“The only thing I can come up with” by Sasha sitting on her floor

Thursday, March 1, 2018
5 minutes
No Idea
Dana ID Matthews

The only thing I can come up with is

us dancing in the kitchen in the country
getting drunk and making a fire

The only thing I can come up with is

taking a bath in the clawfoot tub
and you sneaking photographs

I wonder what happened to those photographs
I wonder if they are under your bed
or if they are dead in a hard drive somewhere
or are they just negatives in a memory
somewhere between then and now
you and I

The only thing I can come up with is

you running into a friend
of a friend at Lee’s Palace
friend of a friend says my name
and you tap her on the shoulder and say

“She’s one of the loves of my life”

“all these obsessions we’ve believed” by Sasha on her couch

Monday, February 26, 2018
5 minutes
Wake The Dead
Julia Pileggi

saw the visions this afternoon
their heads blurred gold
knew what was going on
but didn’t trust myself again
stumbled home through icy skulls
you caught me as i fell through the door
straight to the toilet
all of lunch
swirl down
rub back
head split
visions gone
dark room
quiet now quiet please

slept like a ghost
spinning wool out of dreams
you fed me pills
my mother said to take
“get on top of the pain”
“what did she eat?”
“maybe it’s hormonal”
“cranio sacral”
okay okay hushhhhhh

as a child i’d come home
to my sister
dark room
quiet now quiet please

“Use your body to be the tent” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
5 minutes
Nest Filled
Kim Stafford

When the kettle boils
I make a cup of tea
too late for black but
I do it anyway

I sit down at my desk
and tonight that means
the kitchen table
sweet with rounded corners
the tea
and the table

my body becomes a tent
chair legs
and my legs
fingers typing
toes tapping
tea steaming
you on my mind
you in the bones of
so many of these poems

I’ve written three lines
of your birthday card

my heart hurt
sunrise to sunset
my heart hurt
the first year in
many that I haven’t
sung to you
written to you
loved you from close up
loving you from far away
is teaching me about

Our language is this
five minute stories
I’ll set the timer
force myself to keep going
even though now
with this
with this
words don’t ever seem to be
always seem to be too much

too little
too late

that always seems to be the problem

Snow falls outside the window

“the beauty and challenge of facebook” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday February 18, 2018
5 minutes
Margaret Christakos

I fucking hate Facebook. I think it’s all posturing and must-be-seen-as and “come see my show!” BARF and “this is how beautiful I am this is how talented I am this is how political I am this is now armchair activist I am!” I fucking HATE Facebook. I wonder how many hours, as a society, we waste zooming in on the face of someone we went to kindergarten with, someone we made out with once, someone we forget how we know but damnnnn their baby is cute. I fucking HATE Facebook. But I spend hours on it. Every. Single. Day. Especially when I’m trying to avoid the gym, or crossfit, or my best friend who just went through a breakup and “needs to talk RIGHT NOW.”

“we were in the same grade together” by Julia on the 99

Thursday February 15, 2018


5 minutes

Lesbian at a Bachelor Party

Amber Dawn

I remember him when I think about my front tooth. When i accidentally hit it with a fork, or a glass of water. The last time it was knocked out was half a decade ago by a guy turning his car when he shouldn’t be. The first time was on a snow hill when I was seven years old. This kid in my grade came at me with his rotten mitts and punched me in my mouth. I guess it was already loose, but there was still a lot of blood. When I went to the bathroom to rinse out my mouth the tooth fell down the drain. I remember I was more angry at him for making me lose out on the tooth fairy money than I was that he attacked me for absolutely no reason. How do you prove to the tooth fairy that you lost your tooth when you actually lost your tooth?

“famous for flying around”by Sasha in the bath

Wednesday February 14, 2018
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.

“Ninety pounds.” By Julia in Hanoi

Sunday February 4, 2018
5 minutes
T is for Texas
Derek McCormack

I met a woman in the museum today
She was 90 pounds and making things
Pushing through the thick
and then
more making, more things
She won the medal for
perseverance or something like it
Not a war hero but a woman hero
and a wall climbing metaphor
She didn’t see the wall and
think there was no other way

Can’t go over it
Can’t go under it
Can’t go around it
Got to go through it
(Going on a lion hunt)
(If the lion was accomplishment in spite of)

The angle of her made her body
look big and she seemed
so very unfazed

“handed down mother to daughter” by Julia at Tree Hugger Cafe, Dong Hoi

Friday February 2, 2018 at Tree Hugger Cafe
5 minutes
Without Mercy
Howard Wright

The slow blink while angry
The smooth legs
The internal smile at babies
The compassion
The sometimes door mat sometimes door
The olive oil skin
The walking feet
The running instinct
The humming bone
The story teller
The clam sauce recipe
The porcini mushroom gnocchi
The onion soup
The date and walnut cookies
The open face
The open mouth
The ears
The rage
The hurt
The agency
The curiosity
The attention to details
The service to the ones loved most
The glued roots to Italy
The never ending conversation
The family first

“a forest lake frozen to the bottom” by Sasha at her the Diamond Centre

Wednesday January 31, 2018
5 minutes
Pia Tafdrup

Back when the lake would freeze solid
or at least it felt like that
or at least I was a child and trusted safety still

We would lace up skates too tight
double layer of socks
double layer of love and comfort

My sister and I
all girlhood glow
all wonder and piano fingers
all stir-fry bellies
all blue eyes

Dancing swirls and future
carving the ice
carving the present
carving ourselves

Cheeks rosy
sweaty underneath layers of sweaters
pink jackets

Darkness coming in
over the horizon
across the lake
time to get up
to the house

“a forest lake frozen to the bottom” by Julia in Phong Nha-ke national park

Wednesday January 31, 2018

5 minutes
Pia Tafdrup

It reminds me of the time we tried to take our leftovers home and the waitstaff who couldn’t understand our English very well didn’t know what a container meant. And so they gave it to us in a giant ceramic bowl that wouldn’t fit in our tiny fridge. They must have thought we were out of our minds. We brought the bowl to our room and some smaller bowls to eat from but we were too full to keep eating that night so we put them in the tiny fridge. The next day the giant bowl was gone but our two smaller bowls were still in there. We didn’t want leftovers until later and by the time it was later, we couldn’t eat them anyway. When we went to stick a spoon in, the top was hard as rock. It took a moment to figure out that it had frozen over-we put it in the wrong spot. This made us laugh for a while. Thinking of them coming to collect our giant bowl and saying, well I guess we’ll leave their ice noodles in the fridge then?

“Said she’s comin’ back to stay” by Julia in Da Nang

Sunday January 28, 2018
5 minutes
Gonna Have Love
Buck Owens

You are wearing black shorts and a white t-shirt. They might be your boxers. Your at home clothes. Your lounge wear. I don’t know that much about you yet. I don’t know that you love Buck yet. I know you’re funny. I know I’ve accidentally said your name while lying next to someone else. I know I don’t want to live with anyone but you. You are wearing black shorts and a white t-shirt. You knock on my door every night and when I say come in from my desk you come in with your guitar. You play a song. You charm the pants off of me. You make me laugh. You make me better. You are a one man show and I am your only audience. You and your black shorts, boxers, lounge wear. You and your perfect timing and your perfect face. You and your way of changing the room so the right light hits the right spot. I don’t know much about you but I am watching every part. I am studying your hands. Your knee caps. The way you don’t take anything personally. The way you sing to me.

“chimneys dress right with smoke” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday January 24, 2018
5 minutes
A Touch of Cynicism
Yannis Goumas

doesn’t have enough letters
doesn’t have enough sounds
doesn’t have enough syllables
doesn’t have enough vowels

“Good” isn’t

and “bye” makes it
sound like
this is what
I wanted

or that
I wrote it

“by” Sasha at her kitchen table

maybe you did
maybe you wrote it

“by” you
wherever you are

where are you?

I think it comes from
“God be with you”

which I can’t argue

I do hope that God is with you

wherever you are
eating tropical fruit
wearing cut-offs
dancing with parrots


smoke curling out of a chimney
ash in the fireplace
rain on the window
jumping puddles
slamming the door

“You’ll do pants today.” By Sasha at at the Edmonton airport

Sunday January 21, 2018
5 minutes
Summer, Winter, War
Melinda Moustakis

I know the apartment is a bit of a mess. Dust bunnies in corners, the sink needs scrubbing, the toilet needs cleaning, the bathtub needs vinegar down the sides. I know that I like packing more than unpacking and three flights in one week is too many for me.

I know that the fridge has a few wilted pieces of celery in it, a bruised apple, a shrivelled lemon, a jar of tahini with an inch of oil on top and only a few centimetres of tahini.

I know the sheets are semi-clean, and the plants are thirsty.

“with that thirsty, drink-it-down look” by Sasha at the Canterra Inn and Suites

Saturday January 20, 2018
5 minutes
For you
Tammy Armstrong

I wonder who taught you about forgiveness.
Was it on the school yard?
A pig-tailed know-it-all in-your-face?
Was it your sister?
Did you break her dollhouse door
and try to tape it back to opening and closing?
Did she cry and then say,
“It’s okay. I know it was an accident.”

I wonder who taught you about forgiveness
more now than a month ago. A month
ago I wondered who taught me about
forgiveness. I’m still not sure.

I can’t remember.

I remember

a pivotal moment of
my sister knowing I ate her caramel
and saying
“It’s okay.”

I read about a woman
who goes to visit her husband’s killer
in prison. They are dear friends now.
That is possible.

I remember

This isn’t a dollhouse and it’s not
caramel or murder.

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

Thursday January 18, 2018
5 minutes
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.

“the amniotic brine of tears” by Julia on the 99

Tuesday January 16, 2018


5 minutes

Memo to a Self

Steven Heighton

I called my mother today and yelled and cried at her while she was helping me. I yelled emotions, not anger. Or maybe frustration and fear and annoyance. And she didn’t get mad. She was kind. She knows when I yell I’m not mad at her but feeling more than my body can handle. She knows that and says it’s okay, or I’m not taking it personally, or you can take out your anger on me. But I’m not angry. And I shouldn’t be yelling. But I am yelling and so I yell that I’m not mad. Or I yell that I love her. Or I yell that I’m afraid of dying before I get to see her again. When I yell my mother rolls a batch of date and walnut cookies. She puts me on speaker phone and forgets to tell me that my dad is in the other room with his leg up cause he can’t straighten his knee. That’s when I feel bad about the yelling. As if my dad, unexpectedly home from work, can hear how ridiculous I’m being and might think I’m an asshole. As if had I known that someone else was in the house I would have put on more of a front. That’s just as ridiculous. I don’t yell at my dad because my dad doesn’t know that I have fears of dying before I see him next.

“It’s the nicest gift anyone’s given me” by Julia on her couch

Monday January 15, 2018
5 minutes
Madeline Sonik

I still remember it even though I don’t really like to remember her.

I didn’t get into chamber choir when I was in the eleventh grade. I couldn’t read music but I could sing by ear. I was good. But I wasn’t good enough when it came to clapping out the bars. I had never felt more alone. Mrs. C had a look of pity on her face. I was sure I would never sing again. The next day K brought me a hand-bound booklet of music-reading printouts from the internet. She told me not to quit. I was moved beyond words. My friend believed in me even when I thought it was impossible to prove myself. The day after that I got the courage up to go and talk to Mrs. C and tell her that I would work hard and that even if I couldn’t read music, I belonged in the choir. She relented and let me in. I don’t remember now who gave me the idea to plead my case, but I will not forget that music booklet: the holes gathered by the cutest little sewing thread. When I think of her in my life I try and remember that version of her. I try not to let that part get swept away with the others.

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

Saturday January 13, 2018
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.

“feel free to play around” by Julia on her couch

Monday January 8, 2018
5 minutes

I told them today about my favourite word. I told them
everything I knew about play. I invited it in like a teacher did once for me. And again when I forgot. And again when I was faking it. Don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Seriously. Don’t. And we played. We danced out of our chairs into a game. We all said yes and how glorious it was. That feeling alone won me right over. I asked them to risk being seen. I invited again and again and led by example. Some of my heartstrings were tugged so hard they broke. My own panic wove a tapestry and I wore it and then when I invited guidance I got some Serenity I didn’t know how to ask for. I think there is magic in moments like these. In giving yourself over to the open chair. The possibility of freedom. The strong and wrong balls to the wall go big or go home. I played like I wasn’t afraid of a grade or an opinion. And they played back when I called.

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

Wednesday January 3, 2018
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
5 minutes
From a tweet

Tell you the truth

Telling myself first


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


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



Order another drink

Let you leave in anger

Keep you there in anger





Ask you to write me something

Ask you to read something

Admit I don’t know

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

Monday December 25, 2017


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.

“It’s not fair, after all, to lick tigers so small.” By Julia at D and A’s house

Saturday December 16, 2017
5 minutes
I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!
Dr. Seuss

When I’m lucky enough
to feel lucky about my tongue
I think of her.
I think of how
all gums no teeth
she could hurl a yell
at any one of us;
have us quaking
in our boots.
Her tongue was a whip.
A weapon.
She used it and the
chorus did sing.
I got mine from her.
I borrowed it once
tried it on
liked it a hell of a lot
and then kept it
in my mouth
like a hard candy
turning it over
against my cheeks.
She could lick a tiger quiet.
She could hum a baby
back into the belly
of her mother.
She could break my
heart and crack it open
in the same breath.
When I’m lucky enough
to think about the origins
of my loud,
when I’m lucky enough
to think about my tongue,
the light in the room lifts.
I am soothed, tender lion cat
nuzzling in the neck
of her sister.
Calmed, the way
an anchovy might.

“The Best And Worst Of” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday December 12, 2017
5 minutes
from uproxx.com

It was the best of times and the worst of times. That’s always how it goes. When it’s good, it’s so good and the taps are open and beauty is everywhere and the buildings are trees and the parties are groundbreaking. When it’s bad, it’s the darkest, dirtiest, nastiest, most broken-down, ramshackle bad. There’s no moon or sun. One needs the other, right? That’s what you’re learning? When you don’t have one, you can’t have the… The worst needs the best. Conjoined twins, or twisting carrots, or…

“In my head” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday November 25, 2017
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

Ripped and tunneled by sadness in a new adult way I know heartbreak smells like pennies and tastes like burning. I pull on cut offs and a tank top and walk to the restaurant where I work. It’s home. It’s too public for right now but it’s safe. It’s okay. I pour ceasars and dish eggs benedict and flirt a bit and feel a little bit better. I ride my bike home and cry and cry and cry and cry. Tomorrow I’ll do it all again and the only difference will be that you’ll come in and order a veggie sandwich and I’ll stop feeling so sad and the tunnels will fill with light. You’ll make a joke and it’s a bad one but I’ll love it. The world clouds and clears all at once.

“peel and core the remaining apples.” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday November 19, 2017
5 minutes
Andrea Albin

My mother makes baked apples
And I’m sad that dessert is something
With more sugar
More sweetness
Baked apples are glorified apple sauce
And she thinks it’s exciting that there’s oats
Sprinkled on top
A dusting of cinnamon

My mother bakes the apples in the toaster oven
It’s how she makes baked potatoes too
She puts raisins in too

I don’t know yet that betrayal is a spell
That will take lifetimes to break

I don’t know yet that dreams won’t come true

And they will

I don’t know yet that there will always be something
About this time of year

When my mother makes baked apples
I close my eyes and imagine it’s chocolate

“At the end of the day” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday November 6, 2017
5 minutes
From an email

At the end of the day
I run a bath
I have to make myself do it
Easier to read
Easier to watch babies eating lemons on YouTube
But I do
I run a bath

I always make it too hot
Need to add some cold water
Story of my life

I dump in epsom salts
Many drops of lavender oil

I light three candles
Two real
Ones I made last December
Brewing beeswax like tea
for three days straight
One candle is the fake kind
that looks pretty real
But any real fire lover
can spot the difference

I work in the bath
A book light on the side of the tub
Reading about this and that

“seems plausible to me” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday October 26, 2017
5 minutes
From a quote by Susan Sontag

It’s all plausible now
Six hundred million people
Living within
10 meters of sea level
Hanging on to the edge of the cliff
As rocks drop into

It’s worse than you think

If it’s not keeping you up at night

You’re dreaming

It’s tempting

I know

Walking in my neighbourhood
Another movie poster for
An apocalypse
Bigger than the last

Displaced fear into multi-million dollar

joke’s on us

I want to lessen this
I want to make it lighter

But I can’t

How many times can I ask the question
Where can we find hope

“being interviewed” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Tuesday October 24, 2017
5 minutes
From a tweet

Ask me whatever you want

I’ve said it before

I’m an open book

you just have to read between the lines

Don’t ask me anything when I’m writing

Or dumping out

I say dumping out instead of taking a sweet shit

I just want to be clear with you

I’m not interested in your nightly rituals

I don’t want to put your mouth in my mouth

So we’re clear

If you ask I will answer

I’ll go above and beyond

out of my way to figure it out so you don’t have to

Wanna know what I’ve been carrying?

Stale bread in the secret pocket of my purse

Just in case they don’t have what I need

A couple packets of raspberry jam

A Mickey of whiskey

Art for someone who loves me enough to buy it

Ask me

about my yesterday

and I will tell you everything



Might not apologize for leaving early

Might not fall down dead at the sound of sorry

Might beg for truth from you

if you’re getting it from me

“beneficial to anyone” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Monday October 23, 2017


5 minutes

from an email

Can’t drink anymore. When I do I’m no use to anyone. Can’t remember simple words. Yes and no get confused. No looks a lot like yes. No gets put on the shelf as decoration.

She told me years ago it was time to trade in the bottle. Said my body didn’t like it. She was right. My mother replaced it with structured silver. Said to take a shot of that every morning before I make any other bad decisions. I always had a good memory. I could tell you the birthdays of all 30 cousins and at least 5 aunts and uncles. I could tell you phone numbers of friends and loved ones up until 2008 (I got a cell phone late). I could tell you what you were wearing when we met. How your hair was.

“connected by canals” by Sasha at the casita

Thursday October 19, 2017
5 minutes
from the Scuba Diving Pamphlet

We float down the canal in the jungle
Sitting on life jackets
Letting the current take us where she wants
Our guide
Reminds me of the cousin of my first love
Soft features
Quick wit
He tells us about the root systems of the mangroves
How the roots can grow both up and down

Mine too

I drag my feet along the rocks
And think about how this flow is
What we’re after

Mine too

We see birds with red wings
And blue wings
Singing songs we’ve never heard
But are familiar somewhere

The Mayans covered their buildings
In another layer
Every fifty two years
Prayed to the Sun every evening
Prayed that he’d rise again tomorrow

It goes down easy
Rises easy

“Show them yourself, your highness” by Sasha at the beach

Monday October 16, 2017
5 minutes
From a dream

A girl, maybe seven or eight, Moana bathing suit, high bun. She crouches in the water, making pancakes with white sand. Her mother sits nearby on the beach, a carbon copy older version, metallic silver bathing suit, high bun. She plays on her phone. A stray dog approaches, mangy, skinny, the colour of caramel. The girl’s back is to the dog. She doesn’t know he’s coming. He jumps on her back and she screams, glass shattering, bone breaking, primal fear. Mother jumps and runs before we can and kicks the dog off. Daughter cries. Mother holds her. Calms her. In three minutes she’s okay, back to making pancakes, back to play.

“I’d be fucking rocked if I were you.” By Julia on the 4

Wednesday October 11, 2017


5 minutes

From a text

He forces my wrist until it is twisted up and screaming quietly. He wants me to get into the bathtub. I don’t know why. I let him hold my arm and push until I am kneeling beside the tub and looking in. He keeps pointing. I keep imitating him. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do but he is strong for six and this is the first time we’re in a bathroom together. He looks at me like he’s trying to tell me about his pain. His face is contorted and his eyes are loud. I look back at him with as much heart as I can muster. Tell him with my smile he’s not alone. That I’m here. That I’m sorry he’s trapped inside his head with so many feelings and not enough words. He grabs me by the wrist when I try to open the door. He brings me back to the tub. I am breathing loud enough so he might hear it in his skin. I want to save him but I don’t know what from. He is crying without tears. I tell him, it’s okay. It’s okay.

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

Thursday October 5, 2017
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

“Water music” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday, October 2
5 minutes
Major Orchestral Works
Felix Mendelssohn

I take a bath in the tub where I learned to swim
My sister across from me
Peppermint soap in our ear’s
The hum of our parents voices rising through the floorboards
Fluffy comfort that we don’t know can be broken

I think about writing this
How my appetite’s returned
Words haven’t satiated or helped or healed
But now they can
And they will

I lather my head with shampoo
And fill an old yogurt container with warm water from the tap
I rinse and rinse and rinse
A blue jay sits on the branch right there outside the window
Sings for awhile

There are stains where the drain is
And my love makes dinner downstairs
My parents live in different houses with different loves
My sister rocks her baby to sleep and sings the
Lullaby we heard

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

Saturday September 30, 2017
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

“Know this place?” by Sasha in Mississauga

Friday September 29, 2017
5 minutes
from google maps

He leers and I lurch and we move
And I say
Back off
Step away
Give space

I am my own protector
I am my own
Owning the air between
Old world and new future

The void is thick
But the music is loud
And that helps
That helps

So many faces
From the yesterday seasons
Stepping in time to the drum
I’m tired
And I’m glad

When that snake spoke
I fell but quick quick
I stood and there I was
In and outside of myself
There I was

“making a retreat into self-protective cynicism” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday September 26, 2017
5 minutes
Fighting the Cowardice of Cynicism
Caitlin Moran

My cynic wears tortershell glasses
And has brown eyes

Her wardrobe is browns and greys
White black

She has an astoundingly dry
Sense of humor

She drinks dry martinis

She speaks Italian
And a little bit of Japanese
Enough to get by
Enough to order the best sushi

When she speaks
People listen
People hear
Especially men
Men listen
No one
No one
Mansplains to her

She never has to repeat
She never has to interrupt

“I’m driving so couldn’t really see it” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Saturday September 23, 2017
5 minutes
from a text

You stand on the edge of a hill.
You take in the vista.
Maybe the sun is rising.

Maybe your mother is somewhere close by
And your sister
And her daughter.

And almost all of the women you love
Gathered around a fire.

A black river rushes close by.

You will marry your love today.
Yes. You will marry your love today.

You tie the sash of your dress and
The sun whispers about the past and the future.
You laugh because you’re unwrapping each minute.
A present.

Eighty seven voices sing you into being
Sing you across the threshold.

“What it means to have light” by Sasha in the garden

Wednesday September 20, 2017
5 minutes
from the LIT call for artists

My father wraps string lights around his hand, down to his elbow, around his hand, down to his elbow. He’s telling me something, but I’m only listening with my eyes. We’ve just eaten lunch – a chickpea salad – and I know what his breath smells like. Mine smells the same. I know what it means to have light between us, and to feel it, and to know it like I know the Christmas Carol. I know what it means when his eyes fall, when he laughs like only slapstick can make him laugh.

“This one has more nuts” By Sasha at Bump n’ Grind

Wednesday September 13, 2017 at Bump n’ Grind
5 minutes
Overheard at Bump n’ Grind

When I speak to her, I taste egg salad sandwiches on white bread, lots of mayo. The phone rings again fuck fuck fuck I don’t want to answer. But I do. This is my practice, I say. Show up show up. Hi. Hi. Blah blah on on on stress drugs. I know I’m not making sense but I can’t be fully clear because I don’t want to betray and five minutes isn’t a lot of time and I might run out before I can find the happy ending. HA. There’s pickle in that egg salad. Sweet pickle. I open up the sandwhich and pick each bit out, building a tiny fortress on the counter, amongst all these god damn dishes.

“never been good at multitasking” by Julia on her couch

Sunday September 10, 2017
5 minutes
from a text

I know I’m inching fufther away from myself when I can make sure I send you a writing prompt but I will go the whole day without writing a single word for me. And I think long and hard about what I’ll suggest to you. What I hope is something that gives you a reason to write. Because I care that you aren’t writing. I care that you must write. That the bones of your body only feel warm when you do. I know this sensation too. Cold bones. The feeling of your bed being the scariest place to end the day. When sleep takes more from you than it gives. I have been shivering these days. And I do not want to turn on the radiator because it shouldn’t be this frigid in my home. It shouldn’t be this removed from skin. I don’t remember how to fix this but I do know that it always comes back–which means it always goes away first.

“meeting your heart’s longing.” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday September 5, 2017
5 minutes
The Invitation

Lion’s roar in the morning
and we’re off in these trenches
crawling on arms and my core’s not
strong I know that and you’re tired
and I know that
We’re overtalking but it’s all I’ve got
these pudding words these greys and whites
The smokey sky is ominous
and we bark and we cry and we we we we
We’re ready
you say
We’ve got this
you say
Doubt rains heavy
Faith dances on my fingertips only when
I write
So I do
I write to you
I write a manifesto to my great-granddaughter
I tell her
Trust yourself
The wisdom of your fulfillment is inside you
I tell her
Rise up from the heaviness that’s plagued us
for generations

“Why does having children” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday September 3, 2017
5 minutes
Don’t Even Think About It: why our brains are wired to ignore climate change
George Marshall

So many babies already born
already needing love
already hurting
already here
So many babies taking up
so much space
I read about climate change
I read about destruction
over and over
and I know the stats I know the reasoning

And yet

Everything in my body says
Everything in my body says
I never thought myself traditional
I never thought myself wanting
wanting wanting a generation of
longing paid to want paying for the want

“If your passport is damaged” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday September 2, 2017
5 minutes
From the passport booklet

Every time someone looks at my passport, they say, “Nice picture.” And it is. I look warm, open, the faintest hint of a smile tickling my lips. I’d ridden my bike to the passport office so I had the endorphins flowing. I remember my mother bringing her first passport into my room when I was nine or ten. She was a teenager. I looked at the picture so closely I could see the dots of ink.

“It depends how aware you are.” By Sasha in her bed

Saturday August 19, 2017
5 minutes
Lennon on Lennon
edited by Jeff Burger

He comes home raging
his eyes are round open
he’s not sure what the point is
in doing what he’s doing

I’m questioning everything
where I come from
where I’m going
what I do and what’s the meaning

Four thousand strong
gathered twelve blocks away
give or take
take or give

I nurse a neck that’s twisted
wrecked and tense
with warmth and lemon
with ice and tv

“discussing something that’s totally wrong” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday August 15, 2017
5 minutes
Overheard at JJ Bean

Whenever I hear the faint din of Family Guy it reminds me of my first boyfriend
how desperate I was to kiss and be kissed
I’d lied about my first and whether it had happened on a baseball diamond
or whether it had happened on a camping trip
Truth or Dare doesn’t count everyone knows that
Really really I promise I’m telling the truth
it happened in the basement of my mother’s house
my private secluded dank strange jungle
with a hammock in the corner and my own bathroom
every sixteen year olds dream
I had so many strange products in that fucking bathroom
from the drugstore
what is it with teenagers and drugstores
It was a good honest earnest real kiss

“tremendous whooshing noise” by Sasha at Opus

Wednesday August 9, 2017
5 minutes
The Enormous Crocodile
Roald Dahl

My sister and I make bracelets out of embroidery thread and sell them to friends of our parents. We charge a dime or a quarter. Sometimes they overpay, a dollar or two and we gasp with the excitement of a financial transaction.

I put most things on my credit card now. I get air miles, so it feels like I’m getting more than just the thing I’m purchasing. Maybe a trip home to kiss my sister’s daughter. Maybe Hawaii in the rainy months.

“I see our history” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday August 2, 2017
5 minutes
One Nation, Indivisible in The Sun, August 2017

The moon is orange and my heart breaks
I see my future self and my present self
and it isn’t all what I imagined
A heavy push on a chest
fireflies circle the grief of the
wasteland wasteland wasteland

Fires are raging and the kids
next door play with their boogie boards
on the ash grass
Laughing and screaming and singing
and I watch them from my perch

What will the future be for them
Grey sky
What will the future be for them

“lick your thumb and go to town.” By Sasha on her balcony

Sunday July 23, 2017
5 minutes
The Four Hour Chef
Timothy Ferriss

I spend Sunday in the kitchen. Chopping and grating carrots and beets, roasting zucchini, washing lettuce. I make tahini dressing and pesto. I toast pumpkin seeds and almonds. I listen to NPR podcasts and learn about a disorder I never knew I had and suddenly everything comes into startling bright colour. The cabbage is luminous. The chickpeas buzz. I am more understood by these disembodied voices coming out of this box of sound than I’ve ever been understood before. I sink to the tile, the seat of my cut-offs most certainly stained by droplets of beet juice, and I listen, drinking deep.