By Annie Newcomer:
Flapper Press is thrilled to begin 2021 with the launch of the Flapper Press Poetry Café. Each week we will feature compelling poetry and the poets who create them. So, get settled in a comfy chair, grab a cup of coffee and a croissant, and enjoy!
This week we feature the poetry of Mark Tulin.
A former family therapist who lives in Ventura, California, Mark has a Pushcart Prize nomination for a short story in Active Muse. He has authored Magical Yogis (Prolific Press), Awkward Grace (Kelsay Books), The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories (Madville Publishing), and a recent collection of poetry, Junkyard Souls (Alien Buddha Press). Mark has also appeared in Vita Brevis, Amethyst Review, Ariel Chart, Fiction on the Web, The Opiate, as well as anthologies and podcasts. He can be found at crowonthewire.com and on Twitter @Crow_writer.
We reached out to Mark for a brief interview:
AN: How and when did you come to Poetry?
MT: I came to poetry naturally when I was in my middle teens. One night, I took a marble notebook and started to write my feelings in the form of poetry. I hadn't read much poetry until that point, but I learned later that my mother wrote poetry around the age I started. Perhaps there's a genetic connection.
AN: What do you hope a poet will take away from your poems?
MT: In most of my poetry, I attempt to convey my experience at the moment, whether it is what I feel when I see an ocean wave or passing someone on the street who piques my interest—a bit out of the ordinary. I look for the peculiar and often attempt to give a voice to the voiceless.
Much of my recent poetry takes place on the California beaches of Santa Barbara and Ventura during the morning hours. The poems reflect the vibe I feel by the coastline, the people I notice, objects along the sand, and how my senses are affected.
"Ocean Analyst" speaks of the ocean's therapeutic quality, "Hungry Refugee" is about how difficult it is to be a homeless drifter, and "Postcard from Ventura Beach" is a poetic impression of the beach.
I talk to the moving
as if she were my analyst
cleansing my hang-ups
and my relationship
sees right through me
and knows me better
absorbs me in her
and the deepest mysteries
of my dark.
Sometimes I feel like a refugee
with a yellow stripe,
walking along the coastline,
searching with my sidekick
sifting and digging
through the sand,
diving into trash
that blew along the dune
There are things
I don’t know,
and don’t care to understand
My life satisfies on chance,
feeling the push and pull
of my natural selection
as I scour the beach
Postcard from Ventura Beach
sky rising high
played by nature
without human melody
in its peace
sand and water
FlapperPress launches the Flapper Press Poetry Café.
Presenting a wide range of poetry with a mission to promote a love and understanding of poetry for all.
We welcome submissions for compelling poetry and look forward to publishing and supporting your creative endeavors. Submissions may also be considered for the Pushcart Prize.
1. Share at least three (3) poems
2. Include a short bio of 50–100 words, written in the third person.
(Plus any website and links.)
3. Share a brief backstory on each submitted poem
4. Send all submissions and questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org