“My mother is a wood thrush” by Julia at M’s house

Thursday, April 19, 2018
11:19pm
5 minutes
A List Of My Utopias
Debbie Urbanski
I can recite her laugh lines by heart
in the quiet night I hear her in my rib cafe
I saved a couple of her voicemails
when I want to visit with her again
in the dead of winter
when speaks half in english, half italain, half french, my skin knows story
sometimes she sings and I know where I got it from
and where she must have gotten it from
that alone would connect us
the hum.

“she will not live long.” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
11:21pm
5 minutes
june 20th
Lucille Clifton

Mary-Beth gets a chicken
and she loves her with
all her heart because that’s
what a chicken does
to a person

You wouldn’t think it
but it’s true
They are bringing
chickens into senior citizens’
homes to help fight all
the loneliness

Mary-Beth lets Fiesta
(That’s her chicken’s name)
sit on her shoulder while
she is playing checkers with
Anthony and Robin
Fiesta helps her heart beat
to more music than ever
and she also helps her win
at checkers

“You could get lost there.” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday April 17, 2017
1:11pm
Up
Margaret Atwood

There are no signs and so they warn you before you arrive
to keep your hands inside the vehicle just in case something
falls out of the sky
you could take a photo of the sun setting
get it framed and keep it on a shelf or take the
picture with your eyes instead and lock it
for a lifetime in yourself and then there are all the moments
in between that might read like the spine of your dreams where
you got lost in the waiting so deep and when you surfaced
you had no idea which direction south was which direction you were
facing and how to force those next steps taken
toward the hill
that might lead you to the top of it all where you’ll be able to
see the vastness of it all and then after the work is done
collect those eye blinks one by one storing each in a perfect
corner of your mind for those lonely days where the glow is
harder to find

“When I came down from the attic” by Julia at her desk

Monday April 16, 2018
1:17am
5 minutes
The Portrait
Stanley Kunitz

we never had things in our attic
mom was more of basement type
as in hit the bottom of the rung
type sit on the unfinished concrete
floor in the dark type
the attic was much too high up
too close to God
filled with insulation and spider
webs but not memories of us in
picture form or moth eaten sweater
reminders of our carelessness
of hers
she didn’t like to hide our things
away in a place that might collapse
wanted to be closer to the earth
just in case the apocolypse hit
she made herself a home down there
and on Sundays we were allowed to
visit if we brough her the yogurt
in the tubes and the frozen thyme
in the ice trays

“When I came down from the attic” by Sasha on her couch

Monday, April 16, 2018
10:03pm
5 minutes
The Portrait
Stanley Kunitz

When I came down from the attic Elizabeth was crying. Mama was in her room with the door locked. Jimmy wasn’t home from his job at the gas station.

“Elizabeth,” I said, “Let’s go have a slice of pie.” Snotty-nosed, and tear stained, I picked her up and we went downstairs.

Because the kitchen is right below Mama’s room, we could hear her clamouring around, slamming drawers, and slurring words.

“Why’s Mama shouting?” Elizabeth asked, lower lip quivering.

“She’s just tired, sweetheart,” I said, trying to forget the photographs I’d seen, trying to forget the feeling of the silk of the wedding dress against my skin.

“Why were you up there for so long?” Elizabeth was eating the pie now, right out of the pie plate, and so was a bit calmer.

“then I had a boy.” By Sasha at the coffee table

Sunday April 15, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
Devices on Standby
Kelly Ann Malone

First I had a pancake and then I had a boy
Third I saw an elephant and fourth I drowned a toy

Fifth I ate an apple and sixth I saved a cow
Seventh I sang a song and eighth I wondered how

Ninth I counted stars and tenth I mowed the lawn
Eleventh for the win tonight and twelve for the coming dawn

Thirteen is the lucky one and fourteen is a steal
Fifteen leads to sixteen and my oh my it’s real

Seventeen days til Christmas and eighteen to get on top
Nineteen was the age we were and twenty bippity bop

“then I had a boy.” By Julia at V, J, W, and A’s house

Sunday April 15, 2018
7:30pm
5 minutes
Devices on Standby
Kelly Ann Malone

I heard the words come out of my mouth like a broken record: MOVE just like my mother used to say. And it worked. That tone, that strength. She listened and she did. Then I hugged her. Because I didn’t want her to go to sleep right after being yelled at. So then I hugged him too because he was good the whole night and i didn’t want him to feel left out. And that is what I’m learning. That girls still need hugs after being told no. And boys still need hugs after being told yes.

I keep thinking, don’t let your kids grow to be unlikeable, if I don’t like them the world won’t like them and I want the world to like my kids. Send them to my parents house so they can see what listening feels like, what being a kid feels like. I want that for me and for my kids and for the grandparents my parents will turn into.

“I’m from hard-boiled eggs” by Julia on M’s couch

Saturday, April 14, 2018
11:28pm
5 minutes
E 9th Street
Ricky Cantor

I’m from soft-boiled eggs on a sunday, little olive oil, salt and pepper
Dad knows his way around the simple pleasures in life
sneaks fresh figs across the border in September
stirs in the good grappa in his espresso instead of sugar
cares about if I know my times tables
I’m from fried eggs and anchovies in the summer time
visit the sanctuary in the back yard and do not move until the mosquitoes eat you
Dad picks cherry tomatoes from the garden and tosses them on our plates
he doesn’t sit with us on the porch while we eat
he is busy inside making the second course so he never has to say a word

“I’m from hard-boiled eggs” by Sasha at the BMO Theatre Centre

Saturday, April 14, 2018
2:14pm
5 minutes
E 9th Street
Ricky Cantor

Bubby wraps rice and meat in cabbage
sucks on a Werther’s
keeps them in the fridge
away from the Florida heat
away from reaching fingers

Bubby sends boxes of oranges
to us in Toronto
sweet and juicy
legs draped over the edge
of the tub I gorge
on citrus must be
the vitamin c

Bubby didn’t want
another child
at least that’s what
Mom says barely
gained any weight
when she was pregnant
barely even noticed
Mom was there

Bubby makes food
for the freezer
at Knowlton Lake and
when the house is broken
into one winter
the thieves steal
the tupperwares
wrapped in tinfoil
wrapped in a plastic bag

“Jon came home” by Julia on the 99

Friday, April 13, 2018
2:20pm
5 minutes
Modern Grief
Nancy Westaway

I saw him first bundled up from the cold in my godmother’s arms. I didn’t like him from the start-he was too young to play with. All he did was roll from side to side and collect dribble in the pocket of his 35 neck rolls. My mother served Cynthia tea in the new dining room that she had just painted “lilac.” Cynthia was commenting on the drapes and the new walls and blah blah blah. She didn’t even bring me a necklace or a new ring this time and I had been waiting very patiently for them too. So I sat at the top of the stairs planning how I was going to kill this new baby who was responsible for zapping everybody’s brain into caring more about the freaking “lilac” walls.

“Jon came home” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday, April 13, 2018
5:22pm
5 minutes
Modern Grief
Nancy Westaway

Jon comes home and he’s angry and shivering.

“What’s for dinner?” He says, like I know, or I’m keeping it a secret.

“I just got home too, Jon,” I say, and he doesn’t like that. He opens and closes the fridge a few times. Same with the pantry cupboards.

“Can ya make something hot? It was all icy on the rig today.” Jon fills the kettle, which I can’t say I’ve ever seen him do.

“How about spaghetti?” I lean back in my chair.

“Spaghetti?” A small smile curls over his lips, like fog.

“No?” I watch him turn on the wrong burner, and then realize and move the kettle.

“Spaghetti sounds good.”

“They would tell everyone” by Julia at her desk

Thursday, April 12, 2018
8:14pm
5 minutes
Audience of One
Rob de Boyrie

We can’t tell anyone because they would tell everyone.
Some things are better left secret:
all of our best-laid plans for a baby and her sister
the house we bought with our romance novel money
I am still reminding myself this is better
to wait until it’s done before I say it out loud
they wouldn’t let it be what it is if they opened their
big dumb mouths to name it
diminishing it with all that outside tongue
The photographer man told me this first
Years ago he wrote it on the front page of my moleskine dayplanner
“Not every single thing needs to be said.”
Maybe it wasn’t that exactly, but the sentiment was there
We can’t tell anyone that we’re swimming the Mississippi River
that we’re moving our butts to South Beach

“They would tell everyone” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday, April 12, 2018
7:09am
5 minutes
Audience of One
Rob de Boyrie

Gert’s getting better at keeping quiet, but it’s never been her strong suit. She learns something new (needle-point!), or makes a goal (half marathon in September!) and she wants everyone to know (especially Henrik, Shantini, Vanessa, Nicole, Hashim, and Monique). But then when Vanessa tells her new girlfriend and Hashim and Shantini tell Kenton (the Kook) suddenly Gert loses her love of needle-point and her passion for running. Just – poof! So she practises keeping quiet, maybe telling Vanessa only, maybe not even that, and seeing what happens. It’s going well.

“Very rarely patients develop __________.” By Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Wednesday April 11, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
Diagnosis
Adam Sol

She’s got a real fear of sickness so she runs for ninety minutes on the treadmill every day after work. She thinks that if she sweats, if her heart rate is increased, she won’t get sick. She’s most scared of cancer and diabetes. Her father had type 2 and died of a heart attack at sixty-five. She only eats chocolate when she’s about to get her period because she should be allowed a tiny indulgence, right? Even then, it’s two squares of dark chocolate with no added sugar. Sugar is the enemy. Sugar makes sickness. So does salt, so does fat, so do carbs. The fear’s been getting worse, as she gets older, because older people are usually sicker people.

“Very rarely patients develop __________.” by Julia on the 20

Wednesday April 11, 2018
8:49pm
5 minutes
Diagnosis
Adam Sol

You’re online again because that’s where the answers are. That’s where you’re allowed to be sick. Because the forums are full of people like you looking for inches to turn into miles. Itches to turn into conditions and you’re convinced you’ve been cut by the hidden incision bit by the bug that borrows its fangs into your skin and then buries its offspring underneath it. You’re sick and you know it. The rash you developed shows it, the hard lump in your throat chose itself and you tell the world you did not make this up. Where all the people like you play, looking to lose at another game, maybe this way you will have something to blame for the wrong going on in your life. The invisible pains, come and go strains, the ones that buy you sympathy and community and attention.

“Then it went shooting back from the window.” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday April 10, 2018
8:49pm
5 minutes
Pope Hats
Ethan Rilly

Cinnamon and nutmeg
at the bottom of the cup

A tea reading of a future
I think about constantly

Okay Jessa
we’re ready for you

Why did you say yes to tea
who does that who actually says yes

I’m worthy I’m qualified I’m the best
candidate for this job

You come highly recommended Jessa
you’ve got get experience Jessa

I think it would be a great fit
I mean I think it will be a great fit

I’ll take your cup I’ll wash your cup
We’ll be in touch in the next week or two

I’ll wash it I’ll keep it I’d like to have it
if that’s okay I’d like to keep this cup

“Then it went shooting back from the window.” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday April 10, 2018
12:45pm
5 minutes
Pope Hats
Ethan Rilly

I think it was a raven, you said it was a crow. Either way we’re both inside the house, close to the maple candied pecans, and not planning on leaving to prove the other one wrong. I love Sundays. You don’t make me put on pants, and I don’t make you put down your gingerale. We argue about which birds are hanging out on our back porch, but we’re not angry. We’re not anything that is not easy. Easy as Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon! We’ve got scrambled eggs and chocolate eggs! We’ve got rich cheeses and no place to be-ses! When the sun sets we don’t miss the day. We say hello to the stars from the couch and we count commercials instead of hours. We put on something more comfortable than before. We’ve earned the night. We rest like it’s the last day before you leave again. And it is the last day before you leave again. We do not waste a second.

“stinking up the bedsheets” by Julia at her desk

Monday April 9, 2018
9:15pm
5 minutes
Lonely
Z. Da Costa

I noticed crumbs in the bed yesterday morning
they belong to both of our feet
both of our pajama pants
I don’t know
I don’t hate it
But this lonely has been stinking up the bed sheets
and I know that it only belongs to me
that the nights left unslept are mine
but they’re because of you
I don’t think you will mind sharing this custody
I think your bed has fewer crumbs in it
but it is more empty
I have never been there and left it
I have never rolled my day’s lint at the bottom of your sheets
and then made you sleep alone in it
I noticed your side of the bed doesn’t dip as much
maybe this haunting was all part of your master plan

“stinking up the bedsheets” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday April 9, 2018
8:13am
5 minutes
Lonely
Z. Da Costa

That summer that will always be sepia toned
according to you
For me it’s florescent and hungover and
smells like coffee and stinky sweaty bedsheets

That summer is immortalized in my body now

That summer is an infection
a joy
a trechory
a thing I couldn’t possibly have done
was that me?

