“what God told me in a dream once” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday December 8, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
A Poem In Which God Is Both A Metaphor And Not
Chloe N. Clark

 

Careening towards the impossible we are doing it
we are flying and the wings are spread and it feels so right
for the first time in a long time
it feels so right
I open the little windows on the advent calendar
the one we had when I was a girl and you were nowhere to be found yet
Eight little windows
catching up

A doll
A duck
A candle
A book
A violin
I put it on the window sill
the light shines through
illuminating the face
the bill
the flame
the cover
the strings

catching up
to myself amidst the flurries falling
catching my new heartbeat
my new reflection in the glass

God told me in a dream
that it wouldn’t be what I thought
It would be better

“occupational hazard” by Sasha in Jolie’s bedroom

Saturday December 7, 2019
5 minutes
8:29pm
from a quote by Tracee Ellis Ross

 

I guess it’s an occupational hazard she says
when I tell her the truth about you
unravelling ball of red yarn in my hands
I don’t have the thesaurus for hearts
or for your heart at least
but I do know that the strands between us
the quilt we have been so diligently needling
tells us secrets like
almost
persimmon
legacy

She wants all the details of the time and place
the horizon’s hue the fingerprints
I don’t know

Crack my knuckles which I do not do
it doesn’t work
crack my head against the wall
I think I can
I think I can

“Flowers called despair” by Sasha at Lewis Street

Friday December 6, 2019
3:02pm
5 minutes
I planted my garden
Joan McNerney

If we lined up all of ourselves would we see the part that knows the rules?
would we laugh at the lines crossed out and the delicacy of the skin under the eyes?
I am grateful for the snow today
How it weighs down the thoughts that long to helium up to the heavens

I never could’ve guessed that this is where I’d be on Friday December the sixth
curled against a body born of mine her toes a beauty closer to God than I’ve ever pinched between thumb and forefinger
words tossed to a stranger on the other side of the line with the deftness and assured ness of a woman who knows exactly what she wants

My smell has changed again
the one that comes from deep inside and draws some near and pushes others away
My smell is the clementine skin, the vanilla bean, the earth
reaching towards a new kind of living
reaching towards a new kind of love

 

“a single bird within a constellation” by Julia in her office

Thursday December 5, 2019
3:29pm
5 minutes
irrelevant
Sophia Cannazzaro

I’ve told you the story about Nonna and the bird
the one that sat in a nest near the archway of our front door

I have never known her like that again
the day she scooped this tiny bird from its home and placed

him gently in my pocket
I was five and I found it to be magical

I don’t know if she was trying to make me laugh or delight
in life’s tiny fuzzy adorable things but she did both

And she confused me for years later

Why didn’t I know her that way in Italy?
Why didn’t I know her that way when we were inside the house?

When I got old enough, I grieved the tiny bird that
would have died shortly after my Nonna let him live

inside of my jean skirt
What mother would return to him then knowing that

he had been touched by human hands, greedy at the
fluff of him

“a single bird within a constellation” By Sasha in her living room

Thursday December 5, 2019
11:09am
5 minutes
irrelevant
Sophia Cannazzaro

 

I type the story out again and again
in the little box of light I hold in my hands
a cage
a tomb
a bible
a brilliance
fingers cramping around corner
middle finger on my right hand buzzing these days
not sure why
not sure

The rush of a ping back he’s back there it is
where did I go
how did I get so far away from this
avenue of myself
dumpling skin
feathers around my eyes
rose water in my bones
calling towards
a nakedness
a truth
a remembering

I roll the thought of who I used to be

between fingers
a lotus flower of intent
a bull of maybe
testing the raging waters
where the gyre meets the sky

“I step into the cold silence.” by Julia in her office

Wednesday December 4, 2019
2:19pm
5 minutes
New Planet
Misha Penton

It feels more like an autumn day than spring, something like October keeps ringing in my ears and against them.

A resistance here, a noticing. These two have never come together before.
And now in my bigger boots I can sense the weighted thought and it is attached to me.

The breeze whisks the hair around my face into a halo of buzzing. I cannot pretend I do not ache for sunny days, but this, this aliveness is more than
I thought I would know.

The air around me is still and I can hear a quiet humming.
I listen and find grace in the willingness to acknowledge.

It’s not hunger, it’s not sleep, but grief collected.
And here I count the withered leaves, one and two and three upon the ground.

It feels more…

“as an introvert” by Sasha on her couch

Monday December 2, 2019
9:17pm
5 minutes
from an article in open-book.ca
Natasha Ramoutar

At some schmoozy party I realized I didn’t have the words
or the gumption or the booze in my veins
the class or the courage or the push push move
to say something to anyone
that was the moment that I knew I had changed

I thought that I was an extrovert to the very core
wore the badge and was proud to display it on my red coat
with the toggles and the fake fur trim on the hood
but then something happened and I woke up and I’d changed

“since I let myself think about” by Sasha in the bath

Sunday December 1, 2019
10:31pm
5 minutes
I Never Liked Your Friends
Alexandria Maillot
Sharks swim in the water in the place where I live
circling and hoping for fearless playmates
oh the sweet innocent oh the venom toed hope
of any variety of any shape of any texture of any taste

I can’t believe that I’ve jumped in again
swirling towards chaos or the rush of being desired
I don’t even know what it all looks like anymore

I hate how heartbreak has made me better
in every sense of the word
the b touches the e with softness and smoke
the two t’s are lovers that no one knows about
the e and the r parents to a new thing that has

never been born before
I hate how heartbreak looks good on me most days
and the jeans fit just so now
just so I can remember the time before the time
the time before the second hand caught up
the time before time

I ride the shark into the black and blue
the coral reef glows fluorescent
tension expels herself from my form
I am oh
I am oh
I am oh

“since I let myself think about” by Julia on her couch

Sunday December 1, 2019
8:06pm
5 minutes
I Never Liked Your Friends
Alexandria Maillot

mushrooms and pizza crust
mountains of cheese
decadent pudding
vanilla milkshakes
black cherry yogurt
mint chocolate
driveby burger dorritos
roti
roti
roti
hazelnut cream sea-shells
nutella filled donuts
double-baked almond croissant
lemon meringue pie
zia’s easy cheesecake
zia’s tiramisu
zia’s porcini mushroom gnocci
zia’s sweet-milk tarts

“Night Sight” by Sasha on the daybed on Nassau Street

Friday November 29, 2019
2:41pm
5 minutes
She’s got that night sight baby
those purple shades carving starlight across her brow
She’s got that x-ray vision baby
can see through the bullshit and the ego and the weather
She’s got that rhythm baby
fingers snapping toes dancing hips moving towards Sunday
She’s got that green thumb baby
Planting seeds in pavement wastelands
returning a season later and
it’s an old growth baby
we’re all growing old
She’s got those laser beam ears baby
hearing the elder folk prophets spitting hope
She’s got that funk in her heart baby
smiling and crying and not that much bubblegum
between them

“Night Sight” by Julia in her office

Friday November 29, 2019
11:37am
5 minutes
from store.google.com

Night sight brings me good lights and everything in between
where the sheets give off steam and the silent sky screams

Night sight holds my throat with grace and opens up the window
to the voice that’s bouncing around

I’ve been waiting for something as good and calm
the days go by like rocket ships and everything blares on

The morning is a humming bird and quickly does she pass
so afternoons can move and groove and then they’re gone at last

But evening breathes a sigh of sweet and stillness echoes underneath
a nectar worth preserving and oh it fills the cup
a weight in every drop

Night sight closes my eyes tight and folds my gaze inside
and the hope can reside safely

Night sight wishes with her hands light giving off the insight
that can’t be seen in the day

“The life. The death. The rebirth.” by Julia in her office

Thursday November 28, 2019
1:15pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

We spiral in and out and in and out
the only thing that’s sure is this
will repeat itself
and how long the out and how far
the in the deeper gone the harder still
and how will all our moving parts
meet up in timeless space

We dance our hearts out when the music
pulls the strange doubt from our skin folds
the lull the hum the distant one keeps us
in time when place is free from confines
and if there is a boundary painted
we will dance harder than anticipated

We wait until the timing’s right but
we are not the ones to decide so waiting
stays and waiting sits but waiting never really is
and who decides but time herself hardly fixed
upon the shelf

We log our journeys by the sun each day
we live another one and when we hold our smiles
to the light, the night the night falls soft again
Where does Time go if not stuck inside our silly show
does Time remind the seasons to roll on no matter
where we are

We spiral in and out it’s true
the end the middle
beginning to relive the life that
first must die and start it all over
and start it all over

“The life. The death. The rebirth.” By Sasha at the kitchen table on Nassau Street

Thursday November 28, 2019
10:56am
5 minutes
From a Facebook post
The waves today remind you
of how you crash and roll towards
the life the death the rebirth
over and over you cycle and recycle
turn the leaf and gold is there

Last night you dreamed of
strangling and braiding hair
pressed between your past and your future
sweaty back and angel toes
Okay you say when the dawn
stirs you towards morning
Okay
When you think you know
is when you are actually on the doorstep
a small blue bowl in your cupped hands
you raise your fist
you knock

The wind took you home
from the waves and the uneasiness
brought you back to the small row house
where you’ve unpacked your things
where you boil eggs
where you call you mother

and ask her what time she plans to arrive

“the deity manifest” by Julia in her office

Wednesday November 27, 2019
11:21am
5 minutes
Egyptian Mythology
Geraldine Pingh

she sometimes feels far away
as in not in this body at all
as in on vacation where she
gets to rest and be taken care of

she doesn’t live in the skin
if the skin doesn’t warm her
or if the bones shake too much

nobody wants to stay in a house
that rattles when the winds come
when the weather changes even
slightly

sometimes, today, right now
she is away away laying low
and breathing slow and she is
not questioning the sand

she is said to be within
but I don’t think that’s how
it works when the body threatens
the spirit by being so sad
as in not in the room
as in not feeling the floor

she comes and goes and I believe
she wants to stay but when there
is such a deep unknowing she does
what’s best for herself

she does not stay where she is not
wanted when she is smart enough to name it

she will check in every now and then
but if the conditions aren’t worth it
she doesn’t have to think twice about
the door

“niches of great magnitude” by Julia at St. John’s School

Monday November 25, 2019
2:20pm
5 minutes
At the Mountains of Madness
H.P. Lovecraft

When one is loved, OKAY REALLY LOVED
bam bam bang bang whoopty doopty yes and yes and yes,
then that same one, that same gooey ooey loved up one that
was previously, what, right, yeah yeah yeah, loved but not really,
right? Cause we never ever know the magnitude when we’re feeling
low down down down woah all the way down to the bottom without
a buoy to cling to no sirree no sirs
no misses no no no none of it.
Previously unloved, not outside, but inside, the one wasn’t doing any self love and that’s the way to feel the outside love you gotta know, you gotta know that now.
And when they are previously unloved or so they think
and so they believe then it all seems the same
and grey and tiring and god awful.
That’s the way it was
so the way it is when there is LOVE
all that gigantic love, the right kind of love
that you can believe in between your toes and know
how far down it reaches even if you can’t see
it cause it lives there always pulsing pulsing through
you, in you, right, in you.
The way it is with all that gigantic love, and get this,
you’re gonna laugh, stay with me, don’t fall over!
Is the smallest of spaces.
You feel tucked in, you know? You feel like you’re
sleeping in the palm of a walnut shell.

“Don’t let the exclamation point fool you.” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 24, 2019
5:27pm
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

Not Happy. Not thrilled. Not at all okay.
Okay? Get it? The question mark is rhetorical.
Don’t answer that. Read the room, you know?
you know. Not happy. Not thrilled. Not great.
Could it be about passion, hmm? Could it be
anger? DO I HAVE TO SHOW YOU THE VOLUME or does
the rage fall flat when all you see is the blasted !! !!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I see how you can get it twisted.
Good liar. Good at feeling the thing but not in front of anyone.
Not good at hiding the feeling, but excellent at lying about it.
That’s even worse, now you know, now you know, but you’ll say
you don’t if you see the s m i l e !
See? SEE? SEE?! All different.
I am all different and all angry and all the opposite of okay.
Not thrilled. Not happy. Happy during rage but not about the rage
that now I feel because of you not being able to read the room.
The rhetorical question. Don’t answer that. No question mark.
Not an invitation. Not something for you to hang your dumb old hat on.
See the rage, feel the not okay now?
See what’s being tossed around?
Don’t let that shit fool you.
Don’t be so naive out of convenience.
Who is fine anyway.
Who is ever fine ANYWAY.

“There are a lot of good reasons” by Julia on her couch

Saturday November 23, 2019
5:15pm
5 minutes
smittenkitchen.com

one: you’re the one I love
two: you’ve got two options when I can’t decide between more
three: the third time I saw you I saw you all the way inside you
four: the four walls we share are made better by your light
five: you always talk to me when I’m writing these
six: the sixth year we tried to face it
seven: the seventh year we tore it all down
eight:the eighth year we rebuilt everything
nine: we found that we have nine lives too and all better after jumping
ten: after ten years I would give you a ten out of ten but it still doesn’t do you justice

“There are a lot of good reasons” by Sasha on Nassau Street

Saturday November 23, 2019
4:39pm
5 minutes
smittenkitchen.com

There are a lot of good reasons for endings
the clocks change
or the hearts do
There are a lot of good reasons to say
”That’s it, I guess”
to call it quits

to throw in the towel
to bid farewell to what was
and welcome in what is

There are a lot of good reasons
to persevere
to see what’s on the other side of
resistance?
Fear?
Blockages?

There are a lot of good reasons
to allow yourself to be lit by the streetlight
and only the streetlight
to turn off all the other lamps in the house
and feel the glow of only what comes through
the window

There are a lot of good reasons

“You receipt” by Julia on her couch

Thursday November 21, 2019
8:29pm
5 minutes
From an email

the bill comes and when I flip it over I see that I spent too much on punishing myself again
afraid of being big
but why tell them all that I am, lion, lion, lyin’

It’s the loneliest place, you know the one that used to be, the one that was
was was was and nobody cares about you past tense
nobody
nobody
nobody remembers
nobody cares

when I revisit every item on the receipt it’s clear i’ve wasted my money
put the bets on unknown needs of the masses
now I know what they’re after
now I know
it’s not me at my best
it’s not me at my worst
it’s not me at all

and there’s no flow left
nothing left
no more room in the brain
no more space in the drain

“You are going to have to give and give and give”

Wednesday November 20, 2019
9:41pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Anne Lamott

What you want to say is the truth.
And you don’t know who’s reading this now after all the times you’ve talked about it.
Here’s a place where you do what you do and then afterwards another thing. A new thing.
A new.
What do you want them to know?
How ready you are? How sure?
Or the thing that scares you more.
How desperately you want to be a part of the ecosystem and how afraid you are that it might take more than a day.
How you want nothing more than for them to hold you useful, for them to know you good.
Is this where you tell them you’re ready but you give a damn so you feel shaky behind the eyes?
Is this where you say that you asked for them and the universe was good to you and gave you what you needed?
When do you tell them the truth?
That you don’t know everything and that you’re willing to learn?
That this whole thing is messy but you’d rather spoil your shirt than sit around waiting.
You are going to have to give and give and give some more.
But you are going to have to receive some too.
You’re going to have to fill up on what they have to offer.
You’re going to have to let them evolve your heart and your hands and your mind and your soul.
That’s the fear. That you will be different.
But I promise you that you will able to handle that.
You have always done this.
You have always found a way.

“You are going to have to give and give and give” By Sasha in the house on Nassau Street

Wednesday November 20, 2019
8:23am
5 minutes
From a quote by Anne Lamott

What they don’t tell you is how
you are going to have to give and give and give
and just when you think you’re empty
that there’s nothing left
something arrives with the morning mail
that asks for more
more more more more more more more

What then?

You feel like you’ve written this before
a deja vu of fingers on keyboard
of the kettle boiling
a banana over ripening on the counter
a house that has become home
in four days
record time
Give more
more more more more

The mailman makes his rounds
dropping letters and grace

receiving a poem in your email
written by someone you know
is the very thing
you didn’t know
you were waiting for
this morning

“I have continued to struggle” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday November 19, 2019
9:26pm
5 minutes
From a letter 

you were born in toronto
you thank your lucky stars
when people ask you where
you’re from you don’t have to lie or embellish

now after all these years your area code is worth something and when people discover you never changed your number they seem offended and you are proud

didn’t think you’d be here this long, but here you are, still here, still here

you remember the day you looked out at the skyline and said two years max as if the timeline were drawn in the sand without factoring the storm

it takes longer than you thought it would to find home in a new place and three seems like the magic number; the beginning of the not so terrible, maybe even good

you’re still here now
still here

“I have continued to struggle” by Sasha in the house on Nassau Street

Tuesday November 19, 2019
7:46am
5 minutes
From a letter 

I have continued to struggle with how to formulate sentences
seeing colours where words should be
hearing music instead of punctuation
A bluejay call is a comma most days
Purple for emotion words
I feel
Joy

I wrote an essay in blues and greens in elementary school
and my teacher teased me in front of the class
She thinks that a scribble is a paragraph! He laughed
holding up my page
cheeks burning bright

I met someone who got it once
Her name was Madison and she had freckles and black hair
Her voice was like a leaf blower
Church bells
Thunder
She knew words as smells

 

“This is a” By Julia at her desk

Monday November 18, 2019
8:10pm
5 minutes
From an email
limit and it’s sign
this is a
notion of history repeating
warned ya
this is a lazy walk to the water
a rainy night far from consequence
truth or dare
would you ever make the more interesting choice
and follow something though for once
never know what will be at the end
or in the middle
there are ways to transport our minds and
our worries in a zigzag pattern
so they don’t reach z via the curse of the straight line
this is a limit
this is a hard stop
this is a pivot instead of a complaint
this is
a risk worth repeating
the notion of history and then some
a rainy night without the mechanism of truth
this is a sign
this is another 10 years zooming by
uncomfortably and thankfully
in a zigzag pattern

“I remembered a story” by Sasha in her bed

Friday November 15, 2019
9:41pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Laurens van der Post

I remembered a story
swept in a smile
wrapped in a burlap sack
I remembered how the world
was born of a bang and a rising
steam and a roar opening the cosmos
to this very reality that we
have the audacity to question
that we tempt like a sailor docked for
one night a month
I remember how things used to smell
new car is actually poison you know
I’m sorry to be the one to tell you
Your nostrils flaring up to the sparks
dancing you towards death
I remember how things were when
we were all playing our part of the charade
sparklers burping nostalgia
Let’s take a walk
Let’s ride our bikes down to the water
Watch the colours come out to play
just for us
I remember a story
that doesn’t have an ending
that isn’t sure if this is the beginning
or the middle
that in being remembered
knows that she is worthy

“A flawless flagpole clinks” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday November 14, 2019
7:26am
5 minutes
Small-Town Autumn
Donna Steiner

A broken orange crayon making marmalade on the dusty sidewalk.
Crows cawing all the way to high heaven at sundown. Coffee and a cigarette
on the corner of Main Street with the bakery and the bank. Seasons in slow motion, like rolling a piece of gum between your fingers. Gets less and less sticky.
That’s where I’ll be. With the God forsaken, the brave,
the most ordinary. With the obese, the obtuse, the downtrodden, the real.

Washing dishes for fifty bucks a night and a good meal at Al’s Place,
Loretta hosts karaoke on Saturday’s and I sing along to every song I know,
scraping ketchup and chicken pot pie crusts off thick white plates,
sometimes eating a fry or chicken finger if it’s clear they haven’t been touched.

