‘Hangover 1.1.2019’ by sam sax

ZYZZYVA Volume 35, #3, Winter 2019The following is sam sax’s poem “Hangover 1.1.2019” from Issue 117 in its entirety:

Like a hammer swung into antique champagne flutes
Like a family heirloom traded for a Twix
Like a red dictionary dropped from a replica famous bridge
Like a robe made out of skin that, turns out, is your skin & oops you must wear it
Like the man who lives in your occipital lobe slowly whittles a sad stick and sighs
Like a headwrap made of crane flies
Like a framed section of your brain hanged in a museum
Like a school of hungry kids all banging their forks & knives at once

Maybe that’s all a bit much

All i’m trying to say is last night i drank
Attempting to celebrate the end of a terrible year
In preparation for an even worse one

& despite the coming & current devastations
The Private & public executions of the soul
The laws passed to unstitch the eyes from camera phones
—still we managed to assemble some friends
to drink clear liquors & eat factoried chickens.

& a part of me loves it, this morning
how this is a pain of my own making

this throb—a diamond lodged in my head

sam sax is a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Sanford University and the author of Bury It (Wesleyan University Press), winner of the James Laughlin Award, and lives in Oakland. You can read more of sam sax’s poetry by ordering Issue 117 from our Shop page.

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