“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 thin woods and across the highway” by Julia on Amanda’s couch 

Sunday August 19, 2018
10:00pm
5 minutes
November 1968
Brian Doyle

My best friend is a deer whisperer. She is pen pals with at least three of them and one doe with her faun. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was a deer in a past life. She knows exactly how to breathe around them. She knows exactly what to hum. This month she asked one of them for protection and she granted it. She said her grace when she realized how  steadfast it all was. Nothing else in life is this sure. I hope when she writes them she tells them about me. Maybe they will love me by proxy. Maybe they will send their Forest Friends to keep me safe too.

“Getting lost in the dark is my favorite part” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday June 28, 2018
9:56pm
5 minutes
PYNK
Janelle Monáe

I know how the story ends, or at least I pretend that I do. Cello music plays. The lake is like glass. It’s dusk.

Getting lost in the dark is my favourite part. What’s yours?

Solo piano on the record player.

I know how the story ends.

Closing my eyes and seeing the night sky, seeing Jupiter, the full moon, Orion’s Belt.

A loon calls.

Where do we put our grief down when we’ve taken it far enough?

Hurl it into the water and watch as it floats on the surface and then sinks?

Bury it amongst the pines?

Hope that someone, a stranger, might tap me on the shoulder and say, “Would you like me to carry that for you for awhile?”

“freckles on thighs and in-between.” By Sasha on the 17

Tuesday February 13, 2018
9:43pm
5 minutes
Teachable Moment, 1986
Kellee Ngan

My finger traces the freckles on her thighs and
in between the places there are no windows
there is no bright.

Red jacket and long johns and beeswax on the sheets
and white sage and kettle singing and cat curled at our feet
and Marvin Gaye record spinning and spinning

Muck out to the pottery studio
out beyond the outhouse.
The reassurance of snow.
The dependability of sun breaking through cloud cover after weeks.

Drinking black coffee out of chipped pottery.
Eating honey by the spoonful.
Keeping warm by the space heater.

Hands learning a new language
your hair dirty and perfect
turning grey.

“what he learned about fire” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, October 19, 2015
9:49pm
5 minutes
Dramaturgical notes on My Ocean

What he learned about fire
standing beside his Papa in the thick of the birch and maple
fingers almost frozen from building up the kindling and scrunching the newspaper
what he learned is that it’s heat comes from the centre of the earth
it’s not the flint of the match striking against the small book
a bit of lint from Papa’s pocket
It’s the heat that inside all of us
waiting to escape
the kettle that sings on the stovetop
despite being empty
singing and singing and singing
until somebody listens
Standing beside his Papa in the stillness of the near naked trees
The brush starting to burn
reaching the kindling and the dried driftwood
always moving up up
Up
he is safe
He is the hand in his Papa’s hand
A spark jumps close to his left foot
A running shoe that once belonged to his cousin

“it brings out the deliciousness” by Sasha on her couch


Sun, October 18, 2015
4:29pm
5 minutes
The Ayurvedic Cookbook
Amadea Morningstar & Urmila Desai


Jay gets back from the woods and he’s different. He went to tree plant for a summer and stayed for four years. You got an email from him that simply said, “i’m staying”. No capitalization or punctuation. Just those two words. He gets back from the woods and the colour of his eyes has changed. We meet on Main St. for a beer and he takes me in like he never has before. He takes me in like a mirage, or the fall colours. I ask if he was lonely and he says he wasn’t. I ask if he’s weirded out by the concrete and the new buses. He says he isn’t. He asks if we’re still friends and I say, yeah, but it’s a bit of a lie because since he’s been gone we’ve only hung out a couple of times. His new eyes glaze over when I say this. He looks at his hands. They look like the hands of a father, the hands of someone who knows things about maple syrup and skinning rabbits.

“I look at the sky recalling” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday July 23, 2014
11:52am
5 minutes
A Memory Returns
Bobby Ferguson


I look at the sky recalling Jem’s face, beside mine, sharing one pillow like two chickens in the coop. His eyes are like the Big Dipper – sparkling and twinkling and telling stories without any words coming out. I go for walks in the forest by the old house, by the house with windows on all sides. Jem used to say he felt like he was in a fishbowl. “No one’s looking!” I’d say. We didn’t have neighbours. The only eyes on us were God’s.

“kind of contrary” by Sasha on her bed


Sunday January 26, 2014
1:31am
5 minutes
NOW Magazine, January 23-29, 2014

In the woods, I forage for mushrooms. Chanterelle, oyster, porcini and portobello. You try to tell me that we can’t find all of those varietals here but we can. And I do. I clean them with a cut-up sheet, covered in lilies of the valley. I chop them up all together, finely, dicing and mincing until the cutting board is blacked. I warm a skillet with a slab of butter and a sliced clove of garlic. I add the mushrooms. I stir, rhythmically. I close my eyes and I breath in the smell of this place. I eat a bowl of this with nothing else but a curl of parmesan cheese. I use a fork that used to belong to my sister. I watch the sun fall behind the trees and I listen to the owl reminding me of night. You’ve been by the water, trying to catch a trout. You come home once it’s dark, empty handed. But not for long… Soon you, too, have a bowl of mushrooms and a glass of elderflower wine.

“Stacking wood” by Sasha on her bed


Sunday January 19, 2014
1:03am
5 minutes
Stacking Wood
Mimi Lipton and Thorston Duser


Charlie and I stack wood in the late summer. She’s in her cut off Nirvana shirt and wrap around sunglasses, with grey cargo shorts. I’m in a floral sundress. It’s how we do it, me and Charlie. When she built the Yurt she was still coming to the city on weekends, but not anymore. The noise makes her hands shake. The light, street-lamps and signs on a higher voltage than the moon, gives her bad dreams. I come a few times a year. I bring things she can’t get in the town of three hundred that’s twelve kilometres away. Like chia seeds and tahini and heirloom tomato seeds. We don’t talk a lot, she mostly gestures, and occasionally reads me a passage from whatever book she’s reading. It’s disorienting to think that we shared a womb.