“The fires were still smouldering” by Julia on her couch

Thursday January 9, 2020
5 minutes
The Known World
Edward P. Jones

The haze we’re breathing is a filter on the known world.
The daily dos and don’ts.
The run and hide or stay lows.

Babies are inhaling against their will.
Animals are being wiped out.

Some people don’t think the issue is connected.
Some people would rather focus on the strength
of the inhabitants being weakened.

Will the dying lungs be as resilient?
Will the buried come back to stand on their country’s podium?

While we’re gathered on the beach with our
hearts in our mouths
covered in ash and soot
inching closer to the waves
a long siren blares.

We wish we could say it was in the distance.
We wish we could say it was only one
and not one after another after another.

We are accepting prayers
and money
and help

“Is this my tuna?” by Sasha at Dark Horse on Spadina

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at Dark Horse on Spadina
5 minutes
The woman on the phone in the bus shelter at King and Yonge

You’re an abstract painting, in reds and yellows, mustardy yellows, hanging on the wall in a persons home, a large wall. You’re not in a gallery, or a museum. You’re not in a restaurant. You’re in a home. A home whose inhabitants are tall, and lean, and surprisingly strong-willed, with tight smiles and pressed pants. They have tuna salad sandwiches with the crusts cut off, a cucumber salad on the side for lunch, in the dining room, near you, near the painting. They bought you at a silent auction for three thousand and five hundred dollars. “A steal,” he said, at the time. You’re rarely looked at anymore. You’re rarely noticed. Except when their daughter brings home a friend from graduate school, who “Ohh’s” and “Ahh’s” over you, over the beige leather couch, over the Persian rugs. Don’t feel special. She also does it about the meal, most of which was purchased at the specialty foods store nearby. You, abstract painting, feigning pretention, gobbling any compliment you can get your frame on.