“The summer wore on,” By Sasha at the kitchen table

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
9:37pm
5 minutes
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
Jacqueline Kelly

The summer stretched ahead of Bernadette like a desert. It made her mouth dry just thinking about it. She was supposed to work at the garden centre again, where she’d direct seniors towards dahlias and hanging pots and overpriced chicken poop and flirt with Charlie. She planted to earn twenty cents above minimum wage. She planned to have a good T-shirt tan by the end of August. Now, with the garden centre closed and no real job prospects aside from helping Pete with his filing (yawn), Bernadette felt like summer was an expanse of nothing in a way that she hadn’t since she was a kid and summer meant burning day camps and trying to amuse herself with popsicle sticks. She felt her stomach turn to porridge, and sink low. Did she need to go to the bathroom?

“Higher!” By Sasha at the kitchen table

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

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

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

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

“After I hung up on him” by Sasha in the bedroom

Sunday April 26, 2020
10:03pm
5 minutes
Facts About Dead Trees
Lisa Baird

I hung up the phone
Didn’t hang up on
But did hang up
Pressed the red button
Was something strange
in the static
in the quiet
in the pandemic
“what even is this anymore”?

I kicked a piece of gravel
called “Why?!”
to a turkey vulture
who glides where
perspective is silky
where I am the rightful size

The sun stoops
to touch my chest

Right in the rise
where love’s hand goes
Feeling breath
Feeling life
Feeling “yes”
and “no”

Hours turn to days
and the cedar forest turns
bark to promise

A promise of black flies
zucchini hot from the sun
The river rising and rushing

Guiding me back

“After I hung up on him” by Julia on the couch

Sunday April 26, 2020
1:17pm
5 minutes
Facts About Dead Trees
Lisa Baird

I called him back

told him I loved him
told him I was sorry
told him I’d been thinking
told him it wasn’t me it was this
told him it wasn’t him it was me
told him I loved him
told him he was right
told him he was wrong
told him I loved him

I laid face first on the couch

I held my eyes with sticky palms cupped
I deep breathed
I beeathed all the way in
I asked myself
I asked myself what
I asked myself but what really
I removed the top layer
by diving into the pit
face first
I asked myself what
I asked myself is there something you need
I waited
I wanted him
I waited
I wanted him not me
I wanted me not this

after

“The internet traded my personality” by Sasha at the kitchen island

Saturday April 25, 2020
4:12pm
5 minutes
Vancouver for Beginners
Alex Leslie

What is the photograph on the chest of drawers in the bedroom? Is it your mother? Your mother’s mother? Your mother’s mother’s mother? These women all carried the seeds of you in them and that’s really all that matters. Cut-out dolls in different shaped dresses, similar shaped bodies, strange toes, ground molars. You’ll scan this photo one day, but for now it only exists in hard copy and there’s something about the impermanence of that that is bold. You’ve never known anyone who has had a fire, but the threat is there, especially now. I remember when you showed me around the house and I looked at the recipes on the fridge, opened the cupboards, tilted my head to read the titles of the book shelves.

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

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

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

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

“I had a voracious appetite” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Thursday April 23, 2020
9:43pm
5 minutes
You Never Stop Saving The World
Don English

She is a hungry one
opening the door
searching for something
she could sink her teeth into
let the juice dribble down
her chin land on her breasts
stain her shirt
lift the shirt to her lips
and suck

She wants every last drop

The insatiable
doubt
longing
lust
desire
ambition
ambivalence

She doesn’t overthink
not this one
she opens
the lower right crisper
removes a perfect pear

Bites

Then it’s a spoonful
the memory of her grandmother’s tiramisu
sneaking finger-fulls
from the covered bowl
hoping no one notices

Dipping a ladle into the pot
bubbling tomato sauce
pouring it into an espresso cup
drinking it down
tiny cup after tiny cup
grating fresh parmigiana
cracking black pepper

She is a hungry one
The best ones are
Know how to feast and feel
Relish and release

Know how to fill a freezer
blackberries when they are ripe
small jars of pesto
pizza and cookie dough

“Women who sit, unwashed” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday April 22, 2020
9:39pm
5 minutes
Do You Know Any Lazy Women?
Cynara Geissler

Dina sits, unwashed, at her kitchen table in her red terry cloth robe. It’s three in the afternoon. She spent the morning in the garden with her hands tickling worms and dandelion roots. She’s never had a garden before. She’s also never spent five weeks alone, untouched, unmarked by the whiskers of connection with her Mom and Dad, her best friend Dan, her neighbours Ellie and Mark. She decided she wanted to grow peas and lettuce, carrots and tomatoes. Start there. She sprouted things in little pots on her window sill before transferring them to the raised beds she built out of old wine boxes. She is not a handy person, or doesn’t consider herself to be one. Maybe she is. She built those beds and used drill and even got under her sink on her back, screwed and fiddled and fixed a leak. She took a shower after coming inside, watched the dirt circle down the drain.

“find the right question” by Julia on the office chair

Tuesday April 21, 2020
7:29pm
5 minutes
quoting Ann Hamilton

I ask myself What Do You Want
and when I answer I hear a lot of leaves rustling
I hear surf meeting shore
I hear a baby laughing like a goddamn dream machine perfect thing
I sit in the pit there and I hear what it’s like to be loved.
That sounds good to me.
That sounds like something sonically created for me to hear for me to listen to.
Meant to sound good so I keep my ear out for it, to the ground for it, palms open for it.
When it’s lullaby it rocks me out of my trouble and when it’s The Prodigy I give it my moving. It wants dancing.

