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.
Jasper Kerkau 3/24/17
Sudden Denouement Literary Collective
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
At some point, towards the end of the night, I get into the pool with my clothes on. Adults are on the patio talking in hushed tones about divorce and lost nights from the early-nineties. Kids laugh and squeal, chasing each other through the house and around the pool. I hold my breath and float to the bottom, thinking of the mess I have to clean up. My life is falling apart. I gave my debit card for someone to get orange juice an hour ago. I ponder this and pull myself back up and repeat the process several times meditating on the mess, the residue from ribs, beer bottles, mistakes, dead ends. Eventually I sit on the edge of the pool and try to light a cigarette. My fingers are wet. The cigarette breaks. My f’ing luck! My son waves with a big smile, he is elated. I love you daddy. I lean over and hug his small, wet frame in the pool. My mind races. I have to get up. I have to get up. Everything will be okay. Everything will be okay. Eventually the house empties. I put the kids to bed and darkness washes over me. There is no path. I have to start over tomorrow. I have to keep moving.
Jasper Kerkau (8/17/16)
My father had a heart attack on a treadmill. He retired two weeks earlier. He lived to work. I lived a life of leisure waiting tables and drinking. I pulled up to the house I shared with friends and my sister was in my front yard crying. She didn’t have to say anything. For a week we sat at the hospital, each in a different state of denial. I felt his finger move that time. I was too old to be waiting tables without a wife or a home of my own. My life was a failure. Deep shame. I would talk to his co-workers or relatives and see the look in their faces as I told them what I did—or rather, what I didn’t do. Eventually it hit me. The shame and anguish of my life burst open as I realized that my father was already dead–he was a shell being kept alive by a machine. Shortly thereafter he was pronounced dead. My mother, sister, and I ate at a cafeteria and had an upbeat conversation and laughed. It wasn’t funny but that is what people do sometimes in the face of tragedy—they laugh. Life wasn’t funny for a long time after that. But, like anything, it eventually got better. I don’t think about it now, his ashen face, his blue lips—the nothingness. Only periodically, when I work too much, does it come to my mind, I think about being sprawled out on the floor of a gym with strangers standing over me pumping my chest wildly, breathing in my mouth. Feeling the life slowly move out of my body. Sometimes the irony of life is perplexing.
Jasper Kerkau (8-19-16)