“She heard a deeper vibration” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday July 18, 2019
10:50am
5 minutes
From a quote by Willa Cather

She sits on the edge of my bed
her body different than ever
but this isn’t about her body
for once
this is about her transformation
not that body and transformation are mutually exclusive
just that too much attention has been paid to form
and now it’s about something formless
more important

She’s wearing a burnt caramel
three quarter sleeved shirt
it’s her colour
when I see this colour in the wild it reminds me of her
She’s talking about gratitude
like it’s her new guru
like it’s saving her life
and it is

Shrouded in white
glowing aura of wisdom and wreckage
gratitude leads her back
to the place that broke her
heart
the first time round

“The vast majority of people don’t want to do anything physical” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday July 17, 2019
10:36pm
5 minutes
Overhead on the 4

The vast majority of people don’t want to do anything physical. They just want to talk, or bitch, or cry, or… you get the picture. It’s nothing like I thought it would be, when I first got into it. I mean, I’ve given my fair share of hand jobs, don’t get me wrong, but, it really isn’t about that. It’s about connection, being heard, knowing that someone is there for you and only for you, and isn’t going to ask for anything in return. It’s cheaper than therapy! Ha ha ha… Am I doing this right? Is this the kind of thing you’re after? I’m trying to be myself but with the camera and everything… I don’t know. It’s hard to relax. I’ve only fallen in love once on the job and that was with Rufus, who died last November.

“shoved me into the bathroom” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday July 16, 2019
7:52pm
5 minutes
A Head Full OF Ghosts
Paul Tremblay

Hands around my hips
pushing me towards the open door
Is this the life
I always dreamed of?
Molson on my breath
and All Dressed chips
I wish I’d eaten something
better

We’re up against the sink
graffiti on the walls
Is this all there is?

“Why aren’t you into this?”
Who are you?
“Shit, I’m sorry…”
Down on my knees but he
pulls me up and back
and mouths and breath
and eyes and my mother
used to say that I had
a strange nose it didn’t
come from either lineage
it is all my own

Someone flushes in the
other bathroom
We laugh

“What’s your name?”

“I do love his quips.” By Sasha in her bed

Monday July 15, 2019
10:14pm
5 minutes
A Working Theory Of Love
Scott Hutchins

I love the sound of his voice when he wakes
dreams caught in bubbles
clouds pooling in the corner of his eyes
focusing on my upper lip
dewy and rising into
smile

I do the dishes while he showers
and then we eat granola and cherries
these small duets of spoons
to lips the birds calling
us towards the trees

I think that I used to know what I wanted
but now that I have something like it
I’m not sure what wanting is
wanting what I’ve got
what then

“special pings” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday, July 14, 2019
2:38pm
5 minutes
Tinnitus
Emily Osborne

We eat spaghetti noodles with butter, basil and parmesan cheese. You crack on pepper and sprinkle red pepper flakes. I’m glad you’re not one of those people who doesn’t eat things, like cheese or whatever. I’m sick of those people. I made an arugula salad (with toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries and a little bit of shaved carrots). We’re sat at your sister’s dining room table. You’re dog-sitting Elizabeth, the Great Dane. Your sister recently got divorced and is hiking in Italy with one of the cousins. “Good for her,” you say, rolling your eyes but smiling. We eat in silence for a while, really savouring everything. You pour us each a bit more Sangiovese.

“your teeth glint” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday, July 13, 2019
10:51am
5 minutes
Next Time
Lucy Yang

Your teeth glint
refraction of streetlamp
and truth
Your mouth is bigger than ever
fizzing future
foaming present
shhhhh past

It’s July and it’s not as warm
as we’re used to this time of year
The only smoke is coming from
the change
the fizzing foaming shhhh-ing
At least for now
We’re lucky
I suppose

Keep reminding myself of that

I wake sweaty from a dream
baby wiggling for my breast
sighing in her sleep

Someone left their kid
in the hot car and they died

Water is the only thing
that brings me comfort in this
strange and stinking desert

Tears
Showers
Room temperature from the jug
on the counter

“Forced Kate to go to karaoke” by Sasha at her desk

Friday, July 12, 2019
7:04pm
5 minutes
From http://www.grubstreet.com

Rebecca and Val force me to go to karaoke and then once we are there they find two guys at the bar and oops “there’s just two of them sorrrrry!” and they ditch me. I’m aware that everyone else has friend groups that they are with, and people are loving it, I mean really loving it, screaming and shouting and having the best time of their lives. The only other person who seems to be on their own is the karaoke woman, Misty. She keeps winking at me, and at first I can’t imagine that she’s looking at me but she is, it’s a one hundred percent thing.

“contact the storage directly” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday, July 11, 2019
10:14am
5 minutes
From the Secure Storage website

I wonder if a time will come when
we do away with all the past hurt
stored in boxes in the closet
stacked one on top of the other
amidst the cleaning stuff and the
cans of black beans and chickpeas
paprika from Hungary
oats in a paper bag

I wonder when you will not be tight
and I will not be sorry

what will be between us then
the lightness and dust of these corners
a decade of daisy chain evolution
some flowers losing their bright
some gaining new growth
measured in commas and almost finished
stories measured in scratches
measured in letting go

I wonder what will come of this
and where you’ll put your righteousness down
what will be born of the true new

who will you allow me to be
in your paper doll cut out clothes
of not quite enough
torn at the places where you
stick them to my body
pin the tail on the woman
doing her best

“shattered in a thousand pieces” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
4:24pm
Sing to the Moon
Laura Mvula

little tear little breath
little hurt little death
little heart little break
little give little take
little win little lose
little scar little bruise
little fear little hope
little raft little rope
little yes little no
little maybe little so
little story little poem
little grief little home
little moon little sun
little lesson little won
little dance little still
little call little kill
little blood little bone
little laugh little moan
little piece little whole
little part little role

“Taking a trip?” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday July 9, 2019
12:02pm
5 minutes
From a TD Bank envelope

We talk three years in the future
a new language buried in our cheeks of
grandparents and long-haul flight snacks

