“Whoa, I was toasted” by Julia

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

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

“Who win” by Julia on her couch

Thursday, April 2, 2020
11:25am
5 minutes
To fight aloud, is very brave
Emily Dickinson

It’s not about winning.
I read that in an old journal from 2017. On the next page I found a love letter to myself saying that I have to “love people enough to share the truth of me with them” and I thought it was a good something to remember. It’s not about winning, it’s about love.
And isn’t always that. Isn’t it always love, even when it’s hiding away or waiting in the wide open spaces we stop seeing? Love never lays dormant and if nothing else, let us commit that to memory.

It is easy to blame the lack of love even when it has always been. How is love supposed to win in a fight that is not fair? But then again, it’s not about winning.

“He can fix anything” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday March 31, 2020
4:21pm
5 minutes
Easter Morning
Jim Harrison

He’ll be waiting till morning because he can’t do anything until the sun rises.
He’s busy, all day, it seems, but night time shuts him right down. This might be
a survival technique or some kind of boundary he put in place a long time ago that
he hasn’t been able to unlearn. It’s too fucking bad because I need my drip fixed.
I know that sounds sexy, but I’m talking about my faucet and if he can’t do anything
tonight, then I’m shit out of luck and things, as far as I can tell in my world, are
all about me and that simply won’t fly. Before you get on my ass about waiting for
“him” to fix my shit like some knight (day) in shining armour, there is a reason
why I am not doing it. I am the one who washes the dishes, and makes the food, and
rakes the leaves, and initiates intimacy, and folds the fucking laundry. Do you know
how he does it? He wouldn’t fold it, that’s how. I tell him, we want to take care of
our delicates because they go near our genitals and we should be respecting our
genitals. AND I don’t like my folded boxers touching his mushed up balled into the drawer
boxers. Makes me feel like I have to clean everything all over again. Plus, he’s a plumber.
That’s what he does! And he can fix anything! HE JUST FUCKING WON’T.

“That’s what I like about disappointment:” by Julia at her desk

Sunday, March 29, 2020
6:57pm
5 minutes
Disappointment
Tony Hoagland

to fear a thing that hasn’t yet happened is the most normal thing we do. we humans. we us.

I want to put it out there. There universe. Universe us:
we don’t have to do it like that.

okay hear me out. Here me. Here you.

what if we left anticipation for the good stuff?

don’t give up on me yet. Me yet. Us.

what if I anticipate the good, I experience fear in the moment, but I do not anticipate the disappointment because I can not know any moment other than this one?

I you. You me. Me we. We us.
See what I’m trying to cultivate here on this grey clouded open night?

I never learned to tell the future. I have dreams that lead the way sometimes but it’s never exactly as it appears to be. Be this.
Be us.

“The golden brooch” by Julia at her desk

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

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

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

Say the damn thing already

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

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

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

I want you to know

that the damn thing is this:

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

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

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

inside these days we hear more of the neighbours jumping

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“A marriage is risky business these days” by Julia at The Cottage

Sunday, March 22, 2020
9:23pm
5 minutes
Wedding Poem for Schele and Phil
Bill Holm

When the invite came in the mail I didn’t take it out of its envelope.
Marnie would have fainted if she knew. I just threw it straight into the trash.
It was hard not being able to tell her. I mean, if you were me you wouldn’t tell her.
No one needs their best friend telling you that they can’t trust themselves to make a better decision.
I couldn’t support it and I don’t think I should have lied to her about it.
If I had gone, she would have had me there but I’d be lying the whole time.
It’s not better to lie about stuff like that.
Guess you could say I avoided it, I lied, same same double same, but the truth is, Marnie didn’t get subtle wake up calls.
She didn’t take anything seriously and in a way I kind of hoped she would have this one time.
It was the end of our friendship, to be honest with you. Marnie wasn’t going to listen to me tell her after the fact.
It’s my fault though. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror after I let her walk down the aisle.
Some people think it was my job to say something, but I don’t know, if it were that easy…
Well. Anyway, all I can say is marriage is already a risky business these days. It doesn’t need
more doubt thrown onto the fire.

“The spring is compressed” by Julia on the floor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

you will find the truth of what was hurting and why

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

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

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

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

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

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

“but what disturbed that idea” by Julia at her desk

Saturday March 14, 2020
5:29pm
5 minutes
The War of the Worlds
H. G. Wells

We were going to leave. Leave for a while, you know, nothing permanent, nothing too far out there, but things have changed since we said we’d do it. We told only a few people but that’s because we were trying to go off the grid in a casual, ghost-like way. If we left our current lives quietly, nobody would have any suspicions raised because there’d be no one sounding the alarm, and by the time they noticed, by the time they came looking for us we’d be far enough gone that they wouldn’t be able to interfere. Although we were worried about that slight possibility, we knew that most people cared about themselves more than what we were doing so the reality of us being persons of interest was not one we’d have to face. That being said, we were slightly concerned that Canada Post would be the first to realize that we had left. They tend to be the most aggressive about people especially when they’re trying to deliver your mail but can’t seem to do that if your mailbox is too full. That’s when they start keeping tabs on you to make sure this is, after all, your true address, and you, after all, are a true citizen.

We had rented a small cabin in a place I will no longer share, in case we can still access it. I shouldn’t have said cabin, but maybe that won’t matter either after any of this. What disturbed the idea of us going was the whistle from the morning bird; calling us, calling us, calling us.

“sap moves in the veins” by Julia on her couch

Friday March 13, 2020
8:17pm
5 minutes
The Day Dream
Nora Acheson

I move slowly like sap dripping out

I want to be a thing that absorbs

light
sound
love
skin
human
faith
time
growth
abundance
appreciation
patience
foundation

I am slow to goodbye these wonder souls now buried in my spine

I will write a song for them
and one for their love

if I run I miss the magic
the pen pal letter written in the dark
the candle light pushed down into the coffee table for a bit of wax to right the empty

I will breathe deeply, move mountains, and these things take time, did you know?

these things take a hammer and nail, hand building, hand writing, hand holding and why rush

why race when the sun is setting pink over the hill and there are people gathered to witness

why look all the way in only to speed up past the heart throbbing for the heat of another

there is a slow we can drink

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

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

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

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

It didn’t use to be this way

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Our faces become our biographies” By Julia on the couch

Friday March 6, 2020
9:01pm
5 minutes
Quote by Cynthia Ozick

Biography is about me I can be about me except I’m not doing the telling

My story is mine to tell you can all retreat
you don’t think it’s my job to write it but I’ve been writing in my sleep
you’re not thinking and I am swept
this whole buried treasure in my chest you can write your own story
requires living though like a bird or a silken thing

say your own words spin your own ideas and tell it the way you see it I always tell it the way I see it I’ve been sleeping on it
resting on it
stalking it ready and easy on it
I will take my own word over anybody else’s

I will tell my heart on my face

“Caley pushed her sandy brown hair” by Julia in the fishbowl

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
3:37pm
5 minutes
A Private Wild
Laurel Nakanishi

Ever since Magda told her that if she swallowed too much of her hair it would form a big ugly glob in her stomach that would start stealing the nutrients from anything that she fed herself, Caley was trying desperately to stop eating it. She sometimes heard Magda growling, or howling at night when she was supposed to be fast asleep. Caley didn’t want Magda to know she would spy on her and secretly believed her to be some wild wolf woman from another time. Or land.
She can’t remember know why she started putting her blonde braid in her mouth. Surely, Magda told her once, a handsomely paid and dressed person would one day be employed to help her with that. It was nice having someone tell Caley about the future and what to expect. Everyone knows her own mother couldn’t be bothered to give Caley the time of day. Once, Caley almost choked on her ponytail and her mother, reading a magazine, simply glanced up.

“a petite woman in her late twenties” by Julia on her couch

Friday February 14, 2020
6:01pm
5 minutes
Confidence Woman
Stephen Henigha

I was once a petite woman in my late twenties
I was once in denial about that
thought I was as big as a house
as tall as an evergreen tree
as lion as a lion

I used to roar as loud as my hair
and you called me your lion
I believed you when you said you liked me disruptive
not polite
not the word
distracting
sometimes unaware of the volume and the location and the audience

I was once a person who ran out instead of turning in
a woman in her late twenties with a chip on her shoulder
a secret in her tears and a confession
somewhere type-written in the nook of her bedside table
I used to beg the moon to take me with her
let me watch
let me learn from her and all that silky show

I used to hate myself for lying
when I was so hungry for the truth
I used to hate anyone for lying
because I was hiding the truth
I convinced myself I was the world’s best actress
and you were the one who couldn’t tell that this was all a movie
that every word spoken was screen tested
that every song hushed was the result
of so much bloodied shame

I used to blame other people for my dark Tuesdays
or Wednesdays and wished that someone would
find a new hole to haunt

I’ve never forgotten her bold suggestion” by Julia in the fishbowl

Thursday February 13, 2020
12:59pm
5 minutes
Once and Future Prairie
Lisa Bird-Wilson

Wisdom draped in scotch tape and fixed to a card-board cut-off of a cereal box
Wisdom is all around us
Inspiration is in every wall and speck and web of dust and racing silver fish

The ideas keep coming in the shower when it is too slippery to hold them
I remind myself of the words in sequence, repeating them to myself
like a choo choo train choo choo choo choo and hopefully my tongue
will find a place for them to live until I can open my mouth next and spill

I remember that these thoughts are not trying to kill me but help me
that to ignore them is worse than to stop the water, dry off the arm
and scribble down what’s left of this call, this conjuring

I remember that when they come knocking I better answer the door
and can’t use the excuse that they never visit anymore
because they do and I’m the one who doesn’t have cookies for them
I’m the one who doesn’t have a place for them to cuddle up under
a cozy blanket or a blank sheet of paper worth holding

Waves waves here and then again not and this will be what forever looks like
I can’t wait for a garden to plant all these biting seeds into
and the days to slow so I can learn to let them grow

“I left behind my unfinished thesis” By Julia in the fishbowl

Wednesday February 12, 2020
10:40pm
5 minutes
Who Took My Sister?
Shannon Webb-Campbell

I’m not going back to school
I’m not going to do it
Sorry, Leash, I’m calling it off
I’m going to work for the rest of
my life and wish I didn’t work
that’s all
I’m not feeling bad about it
I’m not giving it any second thoughts
you want me to feel bad
I won’t
school isn’t for everyone especially
not for people who don’t want to be there

All I have is a gut feeling telling me
that I won’t be better because of it
Leash, you have graduated and have noticed
some benefits, what are you doing now friend
I couldn’t tell you, I couldn’t attribute it
to anything you learned there
aren’t you fixing people’s teeth now
aren’t you living in your mother’s basement?

I don’t want to be wanted by the kind of
people who turn their noses up at someone
who lacks all the training
I know who I am and who I’ll be
and aren’t I already doing the things they
teach you in school? Aren’t I already
running out of paint and finding off cuts
of laminate in the recycling bin to
try out my thoughts?

Aren’t I killing time here anyway?

“a performance of about two and a half hours” by Julia in the fishbowl

Tuesday February 11, 2020
3:06pm
5 minutes
Nibelung
Devon Code

Welcome to the show.
Tonight you will be seeing the masks come off.
You won’t realize there were masks to begin with because they are excellently made.
Crafted by the very best internal monologue the theatre has ever known.
These masks are not the kind tied with string or easily removed.
They’re made of skin. It’s pretty freaky actually. They’re built to look just like us!
But tonight, we will be taking them off. Not right away, of course, because what
conflict are we even talking about then. Not right away or abruptly.
After you see us with the masks on a bit, after you see us reflecting your mask back to you a bit…
Oh you didn’t know? Our masks are visible if they’re similar to yours. That’s so funny, isn’t it? Curious, even, let’s make a show about it, ooh look we are!
Tonight we’ve gotten tired of wearing them. We’d rather let our true faces breathe because after all this time sporting them to every function, every event, every scary moment, it gets exhausting.
You’re tired too, I bet, from carrying it around on your cheeks.
It’s not uncommon, actually, for us to want to take off a thing that separates us from everyone else, but here we are keeping them close as if we can’t live without them.
Tonight, though..
We dance.

“They should not be ordinary words” by Julia in the fishbowl

Monday February 10, 2020
11:35am
5 minutes
What’s in a Name
Moez Surani

When you give someone your tongue you should not offer easy words
of comfort or the kinds that get the point across the quickest
Do not look for lightening to communicate
There is a more interesting journey voice could take

When you give someone your mouthful make sure you are steady
Hold on to the railing first but let go right before you send it
Words, not ordinary words, but the ones overflowing
Pour a river over the edge

Offerings from the guts cannot be tied up neatly with a string
Not left in the steel drum too long banging around the echo
They’re whole and good and singing so let them know that each
one of them belongs before it trickles off the sides

When you give someone your heart you should not expect a swiftness
a straightforward-to-it-ness, a target hit and reached with a spike
Do not turn it arrow from the start to the finish
Let it soak in the air between two possibilities, a drip of honey down the jar

“The letter should be read out loud” by Julia in the fishbowl

Friday February 7, 2020
2:00pm
5 minutes
Anger, Boundaries & Safety
Joann S. Peterson

Dear Anyone,

Are you listening? I’m wondering because there have been a few people asking and you haven’t responded yet. I want to give you the benefit of the doubt. I want to give you the opportunity to take your time and to give your best answer. I’m not asking you to have the answer, please, anyone, don’t get it twisted. I’m looking for voice, for acknowledgement, I’m looking for something along those lines if you have it. Do you have it? Is this letter being read out on the Loud Speaker? Is it being broadcast all the way to you, wherever you are, wherever you are? I think it should be stated that there’s a lot of different ways to do this, a variety of options for you, anyone, to show me, someone, that you give a shit. If I swear harder will you blast it on the radio? FUCKING PLEASE, anyone, PLEASE. Is begging the same as swearing? Is it getting your attention yet, don’t you see I need this connection the way all of us do? I’m not sure why I have to convince you, I was told anyone could love me, anyone would be honoured to know me, and what are you doing then? What is more important than replying to this?
Is it about something else?

“trust the face of expansion” by Julia on the 84

Wednesday February 5, 2020
6:11pm
5 minutes
The Power Of Intention
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

in search of things to touch, Poppy floats around my office with tiny wings
she hovers over everything
her fingertips grazing any item with texture, like the lamp, or smooth, like the ribbon on the lamp
I haven’t brought up her last sadness because she seems to be in good spirits
but I want her to know I was thinking about her

Poppy finds the velvet material on the lounge chair and rubs it between her palms almost rhythmically, as if the answer is there and she is doing her best to hear it in full

I risk it and immediately
regret it, asking her about
the last time and her face drops because she had forgotten about it and there was a reason

I watch her drop subjects like burnt bacon bits
letting them crumble to the floor
without looking for a broom

“picking mushrooms at the edge” by Julia in the fishbowl

Tuesday February 4, 2020
11:04am
5 minutes
What Kind Of Times Are These
Adrienne Rich

Manny and I go foraging and Rutabaga lunges ahead of us
we take hemp bags and sticky tape to seal them off

When Rutabaga parks herself along the roots of the chestnut trees
we take a small sip of our camomile tea and bend down

The earth is cool and damp and Rutabaga coats herself in it
Manny is humming under his breath and I whisper the words left out

Quando Quando Quando Quando…

We are forest people now and we sip espresso standing up
while Rutabaga makes friends with the Macellaio’s dog

Together they sing out and passersby laugh at their duet

Manny in the woods and I with our backpacks carry every
mushroom friend we make

“He could have been a rich man” by Julia in the fishbowl

Monday February 3, 2020
9:59am
5 minutes
Memorial
Alice Oswald

Dear Zio,

I was thinking about you earlier. I wanted to wish you a happy birthday.
I like that word. Happy. Because you changed the meaning of it for me.
I wonder what you’re doing today. If you and Nonna and Nonno are still hugging Zio in reunion’s rich embrace. I thought I saw you lighting up the sky just beyond the mountain peaks. As I noticed you there, I was talking to your sister on the phone and she mentioned you. We both said “Ciao!” to you and it morphed the way I was walking. I often think of you. When an Elvis song comes on, or when I see a man dancing. You were a man dancing all the life I knew you and that changed the meaning of that for me too. You asked if we were happy. And I wish I had the words I do now to talk with you about it. To shoot some questions your way instead and jot it all down in a notebook dedicated solely to you.
Today you are abundant and generous still. You paint the clouds the colour of opening and you do not give up on shedding light even when it’s heavy.

“The truth is” by Julia in the fishbowl

Tuesday January 28, 2020
9:33am
5 minutes
Pea Madness
Amy Leach

The truth is you’re the one for me
the good love the right kind of open
I could talk to you all day
I could listen to you all night
I want you and you and you and you

The truth is when I wasn’t sure it
wasn’t because of you it was me
When I wondered at the possibility
of something else or different or new
it was because I couldn’t see what
was already waiting at the window sill

The truth is I choose you now but I
have always found a way to your door
I have always had you in the cup of
my hand, the spine of every notebook
and you are so good it’s like I wrote
you this way

But I could not invent this home of
being and the truth is, you have always
been this way
You have always been this kind of love

“The day care lies at the base of an oak tree” by Julia in the fishbowl

Monday January 27, 2020
2:39pm
5 minutes
Gods at Play
Susanne Antonetta

Darling dear is playing at the base of the oak tree, the sweet light is blooming. I wait for her to tell me something is wrong. I see it in her
walk, the way she deflates every step, hunching. I watch her from the
kitchen window, taking note of her little sighs, her clenched fists, her
opinion growing stronger. Sweet light.

I don’t want to ask her because I want her to know what the sensation
feels like. I don’t want to say the words explicitly. Because maybe I’m
jumping to conclusions. Maybe this is how she inhales this life and it’s
different than what I would expect.

All I can do is hold her in the space I give and open my heart to her so
she knows that if she needs to say something she can. I can ask her how
she is without a qualifier. Without a word with connotation or implication.

She is running her fingertips around the trunk of the tree. She is slowly
circling it, her eyes closed and drawn into the bark.

“Instead, the deer step carefully” By Julia at her table desk

Saturday January 25, 2020
6:04pm
5 minutes
The Return
Rick Bass

So if it’s a game about strategy I don’t really want to play.
I know the word is ‘game’, and not ‘real life’ but there is nothing fun sounding about revealing myself while other people around me skillfully craft their turn.
I don’t think it’s because I have no strategy. You could check my track record and I’m sure there would be occasions where I’ve enlisted my tactical thinking, but this feels different. Like parallel parking in front of a bunch of race-car drivers when you haven’t practiced since getting your G licence back in 2003.
I get nervous that people will find me out and consider my IQ lower than they expected since I usually conduct myself with clever quips and strong insights.
I don’t need people seeing that I crack under pressure and would therefore be the first one voted off the island.
It all comes down to purpose.
I don’t want to be useless in a time of need. When people are all out there trying to survive and keep the team alive, I want to be a valuable member of the team, not the one they use as sustenance after they decide to roast my flesh and eat my senseless brains.

“I find myself feeling” by Julia in her skirt

Friday January 24, 2020
6:40pm
5 minutes
Gathering Indigo
Algeria Jensen

full is the word
full comes to mind

busy is a thing I no longer say
saying busy is an incantation for whatever the opposite of gratitude is

full is what I feel and great
great
full

my days start early and roll late
my nights have questions and low lights and some anxiety about what’s coming down the pipe tomorrow but they end with kisses and affirmations and tight squeezes

so I sleep well
I have dreams but I sleep well

I sleep all the way and then some and then some not

I start when I convince myself I best
I still need to convince myself I best

I lay on the mat with the low light
I stretch the night away and say today I am expanding

I write a lot of words down and then I go into the outside world feeling full

feeling full and full and full
feeling full and happy

“No one knows what the” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday January 21, 2020
2:02pm
5 minutes
Lost Dog Creek
Brian Doyle

Don’t call me Dottie, only my lover calls me that. It’s Dorothy to you, and I will stand by it. No one knows what the reason is and that’s because it’s just none of your business. I’m supposed to be a lady, is that right? I’m supposed to follow some invisible set of pre-determined rules made for me by whom? Men? I won’t give you the pleasure of thinking you’ve had me beat. I don’t follow rules no matter who sets them, I play my own game. If you knew me, you would know that I stay true to my word, but you don’t so you won’t ever get that great luxury.

I’m a damned good friend, I’m loyal as they come, and I’m a lion when I need to be–and sometimes just because! If I were man would you be waiting for an explanation? If you didn’t have your own set of preconceived and limiting notions would you be expecting anything at all? I don’t care if you don’t think me sweet, or nice. In fact! I’d prefer it. I don’t like those silly labels, some sort of map that I’m supposed to study to know which place to head, left or right or, let’s be honest, back back backwards.

If you knew me, which you don’t, you would know how lucky you really are.

“Still later she folded into herself,” by Julia at her desk

Monday January 20, 2020
12:42pm
5 minutes
Peaches
Marion Winik

It was blue Monday (a blue blue Monday). It was raining (not outside). It was a couch calling her name, it was a blanket taking him hostage. It was blue.

Blue like the ice cube sitting on her chest (jagged, sharp). Blue like the jeans warn to shreds without ever being washed (why bother). Why bother?

Try and persuade a block to melt, try and switch the light on to fix. Should we?

….

It was a blue Monday and the rest of it coloured the same (the months, the memories).

It was enough for him to sink back into his shiver (blanket or not, go figure) and even after the warm soup, she still folded into herself (folding, folding).

It was raining (inside, outside, beside). It was blue. It was blue for every single one of them.

“I find the result” by Julia in her office

Thursday January 16, 2020
9:30am
5 minutes
From a quote by Mark Twain

The result of staring into the window of other people’s stories is that it’s a window. Not a door. You can look all you want, but there’s a connection that calls you at the bottom of that longing, and looking isn’t enough. We think it’s enough, and sometimes, sure, it is, but when we want to see others and be seen, we don’t mean ‘what they’re doing’ or ‘what they had for brunch’. We want to see the hearts, the human underneath the facade, the spirit underneath the human.
This is because we have gotten good at believing that it’s the quickest way, the easiest way to bridge the gap, cross the ravine, is to log in, put our feet up and watch other people live their lives. We think this because it resembles a bonding, a gathering, but it’s not all the way there. We don’t know what’s real and what isn’t anymore. Or we know, and we ignore it. Or we don’t care, and what is worse, my friends. My ‘friends’, my ‘likes’, my online bubble of bursting potential…
The window is not a door.

“They are noble who” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 15, 2020
8:08pm
5 minutes
From a quote by the Buddha

breathe deeply
that’s the only requirement here
place your hand on your belly and feel if it’s expanding
and if it’s landing you are one of the noble few

who want to get to the heart of the matter
and won’t run away if things start to shatter

Maybe there’s one more that I missed
anyone who happens to notice that they’re breathing
when they’re breathing and if it’s deeply
then they are the noble who

Pay attention and move on through
as if this was the only moment that counted
here and now there’s nothing found that proves this is how
but someway it proves this somehow

Breathe into the corners of a dusty room
breathe into the midnight and the afternoon
breathe into the creaky floor board or the bones
breathe into the hips and the home alones

breathe first and foremost
and be noble
even if it takes some reminding

“What the heck is going on” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday January 14, 2020
9:29pm
5 minutes
from a text message

It’s a lapse of confidence, it’s leaving the body
the confidence comes and leaves, lapses as it pleases
and it is not pleasing to be around someone who cannot keep feet firmly planted on the ground
at the arrival of any increasing winds

When it leaves it startles first the body then the mind then everyone around the body and the mind
and this whole thing begs the question, “what the heck is going on?” When a moment ago
there wasn’t this much snow and the sights far off were clear. When just earlier today
you heard yourself say how much easier problem solving had gotten…

Now what the heck is going on when the body leaks precious esteem? Is there a hole? Is there a hole
in the armour or in the body itself? Or has it always been draining like this, slowly, and for no reason?

“what about his own sex life?” by Julia on her couch

Sunday January 12, 2020
5:43pm
5 minutes
Elbowing The Seducer
T. Gertler

He spends his days watching porn
Not nights, not worse
His knees find a bend the way his ass finds a chair
the way he’s seen it done in badly-lit office sets
he can jack off to anything at this point
but doesn’t he stay looking, stay open, scroll, scroll
and isn’t that now part of it?
The decision to do it is inside and not buried, the content
a hot net filled with endless possibilities, every day the internet doubles in size
and anything you can think of is online, but what if he can’t think anymore on his own?
Scrolls and scrolls and until the webpage tells him the scene he wants to watch,
the scene he didn’t know he was fantasizing about, and now it’s not just for him
It’s not just him and the screen, but the scene thought out by other people,
given to him as a replacement for his own imagination

When he closes his eyes, he does not picture people
or women
or people
he sees the roll of the die, the happenstance so easily come by
he can’t come by himself
and isn’t that the hard part, the hardest part giving up the control of the fantasy generator
to someone who lives on the internet
giving ideas to anyone interested

“The insufferable arrogance of humanity” by Julia on her couch

Friday January 10, 2020
8:08pm
5 minutes
Big Picture
A. Whitney Brown

Babe says that he doesn’t trust people anymore, cause they like, wear their MO a little too loud. Like Babe says that you can smell some people’s try-hard like they bathe in it and that is so relatable. Like, think about it. You can tell when someone’s trying to like, butter you up, or get in your pants, or like, get you to smuggle some low grade shit. And you can tell when someone’s like performing instead of being. There’s a really big difference actually, and Babe says the insufferable people are the ones who name drop and shame shop. Babe says that shame shopping is like, who’s buying, you know? Like who’s trying to be better by taking on all the bullshit of the known world as if they could carry it on their own?

“The fires were still smouldering” by Julia on her couch

Thursday January 9, 2020
11:33am
5 minutes
The Known World
Edward P. Jones

The haze we’re breathing is a filter on the known world.
The daily dos and don’ts.
The run and hide or stay lows.

Babies are inhaling against their will.
Animals are being wiped out.

Some people don’t think the issue is connected.
Some people would rather focus on the strength
of the inhabitants being weakened.

Will the dying lungs be as resilient?
Will the buried come back to stand on their country’s podium?

While we’re gathered on the beach with our
hearts in our mouths
covered in ash and soot
inching closer to the waves
a long siren blares.

We wish we could say it was in the distance.
We wish we could say it was only one
and not one after another after another.

We are accepting prayers
and money
and help
and
and
and

“How far your eyes may pierce” by Julia on the plane

Monday January 6, 2020
12:55pm EST
5 minutes
King Lear
Shakespeare

And still a river bleeds out the secret, close enough to the house babble babble

Who hushes the mouth spilling and if we can is it now?

Now that we have decided to leave tired skin on the ground for its new job

A spread on the earth and nurture the rest of the ecosystem
Like a fallen tree might
Like a called soul can

The water waits reflecting and there is not a chance for seeing the wrong thing
It does not lie
The deer does not get spooked

We unravel at the sorry bone and spin out out, babble babble
into a good home being built
into foundation strengthening

The river sings it out if we leave it up to her

And we do
We leave it up to her

“In the diary she kept” by Julia on Howland

Sunday January 5, 2020
9:55pm
5 minutes
Sabbath 
Wayne Muller

Mindy Lou kept her diary blue, locked with a prayer and a warning

“Open this and the devil will kiss you all the way to hell and back again”

She wrote from her truest heart, and nobody could part the seas she stirred and roared on

“This book is protected by none other than Jesus Christ and if you want to know deep suffering, turn the page, I double dog dare you”

For inside she stored her secrets, her bashful cheeks, and quiet rumblings

“women simply take better care of themselves” by Julia in Baden

Thursday January 2, 2020
12:01am
5 minutes
The Compass In Your Nose
Marc McCutcheon

my mother knows the cure for whatever ails me

she sends photos of pages from the best books on how to heal without lies

I am indebted to her for every phone call lesson or reminder that I am worth taking expensive suppliments

funny after all this time of telling her about loving herself enough to allow healing

she is me and I am her and this is not a contest

the mirror is held up in turns, sometimes her holding it and sometimes me

when my father falls ill she nurses him from the flat of his bed onto his feet in 3 days or your money back

she says it’s easier to get better when you have someone reminding you when to take your vitamins

“brought their wives and children” by Julia in Baden

Wednesday January 1, 2020
12:07am
5 minutes
The Trial of Louis Riel
George R.D. Goulet

lingering behind the red door
Dottie clutches a tattered handkerchief to her mouth to keep from crying out

the demons were in there, shaking

Dottie isn’t finding the deeper cause but knows she needs them gone

like that time she was drugged at the bar, an unmarked capsule fizzing in her drink, and a tiny girl suffering, needing her

She looked herself in the mirror and said it over and over again, rebuking, encouraging-
“You must” she said, “you must. You Must.”

“Look to the notes, if you need to” by Julia at Amanda’s

Tuesday December 31, 2019
2:40am
5 minutes
How To Read Music
Roger Evans

In the same place as I have been
There is a good chance I could have been smaller

If not for the noticing I would be spending my time intellectualizing
But not this year, no, no

I will be looking to the notes if I need to and when that’s not making sense I will let the interruption be the new

The prompt
The passage

And then maybe I will do something that you could be a strong bear about

That you could write home to your parents for and tell them of the giant steps taken from such tiny feet

“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.

“Ice on the sidewalk” by Julia in Joe’s childhood room

Tuesday December 24, 2019
12:02pm
5 minutes
Or Death and December
George Garrett

This city is colder than the one we left. I haven’t missed the rain once. Not in my life, even during the draught. When we left the first time coming back was like a time stamp on where we had been and how much we’ve learned. Seeing the CN Tower used to make me cry. Every street is a buzz. There are people out and about, wearing layers, walking slowly on the icy sidewalk. Back home, I guess we’re calling it that now, the cold was welcome when it came. It wasn’t too much or too hard. Not for someone born to a cold far harsher.

I don’t have the right gear for this city. Been known to keep a parka around just in case but the reality of this no longer being my home has finally sunk in. Why keep a coat around when you live in a place that doesn’t need it.

“The judge sighs.” By Julia at the airport

Monday December 23, 2019
2:57pm
5 minutes
At the Arraignment
Debra Spencer

Being vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. I’ve seen vegans live off of oreos and french fries. I’m not judging that, I’m fine with it. What do I care if someone wants to do sugar for beeakfast lunch and dinner. Some people are more than their label, is what I’m saying. There are also feminists who want to kill all the men. They say they’re for equality but they have some unresolved anger too. The name isn’t cut and dry just like it’s not fair to say that every indigenous person opposes the pipeline. That’s simply untrue. And racist, isn’t it? To group people together without asking individuals how they feel?

“The lunatic is carried” by Julia on her couch

Sunday December 22, 2019
9:28pm
5 minutes
Song of Myself
Walt Whitman

From the last word to the first idea, she is there

she waits for me to slip up so she has a reason to come out and say I Told You So

Of course she sings sweetly too, never yelling or threatening or causing a scene out of turn

It’s as if she were playing some game, some twisted little diddy that she knew she was doing

I carry the lunatic out of the box and into the day

I carry her on my back and let her see everything that I’m seeing

You could say I let her stay because I am a bit afaid of her and what she might do if I don’t give her what she wants

I suppose I am the one to blame afterall for giving her the front row seat to my weakness

“The plastic statue of the virgin” by Julia in her office

Friday December 20, 2019
9:57am
5 minutes
The Alter
Charles Simic

Nonna carried the Vigrin Mother in her purse, and had one on her shelf, and one in a drawer under her nightstand. Nonna believed. Prayed. Maybe mostly felt guilty, but man was she a determined attendee of the smallest church you ever saw. Every Wednesday night and Saturday night and Sunday morning. Any chance to wear those pearls, get your hair pinned into fresh curls and to walk around getting told how beautiful you are. I am her nipote from the root. I got her church singing voice, her need for validation, her sweet affinity with entertaining babies. It’s been a few years, have we already lost count? She is missed beyond her faith or what we can make little jokes about today. She was always folding my underwear into perfect squares. Always sneaking us a twonie while telling us not to tell our parents cause they’d make us give them back. She believed in more than I ever have.

“Timing’s everything.” by Julia in her office

Thursday December 19, 2019
3:50pm
5 minutes
Snowflake
William Baer

If you sit there long enough the right people will come by
I don’t know if that’s the way it always works
but that was my today…

So I’m sitting there, minding my own business, writing out some things with the hope of manifestation, and along comes Pauly.

He’s on his way home or so it looks like, but he stops directly in front of my door. Okay I need to scratch something and reverse it. The manifesting part kind of needs to be revisited. So I’m not going to tell you what I was writing, but I will tell you that because I was writing it, that’s why Pauly came along.
It wasn’t about him necessarily, but he was the one who gave me the idea to write it. So this manifestation thing appears to be working for any of you cynics outs there, reading “You There, Behind Your Screens!”

So Pauly came by and I learned a couple more things about him. It was subtly. Nuanced. For instance. I now know he is a film buff. And a bit of a nerd.

“There below” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday December 18, 2019
7:47pm
5 minutes
Somewhere I’ll Find You
Phebe Hanson

There below the golden face

The shoulders broad and carrying

a tiny intersection of disbelief is straddled

Right there

Right below the knowing look

And maybe it wouldn’t be there

if instead of fuzz a master’s cap

sat collecting

Or another 5 years at least of hands on, on the field, trial and error

Maybe this is the error

Maybe this is the error

The time for mistakes and making

I told them that’s what I’m interested in doing

I told them that’s why I get so moved

The mantra is for everyone now

Make a mess

Make

Make

Make a mess

Nothing is not something I can allow myself to make

Not these days when young hearts find themselves on my cozy chair

Calling my room the Creative one

“I am so amazed to find myself kissing you” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday December 17, 2019
9:29pm
5 minutes
Feasting
Elizabeth W. Garber

I find your mouth there in the open like a winter song
the snow flakes landing on the tip of your lips and the cold
mixes with the hot
and the slippery touches the soft
Maybe people before have told you how superior your kiss is
because you kiss like you already know and that you like knowing

I am prancing around like some February fairy and you think
maybe, it’s cute
This is my hope, that you will be forced to kiss me with all
that sparkly dusty floating around

Before this I have kissed you plenty
And each time I think the same thing
I can’t believe I am the lucky recipient of this
hot mouth opening and closing so artfully