That summer is a fit body
a cloudy mind
a wailing spirit
a whole
a fill
a scream
toes curled
mouth wide
here
there
okay
YES

That summer is a shame
a cushion
a burning room in a hell place
a soaring bird
in cumulus skies

“there are still shoelaces to be tied” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 8, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
Ten Seconds for Each Year
Fernando Raguero

Wait till your eyes run out of juice
try typing that letter to your friend
see how many times you nod off in the
middle of a good sentence
tell her: there are stillllllllllll swppp
tell her: you are so eeeeeen qqQ hip
She will really appreciate that you didn’t
make time for her earlier in the day
that you were saving up all your creative
expression for the moments in between
sleep and almost sleep because that’s
when all the best ideas come through
tell her: that thought you had about
the cactus and the kiwi eloping
tell her: neck kink and unlimited yawn
tell her: fall onto the bed mascara
still holding all your eyelashes together
Don’t forget about the roasting pan in
the sink or the shoes out in the foyer
or the wet hair drying slowly on your back

“there are still shoelaces to be tied” by Sasha at the BMO Theatre Centre

Sunday April 8, 2018
1:36pm
5 minutes
Ten Seconds for Each Year
Fernando Raguero

get out of bed cry cry go to her then him then her again get dressed “no you can’t wear that dress” “because it’s winter!” “because it’s snowing!” “okay, fine… but wear pants underneath!” brush hair brush teeth wait there’s breakfast fuck breakfast. “what do you want for breakfast?” “i can’t make pancakes because there isn’t time.” why did I ask why didn’t I just put something on the table and say EAT PLEASE why doesn’t Simon ever make breakfast why is it all up to me why does he get to read the paper and drink his coffee and be the sane one and then leave before the cyclone of getting out the door.

“I have been in love with a life—“ by Julia at her desk

Saturday April 7, 2018
12:28am
5 minutes
Grammar School
Megan Fennya Jones

Some audiences don’t snap for poems about joy
if the joy is coming out of certain bodies
You could say you love your body and they will
say that it’s because you never had to struggle
You could say you like yourself and they will
wait for the moment before when you didn’t
I have been grateful in front of the wrong people
Gave my full heart and let the light open the room
and still it was not the right place for it
it did not compare with all of the other sadness
Makes you wonder sometimes if you have enough
pain to even be a poet
if you have enough of anything at all
If you want to sing the love song for your loved song
you will have to wait until there’s a
space in the programming
You can’t try to be joyful after someone else has wept
it will make you look like you’re bragging
like you’re the enemy
and some audiences will call you undeserving
of a ten

“I have been in love with a life—“ by Sasha in the bathtub

Saturday April 7, 2018
11:18pm
5 minutes
Grammar School
Megan Fennya Jones

I have always been in love
with life. That is a truth
as sure as laugh lines,
as sure as chapped lips,
as sure as your voice singing,
as sure as the horse’s grey mane,
and the rising sun,
as sure as magnolia blossoms,
as sure as my mother’s knowing.

Even when I’ve lost faith
like a bus pass,
like an irreplaceable ring,
like a lover in another city,
like the name of someone
who I’ve met once in passing,
like the sound of the crickets
in the woods at Knowlton Lake,
like the tune to a song I wrote
as a teenager,

Even when I’ve lost faith,
I’ve always known that

love

is the
language
is the
religion
is the practise.

“The process is afterall like music,” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday April 6, 2018
9:14pm
5 minutes
Käthe Kollwitz
Miriam Rukeyser

I wonder where the grace
note will come in amidst
the banging and bruising
If I’ll be sitting
at my desk
on the sidewalk
and you’ll suddenly come
to mind
and you’re finally smiling
not that I can’t hold
the grief or the grey
but you’re smiling
and it lifts me
from where I am

I sail over
the rooftops
towards the water
towards where you
are and you don’t
have poems
or words
you don’t even
know I’m there
but I am
I am

“The process is afterall like music,”by Julia at the BC Women and Children’s Hospital

Friday April 6, 2018

9:54am

5 minutes

Käthe Kollwitz

Miriam Rukeyser

I am not over here laughing at you

If you think I am laughing at you

Not smirking at the thought of you grovelling, not turned on by your comeuppance

The memory of us swells like a song that is trying to teach me something

To ride the wave, go up, come down, stay down, stay down, and again

It is not one of those scores that gives it all away at the outset

You don’t get ahead of it because it keeps changing, twisting, turning, forcing me to touch each tendon, pulling and pressing

The resolve comes after the rise, the fall, after the shift, after the decision

And it is not the kind of music that I can dance to joyfully

It begs of me

It bruises

She warned me, ‘Have nothing to lose.’” by Sasha on the walk home

Thursday April 5, 2018
8:36pm
5 minutes
Among Women
Marie Ponsot

She warned me, “Have nothing to lose,” and I listened. I took it to heart, just like moss, and cumin, and the colour yellow.

So I keep it brief, I keep it light, I keep it safe. I keep files alphabetized, and sheets folded, and generally I keep to myself.

She warned me that if I loved something enough, it’d be sure to leave, just like she did. It was one of the last things she said and usually, if I’m pouring a glass or water, or weeding in the garden that’s the line I hear. Some people think about lyrics or poetry or have conversations with imaginary friends. Not me.

“She warned me, ‘Have nothing to lose.’” by Julia at her desk

Thursday April 5, 2018
8:25pm
5 minutes
Among Women
Marie Ponsot

tucked a daisy in my jacket pocket and said “this is for a rainy day”
didn’t seem to mind that it might not last that long in denim like this
i forgot it was in there and went about my day
picked up apples from the market
peeled the sweet potatoes that were growing eyes
the night became a different world
me in my own skin and bones rustling about the tiny kitchen
she, i decided, blessing newborns and the dying with her sweet
the next morning i awoke to the sun burning the sky and drawing sweat
from my neck
the pillow was wet and the seagulls were loud
I did not bring an umbrella
and of course, as it happens here, out of the blue
it started to rain
i understood what ‘out of the blue’ meant for the first time
shoved my hands in my pockets to keep dry
and there it was, waiting for me
a wilting daisy, still more alive than me

“All my friends are having babies” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday April 4, 2018
10:56pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

you won’t know me when you finally decide that i’m worthy and i’ll put a german shepherd in charge of my heart who will bark when you come close because that’s what i’ve got to do and i’ll do it because that’s the kind of person i am now. surprise. will you have thought long and hard about how to punish me (silence) how to hurt me back (silence) how to make me feel so low that your lowness is lessened is lighter. is your low less? is your low light? good good i’m glad for you i want the best for you i want the light for you. it’s been a long time. you won’t know me and the shape of my new face new world new days in and out in and out flying to see my lion home alone again nights alone thinking of the soup i’ll make the tea i’ll brew the better tomorrow better tomorrow. thinking of the babies i’ll have and hold and bundle and cradle and never let know this lonely this guilt this shame this bad call not the worst it’s okay it’s okay. i love.

“All my friends are having babies” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday April 4, 2018
2:57pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

All my friends are having babies and I am more concerned with how good my freaking nails look these days. It’s taken a long time to like my hands. How do you like a hand that squeezes too hard, that breaks the good mugs, that spends most of its time down the front of raggedy sweat pants? These hands have never housed nice nails. These nails have never looked this strong. Some days I couldn’t tell if it was blood underneath them or just ketchup chips. It’s all I can think about because it’s like they belong on someone else’s body. Someone else who, say, might be having a baby. I’m used to seeing chips and tears and skin peeling off where it shouldn’t. They were not the hands that held soft things and kept them soft. They didn’t know how to stay one colour when stepping out into the cold.

“Wild Birds Unlimited” by Sasha on the plane

Tuesday April 3, 2018
5:24pm
5 minutes
From a storefront on West Broadway

When Kimbra takes the podium, we listen. We stop chewing bubblegum, and picking knee scabs, and looking at cutie-pie Hammy MacDonald with the freckles and the swimmer’s shoulders. Today’s debate is about Saddam Hussein and I don’t even know which side Kimbra’s on but she’s winning, she’s always winning.

“Look at her eyebrows,” Jimmy says and I am, and I do again, fresh slate, eyes blink, there they are the most perfect caterpillars.

“Do you think she waxes or plucks?” I say, not looking away.

“Neither,” whispers Jimmy, and goshdarnit, I think he’s right.

“Wild Birds Unlimited” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday April 3, 2018
9:42pm
5 minutes
From a storefront on West Broadway

On the T-shirts that Zia Nancy brought back
from Atlantic City were birds wearing sunglasses
Nothing is cooler than a bird wearing sunglasses
We were grateful for the oversized and bright
we did not know then how to ask for something better
How to wish we could be lucky enough for more
We were lucky enough then with two kisses and
a chili pepper
thrust into our hands like the lesson was in the
small bravery of turning our tongues on fire
The picture says a thousand things
Not including all of the comments made by
all the cool birds wearing sunglasses
on our T-shirts brought back from Atlantic City
We were built by each other’s dedication to being there
A wall of neon cousins smiling while
Michael cries into his birthday cake

“A woman in the shape of a monster” by Sasha at the Airbnb in Saskatoon

Monday April 2, 2018
11:46pm
5 minutes
Planetarium
Adrienne Rich

A woman appears and she’s shaped like you are
monster and beauty and witch and malachite
She’s got the face of someone I knew
someone I know is that me there she’s you she’s staring

A woman appears and she screams in my face again
rages and rages again
Wants candy and Prada and new shoes again
Doesn’t care for please again

A woman appears and she never says sorry
she fights back with nails and tongue
she makes shapes with icicles and toast crusts
she sharpens herself with vodka and sleep

A woman appears and she’s dying
as we all are
she’s living
as we all are

“A woman in the shape of a monster” by Julia on the 99

Monday April 2, 2018

10:57pm

5 minutes

Planetarium

Adrienne Rich

I guess I’m supposed to shape shift into the Phoenix now, huh? Rise from the ashes and flap my glorious wings around, fanning all the too hot, too dangerous. You expect me to be big the way you expect dinner to be on the table when you come home. I guess I’m supposed to use you as my downfall and build a sturdy ladder from my rock bottom so I can climb my ass to the fucking moon. You’d like that wouldn’t you: a real success story to attach your dick to. Watch me decide which edge to use as I slice the vein out of your skin. Show you just how much monster I can be, when you expect me to be anything but mine.

“And made of no special wood.” By Julia at her desk

Sunday April 1, 2018
10:40pm
5 minutes
Afterward
Mark Rudman

And maybe I should have turned around then, when he was pressing himself into me. Bending me over at the crease of my dress, his hands roaming in and out and around. Maybe I should have kissed him then, when he was busy wanting me. I didn’t do anything. I moaned a little. I liked how hard he got at the curve of me. In that moment, his desire was enough. I should have closed my eyes sooner, out of respect for him and for me. He couldn’t see my eyes, but they were scanning the backyard and the pigeon shit on the barbeque. He didn’t know that I was moaning a little on cue at the same time as deciding to change the tarp. Things take longer when the mind is wandering on the deck outside the window of romance. He told me he liked my dress and I told him I liked pretending to be his secretary. He let it slip that Joan’s hugged her hips a little tighter.

“And made of no special wood.” By Sasha at the Airbnb in Saskatoon

Sunday April 1, 2018
8:13am
5 minutes
Afterward
Mark Rudman

I have something that I need to tell you and I’ve been putting it off because I’m a scared scared person, but it’s all getting too much and so I need to – … Because you are more well-read and educated on all of this, and have spent so much more time in the world of climate change education, I notice that I often feel like I am being educated and explained to when we’re discussing the upcoming re-writing of Bill 1305. On the one hand, I love getting the education and so appreciate all of your knowledge and expertise! On the other hand, it can be disempowering and I leave these sessions feeling like I don’t know anything and don’t have a doctorate and can’t articulate half of what I want to say… Does that make sense? Am I even making any sense?

“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” By Julia on the 98

Saturday March 31, 2018

6:10pm

5 minutes

A quote from Stephen Hawking

In the 4th grade I was a times tables genius. I won around the world so many times I had to give some of my suckers away. By the time I got to the 5th grade I became so deathly afraid of graphs that I had to excuse myself to the bathroom anytime we played games that required the use of them. By the 6th grade I stopped remembering math class as a place to learn and turned it into one where I could practice my stand up routine. I think that’s when I realized I was funny. When all the kids in my class were being tested for the special skills test, I was deeply saddened when they didn’t ask me to do it. They were going to decide if those kids needed an individual education plan and I had high grades and I felt smart, but it was not enough to get the fancy folder with my name on it. I wondered why they thought that numerical testing was the only way to determine if we were gifted.

“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” By Sasha at the Airbnb in Saskatoon

Saturday March 31, 2018
10:31am
5 minutes
A quote from Stephen Hawking

You are the first person at your gate again, and you sigh at your anal retentive control stuff for the seventeenth time since yesterday. You go into the corner and try not to be an asshole but really need to stretch, so you do a little bit of yoga. After all, even the gate staff haven’t arrived. You consider getting Starbucks even though you hate Starbucks. Something sweet even though you’re going to be sitting for two hours and have nothing to accomplish and don’t need caffeine. You sit on the floor and pull your phone out of your bag and check Instagram. You scroll scroll scroll scroll. You remember that you downed your water bottle before security and should re-fill it before boarding.

