“This is what you’ve been waiting for” by Julia at JJ Bean

Friday May 5, 2017 at JJ Bean
5 minutes
The Gate
Marie Howe

my family speaks poetry through me as I walk from my house to a place that isn’t
I am stopped on the sidewalk with the urge to take notes
They are dictating faster than I can write
The stories from our childhood, inspiration enough after the drought
I am greedy with rain and the secrets of our youth
the clues to finding solace in a memory built from our old garage,
the time we picked strawberries at the farm and made milkshakes,
the time we sang to Mariah Carey on the back porch and I made everyone
turn around to listen when it was my turn,
the time we got hats with the olympic rings on them at Mcdonalds,
the time we rode around on horses while they defecated,
the time I asked my older cousin if we could have a “talk” because I was feeling left out, the time they got the shots for whipping baby field mice against the brick

“You want to be just interested enough” by Sasha at Fresh on Spadina

Monday March 17, 2014 at Fresh
5 minutes
from an interview with Barbara Kingsolver

After it was all said and done, we named you as our CEO. The Coolest Ever-changing Opinions. The Clumsy Effervescent Oracle. We weren’t sure what the letters stood for, just that we liked the ring of them, strung together in a row, like bauble beads on a necklace of our grandmothers’. We crowded around pots of peppermint tea and tried to rationalize our self-righteousness. You told us to quite Facebook, like a kind dictator, and we did. Jon didn’t, too addicted to the Newsfeed of his ex-lover, and he was ousted quicker than an illegal immigrant in San Francisco. You and I made love on the couch and were discovered by Viv and Javier but they just kept on, into the TV room and watched Survivor. We came to the sound of tribal drums and someone called “Elizabeth” being voted off. You also made love to Viv on the couch, and Larissa, and, perhaps Jon, before he was ousted, but it didn’t even matter. Or, it did, but what mattered more was that we had a leader, and that that leader had broad shoulders, ripped jeans, and had been to a commune in Vermont where they make kimchee and grow strawberries.

“PERFORMANCE” by Sasha in the Factory Theatre courtyard

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
5 minutes
from a business card

They’re singing a duet, full volume, on the corner. A song you’ve heard before, a song your father used to play on the guitar around the campfire. The tall one has a bag of cinnamon toast under her arm and is wearing a wide brimmed hat. The short one is wearing yellow rain-boots and pink lipstick. They’re talking about making jam, which they’ll do tomorrow. They’ll get an early start. Neither of them has preserved before, and they want plenty of time. The tall one, her name is Amanda, she’ll bring a wagon to the Hardware Store and buy the jars. The shorter one, Val, is buying the peaches, the strawberries, the ginger, the sugar, and the lemon. Val’s mother makes jam, and earlier this morning Val called her to ask for her secrets. Her mother lives on Salt Spring Island. She makes jam that she sells at the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. She usually sells out by mid afternoon.

“until it blended” by Julia at her kitchen table

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
5 minutes
The Down to Earth Cookbook
Linda Maull and Nancy Fair Mcintyre

There wasn’t any more ice on the ground today than yesterday, which is why it’s so surprising to recount how Rita slipped, fell, and subsequently broke her left hip. She wasn’t old. You’d think that based on the fact that most hip-related injuries generally accompany the elderly. She was 37, which is young, and she was wearing running shoes with very good traction. The problem ( Ah HA!) is that she was wearing running shoes and not winter boots. Or perhaps it was the banana peel that managed to find its way under her feet (but we all know that that’s just a myth….or a friend of a friend of an urban legend). What was it actually? Everyone was dying to know. She was on her way to buy frozen strawberry chunks to make…well wait, no one knows what Rita was planning to make do they? They should. Someone should know. Anyway, it was surprising that she slipped, fell, and subsequently broke her left hip because of the lack of… What WAS it? What was she going to make? Now surely she would have needed much more than frozen strawberries for jam. Was she going to make jam out of frozen strawberries? That’s ridiculous.