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.]

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Misdream

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Birds on hot cement, laughter down a spiraling staircase, lost at the mall in the last summer that really mattered. Dreams, half-sleep, waking up to the confusing light sneaking up black-out curtains. I remember, I remember. It is all so fragile, the little shards of memory shattered on glossy tile.

[Jasper Kerkau is a writer, publisher, and editor of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Sudden Denouement Publishing. His writing focuses on awkward conversations and dreams.]

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

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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.]

Air Conditioning — Jasper Kerkau

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Air Conditioning

The fickle face of spring,
smothered in the acrid sensation of summer—
which by definition has yet to begin. I begin the slow ascent
to normal. My legs ache and burn down long hallways.
Breath alludes, breaking me at the middle; my eyes affixed on the shiny, cold ceramic.

Summer is the destroyer.
It crushes young introverts, who seethed at
pool parties and find the sun to be loathsome;
I discover that little changes: I still hate the laughter and humid sun-rays.
A dark room beckons me; the soft hum of air-conditioning is a beautiful idiosyncratic song.


Jasper Kerkau

Writing Anonymously

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I write anonymously so I can breathe, so the peering eyes of non-believers does not drive away the purity in my words, cast out the flow of magic that travels from my psyche to my fingers, creating gold out of the black soot that tarnishes the little pieces of furniture in my life. The only salvation for the non-profane is words, words, and more words, little miracles woven into life that leaves some flummoxed, unable to decipher the tea leaves—codes of misery and happiness right around the corner. My words are my children, my lovers, and the passive-aggressive enemies with smiles hanging around waiting for me to make a mistake. There are those who would steal my words with prying eyes, leave them orphaned with curiosity, bringing their light to my darkness. All I want to do is write, to be left to alone to try and type my way out of the noise, the broken televisions, the meandering conversations, the phones and nightmares that leave me gasping after a long day which brings me one day closer to death. I write because I have to, because everything is nothing, and I don’t have anything except tortured sentence structure to bring any semblance of order to my universe. I will create a thousand names and pour my hope, and horror on the world in the most intimate and public way possible. Bowling would be easier, but we do what we are called to do.