“The Best And Worst Of” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday December 12, 2017
11:13pm
5 minutes
from uproxx.com

It was the best of times and the worst of times. That’s always how it goes. When it’s good, it’s so good and the taps are open and beauty is everywhere and the buildings are trees and the parties are groundbreaking. When it’s bad, it’s the darkest, dirtiest, nastiest, most broken-down, ramshackle bad. There’s no moon or sun. One needs the other, right? That’s what you’re learning? When you don’t have one, you can’t have the… The worst needs the best. Conjoined twins, or twisting carrots, or…

“One day you finally knew what you had to do,” by Sasha at her desk

Monday December 11, 2017
7:09am
5 minutes
The Journey
Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew what you had to do. That’s not quite how it happened, but you’ll tell yourself it is. Honey goes down easier than vinegar. You’ve been writing things on your hands this week, God in black ink, spiraling into the drain in the sink at work. Shit, you needed it to last, just this once.

The only way out is through.

One day you did the thing that took more bravery than you knew you had. How do people cross deserts with children on their backs and their belongings tied to the back of donkeys? How do people survive losing children, losing mothers, losing lost loves? You dug deep and you told the truth and everything broke but no one died.

The truth will set you free.

“The randomness comes from atmospheric noise” by Sasha at Matchstick Riley Park

Sunday December 10, 2017
6:07pm at Matchstick Coffee Roasters
5 minutes
From random.org

Big wide open sky is what she needs
Bird song and gopher’s popping up like an inside joke
She contemplates running away
Going to Alberta
Big wide open sky is in her blood

She used to joke about things that aren’t funny

She’ll pack only one sweater
One pair of wool socks
Brown boots
A pair of jeans
A black tank top
She’s never travelled so light

If it wasn’t 2017
If it wasn’t winter
If she wasn’t a woman
She’d hitchhike

She’ll take the train
Counting cornfields
Counting blessings
Counting failures
Which one will come out on top?

She’ll make a friend in a seatmate
An old woman going to meet her grandchild
For the first time
The old woman will have beautiful wrinkles
And will say all the right things
Which means something wrong occasionally slips out
She likes that

“Got a call from a flower shop.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday December 9, 2017
8:16am
5 minutes
From a text

“Had the weirdest dream last night…”

“Oh yeah?”

“Mhmm. I was riding this snake, like it was pretty much a crocodile but it looked like a snake? And I was riding it, totally naked, riding it into this forest, but the trees were all silver, like the leaves were silver and so was the bark – “

“Please stop.”

“What?”

“I will actually die if I hear one more of your dreams. I will die.”

“What are you talking about?”

“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!”

“I always tell you my dreams…”

“Yeah, you do! And I fucking hate it! The only person who is interested in your dreams is YOU! You’re such a fucking narcissist that you just assume that other people are going to care what your mind involuntarily comes up with?! You know that dreams mean nothing, right? Freud was an idiot!”

“What’s your problem?”

“YOU AND YOUR DREAMS! You and your need to talking non-stop about your dreams! Weird shit happens in my dreams, too, but I write it down in my fucking private journal if I really have to get it out, I don’t bore someone who I supposedly care about with every agonizing detail!”

“We create all this poison and spread it to others” by Sasha on her couch

Friday December 8, 2017
10:53pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz

I thought I was doing the right thing
After the wrong thing stuck it’s hands
on the small of my back
I thought I was doing the right thing
The space of years
of silence
Gaping wide and scabbed over

Empaths are sensitive to crowds
Light
Sound
We don’t like malls
We like driving our own cars to parties
Or knowing the bus route
So that we can leave whenever we want

I roast a chicken
Stuffing my hand up it’s emptiness
I’m always scared about what I’ll find
Heart?
Neck?

