“I feel so dirty.” by Julia at JJ Bean


Wednesday October 28, 2015 at JJ Bean
8:10pm
5 minutes
A Thin Green Mist
Robert Shaw


He stands at the window. She ducks beside him.

Do you think they can see us?
No. Don’t even say that.
Well they could!
No they could not. Stop.
You know they could, come on, that’s part of the fun…

He slips his hand down the front of her blouse.

Adam.
What, I’m just participating. It’s what they want…

He nibbles on her ear.

Adam..
Mhm…
I don’t know if I can…
Mhm…
Shit! They just looked over here!
Good. Let them watch. That’s what we’re doing.
I don’t want them to know I’m watching!
I kind of like it…

She runs to turn the light off.

Good call.
They’re really going at it, huh.

He unbuttons her blouse slowly.

Mhm…

“it could not establish” by Julia at Liberty Bakery


Tuesday October 27, 2015 at Liberty Bakery
3:38pm
5 minutes
the Iphone internet connection message

It served as a perfect reminder that we’re fallible. I guess you’re gonna want to know what the perfect reminder was, but it’s not time to share that information yet. All you need to know is that we need reminders that we’re fallible because we get ahead of ourselves all the time. We do. We get angry for not achieving something right away or the right way, and we beat ourselves up for not being successful. But we’re not perfect. We need to hear that on a regular basis. We need to hear it, believe it, then put it to some psychedelic music and listen to it while we’re in the shower: let it seep into our skin ike the smell of garlic trapped in our finger tips after a night of vampire avoiding, or casesar salad dressing making, or influenza preventing. We need to know it like we know our own names so when we’re called it, we don’t act like we don’t recognize it; we open the door and let it in.

“Well, I have my rights, sir” by Sasha at 49th Parallel


Monday October 26, 2015 at 49th Parallel
6:39pm
5 minutes
The Lorax
Dr. Seuss


There once was an old man named Fred
Who wished that he was dead
He asked for the poison
And he asked for a gun
So he could shoot himself in the head

There was once a woman called Bea
Who wished she hadn’t lived past three
She saw terrible things
In the house where she lived
And chose…
Not to be

There was once a doctor named Ted
He often had songs in his head
He helped his patients
If they wanted to leave
And always slept snug in his bed

“Transcendence demands sacrifice” by Sasha at Mountainview Cemetary


Sunday, October 25, 2015
3:06pm
5 minutes
from a write up about Rich Shapero

The graves are in a row
row row row
your boat
gently
down the stream

Transcendence demands sacrifice
Sacrifice demands selflessness
Selflessness demands consciousness
Consciousness demands radio waves
from your heart to your gut to your crotch
I digress
The grass is greener than anticipated
The graves are sporadic
here and there
no method
Surprised smile
I meet a man laying flowers
on the X marking the spot of someone he’s loved
Twenty three petals
Ten fingers
One sun high

“ideal cooking oil” by Sasha at The BC Children’s Hospital


Saturday, October 24, 2015
3:44pm
5 minutes
from the coconut oil jar

Bo knows her eleven times table best of alllll. It’s revolutionary how quickly she can spew it, shooting star glitter and candy corn, too. “I bet you don’t know what comes after thirty three?” Bo has bits of carrot in her braces. She’s the first one with braces in our class. Everyone admires them on day one, and then feels her pain when they rip her inner lip to shreds. “Need help with that?” Henry asks, as she smooths wax over the wires, protective gloss, true love.

“amazing work” by Sasha in front of the fire


Friday, October 23, 2015
11:12pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I don’t trust his confections
his thick liquid syrup
I am squeamish with his
“Amazing work”
“Your eyes”
Cream cheese icing
is only good in small doses
Caramel poem is brittle
left out in the cold
“Your rhymes are elementary”
Oh
Ohhhh
Bitter melon
Bitter greens
“You think you’re better than you are”
“That’s your downfall”
That’s your downfall
Eyes lingering on nipples
Where nipples might be
The mystery
The promise of nipples

“Reimagine your world” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday, October 22, 2015
11:31pm
5 minutes
The Vancouver Writer’s Festival Program Guide

my mother mimes cutting her hair on the edge of the world
her fingers the scissors
red falling
maple tree leaves
dripping pancakes and tenderness
the smile eclipses something below the kidney
the liver?
never sure of geography
yemen
istanbul
tel aviv
a new sweater
the colour of her longing
down to my ankles
done with wishing i was taller
a bus to the recycling depot
where we go for snow cones
for prayer

“you can’t resist” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday, October 21, 2015
10:14pm
5 minutes
Pinterest

Greg calls when I’m changing Loretta’s diaper. I put him on speaker phone. She hardly even notices, dutifully sitting up and lifting her hips when I give the signal. “Greg, can you get to the point? I’m busy,” I say, the phone gripped between my ear and my shoulder. Loretta farts and I laugh, I can’t help it. I drop the phone, and it lands on the floor. I can hear Greg, calling my name, and I can’t stop laughing, I just can’t stop. Loretta starts laughing too, diaper in place, but navy sweatpants around her ankles. When I retrieve the phone I have tears streaming down my face. “What the fuck is going on?” Greg asks. “Life, Greg. Life is going on.”

“Well, I have my rights, sir” by Julia at Matchstick Coffee Roasters


Monday October 26, 2015 at Matchstick Coffee Roasters
10:02am
5 minutes
The Lorax
Dr. Seuss


Can’t hold me back, hold me down, can’t hold me
Can’t hold me back, hold me down, can’t hold me
Tattooed on the inside of my left arm, running along the route of the vein
a tiny little reminder that I don’t owe anything to anyone
but myself
Written in my own hand, it protects my heart from the dangers of persuasion
it protects my soul from the threat of infiltration
it protects my skin from the deliberate burn
Because it’s already there, and it’s already mine
Can’t hold me back, hold me down, can’t hold me
Can’t hold me back, hold me down, can’t hold me
The deal I’ve made with myself, to not let anyone take me
to not let anyone shake me
to not let anyone scare me into giving in.
I have my rights
I have my rights
I get to keep them wherever I want to
wherever I need them
wherever suits me best.
I choose it all.
Nobody can remove what I have built eternal.

“Transcendence demands sacrifice” by Julia in the Vancouver Writer’s Fest Volunteer Lounge


Sunday, October 25, 2015 at the Writer’s Fest Volunteer Lounge
10:21am
5 minutes
from a write up about Rich Shapero

The valet parked my car this morning and made me wish I had walked. Maybe that will be the last time.Lately I’ve been uncomfortable with paying someone to do something that I can do myself. I was brought up differently. My father lived for the royalty of things. Every special occasion was catered exquisitely. The tables were always covered in silks and golds and exotic fruit and cheese. My father was a simple man, but he loved abundance. I learned from him that if it’s between time or money, to choose time. He used to tell me that my time was worth a thousandfold the amount I would have to pay for it. I never really saw what he meant because we often payed someone else, and as a result were not only abundant in lavishness, but in dispensable time. I never had to want more time. I didn’t know how to appreciate it when I was young, even though he was trying to show me. When he died I noticed myself living like him more and more. I’d pay for private massages, for dinners to be delivered, for my laundry to be folded.

“ideal cooking oil” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, October 24, 2015
9:44pm
5 minutes
from the coconut oil jar

Mama sticks her finger into the jar and pulls out white silk that turns her skin glossy.
Doesn’t that smell like heaven? She hums, lifting her hand to my nose.
I nod my head. I want to eat the melting silk off of mama’s warm forefinger. She smiles at me, glad that I like what she likes. She dabs both of my cheeks with it and rubs it in. Feels nice, doesn’t it? I nod again, this time voraciously.
I want mama to let me bathe in this stuff. I want mama to let me alone with it so I can put it everywhere.
This is what you use for baking and cooking, she tells me, grabbing a spoon out of the drawer. She hands it to me. But it’s good for anything you can think of. She winks. I smile. I feel lucky to be let in to this place. She has given me her secret to the universe.

“amazing work” by Julia on her couch


Friday, October 23, 2015
9:44pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I had been trying to catch his attention for, if I’m counting, the last twelve years. Huh. Wow. That’s more than I thought I’d admit. Was hopeful. I mean, who wasn’t at that age. But I guess it’s not fair to take it personally. He wasn’t not loving me, he was just, not forgetting her. I don’t know if I would do it any differently than that myself. I’ve never lost a child so I don’t get to pretend to understand. But weeks bleed into months and then years, and it all just feels like the same nightmare, playing over and over or just continuing without resolve every 16 hours. This time it was a scholarship that I was awarded because of my application letter about him. I wanted to show him. He wanted to drink.

“Reimagine your world” by Julia on her couch


Thursday, October 22, 2015
11:39pm
5 minutes
The Vancouver Writer’s Festival Program Guide

There’s a little place you go to, that no one knows about. You hang your worries on the line separating this place and yours. You twist them all together to create a veil and then you pass through it once it’s in order. You see the water falls and you run to them. You strip off your doubts and you dive off the cliff. You hit the water with a gentle ease and you head down as deep as you can go. You see what you need to see then slowly make your way back up. You can taste the sunlight beaming right through you and you reach the surface with a joy you have learned how to forget. You inhale. You shake off your pain and you rise up. Higher than the water. Higher than the skies.

“you can’t resist” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, October 21, 2015
12:34am
5 minutes
Pinterest

I can’t resist, a list, a timely grouping of newly learned learnings. Here they are, laid bare, and left flat to dry. The wind might pick one up and knock it around, some of them might cling strong to the earth and grow. Who knows? Whatever whatever:

1-You can’t wait for the best thought to come before you think out loud. It’ll never happen. You’ll only confuse yourself if you let them all stay locked in tight.
2-Drying racks are a thing of the organized
3-James Franco has branded himself almost flawlessly.
4-Just because you’re lying doesn’t mean you’re not telling the truth.
5-James Franco’s younger brother does not want to be James Franco.
6-Talking about writing is fear’s way of making sure the truth doesn’t get out.
7-If you write down your ideas exactly when you have them, you’ll train yourself to trust your gut that it’s something worth putting down on paper. You have to build a relationship with yourself before you attack the page: it’s nice to have an ally if going into battle.

“Canada’s Indigenous communities” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday, October 20, 2015
3:34pm
5 minutes
An email from The David Suzuki Foundation

If you felt around the little one’s head, you’d notice it has bumps ranging in sizez all over. You’d have to finger deep beneath the hair to get to the source. Gracie showed me how she liked to pick at the scabs on her scalp and pull little pieces of it through the hair one at a time. It was a long process. It usually involved many tries, and a little blood. The more she did it, the longer they lasted. Grace wasn’t the only one. Seth also had little scabs on his scalp. He was better at leaving them put than Gracie cause he was always out running around and getting dirty, occupying his head with ant hills, or the migration patterns of the hawks up above. Gracie was afraid of the outdoors. She didn’t like to the leave the house at all, but she liked watching Seth play in the fields behind her new house. Gracie would sit for hours, picking each scab through her long matted hair, fighting the knots, and the temptation to leave the bits resting in her curls.

“what he learned about fire” by Julia at her desk


Monday, October 19, 2015
10:01pm
5 minutes
from dramaturgical notes

The rads in our new place don’t work. Red has been trying to get them to function for the last two weeks. Every 5 minutes he checks to see if heat is coming, adjusting the only two knobs on the thing when it doesn’t. “Can you feel anything now?” He’d shout at me, a painful hope stinging the air. “Still nothing.” I’d say back as I wrap a blanket around my feet and another one around my shoulders. “Stupid fucking thing.” I’d hear Red mumble. “stupid stupid fucking thing.” The only way we find some warmth is when we’re using the stove. It’s hard to get it started but I’ve never looked so forward to roasted potatoes in my life. We dragged the little kitchen bench over to the sink so we can sit next to the stove and stop tensing our muscles for once. We can’t leave the thing on all day cause we can’t afford it. We find solace there, holding our hands out to the stove door like two little kids warming their frozen limbs by the fireplace after a long day of riding on a float in the Santa Claus Parade.

“Canada’s Indigenous communities” by Sasha at Benny’s


Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at Benny’s
2:21pm
5 minutes
An email from The David Suzuki Foundation

I watch as they search and I’m full and empty and nothing and everything
I help them I try to help them
Feeble attempt at solidarity
Until the sun sets and breath is visible
Until icicles form inside my ears
“Let’s call it a day,” Bruce says
and I’m grateful
“No.”
Jenny glares at me
at her father
“We have flashlights, we have tea…
What if she’s out here, freezing to death?”
Bruce goes home and I stay
Jenny and me
I’m half her size and my heart beats in my ears
the whole time
“She’s not dead,” Jenny says
offering me the thermos
“I know it.”
I nod
I drink deep
Cedar and something I’ve never smelt or tasted
“She’s somewhere.”
My sister
At home in Edmonton
Putting her daughter to sleep
Saying prayers about monsters
Kissing her nose

“what he learned about fire” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, October 19, 2015
9:49pm
5 minutes
Dramaturgical notes on My Ocean

What he learned about fire
standing beside his Papa in the thick of the birch and maple
fingers almost frozen from building up the kindling and scrunching the newspaper
what he learned is that it’s heat comes from the centre of the earth
it’s not the flint of the match striking against the small book
a bit of lint from Papa’s pocket
It’s the heat that inside all of us
waiting to escape
the kettle that sings on the stovetop
despite being empty
singing and singing and singing
until somebody listens
Standing beside his Papa in the stillness of the near naked trees
The brush starting to burn
reaching the kindling and the dried driftwood
always moving up up
Up
he is safe
He is the hand in his Papa’s hand
A spark jumps close to his left foot
A running shoe that once belonged to his cousin

“it brings out the deliciousness” by Julia at her desk


Sunday, October 18, 2015
10:09pm
5 minutes
The Ayurvedic Cookbook
Amadea Morningstar & Urmila Desai


Mia is close to tears. She is cooking mac and cheese while PJ dances around the living room. His pants are down below his bottom. He looks ridiculous.

“Ooh girl, shake it, shake it, let me take you to the PROM, you so perfect I want you to meet my MOM. BAM. Now tell me that’s not a good rhyme! BAM!”
“It’s nice PJ. It’s a nice rhyme.”
“You’re fucking joking, right? That shit was so tight, don’t act like you’re not impressed right now! ‘Nice’. Seriously!”
“Sorry, PJ, I forgot that there were more important things for me to be thinking about at this very moment. It was fucking awesome. Okay?”
“You’re mad, then? Like what the fuck did I do?”
“See it’s just that you keep thinking it’s about you and it’s not about you but I don’t know how to send that signal any clearer. You’re a rapping genius. You should have your own show.”
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Mia packs up her bag. She takes off PJ’s sweater and throws it at him. She leaves the mac and cheese on the stove, element on high.

“it brings out the deliciousness” by Sasha on her couch


Sun, October 18, 2015
4:29pm
5 minutes
The Ayurvedic Cookbook
Amadea Morningstar & Urmila Desai


Jay gets back from the woods and he’s different. He went to tree plant for a summer and stayed for four years. You got an email from him that simply said, “i’m staying”. No capitalization or punctuation. Just those two words. He gets back from the woods and the colour of his eyes has changed. We meet on Main St. for a beer and he takes me in like he never has before. He takes me in like a mirage, or the fall colours. I ask if he was lonely and he says he wasn’t. I ask if he’s weirded out by the concrete and the new buses. He says he isn’t. He asks if we’re still friends and I say, yeah, but it’s a bit of a lie because since he’s been gone we’ve only hung out a couple of times. His new eyes glaze over when I say this. He looks at his hands. They look like the hands of a father, the hands of someone who knows things about maple syrup and skinning rabbits.

“see discuss contemplate” by Sasha in her bed


Saturday, October 17, 2015
8:55pm
5 minutes
A Toronto Public Library card

Got your matching sweaters and your matching boots and your hats, well, they match too. I’m charmed and I’m so happy you found your person. I remember, in sixth grade or something, you looked at me and thought I might be the one. You invited me over for dinner and I was excited because I’d been keeping track of everyone’s lunches and yours were up there. Your mother was in culinary school, turn’s out, and so we had something fancy and with cream. It was all stir fries and soy milk at my house so I did a little private joy dance when I went to the bathroom. Quickly you tried to suck me into matching. “You should get a sweater like this one!” you’d say. I was resistant, but succumbed. How could I resist the creme caramel?

“I wanna see it up close” by Sasha at Moii Cafe


Friday October 17, 2015 at Moii Cafe
12:35pm
5 minutes
from a text

A birch tree sheds her bark
The supermoon is forgotten as soon as it fades
It’s still super somewhere

I refuse to commend your drug trips or your laundry lists
I refuse to celebrate your exploitations of bodies and sisters and dollars and oil
I refuse to vote for a man wearing a mask who has a cheese-ball for a brain
mostly cheddar a little bit cream cheese nothing sharp
no asiago

A snake slithers over the bare feet of a boy whose eyes are glued to his father’s iPhone
Shame he missed that
Shame that tomorrow that species will be extinct
A monarch lands on my arm and I cry for my unborns
Who might not have that magic

The Conservatives (Cheese-ball) cut one billion dollars in childcare funding within three hours of being elected
That’s shorter than Titanic
There are over one thousand murdered and missing Indigenous women across Canada
and no matter how deep Cheese-ball digs his fingers into his ears
He can’t pretend he doesn’t hear the singing
I wanna see the madness up close
I wanna microscope that Cheese-ball
See the ventricles of the greed
Hear the beat of the bacon heart

A grizzly bear waves to a crow
Long lost lovers

“I put a little twist in my hips” by Sasha at UBC


Thursday, October 15, 2015
4:43pm
5 minutes
Never Been In Love
Elliphant


I put a little twist in my hips just for you, when I got off the bus on Tuesday. In case you were looking. It was extra good because I’ve got an extra ten to twenty three pounds hanging out in my lower region. Even if you weren’t looking, maybe someone else was. Maybe the bus driver was. Maybe it made his day! I hope it did. Maybe he likes big butts even more than you do. Maybe he likes hips you can really sink your teeth into more than you do. I fully welcome the male gaze. I don’t value myself based on it, or anything, but I welcome the male gaze, I welcome your male gaze.

“It’s a bold idea” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, October 14, 2015
12:36am
5 minutes
The Volcano

It’s a bold idea to profess yourself
PRODIGY
hero
OWMAN
WOMAN
A weird relationship with your Dad or your Mum
It’s all of us
MMkay
They wanted what we want and want what we have and we want what they had when they were less grey and white
Her Papa combs his moustache to Simon and Garfunkel
Shredded Wheat grows soggy on the table in the
blue bowl
She’s not sure about this thing
about this political thing
OWMAN
WOMAN

“the height of professionalism” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday, October 13, 2015
6:12pm
5 minutes
howlround.com

Every time Jada puts a stamp on an envelope she says, “and may you arrive with swift inspiration.” She squares the corners and adds it to the pile. On Wednesdays she goes to the Post Office. She uses her trundle-buggy. She gave up her car Winter of last year when she realized that if she walked or took the bus, at least that meant she’d see people. Jada runs “Cards of Love”, an Etsy store. She hand letters invitations and birth announcements. She has mastered the art of the dove, the mistletoe and the bells. She lives alone, in the first floor apartment of an old brick house with a black shingled roof. On Wednesdays she goes to the Post Office.

“see discuss contemplate” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, October 17, 2015
10:55pm
5 minutes
A Toronto Public Library card

Can I ask you something?
I say this to you right in the middle of a long and delicious make out.
Right now?
You ask, eyes still closed and hands still wandering.
No, I’ll wait a couple weeks, as you were.
I keep kissing you, a little more preoccupied than before.
What? What? You have to say it now.
You are no longer kissing me. Your hands have found a stagnant position on each side of my face.
Nah, forget I said anything. It was stupid! Where were we?
I shove my tongue down your throat and you reel away from me like I just tried to lick your eyeball or something.
Hey, hey, what are you doing? What’s going on with you?
You’re still holding my face, searching deep into my eyes, hoping to find something better than what I’m giving you right now.
I just wanted to ask you….If you…I wanted to ask you if you ever…fuck…just if you…
I am looking anywhere but your face. It’s harder than I thought it’d be.

“I wanna see it up close” by Julia at 49th Parallel


Friday October 17, 2015 at 49th Parallel
11:41am
5 minutes
from a text

Carl grabbed the giant daddy long legs with a rubber band and squished it between his fingers. I looked at him with my mouth hanging all the way to the floor.
“What did you do that for?”
“What, it was a daddy long legs!”
“I know what he was, but why did you do it!?”
“It was crawling everywhere. It was going to get into our salad.”
“Screw the salad!”
“Words I never thought you’d ever say…”
“Carl!”
“WHAT?!”
“You killed an innocent little thing for absolutely no reason.”
“You would have let him live in our dinner?”
“Yeah. Maybe I would have. It’s not like he was trying to ruin our meal, Carl.”
“Well, what’s done is done. It’s too late for your bleeding heart to do anything about it.”
“Ugh. You’re such a…never mind.”
“A what, say it.”
“A caveman.”
“Oh my god, Trace, it was a stupid daddy long legs!”
“Tell that to your penis later.”

“Thin love ain’t” by Sasha in her kitchen


Monday, October 12, 2015
3:33pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Toni Morrison

Spread the butter on thick how I like it
We’re counting orgasms not calories
This love is bigger than pluto
Bigger than clouds
Bigger than the breath between the fall and winter

You’re grabbing at my knees
Tickling the space between present and future
Ear pressed against my belly
Listening for the rising moon

“I put a little twist in my hips” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, October 15, 2015
6:37pm
5 minutes
Never Been In Love
Elliphant


I throw on the Sam Cooke cause I know that’s the glue that holds us together when we’re tearing each other apart. I let him sing out and I wait before I come near you. I’m not afraid of what you’ll do to me, but what we’ll do to all the love we’ve been keeping safe between us all these years.
You’re on the broken futon with disappointment shooting through your back and a scowl on your face.
“I hate it here” you say. “I know” I tell you. “How many more days–” I bring my finger to your lips to quiet your uneasy mind. Not right now, I say, but with my body. I put a little twist in my hips and I dance beside you and your furrowed brow. Come on, I say, but with my smile, encouraging you to forget your anger for just a second. Dance with me, I suggest to you with my eyes closed, arms overhead reaching for the unknown. I don’t open them until I feel your body sway with mine. The moment of pain between us slowly turning into dust…

