“That’s what I like about disappointment:” by Julia at her desk

Sunday, March 29, 2020
6:57pm
5 minutes
Disappointment
Tony Hoagland

to fear a thing that hasn’t yet happened is the most normal thing we do. we humans. we us.

I want to put it out there. There universe. Universe us:
we don’t have to do it like that.

okay hear me out. Here me. Here you.

what if we left anticipation for the good stuff?

don’t give up on me yet. Me yet. Us.

what if I anticipate the good, I experience fear in the moment, but I do not anticipate the disappointment because I can not know any moment other than this one?

I you. You me. Me we. We us.
See what I’m trying to cultivate here on this grey clouded open night?

I never learned to tell the future. I have dreams that lead the way sometimes but it’s never exactly as it appears to be. Be this.
Be us.

“You wish you were in the woods” by julia on her couch

Saturday, March 28, 2020
11:19pm
5 minutes
To A Frustrated Poet
R.J. Ellmann

it is lucky we live in a rainforest

tonight we went out for a walk thinking it would be pouring rain
(you could hear it)
but it wasn’t and that was luckier still

we put one foot in front of the other until we found the water
saw the empty bridges
crossed the street between traffic lights
until we met a different hour
inhaled dripping trees

we didn’t see a soul on the sidewalks but we still walked
on the road framed by cherry blossoms

on the day that time wasn’t
we could see the city lit up
across itself

saturday night and every window glowing orange light

“The golden brooch” by Julia at her desk

Friday March 27, 2020
12:18pm
5 minutes
The courage that my mother had
Edna St. Vincent Millay

What’s strange is the passing hour
a molding from my hands and into this
I sat down with one thought in mind
and it floated on into the next the way
I think it was all meant to do in
the early place

It’s been a combination of moments and
avoidance and fear that keep an idea
stranded there on the tip of the tongue
waiting for someone to say the damn thing
already

Say the damn thing already

I want you to know that there is love
here for you even if you don’t recognize it

I want you to know that we can’t give up
on our joy even if we lay it down every
now and again

I want you to know that there will be
something different at the end of this
sentence and if you follow it till the
end or to the almost end or to the last
word you might notice something lingering
there that you never tuned into before

I want you to know

that the damn thing is this:

One day we will brush past each other
on a crowded street and it will be more
like a pinning to the chest or arm or
thigh and we will be stuck together as
if we never left this hallelujah
in the first place

“August is coming” by Julia at her desk

Thursday March 26, 2020
9:43am
5 minutes
Any prince to any princess
Adrian Henri

August is coming and we will welcome her with arms butter flake and cloud kiss
we will hold her in our blanket fort and pin the fairy lights all around her
we will wind up her train on the backs of our hands and twirl her about
we will weep at her feet and bathe her toes in a rose water blessing
we will sing at how far she has traveled
flown around the world in hope but flesh set in stone and sand and grit
we will honour her presence with a basket of fresh basil and rosemary braids
we will give her a cluster of moments to rest at the base of our skulls
or next to the balcony gardens or by the hummingbird feeder
we will listen to her tales of triumph after a journey fraught
and how she never dropped faith even for a second
we will seed her new life with a promise to be children again
delighting in the moonlight of her smile and how her open chest beats a dance
for us all to dream

“We want the suns and moons” by Julia on the couch

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
8:00pm
5 minutes
A Physics
Heather McHugh

inside these days we hear more of the neighbours jumping

there’s a lot of working out from home, which we hear and now understand what it must sound like to the people below us when we dance it out

There’s a lot of working from home, but that one’s not so loud
Most people are still, home, but not as loud as us

We’re the ones screeching to each other from across the apartment

we’re the ones banging pots and pans and spoons around

we’re the ones playing the guitar and the ukulele and the harmonica and sometimes the little egg shaker

we’re the ones singing
we’re the ones practicing our lines

we’re the ones sliding the coffee table back and forth

At 7:00 everyone cheers and we are not the only loud ones then

we are doing our inside things and if we hear anyone doing theirs we do not get angry but remember humanity above us and down the hall

we dream of warm nights playing music together on our patio, saying goodbye to the sun and welcoming the moon

“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

“They’ll be able to describe it” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
12:17pm
5 minutes
Teaching a Child the Art of Confession
David Shumate

