“it’s an overhead shot” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday, February 28, 2017
4:03pm
5 minutes
Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play
Anne Washburn


At first I don’t think it’s a problem, but then I realize that it is a problem, a big problem, and so I call Dot.

Dot doesn’t answer, because she’s at chemotherapy. I instantly feel bad that I’m going to bug her about something as silly as a cinematic existential crisis. She’s dying. Nothing trumps that.

I resent the fact that the word T-R-U-M-P is now ruined, because before all of this baloney I really did like that word.

Dot calls me back before dinner, while the chicken breasts sear in the pan, and NPR plays from the shitty speaker in my phone.

“I can’t say I know what you’re talking about,” Dot says, in that way that she does, in that way that feels like chamomile tea.

“I see the slug-lines of my life, Dot!” I cry, flipping the over-cooked chicken with a pair of tongs she gave me. “For example right now, this conversation, it’s an overhead shot, lit dimly, with a score of sweeping cello!”

“trying to teach them technology” by Sasha at her kitchen


Monday February 27, 2017
9:25pm
5 minutes
From a text

Bobby makes Owen laugh, and that’s why
he keeps him around. Some people have
sidekicks and some people have acne
especially on their chins and foreheads.
Bobby has acne. Owen has
two girlfriends.
They weren’t always
friends, in fact, they used to be sworn
enemies, in the way that
nine year old boys
swear in blood and sticks whittled
with their fathers’ pen knives.

Owen asks Bobby if he wants a turn
with one of his girlfriends. Bobby
doesn’t know what that means,
politely declines. They are sitting
inside the slide in the schoolyard
where they used to go to school,
where they swore in blood,
made statements bigger than their bodies,
bigger than their dreams of the NHL
(Owen)
and running a non-profit that serves
both the hungry and stray cats
(Bobby)

“I felt stung” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday February 26, 2017
10:29pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio

When Heloise first saw Penelope, she knew that they’d been cut from the same piece of floral corduroy. It had nothing to do with the hands of the mothers that they were each holding. It had everything to do with their size. Both a head taller than everyone else in their Grade Three class, the girls became fast friends. Height aside, their physical features couldn’t have been more different. Heloise had jet black hair cut into a bob, with blunt bangs that ended just above her eyebrows. Her mother had the exact same haircut. They went every five weeks to the salon on 10th. Heloise’s eyes were brown, like her father’s, and she had a small mouth, which she regarded with disdain. Penelope had auburn curls, which she wore loosely braided down one side. She had her ears pierced, and wore small jade heart studs. They’d been a birthday present from her mother. Penelope’s mother reminded everyone of someone they knew. “I have one of those faces,” she’d say with a smile.

“trying to teach them technology” By Julia in her cabin


Monday February 27, 2017
4:47pm
5 minutes
from a text

my sister turns 32 and the entire family eats
stuffed lobster tail and shrimp
they gather around the table and tell
each other some of the same stories
after hearing some temporary new ones
my siblings make my parents use cell-phones
I am the only one missing
I am the only one on an island
I am the only one in a different time zone
my mother calls me on my birthday 4 days earlier
proud that she finally got the day right
she doesn’t forget my birthday
she just doesn’t know which day it is anymore because
she isn’t forced to look at a calendar all day
she asks what I am planning and I say nothing really
then my father gets on the phone
he asks me what I’m planning and I say I’m going to the island
he asks me if it feels different being 30
when yesterday I was only 29
I tell him sort of because sort of but not more
because my eggs are getting cold
he sighs and says that at the end of the day
it’s all just soup anyway
I laugh because he is so Italian
but he has a point
he says the first bite tastes like soup
and the last bite still tastes like soup

“I felt stung” By Julia in her cabin


Sunday February 26, 2017
10:19pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio

I don’t have any memories of my mother’s father. He died when I was three, lived in Italy, and I only met him a couple times. The first time, they tell me, was when I was 3 months old. I had my ears peirced with gold studs (by my aunt Patricia, who was also travelling to Italy with us), I carried around a rainbow striped bunny that I would later name “Skittles”, and according to my mother, I was a very picky eater during the first couple months of my life. They tell me that he was a big man, feared by many. They tell me all the other grandkids ran away from him because they were intimidated by his size, or his mood, or his silence. They tell me that when he walked by my crib I begged for him to pick me up. They tell me that it was strange for a small thing to reach out to him. They tell me that he lived for taking me out into the fields to pick fresh figs. They tell me he smiled a lot when we were there.

Sixteen years later I went to Italy for the second time. I found his gravestone. I listened to the air between my life and his. I still can’t say I ever knew him. But I missed him then.

“your body is not his home.” By Sasha on her couch


Saturday February 25, 2017
9:45pm
5 minutes
milk and honey
Rupi Kaur


I get home and I dump all of my shit on the bed, because who has the energy to put things away after twelve and a half hours of filing and photocopying and scanning and – … well, you get the picture. Next, I change, because I do not know any sane adult who hangs out at home in their work clothes. I go into the kitchen, pour myself a glass of – … Wait, should I not mention booze? Will that be a point against me? I mean, I know that there isn’t really a point system but… you know what I mean? Oh. Okay. Yes. Of course. Water? Sure. Sure…

“So am I. So Am I.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday February 24, 2017
11:33pm
5 minutes
East of Eden
John Steinbeck


watching this woman
all back muscles and delicacy
all breath in taut places
all grace and elegance
all body
a hiccup
so am i so am i
watching this woman
all strength and intention
all motherhood and wisdom
all risk all insecurity
all body
a sneeze
so am i
so am i
a sob in my throat
i wonder how this
whole sex
generation after
generation comes to
despise their home
watching this woman
moving across a floor
in pink tennis shoes
carving air like cake

“your body is not his home.” By Julia in her cabin


Saturday February 25, 2017
9:03am
5 minutes
milk and honey
-rupi kaur


When I was 7 my mother babysat a boy named Benjamin who was my age, and his two younger brothers. Ben had white blond hair and white blond eyebrows and he swore like a sailor. He had a lot of excess saliva, always pooling at the base of his tongue so when he spoke he shot out spurts or sometimes entire globules of spit. I thought this made him cute. I thought his boyish hair was something to brag about. One day we were playing in my room and Benjamin asked if we could sit in my closet. I didn’t know what he wanted to do but I do know that going into the closet was slightly wrong. It felt bad. I wanted to be bad with Benjamin. We brought Barbies and then sat in there on the floor with the lights on just staring at each other. Ben suggested that we show each other our private parts and I thought, yeah, alright, I don’t see why not.

“mini-volcanoes” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday February 23, 2017
10:11pm
5 minutes
From the Ocean Village Activity Book

Granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, hardwood, backsplash, and just wait until you see the shower. I know that you were hoping for a little bit more square footage, but I can guarantee you that you aren’t going to find anything better in your price range. Bear in mind that the previous owner lived there for almost thirty five years, so you may notice – … you know what? Nevermind. Let’s just go in.

Here it is! Bear in mind that it needs a paint job, and…

Look. Angela, this is the forty seventh unit I’ve shown to you. You need to, how can I say this, shit or get off the pot?

“So am I. So Am I.” By Julia in her cabin


Friday February 24, 2017
11:26pm
5 minutes
East of Eden
John Steinbeck


I’ve always had a hint of melodrama in everything I’ve written. I like extremes. I like metaphors. I tend to forget how little I actually need to say. I tend to over-explain. I tend to use familiar similes and words. I tend to talk about the ocean. I tend to smoke pot with the moon. I tend to rhyme and I tend to cry out every single one of my feelings. I tend to close the door when I brush my teeth. I tend to want to hide after I bare my soul. I tend to bare my soul. I tend to use words like soul.

“mini-volcanoes” By Julia in her cabin


Thursday February 23, 2017
10:11pm
5 minutes
from the Ocean Village Activity Book

In five minutes maybe I can remove all of the spicy chip from my teeth with my tongue and clear my mouth of all the tiny volcanoes erupting in my gums
In five minutes I’ll be able to finish the whole bag without meaning to and without effort, trying not to show signs of regret or shame so I can succeed in a more worthwhile game
I will learn the value of enough, I will learn it in my mouth so I don’t spend lifetimes filling my molars with trash to avoid the silence

“I grasped his.” By Julia at a cabin in Tofino


Wednesday February 22, 2017
10:41pm
5 minutes
Learning to Love You More
Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July


It was sudden in the way that sometimes my own pulse strikes me. I saw his tiny face and I loved it instinctively. I loved everything about him without meaning to; I had not prepared my heart for such surrender. He was something like a perfect feeling. A land without time. The best hug. I threw myself at his helpless feet. I grasped his burden like a swatter catching a fly. I have never thought once about anything.

