Yeah Yeah Sorry Sorry

by Jake Campbell

Po Po asks, how’s school, and you tell her about Mrs. Wiebe, who wrote the drama club play Let’s Make the Most of It and who you adore. Your character Abbey, a housewife who loves to shop, dismisses her husband’s neck pain and is a stereotype. You don’t want your mothers at the performance because they’re feminists. A chubby grade five boy called Felix plays your husband, and he has great potential and you try to be a role model, but right now that’s impossible because you’re in Vancouver at the Pink Flamingo in a skirt and French braids. You tell all this to Po Po.

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City of Losers: The Tradition of Loserdom in Downtown Montreal

The night manager eats like a 12-year-old and doesn’t gain a pound. He’s 6’2” with a skeletal frame. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night he drives me home to Verdun after we stop at one of a handful of 24/7 restaurants on Montreal’s downtown west side: Angela’s on Maisonneuve for fettucine carbonara, the Subway on Guy where the guy on graveyard shift always gives us the firefighters’ discount in exchange for a steep tip, or else Joe’s Panini on Drummond.

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Photography by Carrie MacPherson

Madeleine Thien and Heather O’Neill are two of Canada’s most beloved authors of their generation. In a piece commissioned by carte blanche, the two award-winning writers discuss a wide range of topics, from being private people in a world that worships personality to backgrounds and the influences on their work. This email exchange spanned a number of weeks this fall.

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At the Izmailovo Flea Market

Moscow, September 2000

A chained bear dancing on its two feet

for rubles and corn welcomes us. Dolled-up

food chains on shelves: Stalin is pregnant

with Lenin is pregnant with Rasputin

is pregnant with Nicholas II is pregnant

with a kopek-eyed Anastasia. My mother counts

shiny rubles, eye-patched in blue beef

smoke, and I am miraculously pregnant

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