Poetry: Selections from George Gad Economou

Everything you need is in the NEEDLE

the crocodile with the leather suitcase entered the bar
outside a car crash BAM
no one stirred a muscle, the drinks were strong and good;
somewhere in the city
youth and cops fight, molotov cocktails and teargas empty the streets.
no one gives a fuck;
the drinks are strong and cheap,
strip clubs offer free admittance and a dance with every drink,
whorehouses open up in every corner,
park at any dark alley and wait,
the angels of pure light will approach in seconds,
offering the single way out, paradise in a needle.
empty bottles everywhere,
no one to pick up the trash.
the world has ended
we missed the promised fireworks;
still around, the ghosts of yesterdays never learned
weeping for the missed opportunities, for a fame that has now become a civil right.
bones rattling in shallow graves,
ghosts have another tall one to drown their sorrows;
disappointment on all the faces in the bar.
mindless robots prod up and down the streets,
looking straight ahead, not even their glares daring to divert from the strict orders;
the simple message on every wall
written with blood deriving from bruised hearts, beaten livers, abandoned bodies.
there’s nowhere left to go,
the cabin on a faraway, unknown island still awaits,
the wood’s rotting away, wildlife devours the furniture to trick starvation,
are you still out there, like the day I came home with the needle still stuck in my arm?
a small brown chunk inside a plastic bottle cap,
the blue vapor is strong, intoxicating inhalations
and the world suddenly makes sense.
a needle filled, one last breath;
defeating sickness once and for all,
are you still out there, like when I came to find you with three empty bourbon bottles in my
aching for false love,
drinking to forget the only real embrace;
still looking for the pair of green eyes plaguing my every waking thought,
unable to forget the single kiss from a dream of a yesterday that never was,
the broken promises for the tomorrow of a today that never arrived.
are you still waiting for me to come home, like when I’d hit the bars to get away from the one
that made my heart skip a beat?
the end of the world, destruction of everything;
thank the priests, the imams, the monks, and the rest.
we killed them,
a huge bonfire in the central square
the bellowing order through the speakers,
soldiers in the streets, murdering their parents, raping their sisters, enlisting their kid brothers,
the new message of the wall.
in a bunker deep underground
champagne bottles pop, illustrious strippers dance,
lions and tigers mate for the satisfaction of the few
and the offspring are being named after former kings.
the bombs never dropped, they were deemed worthless.
when the crocodile with the leather suitcase walked in,
no one paid notice.
he sold contracts and talked smoothly to everyone;
the poor drunks agreed,
they had no soul to sell and their dreams were already dead.
a round for everyone, said the croc
and made friends with the entire bar.
a bomb landed on the street, the bar remained unscathed;
they drank to the dead, toasting the charred corpses.
then, another round came
to toast the living;
there was none.
they drank anyway.

Flower in the Sand

(dry and high)
forgone are the yesteryears of Emily’s smile and kisses,
when we watched pro-wrestling (the glass-pipe lit,
ice tasted and tested) on the couch, sharing needles,
and embraces.
(gone gone gone)
dry empty-handed dealers come and go,
a single raindrop waters the meadow banished
down in the abyss.
(horrible match but can’t avert my eyes)
the smoke rises high, then evaporates.
(Emily, do you remember?
are you something more than particles of dirt?)
hollow walls that still hide glass and junk
—forgotten due to the hasty move—
(who’ll find it, and will they discover
,thanks to me,
the power of the hazed mind?)
(gone gone gone)
a raindrop absorbed by the perched sand,
gone, like everything else;
(gone gone gone—mind and Emily alike)
seldom do I see the blue smoke nowadays,
still searching
(tiresome caravans follow fallen highways)
for what was left to be found by (a former ghost of)
the redheaded Muse that discovered me before
(gone gone gone mind, words, Emily, nothing remains)
I ended up sleeping in shooting galleries.

Peace of Drinking

alone in the darkness; a bottle of half-empty gin stands next to me.
for a few glorious moments, I forget all my troubles:
lack of money, of job, of love, of prospect, of future.
another long swig; I feel fine, more than fine,
like the goddamn king of the world.
lighting a handrolled cigarette, another pull,
I can finally conquer the damn world.
a party somewhere in the vicinity,
a crowded bar-restaurant in the corner.
somewhere, people joke with friends,
couples watch movies.
in the dark, downing gin and feeling better
than they’ll ever do. fighting a losing war,
ready to receive the lethal blow.
it never comes; down the gin goes.
a beaming smile, when the second bottle’s cracked open.
a few more hours of delight, a blackout easy sleep.
come hangover, new monsters will rise,
new nightmares to be defeated.
for now,
I feel good and have another swig.

Nights of Junk

words came flowing once more,
amidst the drunken haze
of nothingness.
poems read,
words written
but not remembered.
the essence of the soul
poured in poor lines,
sentences with no structure.
another piece of the soul
left its imprint on the page
then went away, to the
forest where happiness always dies.
another piece gone, forever.
how much left?
a question without an answer
but the grave comes closer,
the lights and the music of the Bar
become more real with every passing night,
and the end is nigh.
time for more drinking
to forget the darkness within;
time for more blow
to awake the thoughts;
time for more junk
to take away the desire to keep on going
despite the lack of purpose.

George Gad Economou resides in Greece and has a Master’s degree in Philosophy of Science and is the author of Letters to S. (Storylandia), Bourbon Bottles and Broken Beds (Adelaide Books), and Of the Riverside (Anxiety Press). His words have also appeared, amongst other places, in Spillwords Press, Ariel Chart, Cajun Mutt Press, Fixator Press, Outcast Press, The Piker Press, The Edge of Humanity Magazine, The Rye Whiskey Review, and Modern Drunkard Magazine.