“I grasped his.” By Sasha at her desk


Wednesday February 22, 2017
6:35pm
5 minutes
Learning to Love You More
Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July


Before he could say anything
I
I
I’m not sure if words are the
answer after all I mean I I I
it’s bigger than I I
I grasp his hand because sometimes
often a touch says a universe
and all I want is the promise of
the present
Before he could say anything
I I
I I
I interrupted
a habit worse than
chewing up
I inturr-
upted saying
“LOOK
I get scared
I get real scared
that this is all gonna
burn and what’s left
won’t be enough to keep
my full keep me
filled
LOOK I love you
like lava
LOOK I interrupt
because I’m passionate
LOOK here’s my full
hands full heart
full hands full of heart”

the batter is out.” By Sasha on her couch


Tuesday February 21, 2017
10:18pm
5 minutes
From the rules of cricket

You tell yourself that it’s okay, but it’s not. It’s not okay. You rev yourself up, turning the music so loud that the crucifix on the wall shakes. You grandmother won’t be home for another forty five minutes at least. She’s at the doctor. She has cataracts. You tell yourself that the police always try to scare people like you, but they won’t actually press charges. You grandmother calls and you turn the music off. If you don’t, she’ll nag you about how the “neighbours complain” and “the neighbours have a baby” and “have a little respect”.

“I need a reader” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday February 20, 2017
11:05pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

Sometimes my eyes get so tired, looking at the bright light of the screen, that I wish I had a reader. I don’t even think that I’m an auditory learner, but I do love being read to. I really do. I often ask N to read to me before bed and he usually says no because his voice is tired. He talks all day. I get it. But there’s something about that soothing sound of someone reading aloud that is ultimate comfort, hey? Maybe, if it was work related, it wouldn’t be so productive. Maybe I should stick to reading for myself.

“the batter is out.” By Julia on the toilet


Tuesday February 21, 2017
11:37pm
5 minutes
From the rules of cricket

I rolled my eyes at Elliot who happened to turn and face me right at my guiltiest. He snapped the shutter again and again but looked frustrated.
“Damnit,” he said, “I missed it.”
“I’ll likely do it again,” I told him, “it’s not like my opinion of you has gone away.”
“No, moron,” he sucked his teeth, “it was perfect timing: the look on your face, the giant sign behind you…”
I rolled my eyes at him again as a gesture of condolence. He shook his head and said, “It doesn’t matter now, Rita. It doesn’t matter.”
“Oh come on,” I said, “what will you do now that your life is completely ruined?”

“I need a reader” By Julia at her desk


Monday February 20, 2017
11:01pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

I need a reader.
Someone to read fiction from the tattered corners of the used book shop.
Someone to read stories that come from imagination and what ifs.
Someone to read their weight in other people’s words
to understand why we tell stories in the first place.
I need a reader.
Someone to read non-fiction and learn a thing or
two from the life of somebody that isn’t them.
Someone to read in between the lines when the tears come.
Someone to read the reasons why we write or why we feel we must.
I need a reader.
Somone to read me when I don’t want to be read.
Someone to read me when I need to be splayed open
heart on page after page.
Someone to read the furrow line in my forehead as
habit and not anger.
I need someone who loves flipping pages and
learning new things.
I need someone who won’t stop at the introduction
just because they can’t understand the trajectory yet.
I need a reader.
I need someone who will stay up late tracing
skin tags and face creases and bad dream mumble jumble.

“if it must.” By Julia at her desk


Sunday February 19, 2017
10:34pm
5 minutes
The Refusal
Jane Hirschfield


If it maybes then it shouldn’t
If it musts then maybe it should

I must do a lot of things
like the octopus must
like the sun
like you

I must love you when it strikes me
I must see you when I do not want to be seen

Rain must live here
Ocean must roar sometimes
I maybe shouldn’t need to remind myself
like this, on text and tablet

And still I must remind myself because I maybe need you
I must need you
you must need me
if the sun must

“if it must.” By Sasha at her desk


Sunday February 19, 2017
4:58pm
5 minutes
The Refusal
Jane Hirschfield


I try to lean in to you
in your stoic silence
there lives
a birch tree forest
I am sorry for all the times
I say no before
I say yes
I wish it weren’t so
but alas
it is

You wake from a dream
in which we are running
a bullet has grazed
my leg
I am slowed down
and you slow down
to match my
wounded pace

Is life a teetor
totter up is faith
and down is doubt?

