Category Archives: poetry

nine dreams: crime scene

Crime Scene

Chad takes you to Tim’s house. You don’t know Tim, but Chad says he’s going to kill him. The house is empty on the first floor. In the kitchen, you watch as Chad loads a rifle and walks up the stairs to Tim’s room.

When he comes back, you both leave the house and go for a long journey through rivers and forests. The landscape is unknown but familiar. Have you been here before? You find two vehicles and take them separately to Tim’s house again. Why does Chad think this is a good idea?

You get there first and busy yourself wiping down the entire kitchen to erase any fingerprints. You know when the cops find Tim’s body, they will be looking for evidence. You wipe the countertops. You wipe the cupboards.

Tim’s family comes home and finds you cleaning. The people are his mother, perhaps, and his grandmother. You calmly introduce yourself as a friend of Chad’s who is, you say, on his way to visit their son. “What’s your son’s name?” you ask, as if you don’t know.

“Tim,” says one of the ladies.

“Right! Tim.” You talk to them for a little while, all the while growing increasingly concerned you will be the prime suspect when they find Tim’s dead body upstairs. But they never go up the stairs. Finally, Chad shows up acting like nothing happened, and you leave.

Your painting van is outside, but Chad has installed a sophisticated surveillance system inside it. You can see inside the house and monitor all the activity. You can even see into the basement. You can see everything in the house.

It is winter.

*****
You might also like Three Years Dreaming, now a 148-page paperback and Kindle book.


arwulf and the sonnenlicht project: cd booklet

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Arwulf and the Sonnenlicht Project is a limited edition double disc set uniting spoken word from Ann Arbor performance artist, poet, columnist, and DJ Arwulf Arwulf with ambient musical improvisations in a free jazz vein. The album is entitled Reproductive Rights for All Women, and Arwulf is as frank with his cultural criticisms as he is sincere in his reverence for nature, music and the arts, and people who have inspired him.

Some of the members of the musical cast were in a local band called Transmission at the time of this recording, a very groovy but avant garde mix of progressive fusion and danceable beats. They appealed to the young collegiate crowd in Ann Arbor, a vast amalgamation of hipsters, hippies, rockers, nerds, jocks, party animals, and music lovers willing to cast genre to the wind in the pursuit of sonic ecstasy. The mid to late 1990s were a very awesome time to be living in Ann Arbor, and this disc is a fond reminder of those days.

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nine dreams: day job

Day Job

You have a ground-level apartment and a dog to take care of. It seems like too much to handle, this dog, and you don’t want to do it. Then you remember you took care of her before, and everything is ok.

Your girlfriend comes over. You have two beds. The second one is too small, so you put both of the beds together: just right.

You go get a job. Shortly, you get a call from one of the guys at work. He has season tickets for the Cardinals and wants you to take them off his hands. The two of you have a great chat as you talk about this new job. You are laughing at how easy it is, and how it’s totally cool to talk right now—and the phone is ripped out of your hands.

You are fired on the spot. “You are taking a personal call and telling them how dead it is right now!” they say. But there is something they are not telling you. You suspect you are being fired for daring to enjoy yourself and have fun. You suspect you are being fired for having no fear of being fired.

The manager pulls a bottle of red liquid out of your desk. Are they really firing you for having booze at work? It’s not even booze. It’s the red mix for margaritas. But they won’t listen.

You decide to go to their other office, a bar/restaurant in Tempe. Standing around in your bathrobe, you chat with two of the waitresses. They say you have dried semen on the back of your robe. You say, “So what?” and you all laugh about it.

Then you find the guys in charge, the guys behind your getting fired. They give you a ration of bullshit. But one of them turns out to be a girl you went to school with. You put your arm around her and call her your old school chum. You used to have a massive crush on her.

The two of you go outside to sit. She says, “Now they won’t have to call the cops to get you to leave. And, you know, I really wanted to talk to you about something.” She begins to bare her soul. Her eyes go misty. Looking at her face, you realize just how damned gorgeous she is.

You wake up with her face fresh in your mind seconds before the alarm goes off.

*****
You might also like Three Years Dreaming, now a 148-page paperback and Kindle book.


nine dreams: joy ride

Joy Ride

You stand up in your car to take a shower as it races down the highway. You feel total confidence in your car’s alignment, making only minor corrections to maintain your lane as you bathe. Other drivers turn to stare, watching you bathe through the walls of your car.

A long curve looms on the horizon, so you put both hands on the wheel. Cop cars and lights create a confusing flow of traffic. Off to the side, people shoot a movie. Past them, you turn left—straight into oncoming traffic!

Did you take the wrong turn? Are you going the wrong way? You can’t be. You can clearly read the signs. Maybe it wasn’t a wrong turn, but you are certainly going against the flow of traffic! You see an exit on the right.

Now it’s all under control. Don’t be nervous about the cops. You rocket off the exit ramp, unable to hold the turn, and fly off the road, through the air, as your car turns into a rubber boogie board.

