always blood on the patio Jasper Kerkau

Shook out of another dream. “There is blood all over the patio.”

“There is always blood on the patio,” lighting cigarette butt from ashtray.

“This is different and strange.”

“Fuck.”

“Do you even remember last night?” I didn’t, and her tone reveals a lot.

“Of course I do. We had some people over, some laughs.

“Jesus fucking Christ.” She leaves an angry void in the doorway.

“I guess we didn’t have any laughs,” I mumble to myself digging in the grimy half-light for my pants.

Dream Jasper Kerkau

There is a story there waiting to be picked out, among cigarette butts and gravel, underfoot, after the rain. The moon bodes well to such feelings, spread out and pieced together after the fact. “I don’t remember things that way.” The hush and hurry of things, the relentless wars we wage, the conversation that we never had; it was like I was never here.

Tomorrow the hours will align, the glass will shatter and be swept up again. “If I can only hold my tongue.” There is nothing but relentless now, oft forgotten days that are never as good as they are bad. Perhaps tomorrow I will dream. Perhaps the water will run clear, and I will find it all over again. I smell the fragrance of her, the scent of inevitability. There is a story here somewhere.

Jasper Kerkau is co-founder of Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Publishing. He likes to write about dumb luck and the hours between hours.

Suddendenouement.com

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.

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