“But he was never seen practicing” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday August 18, 2019
11:01pm
5 minutes
Cato The Younger
Plutarch

Julie says that you’re all about family
that it’s my job to make sure
you’re close to your people
feel the tether to the roots
to the blood to the source
“Don’t put her in daycare if you can help it
Have Grandma or Grandpa there”

Neptune transits coming around for all three of us
and I’m wondering about right now
What are the planets saying
What are the stars shouting to us
across shine and bright
A beauty has settled in the space
where the day broke

Down to the bone we go
Into the marrow we crawl

Julie says that your Sun needs to be present
needs to be physically close needs to touch you
We both do
Sun and Moon
Your arm touching my arm
Your toe touching his belly

Good grief
these things that we try to lean on
scaffolding
house of cards

“stop valuing receiving over giving” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday August 17, 2019
3:15pm
5 minutes
Lectures
Musonius Rufus

Hahaha that’s funny
I mean
It’s actually the opposite
giving and receiving
receiving and giving
Is it a gender thing
A learned thing
A patriarchy thing
breathing down the front
of my shirt towards my
wisdom towards my knowing

Give give give give give
we are taught before we can walk
apologize before we speak
mind the Q and the P
Oops
I mean
It’s actually the opposite

In the stick of the final
nights of summer
this person tells me that
I am not very good at receiving
or asking or getting
and I am suddenly faced with
myself from nine years ago

the one slipping into and out
of all the sheets that stack
to make the book that I’m
only now starting to write

“Slicing lake Ontario” by Julia at her desk

Sunday August 11, 2019
8:27pm
5 minutes
Catastrophe that Nearly Brought Down a Plane
Sabyasachi Nag

Darling tonight did you hear me ask you
a less than hypothetical question about
our children and about the future that
might show you just how much I’ve thought
about these things?

You didn’t seem to clock it and that
didn’t bother me then but it’s bothering
me now and I wished I had said, Excuse me
did you hear what I said about our kids
without you leading the charge?

These are moments for me to reflect on
by myself I suppose, because did I say
it out of truth gargling against my cheeks
or did I say it out of poetry and the
persistent chase of perfect phrases?

Are you changing your mind now that
I’ve got mine on straight? It would be so
sad after all this time if we had found
ourselves on different pages again. It
might break my heart into weapons.

I think about this future family of
ours and where the hell are they going
to live? In this one bedroom apartment?
In this city that you said yourself might be
too soft for them and for us and everything.

“Slicing lake Ontario” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday August 11, 2019
7:30pm
5 minutes
Catastrophe that Nearly Brought Down a Plane
Sabyasachi Nag

We’ll fly east in nineteen days
over the mountains that grew us
over the peaks that destroyed us
We’ll fly above the colours and
the clouds above the petty
grievances and the monumental hurts

We’re leaving a place we’ve known as home
five years of loving and living
of making art and granola and love
We’re leaving a place we’ve kissed
and bled and thanked and known
where our girl was born
the greatest feat of all

We’ll fly towards family
towards whatever roots are left
towards who knows really now that
everything is upside down
Secure the mask of the person next to you
I wish that was the case

All I know is I need the pressure of
my father’s hand
on my back
when he embraces me
My mother’s salad dressing
My sister’s eyes

We’ll slice over Lake Ontario
towards a speckled sky

“sucking everything in.” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday August 6, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Across This Body
Jeni De La O

she sets herself on fire
it’s not the first time
but she burns differently

now that there’s the most to lose

ashes fly to the sky
flickering fantasy
floating towards the opposite
she explodes into all the

pieces of possible truths
colours like feelings
smoke of spirit
roar of the breaking

betrayal is a red
mixed into the blood

as she burns she paints
herself in the shades of
the now the ones
she predicted but always
wanted to escape

the true things
the small things
the things that are clever
and vicious

unknown

now that she’s nothing
she has everything
now that she’s here
she sees herself

whole
for the first time

“an overdose, the fire hall repainted red.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday August 5, 2019
10:42am
5 minutes
Orography
Alison Braid

I read you my writing
two poems
at the kitchen table
that’s grown seven feet
since this day last week

a kitchen table that sees
the pancakes and the salt
the chilli and the fights
the Scrabble and the worst

You meet me in the words
beyond the wrong and right
only by being present
but that’s enough for now

two poems
speaking the unspeakable
shrieking in their small stanzas
shaking ghosts from their pockets
sand from their ears

“retirement and investment savings” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday August 3, 2019
11:28am
5 minutes
From a piece of mail

I worried about money until other things came on deck
things that take more breath and bones than bills do

and that is privilege in action right

Fuck
I’m sorry

I used to think by thirty-three there’d be retirement
and investment savings but
well

that’s just not the case
like so many cases are not the case
and so many cases are
case closed
case re-opened
“In this case I…”

what is the case is broken hearts

and packing tape
and all our stuff piling up in a corner of a room
where I both do and don’t want to be
where I do and don’t need to be

healing hearts
hearts in throats
little kid hearts hurting so bad
wanting to heal
wanting release

wanting to teach our girl that
love looks like being true
and being true looks like vulnerability
and vulnerability is power

hearts in the hands of all the earthly angels that love us

I circle my mind
a low flying gull
ride her tail feathers towards destruction
ride her wings towards hope

“Redeemable exclusively at” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday August 1, 2019
6:47pm
5 minutes
From a Salvation Army flyer

These redeemable features
the striving for authenticity
the hope for freedom
What more do we want?

The crest of the lip
holds sweat and tears
The heart holds
more space
and then no space
and then more space

My smell has changed in these days
turned raunchy and rough
I can’t stop sniffing myself
smelling my fear
animal that I am
animals that we are
How we build from a series
of fumblings
stumbling towards
something true

“we always found a way” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday July 31, 2019
11:10pm
5 minutes
From a thank you card

This is you, body coiled and then crumpled
naked in pillows, the baby thrashing
an arm’s length away

We have always found a way back to how we tether,
how we teethe the truth, a bone
like the dinosaurs on display

You want so much

This is the heart within the heart,
a love that I didn’t know was possible,
the ache that grabs my throat

licks my cheek,
tells me to grovel and snarl,
thumbs protected by fingers,

protected by the willingness to pretend.
I stick sorry across your torso,
your back, your jaw

I want so much

I see myself through your eyes
and she’s a famished feral one,
governed by hunger

frozen by fear.
I stick sorry on the tip of my tongue,
lick my arms, legs, belly

Hold up one finger to you
A white flag.

“no one would know me.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday July 29, 2019
10:42pm
5 minutes
The Landing
Marie Howe

I build a home for you
and you live in it
day after night after afternoon
adding your skin to the dust bunnies
adding your hair to the nests under the sink
adding your voice to the whispers
stored in the paint of the walls

I build a good home for you
for us
for two and then three
for the three of us
I keep the pantry stocked
and the floors swept
I keep the truth on the table
until we snuff out the candle
and say goodnight
I dream of a time before this
a time after this
I dream of a great undoing

A lighthouse fills my heart
dim tonight than ever before
I leave the light on
for you though
for myself
for the three of us
even in the crest of the tsunami

“your ability to project charismatic body language” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday July 27, 2019
5:38pm
5 minutes
The Charisma Myth
Olivia Fox Cabane

You do not know self consciousness
Your face the pure expression of feeling
You see the floral blanket and the joy
ripples from top to bottom explodes
out your tiny fingertips

It was hot last night and our naked bodies
touched through each dream and breath
Crescent moon eyelashes the very thing
I didn’t know I’d always dreamed of
Sweetness here now curled against my belly
the same one I felt a year ago in those
first appleseed days

Three months of knowing you
separate from my body
although that’s hardly true
Three months of you being here with us
giving back so much more than I thought possible
Why did I think it was going to be so hard?

Walking home from tying up frayed loose ends
it was easier than I thought
barely an effort really
effortless in it’s grace
I said to myself
“Why was I so afraid?”
and the sun on the sweetgrass growing
flooded me with the truth of
letting go

“I can’t handle this” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday July 25, 2019
10:10am
What Every Body Is Saying
Joe Navarro

Sometimes
when the sweat is trickling down
the nape of the neck
the back is tight from slouching
the heart is weary from all the love
all the stretching

These times
one might think
“I can’t handle this”
Too full
Too sticky
Too messy
Too unknown
Too much

This, too
I say in a moment of
surrender
in a light prism of
yes
This, too

“Bishop Family Bees” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday July 20, 2019
12:02pm
5 minutes
Honey Child Apothecary

You and me
we raise bees in our backyard
only have a bit of space
a few concrete slabs
a tiny patch of grass
but it’s something I’ve always
wanted to do
and always feels closer
since we met grief at the dump

You build the hive out
of old shipping crates
scored on Craigslist
for free
I find second hand bee suits
for us
turns out more people
want to raise bees
than you think
but a lot of things can go wrong
and it’s hard work

I dream about being
covered in honey
arms-length of sticky gold
breaking into the comb
a bear in summer

“She heard a deeper vibration” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday July 18, 2019
10:50am
5 minutes
From a quote by Willa Cather

She sits on the edge of my bed
her body different than ever
but this isn’t about her body
for once
this is about her transformation
not that body and transformation are mutually exclusive
just that too much attention has been paid to form
and now it’s about something formless
more important

She’s wearing a burnt caramel
three quarter sleeved shirt
it’s her colour
when I see this colour in the wild it reminds me of her
She’s talking about gratitude
like it’s her new guru
like it’s saving her life
and it is

Shrouded in white
glowing aura of wisdom and wreckage
gratitude leads her back
to the place that broke her
heart
the first time round

“shoved me into the bathroom” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday July 16, 2019
7:52pm
5 minutes
A Head Full OF Ghosts
Paul Tremblay

Hands around my hips
pushing me towards the open door
Is this the life
I always dreamed of?
Molson on my breath
and All Dressed chips
I wish I’d eaten something
better

We’re up against the sink
graffiti on the walls
Is this all there is?

“Why aren’t you into this?”
Who are you?
“Shit, I’m sorry…”
Down on my knees but he
pulls me up and back
and mouths and breath
and eyes and my mother
used to say that I had
a strange nose it didn’t
come from either lineage
it is all my own

Someone flushes in the
other bathroom
We laugh

“What’s your name?”

“your teeth glint” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday, July 13, 2019
10:51am
5 minutes
Next Time
Lucy Yang

Your teeth glint
refraction of streetlamp
and truth
Your mouth is bigger than ever
fizzing future
foaming present
shhhhh past

It’s July and it’s not as warm
as we’re used to this time of year
The only smoke is coming from
the change
the fizzing foaming shhhh-ing
At least for now
We’re lucky
I suppose

Keep reminding myself of that

I wake sweaty from a dream
baby wiggling for my breast
sighing in her sleep

Someone left their kid
in the hot car and they died

Water is the only thing
that brings me comfort in this
strange and stinking desert

Tears
Showers
Room temperature from the jug
on the counter

“contact the storage directly” by Julia at her desk

Thursday, July 11, 2019
4:32pm
5 minutes
From the Secure Storage website

In my dream you were there as if
it hadn’t been 4 years of silence
When our other friends left the room
I looked at you, still there, shrugging
Was this night more awkward because you
and I haven’t talked anything out yet?
You wait to answer because the answer
is yes but you are there waiting for me
I didn’t know if you wanted to talk…
And now it is my turn to wait, to ask
myself, floating above my body if, maybe,
I do

Things are said but mostly not and
by the end of the scene we are hugging
deeply and I have said I love you again
and you have cried and said I love you back

You didn’t look the same and your calm
was foreign to me from what I remember and
yet I knew it was you there, wondering if
anything is possible the way they say it is

I gave you my answer and then I woke up,
glad that in the dream, after drawing the
card of Mercy, I could see what that might
look like even if no real action
had yet been taken

“contact the storage directly” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday, July 11, 2019
10:14am
5 minutes
From the Secure Storage website

I wonder if a time will come when
we do away with all the past hurt
stored in boxes in the closet
stacked one on top of the other
amidst the cleaning stuff and the
cans of black beans and chickpeas
paprika from Hungary
oats in a paper bag

I wonder when you will not be tight
and I will not be sorry

what will be between us then
the lightness and dust of these corners
a decade of daisy chain evolution
some flowers losing their bright
some gaining new growth
measured in commas and almost finished
stories measured in scratches
measured in letting go

I wonder what will come of this
and where you’ll put your righteousness down
what will be born of the true new

who will you allow me to be
in your paper doll cut out clothes
of not quite enough
torn at the places where you
stick them to my body
pin the tail on the woman
doing her best

“Taking a trip?” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday July 9, 2019
12:02pm
5 minutes
From a TD Bank envelope

We talk three years in the future
a new language buried in our cheeks of
grandparents and long-haul flight snacks

We make promises that we know we can’t keep
but that’s what we all do right
that’s how we fool ourselves into the future
tumbling over and under
singing James Brown
singing lullabies

I’m always singing this song to you
especially on rainy days when the trying
gets tried and there’s nothing but
the birds on the balcony
trying to rustle up a seed
from the empty feeder

“because they don’t realize” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday April 20, 2019
4:53pm
5 minutes
Real Roger
Harold Ober

How will I teach you how to love your body
in a world where a choir of voices sing
BE SMALL
HOLD IT IN
DON’T
STOP
YOU ARE TOO MUCH

deafening crescendo
coming from all sides
every time you leave home

at least that’s how it felt to me
often
sometimes
mostly

How will I teach you how to love your body
when the lineage of women hating themselves
runs as deep as the lineage
of love and water

That is my work
my task from the very first day

Strength and wisdom
in your muscles and bones
blood like fire
burning up towards a sky
that forgives all the hurt
carried in cells
all the shrinking

We will not shrink

You will hear me praise
how my body carried you
and made you who you are
and fed you and carried you

You will hear me celebrate
the stretch marks and dimples
and you will believe me
because I will be telling the truth

You will hear me speak of the beauty
of all bodies
ones like yours and ones like hers
and ones like mine and ones unlike many
and you will hear me
sing louder than the choir

A lone voice
a mother’s voice
swallowing the many
with the power of the matriarchy
that only knew what they knew
and now we know more

“And you arrive light” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday April 19, 2019
9:08pm
5 minutes
Summer Lines
Judy McGillivary

you arrive by light
a kiss on your lips
from the other realm
a story in your veins
that i know and
i don’t know

you arrive bright

you arrive by light
full pink moon asks
to expect the unexpected
line up the crystals
on the window ledge
throw my head back
and laugh at all the
ways I thought I knew

you arrive bright

riding on the tail
of a shooting star
teaching me about
surrender and chaos
and letting go
ripening me to the truth
a sliver of mango
sprinkled with chilli and lime
holding my hand as i

arrive too

“silence flourishes sea-green.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday April 18, 2019
3:33pm
5 minutes
Overdose
Seamus Dune

In the stillness
of the early morning hours
silent and ripe

This is the first time
in my life that
I’ve had this kind of
t
i
m
e
to rest and
be and
centre and
prepare
and rest

and meet
whatever guests
arrive at the door

“Every morning a new arrival”
Rumi says and it’s true
now more than ever before
it’s true

In the sea-green quiet
of three in the morning
I touch ecstasy in the
low down hiccups between
my hipbones
I touch fatigue in the
never-quite comfortable
I touch anger that my
mother won’t get watch
her love hold our girl
I touch the petty jealousy
that lives in clenched jaw
that smacks me around
when I’m least expecting

“Why are you still here?”

“Like the blueprint of a lake.” By Sasha on her couch

Monday April 15, 2019
10:53am
5 minutes
Weatherman
Norman MacKenzie

The wind is blowing south
and I send incantations into the
open mouth of the yellow tulip

When will you come?

The blueprint of my favourite lake
traced on my insides by your unborn fingers
We’ll spend hours on that dock
dipping toes into glass
fishes grazing the summer heat
spitting watermelon seeds
dragonflies flirting with newly
appointed freckles

When will you come?

I make another batch of granola
stock the chest freezer with soup
clean the dust bunnies from under the couch
read about the miracle of how my body
will open

the tulip

and you
in all your divinity
in all your grace
in all your knowing
will arrive

“a stretch of road, a write, and birch trees” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday April 14, 2019
3:04pm
5 minutes
The Death Of The Partisan Girl
Tom Wayman

Grief has a way of tossing around the heart
a big ginger cat pawing
the beating thing
back and forth and down
by the curb
a stretch of road ahead
that’s sketched in the colours
of a face you’ll never stop missing

You’re not the only one
who wakes up with tears on her pillow
the words to a song you haven’t thought of in years
swinging from the branches of the
dawn mind

You see other people rushing and hustling
and calling and tripping
and a friend tells you that you’ve changed

I have changed
you say and your voice catches
because isn’t change the only thing
that we can count on?

“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

“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 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”

“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.

“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

“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

“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