“play the role of devoted son.” By Sasha in her bed

Saturday August 11, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
Tincture Of Mother
Alan Craig

You groomed me to be your little sidekick. Until I was thirteen or so, I liked it. I ate it up like a peanut butter sandwich. The role of devoted son was the best one I played. I could’ve earned a medal, or a Golden Globe, or at least some kind of pin/ribbon. God knows I didn’t have enough coordination for the school musical, and I wasn’t fast enough for softball. But being your boy? I had that down pat. You taught me exactly how you wanted to be treated – always “Maman”, never “Mom” or “Mother” or “Mummy”; a gin and tonic with a slice of lime and five ice cubes in your hand at 4pm; “I love you,” and kisses on both cheeks before getting on the bus. When Papa left you sat me down (drink in hand), in the parlour. We only ever sat in the parlour when we had guests over, important guests, colleagues of Papa’s or the Westford’s from the across the street who you always wanted to impress. You said, “You’re my man now, Francois.”

“Eyes roaming distant waters,” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday August 9, 2018
3:52pm
5 minutes
Wandering At Oblique Creek
T’ao Ch’ien

You walk to the lake before sunrise. You barely stumble on the path because you’ve tread it so many times but once or twice there is a new root, a new rock, and you almost trip but you don’t because you’re listening. When you arrive at the water’s edge, the light is rising. The sun isn’t on the horizon yet, but the light is reaching up up up up up and there are colours like you’ve never seen before – a new lilac, a new azure, a new lapis, a new rouge. You find a place to sit, the quiet, familiar dome of a boulder that you’ve sat on many times before. You unfocus your eyes over the still glass of the water. Sky and lake blend. You and this place are one, these birch trees, these ferns, these cedars.

“full of tenderness” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday August 8, 2018
6:52am
5 minutes
Chant
Wang An-Shih

Gimme a minute sweet one I’ve got water boiling on the stove
Gimme a minute honeypots I’m on the phone
Hold on darling there’s something I need to finish here
Can you wait?
Why not?
Okay…
Hold on…
HOLD ON…
Okay.
What is it?
A caterpillar?
My goodness!
You’re right!
Can you could those legs?
How many do you think she has?
Gentle.
Gentle!
See that little yellow stripe?
How do you think she feels about it?
It’s not quite time for lunch yet but I have some apricots if you’d like.

“You should always be sure” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday August 6, 2018
7:02am
5 minutes
The Law of Success
Paramahansa Yogananda

The thing is, we’re never sure
And we leap anyway
Off the edge
Whatever that looks like for you

It’s often a dock
like the one at Knowlton Lake
Sometimes it’s a cliff
something I would never do

Every big decision
doesn’t come from a place of sureness
It comes from an inkling
like the loons calling at dusk

Did you hear that?
Was that their song?
Is it time?
Is it now?

We’re never sure
or maybe I’m never sure
But I am on the other hand
My gut whispers “Go”

“Hear splash blue” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday August 4, 2018
2:42pm
5 minutes
Here Room Sleeps
Dale Smith

“Do you hear that?” Mimi tilts her head up, and cocks it a little to the right.

“No…” This happens often, but I play along. I got a good sleep last night so I’m feeling game.

“It’s it’s it’s it’s BLUE!” Mimi laughs.

“You’re hearing the blue?”

“M-hmm.”

“Mimi, how are you hearing a colour?”

“It’s easy! You just feel in your tummy and your tongue and some other places like maybe the liver or the kidney! And it’s clear that it’s BLUE.”

I haven’t heard her explain something like this before, about her experience of the world.

“Mama, are you crying?” She touches my face.

“But when he reached the age” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 2, 2018
9:35pm
5 minutes
Atheist at the Pulpit
Larry Krotz

It wasn’t okay for you to smile like you used to. When you reached a certain age. Suddenly upturned corners of mouth and sparkler eyeballs means something you don’t want it to mean. Shit. Why does that have to happen. You have to start thinking about the kind of shirts you wear. The boys in your class stare. Shit. You stop playing soccer at lunch on the icy field because you’re not sure about how things are moving. You steal subway tickets from your babysitters wallet because no one thinks you’re a kid and you don’t like when the bus driver makes a scene and asks to see your birth certificate. You carry it in your yellow wallet, though, just in case.

“a family house can remain empty” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday August 1, 2018
1:03pm
5 minutes
The Highest Bidder
Kerry Gold

Snap and we’re sat at the table and we’re talking about more money than I’ve ever had/dreamed of (that’s not totally true) and Snap we’re talking about a house a place where we’ll grow and scream and hug and make salads and Snap I tell you my secret and you hold it like you hold me Snap to the gentleness of the realization that words aren’t enough and the present is all we have and Snap okay baby you say okay baby we’ll do it Snap how do I deserve this (that’s not really it) Snap scrolling and scrolling and scrolling Snap rock a by baby on the tree top Snap lines of credit and how will the mortgage work and life’s short but also let’s hope life’s long and there’s no time like the present but timing is everything Snap

“Of course we should postpone.” By Sasha on her balcony

Tuesday July 31, 2018
9:31pm
5 minutes
From an e-mail

Typing into Google (the all mighty 8 ball of this century)
“Why am I so tired?”
“How do you know you’re pregnant?”
“How far away is space?”

All these kittens in their bedrooms
Nirvana posters and twinkle lights
condom wrappers and Fruit by the Foot
belly button lint and a card from a grandmother

Searching for God in a screen
little or big same difference
searching for connection alone
little or big same difference

You’re tired because you don’t sleep enough, peanut
You’re pregnant when magic happens and blood doesn’t
Space is here
God is here

Let’s spoon until it’s winter
and make soup
and sing anthems

“Happy Monday Lovers” by Sasha at her desk

Monday July 30, 2018
10:55pm
5 minutes
from @a_belovedgreen on Instagram

I bobbed in the water at Indian Arm
let my hair turn to seaweed
let me toes touch tadpoles
kissing the salt
kissing the sun
kissing you
oh the sweetness
of the dead man’s float

remember
remember
remember

Happy Monday from
the cove of the free
and the spot of the brave
uncomfortable conversations
trying to explain
land acknowledgements
these nations whispering
through our feet

remember remember
remember

I bob in the water at Indian Arm
drove her stretching elbow
swam under the freckle at
her wrist

“exiled to the foothills” by Sasha on her couch

Monday July 23, 2018
12:02am
5 minutes
The Gulag Archipelago
Solzhenitsyn

“Let’s go to the mountains, mama…” Oli looks up at me with longing.

“Why do you want to go there?”

“Because I’ve never been!”

“Why do you think you’d like it?”

“Because mountains are tectonic plates that smashed together and that’s so cool and I want to do my project on them and how can I when I’ve never seen them in real life?!”

“Please don’t whine.”

“I’m not! I’m just saying that it’s only fair – ”

“Honey, nothing about decision making when it comes to vacation has to do with what’s fair.”

“BUT – ”

“I’ll think about it, okay? Now, go brush your teeth, it’s already seventeen minutes passed your bedtime.”

“cultivate the kind of robust gladness” by Sasha on her balcony

Friday July 20, 2018
7:32am
5 minutes
The Spiral Staircase
Karen Armstrong

I try to cut you loose but then you show up when I’m least expecting.
Today you’re in my jaw. Asshole. It’s already tight.

There isn’t enough space for you! I try…

I use the heel of my hands and massage where you are, hoping I’ll squeeze you out like toothpaste – slow and gunky.
Nope.
You hold on.
You always were stubborn.

The last time I saw you was when I was going down and you were coming up at Bathurst station.
“SHIT!” You said.
“Hi.” I said.

“I thought you lived in Vancouver?”
“I do. I’m just visiting.”
“Want to grab a coffee?”
“I, um, I… I can’t. I’m meeting a friend.”
“I’m a friend.”
“Um…”
“I’m just teasing you.”
“Yup.”

“What happened to the women?” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday July 18, 2018
12:33pm
5 minutes
A Warm Moist Salty God
Edwina Gateley

They gather us in the camp. All of us strong ones, all of us pretty ones, all of us fat ones, all of us supple ones, all of us bleeding ones. The camp smells like cat food and compost. Some women hold their noses. I don’t want to be that obvious. I plug it from the inside, like Duncan taught me when we were at the cabin and had to shit in the old outhouse. The guards outnumber the women. This is what it’s come to.

“What’s your problem?” Shirley asks a red-headed guard who can’t be more than twenty two. He’s been watching her as she scrubs the floors of the mess hall.

“I don’ got a problem but chu…” He isn’t from here.

“I find it terribly strange that – ” Shirley can’t even get her words out. PhD.

“ENOUGH!” Captain shoots his rifle out the window.

“For the sea lies all about us…” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday July 2, 2018
10:54pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rachel Carson

She longs to live in a place
with the sea all around
An island not too far
from the mainland
but far enough
that she’s
unleashed
far enough that
her spirit can surf
in the hazy moments
between
dawn and day
day and dusk

She longs for the buzz
of the city
the ambition of
traffic
the hum of
pavement and people
public transit
live music
possibility

“isolated, alienated, and uncomfortable” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday June 27, 2018
8:12am
5 minutes
From quillette.com

You died seventeen months ago. I count in months because years doesn’t give the weight. I stopped counting in weeks, in days, because that felt too heavy. There probably hasn’t been a minute that I haven’t thought of you, a whole sixty seconds. No way.

Pete said that you basically killed yourself, that you wanted to die. I said I wasn’t sure about that.

I play your guitar on the front porch and sometimes the cat from across the street comes and rubs against my legs. Is it you?

I saw the light only for a slippery moment – somewhere between here and there. I saw that I’m not fit to love again, not yet, I’m not fit to wife another husband, not yet.

“Jesus do I have to even get out of bed” by Sasha at her desk

Monday June 4, 2018
11:32pm
5 minutes
From an interview by Devin Friedman

Ben calls to me from upstairs, “Jesus, do I have to even get out of bed?!” It’s the third morning in a row that he hasn’t wanted to crawl out from under the covers. It’s the third morning that I’ve wooed him with bacon, extra coffee, pancakes, sex in the kitchen. These tactics don’t always work, but they sometimes do, so I try.

“It’s almost ten, babe!” I call back. I hope he smells the brewing french press. I hope he hears the love in my voice, and not just the impatience.

“Like you’ve never seen her” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday May 31, 2018
8:56pm
5 minutes
allure magazine May 2017

You’ve never seen her lit up like this. You stand back and watch her, across the room, laughing, brushing her hair out of her eyes, sipping her soda water. You wonder what kind of mother she’ll be. A good one, obviously, but you wonder what her patience will be like. She can get snippy. You don’t idealize motherhood, or parenthood, or any of it. You know it’s going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. You close your eyes and breathe in this fall night, with these people you love, and the sausages on the grill, the asparagus salad, the Bahamas on the stereo. She catches your eye and calls you over.

“Thanks guys” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday May 30, 2018
7:08am
5 minutes
Overheard on Oak St.

“Why are you pouting, Liz?”

“I’m not…”

“You absolutely are.”

“You got what you wanted! You got the promotion, you got a second date with that hottie from the coffee shop, you got into the pottery class… Like, what’s the problem?”

“It’s never enough. I always want – …”

“More?”

“Yeah.”

“Welcome to being human. You’re not special for being insatiable.”

“I don’t think I’m special. That’s the thing.”

“You are special, but you aren’t special for always wanting more more more – ”

“Please stop.”

“Stop what? Trying to make you feel better?”

“I don’t want to – “

“a sleek white line” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday May 27, 2018
10:10pm
5 minutes
Are You Really An Artist?
Leah Burns

I first notice Steve’s expression as he’s carving a chicken. It’s Sunday. Emma and Bobby are home for dinner. Steve picked them up at Emma’s dorm, even though Bobby’s off campus now. Emma was chattering on about intramurals, and I saw it – this vacancy – sweep across Steve’s face. I’ve known Steve for forty two years, right, like, we met when we were five years old. We’ve been married for twenty… You’d think I’d have seen every expression that that man can muster! Nope. It was like a tumbleweed could’ve swept across his cheeks. He was gone.

“Hon?!” I said, scared he might slice off his finger.

“Why though” by Sasha on the walk to Granville Island

Saturday May 26, 2018
11:43am
5 minutes
From a text

Marina asks a million questions and it isn’t even seven. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, I mean we wanted her so bad, right, like we tried for three years and I was beside myself, I was so sad… We wanted her so bad. But the questions, man, I can’t fucking take it! I don’t know why the sky is blue?! I don’t know why grass grows up?! I don’t know how tree root systems work! Good grief, I barely know how to solve a fraction! She’s only three! What am I going to do when she’s seven… or nine… or fifteen!? Like, I’m freakin’ out! Why why why why why why – like, I’m losing my mind, I tell ya!

“I take the streetcar alone to Nathan Phillips Square” by Sasha on her balcony

Friday, May 25, 2018
9:32pm
5 minutes
Demchanizing Our Politics
Maggie Hutcheson 

I take the streetcar alone to Nathan Phillips Square. It’s the first time I’ve been out of the house in what feels like weeks, but is actually days. Four days. It’s winter, and winter in Toronto is meant for hibernation and not leaving the house. Don’t judge me. I haven’t skated since I was a kid, and I certainly don’t own a pair. I rent some hockey skates for ten dollars and decide I definitely need a hot chocolate. I drink it before lacing up, watching the people go round and round. A few teenagers show off with quick stops and I wonder who might come to my rescue if I wipe out.

