Not Angry Anymore- Secret First Draft

Secret First Draft: Member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

1344186741_3I awoke to a new reality. The long slumber ended abruptly. Without warning, and with a minor argument as the spark, my marriage ended. There was a political argument that brought years of silent disagreement and bitterness to the surface and punctuated our differences. The fight was short and final. The truth was that the fight didn’t matter, it was merely a symptom of a long-standing sickness that had been metastasizing under the surface, a disease that had been growing as we both struggled to come to terms with the universe and our place in it. I didn’t understand this then, in early April when I awoke to the burden of having to face the world with the news that I had failed—my marriage ended abruptly after a heated debate about nothing.

There was never a plan B, which was an anomaly. I prepare for everything, meticulously make alternate plans…

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Nothing That I Want


His left eye sags a little, but I do not get the impression he is doing what caused that anymore. I do not know when all of it happened, or stopped, or if perhaps, on some level, it still continues. He always smells of stale cigarettes with a faint scent of last night’s beer. His face looks hard, and he is too skinny. Scary skinny, but I cannot pinpoint what is wrong exactly. You never know the truth with him; it is always impossible to get a straight answer. Could it merely be the years of alcoholism, cigarettes, and drugs?  Or, is there something fatally wrong with his health after all the years of abuse? When I see him I want to shout at the top of my lungs: “Dear lord you need to go to the fucking doctor, you need a physical, something is wrong with your health. I will take you. Let’s go now!”  But, none of that happens, it never will.

He turned 44 on Sunday, and he resembles the worst version of himself. Underneath all the pain, I see the tall, handsome man with olive green eyes I once loved with all my heart. To this day I see it, but I do not feel it. I still love him like you love your family or an old friend. The kind of love that desires the best for another human being’s soul. While at the same time, I feel nothing—no hurt, resentment, betrayal, or disappointment. My forgiveness was granted years and years ago for the misplaced loyalty, poor decisions, and blind choices.  The emotions I feel can only be described as—vacant, or numb. Perhaps, I even feel a slight relief, resembling a dark private miracle, as if in a “ninja girl’s got killer moves” way, I dodged a bullet to the head. Thoughts of him will always remind me of too many tattoos, too many curse words, punk rock music a little too loud, a pack of Camel lights, and a twelve pack of beer. I hear an old Johnny Cash song playing in the background on a beautiful fall day with all the windows open and the perfect breeze flowing through our old house. I see these images in my mind, as a cool retro oil painting exuding canny creativity, deep heartbreak, and a splintery suffering, a kind of misfortune and hardship that not many I know can relate to or will ever have a necessity in their life to understand.

I do not see him often, yet when I do, after all this time, he still calls me honey but usually a snide remark is not too far to follow. I try not to let the off-color comments bother me, because I know deep down he is not a happy man. He holds the qualities of a hard-worker, someone you would describe as a real handy man. One of those mechanically inclined types who can build and fix anything; there is nothing he cannot do, and very well at that. I express all of those useful qualities, but feel it is noteworthy to interject: although he is capable of good, his deluded mind operates with several loose screws. It is hard to comprehend there was once a day I wanted to share my life with him, hoped he was capable of being a real father, thought over the years we would grow old together—as  a family. Holidays, vacations, memories, those dreams were long gone over ten years ago; we had none of that together as a family. I lost everything my heart ached for; this truth stings like salt in a cut on your finger. In reality, he was never capable of what I wanted. That is simply not who he was when we were together—or who he will ever be; I wish I saw the truth then. I wish I knew then what I know now. Oh, how I wish. I think we all wish for something different from the past, but those pointless emotions are capable of changing nothing.

He was everything I wanted at the blind age of twenty-four, and he held all my trust. For eight years following the day I met him, his faithfulness was never a question in my mind. So much older now, it is a little frightening to come to the harsh, yet sad, reality that trust is a slippery slope. Like a light switch turning off, it happened swiftly; he instantly became, and ten years later still is, nothing that I want.

By Sperantia Zavala


Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

I am a F*cking Writer!


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 which 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 in 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 picked me up 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 2016

Sudden Denouement Collective

Originally Published on

Night Work


Night Work

By pbbr

A logging road at midnight, the moon my compass only
A forest floor with no bed, I’m alone but never lonely
The silence of electronics is a comforting thing these days.

I slither across the floorboards of a cabin where no one’s lived
Its hallways are abandoned, save my imaginary friends
The absence of sound is deafening; it’s the loudest tone you’ll hear.

It’s time to clear the cobwebs from the furnace, child, your brain is full. Engorged on gorgeous razors, ready to come alive. Like wiping a desk clean, it will shine again. And there is work to be done.

There’s a highway through the desert, and a panoramic tan
The softest slide you’ll ever ride is through cascading sand
It’s dry and you’ll pine for the sea, but there’s solace in its silence.

So dim the lights and seize the night, no matter which direction
Cast away the droning decay you’ve grown to know as affection
The silence of electronics is a comforting thing these days.

It can be painful, rising from the dead, like a stagnant broken phoenix. There are months and sometimes years when you could’ve been productive. But your fresh days will not be marked by this bitter past.

Memories and fragrant lies of people who never were
A vagrant bum who staggers can remind you of your passage
It’s easy to be dazzled by static that numbs the soul.

Snuff the flickering light and cancel the subscription
Tune into the beats of a universal station
One chants out between two worlds: It’s better to be written than programmed.

Can you hear the twilight song of barn owls in the pines? And cicadas tender humming? That faraway siren is not mechanical, it’s the forlorn coyote mourning. He is beckoning you.

And there is work to be done.


Devoured. I dip parchment in blood and furiously scribble incoherent texts in invisible ink. Stains everywhere. April was folly. Gave birth to half-life, sickness, and inevitably death. Each humidity drench day was an exercise in funeral preparations for a life that was nothing more than fantastic mirage. Inverted crosses and sacrificed infants give birth to […]

via Blood — Secret First Draft

Hurts Doesn’t It (Lyrics) By SRP





I don’t feel that bad
When it hurts anymore
I can’t tell if it’s you
And I can’t tell when there’s pain
Sometimes when I think I feel
Sometimes I think it hurts
to tell the truth
And it’s you
And it’s me
And it hurts doesn’t it
And I’ve just become numb
And it don’t hurt so bad
Have I just become numb
You don’t hurt so bad
Sometimes I think when I feel this way
Sometimes I think it hurts
to tell the truth
I don’t feel that bad when it hurts
I can’t tell if its just me
and I can’t tell if its you anymore
and it’s you
and it’s me
and it hurts doesn’t it
Sometimes I think when I feel this way
Sometimes I think it hurts
Sometimes I tell the truth this way
I can’t tell  if it’s just me
but then there’s you
and it’s me
and it’s you
and it hurts doesn’t it
(Sudden Denouement Collective)

Love of a Child


Photo: Blanche Sweet The Sporting Venus  1925

“I…I…I love you.”

My daughter, three, stutters, tries to spit it out. I spin and shame away; my sins tied to her tongue. My failures are wrapped up in her tiny face with purified smile. The cosmos spin and whirl in space as thousands of years descend into the sea, speck in the eye of angry gods millions of year’s old, artifacts of which are dug out of thick jungles. None of it makes any fucking sense, nor does any of it really matter when compared to the only pure thing my heart has touched: the love of a child.

A ticklish, deep belly laugh fights back my maniacal demons of selfish dread and existential buffoonery. You are the only thing I will ever do that matters. She grabs her cartoon dog, and scuttles away; I hear the tiny feet on family floor. I think of the face that turns the lights of my world on with a sweet smile being shattered by a frigid world with myriad ticks and idiosyncrasies created by my failed unions and bad genes yoked to fifteen hundred years of ancestral transgression. We all pay for the same sins, the failures, the broken connections and shocks of adolescent daydreams, shattered by the screams and hollering of incompatibility and selfishness, in-your-face grit that sends children to school whispering in brown paper bags, drinking milk, making excuses for daddy’s nuanced approach to living: hiding under house, buried in robe and slippers, set out for last time in familial duty.

My daughter will shine like the sun and shed the innocent stutter of her third year. She will bear my cross, find god and lose him on a hunch as the realities of life crash into her with Mesopotamian creation myths and nuanced, Huxleyan logic. She will follow her own trail back looking for meaning, discovering my humanity in my secrets—tragic mistruths, boxes containing irrelevant photos and distorted scribbles. Like me, she will find my uncle’s curious notebook tracing lineage back to Battle of Hastings and find her history is the folly of meaningless people: centuries of laborers and peasants, dying one after the other in a succession of triviality. I am no different.

The only real truth is the one that is manifested in the inherent drive to seek truth, bear a seed and proliferate the cycle; spending eternity wringing hands, worrying over a child with heart breaking for all the pain in the world and that which will be hoisted upon them.

I pick her up as she jumps up and down, squealing as I walk through the door. My heart leaps. My faith in humanity is restored. She will walk the earth and be better than me and that, in itself, justifies all the sadness, all the gut-devouring loneliness, the fickle meanness, the struggle to find something in nothing and restoration that takes place when she cycles through the void and finds the real meaning herself in the eyes of her own child.

Jasper Kerkau