“The American imagination” by Julia on the sky train

Friday June 8, 2018
12:03pm
5 minutes
Poetic Justice an Interview with Camille T. Dungy 
Airica Parker

The imagination there is big, he says
Big and bold and brassy and big
Every day a new phone call telling me how much closer he is to being big too
The ceiling is high, the sky is higher, and the people know how to help each other be extraordinary
This is a dream sequence that I am replaying: people helping people
Not so afraid of someone else’s greatness that they need to throw stones at them until they fall off
To think of the inventors and chefs
The writers and the football players
The American imagination plays like the movies that are big enough to be made there
I don’t know what they think of us
Maybe that we’re polite pushovers
Maybe that we know how to apologize for things instead of owning them
They might not think of our country at all
I didn’t really either
Until I thought about leaving it

“sometimes a pencil is an octopus” by Sasha by the water

Sunday February 11, 2018
1:41pm
5 minutes
Octopus vs. Pencil
Philip A. Miletic

News coming in on the radio
and I’m boiling eggs.

I didn’t go to the march
because I had tickets to a play
where one brother shoots
the other brother dead.

No irony.
No excuses for inaction.
For silence.
For being afraid of the rage
in the bellies of the First People.

Third generation settler
I’m sick and sorry and grieving and

Can’t shake the guilty feelings.
Can’t shake the feeling that my
whiteness is an affront and what
am I even doing here anyway.

Social media activism feels grimy
ineffective inefficeint fucked up.
I don’t know what else to do.
Give money.
Give love.
Give freely.
Ask of myself how I am a part.

Is the act of my sharing
violence? Listen. Listen?
Listen. Listen listen listen.

I’ve got everything I need here
including the sun today.

“Canada’s biggest ever insider” by Sasha at MELK


Saturday September 24, 2016 at MELK Bar & Cafe
1:13pm
5 minutes
Report on Business in the Globe and Mail

Canada’s hands are stained
yellow and red and purple and orange
We think blue
We think green
But those are little firefly lies
Wag wag wag
Those are big mountain lies
We think resource
Cougars and humpbacks
We think lakes and rivers
Pacific and Atlantic
We think
True North strong and free

“in Canada right now” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday, July 19, 2016
7:13am
5 minutes
from a Facebook comment

there are a lot of people holding each other tight and saying how lucky we are
how we may have wanted to leave before, but we don’t anymore
how there are places to be proud of and how nice it is that ours is one of them
that there’s love here
that there’s change here
but we have a long way to go
we are not immune to frightened decision making
we are not ahead of the charge
we are far from perfect
because geography helps, but it can’t do everything for us
we have to rise up when it hurts to do so
we have to be better than we were yesterday when it feels impossible
we have to be examples for ourselves first before anyone else will benefit
we are lucky
we are so very lucky
but luck doesn’t mean we don’t have to keep trying
for the people who have been silenced
for those who come here looking for acceptance and still find hate on their doorsteps
there is love here
but that’s only one part

“Canada’s Indigenous communities” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday, October 20, 2015
3:34pm
5 minutes
An email from The David Suzuki Foundation

If you felt around the little one’s head, you’d notice it has bumps ranging in sizez all over. You’d have to finger deep beneath the hair to get to the source. Gracie showed me how she liked to pick at the scabs on her scalp and pull little pieces of it through the hair one at a time. It was a long process. It usually involved many tries, and a little blood. The more she did it, the longer they lasted. Grace wasn’t the only one. Seth also had little scabs on his scalp. He was better at leaving them put than Gracie cause he was always out running around and getting dirty, occupying his head with ant hills, or the migration patterns of the hawks up above. Gracie was afraid of the outdoors. She didn’t like to the leave the house at all, but she liked watching Seth play in the fields behind her new house. Gracie would sit for hours, picking each scab through her long matted hair, fighting the knots, and the temptation to leave the bits resting in her curls.

“Canada’s Indigenous communities” by Sasha at Benny’s


Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at Benny’s
2:21pm
5 minutes
An email from The David Suzuki Foundation

I watch as they search and I’m full and empty and nothing and everything
I help them I try to help them
Feeble attempt at solidarity
Until the sun sets and breath is visible
Until icicles form inside my ears
“Let’s call it a day,” Bruce says
and I’m grateful
“No.”
Jenny glares at me
at her father
“We have flashlights, we have tea…
What if she’s out here, freezing to death?”
Bruce goes home and I stay
Jenny and me
I’m half her size and my heart beats in my ears
the whole time
“She’s not dead,” Jenny says
offering me the thermos
“I know it.”
I nod
I drink deep
Cedar and something I’ve never smelt or tasted
“She’s somewhere.”
My sister
At home in Edmonton
Putting her daughter to sleep
Saying prayers about monsters
Kissing her nose

“I wanna see it up close” by Sasha at Moii Cafe


Friday October 17, 2015 at Moii Cafe
12:35pm
5 minutes
from a text

A birch tree sheds her bark
The supermoon is forgotten as soon as it fades
It’s still super somewhere

I refuse to commend your drug trips or your laundry lists
I refuse to celebrate your exploitations of bodies and sisters and dollars and oil
I refuse to vote for a man wearing a mask who has a cheese-ball for a brain
mostly cheddar a little bit cream cheese nothing sharp
no asiago

A snake slithers over the bare feet of a boy whose eyes are glued to his father’s iPhone
Shame he missed that
Shame that tomorrow that species will be extinct
A monarch lands on my arm and I cry for my unborns
Who might not have that magic

The Conservatives (Cheese-ball) cut one billion dollars in childcare funding within three hours of being elected
That’s shorter than Titanic
There are over one thousand murdered and missing Indigenous women across Canada
and no matter how deep Cheese-ball digs his fingers into his ears
He can’t pretend he doesn’t hear the singing
I wanna see the madness up close
I wanna microscope that Cheese-ball
See the ventricles of the greed
Hear the beat of the bacon heart

A grizzly bear waves to a crow
Long lost lovers

“sometimes you’re like a stranger to me” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday May 23, 2015
10:39pm
5 minutes
Stranger
Alfie Conor


He has dreams of being chased by the man in the black robe with the white fleck as his neck
That space
That small hollow space
He runs and runs and he can’t out-run and he’s down and then he’s up
In those big hands
Big veins
Big tongue
Big hurt
The forest floor changed those nights
Became angry and heavy and unkind
The pine needles pricking
The owl calls like a nightmare

One hundred and fifty thousand children
He and his army
His Sisters
His Brothers
Turtle Island cries elephant tears
An ocean of sobs
I turn my face away

Got a dollar I’m hungry
I don’t say anything
Got a dollar I’m thirty
Thirst won’t quench with the brown stuff
I don’t say anything

Truth
Reconciliation
My heart
Those hearts
Broke
Broke
KIN
Sisters
Brothers

“SO COLD” by Sasha in her garden


Saturday June 21, 2014
5:52pm
5 minutes
a postcard at MAKE coffee+stuff

I wake up and I’m so cold. Mickey is blasting the friggin air conditioning. He controls it from his place, right, so I’m pretty effed if I have a problem with whatever the setting is. And, you know, like, he’s an insomniac so… He sleeps during the day and I don’t wanna be that turd that bangs on his door cuz I’m cold. Like some sorta pussy or somethin. When I first moved in Mickey invited me down to his place for a beer a couple-a times. He’s got lotsa stories, man, like crazy stories. He was in a biker gang once, when he was in his twenties, and… He did some pretty whacked out shit. Like… Once, he beat a guy unconscious with a hammer. One of those little hammers. An’ once, he rode across the whole damn country… from Halifax to BC, man… That’s crazy. He has this one story about this time a huge storm almost lifted him right off of his bike. An’ he’s a big friggin guy!

“lives right here in Halifax” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday February 21, 2014
12:03am
5 minutes
The Vinyl Cafe radio show

When you say that you live right here, in Halifax, I’m taken aback. “Oh,” I say, looking down at the snow melting. “I grew up in St. John’s but came here for university,” you blush, like your education is something embarrassing, like you might be losing your footing now that you’ve met me. “I’m from…” I don’t want to say Toronto, because you’ll probably judge me, you’ll probably think that I don’t make eye contact when I walk past a kindred spirit on the street for fear of disrupting the pace of the moving people. You wait, so patient, lips questioning. “I’m from Kingston. I live in Toronto, but I was born in Kingston. Near the water.” I add that last bit because I think, perhaps, it will make us seem closer together. I add that last bit because, perhaps, it will make you reconsider. “I’m here until Wednesday,” I say. You smile.

“the railway that connects our country” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday November 30, 2013
9:07pm
5 minutes
the Local Heroes calendar

The railway that connects our country starts at the sea and ends at the mountains. If you were to walk alongside it, my guess is that it would take seven months to get from water to tip icy top.If you were to follow the railway, you might be able to jump on a train, speeding towards the tallest trees. Or, if you had great luck, you might meet a moose who would guide you to the mouth of the Big Dipper where you could both drink, side by side. In between the sea and the mountains are stretches of prairie with the widest skies you’ve known. You’ll see for miles and miles. There are waterfalls where you can find stones worn smooth over time. Perhaps you’ll put one in your pocket to handle when the nights are long. The railway snakes when it climbs, further west.

“80-minute discussion” by Julia at her kitchen table


Wednesday, July 3, 2013
11:28pm
5 minutes
http://www.teamcoco.com

I can hear them all the way from Vancouver talking about me under the covers and confessing they never really liked that thing I did with my wrist at parties because it was too rooted in shock value to actually be positive.
I can hear them all the way from Italy, 6 hours ahead, while they hand make the gnocchi for the grilliata tomorrow, discussing how if I could just learn to let go everything would be better for me. I’d look prettier. I’d be nicer to be around.
I can hear them all the way from Cape Breton, sitting outside on their bug-infested porch,talking about how first impressions are hard to undo. How long showers and long hairs left in the drain mean something more than someone who just likes to let the water run too long.
I can hear them all the way from Ottawa, as they watch the news, talking about how my act only works on an audience and they hope for my sake the crowd never stops coming to see me. That if I just stopped for a second to be real, the walls would come down instead of being built on top of each other.
I can hear them all the way from Lucan saying that I never came back to visit because I didn’t know how to find my way back home. They talk about the one and only time I came back but didn’t stay because I no longer fit in there.

“Serving 4 blocks” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday, December 20, 2012
12:46am
5 minutes
From the back of a Godiva chocolate bar

I’m not sure where to start, really. I think it started somewhere near Whitehorse – the snow, the hail, the big buffalo clouds. My cell phone lost reception and I was afraid that if I pulled over the other cars on the road wouldn’t be able to see me and I’d be more at risk. I’d never driven so many hours before, I’d never been alone, province after province, stopping for tea and a “hello” with gas station attendants, just to make sure my voice still worked. I could barely see the road in front of me. I was crying and praying, neither of which I do regularly by any stretch of the imagination. I decided I needed something divine, I needed an intervention. I turned up the Arcade Fire. I took a deep breath. With my eyes on the road and one hand on the wheel, my other hand reached around in my pack for the chocolate bar that Fran had given me before I left Salt Spring Island. I ripped open the package and broke off a square. I laughed out loud at the insanity of my desire to drive to the North. I laughed at my unwavering desire to make it to the Reservation before the end of the month. I sucked on the chocolate, just like Fran taught me, the flecks of sea salt and caramel melting on my tongue like angel snowflakes.