“The girl looking like Catherine Deneuve” by Sasha at the office

Tuesday December 4, 2018
12:35pm
5 minutes
Fall Is the Last Season of the Year
Nasim Marashi

It’s all about how you position yourself
How you make yourself be
I mean okay some of it is how you’re born
Your genes or God or whatever decides
Some of it is that

But you do have some choice in the matter
Like if you’re going to take care of yourself
and wear clothes that flatter you
and get a good haircut for your face shape
and everything

I used to think that I was one of the ugly ones
and then I turned into one of the pretty ones
and now I’m somewhere in the middle
now that I’m not flirting with everything in sight

I remember Mama saying that at a certain age
you become invisible and how strange that is
after being so visible for so long after being
ogled and eyed and cat-called
to suddenly disappear

“a conversation unfolds” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday, December 2, 2018
7:32am
5 minutes
Conversation Across Languages
Derick Mattern

When I call
the conversation between us
unfolds open
reaches break
lily-of-the-valley
Rose-of-Sharon

Oh the grief is heavy
on my tongue
stretching down
to my throat
to my belly
to my feet

Oh this grief meets
the very core and
I hold you over long distance
airways over the Prairies
I hold you like you did me
when most of what I was
was daughter

“To cling to water?” By Sasha at her desk

Saturday, December 1, 2018
9:10pm
5 minutes
Is It Possible to Love a Ghost?
Erin Kang

When I think about leaving
I think about leaving the ocean
This
Body
of water that has grown me up
and out and in

I make you promise that we’ll
go to the lake often
and to the house in the woods
This
Body
needs water

We are sixty percent water
and I am more now
growing life in water
my rivers more visible
pulsing and hot
readying for
the arrival

“three boring facts about yourself” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday, November 29, 2018
8:17am
5 minutes
Two Truths and a Lie
Alicia Elliot

There are so many boring things about us, right? Like, we all inspect the weird ways our body hair grows. Like, we all think about our first love and if they are happy and if they remember when you kissed for hours until your face was chafed. Like, we all laugh at our farts when no one’s around. All these boring little things that add up to be a full version of a person, of all the people. Like, everyone loves carbs. Like, everyone loves love.

“It’s her first time here” by Sasha at work

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
2:17pm
5 minutes
I Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind
Marianne Apostolides

He calls from where the snow is
from where the gulls call or at least
that’s how I imagine it

Whenever I write like this I think
about the lectures on line breaks and rhythm
and how I wonder if I’m taking my own notes

I step into a cold classroom and coo sympathy
because that’s what he deserves and coo
support because that’s what he needs

Friendship is one of the greatest gifts
in my life and when one of these
dear hearts needs boundless love

I reach down and out and up and through
and it is such a pleasure to give

“cinnamon, cardamom and ginger” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday, November 26, 2018
7:18am
5 minutes
A recipe for apple muffins

Baking helps me understand why some people like math. You buy good ingredients, you measure these ingredients, you preheat the oven, you stir, you blend, you incorporate, you get to the bottom of the bowl, maybe you even try to save on a few unnecessary steps or dishes, but that’s it, nothing more. The recipe is the container and it holds you. Follow it, and you’re (almost) guaranteed to have a house that smells good and something delicious. There aren’t variables in math (or, are there?!) and there are variables in baking, but not big ones.

“In case you think that all of this” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday, November 25, 2018
8:30am
5 minutes
Come Of Age
Stephen Jenkinson

“This isn’t about you!” Gary shouts. I can hear him through the wall. His office is his favourite place in the world. He loves it in there so much that whenever I forward him a seat sale he writes back, “I’d rather be at home.” Our bedroom is on the other side of the wall, and because I don’t work from home didn’t imagine that I’d need an office. When we bought this house, it was perfect in every way and a space to call only my own wasn’t all that necessary. But now that Gary’s dear old Dad has finally died, and he’s sorting things our with his sister Becky, all I hear in the evenings, while I try to read in bed, is him shouting at her. Shouting that this “isn’t what Dad would’ve wanted!” Shouting “you are so narcissistic, Rebecca, I don’t know how you’ve made it thus far!” Gary isn’t usually a shouter, actually I can maybe count the times he’s yelled at me on one hand.

“Our mission is” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday, November 24, 2018
10:14pm
5 minutes
Braving the Wilderness
Brene Brown

The stanza of your body is an edit
these weeks and I make food and listen
to music and hope for the best even
though you are the verse I want
to sing along to

I tell you that I have had to learn
about soothing myself and saving myself
and being myself in the quiet of evening
in the quiet of morning I tell you
that this is the silver lining

Swelling with pride over who
we have become to ourselves to one another
the stanza of your body is here
in the absence because you are here
in my body in my heart in my spirit
twirling smoke into future

“Whale, Seahorse, Narwhal, and Crab” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday November 23, 2018
11:20pm
5 minutes
A Whale of a Tail!
Illustrated by Jo Moon

I’m going to shake the dreams from my ears and watch
as they fall out into the bathtub with a PLOP.
I’m going to greet the Whale with a bow and a song as
she knows so much more than I ever will.
I’m going to ride the Seahorse across the purple prairies
and listen to his breath through his body through my legs.
I’m going to dance up to the treetops and find a branch to swing from
where all the babies and children can see me and laugh and laugh.
I’m going to tell the Narwhal that I’m sorry for all the times
I’ve forgotten she was sleeping and turned on the twinkle lights.
I’m going to skate across the Milky Way and settle in a galaxy
beyond here where there is a field big enough for my hope.
I’m going to tell the Crab that it’s safe to come out even though
it doesn’t always feel like it is.

“white supremacy is disseminated” by Sasha at her coffee table

Thursday November 22, 2018
9:02pm
5 minutes
White Fragility
Robin DiAngelo

I want to know what to say
in the face of your ignorance
in the face of your pain
sat across from me at my
kitchen table.

I want to be able to make space
for your heartache and misinformation
but really I’m just haunted
by the way you see it
by your blindness to your privilege.

The conversation plays over and over
in my mind and I’m checking myself
my disconnections my rearview mirror
I’m wondering if I let myself down.

It’s not about being politically correct
It’s not about denying this kind of conversation
It’s about leaning in
Which I did not do because I was scared.

White supremacy
the tentacles reaching
backwards and forwards in time
“That’s not what this is about”
But it is yes oh yes.

“Our “new” or higher brain” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday November 21, 2018
10:56pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

Foggy head foggy heart foggy mouth tastes like floss and tea and tears and beeswax. At home I go through boxes of tissue and swaddle myself in flannel. At home it all flows and that’s good. It’s good when it moves, when it sways, what it somersaults, when it liquifies. Gemini Moon, grant me the strength, give me the power, show me the way. Folding my tongue over in the mouth so that all the feelings stay corked, stay in, where is it appropriate to grieve and celebrate and wail and dance? Turn the music louder til then, turn the heat up, heal in the harmony and the heat. Carve an apple into a heart.

“Wring or twist” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore

Monday November 19, 2018
10:32am
5 minutes
from a blanket tag

For L.

Three swollen bellies
Three sisters standing
shoulder to shoulder
Babies arriving in
March, April and May

A father
A father to one of them
married to the other two’s mother
Quakes in his body
Fights in his body
Surrender in his body
His spirit soaring
on the tails of grace notes
Crafting harmonies
with all he has
These babies whispering
from beyond
Please stay

Someone will write
this story one day
People will say
“There’s no way”
“Really?”
“How can that be?”
Maybe I will
I will write this
story my story
our story
Maybe I am
right now maybe
that’s what I’m doing
right here

Trying to make sense
of this impossible timing
of this wrecking ball
swinging between
joy and sorrow
excitement and grief

Pregnant with possibility
Dying into possibility

“Party in the house” by Sasha on the couch at Bowmore

Sunday November 18, 2018
9:43am
5 minutes
Overheard at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

When Pawpaw gets home Gramma makes a big party and we even get to have pop! Sprite and Pepsi. Clyde mixes them together and then laughs and some comes out his nose. I try not to pee when I laugh at him with that brown stuff coming out, but I think I do a little bit, but not enough that anyone would know. Pawpaw hasn’t been home in TWENTY SIX years, since right before Daddy was born. Before Daddy went to prison he would take me to visit Pawpaw and we’d even sometimes get touch, like once or twice that really happened.

“Help yourself to some food” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore

Saturday November 17, 2018
5:48pm
5 minutes
From a text

I make food for you because it’s all I can do. I make fish, broccoli, mashed sweet potato. I add extra butter because you need the calories. Mom isn’t sure if you’ll be able to eat it, if you’ll like it, but it’s all I can do so I do it, and I don’t mind if you don’t like it, or can’t stomach it. Tomorrow I’ll roast a chicken and make stew, finely dicing carrots, onions, celery, potato, zucchini. No garlic. Only salt and pepper and love. I make food for you because it’s all I can do, but it’s better. It’s better being able to do this simple thing, this vital simple thing now that I’m here.

“the high priestess of soul” by Sasha in her old bedroom at Bowmore

Friday November 16, 2018
11:03pm
5 minutes
Universal Soldiers
Andrea Warner

My mother is beautiful
in the thickness of grief
My mother
bless her ravaged heart
her oatmeal-making
her devotion

People don’t talk
about how it smells
(salty wet acidic)
about how it looks
(pale shrunken)
about how it feels in the bones
(heavy empty ragged)

I awaken with clenched teeth
and a prayer between them
Glory Bound
sweat on my forehead
butterfly kicks
in my womb

“atmosphere is occasionally interrupted” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday November 15, 2018
10:53pm
5 minutes
Old Patterns Fresh Beauty
Andrea Marván

Muffins on the counter, cooling. Apple and oatmeal, cinnamon. You made them to soothe yourself. It’s the measuring and the stirring the soothes, not the eating. Not these days. You’ll probably give them away, freeze a few for when your nephew is in town. He likes “muvvins”. The house smells like comfort and sweetness, too. When your phone rings the atmosphere is interrupted. You don’t want to answer. You don’t want your voice to crack. “Don’t hide,” you whisper, and you go to the ringing.

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

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

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

“Hi, Davey, how are you?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“the decision to buy” by Sasha at her desk

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

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

“In front of a full crowd” by Julia on the 9

Friday November 9, 2018
11:10pm
5 minutes
No Place Like Home
Monika Markovinovic

If I am being honest with myself I don’t need to see anyone for a long time. I wonder why that is, if maybe I’ve been seeing enough of something else that makes the solitude taste so good.
I wonder too if maybe it’s because I don’t have anything to say since the lie of saying a thing sometimes makes doing a thing feel unnecessary. I probably need to read more. I don’t know enough big words. Can’t leave the house and see somebody and use too small of a word.
That might break the system of expectation. That might really teach me something.
I don’t need a full room or anything, maybe because these days that kind of room scares me. Might send me up to the front of it with not just the wrong words but the wrong feelings.
It could have something to do with not knowing if thirst is that tickle in the throat or the one just below it. It could be about listening.

“10-year anniversary” by Sasha on her couch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No, ma’am…” Mickey says, quietly.

“WHAT DID YOU SAY?!”

“No, Sister Helen.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“the woman’s anonymous appearance” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 4, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
Beauty Beheld
Sara Harowitz

She shivers from her shoulders down to her thighs
crossed tightly feeling a little tremble forcing its way in
He hasn’t noticed how cold the house had gotten
hot blooded, covered in thick skin built for winter
It was bad enough that her whole body was prone to shaking
but she didn’t know how to fix the heat
Chalk it up to co-dependency
She’d rather that than have you think she is just too afraid
to learn how to do it on her own
He tells her he’ll be home for dinner, remarks something about
chicken thighs
She thinks about walking into the oven chest first
but having it on would at least warm up the kitchen
When he leans in to kiss her, he misses her mouth by an almost inch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“the hell days” by Sasha at Olive & Ruby

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

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

“Mmmm?” Mom is looking at her phone.

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

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

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

“Dad?”

“Mmhmm?”

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

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

“the hell days” by Julia on the 99

Saturday November 3, 2018
9:52am
5 minutes
Soil, Sun, and Soon
Daenna Van Mulligen

I thought daylight savings was yesterday. I was worried I missed out on that one feeling a year you get when you realize you had an extra hour of sleep. When I woke up I still felt tired. These are the hell days. When 7am looks like 4am and there seems to be no real good reason to leave the bed. Except for all the reasons that catch up before noon. The ones you should have written down the night before. The ones you should have already internalized.
Some of this grey has seeped into my good intentions. It’s like a drop of water landing perfectly in the dry speaker of your phone. Everything sounds blurry. You want to throw the whole thing away and start over. But the hell days don’t let you start over. They make you travel to the bottom of the bottom to show you just how deep this sadness lives. They want you to look it in the face and apologize or something. For what, I’m still not sure. It wants you to see what you’re getting good at avoiding.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“synonymous with yesterday” by Sasha at her kitchen table

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“a symbol of luxury” by Sasha at her desk

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

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

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

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

“It received glowing praise” by Sasha on her couch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“in contact with eyes” by Sasha on her couch

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

It smells like burning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“not even debate” by Sasha at Terrace Beach

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

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

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

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

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

“we have enormous power” by Sasha at Ocean Village

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

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

“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.

“I married Dave” by Sasha at Ocean Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

each other

“silence that voice.” By Sasha on her couch

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

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

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

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

My mother
not doubt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“My mother told us” by Sasha at her desk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Singing along in Spanish
a language I wish I knew

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I know, sweetie, try your best.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now that I know what it takes

“after every sick joke” by Sasha on her couch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“a multitude of mouths” by Sasha at her desk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“still dangerous,” by Sasha on her couch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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