“but took that nasty” by Julia on her patio

Monday June 22, 2020
6:30pm
5 minutes
anti-immigration
Evie Shockley

there were more words to write
There were more candles to light
This would be the last of something but not the least
this would be the hope of something underneath

The words might sing off the page tonight
The words might laugh off my face tonight

I want to say goodbye so you know I mean it
So you see the meat on the bones and know I’ve leaned in

Nothing is forever is a colour I have never met
But this handshake I know well
this nasty turned nail in the wall that I’ve held

It’s a good thing people prefer So-Longs
See You Soons and someday in person

It’s a good thing this happened and kept happening and keeps happening

I want to say Good but not Bye, bliss but not buried,
this something open-hearted whisper and all its remembered harmonies

I will wait for the edge to present itself once more
I will decide which cliff to leap and which to climb

Of course I will carry you.
I will have room in my pack all the way with you.

And with a promise to
spread glue
hurl impossible
and soar.

“but took that nasty” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday June 22, 2020
9:31pm
5 minutes
anti-immigration
Evie Shockley

I’ve put this off all day because I’m not sure
how to wrangle the fullness of this particular wave

Will I cup my hand and move it slowly left to right
watch the shadow throb on the wall

Will I wave like Lola does with the enthusiasm of
having just mastered something pedestrian and wonderful

I will not wave

That is not the summation of eight and a half years
of a daily pause or a daily play that in it’s collection

Forms a revolution
I will feel the heavy heart of a goodbye that has been

A long time coming
Goodbye catches on my teeth and turns to salt water

This gentle place has seen the best and the worst
The burning and boring

The empty and the quiet
The dark night and the wisdom of growing

Thank you for reading all the strange wonderment
Thank you for finding the pearl in the compost

And believing what you heard between the lines
Thank you for the patience and the listening

My brilliant beloved trusted friend Julia
Thank you for how you rise

Thank you for the passion with which you fill every second
Of these five minutes

“And when the revolution frees me” by Julia on her bed

Sunday June 21, 2020
9:16pm
5 minutes
Because We Are Not Taken Seriously
Stephen Dunn

It is the second last night. The penultimate write. It’s the almost goodbye but not quite. It’s the faith of the fingers, or the might. I’ve been showing up alright. All these years and delights, all these tears and all fights, wondering if I’m doing this right, or if strangers share my plight

I was going to say that this revolution has freed me, this decision then, this year around the sun has been a turning one, and all the hurting I’ve done has now been spun into gold plated fun on the page stage all won.

It’s hard to put in words, woe be to the the self-proclaimed writer.

“And when the revolution frees me” by Sasha in the bedroom

Sunday June 21, 2020
2:07pm
5 minutes
Because We Are Not Taken Seriously
Stephen Dunn

Happy Father’s Day
I am beyond words grateful to know you
As a daughter does
As a daughter can
Know your fortitude and your ferocity
Your intelligence and your imagination
Your creativity and your generosity
Your tenderness and your tenacity

I am grateful for every chapter of our story
From being the baby in your arms asleep
To my baby in those same arms dancing
How you hold what you love close
The pull of time a web that weaves
something magic
ancient and new

The revolution won’t wait for you
And I admire how you know this
How you listen with full attention
To what we are saying
Punctuated by deep breath and tears
The prickle of your pride
Fathering daughters is something
you are well suited for

“I almost hear your voice:” by Julia on the couch

Saturday June 20, 2020
10:01pm
5 minutes
Full Consciousness
Juan Ramon Jimenez

from your new life in France
I sometimes hear your voice in my head
I sometimes zone out and there you are
In the summertime, sometimes any boy with ankles is you.

It’s been so many years now I’ve finally lost count
but some moments are pounded into the fabric of my existence like wildflowers or tall grass

You remain a swaying reed, a light footed man in a t-shirt button down
a heart big enough to hold me
It’s more than a former love
It’s a first. And it’s a thing I thank you for.

And in my here and now life, I am most able to say that. Because I am happy. Because I got what I wanted.

“I almost hear your voice:” by Sasha in the bedroom

Saturday June 20, 2020
11:17am
5 minutes
Full Consciousness
Juan Ramon Jimenez

If I am really writing, I am looking the feathered fish
right in the glassy blue eyes, fantasizing
about kissing a new tongue, Killing an old belief
Atonement for the little lies that build a chain
That house a dog
Barking to all eternity

The tannic truth that always leaves
Legs on the glass,
Nectar of maybe swirled.

I almost hear your voice now:
Giving me notes on the syntax and the rhythm,
Alliteration is lazy,
Voice is derivative,
Punctuation doesn’t serve a purpose.
Your baritone reaching in to my vulnerable folds,
pulling out, pushing in, pulling
out, filet after filet, after lemon wedge, after peony.

I’m exhausted by men who are too fucked to ask questions,
Dole Whip a critique masked as a suggestion, wearing the clothes
of a wolf, wrapped in cellophane and oceanic fury.

Salty lick and suddenly I’m believing every word you say,
Trusting your “Nah” and your nod more than my own.

“gags, oh gags” by Sasha in the bedroom

Friday June 19, 2020
9:02pm
5 minutes
Black Matters
Keith S. Wilson

You hold me like a malachite in a clenched hand
These fingers curled around the hope that this
Could be the time
the place
the person

the knowing
Knowledge is your scaffolding
Emotions are a weird frozen untrustable

Cut off the crusts of the
Promise sandwich and see how the bread dogs
Sogs
Yawns
Brittle and aloof

All the you’s and
all the me’s
Treading water in the same pool
of the same river

You hold me like a jade on your tongue
Eucharist of temptation
Sweaty small of the back begs questions
Words can’t ask

I take off my clothes
A corporeal deliverance
Contemplate the seven sins
The seven circles of whiteness
The seven years that held
a lot of dinosaurs
Spiderwebs
Foggy morning wetness

A lot of bones
Hymn to the light on the quivering horizon

“Her bigness sweeps my being” by Sasha in the bedroom

Thursday June 18, 2020
1:02pm
5 minutes
America
Claude McKay

Supple in her sweeping she walks in to rooms and people
Notice the broadness of her shoulders or maybe
it’s just her command
Her gaze is chestnut and pride
A few nights sleeping under a bridge when you’re seventeen and
High on meth
And your gaze changes for
Ever

June calls for brightly coloured beads and Slurpees spiked with vodka
Drum and bass sweaty thighs sticking to garden chairs
Ice cubes melting in bellybuttons
Asking for what she actually wants for once in her life for
Once in her fucking
Dream she is the real versioning vision of who she knows herself to be

When she turned forty
She promised to forget about all the assholes who took her for granted
She’s wasted so many hours with a clenched jaw
Focus on the love her cat gives her in the morning
Paws pressing into her forehead
Nails flirting with a scratch
Her cat saves her life and she never thought she’d be someone
To say that

Always hated when people spoke of cats in such a way

She turns up CBC radio
Opens a window
Picks up Rocco
Pats his calico head and picks gunk out of the corner of his eyes
She’ll make waffles for breakfast

Because it’s June 18th
Because it’s Thursday
Because she’s here and she slept decently well last night and she doesn’t feel the growl of an unanswerable question in her elbows

“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.

“if the seas of cities” by Sasha in her bedroom

Tuesday June 16, 2020
11:49pm
5 minutes
if something should happen
Lucille Clifton

If I position myself just so
in the right light
She thinks
Maybe then maybe then
maybe then the truth will land
and the nervous giggle won’t crescendo
fall flat in the face of so much strange

A third of life in the rear view mirror
at best
She thinks that she knows about
seasons changing
And how to tend to bruised palm
The best method for soft boiling an egg
What she needs when she’s tired and lonely

If I position myself
In the magic hour patina
Feel for the dew of desire
She wonders
about asking outright or if
it’s most palatable to keep playing
the game a little longer

“if the seas of cities” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday June 16, 2020
9:21am
5 minutes
if something should happen
Lucille Clifton

If you and I are swimming around each other in a sea of whistling and wondering than how long can we circle the untrues. Maya wrote that nice people didn’t say the word “lies”. And that is what we are being, nice, if not a bit cagey.

This comes after a morning of boundaries laid out in the sun. This is where I need to rise to meet myself. Here is where you cannot cross for whatever reason. I gave the line and everyone knows it is not a “whatever” reason but one that need not be justified.

You’d think that giving up the silent struggle would mean that now I can move forward in my day, but no, this is not what happens. I say what I want/need and you accept it (after reminding me once of a fiasco we had because I attempted this at an earlier point but did not have the courage to maintain my position)and I end up doing for you what I wanted you to do for me.

“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.

“your face remains close to the ground” by Julia on her bed

Sunday June 14, 2020
9:18pm
5 minutes
Inmate of Happiness
Elizabeth Metzger

Are you sniffing something funny, Mama, I hear her say in her small voice. When I emerge from under the the toilet I hold up my camera.

No, baby, I was taking pictures.
I flip open the screen and show her the last things I had shot. A silverfish in a spider’s web, a knot of hair.

Why do you want these pictures, Mama?
And I don’t have an explanation quite yet but I tell her it’s something I want to look at again. A moment I thought was important.

Why I am crawling around in shaved beard hair and lint, I do not wish to risk articulating

“your face remains close to the ground” by Sasha in the bedroom

Sunday June 14, 2020
7:02am
5 minutes
Inmate of Happiness
Elizabeth Metzger

Annie orders extra plates of things when she goes on dates. Because why not. Because she deserves the smoky eggplant dotted with pomegranate jewels. She must taste the pickled carrots on a bed of yogurt and mint. She wants to see this almost-stranger’s face as they dip a triangle of warm fresh pita into silky hummus. She orders with confidence and curiosity, unafraid to try the dishes on the menu that might be skipped over. Tripe, liver, chicken feet, mousses, raw beets shaved into snow. She is kind to wait staff, asks them their name and how they are and listens deeply to their answer. She knows what she wants. This adds inches to her beauty and shimmer to her glow. If you saw Annie walking down the street you might not notice the fullness of her presence, but if you are lucky enough to dine with her, you will be as enraptured by the depth of her noticing as you are by the spread. She has an impeccable palate, whispering, “is that sumac?” Or, “Saffron! Saffron and raisins!”

“not with legends and poems” By Sasha in the bedroom

Saturday June 13, 2020
5 minutes
12:26pm
Frederick Douglass
Robert Hayden

I feel the end approaching
Horizon hazy and grey
Uncharacteristically cold for June thirteenth
I sit with the heavy cherry in the bottom of my throat
Breathe past it
Down to a belly that has grown my life and her life
Housed my shame and pleasure

We are going to say goodbye
All the endings lined up in a row
To point and shoot at
Light a match to
Or caress and care for
Kiss and hold close
Hold in the space between chin and neck
An orange passed around a circle
The small frog in the grass that’s here and then
Disappears

I feel the end before I meet it
Anticipate the taste of this year and how
One day
I’ll think back to these months and shake my head

All the endings lined up on death row
As the days turn to weeks turn to months
And suddenly it’s here
We’re there
I’m here
It’s now
It’s done

Okay
Thank you
Okay

“There are words like Freedom” by Julia in her bed

Friday June 12, 2020
10:59pm
5 minutes
Words Like Freedom
Langston Hughes

It’s a negotiation always willing to walk away what am I going to ask for what am I going to need what am I going to blow up at least my cool from what small act will lay me down and leave me there
where I have not hung around myself long enough to know how to help me if I am left there
I can hear the word no and not become a collapsed bridge
I can hear the word no and not become a swollen nerve
It’s a negotiation brain drain some kind shame game and what am I going to ask for and how loud and how often and how will I budge what will I sacrifice next
I make all my exceptions on Saturday

There are words like Freedom” by Sasha in her room

Friday June 12, 2020
5 minutes
9:18pm
Words Like Freedom
Langston Hughes

We are sat on the couch
The same couch where that famous picture is taken
The first winter we loved each other silly
We are sat on that black couch
And it’s night
And the stars are singing a hymnal spring
And you say
I notice your collarbone is protruding
And I imagine you like that
I howl with laughter because I don’t know what else to do
You have rarely commented on my body
Rarely said anything approving or disproving
And even though I know that’s probably the right thing
I have thirsted for your affirmation and approval
Like a parched dog
Wagging tail the whole way to the bowl
But will lap and lap and lap until she pukes
When she gets there
Unknowing of her own thirst
Of her own insatiable need for being seen
As something to be desired

“Each finger weak with memory” by Julia on the couch

Thursday June 11, 2020
8:15pm
5 minutes
History
Camille Rankine

one finger dancing in the honey jar
one finger feeling the inner cheek and tongue
tongue is the root word the root word I’ve been trying to swallow
follow it all the way down and splash hit that puddle
watch out for sailboats drifting

These summer days don’t sit right.
A sunburn is a something to marvel
at and heal slowly. A project of removing the red, keeping the skin moisturized, applying the aloe thick from the plant overtaking the living room.

The memory of ache is upon us
The kinks linger in the muscles and the bones start to creak

one finger dancing in the honey jar
one finger poking the pool of smoke

“in the plumed summers of Los Angeles” by Sasha on the couch

Wednesday June 10, 2020
11:09pm
5 minutes
_______ my loved blacknesses & some blackness I knew
Khadijah Queen

You sit across the table from the person you promised forever too
You remember that when you said it you felt your stomach turn
How could someone twenty five or otherwise know anything about
The hours of a whole long life?

You sit across the table and you look at the hands of the man who
Keeps saying “My client”
They are hands that have trim nails and hair on the knuckles
Hands that tie garbage bags and turn steering wheels and eat burgers

You love this man across from you the divide of oak table and sadness
Reaching across is what you want to do but you sit on your hands
Palms pressing into the tan leather of the chair
You don’t see the lips you spent days kissing in the beginning

You see lips that need water and redemption and a break
Cheeks concave under freshly shaven skin
You wish that you’d worn something beloved instead of this
New striped sweater

“as darkness under your eyelids” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Tuesday June 9, 2020
8:59pm
5 minutes
how to get over (be born: black…”)
T’ai Freedom Ford

You are the plum tree spitting fruit
and leaves to the ground
when you’re tired and inconsolable
Raging at the tiers of injustice
Unsure how to move in your foliage
How deep the roots reach towards water

Darkness under your eyelids with the depth of night
Rather peel back the bark than say something
Wrong
Only now do you smell the rot of last summer
You didn’t even know you were plugging your nose
Relish the quiet of dawn
Aren’t sure if you’re ready to dare towards sunlight

The veins scorch and it’s a lucky turn of fate
That the network below sustains you
Lifts you
Keeps you from sinking
You don’t wish for lightning to strike
But you wonder when it will and welcome a bolt
A jolt
A shaking from the cling of soil

“for us to breathe.” By Sasha in the living room

Monday June 8, 2020
10:07pm
5 minutes
A Small Needful Fact
Ross Gay

“She’s having a panic attack,” the doctor says. He has eyes like a cocker spaniel. Like a fish. Like your grandmother. He has big hands. Hairy hands. Knuckles that have been grated and bruised. “I don’t want to prescribe anything but therapy,” he is talking to her mother and her mother is the kind of woman who still wears a girdle and drinks sugar free iced tea from a can. Her mother picks at scabs when no one is looking, and buys herself a secret doughnut on the first day of her period, but she doesn’t menstruate anymore, so she actually buts herself a doughnut once a month on the day that she used to start her period. She is a very anxious woman, always pushing back her cuticles, reaching for gum. Anxiety is a thread woven between the women in this family, woman to woman, down the line, a strange kind of relay race.

