Review: Awkward Grace by Mark Tulin

Amethyst Review

Awkward GraceAwkward Grace by Mark Tulin, 43pp Kelsay Books. Review by Sarah Law

There is absolutely a tangible sense of grace in the twenty-seven poems in this latest pamphlet (or chapbook) by regular Amethyst Review contributor Mark Tulin. While reading them, I found many sensitively presented scenes, images, voices and details, all given the sort of luminous resonance that poetic attention can provide. At the same time, I’ve been puzzling over the ‘awkward’ designation in this pamphlet’s thought-provoking title. How can grace be awkward? At first glance, the term seems something of an oxymoron. Grace more generally implies a sort of blessed ease, a moment of gift and insight rather than one of mismatched clumsiness or social embarrassment. But reading on, I started to gain further insights into Tulin’s choice of title. Tulin’s professional background is as a therapist, and he admits in ‘Therapist’s Disease’ that he is inclined…

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Word of the Day Challenge

The Word of the Day is Dream

Write a Poem, story or anecdote, inspired by this word.

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dear(ly) beloved

the grey room

i visit the open grave
of our relationship
what seems like everyday
i always feel like there’s more
to bury, another memory
another dream that died yesterday
so i guess i have a lot to say
and i tell it to the open grave

i pile everything on the ashes
of a fire that used to burn brilliantly
it consumed you then me until
you dug this grave, dragged me deep
put out the flames by throwing dirt
on our good name and i tried to save it
going deeper until the sun felt like a dream
this is how you’ve ruined me

it never seems to matter
if i choose a new path, forge a new life
i still find myself at the site
where your love died and the fire
licked at my skin, burning your imprint
these scars adhere to my heartache,
the love that pulses through…

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The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – August 2

Jo Hawk

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 215 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Half of the year is in our rear-view mirror, and I am drawing a line in the sand. The targets I missed, the stories I didn’t compose, they no longer matter. These last six months are history. Done. I won’t lie, 2020 kicked me in the head, leaving me stunned, unsteady, and incapable of completing anything beyond basic tasks. I bet I am not alone, but don’t count me out yet. They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? I am confident I will discover I am more capable than I have ever been. I dug deep, reevaluated my annual goals, and I decided…

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Allowing You Indecision to Create More Thoughtful Solutions – Daily Quote

Jo Hawk


We look at indecisiveness as a negative attribute. There is unquestionable value in the ability to decide and act. But sometimes being indecisive can have its advantages, especially if it involves multiple sides to a complex issue. Often,we don’t care. We will follow our friends to whichever restaurant or movie the group chooses, knowing the real joy is in the moments spent with our buddies.

Someone once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Being indecisive allows time to gather and digest facts essential to validating or disproving opposing points of view. We open ourselves to information which conflicts with our existing opinions. We examine the merits of both sides of an argument. The pause stops us from blindly following long-held convictions. It means we are self-aware and willing to consider if those doctrines still reflect our inner selves.

Indecisiveness provides an opportunity to analyze what might happen if…

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