“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” By Julia on the 98

Saturday March 31, 2018

6:10pm

5 minutes

A quote from Stephen Hawking

In the 4th grade I was a times tables genius. I won around the world so many times I had to give some of my suckers away. By the time I got to the 5th grade I became so deathly afraid of graphs that I had to excuse myself to the bathroom anytime we played games that required the use of them. By the 6th grade I stopped remembering math class as a place to learn and turned it into one where I could practice my stand up routine. I think that’s when I realized I was funny. When all the kids in my class were being tested for the special skills test, I was deeply saddened when they didn’t ask me to do it. They were going to decide if those kids needed an individual education plan and I had high grades and I felt smart, but it was not enough to get the fancy folder with my name on it. I wondered why they thought that numerical testing was the only way to determine if we were gifted.

“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” By Sasha at the Airbnb in Saskatoon

Saturday March 31, 2018
10:31am
5 minutes
A quote from Stephen Hawking

You are the first person at your gate again, and you sigh at your anal retentive control stuff for the seventeenth time since yesterday. You go into the corner and try not to be an asshole but really need to stretch, so you do a little bit of yoga. After all, even the gate staff haven’t arrived. You consider getting Starbucks even though you hate Starbucks. Something sweet even though you’re going to be sitting for two hours and have nothing to accomplish and don’t need caffeine. You sit on the floor and pull your phone out of your bag and check Instagram. You scroll scroll scroll scroll. You remember that you downed your water bottle before security and should re-fill it before boarding.

“I think you’re really mean” By Julia on her bed

Friday March 30, 2018

1:49pm

5 minutes

Not Fair

Lilly Allen

The little girl says this to me after I tell her that I’m not mad at her for breaking my crayon box. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to feel bad but she feels bad and now she thinks every word out of my mouth is going to shame her head into the sand. This comment is followed by a lot of screaming for me not to talk to her. Nobody is allowed to talk to her. And I have to let it pass because she is not my child and she doesn’t know that I am trying to hold her. Minutes earlier she is flinging her arms around me and telling me she loves me. I wonder about the size of a three year old’s emotions. I ask myself, how do such big feelings fit into such small bodies. Her hands, when she lets me squeeze them, a tiny pillow for all the unknowing in the space between us. Her curls, when she lets me comb them, a bouncy castle of dreams.

“I think you’re really mean” by Sasha at her desk

Friday March 30, 2018
11:04am
5 minutes
Not Fair
Lilly Allen

The rehearsal hall is hot. The air conditioning broke last week and the producer has “called the fix-it guy” but who knows what that even means. Lila and I are supposed to be in our corsets and rehearsal skirts but she’s trying to reason with Jerrod that there’s no way in hell we’re going to survive six hours of this heat in those costumes. Jerrod is one of those directors who is handsome and charming, and probably used to get a lot of actors into bed. Lila says that they made out once, when she was still in theatre school, but she wouldn’t let him come back to her apartment. She’s still got leverage with him though, I can tell.

“Let’s start at the top of scene six, beautiful people!” Jerrod says. Lila rolls her eyes.

“Get that money get that cash!” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday March 29, 2018
12:54pm
5 minutes
From a text

When you lead an unexamined life, you believe everything you’re told. You don’t think for yourself. You don’t question. I led an unexamined life. Until I made an impulse decision, until I listened to someone I looked up to. Until I stole from someone who I thought didn’t need what they had. Until I went to jail. I’m here today to tell you that there’s no one right way to live your life. Who am I to tell you how to do things. I’m a convicted criminal! What I can do, is let you know that there’s a space between impulse and action. That space is informed by how you live your life, whether or not you question what you’re told, think for yourself, read, learn, listen to a variety of people.

“Get that money get that cash!” By Julia on the 99

Thursday March 29, 2018

6:20pm

5 minutes

From a text

I think it’s funny when you ride a bus facing the wrong way and you think you can talk on the phone with nobody hearing you. As if it gives you the superpower of being invisible.

I also think it’s funny when you try to write on a bus facing the wrong way and your stomach starts to swivel and you can feel it in your temples. Hilarious. Ha ha. Great joke.

I’ve been wondering about the money. About the funny money on the bus. The coins. The lost dimes. The people all huddled at the back too cool to tap in with their bus pass. Too cool says the sunglasses hiding the eyes too worried about being caught. The heart jumps around in there when you think it might be the last time it gets to. Isn’t it funny when you have no money and you have to pay the $250 fine because you didn’t pay the money? Hilarious. Ha ha.

