I typed my doctoral dissertation

in the driveway of our old

house in Ohio hoping for

a head start on my spring tan.

I sat in a nylon-webbed lawn chair

wearing my swim suit on a sunny

seventy degree afternoon.

My Smith-Corona electric typewriter

sat on two cases of empty Stroh’s

longneck beer bottles tethered by an

orange extension cord to an outlet in the garage.

Of course, I had a cold one

sitting beside me on the concrete

to sip between paragraphs.

The warmth made an onerous task more palatable

and drinking beer made me feel like a rebel.

My committee would have found

this scenario hateful; not befitting a scientist.

But after I graduated, I took a job at a major university

and cranked-out research for the next thirty years.


Today I plan to go outside with my laptop,

sit by the pool with a beer and write some poetry.

The elitists at prestigious poetry journals

would probably not approve.

I won’t always be writing about mythology, muses,

classic oil paintings or arcane issues in philosophy.

I won’t necessarily be structuring my verse

as a pantoum, sestina or villanelle.

But as a writer and a reader, I know

there is something to be said for enjoyment.


William Ogden Haynes

William Ogden Haynes is a poet and author of short fiction from Alabama who was born in Michigan and grew up a military brat. His first book of poetry entitled Points of Interest appeared in 2012 and a second collection of poetry and short stories Uncommon Pursuits was published in 2013. Both are available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback. He has also published over seventy poems and short stories in literary journals and his work has been anthologized multiple times.

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