Or maybe
it’s the other
way around

“Clear eyes” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday February 18, 2017
7:47pm
5 minutes
Friday Night Lights

“What would you like for dinner?” He said.
“Pasta?” She said.
“I thought we were getting off wheat?” He said.
“Pizza?” She said.
He smiled.
She kept her eyes on her books, sure that if she moved them that she’d lose what she’d learned.
“Salad?” He said.
“Sure.” She said.
She was unenthused though.
“Soup?” He said.
“Yes! Soup!” She said.
It was still cold out and she needed the nourishing warmth of something hot and filling.
“Lentil?” He said.
“Sure.” She said.
He watched her, so focused, and he thought about the first time he met her. He thought about her clear eyes.
“So rare,” he’d told his mother. “So rare to see such clear eyes.”

“Sad to see you go” by Sasha on her couch


Friday February 17, 2017
11:48pm
5 minutes
From a Goodbye card

You don’t tell her that you’re sad to see her go.
Not with your voice, at least.
You wait until the coffee’s cold
and her station wagon is halfway to the highway
and then you send a text:
“Sad to see you go…”
Most important is the ellipses.
Most important is the space between the dots…
That’s where her hands would go.

You wonder when you’ll hear from her.
If she’ll call from the side of the road
or the backseat, sweaty in her sleeping bag.

You wish that you’d been able to
articulate the expanse of the truth.
You wish that you’d bee able to
speak the three words that filled
every room that the two of you
were in together.

I love you.

“Clear eyes” by Julia on her couch


Saturday February 18, 2017
7:40pm
5 minutes
Friday Night Lights

When I pray I ask god to give me clarity so I may trust
what I see and be able to know it
I ask to be bypassed by nightmares like I did when
I was a child
twenty years of wishing I wouldn’t see the bad things because
I had glue for brains
terror haunting me like flies twitching on a sticky rope
I ask god to give me clear eyes so I can’t blame inaction
on blurry vision
I ask god to save me so we don’t get caught up in logistics
Tell her I’m tired now of specificty
mainly because it hurts
too much
When I pray I ask for something I can hold on to
something that won’t burn me in the night and leave a scar

“Sad to see you go” by Julia at her desk


Friday February 17, 2017
11:40pm
5 minutes
from a Goodbye card

I didn’t realize you were leaving when you left
You forgot to say Goodbye or Sad To Leave You
forgot to mourn the loss of me
I wish too for lesser consequence

I do not own another recourse
my heart is broken
and it was the only one I had to begin with

You might not notice how long it takes
for a heart to heal when some peices
never get returned

I blame newness
I blame adventure or the lust for it

“I miss you.” By Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Thursday February 16, 2017
10:23pm
5 minutes
From a text

In the tenth grade I had a crush on a boy who was tall and almost perfect looking. He played the guitar. He was smart. He loved his family. I was already drafting up wedding invitations. But during the summer there was another boy. He had curly hair and made me laugh. He also played the guitar but he was the biggest asshole I’d ever met. I liked him a little but he liked me more. We spent a night together on the couch in my friend’s parent’s basement. He talked me into making out even when I told him I was scared I’d be bad at it. It was not my first kiss but it might as well have been. He stuck his tongue so far down my throat I could have sworn he licked my stomach lining. My face was gooey from the slobber he left behind. He asked me if I liked it. I didn’t want to tell him the truth because of how proud of himself he was. Instead I told him I didn’t know since I had nothing else to compare it to. I wished it wasn’t him.

“I miss you.” By Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie


Thursday February 16, 2017 at JJ Bean
7:24pm
5 minutes
From a text

Writing is the
loneliest number
Fingers thumping heartbeats
heart breaks
break beats
on a keyboard
lit from below.

I’m always surprised
by how many people
want to write.

We all do.

I’m not surprised.

That small voice
held between
clenched
teeth
slid between
index and fore
finger
hammocked in the
clavicle
That small voice
that says,

Listen
Listen
Listen
Listen
Listen
Listen

I miss you.

“but the apricot” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday February 15, 2017
12:19am
5 minutes
Peterson First Guide to Tress
George A. Petrides


First
you slice the apricot
along the back
Gentle gentle
Second
you slide
out the pit
Gentle gentle
and maybe you hold
it in your hand
wondering if or
when you might
plant it
and maybe you hear
Jem’s voice in your ear
saying
“Apricot trees don’t
grow here, silly”
Third
you slice
up the apricot
and put the soft
petal pieces into
the bowl with all
the others

“imagery is ignored” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday February 14, 2017
10:29pm
5 minutes
From a grading rubric

I say let’s get on with it and let’s get building. No more time for sitting and waiting for someone else to act. That’s not the kind of time we’re in. That’s not where we live anymore. If you need to grieve this fact, do it. Do it swiftly. And then, join us. I’m not entirely sure why we’re still talking about the “if”. That is no longer relevant. What’s relevant is the rumbling in the bellies of people across the nation.

