“more than anything else, men and women seek happiness.” by Julia on her bed

Sunday November 10, 2019
7:25pm
5 minutes
Happiness Revisited
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

If they seek the internal smile
the spot inside the chest where
the acceptance seems to sit
then they will seek the same
smile in the chest of another

the soul the soul
the soul the soul

Man seeks man and or woman
seeks smile in woman and or man
seeks acceptance of his own acceptance in woman and or man
man is good

woman seeks woman and or man
seeks smile in man and or woman
seeks acceptance of her own acceptance in man and or woman
woman is good

the levels are vibrationally matched up, see?
See the soul? Okay, see how the soul sees?
Yes, the soul is at a place and from that
place the soul can see another soul but
usually from the place the soul is, because
the vantage point is particular to the place

That’s how souls meet
because they are vibrating on the same frequency
as one another or in the same realm, or space
and if the soul inside the person is seeking
something that is like the soul inside their
human flesh then it’s possible to find
happiness in another if the happiness is
within

But what is happiness…

the soul the soul
the soul the soul

seeking souls
seeking acceptance

“A score of tiny eyes stared” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday October 1, 2019
4:43pm
5 minutes
Stardust
Neil Gaiman

Under the porch floorboards, under the house built on the side of the world, under the sky turning mauve in her changing, a mouse sings to her children a song that her mother taught her a long time ago.

Above, in the house, a woman brushes her hair after a hot bath, long strokes, like her mother taught her a long time ago. She knows of the mice in the house, the ones that live in the porch a wilder breed. She has come to see them as her tiny roommates. She no longer resents them, as she did her ex-husband, the only other roommate she’s had.

The mice children curl up into their mother and they mew and peep towards sleep.

“you need to do better, Kev.” By Julia in her bed

Monday July 1, 2019
12:10pm
5 minutes
From an instagram story

I am laying here a bit weak and helpless from the bleeding. It’s the first of the month and my period has arrived. Happy Canada Day. Red and white for me too. Wonderful.
The rumbling was loud and I thought by now I’d be staring up into the clear blue sky, but it would be too loud for everyone.
Meaning it would feel too loud to be around anyone.
A faint whisper of “you need to do better than this.”

The hot water bottle on my pelvis and sometimes on my upper right quadrant (a rib is starting to speak up now too, wants its turn) is also red. Look at the patriotism.

But I am grateful I didn’t feel this way yesterday while we were in a car for the last leg of our trip, wincing through every sparkling river, every endless mountain. My body is quiet until it is not. Now it is loud, as I mentioned, and I am here listening as it repeats the same story on a low hum.

“Oh, good for you!” By Julia on her patio

Saturday June 15, 2019
12:44pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the alleyway

You’re a good little pet
I give you a pat on the head
Woman the size of a doll
Because the man doesn’t
Take her seriously
She doesn’t need to be taken
Seriously by this man who does not listen she wants this man to stop speaking so she can show him
She wants it
She wants it
All her life waiting for the chance to prove wisdom, look a little older
And open your mouth to say
And now she is older but he is still in the old way and congratulates her for doing her job as if it’s a feat of nature
As if she deserves a treat or an allowance
She doesn’t need it
But she wants it
Him to stop speaking
Him to start listening
Him to hear the good
Ideas
Him to actually deserve them
Then he starts talking about his son
His tall good looking talented and unhappy son looking for a doll
To marry him
A doll like her who smiles grace
But seethes underneath
Who waits
Who sits

“Shower still not working?” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday May 29, 2019
5:20pm
5 minutes
from a text

