Poetic Challenges

There once was a poet in Limerick

who was quite eager but very thick.

He tried hard to rhyme,

but failed every time,

’til he ran off to Derry in panic.

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

Advertisements

Sleeping Together

I’d praise how ¬†our bodies perfectly entwine,

if this were some romantic verse. It isn’t.

It’s the cruder modern kind in which

your bony elbow jabs me in the ribcage,

your razor toenails scrape my naked calves,

and your hard cock that gave me pleasure before

kind of annoys me now that I want to sleep,

but when you roll over, you take all the covers with you,

leaving me cold.

Like us, that story’s old.

In my fantasies, you’re someone who

doesn’t concuss me with flailing arms or keep

me awake some nights with raucous snores,

but in reality, that’s not even half–

the book would have at least a hundred pages.

The sex is fine, but sleeping with you’s a bitch.

Yet my love, my love, is still consistent:

I wrote you this poem, and it even rhymes.

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

No Sense in It

The voices that flash before my eyes

smell like duct tape fresh off the roll,

like plastic and glue and mechanical things

that some people could fix, the ones who rise

as if dawn will judge their souls

and finish their coffee before birds sing,

the bitter before the sweet, and the voice

feel bitter, not sweet; the harshest ones

strip the hair from my legs like tape

ripped from it, the agony like the choices

that confound when the sun

drags in the problem of the day–

something that taste’s like the cat’s fresh kill

and rings in my ears like the victim’s blood

still wet on the sacrificial stone.

It’s a dream that strangles my will,

stabs me with splinters of dead wood, dead would,

and keeps me cocooned in bed alone,

washing down the flashing screams

with the vintage smell of fear.

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

 

That Guy You’ve Seen Before

How can it be that you’ve never met,

though you’ve seen each other everywhere–

coffee shops, bars, concerts, and street tests–

noted the other’s clothing style and hair,

found it odd that you would even care?

You probably have mutual friends but don’t know names,

just faces that you see in every crowd;

you keep thinking that you should exchange

greetings or numbers or something, but don’t know how.

Maybe at yoga class your mats will touch,

and you’ll go out for coffee, dutch,

and all the chemistry will be just right,

and you will kiss and then make love all night

and wonder why

you never said hi.

Copyright 2015

T. Allen Culpepper