“A man parted his beard” by Julia at the desk

Friday April 24, 2020
10:12am
5 minutes
Animal
Kim Goldberg

A man parted his beard and I saw the great
white space between yesterday and today
It was wide and wide and great and there
we found some clarity because we dared, I
think, to ask of ourselves that courtesy.

A man twisted the red out of his face and
then one day overnight or in a blink there
were so many silver strays and things looked
like they made more sense more wise sense
All this time the man was living living

The facial hair goes through some stages
of grief just like the rest of us
at first there is a rough stubbornness and
soft things are always getting poked
instead, denying the possible softness
being hurt like that, unaware

There is an anger at one point, so the
man parts his beard to see what’s underneath
skin still young and learning

then it grows some more but changing
shape and colour and being too long
suddenly it is just right and it’s
all a cycle of time that no one is
marking up on the calendar

“How could I predict” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday April 29, 2018
6:15pm
5 minutes
The Address Book
Louis Phillips

How could I predict the
shade of grey your hair
would turn
and mine too
every day a new
one near my temples
I don’t pull them out
like I used to
I say a prayer
for them
little warriors
little fuckers
little beauties
they are the milage
and the turning season

Every time I see you
I see the shimmer of
myself in you
around the eyes
the mouth the shape
of the face
the shade of grey
vessels to the time
before leading us
back there leading us
to now

We laugh like lions
staring down the barrel
of the gun
we nod and recognize
and know and surrender

“If you catch some salmon in October” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday March 3, 2015
11:07pm
5 minutes
Cascadia
Ramon Esquivel


I haven’t told you this but there’s a black cloud that hangs over your head every time you enter a room. It sits in the upper right corner of your human bubble and it looks pretty heavy. I really thought it would pass: the storm would come down eventually (after threatening to so consistently), the grass would be nourished (after being teased with water), and the sun would pop out and say, “Just kidding! I’ve been here all along!” But you never stopped turning shared spaces grey and you never stopped shifting the feeling of an entire room, or influencing the mood of a whole group of people. I suppose I wanted you to know this so you could potentially fix it for your future interactions. Part of me, however, thinks I’m getting good at making up excuses for you.

“Speeding through space…” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday October 29, 2014
10:02pm
5 minutes
Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman


There you are
Speeding through space
Reminding yourself of your favourite childhood mug
The one with the small red flowers and the round handle perfect for your thumb
There you go
Leaving again
Not looking back
All of your best things stored in boxes and taped with tape
Stacked
Maybe dusty now
But who knows
There you are
Shaking hands with a man dressed in grey
Looking him in his eyes and trying to see if he’s telling the truth
He’s telling the truth?
There you are
Making jokes like you know the language here
Putting your hands in your pockets and feeling for change
Telling me that you’ve never been so in love
Whistling a song your father used to sing

TJ & Sam by Sasha at the these five minutes: writer’s workout at the Fringe Creation Lab


Sunday February 2, 2014 at The Fringe Creation Lab
1:03pm
5 minutes
these five minutes: writer’s workout

TJ’s got her hands in her pockets like she’s some kinda cool kid, like she forget to lock the door. TJ blows bubbles with her gum and lets them bubbles pop on her own face and then she peels it off, bit by bit, and drops the gum balls on the carpet. When TJ makes a peanut butter sandwich she eats a spoonful of straight peanut butter, straight heart attack. She uses the same spoon for the sandwich. Who makes a sandwich with a spoon, anyway?!

Sam says nothing. He watches her and sometimes makes a small grunting sound. TJ has chosen to forget which sound means “good” and which sound means “bad”. TJ has disentangled herself from those words altogether. It’s all grey to her – the sky, the sidewalk, Sam’s hair, the snow.

“I didn’t have a word for it” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, March 16, 2013
2:37pm
5 minutes
Everything Bad Is Good For You
Steven Johnson


I had a word for it. I guess I would have called it ‘Hate’ or something like that. It tasted of Ketchup chips and white grapefruit juice. It was sort of sweet and salty and bitter and refreshing and dangerous all at the same time. I thought of it when I thought of you. I was different then, when we first met. I had something unique and good about me that I couldn’t possibly still have. Now I’m dark lips, dark mind, and eternally pissed off that the TV stand collects dust directly after having been wiped clean. I see the world through a lens that doesn’t offer much hope. I learned to be a critic in school, and now all I can enjoy watching is the embarrassment and failure of others. I have a word for it. ‘Hate’s’ the closest thing it could be without telling you what word I actually mean here. It’s something cold, needs a sweater. Like a knit or a fleece. It doesn’t travel well in packs; it’d rather be left alone staring the wall and imagining a person staring back. It has no love, I think, which is why it is so grey. It colours itself in with a yellow highlighter, dying to be the type who can pass itself off as ‘blonde’. It’s not, though. Neither am I. I’m just a brunette with a typewriter, and the only keys that still work on it are H, A, T, and E.

“On those grey days” by Julia at Second City Training Centre


Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at The Second City Training Centre
5:35pm
5 minutes
Running With Scissors
Augusten Burroughs


On those grey days where you just don’t want to get out of bed, I think to myself, dark room, dark walls, and try to get myself back to sleep. I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to do anything that involves other people. I want to sleep and sleep and give back to my body. Give back to my mind and just let it dream all day. Those grey days, the ones where the sky is even lovelier than yesterday, the birds only sing in harmony, and the lawn mower is taking the day off, that’s when me and me find one another after being separated, seemingly all the way from birth, and we hold hands with the idea that We Are Enough. I am enough. To get out of bed to even prepare a cup of soup would be a tragedy. To lean over the edge of the warmth and safety and potential imminent back ache to pick up the tissue that had been left there over night would be a disservice. For those grey days are not grey in colour, but in feel. In texture. In one world where ideas and solutions can’t multiply fast enough. It’s the in between, the place where my mind and body go to have a lie down; a rest. It’s the place where no other colour is invited because it would just ruin everything. It’s that.
So on those grey days, I sleep.