Goodbye These Five Minutes ❤️

t5m reading

Dear Reader,

Over the past 8 and a half years, we have set the timer for 5 minutes, and shared our daily pieces to this site. It is incredible to see: thousands of posts and thousands of hours practicing in this way. We have also released a compilation of our earlier writes, facilitated writing workshops, writing groups and readings.

We are grateful for the pocket-sized stories that have anchored us both amidst the many changes we’ve experienced. These Five Minutes has connected us throughout our travels and living in different countries, during our tribulations and our triumphs, through our grief and our growth. No matter where life has taken us, we have practiced showing up to the page, and we thank you for sharing in that with us.

Today we’re here to announce that the time has come for us to part ways with These Five Minutes. As of today, we will be writing for one final week and sharing to the site before we sign off from this life-changing project. It has been a pleasure being here, and we have endless thanks for those who have joined us on the journey. We hope you’ll always be able to find five minutes everyday to do whatever it is that you love, just as we have.

With gratitude,
Julia and Sasha

Feel free to keep up with us in our artistic endeavours.

Follow Julia: www.juliapileggi.com (personal site) and @juliapileggipoetry (Instagram)

Follow Sasha: www.sashasingerwilson.com (personal site) and @sasharsw (Instagram) t5m reading

“and to spread right living” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday April 19, 2020
10:50am
5 minutes
Quoting Cal DeWitt

Make no mistake about it, there is no going back to normal. No way, Jose. Midge called me the day before she got sick and she said that everything was going to “hell in a handbasket” at her place, Lancaster Court or whatever it’s called. I knew that I had to get out of here so I called Reggie to see if he could come get me out, but because Tabitha has that Crohn’s disease or whatever he said it was better that I don’t come and stay with them. I understand but I also reminded him that I labored with him for sixty-three hours. Sixty-three. Hours. “Aw, Ma…” He said. “You know I’d do something if I could…” I called Leah, but she’s got her hands full with all those kids and step kids and a foster dog and whatever else… “Ma! I can’t hear you! Can you speak up?!” Benji started electric guitar lessons so he and Maya could start a little band in the garage but they don’t have power out there yet so he’s practicing in the house. Ha! “CAN YOU PLEASE COME GET ME? I DON’T WANT TO GET THIS GODDAMN VIRUS!” I say, trying to cut to the chase. “Aw, Ma…” Leah sounds absolutely exhausted. “Let me talk to Cal when he gets home from the hospital, okay? I know he’s going to be worried about you being here given his exposure… I mean, he’s sleeping in the basement and staying away from the kids, but the last time we talked about it his take was that it’s best if you stay where you are!”

I pretty much forgot my birthday even happened.” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Thursday April 9, 2020
10:12pm
5 minutes
From a text

I pretty much forgot my birthday even happened last year. It was three days after Stan died and thirteen days before Olivia was born and that is a strange time to have a birthday, let alone a sixtieth. Stan had said that he wanted to have a big party for me, a surprise maybe, catered and everything, with hired people passing around canapes and glasses of bubbly. “Fat chance,” I said. He was saying it to get my goat, one of his all-time favourite things to do. He knew that I hated parties. I’d avoid them at all costs. If I had to go to one, some political thing with him, or the Gourmand’s Christmas party or something, I would take a few tokes off the joint we kept in a bag in our freezer for moments like this and only moments like this. Stan used a CBD spray near the end, to help with pain, but that’s different. What I really wanted to do was go our for dim sum with Stan and Alice, who I would eat us both under the table given that she was nine months pregnant. I wanted to read my book, maybe play cribbage with Stan, and then go for a walk out to Leslie Street Spit. That’s what we do every year.

“Safely secured a nib into our pens” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday April 6, 2020
10:10pm
5 minutes
Rosemary And Oranges
Patrizia Chen

Paper birch shedding her paper for me to find the answer on
The red-winged blackbirds travel in pairs through
the mush and pussy willows
Burping fluff like a wish or a smoke ring
Dew on my lips as I kiss a million goodbyes

Safely is the colour blue in the ink on the page
A lined notebook I spent too much money on
holds all the fervour and faith
frailty and doubt
fantasy and gratitude
Owl calls close by
the sound that my mother asks about

I am alight with the kaleidoscope
of possible outcomes
Hungry for what might be
I trace my lifeline like I have
any idea where it’s leading
aside from off my palm
and into the cooling air

“I learn by going where I have to go” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday April 5, 2020
2:16pm
5 minutes
quoted by Theodore Roethke

You are the strange tangle of roots on the way to the water
messy uncontained roughage
Toe gets stuck and there’s an almost fall but you catch yourself
before the tumble
before the blood
before the dusk

No matter how much we talk about trust there is something
in the gut that can’t rid itself
of stink
of sink
of sweep
of sorrow

Maybe it was all written before we arrived
You and I
Prior to the gentle noisy collision
The pungency of Spadina
Dried fish and bok choy
Bycicle bells and espresso

Maybe we did the writing
misspelling and misstepping
gliding and finding as we went along
A choice leads to a door
Leads to a choice
Leads to a door
Leads to a choice

No one has drafted these paper thin plans before
But we do
We will
You in your tumble of root and rock
Me in my tongue behind the tooth

“Whoa, I was toasted” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday April 3, 2020
12:33pm
5 minutes
Ode to American English
Barbara Crooker

Lola kisses my belly in the bath over and over
“Your old house!” I say the first few times
she keeps going and I stop talking or pepper a “thank you”
a “thank you, my love”
her cherubic shape all convex freedom beauty
four top teeth commander
a wrinkled nose smile
Lola kisses the stairs she’s just learned to climb

a few tumbles when she’s wearing her brown bobbly slippers
when she test the limits of her strength
her capability brings her boundless glee

so much so that as she races towards my outstretched arms
stepping stepping step step step
She falls
a look of
“how could I?”
I wait a long wait
feels long
Will the tears come?
If they do
I scoop up under her armpits with my hands
Feel my mother’s hands in my armpits
Tempering and soothing so many falls

“You fell” I say
“Let’s keep walking”

Lick a tear from her cheek
a juicy plum
Smell her hair
orange and soap

Lola kisses the baby doll
sinks her teeth into the plastic foot
“Bee-bee! Bee-bee!”
She calls for her father in the morning
with a voice bigger than I’ve ever heard her have
When did she become this mystery concerto?

“Da-da?! Da-da! Da-da?!”
“Lo-la!” He calls back
“Hi honey!” He says

”What beauty, friend, grows in your darkness?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 22, 2019
8:27pm
5 minutes
Freeing The Creative Spirit

Adriana Diaz

I don’t take the shot, but I aim. I hold the gun in shaking hands. I smell cement, rain, pine needles. I remember how my father used to smoke a bong in the morning and leave it on the table. I remember how my father’s wife, Ursula, used to dump the bong water in the toilet and when I’d go to pee I’d see the strange colour, smell the strange smell. I smoked my first joint when I was ten. My father rolled it. Now, I hold this gun in my hands and I’ve never felt so big and so small. Time is the great kaleidoscope. My father’s voice in my ear, “DO it.” Ursula died of breast cancer last November. It was the first time I ever saw my father cry.

“I was supposed to have the afternoon off” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday April 13, 2019
8:02am
5 minutes
Truckin’
Ken Mitchell

Bill is rolling a cigarette out behind the dumpster and I’m pissed because I’m trying to quit but he’s there tempting me every time I want to take a break.

“WTF Bill!” I say, and he doesn’t look up. He licks his lips. “You know I’m tryin’ to quit! Least you could do is pull that milk cart outta sight, or somethin’!”

I go for a walk around the block. This guy is not going to get to me. This guy is not going to get to me. I’ve smoked for six years and I don’t even want to think about how many days this has chopped off my life. How Bill’s heart is still beating is a question that remains unanswered. The guy must be at least sixty now, but he has that ageless wrinkle thing goin’. Hard life, I guess.

“He thumped his chest” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday March 3, 2019
4:12pm
5 minutes
Casual Vacancy
J.K Rowling

Bruno thumps his chest and runs around the dining room like he’s high on something. I hate this family. Who has three kids under the age of six and then pawns them off on babysitters ten hours a day? Who expects said babysitters to potty-train their little vermin? Who thinks it’s okay to leave housekeeping duties to a babysitter who is making sixteen dollars an hour and being punched, puked on and screamed at?! Why do I do this to myself! Milo sticks his hand in his diaper, pulls out some shit, and tries to eat it. I’m leaving.

“lured into my childhood home” by Sasha at MacKenzie beach

Tuesday October 9, 2018
2:42pm
5 minutes
The Stray
Stephen A. Waite

We play Monopoly lying on our stomachs on the carpet
in front of the woodstove. Mom is out for a cross
country ski. We just filled our bellies with hot
chocolate, more than we’re allowed to have, more than
is good for us, but that’s okay. You put another
log into the mouth of the stove, and I jump up
because there are sparks, and fire is brave.
You know how to turn the damper. You know how to
be the banker. We hear Mom banging her skis on
the porch.

“And we never talked about that.” By Sasha on her couch

Friday August 31, 2018
12:02pm
5 minutes
A Love Letter To Lost Sisters
Hywel Tuscano

We never talked about how it was that you came to be so full of crimson temptation and peaked righteousness. It just appeared, somewhat like you did, sat across from me on the train. We never talked about it because I thought that to love you I had to endure (that’s another story) and that unconditional means forgive forgive forgive.

We started speaking less altogether, just a grunt or a thank you or a goodnight. It happened slowly, as many things do – corrosion, erosion, rustt, growth.

“for a lot of people” by Sasha at JJ Bean

Tuesday November 28, 2017
6:12pm at JJ Bean Olympic Village
5 minutes
Overheard at JJ Bean

Isaac smiles a beautiful smile, no more braces on his teeth. I’d forgotten there were three Cyr boys. I’d forgotten that the eldest had found their mother hanging in her closet. I’d forgotten they’d all – Isaac, Lionel, Gunther – been a handful, gotten mixed up with bad kids, but they weren’t the bad kids, they were the good kids mixed up with the bad kids. After working in a high school for thirteen years, you know the difference. You know the good from the bad. A lot of people don’t, a lot of people get confused. Not me. Not anymore.

“peel and core the remaining apples.” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday November 19, 2017
11:08am
5 minutes
Apples
Andrea Albin

My mother makes baked apples
And I’m sad that dessert is something
With more sugar
More sweetness
Baked apples are glorified apple sauce
And she thinks it’s exciting that there’s oats
Sprinkled on top
A dusting of cinnamon

My mother bakes the apples in the toaster oven
It’s how she makes baked potatoes too
She puts raisins in too

I don’t know yet that betrayal is a spell
That will take lifetimes to break

I don’t know yet that dreams won’t come true

And they will

I don’t know yet that there will always be something
About this time of year

When my mother makes baked apples
I close my eyes and imagine it’s chocolate

“mouth guards aren’t just for hockey” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday November 18, 2017
10:41pm
5 minutes
yourdentalhealth.ca

Coach says that we should wear mouth guards but I hate them. They make me feel like I’m drooling. Coach tells us stories about how guys have had their teeth knocked out, how they had to spend thousands and thousands on dental work. “Don’t make me tell you the story about the implants,” coach says.

I’m the biggest guy on the ice. That’s a fact. If anyone tries to knock me, they are toast. No one is getting close enough to me to touch my arms, let alone my teeth.

I wore one once and it took me back to first grade when I couldn’t speak properly…

“SEE ALL” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday November 16, 2017
11:52pm
5 minutes
http://www.bestbuy.ca

The front of my fleecy is wet. SHE SEES ALL. Have I been sweating again? Have I been crying again? SHE KNOWS YOU’RE WET. There are more than seven balled up tissues on the floor at my feet. I pick them up. I put them in the waste basket beside the lavender couch. I swat at a fruit fly.

“Would you like to pay by cheque or card?”

I am furious that Noreen has the audacity to ask me to pay for this divine interaction. God was here with us. Do we pay to go to church? Not where I come from.

“Card please.”

Happy 6th Birthday To Us!

HAPPY 6th Birthday THESE FIVE MINUTES

“What it means to have light” by Sasha in the garden

Wednesday September 20, 2017
10:52pm
5 minutes
from the LIT call for artists

My father wraps string lights around his hand, down to his elbow, around his hand, down to his elbow. He’s telling me something, but I’m only listening with my eyes. We’ve just eaten lunch – a chickpea salad – and I know what his breath smells like. Mine smells the same. I know what it means to have light between us, and to feel it, and to know it like I know the Christmas Carol. I know what it means when his eyes fall, when he laughs like only slapstick can make him laugh.

“This one has more nuts” By Sasha at Bump n’ Grind


Wednesday September 13, 2017 at Bump n’ Grind
12:38pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Bump n’ Grind

When I speak to her, I taste egg salad sandwiches on white bread, lots of mayo. The phone rings again fuck fuck fuck I don’t want to answer. But I do. This is my practice, I say. Show up show up. Hi. Hi. Blah blah on on on stress drugs. I know I’m not making sense but I can’t be fully clear because I don’t want to betray and five minutes isn’t a lot of time and I might run out before I can find the happy ending. HA. There’s pickle in that egg salad. Sweet pickle. I open up the sandwhich and pick each bit out, building a tiny fortress on the counter, amongst all these god damn dishes.

“astral projection, stress and depression” by Sasha in the bath


Tuesday September 12, 2017
10:42pm
5 minutes
Binaural Beats & Healing Sounds on YouTube

No one’s here to help baby
No one’s here to help

Magic mushroom toast root bake festival
Astral projection
Stress and depression
Forests of consumerism
Extra large M’s and double D WHY’s
Shaking our devices in our sister’s faces
Shaking our devices so we can feel somebody
Find a chin hair shake a leg
Take a bow and call for help
9-1-1 is just a static
9-1-1 is just a dial tone

No one’s here to help baby
No one’s here to help

Cocaine snow angels
In the ashes of our mothers
Water tastes like urine and coffee
Coffee is urine
Urine is coffee
The land’s most trusted caregivers
Are gathered in a place made of cardboard
And needles and songs
Stress and depression
Coffins under the ground layer

No one’s here to help baby
No one’s here to help

“more than 20 pages” by Sasha on her balcony


Monday September 11, 2017
1:15am
5 minutes
from bcartscouncil.ca

I haven’t written anything in forty three days
I feel like shit
I want to live in my bed amongst stray hairs and dust bunnies
I won’t take the dog out
She can shit on the balcony in the herbs I haven’t watered

This is what you tell me

I hold your grief for the millionth hour
And I watch as you fall into her like a lover
I cradle your grief here in this public space
In this shop where there’s croissants and babies

We are etched into one another’s star signs
We are tattooed on our guts
We are sisters here in this hot asphalt jungle
Cars honking and streetcars lurching

This is what I tell you

“never been good at multitasking” by Sasha at the kitchen table


Sunday September 10, 2017
10:56pm
5 minutes
From a text

You’ve never been good at multitasking, sweet one track mind. You complete tasks one-by-one, diligent and focused. If something gets in your way, say, a phone call or the toaster dinging, you are off course, whirling into oblivion. You’ll put on some Eartha Kitt and dance around the living room. You’ll eat blueberry jam from the jar, fridge door open. You’ll call me at work, and ask if I can talk and tell me how one day you’d really like to go to space. I laugh, and say I have to get back to work. You say, “Shit. Me too.”

“I could be wrong” by Sasha on her couch


Friday September 8, 2017
12:25am
5 minutes
Overheard at Oak and 16th

I could be wrong but when Steve called, I don’t know, I just felt like I had to tell him. Who are we to make that choice for him, Mom? Seriously! I’m sorry if you feel it’s not my place, but I can’t just stand here and act like someone, Steve, shouldn’t have choice in whether he fucking lives or dies. Mom. Listen to me. LISTEN! He is not a dog! He has a voice! This isn’t about putting down an animal! Okay, I don’t want to fight with you. I don’t want to…

“stomach discomfort” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday September 7, 2017
10:25pm
5 minutes
saje.com

My stomach knew you weren’t to be trusted
I was sick for months with the twisting and turning and writhing
Once I pressed the metal bowl by my bedside to my skin
crawling over it like a slug
the cool pressure relieving all of the things I didn’t know

The more I ached the more I knew that something
was wrong but the older I get the more I know
that when something’s wrong it takes it’s time
and will send the memo when all parties are ready

The last time I saw you was waiting to board a plane
back home

“You waited for me to let you learn” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday September 6, 2017
5:16pm
5 minutes
Yours Is This
Julia Pileggi


You waited for me to let you learn
slow like a crocus or a grandmother
Slow like I’ve come to know is true
Fast used to whisper to me from under
the bed taunting that I could never
get to where I wanted without moving
FAST
Now I’m wiser or something and I don’t
prize the fast I don’t look on those
bunnies and say
WOW
I wish for that life

“meeting your heart’s longing.” By Sasha at her desk


Tuesday September 5, 2017
6:11pm
5 minutes
The Invitation
Oriah


Lion’s roar in the morning
and we’re off in these trenches
crawling on arms and my core’s not
strong I know that and you’re tired
and I know that
We’re overtalking but it’s all I’ve got
these pudding words these greys and whites
The smokey sky is ominous
and we bark and we cry and we we we we
We’re ready
you say
We’ve got this
you say
Doubt rains heavy
Faith dances on my fingertips only when
I write
So I do
I write to you
I write a manifesto to my great-granddaughter
I tell her
Trust yourself
The wisdom of your fulfillment is inside you
I tell her
Rise up from the heaviness that’s plagued us
for generations

“Woman suspended” by Sasha on her balcony


Monday September 4, 2017
11:54pm
5 minutes
From the BBC News app

pink bras lacy bras white for white dress shirts bras strapless bras peach bras pushup bras sports bras old bras bottom of the barrel bras got too drunk it that bra bras second hand bras hand me down bras wedding bras cleavage bras comfy bras line-leaving bras red bras show the world bras peek-a-boo bras underwire bras soft as a baby’s bum bras give me now bras fuck me bras no bras summer bras always want to be seen bras backless bras

“Why does having children” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday September 3, 2017
11:59pm
5 minutes
Don’t Even Think About It: why our brains are wired to ignore climate change
George Marshall


So many babies already born
already needing love
already hurting
already here
So many babies taking up
so much space
I read about climate change
I read about destruction
over and over
and I know the stats I know the reasoning

And yet

Everything in my body says
MAKE LIFE
Everything in my body says
GIVE ME A BABY
I never thought myself traditional
I never thought myself wanting
wanting wanting a generation of
longing paid to want paying for the want

“If your passport is damaged” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday September 2, 2017
11:39pm
5 minutes
From the passport booklet

Every time someone looks at my passport, they say, “Nice picture.” And it is. I look warm, open, the faintest hint of a smile tickling my lips. I’d ridden my bike to the passport office so I had the endorphins flowing. I remember my mother bringing her first passport into my room when I was nine or ten. She was a teenager. I looked at the picture so closely I could see the dots of ink.

“you are the first woman I’ve touched” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday September 1, 2017
10:57pm
5 minutes
Pearl in the Mist
V.C. Andrews


When we arrived at the camp, Yaza kissed each of our foreheads and offered us a glass of golden milk. Mother declined and so I declined too. Yaza frowned. “Why won’t you drink?” She asked. Mother smiled, but without showing her teeth of course. She spoke quietly,

“We know that there is a shortage. We don’t want to – ”

Yaza interrupted sternly, “You are one of us now. What’s ours is yours. Don’t be silly.” She motioned to her assistant. “Rebecca, bring us some golden milk and a few figs, please. Lisbeth and Tabora have travelled far to join us.”

I was entranced by the colour of Yaza’s hair. I’d never seen anything like it. Grey, but a bright grey, a grey I couldn’t place. She wore her hair in three braids down her back and they swayed as she walked.

“You said not to read his old texts” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday August 31, 2017
9:24pm
5 minutes
From confidential sides

It starts in the morning
before you’re awake
I creep towards where your phone
is plugged in
Unassuming
Gentle turtle
I don’t know your passcode
but I will
I will learn it
and then I will
I will
read your
emails
texts
missed calls
made calls
listen to your voicemails
I will not listen
to your voicemails
That is an invasion of privacy
That is something only
a monster would do

“drove up to the prison” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday August 30, 2017
11:49pm
5 minutes
This American Life episode 282

I never thought that I would, I mean, I never knew that… Wait. Can I start over? I don’t know… I’m not good when I’m on the spot. I finished high school, even started community college something but I can’t… I’m nervous. If Jay was here I’d be… I’d be… I drove up to the prison last Saturday, for visits… Went all alone. Sometimes his mama wants to come and I’m not gonna deny her that, she has the right to see her son. She doesn’t drive so… It’s hard. It’s hard.

“He presses a button” by Sasha in her bed


Tuesday August 29, 2017
10:02pm
5 minutes
From VO sides

He presses a button and the ceiling opens. Tens of thousands of butterflies swirl like soft serve ice cream. All shades of purple and blue, all moving and swimming and flying and wow wow I’ve never I’ve never. I smile and it feels really good because it’s been days since I smiled and that’s not normal for me. Jim looks over. “I told you,” he says, and it’s true, he did tell me and I didn’t believe him because who would who really would if they said what Jim said I mean Jim says a lot of stuff and it’s not always true. I never knew that a place like this could be be be here. I never knew that Jim, of all people, would have the key, hanging around his neck like something he maybe got at a garage sale. The sky turns dark and the butterflies disappear I can’t imagine where they go and Jim says, “We had better get back.”

“finding my people in unexpected places” by Sasha on her couch


Monday August 28, 2017
11:50pm
5 minutes
Bad Feminist
Roxane Gay


I’m watching the fiftieth video of the day. I can’t stop. I can’t stop this insane addiction, I’m not judging myself but it’s just the truth. I am obsessed with the purple paste that these Queens use to cover their real eyebrows. And then the whole new set that they draw on way up on their foreheads. OBSESSED. If I could just just watch the eyebrow stuff I might, I really might. Who knew that these would be my people?

“it was a God that acted through me.” By Sasha on her balcony


Sunday August 27, 2017
12:04pm
5 minutes
Disgrace
J.M. Coetzee


Some days she forgets why she’s trying
why she’s waking and walking and eating and fucking
Some days she only rises to piss and eat a rice cake
over the sink
Some days she lets the phone ring even though she knows
it’s her mother and she misses her mother and she wants
nothing more than to speak to her mother
This is one of those days
This is one of those days
She peels an avocado and bits of green flesh get
on the sheets and shit she didn’t want to make
more of a mess.

“Host art classes” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday August 26, 2017
11:52pm
5 minutes
From a business card


I really wanna make Mama proud, you know. She spent a whole lotta time not being proud of me when I was younger and getting into all that trouble. We don’t need to talk about that, but like, it wasn’t a good scene and I caused her a whole lot of stress. So I wanna make her proud! Like the kinda proud where she smiles really big and acts like I’m the kid she’s always dreamed of having! I ask Kim if I can use the barn at the back of her property, just on Saturdays to start. She says that it needs a real good clean, but I can do that, I can do that for this.

“street cake!” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday August 25, 2017
9:12pm
5 minutes
From a text

I preheat the oven while you select a record. I’m not sure what exactly you choose, we’ve been hitting up garage sales, but it’s sexy and it’s got vocals and some horns, so it’s all good. You asked for cake this morning, and all day at work I dreamed about what wouldn’t require softened butter. I dreamed about caramel and vanilla, or, chocolate, yes! Chocolate. I use coconut oil because it’s so very good for you and I sift the ingredients and you watch me and sometimes grab at me and I push you away but only for now.

“if everyone else forgets” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday August 24, 2017
6:55pm
5 minutes
From a greeting card

In 1976 it’s the coldest birthday you’ve ever had
February brings hail and relentless freezing
Marg and Bob forget too
and that makes everything colder
Brittle and bone-chilling

You get home from your job
as a teller at the bank
and Bob is in his chair
CBC is on the radio
Marg is hacking at a frozen slab
of pork or at least it looks like pork

“Hey hon,” Marg says not looking up
You feel
tears behind your eyes
at least something’s hot
Your cheeks burn

You go upstairs and close your door
and lament still living with these two
who you’ve sworn to no longer call
mother
father
Marg
Bob
You roll a joint and hang your head out the window
like you’re fourteen again

“Christian Science Reading Room” by Sasha in her bed


Wednesday August 23, 2017
11:46pm
5 minutes
From a storefront on West Broadway

Words are my best lover
knowing when to go slow and move slick
Whisper whisper the sweet fuck
I cradle my notebook like your elbow
the salty spot where your hip is
my lip is I snuggle my pen and
don’t sweat the stain

Words know me and grow me and stretch
the truth of the t-r-u-t-h
of the b-o-d-y
b can oh-nly contain oh oh oh

d is the darkness
is the depth
is the deep

why y y why
a crest
a crescendo
Words, my tonic, my prince, my
oh my

“We assumed he did.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday August 22, 2017
9:44pm
5 minutes
Equus
Peter Shaffer


We assumed that he’d be okay. We thought that he was invincible. He thought he was invincible. After a month of sitting beside him in the hospital, we start to lose sense of time. Days blur to hours and minutes slam weeks. Grief is thick in these buildings. We make bad, morose jokes. Toby starts smoking again. Ivy texts from Delaware but we can’t loop her, it’s impossible. You have to be here, I say, finally, on the phone in the gift shop. I pick up a stuffed bear and hug it.

“big comfy chairs” by Sasha at her desk


Monday August 21, 2017
4:36pm
5 minutes
From an email

She’s afraid of dropping the ball so much that she holds
it up above her head at all times and her arms are
achey and tired and the muscle is ripping away from the
bone She’s afraid that they’ll see her open
flayed on the sidewalk next to the black moons of gum
chewed seven years ago chewed by a lover she dreamed about once
She sucks on her hair now that she can
now that it’s grown up
now that it’s grown out
and the edges turn hard
She wonders how long it’s been since she cried
Too long, her mother would say
You need a good cry, she’d say
She’s afraid that if she’s found out to be who she really is
Everyone will play hot potato
with her heart
Passing it round and round the circle
until it’s too hot too fast too fuck oh my God
and she smashes on the asphalt and she’s gone

“keep this info handy” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday August 20, 2017
10:32pm
5 minutes
The Shaw pamphlet

“The fucking cheque bounced again, Henry!” Maude shouts from the bottom of the stairs. She can smell that Henry took a shower and used her shampoo again. “Asshole,” she mutters under her breath. He goes on and on about how he doesn’t like it when they smell the same and then he can’t resist the smell of coconut and vanilla. “Henry!” Maude doesn’t want to lose it, but he’s ignoring her and she hates that. She hears the door to his study crack open.

“What are you hollering about?” Henry pokes his head around the landing and she sees him in his towel, with his glasses low on his nose, and she remembers the man she married thirty three years ago.

“It depends how aware you are.” By Sasha in her bed


Saturday August 19, 2017
3:51pm
5 minutes
Lennon on Lennon
edited by Jeff Burger


He comes home raging
his eyes are round open
he’s not sure what the point is
in doing what he’s doing

I’m questioning everything
where I come from
where I’m going
what I do and what’s the meaning

Four thousand strong
gathered twelve blocks away
give or take
take or give

I nurse a neck that’s twisted
wrecked and tense
with warmth and lemon
with ice and tv

“Rabies is a fatal disease” by Sasha at her desk


Friday August 18, 2017
5:39pm
5 minutes
Health Tips for Tropical Travellers

I don’t mean to rouse the masses
Or scare the babies
But rabies oh rabies it’s a fatal disease
Met you on a Friday
You wore a red bandana
You said your name was Winston
Okay I just named you Winston
And you oh yeah you
You gave me rabies
I said I want to put a leash on you
You said that’s really kinky
I said maybe you’ll run away
You gave me side eye
Ohh baby you can give me rabies
Any day
I’ve been immunized
Your bites won’t kill me
Only your brown eyes will
Only your licks will
I love you Winston

“If you have troubles” by Sasha in the bath


Thursday August 17, 2017
11:06pm
5 minutes
from an e-flyer

It’s been a long time since I brought my notebook into the bathtub
It’s been a long time since I cried til my eyes bled
It’s been a long time since you told me you loved me
It’s been a long time

It’s been a long time since I took myself out for ice cream
It’s been a long time since I talked to my Mom
It’s been a long time since I laughed til I was red
It’s been a long long time

It’s been a long time since I knew I was certain
It’s been a long time since I sweat through my shirt
It’s been a long time since I saw a bald eagle
It’s been a long long long time

“Back then baby it didn’t seem so strange” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday August 16, 2017
7:03pm
5 minutes
Dearly Departed
Shakey Graves


When Saturday came, we loaded up the truck with all the butter lettuce, quarts of berries, cherry tomatoes. We didn’t speak much. Tuned the radio to something like Johnny Cash and wiped the sleep from our eyes and set into town. Gram would watch Milo and Greta. We learned early that if they came to market we couldn’t sell as fast. Greta cried when we said that she could only come if Gram wanted to

“discussing something that’s totally wrong” by Sasha in her bed


Tuesday August 15, 2017
11:18pm
5 minutes
Overheard at JJ Bean

Whenever I hear the faint din of Family Guy it reminds me of my first boyfriend
how desperate I was to kiss and be kissed
I’d lied about my first and whether it had happened on a baseball diamond
or whether it had happened on a camping trip
Truth or Dare doesn’t count everyone knows that
Really really I promise I’m telling the truth
it happened in the basement of my mother’s house
my private secluded dank strange jungle
with a hammock in the corner and my own bathroom
every sixteen year olds dream
MY OWN BATHROOM
I had so many strange products in that fucking bathroom
from the drugstore
what is it with teenagers and drugstores
It was a good honest earnest real kiss

“others take longer than expected” by Sasha on her couch


Monday August 14, 2017
12:21am
5 minutes
From a greeting card

You take a blonde into a washroom stall and kiss her harder than you’ve ever kissed. You slur your “maybes” and “okay” and you take a taxi home, alone. You wonder how all these phone numbers got in your speed dial and who is Kendra and who is Sara and who is Tandy. You wonder about the Hardy Boys. Mike used to read to you when you were falling asleep. You liked that. You don’t read much anymore, other than the Internet. Is that still considered reading?

“big sister” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday August 13, 2017
11:23pm
5 minutes
From Nannies On Call

Big sister takes my hand and leads me down to the river where Luna’s drinking river water. Pap says that humans can’t drink river water but Luna can. Something about her belly being strong. Something about the power of mutts. Big sister says that Pap is better pals with Luna than he is with Mama or us. Says that he understands beasts better than people. I don’t know. I think he’s okay. Big sister says watch out, when the moon’s full and Pap drinks a bit of boxed wine.

“packing slip” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday August 12, 2017
10:18pm
5 minutes
A receipt

I open my hands for you and
you put a packing slip there
you skip a packing note there
my hands are empty for you
and now not so empty
you
I open my hands and you
breathe fire I say
it’s okay
it’s okay
and I put that slip
in my back pocket
Never know when you’ve
got a list to write
Never know when you
might be struck by
inspiration

“Can you spare me for five minutes?” by Sasha at OPUS


Friday August 11, 2017
3:11pm
5 minutes
Serious Money
Caryl Churchill


Henry gets lost every time he goes to the Everglades. We shake our heads when he says he’s setting out because we want him to be safe, but there’s a little sparkle somewhere about the fact that he’s still adventuring. “Wonder if you’ll see any wildlife?” Tim says. Henry cocks his head and spreads jam on the other half of his sandwich. He’s always been a very good picnic packer.

“The waters here” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday August 19, 2017
1:12pm
5 minutes
The Lonely Planet Bali and Lombok

It hasn’t rained in ninety days. Pap checks off each one that passes by on the calendar beside his chair and we wait we wait we wait we wait. Nothing to do but wait. Gemma’s read all of Nancy Drew and I’ve got her knitting mittens for the winter. She’s almost done. These poor kids, they can’t go outside. Too hot. Too dry. Rusty goes, he can’t help himself, but he comes in coughing and wheezing and Pap looks to me like it’s my fault I didn’t chain him down.

“tremendous whooshing noise” by Sasha at Opus


Wednesday August 9, 2017
12:02pm
5 minutes
The Enormous Crocodile
Roald Dahl


My sister and I make bracelets out of embroidery thread and sell them to friends of our parents. We charge a dime or a quarter. Sometimes they overpay, a dollar or two and we gasp with the excitement of a financial transaction.

I put most things on my credit card now. I get air miles, so it feels like I’m getting more than just the thing I’m purchasing. Maybe a trip home to kiss my sister’s daughter. Maybe Hawaii in the rainy months.

“When there’s peace, it’s too vague” by Sasha on her living room floor


Tuesday August 8, 2017
9:46pm
5 minutes
The Balcony
Jean Genet


I want to impress you
I don’t want you to see my doing it
When there’s peace it’s too vague it’s too far away
Barcelona from Saskatoon
Yellowknife from Johannesburg
I wonder what you’re wearing now that you live south of
the Equator
I wonder if you still wear those aviators
cowboy boots
ripped jeans
I wonder if you’re still carving soap stone into mermaids
Catching babies as a hobby
Spinning wool
I want to impress you
even when you’re not here
even when we haven’t spoken in twelve years
my body floods

“you called me at 5:30, said you couldn’t sleep” by Sasha on her couch


Monday August 7, 2017
11:37pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

you called me at 5:30, said you couldn’t sleep. i asked if you wanted to come over for a cuddle or something and you said that there was no way in hell you were leaving your apartment for mine. you had better fans. i asked if you wanted me to come over and you said that you didn’t feel comfortable with me walking at that hour. i’ll ride my bike. no, no, it’s okay. it wasn’t the first time. it won’t be the final time, unless i tell you to fuck off with this shit, i have a full-time job and i need my seven hours.

“When your music ends” by Sasha on her balcony


Sunday August 6, 2017
6:27pm
5 minutes
Spotify

Jonah’s got a case of the Monday’s and it’s not even noon. He asked Trev for a BJ to get the day started and Trev just looked at him like, “WUT?” They were out of eggs so Jonah couldn’t even have his “in it to win it breakfast”. Screw you, Monday.

Ever since he quit his job and started freelancing, Jonah tried his best to work from home for the first part of the day and then he went to Grump’s three blocks away. He likes the music they play. Nothing too heavy. He can’t work with anything too heavy playing

“The morning, happy thing” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday August 5, 2017
1:12am
5 minutes
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickenson

The morning, happy thing
dancing puppy dogs in maple syrup
unending stream so coffee and cream
Happy thing you happy happy thing
Musn’t be very smart if you’re happy
right that dumb idiot riding at the
front of the bus talking to the driver
the driver doesn’t want to fucking talk
but talk talk talk is all you do
Must be nice
being happy
Get your head out of your ass happy happy
Ronald McDonald
The morning with your egg mcmuff toast toast
I’m not mad I’m just disappointed
Why aren’t you smiling

“I’m still on the boat.” By Sasha at her desk


Friday August 4, 2017
12:00pm
5 minutes
Sea Sick
Alanna Mitchell


When I go to sleep, I’m still on the boat. There’s a gentle rocking and it’s pure comfort. Nothing like it was in reality – nausea and puking. I wake up and walk to the toilet, and it’s like I’m finding my land legs again. It almost makes me nauseous. I can’t eat much for breakfast, even though Steve is on this diet where he eats a whole whack of protein right when he wakes up. Who wants to cook a steak at six thirty in the morning? I had to tell him to stop with the salmon.

“Rivers till I reach you” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday August 3, 2017
11:16pm
5 minutes
Rivers and Roads
The Head and the Heart


Rebecca starts walking to work in April and she feels like a real winner. Frankie gives her the once over and she rolls her eyes. “Come on, you like it,” he whispers. She doesn’t. She cocks her head to one side and says, “I will not let you take away my endorphins, Frank. Please go away.” He sneers. She never thought much of that word, but it’s the only one appropriate for Frank.

Rebecca thinks about reporting him to Diane in HR, but she’s worried about the backlash. Malinda once said something to Diane, and Diane laughed in her face. Doesn’t help that Diane is married to Frankie’s twin brother. She knows that he’s a creep, but he’s family. Nepotism is a carbon monoxide, Rebecca thinks, as she watches Frankie re-fill his coffee cup for the third time.

