“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.

“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.

“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 Julia at her desk

Thursday June 18, 2020
7:35pm
5 minutes
America
Claude McKay

Dear Inside Voice,

I hear you. I’m listening. You used to try to get my attention in little ways. You didn’t want to yell. And I don’t blame you for that. I shouldn’t have made you strain to be noticed. That was wrong of me. See this little seed of avoidance I planted deep inside me was right next to you and it grew faster than I could have imagined. I didn’t mean to block you out, make you feel small, or like you weren’t worth welcoming in. I see now how I would have been aided by your wisdom. I would have been able to give you big rooms to sing into. Big echoing stairwells to sweep your endlessness around. I want that today. I want that still. I hope you know that there is a shift and it’s happening now, from before, and all over. It’s not just me. I’m not the only one stripping away the layers, spiraling in to journey all the way to the core; the tiny voice matched to such big energy. I am not the only one.

“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

“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

“10. going, going, gone” by Julia at the desk

Monday June 15, 2020
9:17am
5 minutes
alternate names for black boys
Danez Smith

When mornings summer there is a wild eyed hope for the day.
A warm breeze beckoning, the rickety wooden chair seeming easy.
There are plans and lists and joys and items. All languishing
on the vine. A cool green grape rounds the mouth of hunger and
we wait for the severed head from its body to make its way down
the tube.

By the middle of the day there is a leaf blower competition from
both the front and the alleyway and through the on and off the
crows protecting their wired haunt snap and hurl their elastic
throats. It will be harder to pretend that this isn’t the day.

How quickly can motivation mumble into something softer. It comes
with hesitation. Acceptance of stillness sometimes begs the test.

I have never not grown after a deep surrendering.

“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

“not with legends and poems” By Julia at her desk

Saturday June 13, 2020
9:56pm
5 minutes
Frederick Douglass
Robert Hayden

The evening is spent licking fingers and staring
off into the setting sun

Vitamin D is absorbed through the eyes, she says,
daughter of a doctor, and mine stay open while I drink

The car alarm is inspiring a new song and if we
collaborate with it instead of resist it we might

make music instead of promises
Although there’s nothing left to comment on

I still drag myself on walks to catch ladybugs
kissing small leaves

Something new will come if the route is changed
and I veer right without worry

Let it be and then something is inevitably introduced
to the old way and signals go off

The poems always come when the muscle stops fixating
when the arm throws a ball for the first time in the season

“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

“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

“as darkness under your eyelids” by Julia on the couch

Tuesday June 9, 2020
8:55pm
5 minutes
how to get over (be born: black…”)
T’ai Freedom Ford

Sleepless again for the third
night in a row or is it morning
she was meant to sleep through?
She feels like a walking yawn.
Maybe she’ll call her sister
today and see how her exams
are going going turning into
all she has the capacity to see.
She thinks if she did sleep would
that mean she were happy again or
merely being visited by happiness.
The way she was visited by shin splints. She cannot decipher betwen the two and that is sleepless sleepless.
Of course sleeping easy doesn’t
automatically denote happiness
but she wonders how so many
others manage to manage through
the night. If it isn’t happiness
that they have and she has forgotten, then what could the magic spread be?

“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

“Andrzej squinted at it” by Julia on the couch

Friday June 5, 2020
10:50pm
5 minutes
The Button
Makana Eyre

In the blink of an eye
Andrzej could see his
whole world expand

it was like walking
through the gentle haze
of an orange dream

and everything cloaked
in it sways to the faint
twinkle of a wind chime

and everything bathed
walks a slow glow and
there is tall grass

Roya shows him the
sonogram and he doesn’t
speak for 3 whole minutes

seeing his daughter’s
entire future through
the dream world canopy

there is more love in
this moment than any
other moment

“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 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

“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

“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

“nobody should let them in that night” by Julia on the bedroom floor

Wednesday May 20, 2020
9:24am
5 minutes
Wuthering Heights
Emile Brontë

She whispered in her sleep state
something along the lines of
I do not need to wait for him…
And when the morning came and his
skin wrapped around hers, she could
only flutter her eyelids and sink
deeper into him.

The night before she had reached
a grand conclusion, sitting on the
veranda, sipping lemon water, sifting
through uncomfortable feelings.
She realized that she could leave without
him in tow, and without his permission,
surely, in a world safe enough for all
of her to wander through.

The sun setting pink in the sky was
reflecting off the clouds, a smoke
signal for her to pay attention to
and she noticed the way it rivaled
her desires to be free at last
from the confines of miscalculated
duties.

In the morning light she could have
left him right then and there and
worked very hard not to feel any
particular way about it but then
in that moment things burst open
and all she could want was everywhere
she already was.

The permission to leave, was enough,
and she gave it to herself without
discussing it with anyone outside
herself. It came from within and she
honoured it with a solitary bow
from the top of her head all the way
down to the centre of her longing.

“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…)

“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

“We invite you to read” by Julia at the desk

Wednesday May 13, 2020
8:34pm
5 minutes
Canada Council For The Arts Newsletter

There’s a man over there singing on the bench

when someone passes him he stops singing and says “Hello!”

And when that someone keeps going instead of stopping what they’re doing

the man says “Hello! Goodbye! Good Hell!”

By the time the person has realized what he’s said, he’s started singing again

Should I have stopped?

They wonder

Should I have taken ten seconds out of my day?

What if he was going to want to talk to me for longer than 10 seconds?

What if I would have been the only conversation he had all day?

The worry doubles and the man keeps singing there on the bench

He doesn’t wonder if the passersby are having enough conversations

He doesn’t ask of them anything actually

He is inviting them to smile

He is inviting them to read the room and see a thing and it’s a giving, actually

He is giving what he can and at some point it’s the singing

And at some point it’s the song

It’s the smile, the stopping to notice

The noticing

The engagement

The opportunity

He gives to whoever might pass not picking based on any other statistics

Gifts can be like that sometimes

“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

“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

“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 you went to Vermont” by Julia at the desk

Friday, May 8, 2020
10:00am
5 minutes
she is in the kitchen now
Nora Pace

I didn’t wait up every night I stayed up
I rubbed one out like it would be my last time
fell asleep in a crooked pocket of the couch
and remained despite the spinal chord damage
the knots now forming

If you were in a different time zone working
sleeping finding yourself in a bigger city
then this house would become a time zone all
on its own a spinning thing of waking sleeping
sliding across sheets and floors and into
breakfast without thinking about another
person’s hunger

It could have been a disaster but I don’t
linger on moments in between when you step
yourself out of town out of my life for six
weeks or something like that loosing track
and not counting and we stop calling each
other on the phone this distance making the
heart grow fonder for a thing that this isn’t

And it was worth noting how many boxes I
ticked off the list and all the living I
did without the help of another person’s
hunger telling me when it was time to eat
time to cook up the browning green beans
time to get out of bed

“When the rains come,“ by Sasha at the dining room table

Thursday, May 7, 2020
2:12pm
5 minutes
Monologue of a Fly’s Shadow
Danielle Hanson

I wonder if I’ve ever felt like home to you
and if that even matters now
that we are where we are
beyond the blue horizon staring the sun in the face
Retinas recycling remembered debris
I am positing what might come next
staking ground and digging in heavy heels
What is mine now
What is yours
What is the new “ours”
Hour after hour of
Am I in denial or
Am I this okay
Am I this not okay

I wonder if you’ve ever been home to me
I certainly thought you were
But I thought a lot of things
that now feel second cousin and estranged
Living in Paris or Dubai
Wearing hand me down traumas
bright jangly jewellery dripped from neck and wrist

You say that you notice how you’re
less quick to judge
Quote something from the bible about stones
We’ve been fighting the whole car trip
the tannin of sadness thick in my mouth
staining my teeth I run my tongue along
count the smooth edges
I open the window and let the gush blast me
A bomb of maybe spring
Maybe delicacy
Hope the fresh air might change the station

“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 Julia in the bed

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
8:52am
5 minutes
The Fawn
Jenny Burkell

things like messages make themselves clear when the stillness settles in and
Mother Earth is uninterrupted

She speaks a calm tongue
into the anxious ear and
the system of things, the
rolling mechanism of flesh
and bone and cartiledge and
organ begin to allign

She doesn’t have to say
much, in fact, less is
more and She knows it
without hammering it
over the head

Another indication that
there is more to this web
than the flies caught in
it is the morning air and
that is all there is to
decipher because it’s not
meant to be confusing

Sometimes a tiny built
thing in the woods calls
and the flesh and bone move
toward it as if drawn to a
flame of constant conjuring

“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

“And it speaks to certain devils“ by Sasha in the trundle room

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
11:16am
5 minutes
Another Vision
Patricia Nelson

“We think that by protecting ourselves
from suffering we are being kind
to ourselves,” Pema writes.

