“the serpent coiled around the pillar” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday September 25, 2018
6:21pm
5 minutes
Come of Age
Stephen Jenkinson

I have been plagued with loving you
the serpent coiled around the pillar
What is this ache for more and more
The moon knows the difference
The moon knows when enough is enough

I’m empty now that I’m full
the house is quiet and the tea is drunk
Lhasa on the stereo telling me that
life is short
Don’t I know it

There’s nothing left for me to burn
my fingers are matchsticks
my love is the wick at the stump
I’ll dance with my hands
while whispering a lullaby

Singing along in Spanish
a language I wish I knew

“a forest lake frozen to the bottom” by Julia in Phong Nha-ke national park

Wednesday January 31, 2018

10:20pm
5 minutes
Seen
Pia Tafdrup

It reminds me of the time we tried to take our leftovers home and the waitstaff who couldn’t understand our English very well didn’t know what a container meant. And so they gave it to us in a giant ceramic bowl that wouldn’t fit in our tiny fridge. They must have thought we were out of our minds. We brought the bowl to our room and some smaller bowls to eat from but we were too full to keep eating that night so we put them in the tiny fridge. The next day the giant bowl was gone but our two smaller bowls were still in there. We didn’t want leftovers until later and by the time it was later, we couldn’t eat them anyway. When we went to stick a spoon in, the top was hard as rock. It took a moment to figure out that it had frozen over-we put it in the wrong spot. This made us laugh for a while. Thinking of them coming to collect our giant bowl and saying, well I guess we’ll leave their ice noodles in the fridge then?

“Improve your English” by Julia in her bed


Thursday March 23, 2017
11:30pm
5 minutes
from an ad on the bus

I can’t explain it well
enough with words.
English words.
The ones I got stuck with.
They are either too short
or too long, too young or
too old. None of us are
speaking the same language.
Even when we are.
What if ‘can’t’ changes shape as we age; what if ‘nos’ become ‘Nos’ as we shed salty skin.
In other languages that I know
I can speak things
I cannot say in the tongue
that I have learned.

“enables you to become the master” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 13, 2016
11:05pm
5 minutes
The Curl Keeper Bottle

I think it has to deal with inside learning. You know what I mean when I say that? Inside learning? The act of getting to know yourself from the inside out. It sounds a bit out in left field but it is quite an easy concept if you just put it into your own words. I’ll try to explain myself: you look at a mirror every single day right? You know where your eyes are on your face, you know where your nose is. You know how your hair frames your forehead. But you don’t know what emotions are friends inside yourself. You don’t know how hate likes to attach itself to confidence and how love is always being eaten by fear. We need to understand how these feelings connect inside us. So we can become a master of ourselves. So we can learn truths on our own. So we can keep studying our souls with the intensity of learning a new language. That’s all it is, really. Learning how to speak our internal language.

“Let’s discover our” by Julia on the 7


Saturday May 7, 2016
7:39pm
5 minutes
from a chef magazine

Let’s discover our soft spots
Our unwants
Our don’t touches
Our yes love this
Let’s discover our truth’s truth
Our hard lost youth
Our who’s who
Tell me about your day dreams
I’ll tell you about my nightmares
Tell me about your battle wounds
I’ll tell you about my big scares
Your scars
My empty jars
Your hopes
My nopes
Your yeses
My catch this
Let’s discover the good and the bad
The moments we never had
The memories that make us sad
The language that holds us together

“A small suitcase” by Julia in her bed


Sunday, January 10, 2016
11:28pm
5 minutes
Trailer Park
Jenn Grant


He left a note in the front pocket of her smaller suitcase. It was full of all the stuff he didn’t know how to say in her language without a translator just in case he sounded like an idiot. He of course used google translate but agreed to bite the bullet about the 40% that would unavoidably lead to miscommunication. He wrote the note as patiently as he could, careful to say how he felt and not just what she expected him to say.

“the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence” by Julia on her couch


Sunday March 22, 2015
1:56pm
5 minutes
The Prophet
Kahlil Gibran


I knew they were going to ask me about it. My job, what did I do? Why was I always home all the time and what was I constantly doing sitting on the couch with 4 notebooks strewn around me? I knew it was coming. They wanted to understand who I was and what my deal was. And when I told them, these complete foreign strangers what my profession was, it all made sense to them. They said “Ohhhhh, okay, we understand now.” They were relieved that they had an explanation for me. “It’s different. Uh..very not common!” Then it went through my mind that they were automatically judging me and talking about me every time they spoke french around me. I started to question myself, was I truly what I said I was? I didn’t want them to think I was a liar or just good at making up excuses. Maybe where they’re from they don’t consider what I do to be a lucrative or respectable career. Or maybe they don’t care about that and are only interested in me because they want to invite me to a threesome.

“Parking available at the rear” by Sasha at her desk


Monday, July 7, 2014
12:54am
5 minutes
from a window sign


He wears red sandals, made of leather, and his are trimmed and tidy. You wouldn’t know that he spends most of his time barefoot, in the gardens of the Raj. His robes are often muddy, caked with work, with earth, but not today. He wears loose-fitting linen pants and a long chemise. He smiles often, especially at you. You go to him. You say, “Uncle, I’m lost.” He takes your hands and he leads you to the roses. You spend hours there, fingering the petals and kissing the thorns.