“I see our history” by Sasha on her balcony


Wednesday August 2, 2017
11:33pm
5 minutes
One Nation, Indivisible in The Sun, August 2017

The moon is orange and my heart breaks
I see my future self and my present self
and it isn’t all what I imagined
A heavy push on a chest
fireflies circle the grief of the
wasteland wasteland wasteland

Fires are raging and the kids
next door play with their boogie boards
on the ash grass
Laughing and screaming and singing
and I watch them from my perch

What will the future be for them
Grey sky
Burn
Chest
Burn
What will the future be for them

“associated with anticipated use” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday August 1, 2017
10:08pm
5 minutes
From a GOLDEN artist colours box

I collect plastic bags from the library and when no one’s looking I practise the breathing exercises that Jovi taught us. Did you know that the library gives away free plastic bags? None of that five cent baloney that everywhere else seems to have adopted. Jovi said to use a paper bag but those are hard to find with a mushroom phobia. All the plastic bags are all over the living room when Marnie comes over to pick up my contribution towards the stupid gift basket for Curtis – he has never said any one word to me and now I’m supposed to give a homemade item for his retirement gift basket, I mean COME ON.
“What happened here?” Marie asks in her nasal voice. Blow your nose, Marnie, I think. I hand her the chilli oil and scowl.

“change the towels in the bathroom” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday July 31, 2017
11:53pm
5 minutes
Amelia Bedelia
Peggy Parish


I ask you for the hundredth time to change the fucking towels in the bathroom. I can smell the dog from here. We don’t have one, it’s just the smell that towels get when they are left wet on the floor and then hung too late. The worst part of being in this asshole bed is the smell of the towels. It’s not the bedsore mind game shit stain nightmare. It’s the fucking towels. I beg you, tears pooling on the pillow and you “UH HUH” me and you’re not listening. You’re not listening.

“YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!” I scream the loudest sound I’ve ever screamed, louder than thunder and childbirth.

I hear your feet padding up the stairs.

“Life Lessons From 100-Year-Olds” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday July 30, 2017
11:15pm
5 minutes
Youtube

Fiona turns one hundred on a Sunday. She’s outlived most of the friends of her generation, but her three grandchildren come over for waffles and bacon. Fiona asks Sam to make her a stiff drink. He obliges. Fiona doesn’t dole out advice, or even speak about the good old days. She listens to her brood speaking words she has no idea the meaning of, and she adds more whipped cream to her waffle, a small smile on her lips.

“quite desperate to escape all the people” by Sasha on her balcony


Saturday July 29, 2017
1:10am
5 minutes
The Humans
Matt Haig


She wipes her finger across the desk and notices a layer of dust. Where does it come from? Summer makes everything sticky and it isn’t watermelon. It’s something else. The phone rings but she doesn’t answer it. She doesn’t even shower before bed anymore. She has white sheets. She gets under the covers with dirty feet, sweaty skin, makeup on.

“they couldn’t handle you?” by Sasha on her balcony


Friday July 28, 2017
9:15pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Kits beach

I often feel I’m not keeping up
the dust bunnies collect in the corners again
the kitchen floor needs scrubbing again
I explain the rules of writing dialogue to children
but meanwhile break them in the quiet of the solitude

In fifty six days I will be married
this is not an accomplishment
or a humble brag
it is a fact
plain and simple
like my Diva cup sitting in a teacup
of boiling water on the counter

I often look at pictures of women
either pregnant or with
small cinnamon bun children
I wonder what it will be
to roll dough between my hands
and sift genes in my womb
“God willing” I say

Almost husband
my sweetheart
you put a Persian rug on the balcony
you leave plaque on the mirror
you fold my underwear into perfect shapes
you hold me tender and rough

“God willing”

“The Movement project” by Sasha in her bed


Thursday July 27, 2017
12:39am
5 minutes
Sophie Spiridonoff’s artist statement

Clara decides to dance every day for one hundred days. She calls it “One Hundred Days of Dancing”. She posts videos of herself on Instagram. At first she isn’t sure why she’s doing it. She gets a phone call from her first follower (Martha), who says, “You need to shave you armpits, Clara.” Martha is Clara’s mother. After seven days, she has three hundred followers. They post words of encouragement and smiley faces and the dancing woman in a red dress emoji. Clara buys a red dress and dances in it and the video is overwhelmingly popular. Clara didn’t start dancing to become popular. She did it to heal a broken heart. Her mutt died and she forgot how to feel joy and then she remembered that dancing used to bring her joy, as a child.

“The wind streaked in from a thousand kilometers of Atlantic” by Sasha on her balcony


Wednesday July 26, 2017
9:18pm
5 minutes
The Enemy Stars
Poul Anderson


I’m riding the waves all the way out to the middle of the sea
I’m not as familliar with the Atlantic but it’s okay it’s okay
Marjorie wrote recipes on her fingertips and then pressed them into my back
A tattoo of butter
of mushrooms
of rain
I manage to hold on even though the wind’s picking up and
don’t be afraid of falling overboard
Don’t be afraid of the best of the worst
Marjorie made me a fried egg for breakfast the morning I left
crispy edges on whole wheat toast

“Let’s do choices” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday July 25, 2017
11:01pm
5 minutes
The Home Depot ad

If I bought you a popsicle, I’d buy you a rocket. I’d hold it for you, so that as you ate it in the thick heat, none would drip onto your shirt. It’s white. That’s the real gift. I wouldn’t mind if my hands got sticky. I might not even wash them. I might save the stick until the night, when I’d spend a bit of time with them before crawling into bed. I’d have to wash my sheets, but it would be worth it.

“I’ll just call out the names and tell them to wait” by Sasha on her couch


Monday July 24, 2017
11:42pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the airport

A baby is screaming. I’m sympathetic, I really am. I know I’ll be her – that woman with white stains on her hoodie, a shrieking infant hanging off her – I know I’ll be her one day. I feel bad, I mean, everyone is trying to look supportive, but underneath they are cursing her, “Goddamn it, woman! Shut that baby up! Give it the bottle or the breast or a baby-sized dose of Gravol so it shuts UP!” The baby – cute, but not too cute – locks it’s little eyes on me. I’m on the other side of the plane, but it sees me and it stops screaming. Shit. Now it’s up to me to play peek-a-boo.

“lick your thumb and go to town.” By Sasha on her balcony


Sunday July 23, 2017
8:01pm
5 minutes
The Four Hour Chef
Timothy Ferriss


I spend Sunday in the kitchen. Chopping and grating carrots and beets, roasting zucchini, washing lettuce. I make tahini dressing and pesto. I toast pumpkin seeds and almonds. I listen to NPR podcasts and learn about a disorder I never knew I had and suddenly everything comes into startling bright colour. The cabbage is luminous. The chickpeas buzz. I am more understood by these disembodied voices coming out of this box of sound than I’ve ever been understood before. I sink to the tile, the seat of my cut-offs most certainly stained by droplets of beet juice, and I listen, drinking deep.

“I abandoned their plan” by Sasha at the Diamond Centre


Saturday July 22, 2017
11:18am
5 minutes
The Chang Girls
Lan Samantha Chang


Even when we thought we were alone, we weren’t. I knew that he was there. I’ve never been one to believe in ghosts, but when the temperature changes that drastically without a gust of wind or anything? Well, there’s simply no denying it. Freema got this look in her eyes like there was something she had to tell me. I put the kettle on, because Daddy always said that tea helps when you’re spooked. Freema took my cue, and put dried peppermint leaves into the bottom of two mugs. “No honey for me please,” I said. It wasn’t a foreboding presence or anything. It was him – warm and rough, quiet and watchful.

