“that you would go” by Sasha at Thom and Shelagh’s


Thursday, June 27, 2013
10:02pm
5 minutes
Choice
Udiah


When you wake up in the morning, rubbing crusty sleep from your eyes, you will forget the dream. It always happens like that. When you wake, for a second, in the middle of it, you consider finding a notebook or a tissue to jot some of it down on, but you don’t want to leave the cocoon of your bed. You’ve made a warm nest and who wants to leave a warm nest? When the alarm goes, when your jostled awake by the sound of Marimba, when, with eyes closed, you reach for your phone and slide your finger across the screen to turn off the terrible sound of world beat happiness, you lose everything you had there. Your heart sinks.

“Over the decades” by Sasha on the front porch in Calgary


Wednesday, June 26, 2013
10:21pm
5 minutes
Wineaccess magazine

When the walls were blue, the stained glass windows sparkled like lapis. Now that they’re painted cream, they look different. Every is relative to what it’s standing beside. For example, in this town, I am almost pretty. I am semi-attractive. I am good-looking. In Ottawa I was… forgettable. Every is relative. I wish that Fat Zachary hadn’t done the painting. He didn’t tape the baseboards. There are drips. Drives me mental. Fat Zachary thinks that we’re somehow involved. I keep telling him “no” but he doesn’t seem to know or like that word. He’s the one that got me thinking about where I stand… relatively. “You’re the most smokin’ gal here, you know,” he tells me. That’s not true, but it’s not far off. Becky Bernstein is a perfect ten. I am a seven, at best. Fat Zachary shakes his head.

Qualified for Video Blogger by Sasha at Thom and Shelagh’s


Tuesday, June 25, 2013
am
5 minutes
from a business card

My heart is in my throat. I’m gonna be sick. My palms are creating pools on top of my thighs. My pants are gonna have handprints on them. Oh my god. I don’t want to hyperventilate. I don’t want to choke on my spit. I’m probably flushed. I probably have hives starting to form on my neck. The door opens. I stand up. “Millie?” He is tall and broad shouldered. He has grey-grey hair. “Yes. Yup. That’s me…” He sits down across the table. He doesn’t smile. “You have a very impressive résumé,” he says, opening up a file. OHMYGOD I already have a file. Shit. “My brother went to Oxford,” he scratches his chin, “you must’ve been taught by Claud Lamarre?” I definitely have hives now. I am covered in hives. “No. Nope. Must’ve been his sabbatical year?” Oh good grief.

“that you would go” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday, June 27, 2013
11:59pm
5 minutes
Choice
Udiah


If you leave, will you please take the star-shaped welcome mat from the front hallway and burn it in the yard? I always hated that thing, and I only kept it because you like that weird freaky shit that sort of makes you look like a wizard, or a Larper. You know? You just collect all these annoying little figurines and you put them in every corner of every room and like, sometimes, I’m not gonna lie, I’m worried that you’re gonna make me pray to them, or look at them when we’re getting it on. That shit is too weird for me. So take the mat, and take the lavender that you’ve pulverized and stuffed into my old pantyhose, or like two pairs at least, and whatever else you’ve armed the house with. I wonder if you’re trying to get rid of me, there’s so many fucking trinkets everywhere. I mean, I’m all for little jars with twine or whatever, but I do not need tiny satchels of a “Pixie’s promise” to haunt me in my own home after you’ve gone and cursed everything I’ve ever even touched. So. When you leave. I guess, is the thing. When, not if, because in stating all of this out loud, I’m fairly certain you’re a lawn gnome that’s come to life to try and kill me in my sleep.

“Over the decades” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday, June 26, 2013
1:40am
5 minutes
Wineaccess magazine

Over the decades and far away sat a little impish girl and boy did she play
Not boy and girl because girl and boy, but boy as in boy! Or ships ahoy!
Can the truest sentiment be? A hundred red apples with thousands of seeds. Will it keep the doctor away? One might ask, then you’d say: it’s only if you eat but one every day! Dr. Seuss you were born out of a loved joint stick, passed and pushed around a circle till you all got sick, sat down right then with your paper and pen or quill if you will since it happened back then, and wrote about the things you would pick! It’s okay to be different it’s okay to be you! You wrote all of those things because you were high too! And in your confidence you created all those inspirational quotes, unhated. Not one fresh faced grad, never had not deferred, from choosing your wit for their congratulatory word.

“Qualified For: Video Blogger” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, June 25, 2013
12:58am
5 minutes
from a business card

Always liked my arms. Never had a problem with them. Never felt like they were disproportionate. Thought about getting liposuction once (Who doesn’t), and then realized that I just don’t care enough about that stuff. Never had a problem with my hands until a stupid boy named Brendan with bleach-blonde surfer hair told me they were too big for my body. I was 14 (fuck you Brendan). Thought my feet were okay. Not too big, not too small. Just right. one of my toes is ridiculously too tiny but do people care about toes these days? Thought if people were playing the game where they deconstruct themselves, then build the ideal human with all the best parts from them and their friends, at least two or three of my features would make the cut. Not my hair. Too scraggly in the wintertime. (Not my lips either.) Some friends would make it on for everything. They had better shaped eyes or noses or something. But if we were playing the game where we deconstruct all our skills and build the ideal human with those? I’d be up there for sure. Nobody can video blog like me. I even put it on my resume and business cards.

“GTA” by Julia at The Common on Bloor


Monday, June 24, 2013 at The Common on Bloor
3:49pm
5 minutes
The Toronto Star

She was leaving the GTA that afternoon, said to me, Darlin’I have to get out of this city. Tipped her wide-brimmed beach hat at me and left the bar after doing a shot of Amaretto. Said she wanted to feel the sweetness on her tongue all the way to the airport. I had never met anyone like Elsa in all the time I’ve been here. She made me question who I was for two short weeks when she forced herself into my life. I don’t know why I was so open to her, so accepting of her UFO believing ways, or her constant reliance on whiskey and pecan butter tarts. Elsa was a mover, a shaker, and somehow that woman knows more about me than I do and I’ve only known her for a brief excerpt of it. Didn’t tell me she would miss me, but she did say that I should check my mailbox before the month was up. Elsa wasn’t going to send me a letter, but a tiny sculpture with the bottom carved out, stuffed with weed, then corked back up again, laying flush against the opening. She didn’t tell me this, but I knew. I knew Elsa better than she knew herself too. Sometimes you meet those kind of people and you don’t need to really keep them with you until you see a bottle of Maker’s Mark on the shelf somewhere.

“GTA” by Sasha at The Common on Bloor


Monday, June 24, 2013 at The Common on Bloor
1:39pm
5 minutes
The Toronto Star

I was born in a small, red cabin in the Scarborough bluffs, the cabin nestled in a ravine that could’ve fooled you that it wasn’t in a city, that it was in the woods. I went down to the lake, as a little girl, and collected green and blue sea-glass, lake-glass, my OshKosh overall pockets weighed down with the old and the new, the sharp and the smooth. My parents broke up and my Dad moved West, stretching the boundaries, growing my view of my city, moving into Parkdale before Parkdale was cool, the dogs and health-food stores of The Beach feeling very far away on those Tuesday nights and weekends. At York University for my undergrad, I learned about the schism between the ghetto and the Institution, gunshots and graduation hats, house parties and rape whistles. The Annex was a stepping stone, a two bedroom, paper-thin-walled, apartment with my best friend the perfect lily-pad for early twenties landing.

