“The joy of bursting and bearing fruit” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday July 11, 2018
9:30pm
5 minutes
Earth Prayers
John Soos

It’s on my mind on my tongue on my heart in my hands. It’s everywhere. An obsession like none other that I’ve ever felt. A craving deep inside my body, and beyond my body. Of the body and not of the body. This profound ache. This transcendental desire. The distance from here to there feels long, but short, too. In moments when I value quiet, independence, my body being only my own. So much hinges on this, this choice, this timing, this trust, this surrender. I can’t know anything but right now, we all can’t, really. I read articles, I look at photos, I ache. I try to explain it to you, or it just is explained through the markings in my words, on my tongue; the etchings of my heart make a potato print onto yours.

“Ordinary men and women” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
10:00pm
5 minutes
Northern Ireland: The Case Of Bloody Sunday
Carole-Anne Upton

We sit at the cottage and eat breakfast built for two. You and me. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man. We tap forks the way we taught ourselves to love. Out loud. Ceremony. A reminder of all the good between us. You have managed to make perfect eggs and I have done the kale this time good enough to write about here. You can see the mountains from where you sit and in the reflection of the print above your head, I can see them too. They look nice.
The day is a heart beat away from making us wish we wanted to stay here. You are busy thinking of how to live somewhere else. I am wondering a lot at the thought of you going. What kind of letters will you send me? Ones filled with sorry, or sweet, or cash. I hope the latter. I don’t think my jobs pay enough for me to live in this apartment without you. Who will I eat my ordinary breakfast with? With who will I sit on my ordinary couch? Do phone calls and text messages keep the love alive? We will find out. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man.

“Can I ask you somethin?” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday November 29, 2017
9:34pm
5 minutes
Cities of the Plain
Cormac McCarthy

The ask from the humming bird’s wing came quick like a home run
There was an ounce of dread in it
a trill that caused the clouds to quake…

We were alone and now we are not.
I could have told you better if I didn’t see your eyes peeling away at me. I wanted to tell you about something beautiful. I wanted to share it with someone I thought would hold it reverent. I could tell you now the version that would ease you. The thought I had and not the moment it made. Like a dog jumping on a trampoline and then nothing. Stopping. Not everything needs to be talked about. I don’t know how to unask you; untell you. I don’t know how to cover up this new hole and pray that no one notices it pulsing here.

“Certified manager” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday April 14, 2017
10:19pm
5 minutes
from a business card

Undress me with your knowing of the type of tear on my cheek. We listen to music loud because words aren’t enough, we need the melody too. And the lyrics talk about how we’ll die, how we all die, how love is light and heavy at the same time and we don’t know if we’ll rise or fall. My heart aches when we’re apart, but I like it too, like she sings, like the world sings. The wisdom of each year, the wisdom to know all that I don’t know, all that you don’t know, the mystery of birthdays and water from eyes.

“the more you see the grace beyond” By Julia at he dining table


Saturday February 11, 2017
6:25pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Tree Book
David Tracey


Ellen leans back in her new office chair, trying out the arms over the head posture.
She looks around the room and notices that this exact view she has of her office now is the same one she had envisioned when she told herself that she would make it here some day. Ellen has made it and it feels good. The making it she expected. The power she half-prepared for. But the goodness that it created–the light–was unfathomable. Remarkable like staring out at the top of a mountain after climbing it for years. After years climbing a mountain that nobody thought could be done.

“New Adventures” By Julia at Paper Crane Coffee


Wednesday February 8, 2017
1:48pm
5 minutes
from a postcard

Jackie meets me at the coffee shop bundled up in too many layers and chapped lips. She shakes off her scarf and laughs a little at the snow droplets covering the ground. She is carrying a stack of postcards that she needs to write thank you notes on. She says she’s going to mail them out today after she buys a thousand stamps. I am busy re-writing my to-do list because the first version I etched out didn’t include all the stuff I actually have to get done today. The first version was more of a dream journal than a to-do list. I have trouble with picking the right thing to prioritize. I don’t want to pick the wrong thing but I feel like I always do. Jackie is in a great mood because she was given an assignment to write for McCleans’s Magazine and is full of high fives and smiles. She asks me after I’ve breathed out heavily for the eighth time, not asking her about her day like I should have, if I’ve ever heard about ‘Important vs. Urgent’. I sigh out once more because I have heard about ‘Important vs. Urgent’ but I have obviously forgotten, again and again, and again.

“I don’t know if it’s important or not, but it might be.” By Julia on her couch


Tuesday February 7, 2017
9:54pm
5 minutes
from Gerald’s Game
Stephen King


I can’t beg you to ask how my day was the way I can’t
give myself my own
nickname
Every time we collide heavy in each other’s presence you are forgetting
that I am coming from my own set
of rules and interpretations and
it wouldn’t hurt you to wonder what another person’s world is like
It wouldn’t hurt anyone but me if you didn’t
We could look into each other’s eyes all night and still
not
ever see another person

“can definitely travel” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday January 12, 2016
1:37pm
5 minutes
From an email

My mother braids my hair before bed, because it’s long now and I toss and turn so violently that I wake, morning after morning, with a birds nest at the nape of my neck. I have nightmares at seven, eight, nine and my mother makes a little bed beside her own that I can crawl into without having to wake her. The run from my room to her room is agony. I do it nightly, building courage like a city around me, inside me, gaining courage until I burn pictures drawn in crayon of my nightmare and he goes.

“We have a Christmas cake box?!” by Julia at Starbucks


Monday June 20, 2016 at Starbucks
7:30am
5 minutes
overheard at Starbucks

Isabel calls me from the front lawn. I can see her pacing back in forth in front of my house from the kitchen window. I watch her kick a chestnut around, her feet shuffling on what appears to be a tightrope made of dandelions. I’m not coming anymore, she says, okay? I really can’t do it this time. She doesn’t know I am watching her. My curtains are drawn just enough. Is everything okay, Iz? What’s going on? I watch my sister kick the chestnut out of reach. She would have to leave her sacred shuffling space to go get it. She stands there frozen, staring at it. Oh, yeah, I’m good! I’m great! I think my stomach is acting up. Had chocolate again last night. I couldn’t find the right wrapping paper so maybe it’s all for the best anyway.
Isabel, I tell her, I have Christmas boxes here. Do you want to use one of mine?

“the games you don’t play” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 17, 2016 at Starbucks
7:51am
5 minutes
What You Don’t Do
Lianne La Havas


Millie’s coming! Millie’s coming! That’s me yelling from the centre of my happiness–shouting out that my HEART is visiting me in this god forsaken shit-hole of a town! MILLIE IS COMING EVERYBODY SHE IS GOING TO BE HERE IN T-MINUS 1 HOUR CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE BUY THE CAKE AND THE SPARKLERS CAUSE I WILL BE TOO BUSY SCREAMING MY HEAD OFF AND MAKING A KILLER GUACAMOLE THANK YOU. When I told her I didn’t want her to come, that no she shouldn’t take off work, that please don’t worry about me, I’m very much fine just going INSANE, she refused to take no for an answer. Lydia, she’d say, Lydia, Lydia, why wouldn’t I want to come see my favourite sister in her most loathed living location to date? And I’d say, A) I’m your only sister and B) I chose this place, it’s not like they’re forcing me to stay. Millie always says something subtly sisterly like I’ve always wanted to visit Saskatoon! Or just put the two of us in a room and we will seriously run that town!

“reaction to terror” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday June 16, 2016 at Starbucks
6:25am
5 minutes
from cnn.com

Children at the convenience store are screaming something about a playground, something about knee-high socks, something about strawberry milkshakes. An old man on the bus is doing the same only about justice and about torture, and I think also about strawberry milkshakes. A woman waking up on a park bench is screaming something about homicide, and recklessness, and something about terror. Something about loss. It all blends in thick, swirling ideas and fears into a tornado small enough to package up and fit into the tight spot between our chests. We can walk the earth with the unknown and unknowing spinning, spinning, ripping up our insides and sending them flying to every corner. We don’t have to name it if we take it with us.

“She said my mistakes made her feel confused” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 14, 2016
6:24pm
5 minutes
Dear Mr. You
Mary-Louise Parker


I braid my hair long down my back and I glance down to see which flower I want to put in. I let the blooms speak without forcing them to make themselves available to me. I feel the sun peaking out of the clouds just to watch what I do, see what I choose, why. Little purple one, I think. I don’t want to make the wrong decision. Marissa doesn’t like it when I choose wrong. She yells, stomps her feet, says I didn’t teach her anything and her whole life is a joke. I hate to think of angering Marissa or showing her that I haven’t been paying attention. I’m trying. I really am. I feel like she has her minions looking out on all corners of this place to see that I’m doing what I am supposed to. She’s blackmailed the trees, she’s sleeping with the whole sky it seems. Nobody crosses her. Everybody fears her. I listen to my belly, rumbling on luck near empty. Little purple one, woven into the base of my braid. I do not question myself in this moment. I hear wind chimes in the distance congratulating my bravery. Last time Marissa saw me right after a big decision, she scanned my whole body up and down looking for where exactly she might have failed me.

“Eye Candy” by Sasha in the garden at Joe Creek Artist Residency


Thursday, July 30, 2015
9:35pm
5 minutes
From a shop in NYC

You’ve got that look on your face that says, “Come here, Eye Candy. Come here and let me butterfly kiss you.”

I know it because I’ve done it, because I used to have that magnetic ability that you have – making eye contact with someone across a dance floor, a re-claimed wood bar, a coffee shop. Beaconing without hands or words, a lighthouse of eyelashes and expanding pupils.

I’m not sure what’s changed.

I’ve done it once or twice since everything changed, since I did just that – butterfly kiss – and threw down an anchor in a man twice as honest as I am.

“But we will judge you.” by Julia at her kitchen table


Monday July 28, 2014
11:40m
5 minutes
from www.winnipegpoetryslam.wordpress.com


She had a beautiful accent and I fell in love with her voice before I ever saw her face. I was lucky then. Oh I was so lucky my friends used to joke about me having a horse shoe jammed right up my ass. But the difference between me and some of those other lucky ones is that I know damn well how lucky I am. Maybe it was even just luck that the first time I got to listen to her it was at a poetry reading where she read the prose of her favourite poet. It’s luck when you get to hear something as intimate as a confession. That’s what I heard when she spoke and I could understand her. I could see her. I don’t think I ever saw anything after that that mattered as much as her.

“REDIRECTION” by Sasha at her desk


Monday November 25, 2013
10:36pm
5 minutes
The front of the bill from Rogers

I watch the fish sleep. I think about losing – teeth, love, mind, race, art. The fish swims to the back of his bowl. Losing respect, losing faith, losing generosity. My mother used to talk about how she would steal cigarettes from her family’s housekeeper. She was twelve. She’d smoke them out the window. Losing innocence. My friend has met a man that sparks her tips, lights her eyes. Losing loneliness. His mind keeps going back to running into that old friend in front of the bookstore on Bay Street, no matter how much he tells it to stay here, at the dinner table, with me. Losing perspective. The sun rises later, sets earlier. Losing light.

“the feeling when you’re in too deep” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday November 5, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
9:17pm
5 minutes
Sweet
Dave Matthews Band


Oh how I need you how I love you how I need you.
When your face crosses my mind it’s like a lucid dream inviting me to fly.
You’re the something they talk about in all the great literature, in all the perfect poetry. You’re the whole thing and somehow you’ve chosen me.
What a life it is when doors open and you’re on the other side holding all your feelings for me like a bouquet of wild flowers.
No matter the day I’ll hug them close to my chest.
You never wane, you never wander.
You make the madness fall asleep long enough to leave me alone.
You send your well wishes my way and won’t stop until they get to me.
Oh how I need you how I love you how I need you.
More than you know.
More than I know.
You’re my everything and I can say that without seeing everything else. You’re the call that wakes me from a nightmare.
You’re the body that gave up part of itself so it could fit me right beside your thumping and ever-giving heart.