“everything is ending” by Sasha on her mother’s couch

Monday, June 18, 2018
10:47am
5 minutes
A Visit from the Goon Squad
Jennifer Egan

Mama cries alligator raindrop tears cuz things are changing
“Why do things always have to change?”
She cries and cries and the house fills with salt water

Papa doesn’t laugh much anymore because he’s got a belly ache
And Mama is real worried
Danny’s going to firefighting school and leaving home
“We’re empty nesters!” She wails
And the tears spill out the windows

“Vivian! You’re going to drown the whole neighbourhood!”
Says Papa and I tell ya, I think he’s right

“Rule # 17: Act a little stupid.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday June 14, 2018
11:32pm
5 minutes
The Queen Of Hearts
Kathleen Hawes

I’m not sure when I started playing dumb
started dumbing down
started acting a little stupid
started laughing when things weren’t funny
started seeing how far I could get
on eyelashes and witty words
How many drinks
how many drinks

how many drinkssss

Please

Was it when I needed an excuse for my body
needed to explain the sudden newness
needed a reason for all this extra?

Was it when I realized I could wield it
but it wasn’t power it was giving over
it was giving up
it was giving

Giving

Nostalgia turns the edge of memory up
flips the corners so that I’m just
not so sure about anything
not so sure about everything

“our bodies amalgamated from the great melting pot” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday June 10, 2018
9:25am
5 minutes
The Communion of Strangers
Brian Jay Stanley

When we met
you were smoky eyed
luscious and tempting words
wearing green is what I remember most
the bigness of your youness
is what I remember most

before surgeries
a joint bank account
a daughter’s name chosen
and waiting in the bank
of where our hearts meet
a promise made under September sun

before two summers of waiting up
three fights where one of us broke something
four winters in the rain
five trips on highways and planes
six days a week of being ships crossing now
and priase be
seven whole years of this biggest love

In sleep our bodies know no boundaries
except when you’re snoring
or I’m too hot
or one of us is sick
In sleep we do become one
boundless being of newness
Nowness
Toes touching

Your arm under my head
cradling my dreamscape
My leg over your leg
hoping that you go so far
knowing that you’re home
when you’re here and when
we’re here
exactly like this

“Victory is ours” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday June 9, 2018
9:14am
5 minutes
Victory
Charlotte D. Staelin

I’m not sure what to say about victory
or probiotics or the smell of the seat
in the back left corner of the bus

I’m not sure about jaw clenching
or the apartment across the alleyway
with the constantly changing people
and the lights going on and off

I’m not sure about eggs or dairy
and it no longer seems appropriate
to say that cheese is delicious

I’m not sure about the squirrel
digging up my parsley and the birds
that I’m feeding do you think
that will get in the way of them
getting their own food
in the future if I happen to move

“I liked watching him BBQ” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday June 7, 2018
11:13pm
5 minutes
From a text 

Driving along the country road
The paved ones before the gravel ones
I stick my arm out the window
and play with the air

You’ve never been to Knowlton Lake before
and I am already excited about waking up tomorrow
The way that the quiet hugs
The way that the birds know
the tune to the songs in our hearts

I can do no wrong with you
except when I do and then it’s bad
And then I cower in the corner
and you use your size
And I say that this isn’t what I want
and you cry until we go to the bedroom

James Taylor on the tape deck
I realize that I don’t know if
corn is in season
if we have to turn on the water
if there’s a French press

“Ordinary men and women” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
9:32pm
5 minutes
Northern Ireland: The Case Of Bloody Sunday
Carole-Anne Upton

Cookie cutter carbon copies
all in a row
Lawns mowed no rose
out of place
no birdseed on the porch
The sound of the ice cream truck
A little off time
A little nostalgic

Huff and puff and blow the house down

Mother gets up and fries bacon and eggs
Father gets up and makes lunches
(bread, salami, mustard, mayo, lettuce, bread)
Child gets dressed
Three eat together around the table
Trade pleasantries like baseball cards
Trade love like obligation
Child brushes teeth
Child kisses Mother and Father
Mother puts dishes in dishwasher
Schoolbus!
Father walks child to schoolbus

Huff and puff and blow the house down

“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

“Manifest plainness” By Sasha at the BMO Theatre Centre

Sunday, May 13, 2018
1:53pm
5 minutes
From a quote on by Lao Tzu

Manifest plainness
the starling that eats
from the feeder on the porch
the hummingbird cooing
into sugar water

Manifest brilliance
the purple blooms
on the balcony
you’ve never bought
a hanging plant before

Manifest the unknown
talking about things that
there’s no way to predict
talking about the big things
that we can’t ever
know for sure

Manifest beauty
the sweetness of beloved
morning breath
footsteps
tree leaves

“earth, sky, water, fire and wood” by Sasha at her desk

Friday May 4, 2018
1:34pm
5 minutes
From a Caitlin Press newsletter

You walk by the water when you need the noise of the waves
Volleyball further down the beach
That’s okay
Those people are having fun and that’s okay

You walk the same stretch of beach and it knows
The cadence of your footsteps
That’s okay
It’s come to know when you’re alone and when you’re firing

Today was the same as most other days
People pissed you off and it had nothing to do with you
Why are there so many assholes?
You whisper it under your breath and wonder if it’s possible

That the sand smiled knowingly back
She understands assholes
Cigarette butts and glass bottles
She understands

“Someone has opened a giant map” by Julia at her desk

Monday April 30, 2018
9:09pm
The Wall
Bruce Guernsey

said he didn’t want the globe i had my eye on
said it would take up too much room on the table
and i said what else are dreams for and he didn’t
seem to get it and the discussion was case closed
then he left and i got a tiny globe that used to
be a tiny piggy bank of the world but the bottom
fell out and i got it for free so i brought it
home and put it on the table and i waited for him
to tell me to get rid of the damn thing taking
up too much space on the freaking living room table
but when he got home he saw the tiny globe and said
oh nice globe i’ve always wanted a globe and i
didn’t say anything because i’ve always wanted a
globe and now i had one and it wasn’t being thrown
away or talked about badly or hurled against me
i said that one used to be a piggy bank but the
bottom fell out so now it’s just a tiny globe
but it’s always been a place to put your change

“Someone has opened a giant map” by Sasha at her desk

Monday April 30, 2018
11:16am
The Wall
Bruce Guernsey

Tap tap tap tap. Leg goes up and down
bobbing for apples. Good grief it shakes
the whole bench. Good God it drive me crazy
when people have no sense of how much space
they take up, how loud their breath is, how
much they are shaking everyone around them.
What kind of person is so unaware? Who was his
mother? Who taught him manners? I bet he’s a real
piece of work, probably drives a Benz.

Side-eye. He doesn’t notice. I bet he thinks
he’s a very big deal. What is that he’s holding?
Is it a map? Is he reading a map in the waiting
room? Who does that?! Where could he possibly
be going that he has to do this here?
Why is he anxious, is it because of the dentist
or the trip he’s about to take?

“Excuse me,” I close my eyes because if I open
them I’ll most certainly lose my courage.
“Could you please stop shaking your leg?” Benny
looks up at me, up from his book, he’s never
heard his mother speak to a stranger like this.
“Mama?” He says. I don’t look at him. I don’t
look at anyone. My eyes are closed.

The man folds his map.

“How could I predict” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday April 29, 2018
6:15pm
5 minutes
The Address Book
Louis Phillips

How could I predict the
shade of grey your hair
would turn
and mine too
every day a new
one near my temples
I don’t pull them out
like I used to
I say a prayer
for them
little warriors
little fuckers
little beauties
they are the milage
and the turning season

Every time I see you
I see the shimmer of
myself in you
around the eyes
the mouth the shape
of the face
the shade of grey
vessels to the time
before leading us
back there leading us
to now

We laugh like lions
staring down the barrel
of the gun
we nod and recognize
and know and surrender

“Flying Housewife” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday April 28, 2018
12:58pm
5 minutes
http://www.independent.co.uk

crouching behind the counter tears staining wood
neko case on the stereo my favourite thing about
this place is that i can play my own music
pretty things on the patio ha ha ha caw ha ha
woman nursing in the third booth at the back
a party coming in thirteen minutes and i’m
all mascara stream all chest breath and salty lips
we grow to know the taste of being fucked over
because of our woman-ness only 24 and we know it
the lilt of our voices the tonic of our smiles
the cup size maybe or the calf muscle from walking
back and forth from kitchen to patio to kitchen
twelve minutes and twenty people who don’t get it
who think that maybe i’ve just had a bad day
pretty thing they think maybe her boyfriend dumped her
more like this place this man upstairs says his wife
doesn’t like me doesn’t like me doesn’t like pretty thing
more like the loyalty turned bad orange juice
oops fuck oops i’m sorry i never meant to
oops i’m sorry i didn’t mean to be
too alive for this hierarchy of buttered toast
he always did like the pretty things but i didn’t
think i was one of those i thought i was something
else a good conversation a killer joke a knack
for smoothing over the discontent of cold eggs

“she will not live long.” By Sasha at her desk

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
5:02pm
5 minutes
june 20th
Lucille Clifton

she will not live long
this bloom rising ripe on the table
amidst rose quartz and stone

she will fall
as we all do
as you have
as i will
she will go back to the earth
as we all do

yellow petals
sister to rose
sister to the magnolia tree
across the street
exploding confidence and
beauty

i change her water
every other day
more than i floss
more than i call my mother

“I’m from hard-boiled eggs” by Sasha at the BMO Theatre Centre

Saturday, April 14, 2018
2:14pm
5 minutes
E 9th Street
Ricky Cantor

Bubby wraps rice and meat in cabbage
sucks on a Werther’s
keeps them in the fridge
away from the Florida heat
away from reaching fingers

Bubby sends boxes of oranges
to us in Toronto
sweet and juicy
legs draped over the edge
of the tub I gorge
on citrus must be
the vitamin c

Bubby didn’t want
another child
at least that’s what
Mom says barely
gained any weight
when she was pregnant
barely even noticed
Mom was there

Bubby makes food
for the freezer
at Knowlton Lake and
when the house is broken
into one winter
the thieves steal
the tupperwares
wrapped in tinfoil
wrapped in a plastic bag

“stinking up the bedsheets” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday April 9, 2018
8:13am
5 minutes
Lonely
Z. Da Costa

That summer that will always be sepia toned
according to you
For me it’s florescent and hungover and
smells like coffee and stinky sweaty bedsheets

That summer is immortalized in my body now

That summer is an infection
a joy
a trechory
a thing I couldn’t possibly have done
was that me?

That summer is a fit body
a cloudy mind
a wailing spirit
a whole
a fill
a scream
toes curled
mouth wide
here
there
okay
YES

That summer is a shame
a cushion
a burning room in a hell place
a soaring bird
in cumulus skies

“I have been in love with a life—“ by Sasha in the bathtub

Saturday April 7, 2018
11:18pm
5 minutes
Grammar School
Megan Fennya Jones

I have always been in love
with life. That is a truth
as sure as laugh lines,
as sure as chapped lips,
as sure as your voice singing,
as sure as the horse’s grey mane,
and the rising sun,
as sure as magnolia blossoms,
as sure as my mother’s knowing.

Even when I’ve lost faith
like a bus pass,
like an irreplaceable ring,
like a lover in another city,
like the name of someone
who I’ve met once in passing,
like the sound of the crickets
in the woods at Knowlton Lake,
like the tune to a song I wrote
as a teenager,

Even when I’ve lost faith,
I’ve always known that

love

is the
language
is the
religion
is the practise.

“A woman in the shape of a monster” by Sasha at the Airbnb in Saskatoon

Monday April 2, 2018
11:46pm
5 minutes
Planetarium
Adrienne Rich

A woman appears and she’s shaped like you are
monster and beauty and witch and malachite
She’s got the face of someone I knew
someone I know is that me there she’s you she’s staring

A woman appears and she screams in my face again
rages and rages again
Wants candy and Prada and new shoes again
Doesn’t care for please again

A woman appears and she never says sorry
she fights back with nails and tongue
she makes shapes with icicles and toast crusts
she sharpens herself with vodka and sleep

A woman appears and she’s dying
as we all are
she’s living
as we all are

“the fortifiers of human agency” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 27, 2018
11:10pm
5 minutes
On Being

it’s a being human problem
slump of the shoulders
puff of the chest
rise of the belly
imagining the world
without us

that’s the thing
the world will continue
it’s us who won’t

another species extinct
makes a low down
low down headline
(lowline) shows the priority

when it’s us
no one will report
or will they

trying to carve hope
out of despair
belief out of devestation
trying to hold the future
the anger
the explaining that of which
there’s none

it’s a being human problem
one moment the rapturous joy
of love and a slice of orange
the next moment
this

“increasing numbers of cars” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday, March 24, 2018
9:14am
5 minutes
Three Dollars A Day
The note accompanying a photo series by Amlan Sanyal

We talk about getting a car sometimes and I
imagine all the gas all the money all the crumbs
in the creases of the back seat
all the stickers on the windows
all the parts

I imagine finally getting a license
and feeling all the adult
driving from there to home
here to there
here to everywhere

I plant wildflowers on the balcony
of my city apartment
that attract bees

I eat mostly plants
but when I do open a can of salmon
I see all the fishing nets in the gyre
I ride a bike but even then

Never quite enough

I’m not on Burnaby Mountain
this weekend
I’m here at my kitchen table
Writing
and later
I’ll sing in a room full of people
with a room full of people

We talk about getting a car
and the songs we’ll sing on roadtrips

I imagine all the open roads
all the open windows

“something wonderful happens:” by Sasha on the highway

Sunday, March 18, 2018
2:21pm
5 minutes
A Marriage
Michael Blumenthal

I lost myself in the swirling water
imagining blood
imagining placenta
imagining screaming
ripping loving crying

I found myself in the sky
hanging onto a crow’s foot
high high up and not at all afraid
you on the ground below
cheering me on
you can do it
you say
you can do it

I lost myself in my own body
sick and bloated
racing heart even though I
haven’t moved all day

I found myself in my own body
the same
but different
I know you so well
I say
I just met you
I say
Talking to myself
romancing myself
alone
together

“your inner rock collecting childhood self” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday March 9, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
BUNZ Trading Zone

Now that we’ve had all this time
Now that we haven’t spoken in almost a year
Or has it been more
I’m terrible with dates
I think it’s been more

I recognize that this was
always meant to happen
I don’t mean it in a morbid way
but you were supposed to go your way
(Garage sales, cheap candy, BUNZ, ribeyes)
I was supposed to go my way
(I can’t easily classify my own WAY
I’ll leave that task to you)

Sometimes I miss you
when I’m through Chinatown
or laughing at how nastily someone eats
in public
That’s when I miss you

Sometimes I forget about you
and I stopped feeling bad about that
about six weeks ago
Took a really long time to stop
feeling bad about forgetting

“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”

“all these obsessions we’ve believed” by Sasha on her couch

Monday, February 26, 2018
9:16pm
5 minutes
Wake The Dead
Julia Pileggi

saw the visions this afternoon
their heads blurred gold
knew what was going on
but didn’t trust myself again
stumbled home through icy skulls
you caught me as i fell through the door
straight to the toilet
all of lunch
swirl down
rub back
head split
visions gone
dark room
quiet now quiet please

slept like a ghost
spinning wool out of dreams
you fed me pills
my mother said to take
“get on top of the pain”
“what did she eat?”
“maybe it’s hormonal”
“cranio sacral”
“chiropractor”
okay okay hushhhhhh

as a child i’d come home
to my sister
dark room
quiet now quiet please

“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

“sometimes a pencil is an octopus” by Sasha by the water

Sunday February 11, 2018
1:41pm
5 minutes
Octopus vs. Pencil
Philip A. Miletic

News coming in on the radio
and I’m boiling eggs.

I didn’t go to the march
because I had tickets to a play
where one brother shoots
the other brother dead.

No irony.
No excuses for inaction.
For silence.
For being afraid of the rage
in the bellies of the First People.

Third generation settler
I’m sick and sorry and grieving and

Can’t shake the guilty feelings.
Can’t shake the feeling that my
whiteness is an affront and what
am I even doing here anyway.

Social media activism feels grimy
ineffective inefficeint fucked up.
I don’t know what else to do.
Give money.
Give love.
Give freely.
Ask of myself how I am a part.

Is the act of my sharing
violence? Listen. Listen?
Listen. Listen listen listen.

I’ve got everything I need here
including the sun today.

“I’ll probably do it while you’re sitting on the toilet” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday February 10, 2018
1:21am
5 minutes
Who Says I’m Not a Romantic
Fernando Raguero

I’m saving myself for the race
to the centre of the earth
saving my “sorry’s” for all
the broken-hearted children
saving my strength for you
when you get home tired and
hungry and lonely and angry

The whole world is singing
to a drum beat
singing to a heartbreak
singing quiet then loud
then quiet

My girl we’ve gotta stop this
too many boys with bullets
I don’t even know about hope today
What’s that man with a rifle in his hand
gonna say to us with our saving and our singing

World’s gone mad

Shoot me in the head

World’s gone mad

I’m saving my sadness
I’m saving my ears
I’m saving my pennies
Too much saving and not
enough doing

It all seems petty
these grievances between us
your eyes brimming
my eyes brimming

something in common

“moths drift from the trees” by Julia on her couch

Friday February 9, 2018
11:09pm
5 minutes
Al’s House
Lorna Crozier

I slide my nose along your nose while you lay your head in my lap
I’m convinced this is the map
of your breath travelling in and out of your body
I sniff your nose skin like it gives information and I have to track
the proof of you here
I could almost weep at the sweet of your nose and the smooth and the still
while you let me trace the personality poised in the middle of your face
Maybe that is the road the sprit knows
Up and down and back and forth
Maybe my spirit knows your spirit so plainly by now by the route of this place
The way the answers light themselves up bright enough to see
even when the eyes are closed and the room is dark.

“barely do I sense that faint tug” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday February 7, 2018
9:37pm
5 minutes
Hiking With My Shadow
Don McKay

once there was a faint tug of determined grace
it came on the night after
it started to grow like a headache
and it was loud then, too, unavoidable
grace is supposed to feel light
like a tongue
forgiving a whisper
but the whisper changes shape
and the tongue gets confused

the faint tug was built like
a milkshake, everything getting
caught in the straw on the way up
the pull
a force that shouldn’t
be this hard;
the pull
a lie that
keeps getting stuck in the cheeks
it was there once
but it hasn’t come knocking
since

“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

“it was poetry, fireworks, ticker tape” by Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Monday January 29, 2018
7:12am
5 minutes
Bad Hand
Mallory Tarses

It was fireworks when Alma was born
It was poetry when she looked up at Judy

“Poetry” Pete says when he’s telling the story
He loves to tell the story
even now
seven years later

“It was the coldest night of the year,” says Judy
stroking Alma’s soft downy fawn hair

“How cold?” Alma asks

“Thirty six below,” says Pete
as he puts another log on the fire
and it sparks
Alma giggles
The old dog Mutt opens one eye

“Where were the fireworks?” Alma asks
She knows the answer
but that’s the quiet comfort of
childhood
asking anyway

“Right here,” says Pete
tapping on his chest
knocking on the door of his heart

“It’s bedtime now,” says Judy
and she’s right but they all hope
that maybe tonight she can stay up
just a little bit longer

Mutt farts in his sleep and
they all laugh and laugh
and laugh
plugging their noses

“He’s not worthy of competing with you” by Sasha at the Roundhouse

Saturday January 27, 2018
1:43pm
5 minutes
The Duel
Thomas Brasch

When it’s late
and I’m alone
and nothing’s really wrong
but right is around the corner
smoking a joint
hat pulled down

When it’s late
and I’m alone
the glow of this
putrid light burning
I can’t help but
search for you

I know where to find you

Buried in my inbox
scattered in my outbox
what we used to say
makes my heart race

I imagine you rocking
your baby to sleep
so peaceful
so good
I imagine you thinking
about me
getting hard
getting soft
getting a drink of water

None of these ghosts
can compete with what I’ve got

I know where to find you

Singing out of a tinny speaker
Singing words I wrote for a
melody we already knew

“It’s the nicest gift anyone’s given me” by Sasha at Lewis St.

Monday January 15, 2018
1:48pm
Fetters
Madeline Sonik

Would you give me grace if I asked
nicely and gave you spice mixtures,
ran you a hot bath, took out
the recycling?

What if I promised to love you through
this storm?

What if I called you every day
and told you something funny,
or irreverent, or sad?

The greatest gift I’ll ever receive
is forgiveness.

For days and days
and days
I thought that it was you
who would give me this.

I thought that it was me

who would leave voicemails,
roast sweet potatoes, make
angel cards and golden milk.

And then today
as I walked in the coldest cold
it struck me –

the giver and the receiver
are one and the same.

Forgiveness
like honey and cinnamon,
like the end of a fire,
like dew underfoot.

Here it is.
Right here.

“feel free to mix it up!” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday January 5, 2018
11:02pm
One Part Plant
Jessica Murnane

Make no mistake
the break the break

The toe sticks
the tongue that licks
Mix it up
Measure a cup
Turn on the heat
Give it a beat
Flour and milk
Velvet and silk
Music on loud
Light as a cloud
Catch the lift
Flour to sift
It’s cold at night
But you feel alright
Rhymes are cheap
Avoid the leap

Make no mistake
the break the break

Follow the words
Lemon and curds
Clean out the sky
Me oh my

“where she curled, suspended, gathering” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday January 3, 2018
7:02am
5 minutes
the woman who married a bear
Anne Haven McDonnell

“It’s better to have”
shaken and stirred
quelled and broken
ripped and sewn
laughed and wailed

“loved and lost”
curled and stretched
ran and sat
screamed and raged
smoked and burned

“than to have never loved”
really?
really?
okay…
mhmm…
I know you’re reading
have you woken yet?

“at all”
empty and overflowing
courage and grace
risk and risk and risk and risk and

“Hitchhiking” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday January 1, 2018
7:49pm
5 minutes
Trek: A Publication of Alumni UBC

I want you to go first with your ties of love riding the crest of the wave
most wildly at night with your newfound drunken freedom
from the wickedness
the blame
or something

I want you to stick your thumb out and see who pulls over and climb in before
I even decide
freedom on the side of the highway
crouched in the tall grass
peeing

There is always a final chapter
A conclusion
The timing is up to us
An agreement
Usually silent
Usually eye contact and deep breaths
Freedom from

It’s the first day of the rest of my life or at least 2018
I am here with books piled high beside me
Happy place
Joy place
Finally
My love sleeps in our darkened bedroom
A candle with Sacred Mother Mary burns low on the sill
He’ll leave not tomorrow but the next day
and then it will just be

me

“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

“confirm your choice” by Sasha in her bed

Monday December 18, 2017
9:02pm
5 minutes
The Essential Enneagram
David Daniels and Virginia Price

I don’t have anything to say
Everything hurts
Go away

I turn into a needy kid when I’m ill
That’s a fact
You’re name’s not Bill

I’ve gone through three boxes of tissue
And that’s not all
There’s a bigger issue

My brain is mushy slimy mud
I don’t have a nurse
I don’t have a bud

This really is a poem of pity
I hope no one read’s it
It’s a terrible ditty

I don’t have anything to write
My head is throbbing
Turn off the light

“A good traveller has no fixed plans” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday December 17, 2017
4:59pm
5 minutes
Tao Te Ching
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

