“his birthplace has now lost its charm” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday November 14, 2018
8:40am
5 minutes
Master of the Masterpiece
Anya Georgijevic

He remembers home as bigger than it is. Maybe that’s because he has something to compare it to now. He remembers walking down Princess St. and knowing almost everyone he passed. How they’d greet one another. Mrs. Blake, his kindergarten teacher, pushing her grandson in a stroller. Dan Savant, star athlete turned used car salesman, after he dislocated his shoulder one too many times.

“Hi, Davey, how are you?”

“Good to see you, Davey! Lookin’ good!”

Now that he’s back, packing up Mama’s house, putting everything in piles (recycle, donate, trash, keep), he feels it’s lost it’s charm. Home changes, it’s not static. Home is something else.

“a sense of optimism and openness” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 13, 2018
7:48am
5 minutes
A Decade’s Difference
Kaija Pepper

In the fifth floor office staff room
A bar fridge a basket of bananas and clementines
A sign stuck above the sink that reads
Your habits are a reflection of you
Marion forgets to wash her coffee cup
and leaves it in the sink where
Jake finds it and traces
the outline of her lips
with his index finger

At the holiday party last year
Jake told Marion that he loved her
she was wearing a royal blue dress
and holding a Manhattan Jake was wasted
and wasn’t and isn’t
sure if she was too

“I’m sorry I’m sorry” she kept saying
she was still with Keith then
she was still making turkey meatballs
on Sunday and packing them
in glass tupperware containers
for them both for lunch
Keith
Jake thinks
What a douchebag name

“A fresh perspective.” by Sasha at Pallet Coffee Roasters

Monday November 12, 2018
12:46pm at Pallet Coffee Roasters
5 minutes
Montecristo Magazine

Being by the water gives him a fresh perspective, and he learns this young, when he is still a boy. As a young man, he surfed Great Lakes and oceans, and paddled on rivers. Being by the water helps him to forget his heartaches, his growing pains, his regrets. Now that he’s grown, now that Maria has called off the engagement, he decides to leave the city. He can work from home most days, and if he needs to go into the office, it’s a seventy five minute drive. He loves to a cabin overlooking Lake Superior. He has to put in new floors and get rid of a mice infestation, but other than that it’s perfect.

“the decision to buy” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday November 11, 2018
6:23pm
5 minutes
Full Throttle
Stephanie Wallcraft

I give myself one big splurge a week. It can be a steak from Whole Foods or that fancy butcher downtown (I would never tell anyone this, but sometimes totalling $27. $27!) Or, a fancy overpriced sandwich from a fancy overpriced cafe, but come on! They serve their sandwiches on silver plates that look like your grandmother might’ve eaten off of them and yet somehow they miraculously sparkle! It’s probably someone’s job to shine those plates. Good grief. In winter I splurge on beverages – tumeric vanilla lattes and such that come to $7. $7! That’s why I only give myself a splurge a week. Once I’ve had my splurge, I make a note in my calendar exactly one week from that date. That’s when I’m allowed my next one.

“10-year anniversary” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday November 10, 2018
8:34am
5 minutes
Into the Raven’s Nest
Curranne Labercane

I can still hear my heart beating in my ears and the rush of blood to my scalp. He pulled his chair back and came around in front of his desk.

“What do you think your punishment should be for this bad behaviour, Miss Bennett?” He’s so close to me I can smell his musky aftershave.

“Um… I don’t know?” I’m fifteen. I have never been sent out of the classroom, let alone in a principle’s office.

He leans down close to my face. The heart beat in my ears. Rush of blood. It feels like every hair on my body is standing straight up.

I’d heard rumours about him. This kind of thing.

“In front of a full crowd” by Sasha at her desk

Friday November 9, 2018
6:31am
5 minutes
No Place Like Home
Monika Markovinovic

I keep having that dream. You know the one. I’m standing in front of an audience, on a stage, like the kind in a school auditorium. Maybe it’s a gym. Yes… when I look across, there’s a basketball net, and banners. It’s a gym. There’s some sort of concert taking place, and everyone has an instrument but me. Trombones, penny whistles, violins, cellos… and I’m just standing there, arms swinging at my side. I’m just – … waiting. It’s as though everyone’s waiting for me, though, like I’m supposed to do something. Am I supposed to – …?

“for young students who can’t sit still” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday November 8, 2018
6:11pm
5 minutes
From the Beginning
Chelsey Burnside

Mickey makes the sign of the cross and rolls his eyes back into his head so that only the whites are showing. Sister Helen waddles to the front of the class and we all try not to laugh. We don’t want to get our knuckles smacked with her big protractor. She whips her head around and Mickey is still going, crossing himself faster and faster, tongue hanging out of his mouth. No one moves. Sister Helen narrows her eyes.

“Mr. Fitzgerald, do you need to visit the nurse?” Her voice could cut ice.

“No, ma’am…” Mickey says, quietly.

“WHAT DID YOU SAY?!”

“No, Sister Helen.”

“The biggest personality among this trio” by Sasha at her counter

Wednesday November 7, 2018
6:52pm
5 minutes
High Living
Jacqueline Ranit

Becca has the biggest personality of the three of us, I would say. Then comes Miranda and then comes me. I’m the quiet one. I’m not a wallflower, I mean I’ve french kissed a few people and puffed on a couple of joints even, I’m not, like, a nerd or anything. We’re semis. Not popular and not not popular. Semi popular. People in the caf don’t totally ignore us and if Miranda gets a new mini-backpack or something then someone might say something, might give her a compliment and then give Becca a compliment on her gold hoops and then maybe give me a compliment on my haircut. I didn’t get a haircut exactly, but I’ve stopped straightening my hair which means that it does look shorter.

