“hitchhike into the wilderness” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday February 23, 2019
5:56pm
5 minutes
Trail’s End
Sy Safransky

Dragonfly and I hitchhike
to the tidepools and the lagoons
her in a floppy straw hat
and me in a floral sundress

We’re living in an intentional
community on the Big Island of
Hawaii and we’re chopping sugar
cane with machetes and making
papaya salad in exchange for
yoga and meditation classes
and learning how to co-habitat
with a dozen other seekers

In the tidepools we spot
starfish the size of a child’s
head we float on our backs for
hours in the lagoon
We eat three different kinds of avocados
with spoons

“She actually cooks” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday May 16, 2018
7:02am
5 minutes
Overheard in the dining room

I take more time now
I try to rush less now
Or maybe that’s a lie now
T-R-Y is the truth I guess

I watch my mother’s body break
And I think about all the women
Breaking
Breaking open
Breaking down
Breaking through
Breaking waves
Breaking story
Breaking bread
Breaking hearts
Breaking wide

I can’t punctuate because
This isn’t over and there’s
No symbol that can accurately
Mark the
Break

Maybe it’s better to stick with
fingers stained
Yellow from curry powder
Or the fine art of slicing tomato
Blending chickpeas into gold

Breaking down the heart
Breaking down the nucleus
Breaking into laughter
Breaking into love

“Flying Housewife” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday April 28, 2018
12:58pm
5 minutes
http://www.independent.co.uk

crouching behind the counter tears staining wood
neko case on the stereo my favourite thing about
this place is that i can play my own music
pretty things on the patio ha ha ha caw ha ha
woman nursing in the third booth at the back
a party coming in thirteen minutes and i’m
all mascara stream all chest breath and salty lips
we grow to know the taste of being fucked over
because of our woman-ness only 24 and we know it
the lilt of our voices the tonic of our smiles
the cup size maybe or the calf muscle from walking
back and forth from kitchen to patio to kitchen
twelve minutes and twenty people who don’t get it
who think that maybe i’ve just had a bad day
pretty thing they think maybe her boyfriend dumped her
more like this place this man upstairs says his wife
doesn’t like me doesn’t like me doesn’t like pretty thing
more like the loyalty turned bad orange juice
oops fuck oops i’m sorry i never meant to
oops i’m sorry i didn’t mean to be
too alive for this hierarchy of buttered toast
he always did like the pretty things but i didn’t
think i was one of those i thought i was something
else a good conversation a killer joke a knack
for smoothing over the discontent of cold eggs

“someone else’s sext” by Sasha on her living room floor

Wednesday March 28, 2018
12:08pm
5 minutes
from a cybertip.ca ad

Do you think of your life in newspaper clippings, taped into a spiral bound notebook? Do you chronicle your failures in a fishing tackle box, the white lies in little yellow squares, the times you’ve broken a heart in the larger section usually reserved for fly lures? Do you wonder about the life where you kept drinking and riding a bike without a helmet and living on the literal edge? Do you lie on the floor at the end of a day you couldn’t imagine you’d have only a year ago, and listen as the kettle boils, calling you into a new moment

a new moment

anew?

“Paragraphs of information” by Julia on Nicole’s balcony


Thursday July 13, 2017
12:15am
5 minutes
from a syllabus

Of course I didn’t ask for the ring with the gold flower when she died. I had wanted it since I was small enough to fit in her arms. But I got something better. When I spritzed her perfume in the bathroom I thought I was getting away with curiosity. Turns out my curiosity was too big to ignore. It was the first time she held me. She brought me out of the bathroom with love while I was embarrassed at being caught. Then she gave me the bottle of perfume I had tried on. Just gave it to me. You like it? Here, it’s yours. I cherished that bottle. I kept it in my closet. I didn’t know anything about her-there wasn’t a book about her, not paragraphs of information written about this woman. But I knew the smell of her young skin. I knew the size of her generosity. I knew the way her quiet was her prison. And how she wished she could have given me more.

“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.

“dies in slow motion” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday July 5, 2016 at Starbucks
7:06am
5 minutes
In Search of Agamemnon
Bruce F. Fairley


Cut to me, 4 years old–MAYBE 5– and all the tiny humans in Mrs. Beliveau’s class have just come back from an assembly. We don’t have enough time to learn anything, not that we really ever did, so Mrs. B. tells us we can play on the structure if we can change as quickly as possible into our gym clothes. I see no one is on the structure and for some reason today I need to be the first one. So I strip down and throw on my shirt and I go running up to Mrs. Beliveau to ask her if I may “board the spaceship” (because we were in kindergarten and that’s what we called it, even though it looked nothing like a spaceship)and she looked down at me and said, “you may, as soon as you have some pants on.” And I looked down and I was standing there in my orange-starred underwear, in front of everyone, made to be aware of shame for the first time in my tiny life. I did whatever Macaulay Culkin got hired for in Home Alone then proceeded to die in slow motion; my face a shade of fire that burned me to death.

“I am in a meeting” by Sasha on a bench downtown


Monday May 9, 2016
12:14pm
5 minutes
From a text

“Yeah, yeah…” I blow my nose into a scarf that’s in my backpack in case the bike ride home gets cold. “I’m fine.”

The man, wiry and wearing black cutoffs, a plaid shirt and a Jays hat, hands me his dog’s leash. She’s a bulldog, just older than a puppy. My bike is like a gutted fish leaning against the curb. His hands are covered in grease, just like mine are, as he wrestles the chain back on.

I bought the bike for fifty seven dollars on Craigslist from a Portuguese grandmother with impeccable hydrangeas.

“I do and I don’t” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday May 8, 2016
10:57pm
5 minutes
Overheard by Julia on the 2 bus

Newly fourteen, I’m living on a biodynamic farm in Durham, Ontario for three weeks. I’m there with two other girls from my Grade Nine class. We sleep in the basement of the farmhouse, in beds built for children. Heather’s feet hang over the footboard. She’s a head taller than me and Karla.

I have dirt under my fingernails, and my hair has been died by the hours in the sun. I have strange tan lines and know a handful of new songs. The two young women from Alaska who are working on the farm for the season teach them to us as we pick rocks from a field where plum trees will be planted.

“Are you sure about that?” by Sasha on the 16


Wednesday February 3, 2016
5:15pm
5 minutes
Right Hand Man
Stacey Kaser


I sleep with a book under my pillow. It started when I was five and my parents were fighting and the dissonance of that lullaby needed to be somehow interrupted.

When lovers find the book (Anita Rau Badami or Miriam Toews or Saleema Nawaz or Madeleine Thien or Ann-Marie MacDonald Esi Edugyan or Michael Ondaatje or Joy Kogawa), dripping in sleep, they curl eyebrows into question marks. Some understand, a small smile spreading. Most don’t.

If I wake up and my mind starts talking too loud, too fast, the usual, I take the book, such easy access and I fall in.

“you may feel strong emotion” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday January 27, 2016
3:55pm
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


You may feel strong emotions approaching a budget
When the numbers on the page are bigger than you’ve ever seen in a bank account
When the commas and the decimals won’t add up
When there are too much items and too few revenue opportunities
You may feel strong emotions that carry you back to grade school and not being able to get the seven times table past 28
Carry you back to math tutoring in the computer lab with the mock turtleneck wearing teacher
Carry you back to wishing you could bring yourself to cheat because you need that scholarship you really need that scholarship
What would you have thought you could do if it weren’t for these nasty numbers too straight too clear to little room for flexibility
The satisfaction of subtraction and addition isn’t lost on you but
in all the space in between
you fall

“vow to scrap” by Sasha at R Squared Cafe


Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at R Squared Cafe
12:49pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

the sun peeks and i am reminded of the
grandmothers in the congo raising their grandchildren
girls and boys a generation removed
the wedge of hunger and dis
ease

i buy a pair of expensive boots i can’t
really afford
and wear them and then they hurt my feet
my calf engaged more muscle more fire more
want more more more
more

a kiss tattooed on a neck
arms overflowing with
presents
the saccharine aftertaste of
over abundance
i find a card from my father’s mother

“merry christmas sasha!
i hope this finds you well.”

“with the theme of fear” by Sasha at the table at Pascoe Rd.


Monday November 9, 2015
1:17pm
5 minutes
ionmagazine.ca

The night she dies I get a text from a bartender
I sometimes fuck
I wash my
face I get on my
bicycle and I go to
his house
On the way
Somewhere east of Dupont
My chain falls off
I can’t stop the tears
Can’t stop the oil from getting
on my dress
I arrive too close to morning
too far from my father
He lights a joint and the promise
I made to myself not to tell him
Undoes like the clasp of my bra
Naked I’m a puddle of chipped nail polish and
missing
He’s a father so he knows
how to soothe
He rubs my back until I’m hiccups and
when we fuck he’s gentle
he knows just how to look me
in the eye
I leave before I can feel grosser before
I can taste the tinniness of shame
My tongue heavy in my mouth I sing
under my breath
Up the hill on the way
home

“unless its roots reach down to hell” by Sasha at a sushi place on West 4th


Wednesday September 23, 2015
1:37pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Carl Jung

You’re welcome…
Thank you.
You’re welcome!
Why did you say it to start? Why didn’t you wait for me to say –
Thank you.
Thank you.
You’re dehydrated.
I’m not.
Your eyes are blood shot.
I’m tired.
Drink some water.
I’m not thirsty.
Just do it.
No!
Fine.
Fine.
What time are you going to bed?
No idea.
When you’re tired?
When I’m tired.
I love how you chew your hair when you’re concentrating.
I love how you interrupt me when I’m concentrating.
Aw. Aren’t we sweet.
You want to come to my ultimate game tomorrow?
Not really but I will if it’s important to you.
It isn’t.
Great.
Win win.
Win win.

“It’s almost magic” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday September 15, 2015
8:08pm
5 minutes
From a vintage ad for American Cyanamid Company

last night
purple flannel twisted around ankles
my bum against your bum
you said grace
full voice
at first i was annoyed
i’m sleeping!
i’m kind of sick!
and then
i listened
i really listened
“thank you for this food on our plates
thank you for the love in our home
thank you for thanksgiving”
it’s magic
how you pray in your sleep
how you love in your dreams
how you bless me with your sweetness

“open 7 days” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday, September 5, 2015
9:27pm
5 minutes
from the sign at the liquor store

Eating pizza beside you for probably the millionth time and all of a sudden it hits me, like a slightly greasy meteor, I’m in love with you.

“ShitshitshitshitSHIT,” I say, and you say, through pant-like dog breaths, “Did you burn the roof of your mouth, too?”

I go to the bathroom and wash my face. I even use Rachel’s Aveeno face scrub.

“Did you just use Rachel’s face wash?” You lean in close and I smell the pepperoni and the charming sexiness. “I’m sorry.”

“If pizza makes you feel so dirty, why do we order it every Sunday?” It’s a really great question. I resent that you asked it because there’s no way that I can explain that my obsessive face washing has less to do with the cheese-grime and more to do with how I love you.

“When we love” by Sasha on her porch


Saturday, August 29, 2015
9:02am
5 minutes
from a quote by Jean Shinoda Bolen

When we love
we burn the sweetgrass of our lover’s breath
Daily
A meditation
like the caterpillar crawling across the grass
When we love
we leave behind what we don’t need
The snakes skin
A brittle forgotten pile on the side of the dirt road
When we love
we worship at the feet of a many sided God
we adorn her with rose oil
we kiss each toe
When we love
we wash in holy water
we sacrifice everything we thought we knew
for something mysteriously more
for something more holy than we ever knew possible

“I still want to think about safety” By Sasha in the Kiva


Sunday, August 9, 2015
1:32am
5 minutes
Said by Julia’s Uber driver

Chai simmers on the stove, wafting cinnamon and vanilla. You, tuning your guitar, all focus and callouses, forget that I'm there and I like that. Soon, your voice will mix with the spices and I'll put down my book and close my eyes. The melody and the warm liquid will lull me to sleepy safety.

Your cell phone rings. I curse technology. I am a broken record saying, “Can we have twenty four hours technology free once a week?” You’ve already answered so you don’t hear me. “Shhh,” you whisper.

“and I’m not driving!” By Sasha in a parked car


Saturday, August 8, 2015
4:53pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I am sitting in a parked car outside a liquor store. I am a progressive, independent, feminist, free-thinking, multi-city living, graduate student. I do not, however, have a driver's license. I am both embarrassed and charmed by this, I am proud and filled with shame. I diverted around the 16-year-old wheel-craze and instead opted for a bicycle and a bus pass. I went for my Learner's Permit and failed, having only studied the first three pages of the manual. I remember saying to my friend, “Dumber people than me know how to drive! I don't need to study!” Cocky. Now, thirteen years later, I humbly search the internet for a cheap driving school near where I live. I don't have a parent's car to practice on and I will most likely be the oldest person in my driving school class. I am terrified of getting in a car accident. I am afraid of pissing people off on the road. I am so excited to rent my first car and hit the open highway, snaking up a mountain.

“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.

“What is “beginner’s mind”?” By Sasha at the desk at Joe Creek


Tuesday, July 28, 2015
12:03pm
5 minutes
From a tweet by Shambhala Sun

I read a short memoir about a woman with stage four breast cancer and my throat swells with fear. I resent her for reminding me of my mortality. I wonder about where I carry extra weight, if I eat too much cheese, is it dangerous to live in a city? Where does my unexpressed rage live? Is it in my breasts? My liver? I’m destined for the same fate. Sickness lies dormant inside of me and will strike when I least expect. The summer of my wedding. When I am pregnant with my first child. During the premiere of my most successful play.

A hummingbird feasts from a hydrangea, slurping up her fill until she’s drunk, flying into the morning before I can reach for my camera. I drink coffee, now cool, the bitterness sour long after the swallow.

I weave a whole narrative before I’ve finished my fried egg on toast. I hate her, this beautiful bald writer, I love her, I wish she were closer and that I might know her phone number so that I can call and thank her for this late July, early morning meditation on death.

“supremely a task of communication” by Sasha at Joe Creek Artist Residency


Monday, July 27, 2015
10:24pm
5 minutes
Audition
Michael Shurtleff


He’s shirtless and we’re brushing our teeth. He sucks in his belly and hobbles around, scrunching up his face. I grab him by the shoulder and say, “Stop! Please stop!” He stands tall. “What’s the matter with you?”

I’m reading about the Holocaust and all I can think about is children being starved. When I see his ribs like that I think about him, miles away, unsure when and if we’ll see each other again. I think about him starving. Nothing gives me more pleasure than feeding him. I think about our future children, plump belly receding. I think about a great aunt’s child being starved, the weight of it a paperweight on my chest.

I can’t sleep. I toss the duvet off, then pull it on. I burrow into his armpit. I turn away.

