“the sum total of the courage and the integrity” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
5 minutes
10:37am
A quote by Eleanor Roosevelt

We can walk into the mouth of our lover with gratitude
and compassion or wake up on the wrong side of the bed
with a vengeance that travels in heat, and ready.
I remember this when I am late to the day after a long
night of bad decisions and I am too ashamed to greet you
in your half way done morning, specific goals set, etc.
I come out with a new tail tucked between my legs and you
stop your structure and stretch out your arms to me,
welcoming, grateful. You say how lucky you are and you
say it with skin and smile before words leave your lips.
I remember this when you are late to the day and I am
awake before you and running and weaving and juicing
and you come to me with the same openness but my first
instinct is to keep running, make you catch up, make
you feel bad. We can walk into the mouth of our lover
with gratitude and patience if we remember how important
time spent gazing at each other really is. We can choose
this in the morning, at night, and in the afternoon. You
do this and you teach me. I thank whoever is in charge
that you do not dole out grades to match the student.

“the sum total of the courage and the integrity” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
7:20am
5 minutes
A quote by Eleanor Roosevelt

Courage and integrity are the two words that I want to leave you with today. Courage – because you’ll need it. Because the world is a dark and dangerous place. Because the dark and the dangerous need courageous warriors like yourselves to bring something new, something bright, something only you can bring. Dear graduates, integrity has come to mean so much to me over the years. I believe it’s how I’ve gotten where I’ve gotten today, standing here, giving this very speech. Integrity is treating everyone you meet with respect. Not “how you want to be treated” because not everyone wants to be treated like you do. That adage doesn’t apply any longer. Integrity is the only thing that is going to make this world a better place. So go in courage! Go in integrity! Take it from me! I’m almost one hundred!

“everything is ending” by Julia at the studio

Monday June 18, 2018
1:14pm
5 minutes
A Visit from the Goon Squad
Jennifer Egan

Good timing. I was about to flip my shit.
Who do I flip my shit toward, anyway? Is there
someone out there who has the necessary skills to
deal with shit being flipped at them?
Do they specialize in flipping shit back over or something?
It’s a good thing that everything is ending.
because I am not sure how much more beginning I can take.
New life, new friends, new ideas about my eyebrows.
This shit takes time to build and see and I think what is
worse is that it does not take long to flip, just long to
decide to flip it. Flip the shit I mean, If I wasn’t being clear.
Things are ending and the new moon is like, Yo, do your new thing.
We are all new. We are all brand new babies sucking on the nipple of life
hoping there’s enough milk to keep us from crying our heads off.
That’s what the new moon says. I swear to god she is full of shit herself
but like, it’s the moon, and she may be royalty but she’s not an asshole.
She doesn’t think she’s better than us.
I like my moon to have a little bit of attitude anyway.
She’s not pretending to be better than us new babies trying to navigate
this ridiculous existence. She sees it all, so she knows how common
the scrambling around is.
And now that everything is ending I can finally take a shit
instead of piling shit on shit and getting buried in a world
of my own misguided making.
I’m still talking metaphoric shit here, cause I never really let
that whole concept go. I’m working on making some more specific shit.
That’ll be good when it all ends and has to begin again.

“everything is ending” by Sasha on her mother’s couch

Monday, June 18, 2018
10:47am
5 minutes
A Visit from the Goon Squad
Jennifer Egan

Mama cries alligator raindrop tears cuz things are changing
“Why do things always have to change?”
She cries and cries and the house fills with salt water

Papa doesn’t laugh much anymore because he’s got a belly ache
And Mama is real worried
Danny’s going to firefighting school and leaving home
“We’re empty nesters!” She wails
And the tears spill out the windows

“Vivian! You’re going to drown the whole neighbourhood!”
Says Papa and I tell ya, I think he’s right

“spilled cola, coffee, and cigarette ashes.” by Julia on her patio

Sunday June 17, 2018
8:44pm
5 minutes
The Best Lack All Conviction
Jacob Scheier

We have come out here to avoid our inside lives
the ones that get sticky on the couch
or forget to take out the recycling again
(mistakes and impulse decisions piling up on each other)
(A bitter taste from the cruel beach wind on your tongue)
The woman across the alley way is telling everyone the same story
“The government something and now he’s outta there”
Neither of us can catch it
But we watch like she is the movie keeping us silent and side by side
She knows she can be obnoxious and has repeated that too
The air is perfect
The sky is purple and pink and orange on my side and
blue and lime green and red on yours
We light up and pass the joint without words
I’ve got the ukulele and you have your guitar
It’s so nice here outside our inside lives
It feels like the sun is still kissing our shoulders
It feels like my body didn’t just give out on me an hour ago
I crave coffee now and I never used to
You love that about me and I love that you love that
Outside, looking down at the man trading his time for our bottles
the gas fumes wafting up through the patio floor
Inhaling our new air and some of the neighbours’ below

“itching for Presidency” by Julia on S, G,and E’s patio

Saturday June 16, 2018
11:03pm
5 minutes
The Politician
H.L. Mencken

Watch the sky turn from velvet to suede
The city, whatever the opposite of itching, below
It is easier than it was the last time
The last time I wasn’t myself and still they loved me
The last time I was eating scraps of pizza and noodles and
the one most lie me told her aunt that I ate A LOT of food
I didn’t mean to be so hungry
I was worried about dying and leaving them dead
I am worried about their parents and I wonder where they are

The waxing crescent moon is keeping score tonight
Making sure I don’t rely on all my usual charms
The city can look so beautiful when the light hits it right
I only eat the watermelon cut into slices
I only take a blueberry yogurt and a chicken finger
I am the boss and they know it but they do not care
And I do not make them care
I make them feel important
I tell them they are

“itching for Presidency” by Sasha in her bed

Saturday June 16, 2018
3:02pm
5 minutes
The Politician
H.L. Mencken

I’ve got nothing to say about presidency or anything right now. I feel like death and I don’t want to be writing and the screen hurts my eyes and I wish I could dictate or something but I don’t know how to do that. Shit. I can’t believe that there’s this now, right before leaving, right before flying, again. Being sick a flying is nasty. I hate it. I hate that I had to do it in the winter and I hate that I have to do it again. I’ve got nothing to say about a presidency besides I can’t bear to read the news.

“My mother, who lost her teeth” by Julia on A and W’s couch

Friday June 15, 2018
9:29pm
5 minutes
What We Lost
Brenda Peynado

I’m praying to anyone who will listen but also to anyone who has the follow through. Not sure if god gets how deeply uncomfortable it is to have a uterus, so I’d rather talk to someone else. I catch myself calling out for my Nonna. She knew how to live with discomfort. With pain. With problems. She was a freaking magician. A soldier. A person with no teeth and the strongest gums you’ve ever seen. Flapping words around her mouth like weapons. Like violin lessons. She kept her dentures in a yellow cup over night. She once moved her entire living room around with a broken arm because “it had to get done.” And no it did not have to get done. Nothing did. Everyone told her to sit down and rest for once. I’m calling on her now because she didn’t have an off switch. She’s probably making god’s bed while god is still laying in it. She did not let anything stop her. Not even a little bit.

“My mother, who lost her teeth” by Sasha in her bed

Friday June 15, 2018
5:20pm
5 minutes
What We Lost
Brenda Peynado

My mother lost her teeth when she was forty. She woke up one morning and they were on her pillow. All of them. Even her molars.

When she went to the dentist Dr. Hendricks said that she’d never seen anything like it.

“Perhaps it’s hormonal, Mary. Have you checked your hormones?”

“My hormones are fine, thanks.” My mother said.

I know becuase I was there. Well, almost. I was in the waiting room. See, my mother’s teeth fell out the same month I got mono. She dragged me around to all her appointments and I read comic books in the waiting rooms.

“What’s up with you, Monika?” Dr. Burns, our family doctor said.

“I have mono, remember?” He’d diagnosed me three weeeks before.

“Of course, of course, my mistake. I see a lot of young people, Monika, and it can be hard to keep everyone straight.”

My mother rolled her eyes as though there was no reason to be discussing anything other than her gummy mouth. Or maybe she was also irritated that Dr. Burns, who delivered both me and my brother, had forgotten about my mono. Sometimes it’s hard to tell with her.

“Rule # 17: Act a little stupid.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday June 14, 2018
11:32pm
5 minutes
The Queen Of Hearts
Kathleen Hawes

I’m not sure when I started playing dumb
started dumbing down
started acting a little stupid
started laughing when things weren’t funny
started seeing how far I could get
on eyelashes and witty words
How many drinks
how many drinks

how many drinkssss

Please

Was it when I needed an excuse for my body
needed to explain the sudden newness
needed a reason for all this extra?

Was it when I realized I could wield it
but it wasn’t power it was giving over
it was giving up
it was giving

Giving

Nostalgia turns the edge of memory up
flips the corners so that I’m just
not so sure about anything
not so sure about everything

“Rule # 17: Act a little stupid.” By Julia at the studio

Thursday June 14, 2018
5:03pm
5 minutes
The Queen Of Hearts
Kathleen Hawes

She is desperate to speak to someone in French. She goes over to Chantal’s desk because Chantal will talk to anyone and she wants to speak French too. Le Sandwich. I understopd that one, Sans Probleme. Whatever. Let them speak in the secret language that I should know after four years of taking it in high school. After getting the French award at my grade 8 graduation.

At first I thought she was a miserable cunt who hated that I shared a cubicle with her. Maybe she thought I typed too loudly. Maybe she resented my youth. I can see now she might not have known how to express herself properly in English. I wish I didn’t spend so much time hating her back.

She smiles at me on her way to Chantal’s desk. She puts a little French in my name as she passes.

“That’s the bottom line.” By Julia on the 2

Wednesday June 13, 2018
3:40pm
5 minutes
From a quote by James Baldwin

It’s underneath my anger and sweeps below the bitterness
The way you say I love you to your father
The way you call him your man
You take all the risks in your life when it comes to loving
You know how to lead by example and love non-stop as if you weren’t worried about it running dry
It’s in the baby picture of you smiling that same smile
So I don’t know if I can stay angry
At the day, at the weather, at the sting of you
Because you can be so good
So soon after claiming your space
I should be happy you have chosen to show me this side of you
And I am happy
That’s the bottom line

“That’s the bottom line.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday June 13, 2018
7:13am
5 minutes
From a quote by James Baldwin

During the meteor showers in August, my family and I would lie on blankets on the small hill beside the cottage in the woods. It would be past my bedtime, and the glee of staying up late would create effervescent excitement in my belly. My sister Layah and I would swap tactics to catching the most shooting stars, “Squint your eyes and then you can see farer!” “There are more over there! Just look over there!” “You take the right side of the sky and I’ll take the left and when we see one, point and say, ‘There!’”

“Get used to me.” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday June 12, 2018
7:31pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Muhammad Ali

Thanks for the epiphany, timer.
I guess I’ll tell you about it?
Got only five minutes.
Better not f u c k i t u p.
Better not waste my time.
I haven’t impressed you.
I know this now, this very now.
I know it like it’s the first time.
I haven’t impressed you because I haven’t broken out of my skin.
You call me baby, call me potential in the same breath.
Hug my heart into beating the speed you believe in.
Lift me all the way over your head.
Step back to see where I will leap.
Watch where I will land.
If I’ll fly all the way there or if I’ll launch.
And then I sit back down on the easy steps.
And you have to get your hopes back down from the shelf you put them on.
I haven’t impressed you because I haven’t said yes to the sky.
Better not f.u.c.k.i.t.u.p.
All this wasted time.
All this almost decade for absolutely nothing.
Nothing new.
Nothing nothing.

“Get used to me.” by Sasha on Granville Island

Tuesday June 12, 2018
5:12pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Muhammad Ali

Walking through the snowy trails in big boots. Snow pants making steps feel strange and belaboured, intentional, my Mom, sister and I trudge across the beaver ponds. Many separate ponds connected by banks of shore, each trek took a similar shape – elation at the cold air biting my cheeks and feeling so warm in my pink jacket and pants, white boots and pink scarf that could be pulled up to make a hat. Joy at the rush of the endorphins – being with my family out in the ponds, especially after spending hours inside playing cards by the wood stove. And then hatred – too tired, too far, too long, too hot, need to pee, “I hate this!”, tears sometimes, fights sometimes. “See that cardinal there! Look, Sash, over there by the pointy pine! See the red?!” “Oh my gosh look! Look at what the beavers did to that tree!” Eating snow.

“climbing into theirs” by Sasha on her couch

Monday June 11, 2018
11:19pm
5 minutes
Suburban Bitch Curse
Akhim Yussef Cabey

I’m never sure what you mean when you talk about climbing up into the loft, I’m never sure if you’re talking about here or at the farm or at Aunt Bev’s place. I’m sorry. I wish I knew. I’m glad you’re sleeping. I don’t know what they’ve given you today, this whole week really, but I’m so glad you’re finally sleeping. It was the worst when you first got here and you couldn’t rest. “Wired”, was how you described it and it’s how you looked. “Wired.” Poor soul. Did I tell you that Gemma called again? You really might want to call her back, Mike. It’s the fourth time she’s called this week and I’m guessing you aren’t texting or emailing either. You should’ve heard her voice. She sounded awful.

“climbing into theirs” by Julia at the studio

Monday June 11, 2018
12:45pm
5 minutes
Suburban Bitch Curse
Akhim Yussef Cabey

I think I want to justify anything and everything and I can because I do
I am I am
I can I can
And you can justify all my bad habits with a knowing smile
a smile that makes me wish I had waited to tell you the truth about me
I find myself climbing into their skin to have compassion
I was told that’s how to heal the heart
You tell me gossip is useful and I laugh because the sweethearts
in my past life have told me the opposite
but I am so glad that I have met you and you’re saying this
so I have someone to bitch to, moan to, try out some of my new jokes about humans existing alongside the flaw of one another
We are all existing alongside the flaw of one another and isn’t that so damn beautiful?
Anything we do can sound lovely when underscored properly
I would choose The Digger’s Waltz and you might pick a different one
My lens could be nicely rose coloured and you
are allowing the side of me flourish that I don’t think everyone should see
Flourish
Bloom
I am afraid of so much and being so little
How can I be better if I keep myself small
I will climb inside my own skin to find out and you will always be the platform
that I get to wonder out loud to
I wonder if anyone wants to climb into mine?
If you do?
If you already have

“our bodies amalgamated from the great melting pot” by Julia on her couch

Sunday June 10, 2018
11:45pm
5 minutes
The Communion of Strangers
Brian Jay Stanley

tonight you are coming home
this morning
tonight’s border with morning and you will be crossing the border too
I think we talked about the amalgamation of our bodies
but I know you’ll be tired
I can wait one more day
been waiting
been staying up late to avoid going to sleep without you
I’ll put my hand in between your shoulder blades
wake me up if you can last long enough to say hello
my body will know you’re there in my sleep
the human heart is pretty amazing like that
I can meet you in my dreams
we used to do that but this whole time was different
we forgot
we had other things going on
I tried not to make plans but plans were made
I’ll be leaving the bed before you and then maybe
I’ll see you at breakfast
maybe lunch
definitely dinner
how can we be in the same city and see each other after everything happens
I hope our sleep bodies find some peace before we
get to lay in the curve of one another without a plane telling us it’s time to go

“our bodies amalgamated from the great melting pot” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday June 10, 2018
9:25am
5 minutes
The Communion of Strangers
Brian Jay Stanley

When we met
you were smoky eyed
luscious and tempting words
wearing green is what I remember most
the bigness of your youness
is what I remember most

before surgeries
a joint bank account
a daughter’s name chosen
and waiting in the bank
of where our hearts meet
a promise made under September sun

before two summers of waiting up
three fights where one of us broke something
four winters in the rain
five trips on highways and planes
six days a week of being ships crossing now
and priase be
seven whole years of this biggest love

In sleep our bodies know no boundaries
except when you’re snoring
or I’m too hot
or one of us is sick
In sleep we do become one
boundless being of newness
Nowness
Toes touching

Your arm under my head
cradling my dreamscape
My leg over your leg
hoping that you go so far
knowing that you’re home
when you’re here and when
we’re here
exactly like this

“Victory is ours” by Julia on her couch

Saturday June 9, 2018
11:44pm
5 minutes
Victory
Charlotte D. Staelin

If I got dismissed from my job I would lie and tell you I just didn’t want to work there anymore. I won’t tell you it was because I got caught stealing office supplies. You will think I’m better than I am for finally leaving a bad paying job. I will be both a liar and a thief. And it will be the best thing to happen to me. I need proof of my bad behaviour in the form of embarrassment. Maybe I want to be tortured by shame. Maybe I need it. Not having money is not a good place to be (morally) if you’re a kleptomaniac. It really makes you want to put on the tv and forget.
I wouldn’t tell you because you won’t understand that I would have celebrated my lack of reckoning. I might not ever have changed.

“Victory is ours” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday June 9, 2018
9:14am
5 minutes
Victory
Charlotte D. Staelin

I’m not sure what to say about victory
or probiotics or the smell of the seat
in the back left corner of the bus

I’m not sure about jaw clenching
or the apartment across the alleyway
with the constantly changing people
and the lights going on and off

I’m not sure about eggs or dairy
and it no longer seems appropriate
to say that cheese is delicious

I’m not sure about the squirrel
digging up my parsley and the birds
that I’m feeding do you think
that will get in the way of them
getting their own food
in the future if I happen to move

“The American imagination” by Julia on the sky train

Friday June 8, 2018
12:03pm
5 minutes
Poetic Justice an Interview with Camille T. Dungy 
Airica Parker

The imagination there is big, he says
Big and bold and brassy and big
Every day a new phone call telling me how much closer he is to being big too
The ceiling is high, the sky is higher, and the people know how to help each other be extraordinary
This is a dream sequence that I am replaying: people helping people
Not so afraid of someone else’s greatness that they need to throw stones at them until they fall off
To think of the inventors and chefs
The writers and the football players
The American imagination plays like the movies that are big enough to be made there
I don’t know what they think of us
Maybe that we’re polite pushovers
Maybe that we know how to apologize for things instead of owning them
They might not think of our country at all
I didn’t really either
Until I thought about leaving it

“The American imagination” by Sasha at her desk

Friday June 8, 2018
10:23am
5 minutes
Poetic Justice an Interview with Camille T. Dungy 
Airica Parker

The American poses beside his sports car. He leans down. Pats the head of a chocolate poodle. The American laughs at your jokes when his mouth is full of steak, and then covers up and says, “How rude. You’re just so funny!” And you are. You don’t need him to tell you. The American upgrades his phone twice a year. He wears bespoke cologne that a perfumerie in Paris blended just for him. The American’s imagination is dotted with dollar signs, traced with ambition, dusted in gasoline, fingerprints of those who work to make his life happen.