Walls made of feathers and playing cards
ash and lightning
photographs and receipts

Erected with a very well scrubbed poker face
A very well stocked pantry
A very good pretending disguised as meditation

Then a flash of light and you’re
sat across from the devil
wearing the clothes of someone

You thought you knew so well
Paint a layer of nice between
two slices of bread you kneaded for many years

“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

“between the kitchen and living room” by Sasha on the couch

Saturday, May 2, 2020
9:43pm
5 minutes
From a text

Turn the page and find colours there in the lines and the letters
Close eyes and taste the sweet kiss of possible
Laugh in the bathtub at the ladybug crawling towards towards towards
Lola is a kindred grace her discovery of the world the tonic of rainbow

I dance to the sound I hear when I think of you
Feel the rise and fall of body on whitewashed floors
Body to body your body in my hands your hands in my body
Close my eyes and remember through tongue and fingertip

Ouija board cloud game where the ghosts are back and rolling
Light show on the lawn like the good old days when farmers
Would gather for Canada Day roast up some hotdogs and pour beer
Into jars or even drink straight from the cold can

Hang their hats on the belief that they knew what was coming
Hold their children in the arms as the sky exploded in blaze

“between the kitchen and living room” by Julia

Saturday, May 2, 2020
1:06pm
5 minutes
From a text

I have been floating
today between the kitchen
and the living room
doing most of my living
in the kitchen where the food
is being turned into action
into love

At 8am I chop the red pepper
the green bean the red onion the purple cabbage the garlic the mushroom

I like the way they sit cut side by side like different age groups in a church leadership club

I turn off my need to wonder at myself through the outside lens
I listen about David Wojnarowicz
to Thomas Beckman and his Violance
to the sound of the egg crisping up on the bottom

The living room, where I am now
is a place to record all the living I have been doing while alive in the kitchen

the packet of pens and coloured pencils lay outstretched

“Hargrove was a stop on the Greyhound route” by Julia in the kitchen

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
6:16pm
5 minutes
Andy Catlett
Wendell Berry

Barry was taking the bus. He liked to get there pearly early twenty-nine minutes ready on the platform ticket in hand scone in belly newspaper under arm and affirmations playing into his ears with navy blue foamed headphones with a too long loopdy looped navy blue cord looped around fingers and tucked into pockets and trying to take over Barry and his whole life just by being so obvious and getting coiled around everything like kitchen cupboard and drawer knobs

Barry was 5″7 and not a hair taller although one hair did stuck up considerably which is where he began concluding his height giving statements with not a hair taller almosy wagging his pointer finger into the arbitrary air and all its surroundings

“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

“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

“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

“I had a voracious appetite” by Julia at the desk

Thursday April 23, 2020
6:50pm
5 minutes
You Never Stop Saving The World
Don English

When I was little
5, 6, halo hair of fuzz
ringlets underneath
I sauced my face a smile
like the Joker on Nonna’s
Bones

Her ribs were silky smooth
the meat would slide off
and you could slurp the juice
off a clean sword

They were my favourite
growing up I wanted to
be exactly like my father
if he held a hot pepper
while eating then I held
a hot pepper while eating
and if he didn’t wipe his
mouth until after he was
finished, I would smile
sauce all over the table
until I had gotten full

There’s a photo of me looking
satiated and filled with
glee after finishing my plate
and likely bites off my sister’s
picky plate and my brother’s
baby plate, meat sauce on the
collar of my balloon patterned shirt

I liked being the favourite
in some way, eating when
maybe I wasn’t really hungry
but in the mood to taste
something

My father liked a girl who
could eat and any kid that
didn’t say ew before trying
something as if they knew
everything about everything
except how to ride a bike
maybe or to finish their
dinner before begging for
dessert

“Women who sit, unwashed” by Julia at the desk

Wednesday April 22, 2020
9:05pm
5 minutes
Do You Know Any Lazy Women?
Cynara Geissler

I am not a women who sits unwashed
unless you count today
yesterday
and then before that too there was a stretch.
I don’t care anymore, I’ve decided, if that makes
me an unlikable narrator.
I’d rather be a reliable one.
I’d rather you put your trust in my hands and let me show you.

