“fingers slimy from fries” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday December 11, 2018
11:03pm
5 minutes
Nicer
Amanda Proctor

I watch the kid with cat eyes lick his fingers clean
then he shoves his whole hand in his mouth and it’s no longer about grooming
the girl is said to be an angel, piece of cake, perfect
except she’s not as brave as they’d like her to be
reads too many books
is already proving smarter than one of them
I watch the kid roll his eyes at me when I apologize
to him for raising my voice
apologies come in buckets here and he knows they’re not worth their weight
I want to explain that I was scared he’d hurt himself with that knife, that I’m not mad anymore
The girl uses a dictionary to play Hangman
she draws a bunny rabbit instead of someone swinging by a noose

“buttered side up” by Julia in her room

Monday December 10, 2018
10:28pm
5 minutes
For Murphy
Jade Riordan

there’s a biscuit in our bed
I brought it in here
I’m the culprit sue me sorry
you’re the one who
buttered it
toasted it first then buttered it
you knew exactly what you were doing
And now I’m to blame for bed-crumbs and for low times
and for weakness
I’m the one we always hang the bad ideas on
but I never used to eat in bed until I met you and
I don’t remember now if it was to forget you or bring you closer to me
you’re the first guy who got me higher than this
I wanted more from you and you were smoking then
I didn’t think you
anything but cool
the first guy who got me high

“I wonder if it’s the time of night” by Julia on her couch

Sunday December 9, 2018 7:15pm
5 minutes
Tulips for Barbara
Ann E. Michael

There’s this feeling in the air that something’s wrong with me. On the inside, there used to be more of a rumble. Now things are quiet and I’m not sure if they’re trying to be or if they’ve moved on from there. Empty core place? Void where instinct used to live?
Maybe it’s the time of night. The way the light hits the room. The way the absence of sound weighs heavy. I caught myself in the mirror during a deep furrow. It looked like it could have been there forever. The absence of inner voice feels like eyebrows meeting in the middle of my face under someone else’s circumstance. There’s a crunching. A knot.

“I am not a waitress” by Julia on her couch

Saturday December 8, 2018
11:38pm
5 minutes
A Common Trap
Caitlin Thomson

I am not a waitress. I have not clocked in to a serving shift at a restaurant since 2015. The last place I worked was scheduling employees unfairly and when I met with the management team to discuss the issue, no one would step up. I knew I was leaving soon. Moving across the country at the end of the summer to start a new life doing anything but that. Staying up late cleaning dishware while other people enjoy their meals was not something I could do forever. I couldn’t keep coming home at 3 in the morning and pushing my art to the side. I couldn’t keep biking home after doing cocaine all night with strangers. I couldn’t keep hearing “Are you an actor? You must be an actor!”

“the director of the play” by Julia on her couch

Friday December 7, 2018
10:12pm
5 minutes
Taking Your Child to Work, When Your Job is Making Theatre in The New York Times
Michael Paulson

He looks like Rob Lowe and I want him to choose me. The way a director is supposed to choose a young actress to be his muse. I want him to choose me because he looks like Rob Lowe and his passion for theatre makes me wet just thinking about it. He could be my biggest achievement but even if I could have him I wouldn’t tell anyone. I’d keep him all to myself. And during rehearsal I’d be professional with him but tease Andy in the green room. Heating both stones. As soon as everyone goes home, we’d be going at it in the wings, breathing hot air into each other’s ears and necks. Then he’d take me home and prepare monologues for me to read to him. I’d perform for him in the living room while he sips on bourbon and looks blissfully intoxicated by the rawness of my delivery. The heartbreakingly honest portrayal.
When I wake up he’d already be gone.

“No one cares about your cheat day.” By Julia at L’s table

Thursday December 6, 2018
5:35pm
5 minutes
From a tweet

Nanna is recovering from her drinking problem. The first time dad found out was when he caught her swigging eggnog from the carton. Chasing it with a bottle of rum. “Just getting into the Christmas spirit” she said. Dad said she had been drinking for years and nobody ever knew how bad it was. She didn’t act like a drunk. But her liver couldn’t lie. She was in the hospital and everything was supposed to change. Her diet, her salt intake. Turns out she had diabetes too. She couldn’t live the way she was living if she wanted to live at all. She didn’t know how to stop at first. Said she would drink on Sundays if the lord asked her to. Said what kind of celebration is it if the blood of Christ goes untouched the whole day?

“your life depends upon lying close” by Julia in her kitchen

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
7:56pm
5 minutes
Zero Meridian
Marie Silkeberg

The morning is the time you roll into me and whisper sweet affirmations in my ear. They’re so sweet it’s the only thing keeping me from slapping you for waking me up before my alarm. And yet I love it. I love those little groans or little sighs. The hot air on my neck. The warmth from your skin. The perfect placement of our knees.
I do not whisper affirmations to you but I’m busy remembering my dreams. Poems I wrote in my sleep or lines that snuck up on me in the quiet. I am hoping they are part of me by now but by now you are part of me. I think I’ve learned that before.
We don’t have to prove our love in these moments. The bed is love and we are love and the heat is love. I am convinced that in the oven we share, baking cookies of history and comfort and light (using terrible metaphors for what it is we’re doing), nothing more needs to happen.

“your life depends upon lying close” by Sasha at JJ Bean on campus

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
12:24pm at JJ Bean
5 minutes
Zero Meridian
Marie Silkeberg

When you come home for seventy two hours or so we can’t keep our hands off each other. So much kissing and fucking and being on each other’s skin and bones and lips and feet. When you come home you look different than when you left. Maybe it’s the stories you’ve been telling, maybe they’ve changed your face shape. Maybe it’s the person you’re becoming. Maybe you’re different on the inside and now it’s on the outside. When you come home after the initial giddiness wears off we usually fight a bit. Getting re-used to the things that annoy us. Remembering and looking to the future and wondering and doubt.

“The girl looking like Catherine Deneuve” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday December 4, 2018
9:33pm
5 minutes
Fall Is the Last Season of the Year
Nasim Marashi

I don’t want to say she had a pouty mouth but I guess that’s what she had.
Made it look like she was always trying to seduce her Cheetos.
Somebody in London once said that she was so beautiful some man
harassed her at the grocery store and she had to stop shopping alone.
All because of her face. I know a woman that beautiful and she once told
me that she never wanted that kind of attention. She never asked for it.
So the woman in London–even her friends talk about her perfect
face when she’s not around. They forget what else she’s good at, or which
jokes she’s told. They all wish they could be her. And she’s there wishing
she didn’t have to be. But no one would understand if she threw back a drink
one night and told everyone that she was tired of being beautiful. They would
all pause dramatically and stare at her, drinks in mid lift, until she broke out into
hysterical laughter. She’d see that she wasn’t getting through and remember
that beauty is not the right kind of sadness to have.