“find the right question” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday April 21, 2020
7:36am
5 minutes
quoting Ann Hamilton

If there was any doubt
Things aren’t going back to normal
What was normal anyway?
Bits of hair in the hairbrush
A half rolled cigarette on the table
Wine in the cupboard above the sink
Wind in the veins

I am not going where I thought I was
Neither is he
Neither are you
The robin’s are here though
With their red bellies and worms in their beaks

I hear the same song in the stillness
The one where the start is small and the rise is like the rapids

Normal for me was the tea steeping in the morning and the little sticky fingers
Walking to the fruit market to get scallions cilantro and lime

Normal for me was the quiet ending to the day
Hands open lying face up
Counting blessings
Like stars

“as good as it will get” by Julia on the couch

Monday April 20, 2020
7:50pm
5 minutes
Rainbow’s End
John Paul Lederach

Hello if you’re reading this I want to start off saying a few things. 1) Happy 420 you beautiful specimen! I hope you were able to secure some quality bud during this time and I know since it’s your birthday someone will have gotten it for you and I am not really worried.
2)At 4:20 today I wished you a happy birthday and I know people won’t believe you were actually born at 4:20 on 4:20 but this is their loss, and it’s really only for you anyway
3) I think I am currently as good as I will get. I miss you a lot, but when I cant see you, I am convinced: this is my height. My max. My high will only be about yay high and I will never fully live outside this body without you.
4) I don’t care if that last part got real. I friggen love you and if you realize that now, then good, goddammit.
5) I am lighting up a toke for you right now in your honour cause I know you and know I’ve actually got to bring you back up after that last one.

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

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

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

“and to spread right living” by Julia on the couch

Sunday April 19, 2020
11:46am
5 minutes
quoting Cal DeWitt

Etta James on the radio
wailing her heartsearch
into my sunday ears, open
for the human feeling
or rain to echo with familiarity

We woke up against all odds of indifference, still loving
each other in this house built
on good bones and countless fears looked straight in the face

With B, yesterday, the discussion
of naming the fear outside the
body became ripe and we both drank at the juice like eager fruit flies

When it was flung from my experience into her heart she
swallowed enough for me too and I could step back from my puzzling
to hear all the good words

A Sunday kind of love

“and to spread right living” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday April 19, 2020
10:50am
5 minutes
Quoting Cal DeWitt

Make no mistake about it, there is no going back to normal. No way, Jose. Midge called me the day before she got sick and she said that everything was going to “hell in a handbasket” at her place, Lancaster Court or whatever it’s called. I knew that I had to get out of here so I called Reggie to see if he could come get me out, but because Tabitha has that Crohn’s disease or whatever he said it was better that I don’t come and stay with them. I understand but I also reminded him that I labored with him for sixty-three hours. Sixty-three. Hours. “Aw, Ma…” He said. “You know I’d do something if I could…” I called Leah, but she’s got her hands full with all those kids and step kids and a foster dog and whatever else… “Ma! I can’t hear you! Can you speak up?!” Benji started electric guitar lessons so he and Maya could start a little band in the garage but they don’t have power out there yet so he’s practicing in the house. Ha! “CAN YOU PLEASE COME GET ME? I DON’T WANT TO GET THIS GODDAMN VIRUS!” I say, trying to cut to the chase. “Aw, Ma…” Leah sounds absolutely exhausted. “Let me talk to Cal when he gets home from the hospital, okay? I know he’s going to be worried about you being here given his exposure… I mean, he’s sleeping in the basement and staying away from the kids, but the last time we talked about it his take was that it’s best if you stay where you are!”

“the great spiritual geniuses” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday April 14, 2020
5 minutes
8:03am
Quoting Maria Popova

This day
Your thirty first birthday
arrives in a strange time signature with notes you’ve never heard
let alone played.
This day
Your first birthday as a father Your first birthday holding a moon in your open outstretched palms Lifting her up
so she can see the world from
up above
perspective
play
passion
the cascade of giggles you incite in her is angel music
reading her the same books
over and over
bathing her strong body
singing her silly songs
knowing that she is
Unequivocally
the best art you’ll ever make
This day
Marking your precious wild heart Celebrating the you that you’ve been
the you that you are the you that you will be
These three men standing shoulder to shoulder These you’s that I have known
and do know
and will know

I would now say it’s obvious” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Saturday April 18, 2020
9:52pm
5 minutes
Quoting Ellen Davis

Hilary makes a list of her most burning questions. It’s long. Twelve pages. Double spaced on lined Hilroy paper. She hands it to her mother, whose full name she just learned is Wendy Julianne Renate Goldstein. She addresses it to her mother by this full name, unsure of how to spell “Renate”, spelling it “Renata” and then “Ranata” and then “Renate”. Hilary misses playing soccer with Archie and Luis, doing times tables with the whole class and seeing how Juan looks at Liza’s mouth to copy the numbers she’s saying. She misses the smell of Ms. Polly sharpening pencils. She misses the sound at recess, stopping in the centre of the school yard and letting all the rush happen around her, the frenetic joy of one hundred and twenty kids burning off their tuna sandwiches, their fruit roll ups, their leftover souvlaki, their orange wedges. The list is so long that I couldn’t possibly do it justice, but the questions that stand out to Wendy, the questions that Wendy will never forget and will tell to anyone who will listen sixty years from now are: “What is the weather?” “Why do we love?” “What do you hear when you die?”

“I would now say it’s obvious” by Julia on the bed

Saturday April 18, 2020
4:09pm
5 minutes
quoting Ellen Davis

There is a place that I will go from now on when I need to hear the wisdom of life that has lived out its lessons before me

Inside the spiraled well is a water so deep I need only float its surface to connect to the network of hidden truths

I would now say it’s obvious that it is a place I’ve already been, but some lights are worth keeping on

The first time I visited I might have been alone in the house and brought a deep breath down with me

I latched myself to the shimmering hoop and trusted that its circle was the right shape to provide a distribution of my leaning weight

when I landed there atop the surf it bled me from the inside out and I knew

“Perfection will do you in.” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday April 17, 2020
8:12am
5 minutes
Perfection, Perfection Father
Kilian McDonnell

I tell my father that I feel the bitterness of failure wrecking ball swinging on the end of a long line
I pace the gravel roads and tears fall onto my coat track marks bird songs the distant whine of an ATV
“I’m doing my best
I don’t know what else to do”
He reaches through the phone line to right where I am
Did you know that this is possible?
The way that I reach back in time
to when my parents’ marriage was ending here in these same ponds
letting go skidding across ice
heartbreak held in the tender privacy of trillium leaves of curling buds
I don’t remember hearing what they said
but I do remember watching them through a slender window
yelling on the small hill where the garden is
“I’m doing my best
I don’t know what else to do”
“One moment at a time”
My father says and he’s right and it’s true “Write down your dreams”
And I do and it’s the gospel of my wholeness “Turn to literature”
Mary Oliver and Rumi
bell hooks and Lorna Crozier

