hung-over —
the red eye
of the traffic light

Matt Hetherington


Given the personification and subjective content here some might be inclined to think of this as senryu. Senryu or haiku; many of us are more than likely able to relate to its topic on a personal level. There are of course many ways to arrive at a hang-over and i make no presumptions or judgements here. Yes ok, i admit i am taken back to an occasion (perhaps a few occasions) of my experience many years ago. Stepping out of a whirl of mirror-ball lights in smoke machine fog and into the night lights of a city street, my eyes might well have borne some similarity to those of a traffic light, the red one in particular, you’ve probably guessed. It wasn’t all bad though, not by any means: all that great music, the tone and euphoria of the times, the boundless fun of dancing, the truth spoken in the early hours (in vino veritas) and then later – the hang-over, oh the hang-over, admittedly that was a bit bad.
I admire the minimalism and linguistic form of this poem, appreciate its humour and relish the memories, cheers.

First Published: Going Down Swinging

Selection & comments by Simon Hanson


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