“Response rate: 100%” by Sasha on the 17

Thursday April 26, 2018
9:52pm
5 minutes
poparide.com

Our third Thanksgiving all together, Babs teaches Simon and me how to make a mirepoix – two parts onion, to one part celery, and one part carrot. Babs peels her carrots, but when Simon and I make it later, and she isn’t around, we don’t, almost like we’re honouring Mom.

Mom was a lover of peasant food, or at least that’s what she’d call it. Nothing fancy. As few pots as possible. She made a great Dahl. She used to pack it in our lunches and the other kids would wrinkle their noses when we opened our thermoses, steaming lentils and curry. We weren’t embarrassed. Maybe it’s because we always had eachother, Simon and I. Being a twin is weird. But you do always have someone, and that’s nice.

Babs never asks us to call her anything but “Babs”, not like Dad’s second wife who insisted we call her “Maman”.

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

Friday, March 16, 2018
11:53pm
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.

“The trees around here” By Julia in her bed

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
11:14pm
5 minutes
Intrigue In The Trees
John Brehm

The trees around this place remind me of the book I said I’d write. If only there was time, or if Roddy wasn’t sick, or if the dog would let himself out of the flapping door.

The red ones remind me of all the vanity.
Blood beech. Not meant to be that way.
Something wrong with it. Metabolic disorder. Not enough sunlight.

Here, let’s plant the thing in a park filled with green. Keep your mind off the everyday. Give you something to hold onto. They didn’t know it is harder for the tree. It is always harder for the tree left in the middle. The example. Pose for your photograph. Backdrop perfect for the wedding pictures. And I keep wishing Roddy could choose another city to die in. I don’t want to think of him every time I see the post office. Or the sad red tree in the middle of the park. One thing sick and the rest of them fine and far away. Normal. I don’t need any reminders of that.

“don’t trip on the stairs” by Julia on the couch


Tuesday June 13, 2017
11:02pm
5 minutes
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Neil Gaiman


Kit can’t stand the new shoes Lou brought back from Iceland. She hates the way the toe catches on concrete and splits the difference between leather and sole. Lou tries to tell her that they were custom made and one of a kind. Kit thought about hiding them in the laundry hamper, pretending somebody stole them. She couldn’t throw them out. She wasn’t a monster.
Lou has been bringing home gifts more and more lately. Obviously trying to atone for taking her away from all her friends. When Marnie got sick, the sky opened up and took some more things that Kit didn’t want to give away. Gave her some things she didn’t need, stuck with a stepfather who didn’t want to stay.

“There is nothing here” by Julia at her desk


Thursday May 25, 2017
10:08pm
5 minutes
This is It
James Broughton


I have waited for inspiration to strike
like the match of missed connections
like the booklet of nose aids on high alert
There is no force of flame, nor flicker
There is nothing here that looks like me

According to a long lost diary from my
mother’s storage locker we all gave up
on her when we believed that she was fine
Of course we didn’t think to ask further
to make sure that she was being honest
If I could defend us without seeming
defensive, I would say we didn’t want to know
the truth and so we let her smile

We gave her short hugs like they wouldn’t
be our lasts
Called her twice a month
business as usual, instead of once a week
And she thought it would be too much
to ask for more
And she wanted to ask for more.

“I had been able only to grieve” by Julia on the couch


Tuesday May 2, 2017
8:50pm
5 minutes
The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion


we lost our muscles
left them somewhere between here and there
the radio show was static familiar
we counted the clicks and the white noise like ducks in a row
we are not walking or running
the streets are filled with other people’s shoes
we had no time for writing cards
to express condolences
to each other
there were too many floors to find
too many beds to melt
too many casserole dishes to wash
we promised to press our palms together every hour
to remind us what living flesh felt like
the telephone had to be disconnected
too many hearts bleeding on the line

“when you sign up” by Julia on the bathtub


Saturday April 22, 2017
9:43pm
5 minutes
From the Aeroplan flyer

The flyers keep filling up my mailbox. I am waiting for your letter. I have to check everyday that the flyers haven’t eaten it.

The summer was filled with mosquito bites and eye licking. You let me lick yours after we did mdma. We took photos of your keys and wallet from underneath the glass table.

You said you’d write and then you never did. I wished I didn’t care. Then you moved. And now neither of us know how to find one another.

“bound in chains” by Julia on her couch


Saturday April 8, 2017
9:32pm
5 minutes
from Poems by Christopher Marlowe

we can’t touch pain that does not belong to us
we watch from behind our screens
and from behind our great luck
we think we know what it’s like to be broken but we don’t
not when the chains we use to bind ourselves are made out of paper
macaroni necklace nooses
tie dyed t-shirts dressed up as bullet holes
we have no idea about loss
when we’ve never lost anything

“Sad to see you go” by Julia at her desk


Friday February 17, 2017
11:40pm
5 minutes
from a Goodbye card

I didn’t realize you were leaving when you left
You forgot to say Goodbye or Sad To Leave You
forgot to mourn the loss of me
I wish too for lesser consequence

I do not own another recourse
my heart is broken
and it was the only one I had to begin with

You might not notice how long it takes
for a heart to heal when some peices
never get returned

I blame newness
I blame adventure or the lust for it

“gracefully tragic” by Julia on her couch


Saturday December 17, 2016
4:44pm
5 minutes
from the BOOKS section of NOW magazine

I hadn’t thought about them since New Years…as if I had released them with the magic of a fresh start. I don’t remember whose idea it was to each write a list of all our personal tragedies this year and then accept them somehow before lighting them up and letting them burn. To be fair (and maybe a little post-reflective) we were using the term loosely. Nothing was too small but everything seemed so big to not include it. I remember losing myself this year being on the list. It was traumatic because it kept happening. It kept happening in smaller places than a Walmart super store or a Costco. But when I found the list again and reread what I was calling my tragedies, I realized I had luckily lumped some truly graceful ones in there as well.

“You change when you want to change” by Sasha on the 99


Monday May 16, 2016
10:37pm
5 minutes
huffingtonpost.com

You leave me letters in the mailbox, even after you’ve died. You’d warned me this might happen, shelling peas in your hospital room a few weeks ago. I laughed and kissed your toes. You always changed when you wanted to change, not before, not after, just then.

I’m smoking all the weed that’s left, once the sun goes down and Liam is asleep. Kali is scared I might become addicted but I tell her to fuck off and let me grieve the way I want to grieve. I miss you so much my throat swells. I miss you so much my gut aches for the smell of you.

“It’s a little big now” by Julia on the 84


Thursday May 19, 2016
8:14pm
5 minutes
overheard at Kafka’s

he was cooking dinner on the island
he liked to call it his ‘cutting station’
where he did most of his cutting
not me
i liked to use the counters by the fridge
i don’t really like the feeling
of floating in the middle of something
just dangling out there
alone
he asked me what my favourite thing to eat was
when i told him i said but it has to be the way
my dad used to make it
he said not to worry
he said he would take care of me
when i looked at his ‘cutting station’
i couldn’t see one ingredient that matched
the items i told him
all the things necessary to make
my favourite thing to eat
i tried not to be bothered by it
or to worry
he said he would take care of me and
i had to
trust him
but i could smell the veggies cooking
and i could tell that he wasn’t
getting
it
right
and so i was bothered by it
and i did worry
and i missed my dad
in that moment more than ever
nothing is the same after your favourite loves die
not life
not dinner

“Alberta’s oil sands” by Julia on the 319


Thursday May 5, 2016
6:11pm
5 minutes
From the back of a pamphlet

Mauve and red and magenta and orange. Sky bright. Night hot. Night fear. Red blood pumping. Running. Running. Dreams interrupted. Sleep disrupted. Running. Running.
I want to go home where the fields were mine and where the sky guided me back. Nothing left now. No home. No fields. No fix. No fight. Night hot. Sky bright. Love out. Love in. Goodbyes painted flame. Least important importance stays behind. No one wins. Running. Running.

“Alberta’s oil sands” by Sasha at Platform Seven


Thursday May 5, 2016
1:50pm at Platform Seven
5 minutes
From the back of a pamphlet

the world is burning where all the oil lives
the grass is scorched and the trees with the treehouses are ashes
the houses with the photo albums and the calico kitten and
the painting from france from a great-grandmother
the jeopardy of prized possessions
an apocalypse of biblical proportions

true colours show when we’re in danger
fingers around a neck with “mine” over “yours”
cars driving on sidewalks to get ahead of other cars
the irony of politics
the irony of “how did we get here?”
dollar bill pilgrims drilling for gold

another headline another photograph another heart up in flames

“The earth’s insomnia” by Julia at her “New York”


Wednesday March 16, 2016
9:04pm
5 minutes
Moonlight
Lorna Crozier


I have been out stealing rosemary again. Middle of the night. I am not sorry. But I do recognize the pattern. It’s not about much more than needing to have it in my home so I can touch it when I want to and it can calm me down. Some people do the very same thing with animals. I mean maybe they don’t go around at midnight and sneak into people’s front yards, but–I mean they feel comforted by the presence of a pet. So what? I don’t have one of those. I make do. I’m fine. Please don’t ever think my problems will be solved by a cat. They most certainly will not. I don’t need something like that. Thank you for the offer of your offer. I miss my fucking mother. I want to call her and cry and let her love me back to life. I want to tell her that after all that rosemary thieving I didn’t even put any in the roast potatoes. Because I wanted to keep it longer in a vase next to my bed. Because I wanted to hold onto her soft voice telling me for the last time that I was her laugh.

“the lid to Pandora’s box slides right off.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday January 26, 2016
10:15pm
5 minutes
From catskinner.club

Tracy has got Jan’s smile, that’s for sure. When she looks at me and smiles, all teeth, I’m, well, I’m toast. When Jan was sick I wasn’t sure about what would happen after she went… I mean, Tracy could’ve said she wanted to move to Windsor to be with her Dad, or… I don’t know. But after everything settled down, after we scattered Jan’s ashes in the river and after we’d eaten all the casseroles in the fridge people brought over and the last of Jan’s frozen squash soup from the freezer… Tracy said that she wanted to stay here, with me. She said, “You’re more my Dad than my real Dad has ever been. I want to live here. With you.” We’d cried a lot of tears over the months before but there were still some left to cry then.

“with the theme of fear” by Sasha at the table at Pascoe Rd.


Monday November 9, 2015
1:17pm
5 minutes
ionmagazine.ca

The night she dies I get a text from a bartender
I sometimes fuck
I wash my
face I get on my
bicycle and I go to
his house
On the way
Somewhere east of Dupont
My chain falls off
I can’t stop the tears
Can’t stop the oil from getting
on my dress
I arrive too close to morning
too far from my father
He lights a joint and the promise
I made to myself not to tell him
Undoes like the clasp of my bra
Naked I’m a puddle of chipped nail polish and
missing
He’s a father so he knows
how to soothe
He rubs my back until I’m hiccups and
when we fuck he’s gentle
he knows just how to look me
in the eye
I leave before I can feel grosser before
I can taste the tinniness of shame
My tongue heavy in my mouth I sing
under my breath
Up the hill on the way
home

“Reimagine your world” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday, October 22, 2015
11:31pm
5 minutes
The Vancouver Writer’s Festival Program Guide

my mother mimes cutting her hair on the edge of the world
her fingers the scissors
red falling
maple tree leaves
dripping pancakes and tenderness
the smile eclipses something below the kidney
the liver?
never sure of geography
yemen
istanbul
tel aviv
a new sweater
the colour of her longing
down to my ankles
done with wishing i was taller
a bus to the recycling depot
where we go for snow cones
for prayer

“amazing work” by Julia on her couch


Friday, October 23, 2015
9:44pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I had been trying to catch his attention for, if I’m counting, the last twelve years. Huh. Wow. That’s more than I thought I’d admit. Was hopeful. I mean, who wasn’t at that age. But I guess it’s not fair to take it personally. He wasn’t not loving me, he was just, not forgetting her. I don’t know if I would do it any differently than that myself. I’ve never lost a child so I don’t get to pretend to understand. But weeks bleed into months and then years, and it all just feels like the same nightmare, playing over and over or just continuing without resolve every 16 hours. This time it was a scholarship that I was awarded because of my application letter about him. I wanted to show him. He wanted to drink.

“I know I wouldn’t change much” by Sasha in Buchanan E


Thursday October 8, 2015
5:18pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, October 8, 2015


If you were here or
I was there
the sun would still be setting
all pink and gold
If you were here or
I was there
the leaves would still be falling
all rust coloured bold
If you were here or
I was there
the crows would still be calling
flying towards the west
If you were here or
I was there
The phoebes would still be curled
together snug in their nest
If you were here or
I was there
the night would still be coming
breathing dark on the sky
If you were here or
I was there
winter would still be on it’s way
and I’d still be asking “why”

“the result of a period of research” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday, August 27, 20151
8:36pm
5 minutes
Presence of Minds: The Importance of Active Exploration and Response in Dramaturgy
Christopher Michael Petty


I find I’m less lonely when the radio’s on. I’m sorry to be speaking about my loneliness again. I find that when the radio’s on I think less about Gwen and more about the whole wide world. Like the wars and the orphans and the earthquakes and global warming. Strangely, it doesn’t depress me like it used to… It used to really throw me for a loop. I actually remember saying to Gwen, “I can’t watch the news anymore, dear. Makes me feel so helpless and sad.” She’d draw spirals on my palm with her pinky.

“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.

“It showed from the start” by Sasha on the 14


Friday May 8, 2015
5:16pm
5 minutes
Fat Woman
Leon Rooke


It shows from the start
The ruin
Quaking breath in a full chest
Belly rises and falls
Heavy as full udders
Low as the stars this summer
It shows because we’ve stopped talking about the future
All present tense
All coronas and tortilla chips
Drinking so much that we forget we’re bored
Eating so much that the tops of our mouths are cut

It’s all inevitable
Isn’t it?
For an optimist
I’m awfully hopeless

We walk in the forest
Pointer fingers hooked
The dog charging ahead
Not needing to be called back
Leash free
He comes because he knows we’ve got treats
in our pockets

“Celebrating those who had died” by Sasha on a log at Kit’s Beach


Monday February 9, 2015
8:11am
5 minutes
The House Girl
Tara Conklin


It begins like every other day. Maggie licks my face until I moan and roll out of bed. She runs down the stairs and I open the back door to let her out to pee. Then I go, in the downstairs bathroom. I let her back in. I fill the kettle with water. Mike is still sleeping and the boys are playing in the room. They whisper breakfast orders. “Granola! French toast!” Mike’s on the night shift so he sleeps til at least two. I get the boys dressed and…

I’m sorry. I just realized that I still have my wedding ring on. Isn’t that strange? It’s been… nine months and I’m still wearing my God damn wedding ring.

You know it’s bad when two police officers show up. One? It’s probably something with the car being in the wrong place, or there’s been a weirdo hanging around the playground again. Two?

I don’t remember which one said what. I don’t remember what I said, or if I said anything or…

“to firm up” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Friday January 30, 2015 at Culprit Coffee
4:10pm
5 minutes
Ani’s Raw Food Desserts
Ani Phyo


You build up your courage
A layer of restlessness
The rain isn’t good enough
You’re after something stronger

Your mother made bread
Sunday morning warmth
Honey and oats
Music from the Church three doors down

Remember where you came from
Dear heart
The taste of summer
It’ll be back soon
Sooner than you can say

“I’m cold”
“I’m tired”
“I feel so far away”
“I’ve got everything”
“I’ve got nothing”

You left your heart on the side of the road
You marked it like a grave
Two sticks bound with sweetgrass
You looked back over your shoulder

Once

“Love rocks” by Julia on her couch


Thursday August 14, 2014
12:22am
5 minutes
from a girl’s purple t-shirt

Oh they say that when they have it, when they feel it, when they see it
Oh they say that when they know it, when they own it, when they free it
Oh they say those things, light on and good intentions
Oh they say those things, dreams out loud and good vibrations
Oh they, the ones who don’t have to do the missing
Oh they, the ones who don’t have to do the air kissing
Oh they, the ones who don’t need to pretend
Oh they, the ones who don’t need to wait
Love
Talking about Love
Talking about what everyone knows what I’m talking about
Paul Simon on the open road
Something about the loss of it and a window and the winds blowing
Talking about Love
Talking about the same old thing that poetry was built on
Hand-written letters in the mail, sent with two stamps and a kiss for good luck
Oh they say that when they have it, when they feel it, when they see it
Oh they say that when they know it, when they own it, when they free it
Love
Talking about Love

“Detour 23” by Julia in a park in Lowertown, St Paul, MN


Sunday Aug 3, 2014
2:21pm
5 minutes
from a Pembina Hwy sign

Of course he left me. I was impossible. I smoked too much. I drank too often. I woke up late. I forgot to dust the underside of chairs, or books, or picture frames. I refused to water our one and only basil plant. I watched it die a slow death everyday by ashing into its pot. I left the TV on throughout the day. I only took long hot showers. I got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup stains on the couch, the bed, and the wall in the front foyer. I coughed up phlegm and spat it into drinking glasses that were next to me. I dog eared every page in every book he loved. I scratched his DVD player so it no longer worked. I took the car out to the border just so I’d have something to do. I never filled up the tank for when he needed it. I chewed my nails and left the ripped bits on the kitchen table. I swore in my sleep. I never ever thanked him.
Of course he left me. I was impossible. I wanted him to go. Sometimes better people are out there beyond the comforts of “love”.

“Destroy the evidence” by Sasha at Black River Farm


Saturday, July 26, 2014
3:40pm
5 minutes
Cards Against Humanity


“You’re dying, Judy…” I say, for the seventieth time. She smiles. “I’m not.” She spits a cherry pit into her hand and chucks in out the window. “Are you hearing the doctor?” I say, trying not to be annoyed at her, trying to find the patience I practice with the kids. “I heard him alright,” she eats another cherry. “You’ve got three months, tops…” It sounds so harsh to repeat it, it sounds so cold. I don’t mean it to be. I want her to do what she needs to do before she’s too weak. “It’s in your liver…” “What is? The wine we drank last night?” There’s a glimmer in her eye. Is this full on denial? I go to her desk to find the pamphlet the doctor gave us. I look in the drawers. I sift through phone bills and… she’s destroyed the evidence.

“I look at the sky recalling” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday July 23, 2014
11:52am
5 minutes
A Memory Returns
Bobby Ferguson


I look at the sky recalling Jem’s face, beside mine, sharing one pillow like two chickens in the coop. His eyes are like the Big Dipper – sparkling and twinkling and telling stories without any words coming out. I go for walks in the forest by the old house, by the house with windows on all sides. Jem used to say he felt like he was in a fishbowl. “No one’s looking!” I’d say. We didn’t have neighbours. The only eyes on us were God’s.

“Even if she is feeling like the scum of the earth” by Julia at her kitchen table


Monday June 2, 2014
11:38pm
5 minutes
an Instagram photo

She told me herself she didn’t feel like herself when the rain fell and when her stomach fell
I heard her say it with a faint ringing in my ear
I heard her say it cause I saw her there in the mirror
She was alone and cold and a full-blown ally to the dark side, to the wrong side
She was something that I could only dream about
Or wish for
She told me herself she didn’t feel much like singing when the sun was out
She would be there, crouched in the mud, trying to taste her mistakes
Trying to make a waterfall from her eyes’ outpouring
The earth is a wet and cold place
I heard her say it with a faint longing in my bones
I heard her say it cause I was stuck there inside her ribcage when her heart started screaming
Take me away
Take me so far away from this
And the sky would open with her desperate kiss
And she would lay there holding on to the only thing she knew

“everyone is committed” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday March 18, 2014
3:40pm
5 minutes
An essay by Deborah Stein about collaboration
howlround.com


It isn’t a choice. It is a real thing, a non-choosing, a reality that has to be reckoned with like a cavity or a thunderstorm. I hate people that think everything is choice. Some things aren’t. Go suck an icicle and hum a bit of “om shanti” and goddamnit! I get really fired up about this. I do not choose to be attracted to Reese Witherspoon. It just is. I do not choose to hate pop music. I do not choose how angry it makes me when people stand on the walking side of the escalator. Geeze! I mean, come on, people. I don’t care how much spirulina you take! I don’t care how much you stand on your head!

Maisie believed in that kinda thing. That we choose our fates and that there’s some great-goddness-oh-oh-ah-ah power that makes it all okay. It’s ironic, right?

I can’t seem to bring myself to throw out her seeds and grains and… spirulina powder. I just… can’t.

