“retirement and investment savings” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday August 3, 2019
11:28am
5 minutes
From a piece of mail

I worried about money until other things came on deck
things that take more breath and bones than bills do

and that is privilege in action right

Fuck
I’m sorry

I used to think by thirty-three there’d be retirement
and investment savings but
well

that’s just not the case
like so many cases are not the case
and so many cases are
case closed
case re-opened
“In this case I…”

what is the case is broken hearts

and packing tape
and all our stuff piling up in a corner of a room
where I both do and don’t want to be
where I do and don’t need to be

healing hearts
hearts in throats
little kid hearts hurting so bad
wanting to heal
wanting release

wanting to teach our girl that
love looks like being true
and being true looks like vulnerability
and vulnerability is power

hearts in the hands of all the earthly angels that love us

I circle my mind
a low flying gull
ride her tail feathers towards destruction
ride her wings towards hope

“we always found a way” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday July 31, 2019
11:10pm
5 minutes
From a thank you card

This is you, body coiled and then crumpled
naked in pillows, the baby thrashing
an arm’s length away

We have always found a way back to how we tether,
how we teethe the truth, a bone
like the dinosaurs on display

You want so much

This is the heart within the heart,
a love that I didn’t know was possible,
the ache that grabs my throat

licks my cheek,
tells me to grovel and snarl,
thumbs protected by fingers,

protected by the willingness to pretend.
I stick sorry across your torso,
your back, your jaw

I want so much

I see myself through your eyes
and she’s a famished feral one,
governed by hunger

frozen by fear.
I stick sorry on the tip of my tongue,
lick my arms, legs, belly

Hold up one finger to you
A white flag.

“Is it the beginning of a poem?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday March 28, 2019
10:02am
5 minutes
The Poet Always Carries A Notebook
Mary Oliver

Forest walk. Billy runs ahead. His back legs are starting to go. Happens to German Shepherds. He still runs like he means it. Runs like he’ll live forever. Ferns are shooting out in every direction. I forgot for awhile that it’s spring. Stream under the second bridge is rushing. Stop and close my eyes and breathe in the damp sweetness. Feel Billy’s nose at my fingertips. Start a poem today. Just start. Haven’t written in too long. Fixing the leaky roof. Volunteering at the shelter. Banality. Bathes. Cuddles with Billy and falling asleep.

“This one has more nuts” By Julia at the studio


Wednesday September 13, 2017
6:28pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Bump n’ Grind

Last night I thought I’d woo you with a sage butter walnut sauce
in my dreams the slick pasta would make you hard instantly
then you’d fuck me on the counter top
taking breaks to slurp back another slippery noodle
Last night I made a sage butter walnut sauce
Okay, margarine
I should have grinded the nuts more
I should have put fewer in
You ate three bowls and we didn’t fuck once
You asked why I wasn’t talking
I said these walnuts are killing me
You laughed
it really wasn’t funny
I told you sometimes I’m not sure how deep this
sadness lives
You interrupted me then, the first real thing I’d said
in days
to tell me how much you liked the sage
I guess dreams really do come true

“This one has more nuts” By Sasha at Bump n’ Grind


Wednesday September 13, 2017 at Bump n’ Grind
12:38pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Bump n’ Grind

When I speak to her, I taste egg salad sandwiches on white bread, lots of mayo. The phone rings again fuck fuck fuck I don’t want to answer. But I do. This is my practice, I say. Show up show up. Hi. Hi. Blah blah on on on stress drugs. I know I’m not making sense but I can’t be fully clear because I don’t want to betray and five minutes isn’t a lot of time and I might run out before I can find the happy ending. HA. There’s pickle in that egg salad. Sweet pickle. I open up the sandwhich and pick each bit out, building a tiny fortress on the counter, amongst all these god damn dishes.

“confused about her life path” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday January 29, 2017
10:29pm
5 minutes
from Clairvoyance
Mary Ellen Flora


I wouldn’t say that I’m confused
that’s not how I feel it in the ball
of yarn in my guts snaking up on my tongue
through to
I wouldn’t say that I’m confused
but I am questioning of the evolution
of dreams and reality and present and future
and purpose
and if it’s enough to do it and do it and
do it and do it and then what if it’s not
enough?

Sitting in a circle in stretchy pants
and a grey sweatshirt I was twenty one
and I knew that the reason I wanted to
tell stories was because I felt how
they changed my becoming I was surrounded
by classmates and we spoke why we wanted
to be actors and we cried and we got naked
and we looked at ourselves in mirrors
and we fell in love with each other and with
the dreams and reality and present and future.

Making snow angels in the parking lot I
knew that I was not alone but I was so alone.

“Hit the road Jack” by Sasha on the couch in Cowichan Bay


Saturday December 31, 2016
8:08pm
5 minutes
From a record

Jack’s packed this car like a master puzzler, every box and bag filling any open space. “Will you be able to see?” I ask, putting our turkey sandwiches into old yogurt containers.

I kiss the doorframe and Jack says, “Goodbye, sweet spot.” We hug for awhile, before I lock the door and slide the key through the mailbox, like we told George, our super, we’d do.

Halfway to the highway, I start to cry.

“Not to be pulled savagely” by Sasha in Cowichan Bay


Monday November 14, 2016
10:39pm
5 minutes
Canvas
John Coyote


I once was a doll dressed in burlap and lace
a voice in my toes
beneath sheep’s wool stuffing
drumming fingers on the back of an empty soup can
Standing on a base with a name carved in cursive
“It’s not my name it’s not my name!”
But no one hears

I once was a doll with a face frozen in smile
curtsey cutesy never stop the YES
I’ll bend and I’ll spread and I’ll
lose arms and paint
I’ll shake and I’ll squish and I’ll
get sick and I’ll love you
love you
love

“loading up the cart sheer to the brim” by Julia at Nicole’s house


Sunday, January 3, 2016
10:12pm
5 minutes
http://www.bonappetit.com

Tilly-Jean names her new rooster Amelia and asks her best friend, Fannie if she wants to come over and parade her around. Fannie loves parading around Tilly’s roosters but the last one was very traumatic as she was shot in the middle of the parade and nobody can really forget the death of a parading rooster.
Fannie tells Tilly-Jean that she will come over only if she promises to avoid the Overly yard and take the Elmsview route instead.
Tilly-Jean tells Fannie that the point of a parade is to SEE Amelia, not keep her hidden. She tells Fannie that she doesn’t know if that’s a fair condition. Fannie doesn’t like seeing death more than she needs to so she tells Tilly that she will not change her mind and to call her back after she has made an educated decision.

“loading up the cart sheer to the brim” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, January 3, 2016
11:20am
5 minutes
http://www.bonappetit.com

The mastery of the art of failure is hard won
Like any true knowledge it comes with bruises to the
imagination and early mornings of dry mouths and
too much black coffee
Failure is heavier than success
Success is not failure’s opposite but it’s sister

What if we re-imagined the graph that we’ve learned by
heart a thousand and one times?
What if we created with curiosity as a guide?
What if we relinquished stars and reviews and top ten lists
in favour of real full bodied failure attempts?

“UNION” by Julia in her bed at a hostel in Levanto


Saturday September 20, 2014
12:57am
5 minutes
from a flyer for a yoga studio

They tell me not to join it they tell me not to avoid it they tell me not to come inside they tell me not to be alive
I waited till the sun went down and broke a flower’s petal. I had it in my back pocket when I was little and now I’m big. It’s been in there a long time. It’s been in there a long long time.
They tell me not to fight the fight they tell me things they cannot hide they tell me not to join it they tell me not to avoid it
I waited till the rain poured in and stole a flower’s centre. I had it in my front pocket when I was in the middle and now I’m on the side. It’s been in there a long time. It’s been in there a long long time.

“Stufo (agg) fed up (with)sick (of) ” by Julia at Il fiume in Monetelone


Wednesday September 17, 2014
4:11pm
5 minutes
Availiardi Dizionario Italiano-Inglese

After my nap I wake t the three cats in heat moaning to be let inside. I begged Mira not to feed them the very first time they showed up at our door and she refused to listen, claiming I was an insensitive product of my own eternal cynicism. I told her I had heard that cynicism would change the quality of our lives and she shook her head while pouring milk from the height of her hip into two tiny yogurt containers on the landing. Now these cats, thought I could have predicted it, are outs and we have to love them or it might, heaven forbid, breed more insensitive cynicism. I don’t love these cats. I don’t love most cats. I tried to give them a piece of my heart but in their eyes I see a great manipulation and a hunger that can’t be trusted. I think they see that in me too, even though I reluctantly feed them now and sometimes throw bits of yarn their way when I feel like attempting my good deed for the day. Mira never seems to be here anymore–always working late nights at the factory. I’m left here with these little gypsy cats more than I’d like.

