“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

“At the end of the day” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday November 6, 2017
10:10pm
5 minutes
From an email

At the end of the day
I run a bath
I have to make myself do it
Easier to read
Easier to watch babies eating lemons on YouTube
But I do
I run a bath

I always make it too hot
Need to add some cold water
Story of my life

I dump in epsom salts
Many drops of lavender oil

I light three candles
Two real
Ones I made last December
Brewing beeswax like tea
for three days straight
One candle is the fake kind
that looks pretty real
But any real fire lover
can spot the difference

I work in the bath
A book light on the side of the tub
Reading about this and that

“telling about the poem” by Sasha at Bump n’ Grind on Granville

Friday October 27, 2017
4:35pm at Bump n’ Grind
5 minutes
I Was Reading A Poem
David Rutschman

It’s telling when all the poems are about a broken heart
She isn’t knitting any more scarves or sweater for penguins
She isn’t going to miss another opportunity to floss her teeth
Flow chart after flow chart about empathy screenshotted on her iPhone
Isn’t getting her anywhere but deeper down

Irma wishes there was never an earthquake named after her
Makes her feel dry and hot and afraid

Her sister asks if she’s still writing and she says
“Not really”
“That’s non-committal” says her sister and
Irma knows that she’s right but she “Humph’s” and
Returns to her needle-point

“There’s a real market for the ironic stuff on Instagram”
Says Irma
Her sister isn’t listening

“Space Womb” by Sasha at the casita

Sunday October 15, 2017
6:39pm
5 minutes
YouTube.com

I’ve got a Space Womb
What about you
Today she’s dripping
Brown red beauty
How about you
Today I light candles
In my Space Womb
She likes it warm
And dim
Today I eat and eat
Space Womb’s orders
Today I say
Don’t touch
To my lover
Space Womb is discerning
Moon is Waning Crescent
Space is close
Space is here
Space is in me
Like fire

“Protect the blood from attack” by Sasha on the deck at Knowlton Lake

Thursday October 5, 2017
7:12am
5 minutes
Chinese Tonic Herbs
Ron Teeguarden

In this quiet stillness of languid morning
Sun on the birches and maples
Dew catching the joke quick
I listen to the silence
She whispers in a language I’m only now just learning
Only will learn fifty years from now
Sixty years from now
A million deaths between now and then

My mother only just spoke
Leaves turning at a snail’s pace
Green to yellow to
How she’s prone to anxiety
Red and brown
Spoke bulemia
When the wind swoops
The echoes cling to the windows
I hush
Spoke silence in a language I’m only now just learning
Thirty six years between us
Somehow less distance
Somehow more

I want to know about the birds that build nests up high
Who are they hiding from
Where do their babies first learn that we are born
Alone and will die alone
Each day an expression of this intrinsicness
Each quiet and still morning
An opportunity to fly deeper
A wingspan promise to try again

“Water music” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday, October 2
6:59pm
5 minutes
Major Orchestral Works
Felix Mendelssohn

I take a bath in the tub where I learned to swim
My sister across from me
Peppermint soap in our ear’s
The hum of our parents voices rising through the floorboards
Fluffy comfort that we don’t know can be broken

I think about writing this
How my appetite’s returned
Words haven’t satiated or helped or healed
But now they can
And they will

I lather my head with shampoo
And fill an old yogurt container with warm water from the tap
I rinse and rinse and rinse
A blue jay sits on the branch right there outside the window
Sings for awhile

There are stains where the drain is
And my love makes dinner downstairs
My parents live in different houses with different loves
My sister rocks her baby to sleep and sings the
Lullaby we heard
Here

“COLD PRESS BRIGHT” by Sasha in the Kiva

Sunday October 1, 2017
11:32pm
5 minutes
from the EPSON box

I will cold press your brightness like orange juice
We’ll drink it together like moon shine
The Milky Way will guide the walk to the jungle
Where we’ll dance naked with parrots and palms

I will kiss every inch of your hurting
Where you didn’t get enough or got too much
I will love every place where you’re burning
And slow your heart with a lullaby like this

I will give you the goodness that you need now
I will waterfall into the unknowings
I will write poems after hours of loving
And chart futures on the bed sheet tangle