We make promises that we know we can’t keep
but that’s what we all do right
that’s how we fool ourselves into the future
tumbling over and under
singing James Brown
singing lullabies

I’m always singing this song to you
especially on rainy days when the trying
gets tried and there’s nothing but
the birds on the balcony
trying to rustle up a seed
from the empty feeder

“Fall in love” by Sasha at her desk

Monday July 8, 2019
7:50pm
5 minutes
From a Bard on the Beach flyer\

Round the clock sweetness
like caramel and eyelash kisses
I’ve never known a love like this

The floorboards teach me
about lightness on my feet
and the sacred offering of sleep and milk

It’s not like things are perfect
but they are precious and the laughter
of these days is like none other

I give you everything I’ve got
and you give me your trust
tender
greens growing in the garden

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” By Sasha at her desk

Sunday July 7, 2019
12:15pm
5 minutes
Philippians 4:13

Oh my God! Hey! How’s it going?!

I’m glad that you’re happy. Really I am. I mean, that’s what I always wanted for you, I guess I’m just not really happy about what you being happy means for me. Does that even make sense? Shit, I’m rambling… how are you? I guess I should ask that, right? It’s been like, almost a year, right? Wow. TIME. Haha.

Good. Good. I’m glad to hear that. I guess.

Yeah, it’s been a weird time, to be honest. I finally got a dog! Her name is Carp. She’s a mutt. You’d love her. I love her. I mean…

I’m in therapy. How fucking typical… “I finally got a dog and I’m finally in therapy!” It’s good though. My therapist wears these glasses with different shapes, like, the left one is round and the right one is square. She’s a badass.

“A federal statutory holiday” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday July 6, 2019
7:51pm
5 minutes
From a Wikipedia page re: Canada day

Mona is grateful for Canada Day because it means time and a half. She doesn’t know about colonization or the traumatizing effects of fireworks on refugees from countries where there’s war. She’s ignorant to the questionable politics. She doesn’t even know how much she likes it like that. Mona stocks tampons and pads, adult diapers and lube. She wishes she could listen to music, her own music not the bullshit they play in the store, but she makes due.

“Hey Mona, how’s it goin’?” Says Jeremiah. Jeremi-ahhhh.

“Hey…” She’s holding a box of ribbed Trojans.

“Are you going down to the lake for fireworks tonight?” He looks at his high tops.

“I don’t know…” She touches her braid.

“the stuff where the composition has a seduction to it” by Sasha at her desk

Friday July 5, 2019
5:05pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Jeff Buckley

I used to tempt fate by riding my blue
bike with no helmet to houses uphill
where I would undress faster than I could
say “yes” or “no”

The stuff that hope is made of
caught between my fingers
the world thick with temptation
sticky with seduction

I would slip my phone number
written on receipts
in back pockets of men
who smelled like summer
who smelled like Brazil
who smelled like drumming

“You know how advice is.” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday July 4, 2019
6:52pm
5 minutes
From a quote by John Steinbeck

People tell you that it’s going to be hard (true)
and that you won’t sleep for years (not true)
that you won’t know your face in the way that
you once did (maybe)

People tell you that it’s like your heart
is forever outside your body (true)
and that suddenly the world looks different (true)
and that you won’t know your lover like
you once did (true)

People tell you that the time flies (maybe)
and that your body doesn’t feel like your own (not true)
and that you won’t know your heart
like you once did (not true)

“Arrow Lakes Hospitals Auxiliary Thrift Shop” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday July 3, 2019
2:13pm
5 minutes
From a sign in Nakusp, BC

You are the new barometer of vibrations
whether I will or will not go
into a certain thrift shop
have a certain person over
eat a certain cured meat

You are the new teller of fortunes
staring into the magic crystal
your eyes changing colour
with the intentions of the hearts
in the room

You are the new best thing
in the city the place I always
want to be even when I don’t

“The next full moon will be on July 16.” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday July 2, 2019
12:08pm
5 minutes
moongiant.com

you are a moon daughter
moon sister birth and born and
heaven is here even in
the green earth
bursting red
clay is cracking
hand pies made of ancestor
bones and we get along
with the yellow of
daisy paint on our cheeks
and church in the morning
lighting the candles at sundown
trouble is the lightning
strike cross the picket line
of the dirty rhymes and the
forgetfulness of February

be strong i say to the
nightmare frozen in my throat
tattooing brave on my tongue
before i speak

“you need to do better, Kev.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday July 1, 2019
6:50pm
5 minutes
From an instagram story

Kev keeps bringing me chocolates and I’ve told him not to a million times and he just keeps doing it and I don’t know what to even say anymore. I’ve asked him nicely, like, “Hey, I know you are trying to do something sweet and I appreciate you for thinking of me and bringing me a gift but please stop bringing me chocolate.” I’ve laid down the law, “Kev, I’ve told you before, do not bring me chocolate or anything sugary!” I’ve even tried to be really honest, “I do not have a healthy relationship with these things and having them around isn’t good for me! You need to do better, Kev!” But then, he comes to visit last weekend and what does he arrive with? A big ass box of Purdy’s. ARGH!

“‘Gimme a whiskey’” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday June 30, 2019
5:56pm
Fallon
Louis L’amour

Your shoulders square. You wish that you could call someone but your phone is dead. You aren’t sure where your charger is, or if you even have a charger anymore. You’ve been using Liz’s charger. You close your eyes and imagine going to the freezer and putting ice in a glass. You imagine that you remembered to refill the ice tray. You imagine going to the cabinet above the fridge, just enough out of reach, and pulling down the bottle of Maker’s. You imagine pouring half a glass and drinking it. Not fast. Not slow. Not interrupted. Not wrong.

“Little wallet multicolour has zip” by Sasha in her chair

Saturday June 29, 2019
12:03pm
5 minutes
from and old text from my dad

You should see me – bouncing on a big blue ball, in a blue dress, my two month old blue-eyed daughter wrapped to my body, her little breath rising and falling against my breath rising and falling. We breathe together, her and I, did for ten months and still do now that she’s out. The soundtrack of sawing, as usual. The house across the street has been under construction since we moved in two years ago. Or was it three years ago? I don’t have a good memory for years. I do have a good memory for feelings.

