“then laid bare.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday November 9, 2017
8:33am
5 minutes
The Task
Jane Hirschfield

This morning the sky was caramel
I dipped my finger in and tasted
sweet and sour
bitter and salty
I gulped and drank
and gorged
Please won’t this help me understand

I wept off the balcony
hoping my tears might bring Spring
Five more months
Five more months

Hallelujah
I said
The world broken
and laid bare
My hands covered in sunrise
My lips dripping fatigue

The sun understood my yearning
You do too

“Protect the blood from attack” by Sasha on the deck at Knowlton Lake

Thursday October 5, 2017
7:12am
5 minutes
Chinese Tonic Herbs
Ron Teeguarden

In this quiet stillness of languid morning
Sun on the birches and maples
Dew catching the joke quick
I listen to the silence
She whispers in a language I’m only now just learning
Only will learn fifty years from now
Sixty years from now
A million deaths between now and then

My mother only just spoke
Leaves turning at a snail’s pace
Green to yellow to
How she’s prone to anxiety
Red and brown
Spoke bulemia
When the wind swoops
The echoes cling to the windows
I hush
Spoke silence in a language I’m only now just learning
Thirty six years between us
Somehow less distance
Somehow more

I want to know about the birds that build nests up high
Who are they hiding from
Where do their babies first learn that we are born
Alone and will die alone
Each day an expression of this intrinsicness
Each quiet and still morning
An opportunity to fly deeper
A wingspan promise to try again

“The morning, happy thing” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday August 5, 2017
1:12am
5 minutes
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickenson

The morning, happy thing
dancing puppy dogs in maple syrup
unending stream so coffee and cream
Happy thing you happy happy thing
Musn’t be very smart if you’re happy
right that dumb idiot riding at the
front of the bus talking to the driver
the driver doesn’t want to fucking talk
but talk talk talk is all you do
Must be nice
being happy
Get your head out of your ass happy happy
Ronald McDonald
The morning with your egg mcmuff toast toast
I’m not mad I’m just disappointed
Why aren’t you smiling

“The only thing we lack” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday May 28, 2017
2:19pm
5 minutes
A program from the Cultch

Today I rise from bed groggy
heart full of last night’s baring
dreams of children and quartz
eyes wide
rushing water
my sister’s hair
a walk in the woods
barefoot
I sit on the balcony
cradling tea and my thirty-first
cradling all that I have built
on this borrowed plot
I call my father
and he sings in a voice
that lands somewhere
before time
A hummingbird
lands on the tree with
the yellow blooms
Joy
Joy
Joy

“I wish that we could talk about it” by Sasha at her desk


Monday April 17, 2017
11:46am
5 minutes
Someone Great
LCD Soundsystem

It’s the kind of morning that your mother
used to yawn about Laying in bed with a book
and a cold tea on the nightstand
The golf ball is in your throat again
but maybe this Earl Grey will wash it
down

It’s not a crisis of faith you hear yourself
say to your oldest friend It’s not anything
like that

“awaken in the morning’s hush” by Sasha at the Diamond Centre


Tuesday February 2, 2016
4:18pm
5 minutes
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
Mary Elizabeth Frye


I awaken in the hush of morning
Sleep stretched like a thin veil across the sky
Tiptoe out of the bedroom
so as not to wake you
so as not to break the spell of sensuous silence
The wood is cold under my feet
Nipples harden
Are the blinds down?
Will a neighbour catch a glimpse?
Fill the kettle with water
Fill the glass with water
Slice into the acidic flesh of the lemon
Watch as the juice mixes
Watch as the water boils
Watch as dawn becomes day

“the days are not to slip emptily by” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday, January 19, 2016
4:57pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Vita Sackville-West

In the early morning when the sky is still dark and only the sounds of faint garbage trucks can be heard from my window, I am viewing the world with eyes made of satin and lace. It’s easy but distant, honest but soft. I love these moments where my mind speaks very little and my soul shifts between asleep and awake, alert and dreaming, alive and hopeful. I lay there in my silent body, noticing the still and focused mystery of dawn, the quiet whisper of newness and readiness joining hands to fuse energies from past and present. My heart is moved by the warmth of limbs thick on perfect fiber, like baby in blanket; like chocolate on tongue.

“Bowl of acceptance” by Sasha in Szos’ office


Thursday, December 31, 2015
12:10pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the Living Room

The house is cold in the morning
Frost kissing mandalas on the window above the sink
A dissonance to my warm belly and toes
I wash a lemon
Cut it into four sections
Fill a glass with water
Squeeze one quarter of the lemon into the water
A seed sinks to the bottom
I press the edge of the glass to my lips
and drink
Wondering
again about the
toxic acidity that the medicine woman said is heavy in
my body

We only get one

“Are you expecting us?” by Julia at DH Lodge in St. Jacobs


Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at DH Lodge
2:35am
5 minutes
from a Kitchener Utilities Pamphlet

Elliot sat on the couch digging into her scalp, searching for the patch of raised skull flesh she liked to play with when she was nervous. It was a quarter past four and her eyelids sometimes closed for longer than a blink while she waited up for Marco to get back. He was late. He told her he’d be back at midnight at the very latest. She had called him a total of seventeen times so far and counting. Elliot fingered the bump on her head and started to yank tufts of hair out with her finger nails, pulling slowly and firmly on a few strands from the root to the ends. Elliot thought about calling the police. The pendulum of the old cuckoo clock on the wall swung out of tune.

“guiding his life direction.” By Sasha in the TA office at Mary Bollert Hall


Tuesday November 10, 2015
1:17pm
5 minutes
From a student’s short story

When You teach me to remember
my heart’s on fire the colour of sunset
the colour of ash

When You guide my hand towards the future
my eyes are a wash of birch
and sweetgrass

I don’t want to daydream my way to glory
I want to get there step by step
with You at my side
and the wind breaking trail

Over Cypress mountain the new day dawns
You braid bread and whistle
I grind coffee beans and light the stove

“When, Finally and inevitably,” by Sasha on the 99 going West


Tuesday, September 1, 2015
1:22pm
5 minutes
Bits
Louis Taylor


Let’s say that the grass was damp with dew
and the day was grey
like this one
Let’s say that Johnny Cash was playing from your
tinny computer speaks
like now
Let’s say that finally
inevitably
you put on your socks and boots and left for the factory
“Twelve years, Leila,” you say
“Eight more to go and I’m free”
Let’s say that I stand on the lawn
Watching as you pull out of the driveway

“before you begin” by Sasha on the 99 going East


Thursday, June 18, 2015
6:02pm
5 minutes
livestrong.com

before the sun rose you lifted your cup to your lips
you drank
you stood from your bed and prayed for strength
for tea
for warm enough socks
you were out of the house before the phone call that would change a lot
not everything
but a lot
you were on the highway
speeding towards the light
your cellphone
forgotten on the kitchen counter beside the cereal bowl
muesli
you’d switched from the sugary stuff after ron got diabetes
your phobia of needles stronger than your desire for sweet

“He always was kinda young looking” by Sasha on the Gulf Islands ferry


Tuesday, June 9, 2015
11:15am
5 minutes
overheard at the ferry terminal

Billy hates making his bed, so he doesn’t. At least at his Dad’s place, where he can get away with pretty much anything. He gleefully leaves his bed unmade, his dishes in the sink and drinks a Sprite for breakfast. “Bye, Dad!” He calls, his father asleep upstairs. He cocks his head at the pink high heels near the door. He waits for a response, until the bus honks and he runs out, the screen door slamming behind him. On the bus, he puts on his headphones, even though Ray wants to talk.

“Last night I was like fuck it” by Sasha at Arbutus Coffee


Friday, June 5, 2015 at Arbutus Coffee
2:52pm
5 minutes
from a text

Vera walks by the ocean everyday, and she has since she was fifteen, since she moved to Vancouver from Windsor with her stepmother. Her father had gone to Hong Kong for a two year placement at a Chemical Engineering firm and both she and her stepmother had sworn they wouldn’t leave Canada. “Well at least go someplace fun,” he’d said, probably stroking his beard, probably narrowing his eyes the way he did when he was deep in thought. “Vancouver!” Her stepmother had said, with her Polish accent. “Okay,” Vera had shrugged and gone to her room and listened to Joan Baez. She has walked by the ocean everyday since she got here, different shores, but the same changing ocean. Today she sees an Orca. She blinks several times, as she does when she doesn’t trust her eyes, maybe she hasn’t drunk enough water, maybe an orange and a piece of toast wasn’t a big enough breakfast. Nope. It’s definitely a whale. She watches and listens, he’s singing! He’s singing just for her.

“take her children to church” by Julia at her desk


Thursday June 4, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
Vogue
October 2014


She wakes up early in the morning, before the sun does, before the man does. He sleeps like a bear anyway. He wouldn’t notice if the house was on fire. He wouldn’t notice if his testicles were dipped in hydrochloric acid. For the record she has considered both options. She decides on sneaking her babies out without causing any physical pain. She doesn’t want to add to her little ones’ suffering. God knows they’be been through enough. She dresses her sleeping children as best she can. Georgia’s eyes flap open and she knows if she’s to wake anyone, Georgia’s the best one. She loves secrets. She’ll be good at helping her get the other two ready. She doesn’t even worry about the snoring bear. Georgia is quiet but she is curious. She puts her fingers to her lips and smiles with her eyes.

“GOOD BOY!” By Sasha at Kits Beach


Tuesday, April 13, 2015
9:14am
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits Beach

I take Ned for a walk every morning. Before I’ve fully arrived here, in the day, I walk down to the beach and I let Ned off the leash even though it’s against the law. It’s my small “Fuck the man”. I don’t do it anywhere else, I play by the rules, but I’m gonna let my hundred pound dog off the damn leash. Come on. There are other dog walkers there, and runners… A few carriage pushers. A few old women in running shoes and shawls. Sometimes I bring my travel mug with green tea. Sometimes I stop for a full fat latte. Screw the fads. My mother drank full fat milk and she was always thin as a broom handle. I don’t reward Ned with treats. I give him a good scratch behind the ears and a “good boy”. It’s enough for him.

“Optimal health” by Sasha on the bus


Saturday December 6, 2014
3:54pm
5 minutes
The back of the chia seed bag

Those nights full of talking that hurt.
Yeah.
We’ve all been there.
Two in the morning turns to three in the morning and we’re losing more mind than sleep
Pounding pillows like dreamcatchers
Future flying in and out
We’ve all been there
A secret is a time bomb
A secret could explode at any minute
A secret a secret a secret

Everything has to do with loving and not loving
That is not an oversimplification
That is truth

This night (we’ve all been there) will turn to morning
(We’ve all woken up puffy faced and heart-achey)
and we’ll put on coffee
We’ll fry some eggs
Optimal health
And we’ll return to the loving and the not loving

“check into luxury” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Thursday November 13, 2014 at Higher Grounds
1:32pm
5 minutes
from a Palazzo Di Varignana ad

I’ll give you the key to the luxury
Guard it with your life
Take it to bed
Hide it at night
Under your pillow where your hands stay warm
I’ll give you the kisses and the questions
The moon doesn’t judge
I’m not the one you’re after
It makes me think about mud
There’s a trap under the slick
There’s a leak under the sink
I’m not sure what to tell you
Except the sky is blue and the snow isn’t here yet so
I’m trying to find the right words but it’s hard
It’s hard
You compare success to success but it’s not like that
It’s rounder
It’s more cyclical
The things I can count on are a handful of beans
A handful of promises and wishes and the ocean
It’s still colourful
It’s still water
It’s still morning
Afternoon
Evening
It’s still changing and concrete and sand
Take it to bed
Hide it at night
Under your pillow where your dreams stay warm

“Now get your ass over here!!!” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday October 18, 2014
12:18pm
5 minutes
Advanced Italian Grammar
Marcel Danesi


“Alan! Get your ass over here!!!” Bernie has one of those voices you hope you’ll never have to hear at seven ten in the God damn morning. “Do you have to shriek like that? It’s early…” I want to kick Leonard. Bernie takes a long pause and then rises from his desk. “What did you just say to me?” “I just, ah…” Leonard shrinks into his sweater vest like a fucking turtle. “I’ll talk however I want, Leonard, because guess what?! I’M THE FUCKING BOSS HERE! I’M THE BOSS! So, shut up, drink your orange juice and get to WORK!” Poor Lisbeth is plugging her ears. I think there’s a tear forming in her eye… If she cries, I might. It’s that bad. Alan’s made his way to Bernie’s desk and he’s waiting, shaking. Poor guy’s wife just gave birth to a stillborn. He does not look good. I try to catch his eye to wink at him or something, but his gaze is fixed on the floor.

“we have the luxury of time” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Tuesday September 30, 2014 at Culprit Coffee
5:48pm
5 minutes
On Directing Film
David Mamet


“We have the luxury of time, Jenna…” He says, as he cracks another egg into the steaming pan. It sizzles. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” She responds, pouring orange juice into cups. She drinks hers quickly, and pours another glass. “I love your hair like that,” he says, putting two english muffins into the toaster. “Why don’t you wear it down more often?” She smiles. “It gets in the way.” They’ve only been in London for two weeks, but she feels at home. It’s taking him longer, but that’s okay. She opens the window. He flips the eggs and she goes behind him and puts her arms around his middle.

“Absentminded” by Julia on her living room floor


Sunday June 15, 2014
10:13pm
5 minutes
The New Yorker

We didn’t know it at the time but we were growing
We were growing
With our hands in each other’s pockets and wishing for the dawn to wake us from yesterday
We were doing the life things that we now keep
We were listening to the songs of our youth marrying our future and we were the harmony that sounded best
We didn’t know it
We didn’t know it at the time
And in those moments where the living room echoed in its emptiness
And the kitchen still smelled of sawdust
And there were no lamps or dressers to hold any of our belongings
We remember some love from our previous home
From the past, it feels like
Saying lean into each other
And so we do to keep warm
And so we do because we’ve forgotten our sweaters
And the night feels far away from the morning
But part of it at the same time
We didn’t know it then
We didn’t know it at the time
But we were growing
With love
With patience
With grace
With fewer things
With fewer promises to stay the same

“Important Numbers:” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday May 10, 2014
12:02am
5 minutes
A 2013 calendar

Every morning when he awoke and every night before going to sleep, Benjamin Franklin would ask himself, “What good shall I do today? What good have I done today?” Every morning when he awakes and every night before going to sleep, James does the same thing. Sometimes, he feels as though he hasn’t done enough good, but he finds solace in the fact that he’s trying, in the simple act of trying to “do good”. Usually, when he wakes up, when he stretches his toes to the footboard, he thinks, “What good shall I do today? I shall give Joe, the homeless man who sits outside the Drugstore a club sandwich from the Deli. I shall ask Maria how her son is doing and if she needs help with organizing her garage for the Street Sale. I shall sign five on-line petitions for causes that I believe in. I shall take my travel mug to work and therefore not waste a take-out cup.” Usually at the end of the day, he’s done two of the four. Not bad.

“the good life” by Julia on the 506 going west


Monday April 7, 2014
9:25pm
5 minutes
from a GoodLife Fitness sign

started off with a bang and i thought to myself, why do i live so close to other humans?
you rolled over and you said the same thing, only in spanish, and we both yawned like it was the answer to the universe.
we tried to get back to sleep but the banging persisted. was a saturday morning sleep-in just far too much to ask? i wondered about it with my eyes shut tight, trying to keep the light out. i groaned and thought to myself, next time we should close the blinds before the weekend starts.
you rolled over to face the wall and you said the same thing, only in spanish, and we both yawned like it was a signed contract for future weekends to come.
the banging. the banging. why can’t those tiny bottle-seeking women just come back after 10am after the lazies and the tired have forced themselves to get up?
finally i had had enough. i got up from our warm cocoon and hobbled over to the window holding my bare boobs with one hand. it wasn’t a human at all. It was a squirrel trying to get into our garbage bin.
mother fucker, i said out loud.
you rolled over and said the same thing, only in spanish.

“turning to the little girls” by Julia at Cafe Novo


Monday, February 10, 2014 at Cafe Novo
9:13am
5 minutes
Under the Lilacs
Louisa M. Alcott


All the little girls with their little girl curls, running wild in the parks and the lawns of strangers. Flying high with the morning giggles syphoned from a rainbow’s end, learning to hold hands with the younger ones and protect them from the mean ones.
All the little girls with their little girl curls, eating blueberries from the bush and getting raspberry stains on their little girl frill. With sighs about the afternoon and their late day naps, not wanting to miss the moments of growth and maturation that come from watching Mommy.
All the little girls with their little girl curls, thinking they can change the moods of the wind and the ocean and have them turn in their favour. They dream big with their wide-eyes and believe the impossible is possible and not only possible but easy.
All the little girls with their little girl curls, drinking sweet pear nectar from a bright blue or yellow cup. Gulping back the flesh of a fruit in a juice so perfectly constructed to suit their needs and satiate their every curiosity.

“I ordered a half sandwich” by Julia at The Holy Oak


Saturday February 1, 2014 at The Holy Oak
12:05pm
5 minutes
The True Secret of Writing
Natalie Goldberg


I had just spent the day talking to Olivia about her juice cleanse and how she felt invigorated by life and her own body and the new colour of her urine. I was half listening to her go on about it and half just imagining her peeing every seven minutes as if the juice was speaking to her through her urethra. That’s literally where my mind went, so when she asked me how mine was going I just said, “so great!” She was like, “where is yours?” And she meant my juice. She said it as she was drinking back a goopey red thing that looked more like period blood than anything, and I waited before I answered to see if she’d get those “strawberry wings” on her mouth…
“I drank my morning one at home!” I told her. I lied. I always lied to Olivia. Truth is, I had eaten an egg and mushroom tuna melt on marble rye and I was so damn pleased with myself that I didn’t even feel bad for bailing on our “joint cleanse”. She looked at me from the corner of her eye and paused. A little red period burp escaped her wet lips. “Oops! Excuse me!” I suppose her juice was speaking through her again…

“QUEEN BARGAIN MART” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar going East


Thursday January 9, 2014
11:45am
5 minutes
from the store by the same name on queen west

When you recycle memories
Sloshing them in the blue bin
You’re not doing yourself a favour
It hurts to see them like that
All mixed up together
Mushy.
On Tuesday morning
When you put them on the curb
Your parka over your pyjamas
You might laugh
You see that one your forgot about
The time you fell off the dock and thought you might drown
You were scared then
And you felt remarkably free.
When you’re walking away
The wind picking up your first kiss and taking it somewhere west
You catch a sniff of yourself
Aged six
Stealing a Rolo bar from the Queen Bargain Mart.

“should be the soundtrack” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday December 29, 2013
12:53am
5 minutes
www.songza.com

You wake
restless
Visions of waves
and skateboards
You stretch
Languid
Saying good morning
to what we’ve made
Your voice
singing
Should be the soundtrack of my day
It’s not a matter of better or worse
But if it were
You’d be better than
Joni
Bruce
Adele
Raphael
Joan
You are better than
Sunshowers
Pinecone crowns
A gull flying high overhead
Your love is deeper
than the centre of the earth
where quartz crystals
hum to the tune of the red hot
centre

“Perhaps she will spend the morning” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, November 23, 2013
8:26pm
5 minutes
The Days You’ve Spent
Suzanne Bowness


Perhaps she will spend the morning writing love letters for every day that he will be gone this winter. She will write them in different colours, each one for a day of the week. “Thursday” will be green. “Monday” will be purple. Perhaps she will spend as much time as it takes to find the perfect brownie recipe, one with just enough butter and melted chocolate, one that encourages the cook to lick the bowl and top the brownies with Maldon salt. Perhaps she will make one pot of coffee and then another, when the first one goes down too easy and craves an encore. Perhaps she will do the laundry, but slowly, not rushing, smelling and folding and letting her hands keep warm in the soft downy. Perhaps she will make just enough noise to wake him and when he comes into the kitchen she will surprise him with kisses that taste like dreams.

“The actor has to develop his body” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Monday November 11, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
4:37pm
5 minutes
a quote from Stella Adler

Of course he would go to the gym at 4 in the morning! I mean, I know it’s not even open that early, but if it were, he’d be the type to beat every other person there. I don’t know how one can train oneself how to wake up every morning at the same time and do something good. I know when I wake up, I’m thinking about , and only thinking about (in order of importance) my morning shit, my English Muffin, toasted with half butter, half raspberry jam, my second morning shit, and then my shirt if it needs ironing that day. I don’t even think about my woman when I first wake up, and there goes my younger brother, Chad, outshining me with his good behavior, and probably fixing his girl a croissant and egg white omelet before she wakes up, and before he leaves for his cycling or running, or whatever else he thinks is possible at dawn.

“X&Z” by Sasha at High Park


Thursday June 6, 2013
3:54pm
5 minutes
from a sign on Harbord

It was a funny sort of morning. The sort of morning when the sky looks purple and the ducks are flying south, honking their way where you wish you were going. It was a funny sort of morning. The sort of morning where you wake, tangled in dreams of shark bites, gasping for breath and glad, for once, that you’re alone. It was a funny sort of morning. The sort of morning, when you long for a watermelon all to yourself, and no interruptions as you spit the seeds out your window onto the street below. It was a funny sort of morning. The sort of morning when you are compelled to call you old best friend, who you haven’t spoken to in seven years, who is pregnant with twins and lives on the prairies, with the big sky and a cow or two. It was a funny sort of morning. The sort of morning where you laugh at your own reflection in the mirror, a little cross-eyed, hair like hay, looking more and more like you crazy uncle who sends you e-mail chain letters every day or two, who hasn’t been to the doctor in three decades, who lost touch with everyone but you.

“I really do not know” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday March 7, 2013
11:05am
5 minutes
The Marvelous Land of Oz
L.Frank Baum


Silas didn’t know the answer to the question as to how Jack drowned. What he did know was this. They’d gone out fishing just after sunrise, somewhere around six fifteen. Jack brought live bait and Silas brought lures. Every man has their own style, no judgement there. Silas paddled the boat out, as to not disturb the sleeping trout, and Jack got impatient. “It’s gonna take us til tomorrow morning to get out to the middle of the lake!” He hissed. Silas “shh-ed” Jack and kept paddling. They didn’t talk much, they never talked much. Must’ve been half passed eight when Jack got his first bite, the first bite of the day, actually. It was a big one, his line bending and his arms getting pulled. Silas backed him up. Out they pulled a twenty-six pounder, the biggest fish either men had ever caught. She was slip-slapping all over the bottom of the boat, the hook still caught in her mouth, blood starting to stain the wood finish. “Take out that hook,” said Silas. “Let’s let her suffer a bit, eh?” Jack replied, rolling a cigarette. “Why the hell would you do that?” asked Silas. He watched the fish struggle, watched her gills dance and glitter in the new day sunlight. Jack closed his eyes and leaned back, not a care in the world. Silas took a hammer from his toolkit. He hit the fish between the eyes. She stopped squirming.

“Allow the process to unfold” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday, December 4, 2012
11:12pm
5 minutes
Pisces Horoscope, from 24h
Monday December 3, 2012


The morning started as I’d expected – alarm, roll over, pee, put on the kettle, etc., etc. Then there was a knock at the door. It struck me as strange, given that I have a prominent doorbell. The choice to knock. Hm. A tall man in a bright blue coat, fedora and checkered scarf meets me at the door. I’m in my robe and slippers. He looks strangely familiar and yet so unknown in his dapper wardrobe and shiny eyes. “Mrs. Allen?” He says… “Mrs. Allen is my mother!” I shout. He smiles. “Mrs. Allen, may I come in?” The man has the faint lilt of an Irish accent. I look down at my garb and almost say “No” but then remember my manners and open the door. He makes himself at home without me encouraging him to. “Mrs. Allen -” “Miss,” I say, “Miss Allen…” “Miss Allen, I’m here to discuss the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the death of Edgar Ballentine – ” “Who did you say you are?” I suddenly feel overwhelmed by my lack of socks and the kettle whistling hysterically on the stove.