“but took that nasty” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday June 22, 2020
9:31pm
5 minutes
anti-immigration
Evie Shockley

I’ve put this off all day because I’m not sure
how to wrangle the fullness of this particular wave

Will I cup my hand and move it slowly left to right
watch the shadow throb on the wall

Will I wave like Lola does with the enthusiasm of
having just mastered something pedestrian and wonderful

I will not wave

That is not the summation of eight and a half years
of a daily pause or a daily play that in it’s collection

Forms a revolution
I will feel the heavy heart of a goodbye that has been

A long time coming
Goodbye catches on my teeth and turns to salt water

This gentle place has seen the best and the worst
The burning and boring

The empty and the quiet
The dark night and the wisdom of growing

Thank you for reading all the strange wonderment
Thank you for finding the pearl in the compost

And believing what you heard between the lines
Thank you for the patience and the listening

My brilliant beloved trusted friend Julia
Thank you for how you rise

Thank you for the passion with which you fill every second
Of these five minutes

“for us to breathe.” By Sasha in the living room

Monday June 8, 2020
10:07pm
5 minutes
A Small Needful Fact
Ross Gay

“She’s having a panic attack,” the doctor says. He has eyes like a cocker spaniel. Like a fish. Like your grandmother. He has big hands. Hairy hands. Knuckles that have been grated and bruised. “I don’t want to prescribe anything but therapy,” he is talking to her mother and her mother is the kind of woman who still wears a girdle and drinks sugar free iced tea from a can. Her mother picks at scabs when no one is looking, and buys herself a secret doughnut on the first day of her period, but she doesn’t menstruate anymore, so she actually buts herself a doughnut once a month on the day that she used to start her period. She is a very anxious woman, always pushing back her cuticles, reaching for gum. Anxiety is a thread woven between the women in this family, woman to woman, down the line, a strange kind of relay race.

“All above us is the touching” by Sasha in the basement

Sunday June 7, 2020
4:02pm
5 minutes
Elegy
Aracelis Girmay

All of the lonely people wishing for a touch
on the forearm from the new fingertips
the sizzle of the egg
the tongue on the earlobe
wishing for a spark
the fire starts low in the belly
spreads quick
suddenly there is no pandemic
is no risk
is nothing
but the want
for a touch
the longing for a taste

Above us is the promise of change not made
by someone at a podium or with a microphone
the sun watches as we disobey orders
as they burn cities
topple oppressive monuments into murky water

I’ve been clenching my jaw again
scratching my throat
losing sleep over the dead ones
the living

“Andrzej squinted at it” by Sasha on her couch

Friday June 5, 2020
10:16pm
5 minutes
The Button
Makana Eyre

Andrzej squints into the sun. He looks to the grass, bold in it’s shade of green, and sees spots. He tightens his backpack straps. He wishes he was older than eleven, and bigger than Elijah. Born at thirty-two weeks, Andrzej didn’t grow the way the doctor’s told Mia and Kendrick that he would. The boys in his class are starting to shoot up, corn stalks, but Andrzej only grew a quarter of an inch last year. He’s glad that Mr. M decided to take them to the protest instead of doing a Geography Quiz. Elijah hasn’t been feeling well, so has been staying home from school since Tuesday. Mia and Kendrick both go to work when Elijah’s sick and Andrzej knows that he must watch a lot of television.

“describe what it might be like to be her child” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Sunday May 31, 2020
2:39pm
5 minutes
Room To Write
Bonni Goldberg

You walk around the corner with an apple piece in your hand
extended in a reach that says “yes” and “look!”

You just learned how to tip toe and
smell the purple lilacs

I read a headline this morning that there might be rolling
pandemics every five or ten years now

and I almost threw up
a wave of sadness that you were born into this world

How will I explain it all when your questions grow
wider than “Hot?”

I was always so sure that I was to be a mother
I never imagined such grief as your bones and blood grew in my body
At eleven weeks of holding you here
my small world exploding
and now the big world breaking and burning
little and big
nested like dolls inside one another
your hand in mine now
as you step up a stair

“can have a foul odour and taste” by Sasha at the kitchen island

Tuesday May 26, 2020
8:23pm
5 minutes
Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Label

Henry sticks a meat thermometer in the chicken. Shawn is arriving any minute from now, and he fears he underestimated the cooking time. Why does this always happen? Henry is not a confident cook. He has his dishes. Roast chicken isn’t one of them. He thought he ought to branch out. He threw some parsnips and carrots under the bird, and put three cloves of garlic and a lemon in the cavity. He followed the recipe carefully. Maybe it’s his old oven. Cooks things unevenly. There’s a knock at the door. Shit. He looks down and realizes that he forgot to change into his outfit. He’s still wearing a ratty grey T-shirt and basketball shorts. Well, there’s nothing else to do but embrace the moment. Fail forward, he mutters.

“Ooh! A fun challenge!” By Sasha at the table

Friday May 15, 2020
3:25pm
5 minutes
From brittab.com

Monica shrugs her shoulders. She feels Dan’s eyes on her body, taking in the rise and fall of her chest as she breathes. She remembers when she used to lie with her head on the soft place between his shoulder and his clavical. The easy silence between them. Now, a layer of plexiglass between their hands as they reach, palm to palm. “I don’t know what happened, Danny, he doesn’t have a father figure, he dpesn’t have a role model,” Monica repeats herself. Dan knows that she does this when she’s anxious. He remembers how she bailed him out at least a half a dozen times when he was working with Len and Gary. The way she’d peel out of the parking lot in her old red Honda Civic, tires screeching and then rail into him, repeating and repeating as he bit his tongue and said, “I’m sorry, baby.”

“We think you’ll like it here” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Sunday, May 10, 2020
1:17pm
5 minutes
From an email

Shadows of birds move
across the white birch
I eclipse myself
as they do
spreading wings wide
and riding the cold wind west
I gather rocks in my pockets
carefully swiped from Lola’s mouth
Find them at the end of the day
when I undress for a bath
wondering why I am weighted
Lay them out on the windowsill
Little grey gravel pieces
I’ll return them to the road tomorrow

It’s a rollercoaster
I say over and over
Until I believe that the nausea
might be attributed to something
other than the inevitable letting go
It’s inevitable for all of us
Not just me
Letting go
Meeting our mortality
in every ending
I don’t speak in forever anymore
Scoff at those that do

There is not certainty
Anywhere but sitting with the stream
She’ll swell again next year
I can count on that
The trilliums are coming
Despite early May snow
I can count on that

“And it speaks to certain devils“ by Julia in the couch

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
8:27pm
5 minutes
Another Vision
Patricia Nelson

This devil on my shoulder
has been trying to take over

if I let him speak he sings
or hisses but either way I listen

This devil thinks we’re friends
I guess cause he looks like me
and I look like him

Been tap dancing on my spine
every night right at nine

it comes after the dinner is done
the belly full and I am laying
like I have already won

it’s a deep sigh almost comical
hear the saturation of breath
trauma full

but while I’m laying I’m easy target for this devil’s grip to tighen

and the old air goes in and out

“We are very happy to present a virtual conference this year” by Sasha in the trundle room

Sunday, May 3, 2020
10:52pm
5 minutes
From an email

I get emails that I delete before reading. They invite me to online live readings videoed performances live stream dance classes cooking shows and library debates I don’t even know anymore I don’t even care anymore what is it that we are trying to do anyway? I get emails that I send to a folder that is called “Creative maybes” but it’s where emails go to get buried in more emails and why haven’t I set a “vacation responder” that says, “Please don’t email me anything that you think might be “of interest” because I haven’t even spoken to my dearest friends in too long and I don’t care about your think-piece or your feelings about char.”

