“Sometimes I can hear Harry’s voice” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
5 minutes
Thomas Lee

Sometimes I can hear Harry’s voice. Especially when I’m driving. Especially on the highway. Especially at night. Harry’s voice is just like it was – booming, deep, a bit of lilt to it, like at any moment he might break into some kind of dirge. He’s usually telling me to slow down, but the words he chooses are never, “Slow down.” He says something like,

“Beni, driving is best enjoyed with the window open and slow like molasses.”


“Slow and steady wins the race, my boy.”

When my Mom married Harry, I hated him. He was so big, and had baseball gloves for hands, or, that’s what I thought when I met him. I’d never seen someone so tall.

“boys can be dangerous.” by Sasha at Physio Room

Monday, March 19, 2018
5 minutes
Undue Familiarity
Ellen Collett

“Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch a tiger by the toe.
If he hollers, let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.”

Sofie is the fastest girl in her class and all the nine-year-olds love nothing more than watching Gurmeet (the fastest boy) chase her.



“She’s so fast, ohmygosh, look at her go!!!!”

“Gurmeet Gurmeet Gurmeeeeeet! You can’t catch her! She’s fast as the wind!”

He can’t. It’s true.

“seemed to love us anyway” by Julia on her couch

Friday, March 16, 2018
5 minutes
Beauty: 1976
Ruth L. Shwartz

We stole little things from her vanity-a ring, a sample bottle of eau de toilette, a hair pin. It didn’t look like she would notice them gone. There were so many more important things to notice. After she told us about the robbery and how they found Granite’s debit card being used in six different diners in two days, we felt bad. Here she was telling us about how people keep stealing from them, and we were there, stealing from them. It was so easy to convince ourselves she wouldn’t notice on account of how many stories we’ve been forced to listen to for the 60th time. People who tell the exact same story to the exact same people year after year are not the look around and see what’s new about the room kind of people. People who are so damn sad do not have time to count their broaches, or their Jean jackets.

“seemed to love us anyway” by Sasha on her couch

Friday, March 16, 2018
5 minutes
Beauty: 1976
Ruth L. Shwartz

I have lots of keys to lots of very important places and for once in my life I feel like I’m worth something, Rudy! Can you understand that?! I spent forty-six years doing everything for everybody and then you just, I mean, I just woke up one morning and thought, “That’s IT. I’m DONE.” I’ve got keys to the storage locker, and Mom’s place, and Wendy’s cottage and the Dawson’s whose dogs I walk when they go out of town to visit their kids in Sherbrook! I’ve probably got even more keys than that! It’s a lot of keys! I’ve earned them! I’ve earned the trust to have them! RUDY!

“writing poems on placemats.” By Julia on the 99

Thursday, March 15, 2018
5 minutes
Garlic In My Ear

Jerie told me she’d only move back to Vancouver if I could find her a two bedroom apartment that wasn’t being eaten. By what she did not specify, but the easy answer would be “at all”. I first asked her to come back when Elliot got in that car crash and was put into a coma. Surely someone in a coma couldn’t work the corner office. I wasn’t hoping for him to die, just, stay where he was. Jerie said it was a shitty thing to do and wasn’t moving on principal. I hadn’t touched her skin in 5 months. I guess I got desperate. She was right. But how do you woo someone with a bachelor apartment and a bachelor salary? The second time I asked her was after I got the side job at McDonalds. I started writing her reasons why on napkins. Wrote her sonnets on the backs of greasy placemats.

“God may have written” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


5 minutes

From a quote by Nancy Cartwright

Aubrey tells me that she wishes she could sing without trying. Without crying. Without opening her mouth. She asks me to ask God what can be done about that. She asks me because I’m taller than her and therefore closer to God. She’s not wrong…

When I ask her why she wants this she doesn’t answer with words but with a look of disapproval. As if I didn’t already know. As if it needs to be spelled out.

Aubrey tells me it’s important that singing be true. She says she’s heard enough people trying and she doesn’t want to be the kind who has to push put feelings; one who tries to get it right.

Would you be okay with being wrong? I ask her, a little afraid now that I’ve pushed her too far.

She smiles then and blows her bangs out of her oval face.

“God may have written” by Sasha at JJ Bean

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at JJ Bean Olympic Village
5 minutes
From a quote by Nancy Cartwright

God may have told you not to cross the desert but you didn’t listen. You went, alone, litres of water on your back. You didn’t take a camel. You didn’t want the company, the sounds, the chewing, the shit. God may have told you to call your landlord but you didn’t listen. You left without notifying your bank, your lover, your brother. You brought enough sunscreen to last you three months. That’s the thing you googled. “How much sunscreen does a red-head need for three months in the desert?” Google knew the answer. You might miss Google. You brought a book that you knew you wouldn’t mind reading and re-reading because you’ve read and re-read it already several times.

“A woman came out of the farmhouse.” By Julia on Kits Beach

Monday, March 12, 2018
5 minutes
Exactly What To Say
Kim Church

In her hand she was clutching a dead chicken by the neck. From where I was standing behind the red Birch, and how its head bobbed methodically, it appeared to be still alive, merely intoxicated. Like Ariane was dragging her drunk friend home after too many jagger bombs.
I don’t know why I thought I could hide from her. She spotted me right away, a twig in these heavy woods.
I froze in my spot and then managed a wave. It was as awkward as I’d ever been. The look on her face said nothing in the world had ever disappointed her more.

“If you want to go out with her or give her a bath” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday March 8, 2018
5 minutess
From a text

If you want to go out with her or give her a bath, that would probably make her happy. I’m planning to be home by 4:30, but sometimes class runs late and in that case I’ll text you. Thanks again, so much, for doing this. My Mom has a fever and I don’t want Lily getting sick, so I didn’t have any choice but to – … It’s awkward calling you like this. I’m sorry. I really appreciate it. I know that you said the offer always stands, but you also said that you didn’t want to have any obligations with her, so, I don’t know, I guess that’s kind of a mixed message a little bit.

“Oh my god it HURTS!” By Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Wednesday March 7, 2018
The Stand
Stephen King

Hands on hips and butt naked Martha gives me a look like I’m never escaping. “But you lied to me!” She shouts at the top of her lungs.

“It’s a white lie…” I look at Billie, her mother, and Billie tries not to smile.

“I don’t even know what the is!” Martha wails.

“Why don’t you put on your pyjamas, sweetie,” says Billie and Martha slowly goes to her purple dresser and chooses a striped nightgown. It’s flannel. Billie made it.

“You’ve both really disappointed me,” Martha says, and we can’t help but laugh now. We laugh and laugh and then she laughs a bit too.

“Will you still give me a loonie? Even if the tooth fairy won’t? Can we pretend that she’s real? Just til I’m eight?”

Billie and I pinky swear.

“Oh my god it HURTS!” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday March 7, 2018
The Stand
Stephen King

Okay let me tell you what it’s like. On a good night? He comes home, he kisses me in the driveway, he slaps my ass and then he brings in the groceries from the car, puts them away, then sits on the couch. I give him a back massage and then I cook dinner. He does the dishes, then he reads in his chair and snacks on those chewy mints. He loves those chewy mints even though they get stuck in his teeth. He tells me he loves me. He sings in my ear. On a bad night it’s not much different. He comes home, he reads, he chews, he does the dishes. But on those days he does not kiss me in the driveway. Doesn’t tell me that he loves me. Plays the piano in the other room with his headphones in. Watches reality tv and surfs the web for funny videos in the other room with his headphones in. Doesn’t kiss me before we sleep. Doesn’t touch me in the bed. Doesn’t ask how my day was. Comes home but doesn’t want to be there.

“shit and eggshell” by Julia on the 9

Sunday, March 4, 2018
5 minutes
My Life Smells Like This
Amy Bloom

You are no longer sleeping here-I beg the smart side of my brain to seize the opportunity: Paint the fucking thing shit brown and eggshell, a reminder of just how useless you were. The smart part of body buys the brushes, borrows a roller and a tray, sticks colour swatches to the wall. The other side, the middle sister side, sits on the edge of the bed and seizes into a chemical tear bath. The salty breath is held there like a brown paper bag was trying to keep it from floating away. Laboured. Inconsolable. The smart side of my brain has it all figured out: Leave, let leave, let live, live, leave. Do not pick up the phone. Do not keep slippers in the room that fit only the feet who walked out on you. Don’t do it. Don’t ask the other side for grace.

“shit and eggshell” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday, March 4, 2018
5 minutes
My Life Smells Like This
Amy Bloom

I didn’t expect this place to smell like eggshells and sweat, soup and gasoline, wet sand and morning breath. I didn’t expect you to give me eyes like you understand. I pour myself a glass of red wine, something from Argentina, something in the fifteen dollar range. You’re late, and that’s okay. I need to get my bearings. I snoop around. The kitchen is dirty. The bathroom is clean. The window is open in the lounge, and it’s freezing outside so that means that someone either smoked a joint or took a shit. Maybe both. I didn’t expect this place to have the view that it does. I’m taking it in when I feel your hand on my waist, and your breath in my ear.