“for us to breathe.” by Julia on her patio

Monday June 8, 2020
9:31pm
5 minutes
A Small Needful Fact
Ross Gay

If I am picturing it correctly, the stomach is filling like a balloon
yes a balloon, slowly growing, expanding, reaching. This is a comforting
thought, the balloon, dipping into the edges of the body and retreating
again to fold, this balloon on its way to floating.
As far as I know there is nothing else living there. It is a hollowed
star, a lampless light, the silhouette of breathing and nothing else.
There doesn’t need to be much more, really. There is the in and out the
big the little the wide the narrow and it is constant and it is bigger
than anything in there. It can pilot the ship on its own. Nothing to
contradict if there is nothing else in there. Nothing to distract from
the process of breathing, tell everyone you know there’s nothing else
in there so don’t bother poking around. You won’t find what you’re looking
for, no mechanism to blame or stoke, no wire to trip over, I am telling you.
If I am picturing it correctly, this is all there ever was.

“All above us is the touching” by Sasha in the basement

Sunday June 7, 2020
4:02pm
5 minutes
Elegy
Aracelis Girmay

All of the lonely people wishing for a touch
on the forearm from the new fingertips
the sizzle of the egg
the tongue on the earlobe
wishing for a spark
the fire starts low in the belly
spreads quick
suddenly there is no pandemic
is no risk
is nothing
but the want
for a touch
the longing for a taste

Above us is the promise of change not made
by someone at a podium or with a microphone
the sun watches as we disobey orders
as they burn cities
topple oppressive monuments into murky water

I’ve been clenching my jaw again
scratching my throat
losing sleep over the dead ones
the living

“All above us is the touching” by Julia on the bed

Sunday June 7, 2020
5:23pm
5 minutes
Elegy
Aracelis Girmay

I wonder what forces are at work when the misunderstandings begin firing, pinging across the kitchen and the newly washed tile.

Does someone look down and notice that we have had too many instances of ease today, that a maturity fills out our shoes, that we want to get along?

It can shape shift so quickly and all of the subconcious resentments make their voices heard in small gestures, big reactions, and words we wished we didn’t utter so losely.

All above us in the space just over our heads is the glittering possibility and we squander every particle.

“I didn’t blink when the water” by Julia on the couch

Saturday June 6, 2020
8:43pm
5 minutes
The Truth
Ross Gay

When the water rushed I did not blink, I did not dare
Summoned the courage to open wider
let her teach me something
let her toss my body around
let her leave her mark on my easy skin

I did not look away
I will not look away

How many dreams in a row will
show me the same thing
A baptism by river
An escape route from the dogs itching for a scent
A marriage to the ocean herself

A purifying cleansing hope
A soaking soul giving testimony
after the eyes get washed and the mouth

“I lay on a moment” by Julia on the couch

Thursday June 4, 2020
10:06pm
5 minutes
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou

it is loud and buzzing
like swatting a stubborn idea away so it doesn’t land on the face

label this distraction a thinking thought, the next a planning, the next, a dreaming

outside the jackhammer street ripper crows cawing seaguls calling

in the room over a snoozed alarm and again and again

it is not meant to be easy and
so it isn’t
a little thinking thinking planning

the recurrent fly invokes four nights in a row of winged creatures in dreams attacking
the unexpected curl

today when the injured crow unmoving behind the wheel of a parked truck opens its eyes
it is clear how young it always was

“Go home. Get some sleep” by Julia on the bed

Wednesday June 3, 2020
2:29pm
5 minutes
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Michael Chabon

In the last few days we have seen the focus become singular, and good, and finally, and I know I could have pulled up sooner. I know what it means to not have to think about it daily, and not think of my own skin as more than skin. Skin in the game, singular, sorries.

When a friend posts about responding verses reacting to racisim, when a friend posts about needing all lanes and not to worry if you don’t occupy all of them.
These are resonating bells that some rest is needed to show up better and stronger and with attention.

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

Tuesday June 2, 2020
7:45pm
5 minutes
Mencius
Mencius

It’s more about verbs, you see, action words.
Did you know that for the Irish, Love is not always a verb? They have a saying instead, “you are my music” and it melts me when I hear it, hits the nail right on the head. The idea of song, invoking movement, yes, you are that, you are why my heart dances.

Some of the verbs I’ve been stuck on these days are ones that can be reframed so they hold up the mirror. Running and hiding become staying and looking. Crying becomes Seething. Hushing becomes Shouting. There are more verbs to learn and then there is my favourite one: To Practice

“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

“And you intend to remain there a few days” by Sasha on the living room floor

Monday June 1, 2020
10:39pm
5 minutes
Murder on the Orient Express
Agatha Christie

You intend to remain in your sad place for a few days
build a little fire in the stove

fry some eggs in the cast iron skillet when you get hungry
You’ll write an angsty poem or three
Try to catch a frog

You’ll be pleasantly surprised when a dragonfly lands on
the tip of your nose

This is not the kind of event that you’ve come to expect

You had intended to swim out to the island a ways away
lie in the tall grass
tempt lightning

The storm blows over and you’re left with a sunset
that turns your stomach
loons calling to each other
or to you

“And you intend to remain there a few days” by Julia leaning

Monday June 1, 2020
10:30pm
5 minutes
Murder on the Orient Express
Agatha Christie

some days are dark days and you intend to leave them but you end up staying for a few days

deep sighing
laying
shivering at the bone

nothing will bring you out of it
not cookies
not a foot massage
not a rainbow

so you think you might as well get comfy
pull the covers over your eyes
block out the light and try to sleep

but sleeping is filled with sighing
and turning
and turning

nothing will bring you rest so you don’t bother opening your eyes

the calendar crosses its own days off two by two

you intend to leave them but somehow along the way the x crosses you out too

you wonder why you exist
if this is existing

you wonder why the sun still comes out
why the boats still honk

you vow to learn how to swim beyond the sheets

“describe what it might be like to be her child” by Julia on the couch

Sunday May 31, 2020
10:46pm
5 minutes
Room To Write
Bonni Goldberg

She’s soft and open
her thighs spill out of her shorts
like a river running over the cup
she asks permission before she lifts me or puts me down
it’s very important for her to talk to me while she’s chopping the broccoli or the cauliflower
she tells me everything she does

She dances with me when a beam of light hits the floor in the afternoon
she sings me to sleep
She is sometimes crying but mostly smiling
She makes eating fun, making silly faces and noises to distract me
I feel like she would swallow me if she could
if she could put me back in her belly and start the whole thing over
she’s softer today and more open than yesterday

“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

“having petals more or less united” by Sasha in the trundle room

Saturday May 30, 2020
2:09pm
5 minutes
Flower Finder
May Theilgaard

She puts a magnolia in the barrel of the gun
Weeps and weeps and wails
She thinks of her mother
doing crosswords at the kitchen table
stewing chicken thighs on the stove

She wears a blue face mask
doesn’t wear contacts because if she gets tear gassed
they’ll stick to her eyes and blind her
She leaves her glasses at home
doesn’t want them to break

She can see enough to know that something is building
a rising fire tide with the crowds and the four hundred years
of brutality and systemic oppression
She wishes that she’d taken other electives when she was in college
She should’ve studied history
She should’ve read biographies

She makes eye contact with a young boy on the shoulders of his father
Broad shoulders getting him up close to clouds and perspective
a new story being written by his fingers in his father’s hair

“La vita con te é fantastica” by Julia at the desk

Friday May 29, 2020
10:51am
5 minutes
from a birthday card

Amore, quando ho ricevuto questo cartolina per mio compleanno (auguri, auguri)
ho pianto tanto-per il tuo cuore, per la tua mente, per tuo ala tua capacità di esprimerti
in questa nuova lingua che hai lavorato così duramente per imperare e praticare.
Che regalo. Per questa donna con un piede in Italia, e un qua. E anche tu, Amore,
con il cuore pieno di pasta ed espresso, ed la voglia di scoprire una vita bella,
diversa, lontano via di tutto che conosciamo qui.
Voglio dirti la stessa cosa…La vita con te è fantastica, e so che riusciremo a
a trovare la luce insieme.

“channel your energy” by Julia on the couch

Wednesday May 27, 2020
5:15pm
5 minutes
from a fortune cookie

There’s a slice of moon hanging in the west just for me
I can see it from my balcony
and last night I noticed her there
sending off the divine light
pulsing in the almost June sky

I bleed with the new moon and I dance on the bathroom tile when I am visited by the great knowing

When I see her I call her out by name the way I do when I see a hummingbird or a field of horses along the side of the highway while driving past

This naming is a sacred thanks and there is delight and a childlike essence pointing the finger

This belly of filling and emptying
and filling again is a holy magic trick

I am forever sliding through time with a memory tied to my finger
pulling the history through the sky like a kite on a string

“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

“can have a foul odour and taste” by julia laying down

Tuesday May 26, 2020
9:41am
5 minutes
Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Label

Tabby prides herself on her cooking. She’s been living on her own since she was 17, left home earlier than she meant to, had to find a way, found a way. She loves chopping parsley, and walnuts, and mushrooms. She likes to cook with music playing, she’ll shuffle a playlist and see what ingredients are inspired by the new artists or the old songs. Tonight, a pesto, but with some substitutions. Ever since her last period she’s been forgetting more and more. After measuring out the salt and pepper, she pours in a quarter cup of white vinegar. She remembers that vinegar can be a substitute for lemon juice, and since she forgot to buy lemons, she only has one option. The acid lingers in her mouth for hours. She can’t figure out why.

“can have a foul odour and taste” by Sasha at the kitchen island

Tuesday May 26, 2020
8:23pm
5 minutes
Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Label

Henry sticks a meat thermometer in the chicken. Shawn is arriving any minute from now, and he fears he underestimated the cooking time. Why does this always happen? Henry is not a confident cook. He has his dishes. Roast chicken isn’t one of them. He thought he ought to branch out. He threw some parsnips and carrots under the bird, and put three cloves of garlic and a lemon in the cavity. He followed the recipe carefully. Maybe it’s his old oven. Cooks things unevenly. There’s a knock at the door. Shit. He looks down and realizes that he forgot to change into his outfit. He’s still wearing a ratty grey T-shirt and basketball shorts. Well, there’s nothing else to do but embrace the moment. Fail forward, he mutters.

“positive descriptions of the world” by Sasha in the trundle room

Sunday May 24, 2020
10:31am
5 minutes
Perceiving Ordinary Magic
Jeremy W. Hayward

Let’s go back to the time before the
anarchy and debauchery and the excuses dressed
as Big Cats

Let’s paint in sand and cello music
wrap ourselves in rhubarb leaves and moon juice
take a page out of the book of birds
and fly
and sing

There isn’t anything the matter
but everything hurts

Anyone who says otherwise
is wearing dress up clothes
musty from being in the attack
stinking of detergent
from being worn and washed

“the notion of being thawed back into life”by Julia on the bed

Saturday May 23, 2020
7:28pm
5 minutes
The Childhood of Jesus
J.M. Coetzee

It’s about asking the inner self to reveal its well intentioned heart
Asking asking
and the receiving, ooh, yes that’s the good part
being ready
staying ready
what does it mean to be ready
what does it mean to give out

This notion of returning
and I can get behind it
home the place that you might
have left but has never left you
home the place that turns the dial toward the sunlight so you can see
home the place that allows the laugh from within to ripple out
give out
yes I know what I want it to sound like

If there is a memory of what living feels like it might be a simple saturday shopping for vintage t-shirts across town
not having any where else to be and knowing that
knowing it so deeply it vibrates within giving out
thawing the stone
smoothing out the brick

Maybe there is another way
for another day
another day

“the notion of being thawed back into life” by Sasha in the tent

Saturday May 23, 2020
4:44pm
5 minutes
The Childhood of Jesus
J.M. Coetzee

The thaw comes after a long time of being chilly. Inside the intestines, lungs and gallbladder, the kidneys and the blood. She didn’t realize until the thaw began. The release of small drops of body water. A body of water. Our bodies are water. She didn’t realize what had been frozen for oh so very long. She stretches into the end of May like a cat. Spine twisting. She leaves a trail of moisture in her path. Not suspect at first, but the thaw picks up pace and then she’s dripping at all hours of the day and night. She realized that being naked is the easiest way to weather this strange storm. She only wears a bathing suit (blue one piece from Target from her Bubby) when she goes to water her vegetable garden, just in case Tom and Bob next door are trimming their roses. She doesn’t want to upset them.

“and took another profound drag on it” by julia on the couch

Thursday May 21, 2020
7:59pm
5 minutes
The Bonfire Of The Vanities
Tom Wolfe

Before she answered she exhaled a ring of smoke. It floated away and she watched it. Brandan had a knack for drawing out a monent. Her collar bone, pertruding
out of her pink v-neck, seemed to be angrier than she was.
“he can have the kids, I want the house.” And that was what she said. She took another profound drag on her cigarette and then closed her eyes as if for the last time. She opened them slowly, but that was all she said.

“and took another profound drag on it” by Sasha in the window seat

Thursday May 21, 2020
7:13am
5 minutes
The Bonfire Of The Vanities
Tom Wolfe

When she wakes up in the middle of the night, the crickets shrieking outside the cracked window, she thinks about how long the money in her bank account might last, when she might be able to see her mother again, and how her hips ache. She gets up and pees. She drinks from the bathroom sink. She squints at herself in the mirror, hair looking surprisingly good. “Huh,” she says. She pads back to her bedroom, stopped to peek in on Nassau. Tucked into his bed shaped like a rocket ship, he’s still except for the small wheezing chest – up and down and up and down. His inhaler on the bedside table, next to his comic books and green stainless steel water bottle. She leans over her boy, listening to the quality of the wheeze. Should she wake him? He’s fucking beautiful – Larry’s exquisite eyelashes, her mother’s jawline, her cheekbones, and lips all his own. Nassau furrows his brow. Turns over onto his side. Coughs. She tiptoes out of the room.

“nobody should let them in that night” by Sasha at the table

Wednesday May 20, 2020
2:44pm
5 minutes
Wuthering Heights
Emily Bronte

The night of the accident was the first one that really felt like summer. Becca and Sam were in shorts. Maybe pushing it a little, but whatever. Dylan and Stuart had joints tucked behind their ears, a lighter in Stu’s back pocket. The Zippo that his big brother James gave him for his seventeenth birthday. That’s where they got their weed too, and their beer when they drank. James liked the power he held over Stu when he did shit for him. He liked when Stu owed him something. You never know when you’re going to need a favour, or a cover. Stu didn’t think that James would be in the barn when they got there, and he didn’t know that James had dropped acid three hours earlier, on his way home from his job at the Garden Centre. “Who’s there?” Stu called when he heard something. The barn creaked. James whistled the whistle that their Grandmother had taught them in case they got lost in Walmart or the woods. “Shit,” Stu mumbled.

“so for a long time the king was defeated” by Julia on the patio

Tuesday May 19, 2020
9:08pm
5 minutes
The Jewish War
Josephus

Listen
I want to tell you something
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
if you are interested in receiving it I would like to give you what I know
You are a grand elastic band and
you play in the chorus of your dreams
you are the bending inbetween
the conversation point of seams
brought together intersecting
into something undeniable
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
I am happy that you’re here

Another story, similar but not
the same, is the one where the
king was defeated, yes the king, even the king, and for a long time
he told himself the story of how
defeated he was and he believed it
so deeply he knew just how to respond as if a court jester were sent to entertain him with a cruel joke of forever this way

and he did not laugh but summoned the jester all the same
every night he told himself what he wanted and the jester came to
tell him what he already knew he’d hear and he did not laugh
(The jester tried many approaches, you see, joyful at the opportunity to do his job…)

“they must not wait for him” by Julia on the couch

Monday May 18, 2020
11:58am
5 minutes
Tacitus
The Histories

They must not wait for him
for he will never be ready
not the level they wish him
to be and so they must forgo
the waiting game and play on-
play something else.

He has tried but he has also
decided on a subconcious level
where his priorities lie and
he will hang on because it doesn’t
feel good to let go because what
would that even look like?

He is ready with a response and a can-do attitude but underneath he
has already jumped ship! He cannot do what they are waiting for him to do. He will eject himself from the capsule before the signal because he thinks he’s drowning!

Then they are there waiting for him trying to get out of the water, flailing around, because he didn’t trust them to save him! But they were there the whole time.

They knew at the outset based on his blood pressure, censors all tubed up in him, that he was scared and going to act from that place!

“they must not wait for him” by Sasha in the kitchen

Monday May 18, 2020
2:22pm
5 minutes
Tacitus
The Histories

You slice off the end of your finger. You don’t scream. You don’t curse. You don’t fall to the floor. You look at the fingertip on your cutting board. You sigh. You see your father’s face, flushed. He’s just come in from the garden. He’s just come home from a long night shift. He’s just grilled three pieces of salmon on the propane barbecue. The blood starts to drip onto the floor, pooling on the linoleum. You used to faint whenever you saw blood. Daddy helped to train your mind to bear it. “Like a marathon runner, or a samurai fighter, Danielle!” He’d get down and look you right in the eye. Your eyes are the same colour as his. People used to stop you on the street and comment on it. Act like you didn’t know.

“serious minds settling down to discuss” by julia on the bed

Sunday May 17, 2020
7:37pm
5 minutes
Dreams
CG Jung

Let’s put on our boots in case we want to walk into a forest
in case we want to smell what’s before us with open lungs
in case we want to move toward the earth instead of toward the city

Let’s give gratitude for the people cutting in front of us for the third time, edging us off the path and onto the grass toward the swallows and the dragon flies

Let’s not set the alarm for how long we’ll give to each collaboration, staying still with every moment until a new one bursts forth, until the call of the red-winged black bird gasps us immediate because of the expansion in our chests now

“The words merely drifted” by Sasha at the table

Saturday, May 16, 2020
3:34pm
5 minutes
The Right Stuff
Tom Wolfe

Words like javilins like tennis balls
like popcorn like ice water
Drifting from my mouth to your mouth
Catch them
Venus fly traps
Catch them and swallow them
make them into new words
Words I didn’t say
Sharp
Bouncy
Catching a kernel in the throat

Words these sweet friends
turned scorned lovers turned awkward strangers

Betrayal has a jet stream that lingers
long after the word purges from tight lips

Catch this one and volley volley volley
You’ve been practising your spikes
The ball comes when I’m least expecting
Tired and stretching
BANG
First thing in the grey morning
BANG

“Ooh! A fun challenge!” By Sasha at the table

Friday May 15, 2020
3:25pm
5 minutes
From brittab.com

Monica shrugs her shoulders. She feels Dan’s eyes on her body, taking in the rise and fall of her chest as she breathes. She remembers when she used to lie with her head on the soft place between his shoulder and his clavical. The easy silence between them. Now, a layer of plexiglass between their hands as they reach, palm to palm. “I don’t know what happened, Danny, he doesn’t have a father figure, he dpesn’t have a role model,” Monica repeats herself. Dan knows that she does this when she’s anxious. He remembers how she bailed him out at least a half a dozen times when he was working with Len and Gary. The way she’d peel out of the parking lot in her old red Honda Civic, tires screeching and then rail into him, repeating and repeating as he bit his tongue and said, “I’m sorry, baby.”

“if you are not comfortable I totally understand” by Julia in the couch

Thursday May 14, 2020
11:06am
5 minutes
from a text

If you are not comfortable asking me I totally understand
but if you are comfortable making it my problem because you’re not comfortable asking me then I will not.
I will not be a backwards bending stick.
I will not stop slamming doors.
I will not stop yelling if I think it’s funny.
I will not stop taking things too far but I will recognize that sometimes I need to flip the switch on to realize that I too preferred it off.
I want a vacation from this expectation.
One person expects me to be laughing when it’s not funny.
One person won’t understand where I am coming from even after explaining it 65 times.
One person will sigh out deeply and hope for ammends.

“we are on the verge of something.” by Julia on the bed

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
5:55pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chödrön

Choice
a choosing thing
I choose you
I choose this
I choose the something that I am on the verge of
I see it in the window
I gaze at it from the street
I envision myself wearing the purple cloak
the golden cloak
the light bathes me
if I choose to be cleansed
a choice then,
a choosing thing
I choose this
I choose us
I choose the future me
who will carry this history of recorded words
I choose these words for her
so she will see when she looks
back on all that was and wasn’t stamped in ink
that was and wasn’t chosen to be eternal
that this love for her is
boundless now and always so
purple
gold
clear as day and pure as night
this choice to choose herself
and to do it daily
twice daily
all the live long daily
so she will know
that she is what love knows
because she is holding up
the mirror and taking a deep look
she will choose love too
knowing that this love
this thing
this me
has chosen her

“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.

“I bend double under its gaze,” by Sasha in her room

Monday, May 11, 2020
10:03pm
5 minutes
All the Room You Need
Lorna Crozier

Under this gaze
the weight of my face feels heavier than water
Air rising to the surface
Mist on the lake

I wish that I could tell you something good
Something effervescent
Hear your laugh buoyant as fireflies
But all I can muster is a bullet point report on the state

of my heartbreak
Sent in a little blue bubble
from the end of the road

Sometimes I think about looking back
on this time

What might still sting
What might create a shiver
laughter
What might be frozen
beneath

the new layer of the new thing
that’s right or wrong

“I bend double under its gaze,” by Julia on the couch

Monday, May 11, 2020
12:48pm
5 minutes
All the Room You Need
Lorna Crozier

Watching this house finch live its best life on the wire outside my apartment is a reminder that I too may perch and sing and drink a cup of sunlight and warm my bones

It is all this body needs and when that rings true sometimes there is a period of great avoiding

the insides can be enjoyed when they are scrubbed clean of all the sand and hair collecting under furniture and in the hard to reach crevices

then the sitting can be proven good even if the body is now stuck to a couch or other inside thing

with a hope in the broom
chaos is swept to the side, and then reimagined with the new placement of certain objects

the pepper grinder now here on the placemat and the big popcorn pot finally washed and upside down to dry

Restoration
chirp chirping

“We think you’ll like it here” by Julia, standing

Sunday, May 10, 2020
10:42am
5 minutes
From an email

Carmello films himself sanding wood for a new armoir that he plans to put in the bedroom
“First you have to have a plan”
he says to nobody, believing himself a guest on a late night talk show that cares about woodworking or Carmello in all his deadpan humour

“I know some of you like to finish the wood so it looks uniform, but for me the best part is highlighting the pieces that don’t customarily belong. It’s more assymetry for me these days that really excites me about being in the shop”

Carmello’s bedroom was in need of a revamp ever since Lydia cursed him out for not having enough space for all her things

“Maybe it’s time for you to downgrade some of your shit”
was the wrong thing to say to Lydia and he hadn’t heard from her since

Carmello began like this, slowly transforming himself and his life into something that a woman like Lydia would be proud to share, maybe even brag to her tit mouse friends about

“He always thinks of the little things, the fine details, the sweet intricacies”
He heard himself say in Lydia’s voice

“what tiny synapses” by Julia on the couch

Saturday, May 9, 2020
12:23pm
5 minutes
Supermarket Lobsters
Robbie Gamble

I ask her
what is the first thing you think to do when you get high
She says
I want to water my plants, tend to my garden, sometimes dance
I ask if she asks her body what it wants to do and she says
Of course
And then the conversation is firing from mouth to mouth
the room turned on lit up by
our collaboration of this follow thought all the way in on itself and back around and out again
always out again and the gift is a giving kind and we give thanks
the story we are weaving voices wrapping around each other in a seamless slow build a catchy tune satisfying chorus and we are yes and follow the impulse follow the thought follow the impulse follow the thought until we are both floating from the roaring buzz beneath our tongues a trill a la la la la la on the tip of tomorrow today tonight tonight we revel in this divine coming together of things in this realm

“When the rains come,” by julia on the couch

Thursday, May 7, 2020
8:13pm
5 minutes
Monologue of a Fly’s Shadow
Danielle Hanson

If I’m laying in the earth when the rains come
leave me there
let me drink at the mighty fall
let me drench in the midnight sink
lather my bones so they are ocean ready
force out the salt of my skin
till I am as clean as the first day of spring
leave me there to swallow what I’ve thirsted for

Do not bring a bucket
do not dry my hands
do not move the muck from my eyelids
I will be purified by the ends of this and I will have waited

After a new wind has blown me
if I’m laying when the rains come
leave me
oh leave me there

“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.

“And it speaks to certain devils“ by Julia in the couch

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
8:27pm
5 minutes
Another Vision
Patricia Nelson

This devil on my shoulder
has been trying to take over

if I let him speak he sings
or hisses but either way I listen

This devil thinks we’re friends
I guess cause he looks like me
and I look like him

Been tap dancing on my spine
every night right at nine

it comes after the dinner is done
the belly full and I am laying
like I have already won

it’s a deep sigh almost comical
hear the saturation of breath
trauma full

but while I’m laying I’m easy target for this devil’s grip to tighen

and the old air goes in and out

“As if on the ego of a king.” by Julia swaying in the bedroom

Monday, May 4, 2020
8:43am
5 minutes
The Gee Whiz Element of Tropical Storms and Symphonies
Jen Karetnick

the sun wakes me from my sleep
at the right time or is it you
who wraps my body in love at
the right time
I am dreaming these days in drop shadows and Air Jordans
I keep forgetting to set the alarm

I can believe that the sun is making its way through my window to remind me that my aliveness is contribution enough
and I do, heart filling up
an ego of a king

and Michael Jordan always gave his best and led with his best and that was what made him legend
but I am just to lift my head and
be a part of this beautiful system of things moving in and out?

when the birds sing they do not ask if their choir can be heard because it is not for us alone
and my leaving the bed then is not for them alone but for the desire to be a part of the great wheel spinning

I lay in the sliver of sunlight left on my balcony and wonder why I didn’t seize the day sooner while it was covering the part with the chair

I used to stare into it every morning but that
was in another year

“We are very happy to present a virtual conference this year” by Julia in the cave

Sunday, May 3, 2020
10:50pm
5 minutes
From an email

I know this might be weird to tell you this but I don’t want to be at a virtual conference. I don’t want to be seen by strangers I normally wouldn’t have to see. I don’t need to make friends with an online buddy. I have some friends that I want to prioritize. I make great friends in person. Online I wear fake eyelashes when an instagram filter installs them for me perfectly. I don’t have to explain that some people will be wearing wigs. I don’t want to see everyone’s wig.

“The cost of rural housing” by Sasha in the trundle room

Friday, May 1, 2020
11:05am
5 minutes
Life After the City
Charles Long

So being here with the robins and the apple blossoms
the sloping fields and the red winged black birds

the swamp and the cedar forest and
the big chest freezer and the turning garden

I think about rural living and how good
it feels to wear the same fleecy six days in a row

And add a log to the wood stove
while the girls make a “show”

Wildflower heart blooms ripe
I catch my own eye while brushing my teeth

And see someone new
Someone who I didn’t know I needed

Didn’t know I missed

“Knock! Knock!” By Sasha in the bedroom

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

Minnie Gowan’s “Knock! Knock!” is out of a horror movie. At least that’s what Veronica thinks.

“Why don’t you just, like, actually knock on the door? Why do you yell that when you can just… knock?!” Veronica smiles at the end, to offset the tone.

“Turn the magnifying glass back on yourself, Vee,” Minnie stands with the fridge door open. “Where’s your orange juice?”

“Finished it this morning,” Veronica raps her knuckles on the table. Knocking on a door is way simpler than yelling. Maybe I do have control issues, she thinks.

“What other beverages do you even have?”

“Um… soda water? Actual water? Tea?” Veronica reminds herself why Minnie is here. To go through Penny’s things, to organize the paperwork for tax season, to help get things together.

“Hargrove was a stop on the greyhound route” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Wednesday April 29, 2020
5:12pm
5 minutes
Andy Catlett
Wendell Berry

It wasn’t going to be long before we were snaking through the mountain roads. It wasn’t going to be long before the Gravol would kick in and I’d be asleep while you sit beside me trying to resist squeezing my leg to see some amazing cliff drop or a baby bear or trees clear cut. I fucking hate the bus but it’s the only thing we can afford and your grandmother is sick and we’ve gotta get up to Qualimbrook. Your grandmother raised you so she’s really more like a mama to you and now that Nancy is back at work she doesn’t have anyone looking after her on the daily, or that’s how you put it. Hargrove is a stop along the way and you’ll wake me up to pee and get an ice cream sandwich. I fucking hate these small town stops where I can feel everyone staring, everyone judging, everything thinking that they are better.

“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

“Higher!” By Julia at the desk

Monday April 27, 2020
12:08pm
5 minutes
Higher Higher
Leslie Patticelli

I am sitting on Summer’s stoop
plucking away at the pink toy ukulele
and I am smiling cause I’m blocked
by the big beautiful tree I wanted
to believe was a cherry blossom
I am humming away and the bottlers
and the baggers and the lookers and
the passersby go about their going

A hummingbird is right in front of
my face and she is singing harmony
with me for an instant I am reset
to a vibration I long knew from my
first mother’s womb

I am proud flesh born or a woman
graced with some kind of wing, trilling
her and I both, all three, all of us

I am staring into the sun setting
with acceptance for this god given
glow and I am perked up filiform
tuned to the same channel as the light

I am hello to Jamie the bottler who
introduces himself to me
I play him an f and he goes on bottling

I am pointing out the lime green
just above the sun’s upper cheek

“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

“After I hung up on him” by Julia on the couch

Sunday April 26, 2020
1:17pm
5 minutes
Facts About Dead Trees
Lisa Baird

I called him back

told him I loved him
told him I was sorry
told him I’d been thinking
told him it wasn’t me it was this
told him it wasn’t him it was me
told him I loved him
told him he was right
told him he was wrong
told him I loved him

I laid face first on the couch

I held my eyes with sticky palms cupped
I deep breathed
I beeathed all the way in
I asked myself
I asked myself what
I asked myself but what really
I removed the top layer
by diving into the pit
face first
I asked myself what
I asked myself is there something you need
I waited
I wanted him
I waited
I wanted him not me
I wanted me not this

after

“The internet traded my personality” by Sasha at the kitchen island

Saturday April 25, 2020
4:12pm
5 minutes
Vancouver for Beginners
Alex Leslie

What is the photograph on the chest of drawers in the bedroom? Is it your mother? Your mother’s mother? Your mother’s mother’s mother? These women all carried the seeds of you in them and that’s really all that matters. Cut-out dolls in different shaped dresses, similar shaped bodies, strange toes, ground molars. You’ll scan this photo one day, but for now it only exists in hard copy and there’s something about the impermanence of that that is bold. You’ve never known anyone who has had a fire, but the threat is there, especially now. I remember when you showed me around the house and I looked at the recipes on the fridge, opened the cupboards, tilted my head to read the titles of the book shelves.

“I had a voracious appetite” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Thursday April 23, 2020
9:43pm
5 minutes
You Never Stop Saving The World
Don English

She is a hungry one
opening the door
searching for something
she could sink her teeth into
let the juice dribble down
her chin land on her breasts
stain her shirt
lift the shirt to her lips
and suck

She wants every last drop

The insatiable
doubt
longing
lust
desire
ambition
ambivalence

She doesn’t overthink
not this one
she opens
the lower right crisper
removes a perfect pear

Bites

Then it’s a spoonful
the memory of her grandmother’s tiramisu
sneaking finger-fulls
from the covered bowl
hoping no one notices

Dipping a ladle into the pot
bubbling tomato sauce
pouring it into an espresso cup
drinking it down
tiny cup after tiny cup
grating fresh parmigiana
cracking black pepper

She is a hungry one
The best ones are
Know how to feast and feel
Relish and release

Know how to fill a freezer
blackberries when they are ripe
small jars of pesto
pizza and cookie dough

“Women who sit, unwashed” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday April 22, 2020
9:39pm
5 minutes
Do You Know Any Lazy Women?
Cynara Geissler

Dina sits, unwashed, at her kitchen table in her red terry cloth robe. It’s three in the afternoon. She spent the morning in the garden with her hands tickling worms and dandelion roots. She’s never had a garden before. She’s also never spent five weeks alone, untouched, unmarked by the whiskers of connection with her Mom and Dad, her best friend Dan, her neighbours Ellie and Mark. She decided she wanted to grow peas and lettuce, carrots and tomatoes. Start there. She sprouted things in little pots on her window sill before transferring them to the raised beds she built out of old wine boxes. She is not a handy person, or doesn’t consider herself to be one. Maybe she is. She built those beds and used drill and even got under her sink on her back, screwed and fiddled and fixed a leak. She took a shower after coming inside, watched the dirt circle down the drain.

“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

“as good as it will get” by Julia on the couch

Monday April 20, 2020
7:50pm
5 minutes
Rainbow’s End
John Paul Lederach

Hello if you’re reading this I want to start off saying a few things. 1) Happy 420 you beautiful specimen! I hope you were able to secure some quality bud during this time and I know since it’s your birthday someone will have gotten it for you and I am not really worried.
2)At 4:20 today I wished you a happy birthday and I know people won’t believe you were actually born at 4:20 on 4:20 but this is their loss, and it’s really only for you anyway
3) I think I am currently as good as I will get. I miss you a lot, but when I cant see you, I am convinced: this is my height. My max. My high will only be about yay high and I will never fully live outside this body without you.
4) I don’t care if that last part got real. I friggen love you and if you realize that now, then good, goddammit.
5) I am lighting up a toke for you right now in your honour cause I know you and know I’ve actually got to bring you back up after that last one.

“and to spread right living” by Julia on the couch

Sunday April 19, 2020
11:46am
5 minutes
quoting Cal DeWitt

Etta James on the radio
wailing her heartsearch
into my sunday ears, open
for the human feeling
or rain to echo with familiarity

We woke up against all odds of indifference, still loving
each other in this house built
on good bones and countless fears looked straight in the face

With B, yesterday, the discussion
of naming the fear outside the
body became ripe and we both drank at the juice like eager fruit flies

When it was flung from my experience into her heart she
swallowed enough for me too and I could step back from my puzzling
to hear all the good words

A Sunday kind of love

“I would now say it’s obvious” by Julia on the bed

Saturday April 18, 2020
4:09pm
5 minutes
quoting Ellen Davis

There is a place that I will go from now on when I need to hear the wisdom of life that has lived out its lessons before me

Inside the spiraled well is a water so deep I need only float its surface to connect to the network of hidden truths

I would now say it’s obvious that it is a place I’ve already been, but some lights are worth keeping on

The first time I visited I might have been alone in the house and brought a deep breath down with me

I latched myself to the shimmering hoop and trusted that its circle was the right shape to provide a distribution of my leaning weight

when I landed there atop the surf it bled me from the inside out and I knew

“in the dirt in the corner,” by Julia on the couch

Thursday April 16, 2020
9:01am
5 minutes
Ara Poetica #100
Elizabeth Alexander

Jam says it’s funny how clean the apartment feels, and sort of thrown away, like a whispy dream to nobody.
I say, that’s because someone’s been cleaning it, and less whispy more caged, more Please Look Around.

I don’t expect Jam to see things the way I see them but I do get mad when he doesn’t. As if it’s his lack of wanting to instead of his eyeline a foot above mine.

I am angry not because I am the one doing it but because that means when it needs to be done I have to pick myself off the couch and put my ideas on the shelf while I hit all the corners and all the close to the ground things I can see.

I have to remain responsible, scheduled. I am the one who has to keep my eyes open.

This morning Jam told me he loved me with his whole heart and his whole mind and his whole body and while I looked like I was asleep I was very much awakened by that. I thought he had forgotten his old habit of whispering affirmations alongside the call of the birds as the sun rises.

“many years in the making” by Julia leaning

Wednesday April 15, 2020
9:06pm
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett

It has been many years in the making mix
the wet ingredients folding into the dry
light dusting of risk on every surface
there won’t always be this moment so I
have to be in it for as long as it lasts.
Pretty good plan. You know you can do
anything for 60 seconds. I don’t know
the proof of that but I’d like to think
it was the truth of that and time and I
are riding high on the 60 second climb

When it gets messy it puts ideas into
action someone has to deal with
what will we do about the scissors there
and canister of pens in every room
To clean it would require the decision
to move onto something easier to look
at to stomach to hold space for but
the idea to clean only came from the
mess in the first place and how else
would you notice the clean?

“the great spiritual geniuses” By Julia at her desk

Tuesday April 14, 2020
April 14, 2020
11:21am
5 minutes
quoting Maria Popova

It’s hard to start when the clock keeps jumping ahead
you put your face in the internet for 10 seconds and
then you forget why you went there in the first place
and usually it was to look up a recipe not fall down
a rabbit hole of other people’s lives and what
they are doing to fill their days and their empty

The great spiritual geniuses of our time are
advising against screen sucks as a device to numb
the heartache and if the great spiritual geniuses
of our time are advising anything then I want to be
on the side of things that takes a deep breath when
they’re saying it and sees which part of my body it
lands in

According to some other profound thoughts from the
20th century geniuses it is clear to me now more
than ever that history has always repeated itself
but the words to describe it shift and shoot over
time and when the discovery of consciousness and
self was put into words that we could use the
whole system of language itself began to brighten

Today there are few things still dark but with
an artificial light we confuse the thing for
pathway or guide or leader or mentor and it’s
where time gets stuck in a continuum of
backwards backwards yesterday

“Voice and wisdom” by Julia on her bed

Monday April 13, 2020
11:17am
5 minutes
quoting Brené Brown

We crossed the river in our dreams
Last night I sunk in the dissapointment of my friend’s judgement of me
I worried about what she’d say
and then I did what I wanted anyway
Told her the truth when she asked anyway
even when the other friends shook at my decision to bare the courtesy of honesty
she was mad all the same but
that did not make me feel less confident
Sometimes you have to accept the angry coming from someone else who
expected things to go their way since it is, afterall, their movie

When my heart remembers a dream like that I take it personally
I drink the wisdom from the cinematic showing of some unconcsious question

I apply it to the every day and moment after

“Pink Pearl” by Julia on her couch

Sunday April 12, 2020
8:46pm
5 minutes
from the Dixon eraser

They called her Pearl
she liked to wear a string of them to dinner when her grand babies visited

Her grand babies were all grown up and and she took great pride in filling their glasses with red wine

She liked that they could raise a glass to one another, laugh at the same jokes, and see each other as friends

Pearl would often mix Cocoa-cola into her wine
she liked things sweet as can be
added a teaspoon of sugar to her water, same as she did for her grand babies when they were still babies

Sometimes she would fall asleep at the table in mid laugh
her dyed blonde curls grazing the glass

Sometimes they would shake her awake and others they would leave her there

“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

“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

“I learn by going where I have to go” by Julia on her couch

Sunday April 5, 2020
5:21pm
5 minutes
quoted by Theodore Roethke

I went all the way
cause that’s where
I said I wanted to
go when it all comes
down to it

it all comes down to
it all the way down
and into it and deep
and below and down
and in in in

I said I needed to
find the key and it
was tucked there in
in inside of me

like waking from the
dream and pushing
beneath the easy signs
to see clearly what
I have previously
left behind

when I stayed where I
was I learned about
staying and when I went
to where I was going
I learned how to go
by going I keep going

and I’ve been practicing
how to breathe under
water with all these years
on my belt and on the wall
I show up to not knowing
every single morning

I launch myself out and
then watch as I find the
truth in the centre of
my experience the one
I must listen to

“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.

“Whoa, I was toasted” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday April 3, 2020
12:33pm
5 minutes
Ode to American English
Barbara Crooker

Lola kisses my belly in the bath over and over
“Your old house!” I say the first few times
she keeps going and I stop talking or pepper a “thank you”
a “thank you, my love”
her cherubic shape all convex freedom beauty
four top teeth commander
a wrinkled nose smile
Lola kisses the stairs she’s just learned to climb

a few tumbles when she’s wearing her brown bobbly slippers
when she test the limits of her strength
her capability brings her boundless glee

so much so that as she races towards my outstretched arms
stepping stepping step step step
She falls
a look of
“how could I?”
I wait a long wait
feels long
Will the tears come?
If they do
I scoop up under her armpits with my hands
Feel my mother’s hands in my armpits
Tempering and soothing so many falls

“You fell” I say
“Let’s keep walking”

Lick a tear from her cheek
a juicy plum
Smell her hair
orange and soap

Lola kisses the baby doll
sinks her teeth into the plastic foot
“Bee-bee! Bee-bee!”
She calls for her father in the morning
with a voice bigger than I’ve ever heard her have
When did she become this mystery concerto?

“Da-da?! Da-da! Da-da?!”
“Lo-la!” He calls back
“Hi honey!” He says

“Who win” by Julia on her couch

Thursday, April 2, 2020
11:25am
5 minutes
To fight aloud, is very brave
Emily Dickinson

It’s not about winning.
I read that in an old journal from 2017. On the next page I found a love letter to myself saying that I have to “love people enough to share the truth of me with them” and I thought it was a good something to remember. It’s not about winning, it’s about love.
And isn’t always that. Isn’t it always love, even when it’s hiding away or waiting in the wide open spaces we stop seeing? Love never lays dormant and if nothing else, let us commit that to memory.

It is easy to blame the lack of love even when it has always been. How is love supposed to win in a fight that is not fair? But then again, it’s not about winning.

“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

“He can fix anything” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday March 31, 2020
9:37pm
5 minutes
Easter Morning
Jim Harrison

You strike me as the kind of person who can fix anything
Who knows how to wire a telephone jack and level a table
Someone who could look at a hanging shelf in the box
On the floor
And know how to
Get it up on the wall
Without too much sweat or stress or swear words

If the toilet were to become leaky
I imagine that you would jingle thingle this
And wiggle spaggle that and
The leak would be gone
The flush would be full throttle
All would be well again
In the world of whisking away waste
What we do not want to see
What we’d rather be gone

I’d call Lou when I couldn’t get my
Backup hard drive to listen to my computer
He walked me through that whole
Ring-a-round-the-Rosie
Several times
Always patient
Always steady
I’d feel a bit badly to be troubling him
But also a bit good to have a reason
To need him
To need his expertise
To need his help

When he was in Palliative Care
He called me once
Very late at night
Late for me
And that was with the three hour time difference
Ahead in Vancouver
He told me about a piece of music
He’d been listening to
I wish I remembered what it was
I’d listen to it now
How he was waiting on tracks to be mixed
For his album
He told me that he was tired
And laughed when I told him
“I love you”

“Catfish Lane” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday March 30, 2020
11:10am
5 minutes
The Cure
Ginger Andrews

The house at the end of Catfish Lane is painted blue and has shingles that need replacing. It was built in 1937 by a man named Gerald, who cried into the floorboards, putting his broken heart into every nail and beam. By the time the house was done, Gerald’s heart was almost completely mended. Almost, because broken hearts don’t ever completely heal. A little crack remains, where good, warm things might grow if we let them. Many of the other houses on the street have been replaced, renovated, remodelled, but this one, number 9, is exactly as Gerald built it. Only the kitchen cabinets have been replaced. The owner before last replaced the one’s that Gerald built. The knobs are round and the tracks smooth. The drawers open and close with ease. Mandy and Simone bought the house this past week, and as excited first home owners, go into the library and research the history of the place. The photographs in the library show Gerald, standing beside the newly built house. He isn’t smiling, but he isn’t not smiling.

“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.

“That’s what I like about disappointment:” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday March 29, 2020
7:21pm
5 minutes
Disappointment
Tony Hoagland

I thumb the disappointments
One after another
Colourful beads on a piece of long fishing line
Sturdy but transluscent
Ends held together by a knot

Thumb catches on the recent additions
A red glass sphere
I should’ve added more salt to the bread
A small blue bead for yesterday’s neglectful lateness
A small wooden bead for today’s dismissive shrug
Puny injustice sails between cell towers
I lift my hand high up and wave
Trying to find a signal

A big oblong dark bead is heavy
The anchor
All the times I’ve betrayed myself by
accommodating
By not speaking what is true
By making myself small
Contained within the small purple flowers
Hand painted by someone a long time ago

Who also has a circle of disappointments

You do
And you do
And you do too

How you carry yours might differ
Or when you put it down
Put it in a nightstand drawer
For a better sleep
Or rushed sex

Put it under an oak tree
To rest in the sun

“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