Monday, August 7, 2017

Michael A. Arnzen


Crimes blur together till I am the crime, till I am the blur—
Standing behind the evidence room, breathing heavy.
I am the sin collector hefting my black duffel bag full of guilt.

Scraping and dusting and plucking hairs—
It is a fetish, this investigation of clues.
Containers and bags and boxes lick sealed with my spit.

I can no longer separate you from my workplace torment.
Case after case, I am quivering above alternative chalk outlines,
Shooting your death pics.

Mike reads "C.S.I.: My Psyche":

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Mike confesses: "I was just musing over the way the CSI TV series uses locations in their titles when the title for this one occurred to me (I think it sounds like "Miami" anyway). The series spin offs do this thing with location that is relatively uncreative (in my opinion) just to bank on the formula, and so I'd hoped that by shifting the setting to psychological ground and playing around with the letters C S I (the letters lead off every line, in case you missed that) I might discover something else going on behind it all. The piece ended up becoming a character study to reveal the dark side that we all have, even those who obsessively fetishize objective reality and try to shine light on it all. I think that's usually my approach to crime poetry: to turn rocks over to see what is lurking unseen behind the surface... particularly those rocks we've become so accustomed to—like TV show formulas and the motives of an investigator who relies more on laboratory work than an investigation into the human mind."

MICHAEL A. ARNZEN ( recently appeared in The Year's Best Hardcore Horror (Comet Press, 2017) with his catalog of morbid fantasies, "55 Ways I'd Prefer Not to Die." A recording of "Vampire Stories: Live from Transylvania" has also been published to Arnzen holds four Bram Stoker Awards for his dark fiction and poetry. He teaches full-time in the MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill University, near Pittsburgh, PA.

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