“I tried to do it years ago” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday May 3, 2017
1:07pm
5 minutes
Devices on Standby
Kelly Ann Malone


Silas spits out my nipple like a cherry pit and it’s left hanging out, that awkward cousin no one really likes who is still invited to sedar. The subway lurches to a stop and the woman sitting across from us smiles, a condescending situation of worry and furrow. A punk listening to ridiculously loud music (you only get one set of eardrums, my tattooed friend) pretends a breast is not there, beside him. Maybe he doesn’t notice. Maybe he’s over that shit. Bless him. Silas starts to mew. Sometimes I wonder if he’s part squirrel. Or rabbit.

“I grasped his.” By Julia at a cabin in Tofino


Wednesday February 22, 2017
10:41pm
5 minutes
Learning to Love You More
Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July


It was sudden in the way that sometimes my own pulse strikes me. I saw his tiny face and I loved it instinctively. I loved everything about him without meaning to; I had not prepared my heart for such surrender. He was something like a perfect feeling. A land without time. The best hug. I threw myself at his helpless feet. I grasped his burden like a swatter catching a fly. I have never thought once about anything.

“screaming like Tasmanian devils” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday June 12, 2016
8:51pm
5 minutes
Bye Judy and Good Luck
Mona Awad


Madelyn had stepped out onto her porch, dimly lit, a few mosquitoes, joint lit. No sweater, it was good to feel cold every now and again. Not impossible cold. Awareness-making cold. She glanced down at the stain on her yellow cable knit T-shirt, pulling the base of it down and out to examine the damage, to survey the crime scene. They had been screaming like Tasmanian devils; running up and down the house so feverishly and never-endingly causing the whole house to vibrate. Madelyn didn’t know if the love she had for them was enough to keep her from hating them when they were like this. She thought she might have to take notes and keep watch on their behaviour with the cycles of the moon. She picked again at the orange-red blotch of defeat on her top. She picked again. She swatted away a mosquito.

“beyond borders” by Sasha in the bath


Tuesday February 9, 2016
10:57pm
5 minutes
From a Curl Ambassadors business card

Mae got lipstick in this goodie bag and now all she wants to do is wear it. I feel like a dick for taking it away from her, you know, but, like, nothing wigs me out more than little girls all made up. I told her, “Save that for when you’re older,” but she doesn’t even get that concept, right? I hid it from her and she friggin’ found it! She friggin’ knows all my hiding spots… She’s six! What’s it gonna be like when she’s sixteen?

“Reimagine your world” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday, October 22, 2015
11:31pm
5 minutes
The Vancouver Writer’s Festival Program Guide

my mother mimes cutting her hair on the edge of the world
her fingers the scissors
red falling
maple tree leaves
dripping pancakes and tenderness
the smile eclipses something below the kidney
the liver?
never sure of geography
yemen
istanbul
tel aviv
a new sweater
the colour of her longing
down to my ankles
done with wishing i was taller
a bus to the recycling depot
where we go for snow cones
for prayer

“your mother’s sewing machine” by Sasha outside Koerner’s Library


Thursday September 10, 2015
3:12pm
5 minutes
from Sasha’s transcriptions

two million
three hundred and
ninety six
rays of light
converge
where my mother’s hand
rests
she’s sat on a stool
that we found by the side of
the road
wood worn for sitting bones
her foot
pumping the pedal
a handful of crickets
my fall dress

“how to be a parent” by Sasha at the Vancouver Airport


Wednesday, August 5, 2015
1:11pm
5 minutes
from Harper’s at a kiosk at the airport

When Cecelia is three weeks old, Maggie leaves her on her own on the bed and eats cold pizza standing in front of the open fridge. Eventually she hears Cecelia crying and she goes upstairs, but begrudgingly. She looks at Cecelia and says, “What do you want?” Maggie wants to be held but will eventually learn to find comfort in this question from her mother. Maggie will ask Cecelia to call her, “Maggie” not “Mom” or “Mummy”. Cecelia will do as she asks, but not without questions of her own. “You can’t have pizza,” Maggie says. Cecelia wants her milk and she knows it, but isn’t in the mood.

“His name is Luke.” by Julia on her couch


Saturday July 11, 2015
10:59pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Higher Grounds

After she named her first two boys Matthew and Mark, everyone thought she’d name her third one Luke. She didn’t name the first two with any religious references in mind, she simply wanted the names and that was that. She might have named the third one Luke but she never liked the name. It felt too small for a man once he grew up. That and it reminded her of the first boy she ever agreed to marry. Luke Walker had asked her to marry him in the first grade and she said yes because that’s what six year olds do. He was small and feminine and had a horrendously small nose. She only said yes because she thought Andrew Griffith was going to ask Sylvia Van Kasterin to marry him. Turns out Andrew liked her all along. She found out when he left school to join the army.

