The hotel room was fashioned after a futuristic cockpit, like something out of Kubrick’s 2001. Her skin was a dark butter pecan in contrast to the white sheets fitted over the motorized futon that turned into a bed at the touch of a button. He hadn’t been with a woman since he went down for the four years. The smell of Flowerbomb and the depth of the orange on her fingers and toes made her seem like a ferocious feline from fantasy, except she was still sleeping.

Her breasts had been heavy in his hands as she straddled him. The…

(Originally published in One More Robot Magazine in 2013)

This summer marked eight years since Michael Mann’s Collateral introduced the world to both Jamie Foxx as a serious actor and Tom Cruise as a psychopath hitman with Ted Danson hair. After stomaching Jamie through poorly-executed attempts like Held Up and Bait and loving him in Any Given Sunday and Ali, I wasn’t sure of what to think about him placed in Mann’s cinematic palms. But I was presently surprised, especially in the first ten minutes of the film.

Somewhere between writer Stuart Beattie’s script and Mann’s visuals I found myself…

All I cared about was the parking space. It was a night during the middle of my week and all I wanted to do was park my car, bring my pizza, or the “Fried Seafood Combination” from Potomac Fish House (I can’t remember which) into the house so that I could have my dinner and watch Army of the Dead with DC-native Dave Bautista. This was pre-pandemic. This was before I came to understand the business of relationships.

Parking in this neighborhood is first come, first serve. If you’re not on the block by 5:30 then you’re guaranteed that extra…

From The Neon: A Vaccine for The Writer’s Great Depression

by Kenji Jasper

I was a writer who hadn’t been writing. I hadn’t published a post or article in months. I had a great time teaching my weekly memoir writing course. There is nothing more enriching than to be introduced to new voices in the war of words. But I still wasn't writing. And I knew why.

Writers need fuel: experience, research, trauma, pleasure, reason to tell the story. And there had been no new beginnings in the restrained shuffles for groceries and curbside takeout that safety during a pandemic…

by Kenji Jasper

It was almost 15 years ago when I walked into my apartment and found the empty spaces she’d left behind. Her rolling bag that usually sat next to the living room hearth was no longer there. The bottom drawer where she kept her things for overnights had been pulled out and emptied.

This was no surprise, as I’d done the same thing at her place a day or two before. …

by Kenji Jasper

This writing begins 17 years ago in the half-bedroom in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn that I once called my office. A white cylindrical candle was lit. I spoke an incantation that shouted out God and Jesus, maternal and paternal ancestors, and the names of thinkers I admired who had passed on.

I asked for elevation. I asked for clarity. But what I got instead was Ego.

I had been writing as a pro for 15 years, never seeking anything other than the best work I could do at the time. In past incarnations I had only prayed for the…

Kenji Jasper (He/Him/His)

A veteran of entertainment media, I’m the author of the acclaimed books Dark and The House on Childress Street. I don’t write to live but I live to write.

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