I think it’s funny when the person behind you has the voice of a machete and thinks they’re also invisible.

“someone else’s sext” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday March 28, 2018
8:20am
5 minutes
from a cybertip.ca ad

So I get this message from one of my clients. It says he can’t wait to see me again and he’s been thinking of LICKING me up and down in HIS BED. So at first, naturally, I assume he has sent it to the wrong person. I’m like, Unprofessional Bro, this is someone else’s sext! Then I don’t respond, because what good can come out of it when I’m actually supposed to babysit his kid in two days? I mean, it’s a trap, right? Even if I said I didn’t appreciate it? So much weirdness. So when I don’t respond, ten minutes later, I get another message rom him. AND THIS TIME HE USES MY NAME. “What time should I expect you, Alana?” And usually his wife is the one in contact with me, arranging when SHE should expect me. So I’m like, are these texts together? Is this intentional? What the mother eff am I supposed to say?

“someone else’s sext” by Sasha on her living room floor

Wednesday March 28, 2018
12:08pm
5 minutes
from a cybertip.ca ad

Do you think of your life in newspaper clippings, taped into a spiral bound notebook? Do you chronicle your failures in a fishing tackle box, the white lies in little yellow squares, the times you’ve broken a heart in the larger section usually reserved for fly lures? Do you wonder about the life where you kept drinking and riding a bike without a helmet and living on the literal edge? Do you lie on the floor at the end of a day you couldn’t imagine you’d have only a year ago, and listen as the kettle boils, calling you into a new moment

a new moment

anew?

the fortifiers of human agency” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday March 27, 2018
11:14pm
5 minutes
On Being

Things may have escalated. My alarm clock now tells me how shitty I’m being for sleeping. Not sleeping in, but being tired. Labels as the chimes go off: don’t waste your potential! Get thee to the yoga mat! I should be thanking night me for trying to kick morning me in the ass for some good quality productivity but I do not listen to myself. I’m the only one who can fortify my own agency and yet, snooze, sorry, tomorrow. My mind craves structure and my body craves cuddles. Nobody wins here. Nobody wins, and somebody should since it’s all just me playing me against me playing me. Nothing is real! Getting up early is not real! Wishing I didn’t wonder where the hours go is not real!

“the fortifiers of human agency” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 27, 2018
11:10pm
5 minutes
On Being

it’s a being human problem
slump of the shoulders
puff of the chest
rise of the belly
imagining the world
without us

that’s the thing
the world will continue
it’s us who won’t

another species extinct
makes a low down
low down headline
(lowline) shows the priority

when it’s us
no one will report
or will they

trying to carve hope
out of despair
belief out of devestation
trying to hold the future
the anger
the explaining that of which
there’s none

it’s a being human problem
one moment the rapturous joy
of love and a slice of orange
the next moment
this

“into an unmarked grave” by Sasha at the BMO Theatre Centre

Monday March 26, 2018
7:36pm
5 minutes
Alternate History
Bill Glose

It’s okay if all you want to do is eat corndogs and pick your scabby nails. It’s totally fine if you want to bite your toenails and only drink orange Gatorade. I’m not gonna judge you! I’m not ever gonna judge you. That’s not what roommate life is about. Seriously, Kyle.

Who am I to judge?! We all do weird shit, man. It’s part of being human. I’m just gonna put it out there that when I first moved out on my own, I stayed up until like five in the morning every damn day because I could. I get it. Eat the ice cream for breakfast! Do it! You’re a fucking grown man with his own bedroom in his own apartment that he pays for with his own money! GR-YAH!

“into an unmarked grave” by Julia at the studio

Monday March 26, 2018
10:58am
5 minutes
Alternate History
Bill Glose

Cayenne and Didi exchange worried looks as the elevator doors closed on them.
“Are you sure about this?” Didi whispers “Cause I’m not sure I’m sure about this at all.”
“Pull it together, D, we’re going to be fine. Kaz told us to meet him in the parking garage with the stuff and he would arrange the rest.”
“You’re very good at projecting this cool-calm-collected thing, but I don’t buy it. You said yourself you don’t trust Kaz.”
“I will admit,” Cayenne inhales, “I did not exactly think this thing through.”
“WHY ARE WE DOING IT THEN?” Didi shrieks.
“No, no yelling, that won’t help us. That’s the one thing I know for sure.”

“Bill and Madge” by Julia on her couch

Sunday, March 25, 2018
11:24pm
5 minutes
The Wreck Up Ahead
Poe Ballentine

M: Billy, come down here, the darn TV went off again!

B: So turn it back on again dear Liza!

M: Har har very funny. It won’t stay on, I already tried.

B: Did you unplug it, plug it back in, wiggle the cord, and say a little prayer?

M: Billy, for Chrissakes, get down here!

B: Say it, Madge.

M: Say what?

B: The magic words. All of em, in a row: Billy, my one and only, I need your help.

M: Are you out of your goddamn mind? Why do you think I’m asking you to come down here in the first place you egomaniac!

“Bill and Madge” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday, March 25, 2018
8:42pm
5 minutes
The Wreck Up Ahead
Poe Ballentine

Bill and Madge meet in their fifties. Bill is younger by five years. Madge had been married once, fresh out of nursing school, but Lionel was a drinker and so she left after a year and a half. Bill had never been married. He’d lived with a woman once, Genevieve, in Montreal, in the 80’s. Bill was an illustrator, working mostly in children’s books and magazines. He’d been mostly successful, which is really something given that career path. Madge was a gardener, and then a midwife, and then a bread maker, and then a gardener again, and then an early childhood educator. She swears that she used to read her students books that Bill had drawn pictures for.

“increasing numbers of cars” by Julia in her bed

Saturday, March 24, 2018
12:34am
5 minutes
Three Dollars A Day
The note accompanying a photo series by Amlan Sanyal

I am going to drive by your parents’ house every chance I get and stare longingly at your garage where we hung out that one time with Natalie and a game of truth truth lie. I’ll be the world’s most respectful stalker. I’ll only wish I had enough courage to follow you to your car from the music store. I don’t actually know if you still go to the music store. See, I’m not really paying that close attention. You might be a car salesman now, or a dog whisperer. I realize the number of years since we’ve seen each other exceeds the number of years that I even knew you. I don’t know you now even a little bit. I am slowly coming around to the realization that i never really new you back then either. I thought I knew. I thought the you you were would really like the me I was.

“increasing numbers of cars” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday, March 24, 2018
9:14am
5 minutes
Three Dollars A Day
The note accompanying a photo series by Amlan Sanyal

We talk about getting a car sometimes and I
imagine all the gas all the money all the crumbs
in the creases of the back seat
all the stickers on the windows
all the parts

I imagine finally getting a license
and feeling all the adult
driving from there to home
here to there
here to everywhere

I plant wildflowers on the balcony
of my city apartment
that attract bees

I eat mostly plants
but when I do open a can of salmon
I see all the fishing nets in the gyre
I ride a bike but even then

Never quite enough

I’m not on Burnaby Mountain
this weekend
I’m here at my kitchen table
Writing
and later
I’ll sing in a room full of people
with a room full of people

We talk about getting a car
and the songs we’ll sing on roadtrips

I imagine all the open roads
all the open windows

“Luke punched a boy” by Julia on her couch

Friday March 23, 2018
12:11am
5 minutes
Two Moons
Debbie Urbanski

Luke Walker had a feathery step

He made a dark room lift

He loved his dad more than his mom

On Tuesdays he would pack his own lunch

On Wednesdays he would walk through the park, by the ducks chasing hunks of bread

Luke walker kissed his cousin on the mouth once during truth or dare

He liked it

On Christmas morning he would drag the cassette player to the kitchen to make everyone listen to his favourite Yoko Ono song on repeat

“Luke punched a boy” by Sasha on the walk home

Friday March 23, 2018
10:43pm
5 minutes
Two Moons
Debbie Urbanski

Luke punched Isaac. Isaac kicked Luke. Luke spit on Issac’s face. Isaac called Luke a bad word. Hillary called the Ms. Gregory. Ms. Gregory pulled the boys apart. Ms. Gregory loves her work but she does not love breaking up fights on the playground. That’s not why she’s here. If only Todd could’ve taken her recess duty and she could’ve enjoyed her salad with bacon. Luke runs at Isaac. Ms. Gregory has her back turned. Isaac screams. Hillary starts to cry. Ms. Gregory closes her eyes and thinks about Spring Break when she’ll go to Oahu. Ms. Gregory walks Luke and Isaac to Mr. Polanski’s office. Isaac’s been there before, many times, but Luke hasn’t.

“It’s always too soon to go home.” By Sasha in the bath

Thursday, March 22, 2018
11:35pm
5 minutes
Hope In The Dark
Rebecca Solnit

My sister makes a mean coconut curry. She roasts squash in the oven first, and then just when it’s starting to get sugary and brown, she throws it in the bubbling yellow. I haven’t had my sister’s curry in a while though. I don’t get home much. It’s not like it’s far, it’s not like I can’t, it’s just that I don’t, I won’t, I can’t.

