“is there somewhere else she could go?” by Julia on the 7 bus


Friday June 30, 2017
5:30pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 7

Bobby smoothes down the peach fuzz under her chin to calm down. When she was new to school in the 6th grade two of the good looking boys used to tease her about it. She had no idea they were doing it. For some reason she always instinctively reached for it when she needed to feel close to herself and to her inner child.
Maxwell is banging every pot and every cupboard door but refuses to say anything. He is very aggressive about his passive aggressiveness. It is clear he doesn’t want Bobby’s younger sister, Hannah, to stay with them over the long weekend. He doesn’t think he should have to share his living room with anyone.

“I have a friend who loves your photography” by Julia on the dock lounger


Thursday June 29, 2017
4:05pm
5 minutes
from a text

Maggie’s always making friends with photographers. Her dream is that one of them will consider her their muse and either always snap candids of her looking warm and stunning or always want to take her portrait for free. She tried one year to befriend painters after she saw her ex boyfriend captured so perfectly. She made a couple jokes at first, dropping her interest like a fallen pen. The artist wasn’t taking requests so she had to try and convince him without seeming desperate. Sorry, he said, Curly hair is too hard to draw.

“not a permanent” by Julia in her bed


Wednesday June 28, 2017
11:29pm
5 minutes
from an email /i>

we ghost through each other’s bones more times when the we care to admit.
I told you it was only ever going to be this.
you said we had enough time.
I didn’t expect you that night or that week but I had already seen you coming.
because I dreamed you.
I asked for you.
I made sure to be grateful.
I made sure to count my pizzas
and every time you locked me in from the outside. And how you’d rush home at once to set me free.

“a certain brand of peanut butter” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday June 27, 2017
11:41pm
5 minutes
The Power Of Habit
Charles Duhigg


What do we have
we have a jar of peanut butter
we have Nescafe
we have all the will to
change this place for
the better
Oh the better
Oh the better
What do we have
we have tear-away track pants
we have water from the tap
we have the grief of forty two
years between us
What do we have
Oh the better
Oh the better
we have the better of this
the best of eachother

“a certain brand of peanut butter” by Julia at L and J’s Airbnb


Tuesday June 27, 2017
9:43pm
5 minutes
The Power Of Habit
Charles Duhigg


The first time J and I went to Costco we made some crucial errors. We have left the receipt tacked on to the fridge as a reminder that we cannot simply go to Costco. Even after we have run out of the giant tub of almond butter. We have to make sure we’re mentally prepared. Because last time we were not prepared. We were ruined.
We made some crucial errors.

1) It was a Saturday
2) we got high
3) we were hungry
4) we didn’t hang around the proper food sample tables
5) we didn’t make a real list
6) we tried to put a 900 pack of toilet paper in our cart
7) we didn’t know the prices of things at regular stores to compare

“if indoors, stay indoors” by Sasha at her desk


Monday June 26, 2017
11:51pm
5 minutes
From the Central 1 credit union emergency response plan

It all starts when you get hives, clustered around your collarbones, reaching up your neck. You think it’s a spider bite and then Janis says, “What’d you have for lunch?”

Dr. Klein is useless. He tries to put you on anti-depressants. “I’m not depressed,” you say. He gives you a look like you will be, or you should be, or you could be.

Soon, a triad of plantar warts sprout on the ball of your left foot. You hobble around the office and Janis says, “What’d you have for lunch?!”

“Felicia has a colourful aesthetic” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday June 25, 2017
10:59pm
5 minutes
http://www.squarespace/templates/clay

Elizabeth is smoking those stupid menthol cigarettes and it’s like she thinks she’s cool or something. I don’t get it. Her and Bram have only been dating for three god damn days and she’s already busting out the booty shorts.

“What is up with you?” I say, as she breathes out the passenger seat window. I think she’s trying to do smoke rings. Idiot. I’m driving her home, like I always do.

“Nothing?” She says. Question… everything is a question.

“if indoors, stay indoors” by Julia at her desk


Monday June 26, 2017
10:56pm
5 minutes
from the Central 1 credit union emergency response plan

The man in the green hat was shouting loudly on his cell-phone as he jogged his small dog around the pool and back and back and back.
We watched as he panted into somebody’s ear and didn’t know who to feel more sorry for. Dog included.
I looked at Lexi and knew I would not always love her. I smiled and tugged her shirt at the v.
We stayed there for a while, counting times he reached to yank up his boxer shorts poking through with his phoned hand.
When we walked home I intentionally stepped on the back of her foot and made her yelp.
I kissed her sorry, so sorry, so so sorry.

“Felicia has a colourful aesthetic” by Julia on her couch


Sunday June 25, 2017
10:55pm
5 minutes
http://www.squarespace/templates/clay

I think about her as a colour when she leaves my house,
what is blue doing now? What is blue wondering about.
Blue stops at all the green grocers hunting down
the perfect avocado. Blue is making guacomole to celebrate
her new job. Blue is picking away plaque resting behind her bottom
teeth. She cries in blue. She laughs. She takes a bath in blue.
She paints the bed blue when she lays on it. She sleeps.
Dreaming blue dreams. Dreaming in blue after blue after blue.
I watch her kiss every surface she passes as if blessing the town
blue. Turning into melt.

“beating my lazy part” by Julia in her bed


Saturday June 24, 2017
11:53pm
5 minutes
Writing Down The Bones
Natalie Goldberg


if there ever was a time to play dead it’s now.

in the heart of being asked to set the table.

when the baby’s diapers need changing after too much yogurt.

after the good dinner and the good dishes.

before he mistakes the long kiss for long love.

in the state between here and decided which friend to disinvite.

during the production of Pay Attention To Me off off off Broadway.

when he asks for proof on why you like his song but you’re not prepared for a test.

“beating my lazy part” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday June 23, 2017
6:09pm
5 minutes
Writing Down the Bones
Natalie Goldberg


Alanna smiles without her lips. Her cheeks smile. Her eyes smile. But her lips stay a straight line, like, “What? I don’t have to work to let you know I’m chill.” I notice this the first time we work together. It’s brunch and we’re slammed. “In the weeds” is what Alanna calls it, and she’s worked at a lot of places so I’m going to trust her on this. We have a good rhythm together – pouring orange juices, steaming milk, plopping eighteen dollar eggs down in front of very alien-like women who eat and eat but remain exceptionally trim. “Blow,” says Alanna, as I make eyes about an extra side of whipped cream. When we’re doing roll ups just after five o’clock Alanna tells me she already counted her tips and she made almost three hundred dollars.

“intimate questions” by Sasha on her balcony


Friday June 23, 2017
10:39pm
5 minutes
From an e-mail

I thought maybe we’d start by talking about the cities where we were born
I thought we’d start by making small talk about the weather or
the government
or
the smell of the season the smell of the summer
Instead you inside my head and you say

I know we’ve met before

We have

Yes

Oh

Mundane intimate words
Rubbing soft gentleness
Mundane words that mean
everything now
in my memory space
as I contemplate
the colour of our love

“intimate questions” by Julia on C’s couch


Friday June 23, 2017
10:34pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

S gives me the idea
to interview my dad.
She’s interviewing hers.
She says she’s learning a lot.
I have always dreamt
of sitting down with
my father and talking with
him about the good stuff.
Like the time he crashed
the car, or the time he fell
in love with someone
who didn’t want him back
or the time he had his limp alcohol poisoned body
dragged home by his
parents who had to fetch
him from the underage
party at Lindsay’s house.
I want to know that he sees
himself in my mistakes and
that I’m not the only one.
That maybe I got some
extraordinary traits from
him beside my wild
curls and my penchant
for chili peppers.
I’d like to ask him if he’s ever regretted his anger
or if he’s ever had to
break up with an old
friend too.
You know
the good stuff.

