What is present
But nevertheless, is
Leaving the faintest trace
Only when I pause &
Become still
Can any new form
Take shape

Something happens
It doesn’t
I wait

Waiting is half the fun

Tethered intimately
While wandering
The artistic & psychoanalytic
Each is poorer
Without the other

These poems and images
Become my artifacts
Of this lived life, 
Amongst the ordinary

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Mark Mularz
I Am

I Am (in this order)
A man, artist, son, brother, husband, father, friend, psychoanalyst and former hitch-hiker. I hail from the woods of northern Minnesota, close to the great plains of the Dakotas. I emigrated to California 40 years ago. I am not young or old – nor middle aged.

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Mark Mularz
I Was/I Am

I Was/I Am
I was/I am field worker (miles of sugar beets)
I was/I am a snow removal expert
I was/I m a paperboy (the Fargo Forum)
I was/I am a little league umpire (calling more balls than strikes)
I was/I am a hitchhiker (9,432 miles +/-)
I was/ I am a house painter (big and small)
I was/I am a tree planter (Big Horn Mountains)
I was/I am a carpenter (power tool & mashed thumbs)
I was/I am a dishwasher (Professionally)
I was/I am a janitor (the graveyard shift)
I was/I am a gardener (specializing in roses)
I was/I am a clown (but no fool)
I was/I am a machinist (cutting/threading 4” pipe
I was/I am an elevator worker (fabricated & assembled the damn things
I am an artist (photographic process)
I am a psychoanalyst (a considerer things)

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Mark Mularz
North Country Life

The horizon line
Lived among us
Somewhere between
The river & the plain
It loomed large & loud
As if it held a promise
As if it held something new

Sugar beets
Fresh from the fields
Fell as silent
As the farmers who mothered them
Both were tougher
Than you’d think
Dirt clinging to their ruddy skins
As if birthed
From the same womb

Owns this zone
Freezing every grievance
Slinging arrows at the sun
Sending it into hiding
Elm trees became naked babies
Glacial winds stung

Cuddled in supper’s hour
Warmed by poems/spoken as prayers
Little voices
Mumbling & stumbling
Through the many choices
Mending Wall
The Road Not Taken

Yet the day
Unforgivingly gray

Along the river’s edge
In the oldest home
Rotted by flood
With too little paint
A young one died from TB
Another ran to swim
A homerun away
Broke his neck
While diving into his dreams

The river ran north
Away from us
Long before TB,

The wading pool

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Mark Mularz
This River

The river gorges itself
Separating two states
Deeply and
Without, regret.
Through the mist
One can barely
Sense the other.

One side dry
Dull and flat
The other
A little less so
The wheat, only ankle high

The oldest Grandmother
Cried out “…………
Don’t be lulled ……………..
It’s Mean, nasty and quick
It’ll take ya ……………..….
Like a lizard licks a fly……...
It’s serpentine ……………...”

If the river was so dangerous
Why did we live at its edge
To watch our lives float by

Across the bend
And down stream
The oldest homes rotted by time
And too little paint
The young ones died from TB 

Children use to play
A home run away
One of them broke their neck
Diving into their dreams.

The river runs north
Long before TB, 
Baseball and the wading pool

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Mark Mularz
This One

This one
Sits very still For days & days
This one Lost all Her keys
This one
Watches traffic For entertainment
This one Lost
Her melody
This one Can barely Feed herself
This one
Sleeps & Messes her pant
This one
Is not the Momma, I know
This one’s voice Always ... always Turns my ear.

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Mark Mularz
This Boy

Who is this boy ……………………
This boy ……

Was it the distance
Of love’s milk
Sending his moon into retrograde
With fermented fruit

Leaving a taste
He couldn’t
Spit out &
Feared to swallow

Making him


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Mark Mularz
The Near Moon

under a spell
the nearby moon
cascaded a faint scent &
tributaries begin flow
in the same direction
like an ancient family bloodline
sending out a solitude
enveloping us
in a whispery wonder 

it was overwhelming
each time you said my name
over over & over again
dropping my hand
for the pleasure of it &
turned this mouth
into a fallen crescent 

now, many moons later
I began a different life
living among men
with reasons
to weep
from inner chambers
of the heart &
parlors of this mind 


is this just a lunar phase
returning me to the tides
as if we were friends &
were created for each other
more or less

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Mark Mularz
The Horizon Line

This is the 37th day &
The tires
Are nearly worn
Pull over to rest
And rest
And rest
But not tomorrow
Nor the next
Or the next after the next
The horizon line
How do you, 
Do it
    Wake with a grin

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Mark Mularz
The Day and I

By anyone’s measure
By anyone’s measure
This day and I
Were tired, our
Bone beaten sucked dry
By every everything
Not a whisper was left
No breath to sing

Late in the afternoon
Late in the afternoon
Friend from way back
Holding sour grapes
Called in his chips
Requesting an errand

Good-bye, coppery sunlight 

The day and I told ourselves
It was more of a stopover
Than a destination, and searched
For another vein of courage

We had a nose for such things

While being on the lookout
For ambushes and sabotages
Our voices suddenly choked, and
Captured our attention

While waiting
We wondered
Is this where it all came from
No longer elegant, but just
Quite, odd

This moment was not for us
We yearned for a hermitage, and
This was just the first night

Tell us how it ends

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Mark Mularz
The Bog

Leaving the life once lived
How many skins
Must be shed 

Down the back road
Tripping on gravel &
Traversing the ditch
Stinging nettle waits
Before meeting the bog

Deep, dark and muddy
The bottom invites
Sinking through time
Visiting joys, tears, regrets
Grand children, never known.

What is calling forth
Turn left or right
South towards warmth
North towards cold
East or west

Leaving a life once lived
Many skins
Have been shed
Leaving little resemblance

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Mark Mularz
Temporary Arrival

At the break of dawn
The future arrived
A speckle from the horizon
After years at sea
It’s approach
Was ner’sail-less, yet
Enough wind
Blew it into port

Its size had changed
No worse for the wear
The pilot’s light flickered
From bright to dim to bright

Before the day’s last light
The bunk was readied
The ship slipped it’s slip, and
Faded from sight, again.

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Mark Mularz

There are songbirds
That live near-by &
Whom I count as friends
Will they sing goodbye
When our time together
Comes to an end

To this flock
This I ask
Sing high …sing low
Continue to swoop, dart
Chase & play
Until you too, must go

No need to follow
My feathery friends
It is … okay
This, my fate
Other songbirds wait
Oh, oh, silly, silly me
These little darlin’s
Pay no heed
Too too busy
No time
Nota swoop …  nota dart
Doing their doings
Way way way
Too free

In their flutters
Do they seem to say
Get yer head
Outa yer hands
Dust yer self off
Get on … get on
Get on with yer day

So I must
So I will &
Tie this shoe
Stumbling good-bye
A little anew

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Mark Mularz
Something is Missing

Something is wrong
Something is missing
Beyond reach
Eluding grasp
Words … 
Nowhere near
Way … way
On the other side
Of somewhere
Beyond sight &
Thinning air

This ... this ... thing
Fails to breathe
Before it could
Because … because


Something is missing

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Mark Mularz
Someone's Child

Someone’s child
                         Slept outside &
Looked at me 

Someone’s child
                         Sits down
Says not-a-word

Someone’s child
                         Isn’t happy
About anything

Someone’s child
                         Maimed another

Someone’s child
                         Said never again
But did

Someone’s child
                         Never came home
Why why why

Someone’s child
                         Kissed another
Again again & again

Someone’s child
                         Smiled at me &
I at them

Someone’s child
                         Is here
Right now

Someone’s child
                         Is no longer

Someone’s child
                         Isn’t wanted
Come closer

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Mark Mularz
Some Time Ago

The sunset
Some time ago &
The crickets
Awaken the stars
Pearly aglow
Now, sadly
Hanging low

Dust wafts in
Tickling memories
Loving friends
Dead or dangerous
Couldn’t be saved
So, so sorry
You are

Now                                                                           Waaaay
                                            Over                                                                           there
It’s a son-of-a-bitch
                                            Isn't it

                                                           I miss my friends

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Mark Mularz

Where are you
My yawns & silent sighs
Call you out, while
Hours & hours
Slip by
Any minutes
Will do

The sheep are loose
No moon to jump
The bedding’s crumpled
My partner
Long, long
Alone once more

Protect me
The squid’s black ink &
Slip away
Taken down
To the darkest dark
Among the bottom crawlers &
Nevertobeseen til when

Just as the night
Puts the day to bed
Night seldom comes
You tease
Showing yourself
In the slumber
Of the babe
I smell

Are you not the gentlest
Or are you
The shady agent
One who starves
I know not which

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Mark Mularz

Should gravity stop to breathe
Stillness becomes a must &
The heavens unleash
A new orbit
Tearing a hole
Pausing memory
As if it were a shield

This wilderness is loose
A wildly beating beauty
Falling becomes a rising

Is it a revelation
A lucky chance, or
Patient research
Birthing this notion
Its’ precise vision
Despite the weight

Like anything
Just born
Yet, quintessentially,
More cheery
Than accumulated years
Of living a tainted life
Having stopped
To look 

People like us
Lively outsiders
Finding breath
In another’s eyes
Is revolutionary  
Is legendary
Protecting everything
Even lunacy

Submission is complex
As the clock ticks
The serpent
Conscientiously counts &
Waiting to step closer

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Mark Mularz

When morning comes
Ceases the night  
Only then, can
Feathered bosoms
Rest & gossip
While holding
What cannot

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Mark Mularz