“but the apricot” by Julia at her dining table/desk


Wednesday February 15, 2017
7:39pm
5 minutes
Peterson First Guide to Tress
George A. Petrides


It stung like the needles off a pine tree pricking into her left breast. She could have begged for mercy but she hadn’t felt anything in days and was afraid the pain might be better than the nothing. Jac pressed into the soft spot screaming back at her. Sympathy pains? She wondered if Leah being in the hospital was causing some pyschosomatic symtoms. I can feel you, sweet thing, I am witness, believe me. The gentle stabbing persisted, aching only due to it’s lack of sleep. Jac got up to busy her mind with something else. The pain eased suddenly, washing over her with a cool relief.
Then she noticed the apricot smudge on the window. She winced, drawing her open palm to the base of it once more.

“Exile” by Sasha on her couch


Monday February 13, 2017
10:38pm
5 minutes
From a business card

Headlines like coke snorted from toilet bowls
these days my optimism tastes like aspartame
Orange orange yellow the light can’t change to
green fast enough oh mama this one’s gonna
hurt this one’s gonna ache.

If I could tell you one thing it would be

I’m sorry for the years that I told more
lies than truth it was easier
but it was harder
long term

Suddenly you’ve started counting your blessings
re-tweeting bigots and racists and nazis
suddenly you smell like gasoline.

If I could tell you one thing it would be

I should’ve said
No.

“imagery is ignored” by Julia at her dining table/desk


Tuesday February 14, 2017
8:29pm
5 minutes
from a grading rubric

On the wall that she stared at day in and day out, good lighting bad lighting, Cynthia hung a portrait of a woman with black swollen eyes and puffy cheeks. She was something of an attitude more than an appearance. She wasn’t saying anything so much as she was receiving something. Accepting something. Most days Cynthia didn’t have a reason to look at the woman and she hadn’t fully taken her in. Something about it was hard to engage with. The expression lifeless yet the most honest thing she’d ever seen. The look in her face was not sadness nor sympathy. Cynthia found it hard to look at things like that.

“Exile” By Julia on her bed


Monday February 13, 2017
10:30pm
5 minutes
from a business card

How do I forgive something so permanent?
made me miss my bus
made me take out the trash
made me clean out the coffee filter
made me apologize for something I’m not solely sorry for
made me dinner
made me eat breakfast before leaving
made me smile
made me laugh
made me feel bad for crying
made me feel stupid for trying
made me lose my train of thought
made me angry
made me demand more of myself
made me let go
made me better than I ever was going to be
made me question

“Well I can’t.” By Sasha in her bed


Sunday February 12, 2017
11:14pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 4 bus

“Why won’t you come down here… I don’t wanna talk to you through the Intercom, Roberta.”

“Too bad. I can’t.”

I wasn’t sure how long it would last, the connection, me up in my apartment and you waiting on the street, downstairs, seven flights.

“It’s freezing fucking cold, Roberta…”

“Too bad.”

“I said I was sorry.”

“Too bad!”

“Just let me up and I’ll make it okay…”

“It’s not okay.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“He can’t help you now.”

“Well I can’t.” By Julia on the 4 bus


Sunday February 12, 2017
3:23pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 4 bus

Tommie was rocking her newborn baby in her arms and humming gently when the telephone rang. She stopped suddenly but decided to keep going so Alex wouldn’t wake up again. She didn’t seem to mind the noise but the motion, or lack there of, she’d definitely notice. Tommie hadn’t been expecting a call or any visitors. Nobody seemed to come around these days. People weren’t too interested in seeing her after she took off without telling anyone. They didn’t understand that she needed to be far away from it all when she delivered. They didn’t want to know why she couldn’t just ask for help. Alex yawned in her arms but stayed asleep. The telephone rang again.

“the more you see the grace beyond” By Julia at he dining table


Saturday February 11, 2017
6:25pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Tree Book
David Tracey


Ellen leans back in her new office chair, trying out the arms over the head posture.
She looks around the room and notices that this exact view she has of her office now is the same one she had envisioned when she told herself that she would make it here some day. Ellen has made it and it feels good. The making it she expected. The power she half-prepared for. But the goodness that it created–the light–was unfathomable. Remarkable like staring out at the top of a mountain after climbing it for years. After years climbing a mountain that nobody thought could be done.

