R. W. Haynes
“Atheism,” he laughed, lighting a Cuban cigar,
“Is modernist superstition. These scholar-apes
Sneak like foxes toward the midnight grapes,
Never understanding what they are.
I quit drinking when I sobered up and saw
I was more deeply intoxicated when,
Without booze, I faced the world again
And, high as hell, played Fate for just a draw.”
“But how does wisdom come, and how do we
Benefit from teachers who explain
The only university is pain,
And life is war instead of liberty?”
Exhaling copious clouds of choking smoke,
The teacher smiled and smoked but never spoke.
R. W. Haynes has taught literature for twenty-five years at Texas A&M International University. His recent scholarly work includes an edited volume on the playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote and an article on the politics of Tudor humanism. In 2016, Haynes was awarded the SCMLA Poetry Prize at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference in Dallas.