They’ll be able to describe it by the finches singing in the yard
the construction workers outside still constructing work and homes and noise
the old photographs now strewn across the coffee table and some on top of the bedside drawers
They’ll be able to paint a grey spring and remember what March felt like during this
The space held between people with great care, like a balloon blown up past its comfort
or an egg, last and lonely keeping the refrigerator feeling
They’ll be able to search their daily journals that all start with today, and end with now
that focus on the heathers brightening up every corner or the magnolia passing us a much needed bloom
They’ll describe it in belly moans and leg cramps
in chapped hand skin and swollen eyelids
in red cowboy shirts and purple lipstick warn at home on a day that feels like any other day and no day and this day
They’ll be able to describe it with a time capsule, a few items here and there from the house that they won’t miss too much
A reminder that right here and right now there are things to collect
and give us

“No tits to pull” by Julia at her desk

Saturday March 21, 2020
6:03pm
5 minutes
Carnation Milk
Anonymous

In the shower I held my own tits while I cried.
I didn’t realize I was doing it but when I realized
I was doing it I didn’t stop and didn’t wonder at it.
I knew why. I understood why. I get why.
Why cry when there is love.
Why weep when there is life.
Why stand frozen under a stream of steaming water when there is chance.
Why this.
Why now.
Why us.
I know why us and now and this too.
I know why deeply but I can’t put words to it because that would undo the great knowing.

Earlier you said we should have sex on our patio to give the people indoors a show, “if it comes to that.”
If it comes to that will we be able to model free love and free loving when it costs
skin and bones and a heart full of hope to give it?

Earlier I said “You have to help me.”

Earlier I said “I dreamed that I was about to perform my spoken word on The Tonight Show. But I ended the dream babysitting two rich brats who only wanted to eat BROOKSIDE Dark Chocolate Acai & Blueberries.”

Earlier I said “Please don’t make me do this alone.”

Earlier I said “I’m still upset I didn’t get to perform on Leno.”

“The spring is compressed” by Julia on the floor

Friday March 20, 2020
10:11pm
5 minutes
A Brief Lecture on Door Closers
Clemens Starck

I wake today to a text but I’m not allowed to look at it until 7am. I am not in a rush. I lay back in the bed. I lay there laying. I make a coffee, read the text and a friend has asked how I spent the equinox, and I don’t want to tell her that I ate a Big Mac. I didn’t remember about the equinox until she mentioned it. She is not trying to make me feel bad because she didn’t do anything for it after all and also she would have respected my choice to have a Big Mac.

I wake again now after falling asleep on the couch and my book is open and I am exposed once more with all my swirly ls and inconsistent shadow-work.

I say I’m tired and then I write this. This makes me less tired. My hips need some help. My skin has endured so many broken promises. Someone else has waited for me.

“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 Julia on the living room floor

Thursday March 19, 2020
9:32pm
5 minutes
Burma-Shave
Traditional poem

there are apps that I have chosen to go to sleep at a certain hour now. Today, yesterday, now. How long does someone wait to call it Now in the habitual sense, the sense of saying I Do This Now when it has become something to do

I hate using the word “apps”. I barely like saying cell phone but here we are unavoidable. now. on the moving picture show of their life that is also my life too, now.

Now’s floor is more fun to sit on
more time to experiment with something new, a hat, an eye pencil, a semi supine. Now’s fridge clangs both empty and full. Now’s pantry has possibilities. Open ended.

“Permit me to add my first” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday March 17, 2020
5:20pm
5 minutes
Old French Fairy Tales
Sophie, Comtesse de Ségur

you will find a journal of unsent letters addressed to you
in each one will be our ending but you will never suspect that they are about you

you will find the truth of what was hurting and why

you will learn the code words based on the shape of my Gs and in the loop of my Zs

you will wonder why you never saw it first and if there might be proof of this reckoning coming somewhere down an earlier pipe

you will not think any of those Gs or Zs are about you until one day that is all you can think of and then you will see yourself all over everything

you will question why you couldn’t ask me better questions or why you assumed me one way

must have been the wild west in me, the untameable horse, the rulebreaker you always wished you could be

you will be shocked on the outside but on the inside you will know the truth and how you are responsible for more than you name

“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 Julia on her couch

Friday March 13, 2020
8:17pm
5 minutes
The Day Dream
Nora Acheson

I move slowly like sap dripping out

I want to be a thing that absorbs

light
sound
love
skin
human
faith
time
growth
abundance
appreciation
patience
foundation

I am slow to goodbye these wonder souls now buried in my spine

I will write a song for them
and one for their love

if I run I miss the magic
the pen pal letter written in the dark
the candle light pushed down into the coffee table for a bit of wax to right the empty

I will breathe deeply, move mountains, and these things take time, did you know?

these things take a hammer and nail, hand building, hand writing, hand holding and why rush

why race when the sun is setting pink over the hill and there are people gathered to witness

why look all the way in only to speed up past the heart throbbing for the heat of another

there is a slow we can drink

“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 Julia on her couch

Wednesday March 11, 2020
9:20pm
5 minutes
Newton’s Principia: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
Sir Isaac Newton

We all head south as the years pour out
Tonight, same as last, I made a choice
Not to take advantage
Not to rumble with someone else’s expectations
And I travelled down
because it hurt
the person who expected
And it begged the question
Was this decision made out of fear or out of truth
And trust it’s truth
I can always access it there in the fleshy undertones of my face and wonder if it was there all along

I ask the question
Measure twice
Cut once
Be a big decided sinking thing
And travel to the south of me
Gravity dragging me to my knees
And that is where humility can find you
Breathing in something like air only different
Transformative
Release maybe in the form of swollen ankles
Look at how long you have been holding yourself up
It says
And I listen
I don’t quake in my boots at the big decision but at the hurting hearts
The weight bearing hopeful hearts

“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 Julia on her couch

Tuesday March 10, 2020
9:20pm
5 minutes
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
William Shakespeare

It didn’t use to be this way
There was more bowing down, bending,
licking the dank dirty ground if they asked me to
And they asked me to

A softer bone where the back should have been
I could have folded all the way if the tile was
underneath me
and if you’d ask me if I regret it
I would tell you that I don’t know who that floor kissing person was
who that brownie off the ground eating person was
who she was who couldn’t say no
who didn’t understand the word

It didn’t use to be this way

A quiet scream would find itself lodged
in the back of the lung and nothing would
surface for fear of disturbing the peace

Now peace is not considered
only sounding the alarm if the inside says so
It was so much easier then to let them all think
I had a hair to curl or a smile to lend

But it was so much harder to ignore what I needed
So much harder to draw the line and
choose a side

“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

“And when I thirsted” by Julia at ‘the cottage’

Sunday March 8, 2020
10:03pm
5 minutes
Lines
Maria A. Brooks

I craved a real raw hunk of you and my mouth watered

my tongue bucked

my instinct kicked the earth
scuffed up the garden
winnied and then kicked again

i wanted to see you in the glow of surrender and love and letting the heart speak

I wanted to hear the truth drip from the corner of your mouth

i saw you then and your eyes were open too and we stood there panting and sending all our breath to our knees

and when I thirsted
I thirsted for that
and we could look at each other life long
like that in the gkow

“It is never too late” by Julia at her desk

Saturday March 7, 2020
5:17pm
5 minutes
Quote by George Elliot

to pick up the sweet of a scenario
a strawberry of a circumstance
and blow it orannnnnnge and another colour that sits well on glass

it’s not a race against time anyway because time is not competing
time is hoping to rock you gently as you learn to drop the heavy and swap it with a daisy
every once in a while
you will grow wider and longer
in the tooth

it is never too late to say you’re sorry for a thing you didn’t need to do to someone but did and it hasn’t been sitting well…

on glassssssssssssss

golden glassss stained and sorry

time will be there when you want to make the best use of her
time will be a thing that heals your new old wounds

“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 Julia on the couch

Friday March 6, 2020
9:01pm
5 minutes
Quote by Cynthia Ozick

Biography is about me I can be about me except I’m not doing the telling

My story is mine to tell you can all retreat
you don’t think it’s my job to write it but I’ve been writing in my sleep
you’re not thinking and I am swept
this whole buried treasure in my chest you can write your own story
requires living though like a bird or a silken thing

say your own words spin your own ideas and tell it the way you see it I always tell it the way I see it I’ve been sleeping on it
resting on it
stalking it ready and easy on it
I will take my own word over anybody else’s

I will tell my heart on my face

“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 know nothing about magic” by Julia on the toilet

Wednesday March 4, 2020
8:34pm
5 minutes
The Books Of Magic
Neil Gaiman

I know nothing about magic
and this is something you’d have to ask me to repeat
because if you know me you know
that I am lying through my teeth

“what was that you said? because I thought I heard –no, okay then, phew because–I thought you said ‘nothing’–okay phew”

I could write a long list about the sparkly stuff that seems to line the streets: where I saw it, how I got it, who I believe to be behind the gold

It’s things like gifts when you need them most or grace of god or getting to sleep in after weeks of burning the candle and no there is no physical proof

but physical proof is meant for other things like car parts and batteries and making sure there’s a banana in every lunch pail

I’m talking about the stuff that you feel or carry or reference but can’t name, the stuff trees in an old growth rainforest give off to warm you in February when you didn’t bring the proper jacket

“He’s a teenie, tiny picture” by Julia in Shuang’s office

Tuesday March 3, 2020
2:11pm
5 minutes
Who’s Zoo
Conrad Aiken

this tiny picture of a boy I PUT HIM IN A FRAME and then I put him on the shelf!

what a dream this TEENIE thing, to be so picture perfect and pristine

the rhymes are not here but in between
the dream the dream the dream!!

I need to keep him forever and a sculpture will not do
no a sculpture will not do
nor a painting or a story
I must frame him oh the poor thing
he’ll me mine forever and a day

the picture better be clear and
big but not too big because he’s TEENIE TINY like a stone on a beach, a pebble in the shoe, a freckle on the lip HOW CUTE and tiny he is and must forever be (and a day)

So pristine this dream of mine to love a boy for all of time and watch him grow but not an inch lest he upset the stitch!

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

Monday March 2, 2020
10:03pm
5 minutes
For my friend who told me don’t celebrate the dead
Andrea Potos

tonight we found out just how full our days are when we flow out and flood the remaining worries.

I can’t tell you how it started but I can tell you it wasn’t tonight. The camel couldn’t take it any more. tonight the camel gave in.

the night doesn’t sting, though, when our days are good and they are. they’re bigger than before. we have been caught catching sun on the bed on some afternoons. been caught up high in conversation about the night before when we danced together in separate rooms

“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.

“I don’t make jokes.” By Julia on her couch

Friday February 28, 2020
10:03pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Will Rogers

I don’t make jokes
I’m always serious
a lot is said but
better not laugh
it must be nice to
have nothing to worry
about that you can
laugh with such ease
it must be nice
I didn’t come here to
make a scene or make
you laugh or say your
name not your name I’m
not afraid to know you
to let my guard down
and let loose you know
I’m most definitely not
aftaid of that we just have
stuff to do and stuff
to get done

“I don’t make jokes.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday February 28, 2020
7:19am
5 minutes
From a quote by Will Rogers

Disappointment leaves wax on my favourite cashmere sweater
add it to the pile of things I need to Google to figure out

I sat with myself last night on the red couch in the basement apartment
closed my eyes and leaned back and said

”Why?!” It was very soap opera dramatic and alto whiney
so then I laughed at myself and what strange creatures we all really are

I unpack the bag of the things that I had packed carefully
Napkins and a yellow lighter and a small jar of butter to which

I’d added flaky salt
It’s a foreign city I’ve found myself in

Familiar house but foreign city
Missing a feeling missing a face missing a feeling of a face

“This and no other” by Julia in the fishbowl

Thursday February 27, 2020
4:32pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Plato

you don’t know this but I’m counting bubbles from inside the fishbowl
wondering
how long I can sit here without moving
the overhead light turns on
blasts a reminder in my eyes that I am being watched
if I don’t move the moving in me is the moving kept down

This and no other day is like a dream I wish it were
but that’s not the way it is

You don’t know this but I’m finishing your sentences from here
you walk with tongues of fire and blaze an easy trail
I follow with the thumb of my left hand tracing where you stand
and no other day
no other day
is like this

In the corner of my longing there’s a hungry bird picking out the trash
and hoping that it lasts there’s half a pizza in there anyway
some buddies don’t eat the crust
and oh they must hear my last poem about waste
and if they knew it at all they wouldn’t do it at all
but this is not for me
nothing is for me
this and no other

You don’t know this but I’m fixing my lips to the buzzing
and I’m with you as you think you’re alone and humming
I can keep time
I know the Britney song you’re singing at the top of your lungs
and I join in when it’s the right moment and you are shocked that
anyone was behind the glass

this is how it ends
this is a note from the fishbowl from the wet and watered down
from the staying late at night
from the crossed legs and holding tight
to the finite sounds of clicking keys.