“I think you’re really mean” By Julia on her bed

Friday March 30, 2018

1:49pm

5 minutes

Not Fair

Lilly Allen

The little girl says this to me after I tell her that I’m not mad at her for breaking my crayon box. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to feel bad but she feels bad and now she thinks every word out of my mouth is going to shame her head into the sand. This comment is followed by a lot of screaming for me not to talk to her. Nobody is allowed to talk to her. And I have to let it pass because she is not my child and she doesn’t know that I am trying to hold her. Minutes earlier she is flinging her arms around me and telling me she loves me. I wonder about the size of a three year old’s emotions. I ask myself, how do such big feelings fit into such small bodies. Her hands, when she lets me squeeze them, a tiny pillow for all the unknowing in the space between us. Her curls, when she lets me comb them, a bouncy castle of dreams.

“I think you’re really mean” by Sasha at her desk

Friday March 30, 2018
11:04am
5 minutes
Not Fair
Lilly Allen

The rehearsal hall is hot. The air conditioning broke last week and the producer has “called the fix-it guy” but who knows what that even means. Lila and I are supposed to be in our corsets and rehearsal skirts but she’s trying to reason with Jerrod that there’s no way in hell we’re going to survive six hours of this heat in those costumes. Jerrod is one of those directors who is handsome and charming, and probably used to get a lot of actors into bed. Lila says that they made out once, when she was still in theatre school, but she wouldn’t let him come back to her apartment. She’s still got leverage with him though, I can tell.

“Let’s start at the top of scene six, beautiful people!” Jerrod says. Lila rolls her eyes.

“Get that money get that cash!” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday March 29, 2018
12:54pm
5 minutes
From a text

When you lead an unexamined life, you believe everything you’re told. You don’t think for yourself. You don’t question. I led an unexamined life. Until I made an impulse decision, until I listened to someone I looked up to. Until I stole from someone who I thought didn’t need what they had. Until I went to jail. I’m here today to tell you that there’s no one right way to live your life. Who am I to tell you how to do things. I’m a convicted criminal! What I can do, is let you know that there’s a space between impulse and action. That space is informed by how you live your life, whether or not you question what you’re told, think for yourself, read, learn, listen to a variety of people.

“Get that money get that cash!” By Julia on the 99

Thursday March 29, 2018

6:20pm

5 minutes

From a text

I think it’s funny when you ride a bus facing the wrong way and you think you can talk on the phone with nobody hearing you. As if it gives you the superpower of being invisible.

I also think it’s funny when you try to write on a bus facing the wrong way and your stomach starts to swivel and you can feel it in your temples. Hilarious. Ha ha. Great joke.

I’ve been wondering about the money. About the funny money on the bus. The coins. The lost dimes. The people all huddled at the back too cool to tap in with their bus pass. Too cool says the sunglasses hiding the eyes too worried about being caught. The heart jumps around in there when you think it might be the last time it gets to. Isn’t it funny when you have no money and you have to pay the $250 fine because you didn’t pay the money? Hilarious. Ha ha.

I think it’s funny when the person behind you has the voice of a machete and thinks they’re also invisible.

“someone else’s sext” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday March 28, 2018
8:20am
5 minutes
from a cybertip.ca ad

So I get this message from one of my clients. It says he can’t wait to see me again and he’s been thinking of LICKING me up and down in HIS BED. So at first, naturally, I assume he has sent it to the wrong person. I’m like, Unprofessional Bro, this is someone else’s sext! Then I don’t respond, because what good can come out of it when I’m actually supposed to babysit his kid in two days? I mean, it’s a trap, right? Even if I said I didn’t appreciate it? So much weirdness. So when I don’t respond, ten minutes later, I get another message rom him. AND THIS TIME HE USES MY NAME. “What time should I expect you, Alana?” And usually his wife is the one in contact with me, arranging when SHE should expect me. So I’m like, are these texts together? Is this intentional? What the mother eff am I supposed to say?

“someone else’s sext” by Sasha on her living room floor

Wednesday March 28, 2018
12:08pm
5 minutes
from a cybertip.ca ad

Do you think of your life in newspaper clippings, taped into a spiral bound notebook? Do you chronicle your failures in a fishing tackle box, the white lies in little yellow squares, the times you’ve broken a heart in the larger section usually reserved for fly lures? Do you wonder about the life where you kept drinking and riding a bike without a helmet and living on the literal edge? Do you lie on the floor at the end of a day you couldn’t imagine you’d have only a year ago, and listen as the kettle boils, calling you into a new moment

a new moment

anew?

the fortifiers of human agency” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday March 27, 2018
11:14pm
5 minutes
On Being

Things may have escalated. My alarm clock now tells me how shitty I’m being for sleeping. Not sleeping in, but being tired. Labels as the chimes go off: don’t waste your potential! Get thee to the yoga mat! I should be thanking night me for trying to kick morning me in the ass for some good quality productivity but I do not listen to myself. I’m the only one who can fortify my own agency and yet, snooze, sorry, tomorrow. My mind craves structure and my body craves cuddles. Nobody wins here. Nobody wins, and somebody should since it’s all just me playing me against me playing me. Nothing is real! Getting up early is not real! Wishing I didn’t wonder where the hours go is not real!