“The girl looking like Catherine Deneuve” by Sasha at the office

Tuesday December 4, 2018
12:35pm
5 minutes
Fall Is the Last Season of the Year
Nasim Marashi

It’s all about how you position yourself
How you make yourself be
I mean okay some of it is how you’re born
Your genes or God or whatever decides
Some of it is that

But you do have some choice in the matter
Like if you’re going to take care of yourself
and wear clothes that flatter you
and get a good haircut for your face shape
and everything

I used to think that I was one of the ugly ones
and then I turned into one of the pretty ones
and now I’m somewhere in the middle
now that I’m not flirting with everything in sight

I remember Mama saying that at a certain age
you become invisible and how strange that is
after being so visible for so long after being
ogled and eyed and cat-called
to suddenly disappear

“who is already a married woman.” By Julia on the 41

Monday, December 3, 2018
7:50pm
5 minutes
Good Fate
Virginia Suk-yin Ng

I thought I would be married by 24. Like my mother. She was a married woman in her early twenties and 6 years later, me. I was there too. I think it was different back then. We all do, I’m pretty sure. I don’t know if my mother thinks I should be married by now or if my dad has an opinion about it. A few aunts have made the mention but outside of that nobody seems to care about me one way or the other.
Some people have been divorced twice by my age. Just saying. I don’t know, I never got a toaster for any of my commitments. Not a good luck on your career shift! Or a wow you’ve been writing for a long time, here’s a nice pack of pens!
Where was the congratulations card when I celebrated my 11th year of not shaving a single hair off my body.

“who is already a married woman.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday, December 3, 2018
7:14am
5 minutes
Good Fate
Virginia Suk-yin Ng

“You’re married. You’re a married person. You’re a wed woman! You have a husband…” Melanie says, french braiding Sadie’s hair.

Sadie wiggles and writhes, “Mama, you’re pulling!”

“Oh, hush, my angel…” She rolls her eyes at me.

Yesterday was a beautiful overwhelming mess and Todd was perfect in his blue suit. I’m so glad I chose to wear red. “You look like a flamenco dancer!” Sadie had said.

Melanie finishes the braids and kisses the top of her daughter’s head. Since turning five, Sadie has exploded personality and spunk. “She reminds me of you,” Mel says.

“a conversation unfolds” by Julia on the 4

Sunday, December 2, 2018
4:34pm
5 minutes
Conversation Across Languages
Derick Mattern

We’re talking a lot
It’s good
I’m grateful
You’re sad
The space between us
is nothing and
everything
We have always
operated under
extreme circumstance
Big or invisible
Madness or dark
You’ve asked the
hard questions
and I wonder if
I have lied in answering
I promised you I’d
be honest but nothing
is everything and
it can get a little
confusing
The conversation
is ongoing and some
days the words do
all the talking and
some days the belly-
The snail inside the
belly unwinding and
folding back in on
itself

“a conversation unfolds” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday, December 2, 2018
7:32am
5 minutes
Conversation Across Languages
Derick Mattern

When I call
the conversation between us
unfolds open
reaches break
lily-of-the-valley
Rose-of-Sharon

Oh the grief is heavy
on my tongue
stretching down
to my throat
to my belly
to my feet

Oh this grief meets
the very core and
I hold you over long distance
airways over the Prairies
I hold you like you did me
when most of what I was
was daughter

“To cling to water?” By Julia at M’s table

Saturday, December 1, 2018
9:17pm
5 minutes
Is It Possible to Love a Ghost?
Erin Kang

Had to get my
ass down to the
water yesterday
I took you with
me and didn’t
have to ask
where we were
Country wide
You knew
You always do
And that is the
beacon above
it all and under
I had been
hearing people
talk about the
healing properties
of the ocean
but you have to
bring yourself
to the waves
You have to
Face the ripples
and reflection
Be ready to
find yourself
echoing

In my last city
I did not have
the option
in my backyard
the way I do here
I could have
swallowed all the
right pills and
travelled to the
island once every
Three hundred
and sixty-five
days

“To cling to water?” By Sasha at her desk

Saturday, December 1, 2018
9:10pm
5 minutes
Is It Possible to Love a Ghost?
Erin Kang

When I think about leaving
I think about leaving the ocean
This
Body
of water that has grown me up
and out and in

I make you promise that we’ll
go to the lake often
and to the house in the woods
This
Body
needs water

We are sixty percent water
and I am more now
growing life in water
my rivers more visible
pulsing and hot
readying for
the arrival

“while whittling cedar” by Sasha in her bed

Friday, November 30, 2018
3:12pm
5 minutes
Finnish Schooling
Kayla Czaga

While whittling cedar Dad tells me about when he and Grandpa used to go ice fishing and how they caught great big fish that fed them all winter long. Grandpa and Dad would gut the fish and my Dad’s fingers would almost freeze. Uncle Hank had a smoker so they’d smoke some of the fish. That’s my favourite. Grandma would put some of the fish into the deep freeze and then use it in stews and . Grandpa died before I was born, but Dad shows me photos of him, and teaches me the things that Grandpa taught him, like how to make a walking stick.

“while whittling cedar” by Julia on R’s couch

Friday, November 30, 2018
2:00pm
5 minutes
Finnish Schooling
Kayla Czaga

I know a woman who is in the woods right now teaching other women how to wield an axe, chop lumber, and defend themselves against bears and maniacal cretins from the underworld. She is a close talker- a rub your shoulder with her shoulder and make your space smaller type. She is a wine woman. She has cracked purple stained lips and her teeth to match. She doesn’t know her breath smells like the combination of stale and obvious. She is the one in the woods. She also knows about authentic movement and healing through the art of not dancing and not nothing. She was nice and I could talk to her. She explained it once after she had some wine. I think she was wearing a fanny pack made out of a rabbit’s foot or the rabbit’s foot was hanging from it? She was the kind to be wearing either. For the story’s sake I’m succumbing to hyperbole but believe me I was there. I saw her stand beside the chandelier. She was bigger than a tree.

“three boring facts about yourself” by Julia on R’s couch

Thursday, November 29, 2018
12:41pm
5 minutes
Two Truths and a Lie
Alicia Elliot

Okay number one is that I pick my nose. Nothing exciting about that, nobody cares, everyone does it, and the only people who think it’s bad are parents to toddlers who are embarrassed of everything they do. Once I said that I do it in a job interview and the whole room fell in love with me. I knew not because I did it and they do it but because I said it and had no shame.

Number two is that I sometimes watch Grey’s Anatomy even though it’s no longer good or fun, and I still cry my eyes out every time. I watch it when I need to turn off my mind completely. I don’t care about the characters when I’m not watching. I don’t tell anyone I watch it. It’s a boring thing about me. Now you know.

Number three is that I can sit in silence for a long time with my back in a weird position. Not on purpose like a life model posing for painters. Not like a Yogi who is meditating or a regular person who is meditating. Like a person who finds a position and then doesn’t move even though the spine is probably breaking. It’s just a thing I do.

“three boring facts about yourself” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday, November 29, 2018
8:17am
5 minutes
Two Truths and a Lie
Alicia Elliot

There are so many boring things about us, right? Like, we all inspect the weird ways our body hair grows. Like, we all think about our first love and if they are happy and if they remember when you kissed for hours until your face was chafed. Like, we all laugh at our farts when no one’s around. All these boring little things that add up to be a full version of a person, of all the people. Like, everyone loves carbs. Like, everyone loves love.

“It’s her first time here” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday November 28, 2018
9:58pm
5 minutes
I Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind
Marianne Apostolides

she comes in with a bit of a pulse in her scarf, a few minutes late of course, the bit of bird shit still on her boot.
The ladies spot a chicadee and point her into the right room, tossing his jacket into the stroller, checking in.
Later she tries to convince another mother that her kid’s coat was not his coat.
she is told by the instructor or care giver that her kid slapped a girl in the head. That no needs to be firm and understood

“It’s her first time here” by Sasha at work

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
2:17pm
5 minutes
I Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind
Marianne Apostolides

He calls from where the snow is
from where the gulls call or at least
that’s how I imagine it

Whenever I write like this I think
about the lectures on line breaks and rhythm
and how I wonder if I’m taking my own notes

I step into a cold classroom and coo sympathy
because that’s what he deserves and coo
support because that’s what he needs

Friendship is one of the greatest gifts
in my life and when one of these
dear hearts needs boundless love

I reach down and out and up and through
and it is such a pleasure to give

“in addition to the obvious benefit” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
9:27pm
5 minutes
Nurture
Erica Chidi Cohen

Sybil puts the letter in the mailbox. She knows that there were talks of a postal strike, but isn’t sure whatever happened with that. It will get there when it gets there. Strange time to strike, Sybil thinks, but maybe that’s the point. When everyone is sending out their holiday cards and receiving packages, that’s a moment of real impact. Her Dad was Union guy, a real political fellow, but Sybil inherited her Mom’s apathy. She isn’t proud of it, but it’s the truth and there’s no wiggling around the truth.

“in addition to the obvious benefit” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
9:20pm
5 minutes
Nurture
Erica Chidi Cohen

you wouldn’t forget it if you posted a reminder above your desk or on your fridge
maybe you need to post a reminder on the place you put reminders
no shame in needing some help
we all need each other
it’s not a secret
we are each other
(might want to write that one out in bold marker so it pops)
but the woman says she will pray for me and when I say good cause I could use it she says, you might want to try praying yourself you know
like she’s lived double my lifetime or something
I roll my eyes at how obvious it sounds
I used to pray all the time
I guess she’s not wrong
I did pray myself out of a fatal car crash once on the highway
I remember how fast I was going and how little control I had
I didn’t know how stupid I could be until that moment
jesus’ name soared out of my mouth as high as I soared in that 96 toyota

“cinnamon, cardamom and ginger” by Julia on her couch

Monday, November 26, 2018
8:44pm
5 minutes
A recipe for apple muffins

I haven’t baked anything in a long time
I’m more of an improvise, throw things together on the stove top than follow directions and use chemistry kind of person.
I do not like someone else telling me how to make something and yet I have been desperate for someone else to weigh in on my life and tell me what’s right and what I should do.
I don’t like rules and I don’t like protocol and I don’t like social courtesies. I want freedom at the cost of the Room’s comfort. Which room, any room, this room. I want to be the mess and the reward. I want to push boundaries instead of being afraid of them.
Some people call this impolite. I am very impolite. A test I took in the summer told me that. I was in the 4th percentile. 4 our of 100 people in a room would be more impolite than me. It could be a good thing. Maybe sometimes you wish you were loud and forward and rude. Maybe it could help you get a few things done.

“cinnamon, cardamom and ginger” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday, November 26, 2018
7:18am
5 minutes
A recipe for apple muffins

Baking helps me understand why some people like math. You buy good ingredients, you measure these ingredients, you preheat the oven, you stir, you blend, you incorporate, you get to the bottom of the bowl, maybe you even try to save on a few unnecessary steps or dishes, but that’s it, nothing more. The recipe is the container and it holds you. Follow it, and you’re (almost) guaranteed to have a house that smells good and something delicious. There aren’t variables in math (or, are there?!) and there are variables in baking, but not big ones.

“In case you think that all of this” by Julia on her couch

Sunday, November 25, 2018
8:40pm
5 minutes
Come Of Age
Stephen Jenkinson

In case you think that all of this is easy you are fooling yourself
Let this be hard. It is not a pebble in the shoe. It is the foot itself. It is big.
I want you to know and anyone else asking that this love is one of the best trips I’ve taken. I have seen the world through your eyes and I am grateful. And to acknowledge that is to offer a kindness, however complicated (thank you Miriam). I do not need to forget that some of my best self is here because of you.
I will always know that. I will let it build a home on my collarbone and live there as I type.

“In case you think that all of this” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday, November 25, 2018
8:30am
5 minutes
Come Of Age
Stephen Jenkinson

“This isn’t about you!” Gary shouts. I can hear him through the wall. His office is his favourite place in the world. He loves it in there so much that whenever I forward him a seat sale he writes back, “I’d rather be at home.” Our bedroom is on the other side of the wall, and because I don’t work from home didn’t imagine that I’d need an office. When we bought this house, it was perfect in every way and a space to call only my own wasn’t all that necessary. But now that Gary’s dear old Dad has finally died, and he’s sorting things our with his sister Becky, all I hear in the evenings, while I try to read in bed, is him shouting at her. Shouting that this “isn’t what Dad would’ve wanted!” Shouting “you are so narcissistic, Rebecca, I don’t know how you’ve made it thus far!” Gary isn’t usually a shouter, actually I can maybe count the times he’s yelled at me on one hand.

“Our mission is” by Julia in her bed

Saturday, November 24, 2018
11:06pm
5 minutes
Braving the Wilderness
Brene Brown

Our mission is to meet ourselves at the centre of our longing and stand with our arms open. Welcome the longing. Welcome the life that you know is for you.
Sounds great.
And it sounds like perfect bullshit.
The answer of knowing is inside us…
The impossible questions have justifications there.
Am I supposed to flit off into the Wild pulse of my heart and find the truth?
Am i the only one who needs to visit that spot? Everyone else seems to be there already, sipping from the special cup.

Our mission is to stop going on missions. Stop believing the voyage will save us. Stop thinking that one size fits all. Our spirits are tired. They don’t want to travel all that way.
Not when they’re wobbly. Not when they’ve been beaten down for being big in the first place.

