“What happened to the women?” by Julia on the toilet

Wednesday July 18, 2018
11:37pm
5 minutes
A Warm Moist Salty God
Edwina Gateley

They all bled out

I know this

I was one of them

The insides twisting

The ache throbbing

No couch soft enough to hold us

No water hot enough to soothe

We all bled out

The way we once did

Hoping someone would come along and offer some supplies

Something to tend to the womb

Wound

Nobody came along

And we got good at smiling when one of the muscles spasmed

When one of our girls got some feeling back

We couldn’t complain about it

Who would understand?

Who would know what we know?

One day we would stop smiling on the inside

That’s when things fell apart

There is only so much

Unfolding

Unravelling

a pulse can take

“All my friends are having babies” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday April 4, 2018
2:57pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

All my friends are having babies and I am more concerned with how good my freaking nails look these days. It’s taken a long time to like my hands. How do you like a hand that squeezes too hard, that breaks the good mugs, that spends most of its time down the front of raggedy sweat pants? These hands have never housed nice nails. These nails have never looked this strong. Some days I couldn’t tell if it was blood underneath them or just ketchup chips. It’s all I can think about because it’s like they belong on someone else’s body. Someone else who, say, might be having a baby. I’m used to seeing chips and tears and skin peeling off where it shouldn’t. They were not the hands that held soft things and kept them soft. They didn’t know how to stay one colour when stepping out into the cold.

“Woman suspended” by Sasha on her balcony


Monday September 4, 2017
11:54pm
5 minutes
From the BBC News app

pink bras lacy bras white for white dress shirts bras strapless bras peach bras pushup bras sports bras old bras bottom of the barrel bras got too drunk it that bra bras second hand bras hand me down bras wedding bras cleavage bras comfy bras line-leaving bras red bras show the world bras peek-a-boo bras underwire bras soft as a baby’s bum bras give me now bras fuck me bras no bras summer bras always want to be seen bras backless bras

“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

“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.

“a supermoon in Taurus.” By Sasha in the bath


Sunday November 20, 2016
10:04pm
5 minutes
From chaninicholas.com

Thirteen in Peurto Vallarta walking
ahead my mother and sister keeping close

Men in Tommy Hilfiger T-shirts hiss and growl
first taste of the power and the burden

Fish tacos on the beach salty hair
Sunburn like a bad weather forecast

At the hotel a man who works there
teaches me how to say “How are you?” in Spanish

He blushes and looks at his Nike’s when I ask it
I take my hair out of a ponytail

“she honestly does not have those impulses” by Sasha on the ferry heading home


Wednesday November 16, 2016
6:35pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio


I found the sweet spot in a twin bed in my father’s house
second floor of the Victorian brick house on the tree-lined street
Lying on my back thinking thinking seeing thinking wishing panting
parting spreading leaking oh oh say it yes sweet sweet sweet
There was not shame on the futon on the floor of the basement
of my mother’s house
first love like liquid gold between my legs
first love passion and clumsy hands and is it supposed to feel like
this?
I see these young ones
pups
I see these crying mothers
for their daughters in crop tops with eyes the basins of longing
Fill me up
Fill me up

“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

“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

“you can work on in your backyard” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday March 23, 2016
11:21pm
5 minutes
viralnova.com

Mom calls me from the subway and her phone keeps cutting out because she’s standing on the steps half deciding whether or not to hang up or go and catch her damn train. She calls me back every time and I can’t get any work done or any listening done because we manage to sneak in one or two conjunctions and then there’s static. She’s scared of going to the doctor because she’s convinced they’re going to tell her she’s dying. She’s afraid of cancer. She has no visible symptoms. She is just afraid so she made the appointment. She’s not saying any of this. She’s talking about aunt Rene’s cockatiel and how the Chinese garlic situation has fucked with her tomato sauce. I want to tell her to go and to listen to them tell her that she’s fine but I can’t actually promise anything of the sort. I picture her attached to the subway stairs for hours, clinging in between the knowing and the unknowing of every single thing on this planet. I picture how she feels when she decides the reason she can’t get herself to go is because her only kid is too busy not reading in between her lines to go and be there for her. I put on my shoes.