“art remains a potent weapon” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday November 6, 2018
8:04am
5 minutes
When The Beat Takes Over
Robert Collins

I wonder if I kept writing songs if I’d be somewhere else now if I learned to drive if I’d be somewhere else now if I’d chosen to move to Montreal and learn French and eat cheese if I’d be a different version of the me I am now

This is normal right the early morning thought train
barrelling ha ha
barrelling
towards
how did I get here
and am I
where I’m
supposed to be

Geographically the answer is
yes
at least for the
time being

I wonder if I signed with that agent I wonder if I’d gotten that grant I wonder if I’d been less shy and more of a hustler if I’d sucked that guy off or at least given him a kiss I wonder if I’d been less concerned with winning and losing and getting there and

I just wonder

but it’s morning and the time’s almost up on the timer and I’m going to kiss the man I love goodbye and brush my teeth and go to the job I love and

I wonder

“There is much discussion about the colour” by Sasha in the bath

Monday November 5, 2018
10:06pm
5 minutes
Blushing
Daenna Van Mulligen

River playing in the living room and I’m here
now okay this is the now and then there’s skating
on the dreams of when we wore pink snow suits
and swam in blue blue water turning us into
little women turning us into mermaids
killed and kissed and freedom and water

She’s so busy now being who she needs to be
that sometimes I’m not sure about any of the choices
that I’ve made oh those seven thousand miles between us
stretching into winter and forest and grouse and
oh scaling the chasm of forgetting

Let’s go back there to the place where we
would sing in the backseat of the white Nissan of the
truth and all that floral stationary telling our
secrets telling our futures reading our open
and outstretched palms

“the woman’s anonymous appearance” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday November 4, 2018
8:21am
5 minutes
Beauty Beheld
Sara Harowitz

The woman appears in what she always knew she’d be wearing in this moment, an outfit she’s thought about more than any other thing in her life, though she’s loathed to admit that, she’d never admit that.

Horowitz calls the woman into his office. She’s ready – cheek’s flushed, breath deep, hands shaking only slightly. Horowitz recently died his hair black and the woman isn’t used to it yet. It looks severe, menacing even.

“How are you, Katrina?” Horowitz doesn’t stand up when she enters, even though he should, and he knows it. He takes her in, toes to scalp. The woman bristles. This isn’t going as she’d planned.

“Thanks for meeting with me, Henry. I appreciate your time.” She sits down in one of the red leather chairs opposite his desk. He leans back.

“What’s up?” He pulls a file from the top drawer and files his left thumb nail.

“I have worked here for three and a half years. I have managed every account you’ve given me to the best of my ability, and received only glowing praise from clients. I know it. You know it.” She uncrosses her legs, feels her feet firmly planted on the floor.

“the hell days” by Sasha at Olive & Ruby

Saturday November 3, 2018
12:02pm at Olive & Ruby
5 minutes
Soil, Sun, and Soon
Daenna Van Mulligen

“Mom?” Mimi is braiding Felicity’s long red hair, the doll that Oma made for her when she was just a baby.

“Mmmm?” Mom is looking at her phone.

“Mom?” Mimi holds up Felicity so that Mom can see how good she is at braiding now, how much she’s been practising.

“What Mimi? I’m busy, can’t you see that?” Mom rolls her eyes, but unfortunately they don’t make it down to Felicity’s level.

“Never mind.” Mimi goes into the living room where Dad is reading the newspaper.

“Dad?”

“Mmhmm?”

“Look at Felicity’s beaaaautiful hair!” She punches the doll through the newspaper, and her father gasps.

“Monika?! Could you please come and deal with your daughter?!” Dad shouts very loud.

“never stop bringing hope to humanity” by Sasha on her couch

Friday November 2, 2018
7:22am
5 minutes
More Than Cooking
Marla Cimini

Light a candle
on the alter, where you
are, where we are,
Animal forms and a few
green things and rocks
from the woods.
Pray to the highest
cosmic force, pray
to love.

It’s always
something, isn’t it?
It’s then quake of the
heart in the face
of a call to arms.
It’s the gentle calling
towards softness towards
release towards relax
towards slow.

Morning brings
something new
now, an anointment of honey
on the third eye,
ash on the lips, a mantra
of let go
let go let
go let go.

“I get a lot of praise for the work I do” by Sasha in her bed

Thursday November 1, 2018
11:40am
5 minutes
A quote by José Andrés

This morning I woke up with a pain in my side the size of your body
And now I’m carrying you along side me unable to move or breathe
I’ve never had trouble sleeping til now and now I can’t sleep past
Sunrise something about the light creeping through the cracks and
I’m ready to feel the flutters and kiss the surrender and get into
A hot shower

We talk about the power of water sitting on a couch across from
Each other and I know now more about listening and being listened to
Than I did only half a year ago mark the difference in feeling in my
Throat in my heart in my guts when I’m being really listened to

“she continued to cook into the early evening” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday October 31, 2018
5:26pm
5 minutes
A quote from Pasquale Cusano

The evening comes earlier and earlier
You aren’t sure if you like that darkness
Especially since the dusk highlights
The lonely and the lonely highlights
The loss

The evening comes earlier and earlier
And the hands of winter tickle your
Back as you watch the crows fly west
As you think about the seasons
And the sunset and how long it’s been
Since you called your sister

The kettle boils and everything
Is a little bit better with a cup
Of peppermint tea
A big spoonful of honey
You decide not to turn on the TV
You’re tired of the sound of
All of the voices

The evening comes earlier and earlier
This season so close to the time change
So close to losing an hour
How does that work?

“take on any city” by Sasha in Whistler

Tuesday October 30, 2018
11:26pm
5 minutes
A Mercedes-Benz ad

Now that we’ve done it once it feels like we could do it again, even though I’m not sure I’d want to or how it will be because everything will be different then. Everything is different now. Everything is always different, I guess.

These last four months the biggest thing I’ve learned is that the only true constant is change. I’m learning that it’s okay that some people come into our lives and make a huge impact, a collosal impact, and then it’s time for them to go. Birth and death. I’m learning about birth and death on every level – the primal and the real and the metaphorical and the guttural.

