3 Sonnets: Mrs. Alving Contemplates Her Nipples, Like Epictetus on Mushrooms, Another Ha Ha Chuckle for the Blessing of Rest by RW Haynes

 
(i.)
 
Mrs. Alving Contemplates Her Nipples
 
Hedonism governs men, or simple greed
Deludes them always, so these masculine minds
Delight in lies that their convenience finds
So that for them there’s nothing true indeed.
If the lies are just nature’s just excretions,
Or by-products of heated oxidation,
I see their value as no more than negation
A healthy memory turns into deletions.
Lusty dudes, braggarts, loud buffoons,
Imploring forgiveness, tender sacrifice,
Though only my surrender will suffice,
I scorn your swaggering, you groveling baboons.
“Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” These babies cry.
My nipples are mine now. Big babies, good-bye.
 
(ii.)
 
Like Epictetus on Mushrooms 
 
If Fortune turns its face toward the sun 
Whose light takes eight minutes to arrive, 
Then I put aside impatience to revive 
Fortitude in hope when day is done 
My sputtering candle may be noted then 
For what it’s worth, although its little light 
Took sixty years of travel through the night 
To let its fitful illumination begin. 
Duty is useless if no mark is made, 
And if the light should vanish, be unseen, 
As the Spartan said, I’ll fight then in the shade, 
Divested of incumbrance, darkly serene. 
Take your insincere sympathies, then, 
And stick them all elsewhere, all the way in. 
 
(iii.)
 
Another Ha Ha Chuckle for the Blessing of Rest
 
She thought light would leak on all
True dilemmas, personal honor, life or limb,
What to cook, what to hide from him,
And when she saw some ominous shadow fall
She knew to relish inevitability
Like an old stone statue staring in a tomb,
Silently satisfied in that silent room,
Mutely assimilating shadows she could see.
“My poetry will get you,” she wanted to smile,
“My syllabic dynamite, my shapely lines
Of harmony, tangled like wise vines,
Must stack all being in an elegant pile.
But you, O Diogenes, what you are after
Provokes no more than a brief fit of laughter.”
 
 

R.W.Haynes. Larado. Texas. USA.

 
 
R. W. Haynes, Professor of English at Texas A&M International University, has published poetry in many journals in the United States and in other countries.As an academic scholar, he specializes in British Renaissance literature, and he has also taught extensively in such areas as medieval thought, Southern literature, classical poetry, and writing. Since 1992, he has offered regular graduate and undergraduate courses in Shakespeare, as well as seminars in Ibsen, Chaucer, Spenser, rhetoric, and other topics. In 2004, Haynes met Texas playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote and has since become a leading scholar of that author’s remarkable oeuvre, publishing a book on Foote’s plays in 2010 and editing a collection of essays on his works in 2016. Haynes also writes plays and fiction. In 2016, he received the SCMLA Poetry Award ($500) at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference. In 2019, two collections of his poetry were published, Laredo Light (Cyberwit) and Let the Whales Escape (Finishing Line Press). His latest volume Heidegger Looks at the Moon www.finishinglinepress.com was published in 2021.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Heidegger Looks at the Moon. Collected Poems by R.W. Haynes, Reviewed by Robin Ouzman Hislop


R.W.Haynes. Larado. Texas. USA.
 
Heidegger Looks at the Moon is the latest volume of poetry by RW Haynes, who is well known to us at PLT (Poetry Life & Times), where as well as having been Interviewed, his various previous works, as well his poems have been hosted. Haynes is an individual of many abilities, a scholar of Greek language, he is versed in the Classics, a playright, novelist, a biographer on the Texan Playright Hoorton Foote & poet, he teaches at A&M International University of Texas, Laredo, USA, where he’s been a lecturer for the last 30 years in Anglo Saxon Literature, Dramatics in Chaucer, Shakespeare & Ibsen’s plays amongst other activities.
 
