“the life of his human counterpart” by Sasha at the Tempered Room


Sunday August 7, 2016 at the Tempered Room
3:48pm
5 minutes
Unsaid
Neil Abramson


You are an undiscovered star who moves with
the spring and fall shift shift step move move grow
Take a walk on the wild side says your human counterpart


You smile because we don’t know wild on earth
You get brighter and brighter every day and even your eyes can’t
quite adjust Your human counterpart carries her child
on her back and sweats orange juice
Your human counterpart doesn’t feel bright but her child
lives off her milk and you
the star
believe this to be actual magic.

“We should be there by then” by Sasha on the couch in Swansea


Wednesday, July 27, 2016
11:13pm
5 minutes
From a text

Soon the earth will be
bare naked her cracks
showing even through
the concrete soon
the sky will cry more
or less
more or less
the exact prophecy we’ve
been hearing since that
first tsunami
I want to be here for
this paying the price
of generations and
generation paying the
price of overuse the
price of hedonism

“reaction to terror” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday June 16, 2016 at Starbucks
6:25am
5 minutes
from cnn.com

Children at the convenience store are screaming something about a playground, something about knee-high socks, something about strawberry milkshakes. An old man on the bus is doing the same only about justice and about torture, and I think also about strawberry milkshakes. A woman waking up on a park bench is screaming something about homicide, and recklessness, and something about terror. Something about loss. It all blends in thick, swirling ideas and fears into a tornado small enough to package up and fit into the tight spot between our chests. We can walk the earth with the unknown and unknowing spinning, spinning, ripping up our insides and sending them flying to every corner. We don’t have to name it if we take it with us.

“authentic salt” by Julia at her dining table


Friday, April 8, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
from the Real Salt shaker

I’ve been digging for the salt of the earth
Salt of my mother’s womb
Salt of rebirth
Where did all the good go?
The salty salty good go?
I know where to look but how deep do I go?
How far below?
Can I borrow some then give it back?
When I need a snack?
When I need to bleed the earth’s tears?
I don’t need a lot I just want a taste
To remind me of what I lost
To remind me of what I need inside and what’s worth risking
I promise I’ll return it
Along with my first born and first song
All the stuff worth trading for
Give me that diamond salt sparkling light
Give me that freedom first that cause for thirst
Digging for the true salt of the earth

“Dessert is an apricot tart” by Julia on her bed


Thursday May 21, 2015
11:40pm
5 minutes
SAVEUR magazine
issue 152


And happiness is a sailing ship
the ocean strong
the wind fair
gliding across the water
a beacon of hope
a sign of peace
we all tilt our strained chins to the earth
and we sigh
breathe out
that’s the final taste
that’s the summer sun warming up the frigid ground
And dessert is an apricot tart
the filling sweet
the pastry light
being passed around the after party
a moment of indulgence
a gesture of great care
we all throw our anchored heads back against the sofa
and we laugh

“Like eagle rounding out the morning” by Sasha in front of the fire


Monday May 4, 2015
11:03pm
5 minutes
from a poem by Joy Harjo

Like eagle rounding out the blooming morning
my brother leans into the sunflower and shakes the dew off
It splatters onto his plaid shirt and he
brushes it off
The damp more than he bargained for
The yellow petals remind me of Aunt Ginny’s fresh
churned butter
Dipping our fingers in and licking them and dipping our fingers in
She’d tap our wrists
“Scram!” She’d say
But it was warm as flannel and cloves
It wasn’t cruel like our grandfather

My brother pulls weeds from around the flowers
chucking them over his shoulder
I do the same
Following his lead
“Like this,” he says
Making a pile
the unwanted

“work its magic” by Julia at her desk


Saturday May 2, 2015
10:58pm
5 minutes
from seriouseats.com

Sometimes you just gotta wait and see, feel the earth steady under your feet, breathe in the moon, and wait. Last night I had an exchange with her. The moon. It was a silent, telepathic one. I went outside, I brought my favourite lighter, and I sparked up a conversation…among other things. I exhaled, dedicating the smoke right at her. She was cloaked in clouds and didn’t respond right away. I asked her, with my intentions only, if she wanted to join me. Couldn’t hurt to ask, even if the answer was no, it couldn’t possibly hurt me at all. She didn’t answer then and there. So I waited. I waited, I smoked, I sent my signals to her trying to tug her in my direction. Come get high with me, I willed. Take a load off. We don’t need the brightness of you every single second. Then suddenly, after all that patience I was practicing, she came out. She tossed aside her persistent body guards and she winked at me. I guess the waiting paid off.