“Our mission is” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday, November 24, 2018
10:14pm
5 minutes
Braving the Wilderness
Brene Brown

The stanza of your body is an edit
these weeks and I make food and listen
to music and hope for the best even
though you are the verse I want
to sing along to

I tell you that I have had to learn
about soothing myself and saving myself
and being myself in the quiet of evening
in the quiet of morning I tell you
that this is the silver lining

Swelling with pride over who
we have become to ourselves to one another
the stanza of your body is here
in the absence because you are here
in my body in my heart in my spirit
twirling smoke into future

“Whale, Seahorse, Narwhal, and Crab” by Julia on D and M’s couch

Friday November 23, 2018
11:16pm
5 minutes
A Whale of a Tail!
Illustrated by Jo Moon

I’m in the ocean now and that’s where I live
Somewhere in between the deep and the light
Been working on my swimming so I’m finally better
I’m better

What’s her name used to say I swam like a fish but she was being nice and I think she said that about everyone
I couldn’t keep my head above water
I wept on the diving board while everyone inside the pool tried to cheer me on
I was always afraid of doing what other people were doing easily
I didn’t understand how to trust a thing bigger than me
I failed Yellow
The way some people fail their driver’s test
But when I passed it the next year I skipped ahead into Maroon
That made me feel like a real fish
What’s her name wrote it on my card again

“Whale, Seahorse, Narwhal, and Crab” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday November 23, 2018
11:20pm
5 minutes
A Whale of a Tail!
Illustrated by Jo Moon

I’m going to shake the dreams from my ears and watch
as they fall out into the bathtub with a PLOP.
I’m going to greet the Whale with a bow and a song as
she knows so much more than I ever will.
I’m going to ride the Seahorse across the purple prairies
and listen to his breath through his body through my legs.
I’m going to dance up to the treetops and find a branch to swing from
where all the babies and children can see me and laugh and laugh.
I’m going to tell the Narwhal that I’m sorry for all the times
I’ve forgotten she was sleeping and turned on the twinkle lights.
I’m going to skate across the Milky Way and settle in a galaxy
beyond here where there is a field big enough for my hope.
I’m going to tell the Crab that it’s safe to come out even though
it doesn’t always feel like it is.

“white supremacy is disseminated” by Sasha at her coffee table

Thursday November 22, 2018
9:02pm
5 minutes
White Fragility
Robin DiAngelo

I want to know what to say
in the face of your ignorance
in the face of your pain
sat across from me at my
kitchen table.

I want to be able to make space
for your heartache and misinformation
but really I’m just haunted
by the way you see it
by your blindness to your privilege.

The conversation plays over and over
in my mind and I’m checking myself
my disconnections my rearview mirror
I’m wondering if I let myself down.

It’s not about being politically correct
It’s not about denying this kind of conversation
It’s about leaning in
Which I did not do because I was scared.

White supremacy
the tentacles reaching
backwards and forwards in time
“That’s not what this is about”
But it is yes oh yes.

“white supremacy is disseminated” by Julia on the 9

Thursday November 22, 2018
6:56pm
5 minutes
White Fragility
Robin DiAngelo

In the years before this one
Tiny beliefs were planted in the
fertile pockets of our earth
And twigged things sprouted forth
bearing the ugliest fruit imaginable
Somehow the farmers convinced
the people to eat the ugly fruit
They might have used something violent like the deepest kind of lie
They might have thrown god somewhere in there to be safe
And inside every body that ate the wrong fruit grew a hole that hurt so much it needed to be filled
The people with bellyaches were desperate to put something in the place of the void
They tried eating whatever they could to stop the empty
The limbs of small children at first
But that wouldn’t do the trick
And then someone heard from someone’s uncle that self-hate takes up a lot of space…

“Our “new” or higher brain” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday November 21, 2018
10:56pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

Foggy head foggy heart foggy mouth tastes like floss and tea and tears and beeswax. At home I go through boxes of tissue and swaddle myself in flannel. At home it all flows and that’s good. It’s good when it moves, when it sways, what it somersaults, when it liquifies. Gemini Moon, grant me the strength, give me the power, show me the way. Folding my tongue over in the mouth so that all the feelings stay corked, stay in, where is it appropriate to grieve and celebrate and wail and dance? Turn the music louder til then, turn the heat up, heal in the harmony and the heat. Carve an apple into a heart.

“Our “new” or higher brain” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday November 21, 2018
2:25pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

Take me out to dinner
I say this to me
me says this to me
take me out of this house
and into the world
Order something delicious!
I say this to me as
if I might try to save a few
dollars like the last time
I had this conversation
Take the good out and let
the world see it so they can
see themselves the way they need to
It is not easy
It could be easy
Leave the house! Leave the house!
I say this to me when I have tricked
myself into believing that
inside will keep me from breaking
But it isn’t like that
I could lie and say I’d prefer
to stay inside where it is safe
but the truth is that is where
all the breaking happens
It is not safe indoors with all
the mirrors and all the couch
not asking me to leave it
Take yourself on a walk
I say this to myself when my body
feels like it has forgotten
how to move
Smell the fresh mountain air!
That’s why you live here!
I say this to myself when I catch
a bead of sweat pooling in the
elbow crease
This is today’s sweat in yesterday’s
sweater and this does not keep
you safe
I say this to myself so I can hear
it in the voice of someone
higher than me

“I want to do right but not right now” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday November 20, 2018
10:03pm
5 minutes
Look at Miss Ohio
Gillian Welch

There’s an idea floating in the air
one you planted maybe so I would hear it
Something about success being mere moments away
as if to say that it isn’t already here
I could always do something more
now that you’ve gotten me thinking about it
I have to ask you though,
do you think I will only be successful after
I climb to the highest rung of the ladder?
Am I not already a success?
Being thoughtful. That’s good work too.
Or perhaps the ladder is of your making.
I won’t be climbing that one, for the record.
Up is not the place I’m trying to get.
I’d rather go in. Go deep. Go bravely.
It could be that you have my best interest
at heart and that you see my potential
but I do not wish to be known for what I could be
if the circumstances allow
I want to be known for the love I am showing myself today
now
The one I keep risking in a world where they tell you
it’s for the best but when you do it they try to
take a rung out from under you
as if you were climbing up up up just like them
I know I have fallen
But I have learned more on the way back up
than I ever thought I would

“Wring or twist” by Julia on her couch

Monday November 19, 2018
8:02pm
5 minutes
from a blanket tag

I see you in photos now and you look happy. Not sure if we are both acting like things never happened between us. Unresolved things. I might be waiting for an apology that isn’t coming. I think you are too. It’s enough to wring me weak in the gut, whispy like a dandelion after losing a fight with the wind. Twisted into a knot attached to thin air. I do not believe I am wrong. Which is to say that you are not right. I’m not used to this imbalance but here we are, holding our ground in case someone tries to build a fence on it. Or maybe we did that. I don’t know why we would when the open field was clearly a better place for both of us to meet.

“Wring or twist” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore

Monday November 19, 2018
10:32am
5 minutes
from a blanket tag

For L.

Three swollen bellies
Three sisters standing
shoulder to shoulder
Babies arriving in
March, April and May

A father
A father to one of them
married to the other two’s mother
Quakes in his body
Fights in his body
Surrender in his body
His spirit soaring
on the tails of grace notes
Crafting harmonies
with all he has
These babies whispering
from beyond
Please stay

Someone will write
this story one day
People will say
“There’s no way”
“Really?”
“How can that be?”
Maybe I will
I will write this
story my story
our story
Maybe I am
right now maybe
that’s what I’m doing
right here

Trying to make sense
of this impossible timing
of this wrecking ball
swinging between
joy and sorrow
excitement and grief

Pregnant with possibility
Dying into possibility

“Party in the house” by Sasha on the couch at Bowmore

Sunday November 18, 2018
9:43am
5 minutes
Overheard at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

When Pawpaw gets home Gramma makes a big party and we even get to have pop! Sprite and Pepsi. Clyde mixes them together and then laughs and some comes out his nose. I try not to pee when I laugh at him with that brown stuff coming out, but I think I do a little bit, but not enough that anyone would know. Pawpaw hasn’t been home in TWENTY SIX years, since right before Daddy was born. Before Daddy went to prison he would take me to visit Pawpaw and we’d even sometimes get touch, like once or twice that really happened.

“Party in the house” by Julia on her couch

Sunday November 18, 2018
8:41am
5 minutes
Overheard at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

I told them when you were gone I smoked your weed. This time when you are gone I’ll clean the house and have a personal party. I’ll try on all my clothes and take a photo of the good outfits. If my hair looks right. I told them when you were gone I fell asleep on the couch. That will probably happen again. No chicken wings this time since you threw away our grill. I believed you when you said it didn’t work anymore but I wished I had tried it out myself.
I told them I did not cry and I did not cry over you. I will cry this time over me and that is the beauty of you being gone. The writing songs as soon as I wake up, the sleeping on your side of the bed. The silence will be all mine. I told them when you were gone I ate ice cream and that will probably happen again too. And I’ll miss you. And I’ll wish you were coming home soon. And I’ll wish you had never left. And I’ll watch a bad movie that I wouldn’t want you to know about.

“Help yourself to some food” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore

Saturday November 17, 2018
5:48pm
5 minutes
From a text

I make food for you because it’s all I can do. I make fish, broccoli, mashed sweet potato. I add extra butter because you need the calories. Mom isn’t sure if you’ll be able to eat it, if you’ll like it, but it’s all I can do so I do it, and I don’t mind if you don’t like it, or can’t stomach it. Tomorrow I’ll roast a chicken and make stew, finely dicing carrots, onions, celery, potato, zucchini. No garlic. Only salt and pepper and love. I make food for you because it’s all I can do, but it’s better. It’s better being able to do this simple thing, this vital simple thing now that I’m here.

“Help yourself to some food” by Julia at the studio

Saturday November 17, 2018
11:10am
5 minutes
From a text

I’ve got an Italian family waiting for me at the table and they’re excited to see me. My mother will make her new favourite thing: date walnut cookies. Some will have chocolate chunks. Some will be overcooked and she will be the only one to notice. Most will fly off the table before I get there. I have to hurry, one month until we’re all laughing. Until my brother tells the same story he’s told for years. Until my sister makes a very good family photo on her fancy camera. There will be clam sauce because I am coming home and my mom knows it’s my favourite. There will be crab legs and the best mushrooms on this side of the world. My father will say, this smells like a happy home. And it will be. We have a lot to talk about. A lot of food to praise. I’m going to stop eating now to prepare. Italian families don’t trust a person who refuses food. They won’t believe you if you say you’re full anyway.

“the high priestess of soul” by Sasha in her old bedroom at Bowmore

Friday November 16, 2018
11:03pm
5 minutes
Universal Soldiers
Andrea Warner

My mother is beautiful
in the thickness of grief
My mother
bless her ravaged heart
her oatmeal-making
her devotion

People don’t talk
about how it smells
(salty wet acidic)
about how it looks
(pale shrunken)
about how it feels in the bones
(heavy empty ragged)

I awaken with clenched teeth
and a prayer between them
Glory Bound
sweat on my forehead
butterfly kicks
in my womb

“the high priestess of soul” by Julia at her desk

Friday November 16, 2018
12:53pm
5 minutes
Universal Soldiers
Andrea Warner

Thank god she was playing that night on the stereo. I needed someone familiar who wasn’t going to steal the room any more than it had been stolen. I feel fine saying that now. I let it happen. She played and I cried and I closed my eyes and saw beautiful pulsing humans dancing in the trunk of a timeless tree. They swayed. I inhaled them. I asked if it was her voice that was hitting that chord in me or if it was an instrument reaching a note I couldn’t understand. Nobody knew what I meant but I knew it was her. She’s the one who invented that sound. That saving sound. I thought if I had been in a room without its parts removed it would have been obvious to everyone. I wondered if I could close my eyes and stay there all night until I fell asleep. Nobody thought I would be able to do that either.

“atmosphere is occasionally interrupted” by Julia on her couch

Thursday November 15, 2018
11:38pm
5 minutes
Old Patterns Fresh Beauty
Andrea Marván

I told you I was going to be writing in the bed beside you and you won’t stop talking to me and biting my shirt.
I don’t respond because I am writing about you but you don’t seem to think that is a good excuse to lay still.
After a shower I have songs in my head waiting to be recorded. You seem to always have one of your own that you need me to hear. It interrupts my ideas and I can hate you in those minutes. I know you don’t know that I am making something over here but I am making something over here. Should I be wearing a sign when it is this constant? Don’t you know by now the water brings me to my knees and opens up my skin?
Sometimes you interrupt the room and I am looking at you. Maybe that is the whole point: a person, living, alive, needing to be seen by the other alive. I don’t think you mean to get in the way. I think you need to. I think the same about me.

“atmosphere is occasionally interrupted” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday November 15, 2018
10:53pm
5 minutes
Old Patterns Fresh Beauty
Andrea Marván

Muffins on the counter, cooling. Apple and oatmeal, cinnamon. You made them to soothe yourself. It’s the measuring and the stirring the soothes, not the eating. Not these days. You’ll probably give them away, freeze a few for when your nephew is in town. He likes “muvvins”. The house smells like comfort and sweetness, too. When your phone rings the atmosphere is interrupted. You don’t want to answer. You don’t want your voice to crack. “Don’t hide,” you whisper, and you go to the ringing.

“his birthplace has now lost its charm” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday November 14, 2018
8:40am
5 minutes
Master of the Masterpiece
Anya Georgijevic

He remembers home as bigger than it is. Maybe that’s because he has something to compare it to now. He remembers walking down Princess St. and knowing almost everyone he passed. How they’d greet one another. Mrs. Blake, his kindergarten teacher, pushing her grandson in a stroller. Dan Savant, star athlete turned used car salesman, after he dislocated his shoulder one too many times.

“Hi, Davey, how are you?”

“Good to see you, Davey! Lookin’ good!”

Now that he’s back, packing up Mama’s house, putting everything in piles (recycle, donate, trash, keep), he feels it’s lost it’s charm. Home changes, it’s not static. Home is something else.

“his birthplace has now lost its charm” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday November 14, 2018
7:01am
5 minutes
Master of the Masterpiece
Anya Georgijevic

I am planning my trip to Italy
It is 2014. I will go stay with my Nonna and my Zia and my cugini in my mother’s town. Lozzola, land of parmeggiano, prosciutto, the famous Nocciole for the best tasting spring water you’ve ever blessed your throat with.
I ask my father if I should go to Calabria. San Nicola where he’s from. He says nobody lives there anymore. Everyone moved to Canada or to heaven and there’s no one left at the lemon tree. I want to see where he lived for the first 7 years of his life. Where he learned to run, eat crusty pane in warm cocoa milk.
He tells me there would be no point now. No one is there.

“a sense of optimism and openness” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday November 13, 2018
6:51pm
5 minutes
A Decade’s Difference
Kaija Pepper

Whenever we talk I am reminded that I am a lucky heart. No Silver linings, we don’t mind the dark clouds. You need them to have the ones you want anyway. And replace clouds with the word of your choice. Thoughts. Moments. Times.
You can make the hurt feel like a flower-every year it dies and grows back again and the pretty doesn’t stay gone. Remember. And I will remember this about you. How often your socks strike up a poem in me. The way you do not hold a grudge. I think all the breathing is curing things. I think all the time spent with our legs hugging is healing.

“a sense of optimism and openness” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 13, 2018
7:48am
5 minutes
A Decade’s Difference
Kaija Pepper

In the fifth floor office staff room
A bar fridge a basket of bananas and clementines
A sign stuck above the sink that reads
Your habits are a reflection of you
Marion forgets to wash her coffee cup
and leaves it in the sink where
Jake finds it and traces
the outline of her lips
with his index finger

At the holiday party last year
Jake told Marion that he loved her
she was wearing a royal blue dress
and holding a Manhattan Jake was wasted
and wasn’t and isn’t
sure if she was too

“I’m sorry I’m sorry” she kept saying
she was still with Keith then
she was still making turkey meatballs
on Sunday and packing them
in glass tupperware containers
for them both for lunch
Keith
Jake thinks
What a douchebag name

“A fresh perspective.” by Julia at her desk

Monday November 12, 2018
10:12pm
5 minutes
Montecristo Magazine

I haven’t been wondering about the same
Old things
Wondering about why like I used to now I’m more of a How kind of gal
Wondering about woman about man about god and about nothing
Some silences are radioactive
Some space between has medicine
The same old things kept me same young
And we are all so new on this earth but we act like we’re mountains
And Esme says she can’t sit still
And me either since we’re not stones or hard places
We’re soft and supple
Able to
Change
And if we do we might find more light
And if we are we might save more lives
I wondered about saving lives a long time ago
I’d ask god to keep my friends’ souls for me while I tried to convert them down by the lava rocks at recess

“A fresh perspective.” by Sasha at Pallet Coffee Roasters

Monday November 12, 2018
12:46pm at Pallet Coffee Roasters
5 minutes
Montecristo Magazine

Being by the water gives him a fresh perspective, and he learns this young, when he is still a boy. As a young man, he surfed Great Lakes and oceans, and paddled on rivers. Being by the water helps him to forget his heartaches, his growing pains, his regrets. Now that he’s grown, now that Maria has called off the engagement, he decides to leave the city. He can work from home most days, and if he needs to go into the office, it’s a seventy five minute drive. He loves to a cabin overlooking Lake Superior. He has to put in new floors and get rid of a mice infestation, but other than that it’s perfect.

“The decision to buy” by Julia at F’s table

Sunday November 11, 2018
8:40pm
5 minutes
Full Throttle
Stephanie Wallcraft

New laptop new phone
New rent new shirt
New supplies
New paper
New paint
New underwear
New sunscreen
New broom
New scrubby brushes
New tooth brushes
New health plan
New flight new taxi ride
New laptop new phone
New soap new gloves
New garlic new bananas
New frames new photos
New coffee new cups
New hot new dog
New life new live
New book new mind
New watch new time
New hero new save
New lie new crave
New this new that
New face new fat
New

“the decision to buy” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday November 11, 2018
6:23pm
5 minutes
Full Throttle
Stephanie Wallcraft

I give myself one big splurge a week. It can be a steak from Whole Foods or that fancy butcher downtown (I would never tell anyone this, but sometimes totalling $27. $27!) Or, a fancy overpriced sandwich from a fancy overpriced cafe, but come on! They serve their sandwiches on silver plates that look like your grandmother might’ve eaten off of them and yet somehow they miraculously sparkle! It’s probably someone’s job to shine those plates. Good grief. In winter I splurge on beverages – tumeric vanilla lattes and such that come to $7. $7! That’s why I only give myself a splurge a week. Once I’ve had my splurge, I make a note in my calendar exactly one week from that date. That’s when I’m allowed my next one.

“10-year anniversary” by Julia at her desk

Saturday November 10, 2018
7:54pm
5 minutes
Into the Raven’s Nest
Curranne Labercane

This is the third time I’ve tried to say what’s real.
Stop, start, think about the deadlines and the
people who don’t know me but will get the chance to see.
Isn’t that stupid of me? Here, find a vein, stick a fork in it.
Some words live lower than the other ones. I don’t know what’s
in there and what wants to come out. What wants to stay low.
I have to say I’ve been quiet but I don’t hear anything.

I have to say I’ve been running and I haven’t moved.
I don’t know what is happening inside me. Time to celebrate
the 10th year of me not fully feeling anything at all.
When I told my dad I went through long phases where I never
felt hungry and then ones where I never felt full, he told me
it would pass. But it hasn’t passed so is this something
I need to save up to talk to a therapist about?
Is there some kind of emotional x-ray I can hook myself up to?

“In front of a full crowd” by Julia on the 9

Friday November 9, 2018
11:10pm
5 minutes
No Place Like Home
Monika Markovinovic

If I am being honest with myself I don’t need to see anyone for a long time. I wonder why that is, if maybe I’ve been seeing enough of something else that makes the solitude taste so good.
I wonder too if maybe it’s because I don’t have anything to say since the lie of saying a thing sometimes makes doing a thing feel unnecessary. I probably need to read more. I don’t know enough big words. Can’t leave the house and see somebody and use too small of a word.
That might break the system of expectation. That might really teach me something.
I don’t need a full room or anything, maybe because these days that kind of room scares me. Might send me up to the front of it with not just the wrong words but the wrong feelings.
It could have something to do with not knowing if thirst is that tickle in the throat or the one just below it. It could be about listening.

“10-year anniversary” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday November 10, 2018
8:34am
5 minutes
Into the Raven’s Nest
Curranne Labercane

I can still hear my heart beating in my ears and the rush of blood to my scalp. He pulled his chair back and came around in front of his desk.

“What do you think your punishment should be for this bad behaviour, Miss Bennett?” He’s so close to me I can smell his musky aftershave.

“Um… I don’t know?” I’m fifteen. I have never been sent out of the classroom, let alone in a principle’s office.

He leans down close to my face. The heart beat in my ears. Rush of blood. It feels like every hair on my body is standing straight up.

I’d heard rumours about him. This kind of thing.

“In front of a full crowd” by Sasha at her desk

Friday November 9, 2018
6:31am
5 minutes
No Place Like Home
Monika Markovinovic

I keep having that dream. You know the one. I’m standing in front of an audience, on a stage, like the kind in a school auditorium. Maybe it’s a gym. Yes… when I look across, there’s a basketball net, and banners. It’s a gym. There’s some sort of concert taking place, and everyone has an instrument but me. Trombones, penny whistles, violins, cellos… and I’m just standing there, arms swinging at my side. I’m just – … waiting. It’s as though everyone’s waiting for me, though, like I’m supposed to do something. Am I supposed to – …?

“for young students who can’t sit still” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday November 8, 2018
6:11pm
5 minutes
From the Beginning
Chelsey Burnside

Mickey makes the sign of the cross and rolls his eyes back into his head so that only the whites are showing. Sister Helen waddles to the front of the class and we all try not to laugh. We don’t want to get our knuckles smacked with her big protractor. She whips her head around and Mickey is still going, crossing himself faster and faster, tongue hanging out of his mouth. No one moves. Sister Helen narrows her eyes.

“Mr. Fitzgerald, do you need to visit the nurse?” Her voice could cut ice.

“No, ma’am…” Mickey says, quietly.

“WHAT DID YOU SAY?!”

“No, Sister Helen.”

“for young students who can’t sit still” by Julia at her desk

Thursday November 8, 2018
11:32am
5 minutes
From the Beginning
Chelsey Burnside

I have a couple cures up my sleeve
for those days with the knocking knees
Where you can’t sit still even if you please
cause the mind is a buzz with a billion bees
I know what to do when you can’t cut through
the noise that’s been making you feel annoyed
so listen up here it’s the answer it’s the key
for those bumping hearts that are bursting free
Keep moving then if the calm won’t stay
it’s the right time to run if your legs shaped that way
there’s a river to be imitated
if your hunger got you far from sated
you can roll in and out
till your bones get tired and eventually
your nerves will expire
so run like the wind and kiss like the moon
the silence will be there when you’re
ready to tune in your inner ear to the inner light
and until then just keep growing your bright.

“The biggest personality among this trio” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday November 7, 2018
9:09pm
5 minutes
High Living
Jacqueline Ranit

I have to write about something positive. It’s been a long time and maybe some of you are noticing. Or not. Maybe none of you are noticing because none of you are reading these. You used to but maybe life got in the way which is to say got in the way of me. For you all it means is that you have one. A life. And that’s wonderful for you. I think everyone deserves that. I wonder if you’re out with your new family now that you’re not reading these. I wonder if you’ve ever thought to check in and see how I am doing. I might have been very honest in these and could have been giving you the real keys to my under belly but you might be busy is all. You might have other things to do, going to fancy picnics, ordering pizza on a Wednesday. Well in case you’re reading this, things are going really really good for me. They couldn’t be better.

“The biggest personality among this trio” by Sasha at her counter

Wednesday November 7, 2018
6:52pm
5 minutes
High Living
Jacqueline Ranit

Becca has the biggest personality of the three of us, I would say. Then comes Miranda and then comes me. I’m the quiet one. I’m not a wallflower, I mean I’ve french kissed a few people and puffed on a couple of joints even, I’m not, like, a nerd or anything. We’re semis. Not popular and not not popular. Semi popular. People in the caf don’t totally ignore us and if Miranda gets a new mini-backpack or something then someone might say something, might give her a compliment and then give Becca a compliment on her gold hoops and then maybe give me a compliment on my haircut. I didn’t get a haircut exactly, but I’ve stopped straightening my hair which means that it does look shorter.

“art remains a potent weapon” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday November 6, 2018
10:05pm
5 minutes
When The Beat Takes Over
Robert Collins

maybe I said it in my sleep-
walked to a notebook with decision-bowed deep to an excellent sentence.
maybe I didn’t hide the tears when you told me that I was brave.
you knew it meant something. not a guy scoring points with just anyone by doing rollups. you had to have been listening then. to the language my eyebrows speak. to the worry walking from room to room sort of moving things to the right.
and part of me still held your motive under surveillence. even asked point blank if you meant something by it and what did you mean.

“art remains a potent weapon” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday November 6, 2018
8:04am
5 minutes
When The Beat Takes Over
Robert Collins

I wonder if I kept writing songs if I’d be somewhere else now if I learned to drive if I’d be somewhere else now if I’d chosen to move to Montreal and learn French and eat cheese if I’d be a different version of the me I am now

This is normal right the early morning thought train
barrelling ha ha
barrelling
towards
how did I get here
and am I
where I’m
supposed to be

Geographically the answer is
yes
at least for the
time being

I wonder if I signed with that agent I wonder if I’d gotten that grant I wonder if I’d been less shy and more of a hustler if I’d sucked that guy off or at least given him a kiss I wonder if I’d been less concerned with winning and losing and getting there and

I just wonder

but it’s morning and the time’s almost up on the timer and I’m going to kiss the man I love goodbye and brush my teeth and go to the job I love and

I wonder

“There is much discussion about the colour” by Sasha in the bath

Monday November 5, 2018
10:06pm
5 minutes
Blushing
Daenna Van Mulligen

River playing in the living room and I’m here
now okay this is the now and then there’s skating
on the dreams of when we wore pink snow suits
and swam in blue blue water turning us into
little women turning us into mermaids
killed and kissed and freedom and water

She’s so busy now being who she needs to be
that sometimes I’m not sure about any of the choices
that I’ve made oh those seven thousand miles between us
stretching into winter and forest and grouse and
oh scaling the chasm of forgetting

Let’s go back there to the place where we
would sing in the backseat of the white Nissan of the
truth and all that floral stationary telling our
secrets telling our futures reading our open
and outstretched palms

“There is much discussion about the colour” by Julia on the 4

Monday November 5, 2018
4:06pm
5 minutes
Blushing
Daenna Van Mulligen

the art show application says its prioritizing certain colours and certain lifestyles and certain lives. The word prioritizes indicates that some are valued more. in the past there may have been priorization but it was not in the mandatory mandate. the trouble is no one is allowed to argue it. this is not a blind submission although i’m not sure the mandate would like the usage of that word. unless that is what they are priortizing. when I priortize my work I tend to doll out levels of importance to them. I say to my work, “you are the least important and therefore you are not important. some of you are not worth anything at all.”