“Trucker’s Haven” by Sasha on the 41


Friday July 21, 2017
5:43pm
5 minutes
From the sign at the 401 on ramp

Got my first job when I was fourteen, but I lied and said I was seventeen. I was an early bloomer, might as well get something for that shit. Trucker’s Haven, off the 2? You know it? The food’s nothing to write home about, just your basics like burgers and fish fingers, okay milkshakes. I could actually go for one of those milkshakes right about now… The thing that it’s really known for is the jukebox, at the front of the restaurant. Only Dolly Parton. I kid you not. I know every Dolly Parton song because of it. Made for some great nights of karaoke.

“blackberry bushes” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday July 20, 2017
12:13am
5 minutes
From an email

My sister and I pick blackberries on the land she just bought. I don’t know how many acres because I’m not good with that kind of thing. There’s forest, and river, and fields. It’s a farm, but I always think of animals when I think of a farm and there’s only a cat here. It’s so beautiful it makes my stomach ache. I instantly feel at home, walking the land and making fritattas in the oven. We pick jewel after jewel. One in our mouthes and one in an old goat yogurt container that we’ll bring back to the house for the others.

“A year ago, even six months ago, it would have been, but not now.” By Sasha on her couch


Wednesday July 19, 2017
11:49pm
5 minutes
Why I Write
George Orwell


A year ago, even six months ago, I wouldn’t have gotten involved in anything like that… but I rewound the tape of the answering machine about seventeen times. Jennie came into my room saying, “What is happening in here? Why do you keep rewinding – …” And then she heard what it said and she asked to hear it again, too.

I had a pretty decent life with Mom and Daddy. I did. I really did. But this little voice inside of me, that liked to dance between my heart and my throat, this little voice always wondered about my birth parents. When I’d ask Mom, she’d say, “We just don’t know, peanut,” and look disappointed.

“see you again wherever and whenever” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday July 18, 2017
10:23pm
5 minutes
From a text

Dr. Morrow says that when an attack’s coming on I should think about my “happy place.” I don’t know what the fuck that means, but what I do think about is the blue tiles in Mila’s bathroom, from when we were little and we were allowed to take baths together. I guess that means that’s my happy place? I dunno. Before long I’m shaking, and sweating, and losing my shit totally losing my shit. I try to speak, to yell, or something so that people might know that I might, like, die. I try to say, “See you again whenever and wherever, assholes…” but I can’t get the words out, like, they get all stuck and jumbled.

“I will complete them upon my return” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday July 17, 2017
11:17pm
5 minutes
From an email

I’m not sure how to tell you this
I’m not sure about much actually
I’m questioning all of my choices
my vices
my fears
so big so big
Oh
I’m not sure how to tell you this
When I get back I’m gonna head out
on my own for a while
Gotta find the rhythm of the grind again
Gotta find the direction of the sun again
I’m not sure how to tell you
that when I swam in those big waves
I saw
G-O-D
and it wasn’t in the shape of a
face or a torso
it was in the shapelessness of a
blue blue white aquamarine
movement

“I’m superstitious” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday July 16, 2017
6:10pm
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


I’m not superstitious or anything but I mean, hit by lightning? In a place that hasn’t had rain in almost five months? I’m sorry… That’s some sort of sign. The doctors keep asking what I felt in that moment, when I was struck, and there’s aren’t words for it. A hot shower? A wild kiss? Shaving your head? I think I said all those things, but they don’t do it, they can’t explain. They say that once you’ve been hit you’re more likely to be hit again.

“My unexpressed anger at nothing in particular.” By Sasha on her couch


Saturday July 15, 2017
10:33pm
5 minutes
No one belongs here more than you
Miranda July


I make an appointment with the chaos
and then I’m late
and sweaty
and I have the lines from
an ill-fitting bicycle helmet
on my forehead
“It’s not a good look”
I whisper

I’m pregnant with a tadpole
and it’s little tad tail
hangs out of me sometimes

There’s a lot of unknowns
and I bought a postcard
that said
QUESTION AUTHORITY
and then I never did

When your body looks like mine
and when it swells and wanes
and waxes and bleeds and grows
and falls and gives and gives
Sometimes men pretend that
they are not looking
and sometimes they just
look like they are gulping
with their eyeballs
glug glug

“Stanley stepped carefully” by Sasha at work


Friday July 14, 2017
2:17pm
5 minutes
Holes
Louis Sacher


Stanley carefully stepped into the water. He wasn’t sure about any of this. When Uncle Jim had asked if he would like to come with them to the beach that weekend, instead of staying in the city, he hadn’t said yes. Babs, Stanley’s mother, had quickly chimed in, “He would love to!” Stanley knew that Babs wanted some time to herself, to take a bath, eat some salt and vinegar chips, maybe watch a rom com. He didn’t blame her. Moreover, Stanley knew that Jim was a good influence on him. Stanley had never swum in the ocean before, despite living four hours away. Babs was once violently stung by a jellyfish, so she had no interest in a beach vacation.

“Paragraphs of information” by Sasha on her bed


Thursday July 13, 2017
11:49pm
5 minutes
A syllabus

When Mara starts digging, it’s the hottest day of the year. She covers herself in SPF 40 and puts on her straw hat. It was a gift from her father for her fifteenth birthday. At the time she thought it was terrible, but now it’s one of her prized possessions. Not to mention it shields her fair, freckled skin from the ridiculous heat of July in the South. By the time Tabby gets home Mara has dug a hole the size of a coffin and it freaks Tabby out so much that she screams. It’s not about the recently landscaped garden. It’s Mara covered in dirt, seemingly burying herself alive.

“Way bigger than you think.” by Sasha on her bed


Wednesday July 12, 2017
10:01pm
5 minutes
A Ripley’s streetcar ad

When Maude pulls up she breathes a sigh of relief. It’s never felt so good to be home. It’s after midnight, so she imagines that Greg is asleep, curled up on his side as though she’s there. When Greg leaves, Maude sleeps like a starfish, taking up the whole bed. She also eats bowls of rice crispies for dinner and lets the dishes pile up. She wonders what Greg’s been eating… Eggs Benedict with homemade hollandaise, farmer’s market radishes on sourdough with salty butter, watermelon.

“it’s too much sugar” by Sasha on the 17


Tuesday July 11, 2017
4:46pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the ride share

Gemima says that sometimes she goes to Church and gets turned on hearing the pastor speak about Heaven and Hell and demons and Mother Mary. She always eats Reese’s before going to Church. There’s a ceremonial feeling to unwrapping the three cups, laying them out on the kitchen table. She even says a quick grace. Her father didn’t let them eat any candy growing up because he was convinced that his sister had gotten throat cancer from constantly sucking on peppermint candies.

“I’ll sing til morning” by Sasha in her bed


Monday July 10, 2017
11:32pm
5 minutes
Night, Mother
Marsha Norman


I’ll sing til morning I will I will
I’ll sing up high and I’ll sing so shrill
I’ll sing when the sun is high in the sky
I’ll sing my babe a lullaby
I was born to sing out loud and strong
I will sing all the right to all the wrong
And then sometimes we’ll sing together
Deep as the sea and light as a feather
When we sing we do it so free
that I become you and you become me
I’ll sing til morning I will I will

“Not even sure” by Sasha on her balcony


Sunday July 9, 2017
7:13pm
5 minutes
Overheard on West 14th

Maggie makes a face at herself in the reflection of the window. It’s her third overnight shift in a row and she has that sandy feeling in her eyes. The intercom buzzes.

“Hello and welcome to Cupcakes on the Go, how can I serve you?”

“I need thirty six chocolate cupcakes, please, and one red velvet.”

“I’m sorry, sir, we only have – …” Maggie motions for Jamal to check the chocolate count.

“We only have three chocolate cupcakes left tonight.”