“Because Wednesday” by Julia on the toilet

Wednesday February 26, 2020
7:54pm
5 minutes
Dirt
Camille Dungy

these days rub my thighs together like they’re trying to deter me

you tell me I have had Days these days and the capital D is not silent

yes, I add, the kind of days where I even have to reschedule my bowel movements

here I am, I have pushed it back as far in the day as it can go and thank god

I needed these five minutes to be in a room with a door that locks

I told someone recently that I can write anywhere and here I am. here I am.

I don’t want the weeks to launch past me like they’ve been doing, I like to cook my eggs slow and low

I like to spend an hour drawing a title page for the first day of the month

but this is full and I am filled and there is no empty to speak of and there is gratitude in naming that and there is enough time if we let time play with us instead of thinking she is trying to do us in

tonight we’ll use the big paper to chart out our next moves

after this movement

after Brahms’ Second

“Because Wednesday” By Sasha on her couch

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
10:32pm
5 minutes
Dirt
Camille Dungy

On Wednesdays we wash our hands of the sins of Mondays and Tuesday
mid week clean slate giggle at the flirt on the bright screen

and wipe tired from eye corners
”Why are you making that frowny face?”
”Because Wednesday.”

On Wednesday the storm comes creeping in finger by finger
and the cars drive by and splash wetter water on wobbly legs
Instead of cursing I laugh because of course
It’s Wednesday
Snow hanging like ghostfruit from the naked trees

On Wednesday I go to Lou’s for breakfast and they cook for me
slice avocado and pear for Lola
We eat and laugh and talk about therapy and love and money and family
like we always have and we always will
but it’s also new somehow

Wednesday isn’t a comma or a period
it’s a semicolon
Even when the days of the week don’t really matter
or they don’t matter in the way that they once did
They matter in such a different way now

“You are something like” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
9:48pm
5 minutes
Earthly Love
Nathaniel Perry

you are something like mmm
I am something like blue
you’re the skin I’m walking in
can’t convince me to walk away from you
you are something like look
I am something like need
I’m the sorry secret and you’re what’s underneath

the water stops and your breath is audible now from where I’m laying
you said it was going to be the biggest decade yet you’re telling me but how can it not be
what did I even know a decade ago
besides you
besides you who looked like everything I always wanted
besides you who gave me a look I didn’t know how to hold but grabbed anyway
besides you

you are something like always.

“We try in a polite and partly exhausted way” by Julia in the fishbowl

Monday February 24, 2020
3:17pm
5 mintues
Gooseberry Marsh
Gretchen Legler

I hate everything until I don’t.
It is not the other way around.
It could be innocent till proven guilty.
But that’s not how it is given that I don’t trust anybody.
Later some people are coming over to my place and they signed their names up but I don’t know if they’re coming for them or for me and I wonder if they feel sorry for me.
I don’t trust people who feel sorry for me.
I don’t like people who think I need their stupid help.
Everybody needs help, I know this, and I am not saying I am not everybody, but you’re getting it all wrong.
You’re judging by the wrong hair.
You’re sensing some tightness.
You’re making assumptions about me because I’m being prickly and you assume it has to do with something else but you can’t quite put your finger on it.
And you’re sitting there trying to figure me out because you don’t like it.
You don’t like having someone be prickly to you for what you consider to be No Good Reason.
I guess I hate you until I don’t.
I guess I would rather you avoided me because I am sitting here avoiding you.
And I hate myself too in case you were wondering about that.
That seems like the only way to get so good at hating you.

“I nodded” by Julia at her desk

Sunday February 23, 2020
10:05pm
5 minutes
Bring You Apples
Cate Lycurgus

I nodded my head at the goings on in my brain and I let them bounce around.
A to do list so long it starts to eat itself but not from tail or head but right in the middle.
Sometimes it eats an item in half but doesn’t fight the others into stand alone beings.