You’re hot then you’re cold, you’re hot, then you’re hot, then you’re hot
I CANNOT TAKE A SHOWER IN BURNING WATER, PLEASE AND THANK YOU.
Options:
REDUCE SHOWER TO 20 ENDURABLE SECONDS. Impossible option?
SHOWER IN THE BATHROOM SINK. Use washcloth and towel on floor?
DO NOT SHOWER. Bad option? Angry option?
You are lucky this is today and not tomorrow when my period comes to haunt this house.
You didn’t mention anything was wrong.
You didn’t even hint at needing some help.
How am I supposed to know?
I gave you time to yourself.
I didn’t force you.
Okay a little I forced you.
I didn’t yet have perspective cause I was still in shock.
I thought you were teasing me.
You let me turn you and turn you and still you ran dry.
I’m sorry, okay.
I don’t know the correct amount of time to give a broken faucet.
SORRY. I don’t know for sure if it’s you that’s broken…
Trust me I’d rather it be me!
I WANT TO BELIEVE IT’S ME.

“A yellow ball of sun.” By Sasha at her desk

Sunday March 17, 2019
12:13pm
5 minutes
The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

A yellow ball of sun in her mouth
she shakes her curls and curls her toes
Electrified by the season she is all muscle
and heart all arms and goodness

An avocado pit in her hand she
holds on and holds on and releases
only when the time is right
New sprouts growing only stapled
to the possibility

She isn’t afraid of dabbling
or babbling and she isn’t self conscious
it’s a miracle in this time
miracle on the wingtip of crows

“the director of the play” by Julia on her couch

Friday December 7, 2018
10:12pm
5 minutes
Taking Your Child to Work, When Your Job is Making Theatre in The New York Times
Michael Paulson

He looks like Rob Lowe and I want him to choose me. The way a director is supposed to choose a young actress to be his muse. I want him to choose me because he looks like Rob Lowe and his passion for theatre makes me wet just thinking about it. He could be my biggest achievement but even if I could have him I wouldn’t tell anyone. I’d keep him all to myself. And during rehearsal I’d be professional with him but tease Andy in the green room. Heating both stones. As soon as everyone goes home, we’d be going at it in the wings, breathing hot air into each other’s ears and necks. Then he’d take me home and prepare monologues for me to read to him. I’d perform for him in the living room while he sips on bourbon and looks blissfully intoxicated by the rawness of my delivery. The heartbreakingly honest portrayal.
When I wake up he’d already be gone.

“The girl looking like Catherine Deneuve” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday December 4, 2018
9:33pm
5 minutes
Fall Is the Last Season of the Year
Nasim Marashi

I don’t want to say she had a pouty mouth but I guess that’s what she had.
Made it look like she was always trying to seduce her Cheetos.
Somebody in London once said that she was so beautiful some man
harassed her at the grocery store and she had to stop shopping alone.
All because of her face. I know a woman that beautiful and she once told
me that she never wanted that kind of attention. She never asked for it.
So the woman in London–even her friends talk about her perfect
face when she’s not around. They forget what else she’s good at, or which
jokes she’s told. They all wish they could be her. And she’s there wishing
she didn’t have to be. But no one would understand if she threw back a drink
one night and told everyone that she was tired of being beautiful. They would
all pause dramatically and stare at her, drinks in mid lift, until she broke out into
hysterical laughter. She’d see that she wasn’t getting through and remember
that beauty is not the right kind of sadness to have.

“while whittling cedar” by Julia on R’s couch

Friday, November 30, 2018
2:00pm
5 minutes
Finnish Schooling
Kayla Czaga

I know a woman who is in the woods right now teaching other women how to wield an axe, chop lumber, and defend themselves against bears and maniacal cretins from the underworld. She is a close talker- a rub your shoulder with her shoulder and make your space smaller type. She is a wine woman. She has cracked purple stained lips and her teeth to match. She doesn’t know her breath smells like the combination of stale and obvious. She is the one in the woods. She also knows about authentic movement and healing through the art of not dancing and not nothing. She was nice and I could talk to her. She explained it once after she had some wine. I think she was wearing a fanny pack made out of a rabbit’s foot or the rabbit’s foot was hanging from it? She was the kind to be wearing either. For the story’s sake I’m succumbing to hyperbole but believe me I was there. I saw her stand beside the chandelier. She was bigger than a tree.

“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.