Never or Now?

Cutting his eyes over his shoulder,

he checks whose gaze burns him from behind,

lusting after his youthful beauty, which smolders

as he raises eyebrow in an inviting sign.

Muscles ripple along his lean, smooth back,

neck arching gracefully as his head turns

and both imagine adventures in the sack,

the hot sex for which they  hotly yearn.

But will lips touch and hands fondle flesh,

each the other invite to come inside

as their bodies and souls intermesh,

or will they miss the moment, let it slide?

The moment lost, their chances to regain it diminish,

but if they seize it, they could take it to the finish.


Copyright 2019

T. Allen Culpepper

Yes, the Fall, But Oh That Rise! Icarus Reconsidered

In the end our rebel dies,

but what a meteoric rise!

Better to fall from a flaming star

than never to soar so high and far.

Imagine the youth’s incredible rush:

Drugs, sex, and rock in one great gush!

And the thrill of that still in his eyes

as he drops from the skies.

The officers call in one fatality,

but death gives him immortality.


Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

So White

His alabaster skin so white

he might be some forest elf

who lives in shade, afraid of sunlight,

but beautiful as Narcissus himself,

the slender youth sits, or rather, perches,

leaning forward, his doe eyes searching,

with eager lips parted, his embouchure

primed to meet and suck in the future.

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

That Innocent Moment

Naked Narciso, beautiful, bronzed, and muscular,

takes a forward fold on the outcropped rock

beside the still waters of the untroubled lake,

stretching his lean and youthful form,

with back arched and buttocks high,

dark head curled low, tanned olive limbs elongated.

His ears take in the hum and chirp of bugs and birds,

but with eyes half-closed, he has only felt his beauty,

not yet looked into the pool and seen

what he will love to make himself immortal.

Copyright 2015

T. Allen Culpepper

Bel Ragazzo Nudo Masturbandosi nel Cortile



Nothing on God’s earth

could exude more innocence

than a beautiful youth

of twenty-odd years

shedding his clothes

to lie in the courtyard sun

stroking his erection,

and anyone be damned

who inhibits or shames him.


Niente nella santa terra

trasuderebbe più d’innocenza

che un bel ragazzo

di venti anni

che sparge i suoi vestiti

per prendere il sole nel cortile


accarezza la sua erezione,

e chiunque sia dannato

che lo inibisce o gli fa sentire vergogna.

Grazie mille a Antonio de Simone per il suo consiglio sulla traduzione. Per piacere, leggete il suo bravo blog Il Mio Giornale di Bordo qui. Antonio, sei troppo gentile!

Copyright 2015

T. Allen Culpepper

Portrait of a Summer Scholar

He’s yawning forward

over crossed arms and a book

at a high table,

legs and sandaled feet dangling,

breakfast dishes pushed aside,

a good-looking youth,

dark-haired and bearded,

brown eyes deeply set

in bright, clear-skinned face,

at mid-morning on a Tuesday

at the end of June;

it’s hard to be a scholar

on a summer day.

Copyright 2015

T. Allen Culpepper

A Scholar

His smooth face,

golden in a beam

of late-afternoon sun,

he sits at a corner table,

one of the high ones

by the windows,

poring over his notes,

left hand cupping chin,

right toying with

a pencil stub,

his countenance

thoughtful but

not yet lined

by worries,

his smile bright

when he looks

up at his friend,

sharing a laugh,

swinging his legs,

long and strong

in shorts and trainers,

as the sun slips

behind the skyline

as falls toward

the horizon.


Copyright 2015

T. Allen Culpepper

Young Queer Reiterating the Archetype

He’s young, as in high-school aged,

a cute kid in lace-up boots, dark

skinny jeans, and a black T-shirt

with did-it-himself cutouts in the back

showing some skin, revealing the lean

curves of his torso as he leans forward

over the counter, bantering with

the barista; a tragus piercing,

bracelets and rings, a small old-school

tattoo on his forearm, a sharp haircut and

a touch of guyliner finish off the

queer-rebel look that from the perspective

of three times his age comes across

as somewhat cliched, perhaps even

unintentionally self-parodic,

but I wouldn’t for the world

have him change a stich of it

while he’s young enough to own it.


Copyright 2014

  1. 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

Spring in Step

When the doors slide open, spring walks in,

in skinny cutoff jeans rolled up

to show tattoo red, yellow, and green

on right calf hairy and fit,

brown suede shoes in lieu of trainers,

sleeveless vest over checked gingham shirt,

floppy brown hair over mirrored shades,

and when he passes and  smiles “hello,”

his very energy seems to flirt

with sunshine, youth, and whoever’s near.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper