So Fleeting – Jasper Kerkau

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It was all so fleeting. The expression on her face says everything. After a terse exchange, I sense that we were both beholden to the past; there is no escaping it.

“Do you think it would ever be different?” She looks puzzled, lost. I am befuddled and confused. Incapable of doing anything. Words become useless ornaments that get discarded. It really didn’t matter what I said.

“I am going to go.” I posit, turning to the door slowly.

“It’s all very sad you know.” I can hear it in her voice. The finality is a haunting presence in the room. She continues, “I don’t know what to say. I just really don’t know what to say.”

“We should talk when I get back.” I suggest, but she and I both know that we will be in a different place then. It would be water under the bridge, just a dark pang that stabs the heart periodically.

“Okay, that sounds great. We will talk then.” Slowly she wipes a tear out of her eye. Embarrassed, she turns as I head to the door slowly, making one last attempt to think of anything that could fix everything.

“I still think of you the same way I did then, that day. It feels like a million years ago.” I walk out the door, silence to my back. There is nothing I can do; there is nothing either one of us could do for that matter. I get a lump in my throat and feel the sun beat down on my face as I walk out.

Jasper Kerkau (10/05/16)

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I See Her from a Distance – Jasper Kerkau

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I see her from a distance. Her beauty touches me; I leer at her soft curves, following the fabric of her blouse as it cups her breasts, exposing the pang that is buried deep in my heart. She possesses magic, entranced I watch her laugh, tilting her head back, eyes alight with life and passion. I feel detached, removed, paralyzed by an inability to put myself into the fire. Then I start to untangle her in my mind, seeing the tarnished edges, the patina of carelessness and her jaded essence, thousands of hours at bars, the thick smoke, the flirting with nothingness, the deep sadness of wasted years childless and selfish.

Do I really want it that bad?

Again, I feel it welling up inside of me, aching for release, tangled up in flesh, skin soaked and pressed again skin, the vapid exercise of disappointment and sadness. It is all so fleeting. The tongue tangled kisses and sexual dynamic created out of a need to not experience the haunting, numb feelings that are birthed from the unique tragedy of guarded loneliness. I could possess her, drive my desires deep inside her, go through the motions, touch my lips to her flesh softly in hopes of finding a wet place to disappear, but all I really want is love, the substantive connection that is not created from situations like these—with girls like her.

Can I live without it?

I steal gazes, thinking of the ways I would turn her inside out, trying to justify talking about imported coffee afterward, acting interested in white wine and her views on social media. I can visualize myself slipping away, losing the moment and trying to figure out how I would escape after touching her flower, pulling the petals off one by one, finding a bathroom window unlocked. Too many fears and defenses, the end can’t justify the means. I don’t need it that badly. So I sit making vapid, mind-numbing chatter with strangers, not looking her way, not taking the chance—it would all be an exercise in futility. My desires are packed back into my heart. I feel alone, long for something engaging and real, compassionate eyes, the “everything is going to be alright” one gets from in a warm embrace that is not driven by dark urges but by sincere longing to live inside of another.

Jasper Kerkau (11/4/16)

 

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)

Interview and Review of S.K. Nicholas’ New Novel: A Journal for Damned Lovers

A Global Divergent Literary Collective

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Review of A Journal for Damned Lovers by S.K. Nicholas/By Jasper Kerkau

One of the first pieces I wrote for Sudden Denouement was called, “Writing isn’t Going to Save Me.” Over time I have changed my perspective on this; I realize that writing is absolutely necessary to my survival. It is what gets me through all the dark days, the clouds hovering over me as I try to find my place in the universe. Writing is the ointment for my soul, the salve for a heart tarnished by the cold hands of fate. I devour words and regurgitate them in a fury that cannot be contained. I now understand that writing will eventually save me, though it may take a while.

When I started to blog I wanted to write long-winded, Menckenesque social criticism that put my friends to sleep and, of course, failed to find an audience. My works…

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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)

Strange Life – Jasper Kerkau

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Waking up before the sun peaks into same window. Earl Grey and dogs changing positions, watching the silence of early Fall, trying to remember. The end is the only thing that matters now, the evolving, the crushing weight of change, being contorted and twisted like the vintage trees, ring of lives past. Nothing up to this point really matters. The burden made proof of worth; the end result greater than the tragedy—a strange world.

A life tattered and transformed by destiny—or a seemingly random sample of events that left me buried in bathtub, risen with shield of words, powerful symbols of magic and life. I will not be vanquished; there are cherubs playing my melody, singing a beautiful song, baffling gods and dark nymphs. I find my new place disconnected from the hive, separated from form, existing in truth etched in  marble stele, consisting of heart and blood. I dine on truth. Existing. Baptized by the whimsy of dreamers. Emancipated!

I stroll through days, decoding smiles, passive-aggressive shrugs and look for the miracles in everything, meaning pulled out of nothingness. It makes sense now, it really does! No one is going to save me, no salvation in feminine wiles; salvation is beaten out of earth, shaken out of the sky, found in the ephemeral beautify of perseverance and experience. I woke up in a strange life. I make it my home, hang pictures in awkward corners. I own this place. This is my world.

Jasper Kerkau (10/8/16)

I am a F*cking Writer! – Jasper Kerkau

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I am a writer!

I sit on the left-hand of the gods and have a special dispensation to decode the secret, universal rhythms, find patterns in the whispers that are inaudible to profane ears. My role is that of an observer; a quiet, meditative force who has a holy charge to record the divine misery, the blind mysteries, the eek-and-turn everyday struggle of life, seen through the eyes of one who has divested himself of all worldly goods.

Who are you?

I am a fucking writer! I am convicted, given over to the great purpose of wresting the truth away from the earth, buried under layers of silt and sediment, caught up in the swirl of the waters that lean to the great gravitational forces as the world mercilessly spins into the great unknown. The curse is the burden, the pulling back the veil, looking into the languid eyes affixed on the gloss and glitter of shards of glass and bits of triviality, finding the gift in otherness, turning away from the doomed, and, alas, finding a tribe of others who beckon the same call.

What do you do?

I am a writer! Though during the day, I am an undercover laborer, engaged in the task of finding means to an end. Looking out of windows, staring at watches, waiting…waiting for life to begin. The toiling is for naught; it doesn’t define me. I work for a living, but when I put my head on pillow, or look in the mirror, I know exactly what I am. Touched by the hand of god, beholden to vision and in collaboration with a silent minority, hiding out, going through motions, learning, and watching. I am anointed by almighty forces, who plucked me out and spit me into the world with love in my heart, to stand in the shadows and pay the price for all of the beauty and all the unhappiness in the world.

Jasper Kerkau 9/15/16