“joke poem about a black bear” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday January 31, 2017
3:08pm
5 minutes
Upstream
Mary Oliver


‘It’s sunny today,
so that’s something’
Adam says, stroking his beard
as if he might be a wizard.

‘Yes. It is something,” I
respond, furrowing my eyebrows,
lifting my face
towards the sky.

Adam buys me an orange
from Florida and I wonder
about the politics of the
farmer, their tan lines,
their birth order.

Sitting by the ocean
at sunset, the buzz of
Granville Market behind
us, seagulls begging for
scraps of hotdogs from
children dressed in sweaters.

Sometimes
I long for a simpler time
when my heart didn’t live
in my throat.

“She sees light and shapes” by Sasha on her couch


Monday January 30, 2017
9:21pm
5 minutes
From a text

When I was a child, living in a big house on a tree lined street with a yellow door, I would build tiny worlds out of branches, moss, a shell from a visit to Florida. I saw things differently then, in different colours, with different textures. I didn’t know fatigue. I knew heartbreak.

When I had friends over – Sarah, Katie, Charlotte, – I invited them into the worlds. Sometimes someone brought a pinecone or a piece of string. Before bed, after brushing my teeth, washing my face and saying goodnight to my mother, I would take the tiny world apart, bit by bit.

“She sees light and shapes” by Julia on her couch


Monday January 30, 2017
8:28pm
5 minutes
from a text

She sees through me like nobody else has ever been able to. I feel like a string of twinkle lights wrapped in cellophane. She knows when my heart races. When my blood pumps. She knows when my hurt is anxious of when my hurt is lonely. She knows when my reasons are irrational or when they’re rationed just so. She knows when I am tired or when I’ve forgotten to eat. She knows when the silence I give her is because it is so loud inside me. She knows that my tears are not because of her but because of me. She knows when the moon is in control and when I am merely vessel. She sees the struggle cloaked in good intentions, cloaked once more in sand or tide. She sees me like a painting with all the sadness behind the eyes that cannot be quelled or released. She knows when I’m talking to fill the air with something that doesn’t reek of me. She knows when I am waiting for her to scold me or save me or keep me right where I am.

“confused about her life path” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday January 29, 2017
10:29pm
5 minutes
from Clairvoyance
Mary Ellen Flora


I wouldn’t say that I’m confused
that’s not how I feel it in the ball
of yarn in my guts snaking up on my tongue
through to
I wouldn’t say that I’m confused
but I am questioning of the evolution
of dreams and reality and present and future
and purpose
and if it’s enough to do it and do it and
do it and do it and then what if it’s not
enough?

Sitting in a circle in stretchy pants
and a grey sweatshirt I was twenty one
and I knew that the reason I wanted to
tell stories was because I felt how
they changed my becoming I was surrounded
by classmates and we spoke why we wanted
to be actors and we cried and we got naked
and we looked at ourselves in mirrors
and we fell in love with each other and with
the dreams and reality and present and future.

Making snow angels in the parking lot I
knew that I was not alone but I was so alone.

“you need space sometimes.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday January 28, 2017
10:17pm
5 minutes
This One Summer
Jillian and Mariko Tamaki


You need space sometimes, and when you do I know it because of the smell behind your ears. I try my best to sniff there without you noticing, because when you need space it sets you off when I come that close. I make myself scarce, staying in the living room reading my book or quilting for Ann and Bob’s wedding. You need space sometimes, and I knew this when we started, I knew it through and through. I asked you once, a long time ago, if you could use your words so I didn’t have to go sniffing around. You said you’d try. If you did, I didn’t know it. I kept sniffing.

“confused about her life path” by Julia on her couch


Sunday January 29, 2017
8:19pm
5 minutes
from Clairvoyance
Mary Ellen Flora


There are days that pass that feel lighter than they are because the heaviness is elsewhere. But when the heaviness is back it’s all that there is. Nothing relative. Nothing to compare it to, it is everything and nothing and nothing that is everything. One day last week KT laughed at her self for returning to her desk with toilet paper stuck to the bottom of her shoe. She didn’t mind the tiny thing and wasn’t embarrassed. That was a heaviness is elsewhere kind of day. Today KT can’t stand without crying and can’t smile without lying and so she does neither. Pete doesn’t ask her what is wrong because he knows she will say nothing or everything and both will be either. He knows that it is nothing and everything but he can’t do a single thing to help.

“you need space sometimes.” by Julia on her couch


Saturday January 28, 2017
9:13pm
5 minutes
This One Summer
Jillian and Mariko Tamaki


If he asks you what you’re up to or what your plans are, tell him you have a meeting with yourself and that you’ve got to keep it. Tell him that you need to be alone or without him or some space sometimes and do not apologize for needing it. Do not justify or bargain. If he doesn’t like it, tell him too bad. Tell him you don’t care. Tell him if he doesn’t like it, there’s the door. Tell him if he’d rather be with someone who needs only him then he should go right now and try to make a deal with the devil or something so he can find her.
If he decides the movie, or what you’re having for dinner, or the flavor of ice cream then tell him fine but tomorrow not so much. If he decides what you wear, if you’re talking too loud, when you’re allowed to talk about yourself, then tell him that it’s over.

“You’ve had them for about 12 days” by Julia at Bump And Grind


Friday January 27, 2017
5:43pm
5 minutes
Syllabus
Lynda Barry


When you hold up your twisted hands you forget that somewhere sometime ago they were new, and they were good. You wish the light wasn’t so damn revealing. You wish that old adage about knowing something like the back of your hand could stay true. You wish that you didn’t care about what they looked like, but they still feel like they are meant to be a reminder of vanity’s curse. The rain stings them more than you thought it would. Your daughters grabbing them to dance with you in the kitchen sting them more than you wish it would. You wish you believed in God for the days where reason doesn’t seem to be good enough. You wish you could open a jar without the help of your son, or the two dollar electric can opener from the Salvation Army.

“You’ve had them for about 12 days.” By Sasha at Bump n Grind


Friday January 27, 2017 at Bump n Grind on Granville
5:43pm
5 minutes
Syllabus
Lynda Barry


You opened up your belly with a whale bone and you filled yourself with rocks.
You went into the river, and you didn’t sink, you floated down, like Ophelia, you floated all the way to the beginning.

When you arrived there, you planted the rocks like seeds and restitched your belly with a daisy chain.

You watered those seeds until words grew:

goodbye

rhythm

hope

You picked the words and tied a blue ribbon around their stems.

You gave them to me.

You told me this story and then I kissed your scar. I cradled ‘goodbye’. ‘rhythm’, and ‘hope’.

I changed their water and fed you peanut butter banana sandwiches.

I watched ‘goodbye’ grow and ‘rhythm’ die.

“For twenty-five years my father” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday January 26, 2017
9:32pm
5 minutes
In Recognition Of A Quarter Century Of Contribution To UMA
Curtis LeBlanc


For twenty-five years she watched her father shaking his head at people taking up too many seats on the subway. She finds herself doing it now, or purposefully sitting where a bag sits, so entitled and peppy. “I’m getting off at the next stop,” says a man wearing white sunglasses and brown boots. She doesn’t feel bad. She has a right to that subway seat, more so than the canvas duffle. The summer after her father died, she didn’t ride the subway very often. Preferred to bike or walk.

“An often overlooked side effect” by Sasha in her bed


Wednesday January 25, 2017
11:05pm
5 minutes
From a tweet

When I met you
you were a side effect
sat beside the tallest
woman at the party
eating ketchup chips
and wiping the red
on the couch
hoping no one saw.

I saw.

When we spoke
you growled like a mutt
spat and licked
your lips
hungry.

When we spoke
I let you do
most of the talking
a bad habit.

“For twenty-five years my father” by Julia on the 99


Thursday January 26, 2017
5:21pm
5 minutes
In Recognition Of A Quarter Century Of Contribution To UMA
Curtis LeBlanc


Spaghetti is his favourite dish
Doesn’t matter how many new things he’s tried, he’ll tell you, if you ask him, that it’s spaghetti
Me too, I would chime in, loving very much the idea of having the same favourite food as my father’s
Me too, I would say, when he’d crack open a chile pepper with his teeth
He cooks the way I do
My mother says I cook like him
Not sure these days if it’s Can’t Follow A Recipe or Won’t
We both like inventing
Never making the exact same thing twice
We didn’t grow up with Daddy’s Girl in my house
Maybe because there were two girls
Maybe because my older sister was Daddy’s Girl until I was born
and then there were two of us so they had to give their thing up before I could figure it out
Maybe because it took 25 years
for me to realize that
he was mine
and I was his but
in my own way and
so was she and
so was my brother after me and
so was everything everything

“An often overlooked side effect” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday January 25, 2017
12:04am
5 minutes
from a tweet

I guess you’d dismiss the tears if you saw them
mistaken them for fears of feelings of the sort that don’t garner recognition
Aren’t they our body’s most tuned in sensor?
I want to know what they say about crying in places that aren’t here
I want to know which animals cry and what that means
I want to know why I cry when I cry differently than acceptable or out of
Nothing in particular
What am I doing with so many feelings released from the gum ball machine that is my control panel
My heart
My soul
My something
Something that gets flooded
Something that can be broken
Something that exists more than just to fill buckets

“let’s get to breakfast” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday January 24, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
From an infomercial

We were never sure of much, were we? We were sure of the skyline, condo buildings and smokestacks, voices ballooning out of windows, bass wafting through tailgates. We weren’t sure about the future. We couldn’t be. We weren’t sure about where we’d get breakfast, and, once we got it, what it might be. I thought that might feel like the world was our oyster but instead it felt like the world was our can of tuna, ninety nine cents at No Frills. One thing Annie taught me was how to score a deal, how to comparison shop, how to be smart about every dime.

“Let’s get to breakfast” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday January 24, 2017
9:46pm
5 minutes
from an infomercial

I remember I got mad at him for asking for his eggs plain
It wasn’t difficult to see that I put thought into making his eggs interesting
I don’t know why anyone would prefer a plain egg
Isn’t the whole point of an egg to be a base for something else?
Like cheese?
Who likes regular, plain eggs?
After he wiped his mouth he told me he would rather his bare
I got mad at him for waiting till he was finished to say something to me
I was mortified
And I was disappointed that he would think it was okay to be ungrateful
at breakfast time
Because I had gotten up earlier to make the damn things in the first place
And that is why I hacked his dick off with a cheese grater
And that is why we are no longer eating eggs together
And that is why he is married to a woman who doesn’t argue
And that is why I won’t visit England

“Don’t carry it all” by Julia on her couch


Monday January 23, 2017
8:53pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar: Writers Resist

Isn’t it nice to drink something out of a circular rim? Tiny lips on tiny lips! I just don’t like being left out to drown, do you know what I mean?
I don’t like spilling things. And those glasses are only there to make a fool out of me. It’s not fair. It’s not nice. it’s not good. What if you spill some? What if you lose it? I-I-I-I… It’s.. There’s more. I’m not able to carry it all. I’m not able to have one more thing that could go wrong, that I could be bad at. I am not good enough to be bad at some things. I have to be good.

