“but took that nasty” by Julia on her patio

Monday June 22, 2020
6:30pm
5 minutes
anti-immigration
Evie Shockley

there were more words to write
There were more candles to light
This would be the last of something but not the least
this would be the hope of something underneath

The words might sing off the page tonight
The words might laugh off my face tonight

I want to say goodbye so you know I mean it
So you see the meat on the bones and know I’ve leaned in

Nothing is forever is a colour I have never met
But this handshake I know well
this nasty turned nail in the wall that I’ve held

It’s a good thing people prefer So-Longs
See You Soons and someday in person

It’s a good thing this happened and kept happening and keeps happening

I want to say Good but not Bye, bliss but not buried,
this something open-hearted whisper and all its remembered harmonies

I will wait for the edge to present itself once more
I will decide which cliff to leap and which to climb

Of course I will carry you.
I will have room in my pack all the way with you.

And with a promise to
spread glue
hurl impossible
and soar.

“gags, oh gags” by Julia on her couch

Friday June 19, 2020
6:44pm
5 minutes
Black Matters
Keith S. Wilson

“What’s so funny”
he asks me, between twists of teeth, careful extraction of meat from bone
“You wouldn’t care about it”
I tell him but it doesn’t come out right
He stops grinding his tongue against his lip for a second, staring at me like the line is there and I crossed it
“So now I don’t care about anything-first it’s I wouldn’t understand what with all my ‘aversion’ to literature, and now I have no heart, no soul to care about anything worth caring for?”
I am looking at him now, trying to hide my sympathy for him, proven more pathetic as the minutes tick the clock off the wall.

“And you intend to remain there a few days” by Julia leaning

Monday June 1, 2020
10:30pm
5 minutes
Murder on the Orient Express
Agatha Christie

some days are dark days and you intend to leave them but you end up staying for a few days

deep sighing
laying
shivering at the bone

nothing will bring you out of it
not cookies
not a foot massage
not a rainbow

so you think you might as well get comfy
pull the covers over your eyes
block out the light and try to sleep

but sleeping is filled with sighing
and turning
and turning

nothing will bring you rest so you don’t bother opening your eyes

the calendar crosses its own days off two by two

you intend to leave them but somehow along the way the x crosses you out too

you wonder why you exist
if this is existing

you wonder why the sun still comes out
why the boats still honk

you vow to learn how to swim beyond the sheets

“the notion of being thawed back into life” by Sasha in the tent

Saturday May 23, 2020
4:44pm
5 minutes
The Childhood of Jesus
J.M. Coetzee

The thaw comes after a long time of being chilly. Inside the intestines, lungs and gallbladder, the kidneys and the blood. She didn’t realize until the thaw began. The release of small drops of body water. A body of water. Our bodies are water. She didn’t realize what had been frozen for oh so very long. She stretches into the end of May like a cat. Spine twisting. She leaves a trail of moisture in her path. Not suspect at first, but the thaw picks up pace and then she’s dripping at all hours of the day and night. She realized that being naked is the easiest way to weather this strange storm. She only wears a bathing suit (blue one piece from Target from her Bubby) when she goes to water her vegetable garden, just in case Tom and Bob next door are trimming their roses. She doesn’t want to upset them.

“so for a long time the king was defeated” by Julia on the patio

Tuesday May 19, 2020
9:08pm
5 minutes
The Jewish War
Josephus

Listen
I want to tell you something
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
if you are interested in receiving it I would like to give you what I know
You are a grand elastic band and
you play in the chorus of your dreams
you are the bending inbetween
the conversation point of seams
brought together intersecting
into something undeniable
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
I am happy that you’re here

Another story, similar but not
the same, is the one where the
king was defeated, yes the king, even the king, and for a long time
he told himself the story of how
defeated he was and he believed it
so deeply he knew just how to respond as if a court jester were sent to entertain him with a cruel joke of forever this way

and he did not laugh but summoned the jester all the same
every night he told himself what he wanted and the jester came to
tell him what he already knew he’d hear and he did not laugh
(The jester tried many approaches, you see, joyful at the opportunity to do his job…)

“they must not wait for him” by Julia on the couch

Monday May 18, 2020
11:58am
5 minutes
Tacitus
The Histories

They must not wait for him
for he will never be ready
not the level they wish him
to be and so they must forgo
the waiting game and play on-
play something else.

He has tried but he has also
decided on a subconcious level
where his priorities lie and
he will hang on because it doesn’t
feel good to let go because what
would that even look like?

He is ready with a response and a can-do attitude but underneath he
has already jumped ship! He cannot do what they are waiting for him to do. He will eject himself from the capsule before the signal because he thinks he’s drowning!

Then they are there waiting for him trying to get out of the water, flailing around, because he didn’t trust them to save him! But they were there the whole time.

They knew at the outset based on his blood pressure, censors all tubed up in him, that he was scared and going to act from that place!

“Ooh! A fun challenge!” by Julia on the couch

Friday May 15, 2020
10:59pm
5 minutes
from brittab.com

So Nany is always misunderstood. She freakin talks to Anessa every day and Aneesa knows it and she didn’t have to call her trashy. She knows how Nany feels about that. She knows she’s getting personal over Nany putting her hands on her when Anessa is obviously blowing it out of proportion. Like Kaycee has a girlfriend but why is Aneesa getting involved? To protect Nany or Kaycee, neither of which seem to require any protecting. Then Aneesa forgives Nany, which she obviously should because she knew Nany was drunk even for Nany and actually needed a glass of water instead of Anessa inserting herself in a story line that has nothing to do with her. Look, I’m just saying I see Nany, and I get her and she’s a good friend every time even when her friends are hurting her.

“I bend double under its gaze,” by Julia on the couch

Monday, May 11, 2020
12:48pm
5 minutes
All the Room You Need
Lorna Crozier

Watching this house finch live its best life on the wire outside my apartment is a reminder that I too may perch and sing and drink a cup of sunlight and warm my bones

It is all this body needs and when that rings true sometimes there is a period of great avoiding

the insides can be enjoyed when they are scrubbed clean of all the sand and hair collecting under furniture and in the hard to reach crevices

then the sitting can be proven good even if the body is now stuck to a couch or other inside thing

with a hope in the broom
chaos is swept to the side, and then reimagined with the new placement of certain objects

the pepper grinder now here on the placemat and the big popcorn pot finally washed and upside down to dry

Restoration
chirp chirping

“the creek below babbling” by Julia in the bed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“and to spread right living” by Julia on the couch

Sunday April 19, 2020
11:46am
5 minutes
quoting Cal DeWitt

Etta James on the radio
wailing her heartsearch
into my sunday ears, open
for the human feeling
or rain to echo with familiarity

We woke up against all odds of indifference, still loving
each other in this house built
on good bones and countless fears looked straight in the face

With B, yesterday, the discussion
of naming the fear outside the
body became ripe and we both drank at the juice like eager fruit flies

When it was flung from my experience into her heart she
swallowed enough for me too and I could step back from my puzzling
to hear all the good words

A Sunday kind of love

“in the dirt in the corner,” by Julia on the couch

Thursday April 16, 2020
9:01am
5 minutes
Ara Poetica #100
Elizabeth Alexander

Jam says it’s funny how clean the apartment feels, and sort of thrown away, like a whispy dream to nobody.
I say, that’s because someone’s been cleaning it, and less whispy more caged, more Please Look Around.

I don’t expect Jam to see things the way I see them but I do get mad when he doesn’t. As if it’s his lack of wanting to instead of his eyeline a foot above mine.

I am angry not because I am the one doing it but because that means when it needs to be done I have to pick myself off the couch and put my ideas on the shelf while I hit all the corners and all the close to the ground things I can see.

I have to remain responsible, scheduled. I am the one who has to keep my eyes open.

This morning Jam told me he loved me with his whole heart and his whole mind and his whole body and while I looked like I was asleep I was very much awakened by that. I thought he had forgotten his old habit of whispering affirmations alongside the call of the birds as the sun rises.

“Catfish Lane” by Julia on her couch

Monday, March 30, 2030
5:53pm
5 minutes
The Cure
Ginger Andrews

So Kitty and Kat are on the internet and they’re pretending to be older, sexier, more experienced versions of themselves. They are 11 and 12. The world is getting younger, did you know?
They ask, ASL? and they respond, 18 and a half, F, Florida. Kitty and Kat think Florida is the coolest place on earth. That’s where their neighbour, Leon, always goes when he gets to stay with his grandmother during summer vacation.

Kitty is laughing so hard at what she’s reading, she can barely get the words out. Kat makes her move so she can write back to “Chad” who works at Mcdonalds and has a motorcycle. Also in Florida. They knew it was cool.

Kat wants to tell Chad that she likes kissing with tongue but Kitty can’t handle it and pees her pants a little bit.

“You wish you were in the woods” by julia on her couch

Saturday, March 28, 2020
11:19pm
5 minutes
To A Frustrated Poet
R.J. Ellmann

it is lucky we live in a rainforest

tonight we went out for a walk thinking it would be pouring rain
(you could hear it)
but it wasn’t and that was luckier still

we put one foot in front of the other until we found the water
saw the empty bridges
crossed the street between traffic lights
until we met a different hour
inhaled dripping trees

we didn’t see a soul on the sidewalks but we still walked
on the road framed by cherry blossoms

on the day that time wasn’t
we could see the city lit up
across itself

saturday night and every window glowing orange light

“I know nothing about magic” by Julia on the toilet

Wednesday March 4, 2020
8:34pm
5 minutes
The Books Of Magic
Neil Gaiman

I know nothing about magic
and this is something you’d have to ask me to repeat
because if you know me you know
that I am lying through my teeth

“what was that you said? because I thought I heard –no, okay then, phew because–I thought you said ‘nothing’–okay phew”

I could write a long list about the sparkly stuff that seems to line the streets: where I saw it, how I got it, who I believe to be behind the gold

It’s things like gifts when you need them most or grace of god or getting to sleep in after weeks of burning the candle and no there is no physical proof

but physical proof is meant for other things like car parts and batteries and making sure there’s a banana in every lunch pail

I’m talking about the stuff that you feel or carry or reference but can’t name, the stuff trees in an old growth rainforest give off to warm you in February when you didn’t bring the proper jacket

“When we love the earth,” by Julia on her couch

Thursday February 20, 2020
9:49pm
5 minutes
From a quote by bell hooks

we sit by the crow of sunrise and blow bubbles into the sky

we step our feet into mud prints squishing around and walking

a garbage can becomes a thing worth waiting for

a bee hive moves into the apartment complex community garden

we rescue two giant pussy willow branches from the corner of arbutus and 4th and walk them through the doors slowly

the water is dripping but we catch it in the kettle and find glasses to fill

“… let’s just see what happens.” By Julia on the 84

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
6:15pm
5 minutes
For as Many Days as We Have Left
Pam Houston

I am about to barf
Let’s just see what happens

Said nobody ever

The body knows
Deeply
Carries

Things in its pockets that
You have forgotten about

A travelling secret
Across decades
Buried deep in the palm creases
Or behind the ear

The body is particularly intuitive when it comes to barfing

Let’s just see what—

Is what someone trying to ignore the body might say

Trying being the operative word

I don’t tell you this but today I wonder what the point of it all is

Why this journey then and not another

Why this body rejecting something I’ve put in it or worse rejecting what I keep outside it

What is the point
But I don’t tell you this

You’d rather hear about vomit and
Stomach bile and the garbage can next to the bed

“Caley pushed her sandy brown hair” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
10:22am
5 minutes
A Private Wild
Laurel Nakanishi

Caley pushed her sandy brown hair off her forehead. She wished that she could take back getting bangs, and all the sorry’s she’s said, and how she’s always focused on the pleasure of others and not herself. Might’ve saved my marriage, she thought. Wearing the royal blue hand knit sweater that she’d ordered for herself on Etsy for Christmas, Caley glanced at the clock. Two twenty five. She’d have to leave to get Emmy at preschool in half an hour. She’d barely written three thousand words.  When did you turn into such a little procrastinator? Caley got up from her desk and stretched her arms above her head. She let out a loud sigh.

“If the leaf stem is long” by Julia in her couch

Thursday February 6, 2020
8:47pm
5 minutes
Tree Finder
May Theilgaard Watts

if the leaf stem is long then you’ve picked the right man
chosen the future that will grow old with you and keep you young
you will be a gardener, a keeper of soil, a planter of seeds
if the leaf stem is long it’s a good sign
that you’ve been paying attention
and this is the thing you’ll need most
This 3rd eye noticing 3rd eye seeing deeply, knowing truly
the leaf stem can be cut or shortened but you, you have received the longest one
the longest line that starts off so long cutting it a little won’t make much difference.

“Would you mind if I tell you you’re the cutest thing?” By Julia in her bed

Saturday February 1, 2020
11:48pm
5 minutes
Would You Mind
Hank Snow

I saw you first
I looked around and I took you in and I wanted you for me
I wanted you in general
I didn’t know I would fall in love with you years later or that you would fall in love with me
or maybe this is how I planned it
you looking at me like you were some big secret
something tack-like but hard to pin down
you saw me a week later and I wasn’t expecting that
but I wanted it
and I wanted you
and I let myself wonder at every eyebrow raise you let me see
every time you stayed looking at me two seconds too long
I would have wanted to see who’d look away first
who would be the brave one

“Sit comfortably” by Julia on her couch

Sunday January 19, 2020
9:35pm
5 minutes
Sparrow’s Guide to Meditation
Sparrow

comfort is relative
relatives bring comfort
comforting relatives

on Friday my mother sent the news
she called it dreaded
after all the time zones it travelled to reach her
the last time we spoke she told me she was on the phone with him and he switched over to Zia, and then when she wanted to say bye to him he said, “tell her I’ll say bye to her tomorrow”
and then tomorrow was there but he had slipped into a coma over night
and those are the last words she will remember
that tomorrow always comes but sometimes it doesn’t bring everybody from yesterday with it

the day was spent sending love up to the sky, to the family I have lost up until now
and to the family feeling lost all over Ontario and Lozzola
trying to ease whichever hurt they were holding

“Those were the rules.” By Julia in Baden

Saturday January 4, 2020
12:47am
5 minutes
The Murderee
Martin Amis

we waited until the white kissed the road and we went out walking

threw on the blanket scarf and made sure our foot prints told the story first

it felt like angels were laying down their wings for us to tread on

those were the rules: open chest, open song, a simple hush and a deep blink

you told me you were going to marry me and I laughed because you have been saying that for years

you know we are already promised, already mapping out the next decade after this beautiful throw

we held our breath under the lamp light as if we might catch the glow on our tongues and become fire

those were the rules: we live and move with new snow

“walk-in counselling clinic” by Julia on the Megabus

Friday December 27, 2019
9:35am
5 minutes
from a sign

Devra puts on her new lace cardigan. New to her, hand me down from Aunt Mary’s kids. Yesterday she went through the big garbage bag of the no-longer wanted/fitting and managed to find one item. The coral cardigan was the only thing that didn’t instantly turn her into a baby doll. Aunt Mary’s kids were young. Devra could fit into the tights but she didn’t feel proud to be wearing a 12 year old’s stuff.

She pats her face dry after washing with the new rose-water cleanser she got for Christmas and looks herself in the mirror. “Today’s a good day for it.” She says to herself.

“You soda cracker!” By Julia in Baden

Wednesday December 25, 2019
11:09pm
5 minutes
Soda Cracker 
Raymond Carver

Listen, Libby, we’re not doing this again. Your brother really likes this girl and I don’t need you giving her a hard time. Now when they get here I want you on your best behaviour. No aggressive questions. No buts! I don’t want to hear it. You don’t go attacking people, I don’t care how funny you think that is. Liam’s never done that to you. I bet if you really liked a boy he wouldn’t be scheming over there trying to make it harder for you. Surely you can’t imagine it, but being newly in love for a boy like your brother is already difficult. There’s all the unwritten rules he’s got to navigate and bringing her home to meet the whole scrutinizing family, prickly older sister and all? Now come on if you think you’re a soda cracker!

“Coming today” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 17, 2019
9:31pm
5 minutes
From a note on the table

B’s coming today from Thunder Bay. She texted earlier saying she doesn’t know exactly when she’s set to arrive now on account of the highway moose.
When I asked her for details I didn’t get a response for over 2 hours and that worried me. Finally she wrote back saying, “Dead already, RIP, still coming” which from B is a miracle. I think it was blocking the road but I’ll have to wait till she gets here for the information. If she had hit the moose she would likely cancel her trip without even telling me. B is prone to last minute cancellations depending on the severity of the unexpected circumstance.
When I was last in Thunder Bay I also saw a dead highway moose and to tell you the truth I wasn’t as shocked when B told me about hers because of it. I somehow planted that in my memory as a Thunder Bay thing, which is unfair since I was only there for a few hours. I guess I could remember it for having the “Best Chinese Restaurant” as well but I ate at that restaurant and it was clear that Thunder Bay had a penchant for hyperbole. Well I don’t know about all of Thunder Bay, again, it was the only place I ate.

“A flawless flagpole clinks” by Julia blow drying her hair

Thursday November 14, 2019
3:32pm
5 minutes
Small-Town Autumn
Donna Steiner

According to the other people’s house in a new life that is so far away from the city, we have to pay for the first day of the year and then we can go back into town. I’m sorry I’m late for these things but you know how much you love me.
One day it will make sense for us.
I don’t want anyone to figure it out so for now you have to try to drive the truck back to the shop..try to find out how much you owe…you see what I am trying to say? Don’t let them catch you.

“To the future with hope” by Julia on her couch

Friday November 1, 2019
9:13pm
5 minutes
St. John’s School Motto

on the first day the slate was washed clean
whoosh the spider out

on the day before that the
bathroom spider appeared
to be tight-rope walking

with ease; flair even
but the steam made it difficult and the pelting

spray came on more like an
attack than collaboration
and things were very up in the air

When the shower spider collapsed from its corner
it landed on the floor of
the tub and started to flail
around

trying to climb the wall of the tub to free itself from the assaulting heat coming out of the woman standing

the woman waited for a moment to see what the bathroom spider needed

she grabbed the pair of tweezers sitting on the small table outside curtain

then bent down and let the bathroom spider attach itself to them so she could

lift it out and onto the tile where it could decide where to go from there

“The bit about the doorbell” by Julia on L’s couch

Saturday October 19, 2019
10:20pm
5 minutes
Someday Is Today
Alethea Black

it’s a looming kind, this patchwork. Nobody sees

the origins because it
is built over time, from

grains of one person to
the next. it is closer

to waiting for food poisoning to strike after

consuming under cooked shrimp. they say it could

take 4-48 hours for the
symptoms to start, and

how do you go on living
casually knowing it’s on

the way? the driver who sees
the car approaching from the

rear view mirror is the one
who gets whiplash from

bracing for the crash. why suffer twice, but it’s too

late, the sick is coming.
it is the doorbell ringing

when everyone is tucked in,
far away from expecting.

“You plan, you design, you labor,” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday October 16, 2019
10:04pm
5 minutes
An Absorbing Errand
Janna Malamud Smith

You are the Carolina Parakeet
hunted for feathers in hats worn by women like

You are the Passenger Pigeon
flocking with billions of kin
darkening the bright sky
trying to make it home to

You are the Stephens Island Wren
flightless and tiny
hunted by pet cats to complete extinction
New Zealand lost her

You are the Great Auk
not knowing the threat of their human predator
they waddled up to the Settler
hoping to make a new friend in

You are the Elephant Bird
Ten feet tall and five hundred pounds
Prehistoric and wise
Bobbing your head towards the familiar

You
Sweet Dodo Bird of Mauritius
hunted for meat by the hungry and tired

“I cried during the silent walking meditation” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday October 15, 2019
7:19pm
Reunion
Halina Larman

Alice left Jim on a Wednesday. It was a long time coming. At least that’s what everyone said. It wasn’t dramatic. It was deliberate and soft. She had packed a black suitcase, as she knew that she needed to actually leave, not just figuratively leave. The suitcase had been Alice’s mother’s. It was worn on the bottom corner, but still zipped up. Their other suitcases, stored in the basement next to the box of Christmas ornaments and wrapping paper, belonged to Jim. At least she thought they did. It was the division of things that most overwhelmed her. Not the conversation, the “leaving” conversation. The division of their items, their life, parsed out in “I’ll take the immersion blender and you take the coffee grinder?” The older Alice got the more she didn’t care for things that she could turn on, hold in her hand, or cart around. She cared for the feeling of her blood pressure lowering, the October wind bringing her closer to herself.

“It begins from the heart.” By Julia on her couch

Sunday October 13, 2019
6:26pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Shahla Khan

say your sorry
go on say the piece that is yours, that belongs to you
that you are holding back
as punishment
as deep sigh
as victim complex
say it out so it stops haunting you
so it stops sucking out the room

once upon a time this room had horns and it wasn’t a bad room but it did what it pleased
today you have gripped them tightly, and the horns feel a bit trapped
so if you are honest with
the room, with me, with yourself, you will abandon the punch left dangling
at the bottom of your hurt

I can tell you egos never want to be wrong but we both know yours is and if you say it, if you apologize
if you bring out the word that keeps you sick by hiding…

“I’d say that’s OK” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday Oct 10, 2019
11:45am
5 minutes
On A Cliff With You
David Allan Cates
A: Would you like to go to the park?
B: NO.
A: But it’s so nice out! It’ll be fun. I promise.
B: I don’t want to go.
A: I’ll push you on the swing…
B: The big kid swing or the baby swing?
A: Your choice.
B: Big kid swing!
A: Deal!
B: But I don’t want to wear my hat!
A: You need to wear your hat.
B: No way!
A: It’s chilly! Your ears will get cold.
B: NO!
A: Ear muffs?
B: NO.
A: Headband?
B: …
A: …
B: Fiiiiiine.
A: Great. Let’s do it. Put on your boots please.
B: I want to wear my Crocs.
A: It’s too cold for Crocs, my darling.
B: NOOOO!
A: …
B: – OOOOO!
A: I’m going to start putting on my boots, and whenever you’re ready –
B: – OOOOOOOO!
A: Hey. Darling. Please stop shouting.
B: I don’t want to wear my boooooooots!
A: I can see that. What about your runners?
B: My runners make my toes itchy!
A: They do?
B: Yeah.
A: What about if you wear your purple socks inside your runners?
B: The sparkly socks?
A: Yeah!

“Everybody froze.” By Julia on the 4

Wednesday October 9, 2019
6:11pm
5 minutes
The Man At Table Five
Alison Clement

it is common, the ice off his tongue. this is what happens when one is bad at keeping oneself warm. everybody else freezes. and here we are thinking that our cold doesn’t hurt anyone but that is not true. there is proof in the quiet, and in the glaring lights.

earlier when we encountered it, we took it on as our own and had to remind ourselves not to do that but what about the ones who do not walk in pairs? who do not count breaths, who do not know how to seperate?
we can say it’s not our responsibility but that is another great convenience we like to cling to.

when a driver flashes their headlights at another behind the wheel it is usually a warning of something to be mindful of up ahead. a signal to slow down, or that the surfboard has come loose from the roof mount. it is not legally required, but there is an unwritten code.

“How loyal the heart is” by Julia on L’s couch

Tuesday October 8, 2019
8:35pm
5 minutes
Red Tights
Danusha Lameris

with every passing hour
there is an ink stain
seeping deeper into the
contract of this. Of Us.

Who put their name down
in what order is something we might joke about but I know I was the one who signed first.

I decided.

Somewhere between the first
time I saw you and first time I kissed you I had my pen ready.

That is saying something: no pencil, no eraser.

And you were there in my
room playing the guitar for me and telling your
jokes to me and sharing
your smoke with me.

But I was the one who thought we should live together. I’m the one who found us our first house
to dwell in.

I can’t say for certain
how but I can say I did.

“I can’t help but reflect” by Julia on her couch

Sunday October 6, 2019
6:53pm
5 minutes
from an email

Last night I saw you in my dreams. Time had past, Too late, I kept thinking. Your house was big and beautiful and uncharacteristic of you in its excess. But this was your home, and the taps sprayed intruders with a blast unless you controlled the pressure with a knob. I got soaked. You showed me, “Like this” and it only happened once.

I went to pick up your baby girl and then my eyes wouldn’t open all the way. I couldn’t see her at all. I couldnt manage the pain of coming all that way and not even get to hold her. Too late, I am too late.

When I went to the kitchen to cry, I asked God to give me back my eyes. Instead your husband came in and asked if I was hungry. I felt like if I ate with him it would take too long and I’d keep missing out on you.
But he and I shared our lunches, mine leftover saffron noodles, and his leftover peppers with thick sauced beef.

“verde y amarillo” by Julia on her couch

Saturday October 5, 2019
11:22pm
5 minutes
@quenoteam
Javier Rupérez Instagram

It’s bees I’m talking about, Lydia. Honey’s bees, you know? They’re the ones doing all the work and getting none of the reward. It’s something I’m just learning about now since Kiki came home with that school project and needed an adult to fact check her research. That was the first time I even read anything about these bees, Lydia, and how was I supposed to help her if I never knew nothing about them? I helped her make it colourful, you know the poster board that she needed to decorate? We put some nice yellows and greens and purples too. I thought cause the bees are attracted to bright flowers it would be a nice touch. Subtle. Kiki loved it, she kept saying, but this is so pretty I want to keep it in my room!

“sorely tested—and found wanting.” By Julia in bed

Wednesday October 2, 2019
11:18pm
5 minutes
Assignment To Hell
Timothy M. Gay

a matter of stimuli, and it would be with that attitude

but where is the reward?
in the resistance of temptation, then? in the discovery of so many quick-legged spiders?

we release the tiny scurrying living being while we clean

if the start of a home becomes uprooted by the sudden decision to weild an unruly hand with a broom at the end of it…the home goes but the little friend stays

(the secret is to find another corner)

(the secret is no bites exchanged if asylum granted)

(asylum is granted for friend one and two and three and four)

but if this were not a moment of sobriety who knows what other homes would have been ressurected

“A score of tiny eyes stared” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday October 1, 2019
11:20pm
5 minutes
Stardust
Neil Gaiman

do we ever get used to the leaky faucet, the drips in the sink, the host of sponges soaking up every word

do we ever stop lounging in the face of something pressing, like launching, or standing back up, or sleeping

it seems unnecessary to get used to any one thing, all the changing that might move in, all the new stimuli that arrives

why do we beat ourselves over the head with what ifs that sound a lot like an evil twin plottingg against what we know to be good

will it ever go away?

i’m talking about the push for peace and that is all

“I’ll never hunt big ones again” by Julia in her bed

Sunday September 29, 2019
10:38pm
5 minutes
An American Dream
Norman Mailer

I’ll stop looking under the bed for monsters bigger than me
I’ll stop expecting to find something there

(Those days are over)

Today I will accept you
and everything you haven’t done as proof

Tomorrow I will stop talking about proof as if it could save my life
Proof of what, of being human? I have much to practice

You have never waivered, not even from one side to the other, no casual leaning

You have never hunted me the same way I have hunted you: looking high and low to spot grounds for dismissal

(I accept)

“How could God?” By Julia on the faculty lounge patio

Thursday September 26, 2019
1:55pm
5 minute
God Never Blinks
Regina Brett

How could you forget me
in the aisle at the grocery store
in the hallway with my coat on while you were saying goodbye to everyone at the get together

how could you say I’d be saved and then leave me there
to fend for myself
when they all asked me why you took away the people they loved: their grandfathers, their mothers
where were you when they chose me to blame?
As if at 14 I could carry the weight on my own

I followed you with a bag over my head, with my eyes scooped out

I followed you to the edge of the cliff, chased by angry hyenas, and I waited there, as if the pit was not filled with more of them

“How could God?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday September 26, 2019
8:02am
5 minute
God Never Blinks
Regina Brett

Snaking through the aisles of the Seven Eleven, Rory catches a familiar shape out of the corner of his eye. Steve. Shit. Steve. STEVE. He grabs a pack of gum, a bottle of orange Gatorade, a bag of Salt and Vinegar Miss Vicky’s. The man behind the cash has the eyes of someone who has seen a lot. Takes one to know one, Rory doesn’t let himself think. Steve won’t see him. Steve will get a can of Diet Pepsi, maybe a Mars bar. He’ll be lost in the forest of his thoughts, of his hangover, of his wish for love. Rory pulls his debit card from his wallet. Taps. Tap. Tap on his shoulder. Steve. Eyes of someone who shares a secret.

“The pulsating life force energy in such children” by Julia at the bus stop/on the 84

Wednesday September 25, 2019
7:34pm
5 minutes
The Relationship Garden
Jock McKeen & Bennet Wong

I have learned these days to give the A before I meet them, no they will not scare me into giving them anything less. I can provide the passion, the please, the panel of supoort, but not the passing grade. No, the above and beyond. Thank you for showing up exactly as you are, right here right now. You will not prove me wrong. You want to be here right here right now even if you don’t know how to express it.
I give the A before I walk into the room. These young hearts beat themselves to sleep at night, solid sleeps at night, but during the day they stay up and up and up and up. They cannot come down when their heart beat flies them to the ceiling, fluttering so fast like fairy wings and then. Then they show me what is at the top of the room. I can see from their eyes, all the ground they leave, all the lift they prefer. I give the A.

“Your arms would eventually tire” by Julia on the 351

Tuesday September 24, 2019
3:41pm
5 minutes
The Purpose Driven Life
Rick Warren 

Jeremy is green-eyed, like the sea, and sea-eyed like the man. He has beautiful white teeth that look white thanks to all the dirt he’s wearing. Caked on his neck like a sunburn, Jeremy is trying to make it here. Left
his ex and his kids and has lived all over this place: lasted longer in Winnipeg than Fort McMurray, and tried to make it to “Van City” but ended up here.
No luck with the criminal record check this time.

Jeremy lifts rebar all day. He’s wiped but he has all this pent up energy and doesn’t know what to do
with it, who to screw with it, or who to call.
Jeremy’s eyes are green.

“I am weak willed when I want to be” by Sasha at the dining room table

Monday September 23, 2019
11:36am
5 minutes
The Doctor and the Soul
Dr. Victor E. Frankl

I am a weak willed wildebeest when I want to be
I will cave under the smallest pressure
under the legs of an unassuming ant
pressing downwards downwards
downwards towards the middle

I am the tallest turning trombone when I want to be
I will reach for the treetops
touch the cloud bellies
make a sound that the small bird flying
up above the rest hears and
she laughs laughs laughs

I am a contagious celebrator cuttlefish when I want to be
I will blow every horn and fill the balloons to the brim
dance a jig on the hour every hour
repeating the names of all the good cuttlefish
all the holy schools
repeating gratitude from the ground to the tip

 

“But in a poem we can do anything we want.” By Julia on her couch

Friday September 20, 2019
9:18pm
5 minutes
Since You Asked
Lawrence Raab

But we can’t stop anything in a poem. If The Tears are

there, then that’s where they’ll stay. If the lines

he softens on my forehead run as deep as they look

then in this poem I will cry for all the soft I’ve ever

tried to conceal, every rough idea, every gouged edge.

We can cross the rope of a decade and counting, here in

this poem; travel in dreams you want to hear about.

We can lay in the after lull of a couch cradling all the

body parts that caught a child’s scream today.

But we can’t erase what is there. We cannot change the brick.

“But in a poem we can do anything we want.” By Sasha at the dining room table

Friday, September 20, 2019
3:41pm
5 minutes
Since You Asked
Lawrence Raab
She thinks before she speaks
a practise she tries on before bed
washing her face and the day away
brushing her teeth
“I think before I speak” she spits
the bubbles down the drain
a small “c” of blood
turns to “j”
turns to “L”
She tries to listen with open ears
but often she finds herself
thinking thinking thinking thinking
”Sorry what did you say?”
What happens when she really hears
what he or he or she or they are saying?

”I listen with open ears” a mantra
on her breath
maybe if she says it enough
it will be true
it will be born
it will be as real as the
hangnail on her left ring finger
The path of the virtuous
Oh the weight of striving
She thinks before she speaks
She listens with open ears
She knows the joy and the suffering
of loving and being loved and
losing and being lost
and leaving and having left
and breathing into the heart
of the sound of what it is
to not know very much at all

“Today, they target” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday September 18, 2019
4:25pm
5 minutes
Snapshot of a Lump
Kelli Russell Agodon

do those jade roley things work?
I need something to smoothe out the forehead lines I’ve given myself for always looking so pissed off.
today the billboard asked me if I was willing to do what it takes and I am. I’m willing.
I’ve seen the writings on the wall and they are usually saying the same thing:
you are not good enough to reach the end of the tunnel with the face you have on.
Did you want to trade it in for one of these models? They’re sleek and uniform so all you have to do is slice and dice and then you’ll look like everybody else!

On a different Wednesday I heard that it might be better if I used the 16-dollar scrub. It’s the only one that works, they said.

“You will find it” by Julia at the Hyatt Regency, LA

Tuesday September 17, 2019
10:02pm
5 minutes
The Yak
Hilaire Belloc

in the mirror that enhances all your beautiful white beard hairs

in the dripping bathing suit, sand and salt stained, hanging in the tub

in the crash and burn of an arrival, a hard pill to swallow

in the feeling of say something and then stomaching the consequences when something said would have flapped the wings of that butterfly so rapidly you’d swear we woke up in another dimension

in the dry heat frying our brains into unthinkable messes

in the traffic jam, the nowhere but here, the time spent, given, given

in the hotel pool watching the sky change from summer to purple to night

in the burgers we ate on the bed, the good we pressed into each other’s feet

in the deep sigh when you are waiting for me to hurry up and finish this so I can fill the space between your skin and the sheets

that’s where you will find it, and every last drop

“Is it starting to rain?” By Julia on a bed in Mt. Washington, LA

Monday September 16, 2019
9:37pm
5 minutes
Afraid So
Jeanne Marie Beaumont

Don’t tell me–it’s dark there, riht? Don’t tell me. How do I leave a forever summer and come back to a place where my hands turn white with cold in August?
Don’t tell me it’s raining. It’s not, right? Don’t tell me. I am not prepared. My jacket was a dud but I ignored it. I’m not ready for what is waiting for me. Reality, to put it mildly. Here it is so dreamy. Here I am so dreaming. Planning. Thinking of how we can make it work. We can make it work, right, but don’t tell me if you think we can’t. We can do whatever we want to do if we say we’re going to do it and if we say we’re going to rise.
It was 29 degrees today. 34 in some places. I don’t want to think about the rain.

“I want.” By Julia in Mt. Washington, LA

Sunday September 15, 2019
8:42pm
5 minutes
Prayer
Galway Kinnell

I want to shit
I want to shower
I want to swim in the ocean again
I want to wash the salt out of my ears
I want to go to Joshua Tree
I want to live in a place where it doesn’t get cold
I want to sit quietly
I want to inhale mulch all day long
I want to finish my song
I want to practice patience
I want to be brave enough to rent a car by myself and drive it in a new city
I want to find another taco
I want to buy those gold shoes
I want to get people excited about making things
I want to wave to an airplane and believe it’s waving back at me
I want to write the book
I want to be published
I want to go to Italy
I want to practice patience

“Sorrows bring forth.” By Julia in Mount Washington

Saturday September 14, 2019
9:50pm
5 minutes
Proverbs of Hell
William Blake

crashing waves smash the bad out of me
smash the everything out of me
returns salt to my inner ear instead
returns salt to my hair line

washed clean are you listening
nothing left to send to the jury
nothing left to mourn

loud pacific ocean knocks me around like a song in a tumble dry
pulls me under
pushes me across the sand
and reminds us all who is in charge
who ragdoll
who rubber band
who goes under and won’t stand back up

washed clean are you listening
rebirthed from the sorrows flipped and flung

“He shone with Heavenly Courtesy” by Julia on the 144

Friday September 13, 2019
3:30pm
5 minutes
Courtesy
Hilaire Belloc

I’m not asking for any kindness.
I never wanted kindness and I’m not asking for it.
Do you think I’m sitting up late at night crossing off names or putting tiny robotic checks next to the ones who opened the door for me?
I don’t need to keep track because nobody is ever doing anything out of kindness but out of fear that one day they’ll be punished somehow for not being kind. It is self-serving and I want none of it.
They talk about it like it’s some new age book, as if we’ve never considered things like this before.
How do you measure the absence of expectations? Is there a way to determine who did something without thinking that someway someday they would get their precious heavenly courtesy back?
Nobody gives away anything for free and I don’t want that kindness shining in my face like a flash-light illuminating.
There are too many awards and rewards and systems based on punitive response for there to be a thing called kindness.

“If ignorance is bliss” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday, September 12, 2019
5:07pm
5 minutes
The Benefits of Ignorance
Hal Sirowitz
If ignorance is bliss why then
I don’t want bliss
not in the form of head in the sand
fingers in the ears
not in the form of illusion dancing
in her opaque scarves
It’s been six weeks and all I crave
is protein and truth
seeing with the eyes of a woman
who has seen and been seen
as she knows is possible
as she knows is her birthright
Crunchy leaves underfoot
today on a walk in the neighbourhood
I found myself humming a song
that I taught myself in my dream last night
learned by heart on the strong back
of a premonition
that he only told me half the story
last night
Won’t admit fear where the spills are
where the stains are
won’t admit defeat
twirling his ring round and round
a quiet threat
I hum the song all the way back to the
garden and then I sit amongst the
butterflies and squirrels
the cone flowers and nasturtium
spicy open mouth
catching a taste
of what might be possible
I write him a letter in the major key
not to be predictable
not to be oppositional
but because the chord feels right
the timbre in my chest
my fingers playing imaginary keys
a new story
He loves me
that is why
don’t forget
It’s easier to know words
when they are put to music

“The courage that my mother had” by Sasha at the table upstairs

Tuesday September 10, 2019
12:25pm
5 minutes
The courage that my mother had
Edna St. Vincent Millay

My mother tells me that she
couldn’t have done what I’m doing

Not that anything is the same
Twenty-seven years between

what happened then
and what’s happening now

We speak of re-writing
of re-visioning

in a new tongue
built from rubble

and hope
I imagine a world in which

I do not need you
I do need you

Both are true
as this and that is

As faith and doubt are
love and rage

My mother’s courage
the bones that I build on

Flesh and sinew
teeth and tears

My mother’s courage
the rainbow prayer flags

strung up in the window
catching the wind

“deposited myself in your softest corner” by Sasha on her floor

Monday August 26, 2019
7:16am
5 minutes
Your Room
Robert Sherrin

If I could go back in time
the only thing that I would do differently
is I wouldn’t have broken into your house
and stolen my books back

If I could deposit myself in your softest corner
I would do that
I would nestle into your armpit
and breathe in deep
filling my lungs with cedar wood and salt

If I could predict the future
I wouldn’t even dare
The bubble gets too big and pops
The baby cries and I’m on my knees again
Begging for more time

If I could have anything I wanted
I would know what it is to be seen in the light
of Monday
Unashamed and true
Sunday a forgotten kiss
Saturday a distant memory

“so much past inside my present” by Julia on the Ebus from Chilliwack

Saturday August 24, 2019
10:09pm
5 minutes
Past in Present
Feist

I prayed to the sweet in my finger prints,
the gold that has been found in all the touching.
I thanked the god that had done the speaking.
I knelt down to the alter of my former self: Great Teacher.
Oh how I wept.
How there was a deep whisper.
But how loud.
But how I listened.
The gentle nudge of spirit,
the family of cells storing memory in my dreams and letting me remember.
Oh how I remember.
The way a crowd would bring out my inner coward,
how I would ask to start over.
And Teacher Self bathed in love now,
in abundance now, I needed you as you were then.
I needed you exactly as you were.

“There must be something to worship.” By Sasha at her desk

Friday August 23, 2019
7:32am
5 minutes
Quote by Henry Miller

Deity on the corner holding herself accountable
chasing sunlight like a dog tail
braiding love with something red and soft
wrapping it around her shoulders
keeping herself warm
We hope for the best and when the worst comes
we let him in and have him at the table
He eats a big plate of pasta and meatballs
and forgets to put the toilet seat down
”It’s okay,” I say
and when he leaves I wipe the surfaces down
with vinegar and an old cut up T-shirt
Morning comes like a locomotive
Deity brushes her teeth and tells herself
that today will be a good day
”Today will be a very good day”

“we should not trust the masses” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 15, 2019
10:02am
5 minutes
Discourses
Epictetus

“Do not trust the masses”, Domenic says, drinking his dry white wine and scratching his chin. His beard is turning grey. I haven’t seen him since I was a teenager, and he looks the same but a bit more pickley.

“I don’t, I’m just trying to – …” Domenic puts his hand on my hand, rested on the tabletop.

“You must follow your own sense, or one day you’ll wake up and you won’t know how you got to where you got to. That is not a good feeling. Take it from me.” He finishes his wine. My mother tops him up. She’s been sitting quietly across the table, watching.

“I believe that we can have our own sense, and be contributing members of society,” I look up at the starry sky.

“Take a moment to remember” By Julia on the 4

Monday August 12, 2019
12:55pm
5 minutes
the bus instructions

Well I have 5 minutes to remember my whole life and i know I have more memories than time.
I remember you sitting above me in the lecture hall with your swoopy hair and your cool glasses, confident, quiet, intriguing. My eyes landed on you and I liked you instantly. You looked like someone I wanted to know. Like someone I wanted to kiss. You stared a hole in the back of my head and when I turned to look you didn’t stop. We made eye contact for one whole minute at a time, and in those days one minute was like one complete lifetime. You were in my tutorial afterward but you barely uttered a word. So confident with rows between us and no real reason to speak. I got my claws in you then. I remember wanting you to be watching when you weren’t and I let you know I knew it. I could tell this story with more time and more juice but I know I’m running out.

“the shedding of lint” by Julia at her desk

Saturday August 10, 2019
8:02pm
5 minutes
Laundromat
Carmen Pintea

We walk every morning toward a cinnamon bun and
everybody stares at you, watches you. I am but
a thread attached to your coat pocket, I do not
unravel, but lead, I lead you to the cinnamon bun
so you can walk without bumping into all the people
who are falling in love with you.
You and your gap-toothed mouth, little air bubbles
flying out, like an angel or a dream.
It would seem like you are drifting but that’s because
the people watching you give you lift by grabbing time
by the throat so she will slow down and let them see you
better. It is not magic. It is not good.
What’s good is a cinnamon bun and that is all you want
this morning, like every morning, not to be watched or
crossed or lifted from the earth, you have been begging
for dirt in your toe nails since the last time someone
tried to convince you that you were theirs.
It wasn’t me, I wouldn’t do it. I know what it’s
like to have the whole world needing something from
you that you can’t give them because it’s made up
from the inside places they hide all the wrong ideas.
I know because I wasn’t always a thread, I wasn’t
always a help, I wasn’t always so sure of how to
leave my house and find the cinnamon bun.
But because this lint sheds form the lining of our
hearts in the same way, I take you. I show you how.

“more relaxed than how I think I look to people.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday August 9, 2019
7:23am
5 minutes
Descension
David Ly

coming in hot this morning
not enough sleep tossing and turning
and sweating and breathing
and when will it end
when will it burst
the monsters clawing at my
belly at my chest at my cheeks
my eyes are her eyes now
and i see you swallow that
i see you drink that down

the pictures of what happened
collected like momento collected
in a line and then rearrange
re-ar-rage
rage turns to tight tongue
tight lip tight tight tight
puzzle pieces of the last years
of these last days
of the days you left and laughed
and told me everything was okay

every story has a beginning
a middle an end
some stories are cyclical
some stories end where they began
every story has those three parts
now that the story is in question
the pictures of what happened
different exposures to me
different exposures to you
i guess that’s part of it
we don’t see things in same hue
right i guess that’s part of it

“you have the memory of a goldfish”
you say and i most certainly do not

i am an elephant and elephants never forget
i remember the taste of the first time
streetlamp and bus lurch
the sweetness of those sleeps with toes touching
i remember the dent in the coffee table
the words that broke the sky
pushing against the wall underneath the photograph
of our future pushing and wailing
and riding and now

“the only identifier” by Julia in the floor of a hotel room

Wednesday August 7, 2019
10:33pm
5 minutes
Orange Socks
Kate LeDew

it is cold in here
I
I
I
am glad I brought a sweater
the people
will
b
e
coming home soon
I have identified the
pro
b
lem

it is me and my hugged wound
laying
together as if
ol
d
frien
ds

we are In sep er able

or so they say

they
they
they

it does not compute
spelling in this
lan
gua
ge

is
hard enough already
already hard
alredy enough

e nu f f

I
I
I
have stopped asking questions because

no

body

knows

any thing
anything
any things

“Aida drank her father’s unsugared coffee” by Julia laying

Sunday August 4, 2019
8:21pm
5 minutes
A Dull Yellow Presence
Mona’a Malik

Aida lays with her left eye in her palm, pulsing, pushing. Her father is across from her in his easy chair, perusing the daily flyers. That’s the only thing he enjoys reading. The last book he finished was in 2000. He doesn’t remember the title, but the year is easy to recall.

Aida doesn’t like to be gaurded, watched. She feels like her parents keep taking turns on “Aida Duty” and neither of them really want to do it. Aida clears her throat, a bit strained.

Her father leans over and passes her his cup. She takes a sip and shudders.

“retirement and investment savings” by Julia on her couch

Saturday August 3, 2019
9:34pm
5 minutes
From a piece of mail

It’s true what they say, the banks are out to get us.
Mine charges me for being self-employed by making me pay a fee every time I exceed 12 transactions in a month. I could look into options that don’t include throwing money away but this stuff scares me because it makes me feel stupid and being stupid is one of my major fears.
I wouldn’t be able to admit that to just anyone. I am afraid of feeling small and helpless and useless and dumb and this perpetuates the cycle. I let the banks get me. I let them keep me small. I have no plans for investments or retirement because my brain doesn’t know how to think any further into the future than the next word after this. Maybe that’s fear too, keeping me believing that.

“she’s in a shoe store with her friends,” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday August 2, 2019
10:24pm
5 minutes
Some Notes Against the Burden of Representation
Rahat Kurd

she’s in a shoe store with her friends and she’s smiling and pointing at the shiny gold platforms and they roll their eyes because she won’t buy them and she won’t wear them but she tries them on to push it a bit to push her possibility at wildness at the person she maybe used to be and her friends tell her she should get them and two of them mean it and one of them doesn’t because that one is holding that she’s changed that they’re all changing and they took her out today because they didn’t want her to be alone with the beast in her belly moving through the motions of coffee and a boiled egg and replying to emails and cancelling subscriptions because they didn’t want her to be alone

“Redeemable exclusively at” by Julia on her bed

Thursday August 1, 2019
2:40pm
5 minutes
From a Salvation Army flyer

you can cash in here
give your nickles and dimes
for a better time
sure you can cash in here

i’ve got some grief i need to redeem, trade it in for
a bucket of your best excuses
mourn the loss of every baby i let die in the mines after i finally said they could be gold

i did what i was told, held their hands and plugged their noses, dunked their heads and laid out roses
the goodbye don’t come easy when it’s not your time to go

you can cash in here, get your bang for your buck, i’m the counter with the tear duct tango and you’re trying to find someone to dip

“we always found a way” by Julia in a stairwell

Wednesday July 31, 2019
11:01pm
5 minutes
From a thank you card

you and me sunday driving
is the arriving and we have no where else to go

told me yourself you miss those open roads and those open throats where all that wants to say is said

where did the time go and why has it been so kind to us? Wrapping around our pinky fingers as a promise to always slow down when it counts

and when I thought I had more open doors in front of me to walk through than open roads to travel with you, we still found a way to try again

the heart is as beautiful as it is funny and we have seen so many faces of the same clock, so many different ticks tocking

with you with you with you
if this were a song it would be a deep bow

a thread holding us together strong enough to break to keep finding a sweetness in the fray

“Come visit me in Halifax soon!” By Julia on her couch

Tuesday July 30, 2019
8:58pm
5 minutes
From a thank you card

I remember visiting Halifax for the first time and I thought your parents’ place was right around the corner. Nope. It was a few hours away. There were way more mosquitoes. And I loved it. Not the mosquitoes-those bites swelled up as big as golf balls. But your family? Welcoming me with a huge pot of fresh mussels? I was in east coast heaven. I could have married you right then and there.

Your mom showed me photos of your playing with a guitar when you were so small and it melted my heart. I loved you even more seeing you with them. They loved you with the biggest love I’d ever seen.

When we went to see the whales, everyone said that each time on the boat they’d seen them. I didn’t see any whales and that was the only disappointing bit.

I will always remember your mom razzing me about being short, like an elf. I really hope she’s well. And your dad. I hope your sisters are great. And their kids. I don’t know how many there are now…

We were so young back then. We were so open to everything.

“Come visit me in Halifax soon!” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday July 30, 2019
1:32pm
5 minutes
From a thank you card

Dear Becky,

Does anyone write letters anymore? It feels so old fashioned. I’m trying to use up this stationary my grandma gave me (RIP, aw Midge) before the move so thought I’d spend the afternoon catching up on correspondence. This is the first letter I’m writing. Things are okay here… I’m thinking a lot about white supremacy and performative allyship without actually putting in the real work. Social media posts and stuff but how most people don’t actually show up. I’m not talking about a rigidity in being PC or anything, just doing our part to dismantle the shit that’s gotta go! I remember when we used to talk about the micro-aggression racism we’d both experienced growing up in small towns. Those were fundamental steps in my work as a baby activist and I’m grateful to you for that! Running out of space so… How are you?! I miss you. Come visit me in Halifax soon! I think you’d really dig it here.

“no one would know me.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday July 29, 2019
10:42pm
5 minutes
The Landing
Marie Howe

I build a home for you
and you live in it
day after night after afternoon
adding your skin to the dust bunnies
adding your hair to the nests under the sink
adding your voice to the whispers
stored in the paint of the walls

I build a good home for you
for us
for two and then three
for the three of us
I keep the pantry stocked
and the floors swept
I keep the truth on the table
until we snuff out the candle
and say goodnight
I dream of a time before this
a time after this
I dream of a great undoing

A lighthouse fills my heart
dim tonight than ever before
I leave the light on
for you though
for myself
for the three of us
even in the crest of the tsunami

“no one would know me.” by Julia on A’s couch

Monday July 29, 2019
11:00pm
5 minutes
The Landing
Marie Howe

I am sitting by the tree, waiting for my real friends to come see what’s wrong. We all do this. I like the tree, I like this alone. The kind that turns into something soon. The kind that makes time feel like forever but in a good way. One of these moments they’ll all come running to me. What will I say? I’m feeling sad. I’m feeling left out. I got upset and didn’t know how to tell you. I want to play and have fun. I say nothing until someone comes. I don’t leave the tree until someone comes.

Sometimes nobody comes. Sometimes it’s an exercise in will power. In patience. In believing that everyone is better off without me. Better off since they didn’t have to tell me to my face. There’s no more room. There’s not enough space for you. This is when it feels like forever but in the bad way. The way the bell never rings, never saves me, the way the real friends never appear because they never existed.

“the name of being an outlaw” by Julia on A’s couch

Sunday July 28, 2019
12:42am
5 minutes
Mustang Man
Louis L’amour

So you rebelled when you were a kid, learned to step off the sauce cause it wasn’t allowed, then you got yourself carried home without remembering what you wished you could remember.

Guess it was hard for your parents who really wanted the best for you but maybe made it seem more desirable without meaning too. Reverse psychology. Right.

Guess it was hard for all of you.

So when they saved you, you felt like they were punishing you and when they punished you you felt like they were unloving you but they didn’t mean that either. They wanted you to know that you were loved so much that your injury is their injury.

And maybe it just didn’t come out that way in words or in actions because they didn’t know how to communicate it. Maybe they never questioned their love for you so they never thought you might question their love for you and need any reassurance.

Some of us don’t know what we don’t know.

I’m sure you felt afterwards that it was all fine. That you learned something.

They learned something too.

“your ability to project charismatic body language” by Julia at A’s island

Saturday July 27, 2019
10:28pm
5 minutes
The Charisma Myth
Olivia Fox Cabane

You leave the house with your blonde hair rippling like ribbons of butter bounce bouncing along

I see your excitement in the red of your cheeks, nervous but ready and oh how you look the part

Wearing my shirt, girl it looks good on you, rocking those pants with the rips in the knees I am so damn pleased

I say cross this leg in front of the other, look down, okay, uncross, looking charming without looking

I’m staying up late so I can hear all about your date and what he whispered in your ear over dinner

Did you split the snacks like you said you would, did you order the Humming Bird with the Montenegro

Did I tell you you’re the best yet or did I spend all my time telling you that you’re enough and you’re alive

On the drive home I see those exclamation points and someone else asked how you were when you left

How you were feeling and I like that I’m the one who got to send back the report: perfetto, bellissima!!

“your ability to project charismatic body language” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday July 27, 2019
5:38pm
5 minutes
The Charisma Myth
Olivia Fox Cabane

You do not know self consciousness
Your face the pure expression of feeling
You see the floral blanket and the joy
ripples from top to bottom explodes
out your tiny fingertips

It was hot last night and our naked bodies
touched through each dream and breath
Crescent moon eyelashes the very thing
I didn’t know I’d always dreamed of
Sweetness here now curled against my belly
the same one I felt a year ago in those
first appleseed days

Three months of knowing you
separate from my body
although that’s hardly true
Three months of you being here with us
giving back so much more than I thought possible
Why did I think it was going to be so hard?

Walking home from tying up frayed loose ends
it was easier than I thought
barely an effort really
effortless in it’s grace
I said to myself
“Why was I so afraid?”
and the sun on the sweetgrass growing
flooded me with the truth of
letting go

“I’ll try to sneak across the border somewhere, somehow” by Julia on A’s couch

Friday July 26, 2019
12:29am
5 minutes
Summer Of My Amazing Luck
Miriam Toews

you’re on the other side of the country right now. Missing me, you say, needing me. I’m feeling it hard right now. I’m feeling you. Thank you for believing in my dreams even when you won’t get those 15 minutes back. You listen. You always listen.

I am writing so many things about you, yoy’d think we just fell in love for the first time this year. But I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve fallen in love with you. How many days are in a decade again? Somewhere around there.

Tonight I’ll find yet another bed to think of you in. I’ll meet you across the border of sleep and into the place we keep choosing. It’s nice there and it’s warm, and I know the breeze of you like the back of my hand. Even if I don’t see your face, I’ll know.

1234

“I’ll try to sneak across the border somewhere, somehow” by Sasha at her desk

Friday July 26, 2019
12:08pm
5 minutes
Summer Of My Amazing Luck
Miriam Toews

You’ve been sneaking across my borders since we first
touched eyelashes tangled hair and toes
the Landsdowne bus brake staccato stop and start

I don’t know as much about yours as you do about mine
Maybe you don’t have them or if you do you treat them
differently than I do

Three lines feels enough sandwich to understand
enough space to feel safe
enough enough to be thorough but also vague

Maybe that will be my epitaph

This border crossing is a mountain range
the craggy edges catch in my throat
a sob or a laugh or a pretend

I’m taken with the smell of vulnerability
can’t stop burrowing my nose in the armpit there
tracing the dust with my tongue

“I can’t handle this” by Julia in Baden

Thursday July 25, 2019
11:29pm
5 minutes
What Every Body Is Saying
Joe Navarrro

It’s the dreams, Bev, I’m telling you. I get paralyzed in my sleep cause of what I’m doing in my dream and then when I wake up, I can’t move for real.
Take today’s for example! I was napping, right, probably too late in the day for one to be honest, but I got myself into a deep sleep. And in the dream I’m floating 50 ft in the air on some circular device, like one of those snow dishes that you slide down a hill on? And it’s attached to this tiny tiny thread. But long-cause it’s above the ocean. Yeah. All water below and up there I’m having a picnic! Little basket and everything! But then all of a sudden the wind starts turning me upside down and back again at least 6 or 7 times. I am holding onto the ledge of the dish thing, right, holding on for dear life, Bev, cause this shit is unnatural! Then somehow we get down and I have no idea how it works, but we’re safe, and I’m thinking, I do not want to go up back there again. So Elliot gets off the device, right, cause she was up there with me in the dream, right and since she’s down, she’s not scared anymore. But then suddenly I get launched all the way back up!

“found the conversation a burden to listen to” by Julia in Baden

Wednesday July 24, 2019
11:29pm
5 minutes
Lonesome Dove
Larry McMurtry

Hurley wakes up early fries a couple of eggs

Shirley’s getting twirly cause she’s got her new legs

Izzy’s feeling dizzy with her head in her hands

Lizzy’s way too busy with those chaotic plans

Hurley’s loving Shirley when she twirls from her heart

Izzy’s missing Lizzy when she plans them apart

“It Helps To Ask” by Julia in A’s bed

Tuesday July 23, 2019
11:33pm
5 minutes
ECK Wisdom on Inner Guidance
Harold Klemp

A: For alone time?

B: Yeah, I have to ask.

A: Yourself?

B: Yeah. I have to check in.

A: With yourself…

B: Because my permission matters to me.

A: Oh, okay, it’s about your permission.

B: No, MY permission.

A: That’s what I just said.

B: But the emphasis was wrong.

A: Not how I intended it, the emphasis was correct for how I intended it.

B: But you weren’t getting the full scope of what I intended.

A: Okay, you know how you need your thing for you?

B: I… yes.

A: Do you see?

B: I… yes.

“a time lacking in truth and certainty” by Julia on B’s toilet

Monday July 22, 2019
10:59pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Louise Bogan

When we were young we spent time hiding from each other in the mornings so we wouldn’t have to endure the small talk that had become of us.

I admit I was the one avoiding you because you could see into my skin and I didn’t like how I was treating you because of that.

I have already apologized and so have you but when we weren’t walking quietly on the kitchen tile, we were occupying the misunderstandings in the hallway.

You there in your fed up to here stance, hurling hardball truth to my jaw, me there mouth agape. Shocking how well the time we bottled knew how to explode in our faces.

I didn’t have excuses for my behaviour but I gave you my reasons and you didn’t care. You weren’t having any of it because you had had enough.

“beauty care products that deliver” by Julia in Baden

Sunday July 21, 2018
10:39pm
5 minutes
Live-clean soap label

You could go in there, Lamby, and ask them to test their luxury soaps and they’ll let you! You don’t even have to tell them you have sensitive skin! I think they hope you buy something, but mostly they don’t care at ALL.

I went in there last weekend and saw a soap that had raspberry seeds inside it. For a scrub. It was so pretty. I also saw a corn on the cob face toner. No seriously, Lamby, the toner was yellow. They told me how it worked but I was in such shock I didn’t retain any of it! It was expensive too. So I asked to try it and they let me and I don’t know how they do it but having it on my face just felt right.

Everybody who works there walks around wearing lip liner and cold heart. It’s very thrilling.

“Bishop Family Bees” by Julia in J and R’s attic

Saturday July 20, 2019
12:17am
5 minutes
Honey Child Apothecary

I know about growing bees
I know about spreading honey
I know about brushing a bee away
I know that bzzzzzz growing is the wrong word bzzzz
keeping
my
lips
sealed
don’t want to let out the wrong words
wrong words get me in trouble
wrong words get the bzzzz going and no one thinks it’s the buzz word that does the damage
if that’s too on the nose
I DON’T GIVE A SHIT
I’m done with the passiveness, the persistent preocupation of politeness
This is a family bizzzness
OKAY?

“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

“The vast majority of people don’t want to do anything physical” by Julia on the 4

Wednesday July 17, 2019
5:16pm
5 minutes
Overhead on the 4

People this and people that and man I’m with you but then again no I am not

I was with you a year ago
Everything I was a year ago was with you

I wanted to bitch and moan about anything I could wrap my tongue around

I wanted to hate everyone and everything because that made it easier to accept that I wasn’t going to be perfect either

The opposite, really

I wasn’t willing to accept myself in any shape or form so who got my shit talking?

The girl in the alley with her shorts riding her butt crack all the way to next Thursday

The guy bringing his yippy dog into the glasses shoppe and refusing to remove him

The baby crying on the plane

I don’t feel good about that last one but it’s the truth, alright, and that’s something worth clinging too

Nobody can drive
Nobody listens
Nobody cares about their bodies these days
All generalization and no examination
All avoidance and no allowance
All them them them against me me me

But I was against me by being against them

These are things I’ve learned

“I do love his quips.” By Julia on her couch

Monday July 15, 2019
10:05pm
5 minutes
A Working Theory Of Love
Scott Hutchins

Réal makes dinner
for June at 9:30pm
It is too late to eat
but he says it’s
because he’s
European and it’s
true but also a bit
of a challenge
June used to eat
at 5pm before Réal
walked into her life
wearing an apron
and a smart watch
He says the best
things happen at
night and to him
that means sex
and food and wine
and massage
June likes all of
those things so
she is happy to
have them even if
she still hasn’t
gotten to bed
before midnight
since she met
Réal two months
ago

“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

“Forced Kate to go to karaoke” by Julia on L’s couch

Friday July 12, 2019
11:06pm
5 minutes
From www.grubstreet.com 

Kate doesn’t want to sing so she stays quiet
This is her usual approach

inside she knows it is because she just isn’t brave enough to try but
no one else has to know

she feigned being sick at Brett’s birthday party when Alistair suggested they go to karaoke after everyone had already gathered for dinner at Bar Nuovo

she also uses her phone as a distraction whenever possible: texts, pretend phone calls, “emergencies” or better known as “friends in crisis”

“shattered in a thousand pieces” by Julia on the 4

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
5:23pm
Sing to the Moon
Laura Mvula

I am not, if you thought maybe I might be. I think you think I already checked out, but I hadn’t.
I was afraid of saying the wrong thing. Saying the wrong thing has resulted in lashings before. Still have the scar of where you wielded the silent treatment.

I don’t have anger now and before if it seemed it, that was hurt wearing a little mask. A Little armour.

I knew you were done but I didn’t know it would come like this. I have an intuition about you and that might be because it’s been years, or because I’m listening to what you don’t say. You might be surprised to learn of how much I’m capable of. Change is the first thing. I’m glad you’ve come around to that.

“Taking a trip?” By Julia on her couch

Tuesday July 9, 2019
8:55pm
5 minutes
From a TD Bank envelope

some days I don’t have the space to dream about the future.
I try to be here and now and in it all very deeply.
some days I come home and you’ve been planning your next trip. you want me to join you but you also want to spend time with yourself.
how will I know what I want to do in october when I don’t even know what I will want to wear tomorrow?

you tell me we could leave for a month and then soon after I consider it you say 5 weeks. That’s close to a month but it’s also more. first you say we could fly into Hong Kong but you don’t know if that’s the best route.
I want to say you’ve already convinced me with your argument about our age. We’re not getting any younger, but we can still be as young as we are.

and still, I tell you to ask me again in the morning.