This is me getting my fingers back in shape, my wordsmith tools sharpened. It’s been a long time… Why do I leave you, dearest and most loyal friend? I need you, but I leave you. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. Maybe that explains something.

“Yes, that’s what you’ve told me to do.” By Sasha at her desk

Friday June 28, 2019
12:05pm
Dipped from a dream

I’m not sure what you meant when you said that you “value our friendship” and that “I’ve meant a lot to you.” That’s obvious. It’s so obvious that it’s weird to say! We’ve known each other for almost twenty years! We used to get high together. You’ve flossed while I shit, barely two feet between us! If you’re nervous to say something, that’s okay, I mean, I get it. When you love someone it can be hard to say things that truly matter but what’s the point of chit-chat when there’s something underneath that’s bigger… it usually takes over the chit-chat anyway, via distraction.

“It must be nice to hold” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday June 27, 2019
12:00pm
5 minutes
Calypso
David Sedaris

It must be nice to hold
a drink
in the “C”
of your hand
a beer
unassuming
assured

and flirt
like the person
you are

Pin the tail on
the wife
holding you back
from the truth
while God laughs
while the wife laughs

You
are the only
one who can
hold yourself
back from the truth
my love
my hate
my heart
my fate

My fear
is not as big
as the mouth
of a whale

“The ads were put on billboards” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday June 26, 2019
12:02pm
5 minutes
The Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell

I’m sorry that I’ve been gone. I’ve missed you. I’ve missed this.

I’ve missed setting my timer (not for the laundry or lentils on the stove).

I’ve missed writing, so so much. Oh my God, I’m crying like writing died. Writing rested. While I learned about softening into the small body of a being so fresh she smells like clouds and caramel.

But then the page calls, soft and unassuming. Could almost miss it amidst all the growing, all the bursting open. Almost.

Things are changing everywhere. All the time. There are years, months, weeks, days where the changing feels so big that it’s all around. Like night. Or lake swimming.

Home smells like this place.

“They backed off right away” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday June 25, 2019
9:26pm
5 minutes
From a text

He was different. He didn’t try to fuck me the first time he slept over. Ironic, now… He was intelligent, progressive, creative, articulate, sexy, conscious, tuned in. He wanted me. He wanted to be with only me. He asked me to be his girlfriend, and I told everyone else I was seeing that I’d met someone.

This is why I love him.

We loved each other with passion and fire and fear and truth. We love each other the same now, but different too. We love each other with fatigue and disappointment and folding laundry and a joint bank account and long hours and tired nipples. We love each other feet touching under the covers, our baby between us, we love each other through her.

“no one can remember” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday April 21, 2019
4:41pm
5 minutes
Anthem
Terese Svoboda

The worst of it has come and gone, or at least that’s what Norma says. When the virus spread across the state we knew that the world would never be the same. I was young then, twelve, barely a woman. Some can’t remember before the virus, before we counted our fingers and toes every morning, checked our bodies for marks and scabs. Who would be next? The government went down soon after, the virus reigning supreme. Norma says that God is still the highest power and that he has a plan for us, but I’m not so sure.

“because they don’t realize” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday April 20, 2019
4:53pm
5 minutes
Real Roger
Harold Ober

How will I teach you how to love your body
in a world where a choir of voices sing
BE SMALL
HOLD IT IN
DON’T
STOP
YOU ARE TOO MUCH

deafening crescendo
coming from all sides
every time you leave home

at least that’s how it felt to me
often
sometimes
mostly

How will I teach you how to love your body
when the lineage of women hating themselves
runs as deep as the lineage
of love and water

That is my work
my task from the very first day

Strength and wisdom
in your muscles and bones
blood like fire
burning up towards a sky
that forgives all the hurt
carried in cells
all the shrinking

We will not shrink

You will hear me praise
how my body carried you
and made you who you are
and fed you and carried you

You will hear me celebrate
the stretch marks and dimples
and you will believe me
because I will be telling the truth

You will hear me speak of the beauty
of all bodies
ones like yours and ones like hers
and ones like mine and ones unlike many
and you will hear me
sing louder than the choir

A lone voice
a mother’s voice
swallowing the many
with the power of the matriarchy
that only knew what they knew
and now we know more

“And you arrive light” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday April 19, 2019
9:08pm
5 minutes
Summer Lines
Judy McGillivary

you arrive by light
a kiss on your lips
from the other realm
a story in your veins
that i know and
i don’t know

you arrive bright

you arrive by light
full pink moon asks
to expect the unexpected
line up the crystals
on the window ledge
throw my head back
and laugh at all the
ways I thought I knew

you arrive bright

riding on the tail
of a shooting star
teaching me about
surrender and chaos
and letting go
ripening me to the truth
a sliver of mango
sprinkled with chilli and lime
holding my hand as i

arrive too

“silence flourishes sea-green.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday April 18, 2019
3:33pm
5 minutes
Overdose
Seamus Dune

In the stillness
of the early morning hours
silent and ripe

This is the first time
in my life that
I’ve had this kind of
t
i
m
e
to rest and
be and
centre and
prepare
and rest

and meet
whatever guests
arrive at the door

“Every morning a new arrival”
Rumi says and it’s true
now more than ever before
it’s true

In the sea-green quiet
of three in the morning
I touch ecstasy in the
low down hiccups between
my hipbones
I touch fatigue in the
never-quite comfortable
I touch anger that my
mother won’t get watch
her love hold our girl
I touch the petty jealousy
that lives in clenched jaw
that smacks me around
when I’m least expecting

“Why are you still here?”

“the best part of her life” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday April 17, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
The Politician
Patrick White

The best part of Syd’s life was the three weeks in the summer she spent at the lake. She’d overlap with her brother and his family for the first few days and then they’d head back to the city. Richard, her old mutt rescue, loved their time at the lake, too. They’d fall into an easy rhythm – rising with the birds and sun, going for a short walk with a mug of coffee in hand, a swim, some food, another walk, reading on the deck, another swim, some food… The summer after the divorce, the first time she came to the lake without Henry, she thought she might get lonely so invited different friends up on weekends, but now she cherishes these slow easy days, following her nose, drinking in the sunshine.