I cut my index finger
chopping carrots
Shit
Blood’s everywhere
And it feels good

“The children are the adventure now.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday December 7, 2017
11:17pm
5 minutes
Mating in Captivity
Esther Perel

I want to take Shayla to the Swiss Alps. I want to hike in the mountains with her and take photographs. I want us to sleep in side-by-side twin beds and talk until one of us falls asleep. When she was little, three to six, I had to stay with her until she fell asleep and she’d want me to talk the whole time. I would start by telling her a story, and then I would tell her things about my day – cucumbers on sale for a dollar each, Charlie’s bad breath, the stress of trying to keep up when everyone seems to be getting younger while I’m just getting greyer. If I stopped, even for a moment to think of what to say next, her blue eyes would pop open and she’d cock her head a little, like, “What are you trying to pull here, Mom?” I’ve been saving. Tickets to Switzerland are expensive, and it’s not like I have a lot of extra cash just sitting around.

“Teach a man to fish.” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday December 6, 2017
8:13am
5 minutes
A Hologram For The King
Dave Eggers

I’ve got no words
I’ve got no spit
I’ve got no honour
I’ve got no heart
I’ve got no wisdom
I’ve got no balls
I’ve got no learning
I’ve got no no’s
I’ve got no shame
I’ve got no morals
I’ve got no fucks
I’ve got no love
I’ve got no water
I’ve got no blood
I’ve got no nonsense
I’ve got no heart
I’ve got no heart
I’ve got no tears
I’ve got no nothing
I’ve got nothing
I’ve got this dumb fucking bird on a wire
Looking in like she knows this
Like she knows me
I’ve got no birdseed
I’ve got no language
I’ve got no sorry left
I’ve got no birdseed
I’ve got no warmth
I’ve got no more Mercury Retrograde uunderstanding
I’ve got no reputation
I’ve got no broken glass
I’ve got no heart

“How could she comprehend what it was like” by Sasha at her counter

Tuesday December 5, 2017
9:19pm
5 minutes
Super Sad True Love Story
Gary Shteyngart

Irving wishes he didn’t like porn so much. He wishes he washed his hands after he shat. He wishes he could distract himself from the mundane bullshit hurt of his mother, Gladys. He’s an only child, and he wishes he wasn’t. Irving has a lot of wishes. Don’t we all.

Gladys calls Irving and bitches about his father. Irving imagines the porn he watched this morning. A threesome. His favourite. Gladys said, “Are you even listening to me?” Irving said, “Yeah yeah yeah”. Gladys said that Irving is just like his father, an asshole, a bloody fucking asshole.

“to bring supportive people into your life” by Sasha at her desk

Monday December 4, 2017
9:47pm
5 minutes
Feng Shui Dos & Taboos
Angi Ma Wong

She leaves the brown brick building with volcano steps and thunder tears. She runs down down down around turn left right right straight all the way to Domino’s. Glad she packed her toothbrush and a change of socks and underwear. Kay isn’t answering her cellphone so she’s not sure where she’ll go but she’s not there with him and his hands around her neck she’s not there with him and the fucks and the bitch and the spit and the slap. She orders a slice of cheese pizza and eats it very slowly because who knows when Kay will call back and who knows how long this square of space will need to be hers.

“Don’t tell her what?” By Sasha on her couch

Sunday December 3, 2017
11:26pm
5 minutes
The Humans
Matt Haig

Don’t sing me that song again
the one where the dress is ripped
and the lipstick is smeared
Don’t look me in the eye again

Baby I know that you’ve got blues in there
I’ve got blues here too
We’ve all got blues
We’ve all got the blues

Met a cowboy in the desert
Said he’d bring me a snakeskin harp
I showed him what was right and wrong
And skinny-dipped in mirages

It’s funny how in the blink of an eye
We’re back in time
Out of rhyme
Missing the fine ecstasy of dumb youth

“younger than before” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday December 2, 2017
8:16pm
5 minutes
Place To Be
Nick Drake

Jenni gets very irritated when Craig leaves crumbs on the counter. She reminds him that crumbs mean the mice have snacks, but he rolls his eyes. “I’m the one to empty the damn traps, anyway!”

Jenni hates mice. When she was younger, she used to have nightmares that hundreds of them were crawling all over her body and she couldn’t move. When they came to look at this apartment (hard wood floors, big windows, good closet space), Jenni had asked about rodents. The superintendent said that never in his sixteen year history of living in the building had he seen a mouse. They signed the lease right then and there.