“And she put her arms around me,” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, July 7, 2015
12:12am
5 minutes
A Complicated Kindness
Miriam Toews


My mother hates to see me cry. She doesn’t hate to offer me money, or sneak a 50 in my coat pocket when she thinks I’m not looking, even though she knows those exact things will make me cry, but when I start with the tears, it breaks her abundant heart. She doesn’t want to make me feel bad. She just wants to love me. But I feel bad because I’m self-hating and dramatic, and I cause trouble where there doesn’t need to be. She wishes I could see me how she sees me and that only means so much since I’m her baby and she’d look at me and see Mother Theresa even if I burned an entire nursery school with the children still in it to the ground. I know this because when I told her I had deep, steadfast, secret thoughts about poisoning Auntie Ellis because she scolded me in public one time, she put her arms around me and she squeezed me with so much love that I started to cry. Then she wiped my face with her kisses and said, “I would want to do the same thing if I were you.”

“It is impossible to live without failing” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at Higher Grounds
1:07pm
5 minutes
A quote by J.K. Rowling

The last time I saw you I didn’t recognize you, which is funny because I came from your body so one would think that that’s the find of recognition that just sort of, happens.

In class, my writing teacher is preoccupied by “Obsessions”. He makes us list them and recite them and feel them on our tongues. I hate it. I find myself writing the same obsessions every class and feel as though I’m boring everyone. I’m boring myself.

Failure
Mother
Mother
Mother
Failure
Orphans
Mother
Drugs
Cancer
Mother
Mother
Failure
Mother
Mother
Mother
Drugs
Orphans

”Many people want love to function like a drug,” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Monday, June 15, 2015
4:13pm
5 minutes
A quote by bell hooks

I peel the sticker on the back of the “Visitor” tag off and stick it to my T-shirt. The guard pats me down and lingers on my left pocket. “I said empty your pockets,” she says. I take out Jose’s small red truck he wanted grandma to have. “What’s this?” She asks, like she’s never seen a toy before. “It’s my sons,” I say, “sorry, I forgot it was in there…” I toss it in the trash can. “You didn’t have to do that!” The guard smirks. “Won’t your kid be pissed?” “My kid will be fine. He has a few others.” I push past her and she grabs my shoulder. “Is there a problem?” “Nope…” “Who’re you here to see?” She takes out a clipboard. “Monique Rodriguez.” She looks up and raises her eyebrows. “What?” I say, worried, defensive, unsure. “You didn’t hear?” She licks her lips. “Hear what?” “Monique is in the hospital… She got in a fight.” “Excuse me?” My heart sinks. I hadn’t been to see my mother since two Christmas’ ago. I’d taken a five hour flight and a two hour bus ride to be there. “My mother is a pacifist,” I feel a tear trying to sneak out of my left eye but I will it back in. Not now. Not now.

“I am a taffy snob” by Sasha outside Moksha Yoga Vancouver


Saturday May 30, 2015 outside Moksha Yoga Vancouver
8:04pm
5 minutes
From a text to Julia

“She’s a little shy,” Veronica’s mother used to say, when Veronica would crawl under her dress and hide there, safely between her thighs. On the first day of Kindergarten, Veronica made a silent oath that she would never again get in the car with her father, for he might drop her off at this stinky, loud, child infested place once again. When her mother tucked her in that night Veronica said, “I’m never going back to school, thank you very much.” Her mother smiled, smoothed her unruly red hair, kissed her freckled forehead and said, “Goodnight, Veronica.”

“Happy Mother’s Day” by Sasha in Horseshoe Bay


Sunday May 10, 2015
8:33pm
5 minutes
from a sign at the florist

spit up on the front of this goodwill shirt
i don’t have much of it
goodwill
so tired i might puke too
flowers
i don’t want flowers
i want sex and a steak and in that order
if you really knew the way to my heart
you wouldn’t have given me this creature that cries all the time
and bites my nipples so hard that they bleed
i’ve gotten fatter than i’ve ever been
your gaze like a canon ball
the beauty you once fell for
gone
like the cat
poster on the tree at the end of the street
my body
all stretch marks and cellulite
my face
all frown lines and bags under my eyes
“diamonds” you used to say
diamonds
twinkle twinkle little star
how i wonder what you are
where you’ve been
i’m not sure about this creature
whether he’ll turn out alright
i’m not sure about how tiny his toes are
puts me off