“I start anywhere and finish somewhere else.” by Julia on her couch

Thursday January 30, 2014
5 minutes
Kitchen Ghost
Teetle Clawson

I was born in a big city
A big big city
Lots of doctors
Lots of people saying they’re gonna do great things
Lots of immigrants trying to prove they made the right decision in coming here
I was born where I now am
I left for a while, barely knew it was my first home until two decades later
Lots of people
Lots of people like my family but even more unlike them
The ones I didn’t realize also lived here
When you’re young you don’t know
You just don’t know what the composition of your city is
You think it’s smaller than it is
You think it’s bigger than it is
You grow up and you leave where you had no choice in living in the first place
You come back to your big big city
And you try to fit in like you never left
You try wearing the clothes of your city
Try smoking the grass of your city
And when you’re away from where you knew, that’s all of a sudden when you need to write about it
The country
The schools
The mean kids
The narrow minded views
The Mennonites
The cheese factories
The empty highways
Cause you write about what you know

“I start anywhere and finish somewhere else.” By Sasha at Balluchon

Thursday January 30, 2014 at Balluchon
5 minutes
Kitchen Ghost
Teetle Clawson

He starts anywhere and finish somewhere else. That’s pretty much the only method to it. And he doesn’t sleep past nine twenty. Anyone that sleeps past nine twenty is labelled “lazy”. When he chooses his canvases he looks for the ones with flaws, he chooses those ones. The same with women. If they appear angelic, likelihood is they’re hiding something. When he stands before the large square of white, he closes his eyes and pictures the Rocky Mountains, their majesty, and it helps him take himself less seriously. Sometimes he starts in the middle. Sometimes he finishes there. The same with sex. The same with eating a pomegranate.

“Don’t stare at The Nude.” by Sasha her kitchen table

Wednesday January 29, 2014
5 minutes
God Loves Hair
Vivek Shraya

“What are you doing?” I ask, poking my head into her room. She’s just turned thirteen and would much rather me leave her alone. I can tell this from the way she’ll barely look me in the eye, from the way she paints black nail-polish across the batik of her name on her door, from the way she prefers earbuds tucked in than my voice telling her stories. “I’m writing a letter.” She barely looks up. I leave it at that.

We wash dishes, side-by-side. She washes and I dry. Sometimes our forearms brush up against eachother and she apologizes. “For what?” I ask. She’s turned on the radio and it’s set to the Jazz station. She doesn’t change it. I think about how her father loves Jazz and wonder if he plays it for her when she goes to see him in the Yukon every July. “Mom,” she says, draining the sink and dumping the leftover bits of broccoli and rice in the compost, just like I’ve taught her to do. “I’m writing to a guy in Texas…” I take a deep breath. “Oh?” I say, trying to be the open-hearted woman that she usually forgets I am these days. “He’s in prison… He’s…” “What?” “He’s lonely…” She looks at me and I see my own eyes, ripe and full and I sit down at the round table and she sits down too.

“WIN $2000” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar going East

Tuesday January 28, 2014
5 minutes
from a Loblaws receipt

I wasn’t sure what to say
You were looking at me
Expectant and underwhelmed
Eyes up and down
From my toes
to my eyes
(A bit squinted)
You had a few crumbs of toast caught in your beard
A new addition
Something to prove that you really are a man
It catches the light
And reminds me how much you look like our grandfather
You tell me not to act so surprised
“I’m not acting” I say
You tell me that I should know by now not to put anything past him
Our youngest brother
Last we heard he was hitch-hiking across the East Coast
Now he’s at a hospital somewhere in Minnesota
No insurance
Unsure of he’d taken drugs or been hit on the head by the butt of a rifle

“Don’t stare at The Nude.” by Julia at Saving Gigi

Wednesday January 29, 2014 at Saving Gigi
5 minutes
God Loves Hair
Vivek Shraya

I had to revert my eyes. I had to force myself to think of things that deliberately grossed me out: polenta, mushy polenta, rice pudding, candy corn, creamed corn, any corn, vomit, cat vomit, parsnips, cigarette butts in water, sidewalk hork, discharge, eye gunk on a man, unroasted pig ears, food stuck in a beard. I was worried that if I even enjoyed him for a millisecond I was going to cum. I blame it on not getting my lady mane stroked in over 4 months and the first naked penis to make my acquaintance just so happened to be beautiful and maintained and directly in front of my eyes. Or my vag. It really could have been in front of either.

“WIN $2000” by Julia on the 504 going east

Tuesday January 28, 2014
5 minutes
from a Loblaws receipt

And I would buy so many thermal things, seriously you don't even know. I would spend the $500 on a winter coat that I was denying myself before because it seemed just effing ridiculous if I couldn't even afford to pay my phone bill. I would get the warmest boots money can buy. They would be toasty and stylish. That is the dream. I would buy those hand warmer things and wear them daily and I wouldn't care about the environment because clearly the environment doesn't care about me. It would be a war on the elements and I would be a warrior for warmer temperatures, fighting only for my extremities and my facial features that can't be protected without looking like an extreme bank robber. And with the rest of the money I'd spend it on taxies so I would never have to wait in the cold for a stupid transit system to be 15 minutes later than it says it's going to be and I would be happy. And after saying all that I realize I could JUST LEAVE THIS CITY!! $2000 can get me that right??

“That’s the point.” by Julia on the subway going east

Monday January 27, 2014
5 minutes
The Grid
January 23-30 2014

Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah
That's 1234
Four yeahs
That's the point
You count them out and you go oh yeah but you say as many as you feel are necessary for the understanding you've just developed
Four sometimes five
Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah
Extra yeah extra oh
For those moments when you just need to keep going on that track you started on
I've been punishing you with my absence
I'll admit that now
Haven't been responding to your messages or your needs or your calls or your smoke signals
Didn't really care if it was urgent or of it was life threatening
Didn't care at all
And so I saw your reach outs
And I ignored every last one
Cause you're a bad friend
And when you realize it all
The pieces falling where they should
The puzzle coming together
You'll do it
You'll say it
You'll go oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah
I have been terrible
I remember now

“kind of contrary” by Julia on her couch

Sunday January 26, 2014
5 minutes
NOW magazine
January 23-29 2014

Didn't want to ask her to move her American Eagle purchases off the seat just so I could sit down. Didn't want to inconvenience her and leave her to hold her plastic shopping bag on her lap. I was trying to be nice so I hovered directly over her head and made sure to breath heavily into her general living space. She didn't look up but she did clench her bag tighter. I wasn't planning to take her shitty cable knit sweaters and sparkly tights but I was attempting to throw down some life lessons pretty fast and hard on her hat hoping she'd absorb mighty quickly that the subway seats were just not designed to house inanimate objects–no matter how much you value those over real human beings with potentially long day jobs on their feet, or a bullet wound in the leg.

“That’s the point.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday January 27, 2014
5 minutes
The Grid Toronto, January 23-30, 2014

If you were to teach me how to knit, you might realize that I have the patience of a toddler. You wouldn’t be as impressed as you are by the words I know. I would drop stitches and curse in ways you thought only truck drivers and prostitutes knew how. You and I, feet tucked under our bottoms, cradled by the couches soft cushions, the hum of the radiator coo-ing us towards stillness, knitting needles clinking together, our balls of wool somehow, magically, not becoming tangled together. When I finally have something to call something, a tiny square without too many holes, you look exceptionally proud. I say, “it’s so slow!” You say, “that’s the point.”

“kind of contrary” by Sasha on her bed

Sunday January 26, 2014
5 minutes
NOW Magazine, January 23-29, 2014

In the woods, I forage for mushrooms. Chanterelle, oyster, porcini and portobello. You try to tell me that we can’t find all of those varietals here but we can. And I do. I clean them with a cut-up sheet, covered in lilies of the valley. I chop them up all together, finely, dicing and mincing until the cutting board is blacked. I warm a skillet with a slab of butter and a sliced clove of garlic. I add the mushrooms. I stir, rhythmically. I close my eyes and I breath in the smell of this place. I eat a bowl of this with nothing else but a curl of parmesan cheese. I use a fork that used to belong to my sister. I watch the sun fall behind the trees and I listen to the owl reminding me of night. You’ve been by the water, trying to catch a trout. You come home once it’s dark, empty handed. But not for long… Soon you, too, have a bowl of mushrooms and a glass of elderflower wine.

“Original Spring Source” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday January 25, 2014
5 minutes
Mountain Valley Sparkling Water bottle

In Paris they don’t use the butt side of a knife to stir their tea. They use tiny spoons with Royal Crests on the bottom. When you buy your bread they don’t ask “Whole wheat or white?” There aren’t stupid options like that. Women wear high heels and linen suits and they know how to drink wine. In moderation. No one gets dyed teeth or anything. The Eiffel Tower reminds all of the people to say “Pamplemousse”. In Paris, you would never forget to tell someone that you love them when they’re leaving for the weekend. You wouldn’t only never forget, you’d leave a truffle on their pillow so that when they got home they knew how glad everyone was and how missed they’d been. In Paris, the Queen is just a train ride away.

“Original Spring Source” By Julia on the 504 going east

Saturday January 25, 2014
5 minutes
from a Mountain Valley Sparking Water bottle

There's a little well, a fresh water spring that is about 8 minutes away from their house. It's the most beautiful place on earth. It is safe there. It is calm. It makes all the bad things seem to float away or disappear or turn into good things so they're not bad anymore. The soft rippling of the water, the purest form of ecstasy that I know, the clear stream of stress rolling down the tree stumps and off of the mountain side. That's where I find myself in moments like these. When the weather aches all my bones and weighs heavy on my mind. When the morning light shines through my window reminding me of all the things I have to fix or make or do or forgive. When your heart breaks from an unkind word I've said, or if coincidentally you believed that your breath was too loud for your brain that day. I go to the water. I go to the spring. I go to Italy and wait for you there.

“BIG NEWS!” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday January 24, 2014
5 minutes
From a nondescript newspaper

Cassiopeia says she’s got “big news!” Turns out she scored big down at the Storage Unit Auction on Princess St. She’s been addicted to those things since the 80’s. You know the ones? Well, if you don’t pay your payments then those owners have the right to sell all of your stuff. All of your things that you’ve been paying to store there! I always scoff at her, saying, “Cass, you better not dip into your retirement fund of you’ll be asking to come and live with me before you know it!” She knows I’m only half kidding. Lucille said that she must’ve spent almost all of Kenneth’s Life Insurance on those things. And then she comes in today, she comes into the kitchen and looks at the tuna sandwiches like she’s too good for them! “What’s with you?” I say. And she says that she’s got “big news!”!! “What is it?” I say. “I bid on a storage locker that had boxes of crap…” “And…?” I say. “And a Rolls-Royce!” Who even knew a car could fit in one of those things.

“BIG NEWS!” By Julia on the 511 going south

Friday January 24, 2014
5 minutes
From a nondescript newspaper

If there’s ever a time or a place that you’re looking to unload some of your shit or whatever, DO NOT CALL ME. I’m serious, I will not be a helpful person to call. Reason ONE being I do not own a phone. Reason two being I do not enjoy speaking on Thursdays, Sundays, and days of SOLAR ECLIPSE. Reason THREE being I have short term memory loss and will never ever be able to store our conversations in my brain. It’s not that I don’t want to help, just more so that I am UNABLE AND INHIBITED BY LIFE’S TRAGIC MISFORTUNES. If you want to call me you can. I’m saying do not to help us both out. If you need assistance you can send a letter in the mail? If that is appealing to you? You can write it by hand if that’s better for you or you feel you might elicit some quicker response. You are welcome even more TO COME OVER TO MY HOUSE on days that are not aforementioned.

“You don’t have to look at me like that.” by Julia at Sambuca Grill

Thursday January 23, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
5 minutes

There is a man named Eliot and he had weird fingers but those are not the things I mind about him mostly just his laugh that bothers me I think I wish he had a different one more because the one he has makes me feel less funny it’s so big that’s the problem his laugh makes everything seem like irony or sarcasm and I’m not prepared for that and everything else that comes out of his mouth always claiming that’s funny as if his big laugh wasn’t enough so maybe now that I think of it the laughing combined with his talking is what I dislike most if I had to choose and if I had to be specific what’s the haunting echo you wonder not quite relevant to the man with weird fingers but I’ll tell you it’s his twin he had a twin I’m telling you he killed it at birth because he wanted to be the first one out and the twin wanted the same thing I know it’s true because that’s how his fingers got weird they got that way from sticking themselves so deep into another person’s flesh and bones they get twisted up and there’s no fixing it and now that I think of it is in fact relevant

“simultaneously ancient” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday January 22, 2014.
5 minutes
KINFOLK, Volume 10

She was old and she was young
Not sure which parts were which
Sometimes her bones cracked
Sometimes they didn’t
Sometimes her mind forgot
Sometimes it didn’t
She was a glow
Any age can be
She was dark and lived
But in her face only at times
Other times in her soul alone
She was wise
And she was naive
She gave great advice
But she didn’t know how to take it
Her heart held lullabies
Her heart held broken pieces glued together
Her eyes were deep and lived
And sometimes flickered like someone who had never seen anything before
She was young and she was old
She was living and she was learning
Some days she taught herself something new
Some days she taught someone else to feel loved
Others she wouldn’t have anything to do with learning at all
She was grown
She was new

“You don’t have to look at me like that.” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday January 22, 2014
5 minutes

“Let’s bury it in the back garden, near the chives,” you say, and your eyes shine like they do on your birthday. I guess I should start at the beginning. Not the beginning beginning but the beginning of you and I being the unlikely guardians of a gym bag containing half a million dollars. You’d been on the train to Kingston to visit your mother, all failing health and permed maroon hair. A man in a jean jacket and sweatpants with what you called “crazy eyes” sat down beside you and started talking your ear off. You’re a good listener. Thank God for that. You’re a trained listener, MSW on the wall in your office. Thank God. Before you knew it he was confessing and crying and eating peanuts and you were flabbergasted and overwhelmed but somehow still calm and breathing. And then he said he was going to the washroom and would you watch his bag. You said you would and were glad you’d have a second to absorb it all, to think about what should be done. And he never came back. You opened his bag, one of those cheap GoodLife gym bags you get when you sign up for a membership. Your heart sank and then rose and then sank again, at least that’s how you describe it. I’ll never forget your face when I picked you up from Union Station later that night, confused at your arrival, at your luggage, at your incessant laughter and utter disbelief.

“simultaneously ancient” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday January 22, 2014
5 minutes
KINFOLK, Volume 10

My Poppa was a repo man and he’d come in tired as a horizon at dusk. My Momma would ring her hands as she looked out the kitchen window like she was hoping for something to drip down from them – cherry cordial or lime juice or blood or sunshine. There was an easy feeling before the winter but in it, there was a weight to feet on the floorboards, creaking into the darkness. I never laughed so loud as the time my brother Aaron told me that there was nothing that was gonna stop him from leaving the farm. I never cried as much as when Baby Charlotte decided to die. We’d seen birth and death since we were little, a kitten swept into the compost pile or a cow giving herself to our bellies, bullet in the head. Charlotte was different though. We’d been so excited for a baby girl, after the twins, after enough blue blankets. I’d rubbed Momma’s belly with oil and whispered to her in there. She had the whitest skin of any of us. “I can see her wormy veins,” said Jeffrey, peeking into her cradle. “Shhhh,” I said. When Charlotte decided to die, it was like a snow had come, cloaking the house in whispers and shadow and porridge.

