Poetry from George Economou

a Night long gone, forgotten, erased 

with the substance-abuse of years gone, 
it’s a wonder I’m still breathing; a miracle I
still recall precious little moments from imperfect
nights of snow and glacial gusts penetrating the room
through windowless frames on crumbling walls. 

dozing off next to strangers of the night, fallen angels 
dissipating with the first ray of sunlight; spending
months hidden in attics and shooting galleries, 

struggling to maintain the few traces of soul left alive
by putting it in airplane bottles of booze. 

acid-eating time-travelers visit dreams and hallucinations,
spaceships land atop tall buildings dwarfing skyscrapers and human shells. 

early morning hours never were, lost in the crepuscular mist of yesteryears,
hollow moments vanishing inside drained (and broken)
bourbon bottles—forevermore, the eternal broken promise of hundreds of lying lips,
falsifying experiments in the grand scheme of today’s societal degradation;

erased, forgotten, completely and utterly
dead. dead
like the night, like the morning, like the
sun and the galaxy, like the dream-
less nights.

we effortlessly drained a fifth of bourbon while
watching old movies on the television;
we could barely follow Citizen Cane, and laughed with Casablanca,
then had a blast with The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. 
in our high, we discussed future travels, how we’d
become, too, treasure hunters and adventurers.
then, we cracked the second bottle and the moment the glasses were filled,
we forgot about exploring Bolivian jungles. 
it was alright, we told ourselves during hangover mornings
and cruel early evenings; we were still young (merely 20) 
and had the whole world sitting at the palm of our hands. 
every night the moans of pleasure kept the neighbors awake
and I’d use a kitchen knife and my crazy look to drive them away
whenever someone bold enough knocked on the door to whine. 
we’d never step outside the door before 7 in the afternoon, and when
we did, it was only because we had run out of booze.
I can’t even remember how long it lasted; I remember her name all too well:
Emily. both foreigners, both belonging exclusively in the most lugubrious voids 
of permanent midnight. bottles emptied, broken, and we fucked amidst the glass. 
how long ago? when did it all happen? 
here I am, swilling bourbon nightly and, sometimes, I see
her smile painted in the stars and a tear runs down
my thick beard. I lost her,
lost it all; she liked my stories when I read them half-drunk, now, I can’t
find solace in the yellow pages residing under the worn-out
mattresses of the cheapest brothels. 
it’s alright, I keep lying; I was too drunk at her funeral and cannot even
remember the spot she rests. I wish to go and leave a rose
on the ground, all I have is this lowly poem, insufficient as it may be to do justice
to what she could have been. took me a week of
constant drinking to come back to life after her premature demise, 
I’m still drinking and recalling her radiant smile; she’s the only one I wish I had taken
a picture of when I could. I didn’t, my memory deteriorates one glass at a time. 
she, I, the world, ashes waiting to be tapped in a dirty ashtray.
nothing remains; only the smile painted in the stars. 
the empty bottles on the floor remind me of former nights, when history
no one will know of was made;  the first poems written only for her,
masterpieces hurled over the coffin; true words no one needs to hear.
I can’t remember them, too drunk, but I know, one day we’ll reunite, even in the absolute nothingness, and she’ll forgive me for all the others that lay on the couch
she once used to call bed; I watched Casablanca recently and laughed.
for one magnificent second she was there, laughing with me; I had to
drink for two weeks without a pause just to forget the soft
sound of her giggling, the kisses she planted on my cheek whenever 
I was too hungover to breathe.
down by the creek

we swilled fortified wine and stared at the putrid moon; 
we had nothing else to do but

hold each other, assassinate the 
sickness with strong wine, annihilate the
hangover with powerful junk. 

you used to say we’ll make it, you claimed 

the future held grand things. 

wonder if you ever glimpsed at the bleak reality;
if you saw the
monsters lurking 
right around the corner. 

we failed to evade them; succumbed to 
everything. you left 
early, no chance for your
future to withhold great things. 

as for me, I still sink well liquor, using rotgut to destroy

whatever’s left of my soul and hopes. dreams already dead, 

the pallid moonlight’s forever gone, even the creek
’s all dried up and dead

like you and the 
future you once envisioned during the drug haze. 

I’m at other creeks, with new bottles and the same old cigarettes. 
chasing down the blue dragon all around its flaming meadow 

with nothing but my trusted butterfly net.
Sea of Empty Bottles

harrowing nights of a hollow past
I can’t forget, nor wish to erase;
every sin is repeated as
I try to maintain sanity 
by crawling through
the empty broken bottles scattered on the floor
searching for a place to vomit. 

the wails of former ghosts reach my ears
every night, turning me into a somnambulist;
I don’t care when I wake up 
holding the kitchen knife. 

one day, I’ll do what I so many times thought of
during cold turkey nights of suicidal desires.

the mornings are always the harshest, until the first two
lowballs are poured and drained, when
the beer is still warm and tastes like a sick fox’s piss. 

it gets better, for a while;
darkness returns,
encapsulates the world like an impenetrable veil, 
the garter belt of a virgin princess and the
moments I remember are scarce and vague, nothing 
substantial except for that rainy afternoon at
the graveyard where I saw the love of my life
lowered into the ground, therein to remain 

in acid hallucinations I encountered colors
and during a junk OD I was in the Bar. 

I hunkered down on the barstool, almost had a sip; brought back to
this world by the second, and
last, woman ever to drill a hole in the
stony exterior of my heart. 

the keyboard always dances, 
it barely works, it’s
alright, the dance is loud and wild and meth-fueled.
21st century junkie and alcoholic, 
the new millennium did not make me extinct.

for now, I’m on coffee, cigarettes, and novocaine
(sometimes, I go vintage, searching for dead spirits of the damned).

the night falls, gin is poured.
someone’s making margaritas
wearing nothing but a tiny sheer dress. 

she smiles, we drink, 
we smoke pot and pop some uppers. 

we’re here, there, everywhere,
nowhere; no more dragons for tonight,
I’ve put them to sleep.

she kisses me, I refuse to obey,
still a couple of lines to finish; 

I won’t polish the cruel words,
won’t edit the mistakes. 

let them be, 
remind you some
hone their skills by endlessly typing,
drinking rejection slips away,
fucking the nights and injecting the mornings to oblivion,
before returning to the keyboard so the dance can
commence all over again until one
lambent sunny day

darkness engulfs them and they
gain admittance to the Bar.

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