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Featured Writer | What Up, Death / Written By: Kevin Calderwood

reading time: 2 minutes

Foreword By Travis Knight:

Nearly two decades ago, it was Kevin Calderwood through which I had experienced one of my first skate video premiers. It was a small video debut–a film by Calderwood called Yeehaw–but I can still remember how gargantuan the energy grew that night. Colorful characters–and still main San Jose skate culture staples such as Jesse Rose and Peter Raffin had parts. Many drinks were had, and if memory does not totally elude the mind, I believe I experienced one of the worst hangovers of my life the following morning. Good times.

Today, I still call Kevin a brother and have been lucky enough to discover his unique ability to convey his thoughts through pristine literary devices. The following piece, What Up, Death, brilliantly showcases Calderwood’s ability to mesh facets such as elegance and satire into pieces about aspects that we fear the most. Kevin uses conciseness to his advantage, bringing dialect to a whole new level while keeping the reader’s eyes connected with the poetry. I am a huge fan of Kevin and his writing, and the piece below exemplifies exactly why. Enjoy the writing…

What up Death?

Written By: Kevin Calderwood

I’ll sit there with you,

you only partly you,

drinking coffee.

And sipping hot chocolate,

cup after cup.

Talking of times that could have been,

should have been.

When you were mostly you,

and I more than me.

And I will pour myself another cup of chocolate, or coffee, and certainly not tea,

and talk of times,

that could have been more you.

And me,

mostly more me,

and we will sit,

us together at this place that is both not us.

We will smell the acrid stretch of death and both know it for what it is.

And know us for what things should have been.

Fluids pumping into your veins so that we may speak of thing we could have done,

Should have done,

But didn’t do.
you laying there listless, wondering, expecting.

Myself, nervously anticipating,

Have I lived incorrectly?

Have you?

I’ll drink another cup of coffee, or hot chocolate, or whatever.

You will accept whatever fluid or whatever,

And we will both sit there,

talking and anticipating and expecting or regretting and believing,

or excepting this room we both really, really hate to be in.


What Up, Death by Kevin Calderwood
photo | Xavier Walker

Kevin Calderwood is an American skateboarder, filmmaker, writer, and, well, just an overall good guy. Currently, he is making a skateboard film called Coat Tails which, like all of his work, should be super badass. Kevin is an avid traveler, exploring the world with his friends and a skateboard by side. To follow Kevin’s travels — or to read more of his writing — check out Kevin’s website, The Clog.


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