“Watering the plants one more time,” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday, October 31, 2012
6:34pm
5 minutes
http://www.sproutedkitchen.com

There’s a list on the table, on a small stretched canvas, painted in acrylic, sometimes mixed with a matte medium, often in greens and oranges, occasionally reds and purples. She paints her lists. This says something wacky and whimsical about her, doesn’t it? When a task is done – “Make zucchini muffins for Zoe” – she puts a star beside it, in metallic gold. A wall in her study is devoted to these lists, these things she’s done with her days, these small yet joyful accomplishments. Sometimes, when she’s feeling void of usefulness, she’ll write something particularly simple – “Water the plants one more time” – or – “Take a deep breath”. Clive used to laugh at her, but in a loving way. “Really, Betsy? Why aren’t you doing portraits anymore? You’re so talented…” She couldn’t bring herself to say that she couldn’t paint faces anymore because the only face she saw, the only face she could paint, over and over, was Jamie’s. She would smile at her husband, his bald spot spreading across the top of his head like a joke on all of them, and say, “I prefer painting lists.”

“escape with us” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday, October 30, 2012
2:49pm
5 minutes
Classical Theatre Project 2012-2013 Season Brochure

I don’t know what to do, Glen. I’ve never been in a… situation like this before. Don’t blame it on the divorce or menopause or whatever you’re about to say… I’ve been seeing this patient for two months, twice a week. He’s… a tough guy. A “Tough Guy”. He identifies with that. He has anger issues. Big time. He came to me because it was court ordered… There’d been a restraining order issued against him from his ex-girlfriend… Anyway, he opens up to me today and says… this is confidential okay, Glen? He says that he stabbed a guy when he was eighteen and it’s haunted him since. He sees a correlation between this stabbing and the anger, he says that before he wasn’t an angry kid he was just a hard-done-by kid… No father, mother into drugs, he had to look after his younger sisters… you know the story. And I’m… No, I’m not saying that… I think it might help him heal if we could track down this guy he stabbed and get them together to… I don’t know, talk? Hear eachother out? You think I’m crazy…

“escape with us” by Julia at Saving Gigi


Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at Saving Gigi
1:32pm
5 minutes
Classical Theatre Project 2012-2013 Season Brochure

-Honesty could save us both here. We’re in the wild and we’re on our way to either dying or forgetting we’re alive.
-What would you rather do, babe?
-The first one!
-Are you sure? Is it because it’s romantic?
-No. It’s hardly romantic.
-But if we do it together?
-Then it’s a tragedy, remember?
-Oh, right. I have forgotten everything already. I have already done the second one.
-No you haven’t, you’re still talking, still dreaming. Still alive.
-But I have forgotten everything. I even forgot we were here, that we were talking, that we were alive.
-How could you forget? I have answered you, you didn’t make me up. I’m here.
-How do I know?
-Because I am. I’m telling you.
-I thought you wanted honesty.
-I do! You’re not being honest! You’re lying to me so you can lie to yourself!
-Who said that….?
-I did. I DI—oh. Stop. Please don’t pretend stuff like that. I’m here, you’re here, we’re not dead yet.
-Maybe it’s better if we act like we are. Maybe we’ll learn something about ourselves.
-Yeah, sure, let’s try it.
-Not sarcastically.
-I know, I wasn’t. I know what you mean.
-I’m being honest now.
-Yes, good, okay, so what should we do?
-I don’t know anything anymore.
-You’re giving up?
-You asked me to. You gave me the choice and this one was just better.
-Okay. So do you have any gin?

“Blink… Can if you try” by Julia at R Squared


Monday, October 29, 2012 at R Squared
9:45am
5 minutes
Chaos Come Again
Wilhemina Baird


Ding! Chicken’s up! I’m going to feed you so hard it’s going to make you go mental in the face. You’ll be impressed. By me. Because I’m about to knock the sense out of your head into next Tuesday. This chicken is going to make you into a better person. It’s going to make you see God. It’s my first whole chicken. And I have a feeling it’s going to be my last because after this we’re both just going to fall down dead all over the place. IN ECSTASY. What a trip.

I’m over selling, I realize, but you’re on your way out of my life and I have to get drastic. Get dramatic. Get Extreme. Try to find ways to keep you within arms reach. To keep you from dissolving into a sea of apology and offers of a really incredible slew of blow jobs. I won’t close my eyes in case blinking makes it easier for you to go. I don’t want to miss the moment where I’m supposed to beg for you, be desperate for you, convince you.

It’s still coming, isn’t it? Don’t you want to try this chicken? This last-stitch effort to…
Eat?

“Blink… Can if you try” by Sasha at R Squared


Monday, October 29, 2012 at R Squared
9:45am
5 minutes
Chaos Come Again
Wilhemina Baird


Shake shake shake
Twist turn roll away
Tummy aches move the heartaches away from the place of origin
Migrant workers on the California peach farm
Pesticide hallucination
Making murals of sons and daughters on the leaves
Just there
So so close
My baby
In Mexico.
Shake shake shake
Twist turn roll away
Drum tabacco cigarettes
Formed with the tactile finger specificity of a surgeon
Scalpel please
Paging one two three four
The phone is ringing
In ears
A marry-go-round song
Dizzy and afraid
They’re waiting at the Bus Stop
Taking the 86 to Downtown
Taking the L Train to Brooklyn
Cruising down the DVP
Sunset Strip
Cruising down the Highway body
South
Below the belt
Below the surface
The plates shift violent
Angry at our indiscretions.

“The Anti-Aging Shop” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday October 28, 2012
11:34pm
5 minutes
The Anti-Aging Shop
At Belmont and Davenport




I’m not really sure how to feel about your masquerade antics, Jon. It really caught me off guard. One minute you’re telling me that you’re thinking about going to this place… this “club” and then before I can even ask any questions you’re buying a whole… outfit… with a mask! And a whip! I mean… we’ve been married for eighteen years, honey… You’ve never so much as hinted at desiring… I just… I feel like I don’t know you.

You know where I was this afternoon? Why there isn’t dinner ready? I was at that Anti-Aging Shop at Belmont and Davenport. I was checking out the… Chemical peels. I just… Jon, if you want me to go to one of those parties I’m going to have to lose about thirty pounds! And get a facelift! I know that those girls there are not… well, that’s just it. They are girls. I am a forty three year old dignified woman, Jon.

“The Anti-Aging Shop” by Julia on her couch


Sunday October 28, 2012

10:56am
5 minutes
The Anti-Aging Shop
At Belmont and Davenport


IMG_1313.JPG


Yes, this is my hope. To be beautiful for eternity to say “Hello old friend master clock, you’re looking mighty good these days, and me? Ahh, me? Why thank you for noticing!”
The pleasant aging process, one for me that I tell you now has just been a delight. I even got ID’ed at the liquor store on Wednesday! Can you believe it? I don’t even remember how old I am! What a strange and wonderful thing! I found a secret. Oh, should I be bad and just tell you?! Okay, fine, you seduced me into it!
It’s this new shop–opened up right down the street from Freddie’s Fashions. It’s an Anti-Aging Shop! No! That’s the name of the store! Inside is like being transported through time! Through this time and all the way back to last time or another time or a time that happened years ago, or just one year ago! It’s almost magic, dare I say it!? I dare! Magic! There’s a honeycomb puree! And I’m not making that up. You take a sip of it from the fountain! At the end of your shopping exploration, you simply pay at the counter. They take cash, credit, or your first born! It’s so wonderful it makes you want to never leave! And the results are quite astonishing! I haven’t been this happy since…God! I don’t know when!

“the dark hug of time” by Julia on the 506 going east


Saturday October 27, 2012
9:56pm
5 minutes
Poem (the spirit likes to dress up)
Mary Oliver


Oh Angels in heaven, please hear my cry.
Is it now or is it never that I will be coming home? I have to know. I’m not well. I’ve been dancing between medications: the elixir of life and the poison of death. Poison has all these negative connotations. But I’m saying it’s a healing drink. I’m saying it’s the dark embrace, the hug of hours, minutes, seconds.
Will you take a man who knows he’s already done all his living? He knows! He’s telling you! He needs to be with his Angel family now. The one that took off and flew above his head before he was ready to go with them. I am that man. I am caught in between a lie and a hard place. It feels good to be loved here, but not as good as it will to be loved on a cloud. On a cloud of forever not a bed of tick tock-stop-the-clock-he’s-here-till-his- heart-shuts-off.
Oh Angels in heaven, hear your daddy cry, your son, your brother, your husband, your best friend. I will wait here in this body until someone sets me free. Till I can be living safe with you all or one of you all in the peacefulness of life well-lived. Of death well-earned.

