“I’m ecstatic to announce” by Julia on the reading chair


Friday September 30, 2016
7:34am
5 minutes
a Facebook post

There’s a new woman in my father’s life. He has been hiding it from me since they started seeing each other and maybe he had good intentions and maybe he was just being a coward. Either way, I got a Save The Date in the mail for three proposed coffee occasions that the new woman in my father’s life would like me to choose between. I think it’s funny that she chose not to even bother sending a singing telegram! Who doesn’t love getting an embossed card in the mail with tiny kitties in silver dresses, asking me, not to meet her, but to pick a time that I’d like to meet her. Then what happens when I send this back? Wait two weeks to get another Save The Date for a cappuccino and a butter tart?

“two complimentary movie passes” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday September 29, 2016
7:44am
5 minutes
cycleto.ca

I come home with a smile on my face and I kiss you on the mouth
You say you missed me
You say this day is better now that I’m back
You ask how the conference was
You ask if I got any swag
I bounce around my tote bag (swag) and pull out the pens (swag) and post-it pad (swag)
You are impressed and I am impressed with my ability to stock up on office supplies
I would otherwise refuse to purchase
Then I reach in and pull out two tickets
You ask me what they are and try to pull them out of my hand
I snatch them away and tell you These Are Not For You!
You try to get a closer look at them and I keep them at arm’s reach
You scowl and cross your arms when you see what they are
You Won Movie Tickets?
I smile again, being coy for some reason
Maybe I Did
Awesome Which Movie Are We Seeing?
I put them back in my bag
These Are Not For You

“in a less than forgiving city” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday September 28, 2016
7:32am
5 minutes
vancouveractorsguide.com

I came to the place in myself I always worried I’d find. The part that doesn’t have patience for people who don’t pull their weight, the part that doesn’t feel good about having to remind a group of adult children how to get by. Maybe I should have signed up for this in advance. If I had chosen to help people maybe I wouldn’t hate them so much. If I worked in a place where my help was needed…

I am so disgusted with the hole in my chest that comes from resenting other people. I don’t want to admit it but I need help too. I guess that’s where the pain comes from.

When I was in elementary school, I was often ahead of the class and I cared about school and being great. I was always assigned to work in pairs with the students who didn’t understand any concepts, or who didn’t like being there. When I asked the teachers why I couldn’t be put with someone who was going to work hard and push me to be better, they all told me the same thing: You’re a strong student, you don’t need help as much as they do.
So when did anyone look down at me and think, well there’s some potential, why don’t we try to lift that one up? Why didn’t I ever hear, well she could use a mentor or an opportunity?

“You’re such a big mess” by Sasha at MELK Bar & Cafe


Tuesday September 27, 2016
5:14pm
5 minutes
Welcome To Your Life
Grouplove


“You’re a mess,” Jess said, opening her front door. She furrows her eyebrows, and looks me up and down. She isn’t lying.

“Give me a hand then,” I peel off my sweatshirt. It’s heavy from being so wet. She takes it, dripping all over the hall carpet.

“My Mom is gonna be pissed,” she says, under her breath.

“I didn’t know it was gonna rain! I would’ve brought my umbrella…” I take off my t-shirt and she runs up the stairs. I follow, kicking off my shoes.

“Can I borrow some stuff?” I ask.

She hands me a red plaid button up and smiles.

“You look like a wet rat…”

“It’s my haircut. It’s so so bad. What was I thinking… I just – … I can’t even talk about it without crying…”

“She lives by the sea” by Sasha at the table on Monkland


Monday September 26, 2016
7:49pm
5 minutes
wordvancouver.ca

The old woman lives by the sea in a house on a cliff, painted yellow and purple. When it storms, the walls of the house shake and the old woman bundles herself in sweaters. The black and white photographs fall off the walls and she sweeps up the broken glass and places them back on their hooks. The old woman makes herself a pot of Lady Grey tea and adds a sugar cube and a splash of cream. She sits in her corduroy chair with her dog, Mimi, in her lap. She tells Mimi stories about when she was a girl, and when she travelled to Paris, and when she fell in love, and when she found a sword under a willow tree.

“You’re such a big mess” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday September 27, 2016
6:58am
5 minutes
Welcome To Your Life
Grouplove


I bite my tongue so I don’t accidentally tell you that you’re getting what you deserve right now. I haven’t been one for tact before and I’ll tell you that it’s not an overnight thing for me, but I am trying. Self-righteousness doesn’t become anyone. You’re upset, it’s like you want to cry but you don’t because you know on some level it will just make things worse. My first reaction was to laugh, actually, when you told me. It took seeing you like this for a minute after to realize that my judgments are not very subtle and even you could use some support during this. It’s very hard for me not to tell you that I told you so and that this is a good opportunity for you to get back on track, but my friend Laura is constantly preaching about empathy and you fit the bill for someone who could benefit. But what did you think was going to happen? I can’t for the life of me figure out what was going through your head.