I’m going to bring you a jar of soup for every day I’ve left you limping
Sunday will be tortilla with black beans and chipotle
I’ll pick off the coriander leaves and let you dollop the cream
Monday will be red lentil with lemon and rosemary
I’ll give you extra of that one because it’s my favourite
Tuesday’s soup will be white bean and pesto
so aromatic that you’ll smell it from the other side of the world
Wednesday will be roasted butternut squash with cumin and cinnamon
I’ll leave out the chilli pepper because you’re sensitive to spice
Thursday will be chicken and barley
Friday potato leek
Saturday roasted cauliflower with parmesan croutons
made from freshly baked bread
I’ll leave each jar on your doorstep so you won’t have to see me
You’ll taste how much I love you in each bite

“Can’t tell if that’s funny or really scary.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday December 15, 2017
7:46pm
5 minutes
Calvin and Hobbes
Bill Watterson

I must’ve done something right when I was a blue whale
I must’ve shared my fish and breastfed other whale’s babies
(I don’t know very much about whales so am not sure if that is a thing
they do but)

When I was a blue whale I wrote a column in the seaweed newspaper
about love and injustice and gave away the secret chords to songs
no one could ever find

I cleaned the seafloor with my tail
and not for the glory or the high fives
but because it was crowded and messy

I comforted strangers when they were sad
sleeping into the day
crusty-eyed and moaning
a cousin caught in a fishing net
oh sweet Cecilia
day by day by day

“The randomness comes from atmospheric noise” by Sasha at Matchstick Riley Park

Sunday December 10, 2017
6:07pm at Matchstick Coffee Roasters
5 minutes
From random.org

Big wide open sky is what she needs
Bird song and gopher’s popping up like an inside joke
She contemplates running away
Going to Alberta
Big wide open sky is in her blood

She used to joke about things that aren’t funny

She’ll pack only one sweater
One pair of wool socks
Brown boots
A pair of jeans
A black tank top
She’s never travelled so light

If it wasn’t 2017
If it wasn’t winter
If she wasn’t a woman
She’d hitchhike

She’ll take the train
Counting cornfields
Counting blessings
Counting failures
Which one will come out on top?

She’ll make a friend in a seatmate
An old woman going to meet her grandchild
For the first time
The old woman will have beautiful wrinkles
And will say all the right things
Which means something wrong occasionally slips out
She likes that

“We create all this poison and spread it to others” by Sasha on her couch

Friday December 8, 2017
10:53pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz

I thought I was doing the right thing
After the wrong thing stuck it’s hands
on the small of my back
I thought I was doing the right thing
The space of years
of silence
Gaping wide and scabbed over

Empaths are sensitive to crowds
Light
Sound
We don’t like malls
We like driving our own cars to parties
Or knowing the bus route
So that we can leave whenever we want

I roast a chicken
Stuffing my hand up it’s emptiness
I’m always scared about what I’ll find
Heart?
Neck?

I cut my index finger
chopping carrots
Shit
Blood’s everywhere
And it feels good

“All I’ve ever learned from love” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday November 24, 2017
10:47pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen

Love knocks you around
Especially when you’re young
You throw yourself at every blue eyed Casanova

Love scoops you up
Carries you for awhile
And then drops you
Sound of a cracking egg
Sound of a sizzle
Sound of morning

Love requests nothing
That’s not what you’re used to

Love ruptures
Love rips
Love heals
Love leaks
Love laughs loud
Open mouthed

Love grabs you hard
Hand on the small of your back
You’ve never been touched like this before
You’re breathless putty

“peel and core the remaining apples.” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday November 19, 2017
11:08am
5 minutes
Apples
Andrea Albin

My mother makes baked apples
And I’m sad that dessert is something
With more sugar
More sweetness
Baked apples are glorified apple sauce
And she thinks it’s exciting that there’s oats
Sprinkled on top
A dusting of cinnamon