“I know that guy, we’ve talked” by Sasha on the ferry back to the mainland

Monday May 21, 2018
3:18pm
5 minutes
From a text

I still get texts from you
three years after I knew you
After I took your words
in my mouth
sloshed them around
Spit out teeth and tar

With the gin and tonic
With the water and lemon juice
With the salad dressing

I still hear from you sometimes
When I’m least expecting
When I’m with my shiny prize of a lover
When I’m lonely
When I’m full

There’s nothing that sorry can’t buy
At least with me
But the fact that you don’t say it
That you never will
Is apple cider vinegar
Bath overflowing

What the fuck do you want from
Me on a Monday
So far in the future

I don’t respond
I never do
I imagine blocking your number
But then how will I know that
You need me
How will I know
That hundreds of kilometres away
Someone is reaching for
The past

“present something that is true” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday May 19, 2018
10:05 pm
5 minutes
From a quotei by Kelly Hill

The cedars remind me that
all that matters is
what’s true

I pick fossils on the beach
Wonder how many million
Years are in my hand

Trying to let go of expectations
You touch my cheek
Here we are

Sunburned nose and stars
Peeking bright
My heart races

The cedars whisper
Be here now
No where else to go

Eat cheesecake on the
Picnic table and
Listen to the waves

“Modern medicine clashes” by Sasha on her balcony

Thursday May 17, 2018
8:43pm
5 minutes
from The Observer (UK)

“You must be Mrs. Macarthy? It’s nice to meet you, I’m the resident who assisted Dr. Chokrany in Stephen’s surgery. I’m pleased to say that it was a success, and your husband is in post-op and he should be waking up in the next hour or so…”

“Hi Mom, I only have a minute and – … No, Mom. I don’t get long weekends. I’m – … Mom, I only have a minute so please let me finish. I didn’t get the fellowship in Halifax so I won’t be back for Gus’ wedding… Mom. Calm down. I, I – … Shit, I have to go. I’ll call you back when I’m out of surgery. I love you.”

“Babe? I’m going to be late… I’m sorry… I, I – … It’s been a long fucking shift, okay, and – … I’ll be home by ten at the latest.”

“Are you Sue Rothstein’s son? Hi, I’m Dr. Gold, I’ve just come out of the OR and I’m so sorry to say that your mother’s tumour had spread into her brain far more intensely than we could see from the imaging. She didn’t make it through surgery. I’ll give you a minute, and if you have any questions – … We always do our best, that always what we do… I’m sorry for your loss.”

“She actually cooks” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday May 16, 2018
7:02am
5 minutes
Overheard in the dining room

I take more time now
I try to rush less now
Or maybe that’s a lie now
T-R-Y is the truth I guess

I watch my mother’s body break
And I think about all the women
Breaking
Breaking open
Breaking down
Breaking through
Breaking waves
Breaking story
Breaking bread
Breaking hearts
Breaking wide

I can’t punctuate because
This isn’t over and there’s
No symbol that can accurately
Mark the
Break

Maybe it’s better to stick with
fingers stained
Yellow from curry powder
Or the fine art of slicing tomato
Blending chickpeas into gold

Breaking down the heart
Breaking down the nucleus
Breaking into laughter
Breaking into love

“My mom calls him that” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday May 14, 2018
1:13pm
5 minutes
from a text

“Scrub-a-dub”. That’s what Mom used to call Dustin. He hated bath time, he hated water. He didn’t even want to drink it. Mom would have to add a splash of cranberry juice to his water bottles that she’d send to school. If it was straight water he simply wouldn’t drink it. Kira and I used to joke that he’d have a heart attack if he ever fell into a bath, or the lake.

“Come on, scrub-a-dub,” Mom would say, trying to distract him or something, trying her best to get him to bathe. He would scream and cry. He would tantrum. She’d usually resort to a sponge bath. We didn’t know that Dustin had a lot of other fears, too. We didn’t know what was going to happen.

“The danger of tying your self-worth” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday, May 12, 2018
11:47 pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Brene Brown

The danger of tying your self-worth to the way

that you look is that the way you look is
always changing and so if you think you
matter because you’re face looks good
or you gained ten pounds or you lost
five or your butt looks decent in those
jeans you thrifted

Well

It’s all impermenant
it’s all here today and gone
tomorrow just like the T-shirt
you got at the garage sale
on Arbutus two summers ago

I’ve come to know that it’s
the deep inside that truly
knows the words

“It works excellent!” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday May 3, 2018
11:11pm
5 minutes
From BUNZ trading zone

I want a really nice blender. One of those high-powered bad boys that will make nut butter, salad dressing, and grind fresh flour. So sue me! I want a really nice six hundred dollar blender. Please don’t lecture me about my privilege. I know all about it. My privilege chokes me half the time so that I’m voiceless and like, I might be white but my Mom was a single mother and she raised my two brothers and I in a trailer park on three hundred dollars a month in child support payments so please don’t lecture me on privilege. I just want a goddamn blender that really works.

“Response rate: 100%” by Sasha on the 17

Thursday April 26, 2018
9:52pm
5 minutes
poparide.com

Our third Thanksgiving all together, Babs teaches Simon and me how to make a mirepoix – two parts onion, to one part celery, and one part carrot. Babs peels her carrots, but when Simon and I make it later, and she isn’t around, we don’t, almost like we’re honouring Mom.

Mom was a lover of peasant food, or at least that’s what she’d call it. Nothing fancy. As few pots as possible. She made a great Dahl. She used to pack it in our lunches and the other kids would wrinkle their noses when we opened our thermoses, steaming lentils and curry. We weren’t embarrassed. Maybe it’s because we always had eachother, Simon and I. Being a twin is weird. But you do always have someone, and that’s nice.

Babs never asks us to call her anything but “Babs”, not like Dad’s second wife who insisted we call her “Maman”.

“The liar’s punishment” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday April 25, 2018
10:25am
5 minutes
From a quote by George Bernard Shaw

I live in a different room in the house of your heart now
that the truth is out and five months have gone by
and still no word from you

I live in the room with the ones that have done you wrong
and we cower in corners when you open the door or
someone else does

I won’t call myself liar for you because the only thing I
would do differently is the one thing I
can’t do differently now

Three lines can hold the truth and the lies better than we can
so here I am and here you are but not
really you’re ten streets away

Sometimes when I think about you I think about if I’ll ever
live in a different room than this one
in the house of your heart

Is it possible for us to go into the maze where we don’t know
which way is best which way is up which way is healing and
how much are we willing to release so we both can move on

“not like you” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday April 21, 2018
12:02pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Carlos Fuentos

I’m not like you, Mimi. I’m not noble. I’m not one of those people who goes home and lies awake thinking about what I did wrong that day. I do my business, I do my best, and I move on. I don’t do integrity like you do, heck, no one does. You can’t hold everyone to the standards that you hold yourself to! It doesn’t work like that! We all need something different! We are all something different!

Do you want to say something?

No?

Okay. I’ll… continue. Mimi, I value you as a friend, and as a colleague, and you’re good for this place, you’re GOOD. But this perfectionism is taking over everything you do, and everything we all do, and it’s got to stop.

Protected: “Do everything as slowly as possible” by Sasha at Anytime Fitness

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“Jon came home” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday, April 13, 2018
5:22pm
5 minutes
Modern Grief
Nancy Westaway

Jon comes home and he’s angry and shivering.

“What’s for dinner?” He says, like I know, or I’m keeping it a secret.

“I just got home too, Jon,” I say, and he doesn’t like that. He opens and closes the fridge a few times. Same with the pantry cupboards.

“Can ya make something hot? It was all icy on the rig today.” Jon fills the kettle, which I can’t say I’ve ever seen him do.

“How about spaghetti?” I lean back in my chair.

“Spaghetti?” A small smile curls over his lips, like fog.

“No?” I watch him turn on the wrong burner, and then realize and move the kettle.

“Spaghetti sounds good.”

“Very rarely patients develop __________.” By Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Wednesday April 11, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
Diagnosis
Adam Sol

She’s got a real fear of sickness so she runs for ninety minutes on the treadmill every day after work. She thinks that if she sweats, if her heart rate is increased, she won’t get sick. She’s most scared of cancer and diabetes. Her father had type 2 and died of a heart attack at sixty-five. She only eats chocolate when she’s about to get her period because she should be allowed a tiny indulgence, right? Even then, it’s two squares of dark chocolate with no added sugar. Sugar is the enemy. Sugar makes sickness. So does salt, so does fat, so do carbs. The fear’s been getting worse, as she gets older, because older people are usually sicker people.

“All my friends are having babies” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday April 4, 2018
10:56pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

you won’t know me when you finally decide that i’m worthy and i’ll put a german shepherd in charge of my heart who will bark when you come close because that’s what i’ve got to do and i’ll do it because that’s the kind of person i am now. surprise. will you have thought long and hard about how to punish me (silence) how to hurt me back (silence) how to make me feel so low that your lowness is lessened is lighter. is your low less? is your low light? good good i’m glad for you i want the best for you i want the light for you. it’s been a long time. you won’t know me and the shape of my new face new world new days in and out in and out flying to see my lion home alone again nights alone thinking of the soup i’ll make the tea i’ll brew the better tomorrow better tomorrow. thinking of the babies i’ll have and hold and bundle and cradle and never let know this lonely this guilt this shame this bad call not the worst it’s okay it’s okay. i love.

“And made of no special wood.” By Julia at her desk

Sunday April 1, 2018
10:40pm
5 minutes
Afterward
Mark Rudman

And maybe I should have turned around then, when he was pressing himself into me. Bending me over at the crease of my dress, his hands roaming in and out and around. Maybe I should have kissed him then, when he was busy wanting me. I didn’t do anything. I moaned a little. I liked how hard he got at the curve of me. In that moment, his desire was enough. I should have closed my eyes sooner, out of respect for him and for me. He couldn’t see my eyes, but they were scanning the backyard and the pigeon shit on the barbeque. He didn’t know that I was moaning a little on cue at the same time as deciding to change the tarp. Things take longer when the mind is wandering on the deck outside the window of romance. He told me he liked my dress and I told him I liked pretending to be his secretary. He let it slip that Joan’s hugged her hips a little tighter.

“And made of no special wood.” By Sasha at the Airbnb in Saskatoon

Sunday April 1, 2018
8:13am
5 minutes
Afterward
Mark Rudman

I have something that I need to tell you and I’ve been putting it off because I’m a scared scared person, but it’s all getting too much and so I need to – … Because you are more well-read and educated on all of this, and have spent so much more time in the world of climate change education, I notice that I often feel like I am being educated and explained to when we’re discussing the upcoming re-writing of Bill 1305. On the one hand, I love getting the education and so appreciate all of your knowledge and expertise! On the other hand, it can be disempowering and I leave these sessions feeling like I don’t know anything and don’t have a doctorate and can’t articulate half of what I want to say… Does that make sense? Am I even making any sense?

“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” By Sasha at the Airbnb in Saskatoon

Saturday March 31, 2018
10:31am
5 minutes
A quote from Stephen Hawking

You are the first person at your gate again, and you sigh at your anal retentive control stuff for the seventeenth time since yesterday. You go into the corner and try not to be an asshole but really need to stretch, so you do a little bit of yoga. After all, even the gate staff haven’t arrived. You consider getting Starbucks even though you hate Starbucks. Something sweet even though you’re going to be sitting for two hours and have nothing to accomplish and don’t need caffeine. You sit on the floor and pull your phone out of your bag and check Instagram. You scroll scroll scroll scroll. You remember that you downed your water bottle before security and should re-fill it before boarding.

“I think you’re really mean” by Sasha at her desk

Friday March 30, 2018
11:04am
5 minutes
Not Fair
Lilly Allen

The rehearsal hall is hot. The air conditioning broke last week and the producer has “called the fix-it guy” but who knows what that even means. Lila and I are supposed to be in our corsets and rehearsal skirts but she’s trying to reason with Jerrod that there’s no way in hell we’re going to survive six hours of this heat in those costumes. Jerrod is one of those directors who is handsome and charming, and probably used to get a lot of actors into bed. Lila says that they made out once, when she was still in theatre school, but she wouldn’t let him come back to her apartment. She’s still got leverage with him though, I can tell.

“Let’s start at the top of scene six, beautiful people!” Jerrod says. Lila rolls her eyes.

“into an unmarked grave” by Sasha at the BMO Theatre Centre

Monday March 26, 2018
7:36pm
5 minutes
Alternate History
Bill Glose

It’s okay if all you want to do is eat corndogs and pick your scabby nails. It’s totally fine if you want to bite your toenails and only drink orange Gatorade. I’m not gonna judge you! I’m not ever gonna judge you. That’s not what roommate life is about. Seriously, Kyle.

Who am I to judge?! We all do weird shit, man. It’s part of being human. I’m just gonna put it out there that when I first moved out on my own, I stayed up until like five in the morning every damn day because I could. I get it. Eat the ice cream for breakfast! Do it! You’re a fucking grown man with his own bedroom in his own apartment that he pays for with his own money! GR-YAH!