“BLUE & GOLD” by Julia at Kerr Hall at Ryerson


Wednesday November 27, 2013 at Kerr Hall at Ryerson
3:22pm
5 minutes
a poster in Kerr Hall

In a room of strangers, she looked like she didn’t want to stand out intentionally. She was the only one wearing her school’s colours. With pride, even. She looked great. She thought everyone would have the same spirit, the same attitude toward game days. She had moved from a school that celebrated every single moment, game day or not. She didn’t realize what a beautiful thing she had, or had come to know until it was basically forbidden. The teachers all looked at her as if she had broken the uniform code. There was no uniform; unless you counted the uniform judgment that she was experiencing on all fronts. Bright blue. Bright gold. Stars and glitter across her face, pompom strands in her hair. She was trying not to let it bother her that everyone was staring and laughing at her. She was trying to keep it together more than she ever needed to before. Did she really not belong? Could this not be a perfect moment for rallying the troupes and collecting school spirit to pass out to everyone who might, show it or not, actually really want some?

“The actor has to develop his body” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday November 11, 2013
11:06pm
5 minutes
a quote from Stella Adler

“Nice rock,” Liam says, barely looking at my finger. We’ve been eating burritos and drinking cheap beer. He hasn’t said anything about the ring since he arrived. “Oh, thanks, Liam… I’m stoked…” I am not a snowboarder. I shouldn’t use a word like that. That’s it. That’s all he gives me. “Nice rock”. Maybe it’s because we’ve been friends since we were fourteen and assholes. Maybe it’s because we slept together that one time on Allison’s birthday, when we were drunk, and never really talked about it. Maybe it’s because he lives in Auckland now and… “Are you going to finish that?” he reaches over and takes my burrito stub. “Go for it,” I say.

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


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


Oh dear, I seem to have misplaced my board. It has all the things I’m supposed to do on it on one side and on the other there’s a really cute picture of a boy with a helmet on, standing in the middle of the beach. My to do list: I like to rotate it off my board so I can keep that picture constant. I made a slip for the paper to slide in and it’s protected by a thin plastic layer–much like you’d see during an overhead presentation at school, when one of the classmates was responsible for teaching the others something about grammar that week. I can’t start my day without writing the list–and then also looking at that picture.

I don’t like to tell many people, but it’s not just the image that’s important to me, it’s the boy.
He is mine, actually.
I really don’t let on that he is, but it’s true. He has his front two teeth missing and that’s the last day I ever saw him because I left him there, at the beach. It was an accident. He was supposed to be in the car with his Aunt Roe.

“Freedom to give” by Sasha at Tarragon Theatre


Tuesday October 8,2013 at Tarragon Theatre
10:14pm
5 minutes
Universal Freedom
George Krokos


Do you want the cast iron pan? Your mom gave it to us when we first… You know what, why don’t you just have it. I mean, you make that cornbread and all those… omelettes. But, you have to season it, Sam… If you don’t, it goes all flakey and, well, like, Google how to season it, okay? Shit. I, I, I… This is… This was… I need more boxes. I’m gonna go to No Frills, wanna come? Or, maybe that’s… a bad idea. I just, I, I appreciate your, like, gentle way. How you’re being gentle? I’m, I hate this shit, this wrapping and labelling and having to remember if it’s your copy of To Kill a Mockingbird or… You know what? If you don’t mind, I’ll keep the pan. I love that pan. They don’t make them like that anymore so…

“sometimes enlightenment” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, October 1, 2013
12:30am
5 minutes
Grand Theft Auto 5

Sometimes enlightenment will come back to bite you right in the ass.
Umm, actually? Did you just use enlightenment and ass in the same sentence?
Yes. And I’m not apologizing. Did I offend you?
Yes. Which is nothing new. Not since you lost the baby.
Ahh, the mighty old exposition. Tell me again why my life is such a fucking failure.
I never said that. I would never ever say that.
You don’t have to. We’re braided together like soft cheese.
And I’m supposed to respond to that…how…exactly…?
SOMETIMES ENLIGHTENMENT CAN SUCK. THAT’S ALL. You want a remedy for this? For me?
Easy. I’m not even mad right now.
But I’m not good for you like this.
No, you’re not. But you’re fucking lucky I already love you.
Otherwise?
Otherwise I wouldn’t.
I appreciate your honesty. I’d rather not know most things because the truth is a wicker basket filled with regret. But not when you do it. When you do it, I respect you more.
Great.
Yes. It fucking is.

