“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.

“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.”

“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.

“$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

“Kensington Prairie Farm” by Julia at the desk

Friday July 27, 2018
9:45pm
5 minutes
www.kpfarm.com

Don’t talk to me about alpacas.
I’m not interested in giving those assholes any more attention than they deserve.
You come at me and running your mouth about alpacas?
I swear to the holy ghost that knows you that those will be your goddamn last words.
I don’t have anything weird about alpacas. I don’t have anything weird about alpacas.
I think their wool feels gross.
I think their faces are stupid.
I don’t have anything weird about alpacas.
Okay so my first boyfriend used to be obsessed with them.
He’d talk about them.
He’d ask me to go to the fucking farm to see them with him.
Now that is having something weird about alpacas.
Get a dog, you know what I mean?
Like go smile at a goat or whatever.
Why was he obsessed with them?
Don’t ask me why!
If I knew why, I probably wouldn’t have anything weird about alpacas.

“Kensington Prairie Farm” by Sasha at work

Friday July 27, 2018
5:40pm
5 minutes
www.kpfarm.com

She types on a tickity tickity keyboard
in a square office
in a tall building
on a busy street

The sun shines in through her window
lucky she has one
she tells herself

She wonders about dirt under her fingernails
what that might feel like
she chews a hangnail
and thinks about planting seeds

Literally
she remembers how peas grow
clinging to anything they can
holding eachother up
growing tall

Her garden on the balcony
of her apartment
gets so thirsty she can’t keep up

At the farmer’s market
she touches peaches and plums
radishes and chantrelles
like her children
like her beauties
like her friends

“a couple in a living room” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday July 26, 2018
7:08pm
5 minutes
From audition sides

A couple

A friend
A dog

A friend
A friend

A child
A father

A woman
A woman

A woman
A child

A non-binary person
A man

A man
A woman

A man
A man

A couple

Sit on a
sofa

It’s purple
It’s red
It’s speckled
It’s dirty
It’s covered in cat hair
It’s covered in plastic
It’s new
It’s old

This sofa

A cherry sized
space between
them

They look

She
They
He
They

They look

at the clouds

“I want to walk with you on cloudy day” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday July 25, 2018
11:03pm
5 minutes
Come Away With Me
Norah Jones

I’m not sure about this peanut butter sandwich
or the pink kissing the clouds french and open mouth
this taste of clumsy fat of oil fake of ok ok I’ll surrender

All the hours wasted honey it’s ok it’s ok

Lie down so the breath can go low so the stomach can relax
all tight in pants all day all sat all day all held all day
cradle the baby that is you in these loving arms in these
knowing arms stroke the baby that is you and tell her

it’s ok
it’s alright
it’s ok

There’s a lot of rules that are implied about womanhood
and I like how we’re poking them in the belly button

like is this

“The sun has risen but gives off no warmth.” By Sasha on her balcony

Tuesday July 24, 2018
7:00am
5 minutes
Waiting for the Barbarians
J.M. Coetzee

Marsha wonders why it seems like ever since she broke up with Jeremy she’s valued less by society. She remembers this feeling. When she was in her early twenties she gained thirty pounds and suddenly felt invisible. She’d never been thin, but she’d been average enough to be considered conventionally attractive. Even writing that makes me feel gross. What does that even mean? Anyway, back to the story. Marsha wonders why it seems like ever since she broke up with Jeremy (it was amicable, but she instigated, he was sad and called a lot in the weeks following, but now he’s stopped and she’s convinced he’s probably banging his neighbour who he always secretly lusted after)… that she’s valued less by society. “Oh you’re single?” She hears the judgement, she feels the hairs on her arms raise.

“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.”

“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!”

“Ordinary men and women” by Sasha at her desk

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

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

Huff and puff and blow the house down

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

Huff and puff and blow the house down

“the scales of justice” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday October 2, 2016
12:16pm
5 minutes
chaninicholas.com

Justice beats me at badminton
and rubs sunscreen on the bridge of my nose.
Justice puts butter on toast thick like
peanut butter puts ice in a glass high
like a tower.
Justice doesn’t have a clock or a phone or
a laptop only three ring Hilroy notebooks and
mechanical pencils. What more do you need?
Justice likes it spicy
likes it salty
likes it sweet.
Punch to the mouth
Justice says
.

“the jeans have not been washed yet” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday July 20, 2016 at Starbucks
7:16am
5 minutes
Grasshopper Jungle
Andrew Smith


I invited Elliot back to my apartment after drinks because he tied a cherry stem in a knot with his tongue and I wanted to see if he was a one trick pony or if his tongue could tie other things into knots…
When we got back to my place I told him to make himself comfortable while I poured us some scotch. But then I remembered he was wearing dark denim, and I had to rush out to see if he had plopped his Abercrombie & Fitch ass down on my new white couch. He had. I tried to act cool, but I could practically see his jeans forming a navy puddle underneath him. Was he sweating or something? Didn’t he know you have to wash new jeans before you wear them? Didn’t he think, oh I might ruin this sweet Norwegian couch?

“I don’t have anything else…” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday July 14, 2016
5 minutes
overheard at The Tenant

I wish you’d stop staring at my cousin at our family dinner. You think you’re doing a good job of hiding it, but you’re wrong. I know she doesn’t interest you or stimulate you mentally, but I also know that she is exactly the type you go for when you’re thinking outside my box. She’s objectively better looking than I am even though her features are offensively small. When I picture her and her tiny eyes and gummy smile, I think sometimes that she might just be a bear with bangs. Except really pretty.

“#BESTOFVAN” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday July 13, 2016 at Starbucks
6:55am
5 minutes
from a sign on a newspaper box

A couple of us decided we were going to sneak into the Kits pool and I was trying to work up my nerve. Casey and Alison had their trust funds to use if they got caught, but what did I have? Two pennies and a stick? A lighter filled with pocket lint? I told them I was having second thoughts and they both stood there on the sidewalk howling at the sky, trying to get me to cave. I can’t do this you guys, I said, I’m not lucky enough to pull this off. Alison rolled her eyes back in her skull. You think I have a golden horseshoe up my ass or something? I don’t know, I told her, I’m sure you could buy one if you needed to. Casey grabbed my shoulders and stared me straight in the eye. We don’t want to do this without you, she said, but we will if you’re not okay with it. But know this, you will be missing out. I felt like I was being bullied into a licking a frozen lamp post in the dead of winter.

“everything I possibly can” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday July 12, 2016 at Starbucks
6:28am
5 minutes
from a text

I sit on the edge of my nothingness like it’s a cloud and I’m in love with it. I am cotton candy insides and I’m melting away leaving a trail of rainbow guts and tie-dyed blood. There is nothing wrong with my nothingness and for the first time in all the time there ever has been, it is peaceful instead of not. Acceptance of nothingness is a road with bumps and potholes and with poor lighting sometimes but usually free of other travelers because it’s a long one and there is enough room for everybody. There is a space now between yesterday’s pain and tomorrow’s worry and it’s all here all now- all everything I’ve been avoiding- because feelings are attached to beliefs and those things get stuck pretty hard as a system that limits me if I let it. I dangle my feet off the edge of nothingness now like it’s a dream and I’m no longer trying to catch it. No flash photography here to capture it, just smiling into the places that can be so easily filled with words words words.

“spread the word” by Julia at Starbucks


Monday July 11, 2016 at Starbucks
7:01am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

There are crazy people everywhere. Waiting to get on a bus, complaining about a dirty table, screaming about the bugs in their hair. Some days I am this way. I can see myself reacting, overreacting to things and I don’t recognize my face. It’s like some crazy person has hijacked my body to do all their crazy things. I know it’s me, but it feels like a movie or video game. My therapist says I can’t be held responsible for things I do or how I behave outside my “window of tolerance”. She says that trauma can lead to the window being broken wide open and that’s how things become blurry; hard to control; hard to keep rational. I told her, I don’t know how I could do it, I never wanted to do it, and she said, well it’s that “window of tolerance” thing we talked about and would you like to go back in time and speak to your six year old self right now?

“okay okay okay” by Julia on the reading chair


Sunday, July 10, 2016
1:57pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the street

It’s the eleventh time (maybe the twelfth) that he’s told me he loves me today and it’s not even noon yet. I think he’s covering up for something. Overcompensating like he does sometimes when he becomes afraid of me. I catch a glimpse of myself being hugged in the mirror, (bent low) by his unavoidable embrace. I say, okay okay okay and he lifts me up, hurt on the inside, and in his eyes. You don’t want me to love you? I catch reflection again and there is hurt on me too. I do, I say, just not parallel to the floor like that, not crumpled up in a ball that makes my back ache. Sorry, he says, I didn’t mean to hurt you. Okay okay okay, I say, I know, no one ever means to. I give myself a time out so I can be far away from him and his love that doesn’t know how to feel rejection. I don’t want to be the thing that twists his insides when he’s happy and makes him drift off to sleep dreaming about my funeral. I tell myself, in exactly five minutes (maybe six), I will go back over there and squeeze him with the honest love I’ve been keeping from him.

“where the water is still” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday July 7, 2016 at Starbucks
6:59am
5 minutes
Cranes and Egrets
Marlene Cookshaw


I will meet you there at our favourite spot
the one where we feel like we’re in our own little world
early in the morning before the rest of the ones who need the sun
even see it
where the water is still
where the sail boats line up so perfectly
camping on the ocean
When you need to remember why we chose each other
when you need to feel big in your smallness
I will
I will always.
I will meet you there
at our favourite spot
where the moments feel full
and little ducks rest on rocks
the one where we’re one
with each other
and with the sky

“behind your kiss” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday July 6, 2016 at Starbucks
7:05am
5 minutes
When I touch you; Peter Ilyanov
Diana Brebner


Behind your kiss I can feel
the thing you’re trying desperately
not to ask me.
Did you do it?
Would you do it?
Do you still love me?
Am I enough for you now
that you’re bigger
than you used to be?
Don’t ask don’t tell;
maybe something I taught you,
maybe something you taught me.
But your lips leak your secret,
parting the seas
every open close pucker and smack.
Each breath
you take
parts the seas for the truth
to spill
out
into
my
mouth,
drowning me,
or begging me to swim.
I watch you sometimes
from behind my eyes,
searching for meaning
and a reason.
Do I need to answer everything
for you?
Have you never looked
inside yourself
for something you need?
Will you ever be enough
for you?
Your tongue licks and flicks
all the possibilities of honesty
to the roof
of
my
mouth.
Behind your kiss,
there is a flood coming.
Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies;
maybe something you taught me,
maybe something I taught you.

“dies in slow motion” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday July 5, 2016 at Starbucks
7:06am
5 minutes
In Search of Agamemnon
Bruce F. Fairley


Cut to me, 4 years old–MAYBE 5– and all the tiny humans in Mrs. Beliveau’s class have just come back from an assembly. We don’t have enough time to learn anything, not that we really ever did, so Mrs. B. tells us we can play on the structure if we can change as quickly as possible into our gym clothes. I see no one is on the structure and for some reason today I need to be the first one. So I strip down and throw on my shirt and I go running up to Mrs. Beliveau to ask her if I may “board the spaceship” (because we were in kindergarten and that’s what we called it, even though it looked nothing like a spaceship)and she looked down at me and said, “you may, as soon as you have some pants on.” And I looked down and I was standing there in my orange-starred underwear, in front of everyone, made to be aware of shame for the first time in my tiny life. I did whatever Macaulay Culkin got hired for in Home Alone then proceeded to die in slow motion; my face a shade of fire that burned me to death.

“creamed corn with beer” by Julia at Starbucks


Monday July 4, 2016 at Starbucks
6:57am
5 minutes
Visiting my Sisters
Phil Hall


Only had one plan for the entire weekend and that was to roll out of my house and down the hill to the corner store and buy a banana or two and maybe a variety pack of mini travel cereals. Frosted Flakes. Had some nostalgia for times past, for the flavours of my youth. I turned off my phone and I bundled myself up in flannel and wool. I didn’t want to see anyone and I didn’t expect to. Hart had been gone for almost a month. He wrote me a letter saying it would be his last and that I should probably do my best to move on and not take the break-up too personally. Okay, Hart, I thought, I will only take it medium-personally. The teenager working the cash was on her phone and I was not in the mood for kindness anyway so it was fine. Then I heard my name being hollered from behind me. I turned around reluctantly and saw Hart’s oldest daughter, Carmen. She was holding a can of creamed corn and carrying a case of Labatt Blue.

“Use that attitude to your advantage.” by Julia on the SkyTrain


Sunday July 3, 2016
9:16am
5 minutes
Writing Down the Bones
Natalie Goldberg


Maybe Shane didn’t want to see you looking all hot cause then he’d realize he’s an idiot for even letting you go! Delia punctuates every word with her straw. She is on her third margarita and I love her like this.
That’s cute, but I don’t buy it, I tell her. I don’t care anyway why am I even talking about Shane! I throw my hands up to the sky as if god or someone else who lives there might know what the fuck I’ve been doing with my life.
Girl, Delia says, you are working through shit. Don’t ever forget how hard that is. Seriously. She slurps the slushy mess from the bottom of her glass and flags down the cute waiter who’s been avoiding us.
We’ll take two more, sweetness, and can you bring my girl here an umbrella or something? Thank you thank you, you’re beautiful.

“Highway 2” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday July 2, 2016
10:03pm
5 minutes
NOW Magazine

According to the late night clock on the wall ticking Go To Bed we realized we hadn’t slept since the Rainstorm because you couldn’t fall asleep in the quiet and I couldn’t fall asleep without you. I blamed you then for your sadness. I didn’t know that when you said you were the happiest you had ever been you were trying to manifest happiness because you didn’t have any. I wished you’d stop pretending that it was better on the side of the world where you were left alone, unbothered by me. It made me feel like and onion in an apple patch, a melody in the silence. I made you a card with a picture of a heron because of that one day when we owned the beach before sunrise and saw three of them in a line like an omen for good future, or good luck, or good observation skills.

“Children of narcissists” by Julia at her dining table


Friday July 1, 2016
11:24pm
5 minutes
Trapped in the Mirror
Elan Golomb


It’s no secret that she loved him. She did. She used to. She used to love him. He was good to her the way chocolate is good to you: All instant validation and no nutritional Value. I wish I didn’t know him. But I loved her. I do. I love her and she loves him. Loved. Used to. I look at him now and it makes sense: this whole time I thought he was an alcoholic. Turns out he was a narcissist. I loved him more when I thought he was an alcoholic. I remember him coming to put us to bed one night. He looked like Beetlejuice in the dangerous hallway glow.

“The circle, not the line.” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday June 30, 2016 at Starbucks
7:15am
5 minutes
The Axeman
Shaun Cunningham


Kit eats her broccoli, raw, cold, all the tiny floret bits getting stuck in her teeth. It looks like she has braces: one green bit in every single one. She waits for Adam to get off the bus at a bus stop that has frequent buses. Each bus thinks she is waiting to go on and so they wait for her, but Kit just keeps eating her raw broccoli even when it starts to rain and even when she gets yelled at by a driver for wasting his time. Kit is waiting for Adam so she can show him around the city. She sent him a map and a circle around this particular bus stop to ensure that he would find it with utmost ease. Kit pulls out her identical copy of the map and draws in a line (right beside the meet up spot) and jots a note: rude, to avoid in future.

“Hands me a shovel” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday June 29, 2016 at Starbucks
7:33am
5 minutes
Zen Poem
Jane Rohrer


Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Says Whatchu Waiting For?
Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Hands me a shovel and tells me I have to and if I won’t do then I won’t do anything else today, no eating, no running, no laying down, no reading. So I do because I want to do other things but I don’t want to dig. My arms are weak from all the lifting he made me do yesterday. He sits back and watches me work while he chews on a piece of straw and rocks back and forth saying, That’s Nice, and Good, and, Very Good. The last time I tried to run away he sent his dogs. So I don’t threaten to head to the fence anymore. He wants to keep me right where he can see me. I don’t want to dig but his face is sweaty and mean today. I have to. I have to.
Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Says I Like Watching You Drip
Says Thank You
Says I’ll Show You How Thankful I Am