“Bill and Madge” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday, March 25, 2018
8:42pm
5 minutes
The Wreck Up Ahead
Poe Ballentine

Bill and Madge meet in their fifties. Bill is younger by five years. Madge had been married once, fresh out of nursing school, but Lionel was a drinker and so she left after a year and a half. Bill had never been married. He’d lived with a woman once, Genevieve, in Montreal, in the 80’s. Bill was an illustrator, working mostly in children’s books and magazines. He’d been mostly successful, which is really something given that career path. Madge was a gardener, and then a midwife, and then a bread maker, and then a gardener again, and then an early childhood educator. She swears that she used to read her students books that Bill had drawn pictures for.

“Luke punched a boy” by Sasha on the walk home

Friday March 23, 2018
10:43pm
5 minutes
Two Moons
Debbie Urbanski

Luke punched Isaac. Isaac kicked Luke. Luke spit on Issac’s face. Isaac called Luke a bad word. Hillary called the Ms. Gregory. Ms. Gregory pulled the boys apart. Ms. Gregory loves her work but she does not love breaking up fights on the playground. That’s not why she’s here. If only Todd could’ve taken her recess duty and she could’ve enjoyed her salad with bacon. Luke runs at Isaac. Ms. Gregory has her back turned. Isaac screams. Hillary starts to cry. Ms. Gregory closes her eyes and thinks about Spring Break when she’ll go to Oahu. Ms. Gregory walks Luke and Isaac to Mr. Polanski’s office. Isaac’s been there before, many times, but Luke hasn’t.

“It’s always too soon to go home.” By Sasha in the bath

Thursday, March 22, 2018
11:35pm
5 minutes
Hope In The Dark
Rebecca Solnit

My sister makes a mean coconut curry. She roasts squash in the oven first, and then just when it’s starting to get sugary and brown, she throws it in the bubbling yellow. I haven’t had my sister’s curry in a while though. I don’t get home much. It’s not like it’s far, it’s not like I can’t, it’s just that I don’t, I won’t, I can’t.

My sister is a woman of few words. She’s almost a full foot shorter than me. She had a growth spurt in fifth grade and then stopped growing. She was the tallest for awhile and now she’s the shortest. That’s how it goes sometimes.

February is the month that I crave my sister’s curry. I wake up with the taste on my tongue, but it’s a ghost.

“Sometimes I can hear Harry’s voice” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
11:09am
5 minutes
#WeAreHarryChang
Thomas Lee

Sometimes I can hear Harry’s voice. Especially when I’m driving. Especially on the highway. Especially at night. Harry’s voice is just like it was – booming, deep, a bit of lilt to it, like at any moment he might break into some kind of dirge. He’s usually telling me to slow down, but the words he chooses are never, “Slow down.” He says something like,

“Beni, driving is best enjoyed with the window open and slow like molasses.”

Or,

“Slow and steady wins the race, my boy.”

When my Mom married Harry, I hated him. He was so big, and had baseball gloves for hands, or, that’s what I thought when I met him. I’d never seen someone so tall.

“God may have written” by Sasha at JJ Bean

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at JJ Bean Olympic Village
5:48pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Nancy Cartwright

God may have told you not to cross the desert but you didn’t listen. You went, alone, litres of water on your back. You didn’t take a camel. You didn’t want the company, the sounds, the chewing, the shit. God may have told you to call your landlord but you didn’t listen. You left without notifying your bank, your lover, your brother. You brought enough sunscreen to last you three months. That’s the thing you googled. “How much sunscreen does a red-head need for three months in the desert?” Google knew the answer. You might miss Google. You brought a book that you knew you wouldn’t mind reading and re-reading because you’ve read and re-read it already several times.

“Oh my god it HURTS!” By Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Wednesday March 7, 2018
8:31pm
The Stand
Stephen King

Hands on hips and butt naked Martha gives me a look like I’m never escaping. “But you lied to me!” She shouts at the top of her lungs.

“It’s a white lie…” I look at Billie, her mother, and Billie tries not to smile.

“I don’t even know what the is!” Martha wails.

“Why don’t you put on your pyjamas, sweetie,” says Billie and Martha slowly goes to her purple dresser and chooses a striped nightgown. It’s flannel. Billie made it.

“You’ve both really disappointed me,” Martha says, and we can’t help but laugh now. We laugh and laugh and then she laughs a bit too.

“Will you still give me a loonie? Even if the tooth fairy won’t? Can we pretend that she’s real? Just til I’m eight?”

Billie and I pinky swear.

“object of concentration” by Sasha at her desk

Friday, March 2, 2018
5:37pm
5 minutes
Ashtanga Yoga Primer
Baba Hari Dass

I keep telling Don that I don’t want anything to do with him but he will not leave me alone and this gives me no choice but to raise a glass tonight, at our Christmas party. Don, you psychotic mutherfucker, I almost admire only your tenacity and persistence. Almost. I almost wish I had your ability to completely ignore all signs, all cues, all “no’s” in pursuit of what I want. Almost. Ladies and gentlemen, actually – NO. Just the gentlemen in the room, because all of the women, even Helena who just turned eighty-two and is still working the switchboard, all of the women know that Don is a scumbag. Has he groped you by the coffee machine? Maybe invited you out to dinner and you thought that other people would be there, but nope, it’s just the two’s of you. Don, don’t look so shocked… you had to know that this was coming? The uprising? The reckoning?

“The only thing I can come up with” by Sasha sitting on her floor

Thursday, March 1, 2018
10:07pm
5 minutes
No Idea
Dana ID Matthews

The only thing I can come up with is

us dancing in the kitchen in the country
getting drunk and making a fire

The only thing I can come up with is

taking a bath in the clawfoot tub
and you sneaking photographs

I wonder what happened to those photographs
I wonder if they are under your bed
or if they are dead in a hard drive somewhere
or are they just negatives in a memory
somewhere between then and now
you and I

The only thing I can come up with is

you running into a friend
of a friend at Lee’s Palace
friend of a friend says my name
and you tap her on the shoulder and say

“She’s one of the loves of my life”

“wedding bells at the airport” by Sasha at the Diamond Centre

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
8:47am
5 minutes
recovery
jessie read

Dev asked me to marry him in the bathroom at the airport. We were in one of those family bathrooms, where you’re only supposed to go if you have a baby or something. We don’t have one of those yet, but we needed to change into warmer clothes as we were still in our shorts and t-shirts. He said we didn’t have much time, that our connecting flight was leaving in under an hour and he wanted to eat something before getting back in the sky. He’s a man of few words, my Dev, so you should know that before I keep going. We were both in that bathroom, and all of a sudden he’s down on his knees and he’s crying. I’m like, “Dev, what the heck is wrong with you?” And, “Get up right now, this place is nasty!”

And then he looks up at me with those brown eyes all filled with tears and he says, “Gillian Larissa Warrington, will you marry me?”

I don’t know why he had to do it there, I never asked him and I never will because I don’t want him to think I thought it any less special. Who needs a fancy restaurant!

