadow of the crack visible in bright light.

“The king’s daughter” by Sasha on her couch

Monday March 9, 2020
10:05pm
5 minutes
The Frog Prince
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

She is not proud of her hot temper. How quickly the temperature rises in her cheeks, her forehead, her scalp, her hair tips, til she is blazing and burning and the heat is worst for her, scalding tongue. She is not sure if she’s cut out for this kind of constant tilling and teasing and translucency. What about the cold plunge pool to bring her back to equilibrium? Ha-ha-ha-ha-Ha. She avoids ice like the bullshit it is. Ha-ha-ha. Please keep your opinions to yourself unless they are invited to breakfast (which they won’t be), unless they receive an invite with a clear RSVP deadline. When she’s raging she is the big hippopotamus. When she’s standing she feels the lava at the very belly of the earth. No amount of gratitude or breath or orgasm can possibly change the hot hot heat burn temper of this woman.

“And when I thirsted” By Sasha in the comfy chair

Sunday March 8, 2020
10:07pm
5 minutes
Lines
Maria A. Brooks

You have changed my relationship to time
Before you the weeks whizzed by like wild horses
manes a mess of brown and white

Here and then the next thing I know
I’m looking over my shoulder
wondering how the earthquake happened

Some days there is a slow sullen trudging
one foot and then the other towards another day
that is both closer and further away

Thirsting for a bite or a drink or a look
Heart beat a great many hooves running
towards the sunrise sky a pink explosion

Doubt sneaks in only when I let her
When I’m not paying attention
Losing myself in the imaginings of the next time

Faith carries a basket of citrus and daffodils
offers me a juicy section of orange
A yellow bloom

“It is never too late” by Sasha on her living room floor

Saturday March 7, 2020
7:40am
5 minutes
Quote by George Elliot

It is never too late to change your mind
I write this in the bottom margin of my journal page
over and over again
a call to myself from a pay phone on the side of a
strange highway
driving fast
the trees turn into a thick brush painting

day after day I write

It is never too late to change your mind

and sometimes I think that I’m not writing
it for myself or
I’m not only writing it for myself

I’m writing it for you

like drawing a hot bath
dripping in six drops of eucalyptus
three drops of lavender
a quarter cup epsom salts
the perfect gift

My horoscope said to write it all down
if I want it to happen

That’s what I do here

Write and share and
wonder what dear heart
might be reading
these tired words
these lazy wonderings
these pen carvings
fingertip songs

It is never too late to change your mind

“Our faces become our biographies” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday March 6, 2020
10:42am
5 minutes
Quote by Cynthia Ozick

D says I haven’t aged in the ten years since we last saw one another.
I know I have (lines around my eyes, grey hair at my temples), but
I also know what he means. I wonder if we’d reunited eight months earlier
if he would’ve said the same thing. Probably not? I don’t know.
Maybe we aren’t fair assessors of ourselves. Too close to really know what’s happening. Let’s make a pact to no longer hate the things about us that make
us human, dying. Let’s make a promise that we will lift where we slouch
because it helps us to feel the sun on our face, helps us to hold the space
where all the tiny good things live. Is there anything more compelling than
a woman who knows her worth?

“Why won’t my baby eat anything but grapes?” By Sasha in the bath

Thursday March 5, 2020
10:48pm
5 minutes
Room To Write
Bonnie Goldberg

Full arch of a wet back
writhe and wriggle
steam and giggle
Words fail the dialect of freedom
Some people never taste this
body body of the body good good
Oh the tongue of pleasure
flicking the brain switch off
Yes yes yes yes yes 

You make a joke
when I close my eyes
Snarl and release
Let go of the colour
I thought it might be
It’s here

You are indigo hands
sweet like the sun dog
Bodies like celestial
like molasses
like heaven here on this familiar day
this familiar street
Thursday
a very good day
anticipated and counted down to
and then here
finally
here
yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 

This drug
this dress
this deep
this heart
this unknown
this all in
this Milky Way
this toe curl
this bellybutton
this vulnerable
this courage
this hope
this grain of sweat
grain of sand
grain of
yes

“I can’t tell you” by Sasha on her couch

Monday March 2, 2020
11:09am
5 minutes
For my friend who told me don’t celebrate the dead
Andrea Potos

I can’t tell you of the gulf between the dream and the dream
where the tide mixes with the blood and the maybes and the almosts
A new language born of how we build our own pipe cleaner world
How is the imperative
That’s what no one tells you

I saw him roll the possibility between his fingers
the hair of a forgotten song
turn it over and over
until it didn’t baffle with the same enthusiasm
That is how the dove sings to the reflection of herself
in the birdbath
in the garden

I saw him leave the body of light on the side of the road
tumbleweeds and stray cats circle
Pisces season

“I overheard” by Sasha on her living room floor

Sunday March 1, 2020
7:32am
5 minutes
My Book Life
Sparrow

I overheard the kind of sorrow that waves speak in
that salt won’t buoy and the tides won’t rinse

I had leaned in and looked into his tired eyes
they were not the eyes of the man I met a decade ago

Before losing one and gaining two
Before breaking and the gulf becoming an envelope

of unknown and hurt and unknown.

I lost my appetite for coleslaw and roasted
yams

Ran my finger through the soft
pull of spicy mayonnaise.

Maybe it was the closeness of the possible
yesterday or the possible tomorrow.

“the political danger” by Sasha at her kitchen counter

Saturday February 29, 2020
8:04am
5 minutes
Against the Current
Barry Lopez

Fill the kettle. Flip the switch. Open the cupboard. Pull the teabag. Go to the shelf. Get the white and green mug with the “S”. Put the teabag in the mug. Wait. Look out the window. See the bike with the snow. See a half bald squirrel scale the side of the neighbours house. Think about snakes. Think about coronavirus. Think about animal markets in China. Think about meat. Think about cow eyelashes. Think about babies. The whistle. Pour the water. Tongue pressed to the roof of the mouth. Wait for the tea to turn the perfect toasty brown. Think about snakes. Think about swimming in Knowlton Lake and seeing a water snake a few meters away. Feet like anchors. Belly like sick.

“This and no other” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday February 27, 2020
11:13am
5 minutes
From a quote by Plato

Furrow on that brow
that says a thousand things at once
Hieroglyph decipher mastery
electing myself to the top of the chain
Lasso the bull who says that I can’t
or I won’t

you are riding the west wind towards a comet of
maybe greatness
maybe embracing the you
that you always knew you were

Hesitate when things don’t go as planned
when things don’t go your way
fickle fear makes you
a barely broken mare
Swinging back and forth on the rope
in the swimming hole between
I know you
I don’t know you

“I nodded” by Sasha in her living room

Sunday February 23, 2020
10:03pm
5 minutes
Bring You Apples
Cate Lycurgus

Picking fights, picking scabs, picking teams, picking mates – it’s what we do. Wired to survive, hoping to thrive, we are animals. When it’s all said and done, we are animals. We want to fight, we want to win, we want to do better than our parents did. It’s complicated and simple. It’s paradox. We build cities of identity, of hope, of “I belong”, and then tremble as they crumble, bite our hangnails as they disintegrate, don’t even notice as they evaporate into the floating darkness, up towards the sky. New moon a sliver of possible. New moon says her own name proud.

“The stunning couple” by Sasha in the living room chair

Saturday February 22, 2020
11:53am
5 minutes
The Tree Sparrows
Joseph O. Legaspi

Comes in swearing and shaking
hollering and quaking and they are off
Stunning before they bust through the walls
Laughing and then what’s the other side of the coin
Fighting and then tales
You’re it
Fucking and then
Heads

it’s better in their imaginations
it’s better in real life
it’s better when they’ve drunk half a bottle
swallowed half a bottle
Don’t turn the light on
Don’t see the scars

Peacock feather dreams
A path they used to walk at the beginning
Before it all got blender spun
Favourite sweater out of the dryer
Shrunk to a shape that squeezes
asks too much

Stunning the other with their cuss words
and love moves the sound of a voice
pitter patter
waterfall
raging fury of fire
Mmhmm

They are off 

 

“… let’s just see what happens.” By Sasha on her couch

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
7:03am
5 minutes
For as Many Days as We Have Left
Pam Houston

Let’s just see what happens

I hear my
self say

Where did all the good ones go?

the sober one
the wolf one
the whole one
the wise one
the broken glass dodging
never flick the skin
always on time
one

two seconds and
it’s over and I’m
back in my body
wondering why
I lit the match
before arriving
bomb about to blow
here I am
thud
in these brown sheets
who chooses
that
colour?

shame wears
a furry hat
licks her lips
a fuck me
don’t fuck with me
smirk across
the red

Let’s just see what happens

I swing from the fan
around and around
it goes whirring
the spin right back
to where it started
and off again

looking up at it
the fan
watching you leave
the bed
hearing you pee
flush
turn on the tap

feeling
the cool air
on my nipples

“Caley pushed her sandy brown hair” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
10:22am
5 minutes
A Private Wild
Laurel Nakanishi

Caley pushed her sandy brown hair off her forehead. She wished that she could take back getting bangs, and all the sorry’s she’s said, and how she’s always focused on the pleasure of others and not herself. Might’ve saved my marriage, she thought. Wearing the royal blue hand knit sweater that she’d ordered for herself on Etsy for Christmas, Caley glanced at the clock. Two twenty five. She’d have to leave to get Emmy at preschool in half an hour. She’d barely written three thousand words.  When did you turn into such a little procrastinator? Caley got up from her desk and stretched her arms above her head. She let out a loud sigh.

“In the moonstruck dusk” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday February 17, 2020
7:02am
5 minutes
Wolf OR-7
Natalie Diaz

We are the only souls up for miles, or at least that’s what it feels like. You are riding a very large horse named Bailey and I’m laughing because I didn’t know that you knew how to ride horses. You’d taken her from her stall with such tender conviction. I thought we were going for a walk. I know that your father had been a rancher before his accident, but I thought that happened (he fell from the roof of the barn and lost his right leg) and I thought you had left when you were little, like, before you could walk. Three crows circle high overhead in the moonstruck dusk. Who was I to think we were the only souls up for miles.

“a petite woman in her late twenties” by Sasha in the kitchen

Friday February 14, 2020
4:24pm
5 minutes
Confidence Woman
Stephen Henigha

I was once this thing
a title leaning a little to the left
tilting chest to the branches
to the clouds shaped like faces
from the past

I was once
a petite woman in her late twenties
thinking she was physically stronger
than she really was maybe that’s what the
strength of her heart was
my heart is
Outside matching inside
I wore brighter colours then
I wear mostly navy and grey now

why so many lines about hearts
and the strength or the lack of it?

Tempting fate by not wearing kneepads
not wearing condoms (not me, some of
the men I fucked)
tempting control
tempting temptation
plunging into cold water and
coming up sputtering
coming up gasping
tempting and reaching
knowing and searching
daring and thinking that daring
was tall
commanding

“I left behind my unfinished thesis” By Sasha in the bath

Wednesday February 12, 2020
10:40pm
5 minutes
Who Took My Sister?

Shannon Webb-Campbell

mind bend snare chase the tail til she’s back again is that a nose or an ass or a lily of the valley or a cup of earl grey tea cooled on the coffee table no one knows no one can tell and all i’ve got is my petty desire for more held poker faced held clenched and knuckled all white while the people are screaming for their home our sisters arrested and bloody and fighting and all i’ve got is my petty heartache it’s twee almost it’s cute almost it’s revolting almost in the face of arrests and detainment and colonialism and genocide the white tailed rabbit caught again her foot she tries to run she breaks it herself or at least that’s how the story will be written the bunny is never given the benefit of the doubt stupid animal stupid animal stupid petty heartache up against the David and the Goliath up agains the combat boots and the blockage and the millions of years of oppression and grief what i’ve got is a tongue against the roof of my mouth and a pit in my belly box it all up and send it to I don’t know the postal code

“I left behind my unfinished thesis” By Julia in the fishbowl

Wednesday February 12, 2020
10:40pm
5 minutes
Who Took My Sister?
Shannon Webb-Campbell

I’m not going back to school
I’m not going to do it
Sorry, Leash, I’m calling it off
I’m going to work for the rest of
my life and wish I didn’t work
that’s all
I’m not feeling bad about it
I’m not giving it any second thoughts
you want me to feel bad
I won’t
school isn’t for everyone especially
not for people who don’t want to be there

All I have is a gut feeling telling me
that I won’t be better because of it
Leash, you have graduated and have noticed
some benefits, what are you doing now friend
I couldn’t tell you, I couldn’t attribute it
to anything you learned there
aren’t you fixing people’s teeth now
aren’t you living in your mother’s basement?

I don’t want to be wanted by the kind of
people who turn their noses up at someone
who lacks all the training
I know who I am and who I’ll be
and aren’t I already doing the things they
teach you in school? Aren’t I already
running out of paint and finding off cuts
of laminate in the recycling bin to
try out my thoughts?

Aren’t I killing time here anyway?

“a performance of about two and a half hours” by Sasha on the couch

Tuesday February 11, 2020
10:02pm
5 minutes
Nibelung
Devon Code

Before you know the tension of this radical Wild West town
Grazed in it’s fire pastures and danced the waltz to the jingly piano songs
Raised a glass to your lover and their lover and the lover of the lover who doesn’t know their own loss of sight
(We hold him with stiff arms and narrate the colours and the faces as best we can)

Before you allow yourself to make up your mind about all of this
About me
(Strange speckles on my pants and hair messy and unwashed
A smirk of faith like peanut butter across my lips)
Ride a mare into the forest and see what the trees have to say
They are quiet today?
Listen from the place that you used to listen from before you had your heart broken
Listen from the place where children gasp and clap and cry
What do they have to tell you, dear heart?
Root systems feeling and telling and feeling the generational longitude and latitude
Braiding beliefs and twisting whatever it is your pearl of truth is

It’s noisy in the wrongdoing and rightdoing
It’s noisy where we clash and bang because none of us knows what the fuck we are doing
It’s noisy but we strain we stress we strain to hear the wisdom
in the way breath is when it’s still between us
when it’s night and the snow is starting
and the streetcar tumbles onward

“They should not be ordinary words” by Sasha in the kitchen

Monday February 10, 2020
9:21pm
5 minutes
What’s in a Name
Moez Surani

Try harder try better try more more more
Lift taller stand braver and quiet with the door
Go faster now slow down can you just simply “be”
Relaxxxx everything’s fine this isn’t about me

Self acceptance daring greatly breathe really deep
Laughter therapy let it out weep weep weep
Stay humble stay grounded stay open and free
Release your anger get present get happpppy

It’s okay that you’re scared and lonely and mad
It’s okay that you’re curious confused and sad
It’s okay that you’re unsure tired and tight
Release your jaw but there really isn’t a “right”

“The letter should be read out loud” by Sasha in front of the fire

Friday February 7, 2020
10:15pm
5 minutes
Anger, Boundaries & Safety
Joann S. Peterson

I buy two cards
the same cards
at the bougie shop
that I hate to love

It’s these firsts
that make me smile
gasp
yawn
I’m tired of myself

I’ve run back and forth
to Lola several times tonight

her rosebud mouth finding
my rosebud nipple
matching puzzle
the gurgles and gasps
tiny snores and reaches
I stroke her soft hair
and wonder what I could’ve
possibly done in this life
or the last one
to deserve such  grace

I walk in the rain
trudging the same daily path
a ritual of cold fingers
chapped lips
lilting toes
breath a drum
cedars touching heaven
roots touching mine

“If the leaf stem is long” by Sasha on the couch

Thursday February 6, 2020
9:43pm
5 minutes
Tree Finder
May Theilgaard Watts

I will pick you flowers and weave the stems together
and make something beautiful something like you’ve never seen
so many colours come with spring
so many colours come with friendship
between two people
who have lived a lot of life
in colour
in friendship
in the backpack of April and May
so many things happen
when we’re planning other things

I’ll always see you as I met you
a different version of who you are
but the crass and the soft and the savage
all there still
and now
all there because you’ve needed them each
desperately
survival of the beautiful
survival of the innocent

“Trust the face of expansion” by Sasha on the living room floor

Wednesday February 5, 2020
10:22pm
5 minutes
The Power Of Intention
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Trust the face of expansion
Trust the open mouth of a new way portal taking you
back to yourself
back to the archangel who brought your spirit into
physical form
who told you riddle and
stuck a finger in your ear
and made you laugh until
you’re teeth ached like
ice cream
and chalkboards

Trust the signs
on the carpet in the strange hotel
that smells like bubble gum and has a rooftop
pool open all hours where no one has ever drowned
where you drink the mini bar pre mixed cocktails
and eat the small packet of nuts
and consider masturbation
but braid your hair instead

Trust the gas station attendant
who tells you to never chase a tornado
who gives you the best beef jerky you’ve ever had
who runs your credit card three times
and each time it’s declined
winks as though someone
might have your back

“picking mushrooms at the edge” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Tuesday February 4, 2020
9:03pm
5 minutes
What Kind Of Times Are These
Adrienne Rich

I don’t know how I got here. I mean, I do. I hitchhiked. I rode in the back of a red Honda Civic squished between my backpack and a mutt named Silas. When I got out, at side of the highway, I was covered in dog hair. I mean, really covered. Ed, behind the wheel, and I shared a joint. Ed was older than my Dad but gave me a look like he might fuck me if the circumstances were right. Sorry, Ed. We sang along to Paul Simon and Silas licked the side of my neck. Ed asked if I’d ever done the season before, that’s how he said it – “the season” – and I told him the truth. I told him, “no.” “You’re in for a treat,” said Ed. He used to pick, but doesn’t anymore. “You’ll smell truffle for months,” he warned, gagging a little.  Now he does something with restaurants and biodynamic wine. I’m not sure. I wasn’t really listening. I was wondering about the effectiveness of my patch job on the fly of my tent. I was wondering if I’d packed enough peanut butter.

“Still the house built itself a corridor” by Sasha in the kitchen

Sunday February 2, 2020
12:00am
5 minutes
Yesterday
Marie Howe

I am terrible at putting myself to sleep
scrub the stovetop and wonder how to get the stains off
scrub the bits of sweet potato and squash from the floor
where very small hands fling broccoli and lentils
banana and oatmeal

The quiet is a welcome guest
comes to the door wearing linen and straw
I beg her to stay
beg her to have another cup of peppermint tea
eat another wedge of orange

There was snow on the buds this morning
coating the green like a premonition

Walking the familiar streets
and remembering
reaching backwards
the crippling nostalgia
the heat of a time that’s gone

I would like to tell you all the stories
of my youth and my future
my future youth
I would like to hear your heartbreaks
and your hope as I trace the Milky Way
on your belly
lean my head on your chest

“Would you mind if I tell you you’re the cutest thing?” By Sasha in the kitchen

Saturday February 1, 2020
9:37pm
5 minutes
Would You Mind
Hank Snow

It’s the way that your voice
lilts like a distant relative
(I still can’t put my finger on it)
I don’t mean that to sound perverse
(or do I?)
A familiarity in the cadence of your
arriving (unexpected)
departing (tragic)
I am reduced to wobbly knees
dolphin tummy
when you say the
syllables of my name
only two (!)
syllables all “s”
and “ah”
and “sh”

”ah”!

Today the sunshine
landed on my face
just as I told you the truth
and you listened
(attentive)
explained
(well)
I felt a weight lift
and rise
helium red
tilted my chest to the sky
blue
felt the balloon come back again
nestle in
a different colour

Love is the deep breath

the leap
(ahhh!)

Love is this place
a whole country between us
this place that isn’t a place
but a buzzing
a humming
a knowing
a pearl of big faith

the oyster
is several sets of hands
holding hearts
holding reluctance
holding the daring
and the danger

I’m glad for this:
the salty tongue
the razor’s edge
the giddy laughter

 

“You can see my baby’s heartbeat” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie

Wednesday January 29, 2020
11:33am
5 minutes
The Kingdom of God
Teddy Macker

I meet your heartbeat when I meet my own
hands on swollen belly
twenty weeks
twenty weeks of you

I shriek the whole way to the lab
I have to pee so bad
And your dad goes over speedbumps slowly
takes turns slowly
I scream
He tries to curb his laughter

My heart was racing in a way
I’d never known
Knowing you were there
but also doubting
I don’t do that anymore
When I know I know
You teach me that

”It’s your first” the technician says
and I nod and she says she always knows
Let’s me pee half way
Smiles
Having seen it all before

Tears on my cheeks as I meet your black and white image
on the screen
I know you in the ancient way that feet know ground
I know your sweetness
your grace
your eyebrow raise
knowing smile

Lola Moon
Nine months old
My life’s greatest joy
is being your mother
My life’s greatest work
is doing well by you
and failing you
and doing well by you again

“The truth is” by Sasha in the living room

Tuesday January 28, 2020
5:30pm
5 minutes
Pea Madness
Amy Leach

There is no map to the place that we are going
there never is but we fool ourselves or follow in the footprints of our parents
follow the path whacked and weeded by hands that resemble our own
follow those rain boot steps
trying to match them despite their fading
where does the memory go of the waking to the voices
where does the cell carry the hum and the sob
match toe to heel
sole to soul
despite their different size
despite their different breaking

It’s good to be back where the rain makes sense
(and release and sense again)
where I can find the rhythm of my walking
the salt in my pores
the beat of my new heart
free from ice and noise
It’s good to be back where the crows circle and call
”You are exactly where you need to be”

I wish I could protect her from the breaking
the rattling knees
I wish I could protect her from the ground splitting open
but it will
and it does
and it will again
So it goes
So we call in the sky of chaos
So we make bread with the sand of the path those before us took
Spread it with butter and humility

“The day care lies at the base of an oak tree” By Sasha on the couch

Monday January 27, 2020
11:09am
5 minutes
Gods at Play
Susanne Antonetta
I wish I believed in God or grace or the unbearable lightness of being.
I wish I knew the twelve times table and how to build an IKEA bookshelf and how to care for an orchid.
I wish I was a Sagittarius and had a thicker head of hair and trusted more people.
I wish I wasn’t so stubborn and cranky and had less dry skin.
I wish I called my mother more when she was still alive and told her what I’d made for dinner and thanked her for teaching me how to cook for myself.
I wish I’d told Winona that I’d loved her and that I always would and that thirty five years later I’d still jerk off to the thought of her in her school uniform chewing gum.
I wish I read the newspaper and would have the guts to cancel my subscription it just becomes fire starter and who needs to pay so much for that.
I wish that I understood politics and plumbing and women.
I wish I was a homeowner and had been to the Grand Canyon and that I actually liked Kanye West’s music.
I wish that I didn’t want to keep everything sentimental and that I didn’t cry when the Leafs won and that my mother was still here to bring me her pecan granola.

“Curious, maybe, you’ll turn to books.” By Sasha at the kitchen table

Sunday January 26, 2020
5:02pm
5 minutes
When You See A Skimmer
David Gessner

When you’re in the eye of the storm, you turn to books, to education, to the belief that your grandfather instilled in you that “knowledge is power”, and, “the more you know, the less you’ll hurt”. (Okay, maybe not that last one, but, almost.) You get out every book from the library on faith. You search for poems on doubt, on loss. You set up an alter on your oak bookshelf and carefully place stones and piece of birch bark, tarot cards and affirmation stones. You read every moment you’re not working, cooking, shitting, making love. The stack of books beside your bed grows, and you grow too. Armed with knowing, you feel you can handle the crisis, weather the flames burning shingles and Cheerios, ratting windows and toenails.

“Naturalists are generalists.” By Sasha on the plane

Thursday January 23, 2020
3:01pm
5 minutes
The Art of Wandering
Ann Zwinger

It’s so cold that my breath freezes on the tiny hairs of my upper lip
A boy in my fifth grade class once teased me for my little moustachio
I’ve come to love it though – the downy tenderness of very small strands
now cradling my breath like their newborns
holding on to what I could never

I’ve come for the Northern Lights and for escape from a failing career
a failing second marriage
a failing attempt at reconciliation with my addict brother
I’ve come to see the colours dance the way my heart hasn’t since
before Angela died
before Angela was born
Dead in my womb before she even had a chance to be born

God must be a fickle, discerning and PMS-ing woman 
I remember saying this to Toby
He smiled and went into the laundry room to cry
”Why aren’t you crying?” He asked me for the hundredth time
”I’m not sure,” I said, peeling another banana

I see a splash of azure across the black sky and gasp
I feel a flutter in my belly
my temple
my pinkie
I feel Angela there in the blue
stretching wide across the ice
Death and life held in the bitter
in the cold
Death and life in the colour of losing
in the hue of letting go

“Still later she folded into herself,” By Sasha at Ideal on Sorauren

Monday January 20, 2020
5:44pm
5 minutes
Peaches
Marion Winik

It’s hard to talk about this stuff and I’m a talker but it’s hard for me, even for talky talker talko me. I don’t know how to explain the radical transformation, but I want to try because I want to be understood. Isn’t that what we all really want? Folding into myself, like an envelope, I try and try and fail and maybe have a moment of shooting star success, but only to me, not to the person I’m talking to… They are still confused. They are still chewing their strange sandwich, sipping their flat kombucha,  cocking their head to the left and then to the right. I guess I could put a letter in my folded envelope self, put a letter to the past and future list, the current spreadsheet, the reminders and Notes in my phone. A letter. Written by hand? Ha. Who does that anymore. Me. I do. Fill the envelope with sparkles, or cocoa, or blow. Send it to someone (you?!) send it to someone and hope they might know what it means, even if I don’t.

 

“Once, two women hiked a volcano” by Sasha in her bed

Saturday January 18, 2020
7:21am
5 minutes
Lava
Danusha Lameris

Once, two women hiked a volcano.
It was before dawn. The lava rock was hot.
The air between them was hot.
They hoped no one else would be there.
Someone else was there – an older man,
blue running shoes, grey windbreaker,
bright headlamp. They smiled at him.
Didn’t resent him being there after all.
A witness.

As the sun rose over the horizon,
swollen and unassuming, one woman
turned to the other woman and told her
that she loved her, not as a friend,
as something different,
something brighter, something new.

The other woman thought
this moment would never come.
So when it did, on a volcano,
as the sun rose, as the headlamp
of the man several hundred feet away
glowed skywards, downwards, skywards
again, she fell to her knees, held her face
in her hands. “Sandra,” she said.
”Sandy…”

They drank blue Gatorade and peeled
oranges and offered a small turquoise stone
to the Goddess of the Island, to the power
of the place.

“My neighbourhood in Upstate New York” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday January 17, 2020
5:21pm
5 minutes
Waiting for the Coywolf
Devin Murphy

When I’m looking at all the faces, mewing and meowing, I’m overwhelmed. I want them all. I have to choose one. Choose one, Teri. I don’t say this out loud, at least I don’t think I do. I say it inside my mind to myself, where most of the Talking happens. Gulliver told me to get a cat several years ago. I ignored him. He told me he thought it might help with the night sweats and the sadness. I told him to go fuck himself. Aw, Gull. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. A fat tabby catches my eye, but then I see that she’s a senior and I worry about her dying weeks after loving her and I don’t think I could take that. I need someone younger. Someone more spry and resilient. No one diabetic. No one who requires medication.

“I find the result” by Sasha in her living room

Thursday January 16, 2020
9:00 am
5 minutes
From a quote by Mark Twain

I find the results under hydro bills and newspaper clippings on your desk. I don’t know why I’m there, going through your stuff, in your office. Something keeps compelling me to go in there. Read the inscriptions of your books. Sniff your strange bottles of tinctures and brews. Today is the first time that I’ve gone through your desk drawers. More disorganized than I’d guessed, especially the third one down. So much random crap… a baseball, a fountain pen, postcards from places you’ve never been… The top of the desk is more organized, but there’s bills and stuff. And then. The results. You must’ve asked for a copy from the doctor. Make it real. Return to it again and again. Turn the paper over in your hands. Taste the trueness of it. Lick a corner. Turn it upside down.

“They are noble who” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday January 15, 2020
8:01am
5 minutes
From a quote by the Buddha

They are noble, those long legged wide shouldered birds of prey.
They shake their feathers at the insolence of the cartoon voiceover anthem.

It’s funny how the bones creak when the door opens and shuts.
A primordial memory. A language before tongues and shuttering.

The postural change of a tucked pelvis re-arranged around books,
twigs arranged into a castle, a waterfall of irony.

I won’t remember the exactness, or the date and time.
I will remember how it feels in my mother guts.

The temperature is dropping dropping dropping
a piano on my toes but they don’t crush they bloom.

“This is a test broadcast” by Sasha in her living room

Monday January 13, 2020
7:38am
5 minutes
from a text

I watch a grey squirrel scale a pillar that holds the house up
Ponder the swelling heart in my chest but not with my mind

with my fingers massaging the sinew between the ribs that
hold the quaking strange thing

think about the taste of your body peppery on my tongue
and when will it feel familiar when will it no longer feel so new

I used to count my blessings before bed
list ten things I was grateful for

but now I do it throughout the day
close my eyes and send gratefulness up to the clouds

and down to the roots
You are all ten things today

“What about his own sex life?” By Sasha on her couch

Sunday January 12, 2020
7:42am
5 minutes
Elbowing The Seducer
T. Gertler

Beth lost her sex drive when she lost her pubic hair, sometime in 2016. Glenn has resolved himself, and no long asks via a gentle pawing at her back when they get in to bed after Friday nights at the Cineplex. Sometimes they kiss, but even that has dwindled. Beth tries not to feel badly about it – she and Glenn had a lot of sex when they first met, less sex after they got married, less sex when they had the twins, more sex when the twins started school, less sex when they left for college… you get the idea. Like everything in a twenty three year relationship, there are changing tides, ebbs and flows. When she stopped wanting to have sex, four years ago, she felt awful, wondering if there was something clinically wrong with her. She asked Dr. Reid, who said, “Completely normal. Would you like some assistance?” At first Beth thought, yes, she would.

“Go to hell” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday January 11, 2020
10:08pm
5 minutes
Age Of Iron
J.M. Coetzee

You tell me that if you were here you would be giving me what I need, the taste of lemon and ginger, hands holding tired feet. My phone lights up like my heart does and I wonder for a breath how I got here, these walls of this house that held my first heartbreak, and my last, the snow making angel kisses on the window that I keep thinking I will see you outside of. The downy pillow of someone who understands below my head, weightless and wise. Lips buzzing in anticipation. There is a quietness to this loudness that makes me feel like I am home. Heaven is here.

“The insufferable arrogance of humanity” by Sasha on her couch

Friday January 10, 2020
8:01am
5 minutes
Big Picture
A. Whitney Brown

Remember when I looked you in the eye and told you you were everything? Remember when I looked you in the eye and told you you were everything I wanted?Forget about a book deal forget about a play on a big stage with lots of eyes on it forget about a bakery, a restaurant, a food truck, sharing the nourishment of my heart with the world. Forget about activism and radio shows. Forget about a yard full of chickens and kids. Forget about all of that because you, you are the pearl at the top of the mountain buried in the moss and ice found with fingers that know the way home. Remember when I looked you in the eye and told you I was leaving because you being everything isn’t enough. You being everything is only the beginning but it’s not the end and the end is here and that is it’s own pregnant beginning. Funny how things unravel when you think you know.

“The fires were still smouldering” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday January 9, 2020
4:15pm
5 minutes
The Known World
Edward P. Jones

burning koala bears are only the half of it  i’m not sure what you mean when you say that you don’t know what to think about I’m not sure what you mean when you say this has nothing to do with that those wombat those birds chased from their homes chased from the sky they used to call their own smoke now is it there swan song smoke now is there tomb burning koala bears are only the half of that big business big oil fire rage fire fire the house is on fire the mother is on fire the earth is on fire and we we sit with our small cups of something clutched in white knuckles hoping for more open for more hoping for more.

“But where is your life jacket” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday January 8, 2020
4:11pm
5 minutes
September 17
Amanda West Lewis 

We loved each other with passion and fire and fear and truth. We love each other the same now, but differently too. We love each other with fatigue and disappointment and folding laundry and a joint bank account and long hours and tired nipples. We love eachother feet touching under the covers, our baby between us, we love each other through her. My body is new, having grown a life over ten months, having birthed a wide-eyed baby girl over forty long hours, having weathered so much of the weathering trying to explain trying to make him understand but I didn’t understand that he wasn’t understood and so couldn’t understand. There is no life jacket. There is only the wild tenacious sea.