“the woman’s anonymous appearance” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 4, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
Beauty Beheld
Sara Harowitz

She shivers from her shoulders down to her thighs
crossed tightly feeling a little tremble forcing its way in
He hasn’t noticed how cold the house had gotten
hot blooded, covered in thick skin built for winter
It was bad enough that her whole body was prone to shaking
but she didn’t know how to fix the heat
Chalk it up to co-dependency
She’d rather that than have you think she is just too afraid
to learn how to do it on her own
He tells her he’ll be home for dinner, remarks something about
chicken thighs
She thinks about walking into the oven chest first
but having it on would at least warm up the kitchen
When he leans in to kiss her, he misses her mouth by an almost inch

“I married Dave” by Julia at her desk

Monday October 8, 2018
8:30pm
5 minutes
Plants Don’t Have Birthdays
Andrea Gregor

I married Dave
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted
I am happy with Dave
He is the one who makes me happy
He is the one who
He is the one who makes me
I am in love with Dave
He is the one I wanted to love
He is the one I loved to want
He is the love I wanted
I settled for Dave
He is the one I wanted to leave me
He is the one I wanted to leave
He is the one I wanted then didn’t
I am still with Dave
He is the one I regret
He is the one I didn’t expect
He is the one I was too afraid to question
He is the one I can’t see myself in
He is the one who was there
He is the one who had a car
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who had a problem
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who lied
He is the one who kept me small
He is the one who I let keep me small
He is the one I married

“difficult for the Western mind to understand” by Julia at her desk

Thursday October 4, 2018
9:36pm
5 minutes
The Heart of Understanding
Thich Nhat Hanh

Did I luck out living here or did I land in the wrong place?
You might say that I am exactly where I need to be.
And you would be right. Or you would just be, in that instance.
Total harmony with the universe, not convincing; not pushing.
Here where all these scales lead me further away from happiness.
The belief in others’ approval and allowances. I wish to only seek
my own decision. For the last time leave my importance on the weight
of shoulders balancing on one wheel. I will not dip low and find
comfort there. I will question my trapped animal and learn to pack
a wound. I will face the demon head on and I will make the thing anyway.
I will keep myself and throw away the key.
Who wants a body you can love in a place where they
won’t let you love it.

“It gave her a deep sinking feeling” by Sasha at Vancouver Folk Festival

Friday July 13, 2018
9:21pm
5 minutes
Cujo
Stephen King

I was bred to say yes
Keep my head down
Eyes have power I learned
too young
Waiting for the train
I accidentally look up
and he’s leering and
cat-calling and
asking how much

Taught to nod
Use the delicacy
of the clavicle
for broccoli and wine

I was bred to open
to suck
to receive
to mm-hmm
to reveal
to tempt
to oblige

Waiting at the gas station
whistles and waves

How far we’ve come
from how it used to be
my grandmother says

When women were lauded
were bowed to
were worshipped

“gros bisous!” by Sasha on her balcony

Monday June 25, 2018
9:36pm
5 minutes
​from an e-mail​

Mike makes eyes at me across the bar and my stomach drops. Am I going to shit my pants?! FUCK. I go to the bathroom. Pull down my shorts. All good. All safe.

“Why are you so weird around him?” Bec asks and I just hit her on the arm a bit harder than usual.

“Hey Alison, how’s it goin’?” Why does he come here? Why does he do this? Why is he here? Take. Me. Away. I vacate my body and I fly above us and I see how I’m sweating in every crevice and he’s salivating and we’re both remembering.

“When do you go back to London?”

“Not until August… We still got time…”

“You never had my time – “

“I beg to differ – “

“Fuck you.”

“Woah…”

Bec comes over and all she heard was the “fuck” part she didn’t hear the rest she didn’t hear the thunder.

“My mother, who lost her teeth” by Julia on A and W’s couch

Friday June 15, 2018
9:29pm
5 minutes
What We Lost
Brenda Peynado

I’m praying to anyone who will listen but also to anyone who has the follow through. Not sure if god gets how deeply uncomfortable it is to have a uterus, so I’d rather talk to someone else. I catch myself calling out for my Nonna. She knew how to live with discomfort. With pain. With problems. She was a freaking magician. A soldier. A person with no teeth and the strongest gums you’ve ever seen. Flapping words around her mouth like weapons. Like violin lessons. She kept her dentures in a yellow cup over night. She once moved her entire living room around with a broken arm because “it had to get done.” And no it did not have to get done. Nothing did. Everyone told her to sit down and rest for once. I’m calling on her now because she didn’t have an off switch. She’s probably making god’s bed while god is still laying in it. She did not let anything stop her. Not even a little bit.

“Rule # 17: Act a little stupid.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday June 14, 2018
11:32pm
5 minutes
The Queen Of Hearts
Kathleen Hawes

I’m not sure when I started playing dumb
started dumbing down
started acting a little stupid
started laughing when things weren’t funny
started seeing how far I could get
on eyelashes and witty words
How many drinks
how many drinks

how many drinkssss

Please

Was it when I needed an excuse for my body
needed to explain the sudden newness
needed a reason for all this extra?

Was it when I realized I could wield it
but it wasn’t power it was giving over
it was giving up
it was giving

Giving

Nostalgia turns the edge of memory up
flips the corners so that I’m just
not so sure about anything
not so sure about everything

“Ordinary men and women” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
10:00pm
5 minutes
Northern Ireland: The Case Of Bloody Sunday
Carole-Anne Upton

We sit at the cottage and eat breakfast built for two. You and me. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man. We tap forks the way we taught ourselves to love. Out loud. Ceremony. A reminder of all the good between us. You have managed to make perfect eggs and I have done the kale this time good enough to write about here. You can see the mountains from where you sit and in the reflection of the print above your head, I can see them too. They look nice.
The day is a heart beat away from making us wish we wanted to stay here. You are busy thinking of how to live somewhere else. I am wondering a lot at the thought of you going. What kind of letters will you send me? Ones filled with sorry, or sweet, or cash. I hope the latter. I don’t think my jobs pay enough for me to live in this apartment without you. Who will I eat my ordinary breakfast with? With who will I sit on my ordinary couch? Do phone calls and text messages keep the love alive? We will find out. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man.

“A woman in the shape of a monster” by Sasha at the Airbnb in Saskatoon

Monday April 2, 2018
11:46pm
5 minutes
Planetarium
Adrienne Rich

A woman appears and she’s shaped like you are
monster and beauty and witch and malachite
She’s got the face of someone I knew
someone I know is that me there she’s you she’s staring

A woman appears and she screams in my face again
rages and rages again
Wants candy and Prada and new shoes again
Doesn’t care for please again

A woman appears and she never says sorry
she fights back with nails and tongue
she makes shapes with icicles and toast crusts
she sharpens herself with vodka and sleep

A woman appears and she’s dying
as we all are
she’s living
as we all are

“A woman in the shape of a monster” by Julia on the 99

Monday April 2, 2018

10:57pm

5 minutes

Planetarium

Adrienne Rich

I guess I’m supposed to shape shift into the Phoenix now, huh? Rise from the ashes and flap my glorious wings around, fanning all the too hot, too dangerous. You expect me to be big the way you expect dinner to be on the table when you come home. I guess I’m supposed to use you as my downfall and build a sturdy ladder from my rock bottom so I can climb my ass to the fucking moon. You’d like that wouldn’t you: a real success story to attach your dick to. Watch me decide which edge to use as I slice the vein out of your skin. Show you just how much monster I can be, when you expect me to be anything but mine.

“And made of no special wood.” By Julia at her desk

Sunday April 1, 2018
10:40pm
5 minutes
Afterward
Mark Rudman

And maybe I should have turned around then, when he was pressing himself into me. Bending me over at the crease of my dress, his hands roaming in and out and around. Maybe I should have kissed him then, when he was busy wanting me. I didn’t do anything. I moaned a little. I liked how hard he got at the curve of me. In that moment, his desire was enough. I should have closed my eyes sooner, out of respect for him and for me. He couldn’t see my eyes, but they were scanning the backyard and the pigeon shit on the barbeque. He didn’t know that I was moaning a little on cue at the same time as deciding to change the tarp. Things take longer when the mind is wandering on the deck outside the window of romance. He told me he liked my dress and I told him I liked pretending to be his secretary. He let it slip that Joan’s hugged her hips a little tighter.

“as spicy or as tame” by Julia on her couch

Saturday March 10, 2018
10:03pm
5 minutes
Allrecipes.com

Her skin smelled spicy and I couldn’t get it out of my head. The way she plucked rosemary from other people’s gardens and tucked it in her back pocket or in the bun of her hair. She needed the earth like she needed to laugh. I loved that she did not pass one bushel unpicked. She liked to roll the green between her fingers and pull them up to her nose at traffic lights. She said it calmed her. She said it made her feel like she was already home. When we’d wake, I’d find her laying in my practice baseball shirt and smelling good without the help of something bottled. When I told her she smelled spicy she laughed and said, what were you expecting, lavender?

“During a rest stop” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

11:46pm

The Ecology of Prayer

Fred Bahnson

When Erin got out of the truck her hands were still sticky. She told Cal to keep the engine running as a joke but he didn’t quite compute. She walked back to the passenger seat and held up her hands, then said, I’m going to be a minute. Cal got it. He could see his semen catching the light like dried glue. He watched her go into the gas station and wondered if he should be washing off too. He thought about the baby wipes Raisa used to leave all over the place, making everything smell like diapers. Erin tried not to touch anything until she reached the bathroom. She realized it was a mistake to walk along the row of Doritos.

“coffee laced with rum” by Julia on the plane

Tuesday February 6, 2018
4:42pm
5 minutes
I’ve Fishing Crawford Lake
Kim Maltman

The coffee had been sweetened
with hazelnut syrup
There was no extra charge
and no side comments made
It was served in a tiny cup; handmade, delicate
The man ordered a cup in the morning and again in the afternoon
He joked and said he had already
forgotten the taste
It was not the coffee itself
he needed more of
-his head a jolt of unsafe caffeine
navigating foreign streets-
but the condensed milk
layered at the bottom or when lucky
whipped through, and hot
The woman took only little sips
when offered
but ached for more, quietly

“I’ve been hiding who I am” by Julia in Hanoi

Monday February 5, 2018
9:57pm
5 minutes
Sisterly Love
Elise Pallagi

Not under the rug or anything-
in the wide wide open
in my laugh
in the unkind words I’ve used to describe myself
in the moments between dream and awake when I can’t tell what’s real
When I know what’s real and still send my brain to the night cave,
the haunted ride,
the hole in my three/almost four year old running shoes
When I say I don’t need more
When I say yes, let me settle for this;
watch how this small nothing
does suffice
And in the wretched mirror of our private elevator I have been hiding
my joy behind picked skin regrets named Lack
named Control
It takes everything I am to say what
I am not
It is worse work
It does not come with sweets

“strikes out at the enemy” by Sasha at her desk

Friday November 17, 2017
5:43pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chodron

Lindsay never believed in enemies until she met Luis. She knew she didn’t like him from the moment she met him. It was a Tuesday morning staff meeting, and he was hoarding the pastries and the Coconut Creamer.

“You must be the new girl…” He said, biting into a danish. A bit of blueberry rested on his lower lip.

Lindsay thought about schooling him on the micro-aggression of using “girl” instead of “woman”. How would she do this without sounding bitchy? Does she have the right to be bitchy? She decides that yes, she does have the right.

“I’m forty-two.” She said, grabbing a slice of granny smith apple

“Powerful, self-actualized women should feel no shame” by Julia on F’s couch

Sunday November 12, 2017
9:38pm
5 minutes
Communion
Bell Hooks

When speaking
When listening
When choosing not to have a baby
When changing her mind about having a baby
When saying no
When saying yes
When crying
When asking the bus driver for help
When helping
When wanting to be alone
When wanting to be with him
When wanting to be with him even though he still forgets
When speaking
When listening
When making dinner
When waking up
When brushing her teeth
When taking a long shower
When touching herself
When asking to be touched
When deciding not to give an answer
When deciding not to justify her feelings
When not justifying her feelings
When saying no
When saying yes
When speaking
When listening
When wanting someone to hold
When wanting to be fucked and never called again
When fucking and not calling
When talking about her dreams
When breaking down in the supermarket
When buying a box of cookies

“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.

“Space Womb” by Sasha at the casita

Sunday October 15, 2017
6:39pm
5 minutes
YouTube.com

I’ve got a Space Womb
What about you
Today she’s dripping
Brown red beauty
How about you
Today I light candles
In my Space Womb
She likes it warm
And dim
Today I eat and eat
Space Womb’s orders
Today I say
Don’t touch
To my lover
Space Womb is discerning
Moon is Waning Crescent
Space is close
Space is here
Space is in me
Like fire

“Space Womb” by Julia at Kits beach

Sunday October 15, 2017
3:49pm
5 minutes
YouTube.com

Galaxy inside me oozing star dust and making plans

Staining my finger tips Milky Way

So when I stamp myself on the backs of all the envelopes I leave a trail of meteor magic behind.

