Loneliness

Odd how loneliness can mount its most

formidable assault after time

spent in the pleasant company of friends,

after engagement with the world. There have

been in the last couple of days lunches,

drinks, museums, walks, and films, to say

nothing of social networking, email,

phone calls and texts, poetry with receptions—

all coming after a week with my family—

and always coffees and beer or wine at my local,

and my sweet cat here to entertain me.

It’s been a happy, sociable fortnight or so;

no question that my support network’s intact,

plenty of people out there if I really need them.

And yet it comes on unexpectedly,

this Friday night, home after a good day,

that restless lonesomeness that sometimes plagues me

most severely when I come down from a social high,

in withdrawal to the old solitude.

With the morning sun, I’m sure I’ll be fine

(please, a cloudy day’s not what I need),

but that’s nine hours away, and tonight will be hard.

Wish I had some company, and yet

it’s late and I’m too tired to seek it out,

or even get much from it if I had it.

And, anyway, I know the source of my

malaise resides inside; it’s not external.

 

Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper

 

 

Breakfasting Punks

It’s early for punks, ten a.m.,

their habits usually like vampires’,

but there they are, three of them,

a trio to represent the choir.

In any group, one stands out,

with a look or persona that shouts,

“I am the magnet that attracts;

the rest, they just have my back.”

They look old enough for drinks,

but they’re not having alcohol,

and only one the coffee that you’d think;

juice, chocolate milk wash down their talk.

The star is serious about his look:
green-blond hair, T-shirt too short,

black jeans and trainers, belt with studs,

heavily tattooed arms.

Piercings are all that’s missing; I wonder

if there are some somewhere under

clothes; besides arms and face,

the only skins that shows the space

between his T-shirt and low jeans–

no ink there, completely clean.

He’s hot enough in his way,

but I’m not sure how well he’ll age.

I guess that’s not a major worry

when you’re invincibly under thirty.

 

Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper