“You’ll do pants today.” By Sasha at at the Edmonton airport

Sunday January 21, 2018
6:19pm
5 minutes
Summer, Winter, War
Melinda Moustakis

I know the apartment is a bit of a mess. Dust bunnies in corners, the sink needs scrubbing, the toilet needs cleaning, the bathtub needs vinegar down the sides. I know that I like packing more than unpacking and three flights in one week is too many for me.

I know that the fridge has a few wilted pieces of celery in it, a bruised apple, a shrivelled lemon, a jar of tahini with an inch of oil on top and only a few centimetres of tahini.

I know the sheets are semi-clean, and the plants are thirsty.

“with that thirsty, drink-it-down look” by Sasha at the Canterra Inn and Suites

Saturday January 20, 2018
8:13pm
5 minutes
For you
Tammy Armstrong

I wonder who taught you about forgiveness.
Was it on the school yard?
A pig-tailed know-it-all in-your-face?
Was it your sister?
Did you break her dollhouse door
and try to tape it back to opening and closing?
Did she cry and then say,
“It’s okay. I know it was an accident.”

I wonder who taught you about forgiveness
more now than a month ago. A month
ago I wondered who taught me about
forgiveness. I’m still not sure.

I can’t remember.

I remember

a pivotal moment of
my sister knowing I ate her caramel
and saying
“It’s okay.”

I read about a woman
who goes to visit her husband’s killer
in prison. They are dear friends now.
That is possible.

I remember

This isn’t a dollhouse and it’s not
caramel or murder.

“She’ll use timid hand gestures,” by Sasha on the plane

Friday January 19, 2018
9:02am
5 minutes
Black Roses Bloom
Bill Gaston

She says that her mother won’t return her calls. He says that he’s sorry. She says that it feels like her whole family is dead, when really only her dad is. He doesn’t know what to say so he says ahhhhh. She says that she’s not sure if the year went fast or slow. She says that she’s finally eating again. He says he’s glad. He says that she needs to nourish herself in every way. She smiles. She says that she never could have guessed that this is where she’d be. He says it’s funny how life works. She says that’s one way of putting it.

“it’s the ending that keeps me in my chair.” By Sasha in her bed

Thursday January 18, 2018
11:52pm
5 minutes
Memoir
Sue Goyette

I don’t know why you’re yelling but it must be because you’re afraid I won’t hear you so I just keep breathing deep and imagining that you’re not yelling and that you know that I can hear you very clearly.

Funnily enough it’s harder to actually get what you’re saying when you’re yelling at least for me and maybe that’s because I have very sensitive ears and I don’t like loud music loud talkers loud chewers anything loud really.

Not sure when you’ll stop yelling but it’s certainly not when I ask you it’s certainly not when I ask you I absolutely ask you several times.

So I just leave not in an angry way not in a way that says that I’m not coming back just in the kind of way that says I asked you and you kept going and I said that I couldn’t take it and then you kept going so.

“The woods are filling up with snow.” By Sasha on the plane

Wednesday January 17, 2018
3:43pm
5 minutes
Traveller
James Pollock

the holding on, the letting go,
the woods are filling up with snow.
the table’s set, the baby’s down,
you are wearing a shoestring crown.

the laundry is piled oh so high,
the little boy asks why why why.
soup’s burned the bottom of the pot,
i’ve been crying a lot.

we left the city for more quiet,
our friends smiled and didn’t buy it,
they said you’ll be back when winter comes,
sound the horns and bang the drums.

the holding on, the letting go,
the woods are filling up with snow.
the table’s set, the baby’s down,
you are wearing a shoestring crown.

“the amniotic brine of tears” by Sasha at Lewis St.

Tuesday January 16, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
Memo to a Self
Steven Heighton

“Soak the fish in salty water”, Gramma says, dropping the cut up chunks of cod into the brine. “It should taste like the sea, or tears”. She laughs. She wheezes. She inhales her cigarette. “Add chopped shallots and garlic. Maybe a pinch of cayenne pepper. Put it in the fridge for hours, not a second more or less…” Her eyes twinkle.

“Really? It matters down to the second?” I ask.

“Absolutely!” She says.

I add the shallots, garlic and pepper. We cover the bowl and put it in the fridge.

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

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

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

What if I promised to love you through
this storm?

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

The greatest gift I’ll ever receive
is forgiveness.