“But, but, I need thirty six, I need thirty six chocolate cupcakes and one red velvet.”

“The bakers won’t be in until five, sir. My apologies.”

“Do you have the red velvet?”

Jamal nods, but gives a look like he isn’t sure about this guy. Maybe he’s doing a prank. Maybe he’s going to shoot us with a water gun or something and film it and send it to one of those comedy websites.

“he finally asked me if I wanted these defects of character removed” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday July 8, 2017
12:51am
5 minutes
Alcoholics Anonymous

“He finally asked me if I wanted these defects of character removed and I said, ‘Yes, yes I do’. He looked me deep in the eye like there was something beyond, like there was gold inside me, and he said, ‘Okay, please follow me’. I followed him down a long hallway, the longest hallway I have ever walked. Finally, we got to a yellow door. ‘Open the door,’ he said and so I did. Inside was a big white room. A woman greeted us. ‘Would you like a glass of water, Alice?’ She asked. ‘Why, yes,’ I said, ‘I am parched.’ The man smiled. It was a smile that was neither here nor there but also where and who… That’s what I thought. That’s what I remember thinking. Saying it now I know it doesn’t make logical sense, but something about this place was not at all logical.”

“I didn’t want to wait in that line either” by Sasha at work


Friday July 7, 2017
12:55pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Vancouver international airport

Marylou is sure that the recycling bin needs to be on the curb by 7AM.
She drinks her smoothie (banana, coconut water, pineapple, some protein powder) and wonders if Derek is going to take it out or if she should. Again.
Marylou sees Earl across the street wheeling out his and Anne’s bin. He’s whistling. Marylou wonders what his bum looks like, under his khaki shorts.

“Lipstick on your arsehole” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday July 6, 2017
1:06am
5 minutes
Dry Lips Oughta Move To Kapuskasing
Tompaon Highway

Monkey keeps trying to put Bear’s liplip up her bum and Bear’s not havin’ any of that. She just got the lipstick at the Buck or Two and oh wild Willy Bear hates when me or Monkey touches her stuff. One time I was waiting for Bear to get home from work and Monkey was supposed to be napping but she wasn’t and we were going through Bear’s drawers and we found a new bathing suit in there one of those two pieces kinds and and and we took it out and we played with it putting it on our heads and stuff. Monkey tried to take off all her clothes and put it on but Bear came home and yelled and all the fun was over.

“change of plans” by Sasha on her balcony


Wednesday July 5, 2017
8:22pm
5 minutes
From an email

“There’s been a change of plans,” says Marie. I take a deep breath, in through my nose and out through my mouth, just like Janice taught me. “Why are you sighing?” Marie whines.

I’m driving on the 401 and I have Marie on speakerphone. “I’m already halfway there,” I say.

“We are meeting the Richards in Kingston,” Marie sounds irritated. I don’t know why. I’m the one who should be irritated. I’m the one who is on course two of the Calming Body Calming Mind tapes. I’m the one who is taking meditation classes at the YWCA.

“Val?” Marie barks.

“I’m here, I’m here.” I say.

“I tried to call earlier, but your phone was off.”

“You could always leave a message. I do check my voicemail.” I pull over onto the shoulder, and pop my seat back so I’m completely horizontal.

“choosing sides” by Sasha on her balcony


Tuesday July 4, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
Walsh
Sharon Pollock

At the time I didn’t think I chose a side.
How could I,

but now,

twenty five years later,

(writing that makes me feel something wide)

I realize the tent of a womb
is never far from the heart of a daughter.

I’ve always believed myself to be

all fair

sense of right and wrong right on the
tip of my tongue
my spirit soaring fire and water
in equal measure.

Maybe it’s the confusion of a young
pup,

circling Mom’s legs

caught locked out

in a downpour.

“I thought you had it” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday July 3, 2017
1:09am
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

If you’re going to get upset, well, I don’t know Polly, I just don’t. I don’t know what to say… Just take a deep breath, would ya, no one’s dying.

Let’s retrace your steps… First you went to the market to get the eggs, right? And then down to the daycare to drop off Iris? Okay. And then what? Where’d you go next…

But by the time you got to the bank you said you lost the envelope with the deposit, Polly, so I’m a bit confused! We called the market and no one saw anything. They are good people there, they wouldn’t have taken it.

“songs of protest” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday July 2, 2017
9:40pm
5 minutes
Singing in Dark Times-a Manual for Encoding Dissent
Bhaswati Ghosh


We sing Forever Young around the campfire and then it’s just you and me and even Orion is hiding and Mimi has gone to bed and the mosquitoes aren’t biting and you lean over and you tell me that you can’t stop thinking about my body my body my body body and I’m pulling away and the fire dies down and the cloud cover thickens and it’s too late to be out and Mimi is probably wondering where you are and tomorrow you’ll blame it on the beer you’ll forget you’ll see me at the waffle station batter spilling all over the place and you’ll say morning how’d you sleep what a night oh what a night

“high clouds no wind” by Sasha on her balcony


Saturday July 1, 2017
11:30pm
5 minutes
The Wayfinders
Wade Davis

the woman who lives across the way
my balcony doors look into her living room
she watches so much tv and i am sad about it

she recently bought a rosemary plant
a cactus with a pink flower
and a rose that has beautiful flowers
they are still in their plastic

i am trying to see what she’s watching
is it FRIENDS
i am trying to see into her darkness

a hummingbird comes to drink from our feeder
sucking back the sugar water with her
extra long tongue

high and mighty with my notebook
looking up and through and into
this sister dwelling

“Is there somewhere else she could go?” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday June 30, 2017
10:27pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 7

I think about space a lot. I always have. I was adjusting lighting and moving chairs around from the time I could walk. I was bossing people around. I think about how bodies move in space, and if there’s enough space, and space space, like Milky Way Orion’s Belt space. I sometimes lie awake and think about the baby I really hope to have one day and how much space she will take up in her lifetime. Is there space for what I want to do and say and make? I often get in the way of my space, shrinking and sucking and squishing so that I take up less of it.

“I have a friend who loves your photography” by Sasha on her porch


Thursday June 29, 2017
7:04pm
5 minutes
From a text

You told me that you wanted to take my picture
but when you did
seventeen weeks later
it was a roaring disappointment.
I thought you got me like you had
actually read my birth chart
like you actually knew
the last four digits of my phone number.
I thought you were joking when you said
you had a girlfriend.
What kind of women am I when I hate on
her for being on your lips
when we’re naked?
What kind of woman am I when I shove off
and over and imagine the stillness of her
there a phantom limb of a maybe?
Maybe it has nothing to do with
the woman-ness that I always
bring it back to.
Maybe my bottom line is a
different kind of colour.

“not a permanent” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday June 28, 2017
11:32pm
5 minutes
From an email

“It’s not permanent,” Izzy says, braiding my hair. I love the feeling, and ask her to do it any chance I get. There’s a chicken roasting in the oven and we’ll eat it whenever it’s done. Doesn’t matter that it’s almost eleven. Izzy’s parents own a restaurant so they are always out at night, and it’s prime hang time. They stock their house with these amazing ingredients. Her Dad even went to Italy a few weeks ago, just to get cheese and tomato sauce and flour. Izzy only came out of her shell when we started hanging out. Before that she barely spoke. She’d read and make bracelets in the bleachers at lunch.

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

“beating my lazy part” by Sasha at her desk


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


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

“intimate questions” by Sasha on her balcony


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

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

I know we’ve met before

We have

Yes

Oh

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

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


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

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