“And it’s taking me a second so I’m sorry.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday February 27, 2015
10:07am
5 minutes
Lungs
Duncan MacMillan


– You’re making that face again…
– What face?
That face.
– It’s just my face. I don’t know what you –
– It’s not just your face! I love your face. You’re making that face you make when you know you should apologize –
– I’m not gonna apologize –
– Then stop making that face.
– You’re making a face too, you know!
– Oh yeah? What does it say?
– It says “I’m smugggg…”
– Ha!
– It isn’t funny. I’m mad.
– I know that –
– And I’m offended that you think something’s off with my face. I always thought it was one of the few things I have going for me –
– HA!
– WHAT?!
– You’re spiralling…
– I know… It’s taking me a second to apologize because it’s not that black and white. It’s not just “SORRY! MY BAD!” and then let’s go watch a movie!
– Okay.
– Stop.
– What?
– Stop being so –
– Calm?
– …
– …
– I’m sorry.
– Thank you.
– …
– Your face is back now!

“And it’s taking me a second so I’m sorry” by Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library


Friday February 27, 2015 at the Bloor/Gladstone Public Library
12:50pm
5 minutes
Lungs
Duncan MacMillan


I’m trying to fix it, that’s what I said I was doing.
Well why do I feel like you’re a balloon filled with unkept promises, floating out into the big big sky.
Because you read a lot of garbage and your head is filled with fairytales–
Or maybe because you can’t hold anything tight enough to keep.
That’s probably true.
Impermanence scares you.
No, that’s not it. I’m not a quick fix over a night of deep question-asking.
You don’t like thinking things end, and I see it in you, and you know it in you.
I’m sorry, this mumbo jumbo, this psycho analytical bullshit is making it really hard for me to think of anything else. It’s taking me a second to wrap my “clouded” head around.
Not everything has to end with a commitment. That’s very limiting. If you understood that the end goal is not important, you would find that much needed peace you’re always searching for.

“shouting and laughing and throwing dirt” by Sasha on her porch


Thursday February 26, 2015
4:46pm
5 minutes
My Immortal Promise
Jen Holling


shouting and laughing and throwing dirt
our clothes are the earth’s fingerprints
and our shoes are the bits of bulbs
the new life will come soon
we can feel it between our toes
we make mud pies and sell them to each other
for three butterfly kisses
two sets of sisters
we were born to be here
naked as the days we were born
nothing of it
only bodies and unselfconscious beauty
only girls
drinking from the spout at the side of the house
puppies
painting our faces with beet greens
drawing stories on our backs with dandelion

“we thought we’d play a little trick” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday February 25, 2015
9:51pm
5 minutes
Betty and Veronica Double Digest
The Archie Library 215


You played a trick on me – running like there was something chasing. I’m being chased but that’s the funny thing, that’s the strange thing, you’re not chasing, you’re TRICKING. Every time you say, “I’m not”, you mean “I am”. TRICK! Every time you touch my face, gentle like dew, you say, “I’m here”, you mean “I’m gone”. TRICK! And then I do the inevitable thing of looking at your phone BEEPING all the damn time and there are names I don’t know there, so many names, S names and L names and M names and O names and I’m overcome with the TRICK and the TRICK tastes like garbage. I do the inevitable thing of pretending. Now I’m the TRICKSTER! I pretend I didn’t see the S and the L and the M and the O and you pretend you didn’t see them either and we’re both so fucking good at pretending, we’re the TOP TRICKSTERS, we’d get the gold and the silver and the bronze.

“gals give some sneaky hints” by Sasha on the plane flying West


Tuesday February 24, 2015
6:35pm
5 minutes
blog.muchmusic.com

Don’t get your back up all hunchy
I’m not tryna make a big mess
I’ve got this cat’s cradle across my body
And you’re fighting fighting fighting
The war-cry was the radio
Set to a station I don’t like
The advertisements are the liquor
Ouch ouch ouch
Paper-cut across the boundaries
Blurry and sweaty and new
Ouch ouch ouch
No one’s bleeding
It’s going to be alright
Eventually the clouds change
Yup
That always happens
Eventually we change
Yup yup
Ouch ouch ouch
That always happens

“Pain has been described as a gift” by Sasha at The Big Carrot


Monday February 23, 2015
12:06pm
5 minutes
alive magazine
February 2015


When I look at her, I see all the birthday cards and the Valentine’s books, stuck with stickers and written in blue ball point pen. When I see her move, slow, deliberate, I am overcome with sadness. “This isn’t how it was meant to be!” I say, quiet, under my breath. Who am I to know?

Pain has been described as a gift. Seventeen years of ache, of muscle tightening and bone rubbing. Seventeen years of patience and faith. Seventeen years of the break, the tears, the stomping feet on the ground, if only the strength was there.

Here it is. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Wings spread, she flies.

“breaking laws and regulations” by Sasha on the couch at Bowmore


Sunday February 22, 2015
11:50pm
5 minutes
Nothing But Money
Greg B. Smith


I’m sorry that you’ve made the same mistake seventeen times, Leila, I really am, but when are you going to wake up and smell the porridge?! You’re not a child anymore. No one’s gonna clean up after you, okay? This mess is too damn big. I’ve tried to help you, by God’s divine grace I have, but who would know it? Look at you. Looks like you haven’t slept in months. Are you eating? Would never know it. If I sneezed, you’d keel over…

When I got here I was struck by your… vitality. I remember saying to Cassie, “that one is a shooting star.”

“I’f I’m ever lonely” by Sasha on the subway going West


Saturday February 21, 2015
4:11pm
5 minutes
mirandajuly.com

If I’m ever lonely just send me out to sea
Floating on the water
All the fishes and me

If I’m ever lonely I won’t sing this song
I’ll sit in the dark quiet
Thinkin’ what else might go wrong

If I’m ever lonely I’ll make a pot of stew
I’ll chop up some onions
Nothin’ else will do

If I’m ever lonely I’ll lay in my bed
I’ll listen to the clock tick
And rest my weary head

“shouting and laughing and throwing dirt” by Julia at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library


Thursday February 26, 2015 at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library
4:01pm
5 minutes
My Immortal Promise
Jen Holling


We had found ourselves in a ditch off the 39, laying on our backs facing the sky. About an hour had past and nobody had come looking for us so we did what anyone would do: We got married. We made a promise to each other, etched our signatures in the dirt and that was that. We kissed to seal the deal, me worrying about what my mother would say, her worrying about what my mother would say. We knew it wasn’t a recognized union, but to us it was something more than that–It was a symbolic moment of truth. After years of laughing and crying our way through any hardship, we knew that ours was a love worth continuously working for. After all, at the end of the day we only have two things: our best selves, and the person we choose to see us when we’re not.

“Your premium won’t increase” by Sasha in the Kiva


Friday February 20, 2015
7:29pm
5 minutes
from a radio ad at the Dentist

your premium won’t increase if you pay your dues and if you pay your dues you’ll be living the good life and if you’re living the good life you’re smelling the fresh air and if you’re smelling the fresh air you’re free and if you’re free you’re flying and if you’re flying you’re an eagle and if you’re an eagle you’re better up than down and if you’re down you’ll sail back up and if you’re up you’ll be in the blue and if you’re in the blue you’re connected to what’s bigger and if you’re connected to what’s bigger you won’t feel the small so much and if you don’t feel the small so much you’ll eat another slice of cake and if you eat another slice of cake you’ll close your eyes and if you close your eyes you’ll see the glow and if you see the glow you’ll know you’re where you’re meant to be and if you know you’re where you’re meant to be you’ll relax and if you relax you’ll see the cumulous clouds shaped like puppy faces and if you see puppy faces you’re doing pretty damn well and if you’re doing pretty damn well you’ll be thankful and if you’re thankful you’ll be present and if you’re present you’ll be so on the highest path and if you’re so on the highest path

“She’s a super creative super babe” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore


Thursday February 19, 2015
9:32am
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

She’s a super creative super babe and she wants us to call her Ginger. Not her name, by birth, but who gives a shit about that anyway? She eats rice cakes for dinner, slathered in Nutella and bananas. I think she’s super on to something really magical. And, and! When she sees something she thinks is cool she says, “Nifty…” Didn’t you think that world died with “Radical”? It didn’t! She never makes a fuss if anyone stubs there toe or something and she only really says what, like, needs to be said, you know? She doesn’t say useless shit. And she’s like, capital H “HOT”. So… I’m gonna see if she, like, wants to be friends, because, really, I mean, I have nothing to lose. And everything to gain! Her! Her… I have her to gain…

“we are in a war to the death” by Sasha in the air


Wednesday February 18, 2015
10:30am
5 minutes
The War of Art
Steven Pressfield


When we found the wreckage
we weren’t sure what we were seeing
Arms there
And eyelashes
Fingers and collarbones

You made a joke about the apocalypse
I ate a chocolate bar
We had sex
The sky was purple and grey

We are in a war
Death is there
Yes
And so is the morning

Fires burn low
Bright like when we used to dream about
Hollywood
You’re skeptical of kindness

“we thought we’d play a little trick” by Julia at the Perth/Dupont Library


Wednesday February 25, 2015 at the Perth/Dupont Library
1:51pm
5 minutes
Betty and Veronica Double Digest
The Archie Library 215


We had a ton of little games we used to play when we were kids: See how many fingers you could fit in your mouth, how far you could shove a twisted piece of facial tissue up your nose before sneezing, see who could sneeze the most in a row after that twisted piece of facial tissue was stuck up there, how many times you could belt out the national anthem while you did a number two. We’d come up with the weirdest shit and we would be so willing to complete every single thing. How many bubbles could you blow with your gum in the nude while you got wrapped up in a towel, how many bubbles could you blow with your gum before you got unwrapped from your towel? How many spoons of cinnamon could you keep in your mouth without spitting it everywhere. You’d think we didn’t have one single toy, one single book. Where we came up with these crazy ideas, I will never know.

“gals give some sneaky hints” by Julia on the 47 going north


Tuesday February 24, 2015
6:35pm
5 minutes
blog.muchmusic.com

Don’t want to give you any false raised hope, but there will be a surprise tonight that is going to blow your mind. I promised Angela I wouldn’t say what was going down, but it’s your freaking birthday, dude, it’s not like you don’t expect some wicked cool event to happen in your complete and perfect honour. I pinky swore your girlfriend that I would keep all details of this extravagant celebratory secret to myself. But I thought about it, and I was like, dude needs to know what to wear, you know, how is he supposed to dress himself without a dress code! What is this, New Years? No. Not even close. That phrase doesn’t really work here, cause I actually stole it from my ex-boyfriend who used to say it all the time, and the way he did it was so funny, so I was trying to be funny. Anyway, he also hated surprises. Or, no, he hated when surprises got ruined. And, yeah, the reaction to the “SURPRISE!!!!!” Is really only as good as the secret kept, but I still maintain that you would be happier walking into your favourite place, with all your favourite people, knowing that it was happening, so you could fill your face with honest gratitude and appreciation. You’re welcome, dude!

“Truth is what works” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday February 17, 2015
10:35pm
5 minutes
Man Seeks God
Eric Weiner


Tell me a story where we start
“Once upon a time”
Where we end
by the apple tree
With a basket and a lantern

Tell me a story
and I will braid your hair
I’ll take one piece over another
I’ll stoke the fire

Tell me a story
where the truth works
Her mustard magic
Where we only mince garlic
Not words

“Pain has been described as a gift” by Julia at her desk


Monday February 23, 2015
3:06pm
5 minutes
alive magazine
February 2015


I’ll be there when you need somebody
Hold you close when your heart’s been hiding
I will tell you what is inside my bones
Until you feel safe again again
I’ll be near when your strength is over
Pick up the pieces of your broken soul
I will sing to you until you sleep easy
But what do I do when you don’t come to me
Can I sit alone and wait for peace to be
You don’t always want something that you can see
You think you’ve got it covered
But that’s when I believe
You need me
I’ll reach out even when it’s lonely
On the edge of me waiting hoping
I will stay here all night if I have to
Do it again the next until you feel moved to
let it go and build a home again again
Don’t worry I won’t give up
Don’t worry I won’t let it hurt you anymore

“breaking laws and regulations” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 22, 2015
5:50pm
5 minutes
Nothing But Money
Greg B. Smith


She never had a record until she did and couldn’t say that anymore. She didn’t say it enough, in fact, when she could freely and honestly do it. Now she has to announce that it’s no longer clean, pristine, untouched. She has to tell potential employers that she isn’t legally allowed to drive until 2017 because of a current DUI charge. She’d like to tell them that it wasn’t really her fault in the first place, but people don’t hear excuses when all they can see is “criminal record”. Criminal. That’s what she had become. And again, she wished she would have started more conversations with “I’m not a criminal” because now she isn’t able to identify with anything else. She hugged the woman she got to chatting with in the line at the post office who said to “try to stop identifying yourself with things in this world. Things are not you. And you are not things. Your failures do not define you. Your successes, though we’d like them to, don’t either.”

“If I’m ever lonely” by Julia at her desk


Saturday February 21, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
mirandajuly.com

If I’m ever lonely, I’ll close my eyes and think of that day in April when I see you again. You’ll be ready to get out of the cold you’re trapped frozen in, and you’ll welcome the melting of all your icicles with thawing extremities. We have done this before. We have stood still in our distant lives and breathed in a time difference for months. Now good morning is still good morning, and good night is still good night, but my here is not your here and your here is not you’re here..
If I’m ever lonely, I’ll write you something sweet on the napkin beside my bed, hum the words to music and turn it into a song I sing inside my head to keep you close. You’ll ask if you can learn the chords that go with it so you can play your version on the other side of where I am.
We have done this before. We have loved from far away for days and days and days.

“Your premium won’t increase” by Julia at her desk


Friday February 20, 2015
3:29pm
5 minutes
from a radio ad at the Dentist

I didn’t want my mother to know but I had been sending sending cheques to her condo once a month and signing them The Canadian Bursary For Deserved Patrons. She wouldn’t take my money if she knew it was me, and my sister tried to send anonymous money to her condo last July and my mother called in a bomb threat. I’ve had to get creative. She’s stubborn and won’t take money directly, but I have two post secondary degrees so I was not going to let that be the end of it. It didn’t matter how she got it, as long as she just got it. Now she’s able to pay off her medical bills without feeling like a charity case or that she’s not able to take care of herself. After Dad died, my mother tried really hard to prove that she could keep up with everything on her own. When she sees the cheque each month, she thinks in some sweet and sneaky way, my father is sending his love to her. Who am I to ruin that image for a woman who gave up her entire life just to raise two little girls with very big dreams.

“She’s a super creative super babe” by Julia at her desk


Thursday February 19, 2015
12:32am
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I thought she was younger than me when I first met her cause of the way she only talked about guys finding her attractive, which party we should go to on the weekend based on which guys would be there..and I mean, yeah, she was beautiful and she obviously had lots of guys interested, but it was the attitude of a 20 year old, and then all of a sudden, I find out she’s 32. It rocked my world. And I’m not an agist, you know? Because when I thought she was younger than me, I was still cool with hanging out with her. And then she was older, and the level of respect I had for her didn’t match anymore. So that’s why we stopped being friends, you know, not cause she’s not nice, cause she is, or at least she was or whatever, but it was me. I couldn’t get past it. I don’t know. It sort of just got inside my head and stuck around. Maybe it was also because she was a self-proclaimed “true artist” and I never saw her create anything.

“we are in a war to the death” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday February 18, 2015
2:30pm
5 minutes
The War of Art
Steven Pressfield


We have been at odds, all three of us, since that summer when Jenna decided to strip. We weren’t prudes, Angie and me, we just got angry that she didn’t want to finish college. “It’s to pay for college, you idiots,” I remember Jenna spitting at us. “Well what’s the fucking point of paying for it if you’re not going to keep going?” Angie got pissed at everything, but for once, her anger was justified. We had spent our entire senior year helping Jenna get her shit together. We worked in shifts at her house, Angie tutoring her in Calculus, me practically writing each of her English papers for her. Jenna was a smart girl but she didn’t want to try very hard. Yeah, yeah, likely story; it seems they’re all smart until they’re not. Jenna wasn’t stupid, but she did have a knack for making some pretty questionable life choices.

“Truth is what works” by Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library


Tuesday February 17, 2015 at the Bloor/Gladstone Public Library
3:35pm
5 minutes
Man Seeks God
Eric Weiner


I’ve always thought so. I’ve ALWAYS said that haven’t I, Aims? I live for that shit. When someone just tells you like it is. How is it, one might ask? LIKE THIS. BAM. Like a roundhouse kick to the face! I have always appreciated roundhouse kick honesty. I value that shit over my entire LIFE, dude. So when I was sitting there at that stuffy, pretentious, God-forsaken shit hole of a restaurant on Bay, I was internally like, WHERE ARE ALL THE FUCKING STEAK KNIVES BECAUSE I AM ABOUT TO STAB THE ENTIRE WORLD. Externally I was sitting there quietly wishing I could just be honest. Then he goes, You know what? This place is not exactly what I was expecting. Kind of not my style. And I BREATHE again for the mother-fucking first time, Amy! I was like, I mean, externally I was like, YES. I KNOW, BRO! I’m so glad you said something cause I was thinking that I need to either set this place or myself on fire and I’m totally not prepared to ruin this outfit. And he laughed, dude. It was so fucking refreshing.

