“The cost of rural housing” by Julia on the bed

Friday, May 1, 2020
5 minutes
Life After the City
Charles Long

Bobbie-Jo wants to buy a house in New Brunswick. She has never been to New Brunswick, doesn’t have any friends from New Brunswick, does not currently work in New Brunswick, or even know the capital of New Brunswick.
Bobbie-Jo doesn’t care about the rules and the way things “oughta go” because watching her aunt Aimee lose her mind while trying to keep everyone else in it was torture at best. Bobbie-Jo knows about dreams instead, about leaping up and out. About maybe landing on a star or something like it. Bobbie-Jo knows the prices of homes in New Brunswick are better for her than they are here. She doesn’t need to live in a big city. The prices are even better for her in the country. Bobbie-Jo writes her big ideas on the back of an old Lifehouse poster for No Name Face.
She maps out her next few years in a broad sense. Things aren’t here they are there. Things aren’t happening, they’re slipping away. Bobbie-Jo sways to the beat of her own night music.

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

Wednesday January 17, 2018
5 minutes
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.

“never been good at multitasking” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Sunday September 10, 2017
5 minutes
From a text

You’ve never been good at multitasking, sweet one track mind. You complete tasks one-by-one, diligent and focused. If something gets in your way, say, a phone call or the toaster dinging, you are off course, whirling into oblivion. You’ll put on some Eartha Kitt and dance around the living room. You’ll eat blueberry jam from the jar, fridge door open. You’ll call me at work, and ask if I can talk and tell me how one day you’d really like to go to space. I laugh, and say I have to get back to work. You say, “Shit. Me too.”

“within 15 days” by Julia on her bed

Thursday, July 9, 2015
5 minutes
A letter from Health Insurance BC

“Or maybe we could rent a van and pack it up tight with all our stupid stuff that we don’t care about and just drive it across the country like we did last time?” She says this, rubbing an ice cube side to side across her collar bone, making him sweat, making him want her even more.
“Yeah, we could, or we could purge all our stupid stuff that we don’t need and just be free and minimal.” He says this with a knowing smirk that she’d never go for something like that.
“You mean minimalistic?” She pops the ice cube into her mouth and lets it melt there for a second.
“I don’t think we need to purge. Maybe get rid of a few things. The waffle iron. We could get rid of the waffle iron, and maybe the second set of measuring cups.”


Saturday March 28, 2015
5 minutes
An unknown transit newspaper

The city roars like a lion and she sleeps like a
Wings tucked and coo-ing while feathers reminding us to
look up look down look deeper look through
The island calls with her harp and her pine needles
slugs leaving hope-slime
Will it be enough?
I’ll need to get a driver’s licence
Where do ambition and simplicity meet?
Let’s go there and
bring twelve lemons and our favourite books
One for me
(bell hooks)
One for you
(Dharma Bums)
It’s all we’ll need

How is one to know—with strangers?” By Sasha at Studio 1398

Saturday March 14, 2015
5 minutes
The Midwich Cuckoos
John Wyndham

Let’s take ourselves back in time to the time before
the time when we knew about consequence
and hemming of jeans and the blueberry kiss of


How is one to know when a stranger is the icy breath on the window
of the car accident?


The Mother we’ve been waiting for since the day we arrived her
spewing needs and hunger
calling for


at the top of our lungs

I’ve wanted a revolution from day one but I don’t like starting things
preferring the sourdough to rise in the cupboard
unwatched by blue eyes

brown eyes

We wrapped purple and blue and green and grey around strands of hair we weren’t
afraid to lose

a summer of coconut oil and tuna sandwiches

Cherry popsicle lipstick

“rock ‘n’ roll-tinged bar chatter.” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar

Thursday May 8, 2014
5 minutes
Washington Flyer
May/June 2014

“I want you to come out to McIsaac’s,” my Dad said and I was confused because he didn’t drink and last I heard, he didn’t frequent dive bars to talk to girls my age. “Okay?” I said. “May 8th. At nine thirty… It means a lot to me, Allison.” He said. I usually play soccer on Thursdays but I was so curious that I asked Nadine if she’d take my spot. When I arrived, the bar was dim and the people there were older than I had expected. I didn’t see my Dad anywhere. I looked over to the far side and saw someone tuning a guitar, dressed in boots, jeans, a plaid shirt and a hat. I ordered a beer. There was a “tap tap” on the microphone and the chatter died down. My Dad stood under a single spotlight. He said, “Thanks for coming, ya’ll… Especially my daughter Allison Daisy. Light of my life.” I sat on a barstool and listened to my Dad play. I never knew he even liked country music.

“Stacking wood” by Sasha on her bed

Sunday January 19, 2014
5 minutes
Stacking Wood
Mimi Lipton and Thorston Duser

Charlie and I stack wood in the late summer. She’s in her cut off Nirvana shirt and wrap around sunglasses, with grey cargo shorts. I’m in a floral sundress. It’s how we do it, me and Charlie. When she built the Yurt she was still coming to the city on weekends, but not anymore. The noise makes her hands shake. The light, street-lamps and signs on a higher voltage than the moon, gives her bad dreams. I come a few times a year. I bring things she can’t get in the town of three hundred that’s twelve kilometres away. Like chia seeds and tahini and heirloom tomato seeds. We don’t talk a lot, she mostly gestures, and occasionally reads me a passage from whatever book she’s reading. It’s disorienting to think that we shared a womb.

“principle monetary unit of Morocco” by Julia on the Greyhound

Monday, October 14, 2013
5 minutes
The Pocket Oxford Dictionary

Don’t know what to say. Don’t want to say the wrong thing and have you be mad at me.
You know?
It’s hard not knowing how to read you. Think you were born with some tricky looking expression that makes it hard for people to understand.
But you’re just like me. Have to remember that sometimes. Especially when flying. Especially, especially then.
You never did end up reading that book I sent you. I know this because I inscribed it and it wasn’t just some Mickey Mouse message. It was one of those real nice and honest ones. One that makes you cry or laugh or both. And I know if you had read it, you would have told me so. You would have hugged me. That’s something I’m sure of.
But you might have just forgotten to, and that’s understandable, being on your way to a completely different country, and having to get sorted right away. Books take less of a priority. But that’s how we’re different, I guess.
Been thinking about that for a while now. See, I would have read the book, and if not the whole thing then at least just the inside cover. Just to see if there was anything written there for me.
Just my principles, I guess. What I value. What I hope for when it comes to the people I love a great deal.
I’m just crossing my fingers you didn’t read it at all..
Might be worse to have you read it and not respond well to it. To think it unfunny, or meaningless to you.

“My psychic friend Leila” by Sasha at High Park

Sunday, April 21, 2013
5 minutes
Why I Moved To The Country
Ruth Schwartz

My psychic friend Leila says that when you dream of snakes it means you’re transforming. When I go to see her, at her home in a cabin about an hour out of the city, she’s not there. She’s in the woods, scavenging mushrooms for our dinner. I sit with her sheepdog, Ethel, on the big rock out front. There isn’t cell phone reception. I think about calling Donny or my Mother but decide to just sit, scratching behind Ethel’s ears. I hear Leila’s whistle coming through the trees. When she sees me she speeds up, almost running, but careful not to spill the mushrooms that she’s carrying in a whicker basket. They are overflowing. She drops one, bends down and puts it back in the basket. The city was too much for Leila. She described it as living in a house where the TV, radio and record player are all on at the same time, playing something different, dissonant and disturbing. In the country she can sleep. She inherited the land that she lives on when her father died, and she built the cabin using one of those house kits you can send away for and receive in the mail.