“the dark hug of time,” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday October 27, 2012
1:43am
5 minutes
Poem (the spirit likes to dress up)
Mary Oliver


The dark hug of time is around her eyes, her shoulders, her thighs. Since the surgery she walks less and smokes more, but it’s okay, we’re all at peace with it now. We used to shame her and send her threatening notes with newspaper articles attached, usually with a blue paperclip, her favorite colour, outlining the risks, the stats, the truth. She’s inhaling her own demise, the cancer deep and thick now. Our mother smoked a pack a day up until she was fifty and then promptly quit. We were overjoyed, my sisters and I, and threw a huge party with a chocolate fountain and strawberries only, her favorite fruit. When our father left her, at fifty six she started smoking again, chain-smoking, wearing her cigarette like a new wedding ring.

“Finding medical information” by Julia at her kitchen table


Friday October 26, 2012
1:03am
5 minutes
Hannibal
Thomas Harris


I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to admit that maybe she loved you better than me. I’m used to being the best. I’m used to receiving accolades. I didn’t want anyone else to know what I know. That she loved you better than me. I’m used to being better. I’m used to be being the best.
The last memory I have is you trying to fold laundry around me while I sat crying on all of our clean clothes with my face buried deep in my hands.
You kept saying, Honey, it’s okay. And I kept saying nothing. You kept staring at me while I kept staring off into the distance. It feels like yesterday. It feels like right now. When I went a little bit insane and you went a little bit further back from where I was sitting.
I let some things go too far. I let some things get ugly, too ugly. And now I’m stuck.
So yes, it’s difficult and it’s painful, and it’s the last thing I want to admit, but I will: She loves you better than me.
I loved you, the idea of you, the hope for you, the obsession of you quite well. But you. I didn’t love you like I should have. Instead I loved me more and you less and everything you said that was nice I didn’t think I truly deserved.
You loved me even better than she loves you now.

“Finding medical information” by Sasha at TAN on Baldwin


Friday October 26, 2012 at TAN on Baldwin
6:46pm
5 minutes
Hannibal
Thomas Harris


I make the tuna casserole and I bring it to your house and I leave it on the WELCOME mat at the foot of your front door. I don’t know what to say so I don’t say anything. When I see you at the coffee shop I see you see me and I freeze. Now I have to say something. Now I have to say the expected “I’m so sorry for your loss” but I don’t want to say that and I don’t ever say things I don’t want to say. You seem so calm and quiet and you don’t even look like you’ve been crying.

“Val?” I tried to get out the door without you seeing me, without you stopping me, without us having to talk at all. “Hey!” I’m too excited, I’m over-the-top, I’m more awkward than a pre-teen at the Halloween dance. “I am so sorry…” That’s all I get out. You nod, you’ve heard it before, you know that I am, that we all are, that the world is, the universe. “Can I make you dinner?” I can’t believe it. “You already did.” What? I don’t get it at first and then I do. As always. The casserole. “Oh god. I’m sorry I couldn’t think of anything more appetizing to make…” “It’s okay,” you say and you are more soft than I’ve ever seen you. “It was really good. Thanks.”

“I felt like a raw nerve” by Julia at her desk


Thursday October 25, 2012
11:04pm
5 minutes
Women, Food and God
Geneen Roth


Suddenly I found myself there. On the edge.
I was looking out and over the trees that I didn’t care about, and the grass that had been burnt without me noticing.
I stood there holding on to half an ounce of hope and a full ounce of forget me not.
I asked the smarter part of me to jump and if I land, to sing something from my childhood’s memory.
I told the stupid part of me to jump and try to keep my eyes closed until I landed…
I didn’t do either thing.
I was on the edge.
It wasn’t necessarily real life, but one simulated to feel like it. One drawn up in pretty pinks and metaphors and tied with a what if to keep it safe and tight.
It was the thing I think I wanted.
The thing I think I invented.
The waiting, that was undoubtedly going to kill me, was the thing I had told myself I should master…
I harnessed the idea of letting go to my waist and I threw my common sense to the wind. I threw it because I have a good arm, and I knew it would land far off in a place where I would have no patience to go and retrieve it.
I didn’t wish it farewell, or goodnight, or see you soon.
I simply clutched it to my chest and then kissed it with tongue so it would stick to wherever it happened to end up.
It was then I realized that the edge was my bedroom. That the forest, my bed, was awake for most of this nightmare. That the rest of me would wake up and find myself splattered at the bottom, surrounded by the trees I didn’t care about.

“I felt like a raw nerve” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday October 25, 2012
10:45pm
5 minutes

Women, Food and God
Geneen Roth


The three days after he told me that he was dying I felt like a raw nerve, electric and pulsing, too much on the surface, anything too cold or too hot hurt so bad I thought I would die too. At least then we could be together.

Moritz was a simple person… Not a “simpleton” but a simple guy… a guy who liked his tea black and his T-shirts white. He preferred staying home and reading then going out and doing something fancy and he would often tell me that he would choose my homemade burritos over anything from any restaurant as his last meal on earth. It was out of context at the time. But then, when he told me that the cancer had spread to his lungs and his belly and his spine all I could think about was grating the cheese for his final burrito.

It dulled… the raw nerve feeling, but never entirely went away. And it still hasn’t. Often, when I leave the apartment in the morning I feel like the sun is too bright, or now that the leaves are too colourful. A world without Moritz shouldn’t shimmer and glow. I want you to remember one time you had with him and whisper it into the ear of the person on your right.

‘I am astounded’ by Sasha at the corner of Portland and Adelaide


Wednesday October 24, 2012
4:12pm
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


I can’t believe how you’ve changed and grown and… You’re not a baby anymore! You’re… a fully grown person! God! You look like Him. It’s the mouth and the creases around the eyes, I think. I mean that in the best possible way, I promise. I’m rambling aren’t I? Do you ever ramble? God… I just.. I just… I just can’t believe it’s you! Look at you! You got your hair from my father. It’s wild, isn’t it? I have it too… As you can see… And… GOD! LOOK AT YOU! My baby boy… I mean, I know you’re not a baby… You’re… So, what do you like to do? I know you’re studying history but that’s about it… You must have to read a lot for that right? I’m not much of a reader but I do… You know, appreciate a good book sometimes… I’m smart. Street smart. That’s what happens when… You must have a lot of questions for me! Do you have a lot of questions? Gene pool questions or anything?

“I am astounded” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday October 24, 2012
11:47pm
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


The fear sometimes keeps you from doing the thing you want. I know this. Because as I tell you it, I am sitting here trying not to think or do anything related to the things I know I want or need to do. I want silence from this brain for a minute. Just one! What would I do if I could govern my everyday completely unaided by should and should not. It’s too much. I think sometimes my mind knows things internally more than it does when met with the task of performing said things. Performance anxiety. It’s entirely possible. I am astounded at my inability to take action, to act, to behave fully in the way that I should. Or, of course, should not. Astounded. There must be a different answer to this string of questions I continually pose. I would like to run away, flying is even better, and land on an island with nothing but my skin and my soul. What else do I need? What else do I want? A magical being to tell me I have no choice but to live in paradise and just enjoy it. As opposed to always trying to justify the beauty of it all. To accept that I am here for a reason? I would like out of that task. I would like the task that is void of consequence, and outcomes, and finances, and sayings like, live strong while you’re young. People say this. People believe it as well.

“- apart from its insufferable arrogance -” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday, October 23, 2012
2:37pm
5 minutes
In Praise of Nepotism
Adam Bellow


She keeps making these jokes that go down real sharp, like whiskey and knives. She gets up and dances to the Rolling Stone cover band that’s playing. This place is busier than I’ve seen it. I know I’m not making much sense when I try to tell her that I’m married, that my wife is at home, that I have a wife, that I’m married. She touches my face really softly and whispers, “I’m a catch.” It’s like she didn’t hear me. She didn’t hear me. I watch her as she’s dancing and she moves like gasoline, so smooth and rainbow coloured. I’m so much drunker than I meant to be. I meant to be loose but not wobbly. I think about how I’m going to get home but it’s a fleeting thought, it’s here and then it’s gone, as quickly she slips her tongue into the inner fold of my ear. I don’t jump, I don’t move, I hold my breath, in fact. She stands up and laughs. I’m concerned that someone I knew saw this but it’s a fleeting thought, it’s there and then it’s gone. I’m an arrogant prick and I know it and I like it. She flocks to me like a dumb moth to the flame of an oil lamp.

