“Anne would lie for hours” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 22, 2018
9:55pm
Anne
Joe Hutto

somehow the moment you walked out the door
the clock on the wall sped up twice its usual tick
I am almost sick at how little has happened
in how many hours have magically passed and
the drum of the crows outside my window have
faded into a night that does not need to
interrupt me

I would lie for hours in the bathroom at the
mirror with a false smile and an empty stomach
tell myself a story to keep me busy and away
from that buzzing fridge
I would lie for hours on the bed staring at
the lonely space on the wall where the choices
should go and wonder how I managed to leave
them all tucked in between the books I care
less to read

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

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

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

“I didn’t hear that part” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday November 13, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 84

A lavender couch underneath a window. Spider plants, succulents and African Voilets line the sill. She sits in a caramel leather chair, perhaps Moroccan. Paintings on the walls, all in blues, greens, purples. An Indigenous etching of two women paddling a canoe, a Georgia O’Keefe flower, lily pads on a lake. I take it all in as quickly as I can. I can’t get enough. I’m dizzy.

“It’s so good to meet you,” she says.

“Yes. You too.”

“A first session is a time for us to get to know one another, to see if this is going to be a good fit.”

WRECKING BALL. OH MY GOD. If this is a good fit? It fits! I’m well fitted! My core is getting stronger by the minute! You mean this might not be –

“You seem distracted. Is there something on your mind?”

“Um – …”

“You’re flushed.”

“Yes. Well…” A silence longer than the GO Train ride to Union Station.

“methodological, theoretical, practical” by Julia on her couch


Thursday November 19,2015
10:32pm
5 minutes
from the back of a theatre theory book

Belief isn’t strong enough on its own, she tells me, as the crumbs of her double baked almond croissant stick to the corners of her mouth.
You need to put beliefs into practice, Marnie. It’s all about practicality here.
I can’t stop staring at her lips. Encrusted in almond flakes, spewing some wisdom or advice that I can barely pay attention to.
Do you think you put your beliefs into practice, Marnie?
She notices where my eyes land on her face and instantly reaches up to swat the crumbs away. She looks embarrassed now. She keeps her gaze on me.
Have you been listening, Marnie?
Yes, I tell her quickly, before she tries to ask me if I’m sure.
Good. That’s good. Is there anything you’d like to add? I don’t want to be the only one offering ideas here. That’s not why I asked to meet with you, is it?

“oyster” by Julia at Katerina and Ben’s


Saturday November 15, 2014
2:49am
5 minutes
from a London Transport card

I hate that I care about it. What he’s doing. Wearing. Thinking. Wanting. That if it changed from one to another that I would be deeply interested in hearing what that was. What that would be. Should be. Must be. It sort of just exists in a way that tugs on my mind and keeps me actively asking questions and actively forgetting to think of something else to think of. I hate that I care more about this. About him. About the way his dark eyes make me feel. The way nothing about it is safe.

“in the passenger seat” by Julia at her desk


Sunday October 26, 2014
12:33am
5 minutes
from the early draft of a screenplay

Anja sat quietly in the front seat, not wanting to disturb her father while he was lost. She knew she’d only have a few more calm minutes with him before he lost his temper, and she didn’t want to reduce them by saying the wrong thing, or breathing too loudly. Anja had wanted to go up to the cabin with her father ever since she was a kid, but for some reason they never did things just the two of them. Of course Pat got to do everything with their father, and he’d come home shining like the sun after a weekend alone with him. Anja knew she didn’t have much to say to her father, but always assumed that was because she never got to go on these trips like her brother did. If she had had the opportunity, she would have made herself known. She would have told a few jokes and proven how strong she was, and fearless. It felt like the two of them, finally spending some quality time together, had been driving in circles for at least an hour. Anja wondered briefly if this moment would be enough to bring them closer together.

“The realist canon” by Julia at her desk


Thursday October 23, 2014
1:14am
5 minutes
Realisms of Redress
Natalie Alvarez


saw that pretty little thing reading in the corner
the edges of her book tattered
the pages ripped and curled
she had a bookmark made out of a piece of toilet tissue
making me smile
knowing she likes to read in the bathroom
and why not?
why not read in the bathroom?
she wasn’t looking at anyone at all
not distracted for even a minute
the book was a good one
I couldn’t tell which one it was
the cover was a solid forrest green without any writing
but she didn’t stop even to sip her tea
probably purchased just to have something on her table
a place holder for the idea of multitasking
she was wearing a potato sack
or at least she could have been
I wasn’t looking at her outfit
I was busy trying to see inside her mind
wondering if she could see me seeing her
wondering if she was in fact so distracted by me
that she had to pretend to keep reading
to prevent herself from turning red
or if she was engrossed
in love
with the words on the page

“in a graceful way” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday January 14, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
12:35am
5 minutes
Stone Poetry
Satya Pattnaik


In a graceful way, I see your unravelling. It started with forgetting that you left the car on, bad, terrible things coming out the wind-pipe. I got home and thought that you were doing what you sometimes do, listening to the radio, too engrossed to leave the freezing cold, red, Honda. I get excited because I’m going to surprise you and scare you half to death. I rarely get that. It’s usually the other way around. But, you’re not there. I go round to the drivers side and take the key out. I imagine someone having found the car here, your prized possession of true adult independence, and driving it away, no sign of anything out of the ordinary. But you are out of the ordinary. Nothing about the dishes in the sink, or the dying spider plants are ordinary. This is the time before the phoenix rises. This is the time when you sprinkle the one hundred and sixty puzzle pieces all over the living room carpet.