“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.

“He was young and handsome” by Julia at the table

Saturday January 5, 2019
5:36pm
5 minutes
The Elephant Vanishes
Haruki Murakami

This year we didn’t look at old photos of you
and Mom wearing your brilliant sweaters at Niagara Falls.
I think there was too much going on, but I missed it anyway.
Tracing the outline of your fro,
curls I know intimately since they landed on my head too.
Thank you for those, by the way.
When I was little and everyone said I looked more like you
it used to break my heart.
I don’t know why I thought it was anything but a compliment.
You were young and handsome.
You are still young and handsome.
I am in awe of how big your heart has grown in these sixty-two years of living.
Sixty-two years today.
You have gotten so soft and there is all this room for me now.
Thank you for that too, by the way.
I am looking at the photo of you holding me for the first time
a month and a couple weeks after your thirty-second birthday,
and the look in your eyes as you look down at me
is turning me into something sweet.
Thank you for that.
That is how I see you too.

“So the Search was begun” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday December 31, 2018
11:11am
5 minutes
The Tao Of Pooh
Benjamin Hoff

Faith and Doubt are sisters, unruly hair intertwined, sleeping side-by-side, dreamscapes overlapping. I find Faith in the predictability of a trusted recipe. I find Doubt in the despair of misunderstandings small and large. Faith laughs at Doubt’s sureness, kindly, pointedly. Doubt rolls her eyes at Faith’s optimism, wisdom, sureness. Faith cries when Doubt pushes her so hard on the swing she falls off, skinning her knees.

“I wonder if it’s the time of night” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday December 9, 2018
10:53pm
5 minutes
Tulips for Barbara
Ann E. Michael

Under the brush of this season
there’s a fire spreading across
the frost

You know it
I know it

Soup won’t help and neither
will twinkle lights

Sometimes there are times
when we have to fall deeper
into the unknowing

than we ever thought
possible

where purple and blue
make a new colour

where blood vessels
carve rivers in new bodies
held in old bodies
held in tree hollows

“I am not a waitress” by Sasha at her coffee table

Saturday December 8, 2018
12:21pm
5 minutes
A Common Trap
Caitlin Thomson

I am not a waitress. I now have a job where I marry several of my skills, make the money I deserve, and have a cushy benefits package. It’s weird writing that. It still doesn’t totally feel real. I was a waitress for over a decade, and, to be honest, mostly I liked it. The rush of a good service, the camaraderie, the jokes, the sweet satisfaction of finding the right balance for each table in my section of quirk and charm, attention and space. The late nights, though… And the boozing culture. And the folks’ who would treat me like I was their servant. I remember a co-worker at a fancy beer restaurant in the financial district talking about these suits and ties who would come in and treat him like trash and meanwhile he’s smirking on the inside that he makes more than them annually, but just so happens to do it delivering mussels and swiping credit cards.

“his birthplace has now lost its charm” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday November 14, 2018
8:40am
5 minutes
Master of the Masterpiece
Anya Georgijevic

He remembers home as bigger than it is. Maybe that’s because he has something to compare it to now. He remembers walking down Princess St. and knowing almost everyone he passed. How they’d greet one another. Mrs. Blake, his kindergarten teacher, pushing her grandson in a stroller. Dan Savant, star athlete turned used car salesman, after he dislocated his shoulder one too many times.

“Hi, Davey, how are you?”

“Good to see you, Davey! Lookin’ good!”

Now that he’s back, packing up Mama’s house, putting everything in piles (recycle, donate, trash, keep), he feels it’s lost it’s charm. Home changes, it’s not static. Home is something else.

“for young students who can’t sit still” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday November 8, 2018
6:11pm
5 minutes
From the Beginning
Chelsey Burnside

Mickey makes the sign of the cross and rolls his eyes back into his head so that only the whites are showing. Sister Helen waddles to the front of the class and we all try not to laugh. We don’t want to get our knuckles smacked with her big protractor. She whips her head around and Mickey is still going, crossing himself faster and faster, tongue hanging out of his mouth. No one moves. Sister Helen narrows her eyes.

“Mr. Fitzgerald, do you need to visit the nurse?” Her voice could cut ice.

“No, ma’am…” Mickey says, quietly.

“WHAT DID YOU SAY?!”

“No, Sister Helen.”

“I get a lot of praise for the work I do” by Sasha in her bed

Thursday November 1, 2018
11:40am
5 minutes
A quote by José Andrés

This morning I woke up with a pain in my side the size of your body
And now I’m carrying you along side me unable to move or breathe
I’ve never had trouble sleeping til now and now I can’t sleep past
Sunrise something about the light creeping through the cracks and
I’m ready to feel the flutters and kiss the surrender and get into
A hot shower

We talk about the power of water sitting on a couch across from
Each other and I know now more about listening and being listened to
Than I did only half a year ago mark the difference in feeling in my
Throat in my heart in my guts when I’m being really listened to

“It received glowing praise” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday October 20, 2018
8:02pm
5 minutes
A quote by Gordon Campbell

Avocados ripening in a ceramic bowl
next to butternut squash
a lemon
Regretfully
I have everything I want
and still I want more
It’s natural right
these bananas ripening
too quick these bananas
that will likely become
bread become stomach
become sweet become shit
Guzzling water standing
over the sink I can’t get
enough I can’t have enough
Enough
Rinsing lentils for soup
until the water runs clear
A handful of pecans
of potato chips
of cut up apple
These are the moments
This is the moment

“Worries are the most stubborn habits” by Sasha at her desk

Monday October 15, 2018
4:09pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Vicki Baum

Worries are the most stubborn habits. I know this by heart, like the songs we sing in the morning when we’re drunk with dreams. I have a bad habit named Worry. I count on her to visit when I’m least expecting, when I think I have a handle, when I’m still, when I’m flying. Worry is a loyal companion, especially when things are fucked up and fraying, delicious and beautiful. A habit is a thing that can be broken in thirty days. No. A habit is a thing that can be started in thirty days. Does it go both ways?

“This report contains confidential information” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday October 13, 2018
11:39pm
5 minutes
From the lab report

This report contains confidential information. Please do not show this report to anyone, share it via the internet, or forward it in an email. This report is for your eyes only. There’s no reason for the confidentiality really, besides that this report wants to be taken very very seriously, and confidentiality means seriousness. Everyone knows that. This report is really only pertinent to you and no one else would care about it if they did happen to see it. This report is snickering about how earnest the expression is on your face.

“not even debate” by Sasha at Terrace Beach

Friday October 12, 2018
9:38am
5 minutes
From a quote by Richard Wolff

Jennifer doesn’t enjoy debate, but Paul does, and so they do, because that’s how things go. Jennifer enjoys conversation, and avocado and cucumber sushi, and sleeping in socks. Paul enjoys debate, reading the New Yorker with a cup of lukewarm black coffee, and running uphill. Jennifer thinks that Paul is bizarre, and that’s one of the things she loves about him. Paul thinks Jennifer is simple, and that’s one of the things he loves about her. Paul instigates debates and Jennifer resists and refutes and then engages, because that’s what he wants, and she wants to give him what he wants.

“Most families” by Sasha at the table at Terrace Beach

Thursday October 11, 2018
4:05pm
5 minutes
Poor and Poorer
Jerrold Ladd

I know how lucky I am and I don’t take it for granted. Really I don’t. I know how lucky I am when I become an artist and no one questions it or asks how I’ll pay rent; when I fail and rise and break and shed and am seem for all of it, for each of them, by each of them. I know when I see how she isn’t known by her family in the way she wants so badly to be, and she is known by mine, in a different way, but in a way closer to her craving. I know how lucky I am, when he has pie and tea with my father and can talk about how hard it’s been, how he doubts me, and us, and the future, and more so himself.

“lured into my childhood home” by Sasha at MacKenzie beach

Tuesday October 9, 2018
2:42pm
5 minutes
The Stray
Stephen A. Waite

We play Monopoly lying on our stomachs on the carpet
in front of the woodstove. Mom is out for a cross
country ski. We just filled our bellies with hot
chocolate, more than we’re allowed to have, more than
is good for us, but that’s okay. You put another
log into the mouth of the stove, and I jump up
because there are sparks, and fire is brave.
You know how to turn the damper. You know how to
be the banker. We hear Mom banging her skis on
the porch.

“I married Dave” by Sasha at Ocean Village

Monday October 8, 2018
3:31pm
5 minutes
Plants Don’t Have Birthdays
Andrea Gregor

If I’d married Dave my life wouldn’t be what it is. I would never have married Dave, but if I had, it would be chaos. It’s chaos now, in a way, but life is chaos sometimes and I’m okay with that. Dave is chaos. I’m not okay with that.

I sometimes get bored by the stories of my past that just go round and round and round and round. Can I ever let go? Am I the only one? What’s with the barnacles?

Summer makes me nostalgic and fall makes me nostalgic and winter makes me so nostalgic and spring makes me nostalgic too.

“slow puffs of steam” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 16, 2018
6:02pm
5 minutes
What Happened During The Ice Storm
Jim Heynen

She bakes because her favourite thing is the smell of bread rising, butter browning, cookies crisping. She bakes because her mother bakes, and her grandmother baked, and so on and so forth.

She limits her baking to Saturday, and brings the treats to her meditation group on Sunday afternoon.

“These are the best lemon squares I have ever had, Rachel,” says Glenn, who lead today and accidentally hit the gong with his foot when he was readjusting his seated position.

“Aw, thanks,” she says, and she knows he’s telling the truth. Her lemon squares are the best.

“You should open a bakery,” says Carol.

“I’ve thought of it, but I worry that if it’s my job I won’t love it as much anymore.”

“Maybe you’ll come to love it even more,” Glenn smiles. “That’s just as much of an option…”

“My miracle is not that you can’t knock me down” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday August 15, 2018
7:10am
5 minutes
Monday Night Class
Stephen Gaskin

you know that you’ll find yourself
finally
in your forties
you’ve heard that it can happen
for some people
in their thirties
but that’s just not you
you can’t even remember to
take the recycling out on the
proper day
or survive a month on
plenty of fish
you know you’ll find yourself
eventually
before death
you imagine that that’s what
that means
eventually
it’s a miracle that you often say
“I’m fine,”
when asked
“How are you, Melanie?”
you know that you are fine
most of the time
occasionally you drink too much
and on those nights
you wonder if anyone
is fine at all
if anyone has found themself

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

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

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

“full of tenderness” by Sasha on her balcony

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

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

“whose eyes are a thousand blind windows:” by Sasha on her balcony

Tuesday August 7, 2018
7:30am
5 minutes
Howl
Allen Ginsberg

He’s got a tight face. I wonder about plastic surgery (try not to judge, each to their own, I guess)… He’s expressionless, which is super odd given his job, given that he’s a self-proclaimed actor. I wonder how much he actually works. It might sound awful, but his eyes are hollow, like looking into them is very unsettling. I bet he pulled the wings off flies as a kid. Maybe still does. I bet he googles weird, really weird shit. You know those people who you see and you just know that if you went into their search history it would be worse than a murder show?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“all-new, feature-length” by Sasha at Jericho Beach

Sunday August 5, 2018
1:30pm
5 minutes
Teamsters and Tutus
Simon Lewsen

Do you ever hear the soundtrack of the movie of your life playing? Do you ever imagine the Norah Jones, Gypsy Kings, Tori Amos, TLC, Marvin Gaye… It happens to me most when I’m on public transit, usually a train, occasionally a bus. Looking out the window and there it is – the music.

What’s the song that plays the most in your head?

Have you ever been to a concert and thought, “this must be what heaven is like?”

Have you ever heard the quote, “Without music life would be a mistake”?

I once thought that if I didn’t have music I might shrivel up and fade away. I don’t think that anymore, I’m in a better place, but I get it. I get that.

“Hear splash blue” by Sasha on her balcony

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

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

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

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

“You’re hearing the blue?”

“M-hmm.”

“Mimi, how are you hearing a colour?”

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

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

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

“$750-million investment” by Sasha at her desk

Friday August 3, 2018
9:33pm
5 minutes
From an Enbridge ad

It’s a million dollar
three point two
seven point nine
three and half
oh my word
it’s dollar symbols
and decimal points
and I can’t even
count that high

They are building a
new skyscraper and
every new story
makes me
every new story
gives me
I joke about
going down there
and getting a tour
dressing up
I’ll wear heels and
you’ll wear a three
piece suit

Two million
down payment I can’t
believe I ever thought
owning a house with a
garden and a bird bath
was going to be

Oh wait
here are the angels
in blue

Oh wait
we’re getting
somewhere

“exiled to the foothills” by Sasha on her couch

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

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

“Why do you want to go there?”

“Because I’ve never been!”

“Why do you think you’d like it?”

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

“Please don’t whine.”

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

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

“BUT – ”

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

“Greet me at the gate” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday June 26, 2018
7:12am
Green
Nikki Sharp

meet me at the gate with your arms open and lift me up but don’t spin me just get me off the ground and whisper something in my ear that you’ve never said to anyone that you’ve only ever said to me and put me down and look me in the eyes because my eyes have changed since you last really saw me i know you saw me this morning but i’m talking about really seeing really knowing and my eyes are going to tell you how i miss you til i’m sick and dizzy and gorging and my eyes will tell you how i’m not sure if i can take this but my words won’t my words won’t they can’t that’s not how they work

“I’m as prepared as I ever am” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday June 2, 2018
9:52pm
The Art Of Freeloading
Alana Levinson

“Vic, you’re starting to freak me out…”

“Why! We have to be prepared!”

“We live in a one bedroom apartment! We don’t have storage space for seven of those water jugs! We don’t have the space!”

“You know who is going to thank me when there’s an earthquake? You know who?!”

“Me?”

“YOU!”

“I’m down for being prepared, I am, I’ve told you that a million times, but this is just… too much. Every time you come home from the store there are more cans, more blankets, more matches… and this water?! Where are we going to put it?!”

“The storage unit. Obviously.”

“The one in the basement?”

“Yes.”

“Isn’t that full of camping gear?”

“And whose junk is that?”

“It’s mine! And it’s not junk! It took me a long time to collect all that stuff!”

“She is giant and bossy and funny as hell.” By Sasha at the casita

Saturday, October 14, 2017
2:10pm
5 minutes
From a text

Darla, you gotta meet her. She’s giant and bossy and funny as hell. When you get her going she will not stop. She will make joke after joke until you really have to say, “Darla, you must be quiet. You must stop talking!” She must be close to six feet, and she’s got the biggest breasts anyone has ever seen. It’s problematic only for those of us that come up to her nipples and have a bard time seeing her face. She has this great bit about how both her parents are half a foot shorter than her, her father being shorter than her mother and how maybe her Mom actually fucked the big friendly giant.

“I’ll just call out the names and tell them to wait” by Sasha on her couch


Monday July 24, 2017
11:42pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the airport

A baby is screaming. I’m sympathetic, I really am. I know I’ll be her – that woman with white stains on her hoodie, a shrieking infant hanging off her – I know I’ll be her one day. I feel bad, I mean, everyone is trying to look supportive, but underneath they are cursing her, “Goddamn it, woman! Shut that baby up! Give it the bottle or the breast or a baby-sized dose of Gravol so it shuts UP!” The baby – cute, but not too cute – locks it’s little eyes on me. I’m on the other side of the plane, but it sees me and it stops screaming. Shit. Now it’s up to me to play peek-a-boo.

“Stanley stepped carefully” by Sasha at work


Friday July 14, 2017
2:17pm
5 minutes
Holes
Louis Sacher


Stanley carefully stepped into the water. He wasn’t sure about any of this. When Uncle Jim had asked if he would like to come with them to the beach that weekend, instead of staying in the city, he hadn’t said yes. Babs, Stanley’s mother, had quickly chimed in, “He would love to!” Stanley knew that Babs wanted some time to herself, to take a bath, eat some salt and vinegar chips, maybe watch a rom com. He didn’t blame her. Moreover, Stanley knew that Jim was a good influence on him. Stanley had never swum in the ocean before, despite living four hours away. Babs was once violently stung by a jellyfish, so she had no interest in a beach vacation.

“This is what you’ve been waiting for” by Julia at JJ Bean


Friday May 5, 2017 at JJ Bean
5:12pm
5 minutes
The Gate
Marie Howe


my family speaks poetry through me as I walk from my house to a place that isn’t
I am stopped on the sidewalk with the urge to take notes
They are dictating faster than I can write
The stories from our childhood, inspiration enough after the drought
I am greedy with rain and the secrets of our youth
the clues to finding solace in a memory built from our old garage,
the time we picked strawberries at the farm and made milkshakes,
the time we sang to Mariah Carey on the back porch and I made everyone
turn around to listen when it was my turn,
the time we got hats with the olympic rings on them at Mcdonalds,
the time we rode around on horses while they defecated,
the time I asked my older cousin if we could have a “talk” because I was feeling left out, the time they got the shots for whipping baby field mice against the brick

“The pleasures and perils of a drug-altered mind” by Julia at JJ Bean


Thursday May 4, 2017 at JJ Bean
2:16pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Sun
Thursda May 4, 2017


My aunt Barb tells me that she wrote herself a note when she “wasn’t straight” about how the “negativity is too loud in her head” and “cutting through all her good thoughts”. We (the family, collectively) got her into medicinal marijuana after her husband passed away last June. We wanted him to try it but he refused to smoke the stuff even after we showed him all the videos of people his age trying it. Barb is in love with it. She calls me at least once a day with her “new thoughts”. Yesterday she told me that “the sky is trying to kill her” and that she “would go but there is laundry to be folded”. In a meeting with the cousins, we secretly discuss Barb’s usage and pat ourselves on the back for helping her out. Then her daughter, Dina, raises her hand timidly. “My mom says she wants to try crack next!”

“regular procedures” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday April 5, 2017
12:40pm
5 minutes
From the thesis formatting guidelines

You can ask for what you really want sweet thing
I’ll turn on your power switch and we’ll ride
into the dark night with nothing but lipstick
and bathing suits
nothing but tequila and toasted english muffins

I was never sure about the deep azure of your dreaming
it turned by stomach with it’s vibrancy
with it’s tenacity
and now I’m the one chugging coffee
with my foot on the gas
pushing
pushing harder
harder
faster
pushing

Hysterical laughter over the irreverence
of the wish
“Ambition is a dirty word” you say

“their mothers will be there if needed” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday April 1, 2017
10:46pm
5 minutes
Hold Me Tight
Dr. Sue Johnson


“Call me if you need, okay Amy?” My mother has hidden a cell phone in the lining of my sleeping bag. We aren’t allowed electronics.

“I don’t think this is a good idea,” I tell her, but she is the most stubborn woman in the “whole dang province”. That’s what Bill-the-third-husband says.

Mom drops me off at the camp entrance and says, “text tonight before bed, okay? If it’s creepy or anyone here has tried anything strange with you, I’m coming back to pick you up.” She tosses her cigarette out of the window and a small brush fire starts.

“Please just go? I’ll be fine,” I say, opening up my water bottle and trying to stamp out the flames.

“IT’S TRUE!” By Sasha on her couch


Wednesday March 8, 2017
10:49pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the kitchen

It’s true, Jenna thinks. She does hate to disappoint. “I wouldn’t say that’s the primary thing going on here, though…” Dr. Hendricks looks over her wire rimmed glasses and raises her eyebrows. Jenna has been a patient for long enough to know what this means. “You’re full of shit.”

“You’ll need to investigate your feelings about disappointment, Jenna. We’ll do some of that work here, in session, but you’ll also need to keep a close eye on when you’re feeling disappointed, in yourself or in others, and how that effects your behaviour. Are you lashing out more? Are you quiet? Pay attention.”

“I felt stung” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday February 26, 2017
10:29pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio

When Heloise first saw Penelope, she knew that they’d been cut from the same piece of floral corduroy. It had nothing to do with the hands of the mothers that they were each holding. It had everything to do with their size. Both a head taller than everyone else in their Grade Three class, the girls became fast friends. Height aside, their physical features couldn’t have been more different. Heloise had jet black hair cut into a bob, with blunt bangs that ended just above her eyebrows. Her mother had the exact same haircut. They went every five weeks to the salon on 10th. Heloise’s eyes were brown, like her father’s, and she had a small mouth, which she regarded with disdain. Penelope had auburn curls, which she wore loosely braided down one side. She had her ears pierced, and wore small jade heart studs. They’d been a birthday present from her mother. Penelope’s mother reminded everyone of someone they knew. “I have one of those faces,” she’d say with a smile.

“I don’t know if it’s important or not, but it might be.” By Sasha at her desk


Tuesday February 7, 2017
10:55pm
5 minutes
from Gerald’s Game
Stephen King


Hi. You’ve reached – …

Shit. Donna?! Pick up the phone.

Hi. You’ve reached Donna. Leave me a message and I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can.

BEEP.

Donna. It’s me. Where are you? I need to talk to you. Right now. Carlos is on to us, and it’s not looking good, Donna. It’s really not looking –

Hello?

What the fuck?

Relax.

Carlos is losing his shit over here, and I’m the one who’s probably going to get a chisel through my skull and you’re telling me to relax?

I’m waiting for Sadie to come home from school and then we’re going to come and pick you up, and we’re going to get out of town for awhile.

What am I supposed to tell Carlos?!

Tell him, tell him… tell him that your sister is sick and you’re going to help her with the kids. He never speaks to Angie.

Oh my God, Donna. I’m losing it over here.

“Don’t carry it all” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie


Monday January 23, 2017 at JJ Bean
3:39pm
5 minutes
From Dear Sugar Radio: Writer’s Resist

Put it down here
at my feet where the earth
is soft put it down
here where the crocus will
bloom come April
Put all your worries
down before you sleep
or else you’ll wake
like last night
in a pool of sweat
and tears calling
for God

They talk of faith
but I talk of birch
trees and whale bones

Put that world down
sweet one
it’s giving you
ulcers and rotten teeth
tumours and that
kind of sadness
that no word
has enough
consonants for

“First we marched” by Sasha at Matchstick on Fraser


Sunday January 22, 2017 at Matchstick
10:26am
5 minutes
From a tweet

First we marched and now we carry on
the song that our grandmother’s started

Daisy used to tell Layah and I
about meeting First Nations women at the Edmonton
bus depot on 105 Avenue

bringing her into the city
feeding her hamburger soup
giving her shampoo and
tampons
baby formula and
sweaters knit by the
Catholic Women’s League

Okay she never said anything about
tampons to me
but I imagine her giving a woman tampons
and that woman saying thank
you and brown eyes meeting brown eyes

Anne made dinner every night for her family
and she managed the money
and she made her own
her own money
trading stocks and investing
Anne never knew she was a radical
She was an
“unfulfilled woman”
She was never okay
with the shape of herself

“Destiny Number” By Julia at The Vancouver Public Library


Thursday January 19, 2017 at the VPL
4:33pm
5 minutes
numerologist.com

I told myself I’d be married at 24 cause of my mother. She was married at 24 and that felt like the best map I could follow since she has never once said she regretted it. I also said I wouldn’t have sex till I was 24 either case of Jesus. Or the patriarchy. Save my sex for someone who loves God more than he’ll ever love me and believes in owning humans as property? Yeah, what a great fucking idea. I was young then. And committed to Christ (by choice, weirdly, I know). And in love with the idea that I didn’t have to make my own decisions cause life was already going to have too many of those in the first place. I told myself that I would have a child by 28 cause of my mother. She waited 4 years to have one after she got married and that seemed smart, and good, and completely doable. I have missed both of these “destiny numbers”(by choice, I know, I know). Somewhere along the way I decided I could trust myself to lead me through it. Sometimes it’s the worst feeling in the entire world. But it’s better than being married with a bazillion kids coming out of my ears. Age, I’ve learned, is just a number that you get to hold for a year. And then–we let it go, just like everything else.

“People will say,” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie


Friday January 6, 2017 at JJ Bean
4:30pm
5 minutes
From an email

She’s never found trouble that she didn’t like the taste of
coffee warmed on a space heater in a chipped jam jar
socks and underwear washed in a
dishwasher amongst beer cans and spaghetti plates
She joined a choir because she thought nothing strange
could happen when everyone’s singing
but before she knew it she’d lit a wreath and a ponytail
(neither of which were hers)
on fire and before she knew it she was
asked to leave
“It’s for the safety of the group,”
said the woman who photocopied the words for
Desperado and
Lean on Me

She thought a haircut might straighten
things out but the only thing that got straighter
was her bangs

“Oh gosh I would be so horrified” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday January 5, 2017
9:46pm
5 minutes
From an email

I’ve started this story five hundred times. I’ve ripped up three trees worth of paper, and burning seventeen pencils. I’ve started this story six thousand times. I would be horrified if you knew how I struggle, how I sweat. I would be horrified if you knew how I knit myself into a sleeping bag and didn’t set an alarm for three days. I would be horrified if you knew how many times I ordered pizza and Chinese food. No wonder I’ve gained thirty pounds. “It’s all about the numbers,” you always used to say. And it’s a real shame that I believed you.

“Hit the road Jack” by Sasha on the couch in Cowichan Bay


Saturday December 31, 2016
8:08pm
5 minutes
From a record

Jack’s packed this car like a master puzzler, every box and bag filling any open space. “Will you be able to see?” I ask, putting our turkey sandwiches into old yogurt containers.

I kiss the doorframe and Jack says, “Goodbye, sweet spot.” We hug for awhile, before I lock the door and slide the key through the mailbox, like we told George, our super, we’d do.

Halfway to the highway, I start to cry.

“hello sacred fire” by Sasha in the Kiva at Macdonell


Monday December 19, 2016
5:04pm
5 minutes
Hello Sacred Life
Kim Krans


The clock’s talking. Keeps telling Amy that time is running out. Tells her to “go faster” and “slow down”, too, but less often. She takes the one on the wall by the piano and puts it in the recycling. Two hours later, sat at her desk doing the inventory that should’ve been done yesterday, she wonders if you can recycle a clock. She puts it in the garbage. The one on the stove is a real fucking issue. She went at it with the hammer around lunchtime. Just the clock part. It bugs her when she’s cooking, especially starches like potatoes or rice. Pasta is the worst. “I’m running out…” it whispers, and she’s not sure if it’s inside her head or out, but then the mouth on the 1:14 starts frowning and it’s all over. Pete asks if she’s been taking her meds and she says she’s not really sure, but since starting to work from home things have been getting better. A whole lot better. Pete nods and eats his meatloaf.

“test audience” by Sasha at the little desk at Bowmore


Thursday December 15, 2016
6:25pm
5 minutes
From a recruitment email

The clock in the entrance way is off by seven minutes and it aggravates you. When it chimes you wonder where on the list it says that one of your duties is to wind it. You wore sensible black shoes today, after Mrs. Smithers commented on your red boots yesterday.

“Well, well, well…” She’d said, looking you up and down. Her roots were showing, clawing their way back in. The kettle had boiled and she’d made herself a Jasmine tea.

“Are those appropriate for the office?” She’d asked, dropping a sugar cube into her “WORLD’S BEST MOM” mug.

“I thought so,” you’d said, peeling a clementine.

“Can you take that out of the oven?” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore


Thursday December 15, 2016
6:25pm
5 minutes
Overheard in my mother’s kitchen

“Can you take that out of the oven?”

Betty calls from upstairs. June is sitting at the kitchen table, the new one from Sears. She wonders how Betty and Earl afford new things every year, what with Earl getting laid off last summer.

“Of course!” June puts on oven mitts and takes the cake out. It’s Earl’s fortieth birthday and Betty is throwing him a surprise party tonight. June offered to help. It’s what neighbours do. She curses herself for not having arranged to have a conflict.

Betty comes downstairs and she’s wearing a lavender dress.

“No no you go ahead.” By Sasha on the plane


Wednesday December 14, 2016
9:16pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the line at airport security

Craving the punch of vodka like a mutherfucker. Craving the punch of a fist in my chest. My father’s speciality. It’s funny, what you crave, when you’re lying on the floor of the kitchen and the kids are screaming like the assholes that they are.

Craving a long bath in the tub that someone used to sing in.

“leftover Hamburger Helper garbage” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday December 13, 2016
5:59pm
5 minutes
Summer OF My Amazing Luck
Miriam Toews


Could you pick up some ground beef at the Superstore on your way, George? I’m making that thing that Steve likes? With the Hamburger Helper? And a salad, for Ami, I mean it’s not like she’s going to eat the other – … George? Are you there? You didn’t say anything! How was I supposed to know! Drive safely, okay? It’s going to snow a whole bunch and we don’t need anymore unfortunate events this year… Let’s let 2016 peter out with some simplicity? George? Are you there?!

“Welcome Home Party” by Sasha on her couch


Friday December 9, 2016
12:27am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

used to make signs that we’d stick on the yellow door with masking tape
“don’t use the kind that takes the paint off, girls!”
when did we stop being “girls”?
when did we stop making signs with bearded men and red-haired women?
when did we start counting days of the weeks in underwear rolled in the bottom of a backpack?
used to make signs for everyday stuff not just special occasions
used to make signs with crayons and magazine pieces and words i didn’t
really know the meaning of

“I was so annoyed with Wendy” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie


Thursday December 8, 2016 at JJ Bean
4:18pm
5 minutes
Overheard at JJ Bean on Cambie

When we first got here there wasn’t much going on. I mean the town had three hundred people, something like that. My father was a butcher and he heard that they needed one, and so without really telling my brother and I what was going on my parents loaded us into the car and we left Montreal. They said we were going on a vacation. I was so mad. So so mad. Jaques and I plotted to hitchhike home and never come back to Alton. I know now that my father had a falling out with the guys who trained him, we know them as Uncle Gary and Uncle Ziggy. Anyway, that’s why he needed to leave. Because we only spoke French, and we were arriving in the middle of a school year, it was terrible, at school for both Jacques and me.