Poem: My Place of Persecution by Mark Tulin


Philly was my home for years

My identity and my place of persecution

The sports pages are all full of me

The cold, dark losing box scores

They chronicle all my failures

My shut outs, my lack of production

It’s all there, etched in the fabric of William Penn’s hat

Buried in Ben Franklin’s grave

Painted in Frank Sinatra’s mural

Icy as the snowball that hit Santa

I’m the salami of the Italian Market

The queer of Queen Village

The people there look like me

They have the same snarl and large gut

They have Joe Frazier’s roundhouse right

They all wear kelly-green Eagle jerseys

Climbing the steps of the Art Museum with wheezy lungs

Tailgating on cold Sunday mornings, roasting pigs on a spit

I am dry-walled to the city, nailed to the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge

Chandeliered into the Chrystal Tea Room

My DNA is cemented in the red bricks of Citizen’s Bank Park

I am the bomb that explodes on the rooftops of West Philadelphia

I am the Sixers’ dunk that hit the back of the rim

I am the angry, visceral sound that emanates from all those painful losses

I’m the Cheese Whiz on the steak with cheese

Wid or Widout.


I am an author, poet, humorist, and short story writer from Palm Springs, California. I write about various topics, from my early childhood in Philadelphia to my years as a family therapist and finally to my soul-searching in California. These are poetic narratives that may have humorous or serious content or both. Either way, I hope my poetry and stories resonate with you.

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