I do this for Brendan

I have written poems for 16 years.
I started in high school.
I started when I met Randy.
I continued writing with Nick V.
I met Amanda, she humbled me.
Hi-5 for Charity.

I graduated,
grew up, got sick.

I wrote poems in hospitals.
I wrote books in hospitals.

I wrote,

through love–
through tragedy–
through triumph.

I lost Amanda. I dedicated my first book to her.
I lost Nick, I wrote a poem for him.
I met Andrew. He showed me truth is a Rolling Stone.
I met Rob. He showed me MURS. MURS taught me to tell my story.
Rob taught me what happens when you push someone too far.
I met Rena. I promised her too many things.
I met Lisa. She made my house a home.
I met T.J, he reminded me I was not alone.
I met Toni, She showed me how to Be Cool. To Mash and mix.
I met Chad. He showed me how to rock a mic, how to keep it hot.
I met Joe. Cancer took Joe. I miss Joe.
I lost Effie, the world lost Effie. Still not sure why we lost Effie.
I met Brendan.
I related to Brendan. He was a star. A misunderstood constellation.

I do this for Brendan.

Today on the way to school, my nephew
asked me what heroic meant while playing
hi dinosaur game.
I thought about it, and said
it is when you try, and fail.
and try again.
It is when you save someone.
It is when you try and save someone.
He went back to his dinosaur game.

It made me think heroism,
is when you realize loss and love
shape you.
And you let it shape you.

It is about cherishing what you have.
while it is here.

That’s why I do this.
Because life is transient.

I do this

For Brendan,
For Amanda–

to keep their candles flickering.
to save someone.

to see God.


Photography © Allison Goldin

Photography © Allison Goldin


Jason Wright is the founder and Editor of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in California. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles.