March 2-8, 2020: Poetry from Mark Tulin and Diana Rosen

Mark Tulin and Diana Rosen

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Mark Tulin

Bio (auto)

Mark Tulin is a former family therapist from Philadelphia who lives in Santa Barbara, California. A poetry publisher once likened his work to artist, Edward Hopper, on how he grasps unusual aspects of people and their lives. Mark has two poetry collections, Magical Yogis (2017, by Prolific Press) and Awkward Grace (Kelsay Books), and an upcoming book, The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories (Madville Publishing). Mark has been featured in Vita Brevis, Amethyst Review, Poppy Road Review, Family Therapy Magazine, smokebox, as well as anthologies, magazines, and podcasts. You can follow Mark at Crow On The Wire.

The following work is Copyright © 2020, and owned by Mark Tulin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The Fate of a Ringed Finger

I sat in a dark movie theatre,
and watched with horror
as I proposed to my girlfriend,
blinded by a false reality
while my emotions spoke in tongues.

My mind set on marriage.
Only twenty-two at the time,
I thought I knew what I wanted
and didn’t realize how much we’d change.

I stood up and yelled at the screen,
Please think twice, or you’ll be sorry!
The moving picture didn’t answer;
the spirit of a senseless marriage took over
by the fate of a ringed finger.

All our romantic expectations,
our hopes, and dreams,
our bright future together,
ending up in misery.

I pleaded to myself to come to my senses.
Wake up, Snap out of it, Man!
I had lost control after I took the marriage vow.
The usher grabbed my arm, and reasoned—
It’s just a movie, sir.

The movie ended tragically, of course,
with a long, contested divorce.
Our possessions split up.
Our dream house sold,
and our children divided into thirds.




Diana Rosen

Bio (auto)

Diana Rosen has an essay forthcoming in the anthology, “Far Villages” and two poems in “Book of Sighs.” The journals, The Reform Jewish Quarterly, Existere Journal of Art & Literature, and WildforWords(UK) will publish her work in 2020. Her hybrid of flash and poetry, “Love & Irony” will be published by RedBird Chapbooks.

The following work is Copyright © 2020, and owned by Diana Rosen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Rules of the Game

Hours we play on a square table small enough that none need to stretch arms too far to make the clickclackclick of tiles. We shout Crak! Bam! Dot! as we form plays while nibbling on appetizers served by rotating hostesses. We share our griefs (death, divorce, disease,) triumphs (of our children,) the graduations, their careers, marrying suitable partners who produce perfect grandchildren who delight, disarm our stoic façade. At first, we invite other players then death captures everyone. The funeral director carefully places the ancient wooden box of tiles in my coffin following the final rule of the game: the last remaining player brings the mah jongg set to enter The World to Come.



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