“Don’t carry it all” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie


Monday January 23, 2017 at JJ Bean
3:39pm
5 minutes
From Dear Sugar Radio: Writer’s Resist

Put it down here
at my feet where the earth
is soft put it down
here where the crocus will
bloom come April
Put all your worries
down before you sleep
or else you’ll wake
like last night
in a pool of sweat
and tears calling
for God

They talk of faith
but I talk of birch
trees and whale bones

Put that world down
sweet one
it’s giving you
ulcers and rotten teeth
tumours and that
kind of sadness
that no word
has enough
consonants for

“First we marched” by Julia on her couch


Sunday January 22, 2017
8:18pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

And then we cried and
then we cried some more because the road, though paved with many,
is a long one and we will travel it far…
But then we wrote
and wrote and then
we wrote some more
because the pages were begging
us to:
new history books in the making
New essays to recount and remember
new letters to fight
to will.
New anthems to cling to
New poetry to heal by
We wrote out our deepest hurt
and bled the deepest
divide
We told ourselves in cursive or in print to remember

“First we marched” by Sasha at Matchstick on Fraser


Sunday January 22, 2017 at Matchstick
10:26am
5 minutes
From a tweet

First we marched and now we carry on
the song that our grandmother’s started

Daisy used to tell Layah and I
about meeting First Nations women at the Edmonton
bus depot on 105 Avenue

bringing her into the city
feeding her hamburger soup
giving her shampoo and
tampons
baby formula and
sweaters knit by the
Catholic Women’s League

Okay she never said anything about
tampons to me
but I imagine her giving a woman tampons
and that woman saying thank
you and brown eyes meeting brown eyes

Anne made dinner every night for her family
and she managed the money
and she made her own
her own money
trading stocks and investing
Anne never knew she was a radical
She was an
“unfulfilled woman”
She was never okay
with the shape of herself

“We heard you loud and clear” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday January 21, 2017
8:19pm
5 minutes
From a text

An eagle with wings spread
blessed the chapel and we gathered
two hundred strong and you stood
at the front between the drum kit
and the electric piano
and you spoke W.H. Auden
while your knees shook and your voice
was strong.

Bent over the plywood coffin
that your father will be cremated in
“sometime later this week”
you said goodbye to the body
that helped to make your body
the body that protected and
didn’t
the body that caught babies
and treated wounds and stitched up
bodies that bleed like his body did

“We heard you loud and clear” by Julia in her bed


Saturday January 21, 2017
12:13am
5 minutes
from a text

I grew up in a cornfield
Nonna aproned in the backyard
Picking dandelions for supper
Knew all the kids on my block and sold drawings for pennies in groups of 2 or 3
We planted a sprig of pussy willow and it grew as wild and large as the entire porch
The people who repainted our bathrooms white with gold stars and moons had to cut it down because it was starting to grow into the house
We’d go for walks to the river in clusters of young
Not fully knowing which direction was the right one
The backyard was home to blackberry bushes and mint leaves
And to cousins and neighbours singing loud at the bonfire on summer nights

“I’m interested to hear” by Julia on the 99


Friday January 20, 2017
1:43am
5 minutes
overheard in the kitchen

How your day was how your night was if you love me
Still
If you wonder what I’m doing
If you care
I think I laughed too hard
At too many jokes that weren’t meant for me
I think I wasted too many times
Where I wondered what I was doing
And why
And how
And why
I’m interested to hear why we are where we are as if distance has some
secret crowd of resistance
It’s hard to know where we stand
Where the positivity lies or where it fails
Hard to know that we don’t know much about anything even though in context that saves lives
I’m interested to hear if you’ve forgiven him for what he’s done to you or if he’s just forgotten that his actions have consequences because so many of them before him do not.
I’m interested to hear if you love me, if you think anything is worth listening to,
If the world thinks there’s greatness close by…

“I’m interested to hear” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday January 20, 2017
1:43am
5 minutes
Overheard in the kitchen

Women’s rights are under attack
shots fired through slit eyes
like a bad joke but we’re not laughing
Us cis ones and our trans sisters
we are all worried about
our bodies and our fundamental
rights right right
our vital signs like abortion
and access to birth control
and and and and

My future children’s brown skin
makes me fear for what they will know
What I won’t ever know
my privilege showing from sunrise
to sunset through park visits
and all that I hope the world
will be for them

“Destiny Number” by Sasha at Elysian on Broadway


Thursday January 19, 2017 at Elysian
4:35pm
5 minutes
numerologist.com

You buy a car and drive across the country. You wear only your mother’s clothes, from the time before she knew you. Remember that that time existed, you say, under your breath like a rosary. You buy a car the colour of sunset and sand, wondering if chrome can chameleon. You paint your face with mud and forget. You go into a diner and order a mushroom omelette and extra crispy bacon. The waitress smiles at you. She knows where you’re coming from, and maybe even where you’re going. You eat with your hands.

“what he did before fame” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday January 18, 2017
6:54pm
5 minutes
From a Google search

I have flashes of you famous and how I’ll wink at women in statement glasses at dinner parties and say, “I knew him before…”

You’re grounded when you’re famous, you’re not an arrogant asshole like the others.

You invest your millions ethically and always buy sandwiches for homeless people.

You always wear distressed jeans, but not the kind you can buy already worn in. You do that artfully, by yourself.

At said dinner parties, I always tell stories of when you had bad haircuts and got drunk off of a single can of beer.

“Destiny Number” By Julia at The Vancouver Public Library


Thursday January 19, 2017 at the VPL
4:33pm
5 minutes
numerologist.com

I told myself I’d be married at 24 cause of my mother. She was married at 24 and that felt like the best map I could follow since she has never once said she regretted it. I also said I wouldn’t have sex till I was 24 either case of Jesus. Or the patriarchy. Save my sex for someone who loves God more than he’ll ever love me and believes in owning humans as property? Yeah, what a great fucking idea. I was young then. And committed to Christ (by choice, weirdly, I know). And in love with the idea that I didn’t have to make my own decisions cause life was already going to have too many of those in the first place. I told myself that I would have a child by 28 cause of my mother. She waited 4 years to have one after she got married and that seemed smart, and good, and completely doable. I have missed both of these “destiny numbers”(by choice, I know, I know). Somewhere along the way I decided I could trust myself to lead me through it. Sometimes it’s the worst feeling in the entire world. But it’s better than being married with a bazillion kids coming out of my ears. Age, I’ve learned, is just a number that you get to hold for a year. And then–we let it go, just like everything else.

“what he did before fame” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday January 18, 2017
6:30pm
5 minutes
from a Google search

He was selling used cars on his uncle’s lot
working the graveyard shift at Tim Horton’s
crossing his fingers
dotting his eyes
dressing up as a Smurf for a promotions company
working as a phone sex operator on his sister’s landline while she was at work
selling cannabis products at the dispensary near his house
raking leaves at the cemetery
hosting murder mystery dinners
taking photos of his feet and selling them on Craigslist
building radios
teaching creative writing to the elderly
selling lemonade on the side of the road for 25 cents a cup

“bring it with me” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday January 17, 2017
10:41pm
5 minutes
From an email

I leave my dig-
nity on your
futon under
the fit-
ted sheet
with the
stain on
the lower
right corner.

I put my
underwear
in my coat
pocket and
pray that I
have a five
dollar bill
in there
to keep them
company
to hold
their tired
hand.

I buy a coffee
at the shop
that also
does photo-
copies and
lamination.

I realize
that I forgot
my phone on
the floor
beside your
futon and
I wonder
what might
be worse
buying a
new phone
or seeing
you again?

“I don’t have any change” by Sasha on her couch


Monday January 16, 2017
11:03pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

I want nothing more than to be a food writer.
To be paid to eat ridiculously delicious things
is some sort of heaven that I don’t seem to have
a ticket for. I try my luck at
buying my own dinner
and then writing about it
and sending it to that
cheap magazine you can find outside of
the dingy subway stations. They have the manners
to write me an email back,
“We have a food writer already, Maisie,
but best of luck with your future endeavours.”
It’s like somewhere between
buying my own avocado toast
and figuring out the adjectives best use
to describe hemp hearts
I got lost.

“bring it with me” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday January 17, 2017
9:19pm..
5 minutes
from an email

I don’t think I’d be able to leave it anywhere else. Not under the bed or in the closet. Not on the shelf or in the key house. I’d have to bring it with me because there is no place it belongs better than the place I’ve built. I carry it; the last thing you gave me. The world could shake me down till I were naked branch and still not be able to pry the light of you from me. I have stitched it on tight. I wear it when I cannot hold it. I wrap it when I need it bigger. I couldn’t leave that behind. Things already happen just so already…things already break too easy.

“I don’t have any change” by Julia on the 99


Monday January 16, 2017
10:56pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99″

I feel like I ask for help the way young me never could and so it comes out young me when I’m trying not to give away that I have lived but maybe just not out loud until now
I feel sorry that my vulnerability is showing through my tough smile and then when people guess my age they cant believe how many decades I’ve been alive because the kind of asking for help I produce suddenly weighs heavy like a lightening bolt
Splitting me and all my good sides into halves and then again and then again
My lightening is as heavy as my sorry is as heavy as my untapped rage, and all the revenge I’ve ever bled out over
Young me living through now me is so damn sweet it hurts
It really fucking does
When everyone looks at you like you’ve just shown them a new wound on your knee or bottom lip

“A failure to be my best self” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday January 15, 2017
6:22pm
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett


When I broke into your home, your roommate was fucking her girlfriend. I wasn’t sure if I should stay, or go, or pretend that this was a normal way to spend a Wednesday evening. I knew that you were in China, and that a million different people were taking you out for every meal of the day. I knew that you hadn’t texted me back in exactly seventy six days. I get in your room, the moaning and screaming coming through the wall, and I’m not even sure what to do, I’m not even sure what I want. I take off all of my clothes. I climb into your bed. I drink in your smell.

“Would you like to try?” By Sasha at Sweet Cherubim


Saturday January 14, 2016 at Sweet Cherubim
4:12om
5 minutes
Overheard at Sweet Cherubim

I’m fucking terrified of drugs. Even Tylenol, I mean, I try to avoid it. Once, when I was really, really sick, Jessie took me to the hospital and I was so delirious I didn’t realize that the eleven year old doctor was shoving a hundred different things into my veins! Drugs! I mean, don’t you need some sort of consent for that? Isn’t that a legal thing? Once, once, my cousin Lorenzo tried to peer pressure me into smoking a joint and I just kicked him in the balls. Right in front of Nona. I don’t care!

“ten years ago” by Sasha on her couch


Friday January 13, 2016
12:28am
5 minutes
From an Instagram post

My father asks for his muffin
warmed up with butter on the side
The harmonies of the voices in the cafe
don’t distract him or me
I watch him spread the gold
across the steaming centre
and I laugh with the memory

a finished plate of pie
crumbs and streaks of ivory
vanilla ice cream like snow
his tongue the plough
cleaning the bone china
his mother passed down

“A failure to be my best self” by Julia on her bed


Sunday January 15, 2017
12:32pm
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett


Since waking I have been making all sorts of lists
Things to do
What to eat
When to do them
How to eat it
All the tiny boxes either checked or unchecked
Waiting or finished
Day’s beginning turning into day’s middle then day’s end before the joints become lubricated enough to sustain it all
Since waking I have been making all sorts of lists
Who to write to
What my dreams were
What my dreams meant
Who I want to be today
Who I plan to be today
Who I end up being today
I have not scheduled in silence
Or stillness
Or sunshine
I have expected all to come when necessary
When called
When unavoidable
I have not promised to love myself in case I can’t quite get to it
I meant to reduce tasks and expectations and heartbreak and time travel of any kind
But I keep adding to the list without breathing first info what it feels like to be alive on a perfect day of perfect opportunity to give thanks

“Would you like to try?” by Julia on the reading chair


Saturday January 14, 2016
9:21pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Sweet Cherubim

I am in love with the way your skin stretches over machine
and keeps your bones warm
I am moved by your seeing spots and your seen spots and your perceived spots.
I like the way your muscles know just how to come into use without being used to embarrass your flesh.
I fully endorse the sounds you make that sound like happiness and the ones you make that sound like pain.
I am in love with your stomach solving problems and storing information in the most organized of ways.

“ten years ago” by Julia in her bed


Friday January 13, 2016
12:18am
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

I was in love with a blue eyed boy
Was in love with love
I had hair to my hips
Or something like it
I was afraid to show cleavage
Was afraid to have cleavage
Was afraid of cleavage
Had a crush on a brown eyed boy
Made eye contact with the brown eyed boy whenever possible
Wore Birkenstocks and socks and sweats to school
Took my shoes off my feet during tutorials
Cried about everything
Saw my dad once a week for sandwiches
Was afraid to spend money
Was afraid to make money
Was afraid to make anything
Bought matching underwear sets
Was in love with a blue eyed boy

“can definitely travel” by Julia on her couch


Thursday January 12, 2016
10:12pm
5 minutes
from an email

Joe says he wants to tour around the country with me when I take my poetry on the road and that is the biggest kindness I have ever been given. Someone wanting and believing me to succeed so bad that they will come along with me as I pursue my dreams. What will you do? I ask him, ever the middle child worried about fairness and equality and making sure everything is balanced as it should be. I’ll watch your shows, he says, and I’ll carry your merch. We talk about getting a camper van and taking off, getting out of here, seeing this country or elsewhere, and sleeping in our car before we live too much to want to. We talk about making memories the way people talk about making money. I think if we did it I’d have so many poems. I think if we did it we’d have so many stories.

“can definitely travel” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday January 12, 2016
1:37pm
5 minutes
From an email

My mother braids my hair before bed, because it’s long now and I toss and turn so violently that I wake, morning after morning, with a birds nest at the nape of my neck. I have nightmares at seven, eight, nine and my mother makes a little bed beside her own that I can crawl into without having to wake her. The run from my room to her room is agony. I do it nightly, building courage like a city around me, inside me, gaining courage until I burn pictures drawn in crayon of my nightmare and he goes.

“I don’t even think that your songs are about me” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday January 11, 2016
5:24pm
5 minutes
Like You
EXES


I don’t think that your songs are about me, but I pretend that they are. I imagine that you want me more than anything, that you’d take me anywhere. I imagine that we live together. Some place with exposed brick and an espresso maker. We can see the skyline. I just stare at it, all day, waiting for you to come back from the studio or a songwriting session. I stare at the expanse of city, and I think about what I might wear to the next awards show, or what cologne I’ll spray on my chest before I hear your key in the lock. I wait a few days before shaving because you like a good five o’clock shadow.

