Mental Patient Escapes the English Department
“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, Professor of English at Texas A&M International University, writes various things in prose and in poetic form. His academic specialty is 16th-century England, but much of his recent work has been on the playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote. His poetry collections Laredo Light and Let the Whales Escape are being published this summer. He recently wrote a play titled Never Claim a Kill, and he hopes to complete his novel The Songs of Billy Bonstead before hurricane season arrives. Another project in progress is an academic work currently titled The Struggling Spirit in the Plays and Screenplays of Horton Foote.