“bare bones information” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday November 30, 2016
9:44am
5 minutes
From a lesson plan

Calls me and leaves me a voicemail
she’s got big news she’s got crescent moons

I listen like I did when my father
read me Runaway Bunny

I missed her call on purpose
a glue on my lips a glue on my lips

I wait three days before calling back
“Hey, how are you? Sorry I’ve been so busy.”

I’m walking in the rain in a not-warm-enough jacket
I’m counting the November rotting underfoot

“I still honoured my vows” by Sasha in her bed


Tuesday November 29, 2016
11:02pm
5 minutes
Big Magic
Elizabeth Gilbert


I make a vow that I’ll do better
I do it often I do it daily
Curse of being born in this body
with this medallion of whiteness
of middle class-ness
of education
we’re just trying to be better
do better make better make something
I make a donation to Standing Rock
thirty dollars
I buy a ticket to a play that my friend wrote
twenty one dollars
I buy a bag of slivered almonds for granola
fourteen dollars

“I still honoured my vows” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday November 29, 2016
8:38pm
5 minutes
Big Magic
Elizabeth Gilbert


I lick my finger and it tastes of a chicken bouillon cube.
It’s salty.
I love it.
I used to eat pieces of those by themselves when I was younger. Along with anchovies from the jar, and mayonnaise.
I had no vehicle carrying condiments to my mouth.
I wasted no such time.
I always cut out the middle spoon.
I think of big pots simmering on the stove.
I believe I could stay with someone if they knew how to make something out of nothing.
If they knew about sauces and simmering.
I would marry that.
I am very extreme about bouillon cubes.
I am tethered.
Some memories stick like sugar to a strawberry.

“can’t think of anything to add.” by Julia on her couch


Monday November 28, 2016
9:45pm
5 minutes
From a feedback form

I wish I didn’t fall asleep when I read
Wish I didn’t love chocolate
Wish I didn’t need to spend a long time in the bathroom with the door closed not talking me to anyone for hours
Wish I didn’t only call my mom when I am walking somewhere
Wish I cared more about DIY
Wish I knew how to play the ukulele
Wish people asked me to sing for them
Wish I could wear sweatpants to the printers or the dentist
Wish I didn’t have a permanent retainer (or two) (for flossing)
Wish flossing was stupidly enjoyable
Wish someone could squeeze me all day
Wish someone would squeeze me all night
Wish I never needed to consult the Internet for recipes
Or scrabble words
Or origins of weird sayings
Wish I was born in a different decade
Or area code

“can’t think of anything to add.” By Sasha at her desk


Monday November 28, 2016
1:59pm
5 minutes
From a feedback form

“Can you think of anything that you want to add?” She says, looking at me with sorrow eyes.

“I don’t think so?” I start to put on my jacket and she stands up. “You’re brave, for doing this…” Sorrow eyes get wider. “Many people never report anything, for a variety of reasons, that are all valid but – … then how are we supposed to – ”

“I have to get to class.” I say, and rush out of her office.

“Oh. Okay. Thanks again for coming, Alice.” She extends her hand and I shake it. It’s warm.

I lock myself in a bathroom stall for awhile and as other people come and go I think about those sorrow eyes and how I’m tired of them and really, I’m actually just tired. So, so tired.

“Does anyone have any questions” by Sasha in the bath


Sunday November 27, 2016
6:33pm
5 minutes
Overheard at BC Children’s Hospital

A: If you could be any colour what colour would you be?

B: Um, red? You?

A: Blue. Obviously.

B: Why is that obvious?

A: Because of my eyes and the colour of my sweater and jeans?

B: Oh. Right.

A: If you could be any animal, what animal would you be?

B: Hm… That’s a hard one –

A: Why, because you hate animals?

B: No. Because I’m a veterinary assistant. And I love animals.

A: Oh, right. I forgot that… So?

B: I guess a dolphin? Or a grizzly bear?

A: Those are very different animals. You have to choose one.

B: A grizzly.

A: Really? I was going to say a warthog.

B: That’s just mean.

“With a couple of girlfriends” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday November 26, 2016
8:51pm
5 minutes
Overheard at BC Children’s Hospital

“What are you hoping to get out of this position in regards to personal growth?”

Genevieve squints at me and re-crosses her legs.

“Um, well, I’ve always wanted to work in the charity sector, you know, like, give back?”

She doesn’t move a muscle. Didn’t they teach you about mirroring body language in your HR trainings? Are you capable of nodding or saying “Mm-hm” or something?

There are five seconds of agonizing silence. Are you waiting for me to say more? What more is there to say? I thought that this job was mine? What is happening?

“You aren’t really a people person, are you Becky?” Genevieve pulls her Blackberry out of the pocket of her blazer and starts typing furiously.

“Am I supposed to answer that?”

“Does anyone have any questions” by Julia on the toilet


Sunday November 27, 2016
7:33pm
5 minutes
overheard at BC Children’s Hospital

I shoot my hand up into the air slicing though immediate sky and most expectations
WILL THERE BE A TEST ON THIS OR WHAT?
The whole room is looking at me
like they did not plan or hope for this
as if they didn’t know the test would be so brazen and surprising and at the wrong time of the day
as if they wished they had prepared for being tested on someone testing their patience and their ethics
I laugh because I don’t know, isn’t this whole thing a sham?
WE ARE PAYING SOMEBODY ELSE TO DISAPPOINT OURSELVES. ISN’T THAT RIGHT DELIA AND OR ROBERT?
Nobody is clear on what this is now
some of them think it could be a gorilla performance piece and Trey starts filming me with his Iphone 6000 and something
I’M NOT YOUR ENEMY! I’M YOUR DEEP DARK TOMORROW MORNING!
Crickets have a way of sounding like revolution

“With a couple of girlfriends” by Julia at BC Children’s hospital


Saturday November 26, 2016
12:52pm
5 minutes
overheard at BC Children’s Hospital

I imagine her carrying her black bag, (bottomless, gold hardware, disgusting) to the gym and then the bank. She fishes around: hand plunged into crusty zipper pockets and crumbled Nature Valley Granola Bar lining. She doesn’t know what she’s looking for and what she’s hoping to find but she knows the answer is deep down somewhere between the Revlon Matte Lip Stain and the broken bronzer pallet staining her receipts pumpkin. I don’t think she’d ask a man to carry it for her when she gets tired of it, but maybe when she has to bend to tie her shoes. She knows in one of the pouches there is a yellow hanker chief that her grandmother gave her and laughed at when she told her she would wear it in her back pocket (peeking out just a bit) as a fashion statement. I imagine she tells her this joke during one of her grandmother’s coughing fits, but not that she will miss her when she’s gone.

“You’re more than welcome to wear it” by Julia in her bed


Tuesday November 22, 2016
11:45pm
5 minutes
overheard at GO studios

“I am not wearing that” she said, “and you will not ask again.” The costume designer huffed off and slammed her office door. “Think what you want about me, Marilyn. I have standards. AND INTEGRITY.” Six people rushed out of the room. Three people offered Isabelle a coffee, a Tylenol, and a chocolate.

“the hands upraised” by Julia on her couch


Friday November 25, 2016
8:01pm
5 minutes
from the back of a Buddha greeting card

She was the kind of person
who declared things,
sent everything up to the sky then washed her hands of it. Nothing to debate.
This is feeling. Feeling is real. I feel. I am.
Thank you. Goodnight.
He hadn’t stopped her yet from saying everything gospel.
Telling it all to the hilltops. Mountains.
He hadn’t noticed yet the tone she wasn’t intending.
Made it seem okay
or fine
or nothing. But maybe
was noticing it.
Maybe silently adding it up in weapons of mass cold shoulder
or gas light
which is to say
destruction.
She had put her arms up that night to veto the smell of his feet. No ifs or ands–
he changed his socks emphatically.

