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.]

Summer – Jasper Kerkau

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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.

Suddendenouement.com

 

“This Green Life: New and Selected Poems” by Lyn Coffin

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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.]

 

New Books: David Lohrey, Georgia Park, & Nicole Lyons

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   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.

godspeed,

Jasper Kerkau 3/24/17

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

 

 

 

 

Maybe This is Forever – Jasper Kerkau

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I haven’t been this happy in a long time. The silence of Saturday night used to make me cower and cringe, panic in the restroom and bury myself under covers, waiting breathlessly for the sun to come up, for the vampire night to recede back into my nightmares. The fog of autumn burned off; a stillness and quiet flows through my empty house. I breath it in slowly, waves of peaceful solitude pour over me, smoothing out my idiosyncratic creases, taking me to a place most people live; a place I never knew–the world of normalcy and general complacency. Perhaps I could take up residence here, away from the shadow people and dark mental clutter that burdens me, leaving me washed out, shattered by suspicious conversations with everyone. Maybe this is forever. Maybe I am fixed, better than I was before. I can wake up on Sundays, make a big breakfast, do some push-ups, and spend a couple of hours in church with polite conversations and thoughtful meditation before returning to home and honest labor, cutting grass and sawing limbs, waving at neighbors before retiring to recliner to watch the game and dose off intermittently. Oh what a life I could have! How happy I will be from here on out. Everything is going to be okay. No more top secret distress over high cholesterol and the state of reality. Thankfully all the monsters and dragons have receded back into the darkness. From here on out everything is going to be okay. 

Jasper Kerkau (1/28/17)

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

Upon the Anniversary of Your Death – Jasper Kerkau

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In Memory of FGL

I carried your books—Mencken, Nietzsche, and other misanthropist tomes—boxed up and sold by the pound, exorcising all your existential angst. The body still warm, I drove your mother in silence to bookstore, trivial task, your prized possessions discarded in the abyss, torn covers and scribbled footnotes heralding a new aeon. Ten years removed, I am still touched by unforgivable grief, remembering your deep laughter and explosive spark—the glass-smashing, room-clearing nihilism that left fragments of strangeness everywhere.

I carried your grief, standing in your place, eulogizing your father and all the sadness in the world. I thought of your heartbreak, his rheumatoid-afflicted limbs, the never-ending horror of merciless suffering that drove you into nothingness as he wasted away. My shoes too tight, among strangers, swallowing my tongue, perspiring, hiding under table, echoing I can do this…I can do this…I have to do this for him. Tie crooked, I shake hands with your family—“thank you for standing in for him,” they tell me with a wink and pat on the back. I bury my face in my hands afterward in the car. I will never again speak over the dead.

I carried your energy with me into adulthood. Swimming in blue waters, experiencing the miracle of childbirth, thinking of your eternal resignation—Methadone and Xanax—as I pass out cigars. I can’t help but think that a child would have saved you, as I see the future in the helpless innocence of my fruit.  I “bought in,” pushing carts down long aisles, groceries, comfort, pitter-patter of little feet, bank accounts, and Sundays strolling through antique stores. All the while, I feel the spectre of your life casting its pall over my experience. The sadness is at arm’s length, though I know one day we will drink from the mead horn in the great hall.

I carried your failure with me through tragedy, running in circles, ankles and knees aching, never stopping…jogging past your childhood home. Finding God at the worst times, finding life in the place where you surrendered. She walked out and you died. I thought of this when mine left, rose from the dead, evolved, while you lingered in my shallow sleeps, haunting me as I struggled to overcome. Every day I pushed myself further away from that place you created. I was only an inch away, pushed into the shadows only to embrace the light. I did it because you could not—I did it for you.

I carried your passion, your love of knowledge, finished a degree, never walked but hid in bathroom at work, thought of you as I visualized them calling my name. “It was all for naught,” I tell friends, secretly, of course, it was for you. Your brittle life redeemed by the marrow and bone pulverized and ingested in magic concoctions, secret rituals, great revelations thrown up in silly rooms with people I never knew as well as you. I bear the cross that people will never understand, never letting go—making the life that we dreamed of in the dreadful three a.m.’s when there were too many lines and too much talk that was all so fleeting.

I carried your beauty, your friendship, your combustible insanity with me. Sat on couches, bored, trying to find that madness, but I am cursed forever to a life of mundane drinks and civil discourse, dreaming of the past. I ask your mother if they ever got a tombstone. I think of your brilliance, unmarked, given over to eternity and worms—forgotten. My life is defined by you, looking forward, being better, not being swallowed by the same monsters that carried you away. You are with me in my dreams. After ten years, I think of you ever day.

Jasper Kerkau (11/11/16)

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)