“We rent a condominium together” by Julia at her desk

Monday October 30, 2017
9:11pm
5 minutes
Telling Time
Philip Kelly

We take a drive down a quiet road and when we stop to see the horses he takes a small box out of his pocket. It’s not an engagement ring. He knows I am not marrying anybody thank you very much. It’s a key. A little one. I mean, a normal sized one. Just not like a big key. And I take it in my hand and I tell him it’s the dumbest and smartest thing we’ll ever decide to do. And he laughs, because I am fucking funny and then suddenly we have place together. I have my things beside his things in a drawer we share in the home we live in. Together.

We are in a the car driving down a quiet road when I tell him I have a living gingerbread baby growing inside me. And he laughs because who ruins pregnancy news like this but gets away with it? Me. Prince Chamring. I do. And he puts his hand on my belly and he thanks me. He thanks all of our lucky fucking stars.

“associated with anticipated use” by Julia at the studio


Tuesday August 1, 2017
9:04pm
5 minutes
from a GOLDEN artist colours box

I can’t talk to Hollace anymore. Ever since he started forgetting to line both of his eyes I knew something was wrong. Now it’s like he’s buzzing just beyond me but in a glass bubble that keeps him out of reach. He doesn’t seem to want my help and I don’t know if I could help him anyhow. He thinks he’s doing a good job of faking it. He is to most people. Most people can’t tell his personality from his warning signs. He’s tricking almost everybody into loving him. He sometimes gets close to getting me but then I catch him. He’s lying through his sweat, and I see him up close no matter what frame he’s in. In the locker room I put earbuds in but no music. I want to hear what kind of breath he uses around me.

“change the towels in the bathroom” by Julia at the studio


Monday July 31, 2017
4:54pm
5 minutes
Amelia Bedelia
Peggy Parish


Mona in the bath tub on her knees, scrubbing.
Finds a collection of black mildew. Furrows
her already furrowed brow. She curses his
name under her breath, Fucking Dennis and your fucking
lack of purpose in this life except to make me
fucking miserable. She hasn’t washed herself in
a week. She’s protesting. Maybe one of these
nights Dennis won’t try to stick his dick in
when she’s asleep on the couch. He tells her his
mother is going to inspect the bathroom and Mona
laughs as if she cares. But here she is, in the tub,
on her knees, bleeding for a man who does not bleed
for anyone but himself. And his mother.

Later, the kitchen tile is spotless and the food
is on the table. Dennis lies and says he’s
been working hard all day.
At what?
Drinking. Complaining. Leaves out the only
parts that are true.
His mother pulls a sprig of rosemary out of her mouth
and spits into the tomatoes. Mona’s lips turn upward.
Dennis throws a chicken leg at Mona’s face.
I told you my mother hates rosemary.

“Life Lessons From 100-Year-Olds” by Julia at the studio


Sunday July 30, 2017
8:59pm
5 minutes
Youtube

1)Don’t go to bed with makeup on
2)Don’t go to bed with strangers
3)Don’t go to bed
4)Tell him how you feel
5)Tell her what you want
6)Listen to your body
7)Listen to her body
8)Be gentle with his body
9)find the joy
10)Give thanks
11)Visit your parents when you can
12)Write the date on your journals
13)Leave if you want to leave
14)If you want to stay, then really stay
15)Spend the money on quality items
16)Speak to children with respect
17)Watch a sunrise
18)Kiss in public
19)Refuse to let other people decide for you
20)Save yourself
21)Don’t save the red ones for last
22)Kiss your own body parts
23)Take initiative
24)Practice your cursive writing
25)Give thanks

“also fun” by Sasha in the basement at Bowmore Rd.


Tuesday June 6, 2017
1:02am
5 minutes
From a tweet

Lisa is serious, a squiggle in her brow most of the time, eyes focused, down on her page. She is also fun, knowing how to roll down a big grassy hill, knowing how to draw animals in 3D. On the night she was born, her father was hit by lightning. He missed her birth. She never knew the difference, but her mother did. Her mother resented that bearded, stout man until he took to the bottle and never looked back. Lisa sometimes wonders where her father might be, mid shade of an eyebrow or sketch of a lion’s mane. And just as soon as the thought arrives, it’s gone.

“A cherished pastime” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday March 21, 2017
9:32am
5 minutes
From a Facebook post

It’s Wednesday and the whole notion of “hump day” makes her stomach turn. “Why do we live in a world where two thirds of the population are okay with the idea that Wednesday is a hump we have to get over?” Leila says.

