Friday, January 8, 2021

My Uncle from Pottsville by Mark Tulin

Uncle Leo liked country music
in a town called Pottsville
He played Cash and Merle 
on a wood-grained clock radio
in a warehouse full of red potatoes
His old rump sat on a spinning stool 
as time passed slowly 
with each cigarette and phone call

He lost his balance in a dumpy bar, 
his life sucked inside of an old coke bottle
and a whisky sour
He chased the ragged night 
in his Oldsmobile
and never got a moving violation
or arrested when he punched a cop

His fingers browned with nicotine 
and feet turned a nasty shade of green
His Bic Pen bled from his heart
and left a big hole in his shirt pocket 
Some days he ate an Italian submarine
and a bag of barbecue chips
and imagined being a monkey in a cage
playing the tambourine. 

Mark Tulin is a former psychotherapist who lives in California. He has a Pushcart Prize nomination and authored Magical Yogis, Awkward Grace, The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories, and Junkyard Souls. He appeared in numerous publications and podcasts. He can be found at

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