“in the dirt in the corner,” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Thursday April 16, 2020
10:01pm
5 minutes
Ara Poetica #100
Elizabeth Alexander

The lake glistens like she knows the secret of how to be flow and roll waves and sunlight and sleet and snow
Thaw and freeze and do it again
The lake kisses each morning like the sweetheart that it is cradles dawn and dusk in the belly of her flowing
Wax and wane and do it again
The lake remembers the scratch of the motor boat the fishing line
the garbage collecting in the corners
Grieve and release and do it again

“in the dirt in the corner,” by Julia on the couch

Thursday April 16, 2020
9:01am
5 minutes
Ara Poetica #100
Elizabeth Alexander

Jam says it’s funny how clean the apartment feels, and sort of thrown away, like a whispy dream to nobody.
I say, that’s because someone’s been cleaning it, and less whispy more caged, more Please Look Around.

I don’t expect Jam to see things the way I see them but I do get mad when he doesn’t. As if it’s his lack of wanting to instead of his eyeline a foot above mine.

I am angry not because I am the one doing it but because that means when it needs to be done I have to pick myself off the couch and put my ideas on the shelf while I hit all the corners and all the close to the ground things I can see.

I have to remain responsible, scheduled. I am the one who has to keep my eyes open.

This morning Jam told me he loved me with his whole heart and his whole mind and his whole body and while I looked like I was asleep I was very much awakened by that. I thought he had forgotten his old habit of whispering affirmations alongside the call of the birds as the sun rises.

“many years in the making” by Julia leaning

Wednesday April 15, 2020
9:06pm
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett

It has been many years in the making mix
the wet ingredients folding into the dry
light dusting of risk on every surface
there won’t always be this moment so I
have to be in it for as long as it lasts.
Pretty good plan. You know you can do
anything for 60 seconds. I don’t know
the proof of that but I’d like to think
it was the truth of that and time and I
are riding high on the 60 second climb

When it gets messy it puts ideas into
action someone has to deal with
what will we do about the scissors there
and canister of pens in every room
To clean it would require the decision
to move onto something easier to look
at to stomach to hold space for but
the idea to clean only came from the
mess in the first place and how else
would you notice the clean?

“Voice and wisdom” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday April 13, 2020
2:45pm
5 minutes
Quoting Brene Brown

Who decides that it’s going to rain? All night and all day filling potholes with mud puddles and leaves with April’s tea. That night, a reprieve, finally at longest last, moths
flock to the light of the lamp in the window. Bodies like buds, wings like paper, flying in circles to be close to the bright. I don’t know the things I thought I knew
but I know how to care for my wonder, stroke
my breaking like the perfect head of my daughter,
know that this too is the point, this too
is as miraculous as the hummingbird against the azure sky.
Wisdom brings me good jokes and simple songs, thank goodness, I laugh out loud at the whirlpool of past and present here, in my hands, catching story, alchemizing cells to rain
to whatever coming next.

“Voice and wisdom” by Julia on her bed

Monday April 13, 2020
11:17am
5 minutes
quoting Brené Brown

We crossed the river in our dreams
Last night I sunk in the dissapointment of my friend’s judgement of me
I worried about what she’d say
and then I did what I wanted anyway
Told her the truth when she asked anyway
even when the other friends shook at my decision to bare the courtesy of honesty
she was mad all the same but
that did not make me feel less confident
Sometimes you have to accept the angry coming from someone else who
expected things to go their way since it is, afterall, their movie

When my heart remembers a dream like that I take it personally
I drink the wisdom from the cinematic showing of some unconcsious question

I apply it to the every day and moment after

“Pink Pearl” by Julia on her couch

Sunday April 12, 2020
8:46pm
5 minutes
from the Dixon eraser

They called her Pearl
she liked to wear a string of them to dinner when her grand babies visited

Her grand babies were all grown up and and she took great pride in filling their glasses with red wine

She liked that they could raise a glass to one another, laugh at the same jokes, and see each other as friends

Pearl would often mix Cocoa-cola into her wine
she liked things sweet as can be
added a teaspoon of sugar to her water, same as she did for her grand babies when they were still babies

Sometimes she would fall asleep at the table in mid laugh
her dyed blonde curls grazing the glass

Sometimes they would shake her awake and others they would leave her there

“Pink Pearl” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday April 12, 2020
7:56pm
5 minutes
from the Dixon eraser

We go down to the Pink Pearl and Jerry tells me I can order whatever the fuck I want off the menu. It’s fancy, like napkin swans and all that, waiters in little asshole vests and ties. I didn’t ever go to a place like this before, right? I’m glad I’m wearing my nice shoes, like, my black work shoes and that I showered a few days ago. Nobody, and I mean nobody knows how Jerry got rich, but the guy has a lot of money, like, more than anyone I’ve ever rolled with before.

“Whatever the fuck I want, eh?” I say.

“The world is your fucking oyster, Kyle…” Jerry sucks on his teeth, like he does and my stomach, like, turns a bit, like, what does he want from me that he’s wining and dining me? But I’m gonna go to fucking town. It’s not every day a guy like me ends up in a place like that.

“you find solace here” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Saturday April 11, 2020
9:31pm
5 minutes
From Julia’s 2017 notebook

Oh the tiny mittens in the round rooster bowl on the table. The wind curling through branches with long fingers. I wonder what you sound like when you sleep? What you taste like in the morning, dreams still wet in the corners of your eyes, lips pursed and searching. I wonder if you know what’s happening over here, in this forest tranquility, in this strange madhouse of sunrise and sunset, of oatmeal and salt water, of baths and nightmares. The world cracks open, spills her yolk, makes our hearts sticky. The phoebes will nest soon. I wonder if you look up at the stars and feel the shell, feel the longing, feel the possible? I lay on my back on the deck, felt the circular cascade of constellations, felt my breath in my back, in my tired electric body, in my small house. It’s funny, the moments when my mind turns a page and it’s you there.

“Let’s find out” by Julia on her bed

Friday April 10, 2020
8:18pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Hello WORLD you wild ride you
let me look at you real close
okay?
you see what i’m getting at here?
Seeeeeeeing is beeeeeelieving

I see a world who is looking classy right now
straight up putting on heels at the Loblaws classy sassy and getting it done

I see little girls in sequins jackets LIGHTING up the sidewalk okay, DRAWING ME IN with their SHEER RADIANCE AND YOUTHFUL UNKNOWING

I see blue skies green grass a pencil in every room now and a story for every hour

I see people drawing pictures of their hearts and putting them on
the windows for everyone to SEE

and all that with my ONE GOOD EYE
SEE, all you need is one and you got three to begin with so those are good odds

Let’s find out if I did in fact scratch my cornea if I did in fact
If I did

“Let’s find out” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday April 10, 2020
9:40am
5 minutes
From an email

Do you like to know what’s coming?
I do. I like to know what the shape of the horizon will be on the dewy morning’s crest.
I like to know what time you will be home
and what you might like to have for lunch.
I like to know that the weight in my cheeks, chestnuts of growing, will keep me fed
through the thunderstorm and scything.
The water here tastes silky and wise.
Walk down to the lake and house secret
in the veins of my boot bottoms.
Death tolls rising. The virus has reached
an Indigenous tribe in Brazil, did you hear? Raise stakes around hope like tomato plants. Edges for the vines to hold on to.
For your safety, make your anthem
“The only constant is change,” sung
full voice into the beaver ponds, full voice etching the bark of the ash.

“I pretty much forgot my birthday even happened.” by Julia on her bed

Thursday April 9, 2020
1:08pm
5 minutes
from a text

It was a long time ago now
since March trudged along
mud in the eyes where the
clear lines were supposed
to meet

Our last great gathering
in our first great home
was on a leap year and
we huddled mostly in two
rotating circles leaping
from one normal to another

there is no real rule about
the leap year except that it
is a bonus day and one we
like to remember, no matter
how much leaping takes place

The wine flowed, the beer
chilled, the conversations
hovered over the baked brie
stuffed high with mushrooms
and dates and red onions

The friends toasted to my
new age, this year of me
that would always be mine
especially if celebrated
and cemented in time on
the boundless month that
every four years spills
over into the next

I pretty much forgot my birthday even happened.” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Thursday April 9, 2020
10:12pm
5 minutes
From a text

I pretty much forgot my birthday even happened last year. It was three days after Stan died and thirteen days before Olivia was born and that is a strange time to have a birthday, let alone a sixtieth. Stan had said that he wanted to have a big party for me, a surprise maybe, catered and everything, with hired people passing around canapes and glasses of bubbly. “Fat chance,” I said. He was saying it to get my goat, one of his all-time favourite things to do. He knew that I hated parties. I’d avoid them at all costs. If I had to go to one, some political thing with him, or the Gourmand’s Christmas party or something, I would take a few tokes off the joint we kept in a bag in our freezer for moments like this and only moments like this. Stan used a CBD spray near the end, to help with pain, but that’s different. What I really wanted to do was go our for dim sum with Stan and Alice, who I would eat us both under the table given that she was nine months pregnant. I wanted to read my book, maybe play cribbage with Stan, and then go for a walk out to Leslie Street Spit. That’s what we do every year.

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

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

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

“I have to give people credit” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday April 8, 2020
11:09am
5 minutes
from a Facebook Post

I give Jimmy more credit than he deserves, that’s the real truth. How many time does a person have to fuck things up before I get it – THEY are a FUCK UP! I’m just being honest. Don’t look at me like that. The guy is kind, yes, I mean he does his best to be a nice guy. But with an upbringing like that – … Sheesh… I mean, he wasn’t treated nicely by his family at all. He was born from an affair, did you know that? Like, his Dad isn’t actually his Dad? Maybe that’s not politically correct? Like, his Dad is his adopted Dad… Yeah, I think that’s better. He was pretty outcast, but then when he turned seventeen he got strangely hot and everyone turned nice. That fucks a person up. To be treated one way their whole life and then BAM! You change, physically, only physically, and everyone treats you differently? Shows you how fucking shallow the world is, right?

“at least don’t hate them” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday April 7, 2020
8:54pm
5 minutes
quoted by Dunya Mikhail

We held a lot more
if you remember
relatively speaking
in relation to our
former selves and
the “long long ago”
as you and your
friends refer to it

we cannot hate who
we once were the way
we cannot hate who
we once weren’t
Everyone is allowed
in the car but the
driver has changed
seats over the years

10 years ago we
didn’t even have high
enough credit card
limits to pay for our
tiny room in Tribeca
I sat on the floor
on the phone with my
bank while you tried
not to crack after our
red eye bus ride

We hadn’t seen as much
then and we didn’t know
how much we could fit

“at least don’t hate them” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday April 7, 2020
9:04am
5 minutes
quoted by Dunya Mikhail

I wonder why I always want more
than I can get. I revisit the charts again
and again, screenshotted on my stupid phone.
I find the words amongst the videos of rain, of Lola walking, of bird calls.

I zoom in on Pluto this and what she needs from a mate is support
I’ve committed certain lines to memory now, a tattoo on the back of my eyelids.
Close them and dream close them and become
close them and feel what is true.

The wind outside is gusting
the house yawns in response. I curl my toes
underneath my body and feel inside my teeth.