It is not surprising, perhaps, that his poetics are in the classicist metric style and form. Almost inevitably, I find, we see, surrupetitiously appearing in verses a tightening of form in Shakespearean vogue. I think he will be the first one to admitt that he is almost in bondage to the sonnet and drawn by the fascination and challenge of being able to render a vast scope of vision into such a compact and condensed form. Also what we learn from Haynes is his overwhelming admiration for theater, but more so for the actual actors who perform theater, where he says, he literarily stands in awe and reverence of them as artists in their medium. I mention this because it is reflected, I believe, in his works as a poet, which introduces many varied persona as mediums for his poetic voice. Of course both history and place, he is from the deep south USA, figure extensively in his writing, an example features in his sonnet Downtown Waco. Midnight. Heidegger Looks at the Moon. In it’s opening line The Bush Library really ought to be here! Apparently Waco was on the list but it got removed to Dallas ‘The loss of the Library was the worst blow to hit the city since the 1953 Waco Tornado killed 114 people’ he comments in another text.
 
According to Haynes, as I understand it, he views emmotive conflicts as conditions of the human species over time as intrinsic to their existence, passion, love, hate, grief, despair from antiquity to the present he regards are fundamental in the human make up. And his poems intensifiy in a contemporary idiom and context this phenomena, sometimes with irony, sometimes with humour, sometimes with compassion. Having said all that, I would add, that his poems by no means make for easy reading, if the reader believes it can just pick up the volume and flipantly peruse it for a couple of hours and come away gratified, it’s in for another think. It is a work that you have to go back to again and again. These are poems that demand you give them attention, that you work at them, because in their own genre, they are masterfully crafted. I personally found in reading them, that just at the moment you feel most comfortable with the verses, stanzas, you are saying to yourself, yes I am with it, what appears to be a harmless snug line tucked away in a stanza rivets you with its complexity and plunges you into new depths, which is what a poem should do, imo.
 
The very title Heidegger Looks at the Moon, Heidegger is a complex philosopher and Haynes believes that poetry should be philosophical (in this I share his viewpoint) he believes in the etymology of the word Sophia, as the love of wisdom ( a hope, which I would also like to share in). Heidegger thought of humans as linguistic beings, language is the house of being, but he also feared that language could be our own entrapment, that the way we spoke about a certain object or event made it into what it was and also alienated us from what it really is. This of course is a great simplification but I think i could say that his concern was that instead of talking about nature, we end up only talking about ourselves, which prevents us from being activated, acted upon or impacted by anything, and in which we become the living dead to quote. This is only to say, without being specifically Heideggerian, if we are to think of philosophy (wisdom) as the task of poetry, it could be to awaken us from this anthropocene epoch, which sees the environment as its own, by the use of poetic language to recover the world which is ours and to which we belong. Haynes poetry in its idiom both ancient and modern, in it’s scope and intensity, it’s range of variety and mood, in its quest, is perhaps a kindling beacon towards that lost light. Editor Poetry Life and Times Robin Ouzman Hislop

 

Three Selected Poems:
 
(i.)
 
Downtown Waco. Midnight. Heidegger Looks at the Moon.
 
The Bush Library really should be here,
For each dead city needs a laugh or two,
A little something so the skeletons can jeer
On nights like this when there’s little to do
And nothing to haunt but the haunting lack of hope
Where words are born to sputter anxiously
Toward brief life in some half-bungled trope
Irrecoverable etymologically.
Is there another cyclone on its way
To re-mix this desperation here?
To make words and deeds mutually obey
A dim correspondence–never more clear
Than the misshapen moon cruising so high
Over the Brazos in the hopeless Waco sky?
 
(ii.)
 
Cleghorn Resists the Various Swirls of Evil
 
The preposition shudders politely when
A cutthroat solipsist invites it in,
And shyly declines his invitations
To join his murdered nominalizations,
His cold, intransitive redundancies
Pickled in glass, words that neither please
Nor move, motionless as the center of pain
In a sinking island sunk in a hurricane.
“Why, sir,” she whispers, “I didn’t mean to win,
But ever since William of Normandy came in
I’ve gathered force, and, alas, your frantic dream
To drown the world in a fantastic stream
Has withered, and you are no longer strong.
Believe me, sir, follow the lemmings along.”

 
So wrote Mr. Cleghorn, and saved his text
And closed his laptop, frowning a bit,
For greater labor awaited him next
And he was not yet composed for it.
Against his personal code of action,
He had slept in a red shirt, carelessly,
And he felt that invidious subtraction
Of force that accompanies inevitably
Such disregard for cosmic propriety
And leads to poor judgment both in poetry
And in the war of life, where certainly
Color sucks away sensitivity.
Dressed as clowns, thus, in Morpheus’ arms,
Sleeping fools multiply their harms.
 
And foolishness here is a rich resource,
He thought, reflecting on the bureaucrats
Who seek to keep the city down by force,
Predatory gangsters, scheming rats,
Networked against pressure from outside
To recognize justice and the Constitution,
To give up conspiracy, xenophobic pride,
Blackmail, bribery, theft, and pollution,
To exile the chiseler, the fake, and the buffoon
Who manufacture credentials from trash,
Grease the right palms (thank you, cousin!), and soon
Convert these shameless forgeries to cash
And smirk to think how the honest man’s labor
Buys electricity for his well-connected neighbor.
 
Growling bloodthirstily, three deadly wolves appear,
Greeting their master, emerging from his fit,
Three whom Cerberus would flee in fear,
Dire wolves indeed, as ever biscuit bit,
And Cleghorn calls all three ferocious creatures
And hauls them by the ears and roughly pets
Their shaggy coats, examining their features,
Claws, and fangs, and as each wolf gets
His morning greeting, he comfortably reposes
Himself in a strategic, warlike position
From which, no doubt, he fiercely proposes
To tear and mangle all opposition.
Thus, surrounded by three mighty dogs from Hell,
Their master meditates and speaks a secret spell.
 
Barricaded in eccentricity
Of a kind, alert to angel whisperings
And curious voices fluting delicately
Essences of many marvelous things,
He reaches toward a lost integrity
And hears the ghosts of long-lost harmony.
 
(iii.)
 
Meeting in Green Light
 
In that parade of corpses, one turned
To look at me. The green moonlight
Scorched her cadaverous face and burned
It greenish pale and deathly white.
Green fangs smirked familiarity,
And a sudden spark lit up one dead eye
As she hoarsely crooned, “Hey, babe, it’s me.
You used to say speed kills. That’s still a lie.
What kills you, fast or slow, is that you die.”
Cold inside, but this wrecked specter
Awakening some sad sympathy yet,
I croaked out in a stunned response to her:
“The alleyways and dungeons I forget,
For angels of sunlight dragged me out
And wrapped me with jasmine and morning glory,
And sweet dreams shifted my mind about,
To sacred miracles in a marvelous story.
They gave me cool white wine and cantaloupe
And pride was driven out by mindless hope.”
“So dogs do yap and howl in Heaven, then,”
She said and stared vindictively at me,
“Just as they do for burning devils when
The cold moon shines upon the murderous sea.”
“Perhaps,” I said, “but words one understands
Are ruled by a magic kept out of our hands,
And whippoorwills’ disturbing song at night
Fades out as nighthawks launch themselves for flight.”
 
 
 
Heidegger Looks at the Moon by R. W. Haynes
978-1-64662-686-1 www.finishinglinepress.com
 
 
R. W. Haynes, Professor of English at Texas A&M International University, has published poetry in many journals in the United States and in other countries.As an academic scholar, he specializes in British Renaissance literature, and he has also taught extensively in such areas as medieval thought, Southern literature, classical poetry, and writing. Since 1992, he has offered regular graduate and undergraduate courses in Shakespeare, as well as seminars in Ibsen, Chaucer, Spenser, rhetoric, and other topics. In 2004, Haynes met Texas playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote and has since become a leading scholar of that author’s remarkable oeuvre, publishing a book on Foote’s plays in 2010 and editing a collection of essays on his works in 2016. Haynes also writes plays and fiction. In 2016, he received the SCMLA Poetry Award ($500) at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference. In 2019, two collections of his poetry were published, Laredo Light (Cyberwit) and Let the Whales Escape (Finishing Line Press).
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

The Lovely Lady in the Ridiculous Clothes & Poems by RW Haynes

1]
 
The Lovely Lady in the Ridiculous Clothes
 
In a sea of meaningless stuff, that honesty
Fires up the jaded imagination,
Enlivens losing life with lively sensation,
And calls for music, dancing harmony.
So wear that hat, a dashing pronouncement,
Those painted shoes, eye-grabbing things,
And whatever else inspiration brings
To hear wisdom’s ultimate announcement.
The hat, the crazy shoes, your laughing smile,
Are flowers sprung from nowhere, although
Sweet hope requires that they arrive so,
And the light has come, now, to stay awhile.
The music does more than speak: it commands,
And souls step forth and boldly now clap hands.
 
2]
 
Hot Date for The Fiddlers’ Convention
 
Brought against you, then,
An arsenal of betrayals that begin
A catalog of unexpected depletions,
Beginnings to begin once again,
Chaos of incompletions.
 
So chalk this up to the record then,
Remembering themes are just themes,
Not formulas, mathematic dreams,
Just stuff just good for slogans to rant,
Useless epitaphs for grackles to chant.
 
Tune the instrument, tune in the station
Playing the spirit of inspiration.
Let the dance continue hard and fast
Or deep and slow, but let it play on.
Let it go. Leave it playing on at last.
 
3]
 
Behind the Old Church
 
Heavy stone slabs
Shadowed with warning
Echo ominously…
The moon keeps burning…
 
The dead stones emanate
Stupefying cold
Around these graves’
Enigmas untold,
 
And the ravens look down
With raucous disdain
On stupefied despair,
A frozen hurricane…
 
Silent bells boom
And clang,
Time’s malicious
Boomerang.
 
Step right up,
Sentimental slave;
Pour your liquor
All over his grave.
 
 

 
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 work lately has been on the playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote. His recent poetry collections are Laredo Light and Let the Whales Escape published summer 2019 ( for further info see under Categories at this site). He recently wrote a play titled Never Claim a Kill, and he hopes to complete his novel The Songs of Billy Bonstead before Laredo cools off again. Another project in progress is an academic work currently titled The Struggling Spirit in the Plays and Screenplays of Horton Foote. In 2016 he was awarded the SCMLA poetry Prize ($500) at the Dallas meeting of the South Central Modern Language Association

 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules, Next Arrivals and Moon Selected Audio Textual Poems, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Press Release Let the Whales Escape Collected Poems by RW Haynes


 
 
Let the Whales Escape R.W.Haynes
 
 
Mona Lisa and the Marlboro Man
 
Not knowing if wisdom would impulsively fly
Or if it dragged its feet when impulse flared,
She had to make the call and suddenly try
To do what an immortal would have dared,
An Aphrodite, ascending in a flying cart
Drawn by fifty gurgling pigeons at a speed
Which matched the speed of her own matchless heart
And the heartbreaking glory of her need.
Later, back in Laredo, she would say
She didn’t know why she’d taken off that way,
Smiling with satisfaction, recalling when
Her best moments flew by delightfully then.
 
He didn’t want anyone saying, “Oh.
This is how I feel,” but people do
Say that, and he said it, sometimes, too,
In unguarded moments, and he would show
How he felt, displaying great disdain
As he lit his pipe, blew blue smoke forth
Delivering himself from aesthetic pain
Incurred by foolish ideas from the North,
And, nodding slightly to appreciate
A tolerable turn of phrase which he
Thought suggested some brain activity,
He let his tobacco counter-obfuscate
Suspicious overflows of raw emotion
Which threatened to undermine devotion.
 
 
On the Balcony of the Palacio de Cortés
 
Madness stands at one elbow. At the other
Various figures in masks take their turns,
And all whisper steadily, one after another,
Syllables whose content one never learns.
The maniac is familiar; one keeps a careful eye
On him night and day, and day and night,
But who are the others who are standing by,
And what are these advisements they recite?
I dream the lonely ghost of love is one
Whose only consolation is to speak of sin,
And when that sad companion is done,
I hear Complacency, Madness’s mad twin.
I listen in patience, fighting back the fear
I’ll never hear the voice I hope to hear.
 
