Poem: The Freak by Mark Tulin

My father

bought me

an accordion

when I was a kid.

He said

it would help

my asthma,


the bellows

in and out

over again.

But I knew better,

it was only a ruse.

My old man wanted me

to play polka music

to impress his corny friends.

The Beer Barrel Polka.

The Pennsylvania Polka.

To play in a Mummers’s Day parade.

I’m really a freak,

a grungy beatnik,

I told my dad flat out.

Just get me an electric guitar

and a great big amp

so I can crank up the music

and play in a heavy metal band.


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.

9 comments on “Poem: The Freak by Mark Tulin

  1. I read this, then read it again and again – it’s very simple but also full of meaning. Maybe that’s just because I never understood things worked with my father or my kids. 🙂

    • Me either. I’m still trying to figure it all out. I guess it’s like putting a puzzle together. I enjoyed your comment. 🙂

  2. Beautifully expressed with direct words. You are a very talented poet that can even reach people not used to reading poetry because of your directness. Loved it! Photo combines perfectly.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this poem….expressed beautifully

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