“three variations to play with” by Julia on her bed


Monday February 16, 2015
11:03pm
5 minutes
chatelaine.com

Okay so I started this day with a hunger for both burgers and living my life to the fullest. I haven’t touched a burger in at least 8 months, and unfortunately I can say the same for living my life to the fullest. I wasn’t even living my life at all, so what I’m saying is that I’ve been ignoring my cravings to taste the world and touch the internal madness that drives me. I miss burgers every time I write the damn word. I miss living my life now, but before I didn’t even notice it was missing. It’s the same thing when I put all my long necklaces into a jewelry box, or shove my old notebooks into a drawer. If I don’t see them on a daily basis, I genuinely forget that they’re there. I don’t know if that’s a weak character trait passed down to me from my ancestors a thousand years ago, or if it’s just true because I’m such a wild moment to moment kind of gal (spoiler alert: it is NOT because I’m busy being present in the current anything. I wish that to be true, but it is not true. The spoiler alert is the only thing true. Because the truth is that I’m spoiling myself. This parenthetical has taken a turn for the worst. Okay just leave while there’s still a chance. Alright, forget it: I’ll go).

“three variations to play with” by Sasha at the UBC Learning Exchange


Monday February 16, 2015
6:03pm
5 minutes
chatelaine.com

It’s funny how the colours change, how suddenly oatmeal tastes really different. Kenneth makes a mean bowl of oatmeal. He lets the oats soak overnight, covered, on the countertop and then, in the morning, there is the best damn oatmeal you’ve ever had. He adds raisins and flaked coconut, a little drizzle of honey. Warm soy milk. He’s inspired me to switch to soy, that wasn’t something I did on my own. I’m not that health inclined, right? But Kenneth reads all those articles and they really stick, he remembers every little thing! Chia seeds have protein and avocados are good for your hair and eat some fish, but not too much and – ! Phewf! It gets exhausting! So many variations of health to play with, so many possibilities. I say, make a piece of toast and put some peanut butter on it and call it a day but not Kenneth. “If you’re going to spend your money on anything, spend it on your fuel,” he says. It’s not “food”. It’s “fuel”.

“I like chocolate!” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 15, 2015
12:51am
5 minutes
overheard at Caffe W

Woah, that’s, that there is my one and only weakness. My one and only true love…or you know, weakness because I love it. I’m talking about what you think I’m talking about. I’m not the only one and I know that, but it’s still a thing that I have to say out loud before we do this. I just don’t want you to have any false notions about who I am, or what I do, or what I’ll choose when push comes to shove. I choose my beautiful weakness, my beautiful soulmate. And in case you need explaining, it’s not you, or anyone you might know. It’s mint chocolate, okay? Is that what you need to hear to understand fully? It’s a delicious and cool mint chocolate and I would rather die than go a single day without a piece. I was hoping you’d bring it up this early just so I could address this thing before the beast rears its ugly head and you don’t know how to handle it, or me, or the commitment I’ve made to it. This is only a good thing.

“I can’t leave people unattended inside with the doors closed” by Julia on the 506 going east


Saturday February 14, 2015
3:36pm
5 minutes
An explanation from the 506 TTC driver

It’s hard to think of him differently after all those years. I mean, hey, yeah, my dad spent the first half of my life as a cook in a greasy diner. He lived for that place. I don’t know anyone else who has been brought to tears over a perfectly poached egg, but he sure has. And sometimes it was hard, and sometimes we thought he was going insane as many kitchen people do, but at the end of the day, when he’d come home smelling like smoked meats and the deep frier, he’d have a smile on his face.
Then, all of a sudden, my dad decided he wanted to be a teacher. Just like that, no real discussion about it, just this is it, I used to cook in a diner and now I want to be responsible for educating the youth of this fine country. I had never seen my dad in a suit before, or anything other than an apron for that matter. We all wondered where a man with barely even a high school diploma would start.

“Let’s make a list” by Julia on the subway going west


Friday February 13, 2015
6:12pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Great Dane Coffee

We’ve got time and we’ve got flowers
We’ve got love and we’ve got hours

Let’s make a list! She squeals.
Let’s write down all the items we need for our home to be perfect!
Okay you start! He sees she’s excited.
I can’t! You go. You go!
Okay, he starts, Lights!
Mood lights! Around the bed?
Yes!
Yes!
A double sink!!
Oh my god. YES.
To say we’ve made it!
Double sinks scream success!
We’ve made it!
Yeah baby.
What else, you go!
Oh-a good couch!
One that pulls out for guests!
All the guests in the world will sleep on our perfect pull out couch!

“Titus and Louise” by Julia on the 26 going east


Thursday February 12, 2015
6:28pm
5 minutes
a storefront window on Dupont St.

Titus hopes for the days that Louise stops screaming in her sleep.
He wakes up every time and tries to hold her without touching her because usually touching her just makes it worse.
He breathes calmly, affecting her breath.
She breathes calmly, taking on his patterns.
Shhh, he kisses the air around her scrunched face.
Shhh, she exhales after holding it in for too long.
Louise sees the visions right before she falls asleep.
The close up shots of a butcher’s bloody hand chopping hunks of raw lamb flesh.
The bees that sting the inside of her eyes until she’s panicked again.
Titus caresses her face softly to soothe her.
He does this sometimes for hours.
His touch is gentle and cool on her hot cheeks.

