“the amniotic brine of tears” by Sasha at Lewis St.

Tuesday January 16, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
Memo to a Self
Steven Heighton

“Soak the fish in salty water”, Gramma says, dropping the cut up chunks of cod into the brine. “It should taste like the sea, or tears”. She laughs. She wheezes. She inhales her cigarette. “Add chopped shallots and garlic. Maybe a pinch of cayenne pepper. Put it in the fridge for hours, not a second more or less…” Her eyes twinkle.

“Really? It matters down to the second?” I ask.

“Absolutely!” She says.

I add the shallots, garlic and pepper. We cover the bowl and put it in the fridge.

“Life Lessons From 100-Year-Olds” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday July 30, 2017
11:15pm
5 minutes
Youtube

Fiona turns one hundred on a Sunday. She’s outlived most of the friends of her generation, but her three grandchildren come over for waffles and bacon. Fiona asks Sam to make her a stiff drink. He obliges. Fiona doesn’t dole out advice, or even speak about the good old days. She listens to her brood speaking words she has no idea the meaning of, and she adds more whipped cream to her waffle, a small smile on her lips.

“Ready to rock?” by Sasha on her couch


Friday May 27, 2016
10:01pm
5 minutes
People Magazine
March 2016


Holding Grandma’s paper skin hand
A priest talks about forgiveness
Jesus
Bread
Her fingers are long
Knuckles like burls
I lean in close to smell her
Baby powder and drugstore perfume
Make up that is long expired
She doesn’t stand to sing anymore
On her perch
The Pew
Queen Bird

“good times” by Sasha in Mississauga


Wednesday, December 23, 2015
11:16pm
5 minutes
from the back of a CD

“Who is this?” Kate asks, holding the picture in her hand and reaching out her arm to her mother. Leslie is making three piles of records – keep, give away and sell. Once, she gets confused as to the order of the piles and Kenny G ends up in the “keep” pile. “Sebastian…” Leslie says, almost without looking up. “Who is Sebastian?” Kate says, sticking a photo of her and Henry into the album. “He was married to Grandma for seven months right after Grandpa died,” Leslie picks up the pile of records she’s keeping and puts them into the red milk crate. “What are you talking about? Grandma remarried before Julian? She’s been married three times?” “Those were good times,” Leslie says, picking up a Tina Turner record and smelling it.

“grabbed by the notion” by Julia on the 505 going West


Tuesday, July 21, 2015
11:28pm
5 minutes
from a letter to a celebrity

I’m on the ocean
The waves are healing me
I’m looking deep
In the cave in my chest
I’m on the ocean
The water is curing me
I’m holding tight
To the magic underneath

I remember these words better than I remember my own address. They’ve been sung into my soul so many times that they’re practically mine, top to bottom. Grandma used to sing it to me before bed. She dreamed of the ocean, and taking me there to live with her. When Aunt Christina passed away, Grandma said she knew a place where I wouldn’t feel any pain. She asked Mom if I could go but Mom said, You’re not leaving me too, not now, not ever. And Grandma tried so long to get me there. I didn’t know how much Mom hated to be alone.

”Many people want love to function like a drug,” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Monday, June 15, 2015
4:13pm
5 minutes
A quote by bell hooks

I peel the sticker on the back of the “Visitor” tag off and stick it to my T-shirt. The guard pats me down and lingers on my left pocket. “I said empty your pockets,” she says. I take out Jose’s small red truck he wanted grandma to have. “What’s this?” She asks, like she’s never seen a toy before. “It’s my sons,” I say, “sorry, I forgot it was in there…” I toss it in the trash can. “You didn’t have to do that!” The guard smirks. “Won’t your kid be pissed?” “My kid will be fine. He has a few others.” I push past her and she grabs my shoulder. “Is there a problem?” “Nope…” “Who’re you here to see?” She takes out a clipboard. “Monique Rodriguez.” She looks up and raises her eyebrows. “What?” I say, worried, defensive, unsure. “You didn’t hear?” She licks her lips. “Hear what?” “Monique is in the hospital… She got in a fight.” “Excuse me?” My heart sinks. I hadn’t been to see my mother since two Christmas’ ago. I’d taken a five hour flight and a two hour bus ride to be there. “My mother is a pacifist,” I feel a tear trying to sneak out of my left eye but I will it back in. Not now. Not now.

“you can see a musical” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday December 13, 2014
7:14am
5 minutes
Top 10 London

When you go to New York, you can see a musical. It’ll be your first one. Make sure you wear a really nice something something. They can tell you’re a tourist but you don’t want to give us Canadians a bad name, right? A good place to start is Phantom of the Opera. Something by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Masquerade! Paper faces on parade! Masquerade!
If I were feeling stronger, I’d go with you, but I don’t think I’m up to that city anymore. The first time I went, Marjorie and I took a bus. It took over fifteen hours. At the border they sent dogs on and we were so scared our fingers were shaking. Someone on that bus had dope in their bag and the dogs went crazy, barking and panting. Marjorie almost fainted. But… We made it. And when we had a drink at the Waldorf Astoria I turned to her and said, “I never want to go home.”

“That really hurted!” by Julia at Gimli beach


Sunday, July 27, 2014
4:00pm
5 minutes
overheard at Gimli Beach


Well, I told him not to go into the water but he insisted. He was afraid of it for years so I guess I didn’t think I’d have to worry about it, then one day, or one instant, really, he got up the nerve, ran into the waves, and a big one came and smacked him in the belly.
Not life threatening stuff. He was fine in minutes, really. But he was shaken up for a bit, that’s for sure. He wouldn’t stop talking about how big it all felt. How he wasn’t sure if he could do it again today, but maybe the next time we came. I don’t know what changed his mind. Could have been just the ways of growing up-or it could have been that cute little thing who was playing with her dinosaur floaty. She might have lured him in with all her joy if I had to hazard a guess. I told him, Bobby, those waves are choppy do you see? Might not be the best for your first time so you have to be real careful. He said, Gramma, I know! I have two eyes in my head just like you do! Then he ran off and within seconds he was right back on the blanket with me rubbing his tummy.

“mostly tiny sungrazing comets” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday, July 16, 2014
11:48pm
5 minutes
from the Sun Wikipedia page


When we barbecue on the porch in the rain, it reminds me of being ten on the Island. My grandmother would send my sister and I bus tickets. They’d come the week before we were set to leave. There’d be handdrawn postcard with the three of us and her husky, Farley. She’d meet us at the ferry dock, raspberries and dark chocolate in her hands. She’d kiss us on the mouth and hold us at arms length to take in each of the changes. “Nadine, you’ve got an extra freckle on your cheek!” “Odessa, you’re one eighth of an inch taller!” Farley would lick our toes as we giggled and shook our heads. She’d leave her old station wagon on the other side, and when we piled into the back there’d always be a fresh beach towel and a peach for each of us. We’d drive, windows down, Bruce Cockburn on the tape deck, until we arrived at her cottage by the sea.

“Hear all year” by Julia at Burts Hill Provincial Park


Saturday July 12, 2014
5:21pm
5 minutes
from a banner at Winnipeg Folk Fest

That’s what they want you to say. They want you to say, no problem, no worries, it’s all good, blah blah blah. But really they’re right in the middle of taking advantage of you when they get you to utter anything like those stupid things they’re banking on. It’s like a weird tribe or cult that they obviously have training in and are therefore prepared for whatever answer you give, but I’m telling you, from experience or whatever, that you don’t have to feel tricked or bullied. Don’t let them get in your head and remember what you did when you were a kid and you got asked point blank if it was you who stole grandma’s perfume out of the drawer. Try and remember that exact response. The look of shock and maybe hurt that someone could even think of doing something so awful to your dear dear grandma, then the no that says, if you don’t find who did this, I will. That’s what I need you to summon from your bones cause I know you didn’t throw that feeling away. I know you still have it living inside of you for times like these. Don’t get soft and give in. I don’t want you running down the stairs crying cause the guilt of actually stealing her perfume made you feel so bad that you had to confess. There’s no room for that here, understand?

“set yourself on fire” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday May 13, 2014
6:20pm
5 minutes
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
Stars


It was out of extreme desperation but I was no longer happy with anything about my face. So I decided.
I decided to change the way I see myself. Change the way the world sees me because of the way I see me.
So I decided.
I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it. I couldn’t risk my aunt or my mother finding out. Of course not my grandma. They’d kill me before they let me do something like that. And that would then defeat the purpose of re-branding myself.
My grandma always loved my hair. My mom always did too. My aunt was a hair-dresser and thought I did something right in my former life to have the head of hair that I had.
And so I decided.
I lit a candle. One that smelled of fig and honey.
And it was nice, and I was enjoying myself.
And then I slowly dipped a strand or two into the flickering flame.
It sizzled. And I snapped my head back out of impulse.
Then somehow found the secret strength of carrying out plans to completion when it’s for nobody but me.
And I put more hair into the flame, smelling no longer like fig and honey, but like burning.
So I decided it would be dramatic.
Because I’m dramatic.
Because I’m so goddamn dramatic.
And I let the flames engulf my pretty hair until I could feel the heat deep in my scalp.
That’s when I smothered it.

(an image from National Geographic) by Sasha at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday October 23, 2013
10:41am
5 minutes
National Geographic Photo Issue
October 2013


“Remember when you forgot your own postal code? That was soooo funny!” Lukas laughs. “Remember when you put all those sticky notes everywhere? With all those reminders? That was hillllarious!” He picks at a chicken pock scab on his forehead. “How many days til Christmas?” He asks. The scab is bleeding. He holds his finger to it and then tastes. “My blood tastes like perfume!” He holds out his finger to me, “Wanna try?” I pause. I nod. How can I ever say no to this boy? He squeezes his forehead and a red droplet appears. He extends his finger to me again. I take it into my mouth and suck, gently. Rose and lilac, lavender and mandarin. “That tickles! Grandma! That tickles!” I bite down and he squeals.