“Pandemic of lilies” by Sasha in the trundle room

Wednesday June 17, 2020
12:49pm
5 minutes
My Sister Says White Supremacy Is Turning Her Crazy
Morgan Parker

You exit your third floor bachelor apartment for the first time in seven weeks. The pandemic has made your OCD spike, and you can’t bring yourself to even go on walks, let alone line up for more cereal. You’ve been getting your groceries delivered. Today, you brave the potential exposure because the walls of your place feel like they are shutting in, leaning down, squeezing your ribs. You need a walk. You need fresh air. You need a smooch. You need someone, anyone really, to lie on top of you, the weight of another body on yours. You’ll settle for a walk. Fresh air. Pittance. You wash your hands before you go, put on gloves and a mask. You wear sunglasses and a blue baseball hat. You are paranoid that you’ll run in to someone you know, even though you don’t know anyone who lives in your neighbourhood. You’re glad it’s early. There will only be dog walkers and mothers with small kids out. You know this because you usually sit by your window at this time and see what’s happening on the pavement below. You watch dog’s shit, mother’s wipe snot from noses, and the empty bus careen around the corner.

“10. going, going, gone” by Sasha in the trundle room

Monday June 15, 2020
12:52pm
5 minutes
alternate names for black boys
Danez Smith

  1. Take a seat and observe how the room twirls and smokes, scoffs and languishes. You are the eye of the storm in your silence and watching.

  2. It’s been so long since you’ve been in a group, since you’ve been at a party, that you don’t remember where to find words or place laughter. You bite your tongue a hundred times before you slice with a something small and the man in the rimmed glasses cocks his head and looks at your breasts.

  3. You wonder how many people here are pretending, how many people are holding in a fart or a pee, how many people really wish they were someplace else, swimming in a cool lake, touching the papery skin of their mother’s forearm.

  4. It used to take you hours to get ready for something like this, standing in front of the mirror, a bottle of tequila on the bathroom counter, swigging and painting your face for battle. Today it took you exactly six minutes to brush your hair and put Vaseline on your unruly eyebrows and chapped lips.

  5. You arrive late, as usual. Toss your jean jacket on the back of a chair, on top of other jean jackets and cardigans. You smile without showing your teeth. You forgot to brush them. You wonder about your breath, and if you’ll even get close enough to anyone to smell their toothpaste, their IPA, their roast chicken dinner.

“This describes well what I’ve said” by Sasha on the couch

Tuesday June 2, 2020
1:03am
5 minutes
Mencius
Mencius

You say “I’m sorry that that happened to you”
I say “Thank you”

It’s the kind of exchange that builds muscle
slowly over time

You tell me about midwifing a cow
and smoking hash on the beach

I tell you a few strange details
starting and stopping

not sure what’s too much
I am most often too much

Peering out the window into darkness
lightning strikes

the sky illuminated in wonder
and loneliness

I didn’t set out to write something so sad
but it’s a strange time to want to touch

toes while lying on the floor
trading songs like passport stamps

here’s where I’ve been
and here and here

“describe what it might be like to be her child” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Sunday May 31, 2020
2:39pm
5 minutes
Room To Write
Bonni Goldberg

You walk around the corner with an apple piece in your hand
extended in a reach that says “yes” and “look!”

You just learned how to tip toe and
smell the purple lilacs

I read a headline this morning that there might be rolling
pandemics every five or ten years now

and I almost threw up
a wave of sadness that you were born into this world

How will I explain it all when your questions grow
wider than “Hot?”

I was always so sure that I was to be a mother
I never imagined such grief as your bones and blood grew in my body
At eleven weeks of holding you here
my small world exploding
and now the big world breaking and burning
little and big
nested like dolls inside one another
your hand in mine now
as you step up a stair

“channel your energy” by Sasha in her bedroom

Wednesday May 27, 2020
2:41pm
5 minutes
From a fortune cookie

I lie belly to the floor
and listen to what the voice says
beyond the tension and the toil
where the ground splits and splays

Like a seashell to the ear
the floor tells stories that
might just be blood rushing
but might be the sky underfoot

“Think about the life you want to have”
my sister says and she’s right
It’s not about a decision
It’s about the life I want to have

All the threads are spooled in the moment
of this gathering together
sure to be frayed again by morning
but for now
ear to the whitewashed wood
I’m slipping towards the eddy

“we are on the verge of something.” By Sasha at the table

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
1:48pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chödrön

Four olive pits on a plate painted with roses, a crack on one corner. Fifty three days since I’ve been home. Six green peas on the high chair tray, leftover from lunch. One tea bag in the bottom of the blue and white mug. Hundreds of ants chewing through the wood that keeps us warm and dry. Three drops of poison spread across the beam in the living room, the kitchen counter corner. One pandemic. One water bottle emptied and filled, emptied and filled. One nub of red candle. One small chipmunk on the deck railing, watching me write. Eleven seconds left on the timer. Two eyes, blinking.

“what tiny synapses” by Sasha at the table

Saturday, May 9, 2020
1:30pm
5 minutes
Supermarket Lobsters
Robbie Gamble

Jinny can’t stop jerking off. She sneaks into the bathroom on her break and touches herself. She wakes up and masturbates. She goes to sleep with her hand in her pyjama bottoms. She washes her hands more than she used to. Isn’t yet at the part in the story where she questions her shame, her queasy feeling when she thinks about anyone knowing that she’s orgasmed six times today, thanks to herself. She used to despise the term “horny” but she’s reclaiming it, whispering it under her breath when she feels howshe really is just that – “horny horny horny hornyyyy…” There isn’t a suitable synonym. She’s tried to think of one, synapses firing red and ready. There must be another word for it! She’d just started online dating again, after deleting the apps at Christmas after three dozen strange, awkward, boring dates. She’d connected with a few people before the pandemic started, but things got strange and tense once everyone was in isolation. Robi, who wore a beaded necklace and overused the moon emoji, wanted to do a FaceTime date but Jinny said no.

“the creek below babbling” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday May 6, 2020
10:07pm
5 minutes
The Fawn
Jenny Burkell

Everyone seems to want to say that things are going to get worse. Do things always get worse? Especially when you feel they can’t, expect they will? The funny thing is, the creek babbles and the leaves burst on the trees that were bare. The funny thing is, despite how bad things are already, I’m doing pretty well. In some ways, I’m doing better than ever. Freckles have sprouted on my nose again and this feels like hope in the shape of a pigmented constellation that looks a little bit different every year. I make up song after song on walks up the road, singing more now than I ever have, or at least more than I have since childhood. I just can’t stop singing.

“We are very happy to present a virtual conference this year” by Sasha in the trundle room

Sunday, May 3, 2020
10:52pm
5 minutes
From an email

I get emails that I delete before reading. They invite me to online live readings videoed performances live stream dance classes cooking shows and library debates I don’t even know anymore I don’t even care anymore what is it that we are trying to do anyway? I get emails that I send to a folder that is called “Creative maybes” but it’s where emails go to get buried in more emails and why haven’t I set a “vacation responder” that says, “Please don’t email me anything that you think might be “of interest” because I haven’t even spoken to my dearest friends in too long and I don’t care about your think-piece or your feelings about char.”

“Knock! Knock” by Julia on the couch

Thursday, April 30, 2020
11:23pm
5 minutes
Villa Incognito
Tom Robbins

You buzz up from the lobby and I buzz inside then I buzz you in and everying is going to be alright

I forget I’m wearing the apron
I know I’ve left the ribs under the broiler for a smidge too long

the apartment smells like almost sex
When you come in we kiss and drop
the sharade for a minute to laugh
we laugh we laugh
“It’s nice to see you again” then some more kissing

I forget how quickly I will give over a playlist
and you do not take the bait
forget that you don’t “know” where the cutlery is

The first night on the patio and
I am wearing earrings and you are looking cute and nervous in your easy smiling way

The clouds are clay coloured with all this pretty blue

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

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

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

“Higher!” By Sasha at the kitchen table

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The sun stoops
to touch my chest

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

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

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

Guiding me back

“find the right question” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

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

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

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

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

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

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

“you find solace here” by Julia at the desk

Saturday April 11, 2020
10:25am
5 minutes
from Julia’s 2017 notebook

I got it in time and I know it’s the truth
this enjoyment is fine until it tightens the noose
Can I be quiet still
can I open the door
is there something I’m missing
always searching for more
you find solace here with the click and the clacking
you love it so much you can never go back and
if you do you can ride the next wave that’s coming
sometimes nothing feels fun
but I’m certain that it’s still sunny
It’s been a trip so far but I know it’s just starting
every day in a jar I can examine closely
I could keep piling dried flowers into it or
I could leave it half full to sit with the sore
It’s the thing I am wondering if it ever grows sour
all this silver lining needs a cloud to cling to or devour
and when the hunger strikes
feeling it is alright
you find solace here with your fork and your knife
there’s no wrong and no right
only long days and nights
when the light’s off it echoes
but it’s still finding its heroes
in movies and candles and notebooks and sex
sometimes it’s the office
sometimes it’s the bed
ok just one minute left
I know I’ve said what I said
but this whole thing captures a moment
even if that moment’s filled with dread
soon it will change from this thread
another thought in my head
a hope or a high that I can hold onto instead
This is what will be read.