“the way you would like them to appear” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday March 22, 2016
9:18pm
5 minutes
on the artist program guide site

A woman just crashed into a table behind me. I didn’t look up. I don’t know for sure that it even happened but I sensed it in some way and then I accepted it as not my problem. I hope I don’t go to hell for this. Like people say there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women. Well is there a special place for women who sense that other women around her are in distress but don’t actually have concrete evidence or even a witness account that that’s the case? I mean. If I can be real for a quick second, I very well may have invented that there was even a woman behind me at all. I felt the room’s energy shift. I also could have had a heart palpitation and confused it for someone being hurt? Maybe I’m the hurt one? Like is this even an issue. I’m sure she’s fine. No one around me has changed their activities. Either it didn’t happen or she didn’t need help in the first place. It’s not fair to invent victims. I’m simply saying if I had turned around to just see, I could have better assessed my destination as hell or otherwise.

“cultural and community differences” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday March 13, 2016
5:24pm
5 minutes
From a sample CV

A stench in the music of his voice he invites
me into the backseat and I’m wary of the way that
his hands dance. “Make a kissy face make a kissy
face” he says taking photos on his flip phone my
femininity is not enough for him without pursed
lips. The sky is shitting hail and he rolls a joint
on my thigh jeans like armour legs spread.

“You want to go to the falls?” I know there isn’t
actually a question in there even when I look
inside the spaces between want and to.

“She said my mistakes made her feel confused” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday February 14, 2016
11:21pm
5 minutes
Dear Mr. You
Mary-Louise Parker


How to shake hands with the first ever Woman President
(who just happens to have long peach coloured fingernails and three very large rings on)

Shake her hand like she’s any other woman.
She is, in fact, an-other woman.
She too uses tampons.
She forgets to pluck a stray chin hair.
She sometimes smokes when she’s drunk.

She too wonders about frizz, and sexism, and avocado in smoothies.

Shake her hand like you mean it.
Like through your palms you’re able to transmit all of your heart’s yearnings.
Who knows?
Maybe you can.


Shake her hand and look her in the eye.
No one likes a watcher – you know the kinda person who looks at the hand their shaking.
There’s too much intimacy there,
Especially for a first meeting.

Shake her hand with power and attention to how her
particular hand wants to be shaken.
Don’t project your own desires on to her.
You’ll only learn her shake style a few shakes in.

 

“in response to” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday November 11, 2015
6:11pm
5 minutes
From Performing Site Specific Theatre
Ed. Anna Birch and Joanne Tompkins


my mother’s mother had a strong jaw
my mother has a strong jaw
i have a
strong jaw
women like foothills
hips that lead to knowing
women like water
shoulders that feel the weight

my mother’s mother
all interruption
all control
all strength
all smoke
all ash
all sun
all dust
all breath
all power
all shame
all grace
all cherry tree
all candle wax
all salt
all curve
all language

my mother’s mother
a legacy of cabbage rolls
chocolate worship
picked the scabs on her arms until she bled
i pick the scab on my arm until i bleed
the story spins a web of then and now
my future daughter
my mother’s mother
my mother
my sister
the story spins a dreidel
marking roots
marking laugh lines
marking tear tracks
marking what’s good
what’s bad
the space between

“It’s a bold idea” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, October 14, 2015
12:36am
5 minutes
The Volcano

It’s a bold idea to profess yourself
PRODIGY
hero
OWMAN
WOMAN
A weird relationship with your Dad or your Mum
It’s all of us
MMkay
They wanted what we want and want what we have and we want what they had when they were less grey and white
Her Papa combs his moustache to Simon and Garfunkel
Shredded Wheat grows soggy on the table in the
blue bowl
She’s not sure about this thing
about this political thing
OWMAN
WOMAN