“the hands upraised” by Sasha at her desk


Friday November 25, 2016
11:54am
5 minutes
The back of a Buddha greeting card

I couldn’t sleep again last night. I don’t usually have this problem, toes touching the warmth of your calf, stretching into a dream. I woke you from almost-sleep, “I have the scares,” I said. We stole the line from our eight year old friend because kids are the most articulate in my books. Before I woke you from almost-sleep, before we brushed teeth and put socks and underwear into the laundry hamper, I had been edgy and grating and needy with you, asking “Why?” over and over, even when it wasn’t called for. Mostly when it wasn’t called for. Before the sixty three “Why’s” we had seen a play about a brothel in which a woman is sold into sexual slavery. Our friends were in it. On the way there, I sang along to the radio in the car as the rain slapped the windshield. We held hands. The play was really good, really painful, really vital – which is more than I can say most of the time. Maybe all the “Why’s” I threw at you were easier than the “Why’s” I really have, the thundercloud ones and the screaming ones and the throat closing sob ones. I’m sorry. You don’t have answers because there are no answers, you can’t give me the answers I need, you shouldn’t ever have to. Hands upraised, reaching for something, reaching for meaning, reaching for why, reaching for God.

“now do I take you forever” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday November 24, 2016
12:32pm
5 minutes
Weddings from the Heart
Daphne Rose Kingma


We’re talking forevers now which really we have
no right to do which really is all a big joke anyway

We’re talking hay bales and baby names
and barbecued chicken and first dance songs and

Will I even wear a white dress anyway

This institution getting a reboot on the terms
of interracial feminism progression but

what about the minivan and the braces and
the mortgage and the mutt

We’re talking forevers now and it getting
us high and making us squirm

“I look forward to a random day” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday November 23, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook comment

I see a man’s face through the ice looking up
his mouth contorted in salt water scream

I am standing on the thick part but still
wonder about safety and falling through

Many women are gathered here
some men too We all wear blue ribbons

I look forward to the day when this is not
the headline and the currency and the

reason I can’t sleep.

“now do I take you forever” by Julia in her bed


Thursday November 24, 2016
12:01am
5 minutes
Weddings from the Heart
Daphne Rose Kingma


Now that he thought he would have her forever he turned the lights off when he was ready
He wept enough into his coffee
Proceeded to let the weird out
Whenever humanly possible
And decided to stop listening to the silent cry behind bathroom doors and tray of chicken thighs

“I look forward to a random day”by Julia in her bed


Wednesday November 23, 2016
11:10pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook comment

We’ve been talking about getting a dog and getting land and getting away. It looks good on paper and so do we. A perfect little tiny town to raise a kid, visit our parents, live without constant contact with others. We’ve been talking about getting a dog and being more alone but less lonely and waking up to the leaves and the wild turkeys and the quiet. There’s a little place we like to go and imagine it all working out so perfectly. We take different routes on our way to find it and we don’t go tomorrow or even the day after but we both end up there. With the dog. And the paper we wrote it on.

“You’re more than welcome to wear it” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday November 22, 2016
4:13pm
5 minutes
Overheard at GO studios

I know that this place is haunted but if I talk about I’ll freak myself right out. Prolly freak you out, too…

But I should really tell you that there were footsteps upstairs last night. And there is no “upstairs”… It’s an attic. I asked Mel about raccoons or squirrels and she said, “No way.”

It’s funny, seeing ghosts, spirits, whatever you want to call them. It’s awkward when I talk to one and everyone else, all the alive people are like, “Who are you speaking to?” And I have to pretend like, “Oh, no one! I’m just talkin’ full volume to myself!”

“The Arts Factory” by Sasha at her desk


Monday November 21, 2016
11:36pm
5 minutes
From an Eastside Culture Crawl postcard

I am going to build you a factory, Johnathan. It’s going to be big and beautiful and on every floor there’s going to be artists making the wildest stuff you’ve ever dreamed of. Pottery pigs and blown glass pinatas and burlesque dance routines by the old folks! All the things you fought so hard for… If we don’t have hope now, when are we gonna? I promise you, by next birthday, you’ll have your factory. And you studio? With the biggest windows and the highest ceilings and walls all white-washed alabaster… You’ll paint when you see in your dreams. You’ll paint the red oceans and the bubbles holding whole worlds inside. You’ll paint it all and we won’t worry about selling anything. We’ll give them away! If you want, of course. You’ll give them away to folks that really that kind of light in their lives.