“happens without words” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday February 11, 2015
1:07am
5 minutes
mysticmama.com

I’ve started this letter 4 times already. I don’t know how to address you…dear is close because you are dear to me but not in this current moment. I don’t remember the last time you were accurately dear to me. I don’t think people understand that when they write it in front of a name, substituting it for “to”. To you. Dear you. Am I missing something? I could just put your name but I don’t think that expresses my feelings well either. You,. I can’t start a letter with You comma; I’m not a complete idiot. You colon. Yeah I could do that. You: –because I could list all the things you are or that you do and the first couple would be aggressive but then I’d remember why I care about you and they would start to get good again.

“I like chocolate!” by Sasha at Caffe W


Sunday February 15, 2015
2:10pm
5 minutes
overheard at Caffe W

I don’t want that shit. It’s nasty! It’s sticky and it slides around my mouth like it thinks it knows where it’s going but it DON’T. You’ve got that look like I’ve said something wrong but really I’m just trying to practice truthfulness, like that stinky yoga teacher talks about. Everyone makes such a big deal about chocolate but I do not get it. I really don’t! Maybe it’s a woman thing. I’m not an oppressor of women, or anything so don’t get the wrong idea, I just know what women do around chocolate and I’ve never seen a man do that. It’s borderline sexually erotic. Chocolate is. For women. Are you gonna finish that burrito? I would. I mean, if you’re not going to. Are you coming to Becca’s Mad Men party on Saturday? I haven’t decided yet… I mean, I like an excuse to wear a suit and tie, but I’m allergic to cats and Becca has three. It’s like, either I take the anti-histamines and pray to the allergy gods that they work or I…

“I can’t leave people unattended inside with the doors closed” by Sasha in the bath


Saturday February 14, 2015
10:36pm
5 minutes
An explanation from the 506 TTC driver

Toby walks in the door and no one looks but he thinks they do. That kind of everyday simple delusion. That kind of heartbeat. He sits near the front of the place, where he can keep an eye on comings and goings. He looks sideways, out the corner of his right eye, where the colours start to fade from real to imaginary. He sees Charles before he’s come in. He’s pulling his scarf tighter around his neck. He’s putting his hands in his pockets.

“Hi Charles.”
“Hi Toby.”
“I like your scarf. That’s a nice shade of red.”
“Thank you.”
“Would you like a beer?”
“I’m not drinking this month. I’ll have a cranberry juice, though?”
“I’ll get it for you – ”
“I don’t mind – ”
“Please, I’d love to. It would be my pleasure.”
“Okay…”

Charles’ sister had set them up. “He’s intelligent! He’s quirky! He’s got square glasses!” She’d sold Toby well, like a lollypop from a remote island or a new kind of fighting fish in the pet store. Charles was reluctant, only because he’d had his heart broken seven years ago.

“Let’s make a list” by Sasha on the B-line


Friday February 13, 2015
5:36pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Great Dane Coffee

Let’s make a list of the places where you live in me
Equal parts below and above the bellybutton
Where you often stick your pinky finger
Amazed at it’s depth
When I put my nose in yours
It smells like summer
A small remembrance of yesterday’s sweater
I collect it
A pillow for a spider
The good luck kind

In the space where we feel
Below the sternum
The solar plexus
That fragile brave hollowness
You live there
Snuggled like a puppy
Curled around yourself

“Titus and Louise” by Sasha at Great Dane Coffee


Thursday February 12, 2015 at Great Dane Coffee
2:50pm
5 minutes
a storefront window on Dupont St.

Michael died on Tuesday
I only met him once
Two summers ago
Walking across Langavin Bridge
Still thinking about his performance
His words
His spooked character
Abducted by aliens

I can’t shake the sadness
A coal of grief in my throat
I keep re-reading the article
in the Globe and Mail
A strange comfort in the facts
The newsprint

A pile-up on the Saskatchewan highway
A snow storm
A car with three others
Artists and activists
All of them killed

The coffee bubbles on the stove
The trees are starting to blossom
in Vancouver
All across the country
Other coals of grief burn
Brighter
Lighter
A crow calls
I look

“happens without words” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday February 11, 2015
10:50pm
5 minutes
mysticmama.com

it happens without words
the realization
like a raindrop
on your third eye
the understanding
in the pit of your belly
near where your breath
lives
it happens without asking
permission
or
if the timing is
any good
it happens just before you leave
for the day
a twister in your heart
a tornado in your throat
a sob
a reach
a hand
cold
far
far
sleep close
the sound of a car
door
closing
opening
closing

“tenaciously committed” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday February 10, 2015
7:15pm
5 minutes
Howlround.com

“It’s okay,” he says. “You aren’t expected to understand this. It’s very advanced…” In his gentle knowing, it’s as though he hopes we might get there, at least before he leaves. “When do you go to Berlin?” Marta asks. He smiles. “Ten days.” “And we are supposed to learn everything from you before you leave?!” Henry looks emotional. He smiles again. “Of course not… It would be impossible. Relax, all of you, I’m feeling tense and you know what happens when I feel tense…” We wait, breath caught in our throats. “I lose my train of thought more easily! I become highly forgetful!” His accent makes his “f” sounds like waves. He looks at his watch. “We’re already over time, if you have someplace to be, please don’t be late on my account.” None of us move a muscle. “Well, in that case,” he raises an eyebrow, “let’s move on to the concerto…” He raises his violin to his shoulder.

“Celebrating those who had died” by Sasha on a log at Kit’s Beach


Monday February 9, 2015
8:11am
5 minutes
The House Girl
Tara Conklin


It begins like every other day. Maggie licks my face until I moan and roll out of bed. She runs down the stairs and I open the back door to let her out to pee. Then I go, in the downstairs bathroom. I let her back in. I fill the kettle with water. Mike is still sleeping and the boys are playing in the room. They whisper breakfast orders. “Granola! French toast!” Mike’s on the night shift so he sleeps til at least two. I get the boys dressed and…

I’m sorry. I just realized that I still have my wedding ring on. Isn’t that strange? It’s been… nine months and I’m still wearing my God damn wedding ring.

You know it’s bad when two police officers show up. One? It’s probably something with the car being in the wrong place, or there’s been a weirdo hanging around the playground again. Two?

I don’t remember which one said what. I don’t remember what I said, or if I said anything or…

“Confronted issues of racism, identity and social tension” by Sasha on the 16


Sunday February 8, 2015
4:12pm
5 minutes
http://www.ago.net/basquiat

How to forget about yourself – A step-by-step guide
1. Don’t smile at yourself in the mirror. In fact, cover all your mirrors with newspaper.
2. Drink lots of water. No juice. No Limonata.
3. Tell your friends to refer to you as the colour of your eyes. I would be “Blue”. You would be “Brown”.
4. Race has nothing to do with it. (Just this once).
5. If you feel one of the following feelings, run yourself a bath, submerge your ears and sing Frère Jacques.
A. Sadness
B. Grief
C. Lust
D. Fear
E. Hunger
F. Ambition
G. Love
H. Fatigue
6. Leave your wallet on the bus.
7. Don’t cancel your credit cards.
8. Go to sleep.
9. Eat mostly canned foods.
10. Tell your lover a secret you’ve never told anyone but yourself.
11. Face them while you do it.
12. I know it seems counter-intuitive to forgetting yourself, but trust me on this one.

“Celebrating those who had died” by Julia at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library


Monday February 9, 2015 at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library
12:22pm
5 minutes
The House Girl
Tara Conklin


Maggie, are you listening? I can’t tell what this thing you’re doing is because usually you’re a lot less interested and you make much more noise than you are. You find something in the room to fall in love with, to flirt with, to hold, to help, to push, I don’t know, whatever it is inside your brain that communicates with your body to do anything but pay attention to me when I need you to. Usually, Maggie, I have to repeat myself a day or two later because I know full well that you hadn’t received a word I’d said. I have gotten used to using the first time I say something for my own good only, you know, to hear it out loud, bounce it off the walls cause you never give me anything. But now it’s very strange. You could be truly hearing me. I think the only other way you’d be this still and this quiet is if you were dead. Maggie? Are you listening or are you dead?

“Confronted issues of racism, identity and social tension” by Julia on the 47 going South


Sunday February 8, 2015
8:14pm
5 minutes
http://www.ago.net/basquiat

We were at this line, standing on a cliff looking out into the entire world. We could see all the sadness, because of all the possibility. We could feel the stars shedding their light for us to soak up if we had enough space left inside after all the room we made for darkness. Deep down we had a fixed price for what we’d pay for happiness. We were told that we needed to buy it. We were told we needed to hide it. And at the same time we could hear all the first laughs of every perfect infant. We could paint courage and intimacy with a brush so soft we could swear it didn’t even leave a mark… And that’s why we stood there. On the edge of everything– and not knowing one single thing to do.

“Flatten the dough into a disk” by Julia at her desk


Saturday February 7, 2015
1:18am
5 minutes
http://www.happyolks.com/

Mom calls me on Saturday, she’s flipping the fuck out. I’m like, Mom. Why can’t you ever call me to say hi or do you need money? She’s like, this is a family emergency, Deirdre, don’t fucking quit on us. And I’m like, don’t call me a quitter, I’m not even fucking doing anything. Turns out the family fucking emergency was that Rodney fell off the stage at his group home again during “choir time” and really needs us all to be there. When I ask her where “there” means, thinking she’s going to say the hospital because maybe he finally got a concussion or at least a broken leg or something, and she’s like, It’d be really nice to have your moral support without questioning my judgement for once, Deirdre. We’re just trying to go on with business as usual so your brother doesn’t feel like a burden. And I’m like, business as usual? You’re fucking interrupting my business as usual just so you can tell me to be there for him…in spirit!

“Flatten the dough into a disk” by Sasha in front of the fire


Saturday February 7, 2015
8:00pm
5 minutes
http://www.happyolks.com/

Lets lower the likes and lessen the filters
Let’s flatten the dough into a disk and throw it in the hottest oven
Let’s form a choir that only performs in Senior’s Homes
Let’s take that choir to the tiniest villages and ask if anyone wants to join
Let’s adopt a brother
Let’s drive a car up a mountain and get out and have a picnic that doesn’t involve nuts and does involve double cream brie
Let’s have a shot of tequila at the bar down the street in our pyjamas
Let’s make a movie for no one but ourselves and if anyone wants to watch it let’s let them
Let’s make a record and only release it on vinyl
Let’s screw the Internet
Let’s pickle peaches and pomegranate seeds and pumpernickel bread
Let’s wear shoes until they’ve stepped on every crack and every brick and every grain of sand
Let’s not leave the house when it rains and let’s make a pot of tea so big we could fit in it
Let’s wear the brightest lipstick and tell no one where we got it
Let’s have sex with the Internet and dominate it in the most gentle way
Let’s be wolves in the woods who howl at the moon whether it’s full or waxing or waning

“heated rivalry and the jealousy” by Sasha in the Fredrick Wood Theatre


Friday February 6, 2015
9:35pm
5 minutes
http://www.mtv.ca

Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?

Warmer here but colder too, in the damp way.
In the down to your bones and souls way.
Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?

The crows know how to stay warm.
They caw with full bird breath.
They caw the warmth from the inside out.
Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?

Mama run me a bath and don’t let me out.
Don’t drain the water til it’s morning.
I won’t drown, I won’t fall asleep,
I’m thinking about the Spring.
I’m thinking about the Spring.
Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?