“The year was 1969” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday October 29, 2018
8:17am
5 minutes
Suite Dreams
Eve Thomas

Woodstock. The Vietnam War. The Manson murders. The year is 1969. Come Together and Honky Tonk Woman top the charts. A year that defines a generation. My brother Arthur is drafted to go to Nam and flees to Canada. He ends up in Winnipeg and falls in love with a man named Bob. Arthur and Bob fly me in for Canadian Thanksgiving. They make the most elaborate meal I’ve ever eaten. We listen to The Temptations and smoke dope and dance around their living room. Arthur cries when I leave. He says,

“You’re my lil’ penguin and I don’t like being so far away from you.” I know what he means. We saved each other’s lives throughout our childhoods and not being geographically close anymore wears on me in a quiet and dangerous way.

“Food is more than what we eat” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday October 28, 2018
8:32pm
5 minutes
Dishing on Destinations
Sarah Musgrave

I make an applesauce cake with whole wheat flour, cinnamon, quarter cup of sugar. It overflows out of the cake pan and makes the whole apartment smell like burnt sweet toast. I save the cake and no one would know that this happened unless I tell them. I do. I make cream cheese icing with honey and save it to ice right before eating. This cake is a blessing for a life that’s coming soon. This cake is love for the women gathered. This cake is the sweetness of friendship. Food is more than what we eat.

“synonymous with yesterday” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday October 27, 2018
9:20pm
5 minutes
Golf Nouveau
Conan Tobias

Yesterday yesterday
yesterday yesterday yesterday
five yesterdays equals almost
seven years right four days shy
of seven whole yesterday years
We talk about when
We talked about how and now we’re
here and now where there and now
You are the you you dreamed into being
I am the me almost me full me coming soon
We are the you and I that we loved and
love now and will love and what
about when I’m eight-four and my back
hurts and my feet need lotion
what about then
Yesterday yesterday will feel so misty
maybe or so fresh too

“a ghost town at night” by Sasha on her couch

Friday October 26, 2018
10:03pm
5 minutes
California’s Big Comeback
Degen Pener

Hi Felix. This place is a ghost town at night and I hate that. I miss the city and being able to get street meat or Ethiopian food at any hour of the day. The one restaurant here closes at nine most nights and whenever I’ve tried to (craving fries, the one thing I passionately love that I truly do not know how to make at home) there was a handwritten sign in curly cursive on the front door that said, “Mickey’s having a baby! Back in a few days.” When will you come visit me here? Some nights it’s so quiet that I think I’m crazy. Some nights I imagine the sound of traffic, the bus.

“The sunset was worth it” by Sasha in her bed

Thursday October 25, 2018
10:35pm
5 minutes
From a Roots ad

Now that my hair is finally long enough to braid I feel very sophisticated. A braid down one side, or straight down the back, says class and glamour and “I’m together, but not too together.” I wear a ironed white button-down, slightly oversized, slim fitting dark blue jeans and black loafers. I braid my hair, obviously. It’s my first day and you can never get a first day back. I think it was my second grade teacher, Mr. Glen, that taught us that. He was right. It’s true. A first is a first, and there’s no making it a second or a third. New jobs used to terrify me, but now that I’ve had a whole lot of them, I’m more calm. Not “calm”, but more calm.

“a symbol of luxury” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday October 24, 2018
6:52am
5 minutes
Fairmont Magazine

Polly wears her grandmother’s moonstone ring as a symbol of luxury. “My writing will never be ironic,” she says, hair in a high bun, wafts of brown around the nape of her neck. She imagines that she is being interviewed for an arty magazine by a smart woman in a black turtleneck. She’s talking to herself.

“I am obsessed with 19th Century descriptions of clothing and jewellery, and I will never tire of reading about how something or someone looks.” The interviewer, let’s call her Mia, she smirks.

“Would you like another cup of coffee?” Polly goes to the stove and fills the Bialetti with more espresso. She plays with her ring as she waits for the water to rise.

“Embrace Change” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday October 23, 2018
5:41pm
5 minutes
A BIRKS ad

You say “embrace change” but then you fight it like we all do, kicking, screaming and hating it while it happens. You say “be the light in your life” but when I arrive after you’ve invited me for dinner, dishes are piled high in the sink and you’ve forgotten. You’re in a bath robe. It smells like hamsters. You buy a “Laugh Live Love” print from Home Sense (on sale for twelve ninety nine) and put it above your bed where you don’t want to move from, where you’re stuck and have been for weeks now. I wonder if you just spoke the truth, your truth, if maybe things would feel better.

“I recommend starting your day off with” by Sasha in the bath

Monday October 22, 2018
9:02pm
5 minutes
a quote by Chris Cahill

I recommend starting your day off
with gratitude
and ending it with as much

Who am I to tell you
it’s not like I have things
filed and sorted and folded

In a time where we call out
all the injustice every injustice
and I don’t begrudge that

how do we
treat ourselves at the end of the day
when our bones ache and

we hunger for tenderness?
How do we treat ourselves when we
fuck up and don’t want to fall?

“It received glowing praise” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday October 20, 2018
8:02pm
5 minutes
A quote by Gordon Campbell

Avocados ripening in a ceramic bowl
next to butternut squash
a lemon
Regretfully
I have everything I want
and still I want more
It’s natural right
these bananas ripening
too quick these bananas
that will likely become
bread become stomach
become sweet become shit
Guzzling water standing
over the sink I can’t get
enough I can’t have enough
Enough
Rinsing lentils for soup
until the water runs clear
A handful of pecans
of potato chips
of cut up apple
These are the moments
This is the moment

“the function and aesthetic of the neighbourhood” by Sasha at Pallet

Sunday October 21, 2018
11:02am at Pallet Coffee
5 minutes
Room For Passion
Fairmont Pacific Rim

I walk here in the quiet holding of Sunday morning
on the phone long distance with a beauty who can
meet all the gullies of truth and cackle at the ways
life laughs and leaks and loads and laughs.

This new neighbourhood place where I’ll bring you,
where we’ll get to know each other. It’s easy to assume
that we know each other now, with your heart
beating in my body, the truest possible knowing perhaps.
One body inside another. What kind of madness is it?

I imagine your pinky toes and little delicious fingers
and how you’ll be in on our inside jokes. I imagine
reading you all the stories that saved me and gave me
hope for what can be possible. I imagine all the hundreds
of meals I’ll make you. I imagine how you’ll need me in
a way I have not yet ever been needed. That’s such a
beautiful and terrifying in a way that
doubles the beauty thing.

“spaces for writers to meet” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday October 19, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
from litmaglove.com

remember when we used to meet on monday mornings
or was it wednesdays or was it mondays
when we used to meet in the annex and we’d write
and write and share the stories on the pages
where the pencil or the pen and it was all right
it was all good we didn’t take it too we took it too
we knew what we were doing because we didn’t know
and in the unknowing we knew

remember when we used to do that and it felt so
good to gather and be together women on the verge
women wrestling and revealing and hearing and praising
women being in their power in the power of their
open hearted fearlessness still so much fear but
rising through it to the screech of streetcars
and the tick of americanos

“I am science.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday October 18, 2018
7:42am
5 minutes
From a text

For centuries, human beings thought that they were more science than miracle, more flesh and bone than story and wish. Only now, when everything’s wearing thin, when the music on the radio is no longer a revolution, only now, are we waking up to miracle, story, wish, fire, fuel, hunger, so much more.

Men in musty suits shake their shaggy eyebrows at the army of good, the army of anger. The seed was planted a long time ago. The tree grows.

“in contact with eyes” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday October 17, 2018
6:50pm
5 minutes
From the soap dispenser

It smells like burning

and Damon is running around
like a demon or a chicken or something
I’m on the back porch hanging
the laundry on the line
The black flies are out
I’m trying to do it quickly

“Damon! Come help!” I call
but he’s off in the plum trees
or bringing the pigs the scraps
from lunch or chasing bunnies
behind the shrubs

It smells like burning but
I don’t see smoke on the horizon
so maybe I’ll ask Jim about it
when he gets home

We haven’t had sex in over a month
me and Jim because he’s still
recovering from that fall off the ladder
I’m going strange and wild
and he’s going quiet and moody

Damon comes running towards me
and I throw a pillowcase on him
and suddenly he’s a ghost

“I thought that I could take it from here” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday October 16, 2018
9:54pm
5 minutes
Falling Water
Maggie Rogers

I wonder what you’ll do for your birthday this year
and if you’re aware of your failure to recognize
your reflection in the mirror? I wonder what you’ll
say to your daughter when she asks you where we are?
I wonder if you ever challenge your King for real or
if it’s all a performance because to survive you’ve
had to drink the juice and buy in buy in buy in.
I wonder what you think happened. I wonder what it
means that those that have helped you most are all
on the outs now. I wonder if you see this. I wonder
if you’re too broken, if he’s too sick, if there’s
just too much for you to see beyond the beyond.

“Worries are the most stubborn habits” by Sasha at her desk

Monday October 15, 2018
4:09pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Vicki Baum

Worries are the most stubborn habits. I know this by heart, like the songs we sing in the morning when we’re drunk with dreams. I have a bad habit named Worry. I count on her to visit when I’m least expecting, when I think I have a handle, when I’m still, when I’m flying. Worry is a loyal companion, especially when things are fucked up and fraying, delicious and beautiful. A habit is a thing that can be broken in thirty days. No. A habit is a thing that can be started in thirty days. Does it go both ways?

“Thinking of you.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday October 14, 2018
5:02pm
5 minutes
From a text

Thinking of you and all that you’re losing.
Thinking of you and all that you might be feeling but haven’t shared and so I have no idea really.
Thinking of you with your quiet joy secret.
Thinking of you and your death.
Thinking of you and the frailty.
Thinking of you who will be born this spring, this spring, this spring.
Thinking of you who knows betrayal like she’s your daughter.
Thinking of all we forget.
Thinking of all we remember.
Thinking of you and how I wish I could call you.
Thinking of you and hoping you’re okay.

“This report contains confidential information” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday October 13, 2018
11:39pm
5 minutes
From the lab report

This report contains confidential information. Please do not show this report to anyone, share it via the internet, or forward it in an email. This report is for your eyes only. There’s no reason for the confidentiality really, besides that this report wants to be taken very very seriously, and confidentiality means seriousness. Everyone knows that. This report is really only pertinent to you and no one else would care about it if they did happen to see it. This report is snickering about how earnest the expression is on your face.

“not even debate” by Sasha at Terrace Beach

Friday October 12, 2018
9:38am
5 minutes
From a quote by Richard Wolff

Jennifer doesn’t enjoy debate, but Paul does, and so they do, because that’s how things go. Jennifer enjoys conversation, and avocado and cucumber sushi, and sleeping in socks. Paul enjoys debate, reading the New Yorker with a cup of lukewarm black coffee, and running uphill. Jennifer thinks that Paul is bizarre, and that’s one of the things she loves about him. Paul thinks Jennifer is simple, and that’s one of the things he loves about her. Paul instigates debates and Jennifer resists and refutes and then engages, because that’s what he wants, and she wants to give him what he wants.

“Most families” by Sasha at the table at Terrace Beach

Thursday October 11, 2018
4:05pm
5 minutes
Poor and Poorer
Jerrold Ladd

I know how lucky I am and I don’t take it for granted. Really I don’t. I know how lucky I am when I become an artist and no one questions it or asks how I’ll pay rent; when I fail and rise and break and shed and am seem for all of it, for each of them, by each of them. I know when I see how she isn’t known by her family in the way she wants so badly to be, and she is known by mine, in a different way, but in a way closer to her craving. I know how lucky I am, when he has pie and tea with my father and can talk about how hard it’s been, how he doubts me, and us, and the future, and more so himself.

“we have enormous power” by Sasha at Ocean Village

Wednesday October 10, 2018
9:11am
5 minutes
Louder than Words
Starhawk

When he’s rolling cigarettes
just a little bit of weed
mostly tobacco don’t even okay
He thinks about his father
rolling cigarettes and smoking
sunrise to noon to sunset
to midnight his father in the
field hoping to keep calm
He remembers his mother beating
on his father’s chest with closed
fists with anger the colour of
blood in her eyes and how she wailed
when she told him he was gonna die
and how she wailed when she lost
another child and how she wailed
when he collapsed in the corn

“I married Dave” by Sasha at Ocean Village

Monday October 8, 2018
3:31pm
5 minutes
Plants Don’t Have Birthdays
Andrea Gregor

If I’d married Dave my life wouldn’t be what it is. I would never have married Dave, but if I had, it would be chaos. It’s chaos now, in a way, but life is chaos sometimes and I’m okay with that. Dave is chaos. I’m not okay with that.