“I don’t want to sit” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday December 1, 2017
9:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 16

Listening to Karen Dalton and she’s singing about
something on her mind
I smell gingerbread which makes me homesick and nostalgic
December is the worst for that

The windows are sweating and my neck hurts again
I hear the neighbours sneezing
talking about parking
I ache for the quiet of the woods

The darkness makes
everything seem softer but
rougher too
darker

“Wild nights-Wild nights!” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday November 30, 2017
5:51pm
5 minutes
Wild nights-Wild nights!
Emily Dickinson

Oh those wild nights when the lemon brews in the heart of the heart and the dreams smell like lilacs and cinnamon. We walk by the water when the moon is full because it’s dangerous if we’re home oh it’s dangerous if walls and a floor and a ceiling have to contain us. Those wild wild nights! We catch dreams with long tongues and we imagine the voices of our children and our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. It’s okay that we’re tired that’s what this time is for – wild night – it’s okay. We mean it when we say that all we have is now. Celery kisses for everyone! WILD!

“Can I ask you somethin?” By Sasha at her desk

Wednesday November 29, 2017
11:16pm
5 minutes
Cities of the Plain
Cormac McCarthy

Can I ask you somethin’? In confidence? Okay so… I feel like Aggie hates me and I don’t want to be paranoid but it really sucks it really really sucks to feel like… She acts like every question is an inconvenience! She doesn’t mind questions from Paul or Tim but when I ask her a question she rolls her damn eyes and makes it seem as though I’m really getting in the way… Now I don’t wanna be a complainer or anything but… I can’t take it anymore because goddamnit I have questions! I’m new! All I have is questions!

“Calls of guilty thrown at me” by Sasha at her desk

Monday November 27, 2017
10:51pm
5 minutes
Cherry Wine
Hozier

Mariah Carey makes me think about the Christmas that Ken dressed up as Santa and got wasted. Her Christmas album was playing, that must’ve been it. I don’t know what Ken was thinking. Dressing up was Dad’s thing. He found the suit when he was looking for tinsel in the garage and I guess he just couldn’t help himself. He was already starting to lose weight, so he wrapped a bungee cord around his waist as a belt to keep the pants up. Dad was a bit pissed, but he got over it and I think he actually was relieved that he didn’t have to sweat his balls off in that suit for four hours.

“Orange County wild fire” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday November 26, 2017
9:41pm
5 minutes
From an Instagram post

Vivian isn’t sure if anyone will remember her name. This is a big fear, taking up the space between temples, up neck, across shoulders. Fredrick suggested that she take some sort of weekly class, and at first she said that they didn’t have enough money and then she came around. Fredrick is virtuously patient. That’s the main reason she married him. She also very much likes his hands and feet. She parks near the entrance and checks her face in the rear view mirror. She isn’t sure what she’s looking for – salad in her teeth? She hasn’t eaten salad since last Tuesday. Fredrick was surprised when she chose a pottery class because she doesn’t like getting dirty. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.

“In my head” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday November 25, 2017
8:32pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

Ripped and tunneled by sadness in a new adult way I know heartbreak smells like pennies and tastes like burning. I pull on cut offs and a tank top and walk to the restaurant where I work. It’s home. It’s too public for right now but it’s safe. It’s okay. I pour ceasars and dish eggs benedict and flirt a bit and feel a little bit better. I ride my bike home and cry and cry and cry and cry. Tomorrow I’ll do it all again and the only difference will be that you’ll come in and order a veggie sandwich and I’ll stop feeling so sad and the tunnels will fill with light. You’ll make a joke and it’s a bad one but I’ll love it. The world clouds and clears all at once.