“She lives by the sea” by Julia at her dining table


Monday September 26, 2016
6:47am
5 minutes
wordvancouver.ca

I didn’t plan to bury the hatchet so far away from where it did all its chopping
One day the tide pulled me out and I let it
Whispered my goodbyes to the tracks I had laid
Told them all how nice it has been to be trailing
And blew some buoyant kisses to the way things used to sound
when I held up a traveler’s old home to my ears
after she had abandoned it for something bigger
the rocky waves eased me into a place that I could sleep in
Ones I didn’t intend to dream or marry
The saline dresses the top of my lip and I introduce my tongue to the ridges
all the folds it has been missing
And now I belong here
by the sea
because the wind carried me over
and I let it

“beautiful jewelry” by Julia on the reading chair


Sunday September 25, 2016
6:52pm
5 minutes
overheard on Av. de Monklandl

Monica was doing okay. She was attending class and started selling her jewelry at her Aunt Key’s diner while she worked the register. She wanted to reach a broader audience and selling them at the pizza counter was no longer smiled upon. Key didn’t care what Monica did as long as she didn’t sleep in past 8 on weekdays and showered at least twice a week. Monica had been staying with her since her father kicked her our for stealing and for murdering his goldfish, Papaya. Monica claims she did not murder him as much as she simply stopped prioritizing his feeding. She did however take his “prescription meds” and his Honda Civic. Aunt Key owned the diner and had Monica work there on top of her pizza gig so she could learn business, how to juggle her options, and to stop wasting her life. Monica was eager to share her unique designs with the eclectic customers who always commented on how interesting she looked.

“beautiful jewelry” by Sasha at MELK


Sunday September 25, 2016 at MELK Bar & Cafe
2:03pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Av de Monkland

I want to buy you beautiful things
he says
I want to give you pearls
he says
I want to give you diamonds and quartz and emeralds
and I want you to wear them so that everyone knows
you’re mine
he says
I want to choose your lipstick
he says
I want to pick your shoes
I want to take you out for dinner and order for you and too bad if
you don’t like it
he said
with a wink
with a wink
with a
he said
I want to buy you macarons
he said
I want to watch you drink champagne
He said
All the wants
All the want
All the
wanted
wanter
wanting
wanting
wanting
waiting
wanting
longing
hoping
hurting
All the want

“Canada’s biggest ever insider” by Sasha at MELK


Saturday September 24, 2016 at MELK Bar & Cafe
1:13pm
5 minutes
Report on Business in the Globe and Mail

Canada’s hands are stained
yellow and red and purple and orange
We think blue
We think green
But those are little firefly lies
Wag wag wag
Those are big mountain lies
We think resource
Cougars and humpbacks
We think lakes and rivers
Pacific and Atlantic
We think
True North strong and free

“I’m in television right now” by Sasha in the apartment on Av. Monkland


Friday September 23, 2016
10:13pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

Bernie has worked the night shift since before his hair went white. He doesn’t think in years, he thinks in ages. Muscles, wrinkles, armpit hair… That’s a better way to measure time, Bernie thinks. He sleeps until four or five and then goes for a run by the river. Rain or shine, you’ll find him there. No need for a cellphone, Bernie keeps a routine that everyone can follow. You’d know where to find him. Sometimes, when Vivian still lived in town, she’s come down to the Mill and tell him something because she’d be gone to set by the time he returned.

“I’ll do your reading and then email it to you” by Sasha in the NICU kitchen


Thursday September 22, 2016
10:07pm
5 minutes
livewithmoxy.com

I’m riding my bike quickly down the hill, the wind blowing a symphony of “yes” in my ears, hands firmly on the handlebars and

OOFFFFFFF

My front tire hits a bump, a piece of metal? A big nail? A shoe? I fly over my handlebars and in that moment

suspended

I see my life

my loves

my bathroom with the new coat of eggshell white paint

I wonder if it’s already happened

Am I dead?

Thank goodness it’s already turned cool and I’m wearing my denim jacket or my elbows and arms would be torn to shred

A car pulls over and a woman gets out

She looks like my Mom but with black black hair

She gives me her hand and helps me up

“Canada’s biggest ever insider” by Julia in her bed


Saturday September 24, 2016
12:50pm
5 minutes
Report on Business in the Globe and Mail

Some secrets about us are that we panic when our comfort has been shifted when one of us breaks the hold or one of us yanks a leg out of the entanglement peace is restored easily some other things we do when no one is looking is fall asleep in each other’s soft and build a home where dreams are framed and hung on the wall

“two beautiful faces” by Sasha at the Airbnb in Montreal


Wednesday September 21, 2016
10:12am
5 minutes
Overheard on Av. Girouard

the NICU beeps and wails and whispers
the nurses scrubs have cats and flowers on them
the babies are so small
so new
how were they ready to be born?
the babies are so strong
so new
they were ready to be born
at least that’s what i
tell myself
washing a pear for my sister
filling her water bottle
rubbing her neck
at least that’s what i
tell myself
walking by the darkened rooms
code indigo taped on the door
mothers and fathers and families
like angel zombies
tired eyes and microwave dinners
sanitize the hands

