The Cuban-heel dress shoes are a surprise

with his jeans and V-necked sweater

over micro-check shirt, all buttoned up;

his boyfriend, cuter but scruffier,

wears flip-flops this warming spring afternoon:

the one all work-week seriousness,

the other, sliding toward the weekend.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper

A View from Bed on a Saturday Morning in Early Spring

The green and white urge themselves together

at divergent angles in the corner,

the lines of demarcation fuzzy, blurred

by myopic eyes into abstraction,

as the head, its allergic ache

compounded by the stresses of the week,

too little sleep and too much Spanish wine,

tries to clear itself, meditate,

first on nothing, then on respiration,

then, inevitably, on the intruding to-do list–

grading and bills and cleaning and shopping and laundry,

oh, and making time for exercise–

trying to organize  itself for the day,

filing functions, tasks into mental drawers

half-shut, half-open, overflowing with bulging

recycled folders disordered and mislabeled,

like a basket of socks arranged by a cat.

Sunlight filters in through dust, highlights

piles of books and clothes, a trail of dirty

glasses and coffee cups. When head tries

not to think, it does, but when it tries

to concentrate on a single thought,

the green and white race together, collide.



Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper

Two College Dudes Do Homework and Drink Coffee

Though far too tall to be my type,

the more handsome of the two

has dark brown hair and beard, dark eyes,

black knit cap, hoodie faded blue.


Shorts and sneakers, hairy legs,

but chest looks smooth at open neck.

Under laptop, textbook open;

speaks in husky baritone


to the second, who’s just come in,

not bad but no match for his friend.

This dude’s all in navy, shorter,

with laptop but not book; he orders


right away, something fancy.

First guy still sipping from paper cup,

just a coffee, but he’s getting antsy

up and down, must’ve had too much.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper



A Briefless Encounter

In front of me at the theatrical performance

with his girlfriend, he’s lean and blond—

short hair, fuzzy chin, tight jeans

by his firm glutes well enhanced.


When he stretches post-Act 3,

the low jeans show some cheek;

looks like he didn’t bother with briefs,

but I think I like another peek.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper

If Only It Were That Simple

So in this magazine interview, rapper Angel Haze

claims sexual orientation’s like having a favorite color.

(Don’t feel blue; it’s not easy being green.)

And goes on to say, “I should be able to do

whatever and whoever I want at any given time.”


Now I rather like the favorite-color analogy

(though maybe it works best with a complex color like purple),

and I’m all about following your instincts where they lead you,

and parties not involved minding their own business,

but she’s twenty-two and her words reveal


equal parts fierceness and naiveté:

At more than twice her age, I’ve finally learned the lesson

that when you’re in the mood, whatever costs too much

and the whoever that you fancy at the moment,

not knowing or not caring, is out with someone else.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper