“It’s comfy and cozy.” By Sasha on her couch

Wednesday February 13, 2019
11:02pm
5 minutes
From a text

Those wouldn’t be words that I’d use to describe Max… More like gruff… and, and kind. He isn’t the touchy-feely type, right, like, he is a good guy but he keeps people at arm’s length. Might be because he was orphaned when he was young, betcha didn’t know that. Yup, his folks’ died in a train accident and he went to live with his uncle who didn’t have any idea how to raise a child. Poor guy. He’s a dreamer, like, he’s the kind of man that can wander around a city and not care where he’s going. Maybe he’ll end up in a bookstore or a sandwich shop or sitting on a park bench. Max likes days like that. If you ask him how’s he’s doing he’ll always answer the same, have you noticed that? He’ll say, “I’m still here…”

“Speaking of hosting!” By Sasha in her bed

Friday February 8, 2019
8:46pm
5 minutes
from a Wordplay call out

I seem to be made more
of water than of bones
sinew muscle guts
I seem to be made of
salt water the amount
I am overflowing

My eyes are changing
colour with this
bursting with this
breaking with this
heavy heavy
Will you help me
to carry this weight?

You say that you
can’t bear the water
the sound as you fall asleep
that it’s been too many
nights in a row of this
filling filling flowing filling

I am helpless in the hands
of the drops falling down
filling falling flowing
it’s the law of this week
this week only I say
this week it’s like this

“such a confusing tableau.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday February 5, 2019
8:11am
5 minutes
How To Change Your Mind
Michael Pollan
readying myself for this has become
unclenching my jaw
resting
loving deeply and truthfully
being clear about when it’s
yes
and when it’s
no
my days are a journal entry
a devotion
my mind is losing her sharpness
her edge
my heart is wider than ever
i wonder how you’ll love me
now that i’m new
how the sisters i drunk and
danced with will bear the change
i read in my nest
in the bed where she landed
page after page
gorging on preparation
i drink more water
eat more dates
look for soft things
find soft places in myself
that i wasn’t sure would arrive
they have
i welcome them
oh sweetness
stillness
opening

“her sarcastic curl of a smile” By Sasha at her desk

Monday February 4, 2019
2:28pm
5 minutes
Finders Keepers
Stephen King

Sorry it’s taken me so long to write back, D. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking of you, it’s that whenever I sat down at the computer to respond I couldn’t bring myself to actually hit send. I’ve deleted and re-written so many versions of this that I’ve lost count. Really all that I can say at this time is I’m not ready to talk. Grief is a strange beast, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes snarling, sometimes tender, and I’m doing my best to roll with it all honestly, and honesty for me right now looks like – I still need space. I trust that you’ll be able to understand, and that you’ll stop reaching out. When your name appears in my Inbox it’s like you’re knocking at my door, and I can’t have you knocking at my door right now, D.

“the two men ceased exchanging words” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday February 2, 2019
2:02pm
5 minutes
Marlarky
Anakana Schofield

I don’t talk to him anymore and I’ve found peace with that. It took time. I’m patient. I’ve learned how to be patient. I don’t talk to him because what’ the point. It doesn’t matter that he’s my brother. The only thing we have in common is blood, and even that’s debatable. We have the same mother, but I’ve always had a theory that his curly hair and jawline aren’t Dad’s, they aren’t anywhere, they are from – … Nevermind. I digress. I haven’t spoken to Tom since Christmas 2003. Mom insisted that Cheryl and I bring the kids to Saratoga Springs and eventually I caved. Cheryl was ambivalent, to say the least. We got there and had a nice meal. Everyone was getting along. Stella was starting to talk and Mom was losing it over how cute she was. Then there’s a knock at the door and my stomach felt like it was bottoming out. I knew it was him. Mom looked all pretend surprised and, “Who could that be?!” and of course it was Tom.

“unapologetic about her love of narcotics.” By Sasha at her desk

Friday February 1, 2019
9:32pm
5 minutes
Orange Is The New Black
Piper Kerman

Kiki loves narcotics like Hillary loves vodka like Jess loves psychedelics. I’m not sure about any of it. That makes me the weird one? Jess says that she needs to do psychedelics at least monthly to feel like herself. I wonder what she’d feel like if she didn’t. I wonder who she’d be then. Hillary carries around her booze in an Evian bottle in her purse. Sips it on breaks at work, in a taxi, at the gym. No one knows. No one cares. Breath mint after and she’s good to go. At least that’s what she says. Kiki. I’m not worried about Kiki but I kind of am.

“never showed me where the wreck lay.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday January 31, 2019
1:36pm
5 minutes
Foe
J.M. Coetzee

Hunting for treasure like yeah yeah yeah I’m bored okay I’m bored. Jimmy made mistakes all the time and no one yelled at him must of been because he had those baby blues. I get a stiff leg every now and again and I’m not so quick to get up I need a minute nothing wrong with slowing down a little. I’m bored by Thursday and by Saturday I can’t believe that there’s still another day left in the week. Didn’t used to be that way I was a way cooler guy when I was younger enjoying the moment and all of that jazz. You see enough people lose everything get laid off get screwed over and you start to go what’s the point right what’s really the point.

“The coach was bullshit.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday January 30, 2019
11:56pm
5 minutes
Created By
Richard Christian Matheson

It wasn’t my fault. Coach was bullshit. I tried telling Stevie and Jay from the get-go that Coach was a turd, didn’t know what she was talking about, didn’t know her ass from the ball… Nobody listened to me! We had a good reputation, man, I mean, we weren’t seven time champions but we gave Crescent Hill a run for their money every year! When Coach Peterson retired I knew we were effed. I’d seen Coach Jenkins sniffing around the court, trying to butter up the team, trying to use her jokes to make everyone like her. I’m not gonna fall for that shit!

“As the cab works its way” by Sasha at her desk

Monday January 27, 2019
4:01pm
5 minutes
Hello, Goodbye
Brady Emerson

As the cab works it’s way around the corner, I press my face up to the glass. Mama will make me clean it with vinegar and newspaper. She always knows when it’s me and when it’s Bailey. The dog doesn’t have to clean up after himself, but he gets put in the laundry room until he whines enough that Mama feels bad. Daddy packed a larger suitcase than usual so I asked him how long he’d be gone for this time. “Not sure, honeybunch,” he said, sad like the day Grampa Jones died. How he could not be sure, I don’t understand but I shouldn’t have to given that I’m only just starting Grade Four. Mama knows that Daddy might be gone until the snow comes, so she hugs Bailey in bed for a long time and I have peanut butter and jelly for dinner.

“law of human psychology” by Sasha at her coffee table

Thursday January 24, 2019
10:01pm
5 minutes
A quote by William Pickens

“Shit, it’s uh, it’s um… It’s – …”

Mika forgets her new phone number. She’d started to rattle off her old one and then stopped part way through. “I had to change my number because… You don’t need to know that, um – …”

After twelve years of the same ten digits it takes a while to update. Mika thinks about the brain and plasticity and how memory works.

She sees a flash of Kyle sledding. She blinks. She sees Izzy there, too, eating snow off to the side.

“Miss?”

Mika digs out her notebook. She knows she wrote her new number down in there.

“my Swahili instructor” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday January 23, 2019
1:41pm
5 minutes
Archipelagoes
Rochelle Smith

All the other women in this class are at least fifteen years older than I am. All of them are recently divorced. All of them. There are twelve of us. I won’t make assumptions about divorce rates rising, but wow oh wow, it is a bit… alarming. There must be something about taking up a new language in a popular book or something. I’m going to Tanzania so I really need to get this, it isn’t a whim or a therapy tactic or something. I like Rebecca best. Out of all the Divorcees. She’s down to earth and talks about stuff other than child support and Brene Brown.

“What Jesus was doing” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday January 22, 2019
6:52am
5 minutes
Love Thy Neighbour
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Sit still. Don’t fidget. Don’t pick your nose. Sit still. Sit stiller. Pay attention. Sister Judith is falling asleep. Don’t laugh. Don’t giggle. Don’t kick the pew in front. Jesus is watching. Mother is watching. Don’t elbow Russell. Don’t look at Russell. Russell is picking his nose. Ew, Russell! Sit still. Sit still. Hands to yourself. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. Stand up. Sing. Don’t sing too loud. Mother is watching.

“I imagine him alive.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday January 21, 2019
1:55pm
5 minutes
Stories We Keep To Ourselves
Bill Glose

He’s running along the beach
He doesn’t leave footprints in the sand
He floats above like the sand flies
Leaving no trace
Making no impression

I’m watching him from a nearby
piece of driftwood
Back and forth he goes
One end becoming the other
Horizon becoming sky

He doesn’t see me there
Lost in the movement of his muscles
Found in the meditation of waves
Lost in the between-world wonder
Found in the bits of seaweed and shell

I call out to him
He doesn’t hear me
The ocean thundering before us
Dusk wraps around our shoulders
Takes us back to the center
Takes us back in time

“making dinner for my family” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday January 20, 2019
9:43pm
5 minutes
The Other, Invented Man
Matthew Vollmer

I used to think that I’d be
keeping long hours in dank rehearsal halls
Poorly heated
Poorly lit
Weaving stories out of breath
blood bones
breaking beauty like bread

I used to think that success
was measured in letters
in selling out a run
in someone saying
“I saw myself on that stage
in that stranger”
“I know myself better now”

Now the sacred carrot
celery and onion
meets lentils and then broth
I spend Sundays in the kitchen
listening to Emmylou Harris and
This American Life
I lie down when I’m tired
and sing to my belly until
I drift off to sleep

Now I think that success
is having a fridge full of goodness
ready for the week
and that the stories we weave
at the table over steaming oats
the story of right now
is the greatest win of all

“he fell like the rain,” by Sasha in the bath

Friday January 18, 2019
9:04pm
5 minutes
In The Beautiful Rain
Tony Hoagland

She lifted her hand to her face
her hand the mirror that she trusted more
her face the face that she’d always known
She traced her nostrils and opened her mouth

He fell like the rain in the morning
and at night he gathered the fire to
close his eyes and trust the dark
Her sleep breath lifting him away

The laundry is on the couch and
needs to be folded
socks and T-shirts mixing cake
mixing bodies and story and dust

Someone will do it tomorrow
One of them whoever has time
and is feeling generous to the other
or to themselves

The recycling needs to be sorted
and taken out to the bins in the alleyway
where men with grocery carts pick through
all the after-thoughts all the forgetting

Hoping for a treasure

“I met Luke after my marriage ended.” By Sasha on her couch

Thursday January 17, 2019
10:17pm
5 minutes
The Ghost of a Boy
Piper Vignette

I didn’t mean to meet Luke. I was minding my own business. I was keeping my head down. Ever since I left Allison, to distract myself from the crippling guilt and regret, I’d become obsessed with Ayurveda. I read every book I could get my hands on. I mentored with an Ayurvedic doctor. I cooked lentils, rice, cauliflower. I cut out onions and garlic. I was in the co-op weighing red lentils for dahl and there he was – wearing wire-rimed glasses and a red sweater with worn elbows. He looked like he’d just woken up. He was staring at me.

“What are you gonna do with those?” He asked, a sparkle in his eyes.

“Dahl.” I said. I wasn’t interested in a flirty bulk food section exchange. I hadn’t flirted with a man since graduate school.

“skin hanging from a chicken soup bone.” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday January 9, 2019
4:51pm
5 minutes
Tuesdays With Morrie
Mitch Albom

I make chicken soup with the bones of the seasons before
Frozen in Ziploc bag
Stacked with
forgotten bananas
pumpkin seeds
pine nuts
containers of squash soup

I make soup for the parents of new babies
and bodies that are tired and grieving
Bodies that are growing
Bodies that are strong
I make soup for my own lonely heart
and the lonely hearts peppered here and away

There’s been a lot of soup this winter
and pretending that candles are wood stoves
There’s been a lot

“there were also many miracles then.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday January 7, 2019
7:02pm
5 minutes
The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoevsky

There were more miracles then. That probably dates me… I know there are still miracles, but it seems like there used to be more. Maybe it’s because the sky was bigger. There weren’t so many big buildings blocking the blue. There were more miracles, like, when I was a little girl. Big ones and small ones. Acts of grace and God, acts of kindness, surprising twists and all the rest. With the buildings came less birds because the birds fly into the buildings, the buildings are in their flight path. No one thought about the birds when they built those buildings. That’s why I told your grandfather that we had to move North. We had to get away from those buildings.

“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.

“The horse flung his head up” by Sasha at her desk

Friday January 4, 2019
8:12am
5 minutes
The Pearl
John Steinbeck

The whippoorwill flies at night, sings in the morning, nests in the afternoon. Like you did, when days were shorter and nights were longer. Like you did when 10 pm was early. The whippoorwill’s song is a memory of August days in the hammock on the porch, reading books, sending shivers into the corner of your imagination, chasing worlds that might be possible one day. The whippoorwill was believed to be a bird of witchcraft. Yes please, you say, yes please.

“I can be courageous enough to feel” by Sasha on the 9

Tuesday January 1, 2019
1:23pm
5 minutes
Comfortable With Uncertainty
Pema Chödrön

She didn’t want to go. It was freezing old outside and the thought of putting on all those layers only to take them off when she got there was almost too much to handle. She thinks about her therapist saying that sometimes self care looks like staying in, having a bath, reading a book, and sometimes self care looks like getting out, being with people, having a slice of cake. Liam had said that it would mean a lot to him if she came, this being his first gig back with the band after surgery. She didn’t want to go. Sometimes being a good friend means showing up. She knows this. She knows.

“Till the only word your mouth remembers” by Sasha in Mississauga

Sunday December 23, 2018
11:51am
5 minutes
Milk and Honey
Rupi Kaur

Kiss me until the only word your mouth knows is
mine beloved make true. Love me until we are divine
light swirling towards eternity
time no longer a barrier time now
a surrender a hope. Remember when we used to know
each other less fully. That’s funny to think about.

Morning fades to afternoon and I
clench my jaw sprawled on the floor
of your childhood bedroom the kid wallpaper
still there the art you made
before I knew you from anyone.

My nostalgia makes me drunk
in a way vodka never did in a way
chocolate never does in a way that only
these darkest days turning lighter do
here and here hand and heart
and belly swelling snow.

“Whose language would he speak?” By Sasha at Ideal Coffee

Friday December 21, 2018
1:35pm
5 minutes
Siddhartha
Herman Hesse

You’re learning Spanish
You fell in love with the
language on our honeymoon
and now you’re teaching

yourself by an app
usually at the end of the day
in our bed you repeat

Lo siento
Pequeño
Gato

You’re good with languages
in a way I’m not and I think
about how you’ll help our
daughter with her French homework

I’ll look over and remember
counting to twenty
conjugations
shame
quizzes

I was good at a lot of things
but this wasn’t one of them

“She shook her head helplessly.” By Sasha in the Kiva

Thursday December 20, 2018
12:31pm
5 minutes
Solaris
Stanislaw Lem

She shook her head helplessly becuase she couldn’t figure out how to get her words in order, how to get a word in, what to do with words. Her mother knew words better than anyone, or so she thought, better than her own face. Her mother knew how to shape words into cinnamon buns, into machetes, into room sized pillows. Sat around the table with the family, her family, that’s a word she knows. Bev sticks her tongue out at Larry and he gets up and grabs her cheeks.

“face/integrate/deal with.” By Sasha at her coffee table

Sunday December 16, 2018
10:50pm
5 minutes
From a text

Face the reality that despite all the books read and classes attended and the very best of intentions (the very very very very very best), you will make so many mistakes and not know what you’re doing and be the person you want to be mostly and the person you don’t want to be sometimes and that’s all okay. Get really good at saying, “Whoops!” and letting shit go. Start practising that now. “Whoops!”

Integrate the knowledge that life will never be the same, that this is the biggest change possible, and that change is sometimes hard for you. It’s miraculous and mundane It’s good. This is good. It will be good.

Deal with the finger-waving ghosts in your heart, in your closet, in your suitcase, in your vegetable crisper. You won’t have the same kind of space to meet them and greet them and face them come Spring.

“Super-trendy” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday, December 15, 2019
7:13am
5 minutes
From the Gift Guide in Toronto Life

Looks good in a blazer
Looks good in a tie
Looks good in a swimsuit
Knows what to buy

Wears high end lipstick
Has an expensive coat
Owns lots of runners
but doesn’t gloat

Doesn’t drink coffee
Only drinks green tea
Smiles so shyly
The person that you want to be

Looks good in a dress
Looks good in jeans
Looks in in PJs
Whatever that means

“we are hanging out” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday, December 14, 2018
9:02am
5 minutes
From a text

The last time we hung out it was summer
it was raining it feels like a long time ago

Time is a snake slithering quick then slow
winding around the belly of the truth

You were wearing that denim shirt from forever ago
I had just cut my hair and it hadn’t
settled in yet

You had stopped smoking and I had started reading
Dostoevsky only took me three years to finish
Crime and Punishment

You were less pretension then especially in the glow
of the sputtering streetlight I was trying to
learn the tune of your wanting

I only think about you sometimes not always
don’t flatter yourself

I only think about you when I smell orange or
see two crows sitting side-by-side on a branch

“Better than a landfill.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday December 13, 2018
12:35pm
5 minutes
Dust
Brianne Battye

“You’re a mess, Robbie,” Val shivers and zips her coat up past her chin.

“Jesus, it must be minus twenty-five – ” Rob looks up at the sky.

“Don’t ignore me!”

“I’m not, I’m just sayin’…” They stand there for a full minute, Val stamping her feet to get feeling back in her toes.

“I am a mess, but it’s okay… Like, I don’t usually let my life get messy, right? When have you ever seen me like this?” He makes a good point.

Val’s cheeks are turning bright red. “I just think that you should talk to someone, a counselor or something. You might even be able to find something subsidized?”

“Thanks. Yeah. I’ll look into it.” Rob pushes his hands further into his coat pockets. He feels something round.

“somehow you are sacred,” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday December 12, 2018
4:30pm
5 minutes
The Third Treatise
Yara Farran

Mia has started praying to the saints that she get better at baking, some of which are real and some of which are made up. Saint Chelsea looks after newly attempted recipes gone wrong. Cakes the overflow and fold molten rocks on the bottom of the oven, breads that don’t rise, cookies with bases burned to a crisp. Saint Tyrese is the saint of dishes. Caked on crumbs be gone! Solidified caramel – banish! Mia prays and beats egg whites into pearly peaks and wonders if buying this whole in the wall bakery was really a good idea.

“fingers slimy from fries” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday December 11, 2018
8:03am
5 minutes
Nicer
Amanda Proctor

We fall in love over fish and chips, fingers slimy from fries, mayo and ketchup and coleslaw understanding the language of our kisses better than we do. We make love in the kitchen, the oven door a handle of acrobatic inspiration, opening and closing, opening and closing. We walk the long way to the store for avocados, eggs, kimchi, orange juice. We sing in the shower together, soaping each others’ bodies with a tenderness that transcends time. We dream together, for one another, about each other, bodies cocooned in flannel sheets and pillows tossed on the floor.

“buttered side up” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday December 10, 2018
8:35am
5 minutes
For Murphy
Jade Riordan

Toast always falls butter side down
the good stuff with the flaky salt
that you really shouldn’t have bought
but did because you only live once
and it’s been a hard few months

Now you’re licking butter off the linoleum
and feeling sorry for yourself

You’re very good at feeling sorry for yourself
So good in fact that you wonder about listing it
as a special skill on your resume
alongside

Spanish speaker
Ballroom dancing
Susceptible to cold feet

You deserved that butter just as you deserve
to be squatting in the kitchen
robe coming undone
a smile spreading across your face

“No one cares about your cheat day.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday December 6, 2018
7:32am
5 minutes
From a tweet

No one cares if you had a smoothie bowl or a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips but you. That’s a fact. No one cares about your cheat day or how many squats you did, and really no one cares if you’re drinking enough water. No one cares about your mantra or your dreams or what either of them mean. No one cares about your new running shoes. No one cares about your sweatshirt or your matcha or your gluten free bagels.

“a conversation unfolds” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday, December 2, 2018
7:32am
5 minutes
Conversation Across Languages
Derick Mattern

When I call
the conversation between us
unfolds open
reaches break
lily-of-the-valley
Rose-of-Sharon

Oh the grief is heavy
on my tongue
stretching down
to my throat
to my belly
to my feet

Oh this grief meets
the very core and
I hold you over long distance
airways over the Prairies
I hold you like you did me
when most of what I was
was daughter

“three boring facts about yourself” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday, November 29, 2018
8:17am
5 minutes
Two Truths and a Lie
Alicia Elliot

There are so many boring things about us, right? Like, we all inspect the weird ways our body hair grows. Like, we all think about our first love and if they are happy and if they remember when you kissed for hours until your face was chafed. Like, we all laugh at our farts when no one’s around. All these boring little things that add up to be a full version of a person, of all the people. Like, everyone loves carbs. Like, everyone loves love.

“In case you think that all of this” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday, November 25, 2018
8:30am
5 minutes
Come Of Age
Stephen Jenkinson

“This isn’t about you!” Gary shouts. I can hear him through the wall. His office is his favourite place in the world. He loves it in there so much that whenever I forward him a seat sale he writes back, “I’d rather be at home.” Our bedroom is on the other side of the wall, and because I don’t work from home didn’t imagine that I’d need an office. When we bought this house, it was perfect in every way and a space to call only my own wasn’t all that necessary. But now that Gary’s dear old Dad has finally died, and he’s sorting things our with his sister Becky, all I hear in the evenings, while I try to read in bed, is him shouting at her. Shouting that this “isn’t what Dad would’ve wanted!” Shouting “you are so narcissistic, Rebecca, I don’t know how you’ve made it thus far!” Gary isn’t usually a shouter, actually I can maybe count the times he’s yelled at me on one hand.

“Wring or twist” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore

Monday November 19, 2018
10:32am
5 minutes
from a blanket tag

For L.

Three swollen bellies
Three sisters standing
shoulder to shoulder
Babies arriving in
March, April and May

A father
A father to one of them
married to the other two’s mother
Quakes in his body
Fights in his body
Surrender in his body
His spirit soaring
on the tails of grace notes
Crafting harmonies
with all he has
These babies whispering
from beyond
Please stay

Someone will write
this story one day
People will say
“There’s no way”
“Really?”
“How can that be?”
Maybe I will
I will write this
story my story
our story
Maybe I am
right now maybe
that’s what I’m doing
right here

Trying to make sense
of this impossible timing
of this wrecking ball
swinging between
joy and sorrow
excitement and grief

Pregnant with possibility
Dying into possibility

“Party in the house” by Sasha on the couch at Bowmore

Sunday November 18, 2018
9:43am
5 minutes
Overheard at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

When Pawpaw gets home Gramma makes a big party and we even get to have pop! Sprite and Pepsi. Clyde mixes them together and then laughs and some comes out his nose. I try not to pee when I laugh at him with that brown stuff coming out, but I think I do a little bit, but not enough that anyone would know. Pawpaw hasn’t been home in TWENTY SIX years, since right before Daddy was born. Before Daddy went to prison he would take me to visit Pawpaw and we’d even sometimes get touch, like once or twice that really happened.

“atmosphere is occasionally interrupted” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday November 15, 2018
10:53pm
5 minutes
Old Patterns Fresh Beauty
Andrea Marván

Muffins on the counter, cooling. Apple and oatmeal, cinnamon. You made them to soothe yourself. It’s the measuring and the stirring the soothes, not the eating. Not these days. You’ll probably give them away, freeze a few for when your nephew is in town. He likes “muvvins”. The house smells like comfort and sweetness, too. When your phone rings the atmosphere is interrupted. You don’t want to answer. You don’t want your voice to crack. “Don’t hide,” you whisper, and you go to the ringing.

“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.

“a sense of optimism and openness” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 13, 2018
7:48am
5 minutes
A Decade’s Difference
Kaija Pepper

In the fifth floor office staff room
A bar fridge a basket of bananas and clementines
A sign stuck above the sink that reads
Your habits are a reflection of you
Marion forgets to wash her coffee cup
and leaves it in the sink where
Jake finds it and traces
the outline of her lips
with his index finger

At the holiday party last year
Jake told Marion that he loved her
she was wearing a royal blue dress
and holding a Manhattan Jake was wasted
and wasn’t and isn’t
sure if she was too

“I’m sorry I’m sorry” she kept saying
she was still with Keith then
she was still making turkey meatballs
on Sunday and packing them
in glass tupperware containers
for them both for lunch
Keith
Jake thinks
What a douchebag name

“A fresh perspective.” by Sasha at Pallet Coffee Roasters

Monday November 12, 2018
12:46pm at Pallet Coffee Roasters
5 minutes
Montecristo Magazine

Being by the water gives him a fresh perspective, and he learns this young, when he is still a boy. As a young man, he surfed Great Lakes and oceans, and paddled on rivers. Being by the water helps him to forget his heartaches, his growing pains, his regrets. Now that he’s grown, now that Maria has called off the engagement, he decides to leave the city. He can work from home most days, and if he needs to go into the office, it’s a seventy five minute drive. He loves to a cabin overlooking Lake Superior. He has to put in new floors and get rid of a mice infestation, but other than that it’s perfect.

“the decision to buy” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday November 11, 2018
6:23pm
5 minutes
Full Throttle
Stephanie Wallcraft

I give myself one big splurge a week. It can be a steak from Whole Foods or that fancy butcher downtown (I would never tell anyone this, but sometimes totalling $27. $27!) Or, a fancy overpriced sandwich from a fancy overpriced cafe, but come on! They serve their sandwiches on silver plates that look like your grandmother might’ve eaten off of them and yet somehow they miraculously sparkle! It’s probably someone’s job to shine those plates. Good grief. In winter I splurge on beverages – tumeric vanilla lattes and such that come to $7. $7! That’s why I only give myself a splurge a week. Once I’ve had my splurge, I make a note in my calendar exactly one week from that date. That’s when I’m allowed my next one.

“The biggest personality among this trio” by Sasha at her counter

Wednesday November 7, 2018
6:52pm
5 minutes
High Living
Jacqueline Ranit

Becca has the biggest personality of the three of us, I would say. Then comes Miranda and then comes me. I’m the quiet one. I’m not a wallflower, I mean I’ve french kissed a few people and puffed on a couple of joints even, I’m not, like, a nerd or anything. We’re semis. Not popular and not not popular. Semi popular. People in the caf don’t totally ignore us and if Miranda gets a new mini-backpack or something then someone might say something, might give her a compliment and then give Becca a compliment on her gold hoops and then maybe give me a compliment on my haircut. I didn’t get a haircut exactly, but I’ve stopped straightening my hair which means that it does look shorter.

“There is much discussion about the colour” by Sasha in the bath

Monday November 5, 2018
10:06pm
5 minutes
Blushing
Daenna Van Mulligen

River playing in the living room and I’m here
now okay this is the now and then there’s skating
on the dreams of when we wore pink snow suits
and swam in blue blue water turning us into
little women turning us into mermaids
killed and kissed and freedom and water

She’s so busy now being who she needs to be
that sometimes I’m not sure about any of the choices
that I’ve made oh those seven thousand miles between us
stretching into winter and forest and grouse and
oh scaling the chasm of forgetting

Let’s go back there to the place where we
would sing in the backseat of the white Nissan of the
truth and all that floral stationary telling our
secrets telling our futures reading our open
and outstretched palms

“the woman’s anonymous appearance” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 4, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
Beauty Beheld
Sara Harowitz

She shivers from her shoulders down to her thighs
crossed tightly feeling a little tremble forcing its way in
He hasn’t noticed how cold the house had gotten
hot blooded, covered in thick skin built for winter
It was bad enough that her whole body was prone to shaking
but she didn’t know how to fix the heat
Chalk it up to co-dependency
She’d rather that than have you think she is just too afraid
to learn how to do it on her own
He tells her he’ll be home for dinner, remarks something about
chicken thighs
She thinks about walking into the oven chest first
but having it on would at least warm up the kitchen
When he leans in to kiss her, he misses her mouth by an almost inch

“the woman’s anonymous appearance” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday November 4, 2018
8:21am
5 minutes
Beauty Beheld
Sara Harowitz

The woman appears in what she always knew she’d be wearing in this moment, an outfit she’s thought about more than any other thing in her life, though she’s loathed to admit that, she’d never admit that.

Horowitz calls the woman into his office. She’s ready – cheek’s flushed, breath deep, hands shaking only slightly. Horowitz recently died his hair black and the woman isn’t used to it yet. It looks severe, menacing even.

“How are you, Katrina?” Horowitz doesn’t stand up when she enters, even though he should, and he knows it. He takes her in, toes to scalp. The woman bristles. This isn’t going as she’d planned.

“Thanks for meeting with me, Henry. I appreciate your time.” She sits down in one of the red leather chairs opposite his desk. He leans back.

“What’s up?” He pulls a file from the top drawer and files his left thumb nail.

“I have worked here for three and a half years. I have managed every account you’ve given me to the best of my ability, and received only glowing praise from clients. I know it. You know it.” She uncrosses her legs, feels her feet firmly planted on the floor.

“the hell days” by Sasha at Olive & Ruby

Saturday November 3, 2018
12:02pm at Olive & Ruby
5 minutes
Soil, Sun, and Soon
Daenna Van Mulligen

“Mom?” Mimi is braiding Felicity’s long red hair, the doll that Oma made for her when she was just a baby.

“Mmmm?” Mom is looking at her phone.

“Mom?” Mimi holds up Felicity so that Mom can see how good she is at braiding now, how much she’s been practising.

“What Mimi? I’m busy, can’t you see that?” Mom rolls her eyes, but unfortunately they don’t make it down to Felicity’s level.

“Never mind.” Mimi goes into the living room where Dad is reading the newspaper.

“Dad?”

“Mmhmm?”

“Look at Felicity’s beaaaautiful hair!” She punches the doll through the newspaper, and her father gasps.

“Monika?! Could you please come and deal with your daughter?!” Dad shouts very loud.

“the hell days” by Julia on the 99

Saturday November 3, 2018
9:52am
5 minutes
Soil, Sun, and Soon
Daenna Van Mulligen

I thought daylight savings was yesterday. I was worried I missed out on that one feeling a year you get when you realize you had an extra hour of sleep. When I woke up I still felt tired. These are the hell days. When 7am looks like 4am and there seems to be no real good reason to leave the bed. Except for all the reasons that catch up before noon. The ones you should have written down the night before. The ones you should have already internalized.
Some of this grey has seeped into my good intentions. It’s like a drop of water landing perfectly in the dry speaker of your phone. Everything sounds blurry. You want to throw the whole thing away and start over. But the hell days don’t let you start over. They make you travel to the bottom of the bottom to show you just how deep this sadness lives. They want you to look it in the face and apologize or something. For what, I’m still not sure. It wants you to see what you’re getting good at avoiding.

“never stop bringing hope to humanity” by Sasha on her couch

Friday November 2, 2018
7:22am
5 minutes
More Than Cooking
Marla Cimini

Light a candle
on the alter, where you
are, where we are,
Animal forms and a few
green things and rocks
from the woods.
Pray to the highest
cosmic force, pray
to love.

It’s always
something, isn’t it?
It’s then quake of the
heart in the face
of a call to arms.
It’s the gentle calling
towards softness towards
release towards relax
towards slow.

Morning brings
something new
now, an anointment of honey
on the third eye,
ash on the lips, a mantra
of let go
let go let
go let go.

“she continued to cook into the early evening” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday October 31, 2018
5:26pm
5 minutes
A quote from Pasquale Cusano

The evening comes earlier and earlier
You aren’t sure if you like that darkness
Especially since the dusk highlights
The lonely and the lonely highlights
The loss

The evening comes earlier and earlier
And the hands of winter tickle your
Back as you watch the crows fly west
As you think about the seasons
And the sunset and how long it’s been
Since you called your sister

The kettle boils and everything
Is a little bit better with a cup
Of peppermint tea
A big spoonful of honey
You decide not to turn on the TV
You’re tired of the sound of
All of the voices

The evening comes earlier and earlier
This season so close to the time change
So close to losing an hour
How does that work?

“The year was 1969” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday October 29, 2018
8:17am
5 minutes
Suite Dreams
Eve Thomas

Woodstock. The Vietnam War. The Manson murders. The year is 1969. Come Together and Honky Tonk Woman top the charts. A year that defines a generation. My brother Arthur is drafted to go to Nam and flees to Canada. He ends up in Winnipeg and falls in love with a man named Bob. Arthur and Bob fly me in for Canadian Thanksgiving. They make the most elaborate meal I’ve ever eaten. We listen to The Temptations and smoke dope and dance around their living room. Arthur cries when I leave. He says,

“You’re my lil’ penguin and I don’t like being so far away from you.” I know what he means. We saved each other’s lives throughout our childhoods and not being geographically close anymore wears on me in a quiet and dangerous way.

“a ghost town at night” by Sasha on her couch

Friday October 26, 2018
10:03pm
5 minutes
California’s Big Comeback
Degen Pener

Hi Felix. This place is a ghost town at night and I hate that. I miss the city and being able to get street meat or Ethiopian food at any hour of the day. The one restaurant here closes at nine most nights and whenever I’ve tried to (craving fries, the one thing I passionately love that I truly do not know how to make at home) there was a handwritten sign in curly cursive on the front door that said, “Mickey’s having a baby! Back in a few days.” When will you come visit me here? Some nights it’s so quiet that I think I’m crazy. Some nights I imagine the sound of traffic, the bus.

“The sunset was worth it” by Sasha in her bed

Thursday October 25, 2018
10:35pm
5 minutes
From a Roots ad

Now that my hair is finally long enough to braid I feel very sophisticated. A braid down one side, or straight down the back, says class and glamour and “I’m together, but not too together.” I wear a ironed white button-down, slightly oversized, slim fitting dark blue jeans and black loafers. I braid my hair, obviously. It’s my first day and you can never get a first day back. I think it was my second grade teacher, Mr. Glen, that taught us that. He was right. It’s true. A first is a first, and there’s no making it a second or a third. New jobs used to terrify me, but now that I’ve had a whole lot of them, I’m more calm. Not “calm”, but more calm.

“the function and aesthetic of the neighbourhood” by Sasha at Pallet

Sunday October 21, 2018
11:02am at Pallet Coffee
5 minutes
Room For Passion
Fairmont Pacific Rim

I walk here in the quiet holding of Sunday morning
on the phone long distance with a beauty who can
meet all the gullies of truth and cackle at the ways
life laughs and leaks and loads and laughs.

