Summer is a destructive force. The dank humidity leaves me brooding and exhausted; Houston is unforgiving. The cement, cars, and teaming masses, coupled with my incessant ambition, leaves a trail of sweat, puts me in dark rooms, huddled by the throbbing sound of fans, hiding from the relentless assault of the merciless sun. I dreamt last night of the snow from a failed conquest in Northern Virginia years ago; the result was the same, hiding, smothered, seeking refuge from icy February that left me longing for the comfort of home, the soft Houston late-winter. The result is the same; I spend my life hiding from the world, looking for artificially, temperature-controlled spaces. In the end, I spend all my time hiding from everything. Loud people with abrupt personalities. Shiny, bright sorts with abrasive opinions and sharp condemnation. The truth is that I am a coward. None of it is for me. I am given over to fits of intuitive paranoia, deep sympathies for the outcasts, feeling the deep burden of guilt for failures, lost in a world of vapid people with sharp agendas packed away in pockets and purses. The summer is unbearable. The disappointment is too much to bear. There is never a point which I feel at peace with the universe. It is all slipping away, as I clutch my confused life with sweaty hands, secretly afraid of skin cancer and the world getting hotter by the day. I am one of the ones who ache in rooms with small talk about politics, puffed up bravado about personal exploits. I just want to sit in silence and breathe, feel the love and positive energy at the core of it all that is often so elusive. The heat will devour me. I will lose myself in August, burn and sweat out pounds. There is no escape. The world and all the magic it possesses is fleeting. For the time being, I sit and wait for this all to pass. Eventually, this summer will end, the superficial people will go away. I will be able to soak in the beauty of the life. Find happiness not tarnished by all the disappointment in the world. Everything will be okay. I just need to get through all of this heat. The world is a beautiful place. I just need to sit and ponder the future.
Jasper Kerkau is co-creator, writer/editor for Sudden Denouement.
I just picked up several books by Lyn Coffin. “This Green Life: New and Selected Poems” (Transcendent Zero Press) is a wonderful book of poetry. According to her bio, she “is the author of more than thirty books–poetry, fiction, drama.” Her website is Lyn Coffin: One Hand Clapping. I have been particularly inspired by the depth and weight of her poetry. The book is another great release from my friends at Transcendent Zero Press. Dustin Pinkering and Z.M. Wise are exceptional publishers and writers, who seem to bless us all with a wide variety of exciting poetry.
As someone who was greatly influenced by Allen Ginsberg, I found her poem “The Death of Allen Ginsberg” to be particularly touching, the last line reads: “At last he was allowed to disappear.” This collection of poems requires multiple readings and analysis. I would suggest anyone who is as enamored with poetry as myself to pick up a copy of one of her books. One a side note, after meeting Coffin, I found her to be what we expect from great poets, a true individual with a strong voice, cutting her own unique path. I was blessed by the experience and look forward to digging deeper into her writing.
“This Green Life: New and Selected Poems” can be purchased at Amazon.
[Jasper Kerkau is Writer/Editor Sudden Denouement and Jasper Kerkau Writing, more importantly he is a fan of literature.]
The universe is amazing. At times I feel overwhelmed in the way all the cogs fit in the great machine that powers all of our lives. My life is a series of baffling events that propel me forward. I came home from wok and had a new book in the mailbox for the second time this week; it was the new book of poetry by Ms. Georgia Park, “Quit Your Job and Become a Poet.” The dedication stunned me. Thank you Georgia. Thinking of Georgia reminds me of the strange Fall that seems like a thousand years ago. It would be a severe understatement to say that Georgia had a significant impact on my journey as a writer and the development of Sudden Denouement. Georgia, like her poetry, is fierce and authentic, screaming truth amidst the cacophony of meaningless sounds emanating from a world consumed in triviality. I read everything she writes and am constantly challenged as a reader by her stinging honesty and unmitigated truth. The world is a better place with Georgia Park thoroughly engaged in the role of poet. Please pick up a copy of her book and check out her sites: Private Bad Thoughts and the feminist collective Whisper and the Roar.
It ironic that earlier this week I received a book by my friend in Japan, David Lohrey. It was Georgia Park who sent me an email telling me that she was contacted by an amazing poet that I needed to read. I told her to forward me the poems. My response was two words: “holy shit.” I was immediately stricken by the originality and depth of his work, replete with acute cultural criticism and subconscious self-analysis. Georgia brought David into my life. The universe thrust us all together allowing for our paths to intersect, pushing us in brave new directions. David’s book “The Other Is Oneself: Postcolonial Identity in a Century of War: 20th Century African and American Writers Respond to Survival and Genocide” (Lambert Academic Publishing) is available on Amazon. Congratulations David on publication of this weighty work. I look forward to giving both works my undivided attention in the near future. Hopefully, I can expound on my thoughts of these works soon. David does not have a blog but is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. Please take time and read his unique poetry.
Lastly, I just discovered that Nicole Lyons has a book that is available for preorder. I will be ordering a copy tonight. The title of the book is “HUSH.” It is being published by The Feminine Collective. Anyone who has followed Sudden Denouement and Secret First Draft knows I am effusive in my praise of Nicole Lyons. Not only is she an extraordinary poet who has a body of work that touches an enormous amount of people, she is also one of the kindest, smartest people I know. She has no idea of the impact she had on my life. She gave of herself selflessly in the worst of times. I don’t forget. I look forward to getting my hands on her book and spreading the gospel of Nicole Lyons. Please go to the Feminine Collective, preorder her book and take a moment and read more of her amazing poetry at The Lithium Chronicles.
My hope is that others will follow their lead. Thank you for to the brave ones for paving the road for the rest of us.
Jasper Kerkau 3/24/17
Sudden Denouement Literary Collective