“pulling its guts out” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday April 16, 2019
12:19pm
5 minutes
Identify Hunt
Elaine Bougie

“I need fries. Right now. And mayo. Fries and mayo. Right now.” The server (tall, tattooed, thin-lipped), nods and walks away. “And a gin martini. Dirty,” she calls after him.

Jane slumps on her bar stool. It’s only Tuesday. Jesus Christ. Her feet hurt. Her skirt is too tight around the waist. Rebecca was going to meet her here but texted to say that she has a migraine and needs to go straight home. Lies. Jane knows that Rebecca uses her migraines as an excuse when she’s sleeping with someone knew. Migraine, my ass. Since Marnie had the twins five months ago she’s never able to meet, so Jane doesn’t even bother to text her anymore. It used to be the three of them, Tuesdays and Thursdays, drinking their stress away, laughing into the wee hours.

“Like the blueprint of a lake.” By Sasha on her couch

Monday April 15, 2019
10:53am
5 minutes
Weatherman
Norman MacKenzie

The wind is blowing south
and I send incantations into the
open mouth of the yellow tulip

When will you come?

The blueprint of my favourite lake
traced on my insides by your unborn fingers
We’ll spend hours on that dock
dipping toes into glass
fishes grazing the summer heat
spitting watermelon seeds
dragonflies flirting with newly
appointed freckles

When will you come?

I make another batch of granola
stock the chest freezer with soup
clean the dust bunnies from under the couch
read about the miracle of how my body
will open

the tulip

and you
in all your divinity
in all your grace
in all your knowing
will arrive

“a stretch of road, a write, and birch trees” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday April 14, 2019
3:04pm
5 minutes
The Death Of The Partisan Girl
Tom Wayman

Grief has a way of tossing around the heart
a big ginger cat pawing
the beating thing
back and forth and down
by the curb
a stretch of road ahead
that’s sketched in the colours
of a face you’ll never stop missing

You’re not the only one
who wakes up with tears on her pillow
the words to a song you haven’t thought of in years
swinging from the branches of the
dawn mind

You see other people rushing and hustling
and calling and tripping
and a friend tells you that you’ve changed

I have changed
you say and your voice catches
because isn’t change the only thing
that we can count on?

“You would hide your bitten nails under the table” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday April 12, 2019
8:46pm
5 minutes
The Intellectual
Benny Anderson

You would hide your bitten nails under the table. That’s what you’d do. You should’ve sprung for a manicure. Can’t remember the last time you did that. One of those places called “Chic Nails” or something, with TVs on the wall and so many tiny bottles to choose from. Flushing forty bucks into the toilet, but whatever. Lots of guys like that. Groomed nails. Whatever. You look at your hands and you see your childhood, your bad haircut and your ill-fitting jeans, cuffs rolled up. You have child hands. Drove your mother crazy, how you bit your nails. She tried everything. Told you she’d give you a dollar for every week you went without biting. “It’s nasty, Viv,” she’d say. You’re nasty, Viv. Why’d you say yes to this date anyway? He probably likes fishing. He probably has a hairy neck. He probably has pepperoni nipples.

“under his dark eye-lids” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday April 11, 2019
8:09pm
5 minutes
Faces Of The Sun-Man
Rienzi Crusz

Didn’t trust him the moment I met him, something about those deep sunken eyes. He’d seen things, you know? But, we had to work together so I did what I had to do. You spend enough hours in a car with someone and you find a redeeming quality or two… Didn’t like him smoking all the time. Didn’t like how he liked to make rude jokes about women, about how needy they are, or stupid… “Cut it out, Smithers,” I’d always say. Every single time.

“Shoot, right, you got daughters,” he’d roll his eyes, light up a cigarette.

“It’s not about that. You can’t talk like that.”

Smoke rings.

“imbalance and improperly-tuned segments” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday April 10, 2019
8:18pm
5 minutes
Later, When I Am Carried Forward This Far
Parm Mayer

Gladys segments the grapefruit for Penny. She likes Wednesdays, but it hasn’t always been that way. She likes Wednesdays now that Hank drops Penny off on his way to work and she gets to spend the day with her granddaughter. A first grandchild is always something extra special, Doreen said. Gladys scoffed. But it’s true. Penny is the cutest kid Gladys has ever seen. She patiently waits in her highchair, watching as Gladys adds small pieces of apple and a few almonds to the plate. “You’re being very patient, Pen,” Gladys says and Penny smiles.

“I have entered you quietly” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday April 9, 2019
7:10pm
5 minutes
Your Room
Robert Sherrie

I saw you watching the sunset
on the beach at the end of Cherry
Alone with your red toque as a friend
and as she slung down low
almost eclipsing the horizon
I heard you sing a line
of what might be my favourite song

Music is the language you speak
when you aren’t sure of your surroundings
or you are the most sure
and I do too
this is what connects us
by a multi-coloured embroidery thread
of energy and grace notes

We’ve never spoken but we know one another
like we know the dew on the blades of grass
or the squint of dawn and dusk

“good-luck puppet” by Sasha at her desk

Monday April 8, 2019
6:41pm
5 minutes
Fetish
Pierre Reverdy

“Good luck,” you say, brushing my hair out of my eyes.

“Thanks,” I pull back a little. You grimace. “Thanks,” I say again, and I mean it this time. I really do.

“Are you nervous?” I want you to go and find your place in the stands. I don’t have time for this. I need to warm up.

“A little. Not really… I need to – ” I see Alisha already on the field doing drills. “I need to start – ”

“I know. I’ll go. I’m sorry.” You put your hands in your pockets. “Have a good game.”

You lean in to kiss me and I lean in to hug you and you end up kissing above my head.

“The room is dingy” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday April 7, 2019
9:35pm
5 minutes
When She Leaves Me
James Wyatt, JR.

The room isn’t exactly dingy, but it’s nothing fancy. You starfish on the bed and sigh. I check out the bathroom. I start running a bath. I don’t have tub in my studio apartment. It almost deterred me but then I remembered my budget and how I promised myself I’d finish my novel this year and the more I paid in rent the less I could write because I’d have to work at the bar and good grief am I really forty two years old and pouring pitchers of beer…

“Shall I join you?” You call from the bed.

“If you’d like!” I call back.

“What would you like?” You say, appearing in the doorway.

“Does not oblige you” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday April 6, 2019
11:00pm
5 minutes
From an email

Gus does not oblige you and it pisses you off. He used to follow you around, when you were kids, when you were ten and he was eight, when the grass grew tall around you cuz Daddy was too busy with the calves. Gus thinks he is becoming his own man and maybe he is and maybe he isn’t, but what he is is a dick most of the time. Good thing that Marla and Bernadette get along as well as they do, keeps things running, keeps things together. Meals are a bit tense, a bit strange, but all the kids screaming and laughing and Bernadette cutting up everyone’s meatloaf and Gus giving you side-eye from the other head of the table.

“Maria’s self-view was that she was inadequate” by Sasha at her desk

Friday April 5, 2019
10:02pm
5 minutes
Spirituality in Clinical Practice
Len Sperry

Maria secretly smokes menthol cigarettes. She doesn’t eat after seven o’clock. She starts the day with a jog around the block (“Good morning, Ron!” “Good morning, Mrs. Feldman…”) and makes sure the roses don’t need trimming. Maria eats cottage cheese and cantaloupe for breakfast, and a cup of black coffee in her travel mug to go. She’s got to drive to the other side of town today to prep an open house. Maria worked at a daycare before she started in real estate. Dwayne is on night shifts so he’ll sleep until two or so. She gives him a kiss when the alarm goes off at six thirty and then there’s no looking back. She used to go in to say goodbye before she left but that often resulted in him trying to pull her back into bed and she doesn’t have time for that.

“The relevance to actual practice has been questioned” by Sasha in her living room

Thursday April 4, 2019
10:30am
5 minutes
Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Practice in College Mental Health
Stewart E. Cooper

Practise doesn’t make perfect. Nothing makes perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist. Nothing is something spun from gold. Something is nothing spun from imagination. Sun’s peaking out and it’s okay now, baby, rest now, baby, shhhhh now, baby.

You’re sure of yourself and you’re sure of God and what more do you need, hm? What more do you really need. Fry an egg in good butter, make some toast, salt and pepper and you’re good to go. Out the door, on your way to shine bright, baby, I’ll be okay here, me and the piano music. I’ll be okay.

“‘small healings’ take place every day” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday April 3, 2019
9:36pm
5 minutes
The Human Elements of Psychotherapy
David N. Elkins

Healing found in the gummy smile of a three-month-old
lentils stewed by her mother in my belly
full and empty
both and.

Letting the light in
embracing the magnolias
carpeting the sidewalks
cool air on my toes.

There is no treasure map
for this
and we are not lost
both

a break in the clouds
for a beam of sun
massaging tired eyes
reaching achey heart.

This morning a hundred and fifty
voices sang Let It Be
four thousand kilometres
away we joined in
You could hear us

and my mother spoke
elegance and beauty

her articulation
clear and practised
all the years of
reading poems aloud.

I’ve been praying
to ancestors
to unborn ones

to the hummingbird
drinking sweetness
on the balcony
all hours of the day.

“My brother finds out this Friday” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday April 2, 2019
7:43am
5 minutes
From an email

The morning is quiet.
Your candle is burning.
It was hard to light because it’s burned down low, but I did it.
Got soot on my fingers.
Rubbed it on my robe.
The lilies are opening in slow motion.
The whole apartment smells like flowers.
Bloom after bloom, one by one.
You are close by, I think.
You can be in more than one place now, I think.
“I can’t believe I still have tears,” I say.

Traffic on Oak street hums while I try to meditate.
Seeing you in photograph form and my breath catches in my throat.
I want you close but it needles the sore spots.

I’ll call my mother.
I’ll wash some dishes.
It’s hard now, belly so big with babe.
I’ll take my vitamins.
I’ll think about my mother,
washing dishes,
taking vitamins,
finally resting.

“to stockings in the wash” by Sasha in her bed

Monday April 1, 2019
8:14pm
5 minutes
Second Ultrasound
Stephanie Yorke

I’m glad that the last thing I said to you
was “I love you”
those three words that
rock on the still water
held in perfect tired hands

you left
this life last night after
all these months of becoming
the truest pearl of yourself
the gruff softer
the truth closer the music soaring
above us in smoky curls

a sob is so close
the only language I know is water
connecting across provinces
across blood helping me to hold
my mother my sisters

these little lights

“hair slicked in waves” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday March 31, 2019
7:50am
5 minutes
Push
Adrienne Gruber

Hair slicked back in waves the men lunge forward as we walk back, heels clicking the cobblestone streets, tempting and sweating and breathing and hoping, and are we lost now? It doesn’t really matter. Names we don’t know and names we do and beer by the pitcher even though we don’t really like it. Tapas served with everything, maybe that’s why we order more beer. I’m dizzy and you’re kissing a very tall Jorge in the corner and now I’m not sure about getting back to the hostel or getting back home or my boyfriend a million miles away or if we’re going to make it, you and me, me and him, this and us.

“Eat bread and understand comfort.” By Sasha at her desk

Saturday March 30, 2019
6:21pm
5 minutes
To Begin With, the Sweet Grass
Mary Oliver

She isn’t sure what to make of the fact that Jed is making bread again. It’s been three years since there was yeast germinating on the counter. She forgot what it was like to wake up to the smell of a fresh loaf of sourdough on the counter. She forgot about cutting into the crusty exterior and dripping pieces into olive oil and balsamic vinegar. She doesn’t ask Jed what’s changed, or why he decided to start up again. She doesn’t want to disturb the stillness of the flour, the bubble of the fermentation.

“concern also has been expressed” by Sasha at her desk

Friday March 29, 2019
9:48pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

You scrub the walls and dust the
hard-to-reach corners way up
way up beyond
where I can reach

I watched you ironing your shirt
this morning and talked and talked
and then I said

“I guess I’m feeling a bit chatty”
and you smiled
and it was all there
the waiting and the mystery
the stillness and the movement
the arrivals and the departure

The great letting go
required
on both sides

We are living in more
love than ever before and
I know it’s because
we have scrubbed the foundation
we have eaten handfuls of
clay in the face of doubt

We have come through the tunnel
and now we shield our eyes from
the exquisite brightness
of this living

“Is it the beginning of a poem?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday March 28, 2019
10:02am
5 minutes
The Poet Always Carries A Notebook
Mary Oliver

Forest walk. Billy runs ahead. His back legs are starting to go. Happens to German Shepherds. He still runs like he means it. Runs like he’ll live forever. Ferns are shooting out in every direction. I forgot for awhile that it’s spring. Stream under the second bridge is rushing. Stop and close my eyes and breathe in the damp sweetness. Feel Billy’s nose at my fingertips. Start a poem today. Just start. Haven’t written in too long. Fixing the leaky roof. Volunteering at the shelter. Banality. Bathes. Cuddles with Billy and falling asleep.

“We need drugs” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday March 27, 2019
9:31pm
5 minutes
A quote by Wendell Berry

I understand why you’re saying
that you need the drugs and you need
the numbing and you want to go

I understand the reaching
towards something beyond
what you’ve known

Sympathetic to what your
heart is breaking towards
but it’s not there

sweetheart
it’s not there

Here with the bones
the blood the shit
the sex the words
the dirt the misunderstandings

Here

Everything else
is

“my mother is waiting” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday March 26, 2019
6:04pm
5 minutes
The Greeter
T Kira Madden

My mother calls
grace on her lips
grief crawling out
between her fingers
that thick sludge oh God
how do we bear
this kind of breaking
again she’s losing love
again she’s splitting open
she knows in a different way
this time

My daughter was a seed
in me in my mother’s womb
She carried us so well
grew us strong in heart
soft in hip
grew us brave

My mother sits
by the bed of her beloved
vigil in the stillness
in the nurses coming and going
speaks to him with the care
she spoke to my sister and I
when we were girls

“Falling in love is appropriate for now” by Sasha on her balcony

Monday March 25, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Handy Tips on how to Behave at the Death of the World
Anne Herbert

today we called and told
you that we love you
and when i said it
you said “thanks, sister”

the tears were the
cord connecting my mother
and i across the mountains
the prairie
across the great lakes
a rocky expanse
full fledged
far flung

today we called and told you
that we love you
and you said hello
you heard us
you knew it was me and him
and this little one
nestled
and growing

today was a hard day
a soggy day
a heart on the floor
in the throat
in the guts day
soggy and heavy and
hurting

the only thing
left to say is
i love you
love is the only
word that holds
all the other words
in the bowl of the “o”
in the cup of the “v”

“tired, bearded men” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday March 24, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Ways To Take Your Coffee
Leath Tonino

I pour another pitcher of beer and bring it to another table of tired, bearded men. These men don’t have manners. One might grunt and I might interpret it as a “thank you” but who really knows. One might look me up and down, lingering on my breasts, and I might narrow my eyes a little before walking away. Back behind the bar I look out at the full room, all these tired, bearded men drinking their beer and talking and stinking. Mari comes and stands beside me and says something in Spanish that I don’t fully understand.

“Everyone deals with breakups” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday March 23, 2019
7:15am
5 minutes
Love Running
Joseph Holt

Keri gets her heartbroken again and we roll our eyes because it happens so often, and it always looks the same. Doesn’t feel the same, I’m sure, but from the outside it looks it. She falls in love with some schlub (man posing with fishing rod! Man posing with woman who has been cropped out of photo! Man holding a bow and arrow!) she met on OK Cupid. It’s all, “Ohmygosh, Glenn is the one!” It’s all, “Sorry I can’t hang out tonight, Chris and I do Wing Wednesdays…” We roll our eyes. Okay, Keri. Whatever. When this one breaks your heart we’ll still be here. We’ll take you our for white hot chocolate, we’ll listen as you sob, we’ll let you sleepover and hog the covers.

“Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other.” By Sasha at her desk

Friday March 22, 2019
5:09pm
5 minutes
A quote by Pema Chödrön

creatures of polarity
as delicate as we are gruesome
wretched as we are glorious
all of the holy
all of the profane
we scream for freedom
and crave confinement
squeezing and pulling
pushing and yawning
it’s a strange thing
to think
what is it for?
the birds call towards
the centre of the earth
the worms reach for the
sunlight
what is it for?
the rise and fall contained
in each breath
in each love
in each betrayal
in each death
of each moment
of this
here now
dying into life

“as the cells of his scalp” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday March 21, 2019
7:36am
5 minutes
Candlelight
Tony Hoagland

Take out the trash to the bin in the garage. Wheel the bin to the curb. The neighbourhood is still sleeping. Mandy and the boys are still sleeping, too. Jacob was up in the night crying. Mandy went to him, and then came and got me. He was dreaming about monsters again. “No more scary movies,” Mandy whispered as we climbed back into bed forty minutes later. Thank God for the coffee maker, wooing me towards the kitchen when the alarm goes off. Thank God for coffee. Mrs. Henderson across the street in her quilted housecoat and winter boots. She waves.

“How are you holding up?” I say, and then regret breaking the silence, fracturing the stillness of this Wednesday morning.

“we minimize our vast social problems.” By Sasha on the 9

Wednesday March 20, 2019
1:12pm
5 minutes
Filling the Void: Bruce K. Alexander on how our culture is making us addicted
Jari Chevalier

I’m planning a party for Jess’ birthday and it hits me that you won’t be there. This is one of those firsts that Priya, the grief counsellor I’ve been seeing, has talked about. This is the first time I really cry. I’m not a crier, and not because I don’t think men should or something like that. I’m just not a crier. But today I let it all out. No one’s around so it’s fine. I sit on the kitchen floor and I cry and cry and cry. I don’t worry about Adam getting home, or what it might sound like to the neighbours. It just all comes out.

“exhale passively” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 19, 2019
4:21pm
5 minutes
Physiotherapy Instructions

You always learn things the hard way, Patricia, and that’s just not how it has to be! When I was your age I was cautious, I was careful, I was paying attention to what was happening around me! I see you, all a mess all the time, running around like a chicken with your head cut off and, frankly, I feel bad for you. Why don’t you take a page out of Gin’s book? She’s really got her life together, and she’s three years younger than you! Virginia knows what she wants and she isn’t afraid to go for it, but not at the expense of her pride or self worth… or reputation.

“apartment door was closed and triple-locked” by Sasha on her couch

Monday March 18, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
The Langoliers
Stephen King

Paul doesn’t know when he started checking. He can’t answer Shauna when she asks. He sits quietly, top button of his green shirt buttoned, hands folded in his lap.

“I’m not mad,” Shauna mutters, which is a strange thing to say.

“Is it getting worse?” Paul keeps his eyes on his sneaker laces.

“I would say so…” Shauna takes her hair out of a ponytail. She needs a haircut.

“I guess it has,” Paul blinks ten times.

“I just wish you’d come to me before all of this,” Shauna gestures to the apartment door, closed and triple locked.

“A yellow ball of sun.” By Sasha at her desk

Sunday March 17, 2019
12:13pm
5 minutes
The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

A yellow ball of sun in her mouth
she shakes her curls and curls her toes
Electrified by the season she is all muscle
and heart all arms and goodness

An avocado pit in her hand she
holds on and holds on and releases
only when the time is right
New sprouts growing only stapled
to the possibility

She isn’t afraid of dabbling
or babbling and she isn’t self conscious
it’s a miracle in this time
miracle on the wingtip of crows

“wonders what’s in this woman’s fridge” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday March 16, 2019
7:54pm
5 minutes
Malarky
Anakana Schofield

Hoisin, grainy mustard, almost finished mayo. Vegan butter. A half eaten pear, browning at the edges. A full carton of Tropicana. Sliced turkey in brown paper, three pieces left. A small wrinkled lime, forgotten in the crisper. A head of romaine. A stray jalapeño. Two oranges. A pepperoni stick on a plate, two bites gone. A carton of blueberries. Three organic eggs. A knob of old cheddar, in cling wrap. Tomato paste in a squeeze tube.

“a long, slow, squirmy moment for both of us.” By Sasha on her couch

Friday March 15, 2019
11:09am
5 minutes
Orange is The New Black
Piper Kerman

In the middle of the night
I’m listening to your rise and fall,
A breath I know by heart, tracing
the outline of your dreaming,
a sound in which magic thrives, a place
where the edges are soft, and there’s
good listening.

I walk to the bathroom, holding
my heavy belly in both my hands, tracking
the street lamp light with half-open eyes.

We found each other again in the tangle
of bed sheets and tongues, discovering
how to do this in all the Pisces
fullness. It’s taken patience.
It always does.

Back in bed I try to fall back to sleep,
turning from one side to the other, a pillow
between my leg, a pillow
where you were.

I write poems to our daughter
in the air with my pointer finger,
my counting sheep.

“staring into the eyes of a giant wasp” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday March 14, 2019
6:20pm
5 minutes
Micro
Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

Man gets on my bus and he smells like piss and oil. “Morning,” I say and he leans in close and shows me his teeth.

“Gotta get to the teeth doc!” Looks like it’s been awhile.

“Take a seat, and we’ll be on our way,” I say. The old lady sitting close moves a few seats back, bringing a handkerchief to her nose. In the rearview mirror I see several people scowl.

“Gotta get to the teeth doc!” My man says again.

I drive because it’s an honourable job. People are always gonna have places to get to. I like my current route. I’m thinking to ask about staying on it for awhile.

End of the line. Man’s still there. He’s fallen asleep.

“with some bullshit approach” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday March 13, 2019
5:47pm
5 minutes
Created By
Richard Christian Matheson

What scares us fascinates us
Oh such delicate creatures
The news is a fear machine

We glue our eyeballs to our
tiny screens and scroll
The extinctions
The exhaustions
The exhuming
The extreme

Risk and learn
Power off the empathy
because the heart can’t

bear all the hurting

Everything we do
impacts who we are
who our children are
who our parents are

We do everything in connection
Multiplicity
There isn’t organization in the chaos

Turn off the light when
you leave the room
Turn off the tap while brushing teeth
Say

Thank you

“He had to warm the guy up fast” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 12, 2019
8:03am
5 minutes
The Obsidian Chamber
Preston & Child

friend who is no longer friend
who the net couldn’t hold
who is gone now from this everyday
it’s not how i ever thought it would be
but i do know that love comes and goes
and open heartedness only gets us so far
always gets us to the truth

friend who is no longer friend
i hope that you are finally finding the peace
that you so desperately want
or wanted then i hope that
you are supported and enveloped in prayer
it’s okay that you broke things
forgiveness beads in my hand
counting to one hundred and eight
every morning and night

friend who is no longer friend
i don’t know if we’ll find our way back
to each other in this lifetime
but what i do know is that love is the god
i whisper to and who sings through
my voice moves through my body
water finding the same source
finding other water

“This song.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday March 11, 2019
10:08am
5 minutes
Freedomland
Richard Price

We go for nachos before the breastfeeding class. I’m proud of myself for remembering that I should put the seatbelt under my belly, not across. I don’t spend very much time in cars anymore. We order the ones with smoked tofu, corn, pickled onions. We add guacamole, obviously. A good order of nachos feels like you’ve barely made a dent when you’re already starting to get full, and that happens, and I like it. We pack up the leftovers, pay the bill, and I go to the washroom. When I come out, our song is playing. I watch you as you put on your coat and hat, this being who I know so well, who is still such a profound mystery. I am transported back to our wedding day, swaying and twirling in your arms in the middle of a circle of so many that we love.

“no matter how uncomfortable staying has become.” By Sasha in her bed

Sunday March 10, 2019
4:07pm
5 minutes
Devil With a Briefcase
Jan Janzen

You finally know what it is that you need to do
Now it’s just a matter of cracking open the outer shell
Scrambling yourself
Daring to be reborn

You sit with what it is that you need to do
for many long weeks
Sunday to Monday feeling like Winter to Fall
Time is a strange charade

A Sunday in March you dream about flying
your wings are the colour of the future
You can’t put your finger on the truth on your lips
but it’s there and it’s ready

You thought that staying with yourself
in all your stunning wretched you-ness
was just the practise of being alive
But it’s not and you’re not and now you’re

Pushing your fingers through the first bit of light

“You must unlearn the habit of being someone else” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday March 9, 2019
8:14pm
5 minutes
A quote from Herman Hesse

We are all just doing the best we can right? Or, maybe not all of us, but most of us are. When I meet you, you are charcoal fingertips and over-steeped green tea. That was a long time ago. I know that I want to be someone like you, but not quite you, a little less smoky, a little less bitter. You are looking for salvation, or at least a good kisser. I am looking for someone who can teach me about caring less what people think. That was a long time ago. My breath catches when I realize that we’re drifting, that we’re changing, that we’re leaning away. I’ll keep this my secret until you find it, in the front pocket of your red suitcase, or underneath the stairs.

“**NEW CLIENT TO DAZZLE!**” by Sasha on her couch

Friday March 8, 2019
5:02pm
5 minutes
From Nannies On Call

Hi Rebecca. Good morning. How are you? Nice cardigan. That’s your colour. You must be a True Winter… Are you? Those colour wheels? Do you want Miranda to get you a matcha or something? Okay… okay, so… Okay Rebecca, there’s a new client coming in today and it’s your moment. Stan brought them in, but he’s swamped and we talked and we think that it’s your moment. I know you’ve been here six months and we haven’t really given you the responsibility that you were hoping for. I heard a bit from Janice that you were worried? We like to take our time and really hand select the first big pitch someone does, right? And… the time has come, Rebecca. Are you ready to dazzle?

“Roads here are nuts.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday March 7, 2019
5:40pm
5 minutes
From a text message

The cedars are telling me how
Step slow
Listen
Trust the roots

Moss on the undergrowth
Step slow
Eyelashes wet from dawn
Quiet like the beginning
and the end

In through the nose
and out through the mouth
Faith in the one foot
in front of the other

Surrender in the new
in the trusting
in the perfect
curve of the reach
of the fern

Rumi writes of the field
and it’s where I’m
going

I’ll meet you there

“There are certain cautions” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday March 6, 2019
7:11am
5 minutes
Prescription for Nutritional Healing
Phyllis A. Baluch, CNC

Look before crossing the road. Wear a bike helmet. Go to the doctor if something is up. Don’t read texts while walking. Buckle your seatbelt. Try your best to have some savings. Have a good handful of friends you can really count on. Write down the birthdays of people that matter. Eat green vegetables. Learn the times tables and learn them well the first time. Organize receipts. Listen to the signs. Renew your passport.

“I can feel it changing!” by Sasha in the bath

Tuesday March 5, 2019
7:02pm
5 minutes
Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller

New moon coming round the corner
all coy and wondering
what might this March carry
in her womb

What did you want me to be
when you asked the fate-filled
question in the mountain belly
Who did you think I’d become

Traffic soundtrack
and the bath draining
belly swollen with the future
you finger-picking in the living room

Dishes from dinner in the sink
soup for tomorrow’s lunch already packed
this is the me that I’ve become
Full of the tide

“Our self-centred fears whisper at us all day” by Sasha on her couch

Monday March 4, 2019
11:32am
5 minutes
Hallelujah Anyway
Anne Lamott

Wake at four in the morning
turn over turn over sigh and
get up to pee and return and sigh
the brain is off on her race
around the track of worry

Funny where the mind goes
when there’s no distraction
when there’s the peek of the
streetlamp and the sound
of your love’s breath

What if nothing goes how
I hope it goes?
What if I can’t take it?
What if I can’t be there
when he goes?

“scratched plastic Fisher Price drum set” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday March 2, 2019
9:14am
5 minutes
(Lady)bug
Ilyssa Goldsmith

Toys piled high in the corner
Stuffed rabbits and beanie bottomed bears
Cabbage patch kid with freckles and red hair
Plastic kitchen utensils and bowls
cutlery and plates
have been in many small mouths
many small hands
Scratched Fisher Price drum set

Moira doesn’t care to move things
out now that the kids don’t play
with this stuff anymore
She holds on
As we all do
She imagines the sound of the play
of them when they were smaller
when they weren’t rushing in and out

“Why don’t you get rid of this stuff, Mom?”
Angela says with furrowed brow
Too much lip gloss
“I will one day,” Moira
kisses the top of her daughter’s head
remembers when it smelled like Cheerios

“breaks the silence” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday March 1, 2019
11:02pm
5 minutes
The First Treatise
Yara Farran

Sat by his bedside
day after day
The Don River moving
outside the floor
to ceiling windows
winter holds on
like holds on
How can we let go?

You astound me with
the openness of your heart
how it can break and bear
the greatest weight at the
same time
How you are capable
with your head in the
jaws of the beast

You both really like
the doctor this month
He’s honest
He reads poetry
When Death Comes

“I almost loved you,” by Sasha in her bed

Thursday February 28, 2019
9:22am
5 minutes
In Dublin
Maura Hanrahan

I almost loved you but you didn’t make the cut. My love is a gold medal and sometimes you got silver, but not gold. Nope, not gold. There was a wedge between the possible and the real and I fantasized about the possible but the real left bite marks and crumbs on the counter. The real left a trail of mouse shit. Crumbs. Mouse shit. I did almost love you though, and that’s an accomplishment. I hope you hold that close. When you’re gazing into the bottom of the latest bottle, when you’re gazing across the body of the latest woman, I hope you hold that fact close.