My body amazes me every time I think about it. She is busy holding another human in her space womb. Making space for something good to come, preparing the introductions.

Hello world, this is tiny human and she is going to be a force of fresh air and binaural melodies. She’s going to change the planet and I’m going to be her keeper until she’s big enough to see. In this space womb I am weaving a promise through the umbilical cord and into her tiny soul. I play the music, everybody’s favourite song, and she dances inside me till she sleeps.

“stomach discomfort” by Julia at her desk


Thursday September 7, 2017
8:44pm
5 minutes
saje.com

It does this twisting thing it used to do after running
body’s way of kindly suggesing to stop taking hills like I’m in the army
respect the hill
walk the hill
or to please drink a glass of water today, okay, please?
It feels like birth and like preventing it
it knots me up so nothing feels good
not even breathing
no breathing can make this good
And the moon says it’s almost time
but the moon has never tried to be so in my life about it
there haven’t been warnings before
And in the middle of sleep sex it’s there, twisting
and you are sleep concerned
and I am sleep breathing in the toilet
so that nothing worse happens
like every reminder that I have done this to myself
because I’m the one who wanted the sleep sex
and to avoid the tap
and to run up the hill
and to hide the health card papers behind the TV
because no one ever looks behind the TV
nobody ever finds poetry ideas
or classical music scores
or the lipbalm that looks much better than it smell

“Woman suspended” by Julia in her bed


Monday September 4, 2017
10:58pm
5 minutes
from the BBC News app

I don’t want to get this one wrong. Tell me the events as best as you can remember them.

Hill stares at Joan, her eyes filling up.
I told you, I did it. I did it all. One minute I was against the wall and the next minute he’s against the wall. I don’t remember what happened in the middle but I feel different. Do you get that? I feel like there’s been a shift in my spine. My spirit. I am telling you it’s like I had a different one before.

Joan jots down on her graph paper legal pad. She looks back up at Hill.

“you are the first woman I’ve touched” by Julia on the bed at the YWCA hotel Vancouver


Friday September 1, 2017
9:57pm
5 minutes
Pearl in the Mist
V.C. Andrews


In the dream, she is following me with her eyes. Crowded room, music bump bump blaring. Her gaze settles in her face like a perfect egg yolk cooked sunny side up. I feel like I am melting and she keeps herself affixed to me. She is wearing a simple black tank top. But the thinness of her straps are driving me wild. The way they sit grooved into her collarbone. I picture sliding one strap off her shoulder, slowly. She never breaks contact.
Suddenly I am licking her up and down, spreading her knees with my free hand. I am taking my time and sucking slow. She breathes like a goddess. I cannot stop kissing her Soft. In the dream she comes and I keep going. In the dream she kisses me with tongue and doesn’t say a word.

“big comfy chairs” By Julia on the 99


Monday August 21, 2017
10:17pm
5 minutes
from an email

My head wants to cry and my eyes won’t let it happen. The woman beside me smells like cupcakes. The light is too bright, the windows are too open, and the woman beside me who smells like cupcakes is describing the dream she had about the big house and the sunroom. I do not picture big comfy chairs where my skin can sink. I see a pool warm enough for these cold August nights. I see a kiss on the temples where the pain likes to sit. The woman beside me who smells like cupcakes is gone and I am thinking about her dirty skirt and how terry cloth clothing always feels like the wrong kind of summer.
My head wants to pour out. Wants my eyes to get a bath. Maybe that’s what it will feel like from now on. Maybe that’s what happens after you stare directly at the sun taking the only break she ever gets.

“don’t trip on the stairs” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday June 13, 2017
12:03am
5 minutes
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Neil Gaiman


Call me shaker Call me howler
Call me maker Call me feast
Call me famine Call me reverent
Call me simple Call me beast
Call me sing Call me frenzy
Call me chaos Call me great
Call me famine Call me bringer
Call me omen Call me fate
Call me shuffle Call me changer
Call me teacher Call me sin
Call me runner Call me muscle
Call me gold Call me win
Call me birch bark Call me tinder
Call me flint Call me steel
Call me engine Call me bullet
Call me handmade Call me wheel
Call me mother Call me lover
Call me woman Call me moon
Call me bear Call me elephant
Call me wolf Call me loon

“you might think she was an angry woman” by Julia on the fun chair


Thursday April 6, 2017
12:49pm
5 minutes
The Birth House
Ami McKay


don’t hide your teeth
this world is due for a lesson
woman with fangs
woman with blood
the soft spun into a breastplate
of armour
is not made to protect weakness
woman with impusle
woman with growl

whoever decided to paint her
holding a flower
and said that
she wouldn’t hurt a fly
was hoping everyone would
be too stupid to question
whoever decided to paint her
mouth closed
was wrong about her weapons

“Bad bitch” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie


Tuesday March 28, 2017 at JJ BeanJJ Bean
2:05pm
5 minutes
Overheard at JJ Bean on Cambie

Krista knows how to walk in high heels and does so, day after day, without any visible discomfort or achy lower back. She’s one of those women. She carries a small tin of flaky sea salt in her purse and asks for her salad without salt because she wants to add her own. She probably did a lot of blow in her twenties, but you’d never know it, and she never talks about it, but her appetite is still suppressed. Krista didn’t fuck your boyfriend, that was someone else altogether, let’s not get distracted. She only meets men on Tinder who are a decade older than her and whose salaries are at least ten thousand dollars less than hers. It’s one of many little rules that keep Krista Krista.

“So am I. So Am I.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday February 24, 2017
11:33pm
5 minutes
East of Eden
John Steinbeck


watching this woman
all back muscles and delicacy
all breath in taut places
all grace and elegance
all body
a hiccup
so am i so am i
watching this woman
all strength and intention
all motherhood and wisdom
all risk all insecurity
all body
a sneeze
so am i
so am i
a sob in my throat
i wonder how this
whole sex
generation after
generation comes to
despise their home
watching this woman
moving across a floor
in pink tennis shoes
carving air like cake

“but the apricot” by Julia at her dining table/desk


Wednesday February 15, 2017
7:39pm
5 minutes
Peterson First Guide to Tress
George A. Petrides


It stung like the needles off a pine tree pricking into her left breast. She could have begged for mercy but she hadn’t felt anything in days and was afraid the pain might be better than the nothing. Jac pressed into the soft spot screaming back at her. Sympathy pains? She wondered if Leah being in the hospital was causing some pyschosomatic symtoms. I can feel you, sweet thing, I am witness, believe me. The gentle stabbing persisted, aching only due to it’s lack of sleep. Jac got up to busy her mind with something else. The pain eased suddenly, washing over her with a cool relief.
Then she noticed the apricot smudge on the window. She winced, drawing her open palm to the base of it once more.

“imagery is ignored” by Julia at her dining table/desk


Tuesday February 14, 2017
8:29pm
5 minutes
from a grading rubric

On the wall that she stared at day in and day out, good lighting bad lighting, Cynthia hung a portrait of a woman with black swollen eyes and puffy cheeks. She was something of an attitude more than an appearance. She wasn’t saying anything so much as she was receiving something. Accepting something. Most days Cynthia didn’t have a reason to look at the woman and she hadn’t fully taken her in. Something about it was hard to engage with. The expression lifeless yet the most honest thing she’d ever seen. The look in her face was not sadness nor sympathy. Cynthia found it hard to look at things like that.

“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.

“there was a rubric” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday February 1, 2017
9:39pm
5 minutes
from a voice memo

He asks if I like it like he wants me to say no. Asking me at all automatically gets a no. Am I not showing you? Am I not putting my whole thing into it? I want to tell him that “no” I don’t, but keep making these sounds and see if he is listening to my mouth or to my body. If he were he wouldn’t have to ask–as if there’s some kind of rubric for me to fill out: The student was sufficient. The student was timid. The student showcased strong grasp of concepts. The student handed in his assignment early but did not get extra marks because, though he finished, it wasn’t done to the best of his ability.

“gracefully tragic” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore


Saturday December 17, 2016
3:14pm
5 minutes
The Books section of NOW Magazine

She thinks of her life,
when she’s reflecting
on it, over the long
twelve days before
she goes, she thinks
of her life as graceful-
ly tragic.

She wishes that she’d
called her daughter more
especially in the years
when they were estranged.

She wishes that she hadn’t
dyed her hair, that she had
let it go grey, like wise women
everywhere.

She’s glad that she ate a lot
of pizza, and had sex outside
three different times with three
different lovers.

The tragedy comes out of the
fear, all the fear, circling her
throat like a snake.

“through the gateway of feeling” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday December 11, 2016
3:33pm
5 minutes
From a Pathwork card


If I was a man, I’d wear clear framed glasses and have a bit of scruff and a bit of a belly and I would wear sweaters that I’d found in thrift shops until they were threadbare at the elbows. I would unravel my sweaters when they could no longer be worn and I would roll the wool into balls and then I would knit myself new sweaters, on the subway. It would be important to me to knit only in public, a small creative subversive act of gentle masculinity. If I was a man, I would learn how to be a better listener, a better ally, a better listening ally. If I was a man, I would sing Christmas carols while walking down the street.

“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

“We would not murmur nor complain” By Julia at The Marriott In Decatur, Georgia


Wdnesday August 3, 2016
12:17am
5 minutes
The Book Of Mormon

When you left her there blue on the bathroom tile for the first time, we knew we couldn’t love you anymore. We didn’t know how not to before but it was clear that after that, after her tooth got knocked out of her head and we couldn’t find it, after she opened her mouth to call for help and all that came out was a blood bubble popping on her lips and dripping down her chin, we knew. We were kids then and we wanted to love you both the same. You did a good job of buying that from us at the start. We got new books every week and sometimes you would read them to us in funny voices. You took us to the water park and let us pick the good ice cream or the waffle cones. You took us on secret drives when ‘mommy was having one of her episodes’ and you counted stars while we counted the dollars you slipped into our pockets. We tried to love you.
We really, really did.

“keep your face at a reasonable distance” By Julia at The Marriott In Decatur, Georgia


Tuesday August 2, 2016
12:13am
5 minutes
Microphone Lessons For Poets
Helen Guri


I want to be loud. So loud. So loud you can’t hear after I’m done being loud. So loud your eardrum feels violated, your heart feels opened, and your spirit feels heard. I think that’s the point: to reach my spirit to your spirit and to split it open and to plant a seed inside it and watch it grow as high as the sky. I want to be loud. I want to be far away and still loud enough to find you, loud enough to hold you, loud enough to keep you in this moment between us because distance is nothing but a number. I don’t want to yell but I need you hear me and the only way I know how to do that is to dig deep and make sure my truth is anchored at the pit of me before I open my mouth and send it soaring to you. I want to be loud. I want to be opinions and suggestions and refusals and encouragements. I want to be gracious, give gratitude with my whole body, not just my eyes. Not just my hands. I want to be loud. High decibel, room shaking, lips to the raw and ugly places, mouth on microphone and singing.

“how she wants to move herself” by Sasha on her balcony


Monday June 26, 2016
6:34pm
5 minutes
Apartment Hunting in the East End
Don Austin


she wants to move herself like mercury like cactus arms like
ocean tide
she steps on pavement covering blood vessels of ocean
she she she
she shields her eyes from the sun thirsty for
woods and pine and sweetgrass
thirsty for full moon laughter and bonfire harmony tincture
she doesn’t wait anymore
for someone else to move her
eyes up and down her resting on her lifting her
pressing her
she doesn’t wait

“What’s wrong with my body?” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday June 21, 2016 at Starbucks
7:06am
5 minutes
Lesbian at a Bachelor Party
Amber Dawn


When I think about it
it doesn’t look good for me
old woman’s body trapped in a young woman’s skin
There’s the part where my neck pops for no reason
the part where my fingers go numb during hot yoga
the part where I bruise easy
the part where my thigh muscle…detaches?
the part where my side stitches when I run
the part where my uterus goes into contractions if I don’t drink enough water
the part where it hurts to take a deep breath for sometimes minutes
(yeah, plural, whoops)
the part where my feet get charlie horses
(is that even a thing? I don’t know anymore)
the part where my back spasms or pulls or gets thrown out
WEEKLY
I would throw it out for good if I could
and get a new and young one, Christ.
(you know what they say: back pain is just an old soul trying to escape…)
throw in some casual IBS?
Why the fuck not

“fumbling as she removes” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday June 11, 2016
9:58pm
5 minutes
from an assignment

It’s the second time they’ve fucked in 2 hours. She is eyes closed, veal roast in the oven, 15 minutes left, oven mitts on and panties down. He is grabbing, grinding, purring in her ear pushing pants down, hers, his, lower, lower. She is arched back, kicking off tight jeans, kicking tight jeans aside, making more room, getting better grip. He is neck kissing, hair pulling, t-shirt over head lead her from the kitchen counter, all the way to the living room floor. She is focused, free, committed. He is thirsty, licking, willing. She is sniffing his skin and sighing deep. He is groaning each second, spilling into her, spilling out of her.

