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)
Tonight I have nothing but disappointment. It washes over me in tempestuous waves. One wave begats another. At the core of my being I am paralyzed with the stench of my own failure. The words don’t come. My voice is drowned out in the chorus of negativity that rains on me constantly. Each drop stings my flesh, leaving me to take refuge in garbage situational comedies and political gossip; the meditative, vapid humor calms my damaged nerves. The nothingness is a salve to my wounded soul. I crawl in a ball in the middle of the bed and gaze vacantly at the prisms of stupidity displayed in Ultra 4k. It is so much easier than finding 200 errant words to express this gaping hole in my thinking. It is much easier to find mechanisms of leisure to placate the darkness that dwells in me. I need internet porn and cotton candy. I need a marathon of Lockup and meaningless text messages. It would make it all so much easier. I could wrap all my hopes and dreams into the local professional sports team and ignore the trench warfare being waged in my heart. It is all so disappointing, and yet somehow I found two hundred words.
Jasper Kerkau 9/11/16
I was touched by the light of the universe. The soft embrace of love, driving back the demons of self-doubt, bringing forth the beauty and laughter that alluded me. It starts with belief, hope and transcendent possibility. I never knew it could be like this, always arm length away from the essence. But, now I touch the soft pedals of life–feel the warm sun on my face; the icy landscapes transform into tranquil gardens of abundant life.
It was always inside me, obscured by the faceless horror and bad conversations giving way to transgressive motivations. I touch her face in my dreams, feel her embrace, the warm energy of a selfless connection. I lost so much time. I lost so much time. The horror show is over; the war has ended. The stinging sensation of dull, throbbing failure no longer matters. I shrug off the dragons and dark angels lurking in the shadows-I live in light, beholden to the universal forces of good, forged in the promise of goodly things. My calloused soul has been healed by the salve of the promise of a future that I never knew existed. The light of the universe touched me with her soft hand, her soothing voice driving back all of my secret turmoils, my private misery.
Jasper Kerkau (9/26/16)
As a job requirement, I have to keep my phone on me at all times. Even as I slumber my phone is in arms length. Every night I go to sleep hoping that the phone doesn’t rouse me into action. It is an abomination. I am beholden to the incessant flow of notifications, updates, irrelevant texts, and infernal headlines. It is overwhelming. I have daydreams of throwing my phone off of skyscrapers, cutting a hole in the ice on a frozen lake and dropping it to its icy death or wrapping it in toilet paper and releasing it into the bowels of a porta potty.
I have contemplated deconstructing my phone, taking it apart and carrying a thousand little parts in a sandwich bag, periodically laying it out on the floor and making designs, or spelling out my name from its delicate little pieces. When asked, I would say I was trying to get to the bottom of things, figure out how it worked–looking for some kind of breakthrough in communication. To be frank, they would probably hand me another one and tell me to be careful moving forward. After the third or fourth time, they would probably fasten it to my neck or tether it to my testicles. There is no escaping it.
In the future, I am going to retire to a life of hand signals and telepathic communication. I will replace my televisions with fish tanks and my laptop with a vintage Underwood. Of course I will exist on an island, not receiving vital updates via social media on the mood status of people I never talked to but shared a homeroom class with in the forth grade. And I will not find be able to stay tuned into the latest celebrity gossip or fantasy football talk. Oh the horror! I need to downgrade my life and find a magical community of those so predisposed to aversion for all this digital bombardment. It probably doesn’t exist, but my sense is that it is right around the corner. I am not alone.
Jasper Kerkau (9-26-2016)
Finally got some space between me and the world, rolled away and tucked in silence, walking down hall in socks, peaking out window–cat in street massaging her paws with her tongue. It is so easy, so soft, this elegant quiet, tinkering with laundry, listening the hum of air conditioner and candles that flicker to jazz, unencumbered by the cacophony of static outside my door, which is trying to drown out my meditative melody that I alone hear. Ah…the silence of Saturday night.
Jasper Kerkau (November 13, 2016)
Yesterday was a disaster. The last weekend of summer, at least summer as I visualize it. It was supposed to rain. It didn’t. I was supposed to turn the corner, transform my life. This summer I would pick up the debris of the storms that I had weathered and find myself in a new place with laughter, scores of new people, new loves, new passions, yet all I got was a kitchen devoured and heaps of trash on patio. Nothing happened the way it was supposed to. It never does. As I sit and wait for a cool breeze, my thoughts turn to the future. Never give up.
I realized that everything is different than it was in the spring. My kids are gone half the time. My wife is now my ex-wife. I pace around constantly, chain smoke most of the time and find myself struggling to make connections in a world of texts, email, and social media. Thankfully, the future is wide open. Soon, I can start thinking about kids squealing with excitement getting into Halloween costumes, sitting outside with a blanket smelling the first cold front, the giddy preparation of Santa letters, and, lastly, a new year sitting on the horizon, which can only bring better things.
Jasper Kerkau (9/5/16)
Devoured, I dip parchment in blood and furiously scribble incoherent texts in invisible ink. Stains everywhere. April was folly. Gave birth to half-life, sickness, and inevitably death. Each humidity drench day was an exercise in funeral preparations for a life that was nothing more than fantastic mirage. Inverted crosses and sacrificed infants give birth to dark demons that pursue me in my dreams, clutter mind, and poison perceptions. I never realized that it would be this hard. The sound of the football games pours over backyard and in-between houses and beckons September which holds the promise of something on the horizon. Cool air blowing in from exotic northern locales, breathing life back into me as I am close to destroyed by divorce, fear, and, of course, failure. I awaken slowly from a passive-aggressive coma. Then comes more silence. It’s the silence that is the killer. Thankfully September peaks its head out slowly, stretching its long arms and embracing my battered body. It can only be better.