Jazz Painting in the G Building

There should be art in hospitals –
loud, joyous art,
art with bold colors and varied meanings.
When the pallor of death and dying and
hangs on faces and hands and
Feet that are too warm.
take off my socks, please.
Because art doesn’t become too
There’s really nothing to look at


A writer’s benediction.

Last night, at 2:30 in the morning, I wrote this. I was talking to a friend when he threw out a few of the phrases in this poem (though I altered them somewhat) and all the sudden, my mind was racing. Obviously, a racing mind isn’t the thing one wants before attempting to fall asleep. But I was far more excited at the lines already forming in my head. After a few days of radio silence, it’s awesome when the wheels start turning at an unstoppable rate. So I wrote. God speaks loudly to me at night. I’m grateful for the voices He chooses to use – those of friends, but also sometimes my own.


You once read that we exist for nomenclature.
We give meaning in a way
we understand.
We are not the Artist
but we translate.
You don’t always believe it is a gift.
May that humility always reside
But may your gratefulness never fade.
May you hurl words at your adversaries,
especially the ones that live in you.
May you stare longer than necessary
at everything that begs for your attention.
There is beauty in caring
where no one else does.
May you punctuate your sentences honestly
and not sensationally.
May you never bow to the cliches
or fall at the feet of the cop-outs.
And when you do slip,
trust the words that try to catch you.
Even when they’re not your own.
May you cling to your idealism,
your bright and bruised optimism:
Hope that you’re heard by those
who matter.
When they shower you with praise
may you reflect it to the heavens.
But do so softly –
Loud modesty is often quiet pride.
May you recognize your weapons:
when your words are daggers
and when they are shields.
Use both,
because this world requires
May you trust your instincts:
pen only what must be penned.
The universe needs no more useless prose and empty poems.
When you’re grasping for a phrase
you are often killing the one that is already growing
deep within.
May you have patience for the slow-forming words.
And when you’re overflowing,
when you cannot catch the dripping letters,
may you have peace for what gets away.
May every day be contemplated
so you never feel guilty about
missing your muse.
If dragons swoop in
and carry away what you love,
may you never be afraid
of the curses you pour onto to page.
But if the eagles return to you
all you treasure,
may you be ready to eat your words.
You are always more blessed than you think,
especially when you are literate.
May you have the courage to sleep
when your thoughts will not hush,
and may you have the wisdom to stay up
because sometimes you must.
May you dream of great victories
over great evils.
May you never know enough
except when you do.
May you always crave understanding.
May the words flow from your fingers like lightning
and may God take pleasure in the storm.