There’s a neediness.
Oh yes welcome that need and find the way
to spin it to gold fleece
Wear it as a glittering sweater
Feel how it keeps me warm

“Safely secured a nib into our pens” by Julia on her bed

Monday April 6, 2020
9:00pm
5 minutes
Rosemary And Oranges
Patrizia Chen

I feel safe is I hold a pen
powerful, dragon slaying
is I know how to j and m
is here’s a thought followed
by another as it should be

I feel secure is I keep one
in every pocket of the house
is know I’m ever only a stone’s
throw until my next word
is find ink in my sheets

I feel okay is I will fill
this notebook up before the
end of the month
is look at all the perfect ls
looped
is tell the dream in blue or purple

I feel alive is wake up
to a blank page
is wait up till I can no
longer see by the light

“Safely secured a nib into our pens” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday April 6, 2020
10:10pm
5 minutes
Rosemary And Oranges
Patrizia Chen

Paper birch shedding her paper for me to find the answer on
The red-winged blackbirds travel in pairs through
the mush and pussy willows
Burping fluff like a wish or a smoke ring
Dew on my lips as I kiss a million goodbyes

Safely is the colour blue in the ink on the page
A lined notebook I spent too much money on
holds all the fervour and faith
frailty and doubt
fantasy and gratitude
Owl calls close by
the sound that my mother asks about

I am alight with the kaleidoscope
of possible outcomes
Hungry for what might be
I trace my lifeline like I have
any idea where it’s leading
aside from off my palm
and into the cooling air

“I learn by going where I have to go” by Julia on her couch

Sunday April 5, 2020
5:21pm
5 minutes
quoted by Theodore Roethke

I went all the way
cause that’s where
I said I wanted to
go when it all comes
down to it

it all comes down to
it all the way down
and into it and deep
and below and down
and in in in

I said I needed to
find the key and it
was tucked there in
in inside of me

like waking from the
dream and pushing
beneath the easy signs
to see clearly what
I have previously
left behind

when I stayed where I
was I learned about
staying and when I went
to where I was going
I learned how to go
by going I keep going

and I’ve been practicing
how to breathe under
water with all these years
on my belt and on the wall
I show up to not knowing
every single morning

I launch myself out and
then watch as I find the
truth in the centre of
my experience the one
I must listen to

“I learn by going where I have to go” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday April 5, 2020
2:16pm
5 minutes
quoted by Theodore Roethke

You are the strange tangle of roots on the way to the water
messy uncontained roughage
Toe gets stuck and there’s an almost fall but you catch yourself
before the tumble
before the blood
before the dusk

No matter how much we talk about trust there is something
in the gut that can’t rid itself
of stink
of sink
of sweep
of sorrow

Maybe it was all written before we arrived
You and I
Prior to the gentle noisy collision
The pungency of Spadina
Dried fish and bok choy
Bycicle bells and espresso

Maybe we did the writing
misspelling and misstepping
gliding and finding as we went along
A choice leads to a door
Leads to a choice
Leads to a door
Leads to a choice

No one has drafted these paper thin plans before
But we do
We will
You in your tumble of root and rock
Me in my tongue behind the tooth

“Until we accept the fact” by Julia leaning into her couch

Saturday April 4, 2020
8:46pm
5 minutes
quoted by Henry Miller

He’s your friend and I think he’s funny. I think until we accept the fact that I will be drawn to funny people and you will have friends that are funny because you are funny that this will be the way.
It only make sense.
I like you better but I want to be on his team. I think you’re funnier but I welcome his persective.
I am glad you have funny friends because that is better for me in the long run.
Thank you for the wine.
Thank you for laughing at my jokes.
Thank you for calling the shots.

Today you ordered wrong and then flung a chopstick and I watched and waited until all was centred again. Some days are not the best representations of us but they are memorable and that always goes farther then when it’s regular and hum drum. It is never hum drum with you. Thank you for showing me your hurt and for trusting me with that. I will tell everyone how much you mean to me by detailing your every move. I will tell them about the way you kissed me earlier too. A truth in it that I wished words could explain.

“Until we accept the fact” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Saturday April 4, 2020
11:09pm
5 minutes
Quoted by Henry Miller

The spring peepers are out, all talking on top of each other. When I gave the lake my salty water this morning she barely noticed. Hands and knees muddy, I saw a dead frog trapped under a rock, belly up. I can’t stop writing about what is here, now. I pick up board books from the floor, sweep up a stray pea and some dust bunnies, a piece of park. The owl was calling last night, big round voice, reaching way back to someplace ancient and warm. My jaw is tight. I’ve been clenching again. I open my mouth wide, relief, I yawn. I tap the tune of something with my socked toe. I watch the sky turn from grey to grey to a streak of light at the horizon, interrupting the trees. My eyes go to the light. I run my finger through the crooked candle. The cavern of the unknown gaping wide. One step. Another step. Another and then another. “Isolation might be until the end of the year they’re saying,” my throat catches. “Until they find a vaccine…” I count the months on my fingers – April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December. Nine months. Gestation. Oh my God.

“Whoa, I was toasted” by Julia

Friday, April 3, 2020
6:14pm
5 minutes
Ode to American English
Barbara Hamby

I hope my ghost is happy with me
for employing my right hand as a guide
I am too…
I must go slowly so I can make
out the words
So far I’ve found
it’s easier when I sing
I have always known but
now I’m listening
and so…
Memory…
Amazing depths
how far you reach
I know you’re for me
I thank you for it

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

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

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

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

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

“You fell” I say
“Let’s keep walking”

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

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

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

“Who win” by Julia on her couch

Thursday, April 2, 2020
11:25am
5 minutes
To fight aloud, is very brave
Emily Dickinson

It’s not about winning.
I read that in an old journal from 2017. On the next page I found a love letter to myself saying that I have to “love people enough to share the truth of me with them” and I thought it was a good something to remember. It’s not about winning, it’s about love.
And isn’t always that. Isn’t it always love, even when it’s hiding away or waiting in the wide open spaces we stop seeing? Love never lays dormant and if nothing else, let us commit that to memory.

It is easy to blame the lack of love even when it has always been. How is love supposed to win in a fight that is not fair? But then again, it’s not about winning.

“Who win” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

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

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

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

“I peel carrots and potatoes” by Julia on her bed

Wednesday April 1, 2020
11:18am
5 minutes
Ordinary Life
Barbara Crooker

Things I’ve Learned Today:

  1. It takes me 17 minutes to peel a butternutsquash
  2. Working out is most effective when hydrated
  3. 3 puffs is my max right now
  4. I don’t need to bother with underpants if I wear a long skirt
  5. Cutting carrots is always an extreme sport for me and I count my lucky stars when my fingers go unscathed
  6. sometimes I zone out completely when I’m slicing and again, count my lucky stars
  7. I have many lucky stars
  8. Birdsong is a salve
  9. Cookies in coffee is my happy place
  10. Cheese is a temptress and I must avoid her advances at all costs

“I peel carrots and potatoes” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday April 1, 2020
11:11am
5 minutes
Ordinary Life
Barbara Crooker

I don’t peel carrots or potatoes. My mother taught me to leave the skin on.
Adds nutrients, or something like that. I scrub them, usually,
especially now. I use my fingers to pick off the nubby bits, to pop off
the spindly bottoms of the carrots, mouse tails, curly innocents.