I nodded at the idea of everything going to shit.

In the blink of an eye I saw the whole church, the congregation, the good book all keeping vigil.
There is about to be an explosion, a death, a rebirth we assume, but first, a noticing.
And I can see it the way I can the vibrations between two smiling faces, the way I can feel them when I rub my hands together or when I tell children about our internal energy and the power of our suspended belief.
I can go back and forth so easily you might think I was born a fish on legs, inching back toward the core of things after being washed up.
It looks easy, faith, and then, impossible.
It can seem pointless.

This is where another moment gets a nod.

“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 

 

“At times they cast themselves” By Julia in the taxi

Friday, February 21, 2020
6:48pm
5 minutes
My Love Feeds the Crows
Mark Sullivan

we haven’t promised anyone anything
see how it goes
wander into a dark room with a hope and a sigh
the kicker is the phantom voice
clinging to the lung of a newborn
we hear it
we doubt it
we hear it again
why does she want us so badly
why can’t we let her go

if we tell them we’re fine
that’s one more thing we won’t
be able to live up to
a sachel of condolence cards
sitting in the backyard
a tray of CorningWare and styrofoam plates
the bowls encrusted in
yesterday’s deliverance

praying becomes a hazzard here
praying becomes a buzzard here
a hassle
a hut

at times the memories cast themselves as ghosts and float
an inch away from our noses

we feel a little tickle
but we can never scratch it away

“When we love the earth,” by Julia on her couch

Thursday February 20, 2020
9:49pm
5 minutes
From a quote by bell hooks

we sit by the crow of sunrise and blow bubbles into the sky

we step our feet into mud prints squishing around and walking

a garbage can becomes a thing worth waiting for

a bee hive moves into the apartment complex community garden

we rescue two giant pussy willow branches from the corner of arbutus and 4th and walk them through the doors slowly

the water is dripping but we catch it in the kettle and find glasses to fill

“When we love the earth,” by Sasha on her bed

Thursday February 20, 2020
9:49pm
5 minutes
From a quote by bell hooks

Thank you for bringing me to the ravine
to taste the stretch of Eastern Hemlock
Squeal at a pickerel weed
nestled into the wet
Tell secret to the red pine
and feel her nod
of understanding
in my belly

Thank you for teaching me how to lie
on my back in the rib cage of a canoe
barely rock the boat
on my way down
starry sky splaying past present

and future
above us

Thank you for knowing how to play
getting down low

“… let’s just see what happens.” By Julia on the 84

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
6:15pm
5 minutes
For as Many Days as We Have Left
Pam Houston

I am about to barf
Let’s just see what happens

Said nobody ever

The body knows
Deeply
Carries

Things in its pockets that
You have forgotten about

A travelling secret
Across decades
Buried deep in the palm creases
Or behind the ear

The body is particularly intuitive when it comes to barfing

Let’s just see what—

Is what someone trying to ignore the body might say

Trying being the operative word

I don’t tell you this but today I wonder what the point of it all is

Why this journey then and not another

Why this body rejecting something I’ve put in it or worse rejecting what I keep outside it

What is the point
But I don’t tell you this

You’d rather hear about vomit and
Stomach bile and the garbage can next to the bed

“… 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

“like being naked with someone you haven’t been naked with” by Sasha on the plane

Sunday February 16, 2020
11:11am
5 minutes
Hot Pulse
J. Jill Robinson

Trust is a slippery fish that wriggles out of hands back into lake water
swims down to where the seaweed opens and closes
Finds a small “o” and swallows it and burps bubbles up
Face pressed against the float
breathe in the small pockets of air
upturn or downturn
Will he or won’t he break my tired heart?