“we were never meant to be admired” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday February 5, 2015
5:13pm
5 minutes
Stranger in a Strange Land
Robert A. Heinlein


There she is
All round wisdom
He was inside of her
Eight hundred years ago
It aches in my though
Still
It’s funny how the gut knows
The gut always knows
She’s good at what she does
She shakes my hand like it matters
I almost feel badly
She has no idea
She thinks I’m just another wordworker
There’s more light where she’s standing
In the know is out of the yes
I taste her poetry
Like he tasted
I lean my head in my hands
It’s heavy
It’s all heavy
She twists her lock
She fills the space with her-
self
Ourselves
We are
We are one
We are one womb-
an
Woman
Womb and
Heart
We are all the same
Her inside is my inside
We’re all outside
Anyway

“this is the best place” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday February 4, 2015
10:39pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

Today I met a ghost named Bob. He wasn’t anything that special. Just your average “Joe” ghost. He had a pretty bad combover, but, I’m not gonna get picky about stuff like that. I was meditating on the living room floor. I need to sit with my back against the wall because otherwise my back cramps. I was sitting there and then I just hear, “Hey.” And… It’s Bob. “What do you want?” I asked him, opening only one eye. I didn’t want him to get the idea that I cared for him to stick around or something. “Just looking for a place to nap. Got an extra bed?” “Nope!” I said, closing my eye. He sighed in quite a passive aggressive display. “I’m trying to meditate!” Bob laughed. “You’re doing terribly,” he said, sitting his bum down on the floor beside me. “I’m Bob,” he whispered. It was cool on my cheek, not like our breath. That’s the main difference, I guess. The temperature of the breath.

“make myself solid in this transitory world” by Sasha in a UBC Lecture Hall


Tuesday February 3, 2015
1:43pm
5 minutes
A Time Of No Place
Natalie Goldberg


I try my best, you know… I try my best to make myself solid in this highly transitory world. But, like, it’s pretty tough. I mean, on top of everything, it’s like no one can really get their heard around the fact that my way of doing things is, in fact, superior. It, like, just is. Most people feel like I do but don’t have the guts to say it. One thing I have not struggled with is honesty. If anything, I have trouble, like, not being honest. If you have a poppyseed in your teeth, I’m going to tell you. If your fly is undone, I’m gonna be the one to, like, let you know. I don’t feel weird about it! Is it weird that I was looking at your teeth? No! Is it weird that I was looking at your crotch?! Maybe, but like, I was only doing that because your fly was open in the first place!

“heated rivalry and the jealousy” by Julia on her bed


Friday February 6, 2015
12:35am
5 minutes
http://www.mtv.ca

Karma’s a straight up bitch. Man, I’ve been saying that for as long as I can remember..like to other people, cause, hey, that’s what you say. But today I actually feel the bitter truth of it coursing through my veins like a sour drug. It fills me up so high my head pops off and my brains shoot out. It’s this epic battle between knowing that it’s deserved, and feeling one hundred percent blind-sided. I have realized, maybe for the first time ever, that I never want to be on Karma’s crazy bad side ever again. Cause right now, I’m at the lowest I’ve ever been. I don’t want to talk about why I’m at the bottom of the barrel because it feels like it gives my behaviour more power than it should have. On the other hand, I know avoiding it is cheap and cowardly, and I don’t want to be either of those things. So I guess what I’m saying is, I did it. I started the rumours about Tia because I was so jealous about her and Jay I couldn’t even see straight.

“we were never meant to be admired” by Julia at Aroma Espresso


Thursday February 5, 2015 at Aroma Espresso Bar
6:49pm
5 minutes
Stranger in a Strange Land
Robert A. Heinlein


Olivia watched the paint drip off the railing. She was determined to have fun doing it because for whatever reason, watching paint dry has gotten a real bum rap. She wasn’t going to use a phrase like that without knowing for sure that it was true. That’s how Olivia felt about other sayings too. She was a “don’t knock it till you try it” kind of person. She had tried a lot of things, but only because she was also in the business of knocking things. It was in her nature to be cynical, but last May she realized that she had a whole lot of living to do, and nonchalant cliche sayings to defend. She was turning the paint watching into a game. Every time a drip would fall she’d draw a flower on her skin with pink marker. Nobody said you couldn’t make your own fun while doing the obviously un-fun activity. Olivia liked disproving theories. It made her get creative with which sayings she ultimately chose to use.

“this is the best place” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday February 4, 2015
10:29pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

Shying away from the old heartache song
I don’t take too well to that kind of thing anymore
It hurts a bit in places that I didn’t know I had
So I let that tune play on elsewhere
I don’t tell it to stop cause I know it has to keep going
But I send it some peace so it knows It’s not personal
When I meet grace again, I’ll hum it softly
Maybe I’ll mouth the words
That’s when I’ll be able to have it quietly on repeat in the background
Underscoring my day to day
My dishes in the sink
My clothes on the line
My what ifs, if onlys
My midnight snack of whiskey and war

“make myself solid in this transitory world” by Julia at Source Centre for Health and Wellness


Tuesday February 3, 2015 at Source Centre for Health and Wellness
9:04pm
5 minutes
A Time Of No Place
Natalie Goldberg


If Regis (that’s the dog that I’m watching) licks my left ankle one more time, I’ll take it as a sign from the sky gods (that’s a term my friend Birdie told me about recently. Her real name is Roberta, but what fun is that?)that I’m connecting with something magical. Mirabell (that’s Regis’ long lost love) died two years ago today and he never fully recovered. Now he licks ankles but I don’t think those things are related. Tiger-Blossom (That’s my spirit animal. He’s a she and sometimes she’s a monster) says that when it’s really cold at night we must let our lives live without the halves we think they need.