“the fortifiers of human agency” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 27, 2018
11:10pm
5 minutes
On Being

it’s a being human problem
slump of the shoulders
puff of the chest
rise of the belly
imagining the world
without us

that’s the thing
the world will continue
it’s us who won’t

another species extinct
makes a low down
low down headline
(lowline) shows the priority

when it’s us
no one will report
or will they

trying to carve hope
out of despair
belief out of devestation
trying to hold the future
the anger
the explaining that of which
there’s none

it’s a being human problem
one moment the rapturous joy
of love and a slice of orange
the next moment
this

“into an unmarked grave” by Sasha at the BMO Theatre Centre

Monday March 26, 2018
7:36pm
5 minutes
Alternate History
Bill Glose

It’s okay if all you want to do is eat corndogs and pick your scabby nails. It’s totally fine if you want to bite your toenails and only drink orange Gatorade. I’m not gonna judge you! I’m not ever gonna judge you. That’s not what roommate life is about. Seriously, Kyle.

Who am I to judge?! We all do weird shit, man. It’s part of being human. I’m just gonna put it out there that when I first moved out on my own, I stayed up until like five in the morning every damn day because I could. I get it. Eat the ice cream for breakfast! Do it! You’re a fucking grown man with his own bedroom in his own apartment that he pays for with his own money! GR-YAH!

“into an unmarked grave” by Julia at the studio

Monday March 26, 2018
10:58am
5 minutes
Alternate History
Bill Glose

Cayenne and Didi exchange worried looks as the elevator doors closed on them.
“Are you sure about this?” Didi whispers “Cause I’m not sure I’m sure about this at all.”
“Pull it together, D, we’re going to be fine. Kaz told us to meet him in the parking garage with the stuff and he would arrange the rest.”
“You’re very good at projecting this cool-calm-collected thing, but I don’t buy it. You said yourself you don’t trust Kaz.”
“I will admit,” Cayenne inhales, “I did not exactly think this thing through.”
“WHY ARE WE DOING IT THEN?” Didi shrieks.
“No, no yelling, that won’t help us. That’s the one thing I know for sure.”

“Bill and Madge” by Julia on her couch

Sunday, March 25, 2018
11:24pm
5 minutes
The Wreck Up Ahead
Poe Ballentine

M: Billy, come down here, the darn TV went off again!

B: So turn it back on again dear Liza!

M: Har har very funny. It won’t stay on, I already tried.

B: Did you unplug it, plug it back in, wiggle the cord, and say a little prayer?

M: Billy, for Chrissakes, get down here!

B: Say it, Madge.

M: Say what?

B: The magic words. All of em, in a row: Billy, my one and only, I need your help.

M: Are you out of your goddamn mind? Why do you think I’m asking you to come down here in the first place you egomaniac!

“Bill and Madge” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday, March 25, 2018
8:42pm
5 minutes
The Wreck Up Ahead
Poe Ballentine

Bill and Madge meet in their fifties. Bill is younger by five years. Madge had been married once, fresh out of nursing school, but Lionel was a drinker and so she left after a year and a half. Bill had never been married. He’d lived with a woman once, Genevieve, in Montreal, in the 80’s. Bill was an illustrator, working mostly in children’s books and magazines. He’d been mostly successful, which is really something given that career path. Madge was a gardener, and then a midwife, and then a bread maker, and then a gardener again, and then an early childhood educator. She swears that she used to read her students books that Bill had drawn pictures for.

“increasing numbers of cars” by Julia in her bed

Saturday, March 24, 2018
12:34am
5 minutes
Three Dollars A Day
The note accompanying a photo series by Amlan Sanyal

I am going to drive by your parents’ house every chance I get and stare longingly at your garage where we hung out that one time with Natalie and a game of truth truth lie. I’ll be the world’s most respectful stalker. I’ll only wish I had enough courage to follow you to your car from the music store. I don’t actually know if you still go to the music store. See, I’m not really paying that close attention. You might be a car salesman now, or a dog whisperer. I realize the number of years since we’ve seen each other exceeds the number of years that I even knew you. I don’t know you now even a little bit. I am slowly coming around to the realization that i never really new you back then either. I thought I knew. I thought the you you were would really like the me I was.