Sometimes I get mad when you question my honesty, but what I’m
most upset about is you not trusting your own which leads you
to all that not trusting anybody else stuff.

I am not a women who sits unwashed
not usually.
Or usually what’s the difference now.
What’s the difference if the bangs are
frizzed out or if they frame the face.
What’s the trajectory from the couch to
the office when the office is sometimes
bed sometimes breakfast.

I won’t hide about that part.
There’s no table cloth right now because the tables
tell a different story.
The tables house the pens, the weed, the hot water bottle,
the slow cooker, the squishy baseball, the camera.
The tables suspend all of the parts of ourselves we might need
ambling from room to room

“find the right question” by Julia on the office chair

Tuesday April 21, 2020
7:29pm
5 minutes
quoting Ann Hamilton

I ask myself What Do You Want
and when I answer I hear a lot of leaves rustling
I hear surf meeting shore
I hear a baby laughing like a goddamn dream machine perfect thing
I sit in the pit there and I hear what it’s like to be loved.
That sounds good to me.
That sounds like something sonically created for me to hear for me to listen to.
Meant to sound good so I keep my ear out for it, to the ground for it, palms open for it.
When it’s lullaby it rocks me out of my trouble and when it’s The Prodigy I give it my moving. It wants dancing.

“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

“Perfection will do you in.” By Julia at the desk

Friday April 17, 2020
5:02pm
5 minutes
Perfection, Perfection
Father Kilian McDonnell

Today I took the kitchen shears
which they tell you not to use
and then I cut bangs by myself
which they tell you not to do
and then I said who knows who
knows and then I left the curls
on the counter because some
of them looked too nice to
throw away

I knew attempting this would
not yield perfection
because they tell you not to
attempt doing this at all
and since I’ve been prone to
overblown expectations on my
hair and myself and my hair

Since I was young with bangs
cut by my Zia Patricia who
was at the time a retired
hair-stylist due to all the
chemicals destroying her skin
I longed for what my sister
with straight hair got when
I received a 90s regret instead

I was told by the professional
naysayer in my head that bangs
are not for me because they
would get frizzy and they
wouldn’t be very easy to dry
properly without a diffuser
and then it was all white
noise because I did cut them
and when I dried them they
looked as okay as I predicted

“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.

“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

“you find solace here” by Julia at the desk

Saturday April 11, 2020
10:25am
5 minutes
from Julia’s 2017 notebook

I got it in time and I know it’s the truth
this enjoyment is fine until it tightens the noose
Can I be quiet still
can I open the door
is there something I’m missing
always searching for more
you find solace here with the click and the clacking
you love it so much you can never go back and
if you do you can ride the next wave that’s coming
sometimes nothing feels fun
but I’m certain that it’s still sunny
It’s been a trip so far but I know it’s just starting
every day in a jar I can examine closely
I could keep piling dried flowers into it or
I could leave it half full to sit with the sore
It’s the thing I am wondering if it ever grows sour
all this silver lining needs a cloud to cling to or devour
and when the hunger strikes
feeling it is alright
you find solace here with your fork and your knife
there’s no wrong and no right
only long days and nights
when the light’s off it echoes
but it’s still finding its heroes
in movies and candles and notebooks and sex
sometimes it’s the office
sometimes it’s the bed
ok just one minute left
I know I’ve said what I said
but this whole thing captures a moment
even if that moment’s filled with dread
soon it will change from this thread
another thought in my head
a hope or a high that I can hold onto instead
This is what will be read.

“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

“I have to give people credit” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday April 8, 2020
9:02pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook Post

They want to help and be of value
they want that over success
they want to lift up the little guy
they want to stretch their little hearts out
they want to drink water before they feel thirst
they want to pad the hallways and bed frame corners
they want to go to bed at a decent hour
they want to get up early and run
they want to run
they want to burst out running
they want to eat pancakes for dinner
they want to leave non-perishables in the book houses
they want to make signs and mark their thanks with their hand prints
they want to move over when the intersection gets tight
they want to burst out running
they want to stretch their little hearts out
they want to sleep in
they want to call their mothers
they want to share their first born’s first words
they want to take silly photos
they want to applaud
they want to bang on the drum
they want to see each other’s face
they want to heal their hurt
they want to keep the ocean happy
they want to listen to their bodies
they want to hold their boyfriends
they want to eat at the same table
they want to cry into each other’s arms
they want to whistle at the chickadee for having the same love call
they want to go to bed early.

“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 Julia

Friday, April 3, 2020
6:14pm
5 minutes
Ode to American English
Barbara Hamby

I hope my ghost is happy with me
for employing my right hand as a guide
I am too…
I must go slowly so I can make
out the words
So far I’ve found
it’s easier when I sing
I have always known but
now I’m listening
and so…
Memory…
Amazing depths
how far you reach
I know you’re for me
I thank you for it

“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

“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 itself

saturday night and every window glowing orange light

“You wish you were in the woods” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Saturday March 28, 2020
9:02am
5 minutes
To A Frustrated Poet
R.J. Ellmann

The scrabble board spells
M-O-P-E
W-A-D-E
R-I-F-T-S
I scan through the years of scoresheets
Kept in the bottom of the scrabble box

And find the ones of yours and Mom’s
The intimacy of your handwriting
Penmanship says so much about who we are
Your nicknames
How you won

In four days it will have been a year
Of missing you
Of thinking that you’ll be there when
We visit Bowmore
In your cardigan and your socks
Patting down the stairs to say
Hello

In four days it will have been a whole year
Of you being gone

Death is a strange seed planted
Growing
Waiting sometimes
But growing
Inevitability reaching towards unknown

I miss the sound of your voice
The sharpness of your edge
The wisdom that would crawl between the cracks
A surprise that I learned to appreciate
Inwardly

I knew when I was saying goodbye
That I wouldn’t see you alive again
But you held on to the hope
That
I imagine
Buoyed you in those last weeks
Hope like a balloon
Hope carrying you by an orange string
Across the Don Valley

“The golden brooch” by Julia at her desk

Friday March 27, 2020
12:18pm
5 minutes
The courage that my mother had
Edna St. Vincent Millay

What’s strange is the passing hour
a molding from my hands and into this
I sat down with one thought in mind
and it floated on into the next the way
I think it was all meant to do in
the early place

It’s been a combination of moments and
avoidance and fear that keep an idea
stranded there on the tip of the tongue
waiting for someone to say the damn thing
already

Say the damn thing already

I want you to know that there is love
here for you even if you don’t recognize it

I want you to know that we can’t give up
on our joy even if we lay it down every
now and again

I want you to know that there will be
something different at the end of this
sentence and if you follow it till the
end or to the almost end or to the last
word you might notice something lingering
there that you never tuned into before

I want you to know

that the damn thing is this:

One day we will brush past each other
on a crowded street and it will be more
like a pinning to the chest or arm or
thigh and we will be stuck together as
if we never left this hallelujah
in the first place

“August is coming” by Julia at her desk

Thursday March 26, 2020
9:43am
5 minutes
Any prince to any princess
Adrian Henri

August is coming and we will welcome her with arms butter flake and cloud kiss
we will hold her in our blanket fort and pin the fairy lights all around her
we will wind up her train on the backs of our hands and twirl her about
we will weep at her feet and bathe her toes in a rose water blessing
we will sing at how far she has traveled
flown around the world in hope but flesh set in stone and sand and grit
we will honour her presence with a basket of fresh basil and rosemary braids
we will give her a cluster of moments to rest at the base of our skulls
or next to the balcony gardens or by the hummingbird feeder
we will listen to her tales of triumph after a journey fraught
and how she never dropped faith even for a second
we will seed her new life with a promise to be children again
delighting in the moonlight of her smile and how her open chest beats a dance
for us all to dream