“What?” Su peeks over the dividing wall between their cubicles.

“I’m talking to myself!”

“Lower your voice then, princess. You’re getting in the way of my f-l-o-w!”

Leila loves Sugreet, she really does, but their desks are practically on top of each other and he often sings Beyonce under his breath which gets in the way of her work f-l-o-w, so, she doesn’t apologize. Not today.

the batter is out.” By Sasha on her couch


Tuesday February 21, 2017
10:18pm
5 minutes
From the rules of cricket

You tell yourself that it’s okay, but it’s not. It’s not okay. You rev yourself up, turning the music so loud that the crucifix on the wall shakes. You grandmother won’t be home for another forty five minutes at least. She’s at the doctor. She has cataracts. You tell yourself that the police always try to scare people like you, but they won’t actually press charges. You grandmother calls and you turn the music off. If you don’t, she’ll nag you about how the “neighbours complain” and “the neighbours have a baby” and “have a little respect”.

“I need a reader” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday February 20, 2017
11:05pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

Sometimes my eyes get so tired, looking at the bright light of the screen, that I wish I had a reader. I don’t even think that I’m an auditory learner, but I do love being read to. I really do. I often ask N to read to me before bed and he usually says no because his voice is tired. He talks all day. I get it. But there’s something about that soothing sound of someone reading aloud that is ultimate comfort, hey? Maybe, if it was work related, it wouldn’t be so productive. Maybe I should stick to reading for myself.

“Clear eyes” by Julia on her couch


Saturday February 18, 2017
7:40pm
5 minutes
Friday Night Lights

When I pray I ask god to give me clarity so I may trust
what I see and be able to know it
I ask to be bypassed by nightmares like I did when
I was a child
twenty years of wishing I wouldn’t see the bad things because
I had glue for brains
terror haunting me like flies twitching on a sticky rope
I ask god to give me clear eyes so I can’t blame inaction
on blurry vision
I ask god to save me so we don’t get caught up in logistics
Tell her I’m tired now of specificty
mainly because it hurts
too much
When I pray I ask for something I can hold on to
something that won’t burn me in the night and leave a scar

“Sad to see you go” by Julia at her desk


Friday February 17, 2017
11:40pm
5 minutes
from a Goodbye card

I didn’t realize you were leaving when you left
You forgot to say Goodbye or Sad To Leave You
forgot to mourn the loss of me
I wish too for lesser consequence

I do not own another recourse
my heart is broken
and it was the only one I had to begin with

You might not notice how long it takes
for a heart to heal when some peices
never get returned

I blame newness
I blame adventure or the lust for it

“New Adventures” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday February 8, 2017
4:23pm
5 minutes
From a postcard

He accidentally buys chocolate covered raisins instead of chocolate covered almonds. He gets home and he’s jazzed. It’s Wednesday. It’s cheat day. He goes to tear into them and sees the expiry date. December 2015. Now he has a choice to make. A choice that feels like it just might be the most important of his day. He opens the package. Shit. They look – … Good. They look good. He eats one. He remembers an article he read online about candy shellac, and how it’s made of bug juice. He eats another and then his phone rings. He lets it go to voicemail. He puts the bag of chocolate covered raisins in the trash, and puts on the kettle.

“Does this one need closure too?!” By Sasha on her couch


Sunday February 5, 2017
11:36pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Quebec and west Broadway

I’ve been drawing daily self portraits
the mirror’s been lying again and
besides I want
to document my waxing and waning.

Yesterday I had a sun face
and my teeth were wide as open arms.

I don’t know anything about poetry
except that it feels like the only
way now.

I was never good at my time’s tables
always needed to count on my fingers
under my desk.

Today I’m a small black dot.

“For twenty-five years my father” by Julia on the 99


Thursday January 26, 2017
5:21pm
5 minutes
In Recognition Of A Quarter Century Of Contribution To UMA
Curtis LeBlanc


Spaghetti is his favourite dish
Doesn’t matter how many new things he’s tried, he’ll tell you, if you ask him, that it’s spaghetti
Me too, I would chime in, loving very much the idea of having the same favourite food as my father’s
Me too, I would say, when he’d crack open a chile pepper with his teeth
He cooks the way I do
My mother says I cook like him
Not sure these days if it’s Can’t Follow A Recipe or Won’t
We both like inventing
Never making the exact same thing twice
We didn’t grow up with Daddy’s Girl in my house
Maybe because there were two girls
Maybe because my older sister was Daddy’s Girl until I was born
and then there were two of us so they had to give their thing up before I could figure it out
Maybe because it took 25 years
for me to realize that
he was mine
and I was his but
in my own way and
so was she and
so was my brother after me and
so was everything everything

“bring it with me” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday January 17, 2017
10:41pm
5 minutes
From an email

I leave my dig-
nity on your
futon under
the fit-
ted sheet
with the
stain on
the lower
right corner.

I put my
underwear
in my coat
pocket and
pray that I
have a five
dollar bill
in there
to keep them
company
to hold
their tired
hand.

I buy a coffee
at the shop
that also
does photo-
copies and
lamination.

I realize
that I forgot
my phone on
the floor
beside your
futon and
I wonder
what might
be worse
buying a
new phone
or seeing
you again?

“The Toy Box Burlesque” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday January 9, 2016
11:36pm
5 minutes
from a show postcard

There you were
all smoke and chapped lips
all donuts in the parking lot
all smelling of the past
There you were
on the bus going downtown
the bridge on stilts
people in their advent calendar windows
There you were
a toy box of our songs
a jack in the box of maybe
that flipped over and broke it’s springs
There you were
almost not seeing me
but then seeing me
and saying
Hello
Nice to see you
Where are you going
I’m sorry
I’m sorry
Nevermind
I should go
This is my stop
Shit
I should go
Fuck you
I’m sorry
I’m sorry

“Oh gosh I would be so horrified” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday January 5, 2017
9:46pm
5 minutes
From an email

I’ve started this story five hundred times. I’ve ripped up three trees worth of paper, and burning seventeen pencils. I’ve started this story six thousand times. I would be horrified if you knew how I struggle, how I sweat. I would be horrified if you knew how I knit myself into a sleeping bag and didn’t set an alarm for three days. I would be horrified if you knew how many times I ordered pizza and Chinese food. No wonder I’ve gained thirty pounds. “It’s all about the numbers,” you always used to say. And it’s a real shame that I believed you.

“They will be sent” by Sasha at the kitchen table in Cowichan Bay


Sunday January 1, 2017
8:30pm
5 minutes
A Google Drive notification

Viville smells like pine needles, bourbon, and the kisses that toddlers give to relatives they’ve just met. I arrive in the afternoon, via the back of a station wagon with wood panelling, driven by a man named Jacques. He picked me up three towns West. I hadn’t planned to hitchhike, especially on this leg of the journey, but the more I learn the more I don’t. Jacques asked if I wanted some coffee from his thermos, but I couldn’t sit up properly in the trunk and wasn’t sure how drinking something hot would go. Besides, maybe it wasn’t a good idea just in case there was dairy or drugs in there. When we arrived in Viville, Jacques asked where exactly I was staying and I said, “I’m not exactly sure yet,” so he dropped me off at the Seven Eleven.

“Hit the road Jack” by Sasha on the couch in Cowichan Bay


Saturday December 31, 2016
8:08pm
5 minutes
From a record

Jack’s packed this car like a master puzzler, every box and bag filling any open space. “Will you be able to see?” I ask, putting our turkey sandwiches into old yogurt containers.

I kiss the doorframe and Jack says, “Goodbye, sweet spot.” We hug for awhile, before I lock the door and slide the key through the mailbox, like we told George, our super, we’d do.

Halfway to the highway, I start to cry.

“Can you please bring me my water?” By Sasha on the couch at Macdonell


Sunday December 25, 2016
6:23pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the kitchen

I don’t know what to write today. I’m tired. I’m sick. I’ve overwhelmed. I’m sad. I’m full of buttery, meat-y, spicy, sweet. I don’t know what to write today. The sound of my pen moving across the page feels like shit. I’ve got nothing. I’ve got nothing.

Layah asked Oli to bring her water because she is nursing the baby. I never realized that nursing is pretty much a full time gig. I romanticized nursing, like most things. I romanticize everything. What a strange quality. Ugh. Ugh. I’m pretty sure I have a fever. I hope I don’t make everyone here sick.

“Ridiculously simple directions” by Sasha in the Kiva at Macdonell


Sunday December 18, 2016
10:29pm
5 minutes
From Grand Slam Mad Libs

“Go left at the fork in the road,” you’d said. I’d made a note in the margins of the dictionary that I take everywhere I go. It’s full of scribbled recipes (mostly soup and muffins), directions (mostly how to find you), quotes (mostly my mother, John O’Donohue, you, and Rilke), predictions (tea leaves, tarot, strip mall palm readers), weather reports (“Don’t forget long johns and mittens”). I go left, like you’d said and I wonder where you’ve ended up this time, through a fir forest, through knee high snow. I make an angel for old time’s sake.

“rub your largest organ” by Julia on her couch


Saturday December 10, 2016
12:27am
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

Marti came to my family in a time of great reducing.
She saw an opening in our fragile hearts, starting lives over in unexpected places, and she burrowed deeply enough that hers leached into ours. She was kind and she was good so it made it more tolerable but she was still implanting her life on ours. She comes to mind when otherwise she would be lost in prayer, when the others were lost to us. After long days and nights she surfaces again. Her kids covered in macaroni, her good intentions folded up in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

“you are not the first” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday December 6, 2016
9:28pm
5 minutes
aware
Alyxandra Harvey-Fitzhenry


Kevin keeps joking about the icy streets and people wiping out but no one is laughing. All I can hear is his stupid voice cawing like a crow. Sometimes I dream about Kevin and I wake up and I’m pissed. I try to stay focused –

“Hello, Milner and Associates, this is Deborah, how may I help you?”

but it’s so hard. If he wasn’t the boss I would report him. We all would. My favourite thing is when he comes and stands behind me and times how long it takes for me to type up some bullshit that he’s asked me to email to Jed.

“Nice work, Deb! You came in under thirty six seconds!”

Douchebag.

“Could have walked by now” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday December 4, 2016
8:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Burrard street

Take my good word, you could’ve walked all the way home by now.
Take my advice and don’t ever turn your underwear inside out and wear it for a second day.
Take my hand and follow me down to toes in sand and tears in eyes and it’s okay, I promise, everything’s going to be okay.
Take thirty dollars out of the bank and walk through a neighbourhood that’s unfamiliar and buy yourself the first thing that you truly love. It doesn’t matter that you’re broke and should buy lettuce and a few cans of tuna instead.
Take me back to the place where we met and remind me where love grows.

“With a couple of girlfriends” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday November 26, 2016
8:51pm
5 minutes
Overheard at BC Children’s Hospital

“What are you hoping to get out of this position in regards to personal growth?”

Genevieve squints at me and re-crosses her legs.

“Um, well, I’ve always wanted to work in the charity sector, you know, like, give back?”

She doesn’t move a muscle. Didn’t they teach you about mirroring body language in your HR trainings? Are you capable of nodding or saying “Mm-hm” or something?

There are five seconds of agonizing silence. Are you waiting for me to say more? What more is there to say? I thought that this job was mine? What is happening?

“You aren’t really a people person, are you Becky?” Genevieve pulls her Blackberry out of the pocket of her blazer and starts typing furiously.

“Am I supposed to answer that?”

“the hands upraised” by Sasha at her desk


Friday November 25, 2016
11:54am
5 minutes
The back of a Buddha greeting card

I couldn’t sleep again last night. I don’t usually have this problem, toes touching the warmth of your calf, stretching into a dream. I woke you from almost-sleep, “I have the scares,” I said. We stole the line from our eight year old friend because kids are the most articulate in my books. Before I woke you from almost-sleep, before we brushed teeth and put socks and underwear into the laundry hamper, I had been edgy and grating and needy with you, asking “Why?” over and over, even when it wasn’t called for. Mostly when it wasn’t called for. Before the sixty three “Why’s” we had seen a play about a brothel in which a woman is sold into sexual slavery. Our friends were in it. On the way there, I sang along to the radio in the car as the rain slapped the windshield. We held hands. The play was really good, really painful, really vital – which is more than I can say most of the time. Maybe all the “Why’s” I threw at you were easier than the “Why’s” I really have, the thundercloud ones and the screaming ones and the throat closing sob ones. I’m sorry. You don’t have answers because there are no answers, you can’t give me the answers I need, you shouldn’t ever have to. Hands upraised, reaching for something, reaching for meaning, reaching for why, reaching for God.

“You’re more than welcome to wear it” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday November 22, 2016
4:13pm
5 minutes
Overheard at GO studios

I know that this place is haunted but if I talk about I’ll freak myself right out. Prolly freak you out, too…

But I should really tell you that there were footsteps upstairs last night. And there is no “upstairs”… It’s an attic. I asked Mel about raccoons or squirrels and she said, “No way.”

It’s funny, seeing ghosts, spirits, whatever you want to call them. It’s awkward when I talk to one and everyone else, all the alive people are like, “Who are you speaking to?” And I have to pretend like, “Oh, no one! I’m just talkin’ full volume to myself!”

“The Arts Factory” by Sasha at her desk


Monday November 21, 2016
11:36pm
5 minutes
From an Eastside Culture Crawl postcard

I am going to build you a factory, Johnathan. It’s going to be big and beautiful and on every floor there’s going to be artists making the wildest stuff you’ve ever dreamed of. Pottery pigs and blown glass pinatas and burlesque dance routines by the old folks! All the things you fought so hard for… If we don’t have hope now, when are we gonna? I promise you, by next birthday, you’ll have your factory. And you studio? With the biggest windows and the highest ceilings and walls all white-washed alabaster… You’ll paint when you see in your dreams. You’ll paint the red oceans and the bubbles holding whole worlds inside. You’ll paint it all and we won’t worry about selling anything. We’ll give them away! If you want, of course. You’ll give them away to folks that really that kind of light in their lives.

“I’m just so sad” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday November 19, 2016
12:07pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Oak St.

“I’m just so sad,” Phoebe has eyes like macaroni and cheese, deep pools of swamp. “I know you are, babe,” I say, and I wish that there was more comfort in those five words. They are just five words and words aren’t enough today. “I’m scared to live here,” she pulls the hood of her sweatshirt around her neck, cocooning. “I want to disappear.”

Inside the quietness of my ribcage, I talk to her about going to the desert and getting married, a klezmer band of lesbians singing to our love in ancient howls under a crescent moon. Inside the quietness, I whisper sounds that aren’t words that might hold her in a way English never can.

“she honestly does not have those impulses” by Sasha on the ferry heading home


Wednesday November 16, 2016
6:35pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio


I found the sweet spot in a twin bed in my father’s house
second floor of the Victorian brick house on the tree-lined street
Lying on my back thinking thinking seeing thinking wishing panting
parting spreading leaking oh oh say it yes sweet sweet sweet
There was not shame on the futon on the floor of the basement
of my mother’s house
first love like liquid gold between my legs
first love passion and clumsy hands and is it supposed to feel like
this?
I see these young ones
pups
I see these crying mothers
for their daughters in crop tops with eyes the basins of longing
Fill me up
Fill me up

“preceded by chaos” by Sasha on her couch


Monday November 7, 2016
10:56pm
5 minutes
From a tweet

This is the war cry that you’ve been waiting for
It isn’t packaged in hand blown glass or bubble wrap
It isn’t dusted in icing sugar
This is a roar seven generations in the making
It’s messy and delicate and has a bad haircut
It spits and sputters and sighs low like a dog
It sings full voice when it’s favourite song
comes on the radio OH
This is the war cry that has haunted dreams and
subway cars haunted holidays and shopping centres
Wake up, it calls
Wake up

“so that we can contact you” by Sasha at her desk


Friday November 4, 2016
10:41pm
5 minutes
from a contest information sheet

Obsessively check Facebook? Check. Ponder witty tweets? Check. Look and re-look at Instagram story feed. Check. Scroll into the bizarre backlog of texts from three years ago when you were still single? Check! Fold the laundry? Nope. Scrub the bathtub? Nope. Read an e-newsletter you aren’t sure you signed up for? Check.

“Unmasked” by Sasha at Nadeem’s desk


Thursday October 27, 2016
7:56pm
5 minutes
A Manitoba concert hall sign

There is nothing about you that I don’t want to consume there is nothing about you. Your mistakes are the most delectable because they convince me that you are in fact human. Flesh, shit, bones, brains, heart, sinew. I learned about human when I started gorging on junk. Sugar, shit, bones, brains, salt, salt, sinew, guts. I learned about human when the world fell apart when my Dad left. I tempted human when I fucked anyone that made good eye contact. I chased human when I moved far far away.

“has been hurt on the job” by Sasha in her bed


Monday October 17, 2016
11:49pm
5 minutes
From a Facebook post

I’m not bitter. I wouldn’t say that. But Jeanie coming in here and saying, “Shit happens,” like she has no clue – … I just, it bugs me. It bugs me. I’m not gonna tell the story again and I’m not gonna whine but, like, you’re goin’ along, having a normal day, a regular Thursday, and then – BANG. Everything changes. Nothing will ever be the same. I don’t want pity! I really don’t. But I just don’t need some punk with attitude comin’ into my hospital room, actin’ like they know what’s up! Jeanie has no fucking clue!

“It isn’t worth missing any moment.” By Sasha at her desk


Saturday October 15, 2016
9:58pm
5 minutes
http://www.apracticalwedding.com

I’m not sure what to tell you. Maybe that it’s going to be okay? But, that’s a bit of a white lie because I’m not actually sure if it’s going to be okay… Maybe that I love you? That usually feels good to hear, unless it’s someone professing something that you do not, in fact, reciprocate. Um… You’re going to do great. You’re going to be strong. You’re going to show this whole… situation… who is BOSS. You! You’re boss. I love you? It’s going to be okay? I don’t know. I’m bad when it comes to giving advice, I really am, I just… Here’s what I’ll say. You are probably the strongest human I have ever met. If anyone can face this, it’s you.

“Slack jawed” by Julia on the tub


Thursday October 13, 2016
11:08pm
5 minutes
from an email

Russell was really pleased with himself for finding a teddy bear with his own name etched in the ear tag. He believed this kind of thing was rare and meant to be and that he had some newfound super powers. Suddenly he believed he was where he was supposed to be. He had never believed that before. He attributed it to the bear finding and the sign receiving he was now very open to. He said thank you in a low whisper to his lucky stars and his Nanna Toni who was among his lucky stars but also acted in part as a guardian angel. She was a star angel. Russell liked to think of her twinkling in the sky and twirling in the wind. She never danced while she was alive but somehow afterward Russell felt like that was all she did. Aside from looking out for him. When the bear appeared to him, his face fell open in wonder and amazement for the possibilities he might get to find.

“shouldn’t cost you money” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday October 11, 2016
10:10pm
5 minutes
From a Tangerine ad

No one tells you that you become invisible. Your nose gets bigger, you sprout hair out of your ears, you lose all your pubes, and you become invisible. That’s the truth. I want you to know it because I wish I had. I would’ve given a heck of a lot less attention to how I looked when I actually looked like a Goddamn goddess. I’m not exactly sure when the invisibility cloak was placed over my shoulders… Fifty five? Sixty? I even tried dressing extra sassy, then extra sophisticated, then radical… Didn’t real change a thing. It really showed me what we were fighting for in the Women’s Lib Movement… If you aren’t deemed valuable, viable (ie. child bearing) to MEN, then suddenly society doesn’t value you. You are no longer sexual currency. Might as well be in the bargain bin.

“the authors of our lives” by Sasha at her desk


Monday October 10, 2016
4:44pm
5 minutes
The Rising Strong Manifesto
Brene Brown


I’m sorry for my chin hairs – – –
my legs \\ my armpits \/
my belly >
“my” is pejorative
none of these parts are mine
TRUMP CARD
I laugh because the cry is too big for my one bedroom apartment

I’m sorry for the unpalatable opinions
on the table between us
swirling squash and shit and sex and
squash

My dreams of motherhood don’t betray my dreams
of taking over the world
with stories of chin hairs
legs armpits bellies

Shred the TRUMP cards and recycle them
Maybe they will end up
paper that you’ll write me a letter on

“All of my days” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday October 9, 2016
12:26am
5 minutes
All My Days
Alexi Murdoch


Margot isn’t sure when it occurred to her that maybe it would be a good idea to stop going to spin class. She cancelled her gym membership. She de-activated her monthly yoga pass. It was a slippery slope, but in a good way. Margot started going outside. Radical. Revolutionary. Margot bought a seventy dollar bike on Craigslist and put a water bottle holder on it, and a basket on the back. She started biking to work. She walked the grocery store. She realized that she had been spending a kazillion dollars on things she could really do for free! She just needed a good rain coat and some bravery! She just needed to learn the arm signs that indicate if one is turning left or right!

“I’ll do your reading and then email it to you” by Sasha in the NICU kitchen


Thursday September 22, 2016
10:07pm
5 minutes
livewithmoxy.com

I’m riding my bike quickly down the hill, the wind blowing a symphony of “yes” in my ears, hands firmly on the handlebars and

OOFFFFFFF

My front tire hits a bump, a piece of metal? A big nail? A shoe? I fly over my handlebars and in that moment

suspended

I see my life

my loves

my bathroom with the new coat of eggshell white paint

I wonder if it’s already happened

Am I dead?

Thank goodness it’s already turned cool and I’m wearing my denim jacket or my elbows and arms would be torn to shred

A car pulls over and a woman gets out

She looks like my Mom but with black black hair

She gives me her hand and helps me up

“two beautiful faces” by Sasha at the Airbnb in Montreal


Wednesday September 21, 2016
10:12am
5 minutes
Overheard on Av. Girouard

the NICU beeps and wails and whispers
the nurses scrubs have cats and flowers on them
the babies are so small
so new
how were they ready to be born?
the babies are so strong
so new
they were ready to be born
at least that’s what i
tell myself
washing a pear for my sister
filling her water bottle
rubbing her neck
at least that’s what i
tell myself
walking by the darkened rooms
code indigo taped on the door
mothers and fathers and families
like angel zombies
tired eyes and microwave dinners
sanitize the hands

“Door To Hell” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, August 30, 2016
7:31am
5 minutes
aplus.com

it starts with a whisper with a promise to be better
when you don’t really mean it and you don’t really want to
commit to process
it’s opened then
when you say anything that doesn’t sound like truth and when you think
everybody only hears sincerity when you are wrong but don’t
want to believe that yet
a little crack further
and you keep far away from it because it’s calling you
it knows you by face and you pretend it’s a different you a different you with
the same name
coincidence
that each day a little bit less is tried
a little bit less is wagered
and the pit beyond grace is surrounded by old flames that
you ran from because you didn’t have the courage
to snuff them out
it starts with a whisper with the song of wandering souls
you fall each day
further off the track you triumph over
unfairly

“It languished in the vault” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, August 29, 2016
7:08am
5 minutes
rollingstone.com

I put it there along with other things. I wanted a collection of all the lies I had been telling. In the secret parts of my understanding I like to believe they live in a garden on their own. But they are not thriving in their soil. I don’t water them. I have deep hopes that they don’t need it. The walls of this decision are dried and crumbling. They don’t fall or crack revealing light. They pile on top of the old ones and bury the new ones that were just put there for a second. Now everything is locked up. The idea that this is all I’ll ever be. I am the one languishing in the vault. I am the one wasted. And I only choose to visit the scraps of myself there when no one else is around. Stuck internal, asleep on a mattress that divides all of my bones into unusable groups, and keeps me from attending the day like they all expect me to.

“I think he’ll appreciate this food” by Julia on the 84


Friday August 19, 2016
7:16pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 84

I think he’s in the hospital or at least that’s what Addie thinks. She heard it from his sister’s boyfriend’s sister. I want to visit him because he might be lonely. And maybe hungry. So I want to buy him a burrito cause I doubt he’s allowed to have those in the hospital. I think he’ll be happy. But I’m still waiting on Addie’s intel to confirm because I can’t afford to take the morning off for no reason. Not just cause I want to cause there aren’t enough chances to go around. Got to save it for something good. This would be good though. This would be a really good reason to skip work.
Did you hear what happened to him not this time but the one before that?
Somebody took a baseball bat and..
Anyway you can put two and two together. Just hope someone is there with him until we can get there. I worry that the longer he goes the worse it’ll be.

“See the world” by Julia on her bed


Thursday August 18, 2016
12:01am
5 minutes
From a flyer

Ginny hasn’t left the country. Hasn’t left the city, really. Hasn’t left the space in her head that tells her it’s not safe to go outside. Ginny does’t know which pen pals have forgotten her. She doesn’t know which ones are hoping she’s alright. It’s not safe to go outside. Ginny spins the globe that uncle Andy brings her. Says the world is so big but if you hold it in your hand you feel small. Ginny lets him leave it in her room because every so often he comes by to spin it for himself. Pick a place, any place, he tells her. What kind of place should I pick? Ginny doesn’t go outside. It’s not safe to go outside. It doesn’t matter, he says. This is dreaming and dreaming doesn’t need reasons. But a place that I want to go? She asks. Sure, he says, any place that isn’t right here.

“See the world” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday August 18, 2016
1:06pm
5 minutes
From a flyer

pop says see the world but i’m not sure what he even knows about that because he’s never left chesterton. probably something he’s heard on tv or something, like, a thing he heard someone say that he thought sounded smart. he never finished high school even, so what does he know. sorry pop. you know a lot about how to raise pigs, and how to nurse a pup back to health after she eats too much grass. you know a lot about corn. seeing the world? don’t know nothing about that. if i actually took your advice and left chesterton, i think you’d cry for a week. not that i’ve ever seen ya… but i can imagine. it’s been you and i since mama and berg drowned, since i was three and you were twenty six. mama has finally learned how to make peach pie, the crust and everything. at least that’s what you tell me. mama had just learned to make peach pie.

“We’ll discuss some of the best” by Sasha on the grass in Mississauga


Saturday, July 23, 2016
3:11pm
5 minutes
vancouvertrails.com

Marika says that we’ll discuss the best scores and feedback over beers at the tent. I have no idea what she’s talking about but I nod and say, “Sure! Sounds good!” When I meet her there, she’s ordered a pitcher of something blonde and she’s eating pretzels and curly fries. “Hey!” She waves at me and I try not to cringe. “Hi.” I say.

I’ve known Marika since we were campers, since we competed just like these kids are. I never thought that she’d last. I never thought we’d be coaching together. I never thought I’d be stuck with her for four months of every year.

“I can’t believe that Amy actually got the highest score,” Marika says, picking a bit of pretzel out of her molar.

“where the water is still” by Sasha at the kitchen counter


Thursday July 7, 2016
11:39pm
5 minutes
Cranes and Egrets
Marlene Cookshaw


“When you swim far out, way out past the break, past where the waves are tall as houses, the water is still…” Granny eats a piece of honeydew, the juice dripping down her chin. She wipes it with the back of her hand. “You have to be very brave to swim out that far, you have to be bigger than you are… Fifteen or sixteen. It takes strength of mind an’ body, you see, an’ something else, too…” At this time of night her accent gets thick. “You need the determination, the power that comes along with really believing in yourself.” She swats at a mosquito. “I used to spend hours and hours out there, in the still water, thinking up what might happen. I’m more of a future person than a past person. Past people, they’re more apt to get all depressive. Future people? Like me? Anxiety… But on the still water, floating on my back an’ my front an’ treading water – just calm.”

“dies in slow motion” by Sasha on the couch


Tuesday July 5, 2016
11:11pm
5 minutes
In Search of Agamemnon
Bruce F. Fairley


It’s the hottest day of the year and the air conditioning is broken. We’ve rehearsed the scene what feels like a million times and Mario says, “Ah! Yes! The deaths… The deaths are… they aren’t working, mes amis. Let’s try them both in, in…” We wait, bracing ourselves, willing him to call the day, “in slow motion!” As he says it he does a demo, as if we don’t know what slow motion means. Eric and I look at eachother and try not to scream/cry/laugh. Mario wonders aloud why we’re stalling. “It’s forty degrees. I’m sweating my balls off,” I say. Eric blushes. Mario gets up. He has his water bottle in his hand. He looks pissed. He pours a bit of water into his palm and then throws it at me, right in the face. Pour, throw. Pour, throw. Nicola, the stage manager, almost says something but Eric silences her with a glare.

“We have a Christmas cake box?!” by Sasha in her bed


Monday June 20, 2016
8:30am
5 minutes
Overheard at Starbucks

It’s Christmas, which means that Aunt Cathy is hammered and Pa is smoking pipe after pipe and Jason, my twin brother, is likely going to try to hang himself again. He does it every Christmas. The attempts are feeble, but are attempts nonetheless. Our mother, Joan, recently got a tattoo of a turtle on her right bicep. Jason thinks she’s having a midlife crisis but from what I’ve read, those only happen to men. Jason lives in the weird loft space above the garage. There’s a box spring and a mattress, a hotplate and a mini fridge. It’s where we used to hang out with friends and drink forties when we were in high school. I only see him a couple of times a year and every time I do he has more grey hair. We aren’t identical, but we look a lot a like. My hair is still entirely brown. I haven’t even spotted one grey strand. Aunt Cathy whispers that Joan went grey in her early thirties, too.

“How did you recognize him?” by Julia at her dining table


Thursay April 21, 2016
6:18pm
5 minutes
overheard in the car

I wrote a poem about your laugh when I was 17 and in love with you. I compared it to Santa. I didn’t know anything about you, or love, or poetry then. Maybe I still don’t. I felt proud reading it in front of my class and thinking of you secretly as I shared some of my truest, most ridiculous metaphors about you. I told them about your laugh, about how you were so inclusive and even laughed at people’s bad jokes to make them feel good. I remember thinking you were generous. And I think I was right because a few months later I found out that you were trading kisses with other girls and going out with whichever ones you thought you would be able to sleep with. Maybe I was the generous one for sharing you! I was crushed. I could pull you off of a busy street with my eyes closed if I could hear your laugh. These days I don’t hear it as much as I used to. We don’t live in the same place. We live worlds away.