“‘small healings’ take place every day” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday April 3, 2019
9:36pm
5 minutes
The Human Elements of Psychotherapy
David N. Elkins

Healing found in the gummy smile of a three-month-old
lentils stewed by her mother in my belly
full and empty
both and.

Letting the light in
embracing the magnolias
carpeting the sidewalks
cool air on my toes.

There is no treasure map
for this
and we are not lost
both

a break in the clouds
for a beam of sun
massaging tired eyes
reaching achey heart.

This morning a hundred and fifty
voices sang Let It Be
four thousand kilometres
away we joined in
You could hear us

and my mother spoke
elegance and beauty

her articulation
clear and practised
all the years of
reading poems aloud.

I’ve been praying
to ancestors
to unborn ones

to the hummingbird
drinking sweetness
on the balcony
all hours of the day.

“a long, slow, squirmy moment for both of us.” By Sasha on her couch

Friday March 15, 2019
11:09am
5 minutes
Orange is The New Black
Piper Kerman

In the middle of the night
I’m listening to your rise and fall,
A breath I know by heart, tracing
the outline of your dreaming,
a sound in which magic thrives, a place
where the edges are soft, and there’s
good listening.

I walk to the bathroom, holding
my heavy belly in both my hands, tracking
the street lamp light with half-open eyes.

We found each other again in the tangle
of bed sheets and tongues, discovering
how to do this in all the Pisces
fullness. It’s taken patience.
It always does.

Back in bed I try to fall back to sleep,
turning from one side to the other, a pillow
between my leg, a pillow
where you were.

I write poems to our daughter
in the air with my pointer finger,
my counting sheep.

“LYING TO TELL THE TRUTH” by Julia in the kitchen


Thursday October 20, 2016
11:04pm
5 minutes
from a workshop description
Johnny MacRae


Sat still with my mouth shut
didn’t know if I should breathe
Didn’t want to let it slip out
and seem like I had something to present
I wanted to say more
I sat stiller than I thought I could
Waited till the silence doubled itself before
I let myself exhale

In the space between me getting enough air and you sucking me dry
there is a house.
Nobody wants to live there
It hurts
It is blessed hot and cursed
incestuous
I wanted to say more

We wither and die in the shape of our smallest self.
We do not notice how far from the sky we have sunken
But our bones know
And a child who spends two minutes with you will know
And every time we and you and I
hear the words
I’m proud of You
we will all know
And there will not be enough time

“in a less than forgiving city” by Sasha at the table on Monkland


Wednesday September 28, 2016
10:12pm
5 minutes
vancouveractorsguide.com

In a less than forgiving city
where wind catcalls
and frost bites
we pull hoods around ears
so we can’t hear the whining
We trudge passed post apocalyptic nativities
We motor across bridges rife with dead fish
A salamander tries to get your attention
en route to capitalism
en route to mortgages
A salamander calls to you and asks for your heart

“Who wrote those poems?” by Julia at Parco della Zucca


Friday October 17,2014
3:18pm
5 minutes
Advanced Italian Grammar
Marcel Danesi


I might have been dreaming them. They seemed to fill my skin to the brim causing slight tremors and excessive use of metaphors. The sky was speaking directly to me and she was nudging me, trying to give me the answers without incriminating herself. She nodded. She winked. I couldn’t get the message because I was half listening and laugh-halfing and she gave up on me before I could say Ah, yes, I get it now. Laugh-halfing happens in between sleep and awake: a backwards place where the mind cannot meet up with the body. It tries, but wires get crossed and signals get lost. Sometimes I don’t hear the sky, I hear Nina Simone instead. But the body doesn’t know how to move. Just to describe movement with colours and poems.

“Develop the skills needed” by Julia at her kitchen table


Wednesday May 14, 2014
1:04am
5 minutes
A centennial college poster

I suppose it comes from reading a book in a way that you don’t actually ever read it because you’re too busy writing down the quotable quotes in a little notepad that sits beside your bed.
When you see all the answers to life’s great questions and you think, yeah, I have to write this down or I’ll never remember it and I’ll never be free.
Free of what, the unknowing? Because now that you know, you can’t unknow, but you can forget and that’s worse. Worse because you have the taste in your mouth but you can’t recall the flavour. It loses its power. So that’s why you spend hours writing down your favourite words in sequence. Even though you told yourself you’d reread them every now and again…you don’t because life gets busy. But at least you wanted to better yourself and learn something new and develop the skills needed to survive as a human in this day and age.
That’s the kind of rainy Sunday you tell yourself you’ll have only after you’ve made it. But when the light from the kitchen beams into your bedroom and tries to trick you into doing something else, you’ll have to find those quotes again and then instead of just absorb them, you’ll have to use them as a springboard. Focus.
Focus now.
Focus always.
And then the rest of the words you knew once will resurface, and you’ll find them popping up in your memoirs, and your poems, and your love letters, and your address book or contact list.

“Last Goodbye” by Julia at Ossington station


Wednesday December 18, 2013
6:27pm
5 minutes
from the Charles Bradley record

I told him with my eyes and my gentle kiss, blown into the wind so it would follow him home. He heard nothing was expected of him. People can’t hear eye love or wind kisses. It was stupid of me to think he would. When he didn’t turn around, it ruined me for a while. Long enough to break, find the prices, and put them back together again. They were a little jagged and a little mismatched like a puzzle put together by an impatient person, or a cheater. Someone who cuts the edges so they fit the way they “should”. I examined them in the brief moment of loneliness I was in and I decided then and there to give away my poems to the homeless and my romanticism to the food bank. Surely they would need them more than I did. Surely someone in their lives would have a place for misguided ideals and hopes beyond reasonable doubt.

“novels, poems, journals, and letters” by Julia on her other couch


Sunday November 3, 2013
12:21am
5 minutes
The Birth Of Frankenstein program
Litmus Theatre


Oh I was trying to tell everyone while they were FUCKING UP MY VIBE that I was going to make it happen. It was vague, and yes I know this, but I was delivering it in such a way that would have CHANGED THEIR LIVES. And nobody was listening to me. They were busy looking up different time zones and seeing how many hours behind Alberta was. Who the fuck cares? Can I say that? Cares? Can I say that or will everyone automatically just stop, drop and die like a bomb went off. Nobody fucking cares. About Alberta. About me. And I was making it into something beautiful, I’m telling you. Make it happen. Like the tattoo on my soul sister’s wrist. She told the world in a quieter way. It’s intelligent, it gets your attention. But I don’t know any better. I wanted to use my words. I wanted to THROW OUT COLLOQUIALISMS and be a human with a mission statement, stamped, signed, sealed, and delivered. GODDAMMIT. It sounds so stupid now! I might as well just write it down in every novel, poem, journal, and letter, but these useless fucking creatures would probably skip over it because with my luck, something about pickles would spark their fucking interest instead.

“I never knew a poet personally” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday, September 22, 2013
10:35pm
5 minutes
Away Alone
Janet Noble


I never knew a poet personally but I sure as the garden of roses knew those words of theirs. And that’s pretty personal, isn’t it? The first poem I learned got me through a backpacking trip across Europe and the heartbreak of leaving my dear old dog, Bruce. The second poem found me love and found me the best french kisses on this side of the equator. The third poem got me pregnant. The fourth saw me planting a garden and hauling manure into the back of the Daddy’s blue truck. The fifth, the sixth, the nineteenth, got me through childbirth. By forty, three kids, two cities and one Bruce-grave later, I knew over one hundred and three poems, all stored up there in the cobwebby corners that can’t seem to remember things like birthdays or taking out the recycling.