“it didn’t work all that well.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, July 26, 2015
10:42am
5 minutes
From an email

When we go to sleep, I will whisper ten things I’m grateful for in your ear.
You will do the same to me, if you make it past seven.
I’ll know you’re asleep from the sound of your breath.
I’ll lie awake for awhile, thinking about when we’ll have kids, wondering if we’ll need a car, considering the carbon footprint of a child, or two.
I’ll lie awake for awhile and consider all the stuff we have, here, and all the stuff we have there.
Is where more of your stuff is home?
Or, is home where no stuff is and just where you are?
Where you and I are?
You will turn over and I’ll be the Big Spoon.
I’ll kiss you back and practise meditating on the in breath and the out breath.
It turns into –
I love you I love you I love you

“You can live in Heaven” by Sasha on her couch


Friday, July 24, 2015
11:14pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz


I first met Will from an audience. His band was playing at the Horseshoe Tavern and I stared at him the whole set. At the end of the show he smiled at me and my stomach flipped and flopped like a fish out of water. A few months later I saw him at a friends birthday party and I approached him. Someone was singing karaoke, loud, and I had to shout. I played dumb when he told me that he was in a band and acted like I only maybe had heard of them. At the end of our conversation he asked for my phone number and we texted the next few days. We met up for coffee and he was distracted but I didn’t care. I liked him. He kissed me on my porch and told me he was going on tour for three months in a week. We didn’t have a lot of time.

“Foul language” by Sasha at Jericho Beach


Sunday, June 14, 2015
1:35pm
5 minutes
overheard at Kits Beach

The dust settles and we shake pinkies
The gentlest touch
The ladybug crawling across the window pane
In the afternoon sun the lazies settle in
I try to paint your toenail pink but
failure is inevitable
You dig your feet into the earth where the hostas multiply
Pour me another cup of cold brew
You already have my heart
You’re already winning
James Taylor on the record player
A braid in my hair from three days ago
I sit on the peeling black paint of the deck
And a hornet
“FUCK!”
Bursting the bubble of sunshine and gentle

“Can I get you anything?” by Sasha at 49th Parallel


Monday, June 8, 2015 at 49th Parallel
3:06pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Culprit Coffee Co.

This business of womanhood… Today, in the near perfection of the blue sky and mountaintops peeking over the colourful roofs, I could’ve done anything. I could’ve done anything, but I had a bikini wax. I both dread and crave them, relieved when the hair is gone, when the skin is soft, when it’s less sweaty, less stinky, less… hairy. I dread it because, goddamnit it hurts. Each waxer has their bit of advice or feedback, that upon unveiling my vagina, they impart with the sincerity of a grade one teacher on the first day of school. “Oh, you have ingrowns, hey? Do you exfoliate?” Or, “your hair is so coarse! Where are you from?” I find myself laughing, extra enthusiastic at their jokes or making excuses about my poor trim job. I feel the need to explain myself. In response to, “How long has it been since your last wax?” I say, “I was out of town!”, imagining myself in the bush of New Zealand harvesting rare herbs for tinctures to cure my mother of her arthritis. Who has time for wax when there’s healing to be done?! I wasn’t out of town. I was here. The whole time. Over coffee with my best girl, she proclaims, “I’m thinking of growing in my bush,” and I feel proud of her, I feel inspired, I think, for a moment, “Will I grow in my bush, too?” I give it a small go, half heartedly, like a “commitment” to stay away from simple carbs. But after seven weeks or it, I sniff my underpants in the change room at yoga, marvelling at the difference of the smell between a bush and a wax. Another woman walks in and catches me, she smiles and says, “the smell of your most intimate self never gets old, eh?”

“are you from here?” By Sasha in her bathroom


Saturday, June 6, 2015
10:51pm
5 minutes
Overheard at R&D

You thought I was someone I wasn’t, that’s for sure. How could you have thought that I was just me and that that was enough? I was wearing a red short, tight in the right place, loose in the others, aka “just right”. I’d ordered vodka sodas from you all night, smiling, eye contact, touching your fingers a little bit longer, aka “just right”. Before I left you called me over to the bar and said, “I want to see you again…” It was gentle, slow, it was corn roasted on the barbecue, perfectly blackened. I wrote my number on the inside of your wrist, where lots of women have etched in black forever ink “DESTINY” or “breathe”. You liked the placement, you had an accent but I wasn’t sure from where.

We met at a bar a few blocks from my apartment. I noticed blue nail-polish on your pinky. “What’s that?” I asked, a sip of cider fresh on my lips like a coy “Hello”. “My daughter,” you said, and I leaned back, swallowing.

“believe it or not” by Sasha at the kitchen table in Horseshoe Bay


Tuesday May 19, 2015
10:49pm
5 minutes
A Ripley’s bus ad

A machine beeps. It attaches to your arm. You’re sleeping, snoring softly. One hand rests on your belly. Up and down, up and down. May, the nurse on shift comes in and checks your vitals. I’m halfway through my book. Every few minutes someone new is wheeled in, or out. Some have their eyes half closed, in between this world and another one. Some crank their heads around, talking with the orderlies. Most look like baby squirrels – new, ruffled hair, vulnerable. You tell me to kiss you and I do. You taste like anesthetic and sleep.

“Start a group play team” by Sasha at YYoga Kitsilano


Saturday January 17, 2015
8:13pm
5 minutes
from a lotto 649 ticket

We touch noses in the morning and we touch toes in the evening.
We pull the couch over to where we can watch the rain.
We watch the rain.
We sniff armpits and shoes and bellybuttons.
We learn the smell of the wet places and the warm places.
We make breakfast wrapped in a dreamy haze of circuses and Hollywood.
We leave things tidier than we found them, in general.
Sometimes we don’t. Those time we feel badly, but not badly enough to regret anything.
We smile when we listen to the songs that give us gifts, wrapped in packages with cards that say:
Christmas 2012.
Your 24th.
My 28th.
We flip through photographs and kiss our former selves.

“made with real almonds” by Sasha on the 25 towards Main St.


Thursday January 15, 2015
6:29pm
5 minutes
from the Earth’s Own Almond Milk carton

Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmm. Hm.

This bus this bus is chock-a-block full of elbows and parted hair.

Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmm. Hm.

This bus is all almond skin and raspberry kissy lips.

Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmm. Hm.

Going to a little spot to tell a story and sing a song.

Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmm. Hm.

Neither are mine. I’m borrowing!

Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmm. Hm.

The stories I share. They are half mine.

Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmm. Hm.

The song belongs to my sister.

“clearly in the context of the show” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday November 3, 2014
11:26pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

He’s there. He’s there. I run up the stairs of the porch and I remember that my Mom has writing group tonight, she’s across the city in High Park. Shit shit shit shit shit. I get my key into the lock and I slam the door and he’s there, on the porch. Heart pounding, tears real, breath high. I call the police. “Um, hi, I just, I just was followed and the man came onto the porch and I’m not sure what to do because I’m home alone and…” This man is going to kill me. I know you’re there. I see you. Two officers come, ring the doorbell. I creep towards the door, wiping tears. “You called?” They circle the house with flashlight and report back that they didn’t find anyone. No one’s there. I say “thank you”. No one’s there.

“Hear all year” by Sasha at the International Plaza Hotel


Saturday July 12, 2014
6:25pm
5 minutes
from a banner at Winnipeg Folk Fest

I love the three blonde hairs on each of my big toes,
Marking the place where the under meets the world.
I love the strength of my calves,
Pedalling me from West to East,
Leading me to you,
and to God,
and to the lavender.
I love the width of my hips,
perfect for leaning,
perfect for holding,
perfect for stretching and carrying.
I love the round of my belly,
full of abundance,
full of arugula salad
and the legacy of the women that have come before.
I love the small hands,
able to stretch across piano keys,
across keyboard keys,
able to hold a pen like none other,
able to alchemize stories into gold.

