Since first encountering it

in a set of self-paced

reading-enhancement lessons

imbedded in my fourth-grade

curriculum, I have disliked

the word precipice, perhaps

because it sounds kind of like

preciousness, both words that

speakers of robust Anglo-Saxon

frankly just don’t need, or

maybe because of some

unconscious fears of its

intellectual portents, its

unwelcome insinuation

that inhabiting a figurative precipice

might be as close to

living on the edge as

I will ever get, like playing

punk on the ’cello, not

that there’s anything

wrong with that.


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper


A scrunched scrap of waste paper

wind-rattled along the street

creates a racket louder

than would a poem written

on it at anguished expense,

yet a poet, though unheard,

may fell a forest with words.

Copyright 2015

T. Allen Culpepper