“Mom forbade me to go” by Sasha at The Good Neighbour


Sunday, June 23, 2013 at The Good Neighbour
1:32pm
5 minutes
Reader’s Write
Sun Magazine, July 2013


I told my Mum I was going to be a professional ballet dancer and she laughed in my face. I said, “I’m moving to New York, Mum! Get real!” And she just kept laughing. And then she stopped. Her face fell. “Yer not joking, are ya?” She said, looking at me with those brown eyes of hers. “I’m not. I’m doing this.” She laughed again. Pop came in and stuffed his pipe, and sipped his beer. “Get a load a this, Digger,” Mum said. Pop only moved his eyes to look at her, he didn’t even more his neck or his head. “Kit says he’s goin to the city to be a… a… ballerina!” Pop spit beer out of his lips. “Why the eff you doin’ that, Kit?” Pop sat down on the floor, all dramatic, and picked at his baby toenail. “It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time and I’m tired of wasting my life at the bank, being a frikken teller, counting other people’s stupid ass money and not following my dream. If I die tomorrow, if I get hit by lightning, or by a truck, or if a stray police bullet happens to find me, of all people, I need to know that I’m working towards my life’s purpose… you know?” Pop and Mum don’t know, but they nod anyway.

“Mom forbade me to go” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, June 23, 2013
12:03am
5 minutes
Reader’s Write
Sun Magazine, July 2013


Told Ma I was going to Mars. She flipped her shit. I was all, Ma, don’t worry, I’ll be something to remember. She was all, Nadine, don’t start with me. Don’t you start with me. And so I told her we’d drop the topic and we could discuss whatever she wanted. She was all, Fine, Nadine, we’ll discuss something else. But how could you in your right mind decide you were going to go to Mars? I was all, Ma, seriously, you can drop it any time now. I’m sorry I didn’t include you in my decision, but I was pretty certain you’d do the thing where you don’t approve and I’d feel bad for going against your wishes. Ma was quiet for a second, and I’m serious when I say that, and then she was all, How am I supposed to visit you, Nadine? You want me to take a 5 year training course with a bunch of lunatics so I can then come visit you and by that point you’re probably going to be dead already, because let’s get serious, how long could someone like you last? And then I’ll be stuck there too for the rest of my life, at least 7 years, because, Nadine, I’m a tough cookie, that’s where you get it from. And I was all, Okay, Ma, you’re going insane. It’s good to freak out, because I know you’ll miss me, but you also have to learn how to let go. Since what I’m doing is making history. Huh? Did you ever consider that?

“Tom, will you let me love you in your restaurant?” by Sasha at Rooster Coffee House on King St.


Saturday, June 22, 2013 Rooster Coffee House
10:32am
5 minutes
Litany
Carolyn Creddon


Tom is the bartender you really want to tell that you’ve been backed up since last Thursday, that you can’t keep anything down but scrambled egg whites and gin. You never fancied yourself a bar kind of person, you never thought you’d linger, tearing coasters into a tiny pile of cardboard, sucking on lemons and limes for the shock value, just in case anybody was watching. Tom asked you your name around New Years. You told him, looking deep into his blue eyes, wishing it would be kosher for you to reach across the wood and touch his curly, shaggy, so-touchable hair. You’ve talked about Bali, about Marina Abramovic, about where to get the best roti, about Jazz fm and camping up north. Tom wears a wedding band so you never even considered kissing him. Well, that’s not true, you considered it, and then you forgot it, like you’re used to doing. Now, Tom soothes Jerry, on his seventh bottle of Canadian and winks at you to call him a cab. You do just as you are instructed, and even help carry Jerry out to meet it when it honks it’s horn.

“here’s the part where I encourage you” by Sasha in High Park


Friday, June 21, 2013
9:10am
5 minutes
http://www.joythebaker.com

My heart is a ten pin bowling ball
It’s heavy here
You couldn’t know that
But I want you to
I want you to anticipate the moment where the fingers release
The ball rolled down the lane
Strike
Strike
I see you wavering between wanting in and wanting out
Here’s the deal
Guess what
Here’s the part where I encourage you
Where I say
Sometimes it is muddy
And reckless to be driving so fast
But think about the common theme of all your favorite stories
Think
The common thread
The bright red in the tapestry
Is Love
You and I have Love
You and I have roots reaching down to the hot hot centre
You and I are safe

“The moon is my sister” by Sasha on the streetcar going West


Thursday, June 20, 2013
11:15pm
5 minutes
The Early Morning
Hilarie Belloc


When she blushed
The sky turned a pink
A magenta
A knowing colour of pride and rising
The moon is my sister
Did you know?
Did you know we came
From the same womb
The same universe of waxing and waning?
Of shedding and regrowing and bleeding and singing?
The moon is my sister
Her face the map of her indiscretions and her large living
Her face a testament to her never-ending
Always changing
Beauty
When she thinks
Deep and long
Philosophy or remembering a lyric from a tune on the radio
When we were young
The clouds clear
Around her ears
The clouds clear
My sister
The moon
Fading into the morning light
Whispering a kiss
On my cheek
Whispering a “see you soon”
Whispering a secret
That our mother must have told her
Before I was born

“Tom, will you let me love you in your restaurant?” By Julia at Dark Horse on Spadina


Saturday, June 22, 2013 at Dark Horse Espresso Bar
6:48pm
5 minutes
Litany
Carolyn Creddon


If you could sweep away the dirty dishes, throw me onto the bar and tell me I was yours, I would be okay with that. Let you use my body to wipe the tables, pushing the salt and pepper shakers onto the floor with no regard for broken glass. That would be just fine. Pull the Amsterdam on draft out into a steady stream, letting it pour all over us as we try to get some of it in our mouths. That would be exciting, don’t you think? Covered in beer and sticky and soaked through. My white top, obviously, a skin plastered mess that you leave on me while you drink from my shirt pocket. The lights can be on or off. Your choice. I don’t need to decide that one. And when we’re close, and we will be more than once I guarantee it, we’ll ring the tiny bell on the pass and yell “Chicken’s up”. That would be just…. I’ll put on your chef hat and your apron with nothing else, and walk around the kitchen with a spatula and a whistle. Tell you to say “Yes Chef” and you would because how could you not?

“here’s the part where I encourage you” by Julia at her desk


Friday, June 21, 2013
3:13am
5 minutes
http://www.joythebaker.com

You had on those bright yellow dish gloves and you looked ridiculous. You didn’t know I was writing about you. You didn’t know I write at all. I was watching you try to fight with them to get them off. You could have bought a size up but you’re a boy and sometimes I forget this. You also looked very cute. Your sleeves rolled up past your elbows and your eyebrow furrowed because you do that when you’re concentrating, even it’s not a hard task. I like that furrow. That little crinkle you get. I think you were humming something by Rihanna, and you might not have realized it but your joke singing actually sounded pretty good. I think if we ever got to that stage, I would like for you to sing to me. Mostly when I’m tired and falling asleep on the couch in front of Letterman. Or if you ever came home from picking up some calamari salad with chives, you could do it then.

“The moon is my sister” by Julia on her bed


Thursday, June 20, 2013
1:15am
5 minutes
The Early Morning
Hilarie Belloc


The moon is my sister, did I mention that? Yeah. She is. She’s pretty incredible, I guess. She’s always there when you need her, and she knows how to divide her time properly so even if she can’t fully be there, she still gives you a decent chunk of her. And she’s beautiful. She really glows, I mean, I don’t know if you’ve ever been lit by her on your way home at night, or saw someone else in the gentle light she casts, but, she’s something special. She’s humble, too. I don’t think she ever asks for anything or tries to get you on her side. I mean, I guess she doesn’t have to since people tend to gravitate towards her anyway without her having to try. I mean, it must be nice. To be her. The oldest sibling with such a cult following, especially if you’re a vampire or someone who likes vampires. And to know she doesn’t have to feel bad for being lazy because she is always doing just so much. Lazy people get strained necks because they don’t like to sit up all the way when drinking a glass of water from their nightstand, and have too much clutter because they don’t throw out empty boxes marked ‘Files’.

“This guy will change your mind” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, June 19, 2013
11:21pm
5 minutes
The front of the Globe and Mail Life & Arts Section
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013


Yeah, yeah, he’s got the goods, come in from the cold, step out of the woods, this guy, he’s the one, and he knows what to do, he’s got goods for me, he’s got goods for you. Yeah, yeah, he’s got the plan, he’ll turn you from a wandering eye into a wandering man, he can etch a sketch of your face, he can make you disappear, he’s the bartender, says you can’t stay here.
Yeah, yeah, he’s the mastermind, the one who calls the shots, do you drink them, that’s the problem, he’ll drown your throat till your gut rots. He can keep the press at bay, he knows exactly what to say, little lies and little promises go such a long way. Yeah, yeah, he’s got the goods, be what you are, no such thing as shoulds. He’s the one who’ll take your virginity in any situation, got the answers, got the skill set, he’ll school you in meditation. Who is this rare species, is he even real? That’s the jury, that’s the audience, that’s everyone’s spiel. He’s the guy who will help you, he’ll make you better still, he’ll change your mind without you, and without him there is no will.

“This guy will change your mind” by Sasha at BellJar Cafe


Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at BellJar Cafe
3:05pm
5 minutes
The front of the Globe and Mail Life & Arts Section
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013


Remember when you learned to read? And you thought, by virtue of this new skill, you were finally a real grown-up? Remember when the world opened up to you like a Florida orange, juicy and fragrant, as you read aloud every street sign, every subway stop, every take-out menu? Remember when you read aloud each book of Little House On The Prairie >? Remember when your father asked you to please stop reading each one of the cookbooks on the shelf in the pantry and making dinner recommendations based on your findings? Remember the freedom, the inner soaring, of knowing every word was yours now, yours alone, yours to share only with the other millions of people who too had broken the code?

“Open your eyes” by Sasha on the streetcar going South


Tuesday, June 18, 2013
4:28pm
5 minutes
from the monsters.ca ad on the streetrcar

You settled in quick. You made yourself comfortable. I saw you, legs draped over the side of the chair, a glass of sparkling water. “Sparkling”. Magical, pretentious, wild. You sparkle. It’s not even the water, it’s you. You must’ve been good at languages, and making friends. You must’ve known when it was okay to swear, and say “radical”, and bring out your collection of obscure coins from unique island countries. You probably were the one to start the rat-tail, and the mullet, and the septum piercing. What I’m trying to say is, I noticed. We all do these little things, these sweet, small, blooming, things. I’ve noticed yours. Sometimes I see you glancing, looking around to see if anyone has seen you, in your leopard print poncho, with peacock feather earrings reaching your shoulders. I saw you. I saw.

“Open your eyes” by Julia in her backyard


Tuesday, June 18, 2013
5:19pm
5 minutes
from the monsters.ca ad on the streetrcar

open your eyes, let the pain out, got to surprise, the tears they won’t come out by themselves.
they’re stubborn there. they’re so so stubborn there.
got to coax them from the source, they won’t make an appearance until it’s do or die or die and do the same things anyway.
open your eyes.
let the hurt out.
there’s the magic feeling of letting it all go.
and you don’t want to do it here.
you don’t want anyone on the porch next door to hear you. you have to keep it low.
open.
open.
and when you get to the big bad parts. you’ll know the rest of what you do is for a reason.
are you alone, in your mind? Did you forget the rules.
i’m waiting to know. i’m waiting to help.
don’t let the situation dictate how you act. You are a behaving human being. you don’t need somebody to tell you where you went wrong. or where you went away.
open your eyes, and see the thing that has been missing.
do you know what I mean?
Do you see it?
Do you know it’s real?
This gingerbread house won’t make itself but we’re still hoping to taste the roof off of one of them anytime soon.
let the tears go.
let the tears out.
open your eyes.

“The slip, Sir, the slip” by Julia at Nova Era Bakery


Monday June 17, 2013
11:19am at Nova Era Bakery
5 minutes
Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare


Remember when we were young and we’d look forward every day in the summer to sliding down some plastic patch in our backyard, completely dangerous and soaking wet, just for a July or August thrill? Slip N’ Slides they called them. Such an accurate name. Remember mom hated them because she thought we were going to behead her rosemary busy or accidentally slide into her rhubarb and fuck everything up for her summer baking plans? I don’t think she cared when we’d come into the house covered in twigs, mud, and bruises as long as we didn’t smell of basil or have any lilacs stuck to our swimsuits. We were young and free then. And beautiful in life’s simplicity when all you could do was Slip N’ Slide in the backyard with a few friends from the neighbourhood. I don’t know if I’d even be confident enough to do it. Age has convinced me I’d have to analyse things closer before attempting to do them again. Even speaking takes more care. The things we’d say when we were young. Never bridled with responsibility or consequence.

“The slip, Sir, the slip” by Sasha at Nova Era Bakery


Monday June 17, 2013
11:19am at Nova Era Bakery
5 minutes
Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare


The blue, the silk, the wave, hugs her hips, her breasts, the straps delicate over her shoulders. When she took off her dress, she had struggled with the zipper. It was caught, it was cheap, it would need to be replaced. “Help me with this?” She’d said. The blue, the silk, the ripple, over her body, sheer but covering. “When are you going to get your hair cut?” She asks, putting her gold earrings into her jewellery box and covering her face in Nivea Cream. “I’m not sure,” I say, not the right answer but the true one. “You look awful,” she says. “You look beautiful,” I smile. Her face is covered in the cream, white and thick. I put my socks in the wicker hamper. “Did you get more toilet paper?” She calls from the toilet, door open.