“I liked watching him BBQ” by Julia in her bed

Thursday June 7, 2018
11:38pm
5 minutes
From a text 

He flips the portobello and my lip risks a twitch
I want to know what he’s thinking
If you could have any superpower…
And he says flying without missing a beat
And I say Let me be invisible
And he asks me why
He does not miss beats
Not any of them
And I say so I can watch people living when they think they’re alone…
He presses down on the mushroom with the tongs and it gives them a little sizzle
I want to be able to see what is going on inside their heads
But why not say your power is mind-reading? That’s what it is.
Because thoughts have the same super power as you do
They never stay too long to be seen
Someone walking back and forth?
That’s forever

“I liked watching him BBQ” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday June 7, 2018
11:13pm
5 minutes
From a text 

Driving along the country road
The paved ones before the gravel ones
I stick my arm out the window
and play with the air

You’ve never been to Knowlton Lake before
and I am already excited about waking up tomorrow
The way that the quiet hugs
The way that the birds know
the tune to the songs in our hearts

I can do no wrong with you
except when I do and then it’s bad
And then I cower in the corner
and you use your size
And I say that this isn’t what I want
and you cry until we go to the bedroom

James Taylor on the tape deck
I realize that I don’t know if
corn is in season
if we have to turn on the water
if there’s a French press

“Subway platform walls” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday June 6, 2018
10:10pm
5 minutes
People Revolution
Amani Bin Shinkansen 

So much of this now
maybe someone will listen
Someone big and someone powerful and
someone who can do something
I recognize how that sounds
I recognize how that might sound
naive

When the subway pulled
into the station
everything went black
Someone gasped
Someone said,
“Shit, now I’m going to be late”
Someone said,
“Another fucking jumper”

The ground knows how they feel
The ground can’t jump
I’m sorry if this is morbid
and you were hoping for something
Loving today
These five minutes are for
the grief and the someday somewhere
Maybe it will all get better

“Subway platform walls” by Julia on the 84

Wednesday June 6, 2018
5:35pm
5 minutes
People Revolution
Amani Bin Shinkansen 

I miss a city that knows how to be a city
I think about subway platforms and rats and random conversations with a stranger at the laundromat

I want a city that doesn’t stop living when the snow hits
When the festival is over
I want a city that knows how to make things
Reaches into its pockets and turns lint into lightening, paints the sky magic

I miss a city that celebrates life in the streets with food and music and dancing

I need a city that doesn’t have any height restrictions
If I am going to fling myself off of a building, then let it be a big one

I want the me I am when summer kisses city on the sweaty mouth
I want to kiss it on the mouth

“Let us briefly consider the back” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday June 5, 2018
7:05pm
5 minutes
The Other Side
Sarah Ball

Built for carrying heavy all up and down the stairs
Used to holding tension in the crevices that can’t be reached without injury
The smoothest skin on the weakest part of me
The softest muscles bending forward and forward and the other way
Let us, if we might, consider how we can’t see it but must trust it’s there
even when it feels like it’s been buried under all the heavy
carried up and down the stairs
I would watercolour the shit out of yours, painting tiny villages along your spine
planting flowers at the base of the hinge that folds you
I would write you the sweetest words with the nicest flowing pen
straddling your hips, using your bum as a seat
and I would breathe life into you that you will never see without the help of a mirror
but will have to trust is there

“Let us briefly consider the back” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday June 5, 2018
7:32am
5 minutes
The Other Side
Sarah Ball

I walk the sea wall in the morning. No matter what the weather. No matter “June-uary”. No matter. I wear layers because sometimes the sun comes out and sometimes it starts to drizzle, or hail, or gust. I whisper mantras and sometimes walk ten or twenty steps with my eyes closed. There are joggers. There are dog walkers. There are old couples who don’t need to speak anymore. They know what each other are thinking. I walk alone. I used to run when the twins were young. I’d push them in their double stroller. They’d usually fall asleep.