“No wonder” by Sasha at The Common on Bloor


Thursday, August 29, 2013
4:05pm at The Common on Bloor
5 minutes
Film Festival Preview
NOW magazine Aug 29-Sept 4, 2013


“No wonder,” you thought, the morning you found your younger sister’s journal. You’d spent the last three hours in your room, in the attic, reading it from front to back. The funeral was yesterday and you weren’t sure what to say, or wear, or eat. You’d drifted from the Church to the house, from the kitchen to the bathroom. You’d eaten a few pieces of cucumber dipped in ranch dressing; you’d tried to laugh with your cousins, nod with uncles when they said, “Such a shame. Such a young girl. Such a beautiful girl.” As if, that had anything to do with it. Eventually you ended up in your room, your old room, in the attic, with the slanted ceiling and Picasso prints and strips of photo-booth pictures tacked to the wall.

“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, August 27, 2013
11:37pm
5 minutes
the back of the Almost Famous DVD case

Eva had forgotten why she had come into the office. She stared blankly at her desk trying to remember but she was ever so unsuccessful. Since Rodney…went…she had been trying to busy herself with work and with deadlines. It was her fault he was even gone in the first place and if she hadn’t decided to leave the back door unlocked for those two minutes that she was downstairs in the laundry room this whole thing could have been avoided. Everyone told her that she didn’t know what could have been outside her bathroom window, or that someone could have no problem sneaking in after stalking her home. Eva wasn’t prepare for any of that. They don’t tell you that the guilt follows you and follows you until you die. No one ever mentions things like that.

“Canada Post” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, June 13, 2013
11:18pm
5 minutes
The mailbox on the corner of Annette St. and Quebec Ave.

Lost my letters and all my love, I sent it to you, dear, I sent it all.
I would have made sure to track them but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know love could get lost in the mail. But you didn’t get it so it went some place else. Now I hate to admit it, but what if my love is now in someone else’s care. What if a different address holds the letters I was writing to you, dear, what if my love is sitting on an unfamiliar foyer shelf. I’m afraid I don’t have any more to give. Wrote all those letters when I was in it so deep. And you never wrote to me, dear, you never sent me your love in a white envelope everyday for a year. Unless yours got lost in the mail too. Then how sad and beautiful it would be, if both of our loves found their way to the same person. Maybe the postman has enough love to get him through his entire life now. We did that. We did that.

“Hearing John Malkovitch” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, June 1, 2013
4:39pm
5 minutes
From the ARTS Section of the Globe and Mail
Saturday May 25th edition


I waited for him
On the edge of my bed
It used to be ours
Before that it used to be his
He said he was coming right back
Never did
So I waited there like a sack of potatoes
Growing mould from
not being let out of the drawer
He never called
Or if he did I missed it
He never cried out
This will be the end of me too
He didn’t tell me he forgave me
And if he did I was dreaming
He didn’t give me his key
But I left the back window open anyway
I sat there all night
It used to be day
Before that it used to be ours
My back began to fade into the strain
My eyes began to close from the waterfalls at 3am trying to
man handle my face
My hope began to deflate
Like a balloon left
too long on the wall
after a birthday party
for someone who hates surprises

“find the light” by Julia at Apollo Studios


Sunday May 5, 2013 at Apollo Studios
5:50pm
5 minutes
from the Voice Over Survivor script book

Oh let there be a shining sign,
A heart to hold, a hand on mine, for days to come, and down the line,
Oh let there be a shining sign.

Amelia stood in her kitchen fixing
tomato salad and nondescript beans. She swayed back and forth with an easiness about her she hadn’t recognized since her youth. Shawna would be home soon from the market with her fresh basil and Amelia had plans to ask her about the people there. Amelia hadn’t left her house in just shy of a month. Losing the baby was hard for her, as it would be, but she made a promise to Shawna and Valerie that she’d still be around if the two of them needed her. She was trying to hide the sadness when they came over, especially together. Valerie was too young to understand what was happening to her sister and Shawna was the type who just didn’t care much about anything that didn’t involve her.