“I don’t even think that your songs are about me” By Julia at her dining table


Wednesday January 11, 2016
2:40pm
5 minutes
Like You
EXES


When we saw each other again for the first time in three years, you looked different. You smiled different. I felt like you did that on purpose so I wouldn’t look too closely at the you we both know you used to be. It didn’t work. Distractions don’t work on people who have seen your entire insides. I should know. I can’t hide from you either. Even if I was panicking about how I looked seconds before you met me at the underground station. I didn’t want you to think anything other than I Used To Love This Person. I wish I didn’t think that appearances were the only road to remembering that. When we hugged I tried to hold on a little longer so I could smell your neck. I don’t know if I was expecting the same smell you used to have, or hoping for a new one to break all my stupid patterns. Either way I might have been the only one in that hug, and it broke my heart a little. You told me that it’s good to see me and I wanted to say Yeah? But Can You Define What Good Means To You Real Quick? Instead I laughed and swatted at your arm, saying You Too, You Too.

“what curious sense does it make?” By Julia at Sasha’s kitchen table


Tuesday January 10, 2016
2:45pm
5 minutes
Upstream
Mary Oliver


She looked around the room
wild eyed and buzzing
her tiny eyes still too glassy
to make sense of any faces
or shapes
little hands and noses mushed
into her field of vision
blurring in and out
in and out
Her head was fully held up
by the neck on which it stood
Advanced, some of the other new mothers
were marveling
She was anxious to be independent
ready, rather, since she popped out
her new mother said nonchalantly as she gnawed
on a meaty rib bone with her free hand

She gulped at the air
her mouth the same shape as her tiny fists
eager to be in the glory of it all
curious and young
to be so new and so old
all at the same time
a thousand tiny lifetimes lived
in every breath
every glance
every nod
of her perfect little head

“what curious sense does it make?” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday January 10, 2016
2:45pm
5 minutes
Upstream
Mary Oliver


What curious sense does it make
the mouse nibbling the corner of
the book page, rice collecting at the bottom of
the bird cage
Tiny animals lined up in a row?

The majesty of monarchs
sending smoke signals up to the Gods
The killer whales sonar harmony
that’s just for the coral and
the lichen and the squid and the moss?

Pandora’s Box left open on the counter
tied in a red ribbon
wrapped in a green shawl
dusted with dirt and the smell of home.

You step closer.
You step closer.

You open it.

All of a sudden
it’s clear as the timer
as the coffee
as the inspiration!

All of the animals
aren’t in a row
They are in a circle
Stretching land and sea and sky!

They are in a circle
and they are singing
raising their calls.

“The Toy Box Burlesque” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday January 9, 2016
11:36pm
5 minutes
from a show postcard

There you were
all smoke and chapped lips
all donuts in the parking lot
all smelling of the past
There you were
on the bus going downtown
the bridge on stilts
people in their advent calendar windows
There you were
a toy box of our songs
a jack in the box of maybe
that flipped over and broke it’s springs
There you were
almost not seeing me
but then seeing me
and saying
Hello
Nice to see you
Where are you going
I’m sorry
I’m sorry
Nevermind
I should go
This is my stop
Shit
I should go
Fuck you
I’m sorry
I’m sorry

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“The Toy Box Burlesque” by Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Monday January 9, 2016
11:32pm
5 minutes
from a show postcard

When Gia gave me some of her old costumes I was in heaven. Birdie told me not to wear them cause I would catch her diseases and become a person of “interruption”…meaning my path to the lord might get a little patchy. I told Birdie I wouldn’t wear them because all I wanted to do was study them and use them as templates for my own sewing or building. Birdie nodded her head emphatically a few times before leaving as if to convince herself that I was telling the truth. She eventually left me and I was so excited to be alone with Gia’s beaded underwear and long satiny gloves. I pulled one glove on my arm, slowly, feeling every tiny hair brush against the smoothness. I peeled it off slowly, sliding the glove down my elbow and off my wrist with a patience I didn’t even know I had. When I finally revealed my last covered finger I could feel my insides rushing to greet me.

“Can’t wait to share” by Julia in her bed


Sunday January 8, 2016
10:28pm
5 minutes
from a card

Brought home some new ideas baby
Got those Hot Off The Presses-Can’t Wait To Share Ems and they’re burning a hole in my pockets
The walls are streaked too
See they’re so big baby
Can’t contain them in the realm of what if cause they’re so real and so hard to ignore
We can test some out tonight
Don’t have to wait until tomorrow
Cause I can’t wait until tomorrow
Love is one of them but my oh my that’s not even the surprise
Can’t wait to-
Thinking I shouldn’t have to-
Love is in all of them baby
All the ideas about bigger better brightest baby
You can feel it already can’t you?
You can feel it in the floor boards bouncing off each spiderweb
Until
Boing
There
The running in one spot
stops

“Can’t wait to share” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday January 8, 2016
6:42pm
5 minutes
From a card

If I bought you a chicken
you’d have fresh eggs for life
If I gave you a machete
you’d never need a knife
If I made you a tea
you’d soothe your sore throat
If I knit you a sweater
you wouldn’t need a coat
If I fried you an egg
you’d have a full belly
If I put on the peanut butter
you’d spread out the jelly
If I gave you my heart
you’d never want for a thing
If I gave you a ukulele
you’d just have to sing
If I found us a mutt
you’d name it Earl or Gus
And we’d walk everywhere
and never have to ride the bus

“we drove past the honey sign” by Sasha in her bed


Saturday January 7, 2016
11:48pm
5 minutes
Summer of My Amazing Luck
Miriam Toews


We drove past the honey sign and Bogert said, “Let’s stop and get some.” I don’t even like honey much, but Bogert does and so I said, “Okay.” The honey farmer wore a wide brimmed hat and had a little moustache. I thought, “What a pretty man,” and Bogert told me later that he’d seen me blush asking that man about all the different types of honey. Orange blossom and elderflower and all kinds of stuff. Bogert chose the kind he wanted and we were almost on our way when that honey farmer said, “Would you like to join me and Elyse for lunch?”

