“She has even lost one leg” by Sasha at her counter

Sunday August 25, 2019
5 minutes
Pierre Reverdy

Pam grabs Maxine, her passport, her laptop, and a Cliff bar. Standing outside in her Rolling Stones T-shirt and underwear, Maxine meows and scratches her. They watch the building burn. “Shit,” Pam says, pulling down her T-shirt, trying to cover her bum. Rudy, from the basement apartment comes over and puts his arm around Pam. She’s not into it, but doesn’t shrug away. They are losing everything, so might as well feel “in it” together.

“Nice kitty,” says Rudy. He has bad breath.

“I’m going to go back in… My photo albums… My mother’s engagement ring… My external hard drive…” Pam keeps listing things and Rudy shakes his head and keeps his arm firmly where it is.

“sucking everything in.” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday August 6, 2019
5 minutes
Across This Body
Jeni De La O

she sets herself on fire
it’s not the first time
but she burns differently

now that there’s the most to lose

ashes fly to the sky
flickering fantasy
floating towards the opposite
she explodes into all the

pieces of possible truths
colours like feelings
smoke of spirit
roar of the breaking

betrayal is a red
mixed into the blood

as she burns she paints
herself in the shades of
the now the ones
she predicted but always
wanted to escape

the true things
the small things
the things that are clever
and vicious


now that she’s nothing
she has everything
now that she’s here
she sees herself

for the first time

“and I’ve begun to name things.” By Julia at Valens Restaurant

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
5 minutes
Shane Michalik

I have a box for all my heartache
I put it on the shelf and I let it marinate
In the flesh of the oak
In the smoothness of the varnish
It sits there until it is ready
Then I take it out of its hiding place
I smell inside and breathe in the pain
Seeped into the wood
Crept into the grooves
Still remnants of yesterday’s decisions
When it’s time I light the stove
And I name all the moments that have crippled me
One by one I throw them into the oil
And I watch as they grow crispy and small
I burn each heartache into smoke

“with MOSS FOLK” by Julia at Kawaii Crepe

Thursday August 7, 2014 at Kawaii Crepe
5 minutes
from the Wooden Shjips concert ticket

I’ve been sitting here with a patch of dead skin in my hands. I thought you would have noticed that my legs were peeling because some of the shapes looked like your favourite states: Minnesota, Alabama, Missouri. You didn’t say one thing about it, so I kept slowly detaching the snake-like-shreds, trying to keep them as long and intact as possible. Like orange peels. Like the backing of a press on tattoo. I guess I was looking for some attention, or to prove to myself that you cared about me and my well-being. I wondered if you wondered why I had burnt skin to begin with. If you thought to ask and discovered that I scalded my legs in a hot bath, if you’d wonder why anyone would think to take a hot bath in the middle of July. I don’t usually do that kind of thing. It just sort of happened as a result of my endless time alone and my desire to feel like anything but myself. Granted, I did feel a little like Virginia Woolf. I wondered if you’d wonder about that part…

“But we will judge you.” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday July 28, 2014
5 minutes
from www.winnipegpoetryslam.wordpress.com

I won’t judge you if you eat peanut butter and pickles.
I won’t judge you if you “forget” to floss your teeth.
I won’t judge you if you bite your toenails.
I won’t judge you if you don’t clean your room.
I won’t judge you if you make modern art.
I won’t judge you if you swim naked.
I won’t judge you if you call me names once or twice, in the heat of the moment.
I won’t judge you if you make up your own “Happy Birthday” song.

I see you as I never have before. You’re running. You’re burning.

“No, I promise” by Julia at Starbucks

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at Starbucks
5 minutes
Wild Mind
Natalie Goldberg

Last time I tried to write you a letter I fell asleep beside a candle and burned the entire left side of hair off. I woke up to the smell of it smoking and I was actually happy because I thought I was dying, or dead already, just waiting for my instructions in hell. Then when I realized I was fine, I was just half bald and burnt, I fell deeper. I suppose it’s clear that I’m not doing so well. I’ve felt a pit in my stomach for some time now, and I’m pretty sure it’s growing into a tree. Peach or pear, I’m not certain. It hurts though. It’s a very branchy tree, sort of poking into my side every time I move or sing. Sort of like the thing that only wants to exist as long as it’s the only thing I can feel. Sort of an only child, or youngest of 6 kind of tree. Anyway I’m writing you now because I wanted to tell you I won’t be writing again, or attempting to. I’ll just wait till you reply but I won’t be doing any more of the things like this where I have to access my inner…ouch. It’s that tree again…

“3,200 year old” by Sasha at her desk

Friday February 15, 2013
5 minutes
National Geographic pull-out feature

ALl I can smell is burning but I really don’t think anything is on fire yet. You’re ready to go in your black Adidas track suit and running shoes. “Where are you planning to run to?” I ask again and again. You smile like you’ve got a secret, or an excuse, or a reason. “Countdown to destiny,” you say, for the twelfth time since Gatorade. “Don’t forget where you came from, Danny…” I respond. You’re stretching on the carpet in the living room and little bits of lint are getting on the knees of your pants. “I can’t focus with you staring at me, Ma!” You yell and I jump. I didn’t realize that you saw me. I had been thinking about how much you look like your father now, with the extra weight and the receding hairline. “Go make a sandwich or something!” You start to lunge and I envision the crotch of your pants ripping. What would you do then? “Who taught you to talk like that?” I say, walking into the kitchen. I take peanut butter from the cupboard and bread-and-butter pickles from the door of the fridge.