“-apart from its insufferable arrogance-” by Julia at TAN on Baldwin


Tuesday October 23, 2012 at TAN
1:21pm
5 minutes
In Praise Of Nepotism
Adam Bellow


Sweet tooth. She had one.
Savory cravings. That was him.
Nylon stockings with rips. Him/her. Him. It was him. He wore them sometimes, okay? Who cares. She? No she didn’t.
Salty lattes? Her again.
Caramel corn? Her as well.
Brandy beans and balsamic vinegar. Definitely him.
They lived together. Not a house. A condo? Not a condo. A wood cabin. It was, actually. That last one was real. In the woods? Wood cabin in the woods? No. It was the city. Some comforts are travel friendly. Like the city? No, like the cabin.
Wrestling documentaries? All him.
Collection of vegan cookbooks despite eating meat every day? Her. Or the idea of her that she enjoyed.
One stray cat named Alicia. His.
One stray cat named Alicia. Hers.
So, his and hers. They shared some things.
Alicia chores? Shared.
Scarf collection for years. He had one.
Bouncing balls to cope with stress. Those were hers.
The annoying habit of chewing on pen lids. He had one.
The annoying habit of chewing on raw spaghetti noodles. That was hers.
But that was also his.
His and hers.

Sketch of a man (image) by Sasha at R Squared


Monday, October 22, 2012 at R Squared Espresso Bar
11:44am
5 minutes
Sketch of a man
Found sketchbook



He’s a smart guy but he’s the sort that doesn’t let people know until a few hours in when he’ll use a word that you are faintly familiar with but couldn’t quite define if asked. He’s the kind of guy that knows dates and numbers and election poll results. We’re a good match. You see, this old-lady brain of mine remembers a few Joni Mitchell lyrics, perhaps, on a good day, a recipe for Chicken a la King, sometimes (rarely) a nieces birthday. This old-lady brain mostly forgets – what day the garbage goes out, when I bought laundry detergent, my deceased parents’ wedding anniversary, on which day I prided myself on always lighting a candle and baking a vanilla cake.

I decide to get rid of my collection of New Yorkers. I’ve had a subscription since the late nineties, a gift from my then husband. I carried it on myself after we divorced. It’s time to let go. I put them in four boxes and leave them on the front lawn. It’s a few hours later and I see some art kid, wearing a slouchy hat and sunglasses, putting chosen magazines (he’s clearly been out there for awhile) into the crate on the back of his bicycle. I regret giving them away instantly. I am jealous of this boys irony, of his style, of his whole life before him.

Sketch of a man (image) by Julia at R Squared


Monday, October 22, 2012 at R Squared Espresso Bar
11:44am
5 minutes
Sketch of a man
Found sketchbook



Alrighty! Here’s the deal! Everyone wrap themselves in a good idea, and let’s hit the road! We’ve got so many states we need to indulge in today. The state of mind, primarily! GOOD! Let’s all breathe in this new day and see if there’s a thing that can bring us full circle! I love full circles, not incomplete ones, as those are just LINES! Yes! Is everyone almost ready? We must make sure to get out into the day before it turns into the afternoon. Don’t bundle up your brains with doubt and worry! We are all in this together. Is everyone dressed appropriately in positivity? No? Take off your sadness boots and put on your silly cap! Take off your dreary coat and put on your inspiration cape! Take off your blocked socks and put on your open-minded knee-highs!
Alrighty! We’re on our way to discovery, this is exactly the right way to go. We will be using only our instincts as a guide (if I am not enough of one for you! Nod nod, wink wink!) and our free flowing thoughts as our compass. We will arrive at our destination of CREATIVITY as soon as everyone grabs a buddy (it’s safe, but safer holding hands!) and spins each other around approximately three times! Is everyone delirious and a bit unsure? PERFECT!

“When the emergency” by Julia at her desk


Sunday October 21, 2012
11:49pm
5 minutes
The Official MTO Driver’s Handbook

out of my head, slips out and into the sky. yes, a lot of things from my head find their way there. to the sky.
what does the sky care? he’s empty-nesting all the time, he welcomes little bits from my brain because i visit more often than just thanksgiving and christmas.
what kind of bits? wondering, right? curious, yeah? little bits, that’s all. happy ones, mostly unhappy ones though. i have room in my head for the good stuff; the bad stuff hurts too much. the sky won’t even feel it, so i’m just asking him if i can store it there for a little while till i get back on my feet and find a new place to put them. like real life. like dealing with those bad bits because they don’t just disappear when they are sent up into the sky. they don’t. they stay on, and they float directly above your head no matter where you move because that’s the sky’s way of cataloging where all of the bits are. he has to stay organized in case my bits fall down onto someone else’s head and ruins their lives. he has to be careful that he’s explained the protocol to us and that this is “borrowed space” and not to be a forever storage unit. The sky is also housing clouds, flying things, and wind, so you understand if he is a little preoccupied to worry about your bits alone. The good ones, he says, just keep them.

“When the emergency” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday October 21, 2012
4:34pm
5 minutes
The Official MTO Driver’s Handbook

It’s hard to talk about. I haven’t since… Gabe asked a lot of questions and I couldn’t say no. I’d been surfing off the North Shore since I could walk. When my Dad was still around he’d take me out at sunrise and then my Mom would come and find us, breakfast tacos wrapped in tinfoil. It’s one of those crazy things where you don’t think it’ll ever happen to you… It was dusk and I was out there with my friend Dan who I’d met in Aus and had come down to visit for the fall. Great guy. Handled the whole thing really well. Some people freak out when an emergency… It’s just hard to deal with, right? I was out pretty far because I was chasing a wave that I could feel was on it’s way. It sounds crazy to people that don’t surf but when you’re paddling out and the waves are washing over you, you… listen. You can hear what’s coming. Then it was black. And red. And I heard someone screaming. In hindsight I know that it was me… The shark was big… Eight or nine feet long. Dan saw something going on but he was in much closer, making his way to shore.

“my art is not dependent” by Sasha on her parent’s couch


Saturday October 20, 2012
12:07am
5 minutes
Liliane
Ntozake Shange


This pumpkin faced loser woman is telling me about art and I want to fucking barf. She’s got a pumpkin face! Worse than a puppet face! I wanna hurl. She thinks she knows more than me because she’s… ANCIENT. I take a deep breath because I don’t want to go to jail for something stupid like stabbing a psycho gallery owner in the eyeball.

“If you’ll now look to your left you’ll see Krasinski’s latest abstract work. The story goes that she began painting in the early hours of October 20th, 2012 and didn’t stop until after Halloween. She peed into her water jar and drank the painty pee water and no one has ever thought anything of it so don’t you be the first! If you step back one hundred feet you’ll see that inside the mass of purple and silver there is a face. A tiger face! Krasinski’s ability to bring the animal into the abstract goes beyond anyone of her generation.”

“my art is not dependent” by Julia on the 506 going west


Saturday October 20, 2012
7:45pm
5 minutes
Liliane
Ntozake Shange


on the weather,
on the time of the day,
on my mood,
on my dress,
on my attitude,
on my productivity,
on my memories,
on my faults,
on my strengths,
on my accomplishments,
on my failures,
on my life,
on my death,
on my dreams,
on my nightmares,
on my hopes,
on my thoughts,
on my wishes,
on my meetings,
on my friends,
on my enemies,
on my love,
on my hate,
on my taste,
on my worth,
on my medication,
on my genetics,
on my free will,
on my income,
on my body,
on my mind,
on my soul,
on my anger,
on my rights,
on my silence,
on my talent,
on my procrastination,
on my worry,
on my waiting,
on my timing,
on my opinion,
on my standards,
on my desires,
on my needs.
on my shield,
on my skin,
on my pulsing heart,
on my aching sympathies,
on my voice,
on my actions,
on my goals,
on my wonder.
My art.
My art is not dependent.

“Passion there was none” by Julia at her kitchen table


Friday, October 19, 2012
6:34pm
5 minutes
The Tell-Tale Heart
Edgar Allan Poe


It started to bleed, his heart, my heart, it doesn’t matter.
It was shining at the start, his, mine, ours, I can’t remember.
It had a glow of a thousand sun-moons, lighting up the sky-seas.
It smelled like everyone’s favourite candle, incense, spice, whatever.
It was bleeding, his heart, my heart, it doesn’t matter.
It was leaking past love and hate all over the bathroom tiles, carpet, I can’t remember.
It was deep red, black, purple, yellow, red, red, maybe blue.
It was filling up the room with sadness, regret, apology, whatever.
It was dying, his heart, my heart, it doesn’t matter.
It was dying, his love, my love, I can’t remember.
It was failing, his efforts, my efforts, whatever.
It was over, his passion, my passion, his passion, my passion.
There was none.
It was sitting in a puddle on the floor.
It was seeping into someone else’s house.
It was not ours for the taking.
It was gone.

“Passion there was none.” By Sasha at Capital Espresso


Friday, October 19th, 2012 at Capital Espresso
6:11pm
5 minutes
The Tell-Tale Heart
Edgar Allan Poe


A confession. I haven’t done anything inspired in 366 days. But this morning I woke up and decided it was time to make a change. Perhaps it’s the courage quotes my father keeps emailing me. You know the type. I don’t need to write an example. Perhaps it’s the Maya Angelou stained glass window that my mother had installed in my room when I was at the Orthodontist. Perhaps my adopted sister Talia and her gospel singing (girl’s kept in touch with her roots!) has finally perforated my reluctant subconscious and I am changed. I know that I’m a performance artist. Where does one start? I googled this, unsuccessfully, at seven thirty three this morning and was interrupted by a loud knocking at the door. My father. He does this on a daily basis and my daily response is, “I am naked! Be gone!” But today, I climbed out of my princess-and-the-pea bed (three mattresses and one box spring high), put on my geisha robe and opened the door, smiling.

“Message of peace” by Sasha at her parents kitchen table


Thursday October 18, 2012
6:21pm
5 minutes
24hrs (Toronto)
Thursday October 18, 2012

It was still dark out and drizzling a bit. I had my scarf over my mouth because I couldn’t get sick now, of all times. I’d been up all night, sewing this for you. My eyes were watery and so tired I had a hard time keeping them open. I’d listened to Ray LaMontagne all night and his lilting sound swirled around with blues and greys, the colour of your quilt. You’d asked me for one for your birthday. It wasn’t your birthday, I’d missed it, two days ago. I had exams and was drinking too much Spiced Rum. It’s not an excuse, it’s an answer. To an unasked question. I remember when we first met and we couldn’t keep our hands off eachother. You had to stay at the library late because you told me that if you were near me you had to touch me and that meant you weren’t touching your work. When I smashed your heart it was too quiet. October has a way of being that fickle. It’s easier when the music is loud. Here I am outside your brother’s apartment building, carrying this quilt with our story in perfect squares as a message of peace. I don’t want to ring the buzzer so I unwrap my scarf and make a bundle for you to discover on your way out.

“Message of peace” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday October 18, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
3:12pm
5 minutes
24hrs (Toronto)
Thursday October 18, 2012

Joanie and her message boards. One for groceries, one for chores, one for what ifs, and one for peace. I used to think she was just a big hippie; dreadlocks and hemp pants, granola and a guitar. She was a hippie, there’s no denying it. But she was also a realist. She had message boards, but they were reminders. They were announcements not prophecies, not wishes. We’d have to close our eyes pretty tightly to ignore them. Not sure why we’d want to, even. Unless we were just scared of the possibility of greatness.
One of my favourite messages was stuck on the grocery board. It was, in my opinion, on the wrong board, but it did two jobs quite nicely. It was a sticky note that said “Change your bags!” It had a smiley face on it.
Joanie was talking about the reusable ones instead of the plastic. What I think she was subconsciously pointing out… was that our loads were too heavy. That we should check our baggage at the door. “Change your bags!” Some thoughtful groceries message turned “board for hope” if she ever decided to make one.

“Sitting is the new smoking” by Sasha at Cafe Novo


Wednesday October 17, 2012
11:43am at Cafe Novo
5 minutes
Life and Arts section
Globe and Mail, Tuesday Oct 16, 2012


“Sitting is the new smoking, you know,” my Mother looks at me with disgusted disdain, something not entirely familiar nor unfamiliar. “What are you suggesting?” I ask. “That I do this report analysis whilst jogging on a treadmill? Or in a spin class?” My mother has a certain way of pursing her lips that makes my skin tingle. Especially around my navel. “Your sarcasm is a shield, Jennifer.” She is the only one that calls me by my full name and every time she does so it is infused with punishment and regret. My Mother used to be fat too, that’s part of the problem. She sees a part of herself in me that she threw out when she found God, Jenny Craig and Spanx. In that order.

these five minutes: one year anniversary and reading


these five minutes is ONE YEAR OLD!

Join us for an evening of reading and celebration. Light snacks and beverages will be provided and please feel free to bring your own wine.

these five minutes: volume one, greeting cards, and magnets will be available for purchase just in time for the holidays!

Where: The Inner Garden, 401 Richmond St.

When: Sunday, November 4th. Doors open at 7:00pm, reading at 7:30pm.

Reception to follow!

$10 (sliding scale)

Please feel free to bring a friend and spread the word to those that might be interested.

We look forward to seeing you there!

“Sitting is the new smoking” by Julia at her kitchen table


Wednesday October 17, 2012
1:20am
5 minutes
Life and Arts section
Globe and Mail, Tuesday Oct 16, 2012


What do you mean I’m bad for you? Me? I have never done anything that has negatively impacted you, and I know this for a fact. A FACT. I was the valedictorian in my high school, did I ever tell you that? I arranged court yard clean ups in my SPARE TIME and I was never late for a single class. In university, I held down two part time jobs and graduated MAGNA CUM LAUDE a year early. I have to believe that you’re kidding me right now. I’m practically A SAINT. I fail to see my fault in any of this. In any of your actions that you CHOSE to do. That’s right, you were the one making the decisions. What did I do, anyway? Encourage you to push harder, or to work smarter? Did I send you one too many inspirational quotes when you were feeling down? Or did I maintain that I wouldn’t kiss you if you smelled like smoke because I was WORRIED ABOUT YOUR HEALTH? Hmm? Please, I’d love to hear it. Because all I can recall, is me being perfectly there for you and about you and whatever else good girlfriends do when they LOVE SOMEONE.

Oh…I feel a little stupid now…
I didn’t know you were just teasing. I thought it was a real comment. I didn’t know you meant it in the way that…
So I distract you. I get that. I COMPLETELY get it.

“I like flowers better than cement.” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at Starbucks
1:34pm
5 minutes
Saugus To The Sea
Bill Brown


Wait up for me.
I’m coming home tonight. I’m wearing a new dress. It reeks of New York. You’re going to love it. I’ve brought dinner, but feel free to eat early and you can have this bagel for lunch tomorrow.
Wait up for me.
I’ve written you a song and I want to play it for you on my ukelele. Oh yeah, I learned how to play the ukelele. Very cute, isn’t it?
I’m winterized, just the way you like me. Hat, gloves, billowy scarf, and a cold nose ready to touch your warm one.
Wait up for me.
The train is delayed but I’m still coming. I have a new book I’m reading but I’m only thinking of you. I’m coming, I promise. Please don’t go to bed yet.
I have big news for you. I have big things to tell you and it has to be tonight. Tonight’s the anniversary of the time we…
No. I don’t want to say it yet. I’m coming. That’s all you need to know. I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Wait up for me.

You’re already sleeping. Aren’t you.
Pretending to?
I don’t blame you. There are a hundred reasons you’d give me but I only need to hear the one.
I’m not coming.
And you knew that. Didn’t you.

“I like flowers better than cement.” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday, October 16, 2012
9:13pm
5 minutes
Saugus To The Sea
Bill Brown


I like flowers better than cement.
I like blue better than green.
I like cozy better than open.
I like tomato sauce better than tomato ketchup.
I like naked sleeping better than pyjamas.
I like quiet better than loud.
I like forests better than deserts.
I like water better than juice.
I like morning better than afternoon.
I like gardens better than pools.
I like warm feet better than warm hands.
I like coffee better than wine.

“the poet exclaims,” by Julia at R Squared


Monday, October 15, 2012 at R Squared Espresso Bar
1:25pm
5 minutes
An Absorbing Errand
Janna Malamud Smith


Shout it out to the mountains, let the earth shake, let the night tremble!
That’s what the poet would say. That’s what the poet would do.
Real people, people without pens, we don’t say and do. We don’t thank the moon for shining, or the river for flowing. We don’t drop down to out knees at the thought of the stars dancing or the possibility that forever can be caught in a jar alongside a dying dragon fly, stealing its light.
We sleep, we get up, we eat, we worry, we cry, we rest, we shower, we rest, we plug in, we leave, we work, we complain, we laugh, we finish, we leave, we get home, we rest, we cook, we eat, we rest, we clean, we plug in, we change, we wash, we sleep.
We don’t have time to nurse a sick daisy back to health, or tremble in the glory of the morning with dew covered fingers and a sadness song that has a catchy melody.
We live.
We don’t just say or do.
We are.
A poet can breathe fire into a cold night, or catch a butterfly on the precipice of changing the world or a world or every world.
A poet exclaims.
We, without the pen, only wonder internal; we don’t ever love in perfect simile or metaphor.

“the poet exclaims,” by Sasha at R Squared


Monday, October 15, 2012 at R Squared Espresso Bar
1:25pm
5 minutes
An Absorbing Errand
Janna Malamud Smith


It was a cloudy morning, the kind of morning that makes him feel sad, weighted, but very much alive. Perhaps it was his Welch upbringing or perhaps it was his penchant for melancholy, the Poet craved these clouds, this drizzle, a raincoat, boots, and a scarf tight around his neck. Make no mistake, the Poet is not pessimistic or somber. He relishes in extremes, be it dark or light.

“What a day!” the Poet exclaims as he opens his door and lets his sheepdog, Yeates, out into the fog. They begin their walk down the winding road. They rarely meet anyone in the morning, the quiet seducing the Poet into creative imagination. In the evening, they might bump into a neighbour or two, with a nod of the head and a small, “Hello.”

The Poet sits at his desk and stares at the blank page. His fountain pen holds blue ink, a cartridge filled with possibility. He doesn’t see it this way though. He feels trepidation and deadlines. His publisher calls and asks how the manuscript is coming.

“Hot Lips” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday, October 14, 2012
11:53pm
5 minutes
Bartending For Dummies
Ray Foley


Carly hands me a Mr. Big and says, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” She has no idea when my birthday is but delights in being outlandish, if that’s the right word. “My birthday is in February, Carly,” I say, monotone. I’ve decided that the best approach is to act as though her bizarre behaviour is completely normal, as though nothing has happened at all. “Fine. Shit.” She grabs the Mr. Big out of my hand and opens it. She eats it in about five bites, chewing loudly. I watch her, unable to comprehend that we come from the same womb. “Mom is getting senile,” she says, pieces of chocolate flying out of her mouth. “You really should come visit more often. She’s going completely cooky.” She sticks an index finger into the back of her mouth and picks out a piece of nougat. “I’ll be there at Christmas,” I say, trying to think of something else to talk about. “How’s school?” I instantly regret it. “Oh my tits, it’s terrible,” says Carly. “I want to drop out. If mom wouldn’t cut me off, I would, in a second. It’s a waste of time. My professors are idiots. Seriously! They are stuck in the seventies. It’s embarrassing. I go when I know that they are taking attendance and the rest of the time I go to movies and smoke a bong with Kyle.”

“You’d better tell me why.” by Sasha at Live


Saturday, October 13, 2012 at Live
6:12pm
5 minutes
Time of Hope
C.P. Snow


“You’d better have a decent explanation for why you did that,” he says, and I believe his anger, as hard as a baseball, coming at me so many miles an hour I can’t even count. The thing is, with baseballs in particular, I duck and dodge and become a terrible team player. “Geeze,” I say, ducking left, “You don’t have to be a dick about it!” He knows me well enough to stick with it, despite my maneuvering. “Tell me why.” I pause. My mouth is dry. “I… We… It’s been really hard recently, okay? It’s hard when your boyfriend is in Law School. I never see you, Colin, I never see you.” “That’s not true. We see eachother every day.” “We bump into eachother… We collide. We graze various body parts as we’re sleeping and whisper a tiny detail about one of our days. We don’t see eachother.” “You’re right,” he’s so damn cooperative. “Let’s choose a night that will be ours. Only us. No books or cellphones or computers. Us. “Seeing” eachother… You still need to tell me why.” I feel an elevator drop down my throat into my stomach. We’ve moved on from the baseball.

“Hot Lips” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, October 14, 2012
11:42pm
5 minutes
Bartending For Dummies
Ray Foley


I stole something once. From a little kiosk at the farmer’s market. I was 7. Or 8, maybe. I wanted to get earrings for my mom for Christmas. They were pink with little sparkles in them. They were pretty for a 7, maybe 8 year old. They weren’t pretty for my mom. I didn’t steal the earrings. I bought those. But first, I stole a little soap holder. I’m not sure what drew me to it, but it was delicate and I wanted it. And that was my first time taking anything without asking, let alone paying. I felt really bad about it, and not because I had told anyone or someone had caught me and gave me a reprimand. I felt bad on my own. Like most things in my life, governed by a conscience so heavy it would weigh me down for years if I hadn’t rectified it, that was the case then too. I brought back the soap holder to the kiosk and said, I’m sorry, I took this. The lady smiled down at me and said, And you don’t want it anymore? I said, No, I don’t want it because it’s not mine. The lady said, well it could be. And I said, you don’t understand, I don’t have the money. I only have enough money for these earrings.

“You’d better tell me why.” by Julia at The Village By The Grange food court


Saturday, October 13, 2012 at The Village by the Grange food court
5:37pm
5 minutes
Time of Hope
C.P. Snow


You told me on the phone you needed to talk. I am ready.
I have made one hundred and two lists of the possibilities of things you may or may not say depending on what I may or may not say. I’m prepared.
I’ve been planning this strategy of which line goes where, when to cry, when not to, when to touch you, when not to. I know all of your potential moves. I’ve practiced. I’ve memorized. I’m ready.
I’m ready.
If you say it’s over, I say give me a chance to prove to you…
If you say it’s not you, I say it is me and that’s okay, but what can I be doing to fix this?
You say you’re great, I say I could be better.
You say nothing?
That’s when I’ll cry. And I will wear waterproof mascara so when I tear up I still look pretty good. You might not say I look good, but I’ll know that you’ll want to and that you’re thinking it, which should make your decision a lot harder.
I will wear the perfume you like best, and I’ll make sure I lean in when you’re pulling away. I’ll have on the pajama bottoms you bought me and I’ll accidentally get my necklace caught in my hair so you have to get it out and smell my shampoo, which again, is the one you like.
I told you: I’m ready.

“One way I teach” by Sasha on the College Streetcar going West


Friday, October 12, 2012
6:03pm
5 minutes
Daring Greatly
Brené Brown


I’m goin’ down to the camp under the bridge to teach those babies there. Went down to see Jim and he says that those babies can’t even say their alphabets. Puttin’ on my rubber boots because I’m guessin’ that it’s damp down there. Takin’ the bus so far south my nose might start bleendin’.

These babies can’t say their alphabets and they can’t count past three. Except one baby. Raphael. He got this wild honey coloured hair and these light eyes even though his mama is a brownie. He knows all about physics and algebraic formulas and Chaucer and shit. I say, “Raphael, how you know all these things you know?” after he’s explaining some thing to me. “Miss, I read all the time. Nothing else to do but read.” “Who taught you to read?” I says. “My mama!” Raphael points toward his mamas tent, with duct tape over the holes and a mangy ginger cat sitting outside licking herself.

“One way I teach” by Julia at Saving Gigi


Friday, October 12, 2012 at Saving Gigi
4:50pm
5 minutes
Daring Greatly
Brené Brown


Dancing is a way of life. That was what my grade 12 English teacher said, and god knows she never danced a day in her life. She was a giant woman. Four hundred pounds, and sadly, counting. She had a gap in between her front teeth and she was incredibly beautiful. She had a way of making people feel great and bad at the same time. I still can’t figure out what the intention of combining those two feelings would be, but she was a master at it. She knew she was overweight. I mean, how could she not. She was as big as the entire classroom when she was sitting down. I dare say she taught us mostly from the chair at her desk in the front. Which is fine. Not one person in the class made fun of her. Not one. And maybe that was because we knew it wouldn’t hurt her. She was brave. She was strong. And she wasn’t stupid. We didn’t have to prove anything in her class. The only thing she wanted was for us to come outside of our comfort zone, and be bold. She preached about dancing, and singing, and blindly painting words of truth on the walls of our bedrooms. I wanted to be bold. I wanted to be bigger than she was. Bigger than a spirit that filled not only a classroom, but our minds.

“It is a trick” by Julia on the subway going east


Thursday October 12, 2012
4:34pm
5 minutes
Living Dangerously
Osho


Generally speaking, I wave my arm at the flies, and they disperse, you see. They don’t want to be swiped at, darling, they simply want to fly about in their consistent patterns and great, that’s fine. But I don’t want those patterns to be above my face, you see. If I were to decide where they were flying, I would certainly make sure they ended up in—well, I’m a lady and I don’t want to say what I would do, darling, it’s just not very becoming. Now you understand that I would never shoo you away, right? I would never shoo you away because I love you too much and I do not simply shoo away things that I care about. It’s a trick, see? I make the sweeping arm motion in such a way that distracts from what they want. It’s a win win, if you will. But it’s not my usual sentiments about mother nature, and about living beings. Simply just flies, and possibly mosquitoes, but honestly darling, who doesn’t detest mosquitoes? Of course your brother might not. I suppose he was actually a frog in his former life, then, hmm? I’m quite certain that I am not offering the best solution to dispersing all these flies, see, but they do tend to veer off course temporarily and I am amused by the power I yield in such a minute gesture. You may have the same power, darling! Try!

“both marine mammals and animals” by Julia on the 506 going east


Wednesday October 10, 2012
5:36pm
5 minutes
Toronto Star
Wednesday October 10, 2012


Oh yeah, I had this idea. It was going to be about planes and trains and something else good, but then I forgot it and all I can remember now is that I had an idea, but I will probably never ever have it again.

Tonight was the anniversary of our pain. When I think back on the year, I remember bold and gold and something else shiny. I only forget what you forget, and that was a deal we made each other so we wouldn’t have to suffer alone. Maybe that was the idea: I was going to offer up another suggestion on how to better survive this sadness.
You didn’t suggest anything at all which makes me believe that your heart hurts more than you know.
I don’t think we deserve this. But I do know it’s still happening and we can’t really ignore it. That’s why we choose to forget it. Block it out, put something happy and sweet and something else proper in its place.
Your year might have been harder than mine. Mine was hard too, don’t get me wrong. But yours was hard in a way that makes everything else around it look easy. Even mine, which wasn’t, but for all intents and purposes, it is.
I won’t say sorry to you because you and I both know that I didn’t do anything wrong this time. Neither did you. Nobody gets an apology. But that idea…
I guess I am a bit upset that I don’t remember it now. I’m wondering if it was good and if there was an exception to some rule in there; a clue to some treasure hunt; a cheat so we could beat this level faster and move onto the next one sooner.

“It is a trick” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday October 12, 2012
5:22pm
5 minutes
Living Dangerously
Osho


Back home we talk about time differently, right? It’s much more fluid, more translucent. It isn’t some trick, always trying to fool us or make us run or slow down. Where I’m from time is a Great Mother and she holds you in her arms of possibility and quiet. It’s calm there. There’s no need to trip, or stumble or… She whispers a calm thing in your ear and you are soothed.

Since being here… it’s much harder to hear her. I found myself lost this afternoon, in the middle of the city, holding my iPhone up like some divine beacon that would lead me… where I needed to go. If only we were so lucky. I found a tree, in a small parkette, amidst car horns and traffic stalls, and closed my eyes and listened. For her voice. Time, you sweet guide, find me in this big, beige city! I called to her. Soon she was with me. Soon she stroked my cheek and said, “You are safe.”

“both marine mammals and animals” by Sasha in the parking lot at Adelaide and Portland


Wednesday October 10, 2012
4:12pm
5 minutes
Toronto Star
Wednesday October 10th, 2012


Seals, whales, dolphins, and walruses are all marine mammals. Have you ever heard a whale song? They’re calling the ancestors asking for help. Have you looked in eyes of a grey seal? Kinda and generous, we can learn much from their playful disposition. Dolphins have a sense of humour even in the roughest of times. They jump and laugh. The wisdom of the walrus is clear across his face. He has answers inside of him, doesn’t he? These creatures, as well as one hundred and twenty nine others, rely on the ocean for their home. We live in an age of dumping our trash in our neighbours yard. We live in an age where we are so wrapped up in the present scores that we aren’t thinking about the clean up after the game. We won’t be here for it. So it doesn’t matter. Remember the oil spill in the Gulf? Think back to the images that you saw – the heron coated in thick grime, the dead fish washed up on the shore. We forget too easily. We forget what is painful, what is difficult, what is truly deep agony. It’s easier to turn on the TV and distract ourselves, right? Wrong. In the long run, this is very, very wrong.

“in her teens” by Sasha on her bed


Tuesday October 9, 2012
12:56am
5 minutes
Juliet
Helen Fogwell Porter


She found a website, somehow, in that strange way one just “finds” things on the Internet, late at night, when sleep is elusive. She found a website with lists of prisoners in Texas prisons, some of them on death row. Each had a mailing address. Some had stars beside the names requesting letters. She began copying and pasting the names into google and seeing if she could dig up any details of their crimes. She wasn’t easily scared, she hungered for Horror movies and prided herself on being able to stomach both gore and violence. Dan Sanders. He was at the Austin State Prison. He’d been there since 1995. He’d shot his brother in the head with a handgun. There was a photo of him from a local newspaper, a red hoodie pulled tight, hands behind his back, cuffed. She zoomed in. He looked young. It was 1995. She’d been born in August of that year. She opened her desk drawer and found the Snoopy stationary that her grandmother had given her years earlier. With e-mail, she rarely sent letters now. She’d had an Irish penpal when she was in grade seven but even they had connected on Facebook and had started chatting and stopped writing letters. It was expensive and inconvenient. “Dear Dan…” she wrote.

“in her teens” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday October 9, 2012
12:54am
5 minutes
Juliet
Helen Fogwell


What a dreamer. Hands in her pockets, mind trapped on a forgotten balloon floating over her head.
I wonder where that balloon is going.
She thinks sometimes out loud, sometimes just in her head like normal.
I wonder if another little girl feels pretty awful that she lost it.
I wonder if another little girl feels pretty great that she set it free…
Made her mother braid her blond hair in pig tails this morning. Said the sun asked her to.
I told her the sun doesn’t get to decide. She didn’t really like that comment.
She danced in the bath before bed last night. Splashed around and it was cute so I didn’t stop her.
Soaked the whole bathroom floor. Then she wanted to put on sponge shoes like Pippi Longstocking and glide across the floor to clean it up. I said no to that. Because Pippi Longstocking never had a mother which is why she was so reckless.
I wonder if I would be better off without a mother.
She accidentally thought that one out loud.
Maybe you would be, I tell her, and she looks confused that I can read her inside thoughts.
What a dreamer.
The sun bossing her around and telling her how to dress, the sky whispering I told you so when the braids don’t turn out the same on both sides.
She’s a new mommy. She doesn’t really know yet. My old mommy knew because she was born a mommy. This one was turned into one.
I pretend I didn’t hear that one…

“I hope I can.” by Julia at TAN on Baldwin


Monday October 8, 2012 at TAN
3:55pm
5 minutes
the Bob Dylan interview
Rolling Stone Magazine, September 2012


I hope I can always see you sleeping on my lap like that and remember why I married you. In that moment, in those moments, I look at your peaceful face and I know, this is what forever is.
I hope I can always feel more overweight than I actually am so when I eat almonds and cranberries every night it’s not actually ruining anything.
I hope I can tell you that I love you not just when our phone conversations are over, or before we fall asleep, but whenever the urge strikes me and I’m smiling like an idiot walking all by myself on the busy street.
I hope I can someday find a home that has a big enough closet for all of the memories I’m keeping of you. And all my shoes. That would be nice too.
I hope I can look at the moon and always be a little amazed that something so awesome is being looked at by me and someone else with the exact same idea.
I hope I can paint a picture of what silence sounds like so I can hang it above my worried mind and be at peace.
I hope I can always use a calculator even for simple math equations that I really should be confident with by now.
I hope I can dream in colour for the rest of my life so when I go back to recount them, they stand out a little against the everyday.

“I hope I can.” by Sasha at her parent’s dining room table


Monday October 8, 2012
1:34pm
5 minutes
the Bob Dylan interview
Rolling Stone Magazine, September 2012


I put an ad on Craigslist Friday morning. Something I’ve never done before. Trying to get moving, you know. I don’t remember the wording exactly but I said that I wanna start a band. And a band needs a drummer and a bassist. I play guitar. And a singer. I can sing, but not that well and harmony is… a great thing. So I keep compulsively checking to see if anyone has responded. I had this fantasy of getting a whole bunch of emails and holding auditions and getting to choose really great people. Maybe even people that I’ve seen play before, solo or something, who want people to play with too.

Knock at my door. I tidied the place up for once because I want to make a good impression if any of these guys are big time. My first meeting is with a bassist named Kenny. Said he likes ACDC and the Stones. Not exactly what I’m going for but he went to Berkeley for a while so he must be good. Kenny’s a sweetheart. He’s a damn good bass player. Catch is that he works the night shift at a dog food factory – 5pm to 5am so practise is gonna be hard. I tell him I really want him part of the band though, right there, to his face, and that we’ll try to work something out.

“Say you don’t want to talk about it” by Sasha on Nadeem’s bed


Sunday October 7, 2012
7:13pm
5 minutes
The Playbook
Matt Kuhn


Gummy knows that when you’re patient you’re rewarded. That’s what happened when he was waiting to hear back from the library about the book on the bestseller list that he had on hold and that’s what happened when he asked Sal on a date and she took exactly four years to respond. Gummy met Sal when she joined the AA group that he’d been apart of since March 2003. When he first saw her he had to take off his glasses and rub his nose because her beauty gave him a headache. He thought that this might mean it would be impossible to be with her, but he got used to it eventually and he couldn’t get enough. Halloween 2008, he’d brought some treats to the meeting. Sal had said, “nice ghost cookies, Gummy.” He had rehearsed the moment so many times in his head but now, head aching and heart thumping, the moment went like this. “ThanksSalwouldyoupleasegoouttodinnerwithme?” Sal went very red. She looked down at her purple Doc Martins. “Shit, Gummy…” She said. Gummy realized she probably wasn’t ready for a relationship or even dinner since she was new to the Program and had a lot of things to sort out. “Whenever you’re ready…” He said, very slowly. “I’ll be patient.”