“for what little he had left” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
Ordinary
Curtis LeBlanc

This place is good for my pen obsession. Roller tip, flowing ink, black, fine, blue, turquoise. Anytime I’m here, in the copy room, I have to be careful that I don’t get sticky fingers. That’s what Da used to call it, when me or one of the twins would pinch something at the corner store. “How’d ya get those sticky fingers, hey?” He’d say, shaking his big head. “Wasn’t from me, that’s fer sure,” he’d scold us and make us bring the thing back and then Mrs. Dowers would crouch down and look us in the eyes and say,

“Stealing is the devil’s work.” She’d be smiling a little, got some sort of sick pleasure out of tormenting the little ones. Fear of God in us, it’s be months before we pinched something again… at least Tyler, it’d be months before Tyler did. Me and Jim were good, it only took one of those talks.

“Use your body to be the tent” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
8:42pm
5 minutes
Nest Filled
Kim Stafford

When the kettle boils
I make a cup of tea
too late for black but
I do it anyway

I sit down at my desk
and tonight that means
the kitchen table
sweet with rounded corners
the tea
and the table

my body becomes a tent
chair legs
and my legs
fingers typing
toes tapping
tea steaming
you on my mind
you in the bones of
so many of these poems

I’ve written three lines
of your birthday card

my heart hurt
sunrise to sunset
my heart hurt
the first year in
many that I haven’t
sung to you
written to you
loved you from close up
loving you from far away
is teaching me about
womanhood
courage
softness
time

Our language is this
five minute stories
I’ll set the timer
force myself to keep going
even though now
with this
then
with this
words don’t ever seem to be
enough
always seem to be too much

too little
too late

that always seems to be the problem

Snow falls outside the window

“Near Middle: for “Devilish woman,” by Julia at her desk

Saturday February 17, 2018
7:04pm
5 minutes
Errata and Addenda
Rachaela Van Borek

Can’t tell her the truth even though that’s what we both promised we’d do.
When she tells me hers, she apologizes a month later and says, “Maybe when
you asked what I thought that night I shouldn’t have answered at all.”
I tell her “No, you should have, I want you to be honest with me,”
but I don’t know if that’s just because I don’t know what else to say.
I have some ideas about the questions she doesn’t ask me and
I know I can’t tell her what I think so I agree inside that maybe she is right.
A blanket gets thrown at me when I look cold but feel sweaty.
That’s probably on account of all the discomfort.
Some people sweat when they lie.
I put it on my toes and count the minutes before the pizza arrives.
Maybe when we’re eating we will have less time to peer into each other’s
souls and risk ruining a perfectly good family.
Suddenly her phone rings and she answers it in the middle of my good story.
She covers the receiver, tells me that our mother is frying shrimp dumplings again and asks if I want any.
I tell her to tell her yes.
She tells our mother we’ll be right over.
When she hangs up she shakes her head.
“Not sure what Mom is doing making dumplings at midnight.”
“Not sure what Mom is doing thinking we all still live in the same time zone.”

“Near Middle: for “Devilish woman,” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday February 17, 2018
12:22
5 minutes
Errata and Addenda
Rachaela Van Borek

She reaches into her pocket and there’s a melting Hershey’s kiss, six fifty in change, a receipt for a mini bottle of vodka, and lip chap that she’s scraped out using her pinkie nail. This is the state of her life. This is what she deserves. This is forty-two. She pulls her hand out. Step back.

She caught his eye in the elevator that first time only because that one asshole who had to stand facing the opposite direction. It’s eight thirty in the morning, dingus. Now is not the time for a social experiment. He’d smiled. He’s gorgeous. She’d blushed. Game over.

She packs her desk up into a banker’s box – lemon hand cream, a framed photo of her nephew, her BOSS mug, the succulent that’s hanging on by a thread. Is that what it’s come to? Step back.

He texts her and says that he’s thinking of her. He’s on a beach in Playa del Carmen. His kids are probably squishing guacamole all over his torso. His wife is probably emerging from the ocean, tan and beautiful.

“moths drift from the trees” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday February 9, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
Al’s House
Lorna Crozier

I was a sailor once.
I was a mermaid once.
I was an exploding star.
I was a grieving angel.
I was a piece of dust caught
in the bellybutton of a lost boy.
I was a moth once.
I was a good liar.
I was a red stamp
on immigration papers.
I was a banana farmer.
I was a rock star.
I was a bluejay.
I was a fawn that
only survived one spring.
I was a grandmother.
I was a grapefruit.
I was a good listener.
I was a criminal.
I was an exile.
I was a shaman.
I was a lover.
I was the last page of
a library book.
I was a pair of kitchen scissors.
I was Shakespeare’s daughter.
I was a lamb.
I was a killer.
I was a shadow
stretching across the sky.

“barely do I sense that faint tug” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday February 7, 2018
7:13am
5 minutes
Hiking With My Shadow
Don McKay

Mimi makes the chocolate birthday cake for Don’s birthday. She mixes wet and dry. Stirs in eggs and oil. She meticulously follows her mother’s recipe. It’s Don’s favourite cake. She’ll make the frosting and ice the cake tomorrow, right before the party.

“Mimi?” Don’s home early.

“I’m in the kitchen.” Of course she is. He knows that’s where to find her. She whisper calls, because Jonah’s napping.

“Mimi, it’s Dad. He’s in the hospital in Calgary and I have to go right away.”

“We’ll come with you…” She’s already taking off her apron.

“No, no… There’s no point. He’ll probably be dead by the time I get there.”

“I’ve been hiding who I am” by Sasha at her desk

Monday February 5, 2018
7:06am
Sisterly Love
Elise Pallagi

I get tired of your texts at twenty to eleven. I want to shut my phone off, but I can’t because I’m addicted. I get tired but I want them, and when they don’t come I’m twitchy and sad. I run a bath and then my phone beeps and I’m up and out of there making puddles across the hardwood. Shit. I’m addicted. You aren’t clever in your seduction. I never thought I’d sink this low. Shit. When did my standards get so low? “I’ll be over in an hour.” It’s like my thumbs have a mind of their own. Good grief. Quarter to midnight and I’ll be riding the elevator up to tenth floor. Your door will be open a crack.

“Ninety pounds.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday February 4, 2018
7:04pm
5 minutes
T is for Texas
Derek McCormack

Hardly ninety pounds soaking wet, Kenny didn’t have a friend ’til he met Burl. It’s not like Burl had a softball team waiting to eat lunch with him or anything, but he did have Henrietta so that’s something.

Henrietta did not like Kenny from the moment she met him. Something about a boy in sweatpants just got her goat. When he walked over to her and Burl, acting like he belonged, she wrinkled her forehead and looking back and forth from Kenny to Burl like she was watching a badminton match. Silly birdie.

“Hi Burl.”

“Hi Kenny.”

“Would you like to come over and play after school today? My brother has chess, and Joan would rather not have to entertain me.”