“Before Tampa ” By Julia in her bed


Friday February 10, 2017
12:34am
5 minutes
The Edge of the World Connie May Fowler

Before Tampa and after Tampa
that’s how they categorize it now
there’s a bucket for before and one for after
a line drawn in the proverbial sand
a hope and a hazzard

Kins and Mickey layed on the couch with each other’s feet in their laps
Kins squeezed behind one of Mickey’s ankles and Mickey fought off the tears for the third time that afternoon

“Before Tampa” by Sasha at the Diamond Centre


Friday February 10, 2017
3:41pm
5 minutes
The Edge of the World
Connie May Fowler


Before Tampa there was Santa Cruz. Before Santa Cruz there was San Jose. Before San Jose there was Seattle and that’s where the story really starts. I was busking full time and would go warm up and use the bathroom at the bookstore on 10th Ave… It was a cold winter that year, and my finger tips would turn blue after two hours of playing. I saw Greg. He was a cashier. I didn’t have a thing for ponytails or anything. He was too short, he looked dumb in his running shoes. It’s not like I believed in love at first sight, not prior to that moment. Greg didn’t notice me, not for weeks. I realized that I was going to have to buy something. I picked up a copy of Crime and Punishment from the discount bin and brought it up to the cash.

“many universities” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday February 9, 2017
9:49pm
5 minutes
From the Manila honey chocolate bar wrapper

Billie never thought she’d do something crazy like go to University. But then she met Sam and Sam said that if you ever wanna make anything of your life you gotta. She couldn’t figure out the application, so she wasn’t sure if she was cut out for the actual thing, but she asked for help, like Sam said, and she finally got one in, just before the deadline.

“Sure you don’t wanna put all your eggs in one basket?” Sam said, polishing her pen knife. “I don’t wanna move away from here,” Billie bit a hangnail.

“Shouldn’t do that,” Sam put down her knife.

“What?”

“Bite yer nails!”

“New Adventures” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday February 8, 2017
4:23pm
5 minutes
From a postcard

He accidentally buys chocolate covered raisins instead of chocolate covered almonds. He gets home and he’s jazzed. It’s Wednesday. It’s cheat day. He goes to tear into them and sees the expiry date. December 2015. Now he has a choice to make. A choice that feels like it just might be the most important of his day. He opens the package. Shit. They look – … Good. They look good. He eats one. He remembers an article he read online about candy shellac, and how it’s made of bug juice. He eats another and then his phone rings. He lets it go to voicemail. He puts the bag of chocolate covered raisins in the trash, and puts on the kettle.

“many universities” By Julia on her couch


Thursday February 9, 2017
10:54pm
5 minutes
from the Manila honey chocolate bar wrapper

I didn’t apply to many universities. I’ve never been too good at making decisions. I applied to three and I only finalized two so really I only applied to two. I got into both-my backup then my first choice. I was glad I didn’t spend the money on applying to many others. I said goodbye to my friends and my family and I moved back to the big city. I failed to redeem one of my scholarships before it expired. Then I failed to spend all the money on my meal card and so I bought a giant tub of gummy bears to give out to my friends before the year was up. I met some deep loves of my life there. I met so many moments of procrastination. And laziness. And bad judgment.

“New Adventures” By Julia at Paper Crane Coffee


Wednesday February 8, 2017
1:48pm
5 minutes
from a postcard

Jackie meets me at the coffee shop bundled up in too many layers and chapped lips. She shakes off her scarf and laughs a little at the snow droplets covering the ground. She is carrying a stack of postcards that she needs to write thank you notes on. She says she’s going to mail them out today after she buys a thousand stamps. I am busy re-writing my to-do list because the first version I etched out didn’t include all the stuff I actually have to get done today. The first version was more of a dream journal than a to-do list. I have trouble with picking the right thing to prioritize. I don’t want to pick the wrong thing but I feel like I always do. Jackie is in a great mood because she was given an assignment to write for McCleans’s Magazine and is full of high fives and smiles. She asks me after I’ve breathed out heavily for the eighth time, not asking her about her day like I should have, if I’ve ever heard about ‘Important vs. Urgent’. I sigh out once more because I have heard about ‘Important vs. Urgent’ but I have obviously forgotten, again and again, and again.

“I don’t know if it’s important or not, but it might be.” By Sasha at her desk


Tuesday February 7, 2017
10:55pm
5 minutes
from Gerald’s Game
Stephen King


Hi. You’ve reached – …

Shit. Donna?! Pick up the phone.