“The Glitter Pumpkin” by Sasha at her desk


Friday October 5, 2012
2:01am
5 minutes
http://www.buzzfeed.com

I’m making a Glitter Pumpkin! I’m bedazzling the outside of the pumpkin! Tools needed? A glue gun, sparkles and jewels and gems and sequins! I took apart a dress that I found at the Goodwill and used all of it’s GLITTER! Shelly says I’m in a glitter phase and she says it like it’s not a good thing. I want to jewel the back of Mom’s phone and Mom’s shoes that she wears to work because I think it will make her feel really happy when she sees them! She’s not happy at all now! It’s the WORST. I say, “MOM! Come make some collages with me!” And she says, “I’M BUSY.” And she sends more emails. Probably to Dad about child support and not feeding us Wendy’s. Shelly said that if she even thinks that she sees me eyeing her closet to put glitter on the bottom of her jeans or something she’ll kick me in the stomach. I rolled my eyes and tried to climb up on the counter to be able to get at the chocolate chip cookies Mom thinks I don’t know about.

“Say you don’t want to talk about it” by Julia on the greyhound


Sunday October 7, 2012
8:56pm
5 minutes
The Playbook
Matt Kuhn


Wally was about to hold his fist out for props or something. I told him, “not here” because our reps were at stake. He didn’t seem to care about stuff like that. He’d rather just do the thing to get it over with because he was so into it, he couldn’t bare to do anything else.
He was special, Wally was. Just a guy with a big heart and an infinite number of responses to “you can’t do this. ”
We were at the airport, ready to take off and there it was: his hand in a fist, reaching for one of us or either of us to extend our fists in the same way and meet his half way. Wally was a dreamer. Wanted good people beside him, but never asked the single guy on the bus to trade seats with his friend so he wouldn’t have to sit alone.
I was mad about it. When I found out he wasn’t getting treated. When I found out the only pill he was given was time and on occasion circumstance.
I wanted to let him know things were okay; that even though he felt it, he was absolutely the opposite of alone.
Wally didn’t cry much but I was certain that a situation like this was going to bring out the worst in him.

“The Glitter Pumpkin” by Julia at her kitchen table


Friday October 5, 2012
1:59am
5 minutes
http://www.buzzfeed.com

Waiting for the phone to ring. About to carve one of those stupid pumpkins Geraldine brought over because she thought I wasn’t getting into the holiday spirit enough. I said, Geraldine, I love you, you know that, but please butt the fuck out of my life right now. She was nice about the swearing. She smiled and told me to just go ahead and take the damn thing. I did. It’s sitting in my hallway on a bunch of friggen newspaper and I’m holding a knife right above it, which, if you can imagine, is very very apropos. You could have called and said you were or weren’t coming over. It’s not like you have to give me any reasons, ahem, excuses. I just need to know if I’m waiting for you to do this thing and if it might be a little romantic, or if I’m supposed to stab the shit out of this ugly ass festive decor by myself and watch my rage grow with every poorly calculated incision. Waiting. Waiting for the phone to ring, the door to ring. Seriously you don’t even need to call, just come over or don’t come over. Except that one is a little bit stupid because I won’t know if you are or aren’t if you don’t call. I’m not going to call you. I’ll call Geraldine and tell her she ruined my night by trying to take care of me. She thinks just because my mom skipped town on me 12 years ago that she needs to let me know I’m loved or some shit. She’ll be fine with it because she’s not doing anything anyway.

“A girl cries” by Sasha at her desk


Friday October 5, 2012
12:01am
5 minutes
Toronto Metro
Weekend, October 5-8, 2012


There is a slow rumble up and down a girls body
Crown of head to soles of feet
She feels that tingle of unknowing
She feels that prickle of forgetting
There is a shaking in her willow fingers
As she reaches up to press the button
It will bring her to the ninth floor
She will walk on the magenta carpet
To room nine oh nine
She will knock three times on the door
Like she always does
She will wait
The man comes eventually
Yes
The man comes eventually
He has hunger in his eyes
She smiles sultry lips
She smiles away a memory of a dock and a dog
She laughs beside him
On the leather couch
On the bed
She laughs because he says
“I like to make you laugh”
She does as she’s told
An age old trick

“A girl cries” by Julia at her kitchen table


Friday October 5, 2012
12:02am
5 minutes
Toronto Metro
Weekend, October 5-8, 2012


So, hey, hi, how are you, I’m fine, I’m good, I’m really good. And you? How are you? Did you sleep well, I know it’s not a comfy sofa, because of the springs missing, but it’s all we have, so sorry it’s not the greatest, but hopefully you got a bit of rest? Did you? Were you able to drown out the noise from the street, all those cat fights and sirens? I sometimes have to use earplugs, the ones from Home Hardware, because they’re really good at blocking unwanted excess. It’s not a good idea to use them with babies around. I don’t have babies, my sister does, I mean, I watch them sometimes but not with the earplugs, because they’re babies. They can’t tell you don’t want to listen. They’re just going to wail anyway. But in case you need to hear them I mean, don’t use the earplugs. They’re too strong and sometimes babies are in danger. I don’t know this first hand but I’m pretty sure it’s a valid reason. So, hey, um, did you want to come with me to the corner store? I wanted to bake you some muffins, morning muffins, the ones that taste better than they look just cause I’m not a real wiz in the kitchen or anything. You don’t have to come, just stay here even, wait for me to get back, and there, voila! Breakfast is served!

“all the creatures that move” by Sasha on her parents couch


Thursday, October 4, 2012
11:02pm
5 minutes
Genesis 1:25
The Bible (NIV)


It’s okay if you wanna judge me. I mean, if I was you I probably would too. You start with just one, right, and then it’s just… I got Yvonne from a friend whose cat had a whole little of ginger kittens. I couldn’t resist, right? This little orange furball? Then my boss Sally told me about the Humane Society and how if cats aren’t adopted after four months they… murder them. So I went on down with Yvonne’s crate and expected to adopt maybe, like, one, or two tops. Yvonne had four cat brothers by the end of it. Christophe has three legs. They didn’t know how that happened. If only cats could talk, we’d know all the stories. Xander would only eat wet food at the beginning. He was a picky guy, you know, wanted to be scratched and patted all the time. Vinny didn’t make a peep for the first two years. I thought he might be a mute. I don’t have favorites but if I did it would be Vinny. I think he looks so exotic with his long hair and grey eyes.

“all the creatures that move” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday, October 4, 2012 at Starbucks
5:37pm
5 minutes
Genesis 1:25
The Bible (NIV)


Henry was my favourite bread stick. I would always take him out when I felt lonely. He made me feel good about myself. Not too salty. Not too spiced. He would satisfy the cravings and he would just let me go to town on him. I know it sounds dirty, but I couldn’t be more serious right now. I am in love with this kind of bread stick and I, for the rest of my life, will not buy another brand or flavour of them. I have found a soul-mate in this bread stick. The way people who go to the same bar for their entire lives and know everybody’s names, never leave that bar out of loyalty to their home away from home.
Henry will make sure I always know someone’s name. I am not ashamed. I love my bread stick hear me roar.

Um, Is that enough? Test. Test. Testing one, two, three. Do you have them leveled yet? Did you record that? So it might be heard again in the future? Really? Okay. I guess it’s fine. It was supposed to just be filler.

“Blue Cat Boxing Club” by Sasha on the Dundas Streetcar


Wednesday October 3, 2012
7:43pm
5 minutes
from the EDGY WOMEN Festival
application 2013


It was the seventh time Gus had been beaten up since school started. His mother had a gingersnap and a glass of orange juice waiting for him when he got home and she burst into tears when she saw Gus’ black eye and split lip. “Oh Gus, they didn’t!” She went into her room to compose herself. Gus looked at his wounds in the mirror by the coat rack. He wasn’t sure whether it was his father reading him anti-war articles from alternative media sources as bedtime stories or his inherent distaste for fist throwing. He just couldn’t bring himself to fight back. The Bad Boys (a self chosen group name which Gus thought was particularly uninventive) had figured this out within three hours of first period on the very first day.

At dinner Gus’ father was quiet after he heard what happened. They usually had lively political conversations at the dinner table, his mother often laughing at her son and husband, red in the face, discussing the Argentinean government. While Gus finished his vanilla ice cream, his father placed a warm and soapy hand on his shoulder. He handed him a flyer. BLUE CAT BOXING CLUB.