“plush and pregnant into my palm” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday, March 3, 2018
5 minutes
Ode to a Desiccated Olive
James Cagney

You used to make jokes about people like me. And now I’ve become one of those calorie counting, jegging wearing, decaf guzzling zombies. It wasn’t the kids. I can’t blame them. Change doesn’t happen overnight, it happens slowly, right? You used to mock the mother’s, smiling through a scream in the grocery store line-up, buying their kids Timbits in the drive thru just to shut them up for one fucking second?! Hahahaha! Ha. Joke’s on us I guess. You never wanted to be a father, or that’s what you said before Jonah started to look exactly like you and then it was all, “He’s the best little guy…” and “Jojo, say “Li-on”!”

“object of concentration” by Sasha at her desk

Friday, March 2, 2018
5 minutes
Ashtanga Yoga Primer
Baba Hari Dass

I keep telling Don that I don’t want anything to do with him but he will not leave me alone and this gives me no choice but to raise a glass tonight, at our Christmas party. Don, you psychotic mutherfucker, I almost admire only your tenacity and persistence. Almost. I almost wish I had your ability to completely ignore all signs, all cues, all “no’s” in pursuit of what I want. Almost. Ladies and gentlemen, actually – NO. Just the gentlemen in the room, because all of the women, even Helena who just turned eighty-two and is still working the switchboard, all of the women know that Don is a scumbag. Has he groped you by the coffee machine? Maybe invited you out to dinner and you thought that other people would be there, but nope, it’s just the two’s of you. Don, don’t look so shocked… you had to know that this was coming? The uprising? The reckoning?

“wedding bells at the airport” by Sasha at the Diamond Centre

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
5 minutes
jessie read

Dev asked me to marry him in the bathroom at the airport. We were in one of those family bathrooms, where you’re only supposed to go if you have a baby or something. We don’t have one of those yet, but we needed to change into warmer clothes as we were still in our shorts and t-shirts. He said we didn’t have much time, that our connecting flight was leaving in under an hour and he wanted to eat something before getting back in the sky. He’s a man of few words, my Dev, so you should know that before I keep going. We were both in that bathroom, and all of a sudden he’s down on his knees and he’s crying. I’m like, “Dev, what the heck is wrong with you?” And, “Get up right now, this place is nasty!”

And then he looks up at me with those brown eyes all filled with tears and he says, “Gillian Larissa Warrington, will you marry me?”

I don’t know why he had to do it there, I never asked him and I never will because I don’t want him to think I thought it any less special. Who needs a fancy restaurant!

“for what little he had left” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
5 minutes
Curtis LeBlanc

This place is good for my pen obsession. Roller tip, flowing ink, black, fine, blue, turquoise. Anytime I’m here, in the copy room, I have to be careful that I don’t get sticky fingers. That’s what Da used to call it, when me or one of the twins would pinch something at the corner store. “How’d ya get those sticky fingers, hey?” He’d say, shaking his big head. “Wasn’t from me, that’s fer sure,” he’d scold us and make us bring the thing back and then Mrs. Dowers would crouch down and look us in the eyes and say,

“Stealing is the devil’s work.” She’d be smiling a little, got some sort of sick pleasure out of tormenting the little ones. Fear of God in us, it’s be months before we pinched something again… at least Tyler, it’d be months before Tyler did. Me and Jim were good, it only took one of those talks.

“only four corals spawn” by Julia at her desk

Sunday, February 25, 2018
5 minutes
Sea Sick
Alanna Mitchell

Did you know that coral is not a plant? Everybody thinks it’s a plant because of its size and the way it hangs out on ocean floors. Corals are not plants. Technically, they’re animals because they don’t produce their own food. They actually have mouths. I’m not a coral mouth expert so I can’t really say much about them, but I know they’re there because they capture food with their tentacle-like arms and then sweep it into them. They have been around for millions of years. Did you know that? I know a girl who is named Coral but I don’t think she was named after THE coral because she’s sort of the opposite of amazing. She’s the type of girl you just want to roll up in a dusty rug and toss off your 6 story balcony onto your mom’s boyfriend’s parking spot. I’ve never heard her talk about the ocean before. What a waste. Anyway, did you know that coral reefs rival old-growth forests in terms of how long they can live? I don’t blame you for not knowing that. I didn’t even know that and I’ve read EXTENSIVELY about corals.

“only four corals spawn” by Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Sunday, February 25, 2018
5 minutes
Sea Sick
Alanna Mitchell

India Arie has sold over 3.3 million records worldwide so if you’ve ever questioned her success you are the one who is, in fact, “out to lunch”. She won four Grammy Awards, okay. Do you remember the song “Video”? It basically started an entire revolution. I tried to wear India Arie inspired head wraps for about two weeks in junior high and everyone asked what statement I was making. “I am not making any statement! I am not my hair!” I said and then swore a vow of silence for third period chemistry so that my identity would not be questioned further.

“A queen travels” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday, February 24, 2018
5 minutes
Winter Watch
Jennifer Elise Foerster

Mom sits us all down in the living room. Penny’s sucking her thumb and no one calls her out. Liam is playing on his Gameboy and Mom says, “Put your sh – STUFF away, please,” and that means that she really means business. She almost swore.

Dad won’t be home for another twelve minutes and so we just kind of sit there, waiting. “What’s going on?” Liam says.

“Put your socks back on,” Mom says, “your feet smell like Cheetos.”

I hear Dad’s key in the lock and jump up. “He’s home!” Finally. Phew. Penny might suck her thumb right off.

“We’re in the living room, Roberto,” says Mom and I’ve never heard her call him that. It sounds like another language, one that doesn’t belong in 326 Hemingway Avenue.

“There is a dream I remember having” by Sasha in the wicker chair

Thursday, February 22, 2018
5 minutes
The Wilds of Sleep
Kat Duff

Dr. Sandhu is wearing a linen cream pantsuit today. Did she think of me as I thought of her when choosing my blue sweater that covers my bum and stretchy grey tights and my fun boots that I usually only wear out in the evening for evening plans? WHY DO MY BOWELS FEEL AS THOUGH THEY WANT TO EMPTY?

“How was your week, Claire?” She says my name like it’s a pastry or a perfume or something a little bit biblical.

“It was okay. I brought my Dad a roast chicken on Sunday because at the home the chicken is dry and I never hear the end of it.”

“Tell me about your Dad.”

“What do you want to know?”

“How long has he been sick?”

“Both my parents had Alzheimer’s at the same time so if you want to know about him you have to know about her, too – “

“Your mother?”

“Yeah, they really overlap a lot inside my – “

“Use your body to be the tent” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
5 minutes
Nest Filled
Kim Stafford

I don’t know that I would sheild you first in an attack from outer space
You’re high on the list but not at the top
Maybe you’re fourth or fifth, or sixth which, don’t get me wrong, is still very good
I wouldn’t want to be fourth or fifth on anyone’s list but
for you on mine it’s a privileged spot
Especially when you consider how many things are important to me
How many people too
I don’t think I would use my body as the tent in case it happens
to rain outside
even if you were wearing your tailor-made suit
I would much rather you employ an umbrella to do that job
I guess I don’t consider rain life threatening
But in the event of a life threatening occurence
I would save my right hand and then my left
And then my sister
and then my notebooks
and then my cousin’s kid
and then you
That’s sixth for you, just like I promised
After, of course, counting my hands seperately

“During a rest stop” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


The Ecology of Prayer

Fred Bahnson

When Erin got out of the truck her hands were still sticky. She told Cal to keep the engine running as a joke but he didn’t quite compute. She walked back to the passenger seat and held up her hands, then said, I’m going to be a minute. Cal got it. He could see his semen catching the light like dried glue. He watched her go into the gas station and wondered if he should be washing off too. He thought about the baby wipes Raisa used to leave all over the place, making everything smell like diapers. Erin tried not to touch anything until she reached the bathroom. She realized it was a mistake to walk along the row of Doritos.

“During a rest stop” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
The Ecology of Prayer
Fred Bahnson

In Berlin
I slept in a room with twelve strangers
and in the middle of the night
two of the strangers
decided to have sex
one of the strangers
got sick in the shared en suite
vomiting and fucking
at the very same moment
and no one should have to hear that

no one should have to do that
not at my age

In Berlin
I walked the old streets
in running shoes
because my back hurts now
that’s what it’s come to
and I hate these stupid shoes
but my back feels good
and feeling good wins
every time
and I hate that too

In Berlin
I drink beer with a man half my age
and he asks if I have children
and I laugh
beer comes out my nose and he says
that I’m charming
I say that I’m sleeping in a room
with twelve strangers and maybe
we can go back to his place
and he says sheepishly and staring
into his stein that he lives
with his parents

“ready for the feel of fire” by Julia at her desk

Monday, February 19, 2018
5 minutes
All Things Wasting
Mallory Tater

The last time I spoke to him I lied and said I had roasted his favourite shoes over the open fire. I told him I made chestnuts out of them. He believed me. I guess that’s saying something about me. About him, sure, but about me first because I must be pretty convincing. I suppose he has good reason. Once when we were laying in a sleeping bag somewhere in Tobermory, I said I’d stab him if he let go of me and when he did, so did I. Stab him, I mean. It was only a little, and he bled but not for long, but I said I would do it and I did it and that’s when he started to get a little scared of me. Even if it was only my thumb nail piercing his upper thigh. He’s entitled to his opinions. He can think I’m whatever he thinks, but I would never actually roast somebody’s shoes on a fire. I’m not a monster. He didn’t even respond right away when I told him I did it. He took a few long breaths and then said that was all he could take for right now. I think that was a tactic his therapist told him to practice. I don’t think he would have thought of those words on his own.

