“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.

“silence that voice.” By Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 3, 2018
9:41pm
5 minutes
Sitting in the Fire
Pema Chodron

She doesn’t whisper anymore
she begs
she wants me to be loud
that’s my goddamn mantra anyway
Yell Woman, Yell As Loud As The Moon
But the pull of this river is telling me something different
That I should quiet the voice quaking
that I should walk in silence and observe the wind moving
I am being tested every second and there are so many seconds
which mountains I’ve made and which I’ve climbed
I am fairly certain there have been no molehills worth dying on
I know that is what the pull is saying
the one that doesn’t whisper anymore
The one that doesn’t say anything at all
Wisdom is knowing you are right and not beating a love
over the skull with how right you are
and how wrong they have been
It is about knowing deep within and underneath bone
that sometimes saying less is saying more
and saying nothing is saying nothing

But what about the Yell Woman.
The Women of Yell that I have built all my bridges on
They rumble sometimes
and still
I must sit

“They must have math class” by Julia in her bed

Wednesday September 19, 2018
10:47pm
5 minutes
Wakaranai
Hanako Masutani

The class watches as Ms. P puts the quadratic equasion on the board. she doesn’t have a ring on her finger and so they wonder why she might be unmarried. Someone as good at math should surely be a Mrs. Someone as nice with the right kind of floral shirts should know about weddings. Ms. P whips around and tells them she can hear them-that being behind her doesn’t make them suddenly invisible. Nick decides he wants to ask if she’s ever farted on a man. Nick is smart enough to do the math but his social skills are stuck in a tree in third grade.

“she would rub her clit to her bed post,” by Julia on her couch

Saturday September 1, 2018
11:14pm
5 minutes
Nocturne v: c
Marie Segolène

Kinny would think of being pushed up against the wall in the basement of the hospital. She pictured finally having that blonde woman all to herself. People would be around, but they’d both be turned on by that. She thought about her until her clit begged. That blonde hair made her want to tug. And that sexy fitted button down. With her eyes closed she saw herself undoing each one until her black bra pulsed. A little lace. A little bow. She wondered if the blonde woman ever knew she was into her.

“The sun has risen but gives off no warmth.” By Sasha on her balcony

Tuesday July 24, 2018
7:00am
5 minutes
Waiting for the Barbarians
J.M. Coetzee

Marsha wonders why it seems like ever since she broke up with Jeremy she’s valued less by society. She remembers this feeling. When she was in her early twenties she gained thirty pounds and suddenly felt invisible. She’d never been thin, but she’d been average enough to be considered conventionally attractive. Even writing that makes me feel gross. What does that even mean? Anyway, back to the story. Marsha wonders why it seems like ever since she broke up with Jeremy (it was amicable, but she instigated, he was sad and called a lot in the weeks following, but now he’s stopped and she’s convinced he’s probably banging his neighbour who he always secretly lusted after)… that she’s valued less by society. “Oh you’re single?” She hears the judgement, she feels the hairs on her arms raise.

“as I grow old and my friends leave me.” by Julia on the couch

Thursday July 19, 2018
1:30am
5 minutes
Psalms For Praying
Nan C. Merrill
As I grow old my friends leave me wanting them more
I get cravings for their hearts to soar
And for their souls to laugh
I want nothing more than their rise
Their absolute and inevitable rise.
And my friends leave me.
They leave me when I have stopped needing them
They leave when I am no longer hunting them
They know I do not stay loyal on only one shoulder
Carry the weight of knowing them on both
I want to be your last leaving friend
And you can let me love you that way

“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

“What happened to the women?” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday July 18, 2018
12:33pm
5 minutes
A Warm Moist Salty God
Edwina Gateley

They gather us in the camp. All of us strong ones, all of us pretty ones, all of us fat ones, all of us supple ones, all of us bleeding ones. The camp smells like cat food and compost. Some women hold their noses. I don’t want to be that obvious. I plug it from the inside, like Duncan taught me when we were at the cabin and had to shit in the old outhouse. The guards outnumber the women. This is what it’s come to.

“What’s your problem?” Shirley asks a red-headed guard who can’t be more than twenty two. He’s been watching her as she scrubs the floors of the mess hall.

“I don’ got a problem but chu…” He isn’t from here.

“I find it terribly strange that – ” Shirley can’t even get her words out. PhD.

“ENOUGH!” Captain shoots his rifle out the window.

“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

“Where every member is a minister” by Sasha at her desk

Monday July 9, 2018
10:03am
5 minutes
from a business card

She dreams of parliament. She dreams of platforms. She dreams of knowing how to articulate all the change that she wants to make and that everyone listens. She dreams she’s speaking to a cabinet of women. Some are stretching. Some are breastfeeding. Some are rolling their eyes. Some are interrupting. She dreams that they find their way. She dreams of a world where she might prioritize childcare, elder care, health care. CARE. She dreams of being allowed to fail and that failure won’t haunt her. She dreams of risk. She dreams of loss. She dreams of calling another leader and deciding she will unleash the tidal wave of wrong-doings.

“With its blood-red brick” by Sasha on Pender Island

Sunday May 20, 2018
10:43
The Virgin Cure
Ami McKay

Some women have broccoli pussies. Just a fact. Some women have grapefruit ones, at least they taste like that, at least that’s what some people say. Some women smell like fish and chips down there, real salt n’ vinegar. Ha ha! Some women have pussies that look like dahlias or roses or venus fly traps. Some women bleed every month with the moon, all witchy and wild-like. Some women don’t bleed at all because they’re too skinny, or they lost something that they have to find again. Sometimes you see one and you’re like – HEY! I’ve been wondering when you’d come into the light!

“connection as friends.” by Julia at the studio

Monday, March 5, 2018
3:53pm
5 minutes
I Know How You Feel
F. Diane Barth

When we first met I wanted to like you. I wanted to like you and I liked
you. I said “She and I are going to be friends.” I said we were, and we
were. I learned that If I wanted something, believd in the wanting, in the
why, then I would get what I wanted. I tried that out on other friends too,
just to see. It worked. I wanted to like them and I liked them. I said “We
are going to be friends and we were friends. Maybe you could make the
connection that I made us have the connection. You could infer that I was the
one who brought us floating together in the same orbit to begin with. Afterall,
if you wanted us to be friends, wouldn’t you have made us friends?
You might interrupt here and tell me that we are friends because we both wanted
us to be friends. We made the connection in tandem. Made, a verb, an action,
a choice. I know that this is not the case because I did all of the work. I
showed you my whole thumping heart. I bled out when it was not convenient.
You said yes. But you waited for me to go first.You didn’t want it as bad as me.

“object of concentration” by Sasha at her desk

Friday, March 2, 2018
5:37pm
5 minutes
Ashtanga Yoga Primer
Baba Hari Dass

I keep telling Don that I don’t want anything to do with him but he will not leave me alone and this gives me no choice but to raise a glass tonight, at our Christmas party. Don, you psychotic mutherfucker, I almost admire only your tenacity and persistence. Almost. I almost wish I had your ability to completely ignore all signs, all cues, all “no’s” in pursuit of what I want. Almost. Ladies and gentlemen, actually – NO. Just the gentlemen in the room, because all of the women, even Helena who just turned eighty-two and is still working the switchboard, all of the women know that Don is a scumbag. Has he groped you by the coffee machine? Maybe invited you out to dinner and you thought that other people would be there, but nope, it’s just the two’s of you. Don, don’t look so shocked… you had to know that this was coming? The uprising? The reckoning?

“Ninety pounds.” By Julia in Hanoi

Sunday February 4, 2018
9:47pm
5 minutes
T is for Texas
Derek McCormack

I met a woman in the museum today
She was 90 pounds and making things
Pushing through the thick
and then
more making, more things
She won the medal for
perseverance or something like it
Not a war hero but a woman hero
and a wall climbing metaphor
She didn’t see the wall and
think there was no other way

Can’t go over it
Can’t go under it
Can’t go around it
Got to go through it
(Going on a lion hunt)
(If the lion was accomplishment in spite of)

The angle of her made her body
look big and she seemed
so very unfazed
standing

“handed down mother to daughter” by Julia at Tree Hugger Cafe, Dong Hoi

Friday February 2, 2018 at Tree Hugger Cafe
3:33pm
5 minutes
Without Mercy
Howard Wright

The slow blink while angry
The smooth legs
The internal smile at babies
The compassion
The sometimes door mat sometimes door
The olive oil skin
The walking feet
The running instinct
The humming bone
The story teller
The clam sauce recipe
The porcini mushroom gnocchi
The onion soup
The date and walnut cookies
The open face
The open mouth
The ears
The rage
The hurt
The agency
The curiosity
The attention to details
The service to the ones loved most
The glued roots to Italy
The never ending conversation
The family first

“hesitating to” by Julia on Amanda’s tub

Saturday December 30, 2017
2:08am
5 minutes
From a tweet

Tell you the truth

Telling myself first

Listening

Believing you’re right

Believing I’m wrong

Go to the bathroom

Leaving the moment

Leaving the bar

Say something I’ll regret

To let you get away with it all

To let you have the last word

To agree with you

Disagree

Cry in front of you

Tell you about the hurt

Relive the hurt

Let you see me hurt

Be hurt

Ask for clarification

To cry when you cry

To hug you

To tell you I love you

To relive the past

To share what I’m feeling

To apologize

Fight

Forgive

Order another drink

Let you leave in anger

Keep you there in anger

Fight

Forgive

Fight

Forgive

Ask you to write me something

Ask you to read something

Admit I don’t know

“winter solstice ritual at a hippy retreat center” by Julia on Amanda’s couch

Sunday December 24, 2017

1:16pm

5 minutes

Dear Sugar on therumpus.net

In the upstairs room we open the skylight to let in the crisp air. We cover up the light with a dark pillow and a rainbow one that fits better on top. We sit on the floor next to the strawberry creams in a plastic bag. We light the candles of each chakra and place them around us. We light the incense and the joint and we take off our socks. The tears are there before the answers. We always knew we were witches. She reads the booklet and I hold the cards near my heart. She tells me where to lay them and I open my skin to the room. After everything is illuminated we sit inside our sanctuary and let our esses turn to mud.

“It’s not fair, after all, to lick tigers so small.” By Julia at D and A’s house

Saturday December 16, 2017
9:47pm
5 minutes
I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!
Dr. Seuss

When I’m lucky enough
to feel lucky about my tongue
I think of her.
I think of how
all gums no teeth
she could hurl a yell
at any one of us;
have us quaking
in our boots.
Her tongue was a whip.
A weapon.
She used it and the
chorus did sing.
I got mine from her.
I borrowed it once
tried it on
liked it a hell of a lot
and then kept it
in my mouth
like a hard candy
turning it over
against my cheeks.
She could lick a tiger quiet.
She could hum a baby
back into the belly
of her mother.
She could break my
heart and crack it open
in the same breath.
When I’m lucky enough
to think about the origins
of my loud,
when I’m lucky enough
to think about my tongue,
the light in the room lifts.
I am soothed, tender lion cat
nuzzling in the neck
of her sister.
Calmed, the way
an anchovy might.

“Protect the blood from attack” by Julia on the 72 bus in Victoria

Thursday October 5, 2017
10:19am
5 minutes
Chinese Tonic Herbs
Ron Teeguarden

My blood is you and I will never not know this. You are my heart beat, pulsing, thriving, keeping me alive. I am yours. I am always yours. The only gift in this life that I can take with me is being carried into this world by the same love as you. In the same room. With the same light.

When the hail comes, I will know it by the stretch of my skin over yours. You will know it by the warmth of protection that comes without doubt. You are my blood and your blood is me. The only true thing that I love. The only pure thing that I know. You have always known me and I will always find lift because of it. How blue the sky tastes when the eyes are river reflecting. You will know it by the thud in my chest.

“I’m driving so couldn’t really see it” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Saturday September 23, 2017
3:39am
5 minutes
from a text

You stand on the edge of a hill.
You take in the vista.
Maybe the sun is rising.

Maybe your mother is somewhere close by
And your sister
And her daughter.

And almost all of the women you love
Gathered around a fire.

A black river rushes close by.

You will marry your love today.
Yes. You will marry your love today.

You tie the sash of your dress and
The sun whispers about the past and the future.
You laugh because you’re unwrapping each minute.
A present.
Presence.

Eighty seven voices sing you into being
Sing you across the threshold.

