What Would Sigmund Freud Say?

Passing through a glass-beaded curtain,

I enter an old-school porn shop and see

one of my exes, unaged, selecting plaster

figurines in the tradition of Priapus,

with a shirtless, tanned blond boy behind,

learning forward, hands on knees.

I, unnoticed, circle around racks

of vintage vinyl punk records

but then run into them at the earring

display and exchange rather awkward

greetings, interrupted by a friendly-seeming

stranger, who strikes up a conversation,

only to attempt a scam involving a

supposedly starving friend twenty pounds

from death, seeking monetary contributions.

Recognizing the dream state,

I attempt to practice my assertiveness

training, but ineffectually, so that

the ex comes to my rescue by

depositing marbles in the pocket

of the alleged victim.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper

Plato’s Kitchen

While sitting at the kitchen table eating a pear,

my lazy gaze drifts to a window on the back yard,

with its leafy canopy still greenly shading patches

of scruffy lawn highlighted by autumnal midday sun;

and then, through a trick of light and glass, still

looking toward the back, I see, mirrored through

the dusty panes, the view from the picture window

roughly opposite, facing the street, and thus the

texting drivers, the creaky rusting pickup, the runners

and stroller, and the walkers of multiple dogs

pass as phantom figures crossing reflective air,

so close, yet untouchably distant, un-smelled even by cats.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper

Unanswered Questions

Looking into his bright grey eyes again

as he lies quietly against dampened sheets

afterward, his left hand resting lightly

across his sternum, his smooth square chin

turned toward me at an easy angle, slender

neck arching toward collarbone, I wonder,

without certainty whether I desire the knowledge,

what thoughts circulate behind those eyes.

Does he evaluate his experiences on a scale

from disappointment to ecstasy, with this

one ranking somewhere around half-satisfied,

or take comfort in present company, recall

with nostalgia or regret incidents from his

relatively brief past, or more likely, whether

he’ll stay for breakfast, what time his work

shift starts, whether he has a clean shirt,

where he put his car keys.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper