“his birthplace has now lost its charm” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday November 14, 2018
8:40am
5 minutes
Master of the Masterpiece
Anya Georgijevic

He remembers home as bigger than it is. Maybe that’s because he has something to compare it to now. He remembers walking down Princess St. and knowing almost everyone he passed. How they’d greet one another. Mrs. Blake, his kindergarten teacher, pushing her grandson in a stroller. Dan Savant, star athlete turned used car salesman, after he dislocated his shoulder one too many times.

“Hi, Davey, how are you?”

“Good to see you, Davey! Lookin’ good!”

Now that he’s back, packing up Mama’s house, putting everything in piles (recycle, donate, trash, keep), he feels it’s lost it’s charm. Home changes, it’s not static. Home is something else.

“a sense of optimism and openness” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 13, 2018
7:48am
5 minutes
A Decade’s Difference
Kaija Pepper

In the fifth floor office staff room
A bar fridge a basket of bananas and clementines
A sign stuck above the sink that reads
Your habits are a reflection of you
Marion forgets to wash her coffee cup
and leaves it in the sink where
Jake finds it and traces
the outline of her lips
with his index finger

At the holiday party last year
Jake told Marion that he loved her
she was wearing a royal blue dress
and holding a Manhattan Jake was wasted
and wasn’t and isn’t
sure if she was too

“I’m sorry I’m sorry” she kept saying
she was still with Keith then
she was still making turkey meatballs
on Sunday and packing them
in glass tupperware containers
for them both for lunch
Keith
Jake thinks
What a douchebag name

“A fresh perspective.” by Sasha at Pallet Coffee Roasters

Monday November 12, 2018
12:46pm at Pallet Coffee Roasters
5 minutes
Montecristo Magazine

Being by the water gives him a fresh perspective, and he learns this young, when he is still a boy. As a young man, he surfed Great Lakes and oceans, and paddled on rivers. Being by the water helps him to forget his heartaches, his growing pains, his regrets. Now that he’s grown, now that Maria has called off the engagement, he decides to leave the city. He can work from home most days, and if he needs to go into the office, it’s a seventy five minute drive. He loves to a cabin overlooking Lake Superior. He has to put in new floors and get rid of a mice infestation, but other than that it’s perfect.

“10-year anniversary” by Julia at her desk

Saturday November 10, 2018
7:54pm
5 minutes
Into the Raven’s Nest
Curranne Labercane

This is the third time I’ve tried to say what’s real.
Stop, start, think about the deadlines and the
people who don’t know me but will get the chance to see.
Isn’t that stupid of me? Here, find a vein, stick a fork in it.
Some words live lower than the other ones. I don’t know what’s
in there and what wants to come out. What wants to stay low.
I have to say I’ve been quiet but I don’t hear anything.

I have to say I’ve been running and I haven’t moved.
I don’t know what is happening inside me. Time to celebrate
the 10th year of me not fully feeling anything at all.
When I told my dad I went through long phases where I never
felt hungry and then ones where I never felt full, he told me
it would pass. But it hasn’t passed so is this something
I need to save up to talk to a therapist about?
Is there some kind of emotional x-ray I can hook myself up to?

“art remains a potent weapon” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday November 6, 2018
10:05pm
5 minutes
When The Beat Takes Over
Robert Collins

maybe I said it in my sleep-
walked to a notebook with decision-bowed deep to an excellent sentence.
maybe I didn’t hide the tears when you told me that I was brave.
you knew it meant something. not a guy scoring points with just anyone by doing rollups. you had to have been listening then. to the language my eyebrows speak. to the worry walking from room to room sort of moving things to the right.
and part of me still held your motive under surveillence. even asked point blank if you meant something by it and what did you mean.

“There is much discussion about the colour” by Julia on the 4

Monday November 5, 2018
4:06pm
5 minutes
Blushing
Daenna Van Mulligen

the art show application says its prioritizing certain colours and certain lifestyles and certain lives. The word prioritizes indicates that some are valued more. in the past there may have been priorization but it was not in the mandatory mandate. the trouble is no one is allowed to argue it. this is not a blind submission although i’m not sure the mandate would like the usage of that word. unless that is what they are priortizing. when I priortize my work I tend to doll out levels of importance to them. I say to my work, “you are the least important and therefore you are not important. some of you are not worth anything at all.”

“the woman’s anonymous appearance” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 4, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
Beauty Beheld
Sara Harowitz

She shivers from her shoulders down to her thighs
crossed tightly feeling a little tremble forcing its way in
He hasn’t noticed how cold the house had gotten
hot blooded, covered in thick skin built for winter
It was bad enough that her whole body was prone to shaking
but she didn’t know how to fix the heat
Chalk it up to co-dependency
She’d rather that than have you think she is just too afraid
to learn how to do it on her own
He tells her he’ll be home for dinner, remarks something about
chicken thighs
She thinks about walking into the oven chest first
but having it on would at least warm up the kitchen
When he leans in to kiss her, he misses her mouth by an almost inch

“the woman’s anonymous appearance” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday November 4, 2018
8:21am
5 minutes
Beauty Beheld
Sara Harowitz

The woman appears in what she always knew she’d be wearing in this moment, an outfit she’s thought about more than any other thing in her life, though she’s loathed to admit that, she’d never admit that.

Horowitz calls the woman into his office. She’s ready – cheek’s flushed, breath deep, hands shaking only slightly. Horowitz recently died his hair black and the woman isn’t used to it yet. It looks severe, menacing even.

“How are you, Katrina?” Horowitz doesn’t stand up when she enters, even though he should, and he knows it. He takes her in, toes to scalp. The woman bristles. This isn’t going as she’d planned.

“Thanks for meeting with me, Henry. I appreciate your time.” She sits down in one of the red leather chairs opposite his desk. He leans back.

“What’s up?” He pulls a file from the top drawer and files his left thumb nail.

“I have worked here for three and a half years. I have managed every account you’ve given me to the best of my ability, and received only glowing praise from clients. I know it. You know it.” She uncrosses her legs, feels her feet firmly planted on the floor.

“the hell days” by Sasha at Olive & Ruby

Saturday November 3, 2018
12:02pm at Olive & Ruby
5 minutes
Soil, Sun, and Soon
Daenna Van Mulligen

“Mom?” Mimi is braiding Felicity’s long red hair, the doll that Oma made for her when she was just a baby.

“Mmmm?” Mom is looking at her phone.

“Mom?” Mimi holds up Felicity so that Mom can see how good she is at braiding now, how much she’s been practising.

“What Mimi? I’m busy, can’t you see that?” Mom rolls her eyes, but unfortunately they don’t make it down to Felicity’s level.

“Never mind.” Mimi goes into the living room where Dad is reading the newspaper.

“Dad?”

“Mmhmm?”

“Look at Felicity’s beaaaautiful hair!” She punches the doll through the newspaper, and her father gasps.

“Monika?! Could you please come and deal with your daughter?!” Dad shouts very loud.

“the hell days” by Julia on the 99

Saturday November 3, 2018
9:52am
5 minutes
Soil, Sun, and Soon
Daenna Van Mulligen

I thought daylight savings was yesterday. I was worried I missed out on that one feeling a year you get when you realize you had an extra hour of sleep. When I woke up I still felt tired. These are the hell days. When 7am looks like 4am and there seems to be no real good reason to leave the bed. Except for all the reasons that catch up before noon. The ones you should have written down the night before. The ones you should have already internalized.
Some of this grey has seeped into my good intentions. It’s like a drop of water landing perfectly in the dry speaker of your phone. Everything sounds blurry. You want to throw the whole thing away and start over. But the hell days don’t let you start over. They make you travel to the bottom of the bottom to show you just how deep this sadness lives. They want you to look it in the face and apologize or something. For what, I’m still not sure. It wants you to see what you’re getting good at avoiding.

“never stop bringing hope to humanity” by Julia on her walk home

Friday November 2, 2018
11:27pm
5 minutes
More Than Cooking
Marla Cimini

Today my sister lights a spark in me from across the country
we act like we never left our childhood bedroom
her side painted with the hope of blue and
mine dwelling pink
we didn’t know each other until later but I think we always knew

Takes one to no one
I tell her after she has told me that so many times
I wonder how bright we can get when we trust that the light inside us is made of love
I call her on my walk somewhere hoping she’s free after school
neither of us expect to have a life-changing conversation and every time it is a life-changing conversation
her philosophy
tender hearted curiosity
She is the reason I am able to do anything for the rest of the day
The morning begins like a siren reminding me that I have bodies to bury in the backyard
She listens with the kind of patience you can only get from Barbie dolls
but she is not poking her head into somebody else’s blouse
She is the strongest thing I can lean my head against
In her company I am the most uniquely grounded me
it comes on a day perfect timing for both of us to remember that the light can be seen from far away when it is turned on
So she flips the switch on for me
And I flick the switch for her
We plan a trip to Europe in the year 2024 like it were already here.

“never stop bringing hope to humanity” by Sasha on her couch

Friday November 2, 2018
7:22am
5 minutes
More Than Cooking
Marla Cimini

Light a candle
on the alter, where you
are, where we are,
Animal forms and a few
green things and rocks
from the woods.
Pray to the highest
cosmic force, pray
to love.

It’s always
something, isn’t it?
It’s then quake of the
heart in the face
of a call to arms.
It’s the gentle calling
towards softness towards
release towards relax
towards slow.

Morning brings
something new
now, an anointment of honey
on the third eye,
ash on the lips, a mantra
of let go
let go let
go let go.

“I get a lot of praise for the work I do” by Julia on her couch

Thursday November 1, 2018
9:04pm
5 minutes
A quote by José Andrés

do you find that when you know the answer to something and you do the opposite, you tend to get pretty down? Nina tells me I’m hard on myself for what I think is taking responsibility. but she shakes her head and sucks her teeth like she caught a burn in her mouth. maybe she’s right but I don’t want to admit that.
I want to get there before anyone else can. Tell them I’m so bad and I did a bad thing so they can say well at least she’s self-aware.
in the same breath Nina tells me I’m talented and there’s a light on inside
me that she believes is love. I’m glad I heard both things that Nina had to say. I don’t want to keep myself down.

“I get a lot of praise for the work I do” by Sasha in her bed

Thursday November 1, 2018
11:40am
5 minutes
A quote by José Andrés

This morning I woke up with a pain in my side the size of your body
And now I’m carrying you along side me unable to move or breathe
I’ve never had trouble sleeping til now and now I can’t sleep past
Sunrise something about the light creeping through the cracks and
I’m ready to feel the flutters and kiss the surrender and get into
A hot shower

We talk about the power of water sitting on a couch across from
Each other and I know now more about listening and being listened to
Than I did only half a year ago mark the difference in feeling in my
Throat in my heart in my guts when I’m being really listened to

“she continued to cook into the early evening” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 31, 2018
5:33pm
5 minutes
A quote from Pasquale Cusano

there’s a book i’m reading
about a woman’s love affair with food and cooking
you gave it to me
it has all the lines you like underlined
you used pencil mostly
but sometimes pen
I think that’s bold of you
it makes me read it through your eyes
it makes me think of you read and what you think about things
material things-as in you don’t seem to care much one way or the other
I wonder if you take notes during phone conversations
or pause the movie a bunch of times to record your favorite lines
I wonder how long it takes you to get ready in the morning
if you’re the kind who owns a steamer because you need a steamer or if
you’re the kind who wears wrinkly shirts because you don’t have a steamer

“take on any city” by Julia on the 99

Tuesday October 30, 2018
6:07pm
5 minutes
A Mercedes-Benz ad

got our bags packed
our walking shoes
makes no difference
to me where we go
with you I cant lose

the salty wind has
been kissing our cheeks
but maybe there’s another
hymn that wants to lull
us to sleep

you’ve decided every
single time but I guess
I’m not the arguing kind
I haven’t been kept up at night so looks like I trust
you babe

There we’ll lean in and
grow into our grandfather skin
treat wednesday night like
sunday morning until we
forget which year it is

cross the path that has
been stepped on many times
by boots of big decision
you and me are going
someday soon

“The year was 1969” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday October 29, 2018
8:17am
5 minutes
Suite Dreams
Eve Thomas

Woodstock. The Vietnam War. The Manson murders. The year is 1969. Come Together and Honky Tonk Woman top the charts. A year that defines a generation. My brother Arthur is drafted to go to Nam and flees to Canada. He ends up in Winnipeg and falls in love with a man named Bob. Arthur and Bob fly me in for Canadian Thanksgiving. They make the most elaborate meal I’ve ever eaten. We listen to The Temptations and smoke dope and dance around their living room. Arthur cries when I leave. He says,

“You’re my lil’ penguin and I don’t like being so far away from you.” I know what he means. We saved each other’s lives throughout our childhoods and not being geographically close anymore wears on me in a quiet and dangerous way.

“synonymous with yesterday” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday October 27, 2018
9:20pm
5 minutes
Golf Nouveau
Conan Tobias

Yesterday yesterday
yesterday yesterday yesterday
five yesterdays equals almost
seven years right four days shy
of seven whole yesterday years
We talk about when
We talked about how and now we’re
here and now where there and now
You are the you you dreamed into being
I am the me almost me full me coming soon
We are the you and I that we loved and
love now and will love and what
about when I’m eight-four and my back
hurts and my feet need lotion
what about then
Yesterday yesterday will feel so misty
maybe or so fresh too

“a ghost town at night” by Julia on her couch

Friday October 26, 2018
11:44pm
5 minutes
California’s Big Comeback
Degen Pener

It’s not like a place an ex lover lives
the wind chimes make your heart feel like stopping
Once there was a whole hour where the ice cream truck
stole our souls with its signature haunt
I know the place an ex lover lives like a 4am Hail Mary
Full of Grace
dream batted down by the inner shake of a too-heavy Indica
stretched lace across the blank of the mind
There where the street lights blur the memory of us

“The sunset was worth it” by Julia in her bed

Thursday October 25, 2018
11:24pm
5 minutes
From a Roots ad

It had been at least six months and one week since they had seen the sunset. A hundred plus a hundred nights of missed opportunity. Beth had begged (a risk that didn’t look good on her) him to walk down to the water with her. He kept saying yes with his mouth and no with the rest of him. She could have gone on her own but she didn’t see that as an option. How is one supposed to see anything when the light in the room has changed. Hero stopped asking Beth to go down to the water with him. As if he was punishing her for wanting it so badly. After all, she could have gone on her own if she really wanted to see the sunset that badly. But it wasn’t about the sunset and both of them knew it.

“a symbol of luxury” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 24, 2018
9:50pm
5 minutes
Fairmont Magazine

Time is a thing I do not want as luxury. I have never been very good at using it wisely and who says what wise is except the wisemen.
I don’t want more than my share. Don’t want more than I have in case I can’t treat it properly. And I can give myself more if I say no more. I could say no more. Amy says it could be called NOvember. She’s said no to six things she’s already said yes to. I’m going to start calling it that, myself. Might be a nice way of telling time that I am grateful for what I have and I’m not greedy for more. I will love the time I already get to know. Don’t want anyone thinking this is a one way street.

“a symbol of luxury” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday October 24, 2018
6:52am
5 minutes
Fairmont Magazine

Polly wears her grandmother’s moonstone ring as a symbol of luxury. “My writing will never be ironic,” she says, hair in a high bun, wafts of brown around the nape of her neck. She imagines that she is being interviewed for an arty magazine by a smart woman in a black turtleneck. She’s talking to herself.

“I am obsessed with 19th Century descriptions of clothing and jewellery, and I will never tire of reading about how something or someone looks.” The interviewer, let’s call her Mia, she smirks.

“Would you like another cup of coffee?” Polly goes to the stove and fills the Bialetti with more espresso. She plays with her ring as she waits for the water to rise.

“Embrace Change” by Julia on the 351

Tuesday October 23, 2018
2:57pm
5 minutes
a BIRKS ad

I think the guts of me are changing
The literal guts of me and the figurative ones
The ones that weren’t there before are here now
You know when they say
It takes guts to do something like that
Well if you don’t have them does the thing every get done?
Now it feels like my guts are all happy to be in me
Knowing they’re going to be used for doing something
They are all on board and asking to be taken
Yes please take these guts and jump!
And my literal guts are different
Cause I give them what they need every day and they know that they’re not being used to filter out the wrong stuff
Before I think they did their job almost begrudgingly
It takes guts to do something like that
Fine I guess since we’re here we can but it’s really beyond our pay grade
Guts can’t work on everything for nothing
Now I know this
And I’m changing

“the function and aesthetic of the neighbourhood” by Julia on her couch

Sunday October 21, 2018
9:20pm
5 minutes
Room For Passion
Fairmont Pacific Rim

I don’t want to live in a place where everyone dresses the same but that’s where I live
All the dogs look the same
All the families
All the blonde women

In my neighbourhood there are a series of types of people:
1. The exhibitionists (us)
2. The peeping toms (us)
3. The laundry on Sunday (us)
4. The brunch on Saturday
5. The long walks(us)
6. The coffee shop (us)
7. The musicians (us)
8. The view lovers (us)
9. The porch (us)
10. The dog park
11. The wait in line
12. The Lululemon
13. The year round volleyball bod
14. The couch sitters (us)
15. The tv watchers (us)
16. The go to bed early (us)
17. The wake up late

“It received glowing praise” by Julia on the 2

Saturday October 20, 2018
12:13am
5 minutes
a quote by Gordon Campbell

So the other day I decided I will become ambidextrous. Right now I’m binging on my right hand before I dive deep into my left. Currently typing with one hand only. I’m sending off my dominance in a big way. And the idea came to me when I started to have wrist pain. What if I can’t write with my right all my life? What happens to a writer who can’t write? Anything? Do they just become regular people again? Regular people who read other writers words?

My left hand is going to make me a millionaire. The work I’ll end up creating will receive glowing praise. “New!” “Raw!” “Purposeful”

“the function and aesthetic of the neighbourhood” by Sasha at Pallet

Sunday October 21, 2018
11:02am at Pallet Coffee
5 minutes
Room For Passion
Fairmont Pacific Rim

I walk here in the quiet holding of Sunday morning
on the phone long distance with a beauty who can
meet all the gullies of truth and cackle at the ways
life laughs and leaks and loads and laughs.

This new neighbourhood place where I’ll bring you,
where we’ll get to know each other. It’s easy to assume
that we know each other now, with your heart
beating in my body, the truest possible knowing perhaps.
One body inside another. What kind of madness is it?

I imagine your pinky toes and little delicious fingers
and how you’ll be in on our inside jokes. I imagine
reading you all the stories that saved me and gave me
hope for what can be possible. I imagine all the hundreds
of meals I’ll make you. I imagine how you’ll need me in
a way I have not yet ever been needed. That’s such a
beautiful and terrifying in a way that
doubles the beauty thing.

“spaces for writers to meet” by Julia in her bed

Friday October 19, 2018
12:03am
5 minutes
from litmaglove.com

what would I tell them
if I met the table of writers
would they know I was lying
like she did
would they have any respect at all
I see that now she wanted to like me but I wasn’t brave enough
I wouldn’t respect that either
so much for honesty and writing what you know
if it only causes you pain
why would any of us want that
but here we are going through it
here we are finding the love in the lousy

“I am science.” By Julia at her desk

Thursday October 18, 2018
10:41pm
5 minutes
From a text

I have been reborn so many times
And what is that?
Spirit or dream or science?
Cells regenerating
Rebuilding
Becoming strong
Becoming soft
Who do I thank for the new eyes,
New hands, new voice?
Me?
Do I thank me? Thank me for being here and all the in between?
I am here because of me and yes
I believe that but I believe in
so many things
The power of distance
The strength of a good night’s sleep
A heart ache that takes a year to stop aching
I am nothing and I am time
Infinite tomorrow
And a million yesterdays
I thank time for being here
And for being me
I am everything and I am
Science and spirit and dream

“in contact with eyes” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday October 17, 2018
6:50pm
5 minutes
From the soap dispenser

It smells like burning

and Damon is running around
like a demon or a chicken or something
I’m on the back porch hanging
the laundry on the line
The black flies are out
I’m trying to do it quickly

“Damon! Come help!” I call
but he’s off in the plum trees
or bringing the pigs the scraps
from lunch or chasing bunnies
behind the shrubs

It smells like burning but
I don’t see smoke on the horizon
so maybe I’ll ask Jim about it
when he gets home

We haven’t had sex in over a month
me and Jim because he’s still
recovering from that fall off the ladder
I’m going strange and wild
and he’s going quiet and moody

Damon comes running towards me
and I throw a pillowcase on him
and suddenly he’s a ghost

“I thought that I could take it from here” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday October 16, 2018
8:41pm
5 minutes
Falling Water
Maggie Rogers

It fell firmly from
the ceiling as if
it were made
of maple.
This idea of you:
I caught it in
my arms and held
you there so no one
could touch you but
me. I know about
secrets. I know when
to hide the chocolate
and where. I considered
you then, this detail
of you I mulled over
like a promise.
I decided with the
smell of your shirt
painting pastels
of your arms across
the room that you
were the right one.
This idea.
This weight.

“Worries are the most stubborn habits” by Julia on her couch

Monday October 15, 2018
10:31pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Vicki Baum

isn’t it funny how heavy worry is when we haven’t put the work in and believe popping sentences.
two different things but you know what I mean.
I could fall asleep while blow drying my hair and here and during an epiphany storm and yesterday. all this to avoid myself. all this to find some control that doesn’t come with the reaponsability of making a decision. but brains sometimes over-spin. and here while I sleep. and yesterday.

“Thinking of you.” By Julia in her bed

Sunday October 14, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
From a text

I’m not thinking of you.
I’m not laying in bed eyes closed picturing you.
I am swallowing all my body’s enemies
and all it wants is to release them
I’m not thinking of you.
I’m not scrolling eye rolling not considering you.
I am up to my eyeballs in decisions about me and my own eyeballs.
there is a lot left to know
about everything
about nothing
about silence
but I do not need to know about you.
not checking your latest falling for your taste tests
I’m not tonguing about you.

“This report contains confidential information” by Julia on her couch

Saturday October 13, 2018
10:48pm
5 minutes
From the lab report

burn after reading
or it’s the kind of thing that will burn you
every top secret insight
every thought secret kept tight behind lined pages
the letters adressed to eyes that were never meant to read them
this is the kind of private you’ll wish you never craved quiet turned public rage
inside voice blasted on the hallway speakers arent’t you glad you came
but if anyone should see it it’s you
if anyone should know me

“not even debate” by Julia in her bed

Friday October 12, 2018
11:06pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Richard Wolff

why are all the midnights mad at me? no fight, no debate, jury’s never left. what did I do? to a family of twinkling possibility. what twisted corner did I take? today they gave me discernment. never a straight answer out of anybody. I don’t want to let them think I’m too afraid to notice what’s going on here. I don’t want
them to know how much I need them to change their minds.

“Most families” by Sasha at the table at Terrace Beach

Thursday October 11, 2018
4:05pm
5 minutes
Poor and Poorer
Jerrold Ladd

I know how lucky I am and I don’t take it for granted. Really I don’t. I know how lucky I am when I become an artist and no one questions it or asks how I’ll pay rent; when I fail and rise and break and shed and am seem for all of it, for each of them, by each of them. I know when I see how she isn’t known by her family in the way she wants so badly to be, and she is known by mine, in a different way, but in a way closer to her craving. I know how lucky I am, when he has pie and tea with my father and can talk about how hard it’s been, how he doubts me, and us, and the future, and more so himself.

“in the blue plastic chair” by Sasha at Ocean Village

Sunday October 7, 2018
10:26pm
5 minutes
Illness and Literature
Tony Hoagland

Mia sits in the blue plastic chair and chews on the end of her braid. She’s waiting for her Oma to finish her treatment in the room with all the buzzing and whirring, where people of all colours and ages are hooked up to tall poles. Mia brought a book but she doesn’t feel like reading. On the way here, Oma said that Mia could play on her cellphone while she waited. Mia said, “No thanks”. Sometimes, looking out the window is enough. Sometimes, when you’re ten and a half, your imagination is what saves you.

“in the blue plastic chair” by Julia at her desk

Sunday October 7, 2018
5:28pm
5 minutes
Illness and Literature
Tony Hoagland

I’m not going to sit here and pretend I know what you’re thinking.
I won’t stand and do it.
Kneel and do it.
Won’t close my eyes and picture you saying it.
All I can do from here, from outside your skull
from across the world, is invent a story that might explain.
I might tell myself that you think you’re right.
That you believe I should be working on my apology.
That everyone you know thinks the worst of me now.
I might try to understand why you’re desperate to control things.
But what it all means, that is something I’ll only be able to dream up.
No proof.
No facts.
You’re probably not sorry.
And there I go again.
I don’t know what you are thinking but I know what I am feeling.
I want to scream it out but the wisdom says, the source says, the sister says:
I should practice being still and if I know I am right, let that be enough.
But I don’t know now.
I don’t know what is good.

“My friend Joe” by Julia on the 4

Saturday October 6, 2018
5:57pm
5 minutes
His Hands
Mary Jane Nealon

My friend Joe became
my boyfriend Joe at the end of the 12th grade. I liked the way his arms looked while driving. I liked that he knew how to use the barbecue.
when I went to university I stayed with Joe even though I no longer wanted him.
One of the first days there I made eye contact with the coolest guy I had ever seen. His name was also Joe. I wanted this Joe instead. I wanted to know everything about him.
There were a couple others I started to like before I told the first Joe that we needed to break up. There were also a couple of crying episodes in my dorm room. Not me. Him. This was the same guy who knew how to use the barbecue.

“you are more than your drama” by Julia on her couch

Friday October 5, 2018
10:18pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Ram Dass

call me up in the middle of the night and question my integrity I double dog dare you. I’ll be the first to hold up my own mirror and accept responsability
cause I have gotten good at apologies and I have gotten good at slipping out of rooms unnoticed. you go ahead and pick up the phone to wield your insecurity at me and I will answer with grace manifest
manifesto
manifest
manifesto
manifest
I will stand calm in the rumble and dig my roots down deeper
you can believe whatever it is you would like
but I will always choose stillness in the face of it

“Hard as it may be to believe” by Julia on S’s couch

Tuesday October 2, 2018
8:40pm
5 minutes
Beneath Our Feet
Redfern Jon Barrett

when you trust someone you don’t catch all the warning signs that float in and out of consciousness
you believe everything they say and do and prove
you don’t look for reasons why they should be hunting you
not in the folds of the couch or buried deep beneath a compliment

when you trust someone else more than you trust yourself
you don’t think their help will hurt you
you don’t think their generosity will silently strip the screws from your chair and watch as your backbone slowly caves in
leaving you defenceless
when they tell you they think you an equal
you will consider it a kindness, a gift until you realize the fact that they tell you that at all
kicks the level playing field out from your feet

“My mother told us” by Julia on her couch

Sunday September 30, 2018
9:10pm
5 minutes
Waiting For My Rape
Jessica Anya Blau

she says “just do your best” and no matter why she says it, she always sounds close to (if not battling) tears. I don’t think she likes crying. but it’s in her like she’s made of sand. a billion moving particles loose under her skin, washing. she says “bye” at least three times. she has to be the last one to say it. it’s an italian thing. like goodbye is the saddest most beautiful world they could think of. and her goodbye keeps me calling. I don’t want to be this far away from her. this daughter’s body a river of sand just like her. a milky way. starlight.

“My mother told us” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday September 30, 2018
4:43pm
5 minutes
Waiting For My Rape
Jessica Anya Blau

My mother told us the prognosis
over the phone as we lay in our bed
your hand on my belly
my hand on your heart

The rain came today and it feels
right a cleansing a weeping
a shedding and you’re cleaning
the house of all the summer sand

My mother astounds me every day
with her willingness to feel the truth
with her ability to meet the mystery
with her strength in the breaking

It’s good to have stillness
amidst the flurry the fury
the unfurling the fraying
It’s good to have a Sunday like this

Jolie eats an apple on FaceTime
and we laugh at the determination
the squeals the sweetness
the surrender

“what day she was born,” by Julia on her bed

Saturday September 29, 2018
11:18pm
5 minutes
The World’s Oldest Person
Elizabeth Onusko

i’m doing that thing where I’m waiting for the first of the month to come again. permission to be bad until then. permission to be born anew and with readiness.
goodbye bad choices and to a cruel time user.goodbye to avoidance and laziness. goodbye to an empty fridge and full days of not leaving the fridge. and full days of
not leaving the house. and full.

“what day she was born,” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday September 29, 2018
6:01pm
5 minutes
The World’s Oldest Person
Elizabeth Onusko

when mama forgets the day that daisy was born everyone knows that’s it. probably any day now. uncle bert hid the vodka, the whiskey and the gin. mama was drinking everything in sight, and that makes her worse, that makes things worse for everyone. chloe sings to her, “rock-a-by-baby” and all the songs mama used to sing to us when we had nightmares. daisy, poor thing it’s her birthday, makes a sponge cake with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. we bring mama a slice in bed and she chokes and coughs but says that it’s delicious. she’s right. it is. “good job, daisy,” chloe says and I play with her hair the way she likes.

“thinking maybe you threw it all away” by Julia in her bed

Thursday September 27, 2018
1:04am
5 minutes
When A Guy Helps You Out
Cary Tenn

it takes ten years for either of us to notice.
ten years of never realizing
fully seeing.
when I see what takes ten years to see, I am changed.
ten years to notice that these eyes belong on two different faces. how do you go back from that? you noticed it too, ten years later, only you thought it was something about the pupils. Something scary.
or did you think it before and now you have the guts to say it? Now you’re what’s making me clock it?
I know you might see what I see: two forceless halves tricking you into believing me seamless like
this whole body is a map to one destination
catch me in my good eye and see my young heart
catch me in the other and see a lion or a truth

Did you always love a hybrid?
Did I?

“The first time you park your car” by Julia on the 7

Wednesday September 26, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
The Cure for Racism is Cancer
Tony Hoagland

Nobody can watch me maneuver this stupid car in this stupid spot and yet that is what everybody is doing. What, did all the world’s best parallel parkers get their cars impounded today? Is that why all of you PEDESTRIANS are such fucking experts? Fucking judgmental pieces of—you know what? I am a good driver. I was the only one out of my friends to pass my test on the first try. I got my graduated licence first too and there I was driving everyone around every single day. So yes, sometimes parking’s a bitch, but I only ever hit another car when I was BACKING OUT because it was dark as hell and the car was CAMOUFLAGED by being blue and parked in my BLIND SPOT. Parallel parking should be taught all the way from kindergarten so everyone gets really comfortable being stared at by a bunch of people who probably don’t even know how to get on the FUCKING HIGHWAY.

“The first time you park your car” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday September 26, 2018
5:21pm
5 minutes
The Cure for Racism is Cancer
Tony Hoagland

The first time you park your car outside the bungalow where Marv and I are staying, I know you’re there before I hear the engine shut off or the door slam. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. You’re probably doing the same.

Three knocks on the front door and I’m there, face pressed against the foggy glass. You can’t see me, but I’m sure as hell you know I’m there.

“Betsy?” Your voice. I haven’t heard your voice in three years, seven months, three days. “Betsy… I know you’re there.”

“the serpent coiled around the pillar” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday September 25, 2018
9:55pm
5 minutes
Come of Age
Stephen Jenkinson

I have been casting out the devil since I knew he could break into my bedroom at night while I slept.
Lord knows I have stomped my little heart out on the floor more than once to rebuke that son of a bitch.
They do not tell you, when you are just starting to welcome Jesus into your heart, that atheists don’t get possessed by the devil. Why would they? The Christians are stacking their team with the impressionable. The talented. The eager.
Mostly I had to curse his name after watching a scary movie. I believed he could get in easier through my nightmares. I prayed for god to please not let me see anything bad, hear anything bad, or dream of anything bad. Because once I saw Jesus’ shadow on the wall and when he started laughing maniacally,
I knew.

“you should have asked me nicely” by Sasha on her couch

Monday September 24, 2018
10:04pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 4 bus

I stand up and I feel his eyes on me. I walk towards the bathroom and then turn around. I’m not going to take this shit.

“Do you have something that you need to say to me?”

“Uh,” he looks at his buddies like I’m the creep.

“You’ve been staring at me for over an hour. I’m trying to enjoy my book and my beverage, and all I feel is your eyes baring a whole in every vulnerable part of my body. Have some respect. Stop fucking looking at me.”

“Is it that time of the month?” Buddy A winks.

“My menstrual cycle is far too important to enter this conversation.”

“you should have asked me nicely” by Julia on the 4

Monday September 24, 2018
7:22pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 4 bus

A fallen chestnut narrowly misses the baby’s head I am in charge of protecgjng.
It comes directly after thinking how if a chestnut fell it would gash a chunk out of her head. Good thing that won’t happen. As if mother’s aren’t pushing their babies down chestnut tree lined streets. When it falls and bounces off the rim of the stroller instead of her it feels the way stopping an inch short of getting shat on buy a pigeon toremnting in the rafters feels.
All luck and karma and universal flow rolled up into a warning.

“survive and maybe be heroic.” by Julia on her couch

Sunday September 23, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
Loud, Unpleasant Noises
Norbert Ruebsaat

please stop asking me
how my day was
no matter what I do
I am not equipped
to answer in a way
that absolves me
of the truth
if you’re asking
because you want
to know how easy
it is to put a hand
on a hot burner
and wait for the scream
then ask me
if you’re asking
because you want
to know how long
a mirror can stay
clean until it is
bloody from the
face reflected back
then ask me
ask me why the roof
of my mouth is a
pocket of worry
or why the kettle
screaming does not
rouse me from the
closet
ask me if you want
to hear denial dripping
dripping
drip

“This is an obituary.” by Julia on V’s couch

Saturday September 22, 2018
9:30pm
5 minutes
Empty Condolences
Joey Comeau

You live in the walls I hang my new life on
all the hooks drilled into your grooves
thank you for not whistling
I
don’t
think
I
could
handle
that
You could be watching me but I know you’re not
Never really cared about the minutia of things
the quiet worries spent hiding my tears in the bathroom
the enevelope of cash in my bedside drawers
beside the envelope of letters adressed to me that I had to write to convince myself I was good enough without you
I wonder why you never read my journals
you would have learned so much
And now you’re here and nestled underneath
when I remember to remember

“If not dead, dying.” by Julia on the 99

Friday September 21, 2018
4:55pm
5 minutes
Nothing Like It Was
Mark Wagstaff

today you are the farthest from dying that you will ever be. you have more life in the wiggle of your brow than you even know. so far the room is changed by you. the building. the women. the men.
you are the farthest from unloved. the farthest from unwanted. you are the closest thing to god and even god knows it.
today you are born on the cusp of beauty. you’re already causing poetry and melting heart ache.
though we are on opposite ends of the country, you are the farthest from being far away from me. you are right here in this pocket of joy pushing through my chest. you are right where you belong.

“what would happen if we moved to Vancouver?” by Julia in her bed

Thursday September 20, 2018
12:31am
5 minutes
Crystal
Gillian Wigmore

nobody saw it coming
not me
not you
not the ones we were leaving behind
i suppose some deep place made known only to me in my dreams and
i guess in my mother’s
it was expected that i would make it
we both knew somewhere that i would twist silk into roots
and sink them in
she always knows the limits to my reach better than me
which is funny
since she doesn’t think I have any
but maybe vancouver gave me the pocket of soil to grow myself out of
she said that to me today
and here i am talking about leaving or staying or what in the world should I do
what would happen?

“They must have math class” by Julia in her bed

Wednesday September 19, 2018
10:47pm
5 minutes
Wakaranai
Hanako Masutani

The class watches as Ms. P puts the quadratic equasion on the board. she doesn’t have a ring on her finger and so they wonder why she might be unmarried. Someone as good at math should surely be a Mrs. Someone as nice with the right kind of floral shirts should know about weddings. Ms. P whips around and tells them she can hear them-that being behind her doesn’t make them suddenly invisible. Nick decides he wants to ask if she’s ever farted on a man. Nick is smart enough to do the math but his social skills are stuck in a tree in third grade.

“after every sick joke” by Sasha on her couch

Monday September 17, 2018
8:22pm
5 minutes
July, ’77
Jill Mandrake

Am I boring you?
I know we don’t edit these
but I just wrote
“borning” and had
to go back and erase
the “n”
Maybe I’m doing
that too

“N” is a letter
that I love
The cello is an
instrument that
I love
Fall is a season
that I love

Some days all we
can do is make
a short list of
the things
that we love

“It is a highly awkward effort” by Julia on the Brown Line

Sunday September 16, 2018
5:55pm
5 minutes
How to Unthink (In Two Movements)
Jill Boettger

The bedsheets wake up bloody and somebody’s name gets cursed for choosing white. Not my name, I’ll tell you that. The first tears are muted into the pillow at 6AM. The second at seven. The stomach starts talking to me around ten after eight and starts yelling at nine. So far universe: 5, me: 0.

When the deep weakness punches back from the reflection in the mirror I know I am on an up-cliff climb without a rope. The first person to get hit in a street fight is usually the one who loses.

Somehow the angel card that gets flipped up from the pile by no one with fingerprints is
Acceptance.

It wasn’t me, I’ll tell you that. You said it wasn’t you.

Acceptance.

“a multitude of mouths” by Julia on the Blue Line

Friday September 14, 2018
8:52pm
5 minutes
SWITCH/CHASE
Ben Rawluk

Got me dripping drooling thinking about the next mouth of yours I’ll kiss
Morning mouth afternoon mouth or after that. The one that tastes the most like you
I could sip it lick the flavour trick myself into saving it won’t forget it when I’ve savoured it and morning afternoon goodnight goodnight goodnight.
Got me craving itch-mouthed waiting for the mouth you make me want you with
The one that sucks the cold from my lips the one that steals the beat from the mix make the room fall silent
Make the flies on the wall get violent
Give me the mouth you need mine for
Give me the mouth you swish my name in.

“still dangerous,” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday September 13, 2018
6:39pm
5 minutes
Soft
Sarah Pinder

Soon we will be spread out
different places
you here and her there and
me where we used to leave
the three of us

Different countries
Different worlds maybe
Or that’s my fear talking
She sounds like you
sometimes

I want to tell you everything
but I can’t
and that’s a first
kind of
and that’s strange
kind of

Curled up in my bed
watching the clouds
listening to jazz on the radio
dancing with my hands
until I fall asleep

My heart breaks for
who we used to be
The women on the corner
head’s thrown back
laughing

“a few drops of peppermint oil.” by Julia on the Red Line

Tuesday September 11, 2018
4:27pm
5 minutes
The Incense of Those Rooms
Jen Currin

Misery loves Company so Misery keeps inviting Company over. Together they sway in the dark and call it romance. Call it pretty.
Misery asks Company to stay a while and talk to her while she cries. And she cries Niagara Falls. Sometimes on the inside where her sandwich drowns a thousand deaths. Company loves Misery and keeps telling her she’ll be there. That she’ll never leave her. Company draws a bath and sprinkles in a few drops of peppermint oil. All this running water and nowhere to go. Misery wants to be who she is, find someone who will love her this way. Company keeps Misery from changing. Keeps bringing her baskets of hand picked sorrow. Calls it unconditional. Calls it sweet. Calls it forever.

“like slivered almonds in the bulk section,” by Julia in The Loop, Chicago

Monday September 10, 2018
10:38pm
5 minutes
Parsley
Listen Chen

Jessie keeps her handkerchief in the secret pocket of her purse. Nobody knows it’s there but her. A tiny reminder of her tiny grandmother who left a big hole in her life when she passed away. She has never been the type to use a handkerchief but knowing that it’s there makes her feel better. It is yellow and white and sweet and floral. It makes her feel lavish. Abundant. Like all those slivered and blanched almonds in the bulk section. Nothing else goes inside the secret purse pocket. It has to stay clean and folded there where all the memories live.

“We made sure you could still heal” by Julia at Washington and Wabash

Sunday September 9, 2018
9:45pm
5 minutes
Day Thirteen
Adrienne Gruber

there is an old saying
let yourself be loved
and you
will love those who
love yourself better

okay those are
my words
I said them
I’m saying them

someone could have said these words before me
maybe not in their exact sequence but life is art
and art is theft

I’m glad we’re choosing all the right things to copy
all the good things to stand up for

these are all the words we heal by:
the ones that sound off in the echo of our own hearts
the ones that bridge the gap between lonely and understood

I could keep a tally of good dreams that mean something
that tell me I am collaborating with the energy of every good place I’ve touched

“books about people living on the street” by Julia in The Loop, Chicago

Saturday September 8, 2018
10:39pm
5 minutes
Searching, results
Shawn Syms

I walked into a bookstore today. The shelves were lined with post-it-notes telling me which staff member recommended which book. The girl working the counter had a tattoo of a strawberry wearing sunglasses. She recommended the Miranda July and I thought she and I would be friends. Mariella, the store owner, had recommended a few books about the housing crisis and single room occupancies. When I asked the girl with the same lipcolour on as me if she had read Mariella’s recommendations, she got real quiet and said, Mar used to live on the streets. She built this place so it’d be here for anyone who might need it. That’s why we’re open so late.

“she died before age forty” by Julia at Wabash and Washington, Chicago

Friday September 7, 2018
12:44am
5 minutes
F*** Face
Amber Dawn

She didn’t know what she wanted. Thought she wanted to change some minds and open some hearts. Thought she wanted to tell the truth and free herself of the lies she told herself. Guess some
dreams never come true. Guess some hopes are too high to reach.

On a Friday she realizes she
needs to define her path. She cries about the roadblocks but doesn’t even know the road. Her friends seem to be making strides. Putting their hands in all the right collection plates, offering themselves to the highest bidder. Maybe God is a good excuse not to do anything. Maybe having a baby is a better one.

She didn’t know how much the lion’s roar would sadden her. She didn’t know how small a big thing kept would feel when she wasn’t allowed to be free. Guess some dreams never come true. Guess some hopes are too high to reach.

“Grid of Polaroids” by Julia at Vancouver International Airport

Thursday September 6, 2018
6:15am
5 minutes
Sinuous
Lydia Kwa

When I first met you, you lived with two dudes who didn’t know what cleaning was. Or order. One of them waked and baked everyday. The other one had a weird thing with dogs. Your apartment was falling apart. You didn’t have proper wine glasses but you had wine. There was a wall of polaroids by the front entrance. You partying in those photos looked so cool. You had to bathe like an ape because the shower head was broken. You made that joke the first time I came over. Those thin walls. The corner store condom runs. The 28 hour day. The food poisoning.

“I tell him how a blimp once hit my head.” by Julia on the 7

Tuesday September 4, 2018
7:26am
5 minutes
DADDY
Prathna Lor

I used to tell everyone that I was struck by a truck when I was little. Story goes: I was on my tricycle and the truck smashed me and I was very badly injured and everyone came running because they were so worried. Story is: I was on my tricycle and the truck backed up slightly and bumped me and I was fine.

Maybe the real story is better in the first place. The one that has me up against a monster truck and being saved in the 11th hour. The way I was saved in the 11th hour when I was 18. Swerved in the ice slush, totalled my parents’ Corolla, suffered back and wrist pain, but was still alive enough to get my charges dropped down to “Failure to Share The Road.”
Their car was a write off. they ended up getting more because of me.

“These are the demons you wanted” by Julia in her bed

Monday September 3, 2018
5 minutes
11:47pm
FtM
Kierst Wade

you called for these, right? these back spasms, hole in the heel of our feet, night light, better dreams? these are the demons you asked for. the ones who lie about comfort. the ones who throw you onto the pile, fire, fire, but won’t give out the punishment. they are just looking for abandoned hopes. they are looking for hoplessness. that is their favourite snack. amuse bouche at midnight.

and all the sheets drift jazz” by Julia in her bed

Sunday September 2, 2018
10:51pm
5 minutes
Bad Boy’s Slut Song
Nick Comilla

I told him I didn’t like jazz. Said the music made
my brain feel like a loaf of bread left sitting. He wanted to convince me that there is some good jazz. He said he knows the kind I’m talking about: elevator, supermarket. I said yeah but it disrupts me on a cellular level when it’s bad. I don’t trust people who say they like jazz. Like why.
He told me he liked jazz and I would have to stop generalizing. Like do you leave someone over jazz? As in can’t support someone who loves it or can’t be with someone if they can’t get with it?

“she would rub her clit to her bed post,” by Julia on her couch

Saturday September 1, 2018
11:14pm
5 minutes
Nocturne v: c
Marie Segolène

Kinny would think of being pushed up against the wall in the basement of the hospital. She pictured finally having that blonde woman all to herself. People would be around, but they’d both be turned on by that. She thought about her until her clit begged. That blonde hair made her want to tug. And that sexy fitted button down. With her eyes closed she saw herself undoing each one until her black bra pulsed. A little lace. A little bow. She wondered if the blonde woman ever knew she was into her.

“And we never talked about that.” by Julia on her couch

Friday August 31, 2018
11:38pm
5 minutes
A Love Letter To Lost Sisters
Hywel Tuscano

we never talked about the way he mishandled me and the way I let him. we never talked about how it was weird he didn’t mention that we’d be sharing his bed. we never talked about how early he wakes up and how late he’s banging around for. not about how I was feeling about my stuff. not about how I was feeling about him. we never talked about how he kept using my towel and saying he wasn’t. we never talked about the fruit rotting in the car. we never talked about the lines he crossed or tried to. the ones we both said we’d be mindful of. we never talked about how many times he told me the same story. how many times he’d break the pattern of the room by injecting a silly pun.

“And we never talked about that.” By Sasha on her couch

Friday August 31, 2018
12:02pm
5 minutes
A Love Letter To Lost Sisters
Hywel Tuscano

We never talked about how it was that you came to be so full of crimson temptation and peaked righteousness. It just appeared, somewhat like you did, sat across from me on the train. We never talked about it because I thought that to love you I had to endure (that’s another story) and that unconditional means forgive forgive forgive.

We started speaking less altogether, just a grunt or a thank you or a goodnight. It happened slowly, as many things do – corrosion, erosion, rustt, growth.

“And we created a hybrid,” by Julia on D’s chair

Monday August 27, 2018
1:38am
5 minutes
Poetry Is The Song Of The People
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Altogether in the forest
I remember us walking in a line linked like breakfast sausages
It wasn’t cold or I had on a good coat, I can’t exactly recall. But Illiah was wearing a red rope around his neck with a hangy medalian. a piece of wood with a stamp on it maybe.
and as we gathered around the mother tree, Jara started to sing and we all started to sing too. as if we knew the song. as if our bones were already in tune.I remember feeling like warm water was being poured over my head, cascading down and blanketing my spirit. I never wanted to leave. I never wanted to wake up.

“But fuck that kid. He was a shitty poet.” by Julia on D and M’s couch

Saturday August 25, 2018
9:53pm
5 minutes
A quote from Alex Leslie

I want
to tell
you that
you are
so damn
good
but I
can’t cause
I don’t
like to
lie if
the truth
saves
don’t get
me wrong
I still
think you
deserve love
and all
the nice
things in
life
but you
can’t write
cause you
refuse to
see your
own heart
even when
it begs
you to
bleed
look you
are so
damn good
at so
many things
and one
day you’ll
find your
peace
paper and
pen and
pencil and
ink and
blank page
will love
you better
if you
know it’s
how you
see the
world

“I’m old enough to be that girl’s mother,” by Julia in T’s kitchen

Friday August 24, 2018
7:11pm
5 minutes
My Mother’s Body
Marie Howe

we sit at the diner without speaking. Lulu is mad at me and I am mad at her. the drive was long, quiet, peanut butter stuck in the back of the throat. when I pointed out the horses grazing in the field she gave me the finger. Lu knows i loves horses. she even loves them more than me. I don’t know where I went wrong. i’m old enough to be that girl’s mother but I am not her mother. they don’t tell you that trying to parent another person’s kid will pulverize your heart into something you wish you could snort. Madelyne isn’t sending any instructions from where she is. how to handle a kid who hates me for not being more. when she was just my niece she used to beg Mad to sleep over in my truck. I guess that’s a hope worth tucking beneath the hip.

“‘You talking to me like that in my home?'” by Julia in her bed

Thursday August 23, 2018
11:01pm
5 minutes
Rum Punch
Elmore Leonard

there was a time when dad needed to have the bedroom doors open so he could keep tabs on us
never mind that we were teenagers going through it
never mind our rights
he must have had one bad thing happen to him about privacy about the door being closed
I don’t even think he had a particular reason but it was something to cling to. And lord knows how important it is to cling to something.