This new neighbourhood place where I’ll bring you,
where we’ll get to know each other. It’s easy to assume
that we know each other now, with your heart
beating in my body, the truest possible knowing perhaps.
One body inside another. What kind of madness is it?

I imagine your pinky toes and little delicious fingers
and how you’ll be in on our inside jokes. I imagine
reading you all the stories that saved me and gave me
hope for what can be possible. I imagine all the hundreds
of meals I’ll make you. I imagine how you’ll need me in
a way I have not yet ever been needed. That’s such a
beautiful and terrifying in a way that
doubles the beauty thing.

“in contact with eyes” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday October 17, 2018
6:50pm
5 minutes
From the soap dispenser

It smells like burning

and Damon is running around
like a demon or a chicken or something
I’m on the back porch hanging
the laundry on the line
The black flies are out
I’m trying to do it quickly

“Damon! Come help!” I call
but he’s off in the plum trees
or bringing the pigs the scraps
from lunch or chasing bunnies
behind the shrubs

It smells like burning but
I don’t see smoke on the horizon
so maybe I’ll ask Jim about it
when he gets home

We haven’t had sex in over a month
me and Jim because he’s still
recovering from that fall off the ladder
I’m going strange and wild
and he’s going quiet and moody

Damon comes running towards me
and I throw a pillowcase on him
and suddenly he’s a ghost

“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.

“My friend Joe” by Sasha in a bunk at Camp Fircom

Saturday October 6, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
His Hands
Mary Jane Nealon

I used to have a friend name Joe.
Then things went really fucking wild and I can’t exactly say that we’re friends anymore.
See in my world, when you’re going to do something radical, or you do something radical, if it impacts someone else, someone you care about, someone who is your f-r-i-e-n-d, then you give ’em a heads up.
Shoot them a text even.
Doesn’t have to be something scary like a phone call or a face-to-face.
A text.
Is not.
Hard to send.
So it makes me think about how this guy, this Joe, is not made of the stuff I thought he was.
Maybe none of us are.
Or we learn as we go.
As we fail.
As we fuck up, fuck people over, choose what matters.
I’ve had almost a year to reflect on how I could’ve done things different.
There are so many things I could’ve done differently then.
Now though? Now I think about my old friend Joe and I wonder what would happen if we ran into each other on the street.
What would Joe say?

“didn’t resemble each other” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday October 1, 2018
7:01am
5 minutes
Boy
J. Mays

We didn’t resemble one another when we left, but when we got back everybody kept saying we looked like sisters. We spent a total of four hours apart over the course of these seven weeks, which is truly not a lot of time. Travelling with someone allows you to know them in a way that every other act does not. What happens when it’s raining and you don’t have an umbrella and you don’t even have shoes on, just leather flip flops? What happens when you’re more tired than you’ve ever been, and you finally understand what real fatigue is, not the kind of fatigue one gets from all-nighters and hangovers, but from responsibility and having to navigate the winding streets of Jerusalem?

“My mother told us” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday September 30, 2018
4:43pm
5 minutes
Waiting For My Rape
Jessica Anya Blau

My mother told us the prognosis
over the phone as we lay in our bed
your hand on my belly
my hand on your heart

The rain came today and it feels
right a cleansing a weeping
a shedding and you’re cleaning
the house of all the summer sand

My mother astounds me every day
with her willingness to feel the truth
with her ability to meet the mystery
with her strength in the breaking

It’s good to have stillness
amidst the flurry the fury
the unfurling the fraying
It’s good to have a Sunday like this

Jolie eats an apple on FaceTime
and we laugh at the determination
the squeals the sweetness
the surrender

“what day she was born,” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday September 29, 2018
6:01pm
5 minutes
The World’s Oldest Person
Elizabeth Onusko

when mama forgets the day that daisy was born everyone knows that’s it. probably any day now. uncle bert hid the vodka, the whiskey and the gin. mama was drinking everything in sight, and that makes her worse, that makes things worse for everyone. chloe sings to her, “rock-a-by-baby” and all the songs mama used to sing to us when we had nightmares. daisy, poor thing it’s her birthday, makes a sponge cake with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. we bring mama a slice in bed and she chokes and coughs but says that it’s delicious. she’s right. it is. “good job, daisy,” chloe says and I play with her hair the way she likes.

“the serpent coiled around the pillar” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday September 25, 2018
6:21pm
5 minutes
Come of Age
Stephen Jenkinson

I have been plagued with loving you
the serpent coiled around the pillar
What is this ache for more and more
The moon knows the difference
The moon knows when enough is enough

I’m empty now that I’m full
the house is quiet and the tea is drunk
Lhasa on the stereo telling me that
life is short
Don’t I know it

There’s nothing left for me to burn
my fingers are matchsticks
my love is the wick at the stump
I’ll dance with my hands
while whispering a lullaby

Singing along in Spanish
a language I wish I knew

“They must have math class” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday September 19, 2018
7:48am
5 minutes
Wakaranai
Hanako Masutani

“Math class give me the sweats!” Ramona shouts from the top of the stairs.

“This homework isn’t going to do itself!” Pho stands in the kitchen, almost raising her voice. “What will your Mom say when she gets home?” Pho listens. She waits. She hears the door slam upstairs, and then slow, heavy footsteps across the hall. At a snail’s pace, Ramona descends.

“I hate integers…” Ramona plops into a stool at the kitchen island, her knapsack beside her filled with books. Pho loads the dishwasher.

“I know, sweetie, try your best.”

Ramona takes out her textbook and her spiral bound notebook. She sharpens a pencil.

“The longer you procrastinate, the later it’s going to be and then you’ll be more tired and your brain will – ”

“I’m DOING IT!” Ramona huffs her way through the first few practise problems.