“keep coming back” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday June 28, 2016 at Starbucks
7:31am
5 minutes
buddiesinbadtimes.com

I keep having the same dream–that I’m lying in my bed with my eyes closed, asleep, and in my mind’s eye I see fuchsia orbs coming toward me, flickering in the sky then disintegrating into nothing. I am in that paralyzed, meta state where I recognize that I’m dreaming but I can’t wake up or move or change anything. In this dream I always look past the flickering pink and can make out more colours in the distance. Flames. Outside my window the tall tree, the one that the crows perch in and caw in every morning at exactly 4:43, is on fire. The leaves are burning up and they’re going slow enough to wonder if this too shall pass…
In this dream, I scream to you to call 911 and you tell me it’s not necessary. I tell you it is because I can see it from my position and this fire will consume us if we don’t treat it with respect. You rush into the room and the sky outside is orange and red.
You stare out blankly and whisper to me, you were right…

“how she wants to move herself” by Julia at Starbucks


Monday June 27, 2016 at Starbucks
7:04am
5 minutes
Apartment Hunting in the East End
Don Austin


How she wants to move herself is her business! My father exclaims from behind the island in the kitchen as he emphatically chops up the rabbit he’s getting ready for dinner. Why are we all spending so much time worrying about her? His cleaver comes down hard and clean, splitting leg from torso. I don’t know, Honey, I think this is a call for help. Tanya needs us right now and we’re just watching her spiral! My mother remains at her makeshift office in the corner of the dining room that connects to the kitchen. Her glasses are balancing on the tip of her nose. She wants to pay a bunch of strangers to crack her mind open so they can fill it back up with useless garbage!
Rita, my father shakes his head. We don’t need to get involved. She’s a grown woman. We did our job already. I don’t know, I just don’t know, my mother grumbles to herself.

“who’d surprise his roommates” by Sasha at Bump n Grind


Wednesday June 22, 2016 at Bump n Grind Cafe
7:07am
5 minutes
Anthony’s Glass Eye
Billeh Nickerson


He shakes his hair dry and leaves splash marks on the mirror
Forgot his towel in his room and woudn’t dare touch Jim’s
with his hands let alone his sensitive places
Cuts himself shaving and sticks a piece of toilet paper on the open skin
Pink dots on his neck remind him of adolescent acne
Naked and dripping there’s a knock at the door that he
pretends he doesn’t hear
It’s relentless
Smells someone frying bacon
“I’ll be right out!”
He puts on his dirty boxers
damp from the moisture in the room
There was a time when he’d wear the same underwear
days in a row
There was time it didn’t all matter
like it does now

“What’s wrong with my body?” by Sasha at Bump n Grind


Tuesday June 21, 2016 at Bump n Grind Cafe
12:02pm
5 minutes
Lesbian at a Bachelor Party
Amber Dawn


M. hated his body in a way that I understood. I’d been there, for about ten years, but I wasn’t there anymore. I was flirty and free and feeling sexy approximately five and a half days a week. He hid his body in a way that repulsed me. Coming out of the shower, M. would wrap a towel around his whole self. At six five, it was strange seeing such a big man, wrapped up like that, a big burrito. Sometimes his penis would dangle out the bottom, peeking, flacid. The towel couldn’t contain all of him. The sex was good. His body issues didn’t get in the way like mine had for so long. He wasn’t a big talker but once told me that I was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen naked in real life. He sometimes worked editing porn films, so he’d seen a lot of naked women on screen.

“then gave it to his daughter” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 24, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
The Govenlock Hotel
Sharon Butala

He was out in the yard gardening, tending to his beloved cherry tree
Those damn birds…
He propped the ladder up and began to climb, explaining himself each step
Then we pick the ones that are good…
And pops a dark survivor cherry right his mouth
And we keep doing that until they’re all gone…
Or until our arms get tired…
And we wait until the warmer months for the sour ones…
Those ones drive your mother crazy…
He scoops her up little into his chest big, holds her with one strong arm, searching for one perfect cherry with the other.
This is why we come out here…
He presents the cherry like a prize for his little thing to take a bite, deep red squeezing out fast, splattering onto her chin and dripping down her canary t-shirt