“She wants to keep the baby.” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 10, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
from Facebook post

-So we’re going to do this then? Is this actually happening?!
-Well you’re not exactly doing anything, are you.
-Sam. What the fuck. This is my baby too.
-How do we know if this will even be a baby? What if I change my mind-aren’t I allowed to do that?
-Woah. Yes..I mean, of course you… But I thought we talked about it. I thought we made the decision together?
-Yeah, if I remember correctly, I told you I was pregnant and you said you wanted me to keep it. The end.
-That’s not true, Sam, you wanted the same thing! Where is all this coming from all of a sudden?
-Where is it coming from? How about there’s a living thing growing inside me right now and everyone around me seems to be an expert on the situation but when I say something, it’s “coming out of nowhere.”
-Okay. I… didn’t realize–
-No, you didn’t realize, that’s the first smart thing you’ve said.
-I’m sorry, babe, I really am…

“Freckles on thighs” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday June 8, 2016 at Starbucks
8:01am
5 minutes
Teachable Moment, 1986
Kellee Ngan


You spend two bucks to get a coffee and, you think, the right to sit beside me while I read the morning paper. You think you spend two bucks to get to invade my privacy with the stench of last night that you feel entitled to keep close. You spend two bucks to get a coffee and a seat at the window in between me and the man who has been here since before you were born, saddling up closer to me because, to you, “that guy’s a fucking weirdo torpedo.” You spend two bucks to “accidentally” spill your two buck coffee onto my knee closest to you, reaching into my privacy once again–this time to apologize, “instinctively” trying to “undo” the mess now pooling between my legs. You spend two bucks to make me wish I were dead when you tell me that you like the secret freckles on my inner thigh.

“Preach” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday May 26, 2016
11:27pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

my body
the wasteland
pockmark tumbleweed
a sigh
the unknowing of a memory
open mouth song
kiss
scream
tornado in ecstasy
fear in the cobwebs
varicose veins coming in like grey
an ache for the
next generation
bloodline urgency
the heavy clouds
a womb

“Shrimp only” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday, March 29, 2016
2:43pm
5 minutes
from a recipe in Cowichan Bay

I could live off of shrimp only and maybe some garlic. I really could. I could live off of a lot of things that seem simple like that. I could live off of sunsets and matchsticks. I could live off of olive oil and crusty bread. I could live off of my mother’s laugh and my father’s silly singing. I could live off of silent walks to the beach and quiet crying by the ocean. I could live off of his kisses and his squeezes and his eyebrow scar and his banjo playing. I could live off of people watching and star gazing. I could live off of understanding and connecting. I could live off of summer’s heat and throwing a baseball. I could live off of burgundy pens and graph paper. I could live off of peaches and hot peppers. I could live off of magic and synchronicity. I could live off of curiosity and fresh basil. I could live off of truth-speaking and patio writing. I could live off of my belly soft and my lucid dreams. I could live off of the perfect yawn and the perfect hug.

“What? What’s wrong?” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, March 28, 2016
10:17pm
5 minutes
from some sides

You ask me what I’m not telling you for the second time because my face looks like it’s hiding something from you. I don’t know why I keep saying,

Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.

If this were a year ago you’d have stopped questioning, whether you believed me or not, assuming you believed me, assuming you didn’t care to take notice when I said something I mean or when I didn’t.
Now you won’t let up and you won’t let me wallow and you won’t let me silently hate you or me if that’s what you think I think I’m doing. I should be grateful that you notice my subtleties now, that you inquire past surface level, that you don’t let me get away with the idea of performing perfect or unbothered or both.
But I guess I am holding on to that a bit so I won’t be held accountable to explain my feelings. To name them.
The only thing I want to say right now is,

Sometimes I don’t think you really love me.

Even though that’s ludicrous. I don’t want to say that to you now because I know how untrue that statement really is. I just want to hear you say

Always.
Always.
Always.

“the globally inspired” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday January 24, 2016
10:52pm
5 minutes
From the front of a flyer

Full moon brings out the wild
the smell of mushrooms and old leaves
the rabbit ear soft longing for comfort and
change no difference there just the swell of the waves and
the fingers in the sand

If I could I would binge watch you
and your evolution
Every moment a new stop motion picture
slow exposure
A few sun blasts

“It’s already 10 o’clock!” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday December 2, 2015
6:00pm
5 minutes
said by Joe

Time is flying by and I wish he would just look up from that damned banjo of his for a second to notice that I am no longer interested in dicking around. When you meet the person your heart chooses to love and accept and be challenge by on a daily basis, why waste a single minute of that time after you’ve made up your heart to do something about it? I don’t think he believes that I love him and only him. I think he needs me to write it down and mail it in a letter! Maybe that’s what I’ll do, put it on some pretty pink stationary, spray it with my Eau De Toilette, then shove it in an envelope and seal it with a kiss! Telling him, you better hurry up and marry me quick before I change my mind about you, mister!

“depending on importance & urgency” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday December 1, 2015
6:00pm
5 minutes
from a To Do list in October

Meredith is getting breast implants and she is sure so don’t ask her if she is. She’s answered that question 70 billion times and she knows what she wants. Each time someone inquires if she’s ready she becomes a thousand more percent positive that this is what she wants, answering each time with a resounding YES! Christ! YES I FUCKING AM. The only person who hasn’t asked Meredith if she’s thought about her decision is her mother who gave her the idea in the first place. Meredith’s mother said to do whatever her heart called her to do, and she would support her no matter what. Meredith’s mother was good about keeping promises. But everyone else seems to think they know better and can’t believe that this is the choice she’s come to. Meredith knew she wanted implants since her first year of medical school. She did not decide it while getting chosen to be the captain of the cheer-leading squad in high school. She did not decide it when her first boyfriend broke up with her over Thanksgiving weekend.

“for a variety of reasons” by Julia in a car


Friday November 6, 2015
11:45am
5 minutes
Overheard at Moii Cafe

Carmen is sitting on the kitchen sink, banging her feet against the cupboard to the rhythm that she’s humming in her head. Boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
Ely stares at her with a sideways smile and his head cocked to the side. He’s in love with her. She’s the most fascinating thing he’s ever seen in his life.
Carmen feels his gaze but acts like she can’t tell. She pretends to be in her own world. She likes the attention Ely gives her. She likes that he likes her and that she could be bad, or better, and he wouldn’t even notice. She likes that he doesn’t hold her to a particular standard. She likes that he isn’t like everybody else.
Ely wants to kiss her but hasn’t felt like she’s invited him yet. His body remains tense and leaning against the counter. He casts his eyes down when it gets to be too much.
“Are you afraid of me or something?”
Carmen’s legs still going, boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
“Me? No I’m. I’m not afraid of you or something. I’m. I’m not afraid.”
“Well why are you way over there, then?”

“ASPARTAME CONTAINS” by Julia on her couch


Saturday October 31, 2015
5:25pm
5 minutes
From the pack of gum

My mama told me from an early age that I was to stop drinking my diet colas and she told me it was because one day they would kill me. I would tell her from an early age that I did not like being talked to like an idiot and if she was going to tell me not to do something, she better bet her big behind that she isn’t doing it herself already. And I remember clear as day each time, my mama would say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” And I would say back, “Stupid is as stupid does.” From an early age my mama didn’t like me watching any movies with Mr. Tom Hanks in it if it was just going to “come back to bite her in her ass” each and every blasted time. I drank my diet colas whenever I felt like it, watching my mama guzzle back 6 pack before lunch. She didn’t want me to end up like her, and I knew that I wouldn’t because though I loved her, I didn’t respect her. She couldn’t get me to do what she said with a gun in her hand and a million dollars in her pocket.

“Because they prefer stability and predictability” by Julia on her couch


Friday October 30, 2015
12:30pm
5 minutes
The Political Economy Of The U.S. Militarism
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh


Carl and Carla sit on their breaking futon in front of their breaking television. Carl wears his only pair of jeans left, with the giant hole in the crotch, and Carla likes to wear her apron while she is at home “just in case.” Carl and Carla’s cat, Carter sits between them as they watch a re-run of Law and Order, SVU. Carl doesn’t speak to Carla when their show is on. Carla doesn’t touch Carl when their show is on. The two of them sit in very distinct bubbles when their show is on, and when their show is not on. Carl feels a pain in his lower back from the breaking futon. Carla feels a sting in her eyes from the breaking television.

“But it clearly manifests itself” by Julia at her desk


Thursday October 29, 2015
8:19pm
5 minutes
The Real Terror Network
Edward S. Herman


She was taking secret sips from her mickey of Beefeater and had herself convinced that nobody could tell. They don’t care about me. They’re not even looking at me. And though she was actively believing herself, she couldn’t help but wish it wasn’t true at the same time. She knew that gin was her body’s vice so she chose it on purpose. She couldn’t handle it in even small doses, so this, she concluded, was an experiment. A waiting game stretched out, or turned into Chicken. She wasn’t going to be the first to give up, to quit, to get scared off. As her sister got up to the podium to make her big speech, she had her fingers gripped tight around the neck of the bottle inside her purse, ready to go.

“I feel so dirty.” by Julia at JJ Bean


Wednesday October 28, 2015 at JJ Bean
8:10pm
5 minutes
A Thin Green Mist
Robert Shaw


He stands at the window. She ducks beside him.

Do you think they can see us?
No. Don’t even say that.
Well they could!
No they could not. Stop.
You know they could, come on, that’s part of the fun…

He slips his hand down the front of her blouse.

Adam.
What, I’m just participating. It’s what they want…

He nibbles on her ear.

Adam..
Mhm…
I don’t know if I can…
Mhm…
Shit! They just looked over here!
Good. Let them watch. That’s what we’re doing.
I don’t want them to know I’m watching!
I kind of like it…

She runs to turn the light off.

Good call.
They’re really going at it, huh.

He unbuttons her blouse slowly.

Mhm…

“I put a little twist in my hips” by Sasha at UBC


Thursday, October 15, 2015
4:43pm
5 minutes
Never Been In Love
Elliphant


I put a little twist in my hips just for you, when I got off the bus on Tuesday. In case you were looking. It was extra good because I’ve got an extra ten to twenty three pounds hanging out in my lower region. Even if you weren’t looking, maybe someone else was. Maybe the bus driver was. Maybe it made his day! I hope it did. Maybe he likes big butts even more than you do. Maybe he likes hips you can really sink your teeth into more than you do. I fully welcome the male gaze. I don’t value myself based on it, or anything, but I welcome the male gaze, I welcome your male gaze.

“It wasn’t good in the first place” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday, October 10,2015
3:54pm
5 minutes
overheard at Gene Cafe

My first day at the firm I have a raging bladder infection. Fuck whoever started the urban myth that if you don’t pee after sex you’ll get one. I haven’t had sex in seven weeks. And I go one. I’ve been guzzling cranberry juice like my Aunt Gretty and nothing’s working. “Why don’t you go to the walk-in?” Sabrina texts me. I’m hiding out in the bathroom. I’ve realized it’s easier if I just stay put, as opposed to getting up from my desk every three and a half minutes. “I DON’T HAVE TIME TO EVEN BRUSH MY TEETH,” I text back, a few dribbles of pee escaping. “Shitttt,” I wince.

“what kids want” by Sasha at The Elysian Room


Friday September 11, 2015 at Elysian
1:21pm
5 minutes
From the front page of the Globe and Mail Life and Arts section

Because these days she wants to crawl into a shell and become sand
Because she eats til she’s empty and the toilet bowl is full
Because she’d lied about her first kiss for two decades and that’s a heavy weight to bare
Because now that the leaves are changing she can’t deny that she is
Because when she’s alone she feels a hollow sternum further than the sky
Because she was a kid once with a fear bigger than the top bunk
Because around the corner is something she’s never seen before and it’s flashing neon
Because Toby and Gwen got married and she can’t stop looking and re-looking at the photographs of their first dance

“that’s a dumb simile” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Thursday, September 3, 2015
11:32pm
5 minutes
overheard on the street

compare her to the sky and she’ll melt before your eyes
with a softness in her curl
a smile unbeknownst to her

Draw her like the sea and she’ll grow until she’s free
with a calmness in her song
wisdom there all along

Dance her like the sun and she’ll be your warmest one
with a lightness in her face
shining in the world’s embrace

Love her like the night and she’ll always hold you tight
with a mystery in her touch
radiant gold-speckled hush

“Me time” By Julia in Brooklyn


Sunday, August 2, 2015
2:30am
5 minutes
Facebook

Jonette had her long chestnut waves draping down her body so only her breasts were perfectly covered. She looked like a pre raphaelite painting. She looked like she had just stolen the ease of the sun. She was laying across the couch as if she just always did this. She could have had a book, or a magazine. She could have had a bowl of angel hair pasta dripping in olive oil and parmigiana.