“We want the suns and moons” by Julia on the couch

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
8:00pm
5 minutes
A Physics
Heather McHugh

inside these days we hear more of the neighbours jumping

there’s a lot of working out from home, which we hear and now understand what it must sound like to the people below us when we dance it out

There’s a lot of working from home, but that one’s not so loud
Most people are still, home, but not as loud as us

We’re the ones screeching to each other from across the apartment

we’re the ones banging pots and pans and spoons around

we’re the ones playing the guitar and the ukulele and the harmonica and sometimes the little egg shaker

we’re the ones singing
we’re the ones practicing our lines

we’re the ones sliding the coffee table back and forth

At 7:00 everyone cheers and we are not the only loud ones then

we are doing our inside things and if we hear anyone doing theirs we do not get angry but remember humanity above us and down the hall

we dream of warm nights playing music together on our patio, saying goodbye to the sun and welcoming the moon

“They’ll be able to describe it” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
12:17pm
5 minutes
Teaching a Child the Art of Confession
David Shumate

They’ll be able to describe it by the finches singing in the yard
the construction workers outside still constructing work and homes and noise
the old photographs now strewn across the coffee table and some on top of the bedside drawers
They’ll be able to paint a grey spring and remember what March felt like during this
The space held between people with great care, like a balloon blown up past its comfort
or an egg, last and lonely keeping the refrigerator feeling
They’ll be able to search their daily journals that all start with today, and end with now
that focus on the heathers brightening up every corner or the magnolia passing us a much needed bloom
They’ll describe it in belly moans and leg cramps
in chapped hand skin and swollen eyelids
in red cowboy shirts and purple lipstick warn at home on a day that feels like any other day and no day and this day
They’ll be able to describe it with a time capsule, a few items here and there from the house that they won’t miss too much
A reminder that right here and right now there are things to collect
and give us

“No tits to pull” by Julia at her desk

Saturday March 21, 2020
6:03pm
5 minutes
Carnation Milk
Anonymous

In the shower I held my own tits while I cried.
I didn’t realize I was doing it but when I realized
I was doing it I didn’t stop and didn’t wonder at it.
I knew why. I understood why. I get why.
Why cry when there is love.
Why weep when there is life.
Why stand frozen under a stream of steaming water when there is chance.
Why this.
Why now.
Why us.
I know why us and now and this too.
I know why deeply but I can’t put words to it because that would undo the great knowing.

Earlier you said we should have sex on our patio to give the people indoors a show, “if it comes to that.”
If it comes to that will we be able to model free love and free loving when it costs
skin and bones and a heart full of hope to give it?

Earlier I said “You have to help me.”

Earlier I said “I dreamed that I was about to perform my spoken word on The Tonight Show. But I ended the dream babysitting two rich brats who only wanted to eat BROOKSIDE Dark Chocolate Acai & Blueberries.”

Earlier I said “Please don’t make me do this alone.”

Earlier I said “I’m still upset I didn’t get to perform on Leno.”

“The spring is compressed” by Julia on the floor

Friday March 20, 2020
10:11pm
5 minutes
A Brief Lecture on Door Closers
Clemens Starck

I wake today to a text but I’m not allowed to look at it until 7am. I am not in a rush. I lay back in the bed. I lay there laying. I make a coffee, read the text and a friend has asked how I spent the equinox, and I don’t want to tell her that I ate a Big Mac. I didn’t remember about the equinox until she mentioned it. She is not trying to make me feel bad because she didn’t do anything for it after all and also she would have respected my choice to have a Big Mac.

I wake again now after falling asleep on the couch and my book is open and I am exposed once more with all my swirly ls and inconsistent shadow-work.

I say I’m tired and then I write this. This makes me less tired. My hips need some help. My skin has endured so many broken promises. Someone else has waited for me.

“FEEL YOUR FACE” By Julia on the living room floor

Thursday March 19, 2020
9:32pm
5 minutes
Burma-Shave
Traditional poem

there are apps that I have chosen to go to sleep at a certain hour now. Today, yesterday, now. How long does someone wait to call it Now in the habitual sense, the sense of saying I Do This Now when it has become something to do

I hate using the word “apps”. I barely like saying cell phone but here we are unavoidable. now. on the moving picture show of their life that is also my life too, now.

Now’s floor is more fun to sit on
more time to experiment with something new, a hat, an eye pencil, a semi supine. Now’s fridge clangs both empty and full. Now’s pantry has possibilities. Open ended.

“Permit me to add my first” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday March 17, 2020
5:20pm
5 minutes
Old French Fairy Tales
Sophie, Comtesse de Ségur

you will find a journal of unsent letters addressed to you
in each one will be our ending but you will never suspect that they are about you

you will find the truth of what was hurting and why

you will learn the code words based on the shape of my Gs and in the loop of my Zs

you will wonder why you never saw it first and if there might be proof of this reckoning coming somewhere down an earlier pipe

you will not think any of those Gs or Zs are about you until one day that is all you can think of and then you will see yourself all over everything

you will question why you couldn’t ask me better questions or why you assumed me one way

must have been the wild west in me, the untameable horse, the rulebreaker you always wished you could be

you will be shocked on the outside but on the inside you will know the truth and how you are responsible for more than you name

“Souvenir, n. Memento.” by Julia at her desk

Monday March 16, 2020
12:38pm
5 minutes
A New Primary Dictionary if The English Language
Joseph E. Worcester

Remember me this way:

laughing
filled with holes and holy
dreaming in colour
writing songs on cocktail-napkins
writing notes in the margins of newly discovered books
smelling like garlic
chopping garlic
eating garlic
with a good idea unraveling
with a lose curl hanging down my back
with an eye for fresh haircuts and new shirts
with a penchant for over dramatization in the name of comedy
laughing
open arms and long hugs
humming along to Mozart
dripping water across the bathroom floor
showering by candle light
in candle light, flickering, relentless
reading the funny labels of things not meant to be funny
with a leather-bound notebook from Firenze
wearing the blue Adidas runners from 2003 even though they’ve lost their tread

Remember me in your pocket, folded, going with you wherever you land.

“You will be very welcome” by Sasha on the comfy chair

Sunday March 15, 2020
1:43pm
5 minutes
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum

You will take yourself to the quiet of the centre of the forest.
You will tell yourself that you’re sorry for all the times you betrayed the quiet knowing in the space below your heart, the space around your heart, the pearl in the cavern of your heart.
You will drink from the well where your mother drank when she was ripping stickers from the life she thought she’d sewed. We never know. We really never know.

You will wait for dusk and greet him with a kiss.
You will paint your face with the colours of the sunset, relish in the dusty pink and cool grey.
Wink the happy birthday song, even though it isn’t your birthday, but it will be, and why not.

“Sap moves in the veins” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday March 13, 2020
1:40pm
5 minutes
The Day Dream
Nora Acheson

Sap moves in the veins of the maple tree
weaving liquid to gold
Sit it on the stove for long hours
Sing songs in the sugar shack to make the brew thick
I want to know her in ways that she only knows a sister
I want to taste the sweet of the secrets she keeps between her lips
I’m sorry that I never told you so very many things
Dragging cheeks across the stream
Making a party in the forest because
Who knows how long any of us

Has left

“I knew I should meet you here” by Sasha in her bathroom

Thursday March 12, 2020
11:09pm
5 minutes
War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy

I knew that something was wrong when there was silence
like after an explosion or in the very middle of the night

I had bought dark chocolate and organic wine
rolled a beeswax candle and brushed my hair

The lightness of excitement eclipsing the pandemic
A tall order really but it did and that’s just fucking true

We sit in your car and cradle faces
crescent moons

We walk through earth that was muddy yesterday
but is cold today

We speak in lurches and tethered torment
teeth tipping and topping

towards a way through
crash laughter I can’t help it

I often can’t find words in your physical presence
where do they run to?!

