by George Gad Economou
a glass of Wild Turkey withholds way too many
I remember sitting on a blue foldout couch, a bottle
between Emily and me.
we were only 19, young, full of dreams, hopes,
booze and junk.
Ill never make it past 30, I told her during a real bad
night. like Hank, 29s the threshold.
back then, 30 seemed so far down the future;
an impossible age.
oh, well make it, she reassured me
while refilling our dirty glasses.
now, Im just a year shy from that 30.
and she never made it past 21.
draining Wild Turkey now, too; all too close to
the age whiskey took the outlaw poet away,
all too hopeful well share the same fate
and meet in a corner of the Bar in the sky.
cigarette hanging from the lips, staring at the grey winter sky.
all those memories; from a time that felt itd be forever.
after Emily, I couldnt love anyone the same way.
some tried to penetrate the stony exterior Id placed my heart in -
one managed to drill some holes - but, it was always back
to the first love.
to that young girl, who exhaled her last breath on my shoulder
chasing dragons in flaming meadows, wishing to forget
wed just killed our unborn child.
dives and booze claimed my soul ever since, and the Devils
the only drinking partner I care for.
the bell rang to signal the end of my fifth round with Jim; lifted
the empty lowball, the girl in the bikini pranced around the ring,
round six, fight! why do you drink so much? a woman asked.
what else is there to do?
youre gonna kill yourself; die young.
thats the point. glass drained; round seven, fight!
she arched her eyebrows and bulged her eyes; perhaps, she caught
a glimpse of the Devil hunkering down on the stool next to me.
dont you want to live? grow old? youre gonna die young!
thats the point. I repeated, growing tired of the repetition.
the Devil grinned and got us another round; Hes the only one
that doesnt want me to die young. perhaps why Hes kept me alive
during all the suicidal blackout nights.
if my liver fails, I told the flabbergasted woman, Ill die knowing
I lived. can you say the same?
she didnt respond; she slithered a few stools away, leering at me to ensure
I didnt follow.
I didnt. I didnt care.
I downed Jim and tasted Christines lips. she also wanted me to live
healthily, to ensure I remained around for more than three decades.
in all honesty, she might have been a good enough reason.
without her, I think three decades are too much.
sinking down Jim and Jack and Wild Turkey and Four Roses and rotgut,
no money for Makers Mark. hoping to go the same way as Hank and Dylan.
only without their fame; perhaps, theyll be waiting at the Bar.
Drunk in the Rain
during one of the many storms, trying
to get back home, drunk beyond the minds capacity.
frustrated for the choices made (or not made), missing
the one true embrace from yesteryears lost in heated spoons.
cursing at drivers, hailing cabs and swearing at the
scared drivers speeding away. flipping the bird to everyone,
trying to pick up fights with soulless bastards not wishing
to engage in pointlessness.
as the rain falls hard, clothes soaked, hair greasy,
water dripping down from the unkempt beard.
nowhere to go, theres no real place to call home;
the dark room once housing love, passion, and vices
is now gone, someone else resides between the four deaf walls
that witnessed it all, silently.
longing for the bed whereupon she slept, sitting down at the cold, wet
pavement, trying to roll a cigarette with wet papers, shaky hands,
and blurry vision. nothing comes out of it, a mashed up cigarette
a drag from which brings forth the urge to vomit.
myriads of nights spent like this, in other streets, foreign cities,
familiar state of mind, loathing everything around me,
and especially everything within me. desperate for
the warm embrace I lost too many years ago to the heartless spike.
no dreams of improving, of changing; no reason, no need,
no desire. drunk in the nights, hangover every morning,
struggling to get by, money just enough for the nightly drinks,
they all urge me to change, to become a better person,
trying to convince me I have all the tools to make it.
I dont care, nor do I believe their nicely told lies.
another drink poured, drinking at home, away from the
idiots and the rainy streets. all alone,
listening to music and the echoes of whispering ghosts struggling to reach me.
I light a cigarette and sit back, rereading this awful poem that will
get too many rejection slips; its okay though. Ive learned to live
with it, with everything. a long sip, my bodys warm, my mind slightly more numb.
nowhere near good drunk, too close to getting mean drunk again;
wonder what Ill break tonight. Ive nothing expensive, nothing of worth or value.
only memories, and they wont be erased.
rolling down the hills
rolling down the hills like a ball of hay
taken by the wind,
reaching untouched towns and virgin plains, staring into
the continuum of time standing on the side,
a marvelous powerless god that sees the trajectories and
cant change them; every days the same, it dawns with bacteria
coming to life in the oceans and the sun sets when the first men
climb off the trees and land on the moon.
driving through empty highways, wind rattles the windshield
and its freedom that bursts through the cracks. the neon sign
the guide, the sole star in the sky pinpoints to
the promised stool.
and the guardian angel takes a nap a moment before
the trucker loses control of the 12-wheeler.
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