“like being naked with someone you haven’t been naked with” by Sasha on the plane

Sunday February 16, 2020
5 minutes
Hot Pulse
J. Jill Robinson

Trust is a slippery fish that wriggles out of hands back into lake water
swims down to where the seaweed opens and closes
Finds a small “o” and swallows it and burps bubbles up
Face pressed against the float
breathe in the small pockets of air
upturn or downturn
Will he or won’t he break my tired heart?

The scales change colour and flake off
The mind says
This is always how it goes
Exhausted tune that the ears don’t even hear anymore
it’s so embedded and cozy in a down duvet
heavy limbs finally resting like they haven’t since

Throw the line in far and fast
loaded the end of the rod with the finest bait
wide eyes
freshly sharpened wit
tears like seeds that sow
some very strong one liners
playing with messy hands messy hair
looking down and then up and then down again
a promise collected on eyelashes
volleying and rolling and diving
with each

The fish comes up to the surface and sucks on toes
Three times the size that she was before
Don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing
Deep throat
Gills ablaze
Tail tracing the shape of the timing
Folding irony over tenderness
kneading a dough of the very becoming

that births a perfect risk

“Sitting in rapt attention” by Julia at her dining table

Wednesday August 24, 2016
5 minutes
Issue No. 19

He was leading a seminar on punctuality and he showed up 6 minutes late. If he had turned it into some teachable moment, or made us realize how important life is sometimes and how maybe he’s the perfect one to lead this seminar because punctuality is still a human invention and so a human can still mess it up, we would have been more in his corner. Instead the whole time I thought he was a flake. How he couldn’t admit that he was wrong. That he was trying to save face in a crowd of ruthless college kids who were looking for reasons not to take him seriously. I thought about where he might be coming from. I thought about his life’s struggles and decided he probably had a bunch of them because we all do. I don’t know what everyone else was thinking but I was hoping he’d end his seminar early and rush off to tend to one of those life things so we would all have a little more compassion for him. I think that’s a good thing, that I would rather be compassionate. I guess the bad part is that I need to have a reason first before I want to be.

“10% off” By Julia on her couch

Monday, June 29, 2015
5 minutes
From http://www.hollyhock.ca

Attention bargain hunters! Yes you! You with the University of Minnesota tote bag and you with the amethyst wrecking ball size pendant! Get thee to our one of a kind, one time only save big or save yourself event! Starting now until the very last shelf is bare, you too can find true happiness with true (and useful) deals! Price matching? We don’t need to! We ARE the match! We are the price! Take advantage of our super store-wide mark downs today! We only have today and then it’ll all be over! We’ll disappear into the nothingness and you’ll never know we were even here!

“You don’t have to look at me like that.” by Julia at Sambuca Grill

Thursday January 23, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
5 minutes

There is a man named Eliot and he had weird fingers but those are not the things I mind about him mostly just his laugh that bothers me I think I wish he had a different one more because the one he has makes me feel less funny it’s so big that’s the problem his laugh makes everything seem like irony or sarcasm and I’m not prepared for that and everything else that comes out of his mouth always claiming that’s funny as if his big laugh wasn’t enough so maybe now that I think of it the laughing combined with his talking is what I dislike most if I had to choose and if I had to be specific what’s the haunting echo you wonder not quite relevant to the man with weird fingers but I’ll tell you it’s his twin he had a twin I’m telling you he killed it at birth because he wanted to be the first one out and the twin wanted the same thing I know it’s true because that’s how his fingers got weird they got that way from sticking themselves so deep into another person’s flesh and bones they get twisted up and there’s no fixing it and now that I think of it is in fact relevant

“my dog’s shitting all over your stuff” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday, August 8, 2013
5 minutes
The Flying Troutmans
Miriam Toews

My dog’s shitting all over your stuff and I’m not sure why winter is still here and all I hear is banjo music and Jesus H Macy I am at a total loss as to what to do. I’m not interested in ramblings or Barcelona side streets or burning a bicycle wheel in an attempt to be ironic or confrontational. I am neither of these things and no matter how hard I try by purchasing fluorescent colours or whatever I will never be I can never be I am not the coolest one. My arch-nemesis is the sound of my downstairs neighbour coo-ing to her record player like she knows the words. I’m working on my shit and I’ve even started that belly-dancing class to try to embrace my curves and you don’t hear me complaining about anything because easy isn’t even in the vocabulary they taught me.

“I’ve never noticed that before” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake on the dock

Saturday July 27, 2013 at Belly Acres
5 minutes
Napier’s Bones

I’ve never noticed how your left eye is a darker colour than your right. They are both brown, but the left eye, the eye that you close when you’re winking, is darker. You wink at me when you come in in the morning. When you ask if there are any messages. “Bernadette is waiting in the conference room,” I say, putting on my breathy voice, the one that you prefer. Or, I say, “There’s a message from Mr. Galloway. It sounds… urgent.” I whisper urgent so that we have a secret together. Our own thing. You’ve started working on your goatee. You think it makes you look more professional. You didn’t tell me that, with words, you told me with your thoughts. You send me these thought messages. The one time I brought it up, you denied it. We were all out for Halloween beers at Gretzky’s. You were dressed up as Don Draper. Ironic, I thought, or hoped. I was dressed up as The Philadelphia Cream Cheese Angel, because one time you told me that my hair reminded me of her.