I am a F*cking Writer!- Jasper Kerkau

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


We hope you enjoyed this classic piece of writing from the Sudden Denouement archive.

Jasper Kerkau is a managing editor and writer for Sudden Denouement and editor and writer for The Writings of Jasper Kerkau.


Death Knell – Sarah Doughty

“Then, like a death knell, you arrived.
My monster. In the flesh.”

It was the thump, thump, thumping of your uneven steps, as you made your way in my direction. I knew those footfalls like they were alarm bells going off during a fire drill. They pierced my eardrums like thunder. There was nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. And there I was, helpless to do anything about it. So I did the only thing I could.

I counted the steps — thump, thump, thump — each one growing louder. Closer. By the time I counted to ten, the night seemed darker. As if the stars closed their eyes and refused to shine. Twenty. With every beat, my heart pounded, pumping battery acid through my veins faster and faster — thump, thump, thump — until the last step. Thirty.

Then, like a death knell, you arrived. Thump. My monster. In the flesh. Darkening my doorway. It was then that my torment would begin.

© Sarah Doughty


[Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.]

A Big Nothing. -S.K. Nicholas/A Journal for Damned Lovers


Big Nothing.

They say I’m not romantic, that I’m distant and distracted, but my love shows itself in many different forms. They tell me that I’m cold, that I don’t know how to connect. My defense is that it’s them- it’s them that can’t connect to me because they’re not open to the ebb and flow of my myriad ways. Actually, no, it’s me. I confess. I’m far too strange for those who happen to cross my sullen and maudlin path. Smoking my cigarette, I contemplate my actions but grow bored within the minute. Maybe sooner. My attention span isn’t great at the best of times. There should be writing, should be declarations of love, and yet I keep thinking of all those roads from my childhood that don’t exist anymore and the names of random galaxies I looked up on Wikipedia the other night after polishing off the rest of that red wine I’d been refusing to drink because white is just so much sweeter. Near where my grandparents lived in Lewsey Farm, there was an area of marshland that used to terrify me back when I would stay with them during the holidays as a kid. Not sure why it got under my skin, because it was all fenced off and secure and there was no chance of ever stumbling in. Yet for many years, I just couldn’t help but worry that one day I was going to find myself in a terrible predicament. As the wine does its thing and the wheels in my brain begin to spin, I feel a thought coming on. Y’know, even though we barely speak, maybe we could pay the place a visit? One evening when you’re not too busy wanting to break my bones, and it’s not too cold, we could take a drive up and slip through a hole in the fence before exploring each other’s bodies? I’m having trouble remembering the exact shape of your breasts, and every time I try picturing them I get these nosebleeds that just won’t quit. Every time I close my eyes and taste your lips, there’s a flavour that just won’t shift. It’s one of the skittles, maybe the blue one? Yeah, that’s it. You’re a blue skittle I want to suck and chew beneath a blood-red moon as the ground beneath us swallows us whole until there’s nothing left but our giddy laughter that rattles through the streets like the screams of some long-forgotten knife fight back in the summer of ’92.

S. K. Nicholas is creator of  myredabyss.com and author of A Journal for Damned Lovers, his first novel. He is a brilliant writer and a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. To learn more about S.K. and A Journal for Damned Lovers read Jasper Kerkau’s interview with S.K. and his review of A Journal for Damned Lovers.

let’s be strangers in new orleans – samantha lucero

next-day sore, fabled romance memories we’ll never have again hang themselves over the morgue of my shoulders. they sling there on the murderess hews of my collarbones like a noose. over the rubble of me like a shapeless dress, they cling. my sadness is a one-size fits all.

there’s a bad mystery of stitched up, prayer-words smothered & held hostage underneath the humid crucifix game of your nails. maybe we could be in love. your calloused hand, my beating throat. memories are ghosts that can physically embrace me; embrace us.

like  dirt-sweat in a ghost-tour day of that hot mouth street in New Orleans, where the grinning specter-folks wanna stay like pasted gaslight posts in booze-colored hurricane beads. where there’s oiled-up candles in the balmy night lining decatur & quivering tarot cards in a sweaty palm telling me i’m meant for greatness. hail the votives for a virgin or a saint-chief, & watch palpitations at every pop-up table. my black boots on powdered sugar all over the concrete long after sleep should’ve gently tapped, hold the the dust of cemetery reflections & the 24/7 menu of the cafe du monde.

meet me for smoke, insomnia, primordial love.

you don’t need the blonde smiling photograph of her burned onto the back of your eyelids when things go wrong for us.

i don’t need the memory of him sewn to my back like a corset scar, like an unhealed secret.

we can make our own memories now. let’s erase them.

let’s erase it all & grow old

in the sweet, warm arms of new orleans where desperate, spilling souls belong. 

[Samantha Lucero is an unseelie that has a nursery of shadows at sixredseeds.]

Elixir – Jasper Kerkau

My tooth became abscessed. I awoke to find my jaw swollen, infection having taken a deep hold on my life. It seems paralyzing at times, the pain leaves me gasping for air, waiting on antibiotics to work some kind of supernatural magic, to beat back the horror and restore order to my life. It comes in waves of overwhelming pain, stinging, agonizing moments when I lose context of everything else around me. This too shall pass, I tell myself over and over again. I realize that I have been doing this all year, just taking the horror on in one wave after another, waiting for a fix, waiting for something to make things better, and, alas, it is all so fleeting.

There is an infection in my body that is eating away at my soul, it burns, and I toil, waiting for a respite, waiting for a chemical to produce a reaction inside me that will make everything more palatable. They say two or three days for my teeth; it is four to six weeks for the other. The other is what I am waiting on. Having suspended my disbelief I have prostrated myself to their concoctions to clear my mind, to draw out the infection in my thinking, to purge the pus that is sitting in my skull, deterring rational thought. I want to be like one of the happy people. Soon, I will have a life of leisure, jokes and backslapping, fun at the beach and balloons for the kids. Everything will be okay. I know they can make it better. I know this throbbing will stop, the ache will be destroyed by their elixir’s. I have faith in the mortal and the pestle. Tomorrow night I will sleep without the pain in my tooth, next week I will dream without the pain in my heart. They will fix me. Surely, they will fix me.

[Jasper Kerkau is a managing editor and writer for Sudden Denouement and editor and writer for The Writings of Jasper Kerkau.]

Does It Need a Title? – David Lohrey


Does It Need a Title? – David Lohrey

There is nothing sadder than an old elephant at the zoo.
All alone, the color of tarmac; a gigantic mouse behind bars.
She stands at the ready, to turn around and around. By the end
Of day, she’ll be fit for a shower and a long cry.
What’s an elephant to do, chained to the ground, with a 6-year child
The only one who understands her pain?

I say, throw a peanut at her head. Pick up a chunk of rock. Hop
On its back and stick its ear. That’ll teach it to dance. Shout, “Go!”
Hit it over and over again, the way you do your wife and kids. When
You’re through with the elephant, you can move on more important things,
Like burning churches and killing doctors. Take it out on them, too. Why
Stop with the dumb elephant and your shitty family? You too can be effective,
Get yourself all worked up if you are of the mind, pour gasoline all over and
Set yourself on fire.

When we kill elephants, we kill ourselves. These killing sprees are assassinations.
Don’t kid yourself. It’s murder. Whoever said so, and it’s probably your daughter, is
Right. The decimation of the elephants, and that goes for gorillas and anteaters, too,
Is self-destructive. It’s annihilation of the soul. It’s a catastrophe of thought. Pure
Neanderthal, a spasm of base instinct. But then so is the murder of man. Keep in mind,
It is happening every day of the week and it is not because they are poor.

He murdered his sister because he has no money is a sinister joke told by the devil.
Our heads need to be examined. Here, it’s becoming a killing field like Rwanda or Cambodia before it.
Incredibly, decent people are confused; they are not sure it’s wrong.
One thing for sure, it’s a lot of fun. Put a cap in his ass. HAHAHAHA. Now that we stripped
Our youth of their humanity, what’s next? I’LL TELL YOU WHAT’S COMING: mass killings.
Human life is worth nothing in a place like this. You might as well drive the herd over a cliff.

[David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf.]

I’ll Stray My Time – Mick Hugh



I’ll Stray My Time – Mick Hugh

        Louisville. I recognize these city streets. I lived here once for several years. This is the corner the bus drops off the grifters who collect $20 a day from college freshmen. Over here is the coffee shop called The Night House by the sleep-deprived who drink black coffee at 2am, and then again at 3 and 4am: It is sometimes settling to wait and see if the sun does actually rise. You can sleep in the morning at the public library, where the chairs in the back are soiled by grime of the homeless who part-time live there.

        These boarded front doors are my neighbors. I live in the part of town where the crack-epidemic had hollowed things out; gentrification here is hesitant. The old landlady is nearing eighty and almost nearly senile; she forgets to deposit my checks and has several of mine that haven’t bounced yet. This worries me, as I’ve only really just moved in.

        Here at the coffee shop they hang art work on the walls, nice touch of local appreciation but none of it is very good. In the mornings is the usual insomniac crowd, still with sensitive noses and reverberating heads, and the older man here who once married a stripper because he played guitar and still drinks too much whiskey – he cane hobbles the sidewalk home every morning and I don’t think this is sad at all.

        I had a job interview yesterday that somewhat rattled me. At a hardware store, and the man there sat me down for questioning in uncomfortably warm quarters, and I don’t think he realized it was the heat drying me out – I’d begun to sweat and couldn’t find answers and felt a bit sick that this man could sit here and interrogate. He called his associate in to assist him. They drive cars and pay taxes and have kids and found every reason to judge me. Functioning members of society un-nerve me.

        I found a couch in the alley I dragged into my little apartment. After a heavy coating of Lysol I covered it in blankets so visitors can sit on it without catching HIV. We usually just sit on the floor, taking turns taking hits while listening to ethereal records I bought with another credit card. It helps to remain closer to the Earth, is why we sit on the floor.

        I had a car this time last year before I hitchhiked for breath in California. It was a Mazda with good mileage and I’d forgot to get it licensed – or myself licensed, I’m not sure how that works. The car was repo’d with everything I kept in my friend’s apartment, I think because I owe the state for time I spent in court. And so I left, then, and spent a few months visiting friends out on America’s Golden Coast. I slept in the hills, and helped farm marijuana, and spent weekends exploring beneath the boardwalks and piers. Nothing is as peaceful as a Venice Beach sunset, drunk and alone with nowhere to be.

        The baristas at the coffee shop know me by name. The owner knows my brew of choice. I’m a regular, here, and for the seventh or eighth time in my life have found somewhere comfortable to live. But I know I’ll soon disappear, the transient who’s moved on from the scene. Because after a few more weeks I’m sure the police will realize I’m living 5 blocks north of their fourth precinct: I’ll begin to receive notices in the mail, warrants and bills and debt-collectors from hospital stays in half-a-dozen states, and if I wait too long the cops will begin to knock, and the city sidewalks will have already closed in.


[Mick Hugh is the creator of Mick’s Neon Fog. And an all-around bad ass.]

Beside the Red Barn – David Lohrey


Beside the Red Barn by David Lohrey


Beside the Red Barn

Beside the red barn
at an intersection
between today and tomorrow,

a man from Alabama plays the banjo on his knee;
he whistles Dixie and wears a Confederate cap
with shoes by Nike.

Roy Rogers, his uncle, stands stark naked on his bed
eating a Milky Way, with a red bow tied around his penis;
his second wife Maybelline won’t quit laughing.

Daniel Boone and Davy Crocket embrace with affection.

The mayor of San Antonio cries quietly at attention.

It’s Thursday afternoon at 3.

[David is lost in Japan. He is a smart, kind man who writes amazing poetry. We are thrilled to have him writing for Sudden Denouement. He is one of us.]

David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River in New York but grew up in Memphis. He graduated from U.C., Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia. He teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, and served as drama critic in NYC and LA for Curtainup.com. His plays have appeared in the UK, Switzerland, India and, most recently, in Croatia. In a Newark Minute and Sperm Counts were translated and produced in Estonia (2016). His poetry can be found in The Rats Ass Review, Softblow, The Blue Mountain Review, Otoliths, Sentinel Literary Quarterly and Quarterday.  Recent fiction can be read in Crack the Spine and at inshadesmag.com. He is currently writing a memoir of his years living in Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea and on the Persian Gulf.

Contest Finalist 1: Suburban Suicide – Erin Crocker


Suburban Suicide – Erin Crocker  (Author Erin Crocker)

Custom Homes from the Low 600’s

     The Monday after I committed suicide, clouds formed over the plastic McMansion he’d promised me before slipping three-quarter karat cyanide on my left hand. Weighted drops of rain thrust their gelled bodies out gray figures like shit the day after a person over-indulges his or herself on a party-sized bag of Doritos.
My corpse, lost, within a forest of highlighted reverse bobs sitting behind leather steering wheels inside black Escalades, complaining how the forty-dollar bottle of ‘Damn Gina’ just stained the side of their ten-dollar iced-caramel-macchiato-choco-latte-Frappuccino—extra skinny, and ruined a selfie.
Blood slid down our AstroTurf lawns, syrup on Sunday morning pancakes, or paychecks from a nine-to-five-but-we-found-ourselves-going-in-at-seven-and-coming-home-at-ten-and-who-cares-if-a-glance-or-two-or-seven-is-exchanged-between-him-and-his-secretary type job, and suffocated us like Spanx.
We needed the money for a closetful of Louis Vuitton, because one should always keep a closetful of Louis Vuitton if she (or he) is attempting to impress fabricated friends to score an invitation to bunko night. Our laughs, GMO free as we dieted on sushi and engaged in photoshopped conversation about The Bachelor, or goldfish. The barrel of the gun cold as I poured a glass of Pinot and pulled the trigger.



Sudden Denouement Divergent Literature Short-form Writing Contest


Unpublished/Original work 

More than 50 words

Less than 500


1st place 100 dollars

2nd place 50

3rd place 25

Time: thru 11/30/2016

Judges: Sudden Denouement

Send submissions:


There is no prompt or content, though the contest is for divergent literature. 

Top three posts will be published on Sudden Denouement and then a decision will be made on winner. 

Finalist will be contacted by Sudden Denouement.