“It’s a bold idea” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, October 14, 2015
12:35am
5 minutes
The Volcano

I can weave my thoughts into your skin so you can know me from the inside out
I can kiss your sleeping lips so my smile sneaks into your dreams
I can hold your forehead next to mine so my peace will meet yours and want to stay
I can intertwine my fingers with yours so you’ll know that if you ever feel lost, you can find your place with me
I can sing you the songs I write when I think no one is around so you can see that risking it all might be hard but won’t kill you
I can leave you love notes in your coat pockets so you’ll always have something fragile and warm to hold
I can carry the burden for you so your shoulders are free for me to lean on

“the height of professionalism” by Julia at Sarah’s house


Tuesday, October 13, 2015
3:14pm
5 minutes
howlround.com

When Jeanie finished her job interview she had sweat drenched through both her undershirt, her blouse, AND she was beginning to show through her blazer. That is a lot of perspiration for one human being, and Jeanie is not a very sweaty person to begin with. She ran to the nearest restroom to dry her pits and take a look at her face. Jeanie sometimes needed to see herself in a mirror right after high stress situations where she couldn’t fully tell if she was being the true Jeanie. She didn’t mean to put on a face, but she did feel herself floating outside her body and not fully remembering what had happened in the last hour. Of course as she whipped open the door she saw there was no electric hand-dryer with which she could dry herself. She stripped off all the layers she could. That was hard. She was soaked.

“Thin love ain’t” by Julia at her desk


Monday, October 12, 2015
1:43pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Toni Morrison

Thin love ain’t worth the pain
Not worth the heartache
Not worth the shame
Thin love ain’t worth it
Thin love ain’t…

This is the remix to the song I’ve already sung
Do you hear me better now?
Half-assed lazy forget about each other shit
Sleep in the same bed, wake up in different moods
Do you hear me better now?
We each put a duke in and you pick your own
We were rigged to suit you better
Are you listening to me now?
We were wired up with the hardware that you recognize
I’ve said it all before
I’ve danced to the same tune filled with synonyms and a rhythm that tricks me into thinking it’s poetic.
And it’s not.
It’s not poetry at all.

“feeds your hunger for meaning” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, October 11, 2015
12:00pm
5 minutes
An e-mail from The Sun

If there’s a moment like this again, I don’t know what I’ll do. I just don’t know how many more I can stomach. Seriously. It would be nice if Audrey wasn’t so entirely awkward, but she is, so we get moments like the one we just had when we never expected to get them. Everybody here is so full of shit it’s like I can’t escape my own blood. Fuck all of this! Seriously, it’s not working anymore. I can’t be the only one who sees that enough is enough. Or can I? I have big plans, Ramon. I’m not kidding, I’m bigger than this place and as soon as I can get out, I’ll be so far gone. I don’t want to have to defend my lifestyle choices to you, like what are you, my mother? It’s bad enough that Audrey says that shit in front of her, and gets her all riled up, but I thought you were my ally here. Now I know everyone is just whispering behind my back as if I can’t tell it’s all about me.

“feeds your hunger for meaning” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, October 11,2015
10:51am
5 minutes
An e-mail from The Sun

When Stephen was a baby, his father, Bill, forgot that he was in the bath. Bill liked expensive whiskey, anything over sixty five dollars and he was as golden as a sunbeam. Stephen’s mother, Martha, was at her Women’s Group. Bill didn’t support Martha’s leaving then house on a Monday Night. He didn’t support her leaving the house on any night. She’d leave something in the oven, “All you have to do is turn it on to three hundred and fifty degrees, Bill,” she’d say. Bill put Stephen in the bath and poured himself an expensive whiskey. He turned on the television. Two and a half hours later, Martha got home. “How’s Stephen?” She whispered. Bill ran upstairs.

“It wasn’t good in the first place” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday, October 10,2015
3:54pm
5 minutes
overheard at Gene Cafe

My first day at the firm I have a raging bladder infection. Fuck whoever started the urban myth that if you don’t pee after sex you’ll get one. I haven’t had sex in seven weeks. And I go one. I’ve been guzzling cranberry juice like my Aunt Gretty and nothing’s working. “Why don’t you go to the walk-in?” Sabrina texts me. I’m hiding out in the bathroom. I’ve realized it’s easier if I just stay put, as opposed to getting up from my desk every three and a half minutes. “I DON’T HAVE TIME TO EVEN BRUSH MY TEETH,” I text back, a few dribbles of pee escaping. “Shitttt,” I wince.

“I would like to invite you” by Sasha at Benny’s


Friday October 9, 2015 at Benny’s
3:20pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I don’t know what to say. I’m afraid that when I open my mouth I’m going to say the wrong thing. I’m afraid I’m going to ask how Judd’s doing, if he’s been playing his guitar in the hospital. I don’t know what to say so I would like to invite you over for pizza. I’m going to make it. I’ll knead the dough and let it rise and it will be thin, how you like it. I won’t put tomato sauce on it, because tomatoes make your tongue feel strange. If you bring Judd up, I’ll listen. I won’t change the subject because I don’t know what to say. I’ll give you a massive ball of dough to take home so that you can make pizzas all week. I’ll loan you my pizza pan. I’ll kiss your eyes. I’ll let you sleep over.

“I know I wouldn’t change much” by Sasha in Buchanan E


Thursday October 8, 2015
5:18pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, October 8, 2015


If you were here or
I was there
the sun would still be setting
all pink and gold
If you were here or
I was there
the leaves would still be falling
all rust coloured bold
If you were here or
I was there
the crows would still be calling
flying towards the west
If you were here or
I was there
The phoebes would still be curled
together snug in their nest
If you were here or
I was there
the night would still be coming
breathing dark on the sky
If you were here or
I was there
winter would still be on it’s way
and I’d still be asking “why”

“It wasn’t good in the first place” by Julia at Kafka’s


Saturday, October 10,2015 at Kafka’s
3:35pm
5 minutes
overheard at Gene Cafe

I am making amends with my old self. I want to say I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve caused her. She was young, she didn’t know any better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. She wasn’t trying to hurt me and I see that now, she did her best, even though she was not well-rested. A lot of decisions made after not enough sleep. And a lot of decisions made, without the right things to eat. Putting toxins in her belly, instead of love, she did her best. She did what she thought was enough.
I am making amends with my old self. She was young, she didn’t know better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. I can see her efforts now. Holding up a cracked mirror. I can see her clearer. She was just looking to find a little peace. A little more ease. A little more release. And sometimes it was hard and she dug her heels in, she didn’t want to deal with the repercussions of the universe. Oh, how do I blame her? She hadn’t met me yet. So now I can forgive her. She did her damn best.
I am making amends with my old self. I’m sorry for all the harsh words I’ve said. She was young, she didn’t know better. And she tried. Oh, she tried. I should be offering thanks. I should be offering an olive branch. I should be inviting her to stay the night if she needs to visit again.

“I would like to invite you” by Julia at o5 Tea Bar


Friday October 9, 2015 at o5 Tea Bar
2:20pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Hi, how are you? Good? I’m good. I would like to invite you to something. An event. An important engagement. Not an engagement between two people who have agreed to get married. Not an agreed engagement. But one between two people and guess who those two people are? Me? And you? Yes. Both of us are invited to this engagement. Not that I want the two of us to be engaged, as in agreeing to marry. Not that I don’t, for the future, or for the possible future. But the two of us, are both invited to the something I am inviting you to and we will have alone time to discuss whatever we’d like, if you were concerned at all about what the allowances would be, and yes, if you so preferred, could discuss the topic of marriage or the topic of agreeing to marry someone, sometime, in some form or another. How are you? Good? I’m good. I’m very good. So I would like to invite you to a top secret meeting. It’s not in a top secret location, in fact, it’s a very obvious one. I don’t want to say it here because I prefer facts to metaphors, but it’s somewhere less factual and more feeling-based. I don’t know if you prefer facts to metaphors as well, but that is one of the reasons why I am inviting you to this one so you may be able to see for yourself if you do, in fact, have an opinion about it one way or another.

“It is such a relief” by Sasha in the bath


Wednesday October 7, 2015
9:56pm
5 minutes
Wit
Margaret Edson


It is such a relief that Joe and Kelly are out for the night and I have the place to myself. I’m too old to live with roommates. I’m too old, and too quiet, and too grouchy. I eat a slice of Kelly’s havarti and don’t even feel bad about it. I’m feeling ballsy. I’m feeling free. “I’m gonna take off all my clothes and be naked on the couch!” I say out loud. I wait for someone to object, but no one’s there so no one does. I take off my jeans, and my flannel shirt. I take off my underwear from Zellers, when Zellers was still in business. I take off my bra. I leave on my socks, because our floors are cold. I jump up and down a few times and then go into the living room and sprawl out. I smile. God, I feel so good.

“off the grid gypsies” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday October 6, 2015
10:53pm
5 minutes
From a text

The bread is rising in the corner and Penelope is singing the song that she always sings. Burt, her Dad, my Mother’s second husband, rolls a cigarette. Mother washes dishes until her hands start to hurt. “Della? Come help?” I pretend I don’t hear her and it works but only until Burt realizes what I’m doing. He throws his slipper at me and lights his smoke. “Go outside, Burt!” My Mother shouts. Since Wren was born, she doesn’t like him smoking inside. Didn’t seem to matter with the rest of us. Burt grumbles a bit, grabs his slipper and says, “Go help yer Mom.”

“the king is me” by Sasha in the car on the way home


Monday October 5, 2015
11:26pm
5 minutes
from a slam poem

Kel frames it like, “Have I got a story for you!” Like, there’s actually something I’m gonna get out of it. What a jerk! I love that guy but he’s a jerk, right? He jumps around from thing to thing, like some kinda rabbit, and expects to be the best every time. Pretty wild. Pretty wild. I’m like, “Shoot, Kel…” I forget what we were eating, maybe Thai? No! No, Chinese. Kel ordered in. Moo Shoo this and that. Right? So, he tells me he’s going to become, wait for it… Wait… He’s going to go to Pastry School. KEL. The guy who just worked on the rigs. I almost choked on my Egg Roll. “What?” “Yup,” he says, like it ain’t no thang. “I met this group of chicks and they are all bakers. It’s an untapped market, man, you should really join me.” I laugh. I laugh my ass off. And then he shows me his, like, enrolment letter or whatever and it’s true. He’s doing it.

“Violence faces” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday October 4, 2015
11:23pm
5 minutes
from a tweet from the Green Party of Canada

Why did I sit in the window of this place? I’m not sure why you’re running. You aren’t wearing appropriate footwear. I watch you, hair flying, on the verge or tripping, drooling, crying? You’re coming towards me. You’re coming in. You open the door.

I’ve only had violent impulses twice in my life, not counting right now. Your desperation is thick like cream cheese icing. Don’t dip your finger in.

I pretend I don’t see you. You spot me and squint. I have exceptional peripheral vision. You pretend you don’t see me, too. I hadn’t seen Jake sitting in the back of the bar.