“All I’ve ever learned from love” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday November 24, 2017
10:47pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen

Love knocks you around
Especially when you’re young
You throw yourself at every blue eyed Casanova

Love scoops you up
Carries you for awhile
And then drops you
Sound of a cracking egg
Sound of a sizzle
Sound of morning

Love requests nothing
That’s not what you’re used to

Love ruptures
Love rips
Love heals
Love leaks
Love laughs loud
Open mouthed

Love grabs you hard
Hand on the small of your back
You’ve never been touched like this before
You’re breathless putty

“Can we burn something, babe?” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday November 23, 2017
11:29pm
5 minutes
Love On The Brain
Rihanna

Larry drinks a macchiato sitting at the bar drawing hangmen on a napkin waiting for Liz to arrive. She’s notoriously late. He’s spoken to her about it twice and each time she says that she’s sorry and that she’s trying to change. Maybe it’s because his father was in the army and if he was ever late for anything he’d get a slap on the side of the head maybe it’s because his father loathed him most of all more than his three brothers and one sister. He fumes. He checks his phone again and nothing from Liz nothing from Liz only the same old time and date and three unread emails he’s avoiding from work fucking Cathy and her meeting notes fuck fuck fuck.

“For real people” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday November 22, 2017
11:22pm
5 minutes
From a storefront

This is for those real real people who pop blackheads and shout at their lover who eat too much salt and chocolate and butter who fuck up and lean in and reach out. This is for those real real people who live amongst dust bunnies and dirty corners and a patch behind the toilet that never gets cleaned. This is for those real real people who watch too much Netflix and drink too much coffee who are always feeling a little bit ill. This is for those real real people who don’t know what they want but try every day to find it maybe it’s love maybe it’s safety maybe it’s a chicken roasting in the oven maybe it’s music maybe it’s fame maybe it’s that all the people around them stop complaining all the fucking time.

“We are writing to confirm” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday November 21, 2017
10:53pm
5 minutes
From an email

We are writing to confirm that you will be joining us for the safari in the Sahara from September 19th-29th, 2021! We want to commend you on your extreme foresight in booking your vacation four years in advance. While we know that many of our clients are busy, and book a year or even 18 months in advance, we have never had someone schedule a safari for four years away. We want to reward you with a special full moon feast.

“We emailed back and forth” by Sasha at JJ Bean

Monday November 20, 2017
6:10pm
5 minutes
Overheard at JJ Bean

we emailed back and forth a bit
you sent me jokes
i laughed into my screen
like an idiot

you asked if i knew where salamanca was
i said no
it took you thirteen days to reply
i waited and waited
every time the ding came
i thought
there it is

i could have googled it
i know that okay
but i wanted it to come from you

you invited me to the dominican republic
you said you’d pay
i got cold feet
i wasn’t sure what you maybe wanted

“strikes out at the enemy” by Sasha at her desk

Friday November 17, 2017
5:43pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chodron

Lindsay never believed in enemies until she met Luis. She knew she didn’t like him from the moment she met him. It was a Tuesday morning staff meeting, and he was hoarding the pastries and the Coconut Creamer.

“You must be the new girl…” He said, biting into a danish. A bit of blueberry rested on his lower lip.

Lindsay thought about schooling him on the micro-aggression of using “girl” instead of “woman”. How would she do this without sounding bitchy? Does she have the right to be bitchy? She decides that yes, she does have the right.

“I’m forty-two.” She said, grabbing a slice of granny smith apple

“A utopian vision” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday November 15, 2017
11:47pm
5 minutes
from a quote by bell hooks

“He’s in Kingston Pen with twenty three years left on his sentence. That’s where he is. Now. You have a choice. Are you going to follow in his footsteps? Or, are you going to blaze your own trail – succeeding in your final year of high school, coming in top of your class at George Brown Culinary School? Getting a fine job under a celerity chef at a high-end restaurant? Being promoted to sous within your first year?” Stephen’s voice is booming. Cynthia looks at me. I look at Cynthia. We’ve both stopped worked. We are riveted. We are electrified. Holy EFF STEPHEN YOU ARE A GOD AMONGST US SIMPLE FOLK.

“We can’t get nothin’ tomorra.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 14, 2017
11:36pm
5 minutes
Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck

It’s just after the first bell and I’m shredding confidential documents. Stephen is meeting with Gunther Cyr, who may or may not have stolen chemical compounds from the Chemistry Lab for drug experimentation. I’m doing my best not to listen but I can’t help it, Stephen has a commanding baritone. He is mostly an excellent principle. He is definitely much, much better than Sheldon Halitosis. I’m good at not reading confidential documents. I am not quite as good at not listening to confidential conversations. I do not listen with my eyes, like so many women I know. I listen with my ears and my ears alone. It’s why I don’t wear earrings and it’s why my ear holes (all six of them) have closed up.

“I didn’t hear that part” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday November 13, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 84

A lavender couch underneath a window. Spider plants, succulents and African Voilets line the sill. She sits in a caramel leather chair, perhaps Moroccan. Paintings on the walls, all in blues, greens, purples. An Indigenous etching of two women paddling a canoe, a Georgia O’Keefe flower, lily pads on a lake. I take it all in as quickly as I can. I can’t get enough. I’m dizzy.

“It’s so good to meet you,” she says.

“Yes. You too.”

“A first session is a time for us to get to know one another, to see if this is going to be a good fit.”

WRECKING BALL. OH MY GOD. If this is a good fit? It fits! I’m well fitted! My core is getting stronger by the minute! You mean this might not be –

“You seem distracted. Is there something on your mind?”

“Um – …”

“You’re flushed.”

“Yes. Well…” A silence longer than the GO Train ride to Union Station.

“Powerful, self-actualized women should feel no shame” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday November 12, 2017
9:31pm
5 minutes
Communion
Bell Hooks

One night
walking home
I felt shadow on my back

I don’t need to turn around
I know what’s there

I’m sixteen

One night
walking home
keys gripped between my fingers
I played the piano today
and that was nice

I get home and
I eat the shame

Gliding down a throat
that’s closed
Don’t ask me how that works

One night
waiting for the subway
a man in a grey coat
asked me

How much

One night

Here we are again

Tonight
I’ll walk home in the rain
I’ll consider how to use my umbrella
as a sword

“the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue,” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday November 11, 2017
10:22pm
5 minutes
What The Living Do
Marie Howe

The sky’s a deep, headstrong blue and you’re walking away from me. It’s a big field, as far as we can see. I call after you and you look back and you smile. It’s like you can’t hear the panic in my voice. It’s like you don’t know that you’re leaving. I used to dream about a red-headed monster breaking windows. Now I dream about – … The colour of the sky. It’s there when I close my eyes. Even right now, I can conjure it.

“Along with underwear, love is a woman’s work” by Sasha at her desk

Friday November 10, 2017
11:16pm
5 minutes
How to Be A Woman
Caitlin Moran

Love’s her work. She doesn’t say it, but it is. Fold the t-shirts, ball the socks, and L-O-V-E. She keeps saying, “I’m tired,” and she’s not sure why, what could it possible be. “Women’s work”. She hasn’t heard that term since her grandmother was alive, doing crossword puzzles in the sunroom and asking for another peppermint. She wonders what would happen if she left a note on the table that said, “Make dinner for yourselves!”

“then laid bare.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday November 9, 2017
8:33am
5 minutes
The Task
Jane Hirschfield

This morning the sky was caramel
I dipped my finger in and tasted
sweet and sour
bitter and salty
I gulped and drank
and gorged
Please won’t this help me understand

I wept off the balcony
hoping my tears might bring Spring
Five more months
Five more months

Hallelujah
I said
The world broken
and laid bare
My hands covered in sunrise
My lips dripping fatigue

The sun understood my yearning
You do too

“We’ll look into this right away” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday November 8, 2017
10:56pm
5 minutes
vistaprint.ca

A: Hello? Hi, I just wanted to unsubscribe from –

B: Hello, and thank you for holding. We’re so sorry to hear that you are unsatisfied with our services and would request your feedback as to why you would no longer like to receive our emails. A representative will be with you shortly.

A: Oh good God.

B: Hello, and thank you for holding. We’re so sorry to hear that you are unsatisfied with our services and would request your feedback as to why you would no longer like to receive –

R: Thank you for holding. Rebecca here.

A: Rebecca. Hi. How are you? I just, I want to unsubscribe from the mailing list and I can’t believe that this requires a phone call, who even calls anyone anymore –

R: Could you please tell me you nineteen digit PIN?