“Happy Mother’s Day” by Sasha in Horseshoe Bay


Sunday May 10, 2015
8:33pm
5 minutes
from a sign at the florist

spit up on the front of this goodwill shirt
i don’t have much of it
goodwill
so tired i might puke too
flowers
i don’t want flowers
i want sex and a steak and in that order
if you really knew the way to my heart
you wouldn’t have given me this creature that cries all the time
and bites my nipples so hard that they bleed
i’ve gotten fatter than i’ve ever been
your gaze like a canon ball
the beauty you once fell for
gone
like the cat
poster on the tree at the end of the street
my body
all stretch marks and cellulite
my face
all frown lines and bags under my eyes
“diamonds” you used to say
diamonds
twinkle twinkle little star
how i wonder what you are
where you’ve been
i’m not sure about this creature
whether he’ll turn out alright
i’m not sure about how tiny his toes are
puts me off

“It showed from the start” by Julia at Saving Gigi


Friday May 8, 2015 at Saving Gigi
3:10pm
5 minutes
Fat Woman
Leon Rooke


I could see he was angry at me-clenched teeth, fist pulsing at his side.
“Is everything okay?” I ask him, test him, provoke him.
“I’m fine,” he says quietly, not looking fine at all.
“Okay,” I tell him, “Let me know.”
I watch as his current anger subsides and he can see me with the soft eyes he first had for me again.
“I’m really scared I’m always wrong and the times I’m so desperate to be wrong, that’s when I’m afraid I’ll be right,” I tell him this with my eyes cast down at the broken green bottle at our feet. “That’s what I’m always feeling.”
He takes me in his arms and exhales into my hair. “It’s okay now my baby. I’m not mad at you. I swear.”
“Okay, good, ” I say, “And just FYI your beard is scratching the shit out of my forehead.”
He releases me.
“Jesus, Tara. Jesus fucking–”
“Don’t be mad,” I say, “I’m sorry.”

“I think his wife is pregnant. Or, she’s really heavy…” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Wednesday April 29, 2015 at Higher Grounds
3:11pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Higher Grounds Coffee House

She’s wearing a hat
She’s wearing a red hat
She’s wearing a red hat and she’s frowning
She’s wearing a hat, she’s frowning and her brow is furrowed
She’s wearing a hat, she’s frowning, her brow is furrowed and her eyes are swollen

She’s bring pulled
She’s bring pulled down
She’s bring pulled down and around
She’s bring pulled down, around and she’s trying to keep her hat on
She’s bring pulled down, around, she’s trying to keep her hat on and she’s trying to see the light
She’s bring pulled down, around. she’s trying to keep her hat on, she’s trying to see the light

“saying she is lost” by Julia on the 505 going west


Monday, April 27, 2015
11:49pm
5 minutes
from Hopelessly Hoping
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


Do you remember those days we would show up to a concert wearing almost the exact same thing? I don’t know if you got a kick out of it but it was one of my favourite things. Did I not tell you that? I loved when we’d dress alike because it meant we were spending a lot of time together and our styles were merging because that’s just what happens when people are connected by heart strings. I liked most how it was unconscious or subconscious or whateverconscious because that was more proof that we weren’t even trying to be similar, we just were. Anyway, I guess all that to say I miss it. I miss you. I don’t even know where I am half the time and I’ve realized lately it’s because you’re not here anymore. You used to anchor me to the earth; to myself. I knew more about the world when you were around. I knew more about magic and wonder and rushing out of the house just to meet you at whatever corner so we could talk about writing or the painfulness of falling out of touch with ourselves.

“saying she is lost” by Sasha at Kafka’s Coffee


Monday, April 27, 2015 at Kafka’s Coffee
6:09pm
5 minutes
from Hopelessly Hoping
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


Her mouth says she’s lost but her eyes say something else, something in a language where tongues and lips aren’t involved, where it’s goosebumps and eyelashes.

It’s been ten years since she spoke to her sister.

The margarine was left out and now it’s a tub of yellow paint. She wonders about rubbing it on the dry skin on the soles of her feet. She wonders about putting it on the wall in the bathroom – could use a fresh coat of paint.

She cancels her subscription to People magazine because she’s tired of the buzz and the dresses and the pictures of strangers babies.

“Choosing what is important for her” by Julia on the 504 going west


Friday March 27, 2015
1:08am
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

When Andrea lifted her head from steering wheel she didn’t know where she was. She didn’t know that she had just crashed her cream coloured Toyota corolla into a city transit bus, inhibiting 50 people from getting to work on time, or to school, or to the first job interview the two or three people were able to secure since getting back on their feet. She felt her stomach doing summersaults, regretting in that instant her choice to consume only spicy salami cut up into thick round chunks for breakfast. She saw smoke all around her and thought it was only a dream; the rising and falling of a dragon’s breath, heating his layer and keeping himself warm in his cave.

Choosing what is important for her” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday March 27, 2015
6:42pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

She’s kept a food journal for twelve years. Mostly it’s been a secret. Only three people know. Sonja – because they spend so much time together and secrets are boring to keep for so long with someone so close; Pete (her once removed ex) – because he once caught her writing in it, when she’d thought he’d been asleep, and he asked and asked until she caved and then he made endless fun of her (via questions) and then she left him; and Jillian – because when Jillian was going through her sex change she felt it was only fair to reveal something private and strange and a bit shameful because Jillian was revealing so much so publicly and it was all she could think to reveal of herself.

She decides, one particularly rainy evening, as she sits cross-legged on her bed, her sheepdog Oscar snoring beside her, that this madness has to stop. She’s taken to recounting everything she’s eaten before bed, a kind of calming ritual, perhaps similar to putting ones legs up against the wall or praying (but entirely different). Today, she can’t remember what she’d eaten for lunch. Was it a can of tuna on baby salad greens? Was it miso soup? Was it half a cantaloupe with cottage cheese? Was it a protein shake? It was as though every day was every other day and nothing was as it should be. “Why am I doing this?” She asks aloud, Oscar waking up and cocking his head towards her, just the amount of sympathy she needs.

“Some of the inspiration came from silent movies.” By Sasha at Great Dane Coffee


Tuesday March 24, 2015 at Great Dane Coffee
2:43pm
5 minutes
From Women In Clothes
Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton & 639 Others


When she moves she’s a dancer but
she’s not a dancer
in the proper sense of the word
capital D
She doesn’t glide across sprung floors to the beat of
a drum or
leap like a fawn from here to there
legs spread wide
She moves with grace down the aisle of the grocery store
stretching a long arm for a high placed bottle of low sodium soy sauce
Pushing her cart like it contains her first born daughter
A small watermelon
Some linguine noodles
A bag containing seven lemons

“You saw her bathing on the roof” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday March 1, 2015
9:43pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen


When you saw her, you weren’t sure if you were seeing a woman or seeing sunlight reflecting off a chimney. Nope, a woman. You paced yourself (slow down! Slow down!) and tried your best not to giggle, you didn’t want to scare the pigeons, which might scare her, which might make her leave. You had no idea how you were going to get up there, but you knew, in that moment, that reaching the top was one of your life’s greatest purposes.

You bribed the door man with an under-ripe banana and three Canadian Tire dollars.

“2 hours or longer” by Sasha in lecture


Tuesday January 27, 2015
12:30pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada cafe booklet

How to hold a stranger’s hand

Sitting on the bus
Minding your own headphones
You watch the rain make caterpillars
on the window.

A woman sits beside you
A purple poncho dripping droplets
on your leg

Disgruntled
you look
Sideways
You wonder if she’s crying or if she’s just your age
You cross the divide of leg touching

You take her hand

She pulls away but not
completely
She looks like a damp version of you
only a little in the future

Friend

The water’s calm
Or
Maybe it’s just the Bay
You sit on one of twelve big logs
You wonder if they’ve been here tripe the time
that you have

A man
walking a small dog
who barks at the gulls
He sits
Not near enough to reach
But near enough for you to know

You go to him
Five
Six steps

You take his hand

He smiles
He calls the name of his dog
loud enough for only you to hear

“element of courage” by Sasha at Pearson International Airport


Tuesday December 30, 2014
5:12pm
5 minutes
from a crossword puzzle

you got just the right amount of beauty
not too much that it makes the others curl
you smile like the moon rise
like the full moon rise
and you know those elements of courage
one
a deep seed of bravery
two
a forgetting of childhood fear
three
a quartz crystal compass in your gut
you got those elements of courage
you would walk the cemeteries in the rain
daring the ghosts to dance with you
you would climb the tallest tree
begging the sky to grab you
you would swim deep down
saying
take me water
take me

“32 million tonnes” by Sasha in the Kiva


Saturday December 20, 2014
10:18pm
5 minutes
from a pamphlet about the pipeline

There are 32 million tonnes of ideas in her head
She weaves them together when she’s sleeping
Or
Rather
In those moments between waking and sleep
Sleep and waking
In those times when things are watercolour and soft
She finds one about empathy and she attaches it to another about betrayal
She uses red wool
Spun in a time before time
Spun by fingers that know things minds cannot
She finds an idea about her family
And she casts it out into the water
She sits
Beach bound
Digging her toes into the sand
Waiting for it to come back to her
She’s ready now

“virtual environments” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Tuesday December 9, 2014
3:14pm
5 minutes
from the MLA research guide

There was something sheer about her, opaque. She used her eyes like planets, orbiting the room, hoping for a shooting star. She nods and she plays tetras with the ice cubes in her glass. She’s praying for smoked salmon, under her breath, a sacred mantra that she only utters this time of year. “How are you?” “How’s Seattle?” “What’s the weather like there?” “Does it rain all the time?” “You changed your hair right… Is it darker?” She fades in and fades out, like the end of a song, like the clouds over the moon.

“These days it’s hard to get a decent haircut” by Sasha on her couch


Friday December 5, 2014
10:54pm
5 minutes
Kinfolk Volume 13

She’s so sweaty but she doesn’t want to take off her sweatshirt because it will bring too much attention. She’s only wearing a sports bra underneath. She tries to go back in. The bouncer, must be seven feet tall, three hundred pounds, “Nope… Can I see some ID?” “My coat’s inside, I’ve been inside, you let me in before.” “I don’t remember you…” “Are you kidding me? I’ve been dancing for hours, look at me!” “Call your friends and get them to bring you your coat and show me your ID.” “My friends left an hour ago…” “Well, shucks Princess, I don’t know what to tell you…” She starts to say something then stops herself. She gives him the finger. She goes around back to the alley.

“Pumpkins are awesome,” by Sasha on her couch


Friday October 31, 2014
6:52pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I was dancing. I was doing my own thing. My friends were somewhere else and I was owning the dance floor. Solo. A guy came up behind me and pulled my hips to his groin. I turned around and said, “No thank you!” and danced away. A guy came up behind me and pulled my hips to his groin. I turned around and said, “Please fuck off!” A different face. Same hands. Same aggression. I left the dance floor and on the way to the bathroom I felt a sob choke in my throat. I wasn’t entirely sure why but I knew it had something to do with me feeling like I couldn’t just dance, alone, without being grabbed. Outside the bathroom door and guy said to me, “You’re fucking hot. How many drinks would I need to buy you to suck my dick?” I burst into tears. Right there. Big ones, not little, sweet, cute ones. He made a few grunts and walked away. I went into a bathroom stall, sat on the floor, and kept crying. A woman in the stall beside me, “Are you okay? You’re probably just too drunk, babe!” I wasn’t. I wasn’t drunk at all.

“The realist canon” by Julia at her desk


Thursday October 23, 2014
1:14am
5 minutes
Realisms of Redress
Natalie Alvarez


saw that pretty little thing reading in the corner
the edges of her book tattered
the pages ripped and curled
she had a bookmark made out of a piece of toilet tissue
making me smile
knowing she likes to read in the bathroom
and why not?
why not read in the bathroom?
she wasn’t looking at anyone at all
not distracted for even a minute
the book was a good one
I couldn’t tell which one it was
the cover was a solid forrest green without any writing
but she didn’t stop even to sip her tea
probably purchased just to have something on her table
a place holder for the idea of multitasking
she was wearing a potato sack
or at least she could have been
I wasn’t looking at her outfit
I was busy trying to see inside her mind
wondering if she could see me seeing her
wondering if she was in fact so distracted by me
that she had to pretend to keep reading
to prevent herself from turning red
or if she was engrossed
in love
with the words on the page