“A single breast winking,” by Sasha on her couch


Monday February 29, 2016
11:35pm
5 minutes
FWD FWD
Robin Evans


I don’t know how to tell you about
this body
that breaks open
seeds all over the place
dying your hands the colour of the hurt
I don’t know how to tell you about
the time I was grabbed on the subway platform
too young to know what this body even means
to a world obsessed
the time I was followed
fifteen
running up the stairs to
the house on the street named after a tree
heart pounding out of my ears out of my mouth
Thumbing through a phone book for the number to call
We are taught it’s not an emergency until someone
get’s hurt
I don’t know how to tell you about
the complexities of getting home alone
keys gripped one between each finger
glances over a shoulder that burden kisses
and has kissed since breasts sprouted
uninvited

“everyone can help themselves” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, January 11, 2016
10:41pm
5 minutes
thestonesoup.com

There was something in the air that made Amanda shiver, and it wasn’t cold. She got this feeling every so often. It was not linked to ovulation or the weather. She shivered and Jamie asked if something was wrong and she said, “No,” but Jamie knew her better than that. They were sat at the shared workspace table in the main room of the office. They had started at the firm at the same time and had a similar weariness to their foreheads. Jamie’s short blonde hair made her look younger than she was. Amanda always wondered if she had long hair, how things might be different for her. Amanda played with a swatch of fabric on the table in front of her. “I’m just having that feeling again.”

“everyone can help themselves” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, January 11, 2016
5:43pm
5 minutes
thestonesoup.com

Mind Body Connection:
Deep breath
Okay, good
Good?
Breathing, breathing
I don’t need to be told to breathe
Well you stopped
Because I was thinking!
NO THINKING.
Are you serious?
Yes, very serious
Fine, deep f–
No swearing
Come ON, how did you know I was even going to?
Because you’re very transparent and stubborn and I’ve been observing you
Ugh
Focus
I am
Okay then do it
breathe?
Yes, breathe
okay, Deep Breath
Mhm
Breathing
yes, good, continue
I am alone on a rock
Oh, good, rock is good,
I am alone and I am breathing—
Breathing
I AM, I told you I don’t need you to tell me
I am breathing
You?
breathing in and out calmly, slowly, to encourage you
Is this even about me?
Yes, very serious.
WHAT THE FUC–
NO SWEARING.

“Bowl of acceptance” by Julia in the guest suite


Thursday, December 31, 2015
5:31am
5 minutes
Overheard in the Living Room

Honouring our mother we stare deep into our blood with a little wink and a hug saying “we can only go forward now.” Your heart rests just above mine like it was designed to. You came first, you reached up to the sky where you saw endless possibilities and I reached up to you because I believed you were as high as I needed to go. Now we lead each other, honouring our mother, giving her the gift we refused to when we were young.
“Please don’t fight.” “Why can’t you two be kind to each other?” “Tell me, do you treat your friends this way?”
We didn’t know it at the time that we weren’t treating each other like anything but ourselves and we both had a lot of figuring out to do. We threw self-blame and self-hate and self-wondering because we were each other’s mirror and we saw ourselves reflected back through shades of green in a way we couldn’t understand.
I let your heart shift around on mine to find its spot. I keep you there like a stamp of time and a promise of forever.

“technically I could be there by” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday November 28, 2015
7:37pm
5 minutes
From an email

Harriet prays that Kendra might, by divine grace, arrive early. She’s been alone with Sam and Leah for three days straight. Vic had to take the job, their financial woes causing her eczema and him lock-jaw. “I’ll only be away seven days out of the month, hon,” Vic had said, picking a chunk of oatmeal off her sweater.

When Kendra gets there, all rosy cheeks and perky breasts, Harriet considers kissing her. She hasn’t kissed a woman since college, when she experimented with lesbianism via a three months relationship with Luella, her Spanish TA. She decides against it, she needs Kendra, in a practical, supercharged way that trumps saviour lust.

“The oldest surviving” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday November 14, 2015
12:39am
5 minutes
from a tweet

The oldest survivor, Maya, white braids woven around her head like a brain basket, lives on the Big Island of Hawaii. When I visit her, careful not to step on the wildflowers and cacti that line the path towards her door, she opens it before I can raise my fist to knock. “You’re here,” she says, like she knows me, like she knew that I would have a sunburned nose. “I’m here!” I say, unsure what to do besides parrot. Maya leads me into her kitchen and cracks a coconut open with a machete on her countertop. She’s plump in the most beautiful way, her arms strong and her shoulders broad. They’ve carried waves. They’ve carried change. They’ve carried children and banana leaves.

“in response to” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday November 11, 2015
6:11pm
5 minutes
From Performing Site Specific Theatre
Ed. Anna Birch and Joanne Tompkins


my mother’s mother had a strong jaw
my mother has a strong jaw
i have a
strong jaw
women like foothills
hips that lead to knowing
women like water
shoulders that feel the weight

my mother’s mother
all interruption
all control
all strength
all smoke
all ash
all sun
all dust
all breath
all power
all shame
all grace
all cherry tree
all candle wax
all salt
all curve
all language

my mother’s mother
a legacy of cabbage rolls
chocolate worship
picked the scabs on her arms until she bled
i pick the scab on my arm until i bleed
the story spins a web of then and now
my future daughter
my mother’s mother
my mother
my sister
the story spins a dreidel
marking roots
marking laugh lines
marking tear tracks
marking what’s good
what’s bad
the space between

“amazing work” by Sasha in front of the fire


Friday, October 23, 2015
11:12pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I don’t trust his confections
his thick liquid syrup
I am squeamish with his
“Amazing work”
“Your eyes”
Cream cheese icing
is only good in small doses
Caramel poem is brittle
left out in the cold
“Your rhymes are elementary”
Oh
Ohhhh
Bitter melon
Bitter greens
“You think you’re better than you are”
“That’s your downfall”
That’s your downfall
Eyes lingering on nipples
Where nipples might be
The mystery
The promise of nipples

“Canada’s Indigenous communities” by Sasha at Benny’s


Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at Benny’s
2:21pm
5 minutes
An email from The David Suzuki Foundation

I watch as they search and I’m full and empty and nothing and everything
I help them I try to help them
Feeble attempt at solidarity
Until the sun sets and breath is visible
Until icicles form inside my ears
“Let’s call it a day,” Bruce says
and I’m grateful
“No.”
Jenny glares at me
at her father
“We have flashlights, we have tea…
What if she’s out here, freezing to death?”
Bruce goes home and I stay
Jenny and me
I’m half her size and my heart beats in my ears
the whole time
“She’s not dead,” Jenny says
offering me the thermos
“I know it.”
I nod
I drink deep
Cedar and something I’ve never smelt or tasted
“She’s somewhere.”
My sister
At home in Edmonton
Putting her daughter to sleep
Saying prayers about monsters
Kissing her nose

“new hipster beer” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Monday May 25, 2015 at Higher Grounds
4:03pm
5 minutes
A beer tasting

L. orders me a drink, a new hipster beer, a tallboy can, and I don’t have the heart to tell him I don’t like beer. I drink it fast, for that reason, to taste it less. “Let’s get nachos,” I say, figuring if I already drank beer, cheese won’t hurt. “Cool…” It’s his favourite word. “Cool.”

I regret sleeping with him the second he’s on top of me. “Uh, I need to go to the bathroom.” He rolls off. “Cool.” I put on a hockey jersey that’s over the back of his desk chair, hoping to endear him. I don’t know why. Why do I want to endear him? I can’t help it.

The tiles are cool under my feet. I look for something to wash myself with and find shaving cream and toothpaste. Shaving cream it is.

I don’t go back to his room. I leave my clothes – my new bra, my ripped black undies, by cutoffs and my maroon tank top – I leave it all. Who cares. Thank god my purse is with my shoes. Thank god. In a hockey jersey and flip-flops, I hail a taxi.

“I’m on Prozac, did I tell you?” by Sasha on the couch in Horseshoe Bay


Friday, May 15, 2015
10:27pm
5 minutes
View From The Dome
Theresa Rebeck


“What are you eating?”
“Nothing…”
“You’re chewing!”
“No I’m not.”
“Stop lying to me – ”
“Leave me along!”
Pause.
“I saw you.”
“You saw me doing what?”
“…”
“…”
“You know!”
“…?”
“I don’t want to say it! It makes it real! It’s gross!”
“Get over yourself.”
“Me?”
“…”
“Eating your toenail clippings might be the nastiest thing I’ve ever seen.”
“Your judgement is toxic.”
“Your TOES are probably toxic!”
“It’s natural. All animals preen.”
“You’re a grown woman. You are not an animal.”
“We are all animals.”
“On my God.”

“In the 1950’s the word” by Sasha in Lighthouse Park


Wednesday May 13, 2015 at Dark Horse
2:46pm
5 minutes
The R-Word
Heather Kirn Lanier


When she makes the bed she whispers, “corner’s tucked, sheets flat, duvet fluffy.” She hears Bill leave for work and, as the door locks she quietly calls, “Goodbye!” Gwen waits until eleven, once the dog walker has come and she’s had second cup of coffee to get out the watercolour paints. “A small jar of water on the left, paints on the right…” A whisper, like a feather on her neck. A joint hangs from her lips, but she never lights it. She breathes in quickly, tasting the sweet perfume. Bill has a medical license for his Glaucoma. He leaves joints already rolled in a small ziplock bag in the spice cabinet. She takes them in her mouth, each one, when she paints. “Shhh, little angel,” and a flick of red.

“Watch your belongings” by Julia on the 505 going west


Tuesday, April 28, 2015
11:54pm
5 minutes
A sign in the Kitsilano Public Library

Tuck had been running back and forth to the toilet all morning. He felt like a train was plowing through his stomach since last night’s sushi. He knew he shouldn’t have finished it all after the first bite of tuna that smelled very close to the stuff he’d sometimes find underneath his toes. Tuck always smelled his toe jam. He couldn’t help it. He kind of liked it. But Tuck wasn’t big on waste, or health, or being an adult and ordering new food because that would take time and he was hungry as all hell. Every bite he ate he had to plug his nose so he wouldn’t taste the…funk of it. He ate every last morsel and it only took him 25 minutes for him to regret it. He could hear his mother’s shrill voice in his ear as he hunched over the can, preparing his guts for another roller coaster ride. “Don’t you want to enjoy your food, Tucker? What’s the point in eating if you refuse to even taste it!” He didn’t want to be thinking of her right now. It was hard enough having to ask a customer to watch the diner every 5 minutes so he could run to the bathroom and purge.

“The sound of cracking bones” by Sasha in her bed


Wednesday April 22, 2015
1:12am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

When I see your selfies I hear cracking bones
Not knuckles
Bigger bones
Bones of more consequence
Femur and humerus
A selfie is self-exploration
the self-portrait of our generation so why am I
goosebumps and stomach flips?
Why am I skeptical?
Your face is the milky way of your being so seeing thirteen
photos a day of it leaves less mystery
leaves less imagining
leaves room for less mess
Or
Maybe
it’s my awkwardness
I like my face
It’s one of my better attributes
But when I hold the camera
short arm extended
It still makes my nose look larger than it is
My roots exposed above ground
(I think?)
My forehead
the prairies

“Die this way” by Sasha on her porch


Tuesday, April 21, 2015
10:01am
5 minutes
from a song on the radio

I’m ready for this age
Wrinkles across
wrapping paper cheeks
My grandmother’s tiny bird-frame lasted ninety seven years
These curves becoming rounder and these feet
taking me deeper into the red valley

The last time I saw my father I noticed the lines around his eyes
My eyes
This blue like the party dress I wore to my sister’s wedding
I noticed the whiteness of his beard
His ears
Hairs like ivy
My sister and I talk
long distance
about our mother’s pains
spreading like a forest fire
Now it’s her knees

“GOOD BOY!” By Julia at George Brown Theatre School


Tuesday, April 13, 2015
7:01pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits Beach

He strokes the skin right behind my ears. Tells me I’m soft, but I’m hiding it. He takes his tongue to the edge of where is expected. He lightly drags it up my neck to my ear lobe. He pauses. He whispers. “You taste like sunset.” He continues. My earlobe is in his mouth now, the softness being swallowed, chewed, ignited. Tells me I don’t have to be afraid of magic. I start to tell him I’m not–he devours me whole. “Shhh” he croons. “Don’t fight it. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.” I try again, “I’m not afraid. I’m fine.” He groans in a gentle way, holding my head up with his thumb and forefinger.

“a new relationship to the vagina” by Julia on the subway going west


Wednesday March 25, 2015
5:28pm
5 minutes
Vagina
Naomi Wolf


Yesterday I glanced down and I was surprised. Surprised that after all these years (31 if you’re wondering), I actually liked what I saw. Yeah get over it I’m talking about my vagina. Why can’t I? Don’t answer that, I don’t give a shit. I’m allowed to talk about whatever I want, especially when it’s something I love. You hear that, I don’t just like my vagina. I love her. With a thousand deeply regretted shitty comments I’ve uttered about myself, I take a stand today, mirror in between my legs, and facing the setting sun. I see who I am all over. Soft. Capable. Hungry. Open. Closed. Both. Alive. Strong. Resilient. Self-preserved. Willing to house others.
My vagina is my spirit animal.
I am she and she is me.

Choosing what is important for her” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday March 27, 2015
6:42pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

She’s kept a food journal for twelve years. Mostly it’s been a secret. Only three people know. Sonja – because they spend so much time together and secrets are boring to keep for so long with someone so close; Pete (her once removed ex) – because he once caught her writing in it, when she’d thought he’d been asleep, and he asked and asked until she caved and then he made endless fun of her (via questions) and then she left him; and Jillian – because when Jillian was going through her sex change she felt it was only fair to reveal something private and strange and a bit shameful because Jillian was revealing so much so publicly and it was all she could think to reveal of herself.

She decides, one particularly rainy evening, as she sits cross-legged on her bed, her sheepdog Oscar snoring beside her, that this madness has to stop. She’s taken to recounting everything she’s eaten before bed, a kind of calming ritual, perhaps similar to putting ones legs up against the wall or praying (but entirely different). Today, she can’t remember what she’d eaten for lunch. Was it a can of tuna on baby salad greens? Was it miso soup? Was it half a cantaloupe with cottage cheese? Was it a protein shake? It was as though every day was every other day and nothing was as it should be. “Why am I doing this?” She asks aloud, Oscar waking up and cocking his head towards her, just the amount of sympathy she needs.

“a new relationship to the vagina” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday March 25, 2015
9:41am
5 minutes
Vagina
Naomi Wolf


She mentions the book over pottery mugs of Earl Grey tea, cupped in our open palms. We’re perched in chairs that used to live in her parents house, smaller versions of their armchair grownup selves. She tells me that it’s changed her life, this book, and I trust her, this woman, and I promise myself that when I see it, I will buy it. I want a new relationship with my vagina, too.

The timer is running out of time because I’ve paused a bunch while writing this, feeling nervous, not wanting to overshare, but wanting to be very honest.

If you haven’t read Vagina by Naomi Wolf, please find someone to borrow it from, or buy it, or order it from the library. If you are a woman, this is for you. If you are a man, this is for you. If you are neither, this is also for you. No matter who you love or why you love them or what you have or what you don’t have, this book is for you.

It took me a long time to recognize the politics of my body. I want to understand them and I can’t simply from reading The Globe and Mail.