“I would have missed so many smells” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
6:10pm
5 minutes
Ode to My 1977 Toyota
Barbara Hamby

I imagine that more poetry is being read aloud
and more people are saying “I love you”
More baths are being run
and shared
More parents are playing with their kids
actually playing
getting down on the floor and being alligators and fairies and brave

They say that the canals in Venice are crystal clear
and deer are walking the streets of Tokyo

In the breaking down of everything we know
something new
a shoot of green from frozen ground
a smile with a neighbour who I’ve walked past many times
my baby sleeping tucked in my coat
her baby sleeping tucked in hers

I listen to the sound of my heartbeat
the sound of my husband talking on the phone

the sound of my father’s footsteps walking up the stairs
the sound of my neighbour on her porch smoking a cigarette
the sound of the bus accelerating up the street
heartbeat these sounds
their own rhythm of here
now

I imagine that more bread is being baked
more songs are being sung along to
more phone calls are being made to grandparents
and long lost siblings and friends who felt a bit forgotten

“On the dank and dirty ground.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 10, 2020
3:51pm
5 minutes
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

William Shakespeare

On the dank and dirty ground, you see a shiny penny. You pick it up. You turn it over and over in your hand. You’ve heard stories about these copper discs, how they were once used to buy things like candy and newspapers. Your father was once standing on a crowded subway platform and he looked up, smiling, thinking of a funny video he’d seen earlier that day, shared with him by you, of all people, and someone else on that crowded subway platform had decided to throw a penny in the air, and it hit your father right on his left front tooth and that tooth chipped, the small bony piece flying up and then down, never to be seen again. You love your father’s strange tooth, now mended, but the shadow of the crack visible in bright light.

“The king’s daughter” by Sasha on her couch

Monday March 9, 2020
10:05pm
5 minutes
The Frog Prince
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

She is not proud of her hot temper. How quickly the temperature rises in her cheeks, her forehead, her scalp, her hair tips, til she is blazing and burning and the heat is worst for her, scalding tongue. She is not sure if she’s cut out for this kind of constant tilling and teasing and translucency. What about the cold plunge pool to bring her back to equilibrium? Ha-ha-ha-ha-Ha. She avoids ice like the bullshit it is. Ha-ha-ha. Please keep your opinions to yourself unless they are invited to breakfast (which they won’t be), unless they receive an invite with a clear RSVP deadline. When she’s raging she is the big hippopotamus. When she’s standing she feels the lava at the very belly of the earth. No amount of gratitude or breath or orgasm can possibly change the hot hot heat burn temper of this woman.

“This and no other” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday February 27, 2020
11:13am
5 minutes
From a quote by Plato

Furrow on that brow
that says a thousand things at once
Hieroglyph decipher mastery
electing myself to the top of the chain
Lasso the bull who says that I can’t
or I won’t

you are riding the west wind towards a comet of
maybe greatness
maybe embracing the you
that you always knew you were

Hesitate when things don’t go as planned
when things don’t go your way
fickle fear makes you
a barely broken mare
Swinging back and forth on the rope
in the swimming hole between
I know you
I don’t know you

“pillar of fire” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Friday January 31, 2020
10:05pm
5 minutes
Night and Moonlight
Henry David Thoreau

The first time I knew I was a different kind of normal, strange kind of weird, an odd kind of person, was when the whole class was invited to Lisbeth’s tenth birthday party. I already understood that the kids that were cool would grow up to be assholes and the kids who were weird would grow up to have quite a few dollars in their bank accounts. I already understood that cheese shouldn’t come wrapped in very thin plastic sheets, and that if you wet the bed past three you probably need therapy. Lisbeth’s mom was the registrar so she made Lisbeth invite the whole class. No one had ever done this. You invite your friends to your birthday, what kind of animal invites everyone, including Simon who smells like bums and eats his hangnails? But we were all there, all twenty one of us, imagine twenty one ten year olds gathered into the basement altogether like caged beasts?

“I would like to say, in closing,” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Monday December 30, 2019
9:03pm
5 minutes
Malcolm X Speaks
Selected speeches and statements

I would like to say thank you to all the love spent and found,
returned and exchanged, felt and grieved, tossed and held.
I would like to say “yes” to all feeling feeling feeling feeling,
the tidal waves crashing over what I thought might happen,
how I thought I wanted things to go. God laughs the warm
sun laugh of a knowing wisdom, a brightness beyond bright.

It’s been a decade of learning through doing, of leaving and
finding, of searching and twisting, of laughing laughing laughing.
Thousands of miles lived in the palm of my hand, in the ache
of my heart broken (open), steps stepped across the desert
of longing, no matter how much abundance reigns (rains).

The mountains taught me about gravity, about letting go,
about touching the clouds, but not imaging that we ever
truly know their texture and their pull. The ocean taught
me about ebb and flow, about vulnerability and strength,
about the goodness and truth of salt water, of being washed,
return return return return.

“It begins from the heart.” By Sasha at Black River Farm

Sunday October 13, 2019
10:00am
5 minutes
From a quote by Shahla Khan

Here is the place where we held hands and hearts
where we wove futures and past and incanted the unborn
and the dead

Here is the place where we passed rings around a circle of song
taught in front of the wood stove
harmonies bending air between mouths of all the beloved ones
asked for witnesses in keeping us on the spiral path
mystery and possibility
leading us

Here

is the place where the sky was the blue of my father’s eyes
the earth the colour of home
a tent like a shady dream
we didn’t know we needed
the smell of goodness and grief
hope and healing
all the hours of dreaming
fighting scrawling spreadsheet poetry

Here is the place
where you climbed onto a horse’s back
the way you knew you needed to
her ribs leading you towards
the rhythm of your palms
on my chest
feeling the rise
the fall

Here is the place
that I’ve summoned
these long weeks
called up in my storm
like a lighthouse
held close when there
was nothing

this place
an eternal reminder
of the blessing
of a union marked in the stars
marked on the map of

This place

“We did all these things and more,” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday, Oct 11, 2019
7:28am
5 minutes
We Did
Brian Doyle
There were the seasons of planting the seeds
of good fortune and picking out the rocks from the
supple generous earth
sticky resilience
honey under fingernails
dirt on cheeks
There were phases of freezing toes
and shouting under a starless sky
Crescent moon asking for more more
more more more when she finally came
when she finally helped
New like the baby’s first glance
like the promise of spring
deep freeze full of bones and secrets
thought there was nothing left to say
but there always is
wisdom a crystal buried in the basement
growing every day
There were years of abundance
years of bushels of apples
sweet potato pies
rye bread in the oven
trading this for that
no need to pass bills between
trusted treasures
There were summers of black flies
zucchini’s the size of toddlers
lake swims and fires
snaking smoke to the
Seven Sisters
birch bark friendship bracelets
girls laughing

“I’d say that’s OK” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday Oct 10, 2019
11:45am
5 minutes
On A Cliff With You
David Allan Cates
A: Would you like to go to the park?
B: NO.
A: But it’s so nice out! It’ll be fun. I promise.
B: I don’t want to go.
A: I’ll push you on the swing…
B: The big kid swing or the baby swing?
A: Your choice.
B: Big kid swing!
A: Deal!
B: But I don’t want to wear my hat!
A: You need to wear your hat.
B: No way!
A: It’s chilly! Your ears will get cold.
B: NO!
A: Ear muffs?
B: NO.
A: Headband?
B: …
A: …
B: Fiiiiiine.
A: Great. Let’s do it. Put on your boots please.
B: I want to wear my Crocs.
A: It’s too cold for Crocs, my darling.
B: NOOOO!
A: …
B: – OOOOO!
A: I’m going to start putting on my boots, and whenever you’re ready –
B: – OOOOOOOO!
A: Hey. Darling. Please stop shouting.
B: I don’t want to wear my boooooooots!
A: I can see that. What about your runners?
B: My runners make my toes itchy!
A: They do?
B: Yeah.
A: What about if you wear your purple socks inside your runners?
B: The sparkly socks?
A: Yeah!

“Everybody froze.” By Sasha at her kitchen counter

Wednesday October 9, 2019
11:30am
5 minutes
The Man At Table Five
Alison Clement

Looked to the sky and there it was. Giant ball of orange and gold, burning and spewing. Coming down on us. Falling here to earth. Everybody froze. Looked up. A communal gasp. Nobody said a word. A universal silence. Something spiritual. Something profane. Something shared. Something unbelievable. Stars don’t often fall this fast, this low. But they sometimes do. Here it is. The thing we’ve all wondered about. The thing we’ve all waited for, without knowing we’re waiting. There’s no sense in running, in moving to another place somewhere close. The reverberations will be felt everywhere. The buckles and ripples can’t be escaped. And then it’s here, and the frozen moment is broken. Everyone is moving. The birds are calling. The dogs are howling. Human beings trying to take flight.

“The ship had sailed” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday October 3, 2019
7:05am
5 minutes
Just Enough
A.J. Liberling

We sailed Lake Ontario
for three days
in the springtime

Reached Coburgh
just when my sea legs had
finally arrived after
lots of throwing up
and wishing for something
different

Sixteen twelve and thirteen year olds
Five teenage sailers
Two parents
A teacher
The captain and the cook

I remember the sun high
in the sky lying on the starboard
side and knowing that
despite the nausea and sleeplessness
”down below” I was exactly

where I needed to be

“in search of a taxi” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday September 30, 2019
9:38am
5 minutes
The Rage
Gene Kerrigan

I am calling up into the sky
magenta and teal
for a sign
a lightning bolt
a monarch across the freckles of the morning

this is the right thing
the bullseye arrow right to the
rose quartz
oh good grief

I’m doing the good good work
trimming the brush back
finding the path towards

Pele told me a long time ago
in the early morning
walking on lava
and seeing where the earth
opens pulses gasps

that I would be one of the ones
who has to find the diamond
carved by pressure
etched by time
strengthened by temperature
and pushing

“and I will do you no harm.” By Sasha on her couch

Saturday September 28, 2019
5:01pm
5 minutes
Robinson Crusoe
Daniel Defoe

I fell in love with the woman opening her son’s lunchbox on the subway at rush hour taking out the half eaten apple browning at the edges and eating it

I fell in love with the couple walking down Roncesvalles hand in hand
the blue of his sweater matching the blue of her hat
do they know?!

I fell in love with the waiter at the restaurant all those years ago and I still dream about him often and wonder if I will ever see him again and if I do if I’ll tell him that I’ve loved him since I met him and I’ve dreamed about him for years

I fell in love with the spotted dog on the coffee shop patio waiting so patiently for her pal that I swore that is patience that is patience the kind that I always ask for
for Christmas

I fell in love with the skater doing tricks on the bench in the schoolyard
a smile bigger than the building beside them such joy there in that place
nestling in right where I was needing

I fell in love with

“How could God?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday September 26, 2019
8:02am
5 minute
God Never Blinks
Regina Brett

Snaking through the aisles of the Seven Eleven, Rory catches a familiar shape out of the corner of his eye. Steve. Shit. Steve. STEVE. He grabs a pack of gum, a bottle of orange Gatorade, a bag of Salt and Vinegar Miss Vicky’s. The man behind the cash has the eyes of someone who has seen a lot. Takes one to know one, Rory doesn’t let himself think. Steve won’t see him. Steve will get a can of Diet Pepsi, maybe a Mars bar. He’ll be lost in the forest of his thoughts, of his hangover, of his wish for love. Rory pulls his debit card from his wallet. Taps. Tap. Tap on his shoulder. Steve. Eyes of someone who shares a secret.

“The pulsating life force energy in such children” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday September 25, 2019
9:10pm
5 minutes
The Relationship Garden
Jock McKeen & Bennet Wong

Oh you
finding the timbre of your voice
the waterfall from
high to low
cascade down and
oh we are in raspberries
fields and fields of
pursed lips
emphatic cough
bumblebee giggle

the strength of your miracle

body
I am in awe of
how you kick legs
curl toes
grab with the power
of a herd of buffalo
propel forward
and back
forward

right to the edge

Oh you
five months old today
thigh rolls and curiosity
squeals of blessing
holding the gaze of
your grandparents
and strangers
holding the fingers
of love

clutching and growing
learning about the many
faces

of beauty

“Your arms would eventually tire” by Sasha at the dining room table

Tuesday September 24, 2019
8:10am
5 minutes
The Purpose Driven Life
Rick Warren 

You’re done with the holding of the sun
and the moon

The Milky Way galaxy
dotting the path towards
forgiveness and understanding

You’re done
Your arms are tired and the light
of these celestial orbs is blinding
so up close so luminous

There’s been lots of talk
of choice
of feelings
of love
There’s been so much talk

Here’s what I’ve come to

maybe

We don’t choose our feelings
but we choose what we do with them

Do we flock to the ember
that whispers our name
in a voice that’s unknowns
and possibilities
Over there across the road
the horses buck and cry

Do we fan the flame
of knowing ourselves
in the way we wish to know

the other

in the way we wish
to be held in the glow
of the night sky

 

“I am weak willed when I want to be” by Sasha at the dining room table

Monday September 23, 2019
11:36am
5 minutes
The Doctor and the Soul
Dr. Victor E. Frankl

I am a weak willed wildebeest when I want to be
I will cave under the smallest pressure
under the legs of an unassuming ant
pressing downwards downwards
downwards towards the middle

I am the tallest turning trombone when I want to be
I will reach for the treetops
touch the cloud bellies
make a sound that the small bird flying
up above the rest hears and
she laughs laughs laughs

I am a contagious celebrator cuttlefish when I want to be
I will blow every horn and fill the balloons to the brim
dance a jig on the hour every hour
repeating the names of all the good cuttlefish
all the holy schools
repeating gratitude from the ground to the tip

 

“As a consequence” by Sasha on the couch

Saturday September 21, 2019
9:31pm
5 minutes
quote: Ferrucci

You beg her to think about consequences and she says that she doesn’t believe in morality, or ethics, or anything like that. Okay, you say, unsure where there is to go once someone says something like that. Maybe that’s judgement. Maybe that’s difference. Who knows. You wonder what her mother would say, wrapped in pearls, her curly haired beauty a wild, hedonistic animal. Something crashes outside. Raccoons, she says. She goes to window to see. It’s dark outside. Could be cats, you say. No way, she says.

“Please, just think about cause and effect, think about consequences,” you say again. Sometimes in the saying of something a second time, it lands. Not this time.

“But in a poem we can do anything we want.” By Sasha at the dining room table

Friday, September 20, 2019
3:41pm
5 minutes
Since You Asked
Lawrence Raab
She thinks before she speaks
a practise she tries on before bed
washing her face and the day away
brushing her teeth
“I think before I speak” she spits
the bubbles down the drain
a small “c” of blood
turns to “j”
turns to “L”
She tries to listen with open ears
but often she finds herself
thinking thinking thinking thinking
”Sorry what did you say?”
What happens when she really hears
what he or he or she or they are saying?

”I listen with open ears” a mantra
on her breath
maybe if she says it enough
it will be true
it will be born
it will be as real as the
hangnail on her left ring finger
The path of the virtuous
Oh the weight of striving
She thinks before she speaks
She listens with open ears
She knows the joy and the suffering
of loving and being loved and
losing and being lost
and leaving and having left
and breathing into the heart
of the sound of what it is
to not know very much at all

“Today, they target” by Sasha at the dining room table on Oak Dr.

Wednesday September 18, 2019
7:12am
5 minutes
Snapshot of a Lump
Kelli Russell Agodon

I didn’t think I’d be sat in the suburban dream
with manicured front lawns and dishwashers humming
with crickets and plush pillows
with beige carpets
beige table
beige couch

I wonder about learning a martial art
another language
(how would I choose which one?)
how to make croissants

how to learn to drive

Is that the only thing stopping me
from going to the woods for a few weeks
and howling the stains out
crying the confusion down to the
whittled tip?

Here I am
last night’s dreams on the coffee table
with the rattle and the book
the sun rising
towards all that is possible
etching light onto unknown

carving maybe on my toes

 

“Is it starting to rain?” By Sasha at the dining room table on Oak Dr.

Monday September 16, 2019
5:27pm
5 minutes
Afraid So
Jeanne Marie Beaumont

”Is it raining?” Bronwen asks Doug.

Doug has no idea but he wants to tell her something true so he quickly checks the weather app on his phone. “Nope!”

Bronwen wonders about whether or not Doug has ever had a platonic relationship with a woman. He doesn’t strike her as one of those guys. He strikes her as someone who has probably fucked or at the very least kissed most of his female friends.

”I’m going to go for a run after work. Wanna join?” Bronwen can only see the top of Doug’s head over the divider that separate their cubicles. Tufts of grey and black.

“I’m not much of a runner…” Doug wishes he was, but he’s not, and it’s better she finds out while he still has his dignity.

”I’m not either, DOUG, but I’m trying to offset the fifty hours that we sit in this prison and sitting is the new smoking so come the fuck on!”

Doug chuckles.

“I want.” By Sasha in Niagara-on-the -Lake

Sunday September 15, 2019
8:08pm
5 minutes
Prayer
Galway Kinnell

I want us to want the same thing ha that’s the universal joke isn’t it the separate and the together the hope for the life that we’ve built that we are building the house with the vegetable garden and peonies and apply trees the children and the family and the together the togetherness I want the sweet surrender of dreams I didn’t know I had fumbling towards me with the same speed as the monarchs swinging on the September curl I want the morning to be long and nights to be longer I want the devotion of a swami and the loyalty of a soldier I want the love like the Milky Way changing with the seasons with the ages it’s been a long time coming baby but we’re here now and we are choosing now and oh my good gracious I’ve never wanted anything like I want I want conversation that breathes and I want the space to know what my heart longs for what my soul bakes in the middle of the night when the rain stops and the crickets call YES I want you to want the colour of our spirits dancing I want my dreams to keep leading me back leading me towards truth leading me home

“He shone with Heavenly Courtesy” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday September 13, 2019
3:34pm
5 minutes
Courtesy
Hilaire Belloc

Courtesy doesn’t mean what she thinks it means
what she learns it means to be treated well
See she was raised to believe that love looked
cock-eyed and dimpled
that trust was something that could be given
and then snatched back for keepsies

She doesn’t know what it is to be treated well
until she’s forty three and hiking along the trails
of the Pacific Northwest and eating pecans and
protein bars
and she’s tired and she’s lonely and she’s one
with the arbutus and the pines

She realizes that blisters and bloody toenails
and coyote calls and listening to the sounds
of the night are all her
treating herself well
treating herself with courtesy

“If ignorance is bliss” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday, September 12, 2019
5:07pm
5 minutes
The Benefits of Ignorance
Hal Sirowitz
If ignorance is bliss why then
I don’t want bliss
not in the form of head in the sand
fingers in the ears
not in the form of illusion dancing
in her opaque scarves
It’s been six weeks and all I crave
is protein and truth
seeing with the eyes of a woman
who has seen and been seen
as she knows is possible
as she knows is her birthright
Crunchy leaves underfoot
today on a walk in the neighbourhood
I found myself humming a song
that I taught myself in my dream last night
learned by heart on the strong back
of a premonition
that he only told me half the story
last night
Won’t admit fear where the spills are
where the stains are
won’t admit defeat
twirling his ring round and round
a quiet threat
I hum the song all the way back to the
garden and then I sit amongst the
butterflies and squirrels
the cone flowers and nasturtium
spicy open mouth
catching a taste
of what might be possible
I write him a letter in the major key
not to be predictable
not to be oppositional
but because the chord feels right
the timbre in my chest
my fingers playing imaginary keys
a new story
He loves me
that is why
don’t forget
It’s easier to know words
when they are put to music

“He can fix anything” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
2:04pm
5 minutes
Easter Morning
Jim Harrison

Jer is one of those guys who can fix anything. Sink dripping underneath? Jer’s got it. Car door won’t lock. Call Jer. He even knows how to fix a broken heart. When Kelly left, Jer brought Jemima a scribbler, a new pen, a pepperoni stick and a Toblerone bar. All she needed to write out all her ache, have some protein and a bit of a treat.

When I first met Jer, he wasn’t in the place he is now. He was still drinking, I guess that was a big part of it. He was a fixer for others, I guess, but not really, and certainly not for himself. It wasn’t until he was able to show up and sort out the stuff inside of him that needed fixing, no… healing, that he was really able to start helping other people… the people around him that he loved and saw him through.

“Spoons our fingers” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday September 8, 2019
8:36pm
5 minutes
After Love
Maxine Kumin

Sometimes this feels too public
too personal to not know who’s reading
too much to take the plunge
might as well fictionalize
might as well stay safe

Angels laugh when I say that
I hear them in the wind chimes
in my daughter’s squeals

If you’re reading
if you’re hoping to know me
find me in the line breaks and
between the dates when things
began and ended and began again

If you are reading
hi

two letters
h
i

I
do not need
to say more

There the angels go again
laughing at my humble attempt
knowing the big picture
wide as the sky
heavy womb of clouds

toasting to the beginning
praising the end

Hi
and please go away now
now that I’ve met you here
on my ground

go away

“sometimes come last” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday September 5, 2019
8:03am
5 minutes
Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball
Vicki Churchill

I watch the water drain from the bath, legs pulled up, hair dripping down my back. “Stay on that brink and do not concretize,” Pema writes. I close my eyes and taste the sleepy morning. Earl needs a walk, but I’m thinking about crawling back into bed, in my towel, and getting a bit more sleep. The doctor’s appointment this afternoon will be a relief. Dinner with Margot will be a relief. My mother coming to visit next month will be a relief. Earl drinks in the kitchen, splashing water onto the tile. I stand up, the water all swirled away, and see myself in the medicine cabinet mirror.

“I could not agree with those who called the autumn a decline” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday September 4, 2019
8:24am
5 minutes
Earthly Paradise
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette

It’s a slow crawl towards the cool mornings

September the sister with braids
and pulled up socks

Dew on the black eyed susans
blue sky in sweet conversation
over cotton ball clouds

kettle boils and Lola lays on her back
on the grey blanket
launching herself
over onto her belly
pushing up with doughy arms

”I did it!” Her squeal says
I kiss her caramel hair
”Yes!” I say

Every year this season
brings change

This year this season
brings change

Bulldozer at the door
Angel crossing over shingles
above us

Higher ceilings than before

 

“So close to the end of my childbearing life” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday September 3, 2019
7:32am
5 minutes
The Girl
Marie Howe

It was never a matter of if
it was only a matter of when
and the knock at the door started

months before we merged
magic and satisfaction
love and hope

the knock of your heart
on my heart

”let’s dance”
”it’s time”

Christmas time
three years ago
he told me he wanted
to have a baby together

He gave me a pacifier
and I behaved strangely

given that I’ve always known

It was the pacifier

Pacify
Placate
I don’t know
I was younger then
I didn’t know what I know now

I cried in the basement
of my parent’s house
the tree aglow two floors above

“translator, teacher” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday September 2, 2019
7:32am
5 minutes
from a bio

Mike was the first teacher I had who actually treated me like a human being, you know what I mean? Like, he valued my ideas, and how I found my way through them… to them… Not just my ideas, everyone’s. Even Amanda Ramsey, who didn’t seem to have very many. I remember the first day of class, when he said that he didn’t believe in “Mr.” this and that, we were all equals and we should call him “Mike”. “Not Michael,” he said, “my mother is the only one who can call me that.” He winked at one of the guys, like they could possibly already have an inside joke.

“and create a platform” by Sasha on her living room floor

Thursday August 29, 2019
2:02pm
5 minutes
from the Arts Council of New Westminster

Liam lost his job in November and has been looking for something, anything, since then. He had to borrow money from his brother. Ed works in tech. He loaned Liam ten thousand dollars at the same interest rate as the credit union. Liam took on some odd jobs (cleaning out a storage locker of an old professor, painting a bathroom, alphabetizing files for the old professor’s husband), and went on thirty two interviews before he landed something with a start up no one has heard of but most will know in six months, once the app takes off. Liam likes that dogs are allowed at the office, and that Misty, the German Shepherd with one eye, licks his fingers under his desk after he eats Doritos.

“deposited myself in your softest corner” by Sasha on her floor

Monday August 26, 2019
7:16am
5 minutes
Your Room
Robert Sherrin

If I could go back in time
the only thing that I would do differently
is I wouldn’t have broken into your house
and stolen my books back

If I could deposit myself in your softest corner
I would do that
I would nestle into your armpit
and breathe in deep
filling my lungs with cedar wood and salt

If I could predict the future
I wouldn’t even dare
The bubble gets too big and pops
The baby cries and I’m on my knees again
Begging for more time

If I could have anything I wanted
I would know what it is to be seen in the light
of Monday
Unashamed and true
Sunday a forgotten kiss
Saturday a distant memory

“She has even lost one leg” by Sasha at her counter

Sunday August 25, 2019
10:09pm
5 minutes
Fetish
Pierre Reverdy

Pam grabs Maxine, her passport, her laptop, and a Cliff bar. Standing outside in her Rolling Stones T-shirt and underwear, Maxine meows and scratches her. They watch the building burn. “Shit,” Pam says, pulling down her T-shirt, trying to cover her bum. Rudy, from the basement apartment comes over and puts his arm around Pam. She’s not into it, but doesn’t shrug away. They are losing everything, so might as well feel “in it” together.

“Nice kitty,” says Rudy. He has bad breath.

“I’m going to go back in… My photo albums… My mother’s engagement ring… My external hard drive…” Pam keeps listing things and Rudy shakes his head and keeps his arm firmly where it is.

“it is the revelation of the god-like” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday August 21, 2019
7:13pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Nicholas Berdyaev

God moves in the emptiness between faith and doubt. God is the fullness there. I know this now. God as love, God as the diamond at the centre of the heart of the truth, not some God in the sky who judges or smites. Not some God who is all-knowing and bearded. Hanging from the vines, swinging between the two, faith and doubt, I find solace in the quiet stillness of five o’clock light. Solace is a breaking open sometimes, it’s not always peaceful, but it’s messy and it’s real. I know myself now in a way I never have. That is the medal I tuck into the pockets of my heart. That is the crystal I keep in my left hand. I find strength in the loved ones who send messages on the wings of small brown birds, chirping and singing outside the window, calling me towards softness, calling me towards this.

“Art making as a playful, life-supporting activity” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday August 20, 2019
7:31am
5 minutes
Quote by Joseph Zinker

I get in there and put the words on the page
At least I do that now
and then and tomorrow
I let it go and see where it takes me
I follow it
I listen
I catch the tail of inspiration
sometimes clumsy
sometimes sticky fingered
sometimes grasping
I throw it up to the Gods and see what rain comes down
see the colour of the water
see the flow of the rhythm

Fall fall fall free

These are noble things I think really
these are noble things

I count them on my fingers and toes
lying naked beside the truth
beside the moon

I count these noble things
noble truths
I hold them as I hold
you as I hold me as I
let go

“and eyesight a lying sense” by Sasha at her desk

Monday August 19, 2019
7:28pm
5 minutes
Lives Of The Eminent Philosophers
Diogenes Laertius

Slithering between the here and the then
the truth evades
shadow with no sun
I thought I knew you like
the freckles on my arm and that was
the lie that I told

Monday comes like a swan song
like a turning page and we are
re-writing what was written
re-imagining what was taken
kissing visions of how things
might’ve been goodbye

I hold tight to the belief
that the sky opens when she’s ready
that we don’t know what we don’t know
that we are doing our best
that love shatters

The morning the avalanche came
I said to you
“I trust you”
Your face eclipsed
I saw the crescent moon
illuminated
gaping

“But he was never seen practicing” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday August 18, 2019
11:01pm
5 minutes
Cato The Younger
Plutarch

Julie says that you’re all about family
that it’s my job to make sure
you’re close to your people
feel the tether to the roots
to the blood to the source
“Don’t put her in daycare if you can help it
Have Grandma or Grandpa there”

Neptune transits coming around for all three of us
and I’m wondering about right now
What are the planets saying
What are the stars shouting to us
across shine and bright
A beauty has settled in the space
where the day broke

Down to the bone we go
Into the marrow we crawl

Julie says that your Sun needs to be present
needs to be physically close needs to touch you
We both do
Sun and Moon
Your arm touching my arm
Your toe touching his belly

Good grief
these things that we try to lean on
scaffolding
house of cards

“stop valuing receiving over giving” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday August 17, 2019
3:15pm
5 minutes
Lectures
Musonius Rufus

Hahaha that’s funny
I mean
It’s actually the opposite
giving and receiving
receiving and giving
Is it a gender thing
A learned thing
A patriarchy thing
breathing down the front
of my shirt towards my
wisdom towards my knowing

Give give give give give
we are taught before we can walk
apologize before we speak
mind the Q and the P
Oops
I mean
It’s actually the opposite

In the stick of the final
nights of summer
this person tells me that
I am not very good at receiving
or asking or getting
and I am suddenly faced with
myself from nine years ago

the one slipping into and out
of all the sheets that stack
to make the book that I’m
only now starting to write

“in the present moment for” by Sasha at her desk

Friday August 16, 2019
8:13am
5 minutes
Meditations
Marcus Aurelius

You are liquid sliming between the cracks in the tile on the kitchen floor
You are the three stars in a row speckled across the sky like a belly
like a line of freckles or braille spelling out
WE DID A REAL NUMBER ON EACH OTHER
You are a fox running through a birch forest no leaves just peeling bark
and howling hearts
You are a tug at the grounding stitch
You are a tsunami washing out villages washing away dolls and dreams and sunscreen
You are a meditation on impermanence an unacknowledged silence
You are a death
You are the crest of a wing spanning East to West
stretching borders and fault lines with your misconceptions
You are a mushroom in the moss in the woods in the quiet

“foolish joy, greedy desire” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday August 14, 2019
10:03am
5 minutes
On The Brevity Of Life
Seneca

drunk on his own smell it’s gross really i’m not sure about any of it any of the bullshit that goes along with an i do or a yes or a no is there ever actually a question or are we animals running around the farmyard the jungle the scent of another calling us down into the mud calling up to the balloon clouds unsure unsure unsure and then sure sure sure sure is the service of oneself the ultimate gift to the other crow calls that it’s a tuesday that it’s warm that the baby’s diaper needs changing i don’t know where i put my biggest baddest dreams the deeper we got into the earth burying our toes in the sand watching the horizon turn dark

“Self-Portrait Image Dip” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday August 13, 2019
10:02pm
5 minutes
Self-Portrait
Lynne De Spain

Shake the dream sideways and what do you see
Poseidon riding the bull back to the kelp palace
Persephone the vulnerable holding her crown of thorns
You tell me things I know are not true about my world
Zeus on the mountain drunk on the possibilities
unaware of the basic fundamental of cause and effect

I will braid my courage with my wisdom
Don Athena’s breastplate and wield her sword
Gallop towards an unknown justice
Kill the illusion with one screaming plunge
We have misunderstood one another for too many seasons
Now we see if there is a place we want to be
on the other side

“Take a moment to remember” by Sasha at her desk

Monday August 12, 2019
8:32pm
5 minutes
The bus instructions

On the day you were born
the skies whispered to go deeper
into the cave than I had
ever been the clouds kissed
the sweat from my back
my brow the matriarchal line
protecting me from all the danger
and all the unlove
bringing me deeper into my
self

On the day you were born
I met a part of my
self that I
didn’t know before
the threshold of pain
higher the threshold of power
wider the space for opening
a portal to the other realm

where the light glows
where the truth knows
where mother and daughter
are on a continuum
through age
through heaven
through

“Slicing lake Ontario” by Julia at her desk

Sunday August 11, 2019
8:27pm
5 minutes
Catastrophe that Nearly Brought Down a Plane
Sabyasachi Nag

Darling tonight did you hear me ask you
a less than hypothetical question about
our children and about the future that
might show you just how much I’ve thought
about these things?

