“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.

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

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

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

“shattered in a thousand pieces” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
4:24pm
Sing to the Moon
Laura Mvula

little tear little breath
little hurt little death
little heart little break
little give little take
little win little lose
little scar little bruise
little fear little hope
little raft little rope
little yes little no
little maybe little so
little story little poem
little grief little home
little moon little sun
little lesson little won
little dance little still
little call little kill
little blood little bone
little laugh little moan
little piece little whole
little part little role

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I now busied myself in preparations” by Julia at her desk

Thursday June 6, 2019
6:37pm
5 minutes
Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë

There was much to do. Much much around and in.
I simply would not stop my legs or my hands,
drumming my finger tips on every surface and edge.
Company was coming, as it always does, without
enough warning and I was alone, as I always am
without enough time. I had yelled for Kilner to
stay home a few moments longer but of course,
his presence was demanded elsewhere, even though
I can’t imagine what could possibly be so important
at 10AM on a Sunday. He threw on his jacket and
left in a hurry, so I believed him when he said it
was urgent, and in fact, life or death. Sidney coming
to brunch was not at all life or death although it
surely felt like it. She perpetually had her nose
turned up toward the sun, as if she had asked a
doctor friend with time to spare if she might
stitch it there for her so it never moved.
I would never go to another woman’s home and run
my finger along a baseboard. It’s the single most
offensive thing you could do. Of course, I appreciate
cleanliness too, but the difference is, I’m not a monster.

“O Dio, vorrei morir” by Julia at her desk

Saturday May 25, 2019
7:02pm
5 minutes
Gianni Schicchi
Giacomo Puccini

I have asked you before but you ignored it.
So I’m not asking anymore, I’m telling you.
I would like to die.
If I cannot see my son, because my son is
never coming back, then what is there left
to live? I mean, there is nothing for me if
he is not here. I am not asking anymore.

I see him sometimes as the butterfly
that has been visiting me every day since
he was taken from me. Does a butterfly
who is not carrying the spirit of a loved one
land on your shoulder, or the kiss of your knuckle?
No, I am not asking, I already know. It’s him.

I am telling you, God, I have nothing to
offer, contribute. I am no longer holding
all the pieces together, it’s too painful.
The grief pushes out all the cracks and
makes me want to sink into the floor.
I am not asking.

This gash is open for war and I welcome
the blade. Twist it. Twist it all the way.

“becomes a junkyard beast” by Julia at her desk

Friday April 26, 2019
6:30am
5 minutes
Loving You Burns Like Shingles
Terri Kirby Erickson

In the swelter of August’s last days, Reid and Elliot bike their two speeds down to the lake.
Sirra and Jamie are already there, waiting.
Sirra is holding a blue bandanna, smudged with grease and soot.
Jamie isn’t looking up, and Reid starts to panic.
Elliot approaches slowly, worried about Reid who doesn’t usually show signs of fear.
Sirra passes the bandanna to Elliot, and there is a collective knowing.
Lusechee is gone.
Jamie start to sob, shoulders heaving, crumbling, heaving.
Sirra puts a hand out but nobody takes it.

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

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

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

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

“A master-beggar art thou.” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday January 8, 2019
10:13pm
5 minutes
Kim
Rudyard Kipling

I don’t want your money but if you send a cheque I’ll cash it
I don’t want your pity but if attention’s coming I’ll stash it
So many times I’ve said I wouldn’t stoop so low
but every day is turning me into a master at limbo
surprise yourself with pleasantries or avoidance or a feeling
never say never cause the holy spirit’s teething
wants a bite of my earthly flesh and all the lies I let in
this is how you get on your knees and pray for all the sinning
I don’t want your money but I’ll take it if it’s there
cause I don’t like to waste things like guilty almost care
I’d rather have your praise but I guess beggars can’t be choosers
I used to crave the fame when I was caught up with the losers
Now I don’t know where I am supposed to be going
Put the money in the hat and hope it don’t start snowing

“Where every member is a minister” by Julia on her couch

Monday July 9, 2018
9:50pm
5 minutes
from a business card

I got this card from someone who I don’t know but might be reading this.

Free Press, he said, I said, yeah, good, why not?

I thought he was selling something,trying to get me to come over to the side of all the glowing. I might have gone with him if I didn’t have a bus to catch.

Where you headin’, Chicago?

Maybe he lived there. At the bus station, in Chicago. When I asked him he said he was exactly where he needed to be.

I could live with that, I thought.

I could learn from this and all the other apparition-wise sentiments.

He gave me cereal. In a ziplock bag, for later.

“She warned me, ‘Have nothing to lose.’” by Julia at her desk

Thursday April 5, 2018
8:25pm
5 minutes
Among Women
Marie Ponsot

tucked a daisy in my jacket pocket and said “this is for a rainy day”
didn’t seem to mind that it might not last that long in denim like this
i forgot it was in there and went about my day
picked up apples from the market
peeled the sweet potatoes that were growing eyes
the night became a different world
me in my own skin and bones rustling about the tiny kitchen
she, i decided, blessing newborns and the dying with her sweet
the next morning i awoke to the sun burning the sky and drawing sweat
from my neck
the pillow was wet and the seagulls were loud
I did not bring an umbrella
and of course, as it happens here, out of the blue
it started to rain
i understood what ‘out of the blue’ meant for the first time
shoved my hands in my pockets to keep dry
and there it was, waiting for me
a wilting daisy, still more alive than me

“Can’t tell if that’s funny or really scary.” By Julia on her couch

Friday December 15, 2017
11:39pm
5 minutes
Calvin and Hobbes
Bill Watterson

In the night when I’m dreaming of saving you or someone else I love

I can see all the feelings I’m experiencing. I can hold them. Touch them. I can’t tell if some things are very funny or very scary. There are images in dreams and I can see both versions clearly, as if they’re showing off. Screaming, laughing, tell your neighbour how much more unstable she is than you. I am busy holding my feelings in my elbow crease. Deep down In the cuticles creeping up onto my toenails.

“beneficial to anyone” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Monday October 23, 2017

9:44pm

5 minutes

from an email

Can’t drink anymore. When I do I’m no use to anyone. Can’t remember simple words. Yes and no get confused. No looks a lot like yes. No gets put on the shelf as decoration.

She told me years ago it was time to trade in the bottle. Said my body didn’t like it. She was right. My mother replaced it with structured silver. Said to take a shot of that every morning before I make any other bad decisions. I always had a good memory. I could tell you the birthdays of all 30 cousins and at least 5 aunts and uncles. I could tell you phone numbers of friends and loved ones up until 2008 (I got a cell phone late). I could tell you what you were wearing when we met. How your hair was.

“and then he came down the stairs” by Julia at the New York


Tuesday April 25, 2017
11:49pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the kitchen

He is wearing a bandana around his neck and a new pair of toe shoes. I shudder.
“what? WHAT, ADI?”
“you look like…you look like someone else.”
“Nobody knows what you’re talking about, Adi, this is me.”
“That is not you! Are you kidding? Where did you even get a banadana?”
“This? This? This was a GIFT-you know what, I don’t have to explain myself to you. Fashion is subjective, haven’t you heard?”
I roll my eyes as far back in my skull as I can send them. He has a point but I can’t take him seriously when he’s dressed like this!
“You have a point, but I still can’t take you seriously when you’re dresses like this!”
“Adi–”
“Toe shoes?!?”

“Secret Society” by Sasha in her bed


Friday April 7, 2017
10:52pm
5 minutes
From the Quo eye palette

One foot. The other foot. One foot. The other foot. Step. Step. You can do it. You can do it. Just to the bathroom. Just to the toilet. Head heavy. Feet heavy. Eyelids heavy. One foot. The other foot. Step. You can do it. You want to be out of bed today when Sue gets home. You want to be better. You want to have dinner on the table, even if it’s something easy like a grilled cheese sandwich. One foot. The other foot. Press your palm against the wall. Deep breaths.

“Sad to see you go” by Sasha on her couch


Friday February 17, 2017
11:48pm
5 minutes
From a Goodbye card

You don’t tell her that you’re sad to see her go.
Not with your voice, at least.
You wait until the coffee’s cold
and her station wagon is halfway to the highway
and then you send a text:
“Sad to see you go…”
Most important is the ellipses.
Most important is the space between the dots…
That’s where her hands would go.

You wonder when you’ll hear from her.
If she’ll call from the side of the road
or the backseat, sweaty in her sleeping bag.

You wish that you’d been able to
articulate the expanse of the truth.
You wish that you’d bee able to
speak the three words that filled
every room that the two of you
were in together.

I love you.

“You’ve had them for about 12 days.” By Sasha at Bump n Grind


Friday January 27, 2017 at Bump n Grind on Granville
5:43pm
5 minutes
Syllabus
Lynda Barry


You opened up your belly with a whale bone and you filled yourself with rocks.
You went into the river, and you didn’t sink, you floated down, like Ophelia, you floated all the way to the beginning.

When you arrived there, you planted the rocks like seeds and restitched your belly with a daisy chain.

You watered those seeds until words grew:

goodbye

rhythm

hope

You picked the words and tied a blue ribbon around their stems.

You gave them to me.

You told me this story and then I kissed your scar. I cradled ‘goodbye’. ‘rhythm’, and ‘hope’.

I changed their water and fed you peanut butter banana sandwiches.

I watched ‘goodbye’ grow and ‘rhythm’ die.

“I’m just so sad” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday November 19, 2016
12:07pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Oak St.

“I’m just so sad,” Phoebe has eyes like macaroni and cheese, deep pools of swamp. “I know you are, babe,” I say, and I wish that there was more comfort in those five words. They are just five words and words aren’t enough today. “I’m scared to live here,” she pulls the hood of her sweatshirt around her neck, cocooning. “I want to disappear.”

Inside the quietness of my ribcage, I talk to her about going to the desert and getting married, a klezmer band of lesbians singing to our love in ancient howls under a crescent moon. Inside the quietness, I whisper sounds that aren’t words that might hold her in a way English never can.

“what was that process like?” By Sasha at her desk


Sunday November 13, 2016
8:27pm
5 minutes
From an interview question

I keep seeing pictures of our future and your
brows are furrowed “So here we are”
I can’t see everything in focus
I see windchimes and mushrooms and candle wax
Maybe you’re calling the new me the one with
more patience and breath that smells like artichokes
Maybe you’re thinking about
the past Now
Soon all this will be forgotten from our minds
but remembered by the elephant hearts
that I cradle like unborn daughters
dreaming in their soft sleep
dreaming this future into Now

“RESET BALANCE” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday October 30, 2016
10:36pm
5 minutes
From a Freshii sign at the airport

When your mother puts you in gymnastics you glare at the back of her head as she drives you there the station wagon screeching to a stop in the parking place that’s meant for pregnant people. She doesn’t walk you in and make sure everything’s okay like all the other mothers she says HAVE A GOOD TIME and looks at you like everything about your existence is a highly regrettable mistake. Your purple leotard is crawling up your bum crack and you need to go pee but you say BYE MAMA and close the door gently and then you go inside and say that you’re here for beginning gymnastics please and where is the bathroom please and where is a cubby for you to put your boots.

Happy Birthday To Us!

Today these five minutes is celebrating 5 YEARS of dipping, 5-minute writes, process over product, and of course, a daily writing practice that strengthens us and keeps us showing up.
Thank you for reading and sharing and writing alongside us. We are grateful for this community.
To many, many more!

To celebrate, these five minutes will be hosting their first Vancouver writer’s workout this Saturday, November 5, 2016. Details below! A few spots still available! 


love,
Sasha and Julia

“butler service, gourmet dining” by Sasha at Pascoe Rd.


Sunday October 23, 2016
9:59am
5 minutes
Westjet magazine

Shaving off his moustache was an identity thing. James didn’t want to make a big deal about it, but it was a big deal and everyone knew it. Facial hair quickly becomes a meaningful manifestation of identity and no, he didn’t first grow it during Mo-vember and yes, he does use wax. Fiona had suggested it when she witnessed James’ profound attachment to his moustache. She introduced the idea with subtlety at first and then got a little bit more bold.

I’m ecstatic to announce” by Sasha on her couch


Friday September 30, 2016
11:24am
5 minutes
A Facebook post

Holds her tongue when she wants to speak when she wants to yell
REBEL! REBEL! REBEL!
Holds her hands tight
lips
tight fingers around the truth
She was raised to be
QUIET
Speaking when spoken
Taking when token
She was raised to be
SMALL
Sink and shrink and skimp and
chew with your mouth closed
Don’t
talk with your mouth open
OPEN
CLOSED
OPEN
open
open up and let him in
Holds her tongue when she
is
FEAR
near
tear
bear
bare
here

“We should be there by then” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday, July 27, 2016
7:23pm
5 minutes
From a text

Reese made me throw out my slushie before I got in the car and I wanted to strangle him for the next six hours as a result. I thought it was stupid of him to be a dick to me as I was the only thing keeping him from driving off a cliff. But whatever. It’s like, maybe if you would drink some slushie I wouldn’t have to throw it all away just so we don’t risk getting your stupid car dirty. It wasn’t even going to happen again but Reese holds grudges, like woah. Like woahhhhhh. So. Whatever. I threw it away. But then I sat with my arms crossed the whole time because car tension really messes with a driver’s head. Especially Reese because he holds grudges but he also holds on to guilt. When he’d ask me to change the music, I did it and everything. I’m not a monster. But I took my sweet time and I made him wait for it. And if he got hungry I would give him a chip or or a piece of cheese, but then pretend to fall asleep in between bites. I don’t know if I wanted an apology or if he was waiting for me to be sorry that I was trying to have a little fun on this road trip, but whatever. I think we both lost or something.

“Yeah that’s correct” by Sasha in her bed


Friday, July 15, 2016
1:02am
5 minutes
Overheard at Platform 7

A: You know Kenny?
B: Yeah.
A: When’d you meet him?
B: At the gym…
A: Did you hang out a lot?
B: Why are you givin’ me the third degree here, man? I just came in to get a coffee.
A: Do you know who I am?
B: No idea.
A: Kenny’s little brother.
B: Ok, nice to meet you. Excuse me –
A: Kenny’s been gone since Friday.
B: What?
A: Yup.
B: Shit.
A: No one’s seen him.
B: He said that –
A: You were the last person to speak with him.
B: Yeah, we spotted each other Friday morning.
A: And?
B: …
A: What did you do with his body, huh?
B: Excuse me?
A: I know you know our secret.
B: What are you fucking talking about?
A: …
B: I’m calling the cops.
A: I am the cops.
B: What?
A: Happy Monday, Benjamin. Happy fuckin’ Monday.

“community based competitions” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday June 19, 2016
10:38pm
5 minutes
http://www.academicinvest.com

I’m standing at the microphone and I can hear my own breathing inside my head, but everything else in the room is perfectly still. I am ready. I am prepared. I am under water. I feel true calm. I hear the speaker bellow out a long word in slow motion. I hear every single part of his word. I see every single part of his word. I take a deep breath and I pause. The silence is back. My focus is razor. I repeat his word, his multisyllabic and challenging word and I spell it back to him, punching. each. letter. It is good to be good. I am floating. I am waiting. The sound of the auditorium floods back to my ears and there is thunder. There is pulse. I am lifted.

“and lifted right up” by Julia on her couch


Saturday June 18, 2016
10:10pm
5 minutes
All My Puny Sorrows
Miriam Toews


Caught me in the middle of ‘researching’ various porn sites and I got mad at you for barging in unannounced. Kendra, you said, I live here. Do I really have to announce anything? I was embarrassed, obviously, that’s why people get defensive and upset in the first place, but I was not about to tell you that.
Listen, Matt, I don’t think a text or a phone call is a very big inconvenience just to tell me you’re on your way or that you’re 5 or 10 minutes out, or that you’ll be disturbing me and just wanted to give me a heads up.
Disturbing you? You asked.
Yes, I told you, or disrupting the flow.
I didn’t know there would be so many arbitrarily chosen rules popping up when you moved in.
I’m just saying we share the space and it’d be nice to be aware of each other.
Fine, Kendra. You said. You were on your way back out the door. I’d like all parties present to be informed that I am, ANNOUNCING, that I am leaving for the night, and all parties present can go back to being a huge dick for no reason, by herself.

“the nervous towns of Mars” by Julia on her couch


Monday June 13, 2016
10:22pm
5 minutes
The Martian Chronicles
Ray Bradbury


I don’t have words right now
not for the pain
not
for the other stuff
I have alien feelings
not happiness
not fear
something is in me breaking
as we speak
I would ask for
permission
to go home early
from all of this
try my lungs out
call to the wild but
there’s a scientist
waiting to take
my blood out
and I think
she owns me or something
Because my thoughts don’t feel
like mine anymore
they feel
like nothings floating
deep
and bobbing up for air
every
now and again
she tells me
stop trying
and I assume she means
everything
everything
everything
My arm is her best friend
my vein
is her guilty pleasure
she looks at my dancing
blue fluids
my
inside life
with fluorescent sparks shooting out
of her eyes
getting ready to keep me
from jumping out of
my skin
and into the world
beside this one
I tell her
They have much more
star-dust because it’s a destination
Not a curse
She says
and I know now
stop
which means
shuffling around while this
thing is in me
which means
talking
because I use
my hands
too much

“screaming like Tasmanian devils” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday June 12, 2016
8:51pm
5 minutes
Bye Judy and Good Luck
Mona Awad


Madelyn had stepped out onto her porch, dimly lit, a few mosquitoes, joint lit. No sweater, it was good to feel cold every now and again. Not impossible cold. Awareness-making cold. She glanced down at the stain on her yellow cable knit T-shirt, pulling the base of it down and out to examine the damage, to survey the crime scene. They had been screaming like Tasmanian devils; running up and down the house so feverishly and never-endingly causing the whole house to vibrate. Madelyn didn’t know if the love she had for them was enough to keep her from hating them when they were like this. She thought she might have to take notes and keep watch on their behaviour with the cycles of the moon. She picked again at the orange-red blotch of defeat on her top. She picked again. She swatted away a mosquito.

“Solid colour” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 6, 2016
11:56pm
5 minutes
From a text

Had a dream I was trying to kill you again. I was coming at you with the blue knife Marnie gave us as an engagement gift. In my dream you’re not afraid or anxious. You almost have a calmness about you. You expect that I’m going to hunt you and you don’t even run. I think what I’m learning from this nightmare is that you don’t give up on me when I test you. You don’t run away when things get crazy. You don’t try to hurt me just because I’m trying to hurt you. This dream shows me how good you are. It makes me realize that one day, when I finally stop trying to sabotage us, stop making you prove yourself, we will be so obnoxiously happy. Until then know that this isn’t personal, that me trying to kill you says more about me than it says about you and that at least we’re getting our use out of that little blue knife.

“Alberta’s oil sands” by Julia on the 319


Thursday May 5, 2016
6:11pm
5 minutes
From the back of a pamphlet

Mauve and red and magenta and orange. Sky bright. Night hot. Night fear. Red blood pumping. Running. Running. Dreams interrupted. Sleep disrupted. Running. Running.
I want to go home where the fields were mine and where the sky guided me back. Nothing left now. No home. No fields. No fix. No fight. Night hot. Sky bright. Love out. Love in. Goodbyes painted flame. Least important importance stays behind. No one wins. Running. Running.