My sister is a woman of few words. She’s almost a full foot shorter than me. She had a growth spurt in fifth grade and then stopped growing. She was the tallest for awhile and now she’s the shortest. That’s how it goes sometimes.

February is the month that I crave my sister’s curry. I wake up with the taste on my tongue, but it’s a ghost.

“It’s always too soon to go home.” by Julia at her desk

Thursday, March 22, 2018
10:26pm
5 minutes
Hope In The Dark
Rebecca Solnit

The last conversation was a bad one:
you on the phone with the love held up
to your ear, me at the good plate trying
not to miss you. And maybe it was dinnertime
for me and bedtime for you and we
couldn’t get our wires uncrossed, or it
was just me, as it always is, when the
volume rises for no reason.
All you said was no more canned tomatoes.
It could have been so funny.
But lately I’ve been trying not to sway so
damn easily at the nudge of you. I made
a deal with the body I get to visit
that I would not wait for you to
come home for me to start deciding.
You managed, like a duck diving,
not to mind the dark and cold at all.

“I thought my love would never recover.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday March 21, 2018
11:00pm
5 minutes
A quote by Madeleine L’Engle

The sun rises hot and thick on the horizon in the desert. You shave your legs into the sink. You haven’t seen anyone in thirteen weeks and you fucking hate it. You nick your calf, halfway between your knee and your ankle. A raindrop. Blood. Your mother didn’t shave her legs. A raindrop. You smile at yourself in the medicine cabinet mirror and then make a face like a monster. You splash cold water on your blood raindrop and wipe your legs with yesterday’s T-shirt.

“I thought my love would never recover.” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday March 21, 2018
10:57am
5 minutes
A quote by Madeleine L’Engle

It is a gift given often without being returned
a tiny bird’s egg rescued from concrete
the padded footsteps around the house
while he sleeps through the day again
Expectations far away from here

But then it is still true
When the silence is so loud it weeps
the hurt so present it raises the skin
you might think this love bone might never mend
this aching might never go away

He sleeps, through the day again,
her mother forgets to ask about her doctor’s appointment
the padded footsteps, soft from walking with empty
And the next day, a window cracks
the light streaming in just a little

“Sometimes I can hear Harry’s voice” by Julia at Olympic village station

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
9:27pm
5 minutes
Thomas Lee
#WeAreHarryChang

When I sang to her she asked me to stop. I’d like to think if I had a child I would not let this one thing fly. Sure, throw your tantrums on the floor at the Super Low, decide that there’s too much brown in your granola bar to eat, wish for rain on the only day it’s sunny because you feel like it, fine. But I would not want a child to be a pushover unable to stand up for themselves. I wouldn’t want them to learn to swallow their tongue either and so I ask myself, how? How does one encourage self expression in others without shutting down their own organs because someone else needs to be heard? What is the balance, or is there such a thing? Do kids get to be so bold and then what? They stop needing so much? Or needing so much out loud? It’s not like you can punish a child for a crime they did not commit. It is not illegal to prefer the sound of nothing. Not even a little bit.

“Sometimes I can hear Harry’s voice” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
11:09am
5 minutes
#WeAreHarryChang
Thomas Lee

Sometimes I can hear Harry’s voice. Especially when I’m driving. Especially on the highway. Especially at night. Harry’s voice is just like it was – booming, deep, a bit of lilt to it, like at any moment he might break into some kind of dirge. He’s usually telling me to slow down, but the words he chooses are never, “Slow down.” He says something like,

“Beni, driving is best enjoyed with the window open and slow like molasses.”

Or,

“Slow and steady wins the race, my boy.”

When my Mom married Harry, I hated him. He was so big, and had baseball gloves for hands, or, that’s what I thought when I met him. I’d never seen someone so tall.

“boys can be dangerous.” by Sasha at Physio Room

Monday, March 19, 2018
6:53pm
5 minutes
Undue Familiarity
Ellen Collett

“Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch a tiger by the toe.
If he hollers, let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.”

Sofie is the fastest girl in her class and all the nine-year-olds love nothing more than watching Gurmeet (the fastest boy) chase her.

“RUNNNNNNN!”

“Fasterrrrrr!”

“She’s so fast, ohmygosh, look at her go!!!!”

“Gurmeet Gurmeet Gurmeeeeeet! You can’t catch her! She’s fast as the wind!”