Eloquence is something I think I have in my palm at all times
but all I had then was the piece of jade

I’d tucked in my pocket
Tiny protector

Bringer of soothing and harmony
I hope it’s in your pocket now

“I knew I should meet you here” by Julia on her couch

Thursday March 12, 2020
6:42pm
5 minutes
War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy

ask me where you want to meet me in our dreams and I give you an answer that throws you off my scent. I don’t want to share my dreams with you. I want to go alone and go all the way and go to the point of no return. But if you come too what will happen? You won’t remember it the way I can. Let’s say we meet at the train station. I always say that, have you noticed? I don’t say “on the train” because I want you to get lost while looking for the bathrooms or the cinnamon buns and not make it on before departure! I want to go where my quiet train goes on my own and nobody should take that personally. I can say “let’s meet on the path” because what path? Chances aren’t high that we’d find the same path. And if we do, even after all that, we will deal with it then!

“Supposing the force of gravity in any similar medium” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday March 11, 2020
10:35am
5 minutes
Newton’s Principia: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
Sir Isaac Newton

The force of two hands pushing against each other
the friction of opposing desires colliding in the space between voices
shouting
The quiet of lust
The staccato of fear as it snakes and shimmies through the waterways
of the city
the country
the continent
the world

A daffodil sits on my kitchen table having opened overnight
How did she do it?
The light through the stained glass window
Lola eating a circle of banana
and then scrunching her nose as she smiles
Salve on my scared heart

What does your scared heart
tell you as you wash your hands?
Those twenty seconds of suds and warmth
a chasm between the possible panic
or possible breath
or possible love sent out to
the lonely
the vulnerable
the sick
the grieving
the ones who plug their ears and
pop their bottles

My scared heart tells me that
this is a time for slowing down
For phone calls and hot baths
and warm water in blue mugs

My scared heart tells me
it was only a matter of time
It is only a matter of time

 

“On the dank and dirty ground.” By Julia on her couch

Tuesday March 10, 2020
9:20pm
5 minutes
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
William Shakespeare

It didn’t use to be this way
There was more bowing down, bending,
licking the dank dirty ground if they asked me to
And they asked me to

A softer bone where the back should have been
I could have folded all the way if the tile was
underneath me
and if you’d ask me if I regret it
I would tell you that I don’t know who that floor kissing person was
who that brownie off the ground eating person was
who she was who couldn’t say no
who didn’t understand the word

It didn’t use to be this way

A quiet scream would find itself lodged
in the back of the lung and nothing would
surface for fear of disturbing the peace

Now peace is not considered
only sounding the alarm if the inside says so
It was so much easier then to let them all think
I had a hair to curl or a smile to lend

But it was so much harder to ignore what I needed
So much harder to draw the line and
choose a side

“The king’s daughter” by Julia on her couch

Monday March 9, 2020
9:09pm
5 minutes
The Frog Prince
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

pissed now I am pissed now because
I just wrote the thing and then poof it was gone
ask Daddy and his friends to get it back
princess asks Daddy and his friends for anything and everything

Pissed since Saturday morning anyway
swollen undereye because of the drink because
last time I thirsted
thirsted
Daddy fetch the hair of the dog
the cure
get me what I need

I won’t go to where I said I’d go
Daddy and his friends have talked to the people and they are no longer expecting me
so here I am writing this

writing this thing so you know that I do other things
than ask other people to do things for me
I do them
i always do them

But when something gets in my way I make excuses and I never take the blame
There is too much ringing in my brain
notify
notification
your storage is insufficient
Your security adviser is speaking to you
You’re still ignoring that friend
and that contract
It has been 6 days did you want to send a mother fucking follow up?

Maybe if I had a mother fucking mother I wouldn’t need to ask
daddy for all of it
or his friends
or tell you about it
or tell anyone anything about anything

But I am writing this still
And for right now
today
that is enough.

“And when I thirsted” By Sasha in the comfy chair

Sunday March 8, 2020
10:07pm
5 minutes
Lines
Maria A. Brooks

You have changed my relationship to time
Before you the weeks whizzed by like wild horses
manes a mess of brown and white

Here and then the next thing I know
I’m looking over my shoulder
wondering how the earthquake happened

Some days there is a slow sullen trudging
one foot and then the other towards another day
that is both closer and further away

Thirsting for a bite or a drink or a look
Heart beat a great many hooves running
towards the sunrise sky a pink explosion

Doubt sneaks in only when I let her
When I’m not paying attention
Losing myself in the imaginings of the next time

Faith carries a basket of citrus and daffodils
offers me a juicy section of orange
A yellow bloom