I spend twenty minutes gazing up at a big red-headed
woodpecker working the side of a tree. Lola is asleep
in the carrier, a gentle wheeze from her snotty nose, her eyelashes
diving boards. I didn’t dress warm enough. I should’ve worn a sweater
over my plaid flannel, should’ve worn my winter jacket instead of this old raincoat from when I was a teenager canoeing the Spanish River.

I know something is very much wrong when I don’t know what to make
for dinner. “What do you feel like?” I ask Nadeem, as Lola tries to put
beams of sun in her mouth, tilting her head back like she does when
I pour water from a bowl in the bath and she tries to catch it, little bird
with a fountain worm. “Whatever you feel like making,” he says,
and I roll my eyes. The lake is completely thawed now.

“He can fix anything” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday March 31, 2020
9:37pm
5 minutes
Easter Morning
Jim Harrison

You strike me as the kind of person who can fix anything
Who knows how to wire a telephone jack and level a table
Someone who could look at a hanging shelf in the box
On the floor
And know how to
Get it up on the wall
Without too much sweat or stress or swear words

If the toilet were to become leaky
I imagine that you would jingle thingle this
And wiggle spaggle that and
The leak would be gone
The flush would be full throttle
All would be well again
In the world of whisking away waste
What we do not want to see
What we’d rather be gone

I’d call Lou when I couldn’t get my
Backup hard drive to listen to my computer
He walked me through that whole
Ring-a-round-the-Rosie
Several times
Always patient
Always steady
I’d feel a bit badly to be troubling him
But also a bit good to have a reason
To need him
To need his expertise
To need his help

When he was in Palliative Care
He called me once
Very late at night
Late for me
And that was with the three hour time difference
Ahead in Vancouver
He told me about a piece of music
He’d been listening to
I wish I remembered what it was
I’d listen to it now
How he was waiting on tracks to be mixed
For his album
He told me that he was tired
And laughed when I told him
“I love you”

“Catfish Lane” by Julia on her couch

Monday, March 30, 2030
5:53pm
5 minutes
The Cure
Ginger Andrews

So Kitty and Kat are on the internet and they’re pretending to be older, sexier, more experienced versions of themselves. They are 11 and 12. The world is getting younger, did you know?
They ask, ASL? and they respond, 18 and a half, F, Florida. Kitty and Kat think Florida is the coolest place on earth. That’s where their neighbour, Leon, always goes when he gets to stay with his grandmother during summer vacation.

Kitty is laughing so hard at what she’s reading, she can barely get the words out. Kat makes her move so she can write back to “Chad” who works at Mcdonalds and has a motorcycle. Also in Florida. They knew it was cool.

Kat wants to tell Chad that she likes kissing with tongue but Kitty can’t handle it and pees her pants a little bit.

“Catfish Lane” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday March 30, 2020
11:10am
5 minutes
The Cure
Ginger Andrews

The house at the end of Catfish Lane is painted blue and has shingles that need replacing. It was built in 1937 by a man named Gerald, who cried into the floorboards, putting his broken heart into every nail and beam. By the time the house was done, Gerald’s heart was almost completely mended. Almost, because broken hearts don’t ever completely heal. A little crack remains, where good, warm things might grow if we let them. Many of the other houses on the street have been replaced, renovated, remodelled, but this one, number 9, is exactly as Gerald built it. Only the kitchen cabinets have been replaced. The owner before last replaced the one’s that Gerald built. The knobs are round and the tracks smooth. The drawers open and close with ease. Mandy and Simone bought the house this past week, and as excited first home owners, go into the library and research the history of the place. The photographs in the library show Gerald, standing beside the newly built house. He isn’t smiling, but he isn’t not smiling.

“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.

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

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

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

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

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

Who also has a circle of disappointments

You do
And you do
And you do too

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

Put it under an oak tree
To rest in the sun

“You wish you were in the woods” by 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The golden brooch” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday March 27, 2020
10:31am
5 minutes
The courage that my mother had
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Felicia doesn’t want anything that belongs to her Abuela becuase she refuses to believe that she’s actually going anywhere. She rolls her eyes at Mama and Tita Hulia making charts on graph paper about who gets what and bickering over what things are worth and what is “fair”. Nothing is fucking fair, Felicia thinks, lying face down on Abuela’s bright, woven living room rug. Abuela is the woman who gets her hair done every week, who has her long fingernails painted coral or light pink, depending on the season. She has always been perfectly curvaceous, with dark eyebrows like awnings protecting her grey and glistening eyes. Felicia yawns and feels the anchor of grief in her belly, pulling her down, pulling her into the rug, then the floorboards, then the basement, the foundation, the cool earth. “Fefe!” Mama calls from the next room. “What?” Felicia doesn’t want to consult about sweaters or wall hangings or rosaries. “Do you want this?” Mama is right there, standing over her, holding Abuela’s gold brooch, the one that she got from her Abuela on her eighteenth birthday.

“August is coming” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Thursday March 26, 2020
5:09pm
5 minutes
Any prince to any princess
Adrian Henri

Thank you for telling me that summer will come again, the nasturtium will bloom vibrant and sassy, and the buds on the trees just ripening now, will flower into the green newness of hope. Thank you for sending me links to what you’re making, alone in dug out earth foundation, where you cook and dance, film and cry. Thank you for remembering that there is nothing more sacred than friendship and “I love you”. Thank you for the million hours of trudgery, practise, remembering, fucking up. Thank you for seeing the truth of me all those years ago, and knowing a kinded heart and following it towards the midnight and the dawn.

“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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The deal is struck” by Julia on her couch

Monday, March 23, 2020
9:25pm
5 minutes
Seven Deadly Sins
Virginia Hamilton Adair

According to Angel it was nice getting to see her teacher at comic con. Mr. Rose wore his out of school clothes which looked a lot like his in school clothes and he had his wife with him.

According to Angel Mr. Rose was acting strange because he had seen his student outside of school but this was not the case.

Every time Angel saw Mr. Rose after that she would remind him of the day they saw each other at comic con. he would tell her he did remember and she would bring up the same part about his wife and her orange t-shirt.

“The deal is struck” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday March 23, 2020
5:09pm
5 minutes
Seven Deadly Sins
Virginia Hamilton Adair

We strike a deal on Monday morning but then the world explodes with pandemic bullshit and everything halts. I hadn’t signed the papers. Pete hadn’t even received his contract. Kim is waiting for the lawyers to call, but they don’t becuase one of the mailroom guys is quarantined after visiting their family in Iran and has symptoms so now everyone has to go home, the whole office has to shut down. I can’t fucking believe that last week we were having wings and beer, and now Penelope won’t even come over for a quickie becuase of “social distancing”. How the fuck am I going to survive this madness? I haven’t spent twenty four hours alone in I can’t remember how long. The gym is closed. The gym! People need to buck up and stop being so afraid. Pete said that if we got it, the virus, that we would probably be totally fine. It’s the old folks who are the most fucked right now… Shit, I mean, what about Mom and Bruce? Shit! I should call Mom back. Shit… she has asthma, and Bruce has to go to the hospital for chemo… Fuck! I gotta…

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

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

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

“No tit to pull” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Saturday March 21, 2020
8:38am
5 minutes
Carnation Milk
Anonymous

My tits are tired and grouchy

A blister beginning on the right nipple

I take a sharp inhale when Lola latches

And think about how pain is relative

Pain is universal

Pain is the slice on my pinky by the black knife 

I didn’t realize was so sharp

Pain is the ache of longing felt in my marrow

Dull and then swollen

Dull again and then deafening

 

My hands are dry and gaunt 

Nails longer than I like

CBC radio tells us about almost eight hundred deaths

In Italy where they can’t keep up

A new lexicon has begun

Contamination

Exposure

Did you wash your hands when you…?

Did you sanitize the bottom of the little shoes?

Did you wipe the outside of the bag of oats?

 

Social distancing makes the need for social media real

All the single people in basement apartments

All the seniors with their doors closed and blinds drawn

Wishing a bird might sit on the tree outside and sing Frank Sinatra 

All the families driving one another crazy

But at least they’ve got company in these days that are both so long

And so short blurring and cross fading one to the next

Cook eat play nap cook eat play nap cook eat play goodnight song

 

When this is all over

Let’s have a parade for the postal workers

The researchers

The grocery store stockers and cashiers

And hospital janitors

The nurses coming out of retirement

The neighbours buying extra cartons of eggs for the old man in number seventy

Whose wife died six weeks ago and whose family is in Portugal 

“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.

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

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

FEEL YOUR FACE

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

A LOVER
OR A CHILD

THE TENDERNESS

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

“I would have missed so many smells” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday March 18, 2020
8:31pm
5 minutes
Ode to My 1977 Toyota
Barbara Hamby

once there was a girl in my bunk at jesus camp who didn’t have any sense of smell. this worked out

for me because I was dealing with an unnamed dairy allergy at the time and I could fart around her with ease and dare

I say delight?
Me and my friends would make it into a joke. Farting was part of the joke, the girl, for the most part didn’t get any flack.

one night at worship or cattle call or you name it, everyone was chanting Happy Song Happy Song and stomping on the bleachers.

the song, to my dismay got sung, but the girl with no sense of smell passed out because there were a lot of people all screaming and yelping and invoking the light of christ.

so when the first aid team descended upon us and the circle we had made to congreate around the girl, they gave her smelling salts to bring her to

and this, as you can imagine, did not work out. For her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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.

“You will be very welcome” by Julia at her desk

Sunday March 15, 2020
12:26pm
5 minutes
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum

Here in our home we have a pull-out couch for visitors who need to rest their bones.
We are sorry that it’s old, but it does the trick, and should you need it, you won’t notice minor details like that.
Our cooking skills will make you forget you were tired, and if your muscles ache, Bunny has been going to school for massage therapy ever since her friend Mrs. Wang told her she had “healing hands”. Bunny always takes notes of advice like this seriously, and as her primary recipient for practice and development I can attest to the truth of Mrs. Wang’s insights. Bunny has always been able to find the places in my back that need rearranging or light touch and energy. Our guests will find themselves with the luxury of this extensive care. If one chooses not to partake in the massage therapy portion of our offerings, Bunny and her magic fingers, of course, will not be offended because she is also practicing the art of not taking anything personally.
If any one should require more information on our balcony garden, they can direct their questions to me as I’m the one with the green thumb. Guests can expect to enjoy fresh parsley, rosemary, tomatoes, basil, and chives. Guests can also opt out of any additional meals prepared if they are not in the mood for what we have. No questions asked.

“but what disturbed that idea” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday March 14, 2020
3:02pm
5 minutes
The War of the Worlds
H. G. Wells

It’s my first time ringing the bell and Marla makes a silly face and Goddamnit I hope I don’t laugh. Don’t laugh! Don’t laugh! DON’T LAUGH! But you say this enough, and you say it with an Irish accent, and then of course… you laugh. Shit. I want to ring the bell all serious and true and committed and professional, like I really am the grown up that has a job that pays seventeen dollars an hour (WHEEEE!) and where there are incentives and bells get rung and goals get achieved. Don’t laugh! Shit. Marla will be the death of me. I wonder what the spot behind her right ear smells like. I wonder what she wears to bed. I wonder what she eats when no one is looking and how she does it, like, does she use her finger, or a sharp knife?