“EVERYTHING IS CHANGING AND EVERYTHING IS STAYING THE SAME” by Julia on her living room floor


Monday February 2, 2015
11:50pm
5 minutes
A tweet by @stgramophone

Hunters in the night, we roam open fields, crouched low, weapons poised.
We dance through the movements in the wild, past forgotten, precision amplified.
We take aim at the heart of time and we shoot, silent bullets, pew pew, into the clock.
Tomorrow, tomorrow, we lament, we celebrate. Yesterday, yesterday, we hang on the wall like a prize.
Keeping it still, keeping it the same as before. We threaten the passing moments with violent accuracy and unmatched speed.
We leave no place for it to hide, no bushes, no blades of grass, no silly wishes left to conceal.
We chew on the flesh of memory until our bellies ache from the midnight devour method.
Nothing is the same now. Nothing is better or worse or either when we don’t let it be.

“You’ll be an architect” by Julia at her desk


Sunday February 1, 2015
1:09am
5 minutes
I’ll Keep You Safe
A song by Sleeping At Last


You’ll be an architect and I’ll be the moon…
You hummed those words to me like peach nectar dripping hot and sweaty summer morning.
I waited for you there underneath the pull of the skies and the heart of the perfect promise.
You said, I do, I do, I do, and I made sure you had enough daisies in your hair for the song.
You build it, I’ll come to you…
You sung it like a poem left in the rain dried by the fire, warm chestnuts basket and fill.
I held my tongue tight in my palms so I wouldn’t miss all the beauty slipping out of your mouth.

“EVERYTHING IS CHANGING AND EVERYTHING IS STAYING THE SAME” by Sasha in the Irving K Barber Building at UBC


Monday February 2, 2015 at UBC
2:47pm
5 minutes
A tweet by @stgramophone

It’s all happening fast
Not too fast
But fast
It’s all happening like water
Boiling over
Steaming your glasses
Wanting an escape
Everything is changing and
Nothing is staying the same
This is the thing you can count on
Like butter
Like the light
Like the dust bunnies
and the crow feathers
You’re not staying the same either
Silly
You’re changing most of all
Especially now
Now that you’ve realized your regret
is too heavy
Now that you’ve dumped it in the compost
Ready to be turned into next year’s soil

“You’ll be an architect” by Sasha at the UBC Learning Exchange


Sunday February 1, 2015
6:02pm
5 minutes
I’ll Keep You Safe
A song by Sleeping At Last


You’ll be an architect and I’ll be an Interior Designer. You’ll wear square glasses and I’ll wear brightly coloured, impractical shoes. We’ll live in a square house that people will walk by and take pictures of and wonder how the roof works, where the rain goes. Mostly we’ll work separately but sometimes we’ll work together and there will be passionate fights and confusing make-up sex. You’ll splurge on high end stereo equipment. I’ll splurge on designer lipstick. When we go out to eat, you always order steak, rare. I sometimes order fish, I sometimes order pasta. We don’t keep it at home, so it just makes sense. You don’t want children and I don’t either. Except this month, when the moon is full and I keep feeling a phantom newborn sucking on my nipple.

“Each person comes into this world” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday January 31, 2015
4:17pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Osho

I’m inspired by THIS GIRL
She leaves her stuff unattended
She’s not restricted by fear
like the rest of us

A Mac laptop
Three books
A handful of pens and an
Orange highlighter

They beg me to steal them
Especially the pens
They looks like they have out-of-this world
flow

She’s gone for longer than
a pee
She’s gone for a solid
walk around the block

THIS GIRL
Back like nothing happened
Like I didn’t touch the soft
supple aluminum of her

Computer’s head

“to firm up” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Friday January 30, 2015 at Culprit Coffee
4:10pm
5 minutes
Ani’s Raw Food Desserts
Ani Phyo


You build up your courage
A layer of restlessness
The rain isn’t good enough
You’re after something stronger

Your mother made bread
Sunday morning warmth
Honey and oats
Music from the Church three doors down

Remember where you came from
Dear heart
The taste of summer
It’ll be back soon
Sooner than you can say

“I’m cold”
“I’m tired”
“I feel so far away”
“I’ve got everything”
“I’ve got nothing”

You left your heart on the side of the road
You marked it like a grave
Two sticks bound with sweetgrass
You looked back over your shoulder

Once

“I’ll try and take it off” by Sasha on the 99 heading East


Thursday January 29, 2015
6:36pm
5 minutes
overheard at Mina’s Fabric

M: I’ll try and take it off but I’m not making any promises.
W: How could you promise me that? Realistically…
M: Good point but, like, you know what I mean.
Pause.
W: Look, I never meant to let things get like this.
M: I know.
W: And I’m sorry for what I said about your beard…
M: It’s not a big deal –
W: I’m sorry though.
M: I appreciate that. I really do.
Pause.
W: It’s growing on me…
Pause. They laugh.
W: I didn’t even mean to say that.

“Each person comes into this world” by Julia on the 501 heading east


Saturday January 31, 2015
4:37pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Osho

And boom boom can we get the drums a banging
cause the moon moon has all these people clanging
We
Join
Life
From the wombs wombs meeting memories in this world
to the tombs tombs where our bones lay stripped and curled
We
Leave
Strife
And boom boom we celebrate the hearts a thudding
with the moon moon keeping far the doors that need shutting

“to firm up” by Julia on the 506 heading west


Friday January 30, 2015
8:08pm
5 minutes
Ani’s Raw Food Desserts
Ani Phyo


Someone’s been spying on me. I tell them. I tell them in my eyes. No more of that, I say. No more. And I ask them not to bother. I ask them. They don’t listen. They never listen. I can feel it now in my belly button. It tingles and it’s in crying. It’s making a hurt feel. I want to say nice loud Please Stop, Please Stop Now Now, but I don’t know how that is. How that is? And I don’t like having big windows. And I don’t like being big windows. Birds flying hurting into big widows. It isn’t me. It isn’t the real me. But I get big when I have to. I get very high if I need to stand. And no more sand for my feet to live.