Looking for the conference hotel,
I drove by Poe’s grave. Tap tap…
One should definitely shudder a little
At a contact so nearly missed.
Later I walked back, passing by
The Everyman Theater, colder
Than I’m used to being, tap tap,
Down home on the Rio Grande,
- And on his stone a twisted wreath
Of pasts and half-recalled regrets,
A ribbon, a spoon, a ball-point pen,
Declare our junkie solidarity again.
- Why wasn’t some demented witch
Out front pouring green lemonade?
A lean, blue owl on her shoulder perched,
Staring as though I, too, were cursed.
Tapped out, forget that dark flower,
Return to harbor past the Bromo-Selzer Tower.
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.