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

Thursday January 18, 2018

10:55pm

5 minutes

Memoir

Sue Goyette

Guess I want to know what you’ll look like when you’re eighty. What you’ll smell like. Where your smile will point. I want to know if your vocal chords will turn grey. If you’ll wear a hat or not. If you’ll still kiss like a goddamn unicorn. If you’ll still whisper nonsense into my ear to see if I’ll laugh. If you’ll still sneak white cheddar popcorn topping into our turkey pasta. If you’ll rub my feet for no reason. If you’ll tell your phone to tell me you love me so I get it in writing and in the third person the way I always secretly liked. It’s the happy, the ending, that keeps me glued to your station. It’s the last days that make we want to stick around and see what happens.

“Does it not sound like shouting to them?” By Julia on her couch

Saturday January 13, 2018

11:24pm

5 minutes

The Sisters Brothers

Patrick DeWitt

There’s a couple down the hall-or there was a couple down the hall-who screams and screams and yells and yells and fights and fights and etcetera and etcetera. I say was because we haven’t heard fighting in a while and the more logical assumption is that they’ve moved out. I mean it’s sad that a couple has moved out of our building and we didn’t realize it until we noticed the quiet. Other people are living there now and we didn’t know that either. I say it was more logical that they moved out than that they stopped fighting because they used to fight so bad it didn’t seem like the kind of thing that would ever end. Even alone they fought, which is weird, but maybe it was on the phone so maybe not so weird. Anyway I’m certain that the whole building heard it because we heard it through the walls and over the Brahms. Over our own fights, which we were glad to realize weren’t as bad as theirs. I only know them by their loud. I wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a line up.

“I analyzed four rape jokes” by Julia at Pearson airport

Thursday January 4, 2018

7:38pm

5 minutes

Shrill

Lindy West

One of them was funny. I’ll give you that. I can say this because I’m a woman. Because I have certain rights. Because #metoo. Because I don’t want to cry at every mention of the word rape. Out of four, one was funny and the rest were painful. I am

a woman and I laughed so sue me, I’m not even sorry. I’m a little sorry. I wondered if I was bad immediately after I let myself smile. The smile turned into a laugh so what was I supposed to do? Be a brittle bag of inconsolable? Who does this help? I am genuinely asking. I am a woman and I don’t know. I am a survivor and I don’t know. Who am I supposed to ask?

I am a woman and I don’t know.

I analyzed all four of the rape jokes. That is my job. I am paid to do this. And I don’t know who decides that this is work or not. That this falls under my job description or not. Am

I supposed to give it to someone who doesn’t know even more than I don’t know?

“where she curled, suspended, gathering” by Julia at her parents’ house

Wednesday January 3, 2018
11:55pm
5 minutes
the woman who married a bear
Anne Haven McDonnell

Nonna used to ask me if she could style my hair after I had already finished doing it. When she was young she used to curl my mom’s into sections by wrapping it around a pencil. I told her no sometimes. But on other days I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she was hurting me; yanking and twisting all the pieces wrong. I know it meant a lot to her to play with my hair. She’d sing quietly as she did, and I choked back some

painful yelps so I wouldn’t interrupt her. She used to get her hair done for everything. Had one of her five daughters put her dyed blonde hair in curlers for the baptisms, communions, confirmations, weddings, funerals, barbecues, walks around the block.

“hesitating to” by Julia on Amanda’s tub

Saturday December 30, 2017
2:08am
5 minutes
From a tweet

Tell you the truth

Telling myself first

Listening

Believing you’re right

Believing I’m wrong

Go to the bathroom

Leaving the moment

Leaving the bar

Say something I’ll regret

To let you get away with it all

To let you have the last word

To agree with you

Disagree

Cry in front of you

Tell you about the hurt

Relive the hurt

Let you see me hurt

Be hurt

Ask for clarification

To cry when you cry

To hug you

To tell you I love you

To relive the past

To share what I’m feeling

To apologize

Fight

Forgive

Order another drink

Let you leave in anger

Keep you there in anger

Fight

Forgive

Fight

Forgive

Ask you to write me something

Ask you to read something

Admit I don’t know

“the grey of old age” by Julia on Amanda’s toilet

Wednesday December 27, 2017
1:48am
5 minutes
Oath
Hussain Ahmed

We were all laughing until time ran out. I don’t know why we were so surprised, we practically begged it to hurry up. Now it’s gone and we’re left kissing by the clock in case these moments are our last. You stopped sipping your whiskey. She stopped her favourite hum. The windows waited, and I stopped tonguing the rotten tooth. The silliness tiptoed around us. We couldn’t very well pretend to be fine. We were all just laughing a minute ago, laughing because where did the time go? And then we all knew where it was because it had run out and

it’s easy to feel when it does. Now it’s gone and we’re not sure if we made all the right decisions but we don’t have the luxury of going into it.