“kindergarten registration” by Sasha at a coffee shop on Dunbar


Thursday June 22, 2017
4:38pm
5 minutes
From a sign

This woman on the bus rides in a motorized wheelchair. She’s beautiful. She looks like Nicole Kidman and Helena Bonham Carter had a lovechild and gave her even better hair and eyes. She has a little dog on her lap. Cute, shaved down so it looks like it has a lion’s mane. We all watch – rapt – as she wheels into her spot (people cleared the way). As the bus starts to drive onwards, she takes a ziplock bag of something indistinguishable out of a bag in the basket that’s on the front of her wheelchair. She eats it, or, rather, she chews it and spits it out into her hand and tries to feed it to her dog. He doesn’t want it.

“I was speaking body-to-body.” By Sasha at her desk


Wednesday June 21, 2017
11:18pm
5 minutes
From an interview with Lidia Yuknavitch on http://www.bloom-site.com

We don’t have much to say to each other
with these things
with these words
with syll-
ables
broken and frayed
and drunk on vowels

We speak body-to-body
sweaty sheets wound round
thighs and arms and
you touch me with the
conviction I’ve always
wanted to be wanted
in this articulation

When we walk down the
street you are distant
one hand on the handlebars
of your bicycle
I’m not used to this
arrangement of hard
K’s and V’s and
you disorient me
with your vague
interpretations of
song lyrics of the
band I wish I knew

I am gutted when
you stop calling
because I’ve only known
this body-to-body to mean
something
something languid
something truthful
something gracious

It’s two years before I
know the true taste of sweetness
of gentle whispered w’s and a’s

“kindergarten registration” by Julia on the 99


Thursday June 22, 2017
1:04pm
5 minutes
from a sign

back to school
time to learn some things
how to deal with disappointment
how to deal with spending all the money on all the things that end up being disappointing
how to deal
how to be okay with the bruises that come from chasing perfection
how to be okay with taking ownership for all the mistakes
how to smile at the next person so
one bad day doesn’t bleed into another
how to fight the urge to cry on a bus so no one sees
how to cry on a bus so no one sees
how to cry only enough for release and not for pouchy eye bags

back to school
time to learn some things

“I was speaking body-to-body.” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday June 21, 2017
10:52pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Lidia Yuknavitch on http://www.bloom-site.com

Horay, you fixed the bed. Now our bones don’t crumple in at the meeting place. I never knew how much knee crawling I do until receieving the cease and desist.
It is bad for some reasons, but you don’t want to hear that because it would get in the way of you patting yourself on the back.
You don’t want to hear them but I am not built like a slow cooker. I make popcorn with my feelings. I burst through every single lid in this apartment.
I don’t like sleeping in and now I am more comfortable because my spine is no longer screaming at me. I am speaking body to body now. If you don’t want to hear how my silence stings, you better set your chest to ‘Listen.’

“receiving invitation” by Julia in her bed


Tuesday June 20, 2017
11:18pm
5 minutes
from an email

I’ve been bleeding for days and nobody knows why. 
Nobody knows why because nobody knows and I suppose it’s up to me.
I make the calls and the appointments, I pay the bills or I don’t.
This growing thing, this fleshy bump is getting me down.
Isn’t that ironic-If to you growing means up. It is ironic that to me growing means up.
My impulsive decisions are growing too. In.
When Sarah pierced my ears on the back of a potato I didn’t think they’d ever be anything but proof of my young nights.
There was blood then too, on the carpet.

“receiving invitation” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday June 20, 2017
11:19pm
5 minutes
From an email

Mr. Bolton sang at the open mic with his two sons. My sister and I did, too, and we were better, at least that’s what people said. He taught Physics. I wasn’t any good at physics. My sister was, so sometimes I copied her work from six years prior. He hadn’t changed his lesson plans. I still feel guilty about that sometimes and then I remember how hard I worked on the things I actually cared about it and I let it go. The open mic’s happened a few times a year, and my sister and I would practise for the weeks leading up, choosing songs, sorting harmonies, layering instruments.

“That’s what I was thinking” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday June 19, 2017
12:03am
5 minutes
Overheard on West Broadway

On the Saturday before Grade Nine was to start, in a new school, an hour and a half commute from my one house and an hour and forty three minute commute from my other house, I stare at my reflection in the bathroom mirror (at the former house). Something. Does. Not. Look. Right. My left eye is… swelling. Perhaps a less astute person would not notice anything (at least at this point), but I, I am beyond astute. I might as well have a magnifying glass.

“That’s what I was thinking” by Julia at her desk


Monday June 19, 2017
12:35am
5 minutes
overheard on West Broadway

Some days add up to zero
the hole of the afternoon
the cave of mid morning
post-its have been scribbled on
and posted but the glue is wrong
and everything flutters to
the ground eventually

Tomorrow’s list has been started
wake up is the hard thing
every other item can be done
if there is enough time

Some days add up to something o’clock
and not enough sleep
too many hours spent wondering how
to believe in scotch tape
and purple marker
instead of the looming possibility
of avoiding it all

“Good girls wore miniskirts but not hot pants” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday June 18, 2017
12:007am
5 minutes
They Used To Call Me Snow White…But I Drifted
Regina Barreca


Good girls wear miniskirts and have their hair teased, that was made clear. We were to smoke and choke and snort and suck and smile smile smile. This isn’t a poem, so don’t worry about it. We were welcomed with a weigh-in and then told that if we gained the normal fifteen whatevers we would be out out out on our bodacious asses. Cassandra even said that she knew a girl who knew a girl who did gain the whatevers and they actually did kick her out and she didn’t get her deposit back or anything.

“the usual flood of dark worries” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday June 17, 2017
10:52pm
5 minutes
The Tools
Phil Stutz and Barry Michels


What’s the point, Milo thinks as he squints at his computer screen. The usual flood of dark worries is worse today because Justin quit and now he doesn’t even have eye candy. He wonders if the dimensions of his cubicle add to his feelings of claustrophobia. He wonders if he actually called his family back in Denver if the week might start a little brighter. All the numbers on the screen start to blur. Um, Milo thinks. He closes his eyes.

“Good girls wore miniskirts but not hot pants” By Julia at her desk


Sunday June 18, 2017
9:56pm
5 minutes
They Used To Call Me Snow White…But I Drifted
Regina Barreca


I wish we didn’t have to fight so hard for our bodies. How can one opinion be the ignition behind so much devestation. All these lies we told ourselves because of the lies we heard first from someone else’s head. It must have been a group. There must have been a threat lobbied at enough of them to cause a movement. Why hold some bodies back if nothing is at risk? But what was at risk? What could it have possibly been to mean so much? What is the small bone we must find before breaking all of ours instead?

“the usual flood of dark worries” by Julia on C’s couch


Saturday June 17, 2017
9:57pm
5 minutes
The Tools
Phil Stutz and Barry Michels


I find myself in the afternoon
but I lose myself every morning
it’s a hunger I don’t feed much
because it will eat whatever it can
find whether I like it or not
and why do extra work
the alarm was set for early o’clock
and ignored
the day sneaks past me like
it’s trying to keep something
from me
I assume it’s time
I am sure it’s grace
in the bathroom I can
be alone with my family of
dark worries
I can close the door
waste the water
light a candle
remain still
I find myself among the faces
in the shower tiles that have all
begun to look like me

“Popeye was right!” By Sasha at her desk


Friday June 16, 2017
10:46pm
5 minutes
La Dolce Vegan
Sarah Kramer


When your mother brings home Steve, the third potential stepfather, you are immediately sceptical of his black goatee and reddish, greying hair. You know that that is not how nature works. Steve is the “assistant manager” (oh-kay) at the mechanic on the corner of First and MacDonald. His brother is the owner. His brother, according to Michelle St. Bernard, is almost a millionaire. Something about good investments, or the stock market, or Atlantic City. You and Tina kick each other under the table as your mother giggles at Steve’s jokes. You get a few of them, and want to laugh because they are not half bad, but you don’t. Out of solidarity with Tina. Out of mourning for your father. Steve says something about the spinach and rice pilaf and your mother says something about Popeye. Tina’s eyes light up.

“compelled to live under difficult conditions” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday June 15, 2017
11:11pm
5 minutes
Ancient Wisdom, Modern World
The Dalai Lama


You occasionally wonder about what it might be like to be a sister of the holy order of the Arbutus. They live in a thick forest, in an abbey built of three different kinds of sacred wood no one knows the names of. They are not your traditional nuns, these sisters. They can still have sex, for one, and for two, they question morals and books and all that is sworn to be truth. Sister Lupe even has a husband back in Argentina, but they are happier apart with what she calls “conjugal visits” six times a year. Their creed is long, but one of your favourites is that no one shall ever suck in their tummy.

“Popeye was right!” by Julia on the reading chair


Friday June 16, 2017
9:36pm
5 minutes
La Dolce Vegan
Sarah Kramer


It was the night he bought two bags of spinach for five dollars. He waved them in the air like soft trophies. I thanked him for thinking ahead. He had already congratulated himself for scoring the deal. Later, because all bad nights start somehow, he asked if I was planning to make dinner at all this week. I said no. He thought I was kidding. He came in for a kiss. I bit his lip. Then I blacked-out.

“compelled to live under difficult conditions” by Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Thursday June 15, 2017
11:01pm
5 minutes
Ancient Wisdom, Modern World
The Dalai Lama


learn things the hard way:
make the same
mistake a million times
expect too much
drink too much
spend too much
return
return
return
avoid the telephone
avoid the woman who carried you in her body because she knows too well what you look like when you’re hiding
lie to the mirror
avoid the mirror
apply for msp
pay the wrong premiums
cry about it
forget to call the people about the help the people said they’d provide
avoid the telephone
avoid the truth
do not create anything
do not sleep
smoke too much
spend too much
binge too much
avoid the shower
avoid the fun
return
rip your hair from your head
from your eyebrows
from your lids
rip your hair from your crotch
one by one
until they’re all gone
be a girl after being a woman
avoid the mirror
avoid sex
avoid asking for what you need
resist the urge to be brave
let commercials steal your soul
spend too much
complain too much
return

“Remember that time” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday June 14, 2017
7:27pm
5 minutes
From an Instagram post

Remember the time we got caught in a lightning storm in the woods? It was just Dad and the two of us. Mum never came camping. It was the kind of storm where there isn’t rain, just thunder and lighting. But you know it’s coming. We stood under the tarp, strung up with bungee chords (it was before all the literature came out about how dangerous they are), and watched the storm move across the pines. Before the rain started, we brushed our teeth (peppermint Tom’s) and peed, squatting down and feeling the grasses tickle our bums.

“don’t trip on the stairs” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday June 13, 2017
12:03am
5 minutes
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Neil Gaiman


Call me shaker Call me howler
Call me maker Call me feast
Call me famine Call me reverent
Call me simple Call me beast
Call me sing Call me frenzy
Call me chaos Call me great
Call me famine Call me bringer
Call me omen Call me fate
Call me shuffle Call me changer
Call me teacher Call me sin
Call me runner Call me muscle
Call me gold Call me win
Call me birch bark Call me tinder
Call me flint Call me steel
Call me engine Call me bullet
Call me handmade Call me wheel
Call me mother Call me lover
Call me woman Call me moon
Call me bear Call me elephant
Call me wolf Call me loon

“Remember that time” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday June 14, 2017
8:18pm
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

Remember that time our landlords tried to bribe us with blueberries and yogurt from the Korean grocery store in Richmond Hill? You think it’s weird that I’m friends with them
on facebook but I just think it’s funny. They always wanted us to be friends for real. We weren’t exactly into that when we lived below them because friendship then meant them coming into our unit on saturday mornings to use the laundry room without giving us 24 hrs notice. One night we listened to them argue upstairs, the smell of prawns wafting through the vents. We looked at each other, worried, as if we were hearing our own parents threaten divorce. But that would have made us siblings, and now we see each other naked, so.

“while the couple works out their troubles without distraction” by Sasha on her couch


Monday June 12, 2017
10:00pm
5 minutes
Committed
Elizabeth Gilbert


Without distraction we take to the winding roads
of the west way up near the sky touching
clouds with our noses way up near the stars
touching ancient dust with our eyelashes

We swim in salt water plunging pools
and my skin gets burned by the sun but
it’s okay it’s okay
it’s okay

You read to me in a whisper
from your secret notebook
the holy grail
and an eagle flies overhead
shadows in the wideness of the wingspan

“capacity for self-control.” By Sasha in the bedroom in Whistler


Sunday June 11, 2017
10:42pm
5 minutes
From an interview with Maia Szalavitz in The Sun

Lonnie tempts herself by placing three chocolate eggs on the coffee table in front of her. No sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no soda, no processed foods, no oil, no nuts. Lots of rice cakes. A few cups of black coffee. Kelly brought chocolate when she came to visit – stale Easter eggs. It’s August. Lonnie wonders if they are starting to melt. She images eating them.

“don’t trip on the stairs” by Julia on the couch


Tuesday June 13, 2017
11:02pm
5 minutes
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Neil Gaiman


Kit can’t stand the new shoes Lou brought back from Iceland. She hates the way the toe catches on concrete and splits the difference between leather and sole. Lou tries to tell her that they were custom made and one of a kind. Kit thought about hiding them in the laundry hamper, pretending somebody stole them. She couldn’t throw them out. She wasn’t a monster.
Lou has been bringing home gifts more and more lately. Obviously trying to atone for taking her away from all her friends. When Marnie got sick, the sky opened up and took some more things that Kit didn’t want to give away. Gave her some things she didn’t need, stuck with a stepfather who didn’t want to stay.

“while the couple works out their troubles without distraction” by Julia on the 99


Monday June 12, 2017
5:00pm
5 minutes
Committed
Elizabeth Gilbert


My sister tells me she doesn’t want kids and it ruins everything. I know she used to but then she dated a man she didn’t want to have a copy of so she changed her mind and then things were better for her. I always thought if anyone, it would be her, and I would happily be the world’s best Zia to her kid, and even co-parent when I needed to. My sister breaks my heart accidentally when she breaks the news. I wonder who will give our parents grandchildren now? Isn’t she the one who has always done the right thing? Up till this I have been very lucky that no one expects much of me other than poetry and improvised musicals about my day.
How weird it must be for everyone that I’m the one who caught the bouquet at Stef’s wedding, and guessed the exact measurement of Cheryl’s pregnant belly at her baby shower.

“capacity for self-control.” by Julia at her desk


Sunday June 11, 2017
8:17pm
5 minutes
From an interview with Maia Szalavitz in The Sun

In the space between two o’clock and safe and sound, the ideal smell of me is masked in cream cheese smeared eyebrows. The baby I thought would be sweet is bigger and more violent than I want her to be. The other one, thank god for him.
Who says you are what you eat?
Am I nothing today and yesterday?
Am I impatience and knotted hair?
She says help yourself to the fruit in the fridge or the yogurt. Says this is the most rested she’s felt in a long time. I am supposed to be generous and glad to help out a woman who didn’t mean to be a mother.
Instead I want to rip her precious book in two;
remind her there is also only one of me.

“I’m on my way to Hammerhead” by Julia while walking home


Saturday June 10, 2017
11:49pm
5 minutes
overheard at Pearson Airport
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We go for beers and pour our hearts out, leave them on the coasters, then slap our pints down hard
many of us don't know each other's names but names aren't important here
No one seems to be interested in the arbitrary–it takes too long to sieve through anyway
After the first round our blood pumps fine: easier to pass through
leave a mark
After the second the bruises start to show up and we tip the bartender in advance for not kicking us out

“I’m on my way to Hammerhead” by Sasha at the airport


Saturday June 10, 2017
9:49pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Pearson