The scales change colour and flake off
The mind says
This is always how it goes
Exhausted tune that the ears don’t even hear anymore
it’s so embedded and cozy in a down duvet
heavy limbs finally resting like they haven’t since
Before

Throw the line in far and fast
loaded the end of the rod with the finest bait
wide eyes
freshly sharpened wit
tears like seeds that sow
connection
some very strong one liners
playing with messy hands messy hair
looking down and then up and then down again
a promise collected on eyelashes
volleying and rolling and diving
with each
blink

The fish comes up to the surface and sucks on toes
Three times the size that she was before
Don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing
Deep throat
Gills ablaze
Tail tracing the shape of the timing
Folding irony over tenderness
kneading a dough of the very becoming

that births a perfect risk

“like being naked with someone you haven’t been naked with” by Julia at her desk

Sunday February 16, 2020
11:53am
5 minutes
Hot Pulse
J. Jill Robinson

Remember yesterday that moment where you slapped
my ass and I was supposed to decide if I wanted that then
It turned into something
we both breathed in
we both waited a beat and then
then we found… it
dropped into… it
landed there at the pit and held it up with soft hands
we were soft hands and quiet
but we couldn’t hear the dripping faucet
couldn’t hear the alleyway rummage and dive
couldn’t hear the seagulls calling
and it was quiet like a theta wave still
singing in the space where words don’t dare venture

That couch looks different today
Almost prettier than before
And more of us now
of us in the way we don’t have to think

That moment before has felt like a century
and that deciding second passes slowly
But there is change in the air, hanging
we are awakening Osiris by surrendering to it
thumbing the pages of skin and ink and
wearing it like a fine cloth, transparent
over sweaty limbs and toothy kisses, pinning

“a petite woman in her late twenties” by Julia on her couch

Friday February 14, 2020
6:01pm
5 minutes
Confidence Woman
Stephen Henigha

I was once a petite woman in my late twenties
I was once in denial about that
thought I was as big as a house
as tall as an evergreen tree
as lion as a lion

I used to roar as loud as my hair
and you called me your lion
I believed you when you said you liked me disruptive
not polite
not the word
distracting
sometimes unaware of the volume and the location and the audience

I was once a person who ran out instead of turning in
a woman in her late twenties with a chip on her shoulder
a secret in her tears and a confession
somewhere type-written in the nook of her bedside table
I used to beg the moon to take me with her
let me watch
let me learn from her and all that silky show

I used to hate myself for lying
when I was so hungry for the truth
I used to hate anyone for lying
because I was hiding the truth
I convinced myself I was the world’s best actress
and you were the one who couldn’t tell that this was all a movie
that every word spoken was screen tested
that every song hushed was the result
of so much bloodied shame

I used to blame other people for my dark Tuesdays
or Wednesdays and wished that someone would
find a new hole to haunt

“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’ve never forgotten her bold suggestion” by Julia in the fishbowl

Thursday February 13, 2020
12:59pm
5 minutes
Once and Future Prairie
Lisa Bird-Wilson

Wisdom draped in scotch tape and fixed to a card-board cut-off of a cereal box
Wisdom is all around us
Inspiration is in every wall and speck and web of dust and racing silver fish

The ideas keep coming in the shower when it is too slippery to hold them
I remind myself of the words in sequence, repeating them to myself
like a choo choo train choo choo choo choo and hopefully my tongue
will find a place for them to live until I can open my mouth next and spill

I remember that these thoughts are not trying to kill me but help me
that to ignore them is worse than to stop the water, dry off the arm
and scribble down what’s left of this call, this conjuring

I remember that when they come knocking I better answer the door
and can’t use the excuse that they never visit anymore
because they do and I’m the one who doesn’t have cookies for them
I’m the one who doesn’t have a place for them to cuddle up under
a cozy blanket or a blank sheet of paper worth holding

Waves waves here and then again not and this will be what forever looks like
I can’t wait for a garden to plant all these biting seeds into
and the days to slow so I can learn to let them grow

“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?

“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”

“They should not be ordinary words” by Julia in the fishbowl

Monday February 10, 2020
11:35am
5 minutes
What’s in a Name
Moez Surani

When you give someone your tongue you should not offer easy words
of comfort or the kinds that get the point across the quickest
Do not look for lightening to communicate
There is a more interesting journey voice could take

When you give someone your mouthful make sure you are steady
Hold on to the railing first but let go right before you send it
Words, not ordinary words, but the ones overflowing
Pour a river over the edge

Offerings from the guts cannot be tied up neatly with a string
Not left in the steel drum too long banging around the echo
They’re whole and good and singing so let them know that each
one of them belongs before it trickles off the sides

When you give someone your heart you should not expect a swiftness
a straightforward-to-it-ness, a target hit and reached with a spike
Do not turn it arrow from the start to the finish
Let it soak in the air between two possibilities, a drip of honey down the jar