“Jesus do I have to even get out of bed” by Sasha at her desk

Monday June 4, 2018
11:32pm
5 minutes
From an interview by Devin Friedman

Ben calls to me from upstairs, “Jesus, do I have to even get out of bed?!” It’s the third morning in a row that he hasn’t wanted to crawl out from under the covers. It’s the third morning that I’ve wooed him with bacon, extra coffee, pancakes, sex in the kitchen. These tactics don’t always work, but they sometimes do, so I try.

“It’s almost ten, babe!” I call back. I hope he smells the brewing french press. I hope he hears the love in my voice, and not just the impatience.

“Jesus do I have to even get out of bed” by Julia at her desk

Monday June 4, 2018
9:26pm
5 minutes
From an interview by Devin Friedman

Do I have to leave this? I’ve built a warm thing to lay in. My head is heavy. My eyes blink slowly. What is it about grey mornings.

Don’t say they’ll turn into something beautiful. It’s always too late when this city decides to help me out.

I think it’s sadness?
It feels like it.
Laying, laying, not moving, sort of staring

I think another body in the bed would change the shape of things.
Make me sink a little toward the middle.
Make me have to get up in the night.
Make me have to come right back and settle.

Today is hard.

If I admit it maybe it will get the validation it needs and move on.
Maybe tomorrow won’t be so needy.
I slept with all my clothes last night.
Sweater, pants, socks.

Another body in the bed would require shorts or nothing.
Another body in the bed would be built like a furnace, jobbed and ready to heat whatever is close and shivering.

I’ll ask Jesus if he knows where to get one.

“literally naked, mopping, and crying ‪at midnight‬” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday June 3, 2018
10:55pm
5 minutes
Quoted by Sienna Miller

Mopping the floors at the end of the night is my favourite part of running a bar. I used to like the conversations that I’d have with customers – giving advice about unruly preteens, counselling on break-ups, weighing in on the best marinara recipe. That used to be my favourite part. But things change, we change. Now, after two, once everyone has left, I turn the music up loud. Maybe Sade or Tina Turner. Whitney if I’m feeling extra. I fill the bucket with water and a few drops of soap. It gets really sudsy. I’ve already put all the stools and chairs on top of tables. I dance with the mop and sing and take my time. I take my time.

“literally naked, mopping, and crying ‪at midnight‬” by Julia on the 99

Sunday June 3, 2018
10:04pm
5 minutes
quoted by Sienna Miller

This house casts a shadow on all the rooms emptied of you. I don’t like it. I don’t like that I like it. I don’t like it.

The hum from the radio breaks my heart so I turn it off. The sound of your music playing on the iPad doesn’t help. I’ve tried keeping you here.

Wandering back and forth like the in between needs discovering. Laying in bed like the rest of the house will burn me if I move. I have been late to meet friends. I have stayed under.

A phone call a day lets me know you wish I was where you are. Am I supposed to unravel the day’s decisions for you? Are you interested in hearing how nothing I feel?

The new waste bin is drying upside down in the tub. I scrubbed it after I finished my shower, still dripping wet, my hair pasted to my neck and back. I know how to decide. See? Somethings are easy.

“I’m as prepared as I ever am” by Julia on C’s couch

Saturday June 2, 2018

11:18pm

5 minutes

The Art Of Freeloading

Alana Levinson

I know what agonizing over calling in sick feels likes. Especially when you’re not sick, just too high to be trusted. You didn’t think it would last that long. That it would be that strong. But you didn’t know what you were taking. You thought you’d be fine but you didn’t even know what it was. And you were worried that the clocks were bad. But what should

you have done? Said it’s cramps and you aren’t able to move much? Said you’ve been poisoned and you are very sorry?

“I’m as prepared as I ever am” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday June 2, 2018
9:52pm
The Art Of Freeloading
Alana Levinson

“Vic, you’re starting to freak me out…”

“Why! We have to be prepared!”

“We live in a one bedroom apartment! We don’t have storage space for seven of those water jugs! We don’t have the space!”

“You know who is going to thank me when there’s an earthquake? You know who?!”

“Me?”

“YOU!”

“I’m down for being prepared, I am, I’ve told you that a million times, but this is just… too much. Every time you come home from the store there are more cans, more blankets, more matches… and this water?! Where are we going to put it?!”

“The storage unit. Obviously.”

“The one in the basement?”

“Yes.”

“Isn’t that full of camping gear?”

“And whose junk is that?”

“It’s mine! And it’s not junk! It took me a long time to collect all that stuff!”