“Though I had quit drinking” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday November 13, 2019
4:22pm
5 minutes
Free Rent at the Totalitarian Hotel
Poe Ballantine

I was still having dreams about putting the pine into my veins
even after I saw what the stuff could do to me
If I were ever strong before, it was the thing that brought me to my knees
And old boyfriends to their knees with what happened the night before
did we really break up and was it true, this bout of insanity?
Nobody asked if it was the birth control, but it was the birth control
mixed with whatever I was swigging before leaving the house
Memories weren’t the only thing I was leaving on the floor
And if I’d come home a blur with missed calls it wasn’t on the tip of my tongue
to blame the gin
I couldn’t see the lines connected, the outer or inner, the shapes stopped
making sense all together
And then my warning came in the weight of a small healing cat
sitting on my legs while the woman examined my history of traumas and blacking out
She called it an allergy
and it was then I realized my body had been begging.

“Twenty years ago” By Julia at her desk

Tuesday November 12, 2019
4:14pm
5 minutes
The Unspeakable Things Between Our Bellies
Lidia Yuknavitch

It would seem that 20 years ago
some big fundamental decisions
were being made about who I
would be.

I would be winning first place
for a poem written for the legion’s
Remembrance Day competition.

I would be practicing my comedic
timing in Mrs. Foss’ grade 6 class
storming out of the portable with
flair only to enter a proper beat later
announcing that “I forgot my pencil”.

I would be collecting my classmates’
loonies and twonies to pitch in and
buy Mrs. Foss a surprise bucket of
bubble gum for her birthday and reign
supreme as her favourite after hearing
that one of her former students was
now the godmother to her oldest son,
Zachary.

I would be inviting the new girl into
my friendship circle so she would never
have to feel what I felt when for the
first year I was made fun of for being
good at french and knowing my times
tables, and being tripped into the snow
for having spinach stuck in my teeth.

I would be wearing a grey sports bra,
without even realizing I had breasts
but wishing I had what the new girl
had, even though her bra was padded.

“Twenty years ago” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 12, 2019
4:25pm
5 minutes
The Unspeakable Things Between Our Bellies
Lidia Yuknavitch

Twenty years ago I was thirteen

wearing overalls to hide the breasts I never asked for
plaid shirts from Gap Kids
hair down my back
I’d read the whole young adult section at the
Beaches Public Library
Knew that words were my salvation
scribblers overflowing crushes and mood swings
back and forth and scrambled and fried
poems and letters and finding who I was
in the ringed pages through the blue ballpoint
I was hiding more than my body
balled up underwear in the corners under the bed
balled up wrappers in the bedside table drawers
Who teaches the art of hiding to the young one
with traces of purple mascara
Ill matched concealer belonging to some old lady
covering barely there but so so there pimples
Smelling of Clearasil and soy chocolate pudding

I hid to chrysalis myself
shroud myself in all the flimsy layers
in these tender years of temptation and agony
awkwardness and emotion and longing

I hid to be sought by someone who might save me

the only option I’d been given at the time to consider was
a man
the one in the jagged little fantasy ripped from the Rolling Stone
glued to the collage on the wall of my basement bedroom

“winter chess championship” by Julia on her bed

Monday November 11, 2019
5:48pm
5 minutes
Mr. Oleander
Brian Doyle

It has been 24 hours and the bed is sinking

There is proof of the sinking and one day I will show it to you

A warning, that I will have to say I Told You So and you should really prepare for how that’s going to feel

I won’t say the other thing, though

I know how much you hate it

Checkmate

Sorry

I said it

I had to say it, let’s be real

This is another win for me and yes I’m keeping score and yes you’re keeping score

This is the winter championship and it’s a who’s who over here

It’s a do or die

It’s a prove or be proven

I am not actually sorry

Not even for saying the thing that you hate

It is a competition and I am competing with you so there is no room for apology

There is no room for softness and I’ve already told you my stance on that

Remember the framed art sitting on the kitchen shelf

It says We Don’t Do Soft In This House

And yes I made the art

I wrote the poem

But you let it sit there and you have referenced it before

You have been complicit and there is no time for taking anything back

But we could play on the same team for once

I am not offering a forfeit but a surrender

A surrender to this thing we’re going to have to carry

“winter chess championship” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday November 11, 2019
5:42pm
5 minutes
Mr. Oleander
Brian Doyle

I want to be doing better at this abstract artwork
Splatter splatter the red and the doubt and the blue
Texturize with sand and the contents of popped pores
Popped bubbles
Exploded hope
Pop pop goes the imaginary gun into the temple
into the church
Pop pop

My life is my art after all
You tell me of her fingers and I shudder but pretend
that I am a statue and I cannot change expression

I’m busted though
You know my face too well
Have seen it on the best days under the sun
in the field of dreams
Swollen and drugged and birthing
Grieving and aching and hurting
Coming and wailing and eating
Hating and loving and faking
Being and gazing and crowing

I never learned how to play the real game of chess
I’m teaching myself your game now
A piece moves here and I put one in my pocket
in the moment you go to the bathroom
Save it to smell later
when you’re gone

Doing dishes you laugh to yourself
and I know why but I ask anyway

Her fingernails
My stomach churns a strange bitter butter
Gag on the image of curling and breaking
Squeezes body things
out of body places
out of dreams

“In this realm of,” by Julia on her couch

Saturday November 9, 2019
5:43pm
5 minutes
St. Sebastian
Tony Hoagland

I should go outside
again
twice today would be
a lot
but I should go to
make
something of myself
build
a better version of
rest
than the avoidant one that
plagues
me when I stay inside

I should breathe in the
salt
air of the sea and thank
someone
outside my body for
giving
and when that’s done I
should
put down my sword and
stop
fighting or is it the
other
way around?

I should tear the veil
laced
and swinging back and
forth
I should kiss from the
heart
I should open my skull
and
let the sky gods lick
me
clean until it is dry

I should go outside
while
the night is still young
while
the space is still fluid

“In this realm of,” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Saturday November 9, 2019
5:11pm
5 minutes
St. Sebastian
Tony Hoagland

I bake an angel food cake with all the sweet misgivings
I serve it with strawberries and softly whipped cream
We eat quietly
Deliberately
Eyes flicking from plate to you and back again 

I want for nothing but the sound of your chewing

I want for nothing but the pillow on my tongue 

I stack the dishes in the sink to do later
Tomorrow maybe
I run water and crumbs are swept down the drain
Goodbye tiny misgiving morsels
Farewell to you and you and you and you

You stoke the fire
Open the damper
Add a big log 

My hands are still sticky
From the sugar and the egg whites
My hands are still sticky
From all the things I am unable to truly
Let go of

My hands are still sticky
From your bodily things that I crave
And despise and crave again

 

“Yet as quickly as the idea came to me,” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday November 6, 2019
3:02pm
5 minutes
Water, Water Everywhere
Ariana Conrad

I write to save my life these days
To give oxygen where there isn’t any
Into the nooks and crannies of the uncomfortables
Into the old shed of the afraids

I am not being hyperbolic

Okay maybe a little

My survival doesn’t depend on these words
Skipping stones across the page
Towards a rising sun
Red and available

A grouse flies up over the brush
The leaves piling on the salty earth
Makes the sound of a heart beating
My ear pressed to your chest

As quickly as the idea comes to me
To continue the story I started two years ago

To write what I know and what I don’t know
To write my future into being
It leaves

Wings of a heron spread wide 

“Yet as quickly as the idea came to me,” by Julia at her studio

Wednesday November 6, 2019
2:50pm
5 minutes
Water, Water Everywhere
Ariana Conrad

There was a song on the tooth of me
this morning as I flew myself down
a red clay hill and in the acid moon
dust there was a high like no other
it rang on it did and then was gone
but not before it tripped the tongue
into playing out for all the birds
to hear. The song was a good reminder
of the only things that matter and
it had no words so what does that
say to you in a place where ideas are
wearing words as party hats
A celebration of the dream still living
and the flying flying down the steepest
slide you ever did cycle on
so deep and down and fast and good that
your shoulders dislocated from their
sockets and flung you from sleep most
dramatically
The song that was left singing on
the edge of a smile ready to burst
forth from the lips was a tune no
recording would ever fossilize and
so the moment and all its clever
wanderings was made whole simply
by resting into it and holding what
was left to dissolve there on the tongue

“I am plagued by one question” by Julia on the 351

Tuesday November 5, 2019
6:25pm
5 minutes
Fifty Shades of Grey
E L James

Will you still love me tomorrow?
yea, promise

Why do birds suddenly appear?
cause remember, you’re free

Where’a the love?
everywhere, everywhere

When will I see you again?
In our dreams…

How…

how…

Who’s loving you?
all of us, me, I am, me

Who do you think you are?
a bag of cookie crumbs

What’s love got to do with it?
I don’t know how to answer this without restating the question.

Can you come home?

“For adult use” by Julia on her couch

Monday November 4, 2019
6:18pm
5 minutes
from the the sticker package

For adult use.
for adult use!
I told them to repeat the phrase and now look at me!
I am for adult use, right?
Or for child’s, kid’s, youth’s, what have you?
Oh no one.
Maybe no one’s.
Maybe for no one’s use but my own?
No but, environment. ENVIRONMENT, right.
I am for the universe and not for you.
Okay I am not for you but I am for the universe, environment, right?
For adult use would be more like thing, toy, book, object.
I am not
I am not an
I am not an object but but you could argue.
one could argue…
For who
for whose use then in fact am I?
IN FACT!
I want to tell you something
I want to tell you something
when you don’t know what to say you can repeat the phrase and now look at me!
You can repeat
you can repeat and that’s the use!
For general, in general, generally speaking:
It is clear the use because it is repeated often!
It is repeated and now you remember it
it is of use to your memory
I told them to repeat
And so one of them did:
baseball baseball
baseball baseball baseball baseball
baseball
by the 17th baseball it became hysterical
and he was serious
and I was laughing
and they were rolling their eyes, roll roll little eyes
in the back of their ten year old brains
and I thanked him!
WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY….

“choose return” by Julia on the toilet

Sunday November 3, 2019
10:29pm
5 minutes
Google flights

they asked me to answer
“I get lost when I…”
and I said
Look at a map
as if the entire cartography buisness is out to get me
as if the moon isn’t bright enough on its own
as if I’ver ever gotten to where I wanted to go by taking directions
from somebody else
and I know I am the designer of this route, this life, and the instructions, however well meaning, however clear to other eyes, are not useful to me
I have never followed in the footsteps of another and felt whole
I have never relied on a drawing to lead me home when my heart always knows

the navigator of this body is terrible with maps and yet moves forward anyway

“I get lost when I…”

“Where is the equal of Love?” By Julia on her couch

Saturday November 2, 2019
6:02pm
5 minutes
Antigone
Sophocles (Trans. by E.F. Watling)

In the quiet lull of the fridge humming, the crack and button of the inner wall, the very reason for breathing–that is where the equal of love lives.

On the couch in the dark, our third eyes kissing, our fifth lip talking, the neck skin soft from holding all the travelled breath and the still, the still.

I found you again from the inside out and cosmically we both landed in a galaxy far away but made of this one.
We touched the only pulse and it reset the clocks and untied the knots.

The equal of love was in the freedom there, the choice to stay.

“Where is the equal of Love?” By Sasha in her living room

Saturday November 2, 2019
2:19pm
5 minutes
Antigone
Sophocles (Trans. by E.F. Watling)

Love in equal parts
Freedom and possession

Hold close but not tight
Love in two movements

The before

The after

The third in the space between
In the artichoke heart
In the guttural
In the water below the surface

Not frozen yet
But it will be when the first frost comes

I used to think that love was the shape of a circle
I’m not so sure now

Love is a horizon at dawn

Love is the sound of my daughter tasting dried mango

Love is the taste of a new kiss

A kiss that used to be one thing
And is now another

“To the future with hope” by Julia on her couch

Friday November 1, 2019
9:13pm
5 minutes
St. John’s School Motto

on the first day the slate was washed clean
whoosh the spider out

on the day before that the
bathroom spider appeared
to be tight-rope walking

with ease; flair even
but the steam made it difficult and the pelting

spray came on more like an
attack than collaboration
and things were very up in the air

When the shower spider collapsed from its corner
it landed on the floor of
the tub and started to flail
around

trying to climb the wall of the tub to free itself from the assaulting heat coming out of the woman standing

the woman waited for a moment to see what the bathroom spider needed

she grabbed the pair of tweezers sitting on the small table outside curtain

then bent down and let the bathroom spider attach itself to them so she could

lift it out and onto the tile where it could decide where to go from there

“To the future with hope” by Sasha in her bed

Friday November 1, 2019
9:21pm
5 minutes
St. John’s School Motto

I try to write my letters to the future with hope in my pen

Free flowing blue and green turn to 

Where will we be with the storm comes?

Shake the dreams of rose gardens and squash blossoms 

Loosen the grip of even trying to imagine

Let alone plan

It’s in the quiet that possibilities creep in

Ink across a strange page

My daughter’s squeals in the next room

Getting her diaper changed

Climate collapse isn’t the story I was promised

Isn’t the dream I was told would come true

“Anything is possible”

Three words bigger than a 

Maybe

A grief catches in my throat most days

And it’s not for my puny hurts

It’s hard to wrap our hearts around the severity

Of it all

“no words can describe it.” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday October 30, 2019
7:03pm
5 minutes
from a Youtube comment

envy for someone else’s sadness. what’s the word for that? not to carry it so they don’t have to…not that kind of want, or the kind of want they write about. no honour. I’m not hunting honour and maybe that’s a helper word. to feel anything deeply and be able without a shadow of a doubt to call it sadnesss. to know. that is the envy. not to guess, not to be the holder of another’s circumstance but to tongue the name of the insurmountable hill. the climb that almost kills you but slowly because you don’t know the word.
when your eye skin is hot and tired from never crying. if there was anything, a name would be the all.

“the speed at which galaxies are retiring” by Julia on the toilet

Monday October 28, 2019
11:35pm
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Bill Bryson

they don’t wnt to be here nymore
cn’t even sy their nme nd
i get it
i get it
been getting it since lst christms when nothing felt like it mttered cuse nothing does but then, then, it ws the deepest low but nobody knew
sw smiles cndy wrpped some versions of the function so noone thought to sk if it were ll the wy down low or if it were circling something else
smiles cndy wrpped
sold to the voidnt ones
the esy sit nd sy little
ones
nd glxies too re leving cuse one dy everything does
boy you’d be shocked t how
quickly things tht were re no longer

“bouncing out of the freaking roar” by Julia at her desk

Sunday October 27, 2019
8:36pm
5 minutes
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Tom Wolfe