My mother bakes the apples in the toaster oven
It’s how she makes baked potatoes too
She puts raisins in too

I don’t know yet that betrayal is a spell
That will take lifetimes to break

I don’t know yet that dreams won’t come true

And they will

I don’t know yet that there will always be something
About this time of year

When my mother makes baked apples
I close my eyes and imagine it’s chocolate

“Powerful, self-actualized women should feel no shame” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday November 12, 2017
9:31pm
5 minutes
Communion
Bell Hooks

One night
walking home
I felt shadow on my back

I don’t need to turn around
I know what’s there

I’m sixteen

One night
walking home
keys gripped between my fingers
I played the piano today
and that was nice

I get home and
I eat the shame

Gliding down a throat
that’s closed
Don’t ask me how that works

One night
waiting for the subway
a man in a grey coat
asked me

How much

One night

Here we are again

Tonight
I’ll walk home in the rain
I’ll consider how to use my umbrella
as a sword

“then laid bare.” By Julia in her bed

Thursday November 9, 2017
11:27pm
5 minutes
The Task
Jane Hirschfield

Across the bed she laid herself bare
Gloves to invite play
Boots to indicate business
Okay to invite play
Her hair curled into a jungle cat
That’s what he asked for
He called her his lion
She wanted to make his birthday a special one
Remember when she had those
Sexy photographs taken when she
was twenty-five and newly off the hormones
She kept it a surprise for him
and then one day decorated the entire house with her in lacy underwear, his plaid shirt, her
Sam Edelman knee highs
She thought it was for him
Years later she knows that it
was always for her

“then laid bare.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday November 9, 2017
8:33am
5 minutes
The Task
Jane Hirschfield

This morning the sky was caramel
I dipped my finger in and tasted
sweet and sour
bitter and salty
I gulped and drank
and gorged
Please won’t this help me understand

I wept off the balcony
hoping my tears might bring Spring
Five more months
Five more months

Hallelujah
I said
The world broken
and laid bare
My hands covered in sunrise
My lips dripping fatigue

The sun understood my yearning
You do too

“every zit is proof” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday November 7, 2017
10:33pm
5 minutes
The Time I Went Into a Full-Body Spasm for Six Days
Betty Gilpin

Okay so you made the deal with yourself
You know the one where you said you’d be kinder
(including the skin stuff, remember you said?)
and now you’re wondering how long you can pull it off
You ask evethe mirror everytime you walk by it
Will today be the day I decide to love myself
(how could you forget, you do it everytime!)
And then before you know it you’re right there
zapping all those little fuckers with the sharpest
parts of your fingernails and you make dents
you excavate
you dig a hole so big in a face you keep lying to
I want to tell you that every zit is proof
that you are signed up to the self-sabotage
e-mails and you have not unsubscribed yet
Not to hit you while you’re down but you
also said you would start eating better
(as a part of the deal, you know, full package?)
And I will tell you that those chips have
not been eating themselves

“every zit is proof” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 7, 2017
8:16am
5 minutes
The Time I Went Into a Full-Body Spasm for Six Days
Betty Gilpin

Writes herself clean
and when she’s done
she’s dripping
light

There’s this habit
of being against ourselves
Every fuck up
some kind of proof

Can we re-write the code
of our grandmothers?

Do we have the courage to
show up to our lives
Broken
Rising
Wisdom
Heartbreak
Learning grace

“At the end of the day” by Julia at her desk

Monday November 6, 2017
11:32pm
5 minutes
From an email

I talk about my day sometimes only to you!
I write you stories of my deep shell quaking
and you
do not know that so many
things are true
and then you do know cause I tell you
cause some days I do not lie a lick
I try but I still can’t

I talk about my day only to you
and I love our little secret
I love so much this meeting place of
ours that we met at in our dreams
I’m glad I tell you
cause when you tell me
it is so sweet.

Why put other words in place of everything real
I’ve ever felt
in everything real I have never been able
to articulate
you see the inside of some of my inside’s
biggest fears

And thank you