Takin’ the first flight to Hammerhead and no one’s gonna stop me. When I’m there, I’m gonna find a little shack in the woods by the river. Ever heard of the butterflies down there? Oh yeah, they are yellow and purple and they smell like candy. Pompom told me and Pompom never lies. He’s been down there, right? He’s seen ’em with his own eyes? I never get lonely, right, because I got seven brothers and sisters so I never had a second to myself between the ages of birth and seventeen when I got the heck outta there. Hammerhead’s population? Sixty four. And apparently the woman who runs the post office might be pregnant so that would bring the total population up to sixty five. Oh! And me, of course. Sixty six.

“Part of the explanation” by Sasha at Ideal Coffee


Friday June 9, 2017 at Ideal Coffee
3:34pm
5 minutes
The Globe And Mail

When Maggie feeds her snake, she says a prayer for the mouse. It actually isn’t her snake, it’s Tova’s, but Tova is in Switzerland and Maggie isn’t sure when she’ll be back so as far as she’s concerned the snake now belongs to her. It was actually Tova’s sister’s boyfriend’s snake, but his landlady lost her mind when she found out a snake was in the apartment, so what was Tova’s sister supposed to do? Take the snake. And then Tova’s sister, ever the pacifist, couldn’t get over the feedings so Tova took pity and said she’d take the fucking snake.

“my flight leaves for Edmonton” by Sasha in the Kiva


Thursday June 8, 2017
11:18pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre

“It’s okay if you want to cry. I can see that you’re – ”

“I’m not going to cry.” Dan smacks my hand away from his face.

His flight leaves in three hours and we haven’t decided if I’m taking him to the airport or he’s going in a taxi. Public transit is now no longer an option.

“I could still come with you?” I look at my toes.

“No. No… I need to do this alone,” he says, finally making eye contact. Tears brimming.

“Why won’t you let me support you?” I try not to sound like I’m asking something of him. Everyone is asking something of him.

“I’m trying, Gem, but it’s just like – … I don’t even know what I need so how am I supposed to tell you what I – …”

His phone rings. It’s Joanne, his stepmother. Everything in the room gets very still

“Part of the explanation” by Julia on F’s couch


Friday June 9, 2017
9:24pm
5 minutes
The Globe And Mail

I have been avoiding calling my mother because I know I am going to cry.
She is avoiding me too for the same reason.
Earlier this week my sister tells me that the family reunion is off.
After swearing in the bathroom and crying and yelling and crying some more,
I tell her I’m sorry for overreacting.
My sister tells me she could listen to me swear for days, and if it’s any consolation,
I was not overreacting, but reacting, and both would be okay.

Today I finally phone her and for whatever reason we start speaking french to each other.
I think because this softens the blow.
Keeps things light, after all, it is only a family that will not be reuniting.
It’s not the end of the world.
I hear the sigh in her voice as she mixes in some words in Italian, some a combination of both.
I tell her I already know.
She laughs.
Then later she cries.
We both do.

“my flight leaves for Edmonton” by Julia at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre


Thursday June 8, 2017
9:17pm
5 minutes
overheard at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre

“Did you pack her neck pillow, Dana? You know Mom can’t travel without it.”
“I packed it, Leigh, you can officially back off now.”
“I’m telling you she won’t even set foot on the plane if she doesn’t have it.”
“What did I just say? I’ve already got it. You left very detailed instructions. Very detailed.”
“She hasn’t left the house since Dad got sick, much less the province.”
“I know that, I will make sure she is as comfortable and distracted as possible.”
“You’re not going to slip her any of your little…pills…are you?”
“What makes you think I’m still taking those little pills?”
“Dana.”
“I’M NOT TAKING THEM ANYMORE! Why does nobody trust me around here? I can’t escort mom to fucking Edmonton, now?”
“Well maybe because you like to make things about you.”
“You are such a little cunt, Leighanne.”

