“Redeemable exclusively at” by Julia on her bed

Thursday August 1, 2019
2:40pm
5 minutes
From a Salvation Army flyer

you can cash in here
give your nickles and dimes
for a better time
sure you can cash in here

i’ve got some grief i need to redeem, trade it in for
a bucket of your best excuses
mourn the loss of every baby i let die in the mines after i finally said they could be gold

i did what i was told, held their hands and plugged their noses, dunked their heads and laid out roses
the goodbye don’t come easy when it’s not your time to go

you can cash in here, get your bang for your buck, i’m the counter with the tear duct tango and you’re trying to find someone to dip

“my mother gave me his toolbox” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday Novermber 1, 2017
9:07pm
5 minutes
My Father’s Hammer
John Hodgen

I had never hung a picture frame before. I didn’t like the idea of putting holes in a wall I was going to have to return. Never stayed around long enough to hold anything that wasn’t already mine. That, and each wall ruined cost one hundred dollars to fix, no matter how small. No matter how nook. Then out of nowhere my mother brings over his toolbox and leaves it on the doorstep. Like a sad nicky nicky nine doors. I couldn’t bring myself to open it until a year later. I found other ways to decorate. Most of my frames lived propped against the walls, as if forever waiting for their turn to go up. They collected dust, like they would if they were hanging, but I pretended I liked them that way. A cluster of art to acccent the floorboards and all the corners where the hundred dollar walls meet. One day it was raining and I somehow got up the nerve to open the box. Inside was a note addressed to me. It said “You can always take it down.” I don’t know how he knew.

“When ur cat is more” by Julia on her couch


Friday February 5, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
A meme on Facebook

I’ve been dreamin’ about Jeanie again. She’s comin’ back to haunt my sleep! Purrin’ like a pretty cat does. I think she’s tryin’ to tell me somethin’ important cause I keep on missin’ her and she keeps on comin’ back. Tonight I’m goin’ to try to ask her some very dreamy yet respectable questions. Jeanie never talks but maybe that’s cause she’s waitin’ on me to lead the way. That’s how she was when she was alive anyway. Always movin’ so slow just to let me go ahead of her. She was very chivalrous! Always waitin’ for me, lettin’ me go first. That’s real love cause cats don’t usually want to go anythin’ but fast, sept when they’re creapin’ up on prey! Oh Jeanie! Tonight in my dreams I am gonna ask you for the first time if you’re happy. You always asked me. You always made sure my answer was yes!

“grabbed by the notion” by Julia on the 505 going West


Tuesday, July 21, 2015
11:28pm
5 minutes
from a letter to a celebrity

I’m on the ocean
The waves are healing me
I’m looking deep
In the cave in my chest
I’m on the ocean
The water is curing me
I’m holding tight
To the magic underneath

I remember these words better than I remember my own address. They’ve been sung into my soul so many times that they’re practically mine, top to bottom. Grandma used to sing it to me before bed. She dreamed of the ocean, and taking me there to live with her. When Aunt Christina passed away, Grandma said she knew a place where I wouldn’t feel any pain. She asked Mom if I could go but Mom said, You’re not leaving me too, not now, not ever. And Grandma tried so long to get me there. I didn’t know how much Mom hated to be alone.

“Titus and Louise” by Sasha at Great Dane Coffee


Thursday February 12, 2015 at Great Dane Coffee
2:50pm
5 minutes
a storefront window on Dupont St.

Michael died on Tuesday
I only met him once
Two summers ago
Walking across Langavin Bridge
Still thinking about his performance
His words
His spooked character
Abducted by aliens

I can’t shake the sadness
A coal of grief in my throat
I keep re-reading the article
in the Globe and Mail
A strange comfort in the facts
The newsprint

A pile-up on the Saskatchewan highway
A snow storm
A car with three others
Artists and activists
All of them killed

The coffee bubbles on the stove
The trees are starting to blossom
in Vancouver
All across the country
Other coals of grief burn
Brighter
Lighter
A crow calls
I look

“your grief for what you’ve lost” by Julia at her desk


Friday March 21, 2014
12:44am
5 minutes
Bird Wings
Mary Oliver


Sarah-Jane lost her keys the same morning she lost her mind which was the same morning she lost her fiancee, and nobody knows which order it was. They speculate: they think one obvious event would lead to the next. Some call it Murphy’s law. Some would argue in the same breath that Murphy’s law doesn’t even come close to encapsulating what happened to poor Sarah-Jane.
There were reporters on her doorstep trying to interview her. Sarah-Jane was not really up for talking but the first couple times her doorbell rang she assumed it was family or a casserole and answered it without thinking there’d be cameras. Some people are cold and heartless that way. Not allowed to grieve what you’ve lost in peace and solitude the way she so clearly needed.

“dropped the iron” by Julia at her desk


Sunday December 1, 2013
7:17pm
5 minutes
Justine’s Birthday
Jean Sheppard


Oh sweet Lila, he mumbled in his sleep, the house plants are looking grim. Lila had been dead for years. Hardy hadn’t had plants for just as long. He was making little progress in getting past his wife’s death. His doctor friend, Kai, had mentioned once half heartedly that he was disappointed by the developments, and Hardy made sure to ignore him after that. He didn’t see the point in paying a friend for his opinion when he could just ask him for it. Hardy was a bit confused and began to believe that doctor Kai was his friend all along, and maybe even in the first place. Kai didn’t want Hardy to feel alone so he took special precautions during their sessions. He’d pay him closer attention and try to laugh a little more when he attempted to make a joke.