You hit the rocks and pavement on your belly on the boogie board. Escaping injury, you start ground surfing. It’s the cutting edge of a whole new sport! It’s wildly fun!

Up and down, all around, circling the buildings and parking lots, performing wild stunts, you catch the attention of onlookers. You zoom off the pavement into suburban yards, coming to rest on someone’s lawn.

Eye-level with the grass, you find yourself staring at a kid’s ID standing up between the blades. Is the kid dead? Is this his lawn? Did his parents put this here as a memorial?

*****
You might also like Three Years Dreaming, now a 148-page paperback and Kindle book.


nine dreams: concert sequence

Concert Sequence

The two of you make love in the middle of the afternoon. You go for a drive beside the bay. Water and skyscrapers reflect the sun and sky. It’s a beautiful day. She pretends the things you say don’t hurt her.

Or maybe they just don’t. You two drive together a lot lately. Just a couple of nights ago, she was in the driver’s seat.

Derek Trucks plays at this club tonight. He sounds great. How does he get all that sound and speed with a slide? Hundreds of people fill long rows of folding chairs on the dancefloor and on bleachers.

You take out the Little Martin and play along. Derek has a three-chord jam going with the band, three major chords hitting B-flat, C, and D. It’s fun, playing along with Derek. You pay attention now to remember the chords when you wake up.

The little kid in front of you turns around to tell you, “A security guard is coming this way.” The kid makes it sound like you are busted for the acoustic jam.

But you look up, and a lot of people are heading for the emergency exit. Somebody might have tripped a silent fire alarm? Security staff helps everyone move out calmly, quietly.

You could say Derek Trucks was on fire tonight.

*****
You might also like Three Years Dreaming, now a 148-page paperback and Kindle book.


nine dreams: surgical sequence & funhouse

Surgical Sequence & Fun House

They remove the skin from your right forearm in surgery, then put it back on. They don’t sew it back. They just put it there in the right place. They say not to worry about it.

Right. It feels like the pieces of skin are ready to separate and detach every time you move. “Don’t worry about it,” they tell you.

Finally, someone in a white coat comes to put a layer of brown, stretchy adhesive on your hand. They don’t coat the whole arm, but at least it feels a little better.

The next night you’re at the fun house. The fun house is named after the Stooges album. More rooms than you can count pile into the air, becoming tree houses at the very top. It’s a fun place to hang out, the fun house—so much so that you have a room there.

In the room across the hallway, a half dozen or so people in various stages of undress share one king-size bed. The door is slightly open. The sun shines into the room. Guys and girls nap the mid-morning away. You see an old high school friend has joined their cuddle party.

Your lover joins you in your room. She’s beautiful. So sad, so beautiful at the same time.

*****
You might also like Three Years Dreaming, now a 148-page paperback and Kindle book.


nine dreams: hotel sequence

Hotel Sequence

Someone stole the steak. That wasn’t right. First, it arrived in glistening plastic wrap with a plate full of food. And then? It vanished.

It seems par for the course in this crappy hotel room. It has a cubby hole in the vaulted wall and a double desk crammed into the space. After the bed, there isn’t much space left over.

You have to laugh. The hotel, quaintly picturesque from the outside, reveals this crappy old room again. But it’s not a totally bad room. You can live with it for a little bit.

Check this out. You’ve got a roommate. Maybe he stole the steak. Maybe it was Liz at the foot of the stairs, who discussed computers enthusiastically with you. But no, she seemed genuinely interested, and the entire party in the ballroom downstairs was quite supportive.

Then you see her picture. This girl you knew… when? It was the last time you were here. You’d forgotten it, like a dream. But it comes back to you now. You said goodbye to her on the balcony of the hotel. You loved her then, and you love dreaming her memory now from this photo.

You couldn’t help but leave her, and it was okay. It had something to do with the atomic bomb you worked on, living in this coastal paradise, enjoying the weather, building the bomb with the professor and the genius. Times were simpler then, in the days of the bomb.

But that was years ago, back when you and Joe Pesci stopped in the street to discuss his newspaper: a touching moment. Or the time you and Dave joked about the Presidio but you were nowhere near. And the car disappeared, but you carried it on piggyback. Those were good times.

This hotel. It’s different from the house. The house has hidden levels, too. Places you have trouble finding again. You find a door to it from somewhere else every now and then, from another location you discover which has a connection to a distant room in the house. Sometimes you only realize later that two unrelated settings are connected by doorways to the house.

Sometimes you find yourself in a room in the house for which you can find no door. You know you’re in the house, but you can’t get clear on how the room connects to anything else.

The door in the fire room leads downstairs through a claustrophobic’s nightmare, but the walls don’t close in. They lead to the basement. It’s hidden, but you get there more than once. It’s just the strange location, the out of the way spot, the featureless hallway with the closet door that masks the fire room.

*****
You might also like Three Years Dreaming, now a 148-page paperback and Kindle book.


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