“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

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

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

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

Has left

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

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

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

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

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

We sit in your car and cradle faces
crescent moons

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

We speak in lurches and tethered torment
teeth tipping and topping

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

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

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

I’d tucked in my pocket
Tiny protector

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

“I knew I should meet you here” by Julia on her couch

Thursday March 12, 2020
6:42pm
5 minutes
War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy

ask me where you want to meet me in our dreams and I give you an answer that throws you off my scent. I don’t want to share my dreams with you. I want to go alone and go all the way and go to the point of no return. But if you come too what will happen? You won’t remember it the way I can. Let’s say we meet at the train station. I always say that, have you noticed? I don’t say “on the train” because I want you to get lost while looking for the bathrooms or the cinnamon buns and not make it on before departure! I want to go where my quiet train goes on my own and nobody should take that personally. I can say “let’s meet on the path” because what path? Chances aren’t high that we’d find the same path. And if we do, even after all that, we will deal with it then!

“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 Sasha at her kitchen table

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

William Shakespeare

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

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

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

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

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

Monday March 9, 2020
9:09pm
5 minutes
The Frog Prince
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

pissed now I am pissed now because
I just wrote the thing and then poof it was gone
ask Daddy and his friends to get it back
princess asks Daddy and his friends for anything and everything

Pissed since Saturday morning anyway
swollen undereye because of the drink because
last time I thirsted
thirsted
Daddy fetch the hair of the dog
the cure
get me what I need

I won’t go to where I said I’d go
Daddy and his friends have talked to the people and they are no longer expecting me
so here I am writing this

writing this thing so you know that I do other things
than ask other people to do things for me
I do them
i always do them

But when something gets in my way I make excuses and I never take the blame
There is too much ringing in my brain
notify
notification
your storage is insufficient
Your security adviser is speaking to you
You’re still ignoring that friend
and that contract
It has been 6 days did you want to send a mother fucking follow up?

Maybe if I had a mother fucking mother I wouldn’t need to ask
daddy for all of it
or his friends
or tell you about it
or tell anyone anything about anything

But I am writing this still
And for right now
today
that is enough.

“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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Why won’t my baby eat anything but grapes?” By Julia on the couch

Thursday March 5, 2020
9:15pm
5 minutes
Room To Write
Bonnie Goldberg

My baby is a weird one

She eats grapes and only grapes

And nothing but grapes you see just grapes

My baby can speak in tongues you see

And never mind she’s not yet three or two or even one years yet and soon she’ll be but not quite yet and she can do it anyway and I never ask her how but speak she does more than speakest thou

My baby is a strange one see

She fell straight from the sycamore tree

She didn’t cry or laugh for real

That slippery little banana peel.

“I know nothing about magic” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday March 4, 2020
8:31pm
5 minutes
The Books Of Magic
Neil Gaiman

I don’t know what all of these ding dang hippies are talking about with the Mercury gone to retrograde and the full moon whizzy wazzy! It’s like everyone drank the same cocktail and it’s not good! It’s not looking good! Look. What I’ve learned in my forty-nine years on this God forsaken planet is that what you see is what you get and there’s no jumbo rumbo going on, no master plan, no big guy in the sky counting his money. There’s worms in the earth, or there ain’t. There’s apples on the tree, or there aren’t. There are good people, and there are bad people, and one way or another you’ll figure out which one you are, and which one your neighbour is, and that’s just how it goes! When did everything start to “happen for a reason”?! Je-sus!

“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 Sasha at her kitchen counter

Tuesday March 3, 2020
9:39pm
5 minutes
Who’s Zoo
Conrad Aiken

I remember the smell of the hot earth, cracked and raw against  the sole. I remember the dry mouth, airplane and fake air, bad eggs and cheap wine. I remember trying to switch from black and white to colour and then the colour being too bright, trying to switch to black and white again, but not being able. It’s a rite of passage. I remember the teenie tiny picture in Hillary’s locket of her great grandmother who had come here on a ship, and on the journey she’d seen mermaids and seals and death. I remember the sound of a voice that has lost everything, or think’s she has, and how that voice is actually the strongest root to the hottest fire. I remember not questioning the authority of the old bitch who told me I should wear something different. I remember rising early from a strange bed and leaving without brushing my teeth and getting on the train and ending up in front of my father’s house.

“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 Sasha on her couch

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

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

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

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

“I 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 Julia on her couch

Sunday March 1, 2020
9:03pm
5 minutes
My Book Life
Sparrow

I overheard a young woman last night discussing her desire to go off the grid and learn how to survive off of corn-bread and tree sap.
I think she is onto something. She’s not the only person who mentions running for the hills. Although someone else I overheard said that everyone is going to rush to the mountains in a crisis. Tsunamis, earthquakes, he says we should be on solid ground, but that’s not what everyone will think about first.
I, myself, will not be rushing toward any one group of people, I don’t care which direction they’re headed. Sure, things are going to get hard in a state of emergency, you know, when disaster strikes, and you’re not necessarily going to want to be alone–but there are a lot of stupid people in groups and I don’t think that’s the time to follow the crowd. I don’t want someone panicked and stressed, and making bad choices out of fear take away from what my instincts are telling me to do.
I think it might be time to get an escape bag packed and near the door just in case. My friend Annah says she’s got a granola bar and a pair of socks in hers. A bit lame, she says, but she’s doing something at least. I’m with her. I don’t want to be cold or hungry either.

“I overheard” by Sasha on her living room floor

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

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

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

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

of unknown and hurt and unknown.

I lost my appetite for coleslaw and roasted
yams

Ran my finger through the soft
pull of spicy mayonnaise.

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

“the political danger” by Julia at her desk

Saturday February 29, 2020
6:01pm
5 minutes
Against the Current
Barry Lopez

Friend number one brings up the Coronavirus and friends two and three go silent.
Nobody wants to be talking about this right now but it comes up, here at the party to celebrate life and living and being born.
The political danger of bringing up the Coronavirus at a birthday party is, right now, the same degree as not bringing it up at a birthday party.
Here we are cheersing, toasting, clinking glasses, kissing each other’s cheeks.
In places where the people touch bodies to greet one another, or get in close to the skin of someone else are at higher risk. Being punished, it seems for being sweet and welcoming.
Friend number three is trying to change the subject now. He is too stoned to enjoy himself as it is, let alone try and push past the inevitable paranoia that is spreading almost as fast as the virus. Friend number one shows the photo of the type of mask her father is wearing in China. Just a regular surgical one, she says.