“I’ve never been more absorbed in anyone.” By Julia at her parents’ house

Monday December 25, 2017

2:54pm

5 minutes

Elliot, Adam, Elly and Me

Charlotte Joyce Kidd

When I see you differently and you see me the room is shaded pretty like a lilac or a leaf of sage. I haven’t asked for this the way I have been so bold to ask for other things. I have asked for so many now that I’ve lost count. My bones have always wept for this. My dreams have always known. You are crying at the dinner table and I have never felt your pulse as thick. I am crying at the dinner table and you do not turn away. In kiss we are rooted deeply like a fire place, locked. Nothing gets in. Nothing gets out. There is no wondering anymore. About the silence or the motivation. There is no hungry imagination turning dust into villains, holding sweet hostages for ransom. We are a seeing and a knowing now. We rest firmly in this house.

“confirm your choice” by Julia at Vancouver International Airport

Monday December 18, 2017
11:04pm
5 minutes
The Essential Enneagram
David Daniels and Virginia Price

Confirm your choice between parsnips and yams. Please confirm.

You don’t know what a parsnip is?

You can say that on the form.

There is a box marked ignorance. You can check that one if it applies to you. It might also fall under indecisive. Might this fall under indecisive for you? Are you asking for help? You can only ask for help once, can you confirm your choice to ask for help? Good or bad? For you? You alone know the answer to that. I am not authorized to offer any responses as examples. Because I am not the one filling out the form. Please confirm your choice to ask a personal question. Confirm. I did not need to fill out a form. I did not need to fill out a form.

“The Best And Worst Of” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday December 12

12:16am

5 minutes

from uproxx.com

And now since you asked I don’t know what to say. Do I love you, yes, do I want you, yes.

Do you see me.

The best part of me was I could write circles around you. The worst part of you was that you could pretend that wasn’t happening. We didn’t feed each other proper toast. We didn’t call down the chimney in a rotting feast of anger. I can’t answer you safely. I don’t trust my own tongue in a game of truth of dare. I don’t let her speak if she’s quivering.

I once thought you were minnow, me a whale, and I’d swallow you whole. I’d take every skin on your knees and hold them.

“We rent a condominium together” by Julia at her desk

Monday October 30, 2017
9:11pm
5 minutes
Telling Time
Philip Kelly

We take a drive down a quiet road and when we stop to see the horses he takes a small box out of his pocket. It’s not an engagement ring. He knows I am not marrying anybody thank you very much. It’s a key. A little one. I mean, a normal sized one. Just not like a big key. And I take it in my hand and I tell him it’s the dumbest and smartest thing we’ll ever decide to do. And he laughs, because I am fucking funny and then suddenly we have place together. I have my things beside his things in a drawer we share in the home we live in. Together.

We are in a the car driving down a quiet road when I tell him I have a living gingerbread baby growing inside me. And he laughs because who ruins pregnancy news like this but gets away with it? Me. Prince Chamring. I do. And he puts his hand on my belly and he thanks me. He thanks all of our lucky fucking stars.

“The great task in life” by Julia at YVR airport

Sunday October 29, 2017

7:36pm

5 minutes

from a quote by Iris Murdoch

The great task in life is being kind when things don’t add up to nice or good or in your favour
Half of us are waiting for the world to turn down the bed
for the sheets to be clean
for the roads to be paved                                                        What kindness do we keep when the world is busy keeping bridges suspended        art and freedom in love                                                          What do we choose when we aren’t being so damn entitled

Sorry

I said kindness                                                                  I am figuring that out myself                                                    Honesty isn’t always butterflies
(In case anyone was wondering)
Kindness isn’t always weak                                                    And honest kindness sometimes cuts with a serrated edge
It shouldn’t always be easy                                                      Easy isn’t always good                                                          We don’t know what we don’t know                                                And sorry
I was talking about me                                                      I think the kindest thing I can do is be tell the truth                            The truth doesn’t always stay for tea

“being interviewed” by Sasha on the plane

Tuesday October 24, 2017
6:32pm
5 minutes
From a tweet

Miriam closes her eyes and prays. She would never tell anyone that she does this, a few times a day. It’s new for her and she holds new things close, a smooth black rock in her pocket. She would specify though, if she did tell you, that she isn’t praying to God. She prays to the sky, the colour of raspberry jam right now, sprawling wider than she’s ever seen. She wonders if Dad will still be alive when she gets there. She only brought a carry-on, even though she’s unsure how long she’ll stay. However long it takes. “Some things can’t be rushed,” Dad used to say when they’d be waiting for a calf to be born, clutching thermoses of hot peppermint tea, their breath dancing through the icy barn.

“so you can focus on work at that time” by Sasha in the backyard

Saturday September 30, 2017
3:11pm
5 minutes
From a text

I don’t feel nervous about the hours I’ll work sitting at a desk
Making jokes in the hallway I don’t feel nervous
I’ve never done it like this before and I like that I like that
I’m shaking my bones for a permenance to hold
Cradle like the big blue baby

You dream of raccoons and dolphins
And I’m carving pumpkins
Always pregnant always hungry for meat and bread

Really though we’ll go back and it will be raining
Incessant and calm
Really though we’ll laugh and fuck and wish out loud
We’ll blow out the candle after dinner and you’ll be on the road
And this will be the root
The root will be this

“astral projection, stress and depression” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday September 12, 2017
8:40pm
5 minutes
Binaural Beats & Healing Sounds on YouTube

I believe that some horoscopes are life changing and I’ve read them. I know they exist.
I am confused, however, that I can read something, understand it, find it moving, and then not be moved by it. I don’t know why putting perfect phrases, keys to the universe surely, into practice is so damn hard. All you have to do is realize your worth, allow your heart to express itself, decide what it is you’d like to do, and then do it. These are the simple steps laid out and yet I read them, but won’t remember them. As if I never saw the answers in the first place. As if I have to take the test day after day without having studied the material. Some days I am always guessing. Water? Do I need water? Do I need to flip an egg? Scramble it? Fresh air? Do I need to use the bathroom? Do I need to stretch? Vomit? Be so mean to all the good things? Do I need to cry it all out?

“kindergarten registration” by Julia on the 99


Thursday June 22, 2017
1:04pm
5 minutes
from a sign

back to school
time to learn some things
how to deal with disappointment
how to deal with spending all the money on all the things that end up being disappointing
how to deal
how to be okay with the bruises that come from chasing perfection
how to be okay with taking ownership for all the mistakes
how to smile at the next person so
one bad day doesn’t bleed into another
how to fight the urge to cry on a bus so no one sees
how to cry on a bus so no one sees
how to cry only enough for release and not for pouchy eye bags

back to school
time to learn some things

“he can sound like the rain” by Sasha on her couch


Friday May 26, 2017
12:48am
5 minutes
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
Dr. Seuss


“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Gemma-ma-ma, happy birthday to you!”

Mom’s made strawberry shortcake. I don’t have to request it, she knows it’s what I want. Calvin is a vegan so she even whipped up some tofu thing for him to have. What a woman. Her face has changed over the last nine months. She’s looking more and more like Gran. It’s the first birthday in our family since Dad died, and I know that Cal just sang the “ma-ma” because that’s what Dad would’ve done. While we eat our cake, the rain starts. It gets quiet.

“Maybe that’s him,” Mom says.

“ungratefulness” by Sasha on her balcony


Wednesday May 24, 2017
12:09am
5 minutes
English
Amber O’Reilly


On Sunday I’ll be thirty one
When I look at my hands
they are the hands I’ve
always had
Piano playing
squash cutting
keyboard typing
back tickling
finger knitting
busy small child hands

Swimming in the lake
as a girl
toes touching seaweed
and lake trout
diving down so deep
the temperature changed
popping back up
sunlight and gasp
laughing and falling
into dead man’s float

On Sunday I’ll be full
I’ll be lonely
I’ll be grateful
this is everything
this is nothing
this is

“Let’s walk together.” By Sasha at the kitchen table on Lewis St.


Wednesday April 12, 2017
10:20am
5 minutes
From the Walk to Fight Arthritis flyer

Trying to keep the sadness at bay
holding my arm out like a stranger
is approaching
Dreaming of the snow bluffs the
gull cries
Dreaming of before the fall
I see you fingering your prayer
beads in my mind’s eye and I’m
sorry for the yelling
and I’m sorry
for the weight of the discontent
I want to promise you it won’t
be hard like this again
but I can’t
and I won’t apologize for that
I won’t because I don’t want to
lie to you
lie with you
lie on you
Your prayer beads lining my spine

“living in the ordinary world” by Julia at her desk


Thursday April 13, 2017
8:58am
5 minutes
From a Way of the Heart info sheet

we show up to life sometimes jaded
sometimes living in the ordinary world
after living somewhere else with better windows
our windows here are covered in fingerprints
and year old messages birthed from
a New Year’s resolution
that we were too afraid to erase
our windows are as guarded as our hearts
which is to say
we haven’t drawn the blinds in ages
to exist in this place where
the sun rises each morning
no matter how shy
and sets each evening
no matter how bright
we must become fluent in gratitude
thank the stars for breathing us into belief
thank our mothers for smiling love into our bones
thank our fathers for being fathers when they could have been
anything else
thank our health for holding us
thank our souls in this life
for reminding us why we chose each other
in the first place

“it’s an overhead shot” By Julia in her cabin


Tuesday February 28, 2017
9:51pm
5 minutes
Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play Anne Washburn

Marley moves to vancouver and is all pissed about everything.
I told her it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park and she quite literally SHOOED me. As if to say, Please, Alison, what do I look like, a sorority girl? And if Marley had joined up with Alpha Omega she would KNOW that being one of those girls is one of the hardest things in the entire world. I mean, Marley doesn’t know this because Marley thinks she’s better than everyone, but being of service to a cause can actually really improve your mindset. Anyway, now Marley is moping around because she thought the whole city would automatically fall in love with her and she’d get a free pass.

“confused about her life path” by Julia on her couch


Sunday January 29, 2017
8:19pm
5 minutes
from Clairvoyance
Mary Ellen Flora


There are days that pass that feel lighter than they are because the heaviness is elsewhere. But when the heaviness is back it’s all that there is. Nothing relative. Nothing to compare it to, it is everything and nothing and nothing that is everything. One day last week KT laughed at her self for returning to her desk with toilet paper stuck to the bottom of her shoe. She didn’t mind the tiny thing and wasn’t embarrassed. That was a heaviness is elsewhere kind of day. Today KT can’t stand without crying and can’t smile without lying and so she does neither. Pete doesn’t ask her what is wrong because he knows she will say nothing or everything and both will be either. He knows that it is nothing and everything but he can’t do a single thing to help.

“what he did before fame” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday January 18, 2017
6:30pm
5 minutes
from a Google search

He was selling used cars on his uncle’s lot
working the graveyard shift at Tim Horton’s
crossing his fingers
dotting his eyes
dressing up as a Smurf for a promotions company
working as a phone sex operator on his sister’s landline while she was at work
selling cannabis products at the dispensary near his house
raking leaves at the cemetery
hosting murder mystery dinners
taking photos of his feet and selling them on Craigslist
building radios
teaching creative writing to the elderly
selling lemonade on the side of the road for 25 cents a cup

“bring it with me” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday January 17, 2017
9:19pm..
5 minutes
from an email

I don’t think I’d be able to leave it anywhere else. Not under the bed or in the closet. Not on the shelf or in the key house. I’d have to bring it with me because there is no place it belongs better than the place I’ve built. I carry it; the last thing you gave me. The world could shake me down till I were naked branch and still not be able to pry the light of you from me. I have stitched it on tight. I wear it when I cannot hold it. I wrap it when I need it bigger. I couldn’t leave that behind. Things already happen just so already…things already break too easy.

“can definitely travel” by Julia on her couch


Thursday January 12, 2016
10:12pm
5 minutes
from an email

Joe says he wants to tour around the country with me when I take my poetry on the road and that is the biggest kindness I have ever been given. Someone wanting and believing me to succeed so bad that they will come along with me as I pursue my dreams. What will you do? I ask him, ever the middle child worried about fairness and equality and making sure everything is balanced as it should be. I’ll watch your shows, he says, and I’ll carry your merch. We talk about getting a camper van and taking off, getting out of here, seeing this country or elsewhere, and sleeping in our car before we live too much to want to. We talk about making memories the way people talk about making money. I think if we did it I’d have so many poems. I think if we did it we’d have so many stories.

“can definitely travel” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday January 12, 2016
1:37pm
5 minutes
From an email

My mother braids my hair before bed, because it’s long now and I toss and turn so violently that I wake, morning after morning, with a birds nest at the nape of my neck. I have nightmares at seven, eight, nine and my mother makes a little bed beside her own that I can crawl into without having to wake her. The run from my room to her room is agony. I do it nightly, building courage like a city around me, inside me, gaining courage until I burn pictures drawn in crayon of my nightmare and he goes.

“gracefully tragic” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore


Saturday December 17, 2016
3:14pm
5 minutes
The Books section of NOW Magazine

She thinks of her life,
when she’s reflecting
on it, over the long
twelve days before
she goes, she thinks
of her life as graceful-
ly tragic.

She wishes that she’d
called her daughter more
especially in the years
when they were estranged.

She wishes that she hadn’t
dyed her hair, that she had
let it go grey, like wise women
everywhere.

She’s glad that she ate a lot
of pizza, and had sex outside
three different times with three
different lovers.

The tragedy comes out of the
fear, all the fear, circling her
throat like a snake.

“He’s horrendous tonight” by Julia on her couch


Thursday December 1, 2016
11:35pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Canucks game

We wished we had tried harder to get him to make his famous ravioli. Aunt Katherine said that’s the only thing that would have made him feel better. Because it reminded him of his late grandmother who first taught him how in her kitchen covered in flour.
He didn’t seem to want motivation anymore. He didn’t like being pushed.
How do you tell a man that doesn’t want to hear it? How do you carefully construct a space where he can decline but also maybe change his mind. That’s what we should have worked at.

“the channeling of heavenly love” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday November 8, 2016
7:51am
5 minutes
sunnyray.org

But of course he’ll leave before we resolve anything because he wasn’t meant to stay. He didn’t pack anything for overnight. He didn’t bring a toothbrush or his stamina to fight. He didn’t want to get cozy in the curve of me because he was afraid he would want to stay and he couldn’t stay. He had already committed to his other life and I was not welcome in that one. I had to ask him, Why Did You Come Back Then? And he told me, I Felt A Pull On My Heart Like I Was A Puppet and I Couldn’t Lead My Own Way. I asked, What Kind Of Pull? A Cosmic One? The Kind You Have In A Dream? He told me, It Was The Channeling of Heavenly Love And It Made Me Want To Find The Source. But of course he’ll leave before we both understand what that means, and of course he won’t consider that the source is quite obviously me.

“It was really a labor of love” by Sasha at Studio 1965


Saturday November 5, 2016
1:53pm
5 minutes
An interview in Room Magazine with Deni Loubert

Making the home together. It’s a labor of love. I think about the beauty in the mundanity of dishwashing, of picking up socks, of picking up glasses off the floor, of picking up your acu-ball. I try to find the meditation, the sacred in hanging shirts on hangers on the drying rack. Motown helps. Dharma talks help. I found it yesterday, that unnamable sweet spot, stirring cayenne into the tomato sauce, chopping carrots and celery. I found it, and then it was gone – the creep of resentment in my gut, the spread of “what the fuck” up my teeth. It is a labor of love, this gorgeous, strange, domesticity. Pema Chodron telling me to breathe, breathe, breathe. Your keys in the lock and it’s present tense dinner-time, the daily dance.

“so that we can contact you” by Sasha at her desk


Friday November 4, 2016
10:41pm
5 minutes
from a contest information sheet

Obsessively check Facebook? Check. Ponder witty tweets? Check. Look and re-look at Instagram story feed. Check. Scroll into the bizarre backlog of texts from three years ago when you were still single? Check! Fold the laundry? Nope. Scrub the bathtub? Nope. Read an e-newsletter you aren’t sure you signed up for? Check.

“She lives by the sea” by Sasha at the table on Monkland


Monday September 26, 2016
7:49pm
5 minutes
wordvancouver.ca

The old woman lives by the sea in a house on a cliff, painted yellow and purple. When it storms, the walls of the house shake and the old woman bundles herself in sweaters. The black and white photographs fall off the walls and she sweeps up the broken glass and places them back on their hooks. The old woman makes herself a pot of Lady Grey tea and adds a sugar cube and a splash of cream. She sits in her corduroy chair with her dog, Mimi, in her lap. She tells Mimi stories about when she was a girl, and when she travelled to Paris, and when she fell in love, and when she found a sword under a willow tree.

“beautiful jewelry” by Sasha at MELK


Sunday September 25, 2016 at MELK Bar & Cafe
2:03pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Av de Monkland

I want to buy you beautiful things
he says
I want to give you pearls
he says
I want to give you diamonds and quartz and emeralds
and I want you to wear them so that everyone knows
you’re mine
he says
I want to choose your lipstick
he says
I want to pick your shoes
I want to take you out for dinner and order for you and too bad if
you don’t like it
he said
with a wink
with a wink
with a
he said
I want to buy you macarons
he said
I want to watch you drink champagne
He said
All the wants
All the want
All the
wanted
wanter
wanting
wanting
wanting
waiting
wanting
longing
hoping
hurting
All the want

“I’ll do your reading and then email it to you” by Sasha in the NICU kitchen


Thursday September 22, 2016
10:07pm
5 minutes
livewithmoxy.com

I’m riding my bike quickly down the hill, the wind blowing a symphony of “yes” in my ears, hands firmly on the handlebars and

OOFFFFFFF

My front tire hits a bump, a piece of metal? A big nail? A shoe? I fly over my handlebars and in that moment

suspended

I see my life

my loves

my bathroom with the new coat of eggshell white paint

I wonder if it’s already happened

Am I dead?

Thank goodness it’s already turned cool and I’m wearing my denim jacket or my elbows and arms would be torn to shred

A car pulls over and a woman gets out

She looks like my Mom but with black black hair

She gives me her hand and helps me up

“two beautiful faces” by Sasha at the Airbnb in Montreal


Wednesday September 21, 2016
10:12am
5 minutes
Overheard on Av. Girouard

the NICU beeps and wails and whispers
the nurses scrubs have cats and flowers on them
the babies are so small
so new
how were they ready to be born?
the babies are so strong
so new
they were ready to be born
at least that’s what i
tell myself
washing a pear for my sister
filling her water bottle
rubbing her neck
at least that’s what i
tell myself
walking by the darkened rooms
code indigo taped on the door
mothers and fathers and families
like angel zombies
tired eyes and microwave dinners
sanitize the hands

“the meltdown” by Sasha at her desk


Friday September 16, 2016
6:42pm
5 minutes
The Globe And Mail
September 16, 2016



We don’t know that it’s started. We sleep in our plush beds, with our feather pillows and our wool socks. We snore and turn from back to belly to back. We don’t know that around us the mountains are melting, the rocks are turning to water. The city will float soon, our bed, above our house, above the tree where we buried three cats and two dogs. We don’t know that people are panicked, rushing and packing and crying and shouting. The phone lines collapse and the TVs are static.

“I had to let her know” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday September 13, 2016
11:32pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Marnie can’t stop biting her nails. She’s tried nail polish, hypnotherapy, herbal remedies, even putting rat poison on her fingertips (that resulted in an overnight stay at the hospital. She can’t stop biting her nails. She wakes up in the middle of the night, her hands in her mouth, and she screams. She’s with a client and the urge to bring fore-finger to mouth overwhelms her and she excuses herself to go to the bathroom and she nibbles and then cries. Marnie goes to therapy. The red headed therapist asks if she can remember when she first started. “I have no idea,” says Marnie.

“Mysterious Serum” by Sasha on her bed


Saturday September 10, 2016
11:01pm
5 minutes
Fallout

Fingers sticky with mysterious serum of future fugitives clasped in tight fists
Belly clenched a clam shell with macaroni and cheese inside open it up open
it up Face with a frown like winter like frostbite Breath reeks of coffee and fear Fingers to mouth Eat the serum The fugitives are here now They are here.

Keep looking over my shoulder for who I thought you were. Kindness evades. Mice in the pipes. Periods in place of spaces in place of joy in face of wonder. Keep looking over my shoulder for who I thought you were.

“What little it was” by Sasha on her couch


Friday September 9, 2016
12:17am
5 minutes
No Country For Old Men
Cormac McCarthy


Her shoulders are tight and her nipples are cracked and the baby rolled off the changing table and split his lip. Playground Moms will whisper and glare and she’ll put him in a swing that’s too big and push him too high and he’ll cry like he’s being tortured. Jeff gets home from the late shift and she wants him to fuck her but he grabs her belly fat and shakes his head. She watches The Shopping Channel until she passes out on the couch and wakes up because her tits are leaking Niagara Falls all over the place. The baby starts to cry and she wonders what kind of miracle it is that her tits know when he’s awake. They love him more than she does.

“they did not” by Sasha on her porch


Sunday, August 28, 2016
10:12pm
5 minutes
From a piece of feedback

They did not tell us that we would fight like dogs
and fuck like them too especially when the heat broke
They did not tell us that there would be days when
everything would feel broken
They did not say,
“Kindness is the most important thing, followed
closely by respect, by humour, by knowing when to
let it go and when to raise the torch.”
They did not say that there would be times when
we would be strangers sleeping side by side.
They did not tell us that we would fall deeper
in love with each fight, each fuck, each break,
each repair, each song, each pizza, each jump
underwater.

“I keep thinking about the night we spent in Rome” by Sasha on the porch in Cowichan Bay


Friday August 26, 2016
10:50am
5 minutes
Super Sad True Love Story
Gary Shteyngart

I keep thinking about the night we spent in Rome, finding every fountain we could. You were wearing socks, so you had to peel them off each time. We waded around in each one of them, crouching down if someone came who we thought might get us in trouble. Walking barefoot over the cobblestone, we bought pepperoni sticks from a man on the corner and ate so many I got a stomach ache. We lay under a tree in a park where ladyboys wandered from bush to bush, telling each other secrets we’d never told anyone.

“I keep thinking about the night we spent in Rome” by Julia at her dining table


Friday August 26, 2016
6:50am
5 minutes
Super Sad True Love Story
Gary Shteyngart

I remember it like it was five minutes ago. You didn’t even want to go but I told you it was something to see. You were worried about not getting a good picture and I said Trust Me It Will Be Even Better. We stopped for pizza first and that put you in a better mood. It was thin crust and saucy and probably the best we’d ever had. You said it was too salty but you were just in a funk and I tried to wait it out. When we made it to the Colosseum, your face lit up like I knew it would. It’s Beautiful, you said, and you looked up starry eyed. There’s a peacefulness at night. Fewer people, but always someone. You wanted to get mad about the men selling the neon light sticks and the sound makers that shot way up in the air, changing colour on the way down, and making children go crazy with bright love but you couldn’t. You were very pleased even if you didn’t say it every ten seconds. I wanted to dip you low and kiss you under the night sky, our happy place in Rome.

“for a fun birthday” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday August 25, 2016
6:59am
5 minutes
SAD MAG
from a TMZ video

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

I am not celebrating my birthday this year.

I AM NOT CELEBRATING MY BIRTHDAY THIS YEAR.

So. You can all go back to what you were doing. WHAT wERe YoU DOinG AnyWAY?? Celebrating something else?? Probably anything else??

I am very upset.
UPset. UPset. because. BECAUSE: I WAS Set Up. That is the truth. TO FAIL. set up to fail and to deal with the repercussions on my oWN. Which is painful. I mISs My Sister.
I miss her laugh. I miss her handssssssss.

And they want me to KEEP PUSHING?

How far before I am edging off the face of this planet? How FAR BEFORE I AM JUST Another NEWs STORy. This Just In: Everything is wrong and nothing is right and someone who needs those things to be switched is feeling the sadness of losing someone close and needs to be held but people are afraid and needs to be told IT IS GOING TO BE OKAY by someone WHO KNOWS and by someone who Won’t Turn It Into A Media Scandal.

I am not celebrating my birthday this year. I have disappointed everyone and nobody will come and everyone is mad and nobody can fix broken with cake.

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


Wednesday August 24, 2016
6:45am
5 minutes
SAD MAG
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.

“We hopped on bikes with banana seats” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday August 23, 2016
7:04am
5 minutes
parent.co

It might have been 40 degrees out. It felt like we had already sweat off most of our top skin anyway. The trees were dense with moisture. Heavy like they were holding in all of the rain we hadn’t seen. Jessie and I ate kiwis while we waited for Reid and Lucia to hurry up. Lucia told us we’d hear the owl signal and know we should take off on our bikes to go meet them. Jessie didn’t want to move. She said her thighs were rubbing. We sat beside the shed while we finished eating, kiwi juice dripping down into our shirts. I didn’t want to ask Jessie to do much else. I was glad she finally came with us for once. Usually she’d have an excuse why she couldn’t come. She even used “blow-drying her hair” one time and missed out on one of the best nights of our lives. We spent that summer in the cemetery conjuring spirits and memories of loved ones we had never met.