You didn’t seem to clock it and that
didn’t bother me then but it’s bothering
me now and I wished I had said, Excuse me
did you hear what I said about our kids
without you leading the charge?

These are moments for me to reflect on
by myself I suppose, because did I say
it out of truth gargling against my cheeks
or did I say it out of poetry and the
persistent chase of perfect phrases?

Are you changing your mind now that
I’ve got mine on straight? It would be so
sad after all this time if we had found
ourselves on different pages again. It
might break my heart into weapons.

I think about this future family of
ours and where the hell are they going
to live? In this one bedroom apartment?
In this city that you said yourself might be
too soft for them and for us and everything.

“Slicing lake Ontario” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday August 11, 2019
7:30pm
5 minutes
Catastrophe that Nearly Brought Down a Plane
Sabyasachi Nag

We’ll fly east in nineteen days
over the mountains that grew us
over the peaks that destroyed us
We’ll fly above the colours and
the clouds above the petty
grievances and the monumental hurts

We’re leaving a place we’ve known as home
five years of loving and living
of making art and granola and love
We’re leaving a place we’ve kissed
and bled and thanked and known
where our girl was born
the greatest feat of all

We’ll fly towards family
towards whatever roots are left
towards who knows really now that
everything is upside down
Secure the mask of the person next to you
I wish that was the case

All I know is I need the pressure of
my father’s hand
on my back
when he embraces me
My mother’s salad dressing
My sister’s eyes

We’ll slice over Lake Ontario
towards a speckled sky

“the shedding of lint” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday August 10, 2019
9:38pm
5 minutes
Laundromat
Carmen Pintea

Picking the lint out between your tiny bean toes is sweet satisfaction. Saying your name, a mantra, a call to dig deeper, go further, hold on, give it up, a wish. Burrowing my face in your neck – this love is eternal. This love is wilder than any love I’ve ever known. Words are strange weights, strange reaching, strange how things all line up and then don’t and then do. You see the truth of every moment, every interaction, know who to trust. God I hope you never lose that. You and me, I’d say quietly, those ten months, when things were the hardest. You and me. I can’t wait to see you in my sisters arms, my sister, my lifeline. I can’t wait for you to meet your cousins. I can’t wait to dance you around the first floor of the house in the woods, where I danced as a babe, where we all danced.

“the only identifier” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday August 7, 2019
10:24
5 minutes
Orange Socks
Kate LeDew

  1. Make a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich. Cut it in half, diagonally. Leave it on the plate for a few hours. You aren’t hungry. Haven’t been for almost two weeks. Funny how appetite becomes the barometer for feelings, at least in your family.

  2. Find the sandwich, only a bite taken. The contents have seeped into the bread. The bread it turning hard. Take another bite.

  3. Phone rings and you ignore it. You can’t bear to put something on your voice, the connective tissue to the truth. You would have to if you answered, no matter who it was, let alone Miranda.

  4. You open up the sandwich and run your finger through the jam. You lick your finger. You say a small prayer to the strawberry seeds.

“sucking everything in.” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday August 6, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Across This Body
Jeni De La O

she sets herself on fire
it’s not the first time
but she burns differently

now that there’s the most to lose

ashes fly to the sky
flickering fantasy
floating towards the opposite
she explodes into all the

pieces of possible truths
colours like feelings
smoke of spirit
roar of the breaking

betrayal is a red
mixed into the blood

as she burns she paints
herself in the shades of
the now the ones
she predicted but always
wanted to escape

the true things
the small things
the things that are clever
and vicious

unknown

now that she’s nothing
she has everything
now that she’s here
she sees herself

whole
for the first time

“Aida drank her father’s unsugared coffee” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday August 4, 2019
10:21pm
5 minutes
A Dull Yellow Presence
Mona’a Malik

Aida reaches across the table and takes a sip of her father’s unsugared coffee. It tastes like tar.

“What are you doing?” He’s back from the washroom, hands in his pockets, crease between his eyebrows deeper than when he left.

“I just wanted to – …”

“That’s for grown-ups.” He sits down and stacks his cutlery on his plate, putting the paper napkin, folded, on top.

“I’m sorry, Papa.” Aida gets that sinking feeling in her stomach and wonders when her mother will pick her up. Saturday morning breakfasts with her father were court ordered. No one checked with her.

“retirement and investment savings” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday August 3, 2019
11:28am
5 minutes
From a piece of mail

I worried about money until other things came on deck
things that take more breath and bones than bills do

and that is privilege in action right

Fuck
I’m sorry

I used to think by thirty-three there’d be retirement
and investment savings but
well

that’s just not the case
like so many cases are not the case
and so many cases are
case closed
case re-opened
“In this case I…”

what is the case is broken hearts

and packing tape
and all our stuff piling up in a corner of a room
where I both do and don’t want to be
where I do and don’t need to be

healing hearts
hearts in throats
little kid hearts hurting so bad
wanting to heal
wanting release

wanting to teach our girl that
love looks like being true
and being true looks like vulnerability
and vulnerability is power

hearts in the hands of all the earthly angels that love us

I circle my mind
a low flying gull
ride her tail feathers towards destruction
ride her wings towards hope

“she’s in a shoe store with her friends,” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday August 2, 2019
10:24pm
5 minutes
Some Notes Against the Burden of Representation
Rahat Kurd

she’s in a shoe store with her friends and she’s smiling and pointing at the shiny gold platforms and they roll their eyes because she won’t buy them and she won’t wear them but she tries them on to push it a bit to push her possibility at wildness at the person she maybe used to be and her friends tell her she should get them and two of them mean it and one of them doesn’t because that one is holding that she’s changed that they’re all changing and they took her out today because they didn’t want her to be alone with the beast in her belly moving through the motions of coffee and a boiled egg and replying to emails and cancelling subscriptions because they didn’t want her to be alone

“we always found a way” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday July 31, 2019
11:10pm
5 minutes
From a thank you card

This is you, body coiled and then crumpled
naked in pillows, the baby thrashing
an arm’s length away

We have always found a way back to how we tether,
how we teethe the truth, a bone
like the dinosaurs on display

You want so much

This is the heart within the heart,
a love that I didn’t know was possible,
the ache that grabs my throat

licks my cheek,
tells me to grovel and snarl,
thumbs protected by fingers,

protected by the willingness to pretend.
I stick sorry across your torso,
your back, your jaw

I want so much

I see myself through your eyes
and she’s a famished feral one,
governed by hunger

frozen by fear.
I stick sorry on the tip of my tongue,
lick my arms, legs, belly

Hold up one finger to you
A white flag.