“He presses a button” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday August 29, 2017
9:27pm
5 minutes
from VO sides

i watch him from the corner of my eye
he is sly
a man on a mission to push all of my buttons
coming for me like a dart
flying through the air, straight for wherever he aims
did i mention he has great aim?
taught to throw a baseball at the age of three
and now the target is me
i can’t avoid it, it’s the end,
i’m nothing but a machine
when he wants laughter he strikes the soft above my knee
says something unexpected in that charming sort of way
if he wants to knock me over
he hits below
buckle and shake until i make peace with the ground
i am onto him
looking for any kind of reaction
reaching out and teasing with a smirk
hovering right above my button
i am defenseless
yet feeling tension
will he won’t he
no sir yes sir

“finding my people in unexpected places” by Julia on the 99


Monday August 28, 2017
3:50pm
5 minutes
Bad Feminist
Roxane Gay


In the bathroom stall at the gym, I stick my fingers up myself to help stimulate my bowels. My cousin, Trina, taught me this trick one day during the commercial break for Days Of Our Lives. I was eleven and she was thirteen. “You’d think twice a week would be enough but it’s not. You’d also think you should stick your hand up the back but this is way more forgiving!”
Trina showed me a lot of things. Like how to make out with the silky skin in the crook of my elbow for practice, or how not to move the shower head from my clit the second I started to like it.
Without thinking I let slip a tiny groan. The woman in the stall beside me sighs.
“I get it, girl. Been trying since Tuesday over here.”

“This I wore when I met Margaret Thatcher.” By Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 17, 2017
5:17pm
5 minutes
Women in Clothes
Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 Others


We didn’t break bread until we had broken each other
into pieces
the stir before sunset set our dining room to
incubation, warming the alibis of forgotten promises
She was wearing sheer nylons with a tinge of lavender
She was wearing someone else’s face, not mine, not hers
Standing on opposite corners of our equally divided turf
we had to wonder, is this artifical power or are you really
stronger there by the kitchen and I better next to the balcony?
The show is going on outside our tiny terrarium of
heart ache and mishandled history
Our secrets, both undone and left spilling
onto the floor that seperates us
from forgiveness and missing
our reservation

“This I wore when I met Margaret Thatcher.” By Sasha at her desk


Wednesday May 17, 2017
11:20am
5 minutes
Women in Clothes
Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 Others


Margaret introduces herself with only her first name. It’s a habit. And a good one. The women, a murder of crows, gather around the snack table and nibble on marble cheese, melba toast, grapes, wedges of cantaloupe.

“So Margaret,” Daisy says, wiping her little hands on a little floral napkin, “What brings you to Gastoville?” She says the name of the town, the graveyard they all stand on, like it’s someplace on the Mayan Riviera. It most certainly is not.

“My husband got a job at the university,” Margaret says, gulping down Pinot Grigio.

“Oh?” Says Daisy. Margaret wonders what Daisy would do if she knew that she had lipstick on her teeth. “And what’s his name?”

“Brad Thatcher. He’s in the History Department,” Margaret scans the crows.

“silent as the folds of the yellow” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday April 18, 2017
5:40pm
5 minutes
Up
Magaret Atwood


He held me last night while I wept
nimbus and grey “Transitions are hard for you
honey” He said and I denied it and I swept it
under the wool couch pillow that used to belong
to a stranger’s grandmother A stranger mother
haunting the beige and the brown

I looked myself in the eye like I would a
daughter this morning Right there into the
middle into the black
“You can do this, my love,” I said and I
felt the hot water rise again boil again
It had been quite some time since I spoke
to myself with such tenderness

“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.

“First we marched” by Sasha at Matchstick on Fraser


Sunday January 22, 2017 at Matchstick
10:26am
5 minutes
From a tweet

First we marched and now we carry on
the song that our grandmother’s started

Daisy used to tell Layah and I
about meeting First Nations women at the Edmonton
bus depot on 105 Avenue

bringing her into the city
feeding her hamburger soup
giving her shampoo and
tampons
baby formula and
sweaters knit by the
Catholic Women’s League

Okay she never said anything about
tampons to me
but I imagine her giving a woman tampons
and that woman saying thank
you and brown eyes meeting brown eyes

Anne made dinner every night for her family
and she managed the money
and she made her own
her own money
trading stocks and investing
Anne never knew she was a radical
She was an
“unfulfilled woman”
She was never okay
with the shape of herself

“I’m interested to hear” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday January 20, 2017
1:43am
5 minutes
Overheard in the kitchen

Women’s rights are under attack
shots fired through slit eyes
like a bad joke but we’re not laughing
Us cis ones and our trans sisters
we are all worried about
our bodies and our fundamental
rights right right
our vital signs like abortion
and access to birth control
and and and and

My future children’s brown skin
makes me fear for what they will know
What I won’t ever know
my privilege showing from sunrise
to sunset through park visits
and all that I hope the world
will be for them

“their grass-stained skin” by Sasha in the Kiva


Wednesday December 21, 2016
11:36pm
5 minutes
So Full Of Light
Marie Specht Fisher


We thought we were sisters until we were
too old to take baths together and we started
hissing and picking the knobs off
backs instead Sometimes you’d paint my nails
a colour that I would never choose
Lavender or indigo or charcoal
I’d refuse to wash dishes those weeks
or bathe because I didn’t want the you
on me to chip I didn’t want the choices
you’d made to fall away from my fleshy form

We rubbed grass-stained skin together and
started a fire that our fathers and their
fathers fathers couldn’t put out

“can’t think of anything to add.” By Sasha at her desk


Monday November 28, 2016
1:59pm
5 minutes
From a feedback form

“Can you think of anything that you want to add?” She says, looking at me with sorrow eyes.

“I don’t think so?” I start to put on my jacket and she stands up. “You’re brave, for doing this…” Sorrow eyes get wider. “Many people never report anything, for a variety of reasons, that are all valid but – … then how are we supposed to – ”

“I have to get to class.” I say, and rush out of her office.

“Oh. Okay. Thanks again for coming, Alice.” She extends her hand and I shake it. It’s warm.

I lock myself in a bathroom stall for awhile and as other people come and go I think about those sorrow eyes and how I’m tired of them and really, I’m actually just tired. So, so tired.

“With a couple of girlfriends” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday November 26, 2016
8:51pm
5 minutes
Overheard at BC Children’s Hospital

“What are you hoping to get out of this position in regards to personal growth?”

Genevieve squints at me and re-crosses her legs.

“Um, well, I’ve always wanted to work in the charity sector, you know, like, give back?”

She doesn’t move a muscle. Didn’t they teach you about mirroring body language in your HR trainings? Are you capable of nodding or saying “Mm-hm” or something?

There are five seconds of agonizing silence. Are you waiting for me to say more? What more is there to say? I thought that this job was mine? What is happening?

“You aren’t really a people person, are you Becky?” Genevieve pulls her Blackberry out of the pocket of her blazer and starts typing furiously.

“Am I supposed to answer that?”

“I look forward to a random day” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday November 23, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook comment

I see a man’s face through the ice looking up
his mouth contorted in salt water scream

I am standing on the thick part but still
wonder about safety and falling through

Many women are gathered here
some men too We all wear blue ribbons

I look forward to the day when this is not
the headline and the currency and the

reason I can’t sleep.

“More money, like I said.” by Julia on her couch


Friday November 18, 2016
11:34pm
5 minutes
A Boy Of Good Breeding
Miriam Toews


Ida and Meryl met on a crowded subway car. Ida had lipstick on her teeth and turns out Meryl was the first person to have mentioned this to her. She fell in love with her instantly. Ida valued honesty in a person. She couldn’t understand why we’d waste so much of our time hiding behind lies. She thought it was too much work to live like that. Ida told Meryl that she was striking and that she liked her silver running shoes. Meryl covered her mouth when she laughed as if she was trying to keep a tiny gerbil inside. She fell in love with her instantly.

“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

“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.

“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

“Who taught us to embrace life” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday May 30, 2016
5:13pm
5 minutes
from a bench memorial plaque

if I was born a dancer
in body in stead of
in words
i would move like i move
in water
in bed sheets
like i mov-
ed at twenty-three
on sweaty dance
floors kissing
strangers like
my tongue knew
things my gut
didn’t i’ve always
wished i were a dancer
dancing to teach me
to embrace the rhythm in-
herent in my womban-
ness my woman-
mess dancing teaches me
about my unborn daughter’s
heart
beat
a dj who knows what i
ache for
ate for
breakfast lunch midnight
snack picking up bobbi
pins from the women’s
washroom
womb
in
womb out
worn in
worn out
ring in
ring out
ring on

“Not anymore” by Sasha on the College streetcar


Monday April 25, 2016
4:11pm
5 minutes
From a podcast

“I’m not gonna take it anymore,” you say and the record skips, you and it (Otis Redding) cousins on your mother’s side.

Elizabeth was so ashamed of her obese mother that she would make her meet her at the train seven blocks from school.

“I’m leaving for real,” you say and I wonder how many calories are in Marshmallow Fluff and if calories even matter at this point.

Elizabeth got her period before the rest of us, nipples chafing men’s V necks. She got excused from gym because of cramps.

You only want to eat eggplant dip and stale pita chips and frozen shrimp. You only want to see reruns of “Mad About You.”

“I do not lie to you.” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday April 12, 2016
9:51pm
5 minutes
from a text

When you ask me for the truth I gladly give it. Not to everyone, but to you, I don’t how not to. I remember sitting with you in a dusty bar a year and a half after first meeting you and feeling like that was the first time I actually got to know you. You said some profound shit and you were as lucid as I’d seen you. I preferred you like that. I wonder if you noticed me opening to you too. If you noticed me sharing more secrets or more weaknesses or more dreams laced in marijuana and vulnerability. We are close now like a weird combination of two unlikely flavours that you avoid combining at first because the idea puts you off, but that no longer surprises you once they’ve been mixed together and tasted and enjoyed.

So now. We’re both here: you in love with someone who loves you even more than you love him, and me in love with someone who loves me for reasons I will never comprehend, and we still have each other when we’re dying or when we’re thriving. You ask me if you think you deserve to be happy. I say yes. You ask me if you made mistakes. I say yes. You ask me if I’m happy. I say yes. You ask me if when the world ends, can we hold hands in a tulip garden. I say yes.

“This never happened before.” by Julia on the 99


Monday April 11, 2016
11:39pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

You tell me you love me like a bazillion times a day and I say it back maybe once? Twice if I’m in a good mood. I wonder it it bothers you that I say I love pizza more than I say I love your lips or your hands or whatever nice shit you say to me. You don’t seem bothered. You seem normal. Not even phased. I assume because you must believe you’re hearing me return your sentiments every time you say them cause otherwise your heart would need mending. And I’m saying you seem fine so I imagine you feel great about needing to express yourself so much and being with a person who needs coffee before speaking to you and who wants to be left alone for the first 40 minutes after returning home. I used to think saying I love you meant meaning it. If you asked me now I’d say it had nothing to do with that.

“In terms of expenses” by Julia on her couch


Sunday April 10, 2016
11:44pm
5 minutes
from an email

Mia and I have plans on the weekend. She wants to go camping and I want to go where Mia goes. So we’re going camping. She says it will be really easy if we just pack a tent in my car and then sleep in cornfields or daisy patches or whatever the fuck she actually said. I said yes. I said, I love camping, and I’ve been camping many times, and I am not afraid of getting caught by police or bears or raccoons or snakes. Mia wears an anklet that drives me wild. It’s a gold infinity rope thing and I didn’t know I liked ankles, but fuck hers are nice. She asked me recently if we could squeeze one more person in the back. I heard myself say yes but my whole body was screaming no. My body was too late to the party. It was distracted by the smell of her ponytail.

“gathering the medicine you need for re-birth.” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, April 4, 2016
9:26am
5 minutes
Mosaic magazine
Spring 2016


I have been free before I was alone
I have been seen before I succumbed to the fear
A little heart shaped pouch holds my dreams in it
A little heart shaped pouch holds my truth in it
I’ve been running wild in my imagination
Picking pretty flowers that I can carry with me all day long
I paint up the ocean I paint in a song
The mountains they’ve been calling so I can always find my way back
I am missing my tribe
The heart shaped hearts that I live for
Mother laughing
Sister holding
Auntie listening
Cousin giving
And to the wild women I left behind
Who I fit inside my sacred space
My medicine is abundant and flowing
I can take a sip from my blessings’ cup
And take steps to find myself again in the river when the deep in me craves
to be surrounded

“round their throats” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday, March 25, 2016
10:36pm
5 minutes
From lyrics in a song

She keeps her secret safe around her throat a
red ribbon tied in a bow the edges fraying the
fray undoing the past and what is heavy there.
She keeps her secret safe drinking beer with
breakfast drinking coffee with lunch drinking
no water only brown liquids to keep the pain
down below the sludge. She keeps her secret
safe by only calling him on his birthday and
making sure it’s at a time he won’t pick up.

“Happy birthday, Owen. Hope you’re well.”

Dial tone like the drone note of a prayer she
won’t do this again. This is the last time.
She keeps her secret safe until it doesn’t
want safety. It wants air it wants light prisms.

“you can work on in your backyard” by Sasha in the bath


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

Alice: I have money to get where I’m going…
Bree: Why does it sound like you’re trying to convince yourself?
Alice: I do! I am…
Bree: It’s going to be okay.
Alice: You don’t know that.
Bree: When you get there, go find a place to get a grilled cheese sandwich. It will help it feel like home.
Alice: That’s a good idea… Are you sure you can’t come?
Bree: Monty needs me. I work tomorrow.
Alice: Call in sick.
Bree: I can’t.
Alice: Why not? How long has it been since you did something for yourself?
Bree: This isn’t for myself, Alice! It’s for you!

“The earth’s insomnia” by Sasha at Studio 1398


Wednesday March 16, 2016
9:08pm
5 minutes
Moonlight
Lorna Crozier


Julie and Mel stand on the steps of a Church downtown.

J: Want a smoke?
M: Naw…
J: Why not? You too good for this now?
M: Naw?
J: You fuckin’ quit.
M: Nu-uh.
J: You did! You fuckin’ quit!
M: You know what, Julie? You’re a bitch!
J: What?
M: Yeah! You’re a fuckin’ bitch who talks too fuckin’ much and I’m sick of your bullshit.
J: Naw. You’re grumpy cuz you quit smoking.

Pause.

M: So what if I did?
J: I knew it! I fuckin’ knew it!
M: Yeah, I did. I’m tryin’ to get things back on track, okay?
J: Good for you! I’m proud a’ you! Really.
M: Shut up.
J: I am!

Pause.

M: Really?
J: Yeah…
M: Thanks. Thanks alot, Jules.
J: Yeah, man. You’re welcome! Onwards to health and vitality, man.

Julie finishes her cigarette and lights up another. Mel watches her, out of the corner of her eye. A few moments pass. A car goes by blaring hip hop. They both bop their heads.

“In an attempt to get around this problem” by Julia on the 99


Saturday March 12, 2016
5:24pm
5 minutes
Epigenetics2 Revolution
Nessa Carey


There’s a man staring at me from under a balaclava. I am scared but more than that- I am furious. I think if I show fear he wins. I am mad that he is winning. I am so mad that he is anything on this planet, but because I have to deal with this, I am angry that these stupid tactics are working on me. He is on my mind. At the front of it. I tell myself not to look up at him. I don’t want to meet the gaze of this ridiculous human being who’s growing harder in his pants at the thought of displacing me in my rightful position on this earth. I tell myself that if I don’t look at him, I will be the one in control. I am desperate for another human to get on this god forsaken bus so I can avoid eye contact with him or her as well so it doesn’t look like he’s getting to me, just seeming that I don’t look at anyone, that I don’t give a flying fuck about connection.

I am afraid.
And I hate him for that.

“A single breast winking,” by Sasha on her couch


Monday February 29, 2016
11:35pm
5 minutes
FWD FWD
Robin Evans


I don’t know how to tell you about
this body
that breaks open
seeds all over the place
dying your hands the colour of the hurt
I don’t know how to tell you about
the time I was grabbed on the subway platform
too young to know what this body even means
to a world obsessed
the time I was followed
fifteen
running up the stairs to
the house on the street named after a tree
heart pounding out of my ears out of my mouth
Thumbing through a phone book for the number to call
We are taught it’s not an emergency until someone
get’s hurt
I don’t know how to tell you about
the complexities of getting home alone
keys gripped one between each finger
glances over a shoulder that burden kisses
and has kissed since breasts sprouted
uninvited

“a wacky one” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, January 16, 2016
12:05pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 16 bus

I don’t know what he meant when he said “That’s what you do.”
Said like an insult instead of forgiveness. Said like punishment. Said like tar.
I said I was sorry for nagging him and he said, “That’s what you do.”
Bells. Sirens. Those words went off in my brain like a fourth of July massacre.
That tone.
Loud.
And clear.
But I don’t know what he meant, that I nag, that’s what I do? Like he’s come to know me as the type who won’t ever pick a battle, or back down from an opinion that not everyone shares?
Or that I am sorry a lot and so I apologize a lot, and maybe that’s the thing that I do.
Either way it did not feel like a compliment.
Or a way to mend the bridge that we had both taken a match to earlier.
I wanted to reach him when he felt far away.
My instinct was to cry so I made very sure not to.

“A hundred tourists are caught” by Sasha on the couch in Cowichan Bay


Friday, January 1, 2016
11:14am
5 minutes
Coda, Etcetera
Amber Tamblyn


when you tell me my feelings i flush with earl grey tears and this is not a testament to your impact on me it is an homage to my mother and my mother’s mother before her and when i make breakfast and lunch and dinner i am not subscribing to our cultural magazine of gender roles my soul is fed by mashing an avocado on toast and by stewing broth and lentils all afternoon for us to dip crusty bits of red fife bread in and when i try to breathe into my pelvis and find this difficult it is not just my body it is every woman’s body the body of the great mother and i set the intention like a timer that will go off like a church bell whenever i am far away from myself be here be here be here

“benefiting those in your” by Sasha on the walk home


Wednesday, December 16, 2015
5:55pm
5 minutes
From a Caroline Myss card

Sneaking a handful of chocolate chips from the freezer, Imogen regrets the upgrade to stainless steel. Now she can see her reflection. She spits the half-chewed mess into a tissue and puts it in the compost bin on the counter. A swarm of grateful fruit flies emerge.

“Chandler, put down the scissors, arts and crafts is over now.” Imogen whispers in Chandler’s ear. He smells of play dough and chicken noodle soup. She looks at her watch – three fifteen. It will be another two hours before his Mom returns. Before she can repeat her instruction, he pulls on her silver hoop earring, ripping her earlobe down the middle like an envelope.

“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

“Rainfall warning” by Julia on her couch


Thursday November 12, 2015
10:31pm
5 minutes
from the weather network

Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks. Grant called last night to tell me he was sorry and wished he could have stopped by more. I told him not to worry, there were enough people coming by the house to make sure I was getting out of bed. He asked if Mary-Beth made he famous Parmigiana and I said yeah, for the third time. Hasn’t stopped raining since. When I found out, Grant was on his way over to drop off a pair of winter gloves for Owen so he was there when it all hit. He gave me a long hug and told me it was going to be okay. I didn’t let him leave me that night and he’s still acting strange about it. I don’t know why he feels bad, nothing matters anymore. I’m the one who has to live with it, and all I know is life is pretty short so nothing fucking matters. Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks.

“in response to” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday November 11, 2015
2:10pm
5 minutes
From Performing Site Specific Theatre Ed.
Anna Birch and Joanne Tompkins


Call my name, I say, hey, call it again, I turn I face you.
Hey.
You don’t want to stop for me?
Why you got something worth the time I’d be losing?
Maybe.
Oh yeah?
Yeah maybe I got somethin worth your while.
Mhm, do you?
I said maybe didn’t I?
Mhm, so when do you prove that then? Or are we just gonna sit here all day discussin it?
Shoot a smile, I say, Later then, nod your head, I move in close.
Hey.
What’s this?
You don’t like it when I get near your face?
I never said that.
But you agree, don’t you?
I don’t like anyone this close to me.
You don’t act like it.
I don’t need to.
Is that right?
Yeah.
You act all tough when someone threatens your comfort?
Gotta protect my space.
Yeah, and don’t you forget it.

“Canada’s Indigenous communities” by Sasha at Benny’s


Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at Benny’s
2:21pm
5 minutes
An email from The David Suzuki Foundation

I watch as they search and I’m full and empty and nothing and everything
I help them I try to help them
Feeble attempt at solidarity
Until the sun sets and breath is visible
Until icicles form inside my ears
“Let’s call it a day,” Bruce says
and I’m grateful
“No.”
Jenny glares at me
at her father
“We have flashlights, we have tea…
What if she’s out here, freezing to death?”
Bruce goes home and I stay
Jenny and me
I’m half her size and my heart beats in my ears
the whole time
“She’s not dead,” Jenny says
offering me the thermos
“I know it.”
I nod
I drink deep
Cedar and something I’ve never smelt or tasted
“She’s somewhere.”
My sister
At home in Edmonton
Putting her daughter to sleep
Saying prayers about monsters
Kissing her nose

“I wanna see it up close” by Sasha at Moii Cafe


Friday October 17, 2015 at Moii Cafe
12:35pm
5 minutes
from a text

A birch tree sheds her bark
The supermoon is forgotten as soon as it fades
It’s still super somewhere

I refuse to commend your drug trips or your laundry lists
I refuse to celebrate your exploitations of bodies and sisters and dollars and oil
I refuse to vote for a man wearing a mask who has a cheese-ball for a brain
mostly cheddar a little bit cream cheese nothing sharp
no asiago

A snake slithers over the bare feet of a boy whose eyes are glued to his father’s iPhone
Shame he missed that
Shame that tomorrow that species will be extinct
A monarch lands on my arm and I cry for my unborns
Who might not have that magic

The Conservatives (Cheese-ball) cut one billion dollars in childcare funding within three hours of being elected
That’s shorter than Titanic
There are over one thousand murdered and missing Indigenous women across Canada
and no matter how deep Cheese-ball digs his fingers into his ears
He can’t pretend he doesn’t hear the singing
I wanna see the madness up close
I wanna microscope that Cheese-ball
See the ventricles of the greed
Hear the beat of the bacon heart

A grizzly bear waves to a crow
Long lost lovers

“grabbed by the notion” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday, July 21, 2015
12:10pm
5 minutes
From a letter to a celebrity

I love the expansive sky across the back
Shoulder to shoulder
I love the gentle down coat
The hand that fits on waist and hip and bum cheek
Men though
Man though
A man can’t be a sister like a woman
Obvious
Perhaps
But sometimes I forget
When I look across the table and see a gaze that doesn’t understand
Humans are humans
Gender is
I don’t know
I reach out my finger and you touch it with yours
This is our understanding
A quiet moment
Your back to me
Expansive sky
My eyes searching for clouds
In bed
Your chest is my pillow
Legs and arms intwined
Enough

“I see four stages” by Julia on the bench outside Baldwin Laundry


Friday, July 10, 2015
4:08pm
5 minutes
On Writing Zion
Maureen Stanton


Day One:
listening at the door to see if Alistair is still crying into his pillow
making sure he knows he can talk to me if he needs to
hoping that if he needs to he doesn’t bring up Deb
knowing that if he’s going to, he’s going to bring up Deb
preparing to talk about Deb
hand-washing the kimono Rufus stole for me at the charity drive
listening to Marco Beltrami to help focus my intentions

Day Two:
Consoling Alistair again about Deb
Using kind words with him like Easy Does It, There There Sweet One, I’m Not Going Anywhere
Wearing the kimono in front of the mirror to test it out
Deciding to wear the kimono loosely tied when dealing with Alistair
Figuring out ways to move my body naturally so as not to arouse suspicion when dealing with Alistair
practicing the look of genuine understanding and concern mixed with attraction

“She said she was an actress” by Julia at Grange Park


Friday, July 3, 2015
3:48pm
5 minutes
said by a Valens customer

She said she was an actress
Her heart the bleeding kind
She said she was a change maker
Her heart the bleeding kind
She said she was only half living
Her heart the tortured kind
She said she was only half being
Her heart the tortured kind
She said she was a lover once
Her heart the open kind
She said she was mother once
Her heart the open kind
She said she was an actress
Her heart the beating kind
She said she was a slave to the art
Her heart the beating kind
She said she was unhappy
Her heart the breaking kind
She said she was wasn’t done yet
Her heart the breaking kind

“Our favourite woman is missing!!!” by Julia at Valens Restaurant


Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at Valens Restaurant
10:02 pm
5 minutes
From a text

I wait for Dany to close the door fully before I utter a single word about Cynthia. I hear the click. Dany waits at the window watching Mitchell get into his car. She makes sure he drives away then she slowly turns around.
“He’s gone.”
“You sure?”
“Yeah. Watched him drive off. ”
“I don’t think she’s dead. ”
“Don’t say that. I knew you were going to say that. ”
“Hear me out, Dany. I’ve given this a lot of thought. ”
“I don’t like that she could be alive and wouldn’t tell us. Or wouldn’t even tell her own brother. ”
“That’s just it, Mitch can’t know about her. No one can. ”

“nasal congestion” by Julia at Grange Park


Friday, June 26, 2015
5:45pm
5 minutes
NETI: Healing Secrets of Yoga and Ayurveda

I can hear her blow her nose through the wall. Thin ass walls, the realtor conveniently forgot to mention. My husband’s obsessed with her. Whenever he hears her go out onto her patio he somehow gets struck with an urgent need for”fresh air”. He goes out there so he can ogle her and imagine what colour her underwear is. He thinks he’s being so slick but I know what he’s doing. He just assumes I’m none the wiser because I don’t say anything. I guess I don’t quite know how I feel about it. Do I care? Do I even mind? When he goes outside for his fantasy time, I have the house to myself and I forget about him completely. It doesn’t even bother me when he goes out because that alone time feels so good. It’s when he comes back in I can’t stand: adjusting himself and quickly thinking of something to say that will convince him, and he thinks me, that he wasn’t just outside wishing he could stay there.

“nasal congestion” by Sasha outside of Banyan Books


Friday, June 25, 2015 outside of Banyan Books
11:41am
5 minutes
NETI: Healing Secrets of Yoga and Ayurveda


You’re ready. You’ve got a bottle of Grapefruit Perrier and a small bag of peanut M & M’s, poured into a pink teacup because you’re classy like that. You even blew your nose so that all your senses could be in their most tip top shape. You turn up your screen brightness and adjust the volume just in case there’s any video content. You know your route, your map, your lily pad path on which you’ll jump. You’ll hit up exactly two ex-boyfriends, but that’s just the warm-up, like a quad stretch or a neck roll. Then, you’re ready for the big leagues. The Ladies. First, the ex-girlfriend of an ex-fuck buddy. She’s so political. She’s so colourful and always has impeccable, stylish but not too stylish haircuts. She’s vegan. You eat exactly twelve M & M’s on her pages (Facebook settings are private, so quick! On to Twitter and Tumblr!), and then feel guilty and dump the rest in the compost. Next, the sister of your best friend from grade three. She’s a violinist. She’s in a band. She blogs while they’re on tour and one time you definitely had sex with the drummer so it’s a nice way to keep tabs! No! Big! Deal! You feel shitty about the fact that you called him drunk two years after sleeping with him ONCE and try to fish the M & M’s out of the compost. #FAIL

“Reducing your taxes” by Julia on her patio


Monday May 18,2015
10:19pm
5 minutes
http://www.finance.ubc.ca

I met a woman and she was obsessed with money and she gave me her card and it took me a while to realize it but the reason was cause she was an accountant and it dawned on me a couple days later but now it makes sense cause when a woman talks about money that much and with that much authority she must be some professional when it comes to sorting all that stuff out–you know the numbers and the what have yous. I think she was trying to sell me her business cause of the card cause she could hear that I wasn’t too good with all those numbers and terms and she musta thought I was a big dumb man not knowing how to take care of all those financial issues and the like. It got me to thinking of my ex-wife Rosie cause she didn’t know a thing about money and she used to tell me it wasn’t her job to worry about bills and limits and payments and the what have yous and that’s why ours were always such a problem case I didn’t like them either. She used to say that women don’t know money just the way men don’t know gentleness and if we just teamed up then we’d never have to learn the other part cause that’s how God intended it when he looked down on the earth and matched up two people and decided how to make them into a family. This woman with the money she told me real nice that my eyes made her feel things she had never felt before and when she gave me her card and told me to call her I thought for a second maybe she wanted to love me.

“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

“bowled over” by Julia on the 505 going west


Monday, April 20, 2015
11:34pm
5 minutes
from the Cultch Season Announcement

Mallory was listening to Sarah Harmer on repeat. She had this one song on the go that she just couldn’t stop playing. She may have had it on her New Year’s playlist for 2009 and it may have reminded her of her first love, Sean, though he probably didn’t even know who Sarah Harmer was. Sean was only slightly taller than Mallory and for the first time in her life she didn’t care that he wasn’t over 6 feet. She would have accepted anything about Sean because he had this cute way of swaying back and forth to a hidden track in his head. He was goofy and he was sweet, and he respected women because he had 4 sisters. He also moved away when things got real for them. Not just once, but twice. Mallory thought he’d come back just like the first time, but he didn’t. He wanted a simpler life. Not one that required breaking one’s heart open again and again.

“And now I know he’s not my soulmate” by Sasha at UBC


Wednesday March 18, 2015
1:16pm
5 minutes
overheard at aroma espresso bar

Lying beside G., he smells like salami and body odour or maybe his body odour is salami-like
And now I know he’s not my soulmate
My soulmate’s sweat will smell like pinecones
Looking across the table at A., he chews like a rabbit (all front teeth) and it’s even stranger because we’re eating sushi
I down a half bottle of sake (come on, they’re small)
And now I know he’s not my soulmate
My soulmate will chew mostly with his molars
Flecks of rice will not escape when he leans in to tell me about the shower gel at his gym
Walking beside Z., he always keeps a half-step ahead of me, preferring that I always be in “catch-up” mode
And now I know he’s not my soulmate
My soulmate will walk with me, side-by-side, fingers grazing like blades of grass

I trust signs
It’s a sign
There’s a sign
And there, too

“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

“I’ll try and take it off” by Sasha on the 99 heading East


Thursday January 29, 2015
6:36pm
5 minutes
overheard at Mina’s Fabric

M: I’ll try and take it off but I’m not making any promises.
W: How could you promise me that? Realistically…
M: Good point but, like, you know what I mean.
Pause.
W: Look, I never meant to let things get like this.
M: I know.
W: And I’m sorry for what I said about your beard…
M: It’s not a big deal –
W: I’m sorry though.
M: I appreciate that. I really do.
Pause.
W: It’s growing on me…
Pause. They laugh.
W: I didn’t even mean to say that.

“there’s nothing to switch on” by Julia at Pearson Airport


Thursday January 22, 2015
4:10pm
5 minutes
enRoute magazine
January 2015


The girl overreacted. I watched her do it. Someone cut in front of her in line at the dollar store. She reacted. It was over the top. An overreaction, you know. She looked like she was searching for answers-as if they’d come by opening and closing her eyes rapidly. I wanted to yell at her, “Hey! There’s nothing to switch on!” But it wouldn’t have been worth it. It wouldn’t have meant anything to her. I think she was just one of those empty birds, desperate to hold onto something. The type of girl who says, “I’m not much of a reader. I don’t have the attention span.” Or “I prefer audio books cause then your eyes don’t get tired.” Or “Each to his own. Each to his own.”