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

I thought that it was me

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

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

the giver and the receiver
are one and the same.

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

Here it is.
Right here.

“It never rains but it pours;” by Sasha at Lewis St.

Sunday January 14, 2018
11:35pm
5 minutes
Bluegrass
Rhona McAdam

It’s hot as balls back here and Dylan keeps throwing prawn bits at me. Fuck off, I say, but he doesn’t.

When I first started here I was at the cold station, but now I’m at the fryer.

Chef said we’ve got some VIPs coming in tonight, but none of us ever want to know who.

We did three hundred and nine covers last night which might not sound like a lot but if you saw the size of our dining room, you’d get it.

Turns out the VIPs are a hockey player and his family, some old guy who doesn’t play anymore but is on the Sports Network now. I couldn’t give a fuck about hockey but I know more than to open my mouth in this kitchen. Dylan played AAA before having one too many concussions. He stares at the guy all night, grinding his teeth, flipping steaks on the grill.

“Does it not sound like shouting to them?” By Sasha at the Intercontinental Yorkville

Saturday January 13, 2018
5:46pm
5 minutes
The Sisters Brothers
Patrick DeWitt

Ginny goes to dance class. She takes the streetcar across town, and walks twelve minutes to the studio. She’s glad that she doesn’t have to wear a leotard, but that she does have to wear ballet slippers. She used to dance when she was young, but then her teacher, Natasha, said that she doesn’t contain an “iota of grace” and so she stopped. But it haunted her. Natasha’s British accent and her delivery, not exactly cruel in tone, but direct, icy. Ginny changes into shorts and a baggy tank top. She smiles at Leanne, a sixty-nine year old former pastry chef, who is wiggling into tights.

“I knew that sitting like that would bring me happiness.” By Sasha at the Intercontinental Yorkville

Friday January 12, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
How To Sit
Thich Nhat Hanh

I know that sitting would bring me something new, but I never let myself do it. Maybe it’s because I was taught to move, that moving equals productivity or something? Maybe it’s because when I sit, I feel. When I’m still, I have the space to know what I know, to trust my gut. So, I go from bed to the gym to the office to choir to drinks to bed. Bed to gym to office to yoga to bed. Bed to office to drinks to dinner to dancing to bed. You get the picture. And then, on a Sunday afternoon when my best friends cancels a hike, I sit. I sit. I sit. I close my eyes, just like the book says, and I pay attention to my breath going in and out. In and out.

“I am numb to you.” By Sasha at the Intercontinental Yorkville

Thursday, January 11, 2018
11:11pm
5 minutes
Midwinter
Natalie Crick

I am numb to you and your peevish ignorance. I want to frame every page of the book that I’m reading and hang these portraits of your ineptitude on your wall so you can’t escape facing them. You, in your entitled arrogance, thinking the world owes you something, thinking you can be so insolent, so rude, so belittling. HA! I am stone and you are water. It would take six million years for you to change me. I wanted to stand up and scream. I wanted to kick down the door and throw you out. I wanted to do better. I did. I remained calm. I did not speak to your superior. I did not file a complaint. Maybe you’re new. Maybe it’s your first day. Maybe your cat died.

“if she was obligated to say” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday January 9, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
Pamplemousse
Dominique Bernier-Cormier

Monique makes the bed with hospital corners just the way Nana taught her. She tiptoes down the stairs. Ever since Graham became a teenager he’s been sleeping until the afternoon and he gets very very angry if anyone wakes him up. Dad says that it’s fair game after ten on the weekends, but it’s before seven so she’s got to stay quiet as a mouse. Dad must be out in the barn. She wonders how he slept last night. Sometimes she hears him pacing in his room hours and hours after she’s gone to bed.

“feel free to play around” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday January 8, 2018
7:12am
5 minutes
http://ohsheglows.com/

My daughter and her daughter sit on their
front porch and sing to the shrubs

My daughter and her daughter walk to the river
and throw stones in
see how the current weaves

My daughter and her daughter
peel clementines and eat the sections slow
fussing turns to laughter turns to fussing
turns to laughter turns to nap

My daughter and her daughter sleep in a bed
with lavender tucked in the pillowcases
dream of a time when the world might be better
dream of a future where there’s curiosity and hope

“stories superimposed” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday January 6, 2018
10:05am
Winter Watch
Jennifer Elise Foerster

stories superimposed over photographs
superimposed over memory
superimposed over nostalgia

photographs superimposed over
winter superimposed over
filled notebook pages

memory superimposed over
truth superimposed over
right here and right now

nostalgia superimposed over
eye contact superimposed over
wine stained lips

oh god

real superimposed over true
superimposed over
shopping lists

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

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

Make no mistake
the break the break

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

Make no mistake
the break the break

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“eligible costs” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday January 2, 2018
10:09pm
5 minutes
A letter from Health Insurance BC

How does the internet work? How does yeast work? How do cell phones work? How does electricity work? Who invented peanut butter? How does a virus spread? How does love spread? What is the word for … ? How do mortgage rates get determined? If I have to choose, is it better for the environment to eat local or organic? Why is social media addictive? Once a species of animal is extinct is there any way to bring them back? Where does forgiveness come from? What’s the name of a smell-memory?

“Hitchhiking” by Sasha at her kitchen table

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

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

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

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

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

me

“All tickets sales are final” by Sasha on a bench near the water

Sunday December 31, 2017
1:32pm
5 minutes
From a ticket

You get tired thinking about who you can’t be. You buy a ticket for a cross-country train ride. You’ll write. You’ll sing. You’ll buy bad small town coffee. Really, you’ll spend a lot of time looking out the window. Really, you’ll finally stop dreaming about giving birth. You start reading the books you’ve always wanted to read. You start learning survival skills, karate, rock climbing. You have more space now. You call your brother on Sunday mornings and ask about his daughter. It hurts less and less. You aren’t sure about resolutions. You aren’t sure about numbers. You aren’t sure how long it takes for turkey to go bad in the fridge. You think about how you’ll wait however long it takes. You’ve got time.

“proud of your generation” by Sasha at JJ Bean

Friday December 29, 2018
4:12pm at JJ Bean on Cambie
5 minutes
Hidden Fruit
Madhur Anand

when you wish upon a star
wish you could be proud of your generation
zombies marching towards the end of the world
radical in their distraction tendencies
worshipping dollar bills and black amex and celebrity dieties
seagulls calling some hymn of the moment
or is that a jingle
no one knows the difference anymore
no one knows the difference

when you run through the forest
wish you weren’t so afraid to be alone
maybe it’s cuz we all are
maybe it’s cuz you learned trust and then mistrust
house of cards
huff and you’ll puff and you’ll blow the house down
diseased and itchy and tired and broken
put the deck back together but the joker’s missing
and the queen of hearts
what a love affair
what a love

when you rise out the brainwashing
honey from your ears and dried flowers from your nostrils

“a weak spot” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday December 28, 2018
7:41am
5 minutes
Golden Ray of Chemo
Fawn Parker

D: Do you have to eat like that?
M: Like what?
D: You are chewing very loud.
M: I’m chewing how I chew.
D: PLEASE stop.
M: Why are you –
D: Can I have a beer?
M: No.
D: Please please please please please?
M: No.

D: My camera’s better than yours!
M: When did you become a photography expert?
D: We don’t need duplicates of everything we do!
M: Alright, we’ll use yours.
D: Did you know that you snore?
M: I do not snore.
D: You live alone. Who would tell you?
M: I do?
D: Yes. It’s sweet. It’s like a little bulldog.

She imitates a bulldog snore. They laugh.

M: When you were little you used to pick your nose and eat it.

“the grey of old age” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday December 27, 2017
4:20pm
5 minutes
Oath
Hussain Ahmed

The grey of old age is creeping up your sideburns
and it’s sexier than I imagined it would be

You’ve got wrinkles in your forehead
Laugh lines across your cheeks
Dimples in the small space between joke and laugh

When we promised forever
I didn’t know it would be
like this
When we promised forever
I didn’t know so much would change
I didn’t know so much would stay the same

We’re making more tacos
more love
more dirt under the fingernails
We’re making less fuss
less waste
less fire

“little package” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday December 26, 2017
6:55pm
5 minutes
From an email

“You mentioned in your voicemail that you’ve seen several other counsellors. What has your experience been like with them?”

“I, I… We… It wasn’t a good fit.”

“Why do you imagine that might be?”

“My insurance only covers psychiatrists and psychologists, so – “

“I’m a psychiatrist – “

“I don’t want to go on medication – “

“There’s no shame in supporting your healing with – “

“I DON’T WANT TO GO ON MEDICATION.”

A silence like Don Mills station at 1:15AM.

“Let’s take a step back.”

I nod. “Okay.”

“When you say, “episodes”, what do you mean?”

“Um…” A silence like Thanksgiving with Al and Carly, Dad and Penelope with her stupid sweet potato pie.

“I’ve never been more absorbed in anyone.” By Sasha on her couch

Monday December 25, 2017
3:15pm
5 minutes
Elliot, Adam, Elly and Me
Charlotte Joyce Kidd

Heloise listens through the wall. Dan caught her twice last week so now she has to be much more stealthy.

“I’m going to the gym!” Dan calls, already half out the door, scarf pulled up over his nose.

“Bye, hon!” Heloise shouts back. She runs to the kitchen for a glass. She runs back upstairs and almost wipes out. Must get socks with grips on the bottom, she thinks. It’s not like she runs any other time.

She puts the glass to the wall. She can hear Liam typing. He must be writing again. Good for you, she smiles. Footsteps. He gets up. Maybe watering a plant? Maybe stretching? Writer’s block?

“continues scheming to win” by Sasha at Elysian

Saturday December 23, 2017
3:36pm at Elysian 5th and Burrard
5 minutes
From a Bard on the Beach program

It’s all about winning for you
Being the best of the best of the best
It’s all about competition to you
Whose got the highest score
The best lines
The searing jokes
The this the the this that that

It’s all about rising to you
And that’s easy to glorify
I did I do I did did do
But when I look closer
I see the oozing self consciousness
The fear
The smallness small small tiny smallness

It’s all about anger to you
Not even sure what the difference is anymore
Being or being angry
You dump all over all all over over over
Until it’s all red all best all small all fear

Only in distance can I see it
Up close it’s ha-ha yes yes okay um maybe sure
Up close it’s feel good
Far away it’s oh oh tastes metal tastes burned tastes cheap

It’s always been about winning for you
So hard to give a compliment
So hard to give a something something real something good

“when my father went crazy” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday December 22, 2017
7:12pm
5 minutes
The Monsters Inside
Eric Sherman

We didn’t see it coming. The tantrums. The scabs. The howling. The hiding in closets, under the bed, in the subway station. He was always the breadwinner, the Dad with a capital “D”. He was quiet and stern and warm only on birthdays or Christmas or graduation. My Mum says that when they first started dating, when he was twenty-six and she was twenty-nine, that he said something about struggling with depression, but when she asked more he didn’t want to talk about it. “Let sleeping dogs, lie, hey?” That’s what he said. Mum is in Nurse Mode, meaning, she is calm and smiley on the outside. On the inside? Who knows.

“turns up the heat” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday December 21, 2017
3:24pm
5 minutes
A flyer from The Cultch

My daughter
I just want to take her for

My mother
She just wants to take me for

STEAK

A good steak

The best steak

Rare

The best steak is in

The best steak

The best steak is in

SPAIN

I have been saving for months
Air miles every time I buy gas
Air miles every time I buy cereal

Air miles

She doesn’t think I’m going to say

YES

Who would refuse a trip to fucking Spain?

Hahaha

We haven’t travelled together since I was a kid

We went to Florida every other winter
It was all I could afford

A single Mom

I’ve never been to Europe
I never thought it would be with my Mom but

It’s good

We’ll have that time together

It’s good

“unconscious anger at my mother” by Julia at LoPan

Wednesday December 20, 2017 at LoPan
12:27am
5 minutes
This wounded healer says warp up the loom
Sharon K. Farber

We didn’t speak much after her mother died. I didn’t ask her how she was each day and maybe that’s good.
I always knew how to keep living.
I remember that she never had as much as I gave before. As little. And I resented for a period that she didn’t beg herself better. That she did not shoot a little higher. I see this woman on the moon, and in the moon, and of the moon and of the moon, and she does not want to admit that.
I don’t know which truth tasted sweeter. I would likely have done the same thing in her position. Even I would hope for love in another way.
I am happy in my life thanks to all the sauces she’s talked me through over the phone.
I sometimes wish it could have been her.
I sometimes wish it wasn’t me, or us,or him,just her.
Just her floating through life unattached to the promise of pleasing

“unconscious anger at my mother” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday December 20, 2017
2:09pm
5 minutes
This wounded healer says warp up the loom
Sharon K. Farber

Fiona asks me to go to a therapy appointment with her. I read the magazines so I know that therapy isn’t stigmatized like it used to be. I mean, you practically hear people bragging about their therapist-this and their therapist-that. But why on earth my daughter wants me to go with her? I don’t know. I thought it was a personal, private, solitary thing… Unless you’re going as a couple or something.

“Are you sure you don’t want your father to go instead?” I ask. She smiles her little condescending smile and I want to say, “I changed your nappies! I wiped your ass!” But I don’t. I smile back. I say, “Alright. I’ll come. When is it?”

“It made me feel so much better” by Julia on Rebecca’s couch

Tuesday December 19, 2017
11:21pm
5 minutes
From Not That Kind of Girl
Lena Dunham

I clenched my fist so hard it turned to dust.
(The brick that I was busy holding onto crushing.)
When the small bits caught hold of their wind, they flew.
They flew to the moon and back again,
they built their own closet of
hopeless fear-facing dragons.
They learned how to dance with them
and how to lock the door tight.
How to be so tired.
And they learned how to rest and I learned
to let go and it did not kill me.
It did not know where to strike me first.
A month of release, dominoes,
pouring when it rains.
I let it go and it let go and one of us
said goodbye sweetly
and one us said the words.

“It made me feel so much better” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday December 19, 2017
1:49pm
5 minutes
From Not That Kind of Girl
Lena Dunham

It made me feel so much better to go outside and be in the rain and the peek whisper of sun and to feel the nibble of cold on my cheeks and to be splashed by a car turning and then I was at the water’s edge and that always makes me feel so much better but when I feel good the very very best I cry then too because you know what my heart is the open doorway or frame my heart is the door frame there isn’t even a door there the door was taken a long time ago and sold in an antique store to someone who really needed it who needed that oak protection

“confirm your choice” by Sasha in her bed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And we’re looking for a few more faces” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday December 14, 2017
7:12am
5 minutes
From an e-mail

She knows that he thinks he’s better than her.
But that’s only now. Three years, seven months, and two weeks later.
When he invited her to collaborate, she thought that it was because he respected her work. She thought that perhaps he even thought that she had things to teach him.
But now she knows the truth.
Ego is a word that’s haunted her since middle school.
“You’ve sure got a big ego,” Mr. Spence said when she shared with the class that she had been cast as Young Jane in Jane Eyre at the Rep, the biggest theatre in town.
She’d blushed and made sure never to speak with such exuberance in front of peers again. (Also, fuck you, Mr. Spence.)
“You need more of an ego,” Brenda, her painting instructor had said in her second year of college. “Defend your work! Defend your life!”
(Shit.)
And now, Julian.
“People keep saying that our styles aren’t compatible anymore… I’ve surpassed you in some regards, I guess.”
Who are these people?
Your fuck-buddy Lena?
Your mother?
Your best friend from childhood who wishes that he could be you?
“Sure, okay, sure.” She says.

If you believe it has been lost, stolen or compromised.” By Sasha at her desk

Wednesday December 13, 2017
10:14pm
5 minutes
BC Revenue Services

Bernie isn’t sure which way is up and what, “everything happens for a reason” even means. Kim keeps saying that to him and at first he really tried to understand what it might mean, and how it might help him, but now he just thinks it’s a crock.

It’s been a bad month.

Bernie got fired at the end of November. He’d worked at the same paper mill for twenty three years. It’s closing. It isn’t personal. “Everything happens for a reason”. Kim says that “when one door closes another one opens,” and Bernie agrees but what he thinks should be an immediate follow-up is that who knows where that door is going to lead. It could be a basement with rats and mould.

“The Best And Worst Of” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday December 12, 2017
11:13pm
5 minutes
from uproxx.com

It was the best of times and the worst of times. That’s always how it goes. When it’s good, it’s so good and the taps are open and beauty is everywhere and the buildings are trees and the parties are groundbreaking. When it’s bad, it’s the darkest, dirtiest, nastiest, most broken-down, ramshackle bad. There’s no moon or sun. One needs the other, right? That’s what you’re learning? When you don’t have one, you can’t have the… The worst needs the best. Conjoined twins, or twisting carrots, or…

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

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

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

She used to joke about things that aren’t funny

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

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

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

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

“Got a call from a flower shop.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday December 9, 2017
8:16am
5 minutes
From a text

“Had the weirdest dream last night…”

“Oh yeah?”

“Mhmm. I was riding this snake, like it was pretty much a crocodile but it looked like a snake? And I was riding it, totally naked, riding it into this forest, but the trees were all silver, like the leaves were silver and so was the bark – “

“Please stop.”

“What?”

“I will actually die if I hear one more of your dreams. I will die.”

“What are you talking about?”

“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!”

“I always tell you my dreams…”

“Yeah, you do! And I fucking hate it! The only person who is interested in your dreams is YOU! You’re such a fucking narcissist that you just assume that other people are going to care what your mind involuntarily comes up with?! You know that dreams mean nothing, right? Freud was an idiot!”

“What’s your problem?”

“YOU AND YOUR DREAMS! You and your need to talking non-stop about your dreams! Weird shit happens in my dreams, too, but I write it down in my fucking private journal if I really have to get it out, I don’t bore someone who I supposedly care about with every agonizing detail!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The children are the adventure now.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday December 7, 2017
11:17pm
5 minutes
Mating in Captivity
Esther Perel

I want to take Shayla to the Swiss Alps. I want to hike in the mountains with her and take photographs. I want us to sleep in side-by-side twin beds and talk until one of us falls asleep. When she was little, three to six, I had to stay with her until she fell asleep and she’d want me to talk the whole time. I would start by telling her a story, and then I would tell her things about my day – cucumbers on sale for a dollar each, Charlie’s bad breath, the stress of trying to keep up when everyone seems to be getting younger while I’m just getting greyer. If I stopped, even for a moment to think of what to say next, her blue eyes would pop open and she’d cock her head a little, like, “What are you trying to pull here, Mom?” I’ve been saving. Tickets to Switzerland are expensive, and it’s not like I have a lot of extra cash just sitting around.

“Teach a man to fish.” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday December 6, 2017
8:13am
5 minutes
A Hologram For The King
Dave Eggers

I’ve got no words
I’ve got no spit
I’ve got no honour
I’ve got no heart
I’ve got no wisdom
I’ve got no balls
I’ve got no learning
I’ve got no no’s
I’ve got no shame
I’ve got no morals
I’ve got no fucks
I’ve got no love
I’ve got no water
I’ve got no blood
I’ve got no nonsense
I’ve got no heart
I’ve got no heart
I’ve got no tears
I’ve got no nothing
I’ve got nothing
I’ve got this dumb fucking bird on a wire
Looking in like she knows this
Like she knows me
I’ve got no birdseed
I’ve got no language
I’ve got no sorry left
I’ve got no birdseed
I’ve got no warmth
I’ve got no more Mercury Retrograde uunderstanding
I’ve got no reputation
I’ve got no broken glass
I’ve got no heart

“How could she comprehend what it was like” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday December 5, 2017
4:42pm
5 minutes
Super Sad True Love Story
Gary Shteyngart

The oven keeps setting off the fire alarm.
Somebody (you) spilled cheese and forgot to
clean it up. You told me it wasn’t you.
I don’t really eat cheese.
Every time we take something out of there,
even if it’s a slice of bread at 350 for
2 minutes, the smoke gets the yelling
started.
I want to tell you to clean up your mess
but I am afraid you will tell me that
there isn’t anything to clean. I hate being
right about you.

The stove keeps setting off the fire alarm.
Somebody (me) left a penne noodle underneath
the burner and refused to take it out.
I told you it wasn’t on purpose. It was.
One day I discovered that if you leave a
penne noddle close to the burner but not in
a pan, it will cook it crispy enough to eat.
Everytime we boil water the smoke gets the
screaming started.
I want to tell you to take out the battery
but I’m afraid it might be too easy to
burn the whole place down with you in it
if you do.

“to bring supportive people into your life” by Sasha at her desk

Monday December 4, 2017
9:47pm
5 minutes
Feng Shui Dos & Taboos
Angi Ma Wong

She leaves the brown brick building with volcano steps and thunder tears. She runs down down down around turn left right right straight all the way to Domino’s. Glad she packed her toothbrush and a change of socks and underwear. Kay isn’t answering her cellphone so she’s not sure where she’ll go but she’s not there with him and his hands around her neck she’s not there with him and the fucks and the bitch and the spit and the slap. She orders a slice of cheese pizza and eats it very slowly because who knows when Kay will call back and who knows how long this square of space will need to be hers.

“to bring supportive people into your life” by Julia on the 99

Monday December 4, 2017
6:57pm
5 minutes
Feng Shui Dos & Taboos
Angi Ma Wong

I forgot to draw a card from my Angel’s deck before performing in my show.
I needed guidance. I needed to know how to stop spiraling out. I thought of
the shoppers drug mart bag that I packed too full. I heard it slowly bending.
Knew that it was gradually colluding with gravity. But I didn’t releieve the
load. I kept glancing over thinking, don’t you dare. And then it was too late.
I had chosen something else like finding the right boots to wear instead.
I suppose I would have ensured the safety of the contents had the contents
been worth ensuring. I wish I had a card to tell me to check the contents.
To look inside and see what was at risk of spilling out. I guess I did get
the guidance afterall. If you look at everything as information, that is.
The bag was going to topple regardless of me. I could have stopped it if
I had valued it enough. If I was ready to get off the dead stool and do
something.

“Don’t tell her what?” By Julia on her couch

Sunday December 3, 2017
10:14pm
5 minutes
The Humans
Matt Haig

You’re waiting for me to join you at the table.
You have been hungry since yesterday.
I am busy finding old books with the right message.
“There’s an answer in one of these.” I tell you.
“I don’t think you’re going to find what you’re looking for.” You say.
On the table is a feast and you were sweet enough to go pick it up.
I am hungry too, but maybe not for rice or salmon.
I am hungry for answers. I want to know so many things.
I think that’s why sleeping has been hard.
I keep trying to turn over old concepts in my brain
without getting any new information.
You’re waiting at the table and you do not make me feel bad.
You don’t ask me to hurry up like you usually do.
Eventually we will both have to eat and I will have to wait.
I can’t remember if the message is in a book or in a dream I once had.
I flip through the pages without looking.
I knnow there is some guidance here if I trust it.
“What are you doing?” You ask.
“Praying” I say.
“What are you praying for?” You ask.
“For me. For you. For us.” I say.

“younger than before” by Julia in her bed

Saturday December 2, 2017
11:50pm
5 minutes
Place To Be
Nick Drake

The trees held open the door for us today. They asked us to step through, mind the roots.
When we entered, we lifted our heads to the sky, opened our mouths in preparation, and waited to catch a droplet on our tongues. You were close to getting one. I didn’t think the tree would give it up that easily. I couldn’t catch one because I was too busy staring at where they were beginning to form. The droplets fell from the crease of the branches like an armpit or the back of a knee. I suddenly realized how disrespectful it would be to drink someone else’s sweat; something they were trying to get rid of. Something that held the awful truth of them. Our vision got blurry there, as we wept among the openness of it all. The eyes lining the trunks watching our every move, our every step, our every promise. One in particular whispered something to you. When I asked, you said you couldn’t really hear.

“younger than before” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday December 2, 2017
8:16pm
5 minutes
Place To Be
Nick Drake

Jenni gets very irritated when Craig leaves crumbs on the counter. She reminds him that crumbs mean the mice have snacks, but he rolls his eyes. “I’m the one to empty the damn traps, anyway!”

Jenni hates mice. When she was younger, she used to have nightmares that hundreds of them were crawling all over her body and she couldn’t move. When they came to look at this apartment (hard wood floors, big windows, good closet space), Jenni had asked about rodents. The superintendent said that never in his sixteen year history of living in the building had he seen a mouse. They signed the lease right then and there.

“I don’t want to sit” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday December 1, 2017
9:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 16

Listening to Karen Dalton and she’s singing about
something on her mind
I smell gingerbread which makes me homesick and nostalgic
December is the worst for that

The windows are sweating and my neck hurts again
I hear the neighbours sneezing
talking about parking
I ache for the quiet of the woods

The darkness makes
everything seem softer but
rougher too
darker

“Wild nights-Wild nights!” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday November 30, 2017
5:51pm
5 minutes
Wild nights-Wild nights!
Emily Dickinson

Oh those wild nights when the lemon brews in the heart of the heart and the dreams smell like lilacs and cinnamon. We walk by the water when the moon is full because it’s dangerous if we’re home oh it’s dangerous if walls and a floor and a ceiling have to contain us. Those wild wild nights! We catch dreams with long tongues and we imagine the voices of our children and our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. It’s okay that we’re tired that’s what this time is for – wild night – it’s okay. We mean it when we say that all we have is now. Celery kisses for everyone! WILD!