a downwards trajectory
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by George Gad Economou




Morose Nights at the Gutter


“what the fuck are you laughing at?” Jason asked over his beer.

“at this,” I replied and showed him the angry response I received

from someone I drunk texted a couple of times - probably during some

drunken recalling of the long gone past.

“she seems pretty pissed,” he noted.

“yeah,” I shrugged, swigged down my beer. “I guess, I did send her

a couple of quite eloquent texts, which she found juvenile,

because she can’t appreciate art,

and…well, guess she didn’t like them!”

I ordered another beer, read the text one last time before deleting it.

I hate bad writing - she had one too many mistakes in her text,

one too many quite nonsensical sentences. sorry, darling of old,

at least, even in my drunkenness, I produce masterpieces.

I sipped on my ice cold beer, still chuckling. she was yet another

burned bridge; yet another former love affair that wished to

change me, that wished I lived my life the way she wanted me to.

Bella walked in, sat next to me; with just a nod she ordered

her vodka and tonic.

“what the fuck are you laughing at?” she asked. I tried to explain,

and wished I hadn’t erased the damn text so quick.

“sounds like it happened before.”

“more times than I can count; kinda comes with the game,” I lifted my glass

and we toasted to pointless and angry former love affairs.

“you like pissing people off,” she remarked.

“it’s one of the few things I’ve got for entertainment; life’s shit,

so…I’m doing my best to enjoy it.”

“you should learn to care a bit more about others.”

“yeah, right…” I shrugged; we drank.

soon, the text was forgotten, just like its composer.

Bella and I drank ourselves under the table and staggered to

her apartment, two blocks away - though, it probably took us

half an hour to find it.

another drink was poured - it was the one that killed all lust from

our bodies and minds. we fell asleep in each other’s arms,

both dreaming of people we’ve angered, people we’ve disappointed.

we woke up, had some vodka and wine.

then, we finally fucked.

at noon, I went back home; to sleep the night off.

trying to remember what the angry text was; I couldn’t.

in my sleep, I saw when the composer of the text kissed me

on my old foldout couch and said “it’s only for tonight”.

in the end, she broke her engagement off for me, then couldn’t take it.

Bella texted me; wondering if I’d be at the bar later.

“always”, I cracked a beer open.




a line, (a short blue one)



Another Tree Chopped Down



“where in the hell do you get all this stuff?” she asked, terror in her voice.

I just shrugged; “I just know people, who know people.”

“that’s not an answer,” she accused me. “I know,” I nodded.

we chopped the lines, two short for her, four long for me.

euphoria, sudden erection of both body and mind; a desire

to do it all, burn the whole world down and resuscitate it from its ashes.

“damn it,” she coughed; I offered her a tissue for her nose. “I’m okay,”

she reassured me, yet her eyes told a different story.

in yet another instance of chivalry, I believed her words and

lit a cigarette; I drunk some more bourbon, for the blow had

taken the lightheadedness away.

“what are you doing?” she cried.

“what does it look like?” I rebuked, my eyes fixed on the computer screen

and the blank page upon it.

“is now the right time?” she insisted. “it’s always

“the right time,” I dismissed her.

and that was it. she stayed

silent and opted to open my copy of Ancient Gonzo Wisdom.

I was drinking straight out of the bottle, typing madly,

while she read, lifting her skirt all the way up, dangling her leg,

rubbing the tip of her high heel on my leg, driving it all the way up

to my sleeping crotch. I hardly noticed; more words added to the dance,

memories from earlier times, other similar attempts made from others.

professional drinker and amateur writer, barfly and a junkie;

sometimes, I put that on my resume, no one seems to like it.

honesty has taken a hard hit nowadays, they all want frankness

only as long as it’s pleasant and inspiring.

perhaps, I should write how I got inspired to write by reading

Coelho and Atwood, how their words made me want to inspire

and improve the world as well… bullshit always sells,

it’s how I got a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree - by selling

whaleshit to professors.

the nights in the fancy bars, as the drinks keep flowing and the wallet

keeps getting thinner,

I recall other nights in dive bars and underground strip joints; how much

better sense the world made, when I drank in the latter, how meaningless

life appears to be in the former. and yet, for now I’m trapped,

so far away from the joints of the glorious past of nothingness.

when there was no hope, no chance to make it past 27; only dreams

of a magnificent ending, of finally writing the perfect story.

now, I’m nearing 28, have no dreams and yet still no hope;

only nagging from everywhere, about my drinking (which has gone

featherweight) and my inability to function properly. I walk down

the streets of Athens, unable to find one inspiring face; the cars speed by

and often I think of just jumping… still here, seeking for the perfect story

that won’t come.

a phantom ghost touches tenderly my shoulder, and soft lips

I haven’t kissed in 8 long years whisper in my ear:

“your Hell is now, embrace it like only you know how.”




a line, (a short blue one)



In the Streets of Broken Dreams



with the right music blaring into my ears, I recall

the last visit to the old town; old home.

how I spent an afternoon walking around more

than I did the eight years I lived there. in just a few hours

trying to see all the sacred spots.

always a ghost next to me. flickering images; of Emily by the port, as we headed


to the dives.

of Christine holding my hand, trying to make me quit the vices.

of countless other nameless faces, some drunk, some sober, some…

always with the whispering ghosts; two steps behind

the unattainable dream that keeps evading me.

I was there, as I am now vividly in my head. all the streets,

the old dives and the new bars. the walks, the talks,

eight years of madness - it felt much better than anything.

for a while I embraced sobriety, trying to make it into the

sex-literature market. no way to shred off what I know, the booze,

the drugs, the people.

how can I write about a prince falling in love with a farm girl?

how can I write about two regular middle-class people and their lives?

give me the junkie, the methhead, the boozehound, the bum,

the dealer, the pusher, the loan shark, the tired bartender.

give me dives, not fancy nightclubs. people with no hope.

that’s what I know; and I stare at the sky,

ready to get the fuck away, back to where I belong; perhaps,

in some other distant country, even take me to goddamn Mars

and let me brew beer and moonshine. let’s make the red planet

a boozehound’s paradise.

wondering where I’ll be, as soon as I have just enough money;

saving up, preparing for the last trip. and I’m still here,

recalling all the ghosts that accompanied that last walk through

the all too familiar streets I drunkenly shambled through so many fucking times.




a line, (a short blue one)



Losing Battles



seeking for inspiration everywhere; mostly in tall drinks,

and in pissing people off eliciting reactions that fuel the poems.

of course, most people aren’t able to procure decent reactions

to make up for more than a couple of poems. it’s all right; it answers

why I can never write likeable characters—I’ve rarely met anyone

truly likable.

and certainly I’m one of the most unlikable people you’ll ever meet,

and drink with.

nothing really matters, I’ve already forgotten the deleted message

from a scorned former love affair - did text her drunk twice lately,

what for, I’ve no clue - and at least it fueled a couple of poems.

still lingering on the past, the two great loves, all the false

replacements, the cold embraces.

unwilling to look forth, as the future becomes bleaker with

every passing day; staying in the drunk, substance rich past,

when everything made sense within the insanity.




a line, (a blue one)


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