“It has nothing to do with you.” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, August 22, 2015
9:50pm
5 minutes
Art & Fear
David Bayles & Ted Orland


When you come inside from dancing with the moon and making promises to her that you see the light she’s shedding and the path she’s illuminating just for you, your skin tingles with joy and recognition for the you she knows.
Your skin: The protector of your bones.
She is held together tight with a thousand promises just like the ones you made with your Moon Mother. And you can feel each one alive inside you, making their way down your veins to keep you warm.
You can’t live another way. You even feel tempted to shed the skin you’re in but she hugs your limbs in close and whispers, I’m Not Going Anywhere….I Still Know Your Insides.
If you don’t keep the dancing hot and perfect in your hair, and the pure boundless generosity you feel with every concentrated breath, then you might just live on in a different moment and you don’t blame yourself for that either.

“No not that fake smile!” by Julia on the subway going west


Friday, August 21, 2015
1:16pm
5 minutes
Overheard at a bus stop

Biddy and me make a pact to bleed each other’s blood and wear each other’s smile. I want to marry Biddy so I can be around her all the time and let her light wash over me and catch me in all the right moments. Biddy plays the violin and when she does the whole world stops. I do all the humming and Biddy plays so I can feel. She tells me that I’m most me when I open my mouth and let my heart sing out. She tells me she can see me growing into the person who’s taking better care of me. She tells me I’m the kind of woman who becomes more beautiful with age and experience and confidence and time. It’s my idea to combine our life force and Biddy smiles with her whole face because she loves all of my grand ideas. She snips a lock of her strawberry blonde curls and wraps it around my finger to remind me that we’ve got each other’s soul close by.

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


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

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

“we were never meant to be admired” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday February 5, 2015
5:13pm
5 minutes
Stranger in a Strange Land
Robert A. Heinlein


There she is
All round wisdom
He was inside of her
Eight hundred years ago
It aches in my though
Still
It’s funny how the gut knows
The gut always knows
She’s good at what she does
She shakes my hand like it matters
I almost feel badly
She has no idea
She thinks I’m just another wordworker
There’s more light where she’s standing
In the know is out of the yes
I taste her poetry
Like he tasted
I lean my head in my hands
It’s heavy
It’s all heavy
She twists her lock
She fills the space with her-
self
Ourselves
We are
We are one
We are one womb-
an
Woman
Womb and
Heart
We are all the same
Her inside is my inside
We’re all outside
Anyway

“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

“We invite you to relax” by Sasha on her porch


Sunday, September 7, 2014
5:41pm
5 minutes
from some bullshit air transat “discount” lounge voucher

It’s hard for me to take myself seriously anymore. My writing is shit. I got a tattoo that is lame and predicable and offensive and awful. I’m eating bags of chocolate chips. I’m fatter than I’ve ever been. And yet… I have hope. You know why? Because there’s a man sleeping over there and I love this man and underneath all the chocolate and the fat is a baby that is his and mine. We made this little tadpole. We made it like a pizza, but with more sex and less (a bit less) mozzarella. Maybe I’ve been taking myself too seriously. Maybe that’s the joke.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH

“will run as deep as the bloodline” by Sasha on the Lansdowne bus


Tuesday April 1, 2014
11:56am
5 minutes
www.jennylewis.com


There’s a cloud on her shoulder, pinning her down, pinning her to her place, which she doesn’t even enjoy. The cloud shakes its grey curls, making her heart ache, making the muscles tense. The cloud’s been there since the early Winter, since her husky got hit by a car, since she put on fifteen pounds, since she told her family she wanted a divorce from them. “Too much all at once,” I stroke circles onto her hand, hoping she’ll see that this will be over soon. Patchy, dry skin, bigger belly, so many new lines on her face I don’t even know her anymore. Bags heavier than bricks under her eyes. “I’m worried,” I hold her hand and it’s clammy, it’s cold, it reminds me of fish before you put it in the pan to broil.