He can’t. It’s true.

“boys can be dangerous.” by Julia at the studio

Monday, March 19, 2018
3:57pm
5 minutes
Undue Familiarity
Ellen Collett

It is under the covers of this empty bed where I feel the most like nothing.
Where are your knotted legs to wrap mine around?
Where is the soupy whisper in my ear telling me I am good enough already?
Boys are so damn dangerous
when you let them love you so good
the lack of them creates chaos in the sweet stream
A kink in the neck now from piling up your pillows
it is my back, desperate
to be held by something other
than this muscle spasm, kidnapper and cruel one
I rub the void between my legs until sleep takes me
I wake up wet from the dream that I said I’d meet you in
I used to think I slept better when you are gone
but when I let you love me so good
the sheets change all of their demands

“something wonderful happens:” by Julia on the 84

Sunday, March 18, 2018
2:26pm
5 minutes
A Marriage
Michael Blumenthal

When the days go by without poetry
I am lost inside the labyrinth my own making has built for me to conquer
Busy relearning how to walk
with two new feet that have not yet carried this heavy
The hero’s journey has always been someone else’s movie
And I have not watched myself transform into grace from the sidelines
Inside out she is begging to be fed
That I may find my appetite for words the way I once did in the weeds and speckled laneways
She is the hero waiting
Outside is not safe and she knows that
She wants out anyway but there are more protectors at the gate
More worried hearts preoccupied with the consequence of light
First I must put her ease in plain view
Ask her if she’s sure and if she is how sure
Something wonderful happens when I let her speak
When she sees a door and calls it a wishing well.

“something wonderful happens:” by Sasha on the highway

Sunday, March 18, 2018
2:21pm
5 minutes
A Marriage
Michael Blumenthal

I lost myself in the swirling water
imagining blood
imagining placenta
imagining screaming
ripping loving crying

I found myself in the sky
hanging onto a crow’s foot
high high up and not at all afraid
you on the ground below
cheering me on
you can do it
you say
you can do it

I lost myself in my own body
sick and bloated
racing heart even though I
haven’t moved all day

I found myself in my own body
the same
but different
I know you so well
I say
I just met you
I say
Talking to myself
romancing myself
alone
together

“The next time he comes over” by Julia at her desk

Saturday, March 17, 2018
10:57pm
5 minutes
The Possible Universe
Claire Halliday

The next time he comes by, in dream or almost, I’m going to make sure I taste his lips.
Last time the whole sleep paralysis thing got me. He came home, but I was stuck on the couch. I could feel him next to me. I asked him for a kiss. He bent down, his mouth hot near mine, and all I could do was lay there. Now I’ve had a good talking to with my brain and we both agreed we were not going to do that again. If he was showing up in my subconcious, he should get to make actual contact. None of this Nearly But Not Quite stuff. He asked me if we could rendezvous at a train station this time. I got worried, knowing me, always waking myself up before the good parts. So we decided to meet on the train itself to maximize our dream time together. He said he wanted to make love to me in the dining car. I would very much like to show up for this one. I’ve always wanted to make love in a dining car.

“The next time he comes over” by Sasha at Harrison Hot Springs

Saturday, March 17, 2018
5:42pm
5 minutes
The Possible Universe
Claire Halliday

The next time he comes over I’m gonna tell him. Promise. I know that he has the right to know. I know it’s wrong that I’ve kept it secret. When he’s away, I don’t know, I just… I get in my groove. Not like I could forget. I’ve never felt so sick in my life. Mama says that she didn’t even know she was pregnant with me until four months in! I can’t even imagine. It was like three days after he knocked me up, I was vomiting up my cereal before strapping on my uniform and going in to work. He’s supposed to come over on Wednesday. I said I’d make Chicken a la King. Ever had that?

“seemed to love us anyway” by Julia on her couch

Friday, March 16, 2018
11:53pm
5 minutes
Beauty: 1976
Ruth L. Shwartz

We stole little things from her vanity-a ring, a sample bottle of eau de toilette, a hair pin. It didn’t look like she would notice them gone. There were so many more important things to notice. After she told us about the robbery and how they found Granite’s debit card being used in six different diners in two days, we felt bad. Here she was telling us about how people keep stealing from them, and we were there, stealing from them. It was so easy to convince ourselves she wouldn’t notice on account of how many stories we’ve been forced to listen to for the 60th time. People who tell the exact same story to the exact same people year after year are not the look around and see what’s new about the room kind of people. People who are so damn sad do not have time to count their broaches, or their Jean jackets.