“On the day of our wedding” by Sasha in the Kiva

Monday September 18, 2017
11:31pm
5 minutes
Swing Low
Miriam Toews

On the day of our wedding I will vow to
Be impeccable with my word
Not take things personally
I will vow not to make assumptions
And to choose love choose love
Choose love
Choose
Love
Every day

I will break these vows

We agree that we will
Break these vows

“It’s an aspiration”
You say
On the phone long distance

“It’s an aspiration”
I say
Under my breath
Crossing things off the list

On the day of our wedding
We will stand in a field
Under a blue sky
We will walk with our parents
We will walk alone
We will sweat
We will cry
We will worry that someone is uncomfortable
We will feel grace
We will promise
Honesty
Love
Honor
We will do our best
We will speak vows
We will break
We will kiss
We will vow
I will vow to

Be the one to hold
You
To yourself
To me
To your word
To the supple space
Between now and forever

“Also, there’s more to life than power, you know.” By Sasha in her teenage bedroom

Friday, September 15, 2017
12:18am
5 minutes
Vader’s Little Princess
Jeffrey Brown

Sometimes I worry
I worry a lot
Sometimes I worry that
I don’t think more about
Power and who has it and
That it’s a sign of my
Privilege that I don’t
Have to think about
Power

My mother tells me that
She’s worried
That she worries a lot
I come by it honestly
This unrelenting
This unshakable
This courage
This power

It’s hot here and it
Doesn’t smell like salt water
My name is carved in big wood letters
Sat atop stacks of CDs that used to be
My prized possession

I worried less then I think
Or maybe it’s just rose colored glasses nostalgia
Maybe I worried just as much
Just as wide and deep and blue and red

“it was a God that acted through me.” By Sasha on her balcony


Sunday August 27, 2017
12:04pm
5 minutes
Disgrace
J.M. Coetzee


Some days she forgets why she’s trying
why she’s waking and walking and eating and fucking
Some days she only rises to piss and eat a rice cake
over the sink
Some days she lets the phone ring even though she knows
it’s her mother and she misses her mother and she wants
nothing more than to speak to her mother
This is one of those days
This is one of those days
She peels an avocado and bits of green flesh get
on the sheets and shit she didn’t want to make
more of a mess.

“if everyone else forgets” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday August 24, 2017
6:55pm
5 minutes
From a greeting card

In 1976 it’s the coldest birthday you’ve ever had
February brings hail and relentless freezing
Marg and Bob forget too
and that makes everything colder
Brittle and bone-chilling

You get home from your job
as a teller at the bank
and Bob is in his chair
CBC is on the radio
Marg is hacking at a frozen slab
of pork or at least it looks like pork

“Hey hon,” Marg says not looking up
You feel
tears behind your eyes
at least something’s hot
Your cheeks burn

You go upstairs and close your door
and lament still living with these two
who you’ve sworn to no longer call
mother
father
Marg
Bob
You roll a joint and hang your head out the window
like you’re fourteen again

“big comfy chairs” by Sasha at her desk


Monday August 21, 2017
4:36pm
5 minutes
From an email

She’s afraid of dropping the ball so much that she holds
it up above her head at all times and her arms are
achey and tired and the muscle is ripping away from the
bone She’s afraid that they’ll see her open
flayed on the sidewalk next to the black moons of gum
chewed seven years ago chewed by a lover she dreamed about once
She sucks on her hair now that she can
now that it’s grown up
now that it’s grown out
and the edges turn hard
She wonders how long it’s been since she cried
Too long, her mother would say
You need a good cry, she’d say
She’s afraid that if she’s found out to be who she really is
Everyone will play hot potato
with her heart
Passing it round and round the circle
until it’s too hot too fast too fuck oh my God
and she smashes on the asphalt and she’s gone

“they couldn’t handle you?” by Sasha on her balcony


Friday July 28, 2017
9:15pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Kits beach

I often feel I’m not keeping up
the dust bunnies collect in the corners again
the kitchen floor needs scrubbing again
I explain the rules of writing dialogue to children
but meanwhile break them in the quiet of the solitude

In fifty six days I will be married
this is not an accomplishment
or a humble brag
it is a fact
plain and simple
like my Diva cup sitting in a teacup
of boiling water on the counter