“Blue Cat Boxing Club” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday October 3, 2012
12:27am
5 minutes
from the EDGY WOMEN Festival
application 2013


She was wearing diamonds and pearls and gold and other ornate things on her fingers, her wrists, her head, her face. She had already made a grand entrance and no one else was wearing anything half as incredible as she was.
Her name if i can remember correctly, was Lacey, which was appropriate, and she was wearing a nude lipstick. Her eyes were very simply done: false eye lashes applied to only the outside corners with a hint of liner. Her cheeks were a pale peach and somehow everything looked like a catalog.
She was tall but not too tall, and she had a silver broach in the shape of a moon on her lapel. It was like walking into the bizarro version of my life and seeing what I might be or become if I had as much cash burning through my pockets as she did.
Lacey laughed like a hyena and accidentally spilled red wine on one of her fox furs. She smiled the whole time, seemingly unfazed by the mess she was making in front of all of us jean-clad folk. The simple minds, I suppose, with a penchant for plaid and an affinity for guitar themed kitchen parties.

“midlife” by Julia in her hallway


Tuesday October 2, 2012
11:48pm
5 minutes
Grace after Pressure
Jacqueline Rogers


I saw you on the street. You’re looking really good you know. Nice pants suit you. Ha. But really, I think it’s nice when you dress up a bit. You look like an adult. Like a real one, like a successful one. I would have said hi then, but you were with a lady friend and I’m just assuming you’re married already to her. There was a ring involved, didn’t look close enough to figure out which hand it was on, right or left, yours or hers. But I know you’re not the kind of man to wear rings. Or at least you weren’t when I knew you. Which was…forever ago. And I know exactly the date but forever is just as effective, I think, in terms of story telling. Your hair looks good this colour. This brown… this…I don’t know what shade of brown but better than the other one..the um..the blonde, I guess. It makes you look real mature. And thoughtful for some reason. It was great to see you, did I mention that? Really was. Like a bag of candy you thought you had finished, but nope, there’s still that little gooey one stuck to the bottom, sort of hiding in the crevices to make me want it even after I’m no longer craving it. Such a delightful surprise. And I had my hair up so you probably wouldn’t have recognized me either, which is completely understandable and I would never be offended if you didn’t. So. No hard feelings!

“midlife” by Sasha at the Laundromat


Tuesday October 2, 2012
3:16pm
5 minutes
Grace after Pressure
Jacqueline Rogers


My women. Thank you so much for joining me this evening to celebrate the auspicious occasion of my birth and forty years on this blessed planet Earth. Please, everyone, refill your glasses, grab another truffle and settle in. This ain’t gonna be short! Laughter. Most of you know that the last year has not exactly been easy. It started with a broken arm, then losing that house that I fell in love with and having to settle for this dump of a place, Max crossing over into doggy heaven… It’s been trial after trial. But throughout it all, I’ve had each of you by my side. My vibrant and beautiful sisters, my best friends. A teller at the bank this morning asked me what I was doing with my weekend. “Celebrating my birthday!” I said. “How old are you turning?” he asked. “Forty!” I proclaimed. He smiled and handed me my balance. I was furious and insulted and almost asked to speak to his manager and then I realized, “No.” It is up to me to re-define forty. It is up to US. If anyone tries to even mention a midlife crisis I am walking away. My crisis happend when I was twenty two, living in suburbia with a Dachshund and a man who I barely knew named Clive who others referred to as my “husband”! Crisis is crisis, my friend, no matter how old you are.

“It’s easier than expected” by Sasha at her desk


Monday October 1, 2012
12:31am
5 minutes
from Aquarius horroscope in 24hrs
Monday October 1, 2012


My sister Georgia was thirty eight when her husband Vic left her for an ashram in India. She was devastated, of course, but it didn’t take long before she realized that it was the best thing that could have ever happened. They didn’t have kids (God bless the vasectomy) and had kept separate bank accounts. The only thing that they had purchased together was a black leather sofa from the Brick. Needless to say, Vic didn’t have much use for a sofa in Kerala. Georgia quit her job as a legal secretary two months later. They threw her a farewell brunch, even though no one was quite sure where exactly she was going. They cheers-ed mimosas and ate omelettes with asparagus and chevre. I met Georgia afterwards and I almost said, “I’ve never seen you so happy.” Before I could her cheeks flushed and she blurted, “I’m going to Chef School!” She giggled like a three-year-old. Georgia had always loved food, she always made sensational birthday dinners for each of our family members and she and Vic had thrown revolutionary dinner parties. “I’m going to go to Chef School and then I’m going to use my savings and open up a small French bistro!” I nodded but was speechless. After a moment or two she raised her eyebrows and said, “Say something, for goodness sake!”

“It’s easier than expected” by Julia on her bed


Monday October 1, 2012
12:31am
5 minutes
from Aquarius horroscope in 24hrs
Monday October 1, 2012


you say the floors in our new place are slanted. i say the walls are haunted. you say you don’t belive in ghosts. i say i don’t believe in slanted floors.
i’m planning to wake you up in the middle of the night with a bag over my head and a sheet draped around my body so you can’t see my arms. you’re going to be scared shitless and then who won’t believe in ghosts? i believe in ghosts because i saw one once. i was brusing my teeth before bed and a red light flashed and then there was a ghost. i don’t remember much else about it. i was only three or something. and no i wasn’t dreaming. i was awake and brushing my teeth. and i never liked brushing my teeth…but now i know why. it’s weird how things stick with you throughout your life. my hands are dry and cracking and you’re already asleep. i think i want to show you what it is to believe in something. i’m planning to wake you up in the middle of the night with a love song that i wrote for you playing directly into your ear drum. then you’ll know. you’ll know and i’ll know that that might not have been the best way to show you that i’m a fan of yours, waking you up from one of those perfect sleeps you only think about when you’re not allowed to be sleeping. i know that.
but i also know that moments like that are not just going to pop up all over the place. they are earned. we have earned them. we have earned this. Even if there are ghosts.

“an ad for a farm” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday September 30, 2012
11:14pm
5 minutes
The First Year
Karen Vogel


At first we were looking for an apartment in the city. In a neighbourhood. With a health food store close by and a subway stop within walking distance and a coffee shop with really good coffee. It was hard. We saw lots of apartments. Slanted floors, a tub where we couldn’t stand up, galley kitchens, laundromats blocks away. “Widen your search,” my Mom kept saying.

One quiet night, after you’d already gone to bed, I saw an ad for a farm. “This website it organized terribly!” I thought, or might have said out loud. I had typed, “Roncesvalles” into the search. But I clicked, as we often do when we have nothing to lose. It was a lovely little farm, twenty minutes outside of Guelph. There were five chickens, two cows, a few pigs and a goat. The barn was built in the 1960’s but had been kept in incredible conditions. I glanced at the envelope on my desk with a cheque for $15,000. Inheritance from my grandfather, who passed away last fall. The farmhouse had three bedrooms, stained glass windows and a kitchen I could only have dreamed of. I decided to wake you up.

“an ad for a farm” by Julia in her living room


Sunday September 30, 2012
1:17am
5 minutes
The First Year
Karen Vogel


never wanted my dad to kick anyone’s ass on behalf of me.
seriously, i couldn’t handle even the idea because i got too embarrassed.
i never wanted to be seen as the type that makes a big deal out of every thing. if someone wronged me, i would rather just not tell anyone in case the person who wronged me got mad at me. what a crippling little fear that i have. once when my dad and i were in a movie store, looking for something to rent. i don’t know why but i felt very strange and i didn’t want to be there. i started to cry because i was embarrassed by what i was wearing and that my dad kept making these lame jokes, but my dad thought it was something else…that i was scared of the movie store and that i didn’t feel safe…because he was trying to defend me. my dad then took me in his arms and hugged me tight saying, “i’ll protect you. you never have to worry because i won’t let anything bad happen to you.” it was very sweet but it was also very weird. of course i felt safe. but i was also young and stupid so when he started to get emotional, so did i, and i pretended like what i had said earlier was true. i believed it when he said he would protect me. it was the most affection he’s ever shown me, so for that reason alone that memory might be one of my favourites.

“PUSH WINDOW OPEN” by Julia on the Greyhound bus


Saturday September 29, 2012
10:50am
5 minutes
from the emergency exit sign on a Greyhound bus

Eden is wearing red lipstick and waiting for the bus to take her out of this god forsaken town. She made a vow to herself that when she got to New York she’d live like a homeless for only the first week and after that she’d have to be a real human: working, renting.
Eden had plans to be a children’s author when she was young. Now she wants to work in a restaurant as a cleavage bearing hostess or server that makes tips off of her looks and not her actual intelligence.
She wasn’t afraid of turning into one of “those” people because she already knew how to compartmentalize. Eden, up until now, has been living a double life. At night she spends time with adults who have autism and in the day she folds laundry and cleans hotel rooms.
Neither of these things are her dream. She has separate lives for separate situations.
Once she was a cowgirl but maybe only in another lifetime.
Once she was a smiling girl who handed out fliers in front of a sandwich shop.