Anyone who calls their mother by her first name cannot be trusted, thought Henrietta, picking the lettuce out of her salami sandwich.

“handed down mother to daughter” by Sasha on the 33

Friday February 2, 2018
6:29pm
5 minutes
Without Mercy
Howard Wright

We weren’t ever really sure where she came from. Just arrived one day, with diamond eyes and the reddest hair you’ve ever seen. She didn’t knock on the door, just stood outside it til Allen went out to milk the cows. She barely said a word. Got by on shaking her head and little grunts, like a goat. Mama put up posters in town, at Pharmacy and the General Store, almost as if she were a stray. No one claimed her though, so we kept her around. She never smiled. She baked the most delicious biscuits. We called her Red, and I think she liked that. Never told us her real name.

“a forest lake frozen to the bottom” by Sasha at her the Diamond Centre

Wednesday January 31, 2018
5:20pm
5 minutes
Seen
Pia Tafdrup

Back when the lake would freeze solid
or at least it felt like that
or at least I was a child and trusted safety still

We would lace up skates too tight
double layer of socks
double layer of love and comfort

My sister and I
all girlhood glow
all wonder and piano fingers
all stir-fry bellies
all blue eyes

Dancing swirls and future
carving the ice
carving the present
carving ourselves

Cheeks rosy
sweaty underneath layers of sweaters
pink jackets
snowpants

Darkness coming in
over the horizon
across the lake
time to get up
to the house

“the holy monkeys and the colourful birds” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday January 30, 2018
8:01am
5 minutes
You
Anna Margolin

The holy monkeys run at me as soon as I enter the temple. I was ambivalent about coming here, to say the least. But Jed said, “You have to go to the Monkey Palace! You haven’t lived until you’ve seen those monkeys!” I can hear his voice now, that way that it lilted like summer and peaches. Shit, I miss him. There I am, charged by primates, and I’m weeping because Jed, and I’m probably a little homesick, and maybe hungry, and tired. A Balinese woman comes up to me, so beautiful, and she offers me a piece of mango.

“Said she’s comin’ back to stay” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday January 28, 2018
8:35pm
5 minutes
Gonna Have Love
Buck Owens

I’m the one at the edge, clutching a glass of club soda, looking at my scuffed shoes. When you come over, when you walk towards me, my heart races and I think, “Ohmygosh it’s finally happening.”

But you’re not coming towards me. You’re leaving. You’re going to the bathroom. You’re going to get some air. You’ve got to make a phone call and the fiddle music is too loud in here. Why did I come? I don’t belong here? What was I thinking? How did I let Ma talk me into this ridiculous – ? I could also go get air. I could also go the the bathroom. I could leave. I could… I know that Franny said that she’s comin’ back to stay but there’s never been a liar like Franny…

“If we changed the rules of our games” by Sasha at work

Friday January 26, 2018
12:13pm
5 minutes
The Mercy Seat
Norman Ravvin

A: I’m movin’ on, B! So get the fuck outta my way!

B: I will not.

A: MOVE.

B: Nope.

A: MOVE!

B: I can’t let you go. If you go then I’ll be –

A: That isn’t my problem anymore. I’m movin’ on!

B: But I love you…

A: Too bad.

B: Come on.

A: No!

B: Come on, A –

A: I’ve heard it all before. I’ve heard every stupid asshole cliche. I’ve heard your excuses, and your lies and your bullshit. I’m movin’ on!

B: Okay. Okay. Okay.

A: Great. Bye. Thanks for the good times and fuck you VERY much for the bad times.

B: What has gotten into you?

A: I have finally come to my senses! I’m feeling like a fucking goddess right now!

“chimneys dress right with smoke” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday January 24, 2018
10:41pm
5 minutes
A Touch of Cynicism
Yannis Goumas

Goodbye
doesn’t have enough letters
doesn’t have enough sounds
doesn’t have enough syllables
doesn’t have enough vowels

“Good” isn’t
really

and “bye” makes it
sound like
this is what
I wanted

or that
I wrote it

“by” Sasha at her kitchen table

maybe you did
maybe you wrote it

“by” you
wherever you are

where are you?

I think it comes from
“God be with you”

which I can’t argue

I do hope that God is with you

wherever you are
eating tropical fruit
wearing cut-offs
dancing with parrots

Goodbye

smoke curling out of a chimney
ash in the fireplace
rain on the window
jumping puddles
slamming the door

“She’ll use timid hand gestures,” by Sasha on the plane

Friday January 19, 2018
9:02am
5 minutes
Black Roses Bloom
Bill Gaston

She says that her mother won’t return her calls. He says that he’s sorry. She says that it feels like her whole family is dead, when really only her dad is. He doesn’t know what to say so he says ahhhhh. She says that she’s not sure if the year went fast or slow. She says that she’s finally eating again. He says he’s glad. He says that she needs to nourish herself in every way. She smiles. She says that she never could have guessed that this is where she’d be. He says it’s funny how life works. She says that’s one way of putting it.

“it’s the ending that keeps me in my chair.” By Sasha in her bed

Thursday January 18, 2018
11:52pm
5 minutes
Memoir
Sue Goyette

I don’t know why you’re yelling but it must be because you’re afraid I won’t hear you so I just keep breathing deep and imagining that you’re not yelling and that you know that I can hear you very clearly.

Funnily enough it’s harder to actually get what you’re saying when you’re yelling at least for me and maybe that’s because I have very sensitive ears and I don’t like loud music loud talkers loud chewers anything loud really.

Not sure when you’ll stop yelling but it’s certainly not when I ask you it’s certainly not when I ask you I absolutely ask you several times.

So I just leave not in an angry way not in a way that says that I’m not coming back just in the kind of way that says I asked you and you kept going and I said that I couldn’t take it and then you kept going so.

“the amniotic brine of tears” by Sasha at Lewis St.

Tuesday January 16, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
Memo to a Self
Steven Heighton

“Soak the fish in salty water”, Gramma says, dropping the cut up chunks of cod into the brine. “It should taste like the sea, or tears”. She laughs. She wheezes. She inhales her cigarette. “Add chopped shallots and garlic. Maybe a pinch of cayenne pepper. Put it in the fridge for hours, not a second more or less…” Her eyes twinkle.

“Really? It matters down to the second?” I ask.

“Absolutely!” She says.

I add the shallots, garlic and pepper. We cover the bowl and put it in the fridge.

“Does it not sound like shouting to them?” By Sasha at the Intercontinental Yorkville

Saturday January 13, 2018
5:46pm
5 minutes
The Sisters Brothers
Patrick DeWitt

Ginny goes to dance class. She takes the streetcar across town, and walks twelve minutes to the studio. She’s glad that she doesn’t have to wear a leotard, but that she does have to wear ballet slippers. She used to dance when she was young, but then her teacher, Natasha, said that she doesn’t contain an “iota of grace” and so she stopped. But it haunted her. Natasha’s British accent and her delivery, not exactly cruel in tone, but direct, icy. Ginny changes into shorts and a baggy tank top. She smiles at Leanne, a sixty-nine year old former pastry chef, who is wiggling into tights.