“Don’t ignore” by Sasha on the couch at Macdonell


Sunday June 16, 2013
2:32pm
5 minutes
an ad at Ossington subway station

Don’t ignore the voice in your ear, behind your head, up near your “yes” place, that says “buy the radishes, buy the coconut, buy the Supremes record.
Don’t ignore the feeling in your gut, your wise gut, that laughs when someone pretends to like being told what to do.
Don’t ignore your breath lifting, quickening, when you round the corner exiting the subway station, anticipating a danger, dark and tall.
Don’t ignore the desire to move, to leave the smoke and the trees, to find a bigger map and a more complicated subway system.
Don’t ignore that this is the answer, that you have it, there, in your cupped hands.
Don’t ignore that you think you’re loving but really, you are running, you are chasing, you are catching up, catching back, back-catching the next hot thing.
Don’t ignore me, here, perched on the edge, here, cross-legged, back against the wall.

“my side of the bed.” By Sasha at her desk


Saturday, June 15, 2013
8:12pm
5 minutes
www. bleubirdvintage.typepad.com/

At the beginning, they were strangers.
They knew the “hello” and the “how are you?” but that was about it.
At the beginning, they stole glances like candybars, over the cubicle wall that separated them.
“Were you on vacation, Vicky?” Don asked, after she’d been gone for two whole weeks, after he’d looked for her, asked about her, wondered where she might have disappeared to.
“No, Don…” She replied, “I was in the hospital.”
“Oh dear!” Said Don, feeling terrible that he’d even asked, feeling shy, feeling hot in the cheeks. “I’m so sorry, Vicky…” He returned his eyes to his computer screen.
A few minutes later, there she was, kneeling beside him, so close that he could feel her breath on his ear, smelling of the yogurt cup she’d had for lunch.
“I wanted to tell you what was going on, to be in touch, but I realized, when I was away, I don’t even have your phone number! I don’t even know your last name! I see you more than I see my own husband…” She paused, for just a second, “and I don’t even know your last name!”
“Webster,” said Don, quietly. “My last name is Webster.”
Vicky leaned in, their foreheads touching. “I was in the hospital. I had a miscarriage.” Don didn’t know what to say. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

“Don’t ignore” by Julia on the subway going north


Sunday June 16, 2013
2:46pm
5 minutes
an ad at Ossington subway station

Pushing his little face away with the palm of her hand, she kept her eyes closed, breathing deeply. Not now, Benny, Mommy can’t right now. Benjamin had been sitting with his mother at the table since breakfast. She wouldn’t speak to him or look at him. She put an empty bowl in front of him with a dirty spoon and told him to eat his breakfast. Benjamin didn’t know where the cereal was. He didn’t want to look for it in front of his mother in case that would make her
more angry. So he sat and watched his Mommy breathe with her eyes closed. After an hour of watching and waiting and being very concerned, he tried to get closer. Tried to get close enough so his mother could hear his tummy growling. That’s when she pushed him away, feeling his big blinky eyes on the inside of her hand, tracing the scar line on his forehead from when he fell into the chalkboard at Auntie Caroline’s two winters ago. He didn’t ask her for a single thing.

“my side of the bed.” By Julia at Nicole’s house


Saturday, June 15, 2013
7:17pm
5 minutes
http://www.bleubirdvintage.typepad.com/

From here you look like you’re in a lot of pain. I can see it in my sleep, it’s sort of making its way into my dreams. I hear you cringe and suck your teeth. Every time you move you sound like you’re going to die. In my dream of you, your mother’s there and she’s watching us interact with a judging eye. She thinks I haven’t been taking care of you, and she can see your pain too. I tell her, no, it’s not how it seems, you don’t want my help and I’ve kept my hand there on where I think it’s hurting you the whole night. She just scoffs and then drives her smart car through the mud flicking speckles of wet dirt onto my favourite blue dress. That’s how I know it’s a dream, because nothing makes sense, and your mother would never get mad at me for you hurting yourself. I’m eased by how little she knows about us. About what I see from my side of the bed. From what I see when my eyes are closed and you’re babbling about something regarding open heart surgeries, and those ginger cookies your grandfather stole for us.

“friends you never win” by Sasha on her couch


Friday, June 14, 2013
1:36am
5 minutes
Changes
Ethan Allen


“I just googled you,” she said, looking me dead in the eye, wondering if it would phase me. “Oh yeah?” I answered, nonchalant. “Yup!” She was almost annoying. If only she weren’t so fucking good looking. I gave her the “so what?” face. “You wouldn’t believe what I found…” She’s a bitch. A pretty bitch. Shit. I shrugged my shoulders. She stood up. “Nevermind… I should get to work.” She kissed me on the forehead (the FOREHEAD), grabbed her purse and was out the door before I could say, “I love you”. You know what happened next. I bolted to the computer, knocking over the small cat figurine my mother had given me for my last birthday. I googled myself. Not my proudest moment but sometimes such things just have to be done.

“friends you never win” by Julia on her bed


Friday, June 14, 2013
1:06am
5 minutes
Changes
Ethan Allen


There’s a winding road just outside Mac’s convenience. If you take it all the way to the end, you’ll get out of this town. No I’ve never been there..I don’t want to get to the end of it. I don’t know what people do when they get there. They have to make a choice if they want the great emerald city or if they want..well…whatever the opposite, less appealing option is. You can take it though. It seems like one of those roads less travelled, and no sir, that is not a metaphor. It’s a bit too windy for most of us here.. Hell, even my old sister gets car sick on it and she never gets ill. Probably because of all the bumps and winds. All the potholes cause nobody tried hard enough to fix it since it didn’t really get travelled. Some sayings, right?

“Canada Post” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, June 13, 2013
11:18pm
5 minutes
The mailbox on the corner of Annette St. and Quebec Ave.

Lost my letters and all my love, I sent it to you, dear, I sent it all.
I would have made sure to track them but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know love could get lost in the mail. But you didn’t get it so it went some place else. Now I hate to admit it, but what if my love is now in someone else’s care. What if a different address holds the letters I was writing to you, dear, what if my love is sitting on an unfamiliar foyer shelf. I’m afraid I don’t have any more to give. Wrote all those letters when I was in it so deep. And you never wrote to me, dear, you never sent me your love in a white envelope everyday for a year. Unless yours got lost in the mail too. Then how sad and beautiful it would be, if both of our loves found their way to the same person. Maybe the postman has enough love to get him through his entire life now. We did that. We did that.

“Canada Post” by Sasha at The Good Neighbour


Thursday, June 13, 2013 at The Good Neighbour Espresso Bar
11:13am
5 minutes
The mailbox on the corner of Annette St. and Quebec Ave.

Sam made a promise that he wouldn’t laugh in Church. He thought that it was funny the way everyone closed their eyes and sang, the way the alter-boys looks so solemn. It wasn’t so much funny, but… uncomfortable. “Don’t make a fuss when you go to Church with Grandpa,” Sam’s mother had said, sternly. “I woooon’t…” He responded, furrowing his eyebrows and wishing that he didn’t have to go to Peterborough. “Wouldn’t you rather go with Grandpa than stay here with some silly babysitter?” asked Sam’s mother, feeling bad that she’d signed up for the conference, feeling bad that she was leaving the city again, the third time since the start of the year. Sam wasn’t sure what he’d rather. He’d rather that she stay home, that he could go to Jesse’s birthday party on Saturday. On the long drive to Peterborough, sitting next to Grandpa in the station wagon with wood paneling and a bunch of tools in the back, smelling a bit of Chester, the golden retriever, and a bit of paint, Sam was quiet.

“Most Stylish” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, June 12, 2013
12:32am
5 minutes
the Cycle Couture business card

En route to the Big Island of Hawaii, the first of two adventures in my twenty-fifth year, I sat beside a woman named Nancy. The flight was from Vancouver to Maui, where I would transfer to a small Hawaiian air flight. I would be met by someone named Robert from the yoga centre where I would be working and living for the following six weeks. But, I digress. Nancy was a nurse in Nunavut. Nancy’s face reminded me of a plum. She was a big woman, with a full head of curly maroon hair. I am not one of those people that’s eager to talk on airplanes. I’m not a nervous fly-er but I enter into a rare, introverted zone where I’m unbelievably satisfied by the in-flight entertainment system and my pack of spearmint gum. When Nancy sat down beside me I took her for a talker and my intuition wasn’t off. She asked my name and if I minded that she used her neck pillow. I told her my name and said, no, of course not. She asked if I had a nut allergy. Nope. All clear there. Once we had taken off, once the seat-belt sign was gone, Nancy loosened her seat belt and began blowing up the neck pillow. “What takes you to Hawaii?” She asked, and I told her. She looked very impressed. “What about you?” I couldn’t believe I was doing that, asking questions back, going against all pre-conceived notions of myself as a flyer. “It’s my first vacation in fourteen years,” said Nancy, smiling wider than the sky.

“We take care of you” by Sasha on the subway going East


Tuesday June 11,2013
4:12pm
5 minutes
The blackboard in front of The Good Neighbour Espresso Bar

I’m glad that you’re back. When you got on that train, the earth turned grey, the sky turned grey and the clouds silently cried, just like me. My cry wasn’t exactly silent, but it was grey. It’s strange, though. I started making plans. I started sewing again, recycling things I didn’t like and making them into things I did. I used the record player. When you used to say, “Live in the moment,” I thought that that meant “Don’t make plans.” What that meant, to me, was never leaving this place. Was moving from one thing to another like a ghost and not looking further than my toes. “You’re not a leader,” my father used to say, taking off his uniform and reaching for his can of beer. It’s true. He was right. But there’s power in the following. That’s how change actually happens, when one person and then another and another, start following the leader. I’m glad you’re back, I really am. I’m not going to follow you anymore, though. When you left, when you got on that train with your briefcase and your lunchbag, I was suddenly free to look up. I was suddenly free to think about Barcelona, and my sister’s wedding next summer, and how I’d like to learn to french braid.

“Most Stylish” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, June 12, 2013
12:17am
5 minutes
the Cycle Couture business card

Sandy won the award for best looking when she was in high school and decided right then and there that she would never study another day in her life. If she could get by on her amazing good looks, then why bother wasting any time by trying to be learned. Seriously. She was asking that question. None of her friends thought she’d be capable of getting a masters, let alone an undergrad. None of her friends thought she even thought much at all. None of the faculty at school believed that she would amount to anything outside of modelling, so that’s what Sandy decided she’d do. Alberto Pacheco was voted most stylish, but that’s because he had imported pointy alligator shoes from Italy and was just ahead of his time when it came to fashion and dressing to impress. Sandy never once thought she needed two vain titles in the yearbook, but all of her friends seemed to think that she had been screwed over when she only won best looking. Sandy tried to tell them that she didn’t want to have both titles because it looked bad, to which her best friend responded, Sandy, are you being serious? It actually looks GOOD. Good looking, remember?

“We take care of you” by Julia at Nicole’s house


Tuesday June 11,2013
5:44pm
5 minutes
The blackboard in front of The Good Neighbour Espresso Bar

Betty wanted folks to feel welcome in her home so she made sure there were always matches in the loo, and a racy magazine in the guests’ bedroom. She was laid back like that; down to earth. She didn’t judge anyone’s hard earned crazy. She embraced it the way she assumed people embraced hers. Betty grew up with an emotionally abusive father, and a mother who killed herself by sitting in and turning the car on in the closed garage. She never got a chance to ask anyone why she did it. Her father barely looked at her, let alone explained things. Now Betty’s home is for the staying. People come to visit and they bring her flowers and potted plants as a thank you. The more things she has from everyone, the more welcoming Betty gets. She likes the idea of a shared property, a shared house, a shared home. “What’s mine is yours” I’d hear her say. She had to put up with a lot of crazy, what with her parents and all, and also with whatever was happening in her old head. She didn’t want anyone feeling like they had to be ashamed for something, or blamed either. She told people they could come and go as they pleased.

“If you’re free” by Sasha on the subway going East


Sunday, June 9, 2013
9:21am
5 minutes
from a poster at High Park Subway for Ottawa

Never remembered why Bernie moved to Philly. Remembered that he left, though. We were roommates since 1984. We met at the bar down on Princess Street, the one with the really good Jukebox. He’d play Springsteen and I’d play Cockburn and we’d laugh about how they are both named “Bruce”. Bernie had a bit of a drawl, a bit of a bushy moustache, and he only wore red Converse high tops. He had a daughter in Brooklyn who lived with her mother, who’d been a one-night stand, or at least that’s the way that Bernie told it. He called himself a painter but I never saw him do it. Saw him sketch, in this book that he’d carry around all the damn time. I guess painter sounds a bit more fancy than sketcher… Bernie liked to make tuna casserole and it would stink up the whole apartment, how fish does. I’d curse him hard for that. He’d tell me to shut up, that it reminded him of his Gran. He didn’t tell me he was going, that he was moving to the ol’ U S of A. One morning, woke up, put on the kettle, and peeked in his room. He was gone, just the bare mattress there, on the floor and his key on top, like it was a taking a nap.

“the highest levels” by Sasha on the patio at Jimmy’s Coffee


Saturday June 8, 2013 on the patio at Jimmy’s Coffee
6:01pm
5 minutes
Car and Truck June 1, 2013 volume 2, issue 21

Walkin’ by the river, I see FeeFee makin’ her boat. “When you settin’ sail, FeeFee?” I call. She’s on the other side, like always, and she’s real focused. She doesn’t answer at first, it takes her a minute or two to break out of her hammerin’ trance, you know how it goes. “Saturday!” She calls back, a bit muffled ‘cuz there’s nails in her teeth. “How far are you goin’?” I call again. She spits the nails into her hand. “Not sure… Maybe all the way to the end of the river.” I’m not even sure where that is, the “end of the river”. “Wow…” I say. “You hungry?” I call. “A little,” she says, smiling. Sometimes I bring her a ham sandwich or a jar of iced tea or some leftover roast beef, or somethin’. She don’t got anyone else lookin’ out for her. I run up the riverbank and go to the house and see what I got. I bit of fish, a bit of bread, a can or two of tomatos. Doesn’t seem good enough for someone settin’ sail on Saturday. I decide to get out the birch box that used to be my Mama’s that contains all of her best recipes. I find the one for strawberry shortcake. I don’t got strawberries but I can go down to the stand at the end of the road once the shortcake is in the oven.

“genuine liquor bottles” by Sasha on the King car going West


Friday June 7, 2013
6:11pm
5 minutes
Fall On Your Knees
Anne-Marie MacDonald


There’s a joy, a huge crest of joy, with frothy foam on top, foam like the head on the best beer, the beer that we drank on that patio in Vienna, that comes from scrubbing the tub. When I was there, on my knees, sweat forming on my upper lip, the smell of tea tree oil and vinegar lingering in the air, I was the most frustrated I’d ever been, or so I thought in that moment. I let out a, “AHHHH!” and scared the neighbour, who thought that I was in bodily distress, in existential crisis, in spiritual agony. And then, the phoenix from the flame, I laughed, hard and long. I laughed til tears flowed, til tears mixed with tea tree oil and vinegar and helped to clean the soap scum and the tiny flecks of shaved off hair.

“X&Z” by Sasha at High Park


Thursday June 6, 2013
3:54pm
5 minutes
from a sign on Harbord

It was a funny sort of morning. The sort of morning when the sky looks purple and the ducks are flying south, honking their way where you wish you were going. It was a funny sort of morning. The sort of morning where you wake, tangled in dreams of shark bites, gasping for breath and glad, for once, that you’re alone. It was a funny sort of morning. The sort of morning, when you long for a watermelon all to yourself, and no interruptions as you spit the seeds out your window onto the street below. It was a funny sort of morning. The sort of morning when you are compelled to call you old best friend, who you haven’t spoken to in seven years, who is pregnant with twins and lives on the prairies, with the big sky and a cow or two. It was a funny sort of morning. The sort of morning where you laugh at your own reflection in the mirror, a little cross-eyed, hair like hay, looking more and more like you crazy uncle who sends you e-mail chain letters every day or two, who hasn’t been to the doctor in three decades, who lost touch with everyone but you.

“I want to go in the automobile” by Julia on her bed


Monday June 10, 2013
1:31am
5 minutes
Far To Go
Alison Pick


I want to take a trip, road trip, sky trip, what have you, and go someplace that isn’t here, isn’t anywhere near here. I want to go in the automobile and I want to be the one who is driving. I want to pick my favourite music and blast it till the speakers blow. Let everyone else on the road know that this girl doesn’t take anything too seriously. That this one isn’t too precious with anything.
In the sky I’m less in charge, in control. I would pick the road over the sky any day.
Road trip. Let’s get in the car. Let’s scan the radio for a song you and I both can’t live without. We don’t have to keep it on that station if we don’t like all of them.

“If you’re free” by Julia in her backyard


Sunday, June 9, 2013
3:12pm
5 minutes
from a poster at High Park Subway for Ottawa

You wouldn’t be here
You wouldn’t be away at all
You wouldn’t prefer there
You wouldn’t be allowed to
The night is hot and the fan is broken
There’s more of these where those came from
It’s a hyperbole on one side and it means whatever you want it to
You’ll know that you’re dreaming by the tone of voice, the hazy yellow light
You’ll fall asleep into the slumber that won’t change you
Close your eyes now
Let the silence ease you
Are you falling falling, tumbling down?
Do you want to be where I am?
You wouldn’t be here
You wouldn’t be anywhere that’s close at all
You You
You
You
I’ll blow kisses onto your skin to cool you
I’ll tell the wind to speed up so you can slip under
The fan is broken
And the night is hot

“the highest levels” by Julia on the 511 going south


Saturday June 8, 2013
5:18pm
5 minutes
Car and Truck June 1, 2013 volume 2, issue 21

Shoo fly don’t bother me. Shoo fly don’t bother me. Shoo fly don’t bother me. Cause I belong to somebody. Did you ever know that those were the words? I didn’t. I didn’t know someone thought a fly would give two sweet shits if you belonged to someone or not because those assholes are just looking for someone to poop on. But it’s a sweet song, sort of makes you love the city again when you think flies are things we concern our minds with. My dad used to sing that song but I’m pretty sure he didn’t know the words. He would make up whatever, sing whatever words he felt like that day. It was cute really, and none of us ever had the nerve to correct him. Either that or we just didn’t want to because his versions of songs were always better. That’s why I didn’t know the real lyrics to shoo fly. Unless the man in the line up at the GAP also didn’t know the words and was singing his kid a song he made up too.

“genuine liquor bottles” by Julia in her bed


Friday June 7, 2013
2:27am
5 minutes
Fall On Your Knees
Anne-Marie MacDonald


Okay so you were high when you got home, and you said som truthful shit. I know some things about you and one of them is that you cannot tell a lie when you’re flying high. You also like to rhyme and I know that shit rubbed off on me early on. You like to tell it how it is and rub me like you know I’d be dead without it. Pressing your hands into my arms and my neck so that I relax, you say, give me your whole body, and I know it means because you want to ease me, please me, tell me that the truth is out and ready to play. But because of all that and your need to say every thought that comes into your brain, when you told me I should marry you, I knew that it was true. That it was genuine. I didn’t tell you yes or no because though you can’t tell a lie, your memory recall of a stoned night’s adventure is absolute shit.

“X&Z” by Julia on the 94 going east


Thursday June 6, 2013
9:48pm
5 minutes
from a sign on Harbord

Could it be the alcohol? Is my face red? Am I laughing too much? You’ve got me punch drunk on good vibes, didn’t touch a drop, don’t need to when I’m with you. Got that dyslexic view going on, X&Z and Y Y Y, as long as it stands for Yes. Don’t need to read when I’m with you. Don’t need to see a dictionary and feel the desire to open it up and put sense to what you’re doing to me. Could have recited Flanders Fields in complete and udder gibberish and I would have fallen to my knees in a fit of heat for you. Could it be the alcohol? Is my face red? Am I laughing too much? You’ve got me singing the alphabet backwards cause you’re testing me. Next thing is a tight rope on an empty side street, one foot in front of the other and I could land in a splat of whatever for you and I would have to say that yeah, I passed that test. You can make me do your bidding. Got a shovel? Cause I’ll dig a hole and bury whoever you want with it.

“Flowers for Mama” by Julia at Second Cup


Wednesday June 5, 2013 at Second Cup
6:40pm
5 minutes
from the Public Sketchbook Project at Cafe Novo

She was sick, Mama was. On her birthday…so me and Angela decided to throw her a casual house party. Bedroom party, actually. Bedroom brunch. Mama didn’t want anything crazy or expensive, so Angela and I wrote her a silly song and sang it to her with her eyes closed while she clutched each of our hands. Mama loved when Angela and I got along long enough to make things like funny songs, and eggs by accident, which she coined when we were small. These eggs were half scrambled, half nobody knows. But Mama was excited by the fact that we didn’t chew each others’ eyes out while we did it. Angela and I have never really been close. Close enough that we fight, close enough that we know each other better than anyone, but we bicker. Probably because we’re the same, Mama says. It was Angela’s idea to get flowers for Mama. I wish I could take credit but she was always better at that stuff than me. She just knew when things would matter and when they wouldn’t. Mama loved the flowers, maybe most of all. Maybe more than the eggs and that’s what I was in charge of. Angela told me later, it was my rhyming that got Mama smiling the biggest. I didn’t correct her when she said that.

“Flowers for Mama” by Sasha at Cafe Novo


Wednesday June 5, 2013 at Cafe Novo
3:26pm
5 minutes
from the Public Sketchbook Project at Cafe Novo

She’s having one of those days that begins with a knot in the throat, the memory of the break-up, the break-out, the night before. Then the day floats towards breakfast, on a cloudy patio, alone, sucking egg yolks out of sunny-side-up spots, dipped hashbrowns in hot sauce. Somewhere around two in the afternoon the day veers a bit off course, if it was ever on any course to begin with, and she catches a glimpse of herself in a mirrored glass on Bathurst, north of Bloor. Fuck mirrored glass, fuck having to see yourself at your worst and being forty five minutes from home. She forgot that she was wearing yesterday’s clothes. She forgot that she’d cut her own bangs last night, swigging from the bottle of tequila, finally drawing hearts on her cheeks with her most antique tube of pink lipstick that had belonged to her deceased aunt Dorothy. Luckily, she’d left her phone at home because now, at a few minutes after two, she would absolutely text her lost love and see what he might be up to. She would definitely call her lost love when he didn’t respond, and she would certainly lose all last remaining dignity when she snotted all over the sidewalk and fell to her knees, crying, “have mercy, Benjamin!”

“I can’t wait to meet you” by Sasha at R Squared


Tuesday June 4, 2013 at R Squared
5:32pm
5 minutes
From a Target billboard on College

I can’t wait to meet you, on Mars, with a good watch on my wrist and a tummy full of honey roasted cashews.
I can’t wait to meet you, at the dock, by the pier where we jumped, with a heart full of Dolly Parton and my veins pulsing youth.
I can’t wait to meet you, with a picnic, with a basket, and a bottle of red wine, with a wedge of brie and a jar of lactose pills.
I can’t wait to meet you, to trace your eyebrows, to kiss your eyelids, to stand on my tip-toes, and press my tongue to your third-eye, like you enjoyed once, like I’ve wanted to do ever since.
I can’t wait to meet you, the photo that I know so well, you won’t be wearing track pants, you won’t smell of cigarettes, you will have well-kept fingernails.
I can’t wait to meet you, at the busstop, turning down my iPod so that I can listen to you talking on your phone – “I’m running late,” you say, “I’m sorry,” you say, “I’ll be there by ten to eleven.”
I can’t wait to meet you because I’ve been waiting for this moment since I doodled the name I thought you might have on the leg of my jeans, since I a picture of what I thought you might look like in a Rolling Stone Magazine at the lake.

“I can’t wait to meet you” by Julia on the 506 going west


Tuesday June 4, 2013
11:40am
5 minutes
From a Target billboard on College

She had on a fringed leather jacket that she swore to herself she’d never ever wear. A lot of things were like that for her. She also said she’d never try those pointy witch shoes but they became popular and then she wore those too. Her worst fear was losing herself, completely cognizant of how much of a sell out she was becoming with each new thing she’d said she’d never do or eat or feel. She remembers telling JoJo that she wouldn’t be caught dead doing PDA and if she ever did to legitimately shoot her. Not dead, just in the foot or something so she would have to feel the punishment of being a hypocrite. We’re all hypocrites, JoJo told her. But she wasn’t in the mood for sympathy. She wanted to hide her newly tattooed arm under long sleeves until she could scrape up enough confidence to wear the thing out loud, in public. It was a personal tattoo. She had gotten it for her father when he passed away and it reminded her of how loved she was by that man. More by him than any other human she’d ever met. But for some reason it wasn’t right to show. JoJo hadn’t even seen it yet.

“Maps of the sea floor” by Sasha at Nova Era Bakery


Monday June 3, 2013
11:18am at Nova Era Bakery
5 minutes
National Geographic May 2013

Tell me the word you’re thinking of, that word that sits on your tongue like a pearl, that’s usually there when you wake up, that’s usually there when you’ve been quiet for awhile. Tell me that word that sits on your seafloor, below the belugas and the cuttlefish, below the hammerhead sharks and the coral reef. I’ve heard some words before, other people’s, when I gave them everything, when I devoted myself to their comfort and sleeping in the crook of their arms, in that soft place beside their shoulders. I’ve heard the word “lie”, the word “mother”, the word “thanks”. Now I’m yours. Now, I want your word, the ultimate communion, the union of this murky love.

“Maybe find a bluebird’s nest” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday, June 2, 2013
11:04pm
5 minutes
Knee-Deep in June
James Whitcomb Riley


Sebastian, just sit still! I want you to remember that sometimes I think in Spanish, or I think in what I think is Spanish, what Spanish would feel like. It used to be Portuguese. It used to feel like Portuguese. I’m not a “classroom learner”, okay, I’m an auditory learner. Trouble is I can’t find a plane that will take me where I need to go, so I’m left thinking in pseudo-languages and hoping one day, when I meet a Portuguese person or a Spaniard, it will all work out. Thanks a lot, Sebastian, but I never really loved you. I gave you time, I gave you hot tea, I gave you an encyclopaedia of exactly how I work but… you still didn’t get it. I don’t think I’m asking too much? Maybe you should just find another nest to land in. We’re comfortable, Sebastian, right? We’re comfortable. But is that really how you want to be? Is that how you want to live? Comfortably?! Nope, no, nein, non… I wouldn’t even say that our comfort is true comfort because it’s making us both lazy and unintelligent.

“Maps of the sea floor” by Julia at Nova Era Bakery


Monday June 3, 2013
11:18am at Nova Era Bakery
5 minutes
National Geographic May 2013

A million seashells collecting light.
They dance and dance and dance.
With the whisper of tomorrow in each crevice-the hope that yesterday stays in its place-what do we hear when we listen? A lullaby? Some say the ocean but what is that really? Mother Crustacean looking for her babies? A verbal diagram of where to find pearls and other buried treasure? A map of the sea floor and who lives where and for how long?
They dance and dance and dance in the light-reflecting off the water top and into the sun like a pre-meditated thank you. They exist both here and now, there and here, then and there. They keep their mouths shut tight-so the poetry stays safe, so the magic doesn’t escape, so they can wait for an unsuspecting ear to hear the magnitude of where they came from. And they dance and dance and dance. They don’t apologize for taking up the morning with their beauty, they take their time and let the light absorb the way it should.

“Maybe find a bluebird’s nest” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, June 2, 2013
1:28am
5 minutes
Knee-Deep in June
James Whitcomb Riley


In the yard, that’s where we were hiding. We didn’t want Anthony to hear us so we cupped each others’ mouths and just hoped nobody had to sneeze or pee for a little while. It would have ruined everything; the sounds of children playing carelessly travels. That’s when I saw it. I didn’t want to tell anyone just in case one of them couldn’t keep their little yipps to a minimum and blow our cover. It was beautiful. Just a tiny egg all by itself in the nest. Couldn’t tell what kind of nest it was either but that’s because it was dark. I couldn’t believe how low it was to the ground. Started wondering if the mother bird was nearby, stalking us the way I felt I was stalking her baby. I never would have touched the thing if it were up to me. My mother used to yell bloody murder at us when we were young if we ever went near a nest in our backyard, or at grandma’s cottage. I knew better. But then Corey had to stick his snot-nosed face right into it because he didn’t even see it. I told him to keep his glasses on from the start, but no, Anthony convinced him that if he took them off he’d be more of a man, and he’d also be less scared if he couldn’t see what was coming for him.

“Hearing John Malkovitch” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, June 1, 2013
4:39pm
5 minutes
From the ARTS Section of the Globe and Mail
Saturday May 25th edition


I waited for him
On the edge of my bed
It used to be ours
Before that it used to be his
He said he was coming right back
Never did
So I waited there like a sack of potatoes
Growing mould from
not being let out of the drawer
He never called
Or if he did I missed it
He never cried out
This will be the end of me too
He didn’t tell me he forgave me
And if he did I was dreaming
He didn’t give me his key
But I left the back window open anyway
I sat there all night
It used to be day
Before that it used to be ours
My back began to fade into the strain
My eyes began to close from the waterfalls at 3am trying to
man handle my face
My hope began to deflate
Like a balloon left
too long on the wall
after a birthday party
for someone who hates surprises

“Hearing John Malkovitch” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday, June 1, 2013
11:53am
5 minutes
From the ARTS Section of the Globe and Mail
Saturday May 25th edition


I didn’t mean to write a manifesto but when I sat down I felt a flood like the one on the news coming through my fingertips, the one where people have to hold onto trees or else they will be swept away. You called, “What the heck is going on in there?” from the garage. You could hear me pounding on the computer keyboard, the flood getting deeper and heavier and more alive. “MANIFESTO!” I called back, and my voice broke, like I probably would cry but I didn’t want to alarm you and have you come back into the house, so then I called, “I’m totally okay!” You were carving sculptures of African animals out of soapstone. You worked from four in the morning until noon, from which point you listened to records and radio shows, and canned seasonal fruits and vegetables. I had never loved you more. This manifesto, however, only concerned me. It had nothing to do with you at all. It was completely and utterly my own. When you love someone deeply and unconditionally, it’s easy to feel that every that has to do with you has to do with them, too. That is not the case. This manifesto was as private as biting your own toenails, or popping an ingrown hair/pimple on your bikini line, or eating a half pint of salted caramel gelato in the nude while watching re-runs of 90210.

Shoes on grass (photo dip) by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday, May 31, 2013
10:02pm
5 minutes

20130601-021029.jpg

When we took off our shoes and felt the grasses soft fingertips
When we sang James Taylor and cradled your flask
When we laughed until I peed and you had a stomach cramp
When we made salads with whatever we could find for under seven dollars
When we refused to stop making mixed tapes
When we ate homemade popsicles made with strawberries and thyme
When we hiked in the woods in the rain and made a fort out of birch branches
When we yelled our frustration at each other about our own personal private sadness
When we quit our jobs and packed up our flat
When we bought a ’96 Volvo and drove to each corner
When we sold the Volvo ‘cuz it broke down and bought bus passes
When you got sick and we had to find a real hotel in Saskatoon
When Isaac taught us how to catch wild salmon
When the moon was a sliver and you told me about how your father cut your toes
When I had to take Plan B because we were still babies and that never works out

“Well, we’ve since learned” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday, May 30, 2013
9:18pm
5 minutes
rebar: modern food cookbook
Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz


Well, since we’ve learned our times tables we should be able to multiply! We should be able to do the longest division! We should be able to eat doubles and triples of both peas and juniper berries alike! Since we’ve learned addition and subtraction, we should be able to see that adding one tablespoon of teethmarks and taking away two molars with a simple yank or two gives the perfect love bite! Since we’ve learned about velocity and geometry, theories of physics and biology, since we waded into tide-pools with starfish and romance, we now know that there is a Higher Power, a Supreme Governing Spirit… Call it what you will, Doctors of Life, call it what you will, some things simply cannot be explained. Let us sit, in silence, for thirty three minutes, oh, the divinity of the number three. Let us sit and pay homage to the Sun and the Moon and Jupiter! Let us pay homage to the rules and the questions and the non-answers!

“cut your hair” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, May 29, 2013
12:21am
5 minutes
the ARTS Section of the Globe and Mail
Saturday May 25th edition


It is the beginning, and you’ve come to be okay with that. You remember the time that you got a sliver in your right heel and your father carried you on his shoulders all the way up from the lake. You remember when you stayed up all night sewing a tiny mattress out of purple flannel so that your doll could have a comfortable place to sleep. You remember running on the gravel road, and falling, and picking the small pebbles from your knees. You remember the phone call to Edinburgh, and the heartbreak and the chocolate. You remember your Visa bill skyrocketing when you realized you loved foie gras and champagne. You remember wiping tears from your mothers face when she lay in the hospital, small and afraid. You remember taking a dog that wasn’t yours for a walk around the track at a private school and meeting a man you would later sing for, in the bathtub, while he played the twelve string guitar.

Shoes on grass (photo dip) by Julia at Dovercourt and Bloor


Friday, May 31, 2013
10:59pm
5 minutes

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They left their shoes in our yard when they came over, Sid. I’m not making it up, how could I make it up? I swear to god, they took off their shoes and they went into our house, went upstairs to the spare bedroom, made love to each other, and then left. Like nothing happened, they left all their freaking shoes. On our lawn. What do you mean? What do you mean, how do I know? I know. I saw the shoes myself, they left them, they enjoyed our room and that’s the end of it. Sid. Listen, they’re not coming back. Because you could see by the way they had scattered them. Like they were arranged in a way that said “this will be the last day they’re worn by us”. It’s just the way–I mean, if you saw them you’d know. But doesn’t it bother you that they didn’t even say bye? That they used our house for their weird things and then left everything else for us to clean up? As if we’d know what to do with three pairs of shoes that don’t fit us.