“primarily my fault” by Sasha on the bed in Montreal


Tuesday September 20, 2016
12:43am
5 minutes
from a text

The flight was long and bumpy. Veronica had a headache that stretched all the way down her spine. She had the middle seat. She had to pee but didn’t want to disturb the sleeping woman beside her so she held it until she couldn’t any longer and then got to the bathroom and there was a line. She’d never flown this airline. The plane felt like it was put together with pipe cleaners and a glue stick. Veronica pees and then flushes and goes to wash her hands. The sink is clogged. She knows that her hand sanitizer is on her dressing table back at her apartment. She wrinkles her nose. She returns to her seat where the woman has miraculously fallen into a deep sleep, head on her fold out tray.

“You could fight in the conventional ways” by Sasha at her desk


Monday September 19, 2016
9:41pm
5 minutes
The Deep
Nick Cutter


You could do this in the conventional way but you don’t.
You invite a stranger over way after the sun’s gone down.
You let him in through the shared door and hold your fingers to your lips
so that your downstairs neighbours aren’t alarmed.
Do they keep tabs on you?
Do they hear you?
You lead the stranger upstairs and the stranger kisses you
harder than you want to be kissed.
You go to the bathroom and splash water on your face and
you look tired.
You look really tired.

“I forgot how easy this is” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday September 18, 2016
9:52pm
5 minutes
overheard at the waterfront theatre

I forgot how easy it was to move from one place to another
drifting like clouds across the dawn
like tumbleweeds over the desert
I forgot how easy it is to sail over treetops
over shrubs
over dogs howling for their dinner.
I never considered myself a gypsy
too intent to carve home.
I never liked living out of a suitcase
til now.
Something so freeing about not having any
things
about having all I need
(a good book, a pen, a notebook a toothbrush, some underwear, a t-shirt, boots, jeans, a clean towel)
with me at all times
ready to soar
ready to land

“I’m in television right now” by Julia on the 99


Friday September 23, 2016
6:13pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

Been refocusing my brain on things I should want based on who around me has connections. I assume this is the best approach because it will limit the decisions I actually have to make on my own. I will be able to stream line my focus so I don’t have to spend countless hours trying to figure out: WHAT IS MY LIFE PATH ON THIS GOD FORSAKEN SHIT HOLE OF A PLANET??
Doesn’t that make the most sense? Stop fighting the system and work with it. Start letting my interaction with others dictate what I love to do. You say you’re in television? I’m writing a sitcom! You say you’re in physiotherapy? I write pamphlets on rehab treatments! You say you’re an events planner? I officiate weddings! This is a good idea.

“I’ll do your reading and then email it to you” By Julia on her couch


Thursday September 22, 2016
9:37pm
5 minutes
livewithmoxy.com

From here I can tell you what you are to me what I feel when I think of you and what I see when I call your face to my mind. I cannot tell you what you feel or what you’re going through. I cannot say for certain what to suggest that might help or what might happen to you or where you’ll go or who you’ll become. All I know is what I know about you from what you’ve let me see. The parts you’ve shown me in the dark when it felt safe and then stayed into the morning while we sat together and ate breakfast. You are going to be so good because you are now so good already so good that you will get better you will improve you will learn you will grow. And all I can say is you’ve always been this good. And if you’re going to be so good and that so good you will be is better than the good you are now then it is a saving grace in this world. Because you have never sacrificed that. Never once betrayed that. I can’t say who you’ll be in a year but what you are to me today is everything everything everything.

“two beautiful faces” by Julia at Lindsay’s house


Wednesday September 21, 2016
10:15pm
5 minutes
overheard on Av. Girouard

Garden in my backyard
Planted love and kindness
Watch them grow sometimes
From the window
Watch them nourish the others
Every now and again
Get upset when the love doesn’t love me
Doesn’t grow long enough to reach me
When the kindness chooses everyone else
Wish I planted patience a long time ago
Wish I knew what time of year it would thrive the best
Wish I planted it a long time ago

“primarily my fault” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday September 20, 2016
12:58am
5 minutes
from a text

I apologize to you with the back of my head and the front of my chest pushing into you like a bean out of its pod there is no quiet or calm no pleasant or nice I do not even mean it with the whole of me I do not know the still of you I do not want to be wrong when being right hurts so much I show you with examples words I’ve said once or twice before bent into a shape I do not recognize when I aim them straight at you I should have known better than to waste myself on the off chance of you on the dull blade that won’t cut through but won’t stop dragging back and forth back and forth slow death slow and unbearable life lived backwards I apologize to you with the parts of me that are still num from the sting as if I could take the blame and eat it so you don’t have to stuff it down so you don’t have to swallow me

“You could fight in the conventional ways” by Julia on her couch


Monday September 19, 2016
9:30pm
5 minutes
The Deep
Nick Cutter


You could ball up your fists and pray
Cross your heart and hope to die, peacefully
In your sleep
If the world is as corrupt as you say it is maybe
there’s another hope lost amidst your collection of failed attempts at staying alive
You could barricade the doors, line the windows with barbed wire and chainmail you could
hide very low behind the war you were begging for
Kiss the floor with
the forgiveness you had been saving for yourself
Line the floors with bodies playing dead
And all the minds that almost got cleaned
Against their will
You could ball up your fists and wish for understanding
Beg the wind to bring you the news you think so deeply you
deserve

“I forgot how easy this is” by Julia on her couch


Sunday September 18, 2016
9:52pm
5 minutes
overheard at the waterfront theatre

Just have to call once a week. Not sure how that’s hard. Not sure how that takes up too much space in his head and he forgets or how he can let himself forget. It’s not like she has all the time in the world. He only happens to call when he needs something. Only manages to chat about himself instead of asking how she is. She is just happy he calls. When he calls. No matter how long they talk for. No matter how many times he asks for money. She thinks he needs her. She forgets that she needs him too. Last time I told him he wasn’t being fair to her. Said he was hijacking every phone call and he could call once in a while just to say hi. He told me that it was easier for me because I don’t have to worry about the same stuff he does. I don’t have to feel the guilt for not living near home. Or because I have a job and that alone lets me be free enough to call to say hi and have that be the end of things.

“He got a gun to his head” by Julia on her couch


Saturday September 17, 2016 at the Shadbolt Centre
11:43am
5 minutes
Overheard at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts

If there’s a reason why we’re meeting here, none of us know it yet. The sky is dark and ominous. There are casual signs promoting danger or intrigue popping up in shadows and creaky floorboards but we haven’t seemed to take heed because we are convinced that this is a dream and nothing bad can ever actually happen to us because bad things only happen to other people or to humans in movies. It’s dark and cold. We don’t speak much in case talking gives us away somehow. Ali and Strat have both cried into their paper bags. I have been inhaling and exhaling in mine, assuming that’s why we were given these to hold in the first place. Cece said she would be here by ten but since none of us can reach her we have already accepted that she is probably dead by now or swallowed up by the night.

“He got a gun to his head” by Sasha at the Shadbolt Centre


Saturday September 17, 2016 at the Shadbolt Centre
10:30am
5 minutes
Overheard at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts

A gun to his head he prays in a way he didn’t know he could
all the names for God he’s ever heard
he’s ever learned
all the names for God he’s seen carved in caves and bathroom stalls
The person wears a mask
wears gloves
He’s never smelled a person with this smell
Like stale bread and beetles and gas
He is quiet and he laughs when the person
burps loud into his ear
A gun to his head he knows that he should’ve told
Kari that he loves her.

“the meltdown” by Sasha at her desk


Friday September 16, 2016
6:42pm
5 minutes
The Globe And Mail
September 16, 2016



We don’t know that it’s started. We sleep in our plush beds, with our feather pillows and our wool socks. We snore and turn from back to belly to back. We don’t know that around us the mountains are melting, the rocks are turning to water. The city will float soon, our bed, above our house, above the tree where we buried three cats and two dogs. We don’t know that people are panicked, rushing and packing and crying and shouting. The phone lines collapse and the TVs are static.

“the meltdown” by Julia at her dining table


Friday September 16, 2016
6:32pm
5 minutes
The Globe And Mail
September 16, 2016


Now that she had a name for her pain it was easier to feel it. Started in the tip of her nose and found roots in her stomach. She had been carrying around the seeds of it. Of the pain. Of the pretending. It had been harder before when things sprouted up because the leaves were all so similar looking. No one was identifying the loss of her inside of her. She had first to grow it into something people could recognize. That’s when the naming started. No growing thing can be complete without a name. An identity. The power of believing it to be. Then things got worse. She tried to avoid it but this swaying thing with long branches was always moving around inside her begging to be remembered. She tried to put other things in her stomach to keep the thing company so it wouldn’t make her pay all of her attention to it when she needed to be smiling and get things done.

“contemporary re-imagining” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday September 15, 2016
11:30pm
5 minutes
From an email from PTC

“It’s okay,” says Papa, chopping onions. He doesn’t cry, stoically bringing his knife down in perfectly straight lines.

“I’m sorry,” I say, sniffling.

“It’s just a truck, sweetie,” Papa pours the onions in the pan and glugs on oil and throws in a knob of butter, too.

“It was so scary,” I stand up and walk close. He reaches out and puts a hand on my shoulder.

“Did I ever tell you about the time I flipped my Papa’s truck into a ditch the first snowstorm of ’69?”

“No…”

He stirs the onions, some starting to become translucent.

“you can experience racism” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday September 14, 2016
11:04pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

He keeps his hands in his pockets. Safest that way. He chews Hubba Bubba and spits it into the trash can at the bus stop on the way to Community College. First one in his family to go. He doesn’t call out racism, even though it follows him like a stray dog. Safest that way. Fly under the radar, his mother says. He does well. His instructors give him pats on the back and ask if he wants to work in the Lab, helping out. He agrees. He likes when it’s quiet there and he can really focus. Hard with so many other people around.

