“E Flat” – Ivana Velickovic


The windshield wipers,
unable to keep up
with the onslaught of rain,
conduct the evening’s nocturne,
making the street
seem so soft.

The lights,
they bleed, dissolve,
delicately struggle to keep the night alive
through the threat of approaching dreams.
But they persist,
twinkling like slight touches
on piano keys.
Each flat note an
intentional drip of the rain.

Filmy logos flash like traffic lights,
except they all feel like
Go, quickly now.
And yet I don’t.

I step out of my car,
leave the door wide open.
The streetlights cheer and brighten
as I walk into
a watercolour dream.


these words by Ivana Velickovic were inspired by the work of Lin Bao Ling

“Taste of Leaving” – Jess Glavina


The off-whites of your apartment
The buzz of your kitchen lamp
The halo it casts around your red hair as we wait for your friend

The fewer days you have to leave, the slower it feels

The essentials:
The two people you must say goodbye to.
The books to return. The one to get back.
The borrowed transit card. The money you owe.

I leave like I came
Moving alone through the city
A zigzag
Promises spoken lightly
turning to finishing nails in my pocket

these words by Jess Glavina were inspired by the work of Evelyn Bencicova

“City” – Samantha Lapierre


City, please be gentle with me. Be kind when I close my eyes and the pitch black becomes starry neon lights. Be sympathetic when I ride the streetcar alone, when I fall on the sidewalk and bust my knee open, when I descend wobbly stairs into basement bars illuminated with glowing red lights.

There are streets lined with Internet cafés, shadowy music halls and hole-in-the-walls that all house anonymity. I feel like a very small anonymous blip on your ever-growing radar.

Our necks twist and turn as we leer to recognize a familiar face. We pick fresh fruit from the market stands; cars whiz by and I hear a bicycle bell in the distance. Dead fish rest in storefront windows and people shuffle by. Everybody is hastily going about their own business.

I’ve given you a year of my life, and I’m not sure how much more I have left to give. City, please be gentle with me.


these words by Samantha Lapierre were inspired by the work of Olaf Hajek


how to escape a whale


Becca’s leaving the city. She’s accepted this: after the fight, the crying, the insults neither really meant or believed, after all the ways in which they’ve hurt each other – it’s time. She’s leaving. It’s not just him. There is, after all, a whole city. She could avoid him if she wanted to. But it’s that, it’s the city: The city is the problem.

Lately, she suspects that the city is following her – the same placid towers, the same ageless fire hydrants, the same cheery, nondescript shops trailing her from block to block. Its serenity, its immutability, make her want to scream in her state of perilous irritation. She used to love the city.

She used to hum to herself as she walked through it. She used to smile at strangers on its streets.

Now, especially at night, it seems smug. Streetlights glow with calculated eeriness. Its inexplicable rustlings take on a self-important tone, as if to prove that industry and vigor will always exist in the city.

She had come here to feel that things were happening. Even when she herself was doing nothing, she could walk out onto the street and smoke a cigarette and watch the million odd goings-on passing her by and feel that the night was not wasted. Look, a man in a velour suit with an iguana on his wrist – pet or accessory? And over there, those two women, well-dressed, middle-aged, wearing a bit too much bronzer perhaps, that woman has just stuck her ice cream cone directly into the face of her friend.

She wanted to go to street markets, to art galleries, to neighbourhoods she’d never seen before, and partake in culture and romance and all of the borrowed nostalgia of other people’s lives.

She wanted to go out at midnight and get drunk on gin and tonics and revel in the sad, seen-it-all glamour.

It was her who had loved the city. Not him. They’d had an argument once: he’d told her that living in the city was like being a mite on the back of a great, eternal animal: You could drop right off and nothing would change. But you could also burrow your own tiny hole in the surface of the animal, and you would be free to do so. The city would continue in its forward momentum, unbothered by the specks living on its skin.

“That’s ludicrous,” she’d said. “We anthropomorphize cities, giving them entities, but they’re just made up of people. If we all disappeared, they wouldn’t keep going on their own.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“A city is not a tree with no one to hear it. Besides,” she’d added, “look at Detroit.”

Becca’s leaving the city. Every time she tries to picture being somewhere else, she can only see herself floating: Treading water, she watches its million winking points of light recede into the dark.

word by Charlotte Joyce Kidd 

colour by Carlo Stanga