“Let’s walk together.” By Sasha at the kitchen table on Lewis St.


Wednesday April 12, 2017
10:20am
5 minutes
From the Walk to Fight Arthritis flyer

Trying to keep the sadness at bay
holding my arm out like a stranger
is approaching
Dreaming of the snow bluffs the
gull cries
Dreaming of before the fall
I see you fingering your prayer
beads in my mind’s eye and I’m
sorry for the yelling
and I’m sorry
for the weight of the discontent
I want to promise you it won’t
be hard like this again
but I can’t
and I won’t apologize for that
I won’t because I don’t want to
lie to you
lie with you
lie on you
Your prayer beads lining my spine

“Isn’t that the same thing?” By Julia on her couch


Saturday January 24, 2015
6:29pm
5 minutes
The Green-ish pilot

Ari told me to ask the Universe for what I wanted in life and make it very specific. She said, “what’s the harm in asking?” And I didn’t have an answer so I told her I didn’t know and that I would try it this weekend. I realized she wanted me to do it in that very moment while she was there so she could share it with me, but I’ve never been very good at asking for help and I didn’t want her to catch me in the middle of my ineptitude. It would shine brightly, stick out like a sore thumb, and remind everyone that I don’t have a clue. So I thought of Ari as I walked home in the most perfect light and Canadian snow, and wondered for the first time if asking was actually easy..Once you strip it bare of its shame and crippling vulnerability…
I remembered once asking my dad if he could lend me $1100.00. Some might argue that asking him or the universe was actually the same thing..

“People and shopping” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday January 10, 2015
10:05pm
5 minutes
from a map of London

I lit all the candles in the world
One by one
I used the same match for quite some time
You’re impressed
Thank you
I lit up the continents
The oceans
The sky
The valleys
The peaks
The snow
The sand
I lit all the candles in the world
I hoped you wouldn’t sneeze
Or sigh
I hoped that you would stand back
Beside me
And listen to the glow

“there’s plenty for everyone to do.” by Sasha at the Loft in Portland


Sunday December 14
5:53pm
5 minutes
Eyewitness Travel London

When we find our way back to the cabin, we’re laughing.
We’re drunk on the highs and lows of love and winter.
When we sit in front of the roaring fire we make jokes about the times we were dumber.
“We weren’t dumb,” you say.
“We were free then,” you say.

You make stew with lamb and sweet potatoes.
I chop wood.
Snow starts to fall and comes down like a dusting of possibility.

The candles burn low.
I peel clementines and toss the rind on the fire.
We’re in Florida for a few minutes.
In the oranges groves of your grandfather’s farm.

“you can power through” by Julia on the tube heading west


Thursday December 11, 2014
6:21pm
5 minutes
from a Nurofen tube ad

Dear Hannah,
There are lights in the trees here. It’s so nice to be around a place that cares enough to put lights in their trees. Really makes you feel like you’ve found a spot worth staying. They assure you with their details. With their simple adjustment of the everyday. No snow yet! Got a bit lucky there. I know, I know, grow up, buy proper shoes. Boots! I know, I know. You would hate how cold it is without even having snow. My ratty sneaks will live to see another week!(or at least that’s what I’ve been praying for 😉 …sorry!)
I’m finally eating vegetables and drinking more water. The probiotics are helping but I still dream of salted caramel hot chocolate. Today I feel less alone than yesterday. Something in the air I guess. Trying to power through, like you said.
Talk soon?
Miss and love.

-B

“All of it, kid.” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday November 22, 2014
8:11am
5 minutes
From a first draft of a screen play

Clementines are out again, see that! Those big ones that fill your hand right up like a baseball! And those tiny ones that you just so easily putt with a golf club! Clementines are out again kid, and you know what that means? SNOW. The snow’s coming soon. When I get a crate of those clementines at the IGA, I save it and I use it as kindling. Best kindling you can find. Better than brush, or whatever they teach you to use at Cubs. I prefer my clementines right out of the fridge. Cold. Better than a beer in a chilled glass! Better than a popsicle!

“Cinnamon coffee” by Julia on the subway going east


Tuesday February 18, 2014
6:12pm
5 minutes


I was waiting outside your back gate with a cinnamon coffee for you and a batch of failed cookies. It was your favourite kind of day: the one with the light snow and the zero regrets policy. You did that for yourself once a year, you said, and this day just happened to be your birthday. The reject cookies I ultimately brought over were burnt on the bottoms and much too salty every second bite. I tried a couple rounds but there was a lot of pressure to get them right because they were supposed to be your favourite. Not that they were difficult or challenging due to their obscure nature. You never cared for fancy things. For things that looked like they were trying too hard. Chocolate chip. You liked the simplistic, classic, easy to make chocolate chip ones. The ones you can’t even really mess up. I brought them for you anyway hoping you secretly liked the underdog cookies: the ones that needed a bit more love and understanding.

“safety matters to us” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at Starbucks
12:24pm
5 minutes
TTC subway poster

We salt the sidewalks, we do the whole thing. We get all the late night volunteers to bring their shovels and if they have them, their snow blowers. We take the whole street by storm, and if we’re feeling particularly energized, why hell, we take the whole subdivision. That’s how you get things done in Bimble Lake. Small citied people but big worldly hearts. I started operation GO-SNOW in 2001 after the Cearsons’ car got stuck in their drive way right as Eva was going into labour with Matthew, or maybe it was Logan. They weren’t the kinds to ask for help, but I could see them from my dining room window, and I had the tools so I went on over there and helped before they could say no. Not that they’d say no, I mean, Eva was pretty close to a car delivery! Would have been a great story for the town, but I’m doubting it would be as wonderful for Eva and Cam. I enlisted some neighbours’ help the following year to dedicate a couple nights of the week to planning, and to prevention. We started using my garage as a storage locker for all our materials and I gave Eddie, Tim S., Tim L., and Orval a key.

TJ & Sam by Sasha at the these five minutes: writer’s workout at the Fringe Creation Lab


Sunday February 2, 2014 at The Fringe Creation Lab
1:03pm
5 minutes
these five minutes: writer’s workout

TJ’s got her hands in her pockets like she’s some kinda cool kid, like she forget to lock the door. TJ blows bubbles with her gum and lets them bubbles pop on her own face and then she peels it off, bit by bit, and drops the gum balls on the carpet. When TJ makes a peanut butter sandwich she eats a spoonful of straight peanut butter, straight heart attack. She uses the same spoon for the sandwich. Who makes a sandwich with a spoon, anyway?!

Sam says nothing. He watches her and sometimes makes a small grunting sound. TJ has chosen to forget which sound means “good” and which sound means “bad”. TJ has disentangled herself from those words altogether. It’s all grey to her – the sky, the sidewalk, Sam’s hair, the snow.

“Last Goodbye” by Sasha in the Kiva


Wednesday December 18, 2013
6:29pm
5 minutes
from the Charles Bradley record

When I get to your house, I stop, my feet drowning in slush. I don’t feel worthy of the curb, of the elevation. I see you through the window. You’re holding your son. He must be three now. He has your hair, your curls. I imagine he has your eyes, too, and your nose. He has her mouth, though, at least that’s what I see, when I close my eyes. You raise your boy up, high in the air and he laughs, you laugh. My heart drops and hits the slush. I catch it and put it back where it belongs, or where it used to be. I’m not sure where it will go next. Your Christmas tree looks right out of The Nutcracker, all lights and ribbons and silver and gold. It’s bigger than my apartment. I walk closer and closer and closer, sinking into the snow. When I get to the window I push my face up against the glass. I cross my eyes. You see me and your face pales. You put down your son and whisper something in his ear.

“LESS ORDINARY” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday December 14, 2013
9:44pm
5 minutes
Guinness Black Lager streetcar ad

There’s a man living in the bus shelter at the end of my street. He has a chair, a recycling bin filled with an assortment of papers and Tim Horton’s cups and a yellow blanket. As it gets colder, I find myself thinking of him when I unlock the door to my warm apartment. When I walk by him, I avert my eyes and then feel guilty. I regret not bringing him a tangerine or a sandwich. Leftovers. Last night, coming home from a late shift at the restaurant, I rounded the corner and forgot about him. Then I heard a voice. Singing. I peeked in the bus shelter and he was sitting in his recycling bin, the yellow blanket draped over his head. I paused. I smiled. It started to snow. Big, fluffy, feather flakes. I thought about his toes. I thought about the socks in my drawer that I never wear because they don’t allow my feet to fit into shoes.

“once” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday December 11, 2013
7:56pm
5 minutes
from a poster for Once The Musical

Once, when I was standing on the edge of a volcano I was struck by my own significant insignificance. Then, two months later I looked at a man that I thought I loved and realized that what I really felt was pity. That was the same year that I saw Picasso. That was the same year I tried rambutan.

Lying on the black sand beach and feeling the water ebb over my toe-tips, I knew that I was on the right track. I’d gotten myself into the middle of the ocean, after all. I’d sprinted through the Vancouver airport after a snowstorm had threatened to kibosh my plan. Nothing could. It was impossible. I sat beside a man who was ready in shorts and a sunhat.

“Why is she following this river” by Sasha on the couch at Knowlton Lake


Saturday, December 29, 2012
5:12pm
5 minutes
Fool’s Bells
D’anna


This morning, mug of peppermint tea brewing, she decided to venture out rather than in. Usually she meditates and ruminates on trust and bank statements and reincarnation. Today she stepped into lined brown snow-boots and pulled on a parka that used to belong to her father. The sleeves were too long and the fur on the hood looked a little bit like a cat caught out in the rain but, it was her favourite. It was still snowing. A storm had come in off the Lake and was, perhaps, finally winding down. She closed the door quietly so as to not wake the sleeping Boyfriend. She began to walk, mug in mittened hand, steam rising ferociously towards the sky, and found herself at a small park that she would sometimes come to in the summer (when the apartment got unbearably hot) and swing for awhile to feel the breeze. Now, the swingset was covered in snow and the only visible sign of children playing was a tiny forgotten stripy mitten.

“fake snow on Douglas firs” by Julia on the Subway heading West


Thursday, February 23, 2012
4:39pm
5 minutes
The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini


No one wants you to see what’s in their bags when riding close quarters together on the subway. No one wants you to know what they’re reading, what they’re writing, or what they’re listening to (Unless you’re that person who blares episodes of The Real World on their phones without using any ear-buds). If people looked inside my bag they’d probably be a little distraught to find a ripped up and half eaten box of chocolate covered hazelnut hearts. Maybe I did go to the dollar store on my lunch break and maybe I did buy them for myself because I got fired from my job and instead of needing a drink, I needed to extend the sadness of my situation by also getting fat and consequently feeling even more sorry for myself. Or maybe my fiance bought them for me on Valentine’s Day and I’m just exhibiting self-control and taking my sweet time eating them. Half a chocolate every other day, one whole one if I worked out that morning.
Maybe they’re love chocolates not sorrow chocolates.
…And maybe the letter that crying twenty-year old is writing is a ‘thank you’ and not a suicide note.

“fake snow on Douglas firs” by Sasha at Thor Espresso Bar


Thurssday, February 23, 2012 at Thor Espresso Bar
1:06pm
5 minutes
The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini


The river had salmon then.
Now we see just “fish”
packaged in styrofoam and saran.
We don’t even know her name.
Smokestacks outstack haystacks.
House of Visa Master Amex cards.
Huff and puff and blow the house down!
Cabbage patch kids with dollar sign eyes and bellies with gemstones
Always hungry
Never full.
Forget about the future!
We’re now now now!
The NOW generation!
Generation XYZzzzzzz!
Forget about miniature golf lanes!
Glow in the dark bowl!
Light me up NOW! ow ow ow.
Soothe me NOW! ow ow ow.
NOW we’ve WON!
2012 palindrome.

The river had salmon then.
We don’t remember our own names,
the ones our mothers chose so carefully,
Measuring star charts and heart beats and tiny fingers and toes.
Poseidon sings his Tom Waits timbre,
Grieving the faceless fish.