“a supermoon in Taurus.” By Sasha in the bath


Sunday November 20, 2016
10:04pm
5 minutes
From chaninicholas.com

Thirteen in Peurto Vallarta walking
ahead my mother and sister keeping close

Men in Tommy Hilfiger T-shirts hiss and growl
first taste of the power and the burden

Fish tacos on the beach salty hair
Sunburn like a bad weather forecast

At the hotel a man who works there
teaches me how to say “How are you?” in Spanish

He blushes and looks at his Nike’s when I ask it
I take my hair out of a ponytail

“The Arts Factory” by Julia on her couch


Monday November 21, 2016
11:35pm
5 minutes
from an Eastside Culture Crawl postcard

Last night I couldn’t sleep thought it was the art my body was trying to produce as a defense against rest and other things like chai and deep emotional currents
Thought during these moments of rise how I could use them wisely multitask almost asleep and feeling inspired and convince myself that I was going to remember all of these ideas in the morning
Then I checked myself and remembered that the words themselves were not the signal nor the purpose because the purpose is the impetuous to understand a feeling succinctly and then put it into words
That’s what we should be listening to the part where we acknowledge the need to express then take action regardless

“a supermoon in Taurus.” by Julia on the 2


Sunday November 20, 2016
3:02pm
5 minutes
From chaninicholas.com

The other night after hating you for loving me I left the house in my pajama bottoms to seek out the supermoon
You said I probably wouldn’t be able to see anything in this fog but if she was waiting for me to catch her she would probably be that-away and you pointed to the east
I half expected she would be there and willing and believed I would be found if I found her but I couldn’t track her down and that was one more thing to be wrong about that day
I came back up the stairs slowly and stood outside our apartment door for a minute longer than usual while I decided how to feel in front of you
I could hear you inside telling yourself that you deserved to be happy too sometimes

“I’m just so sad” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday November 19, 2016
12:07pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Oak St.

“I’m just so sad,” Phoebe has eyes like macaroni and cheese, deep pools of swamp. “I know you are, babe,” I say, and I wish that there was more comfort in those five words. They are just five words and words aren’t enough today. “I’m scared to live here,” she pulls the hood of her sweatshirt around her neck, cocooning. “I want to disappear.”

Inside the quietness of my ribcage, I talk to her about going to the desert and getting married, a klezmer band of lesbians singing to our love in ancient howls under a crescent moon. Inside the quietness, I whisper sounds that aren’t words that might hold her in a way English never can.

“I’m just so sad” by Julia on the 99


Saturday November 19, 2016
11:14pm
5 minutes
overheard on Oak St.

The layer of sad is thick and close by
I feel like I have to dodge it on my way out of my own hallway
And then again on the stairwell
and once more as I walk into the street
It is not mine alone
It is all of us
It is all of ours
Some of us refusing to name it
Others pretending it doesn’t exist
By now the thick and low hanging sad is making it hard to see straight
It is as grey as November rain
and as always
I have heard it called Armageddon
And those of us who carry pocket swords dripping blood and ink say it’s our time to be precise
It’s our time to go to battle

“More money, like I said.” By Sasha in her bed


Friday November 18, 2016
11:41pm
5 minutes
A Boy Of Good Breeding
Miriam Toews


Janis takes her money out of the bank. All of it. All thirty thousand, six hundred and sixteen dollars. The teller (hair long and stringy, a row of pimples across her chin) calls the manager (overweight and balding with very kind eyes). Janis smiles politely. She waits. The manager asks her to take a seat and then calls her into his private office. It doesn’t have a door that closes. It’s one of those places. It’s one of those banks.

“More money, like I said.” by Julia on her couch


Friday November 18, 2016
11:34pm
5 minutes
A Boy Of Good Breeding
Miriam Toews


Ida and Meryl met on a crowded subway car. Ida had lipstick on her teeth and turns out Meryl was the first person to have mentioned this to her. She fell in love with her instantly. Ida valued honesty in a person. She couldn’t understand why we’d waste so much of our time hiding behind lies. She thought it was too much work to live like that. Ida told Meryl that she was striking and that she liked her silver running shoes. Meryl covered her mouth when she laughed as if she was trying to keep a tiny gerbil inside. She fell in love with her instantly.