“after every sick joke” by Sasha on her couch

Monday September 17, 2018
8:22pm
5 minutes
July, ’77
Jill Mandrake

Am I boring you?
I know we don’t edit these
but I just wrote
“borning” and had
to go back and erase
the “n”
Maybe I’m doing
that too

“N” is a letter
that I love
The cello is an
instrument that
I love
Fall is a season
that I love

Some days all we
can do is make
a short list of
the things
that we love

“people are still listing reasons” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie

Saturday September 15, 2018
4:55pm
5 minutes
Collaboration: Visual/Written Poetry
Sarah Leavitt & Jen Currin

Keith Jarret on the record player. The Masquerade Is Over. You stir risotto over the stove, your glasses fogging up. You add white wine, and then swig from the bottle. Here we are. The temperature is dropping outside and people we thought we loved are turning out to be those who we never imagined. Or did we? And people we definitely loved are sick, and we are gathering around them with baskets of fresh veggies from the market and tear-stained cheeks. There aren’t words. There’s Keith Jarret. There’s a table settling for two.

“still dangerous,” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday September 13, 2018
6:39pm
5 minutes
Soft
Sarah Pinder

Soon we will be spread out
different places
you here and her there and
me where we used to leave
the three of us

Different countries
Different worlds maybe
Or that’s my fear talking
She sounds like you
sometimes

I want to tell you everything
but I can’t
and that’s a first
kind of
and that’s strange
kind of

Curled up in my bed
watching the clouds
listening to jazz on the radio
dancing with my hands
until I fall asleep

My heart breaks for
who we used to be
The women on the corner
head’s thrown back
laughing

“a few drops of peppermint oil.” By Sasha in the bath

Tuesday September 11, 2018
8:22pm
5 minutes
The Incense of Those Rooms
Jen Currin

We’re going to build a small house behind the house that I grew up in. A garden, five trees, a bird bath will separate the past from the present. Now it’s just drawings, and hoping, and scrounging, and working through feeling like hell. Now is making it happen for then. For them. For us, three years from now. It’s strange, isn’t it. How autumn brings nostalgia, heavy and ripe. We’re going to build something together, maybe a house, maybe several homes scattered across the coasts. East and West, sun and moon. God laughs at our plans. I hear it in my belly like butterfly wings, touching pinkies with you.

“like slivered almonds in the bulk section,” by Sasha in her bed

Monday September 10, 2018
10:31pm
5 minutes
Parsley
Listen Chen

Someone who’s just as lonely as all of us. A change of heart.
A sliver of a dream from a decade ago, a sliver of a hope that got washed out, a sliver of all the “no’s”; all mixed in together like almonds for baking in the bulk section at the grocery store. This is the way it goes, I guess.
Thirty two years doing this life, and I still don’t know
much beyond what I do. I imagine your body turning into a million tiny shards
of light – fireflies – and ascending up up up up up.

“books about people living on the street” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday September 8, 2018
7:12am
5 minutes
Searching, results
Shawn Syms

In a good bookstore (I think you know what that means) I wish I was a better writer I wish I was a better reader I wish I was a better person. Books make me want to do better in every inch keep things clean keep things open keep things real. I admire how my Dad reads. I wish I read like my Dad. I wish I spent way less time with a screen and way more time in pages and pages and pages and words are the way of the future they are how we become who we are how the future breathes life into the present.

“I’ll quit smoking when God admits he fucked up.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 30, 2018
7:21am
5 minutes
Nigh
Chris Emslie
Fewer gifts and more
honest conversation
okayyyyy the sound
of your voice is a
lullaby a butterfly
kiss a warm wish
Less comparing
because that’s
capitalism talking
that’s the fear that
stuff makes us
enough but really
what makes us
enough
the laughlines
and the pit in
your chest that’s
filled slowly
through music
and a conversation
with an old friend
Who cares about
where we’re going
if the present is
full my heart is
bursting wide
begging the season
to change to mark
this bigness inside

“I’m old enough to be that girl’s mother,” by Sasha in her bed

Friday August 24, 2018
10:14pm
5 minutes
My Mother’s Body
Marie Howe

When I’m on the bus
or downtown
I see these packs
of wolf-girls
and I think

“I could be your mother, howler”

There’s a power
in that I didn’t
know to be true
until I got a disdainful
look until I was
standing in front
of the classroom
asking them to write
poems and a few of
these wolf-girls
look at me like
I’m old
I’m gross
I’m uncool
HA!

Jokes on them
but it does feel strange
because I used to be
one of them
judging less overtly
though

I used to be one of them
and now I’m old enough
to be that girl’s mother

“the thin woods and across the highway” by Sasha at the Airbnb in Mount Pleasant

Sunday August 19, 2018
10:56am
5 minutes
November 1968
Brian Doyle

She climbs and climbs
like she never knew she could
the thin woods reaching
towards sun
towards starlight
towards eagle feather

She reaches a highway
and wishes it was a
river she was crossing

Eagle swoops down
lifts her up
carries her across

She shares water and
bread as a thank you
and the bird leaves
a feather in exchange
for her smile
for her goodness
for her trust that
inter-species friendships
are not reserved for the
domesticated
it’s only that too often
human beings
are afraid

“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

“play the role of devoted son.” By Sasha in her bed

Saturday August 11, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
Tincture Of Mother
Alan Craig

You groomed me to be your little sidekick. Until I was thirteen or so, I liked it. I ate it up like a peanut butter sandwich. The role of devoted son was the best one I played. I could’ve earned a medal, or a Golden Globe, or at least some kind of pin/ribbon. God knows I didn’t have enough coordination for the school musical, and I wasn’t fast enough for softball. But being your boy? I had that down pat. You taught me exactly how you wanted to be treated – always “Maman”, never “Mom” or “Mother” or “Mummy”; a gin and tonic with a slice of lime and five ice cubes in your hand at 4pm; “I love you,” and kisses on both cheeks before getting on the bus. When Papa left you sat me down (drink in hand), in the parlour. We only ever sat in the parlour when we had guests over, important guests, colleagues of Papa’s or the Westford’s from the across the street who you always wanted to impress. You said, “You’re my man now, Francois.”

“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.