“Come visit me in Halifax soon!” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday July 30, 2019
1:32pm
5 minutes
From a thank you card

Dear Becky,

Does anyone write letters anymore? It feels so old fashioned. I’m trying to use up this stationary my grandma gave me (RIP, aw Midge) before the move so thought I’d spend the afternoon catching up on correspondence. This is the first letter I’m writing. Things are okay here… I’m thinking a lot about white supremacy and performative allyship without actually putting in the real work. Social media posts and stuff but how most people don’t actually show up. I’m not talking about a rigidity in being PC or anything, just doing our part to dismantle the shit that’s gotta go! I remember when we used to talk about the micro-aggression racism we’d both experienced growing up in small towns. Those were fundamental steps in my work as a baby activist and I’m grateful to you for that! Running out of space so… How are you?! I miss you. Come visit me in Halifax soon! I think you’d really dig it here.

“no one would know me.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday July 29, 2019
10:42pm
5 minutes
The Landing
Marie Howe

I build a home for you
and you live in it
day after night after afternoon
adding your skin to the dust bunnies
adding your hair to the nests under the sink
adding your voice to the whispers
stored in the paint of the walls

I build a good home for you
for us
for two and then three
for the three of us
I keep the pantry stocked
and the floors swept
I keep the truth on the table
until we snuff out the candle
and say goodnight
I dream of a time before this
a time after this
I dream of a great undoing

A lighthouse fills my heart
dim tonight than ever before
I leave the light on
for you though
for myself
for the three of us
even in the crest of the tsunami

“the name of being an outlaw” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday July 28, 2019
6:39pm
Mustang Man
Louis L’amour

I don’t take the Bible literally, do you? I haven’t been to Church in a long time, but I pick up the Book every now and then, when I’m on the road, in a hotel room or whatever. I don’t own a version myself, but I pick one up every now and then. And every time I do I think about how it’s a great thing, the Bible, but it’s been used in the name of so much bullshit through the ages that that takes away all the good stuff, all the real stuff, all the stuff we should really be heeding. It hits me, like, whether or not you even believe in God, it’s a good idea to treat your neighbour well, right? I believe in God, I think. I mean, that’s cracking into a big ol’ box of worms, but I do. I do.

“your ability to project charismatic body language” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday July 27, 2019
5:38pm
5 minutes
The Charisma Myth
Olivia Fox Cabane

You do not know self consciousness
Your face the pure expression of feeling
You see the floral blanket and the joy
ripples from top to bottom explodes
out your tiny fingertips

It was hot last night and our naked bodies
touched through each dream and breath
Crescent moon eyelashes the very thing
I didn’t know I’d always dreamed of
Sweetness here now curled against my belly
the same one I felt a year ago in those
first appleseed days

Three months of knowing you
separate from my body
although that’s hardly true
Three months of you being here with us
giving back so much more than I thought possible
Why did I think it was going to be so hard?

Walking home from tying up frayed loose ends
it was easier than I thought
barely an effort really
effortless in it’s grace
I said to myself
“Why was I so afraid?”
and the sun on the sweetgrass growing
flooded me with the truth of
letting go

“I’ll try to sneak across the border somewhere, somehow” by Sasha at her desk

Friday July 26, 2019
12:08pm
5 minutes
Summer Of My Amazing Luck
Miriam Toews

You’ve been sneaking across my borders since we first
touched eyelashes tangled hair and toes
the Landsdowne bus brake staccato stop and start

I don’t know as much about yours as you do about mine
Maybe you don’t have them or if you do you treat them
differently than I do

Three lines feels enough sandwich to understand
enough space to feel safe
enough enough to be thorough but also vague

Maybe that will be my epitaph

This border crossing is a mountain range
the craggy edges catch in my throat
a sob or a laugh or a pretend

I’m taken with the smell of vulnerability
can’t stop burrowing my nose in the armpit there
tracing the dust with my tongue

“I can’t handle this” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday July 25, 2019
10:10am
What Every Body Is Saying
Joe Navarro

Sometimes
when the sweat is trickling down
the nape of the neck
the back is tight from slouching
the heart is weary from all the love
all the stretching

These times
one might think
“I can’t handle this”
Too full
Too sticky
Too messy
Too unknown
Too much

This, too
I say in a moment of
surrender
in a light prism of
yes
This, too

“found the conversation a burden to listen to” by Sasha in the car

Wednesday July 24, 2019
5:11pm
5 minutes
Lonesome Dove
Larry McMurtry

On the bus home from therapy. Why did I choose a therapist across the city? I’m sure there are good people close to where I live, but nope, I had to find the dude with the little round glasses and the greying beard two bus rides away. And now I love him and I trust him, and I know about his three sons and his dying mother, and that’s the most personal information I’ve ever gotten out of a therapist before so I’ll see him until one of us croaks.

These two people are talking like you talk in your kitchen after a few glasses of wine. They are riling each other up. One keeps saying, “YOLO, Cheryl! YO-LO!” and Cheryl keeps saying, “I know, but I’m scared!” and in a very quiet voice I whisper, “We all are, but we go about our business anyway.”

“It Helps To Ask” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday July 23, 2019
5:32pm
ECK Wisdom on Inner Guidance
Harold Klemp

It helps to ask those
who have come before
how they did it
Not that we are all the same
or that what worked for her
will work for you
but

in asking something
moves in the gut
in the heart
in the glow
above the crown
something moves that’s
been longing

to move
to extend finger
and toe tips
creak of the back
tightness of the hip
move move
move
move
move dear body

in ways you didn’t think
to be possible or
possible for you

move towards the grace
of the opening

“a time lacking in truth and certainty” by Sasha at her desk

Monday July 22, 2019
11:04am
5 minutes
From a quote by Louise Bogan

Drive up the mountain in an SUV and throw a cigarette butt
out the window and laugh at the irony of how things
tend to go Drink an iced coffee and throw the cup
out the window and then take a selfie
in front of the forest fire

hashtag world ending hashtag hot hot heat
hashtag fire hashtag smoke
hashtag do I look beautiful here
Is the light good

Instagram does not measure the rate
of destruction caused when tourists pose
at the site of Chernobyl
exposing butt cheeks and pink lipstick
How far will we fall
How deep will we go

I am not condemning my generation
I am saying that I am afraid
of the passion for followers
gurus of make up tutorials and false eyelashes
the disconnect from the
heartbeat

“Bishop Family Bees” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday July 20, 2019
12:02pm
5 minutes
Honey Child Apothecary

You and me
we raise bees in our backyard
only have a bit of space
a few concrete slabs
a tiny patch of grass
but it’s something I’ve always
wanted to do
and always feels closer
since we met grief at the dump

You build the hive out
of old shipping crates
scored on Craigslist
for free
I find second hand bee suits
for us
turns out more people
want to raise bees
than you think
but a lot of things can go wrong
and it’s hard work

I dream about being
covered in honey
arms-length of sticky gold
breaking into the comb
a bear in summer

“She heard a deeper vibration” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday July 18, 2019
10:50am
5 minutes
From a quote by Willa Cather

She sits on the edge of my bed
her body different than ever
but this isn’t about her body
for once
this is about her transformation
not that body and transformation are mutually exclusive
just that too much attention has been paid to form
and now it’s about something formless
more important

She’s wearing a burnt caramel
three quarter sleeved shirt
it’s her colour
when I see this colour in the wild it reminds me of her
She’s talking about gratitude
like it’s her new guru
like it’s saving her life
and it is

Shrouded in white
glowing aura of wisdom and wreckage
gratitude leads her back
to the place that broke her
heart
the first time round

“The vast majority of people don’t want to do anything physical” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday July 17, 2019
10:36pm
5 minutes
Overhead on the 4

The vast majority of people don’t want to do anything physical. They just want to talk, or bitch, or cry, or… you get the picture. It’s nothing like I thought it would be, when I first got into it. I mean, I’ve given my fair share of hand jobs, don’t get me wrong, but, it really isn’t about that. It’s about connection, being heard, knowing that someone is there for you and only for you, and isn’t going to ask for anything in return. It’s cheaper than therapy! Ha ha ha… Am I doing this right? Is this the kind of thing you’re after? I’m trying to be myself but with the camera and everything… I don’t know. It’s hard to relax. I’ve only fallen in love once on the job and that was with Rufus, who died last November.

