Spiral of Desire – Jasper Kerkau


Spiral of Desire – Jasper Kerkau

Our teeth clash as we push through each other, interlaced fingers, hearts beating in unison. Spiraling into a desperate battle to push back the throbbing loneliness, long car rides—alone in the world, we each struggle to overcome the sadness of the solitude of years wasted in fear, agoraphobic nightmares; the naked world has to be kept in musty closets. It is just easier to be alone, easier than bearing the cross of soul-defiling disappointment, hands trembling, skin contracting with the pounds that vanished under the weight of shattered love.

We fumbled with clothes, diving into sheets, giggling at the awkwardness of it all, secretly dreading the disappointment that is surely right around the corner, the paranoia, the conversations with self in bathroom, standing in front of door, gaining the courage to face the world again: “Everything is going to be alright; I have done this before…this pain is nothing new.” There is a shadow in the corner, peering at me, sneering, years of disillusionment, missed connections, things started that could never be finished, the lump in the throat, the seething that drives fearful souls back into the world of words—“next time it will be different.”

Her fragrance burns my soul, sweet sulfur, an ephemeral elixir that will both liberate and destroy me. “Give me a second,” embracing her, touching my hand to hers, kissing her softly, embracing the moment, knowing that we are both broken, incapable of burying ourselves in the lives of another.  The explosion of desire is easy, it is the layers of life that we attempt to place on top of each other that makes us more vulnerable—a new organism much more likely to implode and cannibalize itself, leaving lost souls to sit in rooms, scattered and withdrawn. We find a common place, a desire that may, for a moment, drive back the dark forces of solitude that are forever on the march, forever looking to conquer another vanquished soul.

Jasper Kerkau

nov. 14 2016


No Conscience

Whiskey Tales and Spells


I was gifted this image with the prompt of “conscience” — something I have been struggling with internally for a long while.  These words poured from me – no sieve to catch the granules of ridicule and no salve to soothe the burn of truth.

Split into. What the Devil do I do?  Never the saint, always the sinner but redemption never matters. The light splinters my darkness into more dangerous and ragged fragments.  I choose not the path of least resistance as that keeps me from consummating with my depraved shadow.  The voices I give names and develop plots to keep me entertained.  But I deny myself a conclusion as that would force a hand that I hold in illusion.  The guilt seeps into the ink but dries faster than the masterful kiss of a forbidden lover. If only I believed in the power…

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murdered me with hello. Jasper Kerkau

She murdered me with hello. Her eyes gazing downward. Fingers resting on hips. The space between us will be closed in my mind, bodies clashing, skin pressed to skin, lips and tongues dancing in a delicious spectacle of passion and sadness. I find no words, nodding slightly, swallowing deeply, yearning for one grand gesture, but there is none. I yield to the insufferable void that sucks us all in eventually. It is too late to find the words, too late for closing the space, finding the center that I yearn for.

[Jasper Kerkau is co-founder, writer, and editor for Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Sudden Denouement publishing (suddendenouement.com). He has an affinity for run-on sentences and idiosyncratic people.]

Sustenance: Conversations part 1 Jasper Kerkau


    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.

I Beg Her Pardon

The Writings of Jasper Kerkau


I beg her pardon, a sleight hand pushed under skirt, into the moss with tinge of necessity, a lower magic, a form of essence and hunger. “You seem so serious,” I hear her breath on my skin, fingering the darkness, a different memory, a different never again will I be so stupid. I slide foot into shoe, fall floorward, over pile of slumped-up laundry, tangled jeans. It is worse than before, a new forever, the walking away, the forward motion toward isolation that isn’t as cute as it was last time.

Jasper Kerkau

[Jasper Kerkau is writer, publisher, and editor for Sudden Denouement Publishing and Literary Collective]


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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.”
“Perhaps.” She holds up her empty wine glass, looking for a waiter.
“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.]



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.]