Poem: The Freak by Mark Tulin

Previously posted on Pencliff.

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.


Check out my new short story about a groovy bongo player named Santiago

People upstairs were talking loud and taking creaky steps on the wooden floors to get to their seats. My ex-band was setting up right above my head. I could hear Glenn strumming his acoustic guitar, Brian plucking the strings of his bass and Rosie taking short, choppy blows into the flute.

Excerpt from  Santiago on Percussion at Page and Spine.