“younger than before” by Julia in her bed

Saturday December 2, 2017
11:50pm
5 minutes
Place To Be
Nick Drake

The trees held open the door for us today. They asked us to step through, mind the roots.
When we entered, we lifted our heads to the sky, opened our mouths in preparation, and waited to catch a droplet on our tongues. You were close to getting one. I didn’t think the tree would give it up that easily. I couldn’t catch one because I was too busy staring at where they were beginning to form. The droplets fell from the crease of the branches like an armpit or the back of a knee. I suddenly realized how disrespectful it would be to drink someone else’s sweat; something they were trying to get rid of. Something that held the awful truth of them. Our vision got blurry there, as we wept among the openness of it all. The eyes lining the trunks watching our every move, our every step, our every promise. One in particular whispered something to you. When I asked, you said you couldn’t really hear.

“I don’t want to sit” by Julia on the 16

Friday December 1, 2017
9:29pm
Overheard on the 16

I don’t want to sit and I don’t want to stand. You do the math. Tonight a friend charmed the crowd with her offbeat, non threatening quiet and her sex dripping metaphors. Mmm.
I was getting wet just listening to her talk about egg yolks dripping down the blender. And I thought of you. How one childhood fantasy and a couple thousand viewings of The Show Must Go On has lived inside me for decades and maybe I would like to finally see if you’re down. I think you would be. It was fucking gross but I have a feeling you’d be into it. I used to think about having eggs mashed all over me. I want to tell you more but first you need to sign off. You need to tell me one of your deep secrets. You need to prove that this won’t get wasted or chopped up into tiny pieces or used against me. I mean if I knew already I would let you use anything against me but that’s a BONUS. That’s for good little exhibitionists.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“beneficial to anyone” by Sasha at the casita

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Vampire bats also appear” by Sasha in bed at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday October 3, 2017
5:53pm
5 minutes
Dust
Charles Pellegrino

I’ve never been sicker.
I always feel that when I’m sick.
I’ve never felt this hot wound sore achey fuckedup messy snot mess.
Can’t focus pencil on page.
Can’t breathe.
Can’t think.
No space.
So tired.
Could someone else please do this for me?
I need help.
I moan and groan and moan more groan more.
Cold water down the throat of knives and you tried to feed me eggs and I ate them, reluctant.
I’ve never been sicker.
This is the worst time.
This is the worst of the most terrible.
I may not survive.
I know that I am dramatic but LittleBoy does see a wolf one day and what happens then?

“Water music” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday, October 2
6:59pm
5 minutes
Major Orchestral Works
Felix Mendelssohn

I take a bath in the tub where I learned to swim
My sister across from me
Peppermint soap in our ear’s
The hum of our parents voices rising through the floorboards
Fluffy comfort that we don’t know can be broken

I think about writing this
How my appetite’s returned
Words haven’t satiated or helped or healed
But now they can
And they will

I lather my head with shampoo
And fill an old yogurt container with warm water from the tap
I rinse and rinse and rinse
A blue jay sits on the branch right there outside the window
Sings for awhile

There are stains where the drain is
And my love makes dinner downstairs
My parents live in different houses with different loves
My sister rocks her baby to sleep and sings the
Lullaby we heard
Here

“I’m driving so couldn’t really see it” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Saturday September 23, 2017
3:39am
5 minutes
from a text

You stand on the edge of a hill.
You take in the vista.
Maybe the sun is rising.

Maybe your mother is somewhere close by
And your sister
And her daughter.

And almost all of the women you love
Gathered around a fire.

A black river rushes close by.

You will marry your love today.
Yes. You will marry your love today.

You tie the sash of your dress and
The sun whispers about the past and the future.
You laugh because you’re unwrapping each minute.
A present.
Presence.

Eighty seven voices sing you into being
Sing you across the threshold.

“On the day of our wedding” by Sasha in the Kiva

Monday September 18, 2017
11:31pm
5 minutes
Swing Low
Miriam Toews

On the day of our wedding I will vow to
Be impeccable with my word
Not take things personally
I will vow not to make assumptions
And to choose love choose love
Choose love
Choose
Love
Every day

I will break these vows

We agree that we will
Break these vows

“It’s an aspiration”
You say
On the phone long distance

“It’s an aspiration”
I say
Under my breath
Crossing things off the list

On the day of our wedding
We will stand in a field
Under a blue sky
We will walk with our parents
We will walk alone
We will sweat
We will cry
We will worry that someone is uncomfortable
We will feel grace
We will promise
Honesty
Love
Honor
We will do our best
We will speak vows
We will break
We will kiss
We will vow
I will vow to

Be the one to hold
You
To yourself
To me
To your word
To the supple space
Between now and forever

“I need to buy some tango shoes” by Sasha in an airplane heading East

Thursday September 14, 2017
2:39pm
5 minutes
overheard at the airport

Marsha keeps talking about her fucking tango shoes. It’s driving me up the wall. She acts like she knows how to dance. What she does is not dancing, I don’t know what it is, but it isn’t tango. And besides, there’s no such thing as tango shoes! Put some leather on the bottom of your best lace up heels. There. Tango shoe. Marsha’s all talk. She talks and talks but nothing ever comes of it. She never actually does it. I wouldn’t be surprised if she hasn’t even taken one class. She’s off the rails.

“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

“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.

“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

“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

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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 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

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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

“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.

“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

“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

“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.

“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

“I was speaking body-to-body.” By Sasha at her desk


Wednesday June 21, 2017
11:18pm
5 minutes
From an interview with Lidia Yuknavitch on http://www.bloom-site.com

We don’t have much to say to each other
with these things
with these words
with syll-
ables
broken and frayed
and drunk on vowels

We speak body-to-body
sweaty sheets wound round
thighs and arms and
you touch me with the
conviction I’ve always
wanted to be wanted
in this articulation

When we walk down the
street you are distant
one hand on the handlebars
of your bicycle
I’m not used to this
arrangement of hard
K’s and V’s and
you disorient me
with your vague
interpretations of
song lyrics of the
band I wish I knew

I am gutted when
you stop calling
because I’ve only known
this body-to-body to mean
something
something languid
something truthful
something gracious

It’s two years before I
know the true taste of sweetness
of gentle whispered w’s and a’s

“That’s what I was thinking” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday June 19, 2017
12:03am
5 minutes
Overheard on West Broadway

On the Saturday before Grade Nine was to start, in a new school, an hour and a half commute from my one house and an hour and forty three minute commute from my other house, I stare at my reflection in the bathroom mirror (at the former house). Something. Does. Not. Look. Right. My left eye is… swelling. Perhaps a less astute person would not notice anything (at least at this point), but I, I am beyond astute. I might as well have a magnifying glass.

“compelled to live under difficult conditions” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday June 15, 2017
11:11pm
5 minutes
Ancient Wisdom, Modern World
The Dalai Lama


You occasionally wonder about what it might be like to be a sister of the holy order of the Arbutus. They live in a thick forest, in an abbey built of three different kinds of sacred wood no one knows the names of. They are not your traditional nuns, these sisters. They can still have sex, for one, and for two, they question morals and books and all that is sworn to be truth. Sister Lupe even has a husband back in Argentina, but they are happier apart with what she calls “conjugal visits” six times a year. Their creed is long, but one of your favourites is that no one shall ever suck in their tummy.

“don’t trip on the stairs” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday June 13, 2017
12:03am
5 minutes
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Neil Gaiman


Call me shaker Call me howler
Call me maker Call me feast
Call me famine Call me reverent
Call me simple Call me beast
Call me sing Call me frenzy
Call me chaos Call me great
Call me famine Call me bringer
Call me omen Call me fate
Call me shuffle Call me changer
Call me teacher Call me sin
Call me runner Call me muscle
Call me gold Call me win
Call me birch bark Call me tinder
Call me flint Call me steel
Call me engine Call me bullet
Call me handmade Call me wheel
Call me mother Call me lover
Call me woman Call me moon
Call me bear Call me elephant
Call me wolf Call me loon

“capacity for self-control.” By Sasha in the bedroom in Whistler


Sunday June 11, 2017
10:42pm
5 minutes
From an interview with Maia Szalavitz in The Sun

Lonnie tempts herself by placing three chocolate eggs on the coffee table in front of her. No sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no soda, no processed foods, no oil, no nuts. Lots of rice cakes. A few cups of black coffee. Kelly brought chocolate when she came to visit – stale Easter eggs. It’s August. Lonnie wonders if they are starting to melt. She images eating them.

“my flight leaves for Edmonton” by Sasha in the Kiva


Thursday June 8, 2017
11:18pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre

“It’s okay if you want to cry. I can see that you’re – ”

“I’m not going to cry.” Dan smacks my hand away from his face.

His flight leaves in three hours and we haven’t decided if I’m taking him to the airport or he’s going in a taxi. Public transit is now no longer an option.

“I could still come with you?” I look at my toes.

“No. No… I need to do this alone,” he says, finally making eye contact. Tears brimming.

“Why won’t you let me support you?” I try not to sound like I’m asking something of him. Everyone is asking something of him.

“I’m trying, Gem, but it’s just like – … I don’t even know what I need so how am I supposed to tell you what I – …”

His phone rings. It’s Joanne, his stepmother. Everything in the room gets very still

“All my creative juices” by Sasha on the couch at Lewis St.


Wednesday June 7, 2017
7:54pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Mercury Espresso Bar

I stop
mid sentence
mid thought
mid moment
in between
mid moment
a monarch
flies over
our heads
I notice
that it’s
been a long time
since I’ve seen one.

A truck honks
it’s horn
the moment
is broken
the butterfly
is gone.

My sister
and I sit
on a brown
blanket on
the grass
her daughter
all blue eyed
wonder.

We talk about
gurus and love
friendship and
motherhood.

“also fun” by Sasha in the basement at Bowmore Rd.


Tuesday June 6, 2017
1:02am
5 minutes
From a tweet

Lisa is serious, a squiggle in her brow most of the time, eyes focused, down on her page. She is also fun, knowing how to roll down a big grassy hill, knowing how to draw animals in 3D. On the night she was born, her father was hit by lightning. He missed her birth. She never knew the difference, but her mother did. Her mother resented that bearded, stout man until he took to the bottle and never looked back. Lisa sometimes wonders where her father might be, mid shade of an eyebrow or sketch of a lion’s mane. And just as soon as the thought arrives, it’s gone.

“wild horses” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday June 3, 2017
10:49pm
5 minutes
From the Microsoft home-screen

Huddled in the closet where your mother keeps bleach, baking soda, laundry detergent, you whisper in my ear that there’s something you need to show me.

I’m wearing purple shorts and a black T-shirt with Phantom of the Opera on it. You’re wearing jean shorts and a stained white hoodie.

“I ate a freezee in less than thirty seconds,” you’d told me earlier, referencing the orange drips. They look like tears, I’d thought, before running to the washroom to check if I’d peed a few drips – sisters.

It’s dark, except for the slit of light reaching under the door. You reach for the button of your shorts.

“stress hormones can also cross the placenta” by Sasha on the 99


Thursday June 1, 2017
11:32pm
5 minutes
alive.com

Monica makes the sign of the cross and sits down at her desk. She wonders if she’ll have the courage to do it today. The phone rings.

“Dr. Kent’s office, how may I help you?” Her voice sounds different here than at home, when she’s talking to Bozo or singing to the radio as she makes dinner.

“I need to speak to Dr. Kent right away,” says the woman on the other end of the line.

“Dr. Kent is with a patient at present. Might I pass along a message?” Monica reaches for her green tea and sips it. It’s cold.

“I just read something online about how stress hormones can cross the placenta and reach the babies? I’m freaking out! This has been the most stressful three months of my life. It’s bad enough to give one child issues, but two?! I need to speak to – ”

“Take a deep breath. In through your nose and out through your mouth.” Monica rolls her eyes.

“Cut cucumber halves crosswise” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, May 29, 2017
8:03pm
5 minutes
The Silver Palate Cookbook
Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins


For her nineteenth birthday, Cath makes Tal a cookbook of all the recipes that she loved growing up. Cath’s still known around town as “Tal’s Mom”. She wonders when she’ll regain her one-ness, sometimes, when she runs into Rita and John at the IGA. “How’s Tal?” Rita says, putting hamburger meat into their basket. “She’s good! Really good.” Cath says. “Still playing basketball?” John strokes his grey goatee. “Yup, varsity,” Cath smiles. “You must miss her so much,” Rita shakes her head. “Girl that talented, you hope that she sticks around…”

“The only thing we lack” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday May 28, 2017
2:19pm
5 minutes
A program from the Cultch

Today I rise from bed groggy
heart full of last night’s baring
dreams of children and quartz
eyes wide
rushing water
my sister’s hair
a walk in the woods
barefoot
I sit on the balcony
cradling tea and my thirty-first
cradling all that I have built
on this borrowed plot
I call my father
and he sings in a voice
that lands somewhere
before time
A hummingbird
lands on the tree with
the yellow blooms
Joy
Joy
Joy

“he can sound like the rain” by Sasha on her couch


Friday May 26, 2017
12:48am
5 minutes
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
Dr. Seuss


“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Gemma-ma-ma, happy birthday to you!”

Mom’s made strawberry shortcake. I don’t have to request it, she knows it’s what I want. Calvin is a vegan so she even whipped up some tofu thing for him to have. What a woman. Her face has changed over the last nine months. She’s looking more and more like Gran. It’s the first birthday in our family since Dad died, and I know that Cal just sang the “ma-ma” because that’s what Dad would’ve done. While we eat our cake, the rain starts. It gets quiet.

“Maybe that’s him,” Mom says.

“There is nothing here” by Julia at her desk


Thursday May 25, 2017
10:08pm
5 minutes
This is It
James Broughton


I have waited for inspiration to strike
like the match of missed connections
like the booklet of nose aids on high alert
There is no force of flame, nor flicker
There is nothing here that looks like me

According to a long lost diary from my
mother’s storage locker we all gave up
on her when we believed that she was fine
Of course we didn’t think to ask further
to make sure that she was being honest
If I could defend us without seeming
defensive, I would say we didn’t want to know
the truth and so we let her smile

We gave her short hugs like they wouldn’t
be our lasts
Called her twice a month
business as usual, instead of once a week
And she thought it would be too much
to ask for more
And she wanted to ask for more.

“There is nothing here” by Sasha on her balcony


Thursday May 25, 2017
7:05pm
5 minutes
This is It
James Broughton


The movie theatre where I see Titanic in 1997
– clutching my sister’s hand
crying on the subway the whole way home –
it’s a drugstore now.

The house where I am born on Victoria Park
ravine stretching down the back
– treasure walks and birthday cake
and running through the sprinkler –
has a different coloured roof
and door.

There is nothing here that tells time
like the precise blur
of my nostalgia
a patina of fingerprints
marking grace
and doubt.

“I was not able to hold high notes that long” by Sasha in the car on the way home


Tuesday May 23, 2017
10:06pm
5 minutes
From a YouTube comment on a Mariah Carey music video

When the voices told her to steal, Julianne heard a high pitched sound before she did it. Club Monaco just opened on Princess St. The voices asked for a black crew neck T-shirt and a blue and white striped sweater. Julianne was worried. Club Monaco was expensive. Club Monaco sounded like a place the Kardashians would stay, someplace in Aruba, or Mexico, or France. Shoppers was easiest. Mac, the security guard, had loved Julianne since they were five years old and in the same senior kindergarten. He let her go last Sunday when she took three foundations (varying skin tones), an expensive face wash and some almond butter. “You gotta stop it, Julianne,” Mac had said, behind the rolls of toilet paper and dryer sheets. “You really gotta stop.”

“I tried to get Ben to go see it” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday May 19, 2017
10:53pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Alex and Charles’ place

Ben makes the potato salad and I roast corn on the barbecue. We’ve barely spoken all day. His parents are due in twenty-five minutes. Ben puts Kieth Jarret on the record player and it spills out of the screen door. I char the the corn, and bite my lip. Cecilia, Ben’s mother, had a stroke in July and she’s not herself, or, she’s a new version. It hurts Ben to see her, and so he doesn’t as much. I asked him what was wrong this morning when he seemed grouchy, moping around in his ratty plaid pyjama pants.