“the woman’s anonymous appearance” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 4, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
Beauty Beheld
Sara Harowitz

She shivers from her shoulders down to her thighs
crossed tightly feeling a little tremble forcing its way in
He hasn’t noticed how cold the house had gotten
hot blooded, covered in thick skin built for winter
It was bad enough that her whole body was prone to shaking
but she didn’t know how to fix the heat
Chalk it up to co-dependency
She’d rather that than have you think she is just too afraid
to learn how to do it on her own
He tells her he’ll be home for dinner, remarks something about
chicken thighs
She thinks about walking into the oven chest first
but having it on would at least warm up the kitchen
When he leans in to kiss her, he misses her mouth by an almost inch

“the woman’s anonymous appearance” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday November 4, 2018
8:21am
5 minutes
Beauty Beheld
Sara Harowitz

The woman appears in what she always knew she’d be wearing in this moment, an outfit she’s thought about more than any other thing in her life, though she’s loathed to admit that, she’d never admit that.

Horowitz calls the woman into his office. She’s ready – cheek’s flushed, breath deep, hands shaking only slightly. Horowitz recently died his hair black and the woman isn’t used to it yet. It looks severe, menacing even.

“How are you, Katrina?” Horowitz doesn’t stand up when she enters, even though he should, and he knows it. He takes her in, toes to scalp. The woman bristles. This isn’t going as she’d planned.

“Thanks for meeting with me, Henry. I appreciate your time.” She sits down in one of the red leather chairs opposite his desk. He leans back.

“What’s up?” He pulls a file from the top drawer and files his left thumb nail.

“I have worked here for three and a half years. I have managed every account you’ve given me to the best of my ability, and received only glowing praise from clients. I know it. You know it.” She uncrosses her legs, feels her feet firmly planted on the floor.

“the hell days” by Sasha at Olive & Ruby

Saturday November 3, 2018
12:02pm at Olive & Ruby
5 minutes
Soil, Sun, and Soon
Daenna Van Mulligen

“Mom?” Mimi is braiding Felicity’s long red hair, the doll that Oma made for her when she was just a baby.

“Mmmm?” Mom is looking at her phone.

“Mom?” Mimi holds up Felicity so that Mom can see how good she is at braiding now, how much she’s been practising.

“What Mimi? I’m busy, can’t you see that?” Mom rolls her eyes, but unfortunately they don’t make it down to Felicity’s level.

“Never mind.” Mimi goes into the living room where Dad is reading the newspaper.

“Dad?”

“Mmhmm?”

“Look at Felicity’s beaaaautiful hair!” She punches the doll through the newspaper, and her father gasps.

“Monika?! Could you please come and deal with your daughter?!” Dad shouts very loud.

“the hell days” by Julia on the 99

Saturday November 3, 2018
9:52am
5 minutes
Soil, Sun, and Soon
Daenna Van Mulligen

I thought daylight savings was yesterday. I was worried I missed out on that one feeling a year you get when you realize you had an extra hour of sleep. When I woke up I still felt tired. These are the hell days. When 7am looks like 4am and there seems to be no real good reason to leave the bed. Except for all the reasons that catch up before noon. The ones you should have written down the night before. The ones you should have already internalized.
Some of this grey has seeped into my good intentions. It’s like a drop of water landing perfectly in the dry speaker of your phone. Everything sounds blurry. You want to throw the whole thing away and start over. But the hell days don’t let you start over. They make you travel to the bottom of the bottom to show you just how deep this sadness lives. They want you to look it in the face and apologize or something. For what, I’m still not sure. It wants you to see what you’re getting good at avoiding.

“never stop bringing hope to humanity” by Julia on her walk home

Friday November 2, 2018
11:27pm
5 minutes
More Than Cooking
Marla Cimini

Today my sister lights a spark in me from across the country
we act like we never left our childhood bedroom
her side painted with the hope of blue and
mine dwelling pink
we didn’t know each other until later but I think we always knew

Takes one to no one
I tell her after she has told me that so many times
I wonder how bright we can get when we trust that the light inside us is made of love
I call her on my walk somewhere hoping she’s free after school
neither of us expect to have a life-changing conversation and every time it is a life-changing conversation
her philosophy
tender hearted curiosity
She is the reason I am able to do anything for the rest of the day
The morning begins like a siren reminding me that I have bodies to bury in the backyard
She listens with the kind of patience you can only get from Barbie dolls
but she is not poking her head into somebody else’s blouse
She is the strongest thing I can lean my head against
In her company I am the most uniquely grounded me
it comes on a day perfect timing for both of us to remember that the light can be seen from far away when it is turned on
So she flips the switch on for me
And I flick the switch for her
We plan a trip to Europe in the year 2024 like it were already here.

“never stop bringing hope to humanity” by Sasha on her couch

Friday November 2, 2018
7:22am
5 minutes
More Than Cooking
Marla Cimini

Light a candle
on the alter, where you
are, where we are,
Animal forms and a few
green things and rocks
from the woods.
Pray to the highest
cosmic force, pray
to love.

It’s always
something, isn’t it?
It’s then quake of the
heart in the face
of a call to arms.
It’s the gentle calling
towards softness towards
release towards relax
towards slow.

Morning brings
something new
now, an anointment of honey
on the third eye,
ash on the lips, a mantra
of let go
let go let
go let go.

“I get a lot of praise for the work I do” by Julia on her couch

Thursday November 1, 2018
9:04pm
5 minutes
A quote by José Andrés

do you find that when you know the answer to something and you do the opposite, you tend to get pretty down? Nina tells me I’m hard on myself for what I think is taking responsibility. but she shakes her head and sucks her teeth like she caught a burn in her mouth. maybe she’s right but I don’t want to admit that.
I want to get there before anyone else can. Tell them I’m so bad and I did a bad thing so they can say well at least she’s self-aware.
in the same breath Nina tells me I’m talented and there’s a light on inside
me that she believes is love. I’m glad I heard both things that Nina had to say. I don’t want to keep myself down.

“I get a lot of praise for the work I do” by Sasha in her bed

Thursday November 1, 2018
11:40am
5 minutes
A quote by José Andrés

This morning I woke up with a pain in my side the size of your body
And now I’m carrying you along side me unable to move or breathe
I’ve never had trouble sleeping til now and now I can’t sleep past
Sunrise something about the light creeping through the cracks and
I’m ready to feel the flutters and kiss the surrender and get into
A hot shower

We talk about the power of water sitting on a couch across from
Each other and I know now more about listening and being listened to
Than I did only half a year ago mark the difference in feeling in my
Throat in my heart in my guts when I’m being really listened to