“Resist the millionth purchase” by Sasha at JJ Bean in Olympic Village

Sunday January 7, 2018
5:15pm at JJ Bean
5 minutes
Advice to Myself #2: Resistance
Louise Erdrich

She tries to resist the sale on tank tops at The Gap (who makes their clothes? How are the workers treated in the factories? Where did the cotton come from?)

Emma finds resistance ridiculously challenging.

She tries to resist avocados (the carbon footprint), coffee (labour exploitations), cleaning products (what happens when all that shit goes down the drain?).

She tries. She fails. She tries. She fails. Is this what life is? She thinks.

She tries to resist the space heater in the office. Just bring another sweater. Buy warmer socks. Turn off the light. Turn down the thermostat at home. Recycle. Compost. Ride a bike. Take transit. Resist. Rise up. Resist. She tries. She fails. She tries.

“stories superimposed” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday January 6, 2018
10:05am
Winter Watch
Jennifer Elise Foerster

stories superimposed over photographs
superimposed over memory
superimposed over nostalgia

photographs superimposed over
winter superimposed over
filled notebook pages

memory superimposed over
truth superimposed over
right here and right now

nostalgia superimposed over
eye contact superimposed over
wine stained lips

oh god

real superimposed over true
superimposed over
shopping lists

“I analyzed four rape jokes” by Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Thursday January 4, 2017
6:09pm
Shrill
Lindy West

It smells like old bacon fat and pinecones here. I hate your apartment, but you don’t like going outside so you never come to mine. The TV plays the news news news news news. Turns to music if you let it. Turns to grime if you let it. It’s all a frame of mind. You reach over and touch my nipple with your beer can. OUCH. I go to the kitchen and open the fridge even though I’m not hungry. I’m not hungry. I think resolutions are bullshit but you like them so I humour you and we talk about them forever. And ever.

Yours:
More exercise (what else is new)
Less TV
Call your mother

Mine:
Less beer
More vegetables
Clean your front hall closet (just threw that one in so that you would think I really cared)

“proud of your generation” by Sasha at JJ Bean

Friday December 29, 2018
4:12pm at JJ Bean on Cambie
5 minutes
Hidden Fruit
Madhur Anand

when you wish upon a star
wish you could be proud of your generation
zombies marching towards the end of the world
radical in their distraction tendencies
worshipping dollar bills and black amex and celebrity dieties
seagulls calling some hymn of the moment
or is that a jingle
no one knows the difference anymore
no one knows the difference

when you run through the forest
wish you weren’t so afraid to be alone
maybe it’s cuz we all are
maybe it’s cuz you learned trust and then mistrust
house of cards
huff and you’ll puff and you’ll blow the house down
diseased and itchy and tired and broken
put the deck back together but the joker’s missing
and the queen of hearts
what a love affair
what a love

when you rise out the brainwashing
honey from your ears and dried flowers from your nostrils

“a weak spot” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday December 28, 2018
7:41am
5 minutes
Golden Ray of Chemo
Fawn Parker

D: Do you have to eat like that?
M: Like what?
D: You are chewing very loud.
M: I’m chewing how I chew.
D: PLEASE stop.
M: Why are you –
D: Can I have a beer?
M: No.
D: Please please please please please?
M: No.

D: My camera’s better than yours!
M: When did you become a photography expert?
D: We don’t need duplicates of everything we do!
M: Alright, we’ll use yours.
D: Did you know that you snore?
M: I do not snore.
D: You live alone. Who would tell you?
M: I do?
D: Yes. It’s sweet. It’s like a little bulldog.

She imitates a bulldog snore. They laugh.

M: When you were little you used to pick your nose and eat it.

“the grey of old age” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday December 27, 2017
4:20pm
5 minutes
Oath
Hussain Ahmed

The grey of old age is creeping up your sideburns
and it’s sexier than I imagined it would be

You’ve got wrinkles in your forehead
Laugh lines across your cheeks
Dimples in the small space between joke and laugh

When we promised forever
I didn’t know it would be
like this
When we promised forever
I didn’t know so much would change
I didn’t know so much would stay the same

We’re making more tacos
more love
more dirt under the fingernails
We’re making less fuss
less waste
less fire

“little package” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday December 26, 2017
6:55pm
5 minutes
From an email

“You mentioned in your voicemail that you’ve seen several other counsellors. What has your experience been like with them?”

“I, I… We… It wasn’t a good fit.”

“Why do you imagine that might be?”

“My insurance only covers psychiatrists and psychologists, so – “

“I’m a psychiatrist – “

“I don’t want to go on medication – “

“There’s no shame in supporting your healing with – “

“I DON’T WANT TO GO ON MEDICATION.”

A silence like Don Mills station at 1:15AM.

“Let’s take a step back.”

I nod. “Okay.”

“When you say, “episodes”, what do you mean?”

“Um…” A silence like Thanksgiving with Al and Carly, Dad and Penelope with her stupid sweet potato pie.

“unconscious anger at my mother” by Julia at LoPan

Wednesday December 20, 2017 at LoPan
12:27am
5 minutes
This wounded healer says warp up the loom
Sharon K. Farber

We didn’t speak much after her mother died. I didn’t ask her how she was each day and maybe that’s good.
I always knew how to keep living.
I remember that she never had as much as I gave before. As little. And I resented for a period that she didn’t beg herself better. That she did not shoot a little higher. I see this woman on the moon, and in the moon, and of the moon and of the moon, and she does not want to admit that.
I don’t know which truth tasted sweeter. I would likely have done the same thing in her position. Even I would hope for love in another way.
I am happy in my life thanks to all the sauces she’s talked me through over the phone.
I sometimes wish it could have been her.
I sometimes wish it wasn’t me, or us,or him,just her.
Just her floating through life unattached to the promise of pleasing

“unconscious anger at my mother” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday December 20, 2017
2:09pm
5 minutes
This wounded healer says warp up the loom
Sharon K. Farber

Fiona asks me to go to a therapy appointment with her. I read the magazines so I know that therapy isn’t stigmatized like it used to be. I mean, you practically hear people bragging about their therapist-this and their therapist-that. But why on earth my daughter wants me to go with her? I don’t know. I thought it was a personal, private, solitary thing… Unless you’re going as a couple or something.

“Are you sure you don’t want your father to go instead?” I ask. She smiles her little condescending smile and I want to say, “I changed your nappies! I wiped your ass!” But I don’t. I smile back. I say, “Alright. I’ll come. When is it?”