"Ode to Hangover"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Feb. 28 2006 6:58 AM

"Ode to Hangover"

Click here to listen to Dean Young read this poem.

Hangover, you drive me into the yard to dig holes as a way of working through you as one might work through a sorry childhood by riding the forbidden amusement park rides as a grown-up until puking. Alas, I feel like something spit out by a duck, a duck other ducks are ashamed of when I only tried to protect myself by projecting myself on hilarity's big screen at the party where one nitwit reminisced about the 39¢ a pound chicken of his youth and another said, Don't go to Italy in June, no one goes to Italy in June. Protect myself from boring advice, from the boring past and the boring present at the expense of an unnauseating future: now. But look at these newly-socketed lilacs! Without you, Hangover, they would still be trapped in their buckets and not become the opposite of vomit just as you, Hangover, are the opposite of Orgasm. Certainly you go on too long and in your grip one thinks, How to have you never again? whereas Orgasm lasts too short some seconds and immediately one plots to repeat her. After her I could eat a car but here's a pineapple/clam pizza and Chinese milkshake yum but Hangover, you make me aspire to a saltine. Both of you need to lie down, one with a cool rag across the brow, shutters drawn, the other in a soft jungle gym, yahoo, this puzzle has 15 thousand solutions! Here's one called Rocking Horse and how about Sunshine in the Monkey Tree. Chug, chug, goes the arriving train, those on the platform toss their hats and scarves and cheer, the president comes out of the caboose to declare, The war is over! Corks popping, people mashing people, knocking over melon stands, ripping millenniums of bodices. Hangover, rest now, you'll have lots to do later inspiring abstemious philosophies and menial tasks that too contribute to the beauty of this world.

Dean Young's most recent book is Bender published by Copper Canyon Press.

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