“my wrath did end” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday, April 24, 2013
1:01am
5 minutes
A Poison Tree
William Blake


When you wrote me the e-mail telling me that you’d found a hostel to work at, that you’d arrived, that you had a bed, and a roof, and a place to charge your camera battery, I couldn’t help but look up, to whoever is up there keeping the clouds round, and say a quiet, “thank you.” I hadn’t expected you to do that. To land safely. To find a place where you could live and work and settle. When I had your tea leaves read I felt like I was doing a very naughty thing. I gave the man, the reader, with tattoos of sanskrit words up and down his arms, all of the details I could think of – how you were born in a leap year; how it had taken a long time for your adult teeth to push out your baby ones; how you find your deepest solace in a deep dish pizza and a crime novel. The man, the reader, looked at me like I was the one who was crazy. I was only concerned, and filled with unbelievable love. “His future stinks of hardship…” The reader said, blue eyes darting towards the door, as if you might burst in at any moment. He wouldn’t ever have told you that to your face. He could tell me, a woman once removed from her man, a man who was her man and now is just a man, on his own. You decided to go to Johannesburg because you spun a globe at an antique shop and that’s where your finger happened to land.

“As a last word” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday, April 7, 2013
9:26pm
5 minutes
How to Shoot a Movie Story
Arthur L. Gaskill and David A. Englander


I dreamt in Spanish, finally. I’ve been waiting for it to happen, wondering, wishing, for years. Since 2002, April, when the cherry blossoms filled the park. It doesn’t matter that that was the year we met, it’s simply irrelevant. I’d taken a bath before bed, a hot one, and I’d laid there until I was prune-y and half asleep. I’d drunk half a bottle of wine, cheap, given to me as a gift. “Never buy yourself wine, chocolate, cigarettes or marijuana,” my mother frequently told me. “But use each, in moderation,” she would wink. You’d taught me how to count in Spanish before we went to Seville. I didn’t want to have to rely on you to pay for things (even though it was my money) or negotiate. I was better at both. I would practise counting on my bike ride to work, while eating my lunch, making dinner. I didn’t like your hair short, the way you had it then, but I liked your clean-shaven face so… I was trying to be less picky. I learned more as we travelled through Spain, as we stayed with your aunts and uncles and second-cousins. “I want my last words to be this language,” I’d said, late one night, lying beside you, trying to only touch toes because it was so hot. “No, no…” You’d said, “Your last words should be in your mother tongue.” The beginning of the end, I suppose. The beginning of the beginning.

“The only time” by Julia on the subway going west


Tuesday February 5, 2013
11:00pm
5 minutes
The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss

Here’s everything that I’m thinking right now: I’m alone, I’m happy, I’m stubborn, I’m sticky, I’m pmsing hardcore, and I really really miss the way your stubble feels on my forehead. Is that okay with you? That you get to leave and I get to deal with you being gone every single day. I’m happy right now. In this moment. I’m not happy that you left me, or overall that I’m alone. Those two things go together in list format not in realistic emotions and reasons format. I hope you like the new woman you’re with and I hope she never screams out someone else’s name. I said I was sorry about that okay? It wasn’t on purpose and it wasn’t personal. I hope you know that if you had done that to me I would have laughed about it eventually. The only time I’m not sorry about is when I shook your shoulders and made you kiss me even when you said I was the last person on the face of the earth you wanted to kiss. Now obviously that was a good thing because you were lying to yourself when you said that, and it was the best goddamn kiss of your life.

“until it blended” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, December 5, 2012
11:25pm
5 minutes
The Down to Earth Cookbook
Linda Maull and Nancy Fair McIntyre


We started talking about our birthdays, a shared love of avocado toast and whether or not we had a preference for the blues or jazz. We started talking over homemade gnocchi and tomato sauce with a tossed green salad. You’d made both. I’d brought wine, a bottle I’d been saving for a special occasion.

“Isaac, is that you?”
“Polly!”
“My god… You haven’t changed a bit…”
“You look… great!”
There was a silence that was heavy but in a beautiful way. Full. A full silence.
“How are you?” Isaac said.
“I’m… It’s been a rough few years, to be honest…” I couldn’t help but being honest with him, I never could.

Both of our spouses had died in the winter. His wife taken by ovarian cancer and my Dan, having been in a battle with lung cancer since the nineties, killed by a bout of hospital pneumonia. The timing was like a snowflake, melting before us, our youth.