Malaise – Jasper Kerkau

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Depression

I spent weeks and months hiding in a little room, waiting for appropriate hours to fall back to sleep, waiting for work, working through jokes and long hours of meaningless labor. My body aches and I tire. I watch the clock and rush out the door, retiring again to hid, to bury myself, to wait for life to happen again. “You need to get your mojo back,” someone tells me. I blink and listen, realizing that I don’t know what that looks like or how I will ever get back.

Memory is fickle. I can’t remember normal, a time before. It seems like it was always about ignoring, burying myself, ghosting everything as I struggle to dig meaning out of the soil, find a magic core that will bring me salvation. I tell one of my bosses that I suffer from malaise. “Your energy is charged to loss and failure.” He stands with his arm crossed talking in a calm tone. “You have to become aware to become aware. Magic is something we can’t see until we open our eyes.” I nod and squint, wondering what he is talking about, realizing that he is either touched by the hand of God or as lost as I am.


One day I will wake up. The losses will eventually give way to small victories, a reversal of a karmic whirlwind that puts me on the downside every time. I stand at the counter of a corner store seething over the foppish lady in front of me making a singular, simplistic transaction as difficult as possible. Her stupidity and selfishness drive me to a slow burn. Immediately, my grand plans for the day are displaced. I am going to have to go back to my little room and dig some more. I am going to have to “become aware,” though I cannot in good conscience say what I am becoming “aware” of besides the fact that each day I am pushing further along the path. Eventually I will get so far along, none of it will matter anymore. I will have squandered my life pondering, hiding, gasping for pure air and a gentle breeze that makes it all worthwhile again.

[Jasper Kerkau is co-founder, writer, and editor for Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Publishing. He speaks several dialects of gibberish and has the forth largest collection of The Love Boat memorabilia in North America.]

god in the rumble – Jasper Kerkau

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[photo Helena Blavatsky]

There is a god in the rumble, a shriek and laugh in the rain; the storm comes in waves. I hear it when the world sleeps, smoking cigarettes and smashing butts on cool concrete, watching dim lights upon the horizon. I need a reminder that the world is vast, a universe is just beyond my reach, piled into a box of misunderstandings, errant thoughts scribbled on computer paper and folded into airplanes that nosedive after launch. “I am doing this all wrong; everything is wrong.”

I have to learn to listen to another song, something besides the babble in my head, the lurid squeal and howl of misshapen ideas blowing through my strange sphere. “This is all really nothing,” a voice speaks to me, wakes me from a dream. “You can walk whenever you like.” I listen to the static of broken conversations; no remedies in chaos, only me, me, and more me. Baffled and ruffled. A great quest not far out of reach.

I leaned into her, placed her hand in mine. We sat silently watching the sun break the plane of dreams plunging the world into light. The past was the past was the past, but it was always too late for me. I touched my lips to hers but was already dead, a ghost of another time, the ache and fold of reality, shook out of rug, kids running through the living room chasing one another forever. It can be something. Everything can be more than what it is. I can do this if I will just learn to listen more.

[Jasper Kerkau is co-founder, writer, and editor for Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Publishing. He like to write tortured sentences and make like of bad situations.]

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daydreaming

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day dreaming

The sun slashes the earth with a red hue, banishing ill will and tight yawns. Young thoughts wane as the hot air pours in from nowhere, driving away the past. There is something better. A casual thought, a slight hope poured out of a life cut from the bone, splashed and burned with a dizzy reluctance. This all feels so new, but it has happened before. I have been here, kneaded like clay, exposed to the fire and wind. The lush life, an aberration. How I yearn for emancipation, a break from the heavy tongued blackouts that stunned blank faces. Surely I am better than this. I will write a memory with a happy ending, small laughter and a long kiss. There is a virus in my heart. Burden after burden, these days don’t have to be this long. I wash the feet of the moon, eat hours and break bread with long faces. I hang my heart on the lunar glow of forever. Alas, this is just a cycle, one day after another—ever fading this soft realm. Tomorrow my heart will beat feverously as I crawl slowly to an end. She lingers and laughs as the tense reality breaks this spell.

[Jasper Kerkau is writer/editor/co-founder of Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Sudden Denouement Publishing]

Tomorrows

Vintage Roller Skating Girls (2)

Tomorrows

I can’t think my way out of bad acting, or at least that is what they tell me. I require action to change my thinking. I stopped cutting my hair myself. The beautician washed my hair—even though I didn’t need it, and she smeared powder on my neck. I grabbed a sucker that surely was meant for kids. I tipped her 7 dollars out of guilt. I could have bought a bag of 500 dollar store suckers for that price, trying to keep my side of the street clean, metaphorically speaking. Maybe that is why I always over-tip. I go to eat with my mother, and she makes sure she doesn’t tip more than ten percent. She doesn’t have shadows following her. I will throw down a ten dollar bill on a 50 dollar ticket, probably because there are so many monsters under my bed, so much darkness in my heart. I have a long conversation with my other. She is a million miles away. There is a mountain of garbage between us. Now when we talk she is very short. It wasn’t the lies that got me, it was the lack of focus, emails unread, and all the unsaid things that left a wedding dress unworn. And still we talk. She has a pure heart and waits on actions. Tomorrow I will go running. Tomorrows turn into never. The brand new Nike running shoes are a monument to my inaction, though no one ever sees them because I keep my closet locked.

6/11/18

[Jasper Kerkau is writer/editor/co-founder of Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Sudden Denouement Publishing.]

 

Tell My Son I Love Him.

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Tell my Son I love him.

The end is so grim; a late summer, afternoon rain invokes sadness and revelation; it is time to quit fighting. My words are yoked to the hollowed-out promises, the dismal experiments that left me bereaved, stretched out in the wee hours, smoking forgotten cigarette butts, wandering the rooms of a previous life. It is over. Nothing will be the same again. The summer of happiness never came, three years on; I am resigned to this tragic fate, a foul Cressida, a broken home, laughter scattered and an insecure expression on the innocent face of my son. He knows the clouds, the hard rains; he worries after me, hand on my shoulder. My pain is on his face. My fear and failure is rooted inside him. I hug him tightly, whisper in his ear, “everything will be alright.” He clutches me. I have to go, but I will shine like the sun. All the good in my world is hung on his smile. I leave wearily. One day everything will make sense, maybe one day we will both understand.

[Jasper Kerkau is writer/editor/co-founder of Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Sudden Denouement Publishing.]

I Die in the Water – Jasper Kerkau

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I died again. In the waters as usual. It is always the water. Somehow it all makes sense. It is always the minor things. The minutia that pulls me under. The little, wet idiosyncrasies, stuffed words, distant miscommunication. I die over and over again. Each time, I emerge from the waters, gasping for air. Shedding my wet skin, warming myself by imaginary fires. There is always a new life, new thoughts springing forth from moist soil. But, the disappointment is daunting. The little, sad failures leave me paralyzed in bed, stomaching churning, limbs seized. I stand in the grocery store, gazing at nothing, avoiding mediocre conversations with a neighbor about apple trees. There is a scream boiling up inside me. A smile creeps across my face and I nod, backing away slowly. There is nothing I understand about their world. My days are secret disasters giving birth to revelations, new lives excreted through the pores of despair. I am not normal. I can’t swim with the happy people. The little conversations are lost on me. I stare blankly at the triviality of their little pleasures. I live with death. I am pulled out of swimming pools, electrocuted by hair dryers in bath tubs. I dig holes and send out esoteric messages to tortured souls. Life comes from ascending, stretching and evolving in the darkness. I find God in broken people. There are others, as wet as I am. Brought back from the brink. Eating the water of life. Dying on the bread of the masses. I died again, but I find new life. Touch the beauty of the universe, I carry a beautiful song in my heart. It is all very sad. The cycle of death is annoying. Next time I will be normal. I will dive into a big smile which will release me of my burdens. Everything will be alright. Even in death, everything will be alright. Today I live. Today, I dry off and live a secret life.

[Jasper Kerkau is co-creator of Sudden Denouement, as well as Jasper Kerkau Writing.]