“cleared brush from the trail” by Julia on the UP

Friday July 19, 2019
11:13pm
5 minutes
Simple Abundance
Sarah Ban Breathnach

It’s in the dream if you need a reference: remember I told you

how unsteady I was and how lipstick ready you were and how you waited

how you cleared the brush from the trail even though the work

was hard and you found thorns in your fingertips

This whole movie, magic, promise unfolded in front of me guided by

the pulse of a metronome keeping time for us since we had suspended

all knowings in the space between us and when I emerged from the

sea wrestling a shark 10 times my size I saw you there plugging in the

blender on the beach (in dreams)
to feed me breakfast, to combine

tastes in my mouth and prove that
you knew what you were doing and

have been waiting for me there or
here or wherever this catapult has flung me

“She heard a deeper vibration” by Julia on D’s couch

Thursday July 18, 2019
10:05pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Willa Cather

the windows keep banging back and forth or more the wind is filling

there is a lawn bowling party for the ages happening below me and every time someone whoops and hollers the doors thump I think it’s sounds like this that make a person really feel alone and almost intruded on

Its an almost aloneness then, deep in the vibration of obligation and commitment

It’s the one that rattles the creaks in the floor back to life after much deliberating

The music is finally quiet now because someone has won

I kept thinking about the wind and how it is aching me but they seemed to be able to enjoy themselves over the noise

The music might have been louder to account for Vancouver’s inconsistencies and here I am wishing I wore pants this evening

“shoved me into the bathroom” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday July 16, 2019
7:52pm
5 minutes
A Head Full OF Ghosts
Paul Tremblay

Hands around my hips
pushing me towards the open door
Is this the life
I always dreamed of?
Molson on my breath
and All Dressed chips
I wish I’d eaten something
better

We’re up against the sink
graffiti on the walls
Is this all there is?

“Why aren’t you into this?”
Who are you?
“Shit, I’m sorry…”
Down on my knees but he
pulls me up and back
and mouths and breath
and eyes and my mother
used to say that I had
a strange nose it didn’t
come from either lineage
it is all my own

Someone flushes in the
other bathroom
We laugh

“What’s your name?”

“shoved me into the bathroom” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday July 16, 2019
6:28pm
5 minutes
A Head Full OF Ghosts
Paul Tremblay

I am not going to tell you the details.
You don’t–you wouldn’t–God, stop trying
to see into me. You wouldn’t get it.
Or Me, capital M, Me. I am not what you
thought I was. I’m better, if I’m being
honest and you wouldn’t know honesty either
because you have not once told yourself
the truth. Not since we met, not since
you moved away and came back three days
later because it “wasn’t what you thought
it would be”, not since all the sadness
you went through. I’m sorry you went
through anything at to being with and all
I wanted was to be there for you so you
could talk about it but it took you 3 years
to talk about it and–I mean–I would
have gotten it. I would have gotten You.
That’s in my blood, that’s my design,
that’s who I was trying to be, and you
decided I was something else. Something
you couldn’t bear to look at because
you knew I knew what I knew about you.
I want to tell you everything and I think
that’s the straw. That’s the stupid fucking
straw. I would have let you see into me
then and I wouldn’t have thought twice
about it, but you–now that we’re–this?
I can’t even say what we are because
it hurts too damn much. Now I don’t know
how to be around you at all.

“special pings” by Julia on her patio

Sunday July 14, 2019
6:50pm
5 minutes
Tinnitus
Emily Osborne

High as a kite and no plans of coming down
Down is the place where all the dirt lives
The down and dirty, the hole, the pit
I’m going to fly high right over this town
Town is a place where all the small people
get together and wage wars against any one
who seems like they have finally learned to
love themselves

They don’t know anything about us
They don’t know anything about us

And oh what a war it already was, the lonely
people all huddled together with their ideas
and their weapons because the truth feels like
too much to fight
Oh the light, that glittering thing illuminating
all the inside from the bottom of the barrel
sending them a mirror to see themselves clearer

High as a kite and it could be on life itself
or life alone and you would never even know
think it’s a strain or a pill or a potted plant
a cheap kind of thrill that leaves the seeking
emptier than when they started

They don’t know anything about us
They don’t know anything about us

They could come if they wanted to but they don’t

They don’t know anything about us

“your teeth glint” by Julia on her patio

Saturday July 13, 2019
10:16pm
5 minutes
Next Time
Lucy Yang

In the moonlight I can see
your perfect teeth aglow
like chicklets

your perfect lips hold your chicklet teeth and you can do no wrong

I won’t tell you the story of my teeth and how the braces ruined everythig

this is about you and that million dollar smile that didn’t require any help

It’s dark but it is you and the moon that I can follow so I don’t hit a tree

You’re the one guiding me forward without knowing how powerful your mouth is

I don’t tell you about my teeth because surely they didn’t save any lives

Not the kind that get punched out by troubled kids or smashed by a moving car

“contact the storage directly” by Julia at her desk

Thursday, July 11, 2019
4:32pm
5 minutes
From the Secure Storage website

In my dream you were there as if
it hadn’t been 4 years of silence
When our other friends left the room
I looked at you, still there, shrugging
Was this night more awkward because you
and I haven’t talked anything out yet?
You wait to answer because the answer
is yes but you are there waiting for me
I didn’t know if you wanted to talk…
And now it is my turn to wait, to ask
myself, floating above my body if, maybe,
I do

Things are said but mostly not and
by the end of the scene we are hugging
deeply and I have said I love you again
and you have cried and said I love you back

You didn’t look the same and your calm
was foreign to me from what I remember and
yet I knew it was you there, wondering if
anything is possible the way they say it is

I gave you my answer and then I woke up,
glad that in the dream, after drawing the
card of Mercy, I could see what that might
look like even if no real action
had yet been taken

“contact the storage directly” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday, July 11, 2019
10:14am
5 minutes
From the Secure Storage website

I wonder if a time will come when
we do away with all the past hurt
stored in boxes in the closet
stacked one on top of the other
amidst the cleaning stuff and the
cans of black beans and chickpeas
paprika from Hungary
oats in a paper bag

I wonder when you will not be tight
and I will not be sorry

what will be between us then
the lightness and dust of these corners
a decade of daisy chain evolution
some flowers losing their bright
some gaining new growth
measured in commas and almost finished
stories measured in scratches
measured in letting go

I wonder what will come of this
and where you’ll put your righteousness down
what will be born of the true new

who will you allow me to be
in your paper doll cut out clothes
of not quite enough
torn at the places where you
stick them to my body
pin the tail on the woman
doing her best

“Taking a trip?” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday July 9, 2019
12:02pm
5 minutes
From a TD Bank envelope

We talk three years in the future
a new language buried in our cheeks of
grandparents and long-haul flight snacks

We make promises that we know we can’t keep
but that’s what we all do right
that’s how we fool ourselves into the future
tumbling over and under
singing James Brown
singing lullabies

I’m always singing this song to you
especially on rainy days when the trying
gets tried and there’s nothing but
the birds on the balcony
trying to rustle up a seed
from the empty feeder

“Fall in love” by Julia at her desk

Monday July 8, 2019
6:37pm
5 minutes
From a Bard on the Beach flyer\

He’s in this blue t-shirt with a little pocket
the kind of blue a leading man would wear
the kind of leading man who makes friends with
the kind of guy preparing a poke bowl on his first day

He’s beautiful
I mean really beautiful
This eyebrow that he has, man oh man
with the scar he got from running into
the corner of a table before his brother
was born, man
I’m a goner