“Go paint yourself” by Julia at her desk

Friday June 1, 2018
11:54pm
5 minutes
From a L’Oréal ad

Go paint yourself red and stand out in a field telling ghost stories
This is how you will terrify yourself into standing

Go paint yourself yellow and swim in the ocean like a giant bee
This is how you will see under the coral and into the sweet

I don’t know the rules to this game so I just made them up
I don’t know what painting yourself will do
Maybe make you feel like a real human
Humans are the only ones who can paint themselves
who can write poetry
who can throw things

We were built to throw things

I will go and paint myself the colour of a Louisville Slugger and then throw a hard ball across the grass
This will go over well
This is what we are meant to do with symbolism

Real humans muse about the throwing configuration of our arms
Of anything else we choose to launch

“Go paint yourself” by Sasha on her couch

Friday June 1, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
From a L’Oréal ad

Third grade recess. Teacher calls me out for wearing purple mascara that I stole from my aunt’s medicine cabinet when I went to visit her in New York City.

I didn’t know that it was purple, or I wouldn’t have taken it. Teacher says,

“Why are you wearing make-up?! You’re just a kid! Wash that off right now!”

So I went inside and tried to get it all off but it was hard, it was clumpy, it was attached.

“Monika! You’ve got purple all over your face!” Javier whispers. He’s got my back. Bless him.

“Like you’ve never seen her” by Julia in her bed

Thursday May 31, 2018
12:35am
5 minutes
allure magazine May 2017

She is the light in the room you read by

The harvest in the moon you can count on

She came back from the below with a glow so bright it makes you wear one of those gigantic visors

She’s not comparing herself to who’s smiling bigger

She wonders what she did yesterday instead. She has been comparing herself to the wind and to her first self.

She’s so bright she zigzags through the room. Like lightening sucking on a breath mint.

People pay attention to her.

They always seem to know that she’s got pop rocks in her blood. That she shows up to herself everyday even if she had a bad thing happen.

She doesn’t know about excuses

Or blame

The alarm goes off and she rises to meet the day.

“Like you’ve never seen her” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday May 31, 2018
8:56pm
5 minutes
allure magazine May 2017

You’ve never seen her lit up like this. You stand back and watch her, across the room, laughing, brushing her hair out of her eyes, sipping her soda water. You wonder what kind of mother she’ll be. A good one, obviously, but you wonder what her patience will be like. She can get snippy. You don’t idealize motherhood, or parenthood, or any of it. You know it’s going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. You close your eyes and breathe in this fall night, with these people you love, and the sausages on the grill, the asparagus salad, the Bahamas on the stereo. She catches your eye and calls you over.

“Thanks guys” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday May 30, 2018
11:00pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Oak St.

I know you’re leaving when I see the bowl of left over tuna salad in the fridge.
This is what it looks like when you go away.
No more cooking big meals in case you don’t get a chance to eat them.
Butt ends of broccoli and too few mushrooms to make a difference.
I think our mouths have been meeting in our sleep again.
You are saying goodbye with every dream I think I’m having.
In the morning it is still dark and you are half beside me, half out the door.
Who do I thank for giving you wings when they are breaking my heart?
Do I blame it on the big men in the big buildings in the big city?
In the quiet of our goodbye, you’re the one who says you’re sorry.
I am so happy for you.
It hasn’t even been a full day yet.

“Thanks guys” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday May 30, 2018
7:08am
5 minutes
Overheard on Oak St.

“Why are you pouting, Liz?”

“I’m not…”

“You absolutely are.”

“You got what you wanted! You got the promotion, you got a second date with that hottie from the coffee shop, you got into the pottery class… Like, what’s the problem?”

“It’s never enough. I always want – …”

“More?”

“Yeah.”

“Welcome to being human. You’re not special for being insatiable.”

“I don’t think I’m special. That’s the thing.”

“You are special, but you aren’t special for always wanting more more more – ”

“Please stop.”

“Stop what? Trying to make you feel better?”

“I don’t want to – “

“Ordinary men and women” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
10:00pm
5 minutes
Northern Ireland: The Case Of Bloody Sunday
Carole-Anne Upton

We sit at the cottage and eat breakfast built for two. You and me. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man. We tap forks the way we taught ourselves to love. Out loud. Ceremony. A reminder of all the good between us. You have managed to make perfect eggs and I have done the kale this time good enough to write about here. You can see the mountains from where you sit and in the reflection of the print above your head, I can see them too. They look nice.
The day is a heart beat away from making us wish we wanted to stay here. You are busy thinking of how to live somewhere else. I am wondering a lot at the thought of you going. What kind of letters will you send me? Ones filled with sorry, or sweet, or cash. I hope the latter. I don’t think my jobs pay enough for me to live in this apartment without you. Who will I eat my ordinary breakfast with? With who will I sit on my ordinary couch? Do phone calls and text messages keep the love alive? We will find out. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man.