“resourcefulness and self-reliance,” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday May 6, 2014
10:48pm
5 minutes
http://www.foodpolitic.com

Resourcefulness and self-reliance are prized traits in my family. “Resourcefulness” was fostered on yearly camping trips, on being left to my own devices in the wooded ravine behind my childhood home. “Resourcefulness” came from hours spent playing alone. “Self-reliance” was the ability and, perhaps more importantly, desire to ride the subway alone in Grade Three. Perhaps some of this comes from being raised by a woman who lived through the sixties, who was one of two women on her university campus who didn’t wear a bra, who read Simone de Beauvoir and built a cabin from the ground up wearing only her undies. Perhaps some of this comes from being a youngest child, sometimes left behind when the older ones would go off and I would be left to mix mud pies and speak in secret languages to my stuffed lion.

“I believe that life is…” by Sasha at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday March 12, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
10:07am
5 minutes
A writing group warm-up led by Dianne

I believe that life is like a snail, dragging its own slime, dragging its own house, sometimes getting stepped on and crushed and sometimes living on a sea wall, undisturbed, for five hundred years.
I believe that life is connection to the dead and dying, the remembering, the saving, the fighting for what’s been lost and is not quite yet lost – the great plains toad, the whippoorwill, blue walleye.
I believe that life is words in black ink on a lined Hilroy notebook purchased for ten cents at Staples by my mother.
I believe that all there really is…
I believe that all there really is…
I believe that all there really is
Is love
And breath
And change.

I believe that it’s all messy, and music, all teeth and bone, all muffins baking in the oven, all indulgence, all balance, all now.

I believe that “life” is “now”. From now on, in fact, from hereon in, in fact, my “life” is my “now”.

“intently and furiously” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday March 5, 2014
11:02pm
5 minutes
We Did
Brian Doyle


I will make you a pipe cleaner crown intently and furiously. You are a Queen and you deserve such a thing. I will use purple and green and bright gold. Purple and green, colours you love, and gold, to push your boundaries. You’re getting braver in your old age, with your colour accents and costume jewellery earrings. You will wear your pipe cleaner crown everywhere, even when you’re swimming laps at the pool, even when you’re at the green grocer picking cucumbers and fresh basil, even when you’re sleeping. People will finally pay you the respect you deserve. “Nice crown!” They will say. “What a beautiful headpiece!” They might call.

“Baby you’re much too fast” by Sasha in her bed


Wednesday February 26, 2014
12:13am
5 minutes
Little Red Corvette
Prince


I feel sick with worry that you want three babies. You tell me this over coffee you’ve simmered on the stovetop, sputtering on the white metal, leaving flecks of brown. I pour almond milk in mine and you drink yours black. “Three babies!” You say, like we’re choosing a colourful and slightly daring couch at Ikea. I don’t worry about the carrying or the baring. I have a round, strong body for this. I feel sick with worry because this world is so broken and I’d never say it to your face but sometimes, like a dark cloud passing over, I feel really hopeless. Sometimes this goes away and I feel only excited.

“Looking at those thin winter trees” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday February 23, 2014
3:28pm
5 minutes
Cairo Blues
Leif Vollebekk


If I opened my kitchen cupboards, I’d feel exposed, I’d feel excited, I’d feel giggly and sweaty-palmed. You’d see smoked paprika and pink sea salt first, truffle salt second, alongside pumpkin seeds and peppercorns. The small, red sesame grinder rests nearby, no doubt a small pile of ground seeds under her bottom. Behind that is a can of chickpeas, a can of kidney beans, a small can of tomato paste. A jar of popcorn kernels, nearly forgotten because I’ve forbidden Sam from burning another one of my favourite pots. Powdered kale, made by my mother, a small jar of her famous corn relish, corn shucked by me, small husk dolls made by Sam. On the second shelf are the oils and vinegars, the wet things that bring balance and provide lubrication in the roasting pan – Palestinian olive oil, organic balsamic, Umeboshi, grapeseed oil. Some people pride themselves on their shoes, or their books or their antiques. The things I hold dear rest on our tongues and go down our throats to our thankful bellies. The places I go, away from the thin winter trees, are carried on spoonfuls of coconut butter and sprinkles of cardamon.