“and back to discipline” by Julia on the couch at the Coren’s country house


Friday December 26, 2014
1:43pm
5 minutes
Uncle Fred in the Springtime
P.G. Wodenhouse


Wake up. 6am. Decide. Wake up? 6am? Sleep longer. One hour? One half hour. Wake. Wake up. Wake up and start. Day needs. Lists. Wake up. 6:16am. Decide. Move. Go. Start. Coffee. Skip it. Banana. Second banana. Leftover popcorn. Start. Go. Teeth brushed. Floss? Not today. Not tomorrow either. Fuck. Buy toothpaste. Buy deodorant. Troll living. Stop troll living. Out the door. Go. Get moving. Groceries. Find recipe for butter tarts. Try to look everywhere. Go to store. Back. Back to store. Buy butter. Buy butter tarts. Fuck it. Fuck. Check list. Clams. Clams? Oh, clams. For the sauce. Build the sauce. 4pm start. Ready for 6pm. 6pm. Decide. Decide to wash. Tomorrow maybe. Maybe tomorrow. Change sweatshirt. Tomorrow buy new sweatshirt.

“and back to discipline” by Sasha in the kitchen at Bowmore


Friday December 26, 2014
12:13pm
5 minutes
Uncle Fred in the Springtime
P.G. Wodenhouse


Her pants are tight. She resents that, but she keeps quiet about it and makes sure no one knows when she unbuttons the top button and pulls her shirt down past her bum. It was a terrible idea to make fudge. She feasted and only had enough left to give it to her mother and her brother for Christmas. Her poor dad said, “Where’s mine, pookie?” And she had no words. She just pointed to her round tummy and felt the colour rise in her cheeks. She ate ham and turkey and left the potatoes but then ate them when no one was looking. She poured gravy on her pancakes and when her brother made fun of her she took them into the bathroom and ate sitting on the toilet.

“super true to who they are” by Julia at Katie’s flat in London


Monday December 8, 2014
1:16am
5 minutes
from an interview with Annabel Soutar

I have been telling myself for one whole year that I am good and worthy and beautiful and enough. My life coach told me I should recite these things and try to remind myself that I actually believe them. I started trying to believe them one morning in April of last year because it was the spring or something and things seemed like they were being reborn. I wanted to be reborn. I didn’t want to hate myself anymore. I didn’t want to wish I was born of a different woman and therefore raised by one, believing I was just different and not the me I actually was. The process was a long one. I was not the me I actually was or wanted to be, but the me I had no choice in being. The dead me with crispy hair. The forgotten me with only 5 friends at my funeral. I had a lot of visions that I would never wake up. So I went to her and told her with my blood: HELP.

“a very small quantity of mud” by Julia in Lozzola


Tuesday December 2, 2014
8:06pm
5 minutes
Cartapaglia notebook

A very small quantity of mud
A memory
A soiled vision of a past self
Could never get that dirt off
Could never scrub hard enough
Could never pray loud enough
Too many times told
“You will never be more than what you are”
Too many times heard
“You’ll never be worth much”
Too many times believed
“Nobody wants you”
And so the story is written
Burned
Etched into the shadow of yesterday
Remembering the washing
Attempting to erase past mistakes
Stuck there in that moment
The helpless youth
Left staring at herself in a broken mirror
With a wet cloth
And a tiny quantity of mud

“a very small quantity of mud” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday December 2, 2014
8:06pm
5 minutes
Cartapaglia notebook

We’re sittin’ there, at the bar and she’s crunchin’ peanuts an’ makin’ a stack of the shells an’ I been keepin’ my distance but like… So, I turn to her an’ I say, “Nice haircut.” An’ she turns real slow an’ says, “I didn’t get any haircut.” An’ I feel like an idiot, right, like, I coulda sworn something was different about her. She’s drinkin’ that Okanagan Springs, right, so I say to the bartender, “Give ‘er another,” an’ she says, “No,” No?! I’m tryin’ ta buy a beautiful woman a drink! She hops off ‘er stool an’ she says, “You know what, dipshit? I can buy my own drinks! Yeah! I have a J-O-B. I probably make more money than you do! What do you think’s gonna happen, you’re gonna buy me a drink and I’m gonna fall for you? Or give you a pity handjob or somethin’? No fuckin’ thanks!” An’ she goes over to the shuffleboard an’ starts saltin’ the table. My, my, my hands are shakin’, you know what I mean? Thank Christ Tom was takin’ a leak ‘cuz he woulda laughed his ass off…

“It was probably so hard not to slap him” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Monday December 1, 2014 at Higher Grounds
5:04pm
5 minutes
A text from Katerina

It was probably so hard not to slap him when he turned to you and said, “I’m in love with her. What do you want?” It’s not even a question. Rhetorical or otherwise or whatever. It’s not even a question. If you knew what you wanted you wouldn’t be here, popping peanuts like happy-pills and trying to unbraid and re-braid your brain. Your fingers are cramping like the history teacher you had in eleventh grade who’d had to retire in his forties because he couldn’t grip chalk anymore his hands were so arthritic. You watched him watch her, all bounce, all vapid face, all out and in and out again. He approaches her and she shrugs him off like a spaghetti noodle and he takes his seat again, at the bar, beside you, and he curses you for finishing the peanuts.

“Share with a friend!” by Sasha on the bus home


Wednesday November 26, 2014
9:14pm
5 minutes
from a thank you card

When my mother makes soup she chops up everything in the fridge – even the rejected broccoli florets in the crisper corner – and she lets it simmer and she adds salt and pepper only at the very end.

“Two eggs and one piece of whole grain toast has been my breakfast for forty six years… Why would I change that now?”

When my mother goes grocery shopping she organizes her grocery list by type. “Fruit”, “Meat”, “Dairy”, “Treats”.

“Snacking causes obesity.”

When my mother makes salad dressing, she chops up garlic very finely. She refuses to use a garlic press. “Lazy,” she calls them.

“Take this banana bread and share it with a friend! I don’t want it!”
“Well then why did you make it?”
“I wanted one or two pieces, not the whole loaf! If it sits on the counter, I just eat it!”

When my mother orders tea in a restaurant she says, “Bag out, please.”