The following is a poem that my friend Liz LaVenture wrote after the Ghost Ship tragedy in Oakland. She has graciously allowed me to reprint it. I find it beautiful in the power of her language.
People on the edge –
Creative, innovating minds –
Intersecting oppressions –
Intersecting life experiences –
People of Color, Latina/o, White,
or Gender Fluid –
Searching, Creating –
a new Way.
A New Life –
Gone, Dead –
Erased in a Flash of Flame –
a Cloud of Smoke.
Sailing a Sea of Dreams –
on a Ghost Ship.
Liz e LaVenture – 12/09/16
In writing Unhappy Endings, Mr. Calder has written a finely crafted work. He has a clear talent for dialogue and in this story we see this on display. Michael makes us feel the sounds of battle and consequently, the sounds of death. You are left wondering if the hill eventually does fall to the barbarians. I see this story as a preface to a larger work that focuses on that very battle.
Trainwreck is a different kind of story that centers on a young man who has known such great loss that he attempts to take his life in horrific fashion. Trainwreck is equally as well written with great dialogue. The last scene is his girlfriend trying to save his life. This could also be a preface to a larger scope of novel that focuses on his redemption and the journey he takes.
Michael James Calder is a unique and talented writer and I see great things for him. He is currently working on his first novel while attending university in the Uk. He is also working on another short story called Odyssey and the Dragon.
His website is here: https://michaelcalderwriter.com