“I know I wouldn’t change much” by Julia at JJ Bean


Thursday October 8, 2015 at JJ Bean
9:09am
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, October 8, 2015


I am revisiting the spot in my brain where I first made the decision to love you. I’m trying to be objective here, so don’t go trying to insert your memories. I know when I told you. I said it first, cause I always do, and I knew you felt it but you were scared of me and didn’t want to be the one to risk it. That’s a pattern for you. I am always the one to risk it. That’s a pattern for me.
In this tiny shoe box in my mind, I can see very little around the moment. There’s no colour. There’s no music. It’s a rainy day and we’re sitting at a bar. I don’t know what we’re drinking. But I know I like you and I know you like me. I’m glad there wasn’t some showy fireworks display going off in my body. It was a simple and true moment and it felt like it had made a home for itself in all the soft parts of me. You said something easy like, Have you ever mixed BBQ chips with chocolate chips? And I said something easy back like, I don’t know how I haven’t done that already. It was somewhere between that and the way you kissed me on the street before you walked away.

“It is such a relief” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday October 7, 2015
9:51pm
5 minutes
Wit
Margaret Edson


When they took my blood to see if I was a match I remember holding my breath for a very long time and thinking that if I could get through this, I would be a different person. Stronger. More…everything. I was not referring to getting through the needle part. In fact, the needle part was the only part that I was sure I would heal from if the rest didn’t…pan out.
I also remember praying, and I was not a prayer. I’m still not. But at the time, that’s what brought the most comfort. I don’t want to question why certain words came out of my mouth because it was such a relief to get them out of my head that I would have said yes to anything if it had helped as much as praying did. I don’t like needles. I never did. I didn’t have to have them until I did.

“off the grid gypsies” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday October 6, 2015
10:21pm
5 minutes
from a text

I’m giving up garage saleing.
Please. Don’t try to stop me. I’ve not thought on this lightly. It’s the right time.
I have had some wonderful experiences. Oh have I felt the most alive. The rummaging, the bartering, the blankets and lawns filled with a giant mishmash of items. Seeing all the things that other people give away, throw away, don’t want, don’t need, don’t see the value in anymore displayed like a personal glimpse into someone’s life that you wouldn’t otherwise get to have. Those are such intimate details.
And the bragging rights. Oh! To show off my spoils and parade my savings proudly.
But..It’s over now. That was a period in my life that I’m happy happened but am also ready to say goodbye to.
It’s time to stop being a human squirrel.

“the king is me” by Julia at her desk


Monday October 5, 2015
11:45pm
5 minutes
from a slam poem

I have looked through the garbage for the second time today. I have been diligent, each time, and I am thinking that soon I will need to return to it for a third time; peel through everything again, just, with no shadow of a doubt that I left some pieces un-turned, because it’s that important. I don’t know if I could forgive myself if I find out that I could have done something more. I just want to do all that now, so I can rest easy that I truly did my best. I may not be the best at it right away, but I will make sure I give it my all. When it comes to this. Life or death. Life and death. Whatever. I am the go-all-the-way-guy. Never foresaw myself sifting through garbage, but here I am, king of this heap. I’ll master something. When it’s important. That’s just me.

“Violence faces” by Julia at her desk


Sunday October 4, 2015
11:21pm
5 minutes
from a tweet from the Green Party of Canada

I am wearing a mask every day for a week leading up to Halloween to protest all the shitty costumes I have seen in my day. MANY. You were wondering? There have been MANY. I have decided to wear the mask to illustrate what Halloween is for. It is not for putting on a single headband that “resembles” antennae. That is not what it is for. It is not for putting on skeleton earrings and calling that a costume (I’m talking about you, Linda, the quintessential receptionist). It is for a million reasons, among which is raising the souls from the dead (obviously), but the most important one is for DISGUISING OUR FACES. How is that so hard? Something scary or rotting or dead or all of the above, is, quite frankly, the most preferred type, but it can vary depending on your IQ and your tax bracket.

“create and manage an expense” by Julia at 49th Parallel


Saturday October 3, 2015 at 49th Parallel
3:35pm
5 minutes
A financial website

It’s about weighing the pros and cons, making a full spreadsheet of all the good and the bad and deciding if, after all that, it’s worth it or not. In the past I have made some critical errors when deciding major things. I didn’t use all of my resources the way I should have and I refused to consult a professional. BECAUSE I WAS BEING CHEAP. Cheap with my time and with my money and with my investments because I wasn’t treating my investments as investments but as burdens, WHICH THEY WERE NOT. So that’s the short of it, whether you do it or not is up to you. I can give you a couple examples. Of course I can. This information is not mine to have, it’s ours to share, it’s what makes the world go round, ETC. ETC. Okay so in a column you could put PROS: QUITTING MY JOB and in the one next to it you could put CONS: QUITTING MY JOB. You don’t have to write both titles twice, but for the sake of clarity, now you can understand that you’re COMPARING and CONTRASTING here. That’s very important. So. Quitting. Tell me one reason why that would be a negative thing. Always start with the negatives. It’s better, because if you notice yourself struggling to come up with them, then you’ve probably already made your decision. Then, less work!

“create and manage an expense” by Sasha at 49th Parallel


Saturday October 3, 2015 at 49th Parallel
3:35pm
5 minutes
A financial website

When I get to your bachelor apartment on the fourth floor it will smell like cat pee and Axe Body Spray. The windows will be fogged. You’ll have just gotten out of the shower and your grey towel will be around your waist. I’ll ask if you’d like a coffee, I’ll offer to get you one from the shop a few blocks away. You’ll refuse twice. You’ll accept. I’ll suggest that we walk there together, that it might do you some good to get out. You will sniffle and pretend that you have a cold. I will know that you’re using again, but I won’t let on. I’ll remind you about Leila’s birthday party on Saturday before I tell you that Dad’s back in the hospital. You’ll be eating handfuls of Shredded Wheat from the box. You’ll act as though you didn’t hear me. You’ll tell me your rent is due and your account is in overdraft.

“Elevated stress response” by Sasha at Prado Cafe


Friday October 2, 2015 at Prado Cafe on Commercial
12:37pm
5 minutes
Epigenetics
Richard C. Frances


My mother makes the bed with tucked in corners. That generation’s dying, right? No one does that anymore. No one teaches their children how to do that… Maybe nurses, or hotel workers, or… I don’t know. When she comes to visit she brings cake from scratch and flowers from Costco. She calls the week before to ask Lindy what kind of cake she wants. Lindy takes her time deciding – chocolate, or lemon, or pound cake, or strawberry shortbread. I let Lindy decide, without interrupting, or adding in my preference. The doctor says that it’s good for her to make choices without interference. I get on the phone after and ask my mother what time she’ll arrive. “I’ll leave Ottawa first thing so I should be at yours by afternoon?” “Yours”. Who says that anymore? “Sounds good, Mum.” I say. “Sounds good, Mum.” Lindy parrots.

“happy hens, healthy eggs” by Sasha at Elysian


Thursday October 1, 2015 at Elysian
10:02am
5 minutes
from the Rabbit River Farms egg carton

Ryan makes eggs every morning.
“Don’t you think that’s too much cholesterol?”
“Nope.”
“Really?”
“They actually studied that and it’s totally fine to eat eggs every day.”
“What about the cholesterol?”
“Look at me!”
He’s a beanpole, he’s got that runner’s body.

When we first met, Ryan had long hair.

“What are you going to do today, sweetheart?” He asks, cracking an egg into a bowl and whipping it vigorously.
“I don’t know…”
“Why don’t you go for a massage or something?”
“I don’t like strangers touching me.”
“A walk?”
“Maybe…”
“You could get out of the house with me, just go have a coffee someplace?”
“We have coffee here, Ryan – ”
“I think that it would be good for you to – ”
“You’re right. I’ll get out. We need yogurt.”

“The blonde of your dreams” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday September 30, 2015
10:39pm
5 minutes
A Guinness billboard

When we make promises in bleach
When we dream in silver and gold
When we pinky swear forever and kiss to
seal the deal
The radio buzzes out of range
Your face shadows
An owl calls

I keep dreaming about what I think you want
A blonde with big teeth
A year-round tan
I keep dreaming about what probably won’t happen
instead of what will
The cat is dead in the morning
And you’re out for a run
The first one of the season where
you can see your breath

“entirely free of the curse” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday, September 29, 2015
10:19pm
5 minutes
a Wikipedia page

Kit doesn’t believe in fate. She shakes her head when her older sister Betty talks about this and that. They live in adjoining townhouses and have breakfast and dinner together. They trade off who prepares what. This morning Betty appears at Kit’s front door with a jug of freshly squeezed orange juice and a scowl that would scare a priest.

“Oh Kitty, I swear to you that dog is cursed!”

She pushes past her sister and kicks off her rubber boots.

“He howled all night long. Did you hear him?” Betty picks a blueberry off her bowl of oatmeal.

“Of course I heard him!” Kit eyes the clock.

“Elevated stress response” by Julia at Liberty Bakery


Friday October 2, 2015 at Liberty Bakery
2:57pm
5 minutes
Epigenetics
Richard C. Frances


I’m racing.
My mind.
My heart.
My muscles.
I’m working overtime and I’m over that.
I don’t have quiet.
I don’t know peace.
It’s bad.
I’m too soft for things that are this hard.
I watch my dreams turn into nightmares.
I wake up all twisted in my comforter.
I wake up buried deep in my own grave every morning.
Every night.
Every time.
That’s the worst part.
Because I can’t explain it.
Not to you.
Not to me.
Not to anyone.
There’s nothing I can relate this to.
I’ve never died but it feels close to that.
It feels like fighting to stay alive.
But mostly fighting to die.
Time is racing.
I am racing.
I am running from myself.
And running out of running.

“happy hens, healthy eggs” by Julia on her couch


Thursday October 1, 2015
12:09am
5 minutes
from the Rabbit River Farms egg carton

I just want to check in, are we okay?
No we’re not okay, we haven’t talked in months.
Yeah. So did you plan to tell me that?
Well I want you to know that I wasn’t passive aggressively ignoring you or anything.
Okay.
But I don’t have time for you.
What? You don’t have time for me? Like as a human?
Yes, as a human. Your issues are a bit all consuming. I don’t have room and I’m at the point in my life that I have to choose: other people’s bullshit, or my own well-being.
Wow, tell me how you really feel.
Yeah well you asked. So. I’m not going to lie, because it’s not something I care to hold onto.
Is there something I could be doing?
Yes.
Like?
Lots of things. Too many things.
Such as?
Such as not always coming to me with your problems. Such as not always saying let’s hang out but instead of me and you, you bring your boyfriend and you bring your PDA and you can’t leave your house without him stuffed in your purse.

“The blonde of your dreams” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday September 30, 2015
10:29pm
5 minutes
A Guinness billboard

I’ve got issues with the word “blonde” and issues with the word “dreams”. I know that that’s a bit dramatic, but I’m a bit dramatic, so, take me or leave me, you know? I have wanted blonde hair for years. I almost think people would like me more. Not because people like blondes more than other hair colours, but because it’s like I’m in disguise, or playing up the good because it’s not what I was born with. A good friend once told me that I’m more interesting when I speak in accents. He likes my southern drawl, could listen to that all day, enjoys my child-like British, says it’s cute. Hell, I knew I had a problem when he said he’d rather listen to me in my half-assed and terrible Irish. That means, I’m not good enough as is, right? And I should have dreams to change the hair, the voice, the personality. Right?