“Let’s find out” by Julia on her bed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I’ve Learned Today:

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

“That’s what I like about disappointment:” by Julia at her desk

Sunday, March 29, 2020
6:57pm
5 minutes
Disappointment
Tony Hoagland

to fear a thing that hasn’t yet happened is the most normal thing we do. we humans. we us.

I want to put it out there. There universe. Universe us:
we don’t have to do it like that.

okay hear me out. Here me. Here you.

what if we left anticipation for the good stuff?

don’t give up on me yet. Me yet. Us.

what if I anticipate the good, I experience fear in the moment, but I do not anticipate the disappointment because I can not know any moment other than this one?

I you. You me. Me we. We us.
See what I’m trying to cultivate here on this grey clouded open night?

I never learned to tell the future. I have dreams that lead the way sometimes but it’s never exactly as it appears to be. Be this.
Be us.

“You wish you were in the woods” by julia on her couch

Saturday, March 28, 2020
11:19pm
5 minutes
To A Frustrated Poet
R.J. Ellmann

it is lucky we live in a rainforest

tonight we went out for a walk thinking it would be pouring rain
(you could hear it)
but it wasn’t and that was luckier still

we put one foot in front of the other until we found the water
saw the empty bridges
crossed the street between traffic lights
until we met a different hour
inhaled dripping trees

we didn’t see a soul on the sidewalks but we still walked
on the road framed by cherry blossoms

on the day that time wasn’t
we could see the city lit up
across itself

saturday night and every window glowing orange light

“The golden brooch” by Julia at her desk

Friday March 27, 2020
12:18pm
5 minutes
The courage that my mother had
Edna St. Vincent Millay

What’s strange is the passing hour
a molding from my hands and into this
I sat down with one thought in mind
and it floated on into the next the way
I think it was all meant to do in
the early place

It’s been a combination of moments and
avoidance and fear that keep an idea
stranded there on the tip of the tongue
waiting for someone to say the damn thing
already

Say the damn thing already

I want you to know that there is love
here for you even if you don’t recognize it

I want you to know that we can’t give up
on our joy even if we lay it down every
now and again

I want you to know that there will be
something different at the end of this
sentence and if you follow it till the
end or to the almost end or to the last
word you might notice something lingering
there that you never tuned into before

I want you to know

that the damn thing is this:

One day we will brush past each other
on a crowded street and it will be more
like a pinning to the chest or arm or
thigh and we will be stuck together as
if we never left this hallelujah
in the first place

“August is coming” by Julia at her desk

Thursday March 26, 2020
9:43am
5 minutes
Any prince to any princess
Adrian Henri

August is coming and we will welcome her with arms butter flake and cloud kiss
we will hold her in our blanket fort and pin the fairy lights all around her
we will wind up her train on the backs of our hands and twirl her about
we will weep at her feet and bathe her toes in a rose water blessing
we will sing at how far she has traveled
flown around the world in hope but flesh set in stone and sand and grit
we will honour her presence with a basket of fresh basil and rosemary braids
we will give her a cluster of moments to rest at the base of our skulls
or next to the balcony gardens or by the hummingbird feeder
we will listen to her tales of triumph after a journey fraught
and how she never dropped faith even for a second
we will seed her new life with a promise to be children again
delighting in the moonlight of her smile and how her open chest beats a dance
for us all to dream

“We want the suns and moons” by Julia on the couch

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
8:00pm
5 minutes
A Physics
Heather McHugh

inside these days we hear more of the neighbours jumping

there’s a lot of working out from home, which we hear and now understand what it must sound like to the people below us when we dance it out

There’s a lot of working from home, but that one’s not so loud
Most people are still, home, but not as loud as us

We’re the ones screeching to each other from across the apartment

we’re the ones banging pots and pans and spoons around

we’re the ones playing the guitar and the ukulele and the harmonica and sometimes the little egg shaker

we’re the ones singing
we’re the ones practicing our lines

we’re the ones sliding the coffee table back and forth

At 7:00 everyone cheers and we are not the only loud ones then

we are doing our inside things and if we hear anyone doing theirs we do not get angry but remember humanity above us and down the hall

we dream of warm nights playing music together on our patio, saying goodbye to the sun and welcoming the moon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“They’ll be able to describe it” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
12:17pm
5 minutes
Teaching a Child the Art of Confession
David Shumate

They’ll be able to describe it by the finches singing in the yard
the construction workers outside still constructing work and homes and noise
the old photographs now strewn across the coffee table and some on top of the bedside drawers
They’ll be able to paint a grey spring and remember what March felt like during this
The space held between people with great care, like a balloon blown up past its comfort
or an egg, last and lonely keeping the refrigerator feeling
They’ll be able to search their daily journals that all start with today, and end with now
that focus on the heathers brightening up every corner or the magnolia passing us a much needed bloom
They’ll describe it in belly moans and leg cramps
in chapped hand skin and swollen eyelids
in red cowboy shirts and purple lipstick warn at home on a day that feels like any other day and no day and this day
They’ll be able to describe it with a time capsule, a few items here and there from the house that they won’t miss too much
A reminder that right here and right now there are things to collect
and give us

“No tits to pull” by Julia at her desk

Saturday March 21, 2020
6:03pm
5 minutes
Carnation Milk
Anonymous

In the shower I held my own tits while I cried.
I didn’t realize I was doing it but when I realized
I was doing it I didn’t stop and didn’t wonder at it.
I knew why. I understood why. I get why.
Why cry when there is love.
Why weep when there is life.
Why stand frozen under a stream of steaming water when there is chance.
Why this.
Why now.
Why us.
I know why us and now and this too.
I know why deeply but I can’t put words to it because that would undo the great knowing.

Earlier you said we should have sex on our patio to give the people indoors a show, “if it comes to that.”
If it comes to that will we be able to model free love and free loving when it costs
skin and bones and a heart full of hope to give it?

Earlier I said “You have to help me.”

Earlier I said “I dreamed that I was about to perform my spoken word on The Tonight Show. But I ended the dream babysitting two rich brats who only wanted to eat BROOKSIDE Dark Chocolate Acai & Blueberries.”

Earlier I said “Please don’t make me do this alone.”

Earlier I said “I’m still upset I didn’t get to perform on Leno.”

“The spring is compressed” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday March 20, 2020
10:08pm
5 minutes
A Brief Lecture on Door Closers
Clemens Starck

The spring is coming
This is optimism in the shape of buds on the pinky’s of trees
temptation of the thaw in my chest as I flirt with a step on yawning ice

The pussywillows sway as the phoebes sing
Sun speaking a brave prayer as she opens her mouth wide
This is the light that encircles us all

I unpack weeks worth of groceries into the droning fridge
Spinach and oranges
Apples and cheddar cheese
Bread and half a mango
Tofu and a jar of red lentil soup from the freezer back home

Nadeem starts a fire in the wood stove
The roar catching in my heart as it lets down
As it feels the quiet in ventricles and chasms

Mom sent an email about ticks
And how we shouldn’t go walking in the woods or let
Lola crawl in the tall grass 

Especially as it gets warmer
Trading vigilances
Swapping one worry for another

This is the light that encircles us all

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Supposing the force of gravity in any similar medium” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday March 11, 2020
10:35am
5 minutes
Newton’s Principia: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
Sir Isaac Newton

The force of two hands pushing against each other
the friction of opposing desires colliding in the space between voices
shouting
The quiet of lust
The staccato of fear as it snakes and shimmies through the waterways
of the city
the country
the continent
the world

A daffodil sits on my kitchen table having opened overnight
How did she do it?
The light through the stained glass window
Lola eating a circle of banana
and then scrunching her nose as she smiles
Salve on my scared heart

What does your scared heart
tell you as you wash your hands?
Those twenty seconds of suds and warmth
a chasm between the possible panic
or possible breath
or possible love sent out to
the lonely
the vulnerable
the sick
the grieving
the ones who plug their ears and
pop their bottles

My scared heart tells me that
this is a time for slowing down
For phone calls and hot baths
and warm water in blue mugs

My scared heart tells me
it was only a matter of time
It is only a matter of time