“we drove past the honey sign” by Julia on the plane


Saturday January 7, 2016
11:28pm
5 minutes
Summer of My Amazing luck Miriam Toews

Mom packed two jars of honey in my suitcase and because of that I had to leave behind the conditioner and the peppercorns and the bamboo wipes and the Italian grappa with my name on the label from my brother. We packed the checked luggage the best we could but there were a lot of bottles and jars that we didn’t want to break and were already too heavy to wrap properly with other things like sweaters and socks. My carry on weighs more than I do and my mom and I both overpack things that don’t have a weight limit even if we won’t be able to lift the damn thing over our heads. The flight attendant asked if I needed help and I thought she was going to get angry at me for being so brazenly unlawful. She tried to lift it in the overhead compartment then asked me if I had rocks in there when she realized she couldn’t lift it either. All I managed to say was “Christmas” but she didn’t seem to care even a little about that.

“People will say,” by Julia in her childhood room


Friday January 6, 2017
12:45am
5 minutes
from The Province

I didn’t wish you a happy birthday and people will say-probably-that I am avoiding you or doing it on purpose or trying to play games. I’m not doing any of those things-though it’s your prerogative to think that I am. To believe everyone else but me. I didn’t do it this year because I was busy and because I don’t think you’re a good person. I should clarify that I still love you somewhere deep down as the person who first showed me what borrowing my parents’ car was really for; who laughed easy to build someone else up when you knew how much that would matter. I can’t condone the rest of you these days. Maybe not for the last few years. I tried to trick myself but it didn’t work. I’m not a very good liar. Not nearly as good as you.

“People will say,” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie


Friday January 6, 2017 at JJ Bean
4:30pm
5 minutes
From an email

She’s never found trouble that she didn’t like the taste of
coffee warmed on a space heater in a chipped jam jar
socks and underwear washed in a
dishwasher amongst beer cans and spaghetti plates
She joined a choir because she thought nothing strange
could happen when everyone’s singing
but before she knew it she’d lit a wreath and a ponytail
(neither of which were hers)
on fire and before she knew it she was
asked to leave
“It’s for the safety of the group,”
said the woman who photocopied the words for
Desperado and
Lean on Me

She thought a haircut might straighten
things out but the only thing that got straighter
was her bangs

“Oh gosh I would be so horrified” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday January 5, 2017
9:46pm
5 minutes
From an email

I’ve started this story five hundred times. I’ve ripped up three trees worth of paper, and burning seventeen pencils. I’ve started this story six thousand times. I would be horrified if you knew how I struggle, how I sweat. I would be horrified if you knew how I knit myself into a sleeping bag and didn’t set an alarm for three days. I would be horrified if you knew how many times I ordered pizza and Chinese food. No wonder I’ve gained thirty pounds. “It’s all about the numbers,” you always used to say. And it’s a real shame that I believed you.

“Oh gosh I would be so horrified” by Julia in Amanda’s bed


Thursday January 5, 2017
12:47am
5 minutes
from an email

When aunt Maxine died she left all her beloved jewelry to my younger sister, Annie, instead of to her own daughter. Gemma stormed in and out of my apartment that year like a horse trying to buck off a leech. She always brought with her an impossible tension followed by a cloud of smoke that she would sometimes beat herself up for. You never need that first cigarette! Trust me, I know, she would shriek. You never do but you think you do and that’s when bad shit starts to happen-dark shit like not trusting yourself! Gemma, I’d beg, can we please stop talking about it?

“improve life for their families.” by Julia on Jess’s couch


Wednesday January 4, 2017
5:38pm
5 minutes
From a Kiva.org card

You could call them and tell them you miss them you wish they didn’t have to be so far you could write them and tell them you love them even if they don’t like letters and don’t write you back you could send them a song with a joke in the middle and make them laugh with how good your rhyming is or you could ship them a box of something that you baked while you were waiting for the news and include them in the experience somehow you could call them and say you miss them and that you love them and that Christmas is not the best time you’ve ever chosen to stay away or you could tell that you need them to come and visit you so you can show them that the life you’re living is still a good one even though they aren’t as close as they used to be you could hold them when you see them and stay forever in the heart of the place that keeps you young

“improve life for their families.” By Sasha at her desk


Wednesday January 4, 2017
2:10pm
5 minutes
From a Kiva.org card

Kevin starts blowing glass in his sleep. Tom isn’t sure whether he should chain him to the bed or let him, which is a greater risk. At breakfast Kevin wonders how he has burns on his fingers. Tom pours more orange juice and kisses him before putting on his jacket and going outside to warm up the car.

“I’m not sure moving the studio into the house was the best idea,” Kevin minces garlic later that day, before dinner. Tom opens a bottle of Merlot. “Why’s that?” he asks. “I keep dreaming about work,” Kevin glugs olive oil into the cast iron pan. “It’s like I can’t escape… And then when I do go into the studio, during the day, my stuff is shit. Really. Total shit.”