I love that he laughs at his own arms
for no reason, and why, who cares,
let’s laugh like that until forever

He is getting softer by the minute
and growing smarter by the day
I am seeing clearly these months and
trust me it is good and it is good

I wish you asked about him
I wish it hasn’t been a year and a half
since you said his name out loud to me
as if he wasn’t the biggest part of
my body
As if he wasn’t the one giving me
new life when I thought a day was
like any other day

He doesn’t become less good because
you don’t say it
I want you to know that
He becomes more, I think
He is always becoming more

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” By Julia on the 99

Sunday July 7, 2019
5:06pm
5 minutes
Philippians 4:13

I can ask for what I’m worth
I can believe in what I’m worth
impact
impact
remember how I’ve changed
changed the energy in the room
changed the room
impact
after the fact
during, before
I’m doing what I came here for
connect to the guts
connect to the love
lead heart first and
fall at the feet of a
stranger saying
you are enough
you are more
and I am you too
I am the same
the might is gold
the light is green
I’m ths dreamiest motherfucker you’ve
ever seen
I’m the way things were
but not the way they used
to be
and I’ve got packets of
promise and hope for free
I can believe that I am good
I can ask for what I need
I can push boundaries I’ve set up if they’re no longer serving me
I’m the anthem I sing
I’m the naked floor dance
let them know I own
every last steady stance

“A federal statutory holiday” by Julia on B and W’s couch

Saturday July 6, 2019
10:54pm
5 minutes
From a Wikipedia page re: Canada day

It’s hard to take the day off much less the whole summer.
SoMe
One
Told me that we need to take breaks
Just like the people who work the same hours every week or the ones who go to offices or places of employment outside their brains

This is a foreign concept to me:
I haven’t known the value of a weekend since I was in high school
It feels like every day there is something that needs doing
Especially if no one else is checking to see if it’s done or not
There is no paycheque on a Monday or a Sunday if I am busy sleeping in

This year I am trying-I mean embracing -summer and all its charms
The sunshine, the beach, the cycling, the road, the long walks, the long calls, the patio, the music, the playing, the throwing, the catching, the eating, the laying

I am and I am not because it takes a while to relax and when the relaxing comes it feels like a trick to knock me off my game and stay off

But the folding the laundry, the putting away the clothes, the reorganizing the closets is just as much me as the writing is; as the making
It is just as much me to walk around my house without bottoms as the me who puts on a bra and faces the edge of the street

“the stuff where the composition has a seduction to it” by Julia at her desk

Friday July 5, 2019
7:47pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Jeff Buckley

start with the eyebrow hair, gingerly plucked
by thumb and forefinger from their home there
above the eyes and do not look in the mirror

this will be your first mistake, but darling,
what is life, if not blindly ripping hairs
from your face when you begin to drift away

Write your memoir in the morning, and don’t
worry about hurting the feelings of your
loved ones, they will never read it because
you will never finish it

you will be enchanted by the possibility of all
things but your ground level conscientiousness
will prevent you from getting anything done
and you will want to blame your personality
type or your mother and both will be excuses

start with the melody, floating softly above
your cheek bones and open your mouth to catch
the drops of an almost song on the tip of your
tongue
it will feel good until it dissolves there

“You know how advice is.” by Julia at her desk

Thursday July 4, 2019
5:48pm
5 minutes
From a quote by John Steinbeck

It’s usually hot and swift like a shot
to the throat, rusty, at best, mistimed
And here I should be on my knees
swallowing
thank you for the wisdom, dripping down
into my guts
You mix with me until I can’t feel my
own hunger pangs
you’re the one speaking now, my stomach
the house you spread the gospel in

I did not ask for this and then again
maybe I did with a quivering lip the
way you’ve learned to decode as Somebody
Decide For Me, Make This Moment Stop
Hurting So much
Did I ask for this? Standing slumped
unworthy of my own back bone straight
and arrow into my lungs where the
breathing is supposed to go

It’s something you want to say but
I don’t need to hear, masked as a
kindness, the way new addictions
come in the prettiest of boxes
I learn to separate myself out
of the equation the whole time
wondering why nothing seems to
add up anymore

Me here with your hand up my
skull, flapping my face around
while I recite the script you wrote

“The next full moon will be on July 16.” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday July 2, 2019
10:02am
5 minutes
moongiant.com

I have this big hope that one night
when I look up at the moon I will see
her smiling into me and I will know
that yes, this, here and now, is right

It’s a big reach because these days I
want to see her so bad that it hasn’t
happened except that one night on Bowen
Island when she woke me up from my dream
to pulse my whole life into a frenzy

When you look for something doesn’t it
always do that funny thing of eluding you?
Something like happiness in the shape of a
bird, or a butterfly, landing on your shoulder
then flying away before you can get a good look?

I am not asking for a miracle but for the
acceptance of whatever shape this readiness
will take when it presents itself to me:
a heart, sure, a vintage plastic cup with
all the right stripes of summer…

I will take it like birdsong, here for a
minute and then gone again, waiting until
the night is ripe for another talking moon
full of light and wisdom and knowing

“‘Gimme a whiskey’” by Julia on her patio

Sunday June 30, 2019
7:35pm
Fallon
Louis L’amour

Summer in my skin like the Mediterranean is whispering my name
Olive oil drenched and happy
Sun kissed and laughing

Whiskey on my lips the way
the good lord intended
Sweet rope and burn down my throat where the heat knows its home
I’m not coughing
I’m not sad

Gimme a shot and I’ll dance you moonlight, open my mouth wide
and I’ll house the whole sky
Use the Big Dipper to swallow the Milky Way and we’ll be living this
easy until the end of it
Whenever it comes
The second hand singing the chorus with the wind

“Llttle wallet multicolour has zip” by Julia in Kettle Valley

Saturday June 29, 2019
7:01am
5 minutes
from and old text from my dad

I look for this bag and you are Ocean far telling me there’s something in it for me
I look for this bag
What bag
I took this bag Out
I took another
I put the bag Away
I shelved the other
There is nothing new and you are Ocean away telling me
You are telling me it’s there and did I find it?
I am worried it’s money
I know it’s money and I’m worried because you snuck it in there
Where?
Where did you sneak it?
It, still a surprise
In the Bag, you say
Front Pocket
It’s been days and do I always take out my things and put them away without looking?
Wouldn’t it catch my eye?
Tell me where to find it again, I say
Ocean away, you say
Llttle wallet multicolour has zip
Little wallet
Must be money
I have no multicolour wallet but
You call it a wallet because I
had some money in there
Just in there
Because I do that
If you had looked in my book
you might have put it there too

“It must be nice to hold” by Julia at the cabin in Galina Bay

Thursday June 27, 2019
9:45pm
5 minutes
Calypso
David Sedaris

Like the front scruff of a standard poodle, the soft of a blind dog’s ears.
There is more to feel than the fur or the bone. It must be nice to hold the trust of your companion–in a small dish, or a pocket. Safe there from the heartbreak of losing the other half of his soul.
We offer choice to a dog who has lost the ability to decide whether to stay in or go out.
A lap for a lay, will he or will he remain upright for the third day in a row?
Will he stop trembling?
Will he say yes? Or maybe?

“They backed off right away” by Julia at the Little Green Ranch

Tuesday June 24, 2019
9:19pm
5 minutes
From a text

We tell each other our personal stories so we can push against Big things like Big Pharma and in your words, Big Dental. Say no to flouride and do not let them talk you out of it. We now know that shit is way more expensive and the dentists can’t even give you a good reason why you should use it when you ask them, sunglasses on and everything.

You say what you learned and I say what I learned and then we bind it all together in a book for the future us or the future’s future.
We help prepare each other for battle in case anyone gives us push back when we assert our opinions.

One day if we forget the way we used to do things, we’ll consult the book and nod familarly at what we already know somewhere deep in the core of us.

“His unfinished symphony” by Julia on her couch

Friday June 21, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
Do Not Say We Have Nothing
Madeline Thien

It was nice there
laying on our backs
in front of the log
facing the blue blue
and seeing planes travel
in packs with their sound
close by

I have asked him at least
50 times how he is and
each time he answers as if
it were the first
I love him for that
if it were me I would have snapped by now for being asked the same thing all day

but he has always been better at responding to the best intentions of me and I have had to put him on trial for all the lack I invite in
there is no grudge and that’s due to him
I hold all of mine tightly-
I remember old days inconsistently, as if they were these days and could be referenced for emphasis

but today on the sand looking up
we saw it all
the same joy
the same flickering lights vibrating

“sister don’t mind that I’m not on time” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday June 20, 2019
7:10pm
5 mintues
One Day
Sharron Van Etten

when we don’t respond to each other’s letters
that’s when I’ll know
they can be late but not too late
not as an afterthought but as a delayed
gift, a here is everything i missed from
then till now, a few more times I thought
of you, reminded of you, the flowers that
are dried between the tiny book I made you.

It will be entitled “Lately”
and in it will be all the times I connected
the dots between our hearts and thought
to tell you about it in a fine blackwing pencil

-Or-

We might not find another night apart
as long as we both live
I have already held magic

from the corner of my eye I see you lift
something and begin
I think you’re playing my ukulele
and it sounds beautiful and then
I see you were just holding a loaf
of bread in your arms and I do not
love you less but more more

“Well you have lost 3 matches in a row” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday June 19, 2019
7:20pm
5 minutes
overheard on an unknown internet compilation

there have been few fights
few fights, but still fights
small fights, few, but still
nobody is perfect
nobody is always right

the dishes in the sink
the ones that say I was home all day but didn’t do these
the ones, revealed later, were left on purpose for someone else because it was up to someone else to wash them

a little fight
a little snarl
a curl of the lip
a growl
a growl?
an almost hit
a growl?

one of us does some eye rolling and one of us catches it
one of us Calls The Eye Rolling Out
the other says no more talking about this is necessary because I am right

sorry because someone is right.

it does not feel good to be right.
it never has.
it does not feel good to be wrong but this stings.
and I am right.
I know it.
everyone knows it.
but it is not good when winning feels like losing.

I wish I didn’t almost hit.
I wish I didn’t growl.
I mean somebody growled and I wished that somebody was more patient instead.
if somebody were really right maybe they would have said less. growled less.

“Get an alert when the price drops” by Julia on her balcony

Monday June 17, 2019
6:41am
5 minutes
From FlightHub.com

dad wants to see me
pay for my flight wants to see me
I speak to him on the phone and I tell him don’t worry
about the money right now

but I dont think my narcisism will rest if I let it believe that he just wants us all there together.
I was just there.
Last month I was there and we saw each other for 3 Sunday lunches in a row and 3 Monday dinners.

I chose to live far away.
I didn’t realize how often I’d want to go back.

Summer in the city is packed with juice. I like to be there for that so I can suck it dry, let it crust on my chin.

I don’t want to say no because of money but money becauses me much more than I’d like it to.
It’s always more than it says and the deals come with an asterisk.

“There’s a good chance I’ll be away” by Julia at BC Women and Children’s hospital

Friday June 14, 2019
8:32am
5 minutes
From a text

I’m going gone going
I’m moving on say you can’t
But you won’t and I know
I’m alive

Ooh I don’t have any second
Guesses
Ooh I don’t have any b plans
Ooh I have the shirt I’m dressed in
Ooh Maybe I’ll join a band

I’m going gone I’ve been wondering
How long is too long when you’re not
I tried to get your hand in mine
But you said another time
And I don’t want to waste my alive

Ooh I don’t have any second guesses
Ooh I don’t have b plans
I’ve still got the shirt I’m dressed in
Oh maybe I could make a few fans
Ooh maybe when I join a band

Singing
Singing
Singing

Singing
Singing
Singing

You’re never alone when you’ve got your own voice
Ooh maybe I’ll join a band

“you can’t feel nothing small” by Julia at her desk

Monday June 10, 2019
9:43am
5 minutes
Ophelia
The Lumineers

Whether the sun is out or not
I keep wondering where you went
Lots of pain in this medicine
I haven’t found it yet

Got a cool breeze followin’
picked the proper jacket
the pockets are deep and
the zipper works
a hood to keep my breath close

Where do you go
when the sky lights up
Are you ever thinking about me?
Summer seems to pass before it starts every year
And every season fades into memory

I don’t miss you, no that would be too small
I don’t keep your photo on my wall
I break my own skin
with every thought you’re in
making mountains out of molehills

Whether the moon is playing rough or not
I have you pounding at the door
A secret cave at the bottom of my well
And that’s what I keep you for

I don’t miss you, no that would be too small
I don’t keep your photo on my wall
I push and pull at my own skin
with every thought you live in
oh you keep on living
I can’t kill off the note that rises higher
I can’t dream another story into life
You’re the one I want today and forever
even if I never tell this story right

I don’t miss you
no that would be too small

“love me darling just tonight” by Julia at her desk

Sunday June 9, 2019
5:32pm
5 minutes
Love Me Darling Just Tonight
The Stanley Brothers

I don’t promise you tomorrow
I haven’t seen that far ahead yet

But I could promise you this living
right here right now will be the best bet

You can put your money on me cause
I won’t leave you dry

The second hand is the key cause
Each one gets me high

Love is not always forever
But it is here today

Love me tonight the way you
would as if it were our last
nothing less and I’ll be with you
all my life

Tonight is the test cause I’m anxious
Low in the gutter of it all

And when you stick your hand in mine
I’m better for it If I get to the end of it

And you will have waited your turn
Tonight is not forever like that either

But if you love me now when my
whole world is burning down
then i will love you all of my
life

“All skill levels” by Julia on the 17

Saturday June 1, 2019
4:10pm
5 minutes
From a sign on the street

You want to be inclusive, right, whip your hands into a circle, knot them twice.
Everybody here holds hands.
We don’t care who you are or what “level” you think you’re at or on or what have you, but we all play on the same turf here, and that’s called Right Now.
Right Now doesn’t ask you where you’re from or if you think you’re a part of a special club. Right Now doesn’t care what you did or who you screamed at or what you wished for.
Right Now has no expectations because Right Now changes every second. Right Now knows you and your right now is changing too.
So grab a patch of palm from your neighbour from another neighbourhood and close your freaking eyes all the way to the bone.

“therefore determined to find fault with her” by Julia at her desk

Friday May 31, 2019
2:10pm
5 minutes
St. Urbain’s Horseman
Mordecai Rcihler

You could say she was impatient.
you wouldn’t be saying anything new, but you could say it.
She has likely, herself, already pointed this fact out.
Not to get ahead of the discovery of flaws,
but to practice self-awareness.
You might have opinions about her impatience, or her basket,
but she has not asked to hear them.
Questions, however, she will field:

What is in the basket?
When did you first notice your impatience?
Did someone make you wait when it was really quite urgent?
What is your favourite season?

She will start with the easiest ones and work her way back:

Favourite season is spring. You did not ask why. Now you may
muse on that and wait to ask a separate question in another round.
I first noticed my impatience when the sky was falling and
nobody seemed to have any urgency about it until it was too late.
Someone the day the sky was falling did not make me wait but
was too dead to join in the urgency. And I loved him.
The basket holds a ticking heart, tick, tick ticking…

“how will I survive without you” by Julia on her patio

Thursday May 30, 2019
8:30pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the patio across from her

my sister is picking the poetry she’ll sing at my tribute concert. she’s gotten a composer to put my words to music. it’s going to be heartbreaking and strange. I never thought anyone was going to hear what i wrote and now I’m not even there to willingly give it. my sister means well. i’m glad she’s choosing the writing out of anyone who could have free reign on my books but I never wanted this. I wasn’t secretly hoping people would see them. that sounds like a lie but it’s not. I honestly wrote most of that for me. and if someone gets hurt by what I said, how will that bring me peace? I know I felt my own shit in the moment and it didn’t change my love after I felt it. how am I supposed to explain that to them now that I’m dead?

“Shower still not working?” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday May 29, 2019
5:20pm
5 minutes
from a text

You’re hot then you’re cold, you’re hot, then you’re hot, then you’re hot
I CANNOT TAKE A SHOWER IN BURNING WATER, PLEASE AND THANK YOU.
Options:
REDUCE SHOWER TO 20 ENDURABLE SECONDS. Impossible option?
SHOWER IN THE BATHROOM SINK. Use washcloth and towel on floor?
DO NOT SHOWER. Bad option? Angry option?
You are lucky this is today and not tomorrow when my period comes to haunt this house.
You didn’t mention anything was wrong.
You didn’t even hint at needing some help.
How am I supposed to know?
I gave you time to yourself.
I didn’t force you.
Okay a little I forced you.
I didn’t yet have perspective cause I was still in shock.
I thought you were teasing me.
You let me turn you and turn you and still you ran dry.
I’m sorry, okay.
I don’t know the correct amount of time to give a broken faucet.
SORRY. I don’t know for sure if it’s you that’s broken…
Trust me I’d rather it be me!
I WANT TO BELIEVE IT’S ME.

“More space to play” by Julia at the 84 bus stop

Tuesday May 28, 2019
1:33pm
5 minutes
from a window poster

break out break free break open break up
crack a hole crack a window crack a code crack a puzzle
release
let go
give
offer
light
light has room to enter
light has space to touch whatever it wants
whatever needs to be illuminated
whatever needs to be seen
whatever is over
oh well is over
what if is over
wish I would have is over
offer
give
let go
release
the no longer serving
the grown out of
the outdated
the old reason
light up the room
give room to light
to play
to dance around
to expose
hold on tight
let go light
let go of light so it
can glow

“Stock in the opinions of others” by Julia on her couch

Monday May 27, 2019
8:44pm
5 minutes
Meditations, 12.4
Marcu Aurelius

I can
Understand
If you are looking to make soup
After you grind the bones of your own worst nightmares living in your skin you’ll have enough marrow to sustain it.
I can help you strain it, stir in the stock of other people’s opinions telling you your own has such little value.
Add a couple disregarded feelings and a pinch of desperate validation.
I can understand it because it’s where I’ve been hanging out too.
Write everyday, hope someone is reading it, but write everyday even if they do not.
I act like I don’t need them to but I need them to I need someone to.
Star lovers tell me it’s all over my sign, stitched across the map, proof of flaws and tendencies.
When output comes at a cost and what am I willing to spend

“Proven ability to develop lessons plans” By Julia at her desk

Sunday May 26, 2019
5:24pm
5 minutes
allianceforarts.com

Hi I’m here for the workshop teaching position.
I have a shit ton of experience with kids and with teaching.
I have worked with some real piece of work asshole youth
in my time, but I find that if I see them as real people and not their
attitudes, I can get them to open up. It’s easy to be shitty
when you don’t believe you matter in the grand scheme of things.
Some of the lesson plans I’ve developed have really fucked
with my own understanding of writing, and taking risks.
I mean, they say the best way to learn something is to teach it.
And once in a workshop I got the kids to teach each other something
and that shit was the real deal.
They were so open, and chatty, and they had this light, you know.
They are a lot more willing to dive in than they get credit for,
so you know, I just filled the pool with shit they wanted to
swim in. It’s supposed to be fun but it’s also supposed to be
honest. I’ve been doing it now, for Christ, 10 years now? I
started leading them when I was just out of university, and I
got to work with a bunch of 6-8 year olds.
They didn’t even have a curriculum, but by the time I left
they were all so fucking thrilled to keep discovering.

Sorry, the position is already filled? Because I dropped the f bomb?

“Can you see my fingers?” by Julia at her desk

Friday May 24, 2019
5:30pm
5 minutes
The Fighter
Craig Davidson

No rings. You’re looking for a ring, I don’t have one.
Yeah we’ve been together for a decade.
Yeah we’ve been filing our taxes as a “unit”.
Yeah I’m paying higher medical fees than I would be if I were single.
No I don’t have a ring.
I don’t know if his mom has one in the family she’s hoping will go to use.
I don’t know if that’s something they do.
We don’t have that.
I saw my mother’s engagement for the first time this weekend and hers is beautiful,
but it would get caught in my hair.
I never liked spending money on symbols.
I’m a writer.
I can give more meaning to a 10 year long relationship with words, and those,
if you think are free, are not.
Something simple would be nice.
Something that suits me and my spirit and my skin tone, if we’re going down that road.
I like my hands better these days.
I like the way they’ve aged and my nails too, so if this is an option, I’m glad
they look the way they do now.
He isn’t so much a gifts person as he is a touch person,
a quality time person, a words person.
He’s pretty amazing at all of those, hence the 10 years thing.
If you’re looking, and think you should see something, that’s your own narrative.
But if it makes you feel any better, I think about it sometimes too.

“Fill those little spaces” by Julia on the 2

Thursday May 23, 2019
6:18pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the bus

I don’t have room for more feelings.
They say it you don’t let them out you won’t be able to make space for new ones and sometimes the old ones are what keep us sick. I thought I was releasing them but I’m feeling sick so maybe I was wrong. Feeling. I’m always the one feeling. Always considering how I might translate those feelings into words. There’s no room for new words. I have put so many in me that some of them knock around each other looking for a place to reflect quietly. They tend to fill up all the little holes and leave no air in the gaps. It’s very full inside. I don’t want to say too full because that seems ungrateful. I am grateful for it, whatever this is. I know it’s something good or necessary. I know there is no fighting it.
It is a practice, after all, this releasing. It needs attention in the morning, at night, on the bus.

“treats cognitive complaints” by Julia at her table/couch

Wednesday May 22, 2019
5:33pm
5 minutes
From a med school whiteboard

they always got the prescription pad ready
tell them you aren’t
feeling
like you and they write something that will make you feel like even less
what about sleep?
Doctors seem to
forget about
that one
Or someone to talk to
or listening to the underground communication network of an old growth forest
some birds have healed me before
yeah
birdsong in the morning
the slap of a hardball on leather
the crack of a bat
the perfect thumping sound a wooden spoon makes when it taps on the bottom of the pot

“The emotional sensory radar of the infant” by Julia on Amanda’s couch

Saturday May 18, 2019
10:01am
5 minutes
Scattered Minds
Gabor Maté M. D

smiling at him I am smiling
at him and he is smiling
at me and we are seeing now

I am sad on the inside I
put him down for a minute
I don’t want him to see my sad from the inside out
I want him to feel alive love, the process of reacting and being present

I respond to his tiny face and his tiny laugh and his
squeals

I try to heal my insides before I pick him up again It is lifelong

I want to love him but I am
diatracted by stress
I want to see him but I am looking somewhere else.
He knows
He knows me by my smell
by the impetous behind authentic smile
He knows when I am simply using the same mouth muscles to mimic a feeling and he is sad if I am sad and he is sad if I am there but not fully
This small heart
he is smarter than me
He is not yet scrambled
naive, easily fooled into a love that isn’t.

“me as an individual” by Julia on the GO bus

Friday May 17, 2019
10:46am
5 minutes
Overheard on the GO

see i’m going in, right
diving deep, losing sleep,
dreaming more, right
when i go in, i go all the
way in, trust my heart can
swim even if my legs never
learned how
see i’m on the hunt now,
gentle lion seeking shade now, tired tail and pink pawed, finding it within now
i want more pathways, more
sideways, more what ifs, more expansion, and i do this: little tongue kiss, inside out fist, i’m going all the way
if i can land myself at the bottom of the well then
i might come up with new eyes and
see you deeply too
cause i am myself an not individual, i am everything and you

“half-way dressed” by Julia in R’s studio

Wednesday May 15, 2019
7:20am
5 minutes
Peer Pressure
James Bay Ft. Julia Michaels

There’s a sugar cube in your voice
All the words you don’t say
you’re humming to me, baby, I can feel it
and I want you to want me this way forever

There’s nothing I’d rather do, skin on skin
with our built in heating system
want to keep our sweat kissing forever, babe

This shirt is leaving after this sentence
yours on the floor like they’re keeping each other company
I want to hear your heartbeat in my sleep
clock strikes another minute spent in
this moment wanting only you

Take my mouth and fill it with your favourite
song, sing into my tongue with the slow
burn you’re famous for
If I could find this in the afterlife
I would take you with me and leave everything
else behind, babe

Take my smooth and find your place in it
I’ll be waiting
I’ll be right here in it

“conducted his own laboratory experiments” by Julia at her mom’s dining table

Monday May 13, 2019
2:51pm
5 minutes
The Flouride Deception
Christopher Bryson

In the laboratory (kitchen) my mother is filling
the espresso machine with more beans.
She is on the phone with her sister in Italy,
speaking in dialetto and switching to English
when it’s easier to explain. I am conducting my
own experiment about which Animal is aligned
with my authentic essence and which medicine
I should take care to recognize as an offering
to the world who needs it. I am asking which
animals do I reject? I asked her earlier, and she
said snakes. In Italy there are snakes all over
the place. I saw my first one in the mountain town
where my mother grew up and where my nonna lived.
There are a few more experiments to participate in,
the animal of my family, the tribe that I belong to.
I’ll have to ask more questions, write down more
findings and one day draw a map with all the right
tree roots connecting. We all have a specimen to
study. Some inner worlds become one and when they
do I want to be able to notice them. I want to
vibrate buzz with the truth reflected around me. I want

to arrive and stay arriving with my heart out, collecting.

“They indicated a void” by Julia at Amanda’s island

Sunday May 12, 2019
10:28am
5 minutes
Become What You Are
Alan Watts

They indicated a void inside me
I told them they were wrong
I said this feels more like a burial
than a nothing and they told me
that couldn’t be
They’ve run the tests, they’ve conducted
the study and the findings are here
There Is A Nothing
Here I am wondering now about the nothing
It does not feel like nothing
It feels like more
More than nothing is something, isn’t it?
They said the results are accurate
What could be missing then?
Inside me, where I know I feel everything
and not nothing
not nothing even though they say that’s what this is
A void, then, a real negative space
What Is This Lack You See, I ask them and
they shake their heads, there this nothing
A void is where the something should be
a hole in the spirit or heart or
whatever it is inside that communicates the feeling
I say it again, There Is A Something
A Feeling
A Knowing
A Something
How can they say they do not see
when I am sure
I have never been more sure
Who is the they?
Did I ask for this test, for this opinion?
Can I refuse the offering of a Nothing
A void
When inside I hear it
building and thumping

“Best Western Plus” by Julia on the GO bus

Thursday May 9, 2019
7:54pm
5 minutes
Best Western

Best Western
Plus good sex in a gross room
Plus funny story
Plus memories
Plus strange mattress stain
Plus cute bathroom spiders

Best Western
Plus affordable trip
Plus more weird walls
Plus a bible missing the book of Genesis
Plus chatty front desk
Plus ratty pillow cases

Best Western
Plus lucid dream
Plus the first time someone says I Love You
Plus the first time someone needs to go get ice
Plus the chair no one has a purpose for
Plus the pens they use to tattoo a heart on their ring fingers

“those of us who are willing to fall” by Julia in R’s Studio

Wednesday May 8, 2019
9:35am
Rising Strong
Brené Brown

I have felt the ground under my two feet without shoes on
and I go bumbling around some days with shoes on
but on days where the sun pokes his tired head out of the clouds
and bathes the room in a light that I did not know I needed until it returned,
the earth feels harder to land on
I do not know how this works or if some dreams hold tighter to the
sleep left in my bones, keeping me locked in a bed that isn’t
moving me forward
I do not know if the sun is in cahoots with my calendar or the
internal clock that has been set to Someday Soon but Not Today
I have intertwined my toes in grass blades so thick I could
swear the whole field was trying to keep me forever
Why is this day, dressed in all the right orange, sounding worse
in my mind, a suggestion I could very well do without?
Is it the dream then, likely accomplice, that wants me more
than a Wednesday ever could?
Is it the fall from structure or schedule or grace?
Is it all in the moments before I rise again, where I must
decide to keep getting up?

“to inspire his team” by Julia in J’s attic

Tuesday May 7, 2019
9:41pm
5 minutes
From a text

well the first thing would be to see his team
see his team, learn their names
names learned? check
seeing team, know each one, can have conversation with any of them
about their families?
know enough about their home life?
uncheck, box currently empty
can smile?
yes, check
don’t need a family tree to smile at someone
smiling leads to inspiration
smiling leads to conversations about family
ah, okay, inspiration comea before family
see team, check, know names, check, smile, check, inspiration?
leads to
leads
okay lead by smile
no?
lead by example
be the leader
smile

“calls forth one’s muse.” By Julia on the pullout couch

Friday May 3, 2019
6:19am
5 minutes
deepstorydesign.com

hello I am calling you!
from the depths of my soul
from the heart of my experience
from the flesh of my centre
where did you sleep last night?
in my wrist
in my mouth
in my womb?
I felt a pulsing in my dream
and all of my living
did you need more rest last night?
did you have an idea you wanted to share?
if you are waiting for me I am sorry I am late
I haven’t been myself
I’ve been lingering in the kitchen next to tired bodies
aching and i’ve been wearing them around
you may not recognize me with all this heavy in my bones

“ballet was fucking therapy” by Julia on the GO bus

Wednesday May 1, 2019
5:54pm
5 minutes
from a text

She dances, He dances, it’s beautiful
It’s the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathroom on Sundays
He scoops her up and he dips her low
He sways her, she opens him, they let the music butter them smooth
She is slipping
He is slipping
This was never meant to happen
This was never meant to happen
This was never meant to happen
The song is low, or it’s stopped now
The radio is playing static fuzz and calling it sweet
The attic is no longer haunted
The floorboards are no longer empty
The tulips all died with their mouths wide open
screaming, begging
The corners are dusty
another couple moves in and buries the noise
The static fuzz is lingering in the attic
The attic is no longer haunted
she danced
he danced

“the moon hung full” by Julia at her desk

Saturday April 27, 2019
3:31pm
5 minutes
The Wandering Jew
David Slabotsky

she was bragging as she often does
her belly drooping over her jeans
as if she had stuffed something
down there, something she was
trying to hide
her anger was hard to ignore
since she liked making it other
people’s business
it was loud
and everywhere and fascinating
and severe
this time saying what she’d
managed to swipe from the
counter when that idiot
wasn’t looking
she got a box of Oreos and a bra
that didn’t even fit her
that seemed to make her the proudest
of all things, a thing that wouldn’t
even be useful
taking things just because she could
and because it would make more of a
story
A few of them were watching from nearby
making an assessment but they didn’t
see her life story so it felt natural
to be repulsed
they didn’t know the kind of home she
grew up in or that her first mother
didn’t want her very much

We let other people fight their own battles.” By Julia at her desk

Wednesday April 24, 2019
6:24am
5 minutes
A quote by Roxanne Gay

Bless! The return of the original format! OF EASE.
Before we curse them, let’s thank those birds, they know who they are, for being so protective of their babies. Maybe they don’t know none of us are after crow eggs,
because we can’t really do anything with them, but they perch stalkingly.
Surely other animals are a risk, need a warning, but outside our window, we hear them forming the chorus of summer mornings. We cannot be angry, although, believe me, we’ve tried.
It’s lighter now than it’s been. We’re up too so this day is not only for them. The crows. Thank you. I should say that again before I forget.
I wonder if they’re trying to tell us something important that we don’t already know:
Spring is a lie!
Hurry up!
Come check out this sunrise!
Okay, SPEAK. You have my full attention, I say, lighting another cigarette.
My mother would be proud of how much I am like her
even after she cautioned me not to be.

“no one can remember” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 21, 2019
8:03pm
5 minutes
Anthem
Terese Svoboda

We reach back into our skulls for candy or god or something that smiles at the past of us. There are no guarantees for this existence and no one can remember every single warning sign. I don’t think that’s how it works. If we could then hindsight would be out of a job. It would be sad to see something imperative for lesson learning rendered useless.
It, is, after all, everyone’s biggest fear. We want our lives to have purpose, to affect change, to be worth writing down.

We want our children to need us, our parents to see us, and our friends to rely on us. And in turn we rely on them. It’s a cycle of life we would be silly to ignore. We need each other. We keep one another useful by our belief that we cannot navigate this realm alone. We were never designed to in the first place.

“because they don’t realize” by Julia at W and B’s table

Saturday April 20, 2019
8:57pm
5 minutes
Real Roger
Harold Ober

They’ll come home
Late
Shuffle the key in the door
and shush the boots crashing into each other

Shhh shhh
Go to sleep boots

They’ll fumble with the key house and the key ring and the key to the universe
At this hour, the key is water
They’ll fumble with the water
Pour it into a cup with the lights off

Shhh shhh this is gentle

And spill most of it onto the floor
They’ll sop up the accident
the almost
the not quite
Let the fridge door slam by mistake
They’ll tiptoe into the living room
remove their coat, floor,
bag, couch,
scarf, couch,
pants, floor

They’ll creak along the dead spots of hardwood and shift their bones around

Shhh shhhh almost

“because they don’t realize” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday April 20, 2019
4:53pm
5 minutes
Real Roger
Harold Ober

How will I teach you how to love your body
in a world where a choir of voices sing
BE SMALL
HOLD IT IN
DON’T
STOP
YOU ARE TOO MUCH

deafening crescendo
coming from all sides
every time you leave home

at least that’s how it felt to me
often
sometimes
mostly

How will I teach you how to love your body
when the lineage of women hating themselves
runs as deep as the lineage
of love and water

That is my work
my task from the very first day

Strength and wisdom
in your muscles and bones
blood like fire
burning up towards a sky
that forgives all the hurt
carried in cells
all the shrinking

We will not shrink

You will hear me praise
how my body carried you
and made you who you are
and fed you and carried you

You will hear me celebrate
the stretch marks and dimples
and you will believe me
because I will be telling the truth

You will hear me speak of the beauty
of all bodies
ones like yours and ones like hers
and ones like mine and ones unlike many
and you will hear me
sing louder than the choir

A lone voice
a mother’s voice
swallowing the many
with the power of the matriarchy
that only knew what they knew
and now we know more

“And you arrive light” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday April 19, 2019
9:08pm
5 minutes
Summer Lines
Judy McGillivary

you arrive by light
a kiss on your lips
from the other realm
a story in your veins
that i know and
i don’t know

you arrive bright

you arrive by light
full pink moon asks
to expect the unexpected
line up the crystals
on the window ledge
throw my head back
and laugh at all the
ways I thought I knew

you arrive bright

riding on the tail
of a shooting star
teaching me about
surrender and chaos
and letting go
ripening me to the truth
a sliver of mango
sprinkled with chilli and lime
holding my hand as i

arrive too

“And you arrive light” by Julia at her desk

Friday April 19, 2019
7:28PM
5 minutes
Sumer Lines
Judy McGillivary

It’s just like I imagined you would. You arrive by an orb of light, tiptoes off the ground, stardust encircling you.
I think I dreamed this in that liminal space where I could hear the voice of my own inner child laughing.
I am not trying to convince you, there would be no point. I know what i saw after I drifted out of this world and into the lucky one that let me see. It was lucky. It was beautiful. I would recognize you anywhere, rainbow milk sweet, the twinkling sound that shimmer makes when it hangs suspended over the top of the trees.
You arrive now and in this readiness sits a basket of more open.
More open cause that’s the only way to more of you.
I keep my arms wide like bird song and I let the night glide alongside me.

“silence flourishes sea-green.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday April 18, 2019
3:33pm
5 minutes
Overdose
Seamus Dune

In the stillness
of the early morning hours
silent and ripe

This is the first time
in my life that
I’ve had this kind of
t
i
m
e
to rest and
be and
centre and
prepare
and rest

and meet
whatever guests
arrive at the door

“Every morning a new arrival”
Rumi says and it’s true
now more than ever before
it’s true

In the sea-green quiet
of three in the morning
I touch ecstasy in the
low down hiccups between
my hipbones
I touch fatigue in the
never-quite comfortable
I touch anger that my
mother won’t get watch
her love hold our girl
I touch the petty jealousy
that lives in clenched jaw
that smacks me around
when I’m least expecting

“Why are you still here?”

“the best part of her life” by Julia

Wednesday April 17, 2019
8:53pm
5 minutes
The Politician
Patrick White

It smelled like discount brisket mushrooms and the spinach on its last legs
the crust of good intentions on the insides of some bowls
We ate enough to see feelingly
It felt of seeing enough
Seeing feelings as enough

Before hands met skin
Before the playful spin ritual
There in the The Too Salty Not Enough Flavour Will You Still Love Me
I had a moment of doubt then it left again
I’d take crust anyway

“pulling its guts out” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday April 16, 2019
7:32am
5 minutes
Identify Hunt
Elaine Bougie

It’s no secret I like poppingsquishing pulling the guts out of my woundsand forcing myself to take a lookI always take a look and that’s problemonumero uno. Here’s me, I am me here in the bathroomand all I have to do is brush my teethand wash my face to get out of here aliveBut the first thing…It’s no secret.The first thing is I take a look.And as I’m looking, a thing I could have savedby not looking finds a moment to show itself.Little forest of peaking heads, white,sore, clustering together to ensure the increaseof attention on them.They, if I’m being honest, are usually molehillsuntil I take a pincer claw and blast theminto mountains. I have done this before,cast this unnecessary spell as if the biggerthe better. I do believe in being big as beinggood but this is not the softest of transitions.Look! Quick! She’s defenseless! And for her next trick, she will destroy a perfectlyinnocent face…

“Like the blueprint of a lake.” by Julia at her desk

Monday April 15, 2019
6:36am
5 minutes
Weatherman
Norman MacKenzie

It’s been a game studying you
wondering where your true north is
and if you’re following it.
I like knowing that somewhere out there
you hold a map of you the size of your history
and on it is marked all the places
you’ve walked instead of taking the car
I know where your feet have been but
where was your heart? There are stretches
of cartography dipped in blue and I know
that’s when you found the water, believed
yourself lake, swam in the light.
When travelling you don’t bring a camera with
you when you leave. You don’t have any need to prove
you saw anything or to show the world how
you’ve seen it. You take it in, mix it around with
whatever you already have in there (blood, life, decisions)
and you tell yourself what you have seen.
and you remember it better that way.
I don’t often write about you in the positive
because sometimes I think it would be less
graceful of me to prove how I see you to
the rest of the world. The only one who
knows how good you are to me is me. And you.
You know because you designed it.
And I follow you because you have built
such a beautiful blueprint

“I was supposed to have the afternoon off” by Julia at her desk

Saturday April 13, 2019
8:02pm
5 minutes
Truckin’
Ken Mitchell

We’ve been burning the midnight oil! It is the right kind of burning.
The burning out part is coming, surely, and if it comes in the afternoon, we will take it off, let the smoke rise, and take a nap.

This is trying to be something with too many metaphors. What do you call that anyway, a poem?

We’ve been working on our RELATIONSHIP. We’re not up watching TV, I’ll tell you what. Since B has come back from his work trip in Nevada, he’s been saying, no one is safe, not even us. Between you and I, I think he caught a bug, but I love the man, I’ll tell you, so I’m willing to put the long hours in if that’s what he needs! Even if it’s a bit strange. I mean, what’s he worried about? Me leaving in the middle of the night if we’re not up the whole time discussing our needs?
B never needed anything before. I find it refreshing!

“You would hide your bitten nails under the table” by Julia on the walk home

Friday April 12, 2019
9:45pm
5 minutes
The Intellectual
Benny Anderson

Well the jealousy found me. Always does. In the shape of a voice I would never expect. It sounded like sorry but stung like theft. And where does that tiny piece live now? In the back pocket of weak jeans? Clinging to a bit that solves my puzzle, otherwise used instead as coaster under tepid glass?

Why couldn’t I be loved like sister instead….lifted, whole.
It pangs at my hip.
Gnaws at the cut of my eye.

“I have entered you quietly” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday April 9, 2019
8:21pm
5 minutes
Your Room
Robert Sherrie

I saw you seeing the ships the way I would and it made me feel alive
I like knowing parts of me can be transferred on to you like a patch or a scarf
I wear you gently
That is to say with care
I walk you around outside
I keep you facing the ocean, the silky lavender dress streaming
This is how I share you
I dance you on the inside
I slide on dead wood
splash around bit, whoop a knot out of my hair
I want to know how I have entered you
How you might wear me inside and out

“Does not oblige you” by Julia on the bathtub

Saturday April 6, 2019
11:44pm
5 minutes
From an email

Not owed to yesterday
I am today’s collaborator
Fierce
Funny
We make choices as a team
The breath of fresh air on skin
The light rain nesting in puddles
Today the silver fish do not get murdered
Today the silver fish contributes something
Anything
Not sure yet
Today is for second chances
For walking straight into love
For breathing into things
For picking a good movie to only watch a third of
Today I give everything and then more when I think I have none left
I smile
I look up
I see the face in front of me
I make a laugh come out of an impossible woman
Today is what tomorrow will never be
And what I will carry on my tongue

“Maria’s self-view was that she was inadequate” by Julia in the bathroom

Friday April 5, 2019

8:17pm

5 minutes

Spirituality in Clinical Practice

Len Sperry

Can only write with one hand

Cannot read maps

Cannot read lips

Can only chew one one side of mouth (cavity)

Can hold grudges

Cannot decide quickly

Can lose track of time

Cannot multitask

Can underestimate task load/length

Can fall asleep sitting upright

Can dream scream

Cannot remember which books have money inside

Can stare blankly

Can want to help even if it complicates

Cannot drink a lot

Can blame others

Can check likes too often

Can only tie laces using bunny ears

“The relevance to actual practice has been questioned” by Julia on M and N’s couch

Thursday April 4, 2019
9:06pm
5 minutes
Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Practice in College Mental Health
Stewart E. Cooper

I mean they say practice makes perfect right? Hi! I’m here to tell you that the only thing practice makes is you better at making messes. What’s the perfect thing? What’s the perfect thing I’m supposed to need anyway?

I practice not hating myself
I practice not destroying my face
I practice not jumping to conclusions
I practice deciding
I practice the ukulele
I practice patience
I practice anger
I practice not giving a fuck
I practice not stealing.
And yet.
I am still a pile of shit most days.
I am still regretting my pop and pinch and pick and pull.
I am a full blown mess and some days I know how to clean it up and some days I wish I could evaporate into thin air and live somewhere that doesn’t require a face.
I practice these five and this five and those five.
I practice telling the truth and still find myself lying.
I practice words lit by a nightlight in my bathroom.

“‘small healings’ take place every day” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday April 3, 2019
9:36pm
5 minutes
The Human Elements of Psychotherapy
David N. Elkins

Healing found in the gummy smile of a three-month-old
lentils stewed by her mother in my belly
full and empty
both and.

Letting the light in
embracing the magnolias
carpeting the sidewalks
cool air on my toes.

There is no treasure map
for this
and we are not lost
both

a break in the clouds
for a beam of sun
massaging tired eyes
reaching achey heart.

This morning a hundred and fifty
voices sang Let It Be
four thousand kilometres
away we joined in
You could hear us

and my mother spoke
elegance and beauty

her articulation
clear and practised
all the years of
reading poems aloud.

I’ve been praying
to ancestors
to unborn ones

to the hummingbird
drinking sweetness
on the balcony
all hours of the day.

“My brother finds out this Friday” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday April 2, 2019
7:43am
5 minutes
From an email

The morning is quiet.
Your candle is burning.
It was hard to light because it’s burned down low, but I did it.
Got soot on my fingers.
Rubbed it on my robe.
The lilies are opening in slow motion.
The whole apartment smells like flowers.
Bloom after bloom, one by one.
You are close by, I think.
You can be in more than one place now, I think.
“I can’t believe I still have tears,” I say.

Traffic on Oak street hums while I try to meditate.
Seeing you in photograph form and my breath catches in my throat.
I want you close but it needles the sore spots.

I’ll call my mother.
I’ll wash some dishes.
It’s hard now, belly so big with babe.
I’ll take my vitamins.
I’ll think about my mother,
washing dishes,
taking vitamins,
finally resting.

“hair slicked in waves” by Julia at her desk

Sunday March 31, 2019
8:20pm
5 minutes
Push
Adrienne Gruber

When the party’s done, over, you name it, do you go, we go, are we going back to your place, the bar, the next stage in our relationship?

Got questions for all the sweeties out there with hair-slicked-waves, with promises to burn, with ideas of how why how why, with roadmaps marked, checked, ripped from all the momentum.

If I told you I wanted to lay quietly with my legs between yours, no talking, no quipping, no music, no mustering, no interpreting, would you tell me it was too easy to do, too hard, too dumb, too beneath us, too much of a waste of time, too good?

When the moment’s over where do we go, you go, I go, have to see, need to see, want to see, dream of seeing, see in dreams, see in dreams? Where, why, how, are you, me, are we good at answering these questions or just good at asking them.

“Eat bread and understand comfort.” By Julia on W and B’s couch

Saturday March 30, 2019
9:21pm
5 minutes
To Begin With, the Sweet Grass
Mary Oliver

Some days are so low
So low the ground feels high
So low the stars aren’t shining

No reason
Except everything

The grass aches
The leaves lie
The world keeps spinning and something else that doesn’t feel true

Why when some days are the opposite
The singing
the squeezing
the good
The feeling
The family
The forever

I am not asking for this

Maybe I’m asking for this

And I know that I could be
the one to trade with
So I try to write down
all the very good that I know
The blessings, counted
The love
The roof
The everything
Even this low
Because I only know it
if I know the opposite
and if
I didn’t this would
feel normal

“concern also has been expressed” by Sasha at her desk

Friday March 29, 2019
9:48pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

You scrub the walls and dust the
hard-to-reach corners way up
way up beyond
where I can reach

I watched you ironing your shirt
this morning and talked and talked
and then I said

“I guess I’m feeling a bit chatty”
and you smiled
and it was all there
the waiting and the mystery
the stillness and the movement
the arrivals and the departure

The great letting go
required
on both sides

We are living in more
love than ever before and
I know it’s because
we have scrubbed the foundation
we have eaten handfuls of
clay in the face of doubt

We have come through the tunnel
and now we shield our eyes from
the exquisite brightness
of this living

“Is it the beginning of a poem?” By Julia in the bathroom

Thursday March 28, 2019
10:30pm
5 minutes
The Poet Always Carries A Notebook
Mary Oliver

I tell the woman my name after she asks and make a joke about my last name rhyming with wedgie so she’ll remember how to pronounce it.

She looks at me for a minute then I explain that it came from some unkind yet quite creative grade fours when I was the new kid in school. I laugh, she laughs, everyone sitting near us laughs. And then she begins to talk about how a pebble in a stream can change the course of a river and I’m going where she’s taking me. She uses it as a teaching moment to remind the class that even small moments can stay with us our whole lives and we don’t know which pebbles people are walking around with in their pockets.

It even hits me hard and I’m the one joking about it.

She tells me, maybe that’s the start of a poem. It already rhymes…

“We need drugs” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday March 27, 2019
8:02pm
5 minutes
A quote by Wendell Berry

Let’s get through the wedding, the heartache, the backseat, the rain.

Give me drugs and I will write you the world’s worst poem, but my heart will be honest. Does anyone want that?

You said earlier the way I see the world is authentic and that’s why you love me.
I said, what do you mean, and you said I don’t filter things to make them better, and I said am I mean? You said no. That was a good answer.

We need some shrooms for the dance party in a couple weeks. That would be smart wouldn’t it? Find the light in the room and float to it?

The third time I did them I wrote the best song I’ve ever felt. It was full of pain and lonely but, hey I went all the way in and came back out again. In retrospect I could have done them with a friend but I was curious about what I would do on my own. I danced with the moon. I don’t know if a companion would have yielded the same results.

“my mother is waiting” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday March 26, 2019
8:07pm
5 minutes
The Greeter
T Kira Madden

Call the woman who decided you were good, the one who heard a whisper of you and was convinced. No shouting match with the sky gods, the enough of you was felt by her first. Call her on the phone and hear her laugh. The real one that she gives you at her own jokes, the real one that you cannot will not forget.

My mother is not waiting by the phone but she will run to it.

After getting rid of all the portable ones in the house, she went out and bought phones with long, curly
cords. She was born running, the woman can run up stairs and around tracks and to the neighbour’s house to give her infant the Heimlich Manoeuvre. My mother was ready and is ready. She doesn’t have call display but she knows it’s me by the tone of the ring. She knows me by the song on the other end waiting for her.

“my mother is waiting” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday March 26, 2019
6:04pm
5 minutes
The Greeter
T Kira Madden

My mother calls
grace on her lips
grief crawling out
between her fingers
that thick sludge oh God
how do we bear
this kind of breaking
again she’s losing love
again she’s splitting open
she knows in a different way
this time

My daughter was a seed
in me in my mother’s womb
She carried us so well
grew us strong in heart
soft in hip
grew us brave

My mother sits
by the bed of her beloved
vigil in the stillness
in the nurses coming and going
speaks to him with the care
she spoke to my sister and I
when we were girls

“Falling in love is appropriate for now” by Julia in her bedroom

Monday March 25, 2019
10:42pm
5 minutes
Handy Tips on how to Behave at the Death of the World
Anne Herbert

Help, is anyone out there? Is anybody reading this? There are a lot of people worried and seeking and I know them. I am them. We might recognize one another at a party. Yes there’d be bread at this party. That would be giving the party a lot more value.

I’m…I guess..I’m wondering if I’m alone. I mean I know I’m not, I’m talking to you. You’re there. You’re looking at me and I’m you. Aren’t you? We? I feel united and excited and loved by that. That thought, the you me we thing, that acceptance, yes, that permission. I can say I love me and that would be like saying I love you and then you’d know love. I know love for me because and only because I see you in me, and you, YOU, you are easy to love. Easy to love with hands cuffed. Easy to love with lids droopy. Easy to love in the dark when the words hurt more than heal and your warmth does the talking. Easy to love like that.

“Falling in love is appropriate for now” by Sasha on her balcony

Monday March 25, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Handy Tips on how to Behave at the Death of the World
Anne Herbert

today we called and told
you that we love you
and when i said it
you said “thanks, sister”

the tears were the
cord connecting my mother
and i across the mountains
the prairie
across the great lakes
a rocky expanse
full fledged
far flung

today we called and told you
that we love you
and you said hello
you heard us
you knew it was me and him
and this little one
nestled
and growing

today was a hard day
a soggy day
a heart on the floor
in the throat
in the guts day
soggy and heavy and
hurting

the only thing
left to say is
i love you
love is the only
word that holds
all the other words
in the bowl of the “o”
in the cup of the “v”

“Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other.” By Julia in her living room

Friday March 22, 2019
8:13pm
5 minutes
A quote by Pema Chödrön

Said the Hellstorm to the Artist:

You will be damn insufferable and someone needs to come and wash you out, oopsie whoopsie itsy spider, time to crawl on back up. Said: don’t you remember where your boots are? Pull up the straps and go jump in a puddle. You do remember fun, don’t you? You need me as much as I need you. All that summoning of me you do, I’m just coming since you called me. I’m a good friend. Ever heard of loyalty? That’s me. I make you damn clean again. Sparkling. Smooth out your edges after so long of bruising myself against them. After I pelt you and you resist me, over and over again. I make you soft and grateful. You can thank us both for that.