“contact the storage directly” by Julia at her desk

Thursday, July 11, 2019
4:32pm
5 minutes
From the Secure Storage website

In my dream you were there as if
it hadn’t been 4 years of silence
When our other friends left the room
I looked at you, still there, shrugging
Was this night more awkward because you
and I haven’t talked anything out yet?
You wait to answer because the answer
is yes but you are there waiting for me
I didn’t know if you wanted to talk…
And now it is my turn to wait, to ask
myself, floating above my body if, maybe,
I do

Things are said but mostly not and
by the end of the scene we are hugging
deeply and I have said I love you again
and you have cried and said I love you back

You didn’t look the same and your calm
was foreign to me from what I remember and
yet I knew it was you there, wondering if
anything is possible the way they say it is

I gave you my answer and then I woke up,
glad that in the dream, after drawing the
card of Mercy, I could see what that might
look like even if no real action
had yet been taken

“contact the storage directly” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday, July 11, 2019
10:14am
5 minutes
From the Secure Storage website

I wonder if a time will come when
we do away with all the past hurt
stored in boxes in the closet
stacked one on top of the other
amidst the cleaning stuff and the
cans of black beans and chickpeas
paprika from Hungary
oats in a paper bag

I wonder when you will not be tight
and I will not be sorry

what will be between us then
the lightness and dust of these corners
a decade of daisy chain evolution
some flowers losing their bright
some gaining new growth
measured in commas and almost finished
stories measured in scratches
measured in letting go

I wonder what will come of this
and where you’ll put your righteousness down
what will be born of the true new

who will you allow me to be
in your paper doll cut out clothes
of not quite enough
torn at the places where you
stick them to my body
pin the tail on the woman
doing her best

“shattered in a thousand pieces” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
4:24pm
Sing to the Moon
Laura Mvula

little tear little breath
little hurt little death
little heart little break
little give little take
little win little lose
little scar little bruise
little fear little hope
little raft little rope
little yes little no
little maybe little so
little story little poem
little grief little home
little moon little sun
little lesson little won
little dance little still
little call little kill
little blood little bone
little laugh little moan
little piece little whole
little part little role

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” By Sasha at her desk

Sunday July 7, 2019
12:15pm
5 minutes
Philippians 4:13

Oh my God! Hey! How’s it going?!

I’m glad that you’re happy. Really I am. I mean, that’s what I always wanted for you, I guess I’m just not really happy about what you being happy means for me. Does that even make sense? Shit, I’m rambling… how are you? I guess I should ask that, right? It’s been like, almost a year, right? Wow. TIME. Haha.

Good. Good. I’m glad to hear that. I guess.

Yeah, it’s been a weird time, to be honest. I finally got a dog! Her name is Carp. She’s a mutt. You’d love her. I love her. I mean…

I’m in therapy. How fucking typical… “I finally got a dog and I’m finally in therapy!” It’s good though. My therapist wears these glasses with different shapes, like, the left one is round and the right one is square. She’s a badass.

“A federal statutory holiday” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday July 6, 2019
7:51pm
5 minutes
From a Wikipedia page re: Canada day

Mona is grateful for Canada Day because it means time and a half. She doesn’t know about colonization or the traumatizing effects of fireworks on refugees from countries where there’s war. She’s ignorant to the questionable politics. She doesn’t even know how much she likes it like that. Mona stocks tampons and pads, adult diapers and lube. She wishes she could listen to music, her own music not the bullshit they play in the store, but she makes due.

“Hey Mona, how’s it goin’?” Says Jeremiah. Jeremi-ahhhh.

“Hey…” She’s holding a box of ribbed Trojans.

“Are you going down to the lake for fireworks tonight?” He looks at his high tops.

“I don’t know…” She touches her braid.

“the stuff where the composition has a seduction to it” by Sasha at her desk

Friday July 5, 2019
5:05pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Jeff Buckley

I used to tempt fate by riding my blue
bike with no helmet to houses uphill
where I would undress faster than I could
say “yes” or “no”

The stuff that hope is made of
caught between my fingers
the world thick with temptation
sticky with seduction

I would slip my phone number
written on receipts
in back pockets of men
who smelled like summer
who smelled like Brazil
who smelled like drumming

“you need to do better, Kev.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday July 1, 2019
6:50pm
5 minutes
From an instagram story

Kev keeps bringing me chocolates and I’ve told him not to a million times and he just keeps doing it and I don’t know what to even say anymore. I’ve asked him nicely, like, “Hey, I know you are trying to do something sweet and I appreciate you for thinking of me and bringing me a gift but please stop bringing me chocolate.” I’ve laid down the law, “Kev, I’ve told you before, do not bring me chocolate or anything sugary!” I’ve even tried to be really honest, “I do not have a healthy relationship with these things and having them around isn’t good for me! You need to do better, Kev!” But then, he comes to visit last weekend and what does he arrive with? A big ass box of Purdy’s. ARGH!

“‘Gimme a whiskey’” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday June 30, 2019
5:56pm
Fallon
Louis L’amour

Your shoulders square. You wish that you could call someone but your phone is dead. You aren’t sure where your charger is, or if you even have a charger anymore. You’ve been using Liz’s charger. You close your eyes and imagine going to the freezer and putting ice in a glass. You imagine that you remembered to refill the ice tray. You imagine going to the cabinet above the fridge, just enough out of reach, and pulling down the bottle of Maker’s. You imagine pouring half a glass and drinking it. Not fast. Not slow. Not interrupted. Not wrong.

“Little wallet multicolour has zip” by Sasha in her chair

Saturday June 29, 2019
12:03pm
5 minutes
from and old text from my dad

You should see me – bouncing on a big blue ball, in a blue dress, my two month old blue-eyed daughter wrapped to my body, her little breath rising and falling against my breath rising and falling. We breathe together, her and I, did for ten months and still do now that she’s out. The soundtrack of sawing, as usual. The house across the street has been under construction since we moved in two years ago. Or was it three years ago? I don’t have a good memory for years. I do have a good memory for feelings.

This is me getting my fingers back in shape, my wordsmith tools sharpened. It’s been a long time… Why do I leave you, dearest and most loyal friend? I need you, but I leave you. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. Maybe that explains something.

“It must be nice to hold” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday June 27, 2019
12:00pm
5 minutes
Calypso
David Sedaris

It must be nice to hold
a drink
in the “C”
of your hand
a beer
unassuming
assured

and flirt
like the person
you are

Pin the tail on
the wife
holding you back
from the truth
while God laughs
while the wife laughs

You
are the only
one who can
hold yourself
back from the truth
my love
my hate
my heart
my fate

My fear
is not as big
as the mouth
of a whale

“The ads were put on billboards” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday June 26, 2019
12:02pm
5 minutes
The Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell

I’m sorry that I’ve been gone. I’ve missed you. I’ve missed this.

I’ve missed setting my timer (not for the laundry or lentils on the stove).

I’ve missed writing, so so much. Oh my God, I’m crying like writing died. Writing rested. While I learned about softening into the small body of a being so fresh she smells like clouds and caramel.

But then the page calls, soft and unassuming. Could almost miss it amidst all the growing, all the bursting open. Almost.

Things are changing everywhere. All the time. There are years, months, weeks, days where the changing feels so big that it’s all around. Like night. Or lake swimming.

Home smells like this place.

“no one can remember” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday April 21, 2019
4:41pm
5 minutes
Anthem
Terese Svoboda

The worst of it has come and gone, or at least that’s what Norma says. When the virus spread across the state we knew that the world would never be the same. I was young then, twelve, barely a woman. Some can’t remember before the virus, before we counted our fingers and toes every morning, checked our bodies for marks and scabs. Who would be next? The government went down soon after, the virus reigning supreme. Norma says that God is still the highest power and that he has a plan for us, but I’m not so sure.