“between the kitchen and living room” by Julia

Saturday, May 2, 2020
5 minutes
From a text

I have been floating
today between the kitchen
and the living room
doing most of my living
in the kitchen where the food
is being turned into action
into love

At 8am I chop the red pepper
the green bean the red onion the purple cabbage the garlic the mushroom

I like the way they sit cut side by side like different age groups in a church leadership club

I turn off my need to wonder at myself through the outside lens
I listen about David Wojnarowicz
to Thomas Beckman and his Violance
to the sound of the egg crisping up on the bottom

The living room, where I am now
is a place to record all the living I have been doing while alive in the kitchen

the packet of pens and coloured pencils lay outstretched

“You wish you were in the woods” by julia on her couch

Saturday, March 28, 2020
5 minutes
To A Frustrated Poet
R.J. Ellmann

it is lucky we live in a rainforest

tonight we went out for a walk thinking it would be pouring rain
(you could hear it)
but it wasn’t and that was luckier still

we put one foot in front of the other until we found the water
saw the empty bridges
crossed the street between traffic lights
until we met a different hour
inhaled dripping trees

we didn’t see a soul on the sidewalks but we still walked
on the road framed by cherry blossoms

on the day that time wasn’t
we could see the city lit up
across itself

saturday night and every window glowing orange light

“a certain brand of peanut butter” by Julia at L and J’s Airbnb

Tuesday June 27, 2017
5 minutes
The Power Of Habit
Charles Duhigg

The first time J and I went to Costco we made some crucial errors. We have left the receipt tacked on to the fridge as a reminder that we cannot simply go to Costco. Even after we have run out of the giant tub of almond butter. We have to make sure we’re mentally prepared. Because last time we were not prepared. We were ruined.
We made some crucial errors.

1) It was a Saturday
2) we got high
3) we were hungry
4) we didn’t hang around the proper food sample tables
5) we didn’t make a real list
6) we tried to put a 900 pack of toilet paper in our cart
7) we didn’t know the prices of things at regular stores to compare

“All the animals are laughing at us” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday May 4, 2014
5 minutes
Freelance Whales

By the time I was fourteen I was two hundred and twenty three pounds. I was five feet three inches. I was the kid who was probably the most intelligent in class, but never had the nerve to speak out, so no one knew it. Even my teachers seemed to be annoyed by my presence. My tenth grade geography teacher gave been detention for two weeks because she was convinced I’d cheated on the midterm. I got 98%. “There’s no way, Millie,” she kept saying. “No one’s ever scored that high and the first person to do so is not going to be you.” School days were agonizing. So much so that I’d eat my lunch in the downstairs staff washroom, shielded by white tiles and a double locked door. I’d listen to The Supremes on my Discman and count down the hours til I could be free from that hell. Saturdays were my favourite. It was that in-between relaxation – the comedown of Friday and the suspension before Sunday. Pure and utter bliss. My Aunt Rita and my Mom and I would make baklava and then watch The Price Is Right. Then, we’d have cheesebugers and fries at Delux, and then we’d go to Sebastian Point and watch the sunset. We’d sit on the bench in silence and watch as the sun sank below the horizon, an orange orb of possibility.

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

Monday April 7, 2014
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.

“Virgin and Child” by Julia on her couch

Sunday February 16, 2014
5 minutes
Perfect Happiness
Penelope Lively

They used to attend the tiny church at the top of the hill every Saturday night. They went together. She’d brush her hair into a big loop curl and pin it back with a gold barrette. He’d lint roll his wool suit and smack his cheeks with aftershave. He’d hold her arm in his and lead her up the hill so she didn’t fall. She had a bad hip. He had a bad heart. Together they’d go to mass and sit in the very front row, arriving before even the priest had gotten his robe on. Every Saturday they’d listen for the church bells and make sure they were within arm’s length when they chimed out. It was something that helped secure them to the floor, helped them to see clearly in a moment in time. Something to calm them both, reassure them maybe. It wasn’t a big church but it was the one place they both found themselves in during their youth, during the war, during the sadness of anything. When he wasn’t able to take her up the hill, she would go hunting for her blue striped cane and she’d attempt to walk up to the church on her own. She didn’t care that it might take a lot longer. She didn’t want to go with the help of anybody else.

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

Saturday, November 23, 2013
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 highest levels” by Sasha on the patio at Jimmy’s Coffee

Saturday June 8, 2013 on the patio at Jimmy’s Coffee
5 minutes
Car and Truck June 1, 2013 volume 2, issue 21

Walkin’ by the river, I see FeeFee makin’ her boat. “When you settin’ sail, FeeFee?” I call. She’s on the other side, like always, and she’s real focused. She doesn’t answer at first, it takes her a minute or two to break out of her hammerin’ trance, you know how it goes. “Saturday!” She calls back, a bit muffled ‘cuz there’s nails in her teeth. “How far are you goin’?” I call again. She spits the nails into her hand. “Not sure… Maybe all the way to the end of the river.” I’m not even sure where that is, the “end of the river”. “Wow…” I say. “You hungry?” I call. “A little,” she says, smiling. Sometimes I bring her a ham sandwich or a jar of iced tea or some leftover roast beef, or somethin’. She don’t got anyone else lookin’ out for her. I run up the riverbank and go to the house and see what I got. I bit of fish, a bit of bread, a can or two of tomatos. Doesn’t seem good enough for someone settin’ sail on Saturday. I decide to get out the birch box that used to be my Mama’s that contains all of her best recipes. I find the one for strawberry shortcake. I don’t got strawberries but I can go down to the stand at the end of the road once the shortcake is in the oven.