“Man vs. Wolves” by Sasha on the 99 going West


Monday January 26, 2015
12:42pm
5 minutes
from Outside Magazine

You start the storm with your face
Curving open
Teeth like wolves
The glaciers are melting and all we can do is
pop pills and peel back the bark
When the rain comes it comes hard
You brace your
self
You reach deeper down than you’ve ever reached
You scream for the erosion and the oil and the money
You’ve got none of it
You plant your heels and you
pray
The drought was predicted by the preacher
She said
It’s gonna be dry
dry like a miracle
She said
The rain was summoned by
You
Good Lord
Good sweet wolves and monarchs and salmon
Sweep the demons under the roots
Tangle
Get away while you still can

“People and shopping” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday January 10, 2015
10:05pm
5 minutes
from a map of London

I lit all the candles in the world
One by one
I used the same match for quite some time
You’re impressed
Thank you
I lit up the continents
The oceans
The sky
The valleys
The peaks
The snow
The sand
I lit all the candles in the world
I hoped you wouldn’t sneeze
Or sigh
I hoped that you would stand back
Beside me
And listen to the glow

“Welcome to Amsterdam” by Sasha at Vancouver General Hospital


Thursday November 20, 2014
2:21pm
5 minutes
A sign at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Welcome to Amsterdam
And Lethbridge
And Honolulu
Welcome to your grandmother’s basement
And the siren songs
And the back of the Chevy pick-up
Welcome to NeverNeverLand
And the rainforest
And my kitchen table
Welcome to yesterday
and under your covers
And the black sand beach
Welcome to the bus
And the clover field
And the lavender farm
Welcome to Athens
And Venezuela
And Whitehorse

“Potting Mix” by Sasha on the patio at Jimmy’s Coffee


Friday June 27, 2014 at Jimmy’s Coffee
11:25am
5 minutes
from the bag of soil

She spent more time in the garden to ease her broken-ness.
She called in sick to work and instead of burying her head in orders and inventory, so buried her hands in soil.

It was quiet in the morning, before the neighbours woke and turned on the radio and called for breakfast and
She breathed in the dew and the brightness of the bleeding hearts
Like hers
So familiar.

She picked a rose
Some lavender
A sprig of something pink and something red she couldn’t remember the name of
And stuck them in an old maple syrup bottle
And put that on her desk
So the outside could come in.

She picked mint
And sorrel
And purple basil
Arugula
Kale
And made a salad for lunch.

“Call it what you will” by Julia in the motel in Sault Ste. Marie


Thursday June 12, 2014
9:55pm
5 minutes
A song by Joe Pug

Caroline and Eddy had been driving for what felt like days. Eddy had begun to smell, refusing to put on deodorant because he said he was on the “open road” and if he couldn’t smell like the earth here, then he didn’t want to be alive. Caroline was battling her car-colepsy and told Eddy that if he was going to take pictures of her sleeping with her mouth wide open facing the roof of the car then he better not post them online or she would punch holes in his tires and make him drive back to Sugar Lake by himself. Eddy didn’t care about Caroline’s sleeping habits, or her poor taste in music. He didn’t care about anything except for getting really far away from everything he knew back home, and finally starting over without anyone knowing who he was. Caroline didn’t know about Eddy’s friend, Liam, with whom he had helped burry a curious large sack that weighed as much as an elephant.

“you want to be chosen” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday June 3, 2014
1:01am
5 minutes
This American Life podcast

You want me to open up a store and sell candles. You tell me this in your half sleep as you kick up the duvet from under you. It’s like you’re mad at me for making us sleep with a cover at all even though the summer hasn’t fully started yet and it still gets really chilly at night.
I ask you what kind of store and you say one that welcomes bulls. I think you mean china shop but your reference is a little muddled in your groggy mind. You tell me, you’ve got to start selling those candles! And I ask you, which candles? And you say, with a cute laugh, the ones you make! As if it were the best idea you’ve ever expressed. I tell you I don’t make candles and you turn over and grunt into the sheets, probably because you resent those too and you’d sleep on the bare earth if I hadn’t bound you to all these societal norms like I have.
I can’t help in that moment to lean over to you and kiss your head.
Sell those too, you say in a whisper.

“adjacent to the wildly popular” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday, October 11, 2013
12:35pm
5 minutes
The Grid TO, Oct. 10-16, 2013 edition

I would very much like you to remember the time before you cradled a tiny screen like an infant. I would very much like you to remember spending hours in the lazy sun, tucked into your mother’s garden, pushing your fingertips into the soft, moist earth. She welcomed you. That tiny screen? He pushes you away. He pushes you away because in keeping it there, in your hand, like a premature baby, all the time, always scrolling or trolling or knoll-ing… you’re looking down. Your focus is too focused. I would very much like you to look up, or out, even just out, not necessarily up. Soften your gaze and behold how the maple forest has changed since yesterday. It’s a bit more golden, a bit more orange, a bit more musical. Widen your gaze and see that man in the red jacket who has taken a break from selling the Street News newspaper and is biting into an apple. Someone gave it to him, as a present, as an exchange of sweetness. They didn’t want a newspaper in return, just a moment’s eye contact, just a smile.

“Where you’re from” by Sasha at R Squared Cafe


Monday, April 29, 2013 at R Squared Cafe
11:02am
5 minutes
Caitlin’s warmup prompt

Where you’re from the women paint their fingernails different colours, commemorating the sacrifices and the wins. Where you’re from the women knead the dough with their hands until it’s ready to wait and rise. Where you’re from there are rules for the ones that question, and there are places for them to go, and there are lessons in burying, deep below the surface. Where you’re from, I’m realizing, the men always lead the dancing. Where you’re from the people still think that the earth is flat, like a board, stretching, suspended in the sky by two strong chords.