The Thinplace & Poems

I am still in the process of revisions on novel number 2.  I've cut it down from the original 103,000 words to the 90,000 range.  Killed a few chapters, chopped some repeating themes and changed the title from Of Sand And Silk to The Thinplace.  

I've also completely rewritten the query letter and synopsis, and I've taken a sledge hammer to the first five pages after some advice and comments from a New York Times Best Selling author who has over 40 published books under her belt that I had the privilege of working with recently.  Maybe some more on that awesome experience later...

In the meantime, I thought I would post some of the poems I've had published.  I haven't spent much time with the short form since I've devoted most of my writing time to novels now-a-days; but poetry will always have a sweet spot in my heart.



I get the feeling about three times a week that I’m inches away from grasping onto some allusive truth,

Some umbrella that will link all the events and all the people in my life with my maker,
And that when I do grab a hold the world will be warm.
As if the sun’s rays are somehow a therapy to my nocturnal schedule.

Because bodies age and people mature, anger has welled up inside of me somewhere and I just swallow it. 
Forcing it to marinate into a polished and liquid rage that drips from my pores and turns into a fine powder as the enamel from my teeth
is ground off.

I get the feeling about two times a week that I’m taking steps backwards, away from a process of sanctification and that I
am trapped in a city poured entirely out of concrete.  That I am alone and the gears in my head have finally turned against me.

Because history is swept under the rug and worth in our culture is tied to the youth of the decade, our economy has laid waste to the dirt it bloomed from.  Laid waste to Adam’s broken rib.

I get the feeling about once a week that life is measured only in its need for death, its lack of loss, and that life is not a choice.

Because I live solely; undeserving of His death.


The Anatomy of a Bear

A bottle of whiskey in a single night and the morning brings more trouble than it was worth
A bottle of wine in a single night and the hours never stop spinning

All three friends, a happy triangle supported evenly by each corner, have been in the same place
And none of them know it

Since men seldom change their climate, because to do so they must change their habits,
all three friends beg for nothing on broken knees

Each angry at the other for not earning their respect
Each equally as proud, thinking their respect was worth earning

In the same way memories can slow the impulses shooting eight inches between my ears, I’ve come to the realization that we are utterly no different
and I am desperately small, covered in a black which oozes innate poison from my pores

I can’t tell you how many times, on my commute home from work with the cruise control set, I’ve considered throwing my steering wheel hard to the right and yanking my emergency break

Just to spice things up

Guardrails, again, surprise the morning routine;
Shouting answers like anthems

The ignorant need a crutch and the arrogant need a crutch to point to,
But I’m just glad he made it to bed


Drowning while describing the water

I feel this urge behind my eyes, in the back of my head
This pushing, overcoming almost overwhelming want for tragedy
For movement

The need for feeling, a whisper of dreams and stillness
Tugging; better still, clawing to escape into fruition 

I feel this building of lactic acid in the tissues and muscles of my neck as I yearn and stretch for the ability to describe, to communicate, relate

I’m stuck between two solid walls and I can see the sky turn colors with the morning sun
I can hear sounds around me, but they harbor and linger just out of reach

Torn between contentment and truth, between community and the smell of gasoline
Between long country roads with tall thick trees and rolling hills and the want to share it

I feel this behind my eyes, a warm hum of illusive importance; pertinence which seems to taunt and whisper

Knowing it is valuable, knowing it is coy
This is why we like stories, why we snap and collect photographs and why we love

Why I am halted when I look into my wife’s eyes, why my brother smiles in complete bliss and happiness and joy and still faithful fear as he watches his son struggle to breathe

This is not other; not logic, reason, or judgment, this is solid and this is corruptible
Twisted with pride and terror this is why we wage war, why we bolt our doors, why manhole covers are circular, why we cry at funerals

This subsides with the morning alarm, dissipating as responsibility beckons
To slumber again as we fool ourselves with perspective, as we distract and call it reality; call it worth, call it significant, authentic, actual, and life


Thanks for reading. 

Stay alive, 

-M.P. Callender