“an overdose, the fire hall repainted red.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday August 5, 2019
10:42am
5 minutes
Orography
Alison Braid

I read you my writing
two poems
at the kitchen table
that’s grown seven feet
since this day last week

a kitchen table that sees
the pancakes and the salt
the chilli and the fights
the Scrabble and the worst

You meet me in the words
beyond the wrong and right
only by being present
but that’s enough for now

two poems
speaking the unspeakable
shrieking in their small stanzas
shaking ghosts from their pockets
sand from their ears

“a time lacking in truth and certainty” by Julia on B’s toilet

Monday July 22, 2019
10:59pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Louise Bogan

When we were young we spent time hiding from each other in the mornings so we wouldn’t have to endure the small talk that had become of us.

I admit I was the one avoiding you because you could see into my skin and I didn’t like how I was treating you because of that.

I have already apologized and so have you but when we weren’t walking quietly on the kitchen tile, we were occupying the misunderstandings in the hallway.

You there in your fed up to here stance, hurling hardball truth to my jaw, me there mouth agape. Shocking how well the time we bottled knew how to explode in our faces.

I didn’t have excuses for my behaviour but I gave you my reasons and you didn’t care. You weren’t having any of it because you had had enough.

“Does it not sound like shouting to them?” By Julia on her couch

Saturday January 13, 2018
11:24pm
5 minutes
The Sisters Brothers
Patrick DeWitt

There’s a couple down the hall-or there was a couple down the hall-who screams and screams and yells and yells and fights and fights and etcetera and etcetera. I say was because we haven’t heard fighting in a while and the more logical assumption is that they’ve moved out. I mean it’s sad that a couple has moved out of our building and we didn’t realize it until we noticed the quiet. Other people are living there now and we didn’t know that either. I say it was more logical that they moved out than that they stopped fighting because they used to fight so bad it didn’t seem like the kind of thing that would ever end. Even alone they fought, which is weird, but maybe it was on the phone so maybe not so weird. Anyway I’m certain that the whole building heard it because we heard it through the walls and over the Brahms. Over our own fights, which we were glad to realize weren’t as bad as theirs. I only know them by their loud. I wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a line up.

“We assumed he did.” By Julia at the studio


Tuesday August 22, 2017
8:40pm
5 minutes
Equus
Peter Shaffer


Got to the street light we agreed upon and lit up before he could get get there.
The quiet twitched my ear. Listening for night crawlers. The ones with the feather step.
Smoked slow till the light swallowed me. Bathed me. Made me thicker-skinned.
Hair a dusting of lamp and ash. He would smell it on me quick. Always looking for that kind of thing.
Assumed he did on account of all those backs up. Too many. Only two arms on him. Not enough to fend off.

“make strong choices on the fly” by Sasha at Horseshoe Bay


Sunday November 8, 2015
11:16pm
5 minutes
from nativeearth.ca/w28series/

A: Are you even listening to me?
B: Of course I am –
A: What did I just say?
B: “You want to quit.”
A: NO!
B: Something about quitting…
A: Why is it so hard for you to just pay attention to me? Why are you always looking at the clock?
B: Do you really want to know?
A: Yes!
B: We ordered that pizza exactly twenty seven minutes ago… And, if it’s over a half hour, we get it for free. We could really use a free pizza.
A: Grrr…
B: I’m just excited about the pizza!
A: I want to quit my job of ten years and you’re thinking about pizza.
B: Tell me you aren’t thinking about pizza?
A: You love pizza more than you love me!
B: Not true.
A: True.
B: Not at all true! That would be so so sad!
A: You do love pizza…
B: I really do.

“Those were the worst nights” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday June 2, 2015
12:44am
5 minutes
overheard at Higher Grounds

Trains pounding through the thin night air and landing directly beside us in bed
Mosquitoes trapped between the broken screen door and the hot summer sunset
Newborn babies trying to name their pain at every single hour
Flash floods and terrible eaves
Basement apartment and a new soggy sofa bed complete with rain-water swimming pool
Wasps building nests and forever homes in our nest and forever home
Staying up late fighting over who would get the window side
Staying up late fighting over who would get Tess and who would get Jinx

“Optimal health” by Sasha on the bus


Saturday December 6, 2014
3:54pm
5 minutes
The back of the chia seed bag

Those nights full of talking that hurt.
Yeah.
We’ve all been there.
Two in the morning turns to three in the morning and we’re losing more mind than sleep
Pounding pillows like dreamcatchers
Future flying in and out
We’ve all been there
A secret is a time bomb
A secret could explode at any minute
A secret a secret a secret

Everything has to do with loving and not loving
That is not an oversimplification
That is truth

This night (we’ve all been there) will turn to morning
(We’ve all woken up puffy faced and heart-achey)
and we’ll put on coffee
We’ll fry some eggs
Optimal health
And we’ll return to the loving and the not loving

“experience learn hear” by Julia in the car


Friday Aug 1, 2014
11:34am
5 minutes
from an expired TPL card

According to my brother, who can’t see out of his left eye and carries a knife everywhere he goes, you “really gotta listen to people and their body language.” That’s what he says when he’s trying to explain how to read people and how to protect yourself against “predators” or “criminally insane”. He knows these tricks because he’s been in a ton of fights with other people who also carry knives around. You’ve got to make sure “your eyes are open, your heart is calm, and your fingers are nimble.” Probably in case someone comes at you. But if you’re reading their postures before hand, you can avoid a brawl. That’s what he says. You can avoid getting into trouble if you’re just listening and hearing all the possible signs and all the signals that someone is giving out. My brother says that most people don’t even want the confrontation they seem to be inviting. He says it’s because deep down they’re looking for someone to stop them. He says that “deep down, they don’t want to do it.” So if you can understand the motives before you act on impulse, you could be saving yourself a lot of grief. You could be saving yourself a lost eye too.