I sometimes get bored by the stories of my past that just go round and round and round and round. Can I ever let go? Am I the only one? What’s with the barnacles?

Summer makes me nostalgic and fall makes me nostalgic and winter makes me so nostalgic and spring makes me nostalgic too.

“in the blue plastic chair” by Sasha at Ocean Village

Sunday October 7, 2018
10:26pm
5 minutes
Illness and Literature
Tony Hoagland

Mia sits in the blue plastic chair and chews on the end of her braid. She’s waiting for her Oma to finish her treatment in the room with all the buzzing and whirring, where people of all colours and ages are hooked up to tall poles. Mia brought a book but she doesn’t feel like reading. On the way here, Oma said that Mia could play on her cellphone while she waited. Mia said, “No thanks”. Sometimes, looking out the window is enough. Sometimes, when you’re ten and a half, your imagination is what saves you.

“My friend Joe” by Sasha in a bunk at Camp Fircom

Saturday October 6, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
His Hands
Mary Jane Nealon

I used to have a friend name Joe.
Then things went really fucking wild and I can’t exactly say that we’re friends anymore.
See in my world, when you’re going to do something radical, or you do something radical, if it impacts someone else, someone you care about, someone who is your f-r-i-e-n-d, then you give ’em a heads up.
Shoot them a text even.
Doesn’t have to be something scary like a phone call or a face-to-face.
A text.
Is not.
Hard to send.
So it makes me think about how this guy, this Joe, is not made of the stuff I thought he was.
Maybe none of us are.
Or we learn as we go.
As we fail.
As we fuck up, fuck people over, choose what matters.
I’ve had almost a year to reflect on how I could’ve done things different.
There are so many things I could’ve done differently then.
Now though? Now I think about my old friend Joe and I wonder what would happen if we ran into each other on the street.
What would Joe say?

“you are more than your drama” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday October 5, 2018
3:54pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Ram Dass

the first thing i wanna do here is laugh like obviously but then really when i let it land deeper i know that when my mind is whirring like a salad spinner and usually that’s at night when i’ve gotten up to pee and can’t fall back asleep and when my mind is whirring i do not in fact know that i am more than my drama then why is she angry when is she avoiding me why isn’t she responding to my emails did i do something wrong what could i have done what could i have done besides bloom

“difficult for the Western mind to understand” by Sasha in her kitchen

Thursday October 4, 2018
9:15pm
5 minutes
The Heart of Understanding
Thich Nhat Hanh

Hold it steady
Hold it steady
Your heart on the outside
beating for the world to see
beating for me to write a song to

Hold it steady
Hold it steady
Sweet angel you’ve got all the goodness
Sweet angel you’ve got all the badness
Like we all do – in equal parts

Hold it steady
Hold it steady
My hand in your hand
as the leaves turn in their glory
in the breaking as we turn towards

each other

“silence that voice.” By Sasha on her couch

Wednesday October 3, 2018
6:37am
5 minutes
Sitting in the Fire
Pema Chodron

Silence the voices of doubt
like you would a mewing lamb
weaving between your legs
underfoot and gentle

Silence the voices of doubt
with the kindness of a lover
with the patience of teacher
with the fire of freedom

I know doubt like I know
my mother’s face
even though I go months now
without seeing her

My mother
not doubt

Doubt creeps in often
hard to say exactly how often
when I’m turned the other way
when I’m tying my boot

“Hard as it may be to believe” by Sasha on her bed

Tuesday October 2, 2018
8:46pm
5 minutes
Beneath Our Feet
Redfern Jon Barrett

Frida sings me a lullaby and I toss and turn and hope that someone – anyone – might save me from myself.

It doesn’t have to be you, although that would be ideal.

You, fresh from the shower and smelling of sand and amber. You, seeming to have grown a few inches overnight – how do you do that? You, sweet mermaid man, good to the bone, knowing the perfect amount of honey for tea and exactly how to light a room a dusk.

“didn’t resemble each other” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday October 1, 2018
7:01am
5 minutes
Boy
J. Mays

We didn’t resemble one another when we left, but when we got back everybody kept saying we looked like sisters. We spent a total of four hours apart over the course of these seven weeks, which is truly not a lot of time. Travelling with someone allows you to know them in a way that every other act does not. What happens when it’s raining and you don’t have an umbrella and you don’t even have shoes on, just leather flip flops? What happens when you’re more tired than you’ve ever been, and you finally understand what real fatigue is, not the kind of fatigue one gets from all-nighters and hangovers, but from responsibility and having to navigate the winding streets of Jerusalem?

“My mother told us” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday September 30, 2018
4:43pm
5 minutes
Waiting For My Rape
Jessica Anya Blau

My mother told us the prognosis
over the phone as we lay in our bed
your hand on my belly
my hand on your heart

The rain came today and it feels
right a cleansing a weeping
a shedding and you’re cleaning
the house of all the summer sand

My mother astounds me every day
with her willingness to feel the truth
with her ability to meet the mystery
with her strength in the breaking

It’s good to have stillness
amidst the flurry the fury
the unfurling the fraying
It’s good to have a Sunday like this

Jolie eats an apple on FaceTime
and we laugh at the determination
the squeals the sweetness
the surrender

“what day she was born,” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday September 29, 2018
6:01pm
5 minutes
The World’s Oldest Person
Elizabeth Onusko

when mama forgets the day that daisy was born everyone knows that’s it. probably any day now. uncle bert hid the vodka, the whiskey and the gin. mama was drinking everything in sight, and that makes her worse, that makes things worse for everyone. chloe sings to her, “rock-a-by-baby” and all the songs mama used to sing to us when we had nightmares. daisy, poor thing it’s her birthday, makes a sponge cake with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. we bring mama a slice in bed and she chokes and coughs but says that it’s delicious. she’s right. it is. “good job, daisy,” chloe says and I play with her hair the way she likes.

“Three hundred years” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday September 28, 2018
8:02am
5 minutes
From a quote by Barack Obama

A handful of grapes in a small plastic bag. Fifty cents in nickels. A post-it with an address. Half an envelope with a shopping list. September is a strange month. Put the sweaters away. Water the mint on the porch. Set the alarm. Boil the kettle. Send a text – “I hope today was a good day.” A paperclip. A stack of unopened mail. Recycling to be sorted. A pile of incense and matches. Rain. I’ll never forget this month. A staple. An old lime in the crisper that’s turned hard.

“thinking maybe you threw it all away” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday September 27, 2018
10:22pm
5 minutes
When A Guy Helps You Out
Cary Tenn

At the back of the club it’s dark and smoky. She leans against the wall. Shirley is in the bathroom, pissing or doing a line. Shirley is wearing a faux fur vest and a silver tub dress. Shirley made jokes about abortion on the way, on the bus, and she wanted to “shush” her, but she didn’t. Deep bass that she feels in her guts, in her spine. A guy with a beret tries to catch her eye and she evades. She looks up. She waits for Shirley.

“The first time you park your car” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday September 26, 2018
5:21pm
5 minutes
The Cure for Racism is Cancer
Tony Hoagland

The first time you park your car outside the bungalow where Marv and I are staying, I know you’re there before I hear the engine shut off or the door slam. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. You’re probably doing the same.

Three knocks on the front door and I’m there, face pressed against the foggy glass. You can’t see me, but I’m sure as hell you know I’m there.

“Betsy?” Your voice. I haven’t heard your voice in three years, seven months, three days. “Betsy… I know you’re there.”

“the serpent coiled around the pillar” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday September 25, 2018
6:21pm
5 minutes
Come of Age
Stephen Jenkinson

I have been plagued with loving you
the serpent coiled around the pillar
What is this ache for more and more
The moon knows the difference
The moon knows when enough is enough

I’m empty now that I’m full
the house is quiet and the tea is drunk
Lhasa on the stereo telling me that
life is short
Don’t I know it

There’s nothing left for me to burn
my fingers are matchsticks
my love is the wick at the stump
I’ll dance with my hands
while whispering a lullaby

Singing along in Spanish
a language I wish I knew

“you should have asked me nicely” by Sasha on her couch

Monday September 24, 2018
10:04pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 4 bus

I stand up and I feel his eyes on me. I walk towards the bathroom and then turn around. I’m not going to take this shit.

“Do you have something that you need to say to me?”

“Uh,” he looks at his buddies like I’m the creep.

“You’ve been staring at me for over an hour. I’m trying to enjoy my book and my beverage, and all I feel is your eyes baring a whole in every vulnerable part of my body. Have some respect. Stop fucking looking at me.”

“Is it that time of the month?” Buddy A winks.

“My menstrual cycle is far too important to enter this conversation.”

“survive and maybe be heroic.” By Sasha at the Airbnb

Sunday September 23, 2018
11:43pm
5 minutes
Loud, Unpleasant Noises
Norbert Ruebsaat

Today is the day
one year ago this one
that we stood
surrounded from all
circular curves
in grass and with
the whippoorwills
with the cumulous
and the grandparents
Today is the day
we promised love
and patience and
not to take things
personally I’m still
working on that one
slowly slowly slowly
We said we would do
our best and we have
and we are and that
one is almost always
true even when it
doesn’t feel like it
Today is the day
that we passed rings
down the spiral
sang an ancient song
as we did every cupped
hand charging them up
for the times when we
just can’t bear the truth
or we can but we aren’t
exactly sure how

“This is an obituary.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday September 22, 2018
9:31am
5 minutes
Empty Condolences
Joey Comeau

I can’t write on this today. Too close. Too close to the mortality of all of us. Suffocating in the what if and the best and the worst and what does this all even mean anyway. Hands around my throat or the possibility of hands and I cannot think about an obituary today. Even though I know it’s natural and why the fuck are we so afraid of death here and why don’t we speak about it more here and now there’s so much new life and this fear and sickness and growing and leaving and loving and all I can do it lie on the floor or light a candle or turn on the stove to make tea.

“If not dead, dying.” By Sasha at her desk

Friday September 21, 2018
11:25pm
5 minutes
Nothing Like It Was
Mark Wagstaff

Watching you shine tonight
oh my oh my
that magnetism of your light
oh boy oh boy
I’ve got kisses on my lips for you
yeah yeah
and feelings in my guts for you
mmm hmm

Watching you shine and I’m so proud
Watching you shine and I’m so alive
Watching you shine makes
my light brighter
makes me wanna go higher
Watching you shine

Watching you shine tonight
oh my oh my
that magnetism of your light
oh boy oh boy
I’ve got kisses on my lips for you
yeah yeah
and feelings in my guts for you
mmm hmm

“what would happen if we moved to Vancouver?” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday September 20, 2018
9:13pm
5 minutes
Crystal
Gillian Wigmore

Before we moved to the land of mist drops
and mountain tops before we came where the rain
lasts and the leaves change colour in slow motion

We were clear only on the passion and ambition
needed to leave where we’d always known
H-O-M-E that four letter word that’s so sacred

We knew it was something that we had to do
“Go West” the wind whispered
“Go West” called the pines and cedars

And bless us that we listened
bless us that it’s been four years
and all these joys and fights and loves and aches

“They must have math class” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday September 19, 2018
7:48am
5 minutes
Wakaranai
Hanako Masutani

“Math class give me the sweats!” Ramona shouts from the top of the stairs.

“This homework isn’t going to do itself!” Pho stands in the kitchen, almost raising her voice. “What will your Mom say when she gets home?” Pho listens. She waits. She hears the door slam upstairs, and then slow, heavy footsteps across the hall. At a snail’s pace, Ramona descends.

“I hate integers…” Ramona plops into a stool at the kitchen island, her knapsack beside her filled with books. Pho loads the dishwasher.

“I know, sweetie, try your best.”

Ramona takes out her textbook and her spiral bound notebook. She sharpens a pencil.

“The longer you procrastinate, the later it’s going to be and then you’ll be more tired and your brain will – ”

“I’m DOING IT!” Ramona huffs her way through the first few practise problems.

“he lowered the drink onto the table,” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday September 18, 2018
8:13pm
5 minutes
Candy Cap Magic
Jocelyn Kuang

If you were the one I’d married
there’d be drink rings on the table
and record sleeves on the floor
I’d be the one who did the laundry

When I think about moving back
I wonder if I’ll see you waiting
for the streetcar at Queen and Spadina
Skating at Nathan Phillips Square

If we’d chosen each other
we probably wouldn’t have made it
this far
this many months

Now that I know what it takes

“after every sick joke” by Sasha on her couch

Monday September 17, 2018
8:22pm
5 minutes
July, ’77
Jill Mandrake

Am I boring you?
I know we don’t edit these
but I just wrote
“borning” and had
to go back and erase
the “n”
Maybe I’m doing
that too

“N” is a letter
that I love
The cello is an
instrument that
I love
Fall is a season
that I love

Some days all we
can do is make
a short list of
the things
that we love

“It is a highly awkward effort” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday September 16, 2018
6:17pm
5 minutes
How to Unthink (In Two Movements)
Jill Boettger

Remember when everything was “awkward”? When that word took over the mouths and minds of everyone under thirty? “He looked at me and it was so awkward!” “I slipped and it was so awkward!” “Ew, that’s… awkward…”

Words have power and yet when my mother calls with the news, I can’t find a single one that feels right. When my mother calls with the news, there are no words in my mouth.

I love words. They are my prayer, my heartbeat, they make stories – my blood. And, even then, over the phone, across the country, there’s nothing to say.

“people are still listing reasons” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie

Saturday September 15, 2018
4:55pm
5 minutes
Collaboration: Visual/Written Poetry
Sarah Leavitt & Jen Currin

Keith Jarret on the record player. The Masquerade Is Over. You stir risotto over the stove, your glasses fogging up. You add white wine, and then swig from the bottle. Here we are. The temperature is dropping outside and people we thought we loved are turning out to be those who we never imagined. Or did we? And people we definitely loved are sick, and we are gathering around them with baskets of fresh veggies from the market and tear-stained cheeks. There aren’t words. There’s Keith Jarret. There’s a table settling for two.

“a multitude of mouths” by Sasha at her desk

Friday September 14, 2018
8:58pm
5 minutes
SWITCH/CHASE
Ben Rawluk

“I don’t believe in that,” Kelsey shakes her head and picks a lemon seed out of her water glass. Jem has been talking about orgies and polyamory and how as descendants of apes we are meant to have many mates – “Many, many mates!”

“It’s not a matter of belief,” Jem says, leaning in across the candle-lit table.

“Everything’s a matter of belief, my love,” Kelsey looks Jem right in the eye and they both laugh.

Their food arrives – Kelsey’s pesto pasta and garlic bread, Jem’s burger with caesar salad.

“Do you ever just want to say fuck it and move to the country and keep bees and make preserves and sing in a choir?” Kelsey steals a crouton from Jem’s plate.

“Of course! But will I do such a thing before I’m all wrinkled and grey and surrounded by dogs and cats and parakeets?! NO WAY!”

“still dangerous,” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday September 13, 2018
6:39pm
5 minutes
Soft
Sarah Pinder

Soon we will be spread out
different places
you here and her there and
me where we used to leave
the three of us

Different countries
Different worlds maybe
Or that’s my fear talking
She sounds like you
sometimes

I want to tell you everything
but I can’t
and that’s a first
kind of
and that’s strange
kind of

Curled up in my bed
watching the clouds
listening to jazz on the radio
dancing with my hands
until I fall asleep

My heart breaks for
who we used to be
The women on the corner
head’s thrown back
laughing

“and a quiet evening sipping whiskey” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday September 12, 2018
7:02am
5 minutes
Mr. Bright Eyes
John Barton

He calls and tells me that he misses me. I want to hear it from the one who hasn’t been drinking whiskey, the one who wakes up and washes the dishes, the one who plays basketball with the lanky teenagers in the courts by the community centre. I always said that I’d wait for you. I always said that I’d be able to. Now, though, it feels as though time moves faster and people are dying, and being born, and how are we wasting time on things that aren’t true? He calls and tells me that he misses me and I pull the phone away from my ear so that he can’t hear the catch in my throat, the tiny “me too,” the deep breath, the tear rolling down towards my upper lip.

“a few drops of peppermint oil.” By Sasha in the bath

Tuesday September 11, 2018
8:22pm
5 minutes
The Incense of Those Rooms
Jen Currin

We’re going to build a small house behind the house that I grew up in. A garden, five trees, a bird bath will separate the past from the present. Now it’s just drawings, and hoping, and scrounging, and working through feeling like hell. Now is making it happen for then. For them. For us, three years from now. It’s strange, isn’t it. How autumn brings nostalgia, heavy and ripe. We’re going to build something together, maybe a house, maybe several homes scattered across the coasts. East and West, sun and moon. God laughs at our plans. I hear it in my belly like butterfly wings, touching pinkies with you.

“like slivered almonds in the bulk section,” by Sasha in her bed

Monday September 10, 2018
10:31pm
5 minutes
Parsley
Listen Chen

Someone who’s just as lonely as all of us. A change of heart.
A sliver of a dream from a decade ago, a sliver of a hope that got washed out, a sliver of all the “no’s”; all mixed in together like almonds for baking in the bulk section at the grocery store. This is the way it goes, I guess.
Thirty two years doing this life, and I still don’t know
much beyond what I do. I imagine your body turning into a million tiny shards
of light – fireflies – and ascending up up up up up.

“We made sure you could still heal” by Sasha at the beach

Sunday September 9, 2018
3:45pm
5 minutes
Day Thirteen
Adrienne Gruber

We’ve been healing these weeks
Me – slow like the leaves turning
You – fast like the leaves turning

We’ve been in that rocky water
All I want is the glass lake
All you want is to surf

The more I know the more I don’t know
about all of this
What I do know is that strength is

Saying every day
“I am ready to meet
whatever life gives me”

What I do know is that love is
the messiest kitchen and the
softest “yes”

“books about people living on the street” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday September 8, 2018
7:12am
5 minutes
Searching, results
Shawn Syms

In a good bookstore (I think you know what that means) I wish I was a better writer I wish I was a better reader I wish I was a better person. Books make me want to do better in every inch keep things clean keep things open keep things real. I admire how my Dad reads. I wish I read like my Dad. I wish I spent way less time with a screen and way more time in pages and pages and pages and words are the way of the future they are how we become who we are how the future breathes life into the present.

“she died before age forty” by Sasha on her couch

Friday September 7, 2018
5:11pm
5 minutes
F*** Face
Amber Dawn

She died before age forty
and it’s okay don’t be sad about it
she was ready she’d lived
a full life
she’d fucked
and fled
and funned
and stayed
and stopped
and loved

She died before she turned forty
right but she lived more in those
years than most people live in
their eighty two or seventy six

She called her sister
before she died
because her sister couldn’t be there
she was the only on
she had two new babies
two new babes
and she called her sister
and her sister cried and cried
her nipples dripping milk
the twins sleeping beside her
she rocked them with her foot

“Grid of Polaroids” by Sasha at 49th Parallel on Main St.

Thursday September 6, 2018
6:22pm at 49th Parallel
5 minutes
Sinuous
Lydia Kwa

I see those years like
a grid of polaroid
some overexposed
the drunk the tired
the shabby the shameful
the tender the kissing
I see you now like I
did then but different
now you’re chest is wider
because you’re heart
is bolder now your
you-ness is the best
taste after being
gone too long
after being out
and away
after leaving

We sleep back to back
some nights and I
like those nights
too because my lungs
breathe the air that
your lungs made and
your lungs breathe
the air that my
lungs made and is
there anything better
than the mystery of
what we’re up against
of what we’re doing

“I love the internet” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday September 5, 2018
7:16am
5 minutes
The Experimental Boy
Mat Laporte

I refuse to believe that the internet is evil. Think about all of the political movements that were propelled forward through hashtags and blogs and twitter? Think about #metoo alone. Groundbreaking. Revolutionary. Literally changing the world and how we know it. If it weren’t for the internet, knowledge wouldn’t be shared with a click, opinions wouldn’t be batted back and forth across borders! You might look at me and think, “that old hippy dude probably thinks that we were better off without smartphones, Alexa, Google, whatever… In some ways, maybe. When we let the internet rule us – we’re in big trouble. When we are at the hand of capitalism, when our only identity is “consumer” – we are in big trouble. But, I do not fundamentally believe that all of us are lost at sea without a paddle, on a melting iceberg.

“I tell him how a blimp once hit my head.” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday September 4, 2018
6:54pm
5 minutes
DADDY
Prathna Lor

A blimp once fell down out of the sky and hit me right here, right on my head! Do you see the scar? No?! It’s there. Cross my heart and hope to die. A bird pooped on me the first time my Mom took me outdoors to bring me to the doctor so I’m good luck. It’s good luck when a bird poops on you! My Dad my Dad my Daaaad used to be a firefighter until he had to stop because he’d inhaled so much smoke that they told him if he took in any more he’d become a dragon a real dragon!

“These are the demons you wanted” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday September 3, 2018
5 minutes
7:41am
FtM
Kierst Wade

You asked for this when you were in your mother’s womb
You asked to be wrapped in colts foot and birch bark
You asked to be burned and wrung out and lifted high
You asked for the stars to be in Aries
the moon to full
You asked for twelve trusted women to flank you
when you emerged
naked and screaming and howling at the Gods

You asked to be tested
to be tried
to be true

You asked for all of this by choosing them
and then you asked again when you chose him
and here you are asking this newness
this dawn
and you asked again for the grace to
rise

“and all the sheets drift jazz” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday September 2, 2018
8:10pm
5 minutes
Bad Boy’s Slut Song
Nick Comilla

Raymond plays jazz at the Rex on Sunday afternoons. I’m there because Nicola likes to go, not because I really care about jazz. But Raymond does something to a trumpet that I can’t quite articulate. He shows us how music can be, who we can be, what a wild heart actually looks like. The rest of us are fakers. I used to play, but I got tired of staying out late and having the schmooze and kiss ass and all the rest of it. Raymond doesn’t play those games. He plays his set, drinks a cranberry soda at the bar, chats a bit with the regulars, and then walks home. He doesn’t make a big deal about it. He’s just living his life.

“she would rub her clit to her bed post,” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday September 1, 2018
10:01pm
5 minutes
Nocturne v: c
Marie Segolène

What time is it where you are? I’m not good at calculating that kind of thing. Vancouver to Tokyo? I don’t know… It doesn’t matter. Shit, I really miss you. Finding time to talk is hard, I mean “we’re all so busy” right? That’s what everyone says. “We’re all so busy”… I’m not that busy, but I pretend I am because I feel like it’s wrong to say that I’m actually bored about twenty percent of the time. Is that a good average or a bad one? I’ll never know because we never talk about that kind of thing. Sometimes when I’m bored I do weird stuff. I’m not going to get into it with you, because you wouldn’t get it, but let’s just say that vibrator that I got at that sex shop on Granville like ten years ago? It’s still going…

“I’ll quit smoking when God admits he fucked up.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 30, 2018
7:21am
5 minutes
Nigh
Chris Emslie
Fewer gifts and more
honest conversation
okayyyyy the sound
of your voice is a
lullaby a butterfly
kiss a warm wish
Less comparing
because that’s
capitalism talking
that’s the fear that
stuff makes us
enough but really
what makes us
enough
the laughlines
and the pit in
your chest that’s
filled slowly
through music
and a conversation
with an old friend
Who cares about
where we’re going
if the present is
full my heart is
bursting wide
begging the season
to change to mark
this bigness inside