“He Was A Spy” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday January 21, 2014
5 minutes
Tweet from The New York Times

When he got the call, he wasn’t ready. “We’re here, Mr. Martinez.” He surveyed the table where Rosa used to stuff empanadas and where Ricky would do his math homework. Maria would be coming later that afternoon to pack the rest of the furniture and drive it to San Francisco in the morning. She’d come and see him that evening. He didn’t know if he’d be able to offer her tea, or beer. He shuffled to the front door and kissed the wall that had kept them warm for thirty six years. The driver rushed out to meet him. “I’m fine,” he said, resisting the help. “Mr. Martinez, we’re really looking forward to having you at Bridgewater. Your son has gotten your apartment all set up. I think, once you’re settled in, you’ll really like the community we have. There are lots of fascinating people…” He shot the driver a look that told him to shut up. As they drove away, he watched his green roof disappear. “Don’t small talk me,” he said, not looking to the left or right, keeping his eyes on the meridian, the yellow of his future.

“He Was A Spy” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday January 21, 2014
5 minutes
Tweet from The New York Times

He sat on the edge of the bed with one of those listening gun things. You know the ones that are attached to a wire and you can plug headphones in, and then when you point it and hold down the…I don’t know, I don’t want to say trigger, but, I think that’s in fact what it is…anyway you trigger it or whatever and it amplifies the sound of whatever it’s being pointed at? He was trying to listen to Nadia’s phone call through the wall. And I think it was working because he would giggle every few seconds as if he could understand. I didn’t like that he was doing it. I mean, I know he doesn’t care about Nadia, nor can he understand her thick accent. He just likes that his stupid contraption works. I just worry that if he were spying on her, then maybe he’d be spying on our kids, and maybe me. It’s times like that I have to think back to every moment I thought I was alone in the house, and retrace my thoughts to make sure I didn’t say anything incriminating. I generally like to consider myself a good person, but what if I slip, like we all do? What if I’ve said some things I just didn’t mean, or just didn’t mean to say aloud when I thought no one was around. You’d think that if he…found out anything….that maybe he’d confront me about it. Or he’s saving any and all information to use against me when I least expect it.

“Stacking wood” by Julia on her couch

Sunday January 19, 2014
5 minutes
Stacking Wood
Mimi Lipton and Thorston Duser

you gotta know one thing about me
love loving things and the things i love i love with every part
is that two things?
you gotta know em both, and can’t forget one half of it
they go together
they just do
so the things i love, i tell you, i love them sometimes without cause
no definite reason or explanation
why do we have to explain why we love anyway?
you know? love and let love
is that saying?
who cares
so the things
i just want to tell you before you go away
just in case they’re things you never get to know about me and maybe one day, who knows, you might need to know it all
they’re small things
that’s the first thing you should know
i love small things
small size
small shapes
small versions of bigger things
ketchup bottles are better small!
i bet you never thought that before
i think that all the time
what’s better and how it’s better and why
no why or how do i love them but i understand their formats and things
and so there’s that thing
the small things thing
and then the stacked wood
that’s a thing, or a million things depending on how you look at it
i don’t know why i love it the way i do
or that people i love know that i love it and then get me great coffee table books of it
and it’s just as beautiful as you might believe in book form
like a small version of a real one and then it’s two things i love rolled into one
i also love two-for-ones or two-birds-one-stone scenarios
feels like fate is finally a thing i can sink my heart into
you know, when stuff like that exists and you can see them having every purpose imaginable?

“The second level” by Sasha at Capital Espresso

Monday January 20, 2014 at Capital Espresso
5 minutes
Radical Honesty
Brad Blanton

Glad you got Toby an ant farm. Really really glad. You’re not going to have to deal with sand everywhere, and his crazy outburst when he forgets about them and they all die. Thanks for that. Really. You’re twelve months behind on child support payments, Ron. DO you know what twelve months makes? A YEAR. I could send you to jail. But I wouldn’t want to do that to Toby. I want his Daddy to be around for him. God forbid he end up like you. Next time you get him a goddamn birthday present that requires a living thing, can you just, like, okay it with me first? Please? You know that I’m going to be the one that has to clean it. Does it require cleaning? If it does, I’m going to be the one… He’s four, Ron. He just learned how to wipe his ass. Oh, and your mother can’t bring him to Florida. No way. No effing way.

“Stacking wood” by Sasha on her bed

Sunday January 19, 2014
5 minutes
Stacking Wood
Mimi Lipton and Thorston Duser

Charlie and I stack wood in the late summer. She’s in her cut off Nirvana shirt and wrap around sunglasses, with grey cargo shorts. I’m in a floral sundress. It’s how we do it, me and Charlie. When she built the Yurt she was still coming to the city on weekends, but not anymore. The noise makes her hands shake. The light, street-lamps and signs on a higher voltage than the moon, gives her bad dreams. I come a few times a year. I bring things she can’t get in the town of three hundred that’s twelve kilometres away. Like chia seeds and tahini and heirloom tomato seeds. We don’t talk a lot, she mostly gestures, and occasionally reads me a passage from whatever book she’s reading. It’s disorienting to think that we shared a womb.

“Diarrhea Relief” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday January 18, 2014
5 minutes
The Shoppers Drug Mart flyer

God. This is em – … I thought that I was over… I’m trying to… I can’t just – … Shit. I mean… That’s ironic… I’m, I’m sorr – … Goddamnit. DO NOT GO INTO THE BATHROOM. Do you have matches? A… stick of incense? Or… Faaaaack.

I never thought that I would be the one to show you this city. This stinky, gorgeous city. I never thought that, after everything, we’d be riding the streetcar to go skating at City Hall and that you’d be the one going with my to the Drugstore for Plan B. I remember when we built a blanket fort in your Dining Room, growing up. We must have been eight or nine. I refused to go home. I refused! And now… Here we are. Cheeks slapped by the wind and hearts beating as fast as hummingbirds.

“it’s okay” by Sasha at lemonTree {studio}

Friday January 17, 2014 at lemonTree {studio}
5 minutes
overheard on the corner of Spadina and Adelaide

“I think you’re better off without them,” said Sam, over chocolate croissants from the bakery a thirty minute bike ride away. He’d gone this morning, early, because they always sell out by nine. He rewards himself with two. I get one, and sometimes the crunchy ends of his second, which he usually leaves behind. “These are the best part!” I always squeal, and he rolls his eyes. “I really do…” he dips a chocolatey chunk into his black coffee. “I actually don’t care what you think about my friends, Sam!” I am lying, but it has the right effect. “Those girls give you grief and only grief…” He wipes the side of his lips. “That’s what friends are supposed to do,” I know it sounds bogus, but, it’s actually what I believe. “It’s different for guys,” I pick up croissant crumbs from the table, one by one, blotting with my pointer finger. “You don’t get it.” Sam looks at me like I’m his puppy, not his girlfriend. Or maybe his gerbil. “It’s okay,” he says, like that’s enough, like that’s it.

“primarily unoaked” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday January 16, 2014
5 minutes
the drinks card at FRESH

She’s been unoaked by him
She’s been de-barrelled by him
She’s been popped
She’s been bubbled
She’s been released by him
I watched it all from behind the lens
From under the table
From the kitchen
(Them in the living room)
I saw the lights dim and the candles glow
I heard nothing but the whisper that says
too much
She’s forgotten about her bunny
Her love of roast beef dinners on Sunday
She’s distracted by the quake of her chest
Against his
She’s dreaming only of the freckles on his back

“Atlantic Ave.” by Sasha on her bed

Wednesday January 15, 2014
5 minutes
the 504 stop announcement

In our house on Atlantic Ave., my mother had a walk-in closet. I didn’t think we were rich enough for that kind of thing. It was organized like a person might who was really into fashion, which my mother was not. Sashes on hooks according to colour, long skirts in the blue and purple palate, necklaces both long and short on tiny brass hands sitting on top of the chest of drawers that held her bras and underwear. My mother would put on her amber perfume before going out on a date with my father. She would put the silver barrettes in her hair and draw on eyeliner with her brown stick from The Body Shop.

“in a graceful way” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday January 14, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
5 minutes
Stone Poetry
Satya Pattnaik

In a graceful way, I see your unravelling. It started with forgetting that you left the car on, bad, terrible things coming out the wind-pipe. I got home and thought that you were doing what you sometimes do, listening to the radio, too engrossed to leave the freezing cold, red, Honda. I get excited because I’m going to surprise you and scare you half to death. I rarely get that. It’s usually the other way around. But, you’re not there. I go round to the drivers side and take the key out. I imagine someone having found the car here, your prized possession of true adult independence, and driving it away, no sign of anything out of the ordinary. But you are out of the ordinary. Nothing about the dishes in the sink, or the dying spider plants are ordinary. This is the time before the phoenix rises. This is the time when you sprinkle the one hundred and sixty puzzle pieces all over the living room carpet.

“Diarrhea Relief” by Julia at her kitchen table

Saturday January 18, 2014
5 minutes
The Shoppers Drug Mart flyer

Oh Tawney, didja get em like I asked ya? Don’t make me write em down like ya did last time. It’s not somethin I like very much to write down. Sleepin pills, ya gran calls them, but we all know that’s not the only thing they do! Don’t make me say it, I won’t, I’m tellin ya, I won’t. Ya better get inside before Dr. Involved in everyone else’s business finds ya out here. He don’t like ya fraternizin with the help, I do remember him sayin. Of course not in those words. He’s got some tact, I’ll tell ya that, but he don’t care much for subtlety with them eyes a his. Rollin around the back of his head, not even aware that peoples is watchin em. Expressive, ain’t-e? Someone shoulda told im a long long time ago that-e was showin too much emotion and too many opinions with his silence. Not meant to be disrespectin anyone, I believe that, but sure don’t stop im from comin across as arrogant. I’m not sayin-e’s not a good man, cause-e is. Your daddy’s one of a kind, really.

“it’s okay” by Julia on the 506 going west

Friday January 17, 2014.
5 minutes
overheard on the corner of Spadina and Adelaide

Everything’s gonna be alright
The world will stop when it’s time
Everything’s gonna be fine
Don’t hide baby don’t hide
When the tide is resting
When the shore is calm
That’s where you will find me
That’s where we belong
Everything’s gonna be alright
The day won’t last forever
Everything’s gonna be fine
Don’t say never baby, don’t say
When the wind is sleeping
When the breeze is dead
That’s where I’ll take you
That’s where we’ll live instead
Everything’s gonna be alright
The sounds of the night are ending
Everything’s gonna be fine
A dream is just a dream is just a dream

“primarily unoaked” by Julia on her couch

Thursday January 16, 2014
5 minutes
the drinks card at FRESH

She was sitting down, the only other person in the restaurant aside from the server. Rumour has it the chefs step out of the building every night after 9:25pm for their secret alley way meeting. Others say they’re just out there “having a smoke”. She was sniffing the cork of her wine bottle. She told the young girl with the side pony tail that she was waiting for someone and didn’t want to look like she cared. The girl sold her the bottle assuming her guest would soon arrive but after almost 62 minutes everyone in the place, and again it was just the two of them, had conceded that this “guest” was surely no longer coming at this point. The bottle was not as depleted as either of them thought it would be by this time, but neither one wanted to address it. The girl behind the counter was taking Instagram photos of stacked plates and sugar packets and nobody seemed to mind that either.

