Sustenance: Conversations part 1 Jasper Kerkau

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    I pondered the last thing she said about the meal before I began to ponder the concept of eating only for sustenance. It is my best guess that in the near future food consumption will not be a devilish sport for first worlders, rather an evolved act revolved around eating cubes or squares that have a natural balance of proteins, fiber, and essential vitamins. I would share my evolutionary philosophy, but the tension I feel coming from her does not invite such an unsolicited departure in conversation.

    “Your point is not lost on me,” she begins half-chewing, pointing with her fork as she scrambles to get to the heart of things. “I just do not feel that you are really thinking things through. You seem to think you have everything figured out.”

    “I don’t think we should have dessert.”

    “That is so random and such bullshit.” She takes her hands off the table and gazes at me with a scornful expression. I am still gestating on how looking at eating as a utilitarian practice will alleviate many of society’s ills.

    “I apologize, perhaps it is salmon. I am not sure about how it was prepared.”

    “Fuck the salmon.” She is seething. “I am thinking about dessert.”

    “I thought we were talking about something else entirely.” My glibness is a distraction.

She picks up her fork and begins picking at her shrimp alfredo. “You are impossible.” She was right, at least I can see how she came to this conclusion. Perhaps difficult would be a more apt description. Though my distraction is not without cause, there is certainly a methodology to the slow demise of our discussion.

    “Worse than before?”

    “No, nothing is worse than before.” She purses her lips, stares into the past before reclaiming a moment to vent her frustration at the dodgy nature of our conversation.  “There are things you can make right, and there are some things that stay with you forever.” Picking up a class of chardonnay, “there is no absolution for you—never, but you know that don’t you?”

    “I am the architect of the past, of course I know that.”

    “I feel sorry for you. I am sorry the salmon is not up to your standards, and I am sorry that I will not be having any dessert.”

Jasper Kerkau is co-creator, editor, and writer for Sudden Denouement Literary Collective (suddendenouement.com) as well as publisher. He likes to write about his distaste for randomness and dread of small talk.

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Merlot

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“I dread cemeteries and public restrooms,” I lean in slightly, wondering if I am hearing her correctly.
“Perhaps I was looking for something different,” trying to find the words. “I know—instead of telling how you don’t like awkward conversations in restrooms, why don’t you tell me something you do like?”
“Hmm.” She puts her finger on her chin. “You know it is all so confusing.”
“Confusing?”
“Perhaps.” She holds up her empty wine glass, looking for a waiter.
“Interesting.”
“This fucking waiter,” adjusting her dark frames. “I don’t know why I am even doing this, I hate Merlot.”

[Jasper Kerkau is a writer, publisher and editor for Sudden Denouement. His writing focuses on fragilty, bad conversations, and lingering doubts.]

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.]

My Second Miracle

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My Second Miracle

I hate social media. I met my ex-wife on Myspace. We got married two months later, at least if my memory serves me correctly. My marriage outlasted Myspace, but it felt just as vapid. But, at least out of married I got two miracles. I never wanted a second child. I started late, and I was afraid of having a girl. The odds were against me. Because I was never particularly lucky, I knew my second would be a girl. I sat sweating nervously while they performed the ultrasound.”Congratulations, its a girl!” My ex was beaming. Fear rushed over me. I would spend the rest of my life worrying about my second miracle. Today she hugs my neck and tells me how much she loves me. Her little voice and pure smile pulverizes my fears. I still don’t like social media. It is not a place for introverts. In the morning, I brush my daughter’s hair while she tries to put the shoe on the wrong foot, taking a drink of chocolate milk, not wanting to take her eyes off of cartoons. Her brother makes her laugh, and she spews milk all over the coffee table which gets on her socks. I grimace and laugh. I am lucky indeed.

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

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]

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.]

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.