“Ordinary men and women” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
9:32pm
5 minutes
Northern Ireland: The Case Of Bloody Sunday
Carole-Anne Upton

Cookie cutter carbon copies
all in a row
Lawns mowed no rose
out of place
no birdseed on the porch
The sound of the ice cream truck
A little off time
A little nostalgic

Huff and puff and blow the house down

Mother gets up and fries bacon and eggs
Father gets up and makes lunches
(bread, salami, mustard, mayo, lettuce, bread)
Child gets dressed
Three eat together around the table
Trade pleasantries like baseball cards
Trade love like obligation
Child brushes teeth
Child kisses Mother and Father
Mother puts dishes in dishwasher
Schoolbus!
Father walks child to schoolbus

Huff and puff and blow the house down

“I’m not sure” by Julia in her bed

Monday May 28, 2018
11:19pm
5 minutes
From an email

I never know what you mean when you say a thing

Toss out the core and tear away the meat

I do not know what is at the base of you

Not sure what you eat for breakfast and who you pray to when the rain forgets to come

I think I know because I think I know everything but I don’t really know. I’d like to meet the person who does. Maybe they could tell me how to read without falling asleep. How to apologize to god without giving too much away.

“I’m not sure” by Sasha at her desk

Monday May 28, 2018
10:56pm
5 minutes
From an email

I’m not sure what you mean when you say that you’re going to “quit life”. I know you don’t mean off yourself, that wouldn’t be your style. I know that I stopped going to see you after a few weeks – I hate hospitals! I’m sorry! I made it so many times in those first weeks and… I’m sorry. I really am. You need to get it together and recognize the progress that you’ve made, Eileen. One day at a time, you know?! You can’t expect yourself to recover overnight. You need to be patient. Look. I’ll come and see you a few times a week, I’ll bring a DVD, or some takeout, and we’ll hang out, okay? Maybe you’re lonely. That’s probably it.

“a sleek white line” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday May 27, 2018
10:10pm
5 minutes
Are You Really An Artist?
Leah Burns

I first notice Steve’s expression as he’s carving a chicken. It’s Sunday. Emma and Bobby are home for dinner. Steve picked them up at Emma’s dorm, even though Bobby’s off campus now. Emma was chattering on about intramurals, and I saw it – this vacancy – sweep across Steve’s face. I’ve known Steve for forty two years, right, like, we met when we were five years old. We’ve been married for twenty… You’d think I’d have seen every expression that that man can muster! Nope. It was like a tumbleweed could’ve swept across his cheeks. He was gone.

“Hon?!” I said, scared he might slice off his finger.

“a sleek white line” by Julia on her couch

Sunday May 27, 2018
10:00pm
5 minutes
Are You Really An Artist?
Leah Burns

You’re wearing all white and you’re okay with it. Say you’re going to go pump gas, fix your bike chain, eat a rack of ribs. Nobody tells you what everybody knows. A hundred wet wipes and a gallon of bleach. But the days are short and why wait. The nights don’t count so go to town. A bird could shit on your window or down the front of your jeans and the whole show can get cancelled.

You tempt fate like someone was paying you to do it. Hold up a mirror then disappear behind it. Throw your open wound in front of a shark. You try the rules until they’re broken and too tired to fight back. You invite disaster with every sway of your hip, every rainy day in April. When you walk back and forth you look like a q-tip or a sleek white line.

“Why though” by Julia in her bed

Saturday May 26, 2018
11:33pm
5 minutes
From a text

He tells me he wants to lay in my light
As if mine is the laying kind
As if it might keep him safe
Or give him the good dreams

I can’t tell where he can and cannot lay
But I don’t know why he wants mine in the first place
When I tell the others what he said
one of them tells me he’s been saying things to them too

One of them tells me he’s trying to stay in as many of our good graces as possible
But I don’t know if he’s saying this to them in the same way
I don’t know if anyone says something about laying in the light of someone else unless it’s the kind of light you could really see yourself laying in.

People who tell you that you’re not the only one to receive a sturdy compliment are the same people who wish that compliment was said to them
They’re the ones trying to dim the light so there’s less to lay in

“Why though” by Sasha on the walk to Granville Island

Saturday May 26, 2018
11:43am
5 minutes
From a text

Marina asks a million questions and it isn’t even seven. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, I mean we wanted her so bad, right, like we tried for three years and I was beside myself, I was so sad… We wanted her so bad. But the questions, man, I can’t fucking take it! I don’t know why the sky is blue?! I don’t know why grass grows up?! I don’t know how tree root systems work! Good grief, I barely know how to solve a fraction! She’s only three! What am I going to do when she’s seven… or nine… or fifteen!? Like, I’m freakin’ out! Why why why why why why – like, I’m losing my mind, I tell ya!