“sky turned red then erased” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday November 17, 2016
11:23pm
5 minutes
Penknife
Ellie Sawatsky


Walls thin as butterfly wings I know that your ear is there
High on the sky turning red with the possibility
of midnight I know that your ear is there
pressed on the monarch tissue paper
Sigh lifts above the ceiling
lifts us up the only division between us is us
the only difference between us is this
The chrysalis shed
The womb bare
The holy
water falling over fingertips

College kids smoke joints outside the window
leave rolling papers on the sill
A queen bee makes a hive around the rebellion
the sex the nicotine the so in love
so in love
I am the queen bee and you are bringing me gifts

“she honestly does not have those impulses” by Sasha on the ferry heading home


Wednesday November 16, 2016
6:35pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio


I found the sweet spot in a twin bed in my father’s house
second floor of the Victorian brick house on the tree-lined street
Lying on my back thinking thinking seeing thinking wishing panting
parting spreading leaking oh oh say it yes sweet sweet sweet
There was not shame on the futon on the floor of the basement
of my mother’s house
first love like liquid gold between my legs
first love passion and clumsy hands and is it supposed to feel like
this?
I see these young ones
pups
I see these crying mothers
for their daughters in crop tops with eyes the basins of longing
Fill me up
Fill me up

“Hey hey hey” by Sasha in Cowichan Bay


Tuesday November 15, 2016
11:28am
5 minutes
A Rufus Wainwright song


Gus makes the sign of the cross and says, “Well fuck me, I think she’s a keeper!” You feel sick to your stomach but you don’t talk about it. You mush garlic into Becel and spread it on the baguette that Mom pocketed from the restaurant. When you go there, Marla reminds you that you used to nap on the banquette at the back. Gus didn’t know that Mom was bringing you in on her shifts. He would’ve lost his shit. When you sit down at the table, Mom is nodding off and your Gina is trying her best not to cry and you are glaring at Gus and wondering if you’ll all survive the weekend.

“Not to be pulled savagely” by Sasha in Cowichan Bay


Monday November 14, 2016
10:39pm
5 minutes
Canvas
John Coyote


I once was a doll dressed in burlap and lace
a voice in my toes
beneath sheep’s wool stuffing
drumming fingers on the back of an empty soup can
Standing on a base with a name carved in cursive
“It’s not my name it’s not my name!”
But no one hears

I once was a doll with a face frozen in smile
curtsey cutesy never stop the YES
I’ll bend and I’ll spread and I’ll
lose arms and paint
I’ll shake and I’ll squish and I’ll
get sick and I’ll love you
love you
love

“sky turned red then erased” by Julia on her couch


Thursday November 17, 2016
10:58pm
5 minutes
Penknife
Ellie Sawatsky


I wanted him to touch me on my thigh but he started talking to me right in the middle of me really wanting him to and then he turned me to stone. And I was lucky. Because I wouldn’t have really wanted to if he didn’t really want to but you can’t not want to…not to try a little. It was a passing moment. I don’t think the thigh would really get me afterall. I don’t know if anywhere would do the trick so I can’t be upset. I dont blame him. I am mostly lost on most days.

    “she honestly does not have those impulses” by Julia at her dining table


    Wednesday November 16, 2016
    8:48pm
    5 minutes
    Dear Sugar Radio


    I used to say no when I was younger
    Labelled difficult
    Used to feel everything so strongly
    labelled irrational
    emotional
    sensitive
    weak
    My sister is 7 and I am 5 and she is having her first Holy fucking communion
    I am 5 and she is 7 and she is wearing white, hair in a bun, dressy shoes, holding a rosary
    holding attention
    getting gifts
    for being older?
    For having hair that cooperates into a bun?
    I am 5 and she is 7 and I have to smile in photographs because my dress is being cute and that is my only job too?
    I say No to the photos and to the people fussing over her and to this stupid fucking dress that is not cute enough to keep me from scowling
    Labeled younger sister
    labeled difficult
    irrational
    sensitive
    jealous
    I am 5 and my sister is 7 and everybody loves her more than me
    and no one explained this part to me
    and nobody warned me about the shadow
    and nobody told me I was allowed to feel anything
    Nobody heard No and thought
    that’s right
    let’s not betray ourselves
    let’s feel what we feel
    and still love each other