Hi. You’ve reached Donna. Leave me a message and I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can.

BEEP.

Donna. It’s me. Where are you? I need to talk to you. Right now. Carlos is on to us, and it’s not looking good, Donna. It’s really not looking –

Hello?

What the fuck?

Relax.

Carlos is losing his shit over here, and I’m the one who’s probably going to get a chisel through my skull and you’re telling me to relax?

I’m waiting for Sadie to come home from school and then we’re going to come and pick you up, and we’re going to get out of town for awhile.

What am I supposed to tell Carlos?!

Tell him, tell him… tell him that your sister is sick and you’re going to help her with the kids. He never speaks to Angie.

Oh my God, Donna. I’m losing it over here.

“I don’t know if it’s important or not, but it might be.” By Julia on her couch


Tuesday February 7, 2017
9:54pm
5 minutes
from Gerald’s Game
Stephen King


I can’t beg you to ask how my day was the way I can’t
give myself my own
nickname
Every time we collide heavy in each other’s presence you are forgetting
that I am coming from my own set
of rules and interpretations and
it wouldn’t hurt you to wonder what another person’s world is like
It wouldn’t hurt anyone but me if you didn’t
We could look into each other’s eyes all night and still
not
ever see another person

“free health care to” By Julia on her couch


Monday February 6, 2017
10:40pm
5 minutes
from a #goodnews tweet

I wish I would have gotten sick more when I had free healthcare. It never works out that way does it? No one ever says, “Life! It’s just so convenient, isn’t it?” People seem to talk a whole lot more about Murphy’s law than they talk about serendipity.
“Hindsight is always 20/20” is another one! And it’s true. I don’t know why we need to wait until hindsight for us to learn a lesson. Why can’t the opportunity to make a decision be the lesson? Why can’t the 20/20 vision kick in during sight not after? Why can’t life be as convenient as it isn’t?

“free health care to” by Sasha at her desk


Monday February 6, 2017
7:21pm
5 minutes
From a #goodnews tweet

Below the freckle below the bellybutton below the clavicle below the hip bone below the knee below the baby toe below the finger tip below the eyelash below the calf below the small of the back below the forehead below the wrinkle below the earlobe below the sole of the foot below the belly below the sternum below the laugh lines below the scalp below the lungs below the liver below the heart

“Does this one need closure too?!” By Sasha on her couch


Sunday February 5, 2017
11:36pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Quebec and west Broadway

I’ve been drawing daily self portraits
the mirror’s been lying again and
besides I want
to document my waxing and waning.

Yesterday I had a sun face
and my teeth were wide as open arms.

I don’t know anything about poetry
except that it feels like the only
way now.

I was never good at my time’s tables
always needed to count on my fingers
under my desk.

Today I’m a small black dot.

“soothingly soft” by Sasha in the bath


Saturday February 4, 2017
12:31am
5 minutes
From the facial tissue package

driving to the silver’s farm
peach juice on my shorts from
wiping sticky fingers
and the pit in my pocket
cozy with a white shell
and a black stone

my mother
takes the winding road
slow because i get car
sick like she does
and our ginger cat too

pile out of the minivan
named athena and run
over the hot gravel
run run bare feet
tip toes

picking corn with
a careful eye watch
out for worms or
shrunken kernels

“No mere goldfish, these.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday February 3, 2017
11:33pm
5 minutes
From the Windows display

Got Ellie a shiny goldfish for her twelfth birthday and I never heard her say so many thank you’s! We got dizzy with all them t’s and y’s! She asked if for Easter we could get one of them snails to clean the bowl and I said I’d think about it. Couldn’t be too expensive.

I ever tell you how small Ellie was when she’s was born? Two pounds, one ounce. That’s smaller than a half a Sunday chicken! I’ll never forget the feelin’ of holding her in my hand, like the whole world was there, right in my palm. My whole world.

“Does this one need closure too?!” By Julia on the 99


Sunday February 5, 2017
11:34pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Quebec and west Broadway

“Does this one need closure too?” Lara bellowed, incredulous that she was getting another phone call after just exclaiming how “done” she was. Kya snatched Lara’s phone put of her hand and jogged a few feet away, leaving one of her hands up as defense against her ever fuming friend. “Ask her if she wants a reason! Ask her!” Lara was pressing her thumbnail into her forefinger to keep her from biting off her own tongue. She wanted to feel blood.
“Tell her that she’s not welcome in this friendship anymore-tell her that and to go love herself!”
Kya shook her head emphatically from side to side and turned her back.

“soothingly soft” By Julia in her bed


Saturday February 4, 2017
12:51am
5 minutes
from the facial tissue package

The soul, I imagine is butter smooth and custard soft. It is graceful. The soul is an aerialist. The soul is tender wise and Meryl Streep. The soul is firm but lovable fifth and sixth grade teacher. The soul, is upward direction, launched and soaring, silk scarf decadence in flight. The soul is skin milk and honey.

“No mere goldfish, these.” By Julia at her dining table


Friday February 3, 2017
7:38pm
5 minutes
from the Windows display

I don’t think I ever cared about the fish we had when we were growing up. I think I wanted to, and I meant to, but it never hit. My sister seemed to care about them. She gave them names, she put tiny pellets into their water, she sometimes made up songs about them. But then she also kept killing them and had to flush them down the toilet and then get three more replacement fish. And then she did it again. I can see how one would think they’d be an unfit mother if they never figured out just how hard it is for goldfish to actually live in the first place. I realize now that I also couldn’t care about them because when my sister got them for her birthday that year, I also got a pair of white Barbie running shoes with sparkly pink laces. I was very busy.

“filled with feeling but generally paralyzed.” By Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Thursday February 2, 2017
11:19pm
5 minutes
From an interview with Miranda July in LENNY letter

My fears are bigger than Maggie’s but I dont want her to know. I tell her I don’t care and she tells me that I should. I tell her that it doesnt concern me so why should I even bother and she tells me to get educated; to get it right. I lie through my teeth because the lies are little enough to pass through uninjured. I lie through my teeth because the second step after waking up is leaving the bed. Because the one after that is looking myself in the eye and agreeing that more needs to be done. I tell Maggie it doesn’t interest me because it hurts to care so much and still be rooted to the darkness.

“filled with feeling but generally paralyzed.” By Sasha at her desk


Thursday February 2, 2017
2:09pm
5 minutes
From an interview with Miranda July in LENNY letter

always
filled with feeling
but generally unsure
where to place it

so it lands
in a throat
hides behind
a shoulder blade
cuts through the
softness below
the belly
button

unsure where to
categorize
alphabetize
energize
feeling lands
where we least
expect

in the space
between this
and that
on the coffee
table below
the book
of salvador
dali

so much
is accomplished
in stillness

“there was a rubric” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday February 1, 2017
9:49pm
5 minutes
From a voice memo

There was a rubric and we were to use it when evaluating patients. Zero meant bad and ten meant good. You’d think that it would be easy, especially after the twelve odd years of training. You’d think that within three minutes of sitting with someone, one would have a sense of, “Oh, this person is closer to a three. That’s for sure!” Or, “A seven. Most likely a seven.” But it is not easy. In fact, it is virtually impossible. And the preceptor wants to know exact numbers, and is satisfied with nothing else. I don’t see patients as exact, in any way! They are ever-changing! They are five hundred shades of grey!

“there was a rubric” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday February 1, 2017
9:39pm
5 minutes
from a voice memo

He asks if I like it like he wants me to say no. Asking me at all automatically gets a no. Am I not showing you? Am I not putting my whole thing into it? I want to tell him that “no” I don’t, but keep making these sounds and see if he is listening to my mouth or to my body. If he were he wouldn’t have to ask–as if there’s some kind of rubric for me to fill out: The student was sufficient. The student was timid. The student showcased strong grasp of concepts. The student handed in his assignment early but did not get extra marks because, though he finished, it wasn’t done to the best of his ability.

VANCOUVER WRITER’S WORKOUT!


Vancouver get ready!
Another writer’s workout is coming your way!
Check it out, share, and get your write on.

feb19-t5mwritersworkoutfeb19-t5mwritersworkout2

“joke poem about a black bear” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday January 31, 2017
9:53pm
5 minutes
Upstream
Mary Oliver


“I had that bum tooth of mine finally go” she says, tapping the nub left inside her mouth. “I got over zealous, you could say. I got too comfortable with my routine and it turned me careless.” Lorna looks off into the distance for a while. I wait there, my finger hovering over the pause button. I don’t want to use battery while she drifts off but I don’t want to miss anything. It isn’t the first time it has happened. I remind myself of my privildge. I am desperate to know this woman and she is desperate to keep something for her for once. “Did I ever tell you about that joke poem? That joke poem about the–” She catches herself abruptly and her eyes dart around the room. I try not to move. I do anyway. I ask her, “is there something wrong?” She stares at me, nodding her head very slowly.