 
Ibsen on the Nile
 
Those monuments are monuments merely
Of themselves; this river of nutrition
And death, inundating Egypt, is clearly
A muddy embodiment of time’s volition.
I saw the Sphinx off in the distance. Today
I purchased an ancient mummified hand
To give to my wife, safely far away,
And I suspect that she will understand.
I met DeLesseps recently. He and I
Have much in common, more than he knows;
My work is lonelier, but there exists a tie
Between what we do as humankind grows.
These monuments record the vanity of ages;
Mine put the outraged human soul on stages.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Collected Poems Laredo Light by RW Haynes Press Release


 
 
We are pleased to introduce at PLT, RW Haynes recent volume of collected poems hailing from Laredo. It’s been our pleasure to publish a selection of Haynes’ works over the last few years, ( in case of interest view Search or Categories at this site ). He’s a poet with a canny and unique expertise in the craftmanship of the classical sonnet dating from the Renaissance poets and a master of the lyrical mode but absolutely written in contemporary vogue. At times profoundly reflective and self effacing they saunter from the wry and whimsical to the depths of inner movement, whilst harvesting at all times a spectacular vocabulary in accompaniment. Editor’s comment.
 
 
Southern Baptists Sponsor Stormy Daniels Forgiveness Tour
 
“It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”

      –Dolly Parton

 
 
Brothers and sisters, we all have turned away
From the true path, but in our faith we know
We can return, though bled half-dry, although
In pain and shame for having run astray.
Judas, too, was born a child of light.
His mother saw in him how love arrives.
His kiss would guarantee that it survives
All storminess and darkness, shining bright.
And we also betray our closest friends
And sell ourselves and them with greedy minds
Until amazing grace assures that conscience finds
We have gone chasing after stupid ends.
And now, O brethren, it has come to pass
We’ve put our money on the wrong jackass.
 
 
 

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 work lately 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 Laredo cools off again. Another project in progress is an academic work currently titled The Struggling Spirit in the Plays and Screenplays of Horton Foote.
 
 
 
 
 

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Dream: The Old Dude with Big Side-Whiskers – On Being Called Honey by a Waitress Named Kitty. Poems by RW Haynes.

Dream: The Old Dude with Big Side-Whiskers                     On Being Called Honey by a Waitress Named Kitty
                                                                                                  
Yes, Old Ibsen was indeed a sight,                                            I’ll have the Boot Hill burger, I believe, 
Appearing in a dim-lit dream where I                                       As the young cowboy said, and some fries…
Lay, probably snoring, on an anxious night,                             Where does a man end up when he dies?
His whispery voice, a dagger-scraping sigh,                             When I used to keep a card up my sleeve
Disdainful but intent, urgent to be heard,                                   I knew it was safe with my back to the door
Said, “Listen, cracker, once I had it all                                      And a cup of hot coffee, my hair slicked back,
From my Muses, and then onstage my word                             And pieces of silver in a small leather sack,
Was their law as surely as avalanches fall.                                But now you can’t trust nothing any more.
At dinner my fellow Norwegians would rise                            There used to be a train that ran each day
When I appeared, and the Queen gave to me                            Through here, and then you could get away  
As Royal Playwright a Royal Garden key,                                From everything. You could go or stay,
And I prospered mightily in all men’s eyes.                              As the spirit rolled the dice and smiled,
But I tell you now, and listen well to me,                                  Time to go, sometimes time to play,
Your work is diminished by prosperity.                                     Happy as a hog and careless as a child.


The wisdom we seek in optimistic dreams                                You don’t want to hear an old man’s lies,
Moves through life, when captured, delusive,                           But everything else he has has dried,
Though the silence biding Mrs. Alving’s screams                     And his friends and all of his dogs have died,
Defies the mutable, the shifty and elusive.                                And there’s not much fire burning in his eyes,
Old age calls for a mature intensity                                           And you’ll never know how hard the man has lied
Reaching always toward ghostly shades                                    Or how many shots he took long ago                  
Hovering maliciously in dark immensity,                                  That no one remembers or ever will know.
Clutching their rust-rotten, blood-rusted blades.                       Hell, it don’t matter now what all he tried,
Wake up, forget the clowns and their clamor,                            But when you call him honey, honey, just try
Turn to my Muses, the grim inspiration                                     To give him a hard look straight in the eye                                  
Of rough-edged insight, of ax and of hammer,                          To stir up them ashes he’s cherishing inside,
The poet’s kind of living, the deadly vocation.                          And the angels will sing for you, loud and sweet,
If I had my work to do again, it’s true,                                       And heaven’s gates will shake and open wide
I’d write my work in blood, and so should you.”                       When you bring sacrifice for him to eat.





R. W. Haynes has taught literature at Texas A&M International University since 1992. His recent interests include the early British sonnet, and he is completing a second book on the Texas playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote (1916-2009). In his poetry, Haynes seeks to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without sounding any more dissonant notes than he has to. In fiction, he works toward grasping that part of the past which made its mark on his generation. He enjoys teaching drama, especially the Greeks, Ibsen, and Shakespeare, and he devoutly hopes for a stunning literary Renaissance in South Texas.

 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Good Morning, Mr. Bollocks. A Poem by RW Haynes

 

Blathering aesthetic remf,
Where were you when that meteorite
Fiberglassed half a continent?
Did you cry with us in the choir
Of angel rapture, back when matter
Meshed with concept meshed with love?
Did you point your K-Mart blowgun
And matching plastic hatchet
As the saints came striding down the sky?
 
Wait a minute.
I remember you. You had a nervous face
And complained about pelicans.
I thought at the time that a jury of penguins
Would be unanimous,
Vindicating their crash-diving friends.
I thought you needed some time at sea,
Some time to gather gravity.
After all, don’t the gulls always call?
 
In the place I walked a little while ago,
A rainbow raised its arms before the sun,
And, by the shrine of a murdered child,
A mockingbird flew at an oriole.
 
 
 
On the Savannah River 2013
 
 
 
R. W. Haynes has taught literature at Texas A&M International University since 1992. His recent interests include the early British sonnet, and he is completing a second book on the Texas playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote (1916-2009). In his poetry, Haynes seeks to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without sounding any more dissonant notes than he has to. In fiction, he works toward grasping that part of the past which made its mark on his generation. He enjoys teaching drama, especially the Greeks, Ibsen, and Shakespeare, and he devoutly hopes for a stunning literary Renaissance in South Texas.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

The Cambridge Companion to Academic Dipshits. A Poem by R.W. Haynes

 
A fat old parrot’s fine impersonation
Of a dean, on YouTube, set our friend a laughing
Which he couldn’t stop. It turned to coughing,
And he died, sort of happy, at his station.
 
We found in his desk, stashed carelessly,
An ancient manuscript he was translating
From Sicilian Greek, a tragedy dating
From Plato’s time, and indeed relating
To the philosopher, for his great enemy
Dionysius the First of Syracuse
Wrote the play to defend his tyranny
Against Plato’s defense of liberty
And attack on his autocratic abuse,
Tyranny raging against philosophy.
 
Do we moralize against tyranny,
Although small fish, but not so small
As delicious minnows on whom we fall
With glittering eyes, slobberingly?
Do these ideas–rained upon our minds,
Like mud rain in Laredo–elevate
Consciousness toward the great
Hovering supremacy philosophy finds?
 
Our dead associate, with his dramatic Greek
Representation of a fictional fight
In which dialogue produced lurid light,
Urges our lethargy to think and speak.
Have we reason to listen to that urgency
Or indeed to reason, whose puritan whine
Is likely at times to somewhat undermine
Its specious claim of authority?
“I’d rather be right with Plato,” someone said.
But what does it matter when we all are dead?
 
So now they have sabotaged a Chaucer class…
 
Ho hum. They did the same for Tragedy,
And who can blame a stupid clown or an ass
For despising Oedipus or Antigone?
Brainlessness is not some contagion
But, in our non-Platonic academe,
A status quo, the vacuous conversation
Of envious imbeciles with bulging eyes agleam.
The best one can do in this fools’ competition
Is sometimes to put a stick in the machine
And briefly delay the supremely ignorant mission
Carefully strategized by Satan and the dean.
 
Let no one dying here view with surprise
Dung-beetles circling, with burning little eyes.

 
 
 
On the Savannah River 2013
 
 
 
R. W. Haynes has taught literature at Texas A&M International University since 1992. His recent interests include the early British sonnet, and he is completing a second book on the Texas playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote (1916-2009). In his poetry, Haynes seeks to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without sounding any more dissonant notes than he has to. In fiction, he works toward grasping that part of the past which made its mark on his generation. He enjoys teaching drama, especially the Greeks, Ibsen, and Shakespeare, and he devoutly hopes for a stunning literary Renaissance in South Texas.

 
 
 
 
 
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[email protected]
[email protected]
 
Key of Mist. Guadalupe Grande.Translated.Amparo Arróspide.Robin Ouzman Hislop
 
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