“All my creative juices” by Julia at the bus stop


Wednesday June 7, 2017
6:10pm
5 minutes
overheard on the patio at Mercury Espresso Bar

squeeze me like a lemon
watch me ooze out all of this bright
pulling my skin apart to spill out
eager like a baby deer
bursting forth from her mother
ready to walk wrong and everything
use every part of me to help-
to decorate, to brighten
do not throw me away after the good stuff
transform all my busted flesh
into a body scrub for later

“All my creative juices” by Sasha on the couch at Lewis St.


Wednesday June 7, 2017
7:54pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Mercury Espresso Bar

I stop
mid sentence
mid thought
mid moment
in between
mid moment
a monarch
flies over
our heads
I notice
that it’s
been a long time
since I’ve seen one.

A truck honks
it’s horn
the moment
is broken
the butterfly
is gone.

My sister
and I sit
on a brown
blanket on
the grass
her daughter
all blue eyed
wonder.

We talk about
gurus and love
friendship and
motherhood.

“also fun” by Sasha in the basement at Bowmore Rd.


Tuesday June 6, 2017
1:02am
5 minutes
From a tweet

Lisa is serious, a squiggle in her brow most of the time, eyes focused, down on her page. She is also fun, knowing how to roll down a big grassy hill, knowing how to draw animals in 3D. On the night she was born, her father was hit by lightning. He missed her birth. She never knew the difference, but her mother did. Her mother resented that bearded, stout man until he took to the bottle and never looked back. Lisa sometimes wonders where her father might be, mid shade of an eyebrow or sketch of a lion’s mane. And just as soon as the thought arrives, it’s gone.

“also fun” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday June 6, 2017
10:04pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

She comes over to sit with me as I attempt to airplane a chicken noodle into her baby’s scowl. She brings cheerios and cottage cheese and sets them next to the breaded chicken, the cup of green peas, the watermelon, and the cheese quesadilla. We alternate forced forkfuls from the grand buffet he cannot appreciate. She looks thankful to be talking to an adult that isn’t her husband, sick from back pain. She tells me they haven’t gone on a date since he was born eighteen months and two weeks ago. She says sometimes they just have a glass of wine in bed after he stops crying.

“body painting” by Sasha on her balcony


Monday June 5, 2017
10:58am
5 minutes
A business card

It’s a hot summer. My mother – tan, freckles, feathered hair, broken heart – puts out a bowl of peaches, a few ears of steamed corn, a knob of butter. We wear bathing suits at the table on the porch, wood peeling, in desperate need of oil. Hers is black, a one piece, under running shorts. My sister’s is pink, with a hole cut out at the stomach. Mine is yellow. I get a sliver and cry for awhile, longer than necessary, but it cleans my insides to let all the tears out. My mother puts Joan Baez on the tape player that lives near the wood stove. It’s quiet. But we both know what memories can bring / They bring Diamonds and Rust / Yes we both know what memories can bring / They bring Diamonds and Rust.

“He lowers his eyes and I know” by Sasha on her balcony


Sunday June 4, 2017
12:25pm
5 minutes
Years Later, I Go Back To Thank You
Anders Carlson-Wee


He lowers his eyes
and I know that he’s
thinking of the space between
clavicle and neck
the tender taste
of summer skin
sweat and watermelon
salt and sunscreen
“Look at me” I say
the unfamiliar crack
of fear
of wishing
He raises his eyes
forest floor of longing
stretching the width
of this city
reaching up towards
the sun

“wild horses” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday June 3, 2017
10:49pm
5 minutes
From the Microsoft home-screen

Huddled in the closet where your mother keeps bleach, baking soda, laundry detergent, you whisper in my ear that there’s something you need to show me.

I’m wearing purple shorts and a black T-shirt with Phantom of the Opera on it. You’re wearing jean shorts and a stained white hoodie.

“I ate a freezee in less than thirty seconds,” you’d told me earlier, referencing the orange drips. They look like tears, I’d thought, before running to the washroom to check if I’d peed a few drips – sisters.

It’s dark, except for the slit of light reaching under the door. You reach for the button of your shorts.