“two or more writers” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday January 3, 2017
5:39pm
5 minutes
bcartscouncil.ca

“Gather your things and meet me at the streetlamp on 12th,” Mother Lang says in her strange accent. “Where is she from?” I ask Elizabeth, who shrugs. I gather what will fit into the bag Mother Sherman gave me yesterday evening when she visited for the third time this month. It’s hard to know what to pack, but I imagine I’ll need at least seven pairs of cotton underwear, three blank notebooks, a lighter, and some shampoo. “No one ever clarified about toiletries, did they?” I call Elizabeth from the toilet. There’s no time to waste.

“Your grandfather” by Sasha in the basement at Szos and Jenny’s


Monday January 2, 2017
9:20am
5 minutes
Overheard at Cowichan Bay

Grandfather hands me a book bound with lightning
and maybe it’s because I’ve just turned old enough
to travel by train alone Or maybe it’s because I’ve
only now realized the importance of the remarkable moment.

The book shakes in my hands and I open it only when
I’m alone in my bedroom amongst baboons and posters
of the Jackson Five.

The first page shows how the earth was born and then
how the dinosaurs really became extinct and on the
third page I rest because every Wednesday should
include a nap.

“They will be sent” by Sasha at the kitchen table in Cowichan Bay


Sunday January 1, 2017
8:30pm
5 minutes
A Google Drive notification

Viville smells like pine needles, bourbon, and the kisses that toddlers give to relatives they’ve just met. I arrive in the afternoon, via the back of a station wagon with wood panelling, driven by a man named Jacques. He picked me up three towns West. I hadn’t planned to hitchhike, especially on this leg of the journey, but the more I learn the more I don’t. Jacques asked if I wanted some coffee from his thermos, but I couldn’t sit up properly in the trunk and wasn’t sure how drinking something hot would go. Besides, maybe it wasn’t a good idea just in case there was dairy or drugs in there. When we arrived in Viville, Jacques asked where exactly I was staying and I said, “I’m not exactly sure yet,” so he dropped me off at the Seven Eleven.

“Hit the road Jack” by Sasha on the couch in Cowichan Bay


Saturday December 31, 2016
8:08pm
5 minutes
From a record

Jack’s packed this car like a master puzzler, every box and bag filling any open space. “Will you be able to see?” I ask, putting our turkey sandwiches into old yogurt containers.

I kiss the doorframe and Jack says, “Goodbye, sweet spot.” We hug for awhile, before I lock the door and slide the key through the mailbox, like we told George, our super, we’d do.

Halfway to the highway, I start to cry.

“not just the punch line.” By Sasha in her bed


Friday December 30, 2016
7:45pm
5 minutes
Humans of New York

Jimmy thinks he’s funny but he’s not. It’s the worst, that, right? He keeps texting and saying that he’s doing the Open Mic at Dooney’s and why don’t Jen and I come… I’m like, “Um, I think we’re busy!”

It’s not just his punch lines, it’s his set up. And the whole story that he tells… It’s everything! It’s awful! He doesn’t go for the jugular. He makes a mockery out of this whole place and all the guys that we grew up with. Like they have any other choice but to work in the mine? I mean Jimmy worked there too before he got that stupid job at Toyota! Why does he come back here to do the Open Mic if he thinks this place is so dumb?

“two or more writers” by Julia on Bec’s bed


Tuesday January 3, 2017
10:59pm
5 minutes
bcartscouncil.ca

Two or more writers gathered at the table
Nobody inside yet
Nobody hungry
Two or more writers sit together after more than a year of not sitting together being writers at the same place
Sit together now and laugh about old times and give each other hope
Two or more writers or was it two or less writers not knowing how to define themselves
Even if either one would have given the same title to the other
Two or less writers sit together wondering how it is that before two or more writers were more than just writers and more than not writers
Two or more writers gathered at the table
Eggs and toast eaten
Tea and coffee finished

“Your grandfather” by Julia on Bec’s couch


Monday January 2, 2017
12:34am
5 minutes
overheard at Cowichan Bay

Your grandfather has your chin
And you have his
Your mother says he has your eyes
Or you have his
And I can see it if I look a long while
Staring silently
With intention
to see it
So I can taste how far back you go
How far back you come from
Before you disappear again
Your grandfather has your mouth
And you have his
The same smile for the baby in the picture then
also perfectly yours
Even if only in photographs
Finding your future there in his past

“They will be sent” by Julia at Bec’s Table


Sunday January 1, 2017
11:30pm
5 minutes
a Google Drive notification

Heva told Daniel that if he didn’t stop sending her love notes she would send all of them to the principal. She wasn’t one for messing around, even in the third grade. If Heva wrote back to all of Daniel’s or anyone’s notes she wouldn’t have time to finish her assignments and still have time to read a chapter! She had to draw the line in the sand. She had to make it clear from the start or she would flunk out of school! Of course Heva knew she was well-liked by most of the boys in her class, but she didn’t have time to like any of them back.

“Hit the road Jack” by Julia on Amanda’s futon


Saturday December 31, 2016
2:46am
5 minutes
From a record

If I meet a boy named Jack I will never sing for him to hit the road.
If I meet a girl named Diane I will think of something better to sing her than John Mellencamp.
If I meet a boy named Joe I will never tell him he is average or that he is work or that he is rhymable with everything you’d rather not be.
If I meet a girl named Jack I will never sing for her to hit the road.