“You close?” by Julia on her couch


Monday August 22, 2016
10:09pm
5 minutes
from a text

I wish he had asked that without his mouth full of Subway. I almost instinctively said “Well not anymore I won’t be” but restrained myself. I swear sometimes Lance only does gross shit to provoke me. To test me into seeing how much I can take. How grimy he could be and get away with it.
“I have to lock up first.”
“Nobody’s going to want to break into your dad’s shed. Trust me.”
“I told them I would watch their place while they were away.”
“Yeah but what do they expect for you to lock each room before you leave the house too?”
“get away from me with your tzatziki breath. I’ll be two seconds you can wait in the car.”
We were going on an adventure. Lance made me do it, told me it would be fun and we would remember it always.

“The worst kept secret” by Julia on her couch


Sunday August 21, 2016
10:26pm
5 minutes
lifehacker.com

Somebody told me once that discharge was called sperm. Okay it was my sister. We used to fight a lot. She was older. I wanted to do everything she did. I believed everything she told me. I was so confident in her that I never questioned a single thing she said. I admired her. Now we’re older and she tells me when things I believe about myself are just stories. She tells me when she hears me choosing not to love myself. I believe her. I know she doesn’t say things now to break me down. When we were young, she wanted to tease me. But maybe to see how much I could take. How much I would hear before I pushed back. It’s trusting someone outside yourself. She knows everything I’ve never told anyone else. She will always be the keeper of my secrets. She keeps the ones I like next to the ones I never will. She keeps them for me, but she forgets they’re there. She doesn’t see me through eyes of things I wish I didn’t do. She does not love on condition.

“your hand in mine” by Julia on her bed


Saturday August 20, 2016
2:08pm
5 minutes
Heard in a song on Co-op radio

I catch myself believing I deserve better when I grab your hand in the crowded street and you pull away after only a second. I grab your hand as a gesture to show you that in this sea of people, I cling to you. I reach for you. I choose you. I remind you every chance I get that I am proud of you. That I am proud to be with you. That the touch of your skin connects me to the only things in this life that matter. And you might miss all of that if you’re not expecting to see it. If you think holding hands is something to be taken for granted. Or to be done differently, perhaps. On days like this I swim along the shoulders of other people when I think of how lonely it is to love you. How far I’ve pushed my heart into opening and how tired she is from never being cradled back. I don’t think I’m allowed to ask for more. I need so much so much so much.

“See the world” by Julia on her bed


Thursday August 18, 2016
12:01am
5 minutes
From a flyer

Ginny hasn’t left the country. Hasn’t left the city, really. Hasn’t left the space in her head that tells her it’s not safe to go outside. Ginny does’t know which pen pals have forgotten her. She doesn’t know which ones are hoping she’s alright. It’s not safe to go outside. Ginny spins the globe that uncle Andy brings her. Says the world is so big but if you hold it in your hand you feel small. Ginny lets him leave it in her room because every so often he comes by to spin it for himself. Pick a place, any place, he tells her. What kind of place should I pick? Ginny doesn’t go outside. It’s not safe to go outside. It doesn’t matter, he says. This is dreaming and dreaming doesn’t need reasons. But a place that I want to go? She asks. Sure, he says, any place that isn’t right here.

“See the world” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday August 18, 2016
1:06pm
5 minutes
From a flyer

pop says see the world but i’m not sure what he even knows about that because he’s never left chesterton. probably something he’s heard on tv or something, like, a thing he heard someone say that he thought sounded smart. he never finished high school even, so what does he know. sorry pop. you know a lot about how to raise pigs, and how to nurse a pup back to health after she eats too much grass. you know a lot about corn. seeing the world? don’t know nothing about that. if i actually took your advice and left chesterton, i think you’d cry for a week. not that i’ve ever seen ya… but i can imagine. it’s been you and i since mama and berg drowned, since i was three and you were twenty six. mama has finally learned how to make peach pie, the crust and everything. at least that’s what you tell me. mama had just learned to make peach pie.

“the reconnection of a couple” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday August 17, 2016
10:41pm
5 minutes
roommagazine.com

Snap your fingers and we’re back on track
back to black
back to back
Spines align like a star sign
Smoke signals in the magic hour light
snaking from my mouth to yours
from my mouth to yours
the distance of the north star to
the horizon stretching brighter than we’ve
ever seen
In our home the plants are thirsty
we’re thirsty
we dance naked on the porch unafraid
of who sees our flawless bodies