“people are still listing reasons” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie

Saturday September 15, 2018
4:55pm
5 minutes
Collaboration: Visual/Written Poetry
Sarah Leavitt & Jen Currin

Keith Jarret on the record player. The Masquerade Is Over. You stir risotto over the stove, your glasses fogging up. You add white wine, and then swig from the bottle. Here we are. The temperature is dropping outside and people we thought we loved are turning out to be those who we never imagined. Or did we? And people we definitely loved are sick, and we are gathering around them with baskets of fresh veggies from the market and tear-stained cheeks. There aren’t words. There’s Keith Jarret. There’s a table settling for two.

“The process is afterall like music,”by Julia at the BC Women and Children’s Hospital

Friday April 6, 2018

9:54am

5 minutes

Käthe Kollwitz

Miriam Rukeyser

I am not over here laughing at you

If you think I am laughing at you

Not smirking at the thought of you grovelling, not turned on by your comeuppance

The memory of us swells like a song that is trying to teach me something

To ride the wave, go up, come down, stay down, stay down, and again

It is not one of those scores that gives it all away at the outset

You don’t get ahead of it because it keeps changing, twisting, turning, forcing me to touch each tendon, pulling and pressing

The resolve comes after the rise, the fall, after the shift, after the decision

And it is not the kind of music that I can dance to joyfully

It begs of me

It bruises

“Protect the blood from attack” by Sasha on the deck at Knowlton Lake

Thursday October 5, 2017
7:12am
5 minutes
Chinese Tonic Herbs
Ron Teeguarden

In this quiet stillness of languid morning
Sun on the birches and maples
Dew catching the joke quick
I listen to the silence
She whispers in a language I’m only now just learning
Only will learn fifty years from now
Sixty years from now
A million deaths between now and then

My mother only just spoke
Leaves turning at a snail’s pace
Green to yellow to
How she’s prone to anxiety
Red and brown
Spoke bulemia
When the wind swoops
The echoes cling to the windows
I hush
Spoke silence in a language I’m only now just learning
Thirty six years between us
Somehow less distance
Somehow more

I want to know about the birds that build nests up high
Who are they hiding from
Where do their babies first learn that we are born
Alone and will die alone
Each day an expression of this intrinsicness
Each quiet and still morning
An opportunity to fly deeper
A wingspan promise to try again

“you are the first woman I’ve touched” by Julia on the bed at the YWCA hotel Vancouver


Friday September 1, 2017
9:57pm
5 minutes
Pearl in the Mist
V.C. Andrews


In the dream, she is following me with her eyes. Crowded room, music bump bump blaring. Her gaze settles in her face like a perfect egg yolk cooked sunny side up. I feel like I am melting and she keeps herself affixed to me. She is wearing a simple black tank top. But the thinness of her straps are driving me wild. The way they sit grooved into her collarbone. I picture sliding one strap off her shoulder, slowly. She never breaks contact.
Suddenly I am licking her up and down, spreading her knees with my free hand. I am taking my time and sucking slow. She breathes like a goddess. I cannot stop kissing her Soft. In the dream she comes and I keep going. In the dream she kisses me with tongue and doesn’t say a word.

“You said not to read his old texts” by Julia on her couch


Thursday August 31, 2017
11:58pm
5 minutes
From confidential sides

Told yourself you wouldn’t log into his e-mail account.
You put a tally beside your computer and started calling it your sobriety calendar.
Eleven days clean. Haven’t checked it since that fall.
You told yourself that “this is why you don’t snoop through other people’s lives.”
You said “this is why you stop rationalizing all together.”
There are exes marked day after day. You nod, slightly to the fact that you are now an ex marked day by day.
You wonder if his computer will notify him that someone else is in his account.
You worry that he already knows what you’re doing.
You wonder why he doesn’t change his beautiful password.
You wonder why he chose her over you.
You wonder why you eat a tub of peanut butter every three days.

“bare bones information” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday November 30, 2016
9:44am
5 minutes
From a lesson plan

Calls me and leaves me a voicemail
she’s got big news she’s got crescent moons

I listen like I did when my father
read me Runaway Bunny

I missed her call on purpose
a glue on my lips a glue on my lips

I wait three days before calling back
“Hey, how are you? Sorry I’ve been so busy.”

I’m walking in the rain in a not-warm-enough jacket
I’m counting the November rotting underfoot

“putting on sweat pants and sunglasses” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday September 26, 2015
11:32pm
5 minutes
a tweet

Simone brings Jude a butter tart at work. He woke up with a cold and she feels bad for him. Butter tarts are Jude’s love language. Simone learned this two years too late. She bikes from the bakery all the way downtown, sticking to side streets. Biking in the fall reminds Simone of grade five, the first year she got to cycle to school on her own. The independence was dizzying. She texts Jude from the lobby. “I’m here!” He doesn’t respond and she only waits a moment or two. She tries to find the stairs but fails and finally takes the elevator up to the twelfth floor. This is one of those strange buildings that doesn’t have a thirteenth. She wonders about paranoia and superstition. She wonders who started the thirteen witch hunt. She like the number – the mix of tall and wide. She suddenly feels nervous about being at Jude’s work – like she doesn’t belong. She wishes she had taken the bus, maybe then she wouldn’t be so windswept and sweaty.

“Pumpkin season may be upon us” by Julia at Comox Park


Friday September 25, 2015
6:48pm
5 minutes
An Instagram post

This girl. She’s a friend for life. Both mine and hers. You want to know why I love her? Cause when I mention waiting in a long line just for a coffee, she scrunches her nose and she says “Eww.” Or when I say “you know it’s fall when you can buy ‘essence of pumpkin spice’ at the grocery store.” And she says “Eww. No.” Or when I say “I can’t stand those people who hashtag their own kids’ names.” And she dry heaves, scrunches her nose even tighter and says “OH MY GOD EWW.”

“work its magic” by Sasha in the bath


Saturday May 2, 2015
10:42pm
5 minutes
from seriouseats.com

come on pretty baby we’re taking the long road this time
out out out
away from green trying her best to break through grey
away from horns honking their loud scream interruption
in in in
waterfall baths and making love under the full beltane moon
i had an alibi once but it failed me
i knelt before you
i cried my own version of apology
i slipped on your disillusionment and went flying
falling
dancing
dark dark dark
someone’s at the door and they are saying your name the way i do
too heavy with love
too wet with wanting
you don’t know what to do with the weight of my hope
faith and doubt dance
tango tango tango

“please take my advice” by Sasha on the 99 Bus


Wednesday October 8, 2014
5:56pm
5 minutes
from a man’s t-shirt

The tree outside my house is on fire
Yellow
Red
Glowing sunshine and change
The squirrel followed me here
This new (not so new) place
The squirrel stops and looks and runs and looks
The arbutus shakes my spirit like a tambourine
The arbutus sheds her bark like I wish I knew how
It’s cold in the morning
You light a fire
You flick the switch
You fill the kettle with water and I wait for it to boil
I curl my toes
Like bark
I breathe a sigh of relief that time is here
That now is here
That it’s October and sometimes I see familiar faces
You make my tea and you bring it to me while I try to meditate on the grey cushion
The tree outside my house teaches me about letting go
And the sage I burn teaches me about smoke
and longing
And you teach me about love
Every day
Every autumn
This
Our third one
We fall in Fall and in falling we open and in opening we live our fullest beauty.

“UNION” by Sasha on the bed in Whistler


Saturday September 20, 2014
10:12pm
5 minutes
from a flyer for a yoga studio

It’s that time of year again. When she gets restless. When she starts picking at her scabs and calling out the reindeer names in her sleep. It’s that time of year again. When she starts winning. When she walks down the street singing Born To Run like she is Springsteen. It’s that time of year again. When she forgets how much she likes ice cream. When she makes promises to the leaves that like them, she’ll change colour.

“NO FUN” by Sasha at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts


Monday December 2, 2013
1:04pm
5 minutes
from graffiti on College Street

It’s no fun when you come home with a chainsaw. “It was on sale,” you say, like that makes any difference. I know what you’re going to do. I read your testament. I found it in the oven this morning. Maybe you meant to roast it, like turnips, but you forgot to turn the dial to three hundred and fifty degrees. You’re going to saw each beam, each post, each wall. You’re going to do it when I’m out in the barn, feeding the pigs. I’ll look out the barn window, the sun rising crimson, and I’ll see the house fall, with you in it.

“one time” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday October 24, 2013
3:41pm
5 minutes
A piece of mail from Shoppers Drug Mart

Your cheeks are rhubarb, tart and pink. You’ve just come in from raking the leaves. “Want tea?” I shouldn’t even have to ask anymore. But I do. And you respond – “Yes”. The kettle howls and I find supreme satisfaction in steeping the dark bag, covering it with a small glass bowl so that it stays hot. I check my watch. I wait three minutes. I stretch my tight back as I wait. You’re running a bath. One time, many years ago, I told you that I hated you. Sometimes, when I stretch I hear myself saying those words, they are locked somewhere around the base of my spine. You slide your arms around my waist and smell the secret place where neck meets shoulder. “You smell good,” you say.

“She snapped the shutter” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday October 12, 2013
10:13pm
5 minutes
from the 2011 Toronto Star article ‘American Girl still walking tall’
Murray White


When Tash and Rowan found the bird, it was barely breathing. Rowan picked it up from the rusty leaves and cradled it in her open palms. She could feel it’s heartbeat, rapid and quaking. “What should we do?” Tash whispered. She was usually the one with the plan, but knew she should refer to the reader of the Eye Witness books and the winner of the Zoology prize three years in a row. Rowan held a pointer finger to her pursed lips. Tash nodded. They had both worn their purple sweatshirts and rainboots from the Hardware Store. Rowan’s were bigger. Tash’s sweatshirt had a stain on the bottom cuff, from when she ate spaghetti with her fingers. Rowan cupped her hands around the bird so that it was fully enveloped, and walked as if there was a stack of books on her head, like she’d seen in a movie. When they got to the library Tash looked confused. “It’s Sunday. It’s closed!” She whispered. Rowan walked to the back of the old building. She knocked on the small door three times.

“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.