“I had to let her know” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday September 13, 2016
11:32pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Marnie can’t stop biting her nails. She’s tried nail polish, hypnotherapy, herbal remedies, even putting rat poison on her fingertips (that resulted in an overnight stay at the hospital. She can’t stop biting her nails. She wakes up in the middle of the night, her hands in her mouth, and she screams. She’s with a client and the urge to bring fore-finger to mouth overwhelms her and she excuses herself to go to the bathroom and she nibbles and then cries. Marnie goes to therapy. The red headed therapist asks if she can remember when she first started. “I have no idea,” says Marnie.

“How I came into being” by Sasha on her couch


Monday September 12, 2016
12:46am
5 minutes
poetryfoundation.org

I came into being
thanks to charcoal and stardust
thanks to dinosaur bones and grandmother
fingernails I came into being because of you
I came into being with the seeds of my daughters
buried the womb of my mother’s mother
I came into being with the big bang
with the Holocaust
with a dance alone under a full harvest moon
I came into being once
twice
three
a thousand times
When I met you
and you
and you and you and you
when I met myself in the eye of the storm
rocking back and forth
whispering
Yes

“contemporary re-imagining” by Julia at Lindsay’s apartment


Thursday September 15, 2016
11:30pm
5 minutes
from an email from PTC

Couldn’t see past the glare of the sun
You were standing there dripping wet
You had just leaped out of a rainbow or something
And you were bright
and I wanted to love you.
Thought it best to keep you out of full view
I might have wanted to sculpt you better
More the shape and size that I know I would need later on
But if I couldn’t see you
I wouldn’t be able to find anything wrong
I liked your stamina
You stood there dripping colours that I had already promised myself
The ones I had proposed to
And you seemed to be smiling
I could have kept you happy in that perfect moment
I could have remembered to breathe deep and follow it into myself like the book woman said
I could have let you stand there exposed in all your offering
As a comfort to myself
And to you

“you can experience racism” By Julia on her couch


Wednesday September 14, 2016
11:06pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

Did you know that if you can think it, it already exists somewhere on the internet? Because it’s a dark and twisted jungle and some people don’t know how to find their way home after getting lost in it. Anything you can think of at all. Sure, it would take a little digging. You’d have to be good at searching. But for every good thought you’ve ever had, someone has beat you to one like it somewhere online. And for every bad thought you’ve ever had, someone has beat you to 10. At least. The ratios do not lie. We’re more alike in this life than we’d ever like to admit. My bad thoughts, fleeing, your bad thoughts breeding and burying their eggs all over the web. It’s the only place where there always exists someone more hurt than you.

“I had to let her know” By Julia in her bed


Tuesday September 13, 2016
11:18pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Words unspoken turned into her next studio album
I wished she would have thanked me in the liner notes
Some of her best songs were un-fought wars about me
And some of her most beautiful lyrics
Were silent wishes tucked away and forgotten
I would have liked to explain myself
I would have liked to be understood before the divide instead of because of it
Too many resolutions gleaned from the backs of our sleeping heads facing opposite walls
And all the haunting melodies I will hum to myself forever
now that they are stuck inside my dreams

“How I came into being” By Julia on her couch


Monday September 12, 2016
9:46pm
5 minutes
poetryfoundation.org

How I was birthed twice in this life by my mother and twice by me. How I have started over. How I have changed destinies and opinions. How I have grown bigger in this year alone than I have in all my years prior combined. How I realized I could draw. How I realized I could sing. The moments of myself split me open like a decision, like a soybean.
I met myself one afternoon in July. I was outside my house and inside my body. I sipped on scotch. I wrote a letter to the me I was becoming. I wrote music for my tired self’s funeral.

“How’re you?” By Julia on her couch


Sunday September 11, 2016
11:12pm
5 minutes
From a text message

I have micro cuts on the inside of my lips from the spicy Chinese food I ate earlier. I couldn’t help myself. I was compelled. They sting a little. Mostly when I open my mouth or run my tongue along the raw bits. I meant to bring a nourishing lip balm but some days you can’t be held responsible for the minor setbacks: the micro cuts. I think to some degree we are always accepting a base amount of pain. We decide what is tolerable. What is bad but just good enough that it’s worth putting up with it. I wonder how many of my friends are smiling through the blood. Which ones, I wonder, are licking their wounds like I do.

“How’re you?” By Sasha on her porch


Sunday September 11, 2016
7:20am
5 minutes
From a text message

How’re you?

Fine. Tired.

Yeah… But, really – … How are you?

So so tired.

What are you doing for the soft parts of yourself that get confused and think they need to be hard in order to get everything done?

Reading self help books?

Ha ha.

Zoning out on my phone too much.

Yeah. I do that, too. What would happen if you took a bath instead?

I’d probably fall asleep and drown.

Unlikely.

I should, I should take a bath. I have those fancy bath salts from six Christmases ago.

“Mysterious Serum” by Sasha on her bed


Saturday September 10, 2016
11:01pm
5 minutes
Fallout

Fingers sticky with mysterious serum of future fugitives clasped in tight fists
Belly clenched a clam shell with macaroni and cheese inside open it up open
it up Face with a frown like winter like frostbite Breath reeks of coffee and fear Fingers to mouth Eat the serum The fugitives are here now They are here.

Keep looking over my shoulder for who I thought you were. Kindness evades. Mice in the pipes. Periods in place of spaces in place of joy in face of wonder. Keep looking over my shoulder for who I thought you were.

“What little it was” by Sasha on her couch


Friday September 9, 2016
12:17am
5 minutes
No Country For Old Men
Cormac McCarthy


Her shoulders are tight and her nipples are cracked and the baby rolled off the changing table and split his lip. Playground Moms will whisper and glare and she’ll put him in a swing that’s too big and push him too high and he’ll cry like he’s being tortured. Jeff gets home from the late shift and she wants him to fuck her but he grabs her belly fat and shakes his head. She watches The Shopping Channel until she passes out on the couch and wakes up because her tits are leaking Niagara Falls all over the place. The baby starts to cry and she wonders what kind of miracle it is that her tits know when he’s awake. They love him more than she does.

“Mysterious Serum” by Julia on her couch


Saturday September 10, 2016
10:45pm
5 minutes
Fallout

Been trying to figure her out for a long time. Thought I understood her then. Though I understood her now. Thought the whole time I could really see her until I couldn’t. It happened over night. She disappeared. Poof. Gone. I called her old number. Tried to connect. She stopped answering. She stopped wanting to be found. Whatever it was-the mask or the safety net-it was good until it wasn’t. It worked until it didn’t. And when it didn’t it was no longer safe. No longer a good idea to be alone with her. To give her any insights. To give her any inches to be turned into miles.

“You’re all a bunch of weirdos!” By Sasha on her couch


Thursday September 8, 2016
11:14pm
5 minutes
Said at Jackie’s

You scratch the place where I’m hurting and
I feel awkward and weird I feel words can never
do the things I want them too even though
I pretend I know them I pretend that they are my
business. My business is water and fire. My
business isn’t words. I set the timer I set it
again and again five minutes five minutes five
minutes. Ding time’s up. Ding it’s all over.
End of the world. End of the road. End of the
story. You scratch the place where the magic
lives.

“What little it was” by Julia walking home


Friday September 9, 2016
12:17am
5 minutes
No Country For Old Men
Cormac McCarthy


He looked at me with tears in his eyes maybe it was the first time
maybe it was the second
I wanted to keep each one in a jar by our bed to remind him of what it looks like to let it go
what it looks like to feel it deep what it looks like to let somebody else see
if I could’ve put them in a jar I would’ve put the lid on so tight I would have put a label next to it
I would have told him maybe this was meant to happen
the answers are never too far beyond the place where tears come from
I didn’t feel bad
I wanted him to cry more
I wanted him to let all of his demons out for once
let them see what it’s like in the real world
let them see if they can play outside of his body
It is so much bigger outside of his body
so much more room for them
so many more things for them to choose instead of clinging to his insides and making him bleed
and making him hurt and making him so used to the pain that he thinks it’s normal
what little it was
the tears that fell
that soaked my shirt
that burned my shoulder skin
and yet how many moons have wept at the silence of him
sometimes I catch myself staring
willing his tear ducts to produce something worth keeping

“You’re all a bunch of weirdos!” by Julia in her bed


Thursday September 8, 2016
10:50pm
5 minutes
Said at Jackie’s

When Isaac comes home from the deli he is crying because he has been laughing so hard. Signor Rossi has been doing the impression of Signor Latvia again, holding up the sausages and making them dance on the counter. Isaac tells his mother he wishes he could be Italian because they’re always drinking espresso and always laughing. She sends him there on purpose, and not Ilya or Lara. She always lets him pick out a special treat. Last time he brought home sun-dried tomatoes in the nice oil because signor Rossi suggested them this week. The time before that he brought home the mozzarella di bufala because it was “the freshest it has ever been and would make a nice salad into a great one.”

“the body is a boat” by Julia at Lindsay’s house


Wednesday September 7, 2016
2:12pm
5 minutes
The Ashtanga Yoga Primer
Baba Hari Dass


Carries me across this life
Keeps my heart afloat
Rocks me gently
Glides over currents
Holds my home
Settles my bones in the stillness
My body
My body
This body is a boat
This boat is my body
Carries me across this life
Protecting my insides
From all of this world’s outsides
Carries me
Transports me through choppy waters
Delivers me to shore when I am lost
If I listen closely
If I close my eyes and listen

“the body is a boat” by Sasha on the floor


Wednesday September 7, 2016
8:19am
5 minutes
The Ashtanga Yoga Primer
Baba Hari Dass


Snail puts his hand on my lower back and my skin crawls.

“Please don’t do that…”

He takes his hand away and sneers.

“What’s the matter, you got one of those weird “bubble” things?”

I know what he’s talking about. Nessa always says, “Don’t hug me. Don’t enter the bubble.”

But that’s not it. I do not have a bubble issue. I don’t want to be touched by Snail or even within touching distance of him.

“You’re the best.” By Sasha on her couch


Tuesday September 6, 2016
10:36pm
5 minutes
From a text

You’re the best scrabble player
the best omelette maker
the best big spoon to my small.
You’re the best smiler
the best joker
the best kisser of them all.
You’re the best listener
the best laugher
the best singer
the best heart.
You’re the best at impressions
the best at massages
the best stretcher
the best at splitting a coconut apart.

“it really is used” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday September 5, 2016
11:32am
5 minutes
from a schedule

Sometimes I think about you. I wonder strange things. Are you drinking enough water? Do you have any tattoos? I don’t wormhole down a Google search or a Facebook stalk. I languish in the space between questions about how you might have changed, the shape of your lips, the smell of the back of your neck. It is there were I find stillness, in the wondering. It is there I find comfort, and trust, and faith in the goodness of us. Are you drinking enough water?

“You’re the best.” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday September 6, 2016
10:03pm
5 minutes
From a text

You’re the best at building walls
At saying you’ve seen them
At saying you know me
You’re the best at holding up memories to the light so I can see them better
At making me smile
At interrupting me when I’m trying to ignore you
You’re the best at beating me to an I Love You in every conversation
At folding up the night into a door slam
Into a hug
Into a hula hoop left perfectly spinning
You’re the best at saying sorry
When you know it’s ending
When you think I want to hear it
When you need to apologize to yourself as much as you do to me
You’re the best at walking long distances
Without any music
Any distractions
Without wishing you were
already there

“it really is used” by Julia on the 99


Monday September 5, 2016
12:31am
5 minutes
from a schedule

It is harder than it looks. To put on false eyelashes. I once bought three packs. Because it was Halloween and my birthday in the same weekend and life was good. I gave myself enough time for the fishnet face stenciling. I gave myself enough time for the spider tutorial. I gave myself enough time to eat and shit and then do some light stretching. I thought last minute I could pop on the lashes. I was very wrong. First of all one of the packs didn’t come with glue. I thought they came preglued. I could have stuck them to my lids like press on nails. I did not know they needed separate glue glued on to then be very delicately mushed onto the eye. I spent one half hour trying to attach a thing without any built in adhesive to my face. I thought I was just doing it the hard way. Turns out I was just doing it wrong.

“Nothing ever ends poetically.” By Sasha at her desk


Sunday September 4, 2016
11:51pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Kait Rokowsky

“Nothing ever ends as poetically as you hope it will,” Minnie takes off her pants and throws them onto the heap of laundry in the corner. Her bum’s gotten a bit bigger. It looks good. “You’re bum’s looking good,” I say, lying on her bed. “I’m a cow,” Minnie takes off her shirt and pulls on an old hockey jersey that used to belong to her brother. “Shut up,” I say, throwing a pillow in the shape of a panda at her. She catches it. Quick reflexes. “What do you think is going to happen? Will I get in anywhere?” She has tears in her eyes. She sits on the end of the bed, pulling her knees to her chest.

“No one takes twenty-five year old women seriously.” By Sasha on her couch


Friday September 2, 2016
11:21pm
5 minutes
Opening Up
Lauren Dane


You said you needed space and that after I broke my jaw I kissed differently.
You said that you’d call sometime, at least on my birthday and Halloween, my favourite day of the year.
You said that when you dream, sometimes you still see me, but it’s like it was, not like it is, and that just makes you sad.
You said that you are going to become a vegan, only eating honey because who can give up honey in their right mind.
You said that when I get my period you can’t deal with me or my granny panties.
You said that you might move to Toronto and that Tinder’s a big thing there.
You said you might get a Tinder.
You said that the smell of burning means a ghost is passing through.

“Nothing ever ends poetically.” by Julia on her couch


Sunday September 4, 2016
9:26pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Kait Rokowsky

Reese couldn’t believe her luck. She used to play the lotto crosswords with her grandpa every Sunday after church. They never won anything. Reese’s grandpa made sure not to show her how upset he was when they missed yet another chance at “hitting the big time” and she had always gotten an ice cream out of it anyway. It was their thing. Their ritual. Before each scratch he’s rub his hands together like he was about to roll the dice. It had been a year to the day since he passed away. Reese couldn’t keep herself from buying a scratch card in memory of him. She rubbed her hands together just like her grandpa did. She smiled down at the scratch card as tears filled her eyes. She had won three dollars.

“sighing and frightened” by Julia at Caitlin’s


Saturday September 3, 2016
12:10am
5 minutes
from a poem by Mary Oliver

When you look out on the world that exists without you but for you
you start to see the things that fit you that are you that are waiting for you.
I am in awe of myself.
I am so vast. I have been life inside life inside life and now I have rippled past what I even knew I could be.
Vast. It is a dream. And yet it aches. This expansiveness. How I’ve yearned for it. And now that it is asking very sweetly if I can make room in my life inside my life inside my life for it, I feel
unsteady. Uneasy. Unprepared. Unworthy.
How long can a part of me frighten me? How long do I run from the big voices? What if they wail so loud only because they are trying to lead me back to myself? I see the world.
I see my wild.
It is not calmed by the breeze, but charged by it. I will carry myself across the wind like a baby bird with strong wings. Seeing this place as the echo of my heart.
And it is so big.
And I am so big.

“No one takes twenty-five year old women seriously.” By Julia on her bed


Friday September 2, 2016
11:21pm
5 minutes
Opening Up
Lauren Dane


They all thought we looked younger. Good genes I told them. We had some luck in my family and not aging drastically was looked at as some of it. Some of the luck. My grandmother on my mom’s side was obsessed with looking young. She couldn’t take a compliment. She’d say, oh not me, I’m too old. Or oh, no, I can’t be anything I’m too old. It got tiring after a while. It made us want to stop telling her how beautiful she looked. And all she ever wanted was to be told she was beautiful. All the people in the town called us the Teenagers. We were never allowed to grow up. To be seen as women. I think they thought they were paying us a compliment. I think they believed we should be so lucky to have strangers call us young because to them it meant vitality and success and happiness. To us it felt like no one was willing to take us seriously.

“provide reasonable protection” by Julia while walking


Thursday, September 1, 2016
10:01pm
5 minutes
From an external hard drive warranty

I couldn’t pronounce the word but I knew it was one of those words that if you said the wrong way it would ruin you for life. Or was it one of those words that in English means one thing, but in a different language it means something completely inappropriate? What are those words called? Frenemeies? Word cousins? I don’t know, I’m no good with words in English even. But I didn’t want to pronounce it or even say it at all because I didn’t want to be laughed at. I have always been laughed at. What is the point of trying when you know people are just going to find the one thing that cuts you deep and rip open the wound even more? But who do I think I am anyway? I’m no wordsmith. I can’t be making metaphors! Who do I think I am?

“I have a question for you” by Julia at the VPL


Wednesday, August 31, 2016
7:13pm
5 minutes
From a Facebook message

I wanted to ask how you were doing, how your day was. I didn’t want to remind you that I was here and that you were hurting, just wanted to know if you needed anything at all. I bit my tongue into two. The strips can talk to each other now if they need to say something. I wanted to ask if we could keep each other safe in the memory of one another. If we could hold our names to the light and blow kisses at them in the dark. That we may recall instances of laughter and music instead of whatever it is we are making now. I wanted to ask if you could write me a letter and send it to me in a decade, telling me the truth about what I was for you. I think by then I’ll be able to handle it. I wanted to ask if one day I could take you out for coffee and tell you of all the poems I had to write about you that one night. That one night where we held each other’s soft and wept for the history we had built. I wanted to ask you if you would carry me in all my funny pieces and if I could carry you in all of yours.

“provide reasonable protection” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday, September 1, 2016
9:51pm
5 minutes
From an external hard drive warranty

Margie adds a scoop of cumin to the chilli and watches a cardinal land on the big old maple that has seen it all. Craig putters in the basement. Jazz plays on the radio. She hasn’t been cooking much this winter, what with the tragedy at the school, and so many long hours. It feels good to have soaked the beans, stewed the tomatoes, chopped the garlic, onions, peppers and sweet potato, and toasted the spices, just the way her mother taught her. There won’t be cornbread, but there will be a thick nest of old cheddar on top. “Almost ready?” Craig calls up. He’s hungry, having met with a struggling student through his lunch break, causing him to forget to eat. Margie often finds sandwiches in Craig’s briefcase from days before. She shakes her head. He cares so much, she thinks, putting turkey and swiss, ham and cucumber, rye with almond butter and banana, right into the compost pail on the counter.

“I have a question for you” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday, August 31, 2016
4:11pm
5 minutes
From a Facebook message

I have a question for you that isn’t as pretty
as I wish it could be
Tied up with red ribbon
Kissed with pink lips
it’s not actually a question
Excuse me
I don’t know if there’s a word for what it is
A confession maybe
A prayer played over a loudspeaker through winding alleys
A release of ten thousand doves into a black sky
A squid ink pasta served on the forest floor

“Door To Hell” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday, August 30, 2016
7:35am
5 minutes
aplus.com
\
here you are
mouth full of blood and teeth
they are yours and not yours
they are all the ones you’ve stolen
here you are
opening the door to hell
forgetting you have a choice
forgetting the odds aren’t stacked
against you
here you are
holding hands with death
french kissing winter
snow banks stained red
dotted warzones