“Each day drawn back to show” by Sasha at her desk

Monday January 13, 2014
5 minutes
Life’s Veil
Kieran Dockerty

You tell me that it’s your birthday and I think about how you’re a water baby
Born Aquarian
Born for the ocean
Wanting whales to sing for you in the morning
Wanting coral reefs to support you
Each day of your life has been drawn back to show you
A school of vibrant fish winking at you
A pearl
Your eye
A tide
Your breath

“More trees less assholes” (Image dip) by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday January 12, 2014
5 minutes


Look. I have something to tell you. Yesterday, when I said that I was at the Laundromat? I wasn’t. I was looking for my brother. I know. You didn’t even know I had a brother. I do. His name is Paul. He’s fifteen months younger than me. I know. I’m sor – … My Mom called on Wednesday and said that Paul was missing. He’s got a slew of things… He’s been in and out of… Anyway, she called and she was losing her mind and I had to hang up on her because I was so overwhelmed by how similar we are. Thursday was me chain-smoking (I don’t even regular smoke) and drinking coffee til midnight. Friday I got drunk with Mandy. And then, yesterday, I couldn’t bring myself to tell you any of it. You looked so handsome in that grey hat and you were so happy to see me and I didn’t want to ruin the mood. So on Sunday morning, I said I was going to do laundry but I really took the bus to Hamilton and I’ve been wandering the streets calling his name like he’s a cat.

“HEALTHY LIFE” by Sasha in her bed.

Saturday January 11, 2014
5 minutes
from the floss threader package

Here’s the rundown of things you should know about Sally before you ever consider being friends with her. It’s crucial that you know. To avoid disappoints. To get the whole picture.
Sally likes her HEALTHY LIFE
Sally likes her CLEAN HAIR
Sally needs her PROTEIN BARS
Sally hates DUST
Sally goes to SPIN CLASS
Sally feels guilty when she eats CAKE
Sally does NIA
Sally drinks GREEN JUICE
Sally takes her MULTIVITAMINS

Fucking Sally, man! I feel so bad for her I feel good for her. Good for her, with her HEALTHY LIFE. Good for her/bad for her. You know what I mean?

“WHeat=” by Sasha on her couch

Friday January 10, 2014
5 minutes
from building graffiti on college street

I hate to make the bed but I do because my Pops told me that a man that doesn’t make his bed is a man that doesn’t deserve a woman in it. So I make the bed, because I can never get the Old Man’s voice out of my head. I find this fucking hair elastic. It’s blue. It’s overstretched. Girls and their goddamn hair elastics. You and your… The bobby pins were everywhere. In the couch, the washing machine, the glove box. How many stray hairs have you got? Shit. I’d make a pile of them and leave them on the table with a note, written on the back of a receipt that said, “We could build a house out of these fucking things.”

“QUEEN BARGAIN MART” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar going East

Thursday January 9, 2014
5 minutes
from the store by the same name on queen west

When you recycle memories
Sloshing them in the blue bin
You’re not doing yourself a favour
It hurts to see them like that
All mixed up together
On Tuesday morning
When you put them on the curb
Your parka over your pyjamas
You might laugh
You see that one your forgot about
The time you fell off the dock and thought you might drown
You were scared then
And you felt remarkably free.
When you’re walking away
The wind picking up your first kiss and taking it somewhere west
You catch a sniff of yourself
Aged six
Stealing a Rolo bar from the Queen Bargain Mart.

“300 pages” by Sasha on her bed

Wednesday January 8, 2014
5 minutes
from the cover of an old notebook

When he wears those red pants I want to die. In a good way. I want to melt into the floor so that he can mop me up. With his red pants. Which means, he will have to remove them. Shiiiiiit. And then. Then. Then I will see his underwear. His boxer shorts that his mother probably got him for Christmas when he still went back home. They’re navy blue with small bunnies. From far away it looks like they’re horses. But they’re not. Bunnies. When he’s mopping me up, the puddle of a soul and a Joni Mitchell album, the doorbell will ring and he’ll laugh because he got caught with his pants down. Again.

“I’ll be here with you” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday January 7, 2014
5 minutes
Let’s Ride Into The Sunset Together
Don Burnam

I’ll be here with you
Don’t worry
I’ll be standing by your side
Close enough that you can sense me
Far enough that your independence not be compromised
I’ll be there
Hands in my pockets
Heart tilting towards the Sun
High in the sky
Tickling the snow
Teasing the darkness of this time of year
I’ll be here when you’ve lost your directions to the place you were hoping to go.
I’ll be here with you
Closing my eyes when you don’t want to miss a second and refuse to blink

When you say,
I will always say,

“Atlantic Ave.” by Julia on the 594 going east

Wednesday January 15, 2014
5 minutes
the 504 stop announcement

Darling where have you been? I’m sitting here under the weeping willow with a blanket and a bottle of wine concealed in an orange juice jug! I could have made sangria! I should have made sangria! You are very late which is unlike you. Ever since I’ve known you you’ve been almost annoyingly on time. Punctuality is always listed first on your resumes or in job interviews. You arrive early because you do not like to keep people waiting. I arrive late because I don’t like doing the waiting! It’s very selfish. And smart, you can give me that! Today I wonder if you’ve forgotten about me and our date? I wonder if you got held up on the bus. I wonder if you hurt your leg running to meet me. I wonder if you are purposefully late because you have a little shiny surprise in a little red box and you need the reveal to be even more dramatic because I tend to get overly excited about everything. It’s been a long time. I will never leave this spot, so don’t worry. Take your time and when it’s right, you will come to me.

“in a graceful way” by Julia at Sambuca Grill

Tuesday January 14, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
5 minutes
Stone Poetry
Satya Pattnaik

Say sorry that way
Tell lies that way
Wait for a better time to bring it up that way
Enjoy the night’s fear that way
Be kind to yourself in that way
Be patient in that way
Forgive in that way
Forgive often in that way
Win in that way
Lose in that way
Work in that way
Play in that way
Hold loved ones in that way
Help others in that way
Receive compliments in that way
Give compliments in that way
Care for an animal in that way
Refuse to be taken advantage of in that way
Stick up for yourself in that way
Remember fondly in that way
Move forward in that way
Let go of negativity in that way
Overcome temptations in that way
Pick yourself up after falling down in that way
Wish for a better tomorrow in that way
Own up to the truth in that way
Believe in magic in that way
Eavesdrop in that way
Wait for your turn in that way
Refrain from running your mouth in that way
Hold on to the perfect moments in that way
And just try if you can’t all the time
Remember it when you feel like nothing is close and everything is hard
There are two choices
To do it in that way
Or not to

“Each day drawn back to show” by Julia on her couch

Monday January 13, 2014
5 minutes
Life’s Veil
Kieran Dockerty

I’m proud of you, you know. I know you don’t want my pride for you because you think it’s selfishly taking credit for something that is not my own, but that is not the kind of proud that I am. I am proud of you in the normal usage of the word. This new agey reclaiming of words that were doing just fine before everyone started deciding they were offended by them is not what I’d even consider meaning. I know your success is not because of me, but I am proud of the person I know you to be and the struggles you’ve overcome and the achievements you have worked so hard for. In the way that shows I know how much work you’ve put in. Okay so trying to explain it doesn’t give it a better sounding ring. I understand that. But before saying something like that to your very own kid never had such an effect. They actually wanted to hear it, if you can believe that. It wasn’t a crime before. Hearing it alone was, in fact, the accomplishment.

“More trees less assholes” (Image dip) by Julia at her kitchen table

Sunday January 12, 2014 5:33pm 5 minutes 20140113-100552.jpg

I could tell you once, I could tell you a million times. You’re not getting any younger! Haha! I’m laughing because that’s something my hubby used to say to me before we were married. It was some big joke and it always made me laugh. He had the perfect expression in his eyes, and he knew it would get me so he’d say it often. He was such a sweetheart. He and I went out west to plant trees when we were young. We thought it would make us better people. And it was hard work. But I tell you know I really do appreciate nature more. Sounds cliche, I know. It is! And I don’t mind it! You people should do more things outside and more things together outside. Do you understand what I’m saying? That’s how you remember your life, with the moments spent in the fresh air and feeling like a part of it all instead of believing you’re above it. You’re not getting any younger! Haha. See?

“HEALTHY LIFE” by Julia at her desk

Saturday January 11, 2014
5 minutes
from the floss threader package

Start by giving away all your earthlies. You know, items of belonging, possessions, feelings. Yeah, feelings. You won’t get to take those with you when you go! I just know. I JUST KNOW. How are you supposed to feel anything in an alternate reality, or universe, or afterlife? Doesn’t it just make sense that there will be a new set of systems to adapt to and follow? What, you think whatever you have right now is the only thing there is? Wonderful! Leave that behind too. I’m talking about states of being, I’m talking about emotions, I’m talking about anything that sets you back in life (ie: feelings and emotions. You with me now?). We won’t need anything so learn now to part with them. Learn now to not desire them. Learn now to be above them. That is how we achieve ultimate happiness. We don’t need anything of the sort. No earthlies. Not even other people. I know that seems difficult for you to comprehend. No people? What is that? It’s better. I’m telling you.

“WHeat=” by Julia on the 506 going east

Friday January 10, 2014
5 minutes
from building graffiti on college street

It’s been 7 years since I’ve touched wheat. You’re laughing. I get it. You think it’s impossible to do. You think I’m a fool for even doing it. “What am I missing out on!” Haha. Joke’s on you. I haven’t touched wheat and I am living a better life because of it. I think people forget how good their bodies were and just assume they are the way they were meant to be. Just not so. I was a real pill when I first started. It was worse than quitting smoking..I know this because I also haven’t touched a cigarette in 7 years, but that’s obviously for a different story. I couldn’t leave the house without yelling at someone, I couldn’t stay inside the house without almost ordering pizza. It was a real nightmare and I was not willing. It took about two years before I was willing. Hell, most days, I’m still not willing. I just keep with the routine. You know what’s actually funny? You’re the laughing type so I can presume you feel you’re missing something in this story that most other stories give you. I’m not even allergic to it. No laughter. Well I stand corrected. That was not a joke, I guess, so. But when I decide something, I stick to it. I also was the one who tagged that building! I made up my mind about graffitiing the tallest building on my street. And I did it.

“QUEEN BARGAIN MART” by Julia on the subway going south

Thursday January 9, 2014
5 minutes
from the store by the same name on queen west

She was the queen of the bargains she got everything for a deal then she sold it bartered for it and got it all back for free she was tired but she was wired to get the best possible kinds so she’d wake up in the morning and all the flyers she did find with her scissors cutting coupons and her highlighter making marks she would have the best darn shopping spree that would impress all the sharks she had competition neighborly and friendly at times but she wasn’t going to sacrifice all of her gold mines so she wore masks of black and crept around real slow daring not to draw attention to her price checks in the know she appeared at every garage sale getting more than what she should as her old lady ways were charming and she seemed nothing but good I’m just looking for a pass time to get me through the days see my husband he loved great deals but he has passed away then she’d take her things on home and would look at all her stuff selling antiques to the highest bidder when the economy was rough.

“300 pages” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 8, 2014
5 minutes
from the cover of an old notebook

wrote you a letter explaining my love
i used words and pictures so you would understand
thought i was being clear and concise
i have a habit for confusing beautiful things
it had symbols and references
metaphors and similes
song lyrics and abstract drawings
it was over 300 pages long
it was over 4 years of patience waning and devotion
it was full of perfectly crafted images to indicate my feelings
the words written slowly so you could read them with ease
and the same things kept repeating over and over
the things about forever
the things about honesty
the things about forgiveness
the things about grass watering
and moon bathing
the kind of love poets have trouble describing
mostly because they fear that words will only taint it

“I’ll be here with you” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday January 7, 2014
5 minutes
Let’s Ride Into The Sunset Together
Don Burnam

Oh this will be nice, a picnic on an ice rink. Surely nobody’s ever done that and we’re just the types to be the first! UH! I love that stuff. We’ll bring sleeping bags and heated hand pouches so we don’t go crazy, but it will be so beautiful we won’t even notice how cold it is! I’m sure of all these things. Can’t not work, you know, if we’re together. The sun will set and we’ll be drinking hot chocolate from a thermos. I have a photographer in mind. She really loves the cold, and loves being the first at things too. So she’ll get bundled, and take our pictures like a magazine spread. That’s my ultimate goal in this. I would not mind getting a bit of publicity out of this. And we’ll just look so in love that everyone will want us to be on the cover of their publications. I really know that this will work. We need to find a doggie to run around or curl up with us. It has to look like as cozy as it would if we were at home and sitting by the fire place. But at the end of the day, we’ll have each other to keep us warm. We’ll lay in bed when we’ve exhausted the sunlight, and we’ll use our body heat to restore any lost feelings in our extremities.

“over the next couple of weeks” by Julia on her couch

Monday January 6, 2014
5 minutes

I have so many goals. I write them down. I check things off. I make extra boxes for things. I put obvious list items down. I do this so I can check them off. “Watch Porn” is not a goal. But it gets a check mark a lot easier than “Get Life Together”. Then it tricks my brain. There’s a bunch of checks. Hey! I must know how to accomplish some things! Like when you put a fiver in your tip jar. But it’s your money. It just helps indicate that tips are welcome. And people follow it. People need to see guidelines. And then they comply. So that’s my list. That’s my everything really. Just one day at a time. “Get Over You And Your Good-Looking Haircut” is a tough one that doesn’t ever seem to get a check. It gets a lot of attempts at that. It gets half strokes. It gets erased lines. It’s not the easiest thing to achieve. But it’s my skinny jeans purchased before I’m the size I need to be to fit in them. Like a big overarching goal. And one that motivates change. “Wake Up” gets a check mark every single day though. Now that’s consistency. And success.

“Check the condition of the O ring” by Julia at her kitchen table

Sunday January 5, 2014
5 minutes
Suzuki GS 500 Haynes Manual

CARLA: I don’t know what that means. I really don’t. I’ve looked it up, and I mean, it’s on the internet cause everything is, but I still don’t get it. Which then makes me feel stupid and sad. Because I know I’m neither of those things but then I’m made to feel like I’m both of them and there’s no getting out. It’s weird, it’s like, saying “I don’t know” and truly not knowing is completely unacceptable to people. Why do I have to pretend to know everything, and look it all up before I send my response? To keep you guessing, to keep you thinking that I’m intelligent. Some people are just not word people, you know? Some people are really good at reading HUMAN BEINGS and THEIR BEHAVIOUR and might be legally illiterate. Is that so bad? Those people get away with not knowing and nobody says ANYTHING to them. And nobody should. Nobody should say anything to the people are “supposed” to be smart and just don’t know all the things that ever existed either, but they do. Higher standards apply to those people. The same way when a skinny person puts on even just a tiny bit of weight, everybody notices and now they get called ‘fat’. Can we do a couple things this year? Like banish the words “stupid” and “fat” because they are relative and they’re just not helping anyone? I can’t be the only one who thinks this. I’m going to look it up on the internet.