Thirteen Ways Of Looking At A Hangover

Inspired by Wallace Stevens’ poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”


Among four ruffled pillows

The only moving thing

Was the pounding of the hangover


I was of three drinks

Like a flyte
In which a hangover waits


The hangover stumbled in the city

It was a painful part of the walk.


A headache and a man

Are one

A headache and a man and a hangover

Are one


I do not know which to prefer,

The feeling of exhaust

Or the release of the night, 

The hangover resting 

Or just after.


Women filled the exit 

With smiles, curves. 

The shadow of the hangover 

Paced behind, back and forth. 

The future 

Traced in its palm

An unsettling force.


O round men of Lynchburg, 

Why do you imagine larger cows?

Do you not see how the hangover 

Lays around the feet

Of the children about you?


I know methods to ease 

And simple, full proof preventions; 

But I know, too, 

That the hangover is involved 

In what I do.


When the hangover eventually left,

It marked the beginning 

Of one of many ends.


At the arrival of a hangover

Appearing in a stark light, 

Even the champions of consumption

Would cry out sharply.


He drove through Tennessee 

In a dark old sedan. 

Instantly, sweat pushed out, 

In that he remembered

The nights of his rascality 

And hangover.


The sun is rising. 

The hangover must be coming.


It was evening all morning.

It was balmy

And it was going to rain.

The hangover stayed 

On the shelf with books. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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