“Do everything as slowly as possible” by Julia at her desk

Friday, April 20, 2018
11:00pm
5 minutes
The Art of Aging
Sparrow

Get here later, take your time
ask the elderly man if he needs
to borrow your elbow while getting
off the plane
bring him to the luggage carousel
and wait for his bags to pop through
the shute so you can help him pull
them off
Be the kindness that I know
Be the patient peace
Let the family of five go ahead
of you in line for the taxi
do not ask your driver to put a
rush on the ride home
Lover, I will be waiting for
your arrival with all the
bounty and welcoming of a midday
reunion
I will kiss you like time is
not the enemy
I will be close to sleep but
being closer to you will keep
me rested until we are in each
other’s arms
Stop for french fries if you’re
hungry and bring your bags up
one by one
Do not worry about the clock now
I will be here when you get here

“famous for flying around”by Sasha in the bath

Wednesday February 14, 2018
10:52pm
5 minutes
Anthony’s Glass Eye
Billeh Nickerson

Suddenly a song comes on that makes me think of Dan. I haven’t thought of him in a really long time and that feels like a small victory, close to finding blood oranges on sale or something like that. Didn’t I by Darondo. We listened to that song so many times that spring and summer. Dan was the worst sex I ever had. But I loved him. Maybe I loved him more like a brother, or a sister, or a puppy. I didn’t love him like a lover. But. Suddenly Darondo comes on and I’m transported back to watching him sleep in my bed in the apartment across from the college, watching his little belly rise and fall.

“moths drift from the trees” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday February 9, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
Al’s House
Lorna Crozier

I was a sailor once.
I was a mermaid once.
I was an exploding star.
I was a grieving angel.
I was a piece of dust caught
in the bellybutton of a lost boy.
I was a moth once.
I was a good liar.
I was a red stamp
on immigration papers.
I was a banana farmer.
I was a rock star.
I was a bluejay.
I was a fawn that
only survived one spring.
I was a grandmother.
I was a grapefruit.
I was a good listener.
I was a criminal.
I was an exile.
I was a shaman.
I was a lover.
I was the last page of
a library book.
I was a pair of kitchen scissors.
I was Shakespeare’s daughter.
I was a lamb.
I was a killer.
I was a shadow
stretching across the sky.

“Christian Science Reading Room” by Sasha in her bed


Wednesday August 23, 2017
11:46pm
5 minutes
From a storefront on West Broadway

Words are my best lover
knowing when to go slow and move slick
Whisper whisper the sweet fuck
I cradle my notebook like your elbow
the salty spot where your hip is
my lip is I snuggle my pen and
don’t sweat the stain

Words know me and grow me and stretch
the truth of the t-r-u-t-h
of the b-o-d-y
b can oh-nly contain oh oh oh

d is the darkness
is the depth
is the deep

why y y why
a crest
a crescendo
Words, my tonic, my prince, my
oh my

“I don’t ever think about death” by Julia on her couch


Monday March 13, 2017
9:31pm
5 minutes
from Glory And Gore
Lorde


I don’t ever think about death in the dying kind of way. I think I’ll be here then gone then always haunting the people who loved me. I think I’ll be able to reach them. I will try to send them messages until I know they’ve received them.
I will sleep in my sister’s bed and tell her she’s not alone.
I will ride shotgun in my brother’s Lexus and tell him that he is loved.
I will curl up on the couch with my mother and tell her how lucky I was to get her.
I will kneel in the garden with my father and tell him that he is enough.
I will live on the lips of my love and tell him that it’s okay to let me go.

“The Toy Box Burlesque” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday January 9, 2016
11:36pm
5 minutes
from a show postcard

There you were
all smoke and chapped lips
all donuts in the parking lot
all smelling of the past
There you were
on the bus going downtown
the bridge on stilts
people in their advent calendar windows
There you were
a toy box of our songs
a jack in the box of maybe
that flipped over and broke it’s springs
There you were
almost not seeing me
but then seeing me
and saying
Hello
Nice to see you
Where are you going
I’m sorry
I’m sorry
Nevermind
I should go
This is my stop
Shit
I should go
Fuck you
I’m sorry
I’m sorry

“Glottal stop” by Julia at her dining table


Friday, January 29, 2016
9:28pm
5 minutes
From an email

I remember his tongue like I remember my favourite song. His words were different when he was tired or when he was mad. I loved to see him mad. It made me wet. I want to explain that but I can’t. It just turned me on so fast I couldn’t hide it: flush to the cheek, quiver in my breath. He never knew that. I never told him. I didn’t want to ruin it, or put pressure on it. It was like my own dirty little secret, and you know what they say about two people keeping a secret…I sometimes think about his anger when I’m trying to get off with someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. It takes all my focus and I have to picture him saying the right words, pausing in the right places. It’s very difficult remembering something that happened 12 years ago. But I know I can count on it so it’s always worth the struggle. I think back on the way he spit out his Ks and cradled his Ss before unleashing them all, wild and loud.