“every zit is proof” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 7, 2017
8:16am
5 minutes
The Time I Went Into a Full-Body Spasm for Six Days
Betty Gilpin

Writes herself clean
and when she’s done
she’s dripping
light

There’s this habit
of being against ourselves
Every fuck up
some kind of proof

Can we re-write the code
of our grandmothers?

Do we have the courage to
show up to our lives
Broken
Rising
Wisdom
Heartbreak
Learning grace

“At the end of the day” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday November 6, 2017
10:10pm
5 minutes
From an email

At the end of the day
I run a bath
I have to make myself do it
Easier to read
Easier to watch babies eating lemons on YouTube
But I do
I run a bath

I always make it too hot
Need to add some cold water
Story of my life

I dump in epsom salts
Many drops of lavender oil

I light three candles
Two real
Ones I made last December
Brewing beeswax like tea
for three days straight
One candle is the fake kind
that looks pretty real
But any real fire lover
can spot the difference

I work in the bath
A book light on the side of the tub
Reading about this and that

“You are a joke cookie” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday November 5, 2017
11:23pm
5 minutes
From the postcard from Amanda

You, MR. SWANSON, are a joke cake, doughnut, um, loaf, no… cookie. YES! That’s it! You’re a JOKE COOKIE! You may not think that it’s your best attribute, but I do, oh I do. You are most possibly the funniest manager I’ve ever had. NO! You’re the funniest man I’ve ever met! NOW, I know that this might mean that I’ll be in some sort of trouble, but no one appreciates you, MR. SWANSON. In fact! Everyone says terrible things behind your back. “He looks like a turtle,” that kind of thing.

“Acceptable for Breakfast” by Sasha at Moii Cafe

Saturday November 4, 2017 at Moii Cafe
4:45pm
5 minutes
Smittenkitchen.com

My Mom and Angel have completely different ideas of what’s acceptable for breakfast. My Mom believes that sugary cereals and bacon are only appropriate for Sundays. Every other day has to contain whole grains. Angel will slather anything, and I really mean anything, in Nutella. She loves the stuff. My Mom goes on and on about how much crap Angel eats, but how she keeps the body of “Cindy Crawford”. I don’t tell her that I have no idea who that is. Gotta add that to my Google List. Whenever I have access to my Mom’s computer, or Bruce’s tablet, I go through my Google List and check off the things that have been accomplished.

“Your nanny today was” by Sasha on her couch

Friday November 3, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
from a receipt

I start in the kitchen. Pantries are my kryptonite. I’m just so interest
I try not to do it, I really really do… But once the kids are asleep and the house is so quiet, I just, I can’t, I just can’t help myself. Do they say that the kid is gluten free and then keep a secret stash of KD? Does the Dad have a private jar of shitty peanut butter? You can learn a lot about someone from searching through someone’s pantry. The health nuts have the craziest stuff… Seventeen dollar boxes of rice, for example. That’s a thing! I don’t eat stuff, unless they offer. But you better believe I look around.

“Then he yawned and returned to his deckchair.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday November 2, 2017
11:32pm
5 minutes
Life & Times of Michael K
J.M. Coetzee

RUDY: “I love you, Nina. I love you. I love you. I watch you and I’ve never felt such love. I don’t want to sound – … I’ve never loved someone like this before. I’ve never felt such – … Shit, Nina. Would you look at me? Could you please – … I don’t want to be inappropriate, I don’t want to be – … I… I can’t find the words to tell you how I feel, how I want to – …”

GEM: No. You can’t say that. She will sue you.

RUDY: Sue me?

GEM: Sue you.

RUDY: SUE ME?

GEM: Rudy. Yes. She could sue you! It’s bad conduct, or whatever. It’s a misdemeanour.

RUDY: It is definitely not a misdemeanour.

“my mother gave me his toolbox” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday Novermber 1, 2017
11:34pm
5 minutes
My Father’s Hammer
John Hodgen

Emma opens the toolbox and smiles, thinking about how Jim would make a joke about how organized she keeps it. “Take after yer mother on that one, that’s for sure,” he’d say. It’s two years to the day since they last spoke. She was riding her bike home from work, and she pulled over to answer her phone because she thought it might be Zac. When she saw that it was her father, she thought about not answering and she feels so guilty about that. She did, though. That’s what Libby always reminds her of. She did answer.

“tired of having sex only with me” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday October 31, 2017
10:52pm
5 minutes
A Few Portals
Debbie Urbanski

It’s okay
You say
Brushing my hair out of my face
Can’t stop crying
Won’t stop crying

Joy
Shhh
You say
And I breathe in your smell
Applesauce and bicycle tires

I go into the bathroom
Splash water on my face
Let it run down my neck
You knock on the door

Go away
I say
I will not
You say
I love you
I say

You make us bagels and cream cheese
I don’t want tomato

“We rent a condominium together” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie

Monday October 30, 2017
5:58pm at JJ Bean
5 minutes
Telling Time
Philip Kelly

I never thought I’d be a condo-dweller, I mean, I do not like heights, I do not like being high up off of the ground. But when Ezra said that there was a place for sale in the Button Buildings, I mean… We’d be fools not to jump on that! And it was a private sale! I mean, come on…

We thought we might rent it out and move in a few years later, make a bit on the rental, save… But Ezra found another rat in the apartment on Cliff St. And he couldn’t take it anymore. I hate vermin but I’ve lived in New York, so… I came home from work and Ezra was already packing! HA! We hadn’t found the right people to rent the condo either, so. It was all meant to be. It really was. I can’t believe that we’re homeowners. Trippy.

“The great task in life” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday October 29, 2017
8:19pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Iris Murdoch

Iris stops smoking on her eighty-second birthday because it’s never too late to change a bad habit. It’s wild to out-live almost everyone you know, Iris says to anyone that will listen – the Wheel-Trans driver, the teller at CIBC, her grandson’s boyfriend. She has everyone over for Nanaimo Bars and sherry, and insists that she does not need eight-two candles. Grey kisses her on the nose and says, “I love you Gran.” She scoffs and says,

“I’m not dead yet, boy.”

“It goes on one at a time” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday October 28, 2017
5:41pm
5 minutes
The Low Road
Marge Piercy

Probably should’ve thought it through, you think, swelling hard. You taste last night’s tequila and Doritos. You should never have drunk that much, or eaten all those chips. When you drink, you overeat. That’s what Stu used to say. Fuck you, Stu. You flush the toilet another time, just in case Candice is in there staring at herself in the mirror. If you had a dollar for every time you catch her making a duck face at herself. Holy shit. You should go down to Starbucks and get a coconut water. You’re dehydrated, that’s all.

“telling about the poem” by Sasha at Bump n’ Grind on Granville

Friday October 27, 2017
4:35pm at Bump n’ Grind
5 minutes
I Was Reading A Poem
David Rutschman

It’s telling when all the poems are about a broken heart
She isn’t knitting any more scarves or sweater for penguins
She isn’t going to miss another opportunity to floss her teeth
Flow chart after flow chart about empathy screenshotted on her iPhone
Isn’t getting her anywhere but deeper down

Irma wishes there was never an earthquake named after her
Makes her feel dry and hot and afraid

Her sister asks if she’s still writing and she says
“Not really”
“That’s non-committal” says her sister and
Irma knows that she’s right but she “Humph’s” and
Returns to her needle-point

“There’s a real market for the ironic stuff on Instagram”
Says Irma
Her sister isn’t listening

“seems plausible to me” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday October 26, 2017
10:37am
5 minutes
From a quote by Susan Sontag

It’s all plausible now
Six hundred million people
Living within
10 meters of sea level
Hanging on to the edge of the cliff
As rocks drop into
Raging
Hot
Acidic
Sea
Below

It’s worse than you think

If it’s not keeping you up at night

You’re dreaming

It’s tempting

I know

Walking in my neighbourhood
Another movie poster for
An apocalypse
Bigger than the last

Displaced fear into multi-million dollar
Blockbusters

joke’s on us

I want to lessen this
I want to make it lighter

But I can’t

How many times can I ask the question
Where can we find hope

“She insisted I make no special concession” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday October 25, 2017
5:43pm
5 minutes
from Swing Low
Miriam Toews

I told you. She expressly insisted that I make no special concession! Yes, yes, I know that she’s my daughter but she articulated in her own words that she wants me to treat her as I would any other student. Mr. Black. You must listen to me. I know that defacing school property results in two weeks of detention, and probation for the rest of the year. Elizabeth is old enough to know better. I’ve already apologized for her behaviour, as I would with any of my students, but she must take responsibility for her actions. This has gone too far! Mr. Black. Please don’t look at me like that. Please.