On the bus, I’m on the bus, I’m wailin’
watch me wail, mamma, watch me wail, darlin’
And the whole bus bumpity bumpity bump bumps
and the whole bus hummitty hummity hum hums
and the whole bus shakes and rattles and roars
and it roars
it roars out the windows and back again
it drills out orders and broken conventions
it figures it out as if there were nothing
to figure out and the whole bus, the whole bus
it’s rip roaring, out the roar, bouncing
and it’s ripppppp roaring with the handles
flicked free, they’re all flicked free and our
faces are all flicked freeeee
as an eagle song, free as an eagle bird bouncing
bouncing in and out of the bus, the bus, the whole bus
With the pick me ups and the bring me downs we’re
all back and around, top, bottom, back and around
the whole thing
the whole bus is the proverb, the journey, the taste
the medicine, the magic, the metaphor, the mooooooon
the whole moon is the whole bus and we’re riding the
waves, the tides in and out and the moonie moon moon is
pulling us a stop in the woods, a stop on this bus in
the woods so we can see ourselves in the reflection
the reflecty flec flection, the easy beezy buzzzy
was he…..was he….was he on the bus? was he on
the bus or on the moon? Or in the mOOn or in the MooN
was he us he or is he thus we are all the moon and
the bus and the big beautiful glowing dream of a thing
watch me wail mamma, on the bus, i’m wailin’
watch me whale, whaley wail WAIL

“bouncing out of the freaking roar” by Sasha in her living room

Sunday October 27, 2019
3:13pm
5 minutes
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Tom Wolfe

I’m writing standing up
perched on tip top toes
alone on the mountain
where the ice kisses the sky

I’m writing with my toes in sand
the ocean singing soft and sweet
weaving verses to songs
I’ll compose the melody for later

I’m writing in a bunker
ten feet below ground
so deep that I can’t hear the streetcar
or the car horns or the sirens

I’m writing to save my life
on a gurney in a terror zone
in my bedroom under covers
in a walk in amidst shoulders and thighs

I’m writing a love letter
I’m writing an ode
I’m writing a war cry
I’m writing a eulogy
I’m writing a day

“the human body, as all of nature,” by Julia standing in the living room

Saturday October 26, 2019
10:34pm
5 minutes
Prescription For Nutritional Healing
Phyllis A. Balch, CNC

the hunan body
has its limits
is limitless
has its pains
its strenghths
its smells
its aches
its sadness
its death
its rebirth
has its secrets
its cold
its freeze
its warmth
its expansion
its kindling
its burn
its flame
its shedding
its growth
its song
its crunch
its hunger
its rest
its love
its light
its shadow
its love
its hum
the human body
has its endurance
its fight
its burial
its roots
its love
its love
its love

“it was just sort of whispered around my family” by Julia in her bed

Friday October 25, 2019
10:04pm
5 minutes
Choosing Happiness
Veronica Ray

the weird thing was we were all saying it just at different volumes

when dad tried to make us keep our doors open he didn’t really know why and he didn’t know how to tell us that so he stood his ground

unfair it’s unfair but it would not get brought up at the dinner tribunal

no one said it then or ever or louder than a whisper because it was all still in beta: what might happen if we disrespected any of them,
even unintentionally

better than what they got we were told, and sure, it was, and sure, they learned, but we had so many questions answered with “because I said so” it stopped making sense when you heard it

and “why” felt like the emptiest hug, the most out there on a limb next to I love you

that whispered around our family too but at least we fixed that one when it counted most

“it was just sort of whispered around my family” by Sasha at Bowmore

Friday October 25, 2019
3:10pm
5 minutes
Choosing Happiness
Veronica Ray

Stories woven like rugs by fingers nimble and tired
You weave from your side of the loom
I weave from mine
and we meet in the middle
sometimes
Where the colours come together

I did a bad drawing of a rug a few months ago
A bad job actualizing a metaphor with coloured pencils
I offered it to you as an olive branch
Trying to make sense of the chaos
Parse the fury
Re
collect the pieces

The rug was ripped out
But here’s our rug
I believe in our rug 
We made our rug 
We get to choose where it goes

I said something like one of these lines
You were as generous as you could be
holding the piece of recycled paper
unsure of everything especially this

“it doesn’t experience rejection” by Sasha in her living room

Thursday October 24, 2019
9:05pm
5 minutes
The Tao Of Warren Buffett
Mary Buffett & David Clark

I’ve got nothing tonight
all runny nose and empty
chapped lips and thirsty
fingers don’t know the tune
let alone the rhythm
let alone the plot

I’ll tell myself it’s fine
there’s nothing left to do
sink full of dishes doesn’t matter
and it doesn’t that’s true

I made a pot of lentil soup today
soothe my sick
went to freeze two containers
once it’d cooled
only to discover there were already
two containers
of the same soup
in the freezer

Twelve times a day at least
I think about how I would freeze time
if I could
memorize the arch of her eyebrow
the curl of her smile
the way her half moon eyes
cast a shadow of eyelashes
when she’s sleeping in my arms

This is the hardest work I’ll ever do
and no one sees it
The immensity of the loneliness
grips my guts
holds my throat

I find my own face in the reflection
in the window
the late fall garden
on the other side
of the glass