“Thin love ain’t” by Sasha in her kitchen


Monday, October 12, 2015
3:33pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Toni Morrison

Spread the butter on thick how I like it
We’re counting orgasms not calories
This love is bigger than pluto
Bigger than clouds
Bigger than the breath between the fall and winter

You’re grabbing at my knees
Tickling the space between present and future
Ear pressed against my belly
Listening for the rising moon

“It’s a bold idea” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, October 14, 2015
12:35am
5 minutes
The Volcano

I can weave my thoughts into your skin so you can know me from the inside out
I can kiss your sleeping lips so my smile sneaks into your dreams
I can hold your forehead next to mine so my peace will meet yours and want to stay
I can intertwine my fingers with yours so you’ll know that if you ever feel lost, you can find your place with me
I can sing you the songs I write when I think no one is around so you can see that risking it all might be hard but won’t kill you
I can leave you love notes in your coat pockets so you’ll always have something fragile and warm to hold
I can carry the burden for you so your shoulders are free for me to lean on

“make a cool can” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Tuesday, September 8, 2015
9:51pm
5 minutes
from a LinkedIn profile

Ways to live, Days to be, Things to do, Dreams to have:
1.Make a cool plan with a cool hat on and go outside and say HELLO WORLD
2.Drink lemonade through a straw, out of a fishbowl with your eyes closed and your HEART OPEN
3.Wash your body and your lover’s in the lake and use the sunlight to dry YOUR BONES
4.Kiss the next person you see who is wearing a graphic t-shirt UNIRONICALLY
5.Spend a day on your belly watching the ant colonies under the rocks show you HOW TO LIVE
6.Eat an entire watermelon with your hands tied behind your back and don’t let your thoughts WANDER

“I see four stages” by Julia on the bench outside Baldwin Laundry


Friday, July 10, 2015
4:08pm
5 minutes
On Writing Zion
Maureen Stanton


Day One:
listening at the door to see if Alistair is still crying into his pillow
making sure he knows he can talk to me if he needs to
hoping that if he needs to he doesn’t bring up Deb
knowing that if he’s going to, he’s going to bring up Deb
preparing to talk about Deb
hand-washing the kimono Rufus stole for me at the charity drive
listening to Marco Beltrami to help focus my intentions

Day Two:
Consoling Alistair again about Deb
Using kind words with him like Easy Does It, There There Sweet One, I’m Not Going Anywhere
Wearing the kimono in front of the mirror to test it out
Deciding to wear the kimono loosely tied when dealing with Alistair
Figuring out ways to move my body naturally so as not to arouse suspicion when dealing with Alistair
practicing the look of genuine understanding and concern mixed with attraction

“She said she was an actress” by Julia at Grange Park


Friday, July 3, 2015
3:48pm
5 minutes
said by a Valens customer

She said she was an actress
Her heart the bleeding kind
She said she was a change maker
Her heart the bleeding kind
She said she was only half living
Her heart the tortured kind
She said she was only half being
Her heart the tortured kind
She said she was a lover once
Her heart the open kind
She said she was mother once
Her heart the open kind
She said she was an actress
Her heart the beating kind
She said she was a slave to the art
Her heart the beating kind
She said she was unhappy
Her heart the breaking kind
She said she was wasn’t done yet
Her heart the breaking kind

“You saw her bathing on the roof” by Julia in her childhood bedroom


Sunday March 1, 2015
11:56pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen


I’ve seen all your parts
Tarnished and familiar
Bruised from being too sensitive
And taking a world’s beating
You glow sometimes
under the proper light
When the pain is dimmed down low
And you feel safe in you skin
When you trust yourself enough
To thank your demons for their good fight
And to put a stop
to any future breakage
I’ve seen all your parts
Bathing in the haze of the moon
Your heart creaks
when it’s been walked over
That’s how you recognize the enemy
That’s how you know when to rebuild the wall
And the faint memory of it cracking
Keeps you far away from me
Even though I’m here to hold you
Even though I’m here to hold you

“Let’s make a list” by Julia on the subway going west


Friday February 13, 2015
6:12pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Great Dane Coffee

We’ve got time and we’ve got flowers
We’ve got love and we’ve got hours

Let’s make a list! She squeals.
Let’s write down all the items we need for our home to be perfect!
Okay you start! He sees she’s excited.
I can’t! You go. You go!
Okay, he starts, Lights!
Mood lights! Around the bed?
Yes!
Yes!
A double sink!!
Oh my god. YES.
To say we’ve made it!
Double sinks scream success!
We’ve made it!
Yeah baby.
What else, you go!
Oh-a good couch!
One that pulls out for guests!
All the guests in the world will sleep on our perfect pull out couch!

“Let’s make a list” by Sasha on the B-line


Friday February 13, 2015
5:36pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Great Dane Coffee

Let’s make a list of the places where you live in me
Equal parts below and above the bellybutton
Where you often stick your pinky finger
Amazed at it’s depth
When I put my nose in yours
It smells like summer
A small remembrance of yesterday’s sweater
I collect it
A pillow for a spider
The good luck kind

In the space where we feel
Below the sternum
The solar plexus
That fragile brave hollowness
You live there
Snuggled like a puppy
Curled around yourself

“Confronted issues of racism, identity and social tension” by Sasha on the 16


Sunday February 8, 2015
4:12pm
5 minutes
http://www.ago.net/basquiat

How to forget about yourself – A step-by-step guide
1. Don’t smile at yourself in the mirror. In fact, cover all your mirrors with newspaper.
2. Drink lots of water. No juice. No Limonata.
3. Tell your friends to refer to you as the colour of your eyes. I would be “Blue”. You would be “Brown”.
4. Race has nothing to do with it. (Just this once).
5. If you feel one of the following feelings, run yourself a bath, submerge your ears and sing Frère Jacques.
A. Sadness
B. Grief
C. Lust
D. Fear
E. Hunger
F. Ambition
G. Love
H. Fatigue
6. Leave your wallet on the bus.
7. Don’t cancel your credit cards.
8. Go to sleep.
9. Eat mostly canned foods.
10. Tell your lover a secret you’ve never told anyone but yourself.
11. Face them while you do it.
12. I know it seems counter-intuitive to forgetting yourself, but trust me on this one.

“We invite you to relax” by Sasha on her porch


Sunday, September 7, 2014
5:41pm
5 minutes
from some bullshit air transat “discount” lounge voucher

It’s hard for me to take myself seriously anymore. My writing is shit. I got a tattoo that is lame and predicable and offensive and awful. I’m eating bags of chocolate chips. I’m fatter than I’ve ever been. And yet… I have hope. You know why? Because there’s a man sleeping over there and I love this man and underneath all the chocolate and the fat is a baby that is his and mine. We made this little tadpole. We made it like a pizza, but with more sex and less (a bit less) mozzarella. Maybe I’ve been taking myself too seriously. Maybe that’s the joke.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH

“No phone or internet” by Sasha on the Queen car going West


Thursday May 22, 2014
5:21pm
5 minutes
a woodgreen.org streetcar stop ad

When Velma called she sounded out of breath.
“What is it?” I said.
“It’s Art…” Velma sobbed.
“Where is he?”
“At the hospital – ”
“Shit!”
“Watch your mouth, Rosie! Don’t you swear at me – ”
“Damn it!”
“He’s…”
I hung up the phone and drove down there as fast as I could. The roads were slick from the rain. I called out to God, “Kill me! Just kill me! Let me die in an accident! I can’t bear this!”
Maybe you’re wondering why Velma called me?
Maybe you’re wondering why she…?
Velma and Art have a… how should I say it… Open Relationship? He’s loved me longer than he’s loved her for Christ Sake! But his uptight parents didn’t think that I, Rosie Ruiz, was good enough for their golden boy. My nose was too big and my hips were too wide and my mouth was too dirty and…

“You want to be just interested enough” by Sasha at Fresh on Spadina


Monday March 17, 2014 at Fresh
2:12pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Barbara Kingsolver

After it was all said and done, we named you as our CEO. The Coolest Ever-changing Opinions. The Clumsy Effervescent Oracle. We weren’t sure what the letters stood for, just that we liked the ring of them, strung together in a row, like bauble beads on a necklace of our grandmothers’. We crowded around pots of peppermint tea and tried to rationalize our self-righteousness. You told us to quite Facebook, like a kind dictator, and we did. Jon didn’t, too addicted to the Newsfeed of his ex-lover, and he was ousted quicker than an illegal immigrant in San Francisco. You and I made love on the couch and were discovered by Viv and Javier but they just kept on, into the TV room and watched Survivor. We came to the sound of tribal drums and someone called “Elizabeth” being voted off. You also made love to Viv on the couch, and Larissa, and, perhaps Jon, before he was ousted, but it didn’t even matter. Or, it did, but what mattered more was that we had a leader, and that that leader had broad shoulders, ripped jeans, and had been to a commune in Vermont where they make kimchee and grow strawberries.

“Less like a lightning strike” by Sasha at Capital Espresso


Saturday March 7, 2014
3:54pm
5 minutes
An interview with Barbara Kingsolver

It was less like lightning than she expected. It was slow. Like chilli stewing. Or, a crocus opening. It was more like a tumble than a fall.
“I’m going to Guatemala,” he said.
She felt her heart dance downwards, towards her guts, like a maple leaf.
All she could muster was, “But…”
It had all begun to change when he found Savannah. This had happened before, with a previous lover, who’d adopted a cocker spaniel and soon left for the desert. “I’m being called,” she’d said.
“I’m going to follow the sun…” What does that mean. What does that even mean? It rises and it sets every day so there’s really nothing to follow anywhere but right where you are.
She’d been deeply afraid that this would happen, from the moment Savannah had showed up on his front porch in the middle of a snowstorm. “Found a pooch,” he’d texted her and she’d felt a coil in her chest like a snake, waking.
“But… I’m pregnant…” She finally finished what she’d begun to say and this time it was his turn to fall, less like a leaf, more like a six foot three red-bearded man, fainting.

“As I held his hand he would have tremors and small jerking movements” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday February 5, 2014
10:10pm
5 minutes
Learning To Love You More
Harrell Fletcher & Miranda July


sometimes you wanna sing, have a song in your head
and all the rest seems unimportant
or just too plain to care about right then
so you do
you sing it out and you let the emotions from
well, your past
bubble up and from words that rhyme with each other
Shania Twain kind of words
words you never thought you’d hear your boyfriend defend
words you always told yourself you would never own
you do now
cause Shania knew what she was doing
and on some deep level, everybody knows that
you sing to the one who stole your heart
the one with eyes so blue you can only come up with lyrics about the sky
the one who loved you in secret but hurt you hard in front of the whole world
you may even sing about the wind or something
the breeze, the trivial, the dew?
probably the dew.
let’s be honest: the dew.
and you struggle to come up with a chorus
or a verse
or whichever didn’t come first
and you picture singing that to someone, anyone
one day in the future
your lover-
when you get one
or your kid-
when you are capable of one
and you hope it causes those lovey dovey tremors
those small ever so subtle shakes that keep
you singing those songs when you find them

“glimpse of you” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, January 1, 2014
4:03pm
5 minutes
The New School for Drama brochure

I caught a glimpse of you
Between this year and last
Between dusk and dawn
Between the second hand and next number
You still had lips that seemed honey brushed
Cheeks dotted with wind kisses
You still had bad teeth from a hockey accident
Left without repair
As you are
The morning after
The night before
I caught a glimpse of you
Getting off the streetcar
My breath caught in my mouth like a truffle
It stopped me from calling your name

“when her man got bagged” by Sasha on her bed at Knowlton Lake


Sunday, May 19, 2013
7:32am
5 minutes
DECODED
Jay-Z


You have a few regrets. You don’t let them anchor. You aren’t too upset about them. You feel about these regrets how you feel about scrambled eggs – take ’em or leave ’em. Sometimes they hit the spot and sometimes they taste like throw-up. When you decide to fess up about these regrets, you’ll do it to a lover that you found on a park bench. The ground will be scattered with cherry blossom petals and the odd beer can. It won’t be your usual type of lover, it will be a bit different, a bit mysterious, a bit rare, a bit rough. After, sweaty and giggling, you’ll be moved to share these regrets, small pebbles that weighed down your pockets that day.

1. Bernice Goldstein, who you would pinch most days of Grade Two. She was snotty-nosed and greasy-haired, and exuded neediness and it frustrated you. You later found out she had killed herself. You hated to think you had something to do with it. You wish that you could apologize.
2. Your cousins wedding, which you missed because of a Foo Fighters concert, prioritizing “cool” over “family”, the first of many. Years later he told you how hurt he’d been that you weren’t there, that you didn’t care enough to sell the tickets on Craigslist and use that money to get on a train.
3. Forgetting your mother’s birthday that one year, when you were tree-planting. You’d arranged to call her, had planned to sing to her, the birthday song that was in the secret language you used to speak together.

“disentangle yourself from your selfish self” by Sasha on her couch


Monday, March 25, 2013
12:39am
5 minutes
If
Rumi


I don’t care about the across-the-way neighbour seeing my bare breasts, or my naked round belly, or even a faint shadow of pubic hair. I want the blinds open in the morning. Since my hair started to turn grey, since I stopped dying it a colour that it never truly was, I care a whole lot less about what other people think. It’s taken forty eight years. As a young one, I would wrap a towel tightly around me and change my clothes in the Fitness Centre bathroom. I only chose that Centre because it had private shower stalls. It mattered more than the fact I had to drive thirty minutes and there was a much nicer gym a few blocks away. Those were my priorities. When Marta, my lover, looks at the wrinkles on my cheeks, she says, in that glorious Dutch accent, “Your wisdom!” She strokes the creases like she might do to a baby’s dimples,