“ready for the feel of fire” by Sasha at her desk

Monday, February 19, 2018
5 minutes
All Things Wasting
Mallory Tater

I keep having dreams that I’m pregnant, or giving birth, or losing a baby, or holding a baby, or handing you our baby. I google what this means and google tells me that I’m “pregnant with change” and that “there’s a part of me that I’m neglecting that needs nurturing”. Um. Kay. I’ve never been more sure of not wanting to have an actual real life screaming shitting baby, so it’s absolutely not “a baby dream may be telling you that you are actually pregnant. Congrats!” Um. Nope! I don’t tell Todd, and I don’t tell my therapist because there are more important things to discuss with both of these people.

“the beauty and challenge of facebook” by Julia at her desk

Sunday February 18, 2018
5 minutes
Margaret Christakos

Earlier today I was on Facebook deleting all the people who I no longer want to have access to my life. You don’t get to see what I’m up to if you’ve been a bad friend. Or not a friend at all. It isn’t your right! I decide, okay? I’m getting heated up forof a myriad of reasons. Sometimes it feels like the whole damn world is watching. Sometimes I want to be left alone. Tina and Guy send messages from each other’s accounts and that drives me up the wall. Speaking of walls, I don’t need some stranger commenting on a conversation I’m having with my sister’s boyfriend. I don’t need to be having conversations at all on Facebook but I’m on it and that’s that. I don’t want to miss anything. My brother posts videos of his kids in the pumpkin patch. I don’t want to miss my mom accidentally telling me she misses me on my profile picutre. But I don’t want the people who don’t deserve my time to witness my activities. If they can’t be in my life, they shouldn’t get to see it. I don’t just post all the best stuff either so it’s really, really my life.

“the beauty and challenge of facebook” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday February 18, 2018
5 minutes
Margaret Christakos

I fucking hate Facebook. I think it’s all posturing and must-be-seen-as and “come see my show!” BARF and “this is how beautiful I am this is how talented I am this is how political I am this is now armchair activist I am!” I fucking HATE Facebook. I wonder how many hours, as a society, we waste zooming in on the face of someone we went to kindergarten with, someone we made out with once, someone we forget how we know but damnnnn their baby is cute. I fucking HATE Facebook. But I spend hours on it. Every. Single. Day. Especially when I’m trying to avoid the gym, or crossfit, or my best friend who just went through a breakup and “needs to talk RIGHT NOW.”

“Near Middle: for “Devilish woman,” by Julia at her desk

Saturday February 17, 2018
5 minutes
Errata and Addenda
Rachaela Van Borek

Can’t tell her the truth even though that’s what we both promised we’d do.
When she tells me hers, she apologizes a month later and says, “Maybe when
you asked what I thought that night I shouldn’t have answered at all.”
I tell her “No, you should have, I want you to be honest with me,”
but I don’t know if that’s just because I don’t know what else to say.
I have some ideas about the questions she doesn’t ask me and
I know I can’t tell her what I think so I agree inside that maybe she is right.
A blanket gets thrown at me when I look cold but feel sweaty.
That’s probably on account of all the discomfort.
Some people sweat when they lie.
I put it on my toes and count the minutes before the pizza arrives.
Maybe when we’re eating we will have less time to peer into each other’s
souls and risk ruining a perfectly good family.
Suddenly her phone rings and she answers it in the middle of my good story.
She covers the receiver, tells me that our mother is frying shrimp dumplings again and asks if I want any.
I tell her to tell her yes.
She tells our mother we’ll be right over.
When she hangs up she shakes her head.
“Not sure what Mom is doing making dumplings at midnight.”
“Not sure what Mom is doing thinking we all still live in the same time zone.”

“Near Middle: for “Devilish woman,” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday February 17, 2018
5 minutes
Errata and Addenda
Rachaela Van Borek

She reaches into her pocket and there’s a melting Hershey’s kiss, six fifty in change, a receipt for a mini bottle of vodka, and lip chap that she’s scraped out using her pinkie nail. This is the state of her life. This is what she deserves. This is forty-two. She pulls her hand out. Step back.

She caught his eye in the elevator that first time only because that one asshole who had to stand facing the opposite direction. It’s eight thirty in the morning, dingus. Now is not the time for a social experiment. He’d smiled. He’s gorgeous. She’d blushed. Game over.

She packs her desk up into a banker’s box – lemon hand cream, a framed photo of her nephew, her BOSS mug, the succulent that’s hanging on by a thread. Is that what it’s come to? Step back.