“Marvellous convenient place” by Julia at Small Point Cafe in Providence


Saturday May 3, 2014 at Small Point Cafe in Providence
6:52pm
5 minutes
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Wiliam Shakespeare


Tori found her gold locket, the one she thought she’d lost forever, in the basement of her best friend Jane’s house. She yelled at Jane for a whole two minutes because she couldn’t believe that someone who called themselves her friend would ever think about doing that to her. Tori’s grandfather gave her that locket and inside was a photo of her when she was just a little thing with two hairs on her head, holding both her hands on either side of her grandpa’s face. It meant a lot to her and when she’d lost it, she was in a real state. To her it was like losing him all over again and through teary eyes and sobs she’s say, I can’t go to another funeral. I can’t. Jane tried to explain that she didn’t take it and that Tori must have accidentally left it there–or, she tried, Maybe you weren’t paying attention and forgot to fasten it properly…
That set Tori off into another dimension and she said, I would NEVER be careless with this. And with that she stormed out of Jane’s house and vowed to never speak to her again. Jane was telling the truth. She didn’t care much for Tori’s locket in the first place.

“Heavy duty” by Julia at the Marriott in Providence RI


Friday May 2, 2014
11:45pm
5 minutes
from the sponge wrapper

Papa used to get so mad at me when I’d track mud through the house–told me, Deirdre, could you for once stop playing like a little piggy? And I’d say, Papa, I’ll just take them off, it’s easier. He’d smile and say, Sure, sure, Dee Dee, and I’d smile back and say, You’ll miss me to the moon when I’m gone.
I didn’t quite know what that meant but I had heard Lucy-Bell say it to her boyfriend when they were having a big fight out on the veranda. She’d run in screaming just to scream and told me to stay out of her way or she’d yank every blonde hair out of my head one by one. I’d sit by the front window and watch her boyfriend, Dillon, with his hands in his jean pockets and his eyes closed, just sighing at the night and all its bigness. Probably at Lucy-Bell in all her bigness. I didn’t want Papa to think I wasn’t good at listening, I just always forgot to do what he told me cause I’d get so caught up in the fun of it all.

“once” by Julia on the 506 going west


Wednesday December 11, 2013
7:51pm
5 minutes
from a poster for Once The Musical

Once she lied
He forgave her
Kisses on top of her head
And everything
She said she was sorry
And she meant it
Nothing made her feel worse
He said shh shh and held her close
Her eyes glassy
Her mouth dry
It’s not over it’s not over
He soothed her
Holding her heart in a velvet pouch
So she wouldn’t try to hurt it even more
She eventually forgave herself
He never stopped loving her
She would slip sometimes
Bringing up the past because it was eating at her
Shh shh he’d say to her
This is not then, it’s now
She would test him
Without even knowing it
Making him feel bad for things
That he couldn’t understand
And he loved her anyway
He came home after bitter fights
He wrote her love notes
Hiding them in her coat pockets
And on the bathroom mirror
So she’d know
And so she’d believe
That when he said he would always want her
He meant it

“against the kitchen window” by Julia at the The Box


Saturday August 3, 2013 at The Box
7:55pm
5 minutes
Fall On Your Knees
Anne-Marie MacDonald


He was leaning against the window with his head knocking slightly, and repetitively against the pane. He was thinking about her, and she was nowhere to be found. He wondered if maybe she’d come back home tonight and apologize for her behaviour, for hitting him in the jaw, and for running out on them in the middle of a really important conversation. She probably wouldn’t be doing that, but he waited patiently just in case. He had just started to become really comfortable with her. He thought about telling her about his Mother’s death, and all those documents he had hidden in the attic to protect her from public scrutiny. He was past the point of doing what he’d do in private, like rolling his toe lint between his fingers, or picking his nose and flicking it in various corners of the room he was sitting in. He was ready to begin living honestly and openly and letting her see all his quirks, his flaws…but then she left. He didn’t know what else to do other than lean there, head on the window, and think about that cute smile she had the first day they met. One of her teeth was chipped. She had gotten hit in the mouth with a tennis racket and he had never seen anything more charming.

“Greener than yesterday” by Julia at her desk


Friday, July, 5 2013
12:3pm
5 minutes
Distance
Jeremiah T. Scott


Had a rainstorm come in and wash it all away. All the fights we had, all the nasty things we said to each other. The grass, the grass is much more luscious. Greener, even. Do you notice that? Our kisses feel sweeter. Our secret looks feel more thoughtful, more meaningful, more flirtatious. And nothing else has changed. Just the weather and a rocky night’s sleep to remind us that the morning is our time. That it’s better for us because it’s not clouded by anger or disappointment.
Come to think of it, I don’t know if the rain was real or just a metaphor; a feeling. Did it even fix anything or did we just forget all the other things because it was easier. I don’t care, if I’m being honest. As long as it all makes sense today, and you’re still here and we’re still trying. I think that’s enough to ask for. Enough to be thankful for. I’ll come to you when it’s time to sleep and tuck you in with a nice quilt and remind you that we’re better this way. That we’re better.