Upon the Anniversary of Your Death – Jasper Kerkau


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


Lilacs on Leaving – Nicole Lyons


Lilacs on Leaving

I look for you,

still. Reaching

through sound waves,

blaring, to pluck you

from nothing

back into existence.

I wait for you,

still. Walking

blurry lines of almost

there and crossing too

far gone.

I smell you,

still. Scraping

lilacs down metal

along shortcuts
to easy.

Prying life

out of the jaws

of a crash,

you used

to call home.

Nicole Lyons

Lithium Chronicles

A Literary Collective: New Writers

A Literary Collective: New Writers

Sudden Denouement was a vision shared by several artists for creating a space in which to experiment with different forms of articulation. Today, we have recently received our 500th follower, and we are branching into other areas of social media (please follow us on Twitter @SuddenDenoueme1). Though we have just begun, we feel confident that we will continue to grow and connect with exciting writers. Often, for those with passions like ours, the struggle is a solitary one.

I am pleased to announce that we have picked up two new collaborators. One of my favorite WordPress writers has been Olde Punk from RamJet Poetry. He accepted our invitation to join us, contributing on a part-time basis—or as much as he wants, while continuing his wonderful work with RamJet Poetry.

We also are very pleased that we will be publishing an original work from Nicole Lyons, who is the creator of The Lithium Chronicles, as wells as a contributor to other websites. She is an keenly inspired writer, who, like Olde Punk, fills a great void for Sudden Denouement in relation to poetry. We are humbled by her contribution and her willingness to share her work with us. She is a poet of the highest order. We are hopeful that our partnership will be long-lasting.

We extend the invitation for any and all to join us in our endeavor.

Jasper Kerkau




And So… by Olde Punk

And So… by Olde Punk (RamJet Poetry)


And so…

I wrote it down

I thought it out

It is in the skies

And in your eyes

And in the way

I thought it out

I wrote it down

Combine some paint and sin

A portrait of where to begin

At the end of days

I wrote it down

I kick it around

When I come to know

The plots we cannot show

This will be the day

I thought it down

I wrote it out

It’s pulling me under

And tearing us asunder

I am so afraid

That come what may

On that day

What I wrote down

Rings out the truths

Of our dismay

‘Cause I wrote it down

I thought it out

Unable to conquer

The words of iron

Wrought to hold the way

We beseech you

To be mindful

Of that which

You write to us

I know that you wrote it down

You thought it out

I felt the words hammering

My brow today

Smithing words for me

To interpret in your archaic

Tongues that scurry around

My ears as wisps of wind cold

To touch the eternities

Of writing it down

And thinking it out.

And so….I think you know.

Olde Punk

RamJet Poetry


I see her from a distance… Jasper Kerkau


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

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective



My Foolish Heart – Sperantia Zavala


My heart burns for a love I’ve never known,

infatuation one reads about in a dirty novel; running his fingers through her soft hair, she gets goose bumps, smitten by his touch.

The rest is up to imagination; mine takes me to an erotic place satisfied with sensual pleasure.

This nagging desire for sizzling passion never goes away;

it is as unpredictable as the roll of the dice.

If you are lucky, you win!

If you are unlucky, you lose….

When it slips away, a lingering disappointment is left stinging at the core.  

Does fortune possess our destiny in this coveted fascination I seek?

I think I had it once–maybe twice? Well, there was that third time, which wasn’t such a charm.

For unfortunate, and obscure, reasons each connection disintegrated slowly unraveling over time.

Perhaps my chance at experiencing true adoration is forever gone.

Is there such a thing as faithful love?

I see other content souls; it is written on their faces–they have found and possess, that which feels not meant to be. 

Oh, but then there are many with their twisted, bellyaching stories of dysfunction and matrimonial misery.

Perchance there is still hope! Our paths have not crossed, a smoldering optimism whispers in my ear amid hot breath on my neck.

Timing is everything; the years are disappearing one after another.

Emotional barricades protect, so I am more than good without you here with me—I don’t need you.

Yet, you are never far from my thoughts; my heart burns like an inferno for your touch.  

By Sperantia Zavala (Sudden Denouement Collective)