He texts her and says that he’s thinking of her. He’s on a beach in Playa del Carmen. His kids are probably squishing guacamole all over his torso. His wife is probably emerging from the ocean, tan and beautiful.

“eat all of our food? Rude.” By Sasha on the 99

Friday February 16, 2018
5 minutes
David Delisca

Crumbs under the toaster again! GODDAMNIT SHARLEEN! I can’t take it anymore! Crumbs all over the counter and it’s not hard to moisten a cloth, wipe the counter, lift the toaster, wipe under the toaster! I raised you to be better than this, Sharleen! Come downstairs! I hate shouting. Sharleen?! Jesus, she’s not even here?!

Furiously dials on the cordless phone.

Hello, Sharleen. This is your mother. Please call me immediately. This is an emergency. I repeat. This is an E-M-E-R-G-E-N – Oh! You’re calling on the other line. Shit. How do I – ?




“eat all of our food? Rude.” By Julia in N’s kitchen

Friday February 16, 2018
5 minutes
David Delisca

When Harley stays with us on Tuesdays and Thursdays cause it’s closer to the hospital
he buys us hot dogs and
orders pizza
He doesn’t want us to make him anything special simply
because he’s dying
He’d rather eat out of the garbage
can than put us out any more
than he thinks he is already
On Mondays and Wednesdays
Mitch goes out to pick up
the groceries he thinks Harley
might like to snack on when
he thinks the rest of us aren’t
paying attention
Fruit by the foot and Reese’s
Peanut butter Puffs
Organic strawberries and Oreos
We stock the cupboards just
in case

“we were in the same grade together” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday February 15, 2018
5 minutes
Lesbian at a Bachelor Party
Amber Dawn

I run for miles just to get close to you and then when you’re there when you’re in front of my there aren’t words there is only my incessant heart that insists on beating seventeen times too fast whenever I’m in your presence.

It doesn’t help that I’m so hungry for love for touch for attention for kissing for you that I hide when your close and that’s not a metaphor I actually hide as in I crawl under the sink and wait until you’re gone.

It doesn’t matter that I ran for miles to get here and that then seeing you real and alive and breathing and looking worse than I thought you’d look it doesn’t matter it doesn’t matter I will die here in the cupboard of shame and fear and love and sweat and

oh my god

you’re searching for dish soap.

I’ve been found.

“freckles on thighs and in-between.” By Sasha on the 17

Tuesday February 13, 2018
5 minutes
Teachable Moment, 1986
Kellee Ngan

My finger traces the freckles on her thighs and
in between the places there are no windows
there is no bright.

Red jacket and long johns and beeswax on the sheets
and white sage and kettle singing and cat curled at our feet
and Marvin Gaye record spinning and spinning

Muck out to the pottery studio
out beyond the outhouse.
The reassurance of snow.
The dependability of sun breaking through cloud cover after weeks.

Drinking black coffee out of chipped pottery.
Eating honey by the spoonful.
Keeping warm by the space heater.

Hands learning a new language
your hair dirty and perfect
turning grey.

“He couldn’t get enough of sky” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday February 8, 2018
5 minutes
North America’s Favourite Zoo Animal
Stephanie Bolster

He hit the road on Friday after supper and didn’t stop driving until he was just outside of Moose Jaw. He couldn’t get enough of the sky and watching it turn from morning to noon to night. He couldn’t get enough of the open highway, ebbing and flowing with cars, depending on when and where he was. John Prine on the tape deck. Townes Van Zandt up next. He’s never been happier. The highway was calling for thirteen years. He put it off and put it off and put it off and put it off.

“barely do I sense that faint tug” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday February 7, 2018
5 minutes
Hiking With My Shadow
Don McKay

Mimi makes the chocolate birthday cake for Don’s birthday. She mixes wet and dry. Stirs in eggs and oil. She meticulously follows her mother’s recipe. It’s Don’s favourite cake. She’ll make the frosting and ice the cake tomorrow, right before the party.

“Mimi?” Don’s home early.

“I’m in the kitchen.” Of course she is. He knows that’s where to find her. She whisper calls, because Jonah’s napping.

“Mimi, it’s Dad. He’s in the hospital in Calgary and I have to go right away.”

“We’ll come with you…” She’s already taking off her apron.

“No, no… There’s no point. He’ll probably be dead by the time I get there.”

“coffee laced with rum” by Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Tuesday February 6, 2018
5 minutes
I’ve Fishing Crawford Lake
Kim Maltman

First date and she asks what you’re drinking and you say that you’re not but she thinks that you’re joking so then you’re joking and then there’s a rum and diet and instantly you’ve got game and sex appeal and a smile that looks like you’ve had orthodonture.

You pour yourself three fingers and you know you shouldn’t you know you promised but you do it you do it anyway.

Morning meeting coming up there will be pastries maybe a few too green bananas there will be coffee you bring a travel mug of your own your own is better and you get to lace it with rum.

Hard times come and it’s harder for them to go once they’re there and you’re back nursing a beer at three when you should be with your family at Len’s christening shit shit when did it get this bad?

“Ninety pounds.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday February 4, 2018
5 minutes
T is for Texas
Derek McCormack

Hardly ninety pounds soaking wet, Kenny didn’t have a friend ’til he met Burl. It’s not like Burl had a softball team waiting to eat lunch with him or anything, but he did have Henrietta so that’s something.

Henrietta did not like Kenny from the moment she met him. Something about a boy in sweatpants just got her goat. When he walked over to her and Burl, acting like he belonged, she wrinkled her forehead and looking back and forth from Kenny to Burl like she was watching a badminton match. Silly birdie.

“Hi Burl.”

“Hi Kenny.”

“Would you like to come over and play after school today? My brother has chess, and Joan would rather not have to entertain me.”

Anyone who calls their mother by her first name cannot be trusted, thought Henrietta, picking the lettuce out of her salami sandwich.

“children dawdling to school” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday February 3, 2018
5 minutes
K.V Skene

You forget what you came into the kitchen for. You don’t think much of it. These things happen. You have been working long days. It’s taking it’s toll.

You put the sponge in the freezer. You know that you have one and you can’t find it. This pisses you off. You scream swear. You’ll go for the frozen bananas tomorrow morning when it’s time for a smoothie. There it is. Frozen solid. Shit.

You forget why you got on the bus, and where you’re supposed to be going. Your heart sinks. You wonder if this is what happened with your mother, and her mother, and her mother before her. You wonder if you should’ve eaten more broccoli, less sugar. You wonder if this is your destiny, riding the bus across the bridge unsure when to get off.

“children dawdling to school” by Julia in Hanoi

Saturday February 3, 2018
5 minutes
K.V Skene

It’s over the hill and past the old abandoned ice cream truck.
The little ones don’t seem to
be afraid when they go by it
but I don’t like the feeling it
gives me. I don’t like what it
represents but then again I’m
old enough to remember what
happened. They skip and play
and sometimes pretend to steer
the wheel. They make believe
that they are just like the ice
cream man on a regular Wednesday in June.
The police say there might have been more than twenty bodies.
They say
they didn’t consider
digging so far back until
they had a reason to. When
you think of what all of us kids
knew back then, it makes you
wonder what their priorities were,
and what order.

“handed down mother to daughter” by Sasha on the 33

Friday February 2, 2018
5 minutes
Without Mercy
Howard Wright

We weren’t ever really sure where she came from. Just arrived one day, with diamond eyes and the reddest hair you’ve ever seen. She didn’t knock on the door, just stood outside it til Allen went out to milk the cows. She barely said a word. Got by on shaking her head and little grunts, like a goat. Mama put up posters in town, at Pharmacy and the General Store, almost as if she were a stray. No one claimed her though, so we kept her around. She never smiled. She baked the most delicious biscuits. We called her Red, and I think she liked that. Never told us her real name.

“Should we take the pillows?” By Julia in Phong Nha-ke bang National Park

Thursday February 1, 2018
5 minutes
What Are You Thinking?
Jay Ruzesky

R-Should we take the coffee packets? Will you want those later?

A-I’m collecting them. I think they’ll be good to have on the go, don’t you

R-And should we take the Q-tips?

A-always good to have cotton swabs we didn’t have to buy in case of an emergency.

R-should we take the bag of crackers?

A-Of course I think we’ll enjoy having them as a snack in between major meals on the road.

R-And should we take the pillows?

A-well, if they will fit in our bags then it would be good to—wait. The pillows? Should we take the pillows?

R-Yes, should we take them?

A-The pillows?

R- Yes.

A-But…the pillows?

“the holy monkeys and the colourful birds” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday January 30, 2018
5 minutes
Anna Margolin

The holy monkeys run at me as soon as I enter the temple. I was ambivalent about coming here, to say the least. But Jed said, “You have to go to the Monkey Palace! You haven’t lived until you’ve seen those monkeys!” I can hear his voice now, that way that it lilted like summer and peaches. Shit, I miss him. There I am, charged by primates, and I’m weeping because Jed, and I’m probably a little homesick, and maybe hungry, and tired. A Balinese woman comes up to me, so beautiful, and she offers me a piece of mango.

“it was poetry, fireworks, ticker tape” by Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Monday January 29, 2018
5 minutes
Bad Hand
Mallory Tarses

It was fireworks when Alma was born
It was poetry when she looked up at Judy

“Poetry” Pete says when he’s telling the story
He loves to tell the story
even now
seven years later

“It was the coldest night of the year,” says Judy
stroking Alma’s soft downy fawn hair

“How cold?” Alma asks

“Thirty six below,” says Pete
as he puts another log on the fire
and it sparks
Alma giggles
The old dog Mutt opens one eye

“Where were the fireworks?” Alma asks
She knows the answer
but that’s the quiet comfort of
asking anyway

“Right here,” says Pete
tapping on his chest
knocking on the door of his heart

“It’s bedtime now,” says Judy
and she’s right but they all hope
that maybe tonight she can stay up
just a little bit longer

Mutt farts in his sleep and
they all laugh and laugh
and laugh
plugging their noses

“Said she’s comin’ back to stay” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday January 28, 2018
5 minutes
Gonna Have Love
Buck Owens

I’m the one at the edge, clutching a glass of club soda, looking at my scuffed shoes. When you come over, when you walk towards me, my heart races and I think, “Ohmygosh it’s finally happening.”

But you’re not coming towards me. You’re leaving. You’re going to the bathroom. You’re going to get some air. You’ve got to make a phone call and the fiddle music is too loud in here. Why did I come? I don’t belong here? What was I thinking? How did I let Ma talk me into this ridiculous – ? I could also go get air. I could also go the the bathroom. I could leave. I could… I know that Franny said that she’s comin’ back to stay but there’s never been a liar like Franny…

“like a man swallowing clay.” By Sasha in the bath

Thursday January 25, 2018
5 minutes
Fish-Eye Marble
Sophia Lecker

Yogi swallows clay to clean out her toxins. Yogi does a headstand. Yogi drinks ginger – pure ginger – liquified. Yogi swallows soft white fabric and shits it out and pulls and now she’s clean.

Beth fries chicken in a cast iron skillet. Beth wipes her hands on a cloth that she found in the laundry room. It has small blue ducklings. She thinks it might belong to a baby. Beth stole from a baby.

Kenneth makes his fiftieth egg sandwich of the morning. He wonders if Jess is up yet. He hates working brunch.

“Well, God is perfectly fair.” By Sasha at the BMO Theatre Centre

Tuesday January 23, 2018
5 minutes
Tamas Dobozy

I bring a book when I go to chemo with Tom. He never asked me to go with him but I do because it’s nice to spend time with him and everyone else is freaked out. Sometimes he doesn’t want to talk, in which case I read the Sports section or listen to a podcast. Lily’s got me into podcasts. I love them. Listen to them on my long drives. Tom didn’t tell us until he was really sick. He kept it from everyone except Sas. When he told me and Lily we both cried. It was the first time we’d done that together.

“microwaved a saucer of milk” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday January 22, 2018
5 minutes
Stephanie Yorke

Gramma makes the sign of the cross and sticks the saucer of milk in the microwave. She sets the timer for thirty seconds. She stands back. She thinks about how strange microwaves are, and how her mother used to have to heat up milk on the stovetop. She thinks about how each milky molecule is being warmed from the inside, and how she isn’t sure if this is genius or Frankenstein. Maybe Frankenstein was genius. The timer goes. Gramma takes the saucer of milk out of the microwave and brings it into the dining room.

“She’ll use timid hand gestures,” by Julia on the 9

Friday January 19, 2018
5 minutes
Black Roses Bloom
Bill Gaston

She’ll calmly talk about her dad as if he were still alive. She’ll say he’s gone but her arms don’t quite believe it yet. Her jaw won’t accept it as the truth. She’ll stay up late in bed because the book is that good. Except it won’t be a book she’s reading. It’ll be hard to sleep with all those dreams of him. The ones of him showing up at her door with a basket of fresh picked cherry tomatoes and a couple dangerous Chili peppers. The ones of her getting a call from his cell phone but all he does is laugh and laugh when she picks up. The ones of him squeezing her shoulders when he hugs her tight. The ones of him calling her sweetie after a long time apart.

“it’s the ending that keeps me in my chair.” By Sasha in her bed

Thursday January 18, 2018
5 minutes
Sue Goyette

I don’t know why you’re yelling but it must be because you’re afraid I won’t hear you so I just keep breathing deep and imagining that you’re not yelling and that you know that I can hear you very clearly.

Funnily enough it’s harder to actually get what you’re saying when you’re yelling at least for me and maybe that’s because I have very sensitive ears and I don’t like loud music loud talkers loud chewers anything loud really.

Not sure when you’ll stop yelling but it’s certainly not when I ask you it’s certainly not when I ask you I absolutely ask you several times.

So I just leave not in an angry way not in a way that says that I’m not coming back just in the kind of way that says I asked you and you kept going and I said that I couldn’t take it and then you kept going so.