“being interviewed” by Sasha on the plane

Tuesday October 24, 2017
6:32pm
5 minutes
From a tweet

Miriam closes her eyes and prays. She would never tell anyone that she does this, a few times a day. It’s new for her and she holds new things close, a smooth black rock in her pocket. She would specify though, if she did tell you, that she isn’t praying to God. She prays to the sky, the colour of raspberry jam right now, sprawling wider than she’s ever seen. She wonders if Dad will still be alive when she gets there. She only brought a carry-on, even though she’s unsure how long she’ll stay. However long it takes. “Some things can’t be rushed,” Dad used to say when they’d be waiting for a calf to be born, clutching thermoses of hot peppermint tea, their breath dancing through the icy barn.

“beneficial to anyone” by Sasha at the casita

Monday October 23, 2017
11:21am
5 minutes
From an email

I woke this morning with a heavy feeling
That familiar weight
Brick on chest
Snake in bowels

The dogs were barking
There are so many here
Roaming the side streets with
Nipples almost touching the ground
They’ve had so many pups
They sulk
Open though the alleys and side streets
You wonder where the puppies are

I trust you with my heart now
Something about the temperature
The past month
Has brought us closer to the root
Of it all
To God
To the stars
To the salt water

I rose with a lightness
Because you were there
In your stunning stillness
Hands up by your face

“research purposes only” by Sasha at the casita

Sunday October 22, 2017
6:04pm
5 minutes
From an Air Canada survey

“It’s just for research,” Jonah says, and for some reason I don’t totally believe him. “Would you like another beer?” He has long eyelashes. He has a disarming smile. I shake my head.

He calls me three days later. I’m not sure how he got my phone number, and I don’t ask. Am I doing the thing that I roll my eyes at? Shit. I am. I’m doing the thing.

“What exactly are you researching?” I ask, popping a tortilla chip in my mouth.

“Cultural anthropology,” Jonah says, checking his phone, and then putting it on the table face-down.

“swallowing harder than she intended” by Sasha at the casita

Saturday October 21, 2017
11:00am
5 minutes
The Touch of Aphrodite
Joanna Mansell

You swallow.
I reach across the table and take your hand.
You pull away.
You reach backwards.
Are you stretching?
Are you grasping for…
“Let’s go get ice cream,” I say.
You wrinkle your forehead.
I know this shape well.
You swallow.
“I’m sorry, babe.” I say.
“I know.” You say.
I can’t believe I’ve done it again.
I swallow.
There’s love in your eyes back behind the disappointment.
I hate disappointing you.
A crow flies past the window.
She looks in on us.
She gives sympathy and a caw.
You love crows.
You talk about getting a crow tattoo on your back.
I try to dissuade you usually.
I wouldn’t if you mentioned it now.
“Let’s go get ice cream,” I say.
“It’s raining,” you say. “And freezing cold.”
I stand up and stretch against the counter
Sticking my ass into the back of your head.
“Stop that, Sophie,” you say.
I wiggle.
“Stop,” you say, but softer.

“I wanted to go on sitting there” by Sasha at the casita

Friday October 20, 2017
10:47am
5 minutes
Rebecca
Daphne Du Maurer

Mama’s talking about the spaceship’s coming and Papa’s yelling at her to “SHUT UP, CLARISSA!” Petey reaches for Mama and flings his glass of milk off the table and he wails and wails. I take him upstairs and change him into his PJ’s. Mama and Papa yell a bit and Mama cleans up the mess. Kimmy still isn’t speaking and we’re all worried about that.

“The aliens are coming tonight, Phil!” Yells Mama and Papa rubs his temples like he always does.

Petey looks so cute in his one piece red number and I make faces at him so he doesn’t hear the strangeness. He smiles his big toothless moon smile and for a moment everything feels alright.