I often look at pictures of women
either pregnant or with
small cinnamon bun children
I wonder what it will be
to roll dough between my hands
and sift genes in my womb
“God willing” I say

Almost husband
my sweetheart
you put a Persian rug on the balcony
you leave plaque on the mirror
you fold my underwear into perfect shapes
you hold me tender and rough

“God willing”

“choosing sides” by Sasha on her balcony


Tuesday July 4, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
Walsh
Sharon Pollock

At the time I didn’t think I chose a side.
How could I,

but now,

twenty five years later,

(writing that makes me feel something wide)

I realize the tent of a womb
is never far from the heart of a daughter.

I’ve always believed myself to be

all fair

sense of right and wrong right on the
tip of my tongue
my spirit soaring fire and water
in equal measure.

Maybe it’s the confusion of a young
pup,

circling Mom’s legs

caught locked out

in a downpour.

“high clouds no wind” by Sasha on her balcony


Saturday July 1, 2017
11:30pm
5 minutes
The Wayfinders
Wade Davis

the woman who lives across the way
my balcony doors look into her living room
she watches so much tv and i am sad about it

she recently bought a rosemary plant
a cactus with a pink flower
and a rose that has beautiful flowers
they are still in their plastic

i am trying to see what she’s watching
is it FRIENDS
i am trying to see into her darkness

a hummingbird comes to drink from our feeder
sucking back the sugar water with her
extra long tongue

high and mighty with my notebook
looking up and through and into
this sister dwelling

“intimate questions” by Sasha on her balcony


Friday June 23, 2017
10:39pm
5 minutes
From an e-mail

I thought maybe we’d start by talking about the cities where we were born
I thought we’d start by making small talk about the weather or
the government
or
the smell of the season the smell of the summer
Instead you inside my head and you say

I know we’ve met before

We have

Yes

Oh

Mundane intimate words
Rubbing soft gentleness
Mundane words that mean
everything now
in my memory space
as I contemplate
the colour of our love

“I was speaking body-to-body.” By Sasha at her desk


Wednesday June 21, 2017
11:18pm
5 minutes
From an interview with Lidia Yuknavitch on http://www.bloom-site.com

We don’t have much to say to each other
with these things
with these words
with syll-
ables
broken and frayed
and drunk on vowels

We speak body-to-body
sweaty sheets wound round
thighs and arms and
you touch me with the
conviction I’ve always
wanted to be wanted
in this articulation

When we walk down the
street you are distant
one hand on the handlebars
of your bicycle
I’m not used to this
arrangement of hard
K’s and V’s and
you disorient me
with your vague
interpretations of
song lyrics of the
band I wish I knew

I am gutted when
you stop calling
because I’ve only known
this body-to-body to mean
something
something languid
something truthful
something gracious

It’s two years before I
know the true taste of sweetness
of gentle whispered w’s and a’s

“don’t trip on the stairs” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday June 13, 2017
12:03am
5 minutes
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Neil Gaiman


Call me shaker Call me howler
Call me maker Call me feast
Call me famine Call me reverent
Call me simple Call me beast
Call me sing Call me frenzy
Call me chaos Call me great
Call me famine Call me bringer
Call me omen Call me fate
Call me shuffle Call me changer
Call me teacher Call me sin
Call me runner Call me muscle
Call me gold Call me win
Call me birch bark Call me tinder
Call me flint Call me steel
Call me engine Call me bullet
Call me handmade Call me wheel
Call me mother Call me lover
Call me woman Call me moon
Call me bear Call me elephant
Call me wolf Call me loon

“while the couple works out their troubles without distraction” by Sasha on her couch


Monday June 12, 2017
10:00pm
5 minutes
Committed
Elizabeth Gilbert


Without distraction we take to the winding roads
of the west way up near the sky touching
clouds with our noses way up near the stars
touching ancient dust with our eyelashes

We swim in salt water plunging pools
and my skin gets burned by the sun but
it’s okay it’s okay
it’s okay

You read to me in a whisper
from your secret notebook
the holy grail
and an eagle flies overhead
shadows in the wideness of the wingspan

“All my creative juices” by Sasha on the couch at Lewis St.


Wednesday June 7, 2017
7:54pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Mercury Espresso Bar

I stop
mid sentence
mid thought
mid moment
in between
mid moment
a monarch
flies over
our heads
I notice
that it’s
been a long time
since I’ve seen one.

A truck honks
it’s horn
the moment
is broken
the butterfly
is gone.

My sister
and I sit
on a brown
blanket on
the grass
her daughter
all blue eyed
wonder.

We talk about
gurus and love
friendship and
motherhood.

“He lowers his eyes and I know” by Sasha on her balcony


Sunday June 4, 2017
12:25pm
5 minutes
Years Later, I Go Back To Thank You
Anders Carlson-Wee


He lowers his eyes
and I know that he’s
thinking of the space between
clavicle and neck
the tender taste
of summer skin
sweat and watermelon
salt and sunscreen
“Look at me” I say
the unfamiliar crack
of fear
of wishing
He raises his eyes
forest floor of longing
stretching the width
of this city
reaching up towards
the sun

“The only thing we lack” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday May 28, 2017
2:19pm
5 minutes
A program from the Cultch

Today I rise from bed groggy
heart full of last night’s baring
dreams of children and quartz
eyes wide
rushing water
my sister’s hair
a walk in the woods
barefoot
I sit on the balcony
cradling tea and my thirty-first
cradling all that I have built
on this borrowed plot
I call my father
and he sings in a voice
that lands somewhere
before time
A hummingbird
lands on the tree with
the yellow blooms
Joy
Joy
Joy

“There is nothing here” by Julia at her desk


Thursday May 25, 2017
10:08pm
5 minutes
This is It
James Broughton


I have waited for inspiration to strike
like the match of missed connections
like the booklet of nose aids on high alert
There is no force of flame, nor flicker
There is nothing here that looks like me

According to a long lost diary from my
mother’s storage locker we all gave up
on her when we believed that she was fine
Of course we didn’t think to ask further
to make sure that she was being honest
If I could defend us without seeming
defensive, I would say we didn’t want to know
the truth and so we let her smile

We gave her short hugs like they wouldn’t
be our lasts
Called her twice a month
business as usual, instead of once a week
And she thought it would be too much
to ask for more
And she wanted to ask for more.

“There is nothing here” by Sasha on her balcony


Thursday May 25, 2017
7:05pm
5 minutes
This is It
James Broughton


The movie theatre where I see Titanic in 1997
– clutching my sister’s hand
crying on the subway the whole way home –
it’s a drugstore now.

The house where I am born on Victoria Park
ravine stretching down the back
– treasure walks and birthday cake
and running through the sprinkler –
has a different coloured roof
and door.

There is nothing here that tells time
like the precise blur
of my nostalgia
a patina of fingerprints
marking grace
and doubt.

“ungratefulness” by Sasha on her balcony


Wednesday May 24, 2017
12:09am
5 minutes
English
Amber O’Reilly


On Sunday I’ll be thirty one
When I look at my hands
they are the hands I’ve
always had
Piano playing
squash cutting
keyboard typing
back tickling
finger knitting
busy small child hands

Swimming in the lake
as a girl
toes touching seaweed
and lake trout
diving down so deep
the temperature changed
popping back up
sunlight and gasp
laughing and falling
into dead man’s float

On Sunday I’ll be full
I’ll be lonely
I’ll be grateful
this is everything
this is nothing
this is

“and they’ll break your heart” by Sasha on her balcony


Sunday May 21, 2017
10:01pm
5 minutes
trueactivist.com

This thing we pretend we know
even those hand holding
white haired beauties
shuffling along
place after place
for sixty odd years
even they don’t know.

I pretend to know
what is going through
your head when your
brow furrow
your jaw clenches
your nostrils flare.

I occasionally appreciate
the mystery of you
when I’m rested
caffeinated
exercised
but mostly
I long to know
without having to ask
“what’s wrong?”

“even if it was just an honest mistake” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday May 20, 2017
10:51pm
5 minutes
Soft Taco
Fernando Raguero


It was an honest mistake
the graze against the belly
of the hummingbird
the beast
the open mouthed devil
It was a beautiful chaos
the storm whipping hair
across cheeks
across water
across history

Here we are
gazing into the barrel of the gun
toe to toe with destruction
eye to eye with the open sky

I don’t like the taste
of apology
a penny
on my tongue

“she barely ever wore dresses” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday May 16, 2017
10:04pm
5 minutes
from an interview wth Ingrid Michaelson
Jezebel.com


Her favourite thing to do on her days off (Monday and Tuesday) is
to go to the vintage stretch along Elderwood St.
Right when the stores open. She thumbs through
silk and taffeta, satin and spandex.
She doesn’t try anything on.
That’s her rule,
at least until she’s out of debt. But she touches
the clothes, like lovers, like a darling
kitten, like the world she wishes she lived in more.
This morning she buys a scarf for three dollars
blue with small yellow daisies.
Standing on the sidewalk,
the sun on her face,
she ties it around her neck and continues on.

“I waited twenty minutes, then thirty.” By Sasha at JJ Bean


Monday May 15, 2017
3:25pm at JJ Bean on Cambie
5 minutes
Ghostly Woman on The Rumpus
Zoe Bossiere


I do three shots of tequila before I walk the
seven blocks to the bar where I order a glass of
white wine and wait

and wait


and wait.

Eventually he arrives smelling of rum and sex
and man and rain and sweat

and man.

You’re late
I say
I got caught up
He says
I was about to leave
I say
He looks at me like no woman has ever
called his bluff no woman has ever met
him with a scowl
I’m here now
He says
You’re late
I say.

“When do we become adults?” By Sasha at JJ Bean


Monday May 8, 2017
5:22pm
5 minutes
http://www.intrepidtheatre.com

“Wise beyond her years”
she was also
the master of
the baby voice.
She shrugged her
shoulders and
giggled down
at painted toes.
Adult body came
too fast comes
too round.
“This isn’t what
I wanted,” she
whispers to
her pillow.
“Wise beyond her years”
a spell cast after
the wall fell.
“Wise beyond her years”
a blessing spoken
over dinner beeswax
candles lighting
changing faces.
“Wise beyond her years”
outgrowing jeans and
shoes seeing all the
noticing
growing
breaking

“I had been able only to grieve” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday May 2, 2017
8:58pm
5 minutes
The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion


Grief is a sister to
all of us I’ve come
to know this now better
than ever

These days
she sits in the lotus
position
in my throat

unnamed
untamed
uninvited
unbelievable

She wags her finger
at the lazy zeal of
a screen made of mirrors
chasing a time before
the dollar signs and the
gas station blow jobs

“When I’m stressed” by Sasha at her desk


Friday April 28, 2017
2:28pm
5 minutes
Look Outside Pt 1
Rory Frances


I’ll smack your entitlement right out of your
mouth punch your smug smile from those tight lips.
I’ll do it with words and squinty eyes and I’ll do it
with the very fact that I am better than you
at everything. I won’t actually smack you or punch
you, come on you know I’m a pacifist. Come on, you know
I’m trying to get better. I’ll taser you with my goodness.
I’ll roll you a spliff of the best kind of care.
I’m able to get down like that, sweet nothing. I’m able,
oh yes. You, standing tall with those wide shoulders,
you’re used to “people like me” fawning over your jaw,
and your dimples. Nope. Not this time. Not this person.
I won’t apologize after the smoking and the smacking
and the punching and the nothing. I’ll sing you a
lullaby. I’ll walk away. I’ll turn back. I’ll say,
“You’re an asshole.”

“an advanced degree in creative writing” by Sasha on her balcony


Thursday April 26, 2017
1:19pm
5 minutes
Big Magic
Elizabeth Gilbert


Sitting on her bed, the woman shoves
chocolate chip cookies into her mouth
one two three four five six seven.
She barely chews, inhaling the
sweet soft hardness, exhaling
the loneliness, the fatigue,
the face and the feet.
The woman has just been accepted
to an advanced creative writing program.
Three, in fact. She tastes the imposter.
She tastes the unlovable. She tastes
the big body big story big in a world
where she is only wanted if she is
small. She tastes the failure of the
places where she has not been accepted.
She catches herself. She sweeps crumbs from
the bedspread and walks to the bathroom.