“For the Canadian Girl!” by Julia at Parco Delle Energie in Rome


Sunday September 14, 2014
5:26pm
5 minutes
From a note from a new friend

When the light in the room was enough to make out who was who but not distinguish any defined features, we traded partners after the daze of wine had begun to take shape, and the after effects of the powder we dropped into our glasses started to tingle our skin. I had wanted him from the beginning but I never let on because it felt unfair to her. She had no idea that he had wanted me too, so I pretended not to notice that our looks across the pool the night before had lasted longer than they maybe should have. Tonight when it was her idea, in love with the drug and the moonlight giving her courage, none of us said no for fear of complicating an easy reward. We moved slowly, finally to each other’s lover and sat slowly down beside the new arms and legs, the new heartbeat, the new pulse. She wanted mine and I wanted hers. I always always wanted hers.

“most honour you” by Julia at Parco Del Colle Oppio


Wednesday September 10, 2014
4:08pm
5 minutes
King Lear
William Shakespeare


A man I can see from the corner of my eye has gone from one side’s fountain to the other side’s fountain back and forth for over an hour now. Sometimes he has his shirt off, sometimes he has it on. He carries a plastic bag with him so I’m assuming from that alone that he stays here most of his time. The first moment I saw him, he was drinking the water and wetting his hands. The second time he was dunking his whole head in it and pouring water down the back of his pants. The third time he washes under his arms. He must have been just trying to keep cool, but he seemed more obsessed with the baptism of something deeper–the purifying of what’s under the skin.

“We invite you to relax” by Julia at Toronto Pearson International Airport


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

I was eating an eight dollar red quinoa salad (don’t worry, I didn’t buy it. My cab driver, Irfan got it from the grocery store for me because I personally requested him to take me to the airport. The only thing is, I can’t give anyone his car number because he gets really weird about “sharing the love”. But, you know, whatever.) and I realized how easy it is to just mow down on something refreshing and light. I ate the entire tub of it (it was eight dollars, remember. But I always tip Irfan well so I pretty much did pay for it. Whatever whatever,) and I didn’t even feel bad. Except for when the man with the pink tie watched me lick the lid. That was not my finest moment. But then I didn’t care because I was just one person at the airport and so was he, but we weren’t connected in any way at all, and I didn’t owe him sensible table manners. But the point of all of this is that you should make yourself red quinoa salads in advance because they will feed you (and oh so happily) for days.

“I don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars, but I did.” By Julia at Urban Post


Friday, September 5, 2014 at http://urbanpost.ca/
5:33pm
5 minutes
How To Make Love In America
Sarah Nicole Prickett



I don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars because I was too busy looking at him. He might have. That would have been nice in that moment if I wasn’t already overwhelmed by a beauty that I could name. That I could touch. That I could hold. I don’t remember if he told me to look up at the sky because I was too busy looking into the moment we created. He might have. That would have been nice if I didn’t already have plans to congratulate us on getting this far in the cold. Or in the rain. Or in the both. I do remember saying that I wanted my forever person to look just like him. I remember that part because it came from a place that I didn’t force. Or create. Or fix. I wanted my forever person to have his eyes. His smile. His eyebrow scar. I wanted my forever person to have the same mix of beard colours: brown, orange, white.

“I don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars, but I did.” By Sasha at Higher Grounds


Friday, September 5, 2014 at Higher Grounds
12:44pm
5 minutes
How To Make Love In America
Sarah Nicole Prickett


I don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars, but I did. They were singing a Ray Lamontagne song, but only for me. For him, they were quiet. We were both still lost, still younger than we wanted to believe, still looking elsewhere for what we really wanted. It’s hard to find stars in the city. I do, though. It’s more important to me than a good book on my bedside table, but I won’t easily admit that. My mother is good at naming constellations. She can spot Orion and Cassiopeia and gives directions as to where to look. The stars sing Joni Mitchell to her. Even though she doesn’t say so, I know it. When I’m with her, and the stars, I hear Big Yellow Taxi.

“By a man’s fingernails,” by Sasha on her steps


Tuesday August 5, 2014
11:09pm
5 minutes
a quote by Sherlock Holmes

He’s circling low
Like a crow
He’s staking his claim
And it’s your name
He’s turning his eye
You’re not sure why
He’s staking his claim
And it’s your name
He’s taller than most
He’s not one to boast
He’s staking his claim
And it’s your name
He’s a shoot and a score
He always wants more
He comes in the dark
And he makes his mark
He’s staking his claim
And it’s your name
He’s quiet as a mouse
He enters your house
He makes you a cake
But it’s filled with worms.