Writing Happy – Jasper Kerkau

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In my next life I want to write happy, funny stories of weekends that went off without a hitch, photos of back-slapping with funny hats and exotic drinks. I will have a happy, quirky blog chronicling my life of leisure and success. I can’t write those stories, it isn’t my life, and if it were, I wouldn’t be able to write about it. My writing comes from dark places of hunger and pain. I find words peaking out of restroom in the middle of the night, face pressed against the cold, glossy door. Gasping for air, fearful of shadows. There are no words to be captured in neatly set tables, left-overs and urbane exchanges dumped in the trash; my words are born of starvation. I sat in front of the computer for ten years in my martial home, patting my protruding belly, waiting for something profound to say. Nothing. Blinking cursor on blank document. It is pain that drives me, wakes me up in the middle of the night, sending me under the bed with pen and paper to scribble out secret passages detailing stinging fear and loss. I waited on inspiration for a decade in a happy house, and it always managed to sneak out the side door gracefully, leaving disappearing footprints. With each new notch I find in my belt, I find out more about myself. I discover illicit secrets and explosions of ecstatic emotion that give way to words falling out of mind, through fingers, into the world.

Jasper Kerkau (8/14/16)

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There is a place I can dwell – Jasper Kerkau

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There is a place I can dwell, removed from silent gore of emotional life tied to humid residue of lost summers. From failure springs the renewing waters of new worlds laid out–removed of the impurities of dysfunction, bad relationships, tarnished pasts, regressed lives spoiled under the hot sun. A celebration of life! Turning from folly, the endless cycle of death and resurrection, the desire for absolution from a human problem: Lost in people, feeling tied to desire for healthy relationships, nuclear domestic dynamics. It is all so fleeting!

There is a place I can dwell, upright, given to spontaneous laughter, at peace with the balance of universal order, finding a person in the mirror I can live with. Slowly the last forces come in from remote villages, shoulders slumped, spirits broken, bones shattered; the light from their eyes extinguished by the long battle. Longing for the peaceful, tender embrace of loved ones, starting a new life devoid of the endless war against everything, their shattered nerves begin to calm. There is solace in the sun rise, the ceasefire that brings lost souls from a life of peril–and conflict–to the hearty meals, comfort on either shoulder: Silence. Is this merely a mirage?

 There is a place I can dwell, benign rumors of demise, refuted with archaic parchment written on the heart, shown to elders who rub long beards, nodding silently as bread is broken, ceremonial wine consumed out of ornate cups. A world of possibility beckons with the hustle and bustle, normal lives being led in quiet satisfaction: Ah, everything is actually going to be alright! The grass eventually pushes the dark red stains of war off its leaves. The moon hangs passively in the sky as tired souls find solace in soft bed, the smell of candles and the laughter of children. The war over, the battered souls finally at rest. I find my place there, away from the carnage, emotional wounds heal slowly; at last, the world opens again with all of its blissful majesty.

Jasper Kerkau (9/27/16)

I See Her from a Distance – Jasper Kerkau

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I see her from a distance. Her beauty touches me; I leer at her soft curves, following the fabric of her blouse as it cups her breasts, exposing the pang that is buried deep in my heart. She possesses magic, entranced I watch her laugh, tilting her head back, eyes alight with life and passion. I feel detached, removed, paralyzed by an inability to put myself into the fire. Then I start to untangle her in my mind, seeing the tarnished edges, the patina of carelessness and her jaded essence, thousands of hours at bars, the thick smoke, the flirting with nothingness, the deep sadness of wasted years childless and selfish.

Do I really want it that bad?

Again, I feel it welling up inside of me, aching for release, tangled up in flesh, skin soaked and pressed again skin, the vapid exercise of disappointment and sadness. It is all so fleeting. The tongue tangled kisses and sexual dynamic created out of a need to not experience the haunting, numb feelings that are birthed from the unique tragedy of guarded loneliness. I could possess her, drive my desires deep inside her, go through the motions, touch my lips to her flesh softly in hopes of finding a wet place to disappear, but all I really want is love, the substantive connection that is not created from situations like these—with girls like her.

Can I live without it?

I steal gazes, thinking of the ways I would turn her inside out, trying to justify talking about imported coffee afterward, acting interested in white wine and her views on social media. I can visualize myself slipping away, losing the moment and trying to figure out how I would escape after touching her flower, pulling the petals off one by one, finding a bathroom window unlocked. Too many fears and defenses, the end can’t justify the means. I don’t need it that badly. So I sit making vapid, mind-numbing chatter with strangers, not looking her way, not taking the chance—it would all be an exercise in futility. My desires are packed back into my heart. I feel alone, long for something engaging and real, compassionate eyes, the “everything is going to be alright” one gets from in a warm embrace that is not driven by dark urges but by sincere longing to live inside of another.

Jasper Kerkau (11/4/16)

 

Everything Wasn’t Enough – Jasper Kerkau

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Laughter echoes down long hallways, gives way to arguments and eventually more giddy children’s laughter. Plastic toys are left in my restroom, socked feet bouncing on beds, falling down and I scream from the other room. There is silence that eventually erupts again with the delight and carefree abandon of childish glee. I bury my face in my hands at my desk, waiting, waiting, always waiting for everything to change, for the laughter to eventually stop, the shadows to take over, the long unwinding of a life built on endless toil–nothingness.

The sword of Damocles looms over me. My skull anticipates the shattering strike; blood and fragments of bones mixed in a concoction of death. My fate sealed by icy hands. Alas, they have come to purge me of what is left; they have come for my children. They have come for my words; a blind witness, left with the bloody rags of silence, childless, suffering for the sins of my oppressors. Blood upon blood upon blood. They relish in feasting on my fear and devour my heart, desperately trying pull the fruit of my loins from my bosom. Am I vanquished?

Splayed on cold table, I am pulled apart slowly. My eyes affixed on the past, the mistakes left in closets among unmatched shoes and discarded summers. It all rolls off of me as the they slowly drain my life, whisked the children away, leave my words fatherless, left as an empty vessels that once held such promise. I could have been better. I could have been better. They smirk and guffaw, standing over me with forks and knives, waiting to dine on my soul, exposing their vicious appetites. Will everything be enough?

There is something inside me that is immune to their illicit desires. I hear the hymn of sacred souls, the chorus of magnificence sang from distant places, songs of hope and sorrow. Each voice carries its own unique message of personal salvation. I am not alone; they cannot destroy my sacred vision, the words sewn with the sinews of travail and perfect love into each verse. I am a writer and a father, with undying affection for my children; the words create divine tapestries which can never be wrested away from me. They will live long after I am gone.

I stand steadfast in the light, accompanied by the remnant chosen for the articulation of suffering, their special dispensation due to the ability to speak the secret language of the universe, their affliction decoded and turned into consecrated arias. The shadows will eventually flee, leaving me vindicated, left to tend to my words, nurture my children, guard them from the profane hands which seek to drag them into the dark places, strip them of their beauty and joy. There is nothing that can stand against truth, innocence, and pure love. I hear a voice in the darkness, fingers intertwined with my own: “I love you daddy.”

Jasper Kerkau (1/19/17)

Strange Life – Jasper Kerkau

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Waking up before the sun peaks into same window. Earl Grey and dogs changing positions, watching the silence of early Fall, trying to remember. The end is the only thing that matters now, the evolving, the crushing weight of change, being contorted and twisted like the vintage trees, ring of lives past. Nothing up to this point really matters. The burden made proof of worth; the end result greater than the tragedy—a strange world.

A life tattered and transformed by destiny—or a seemingly random sample of events that left me buried in bathtub, risen with shield of words, powerful symbols of magic and life. I will not be vanquished; there are cherubs playing my melody, singing a beautiful song, baffling gods and dark nymphs. I find my new place disconnected from the hive, separated from form, existing in truth etched in  marble stele, consisting of heart and blood. I dine on truth. Existing. Baptized by the whimsy of dreamers. Emancipated!

I stroll through days, decoding smiles, passive-aggressive shrugs and look for the miracles in everything, meaning pulled out of nothingness. It makes sense now, it really does! No one is going to save me, no salvation in feminine wiles; salvation is beaten out of earth, shaken out of the sky, found in the ephemeral beautify of perseverance and experience. I woke up in a strange life. I make it my home, hang pictures in awkward corners. I own this place. This is my world.

Jasper Kerkau (10/8/16)

Writing isn’t going to save me. Jasper Kerkau

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I thought that writing would save me. This peculiar predicament. Awash. Catatonic drive home. The horror of entering my home, oh the deafening silence. Voiding my soul. Buried in failure. My salvation—the pen? I believe in the magic of words. The youthful passion only takes me so far. The hole is much too deep. In a dizzying display of personal failure and grief, I peel back the layers looking for some form of redemption. And yet, I end up with religious disappointment. I write and I still can’t find my way. I write and there is still a hole inside me. I write and I am still in the same fucking place, beset by a future that is obscured, desolate. For some reason, in my forties, I believed that writing would save me the same way it did at seventeen. There is too much water under the bridge. It is too late for me. Love may be the only redemption, the only hope. But, my inner struggle is an illness—a disease. Keeps me at arm’s length. I am on a horrible journey that may someday end. I just don’t know what I will have left at that point. Writing isn’t going to save me.

Jasper Kerkau (9/14/16)

 

I Want to go to Vegas – Jasper Kerkau

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I’m not depressed, just bored. I really want to go to Vegas. Maybe I can get one of those packages, airfare and three nights with free buffets and a complimentary show. I will eat steak and lobster and get followed around high-end shops by menacing looking security guards with thin mustaches.  Sit on the blackjack table hitting seventeen every time, much to the chagrin of everyone at the table, which leads to me getting into an argument with the pit boss over my table etiquette and the nature of reality. Eventually, hiding in restroom from undercover satanists masquerading as cocktail waitresses. I will try to sneak to my room and somebody will slip microfilm with classified information in my pocket leaving me to be pursued by Russian spies with thick necks. I will have to hot-wire a car and drive to Los Angeles and deliver the sensitive document to a beautiful Norwegian who is obsessed with bossa nova and Isabel Allende. Without fail, I fall in love and sneak out the bathroom door after an argument over the television remote. Ending up working in a bookstore in Encino before I am informed Interpol wants to talk to me about a situation at the French embassy in Morocco. I will start wearing a disguise, become a Scientologist, take up the trumpet and start an improvisational jazz quartet. Until, of course, I discover the Great Secret and yearn for the quietude of dogs sleeping and laundry, watching the big game before taking a nap and dreaming of something more. So for now, I will fight this traffic and resign myself to monotonous labor and my simple life, but I really want to go to Vegas.

Jasper Kerkau (9/21/16)