Back on the bottle…
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by George Gad Economou




Rattling Leaves


quiet night,

late midnight, blue moon,

no grey clouds hovering over our heads for once;


no rain, no snow, only the absolute graveyard silence

of the lonesome night.

the empty streets, the locked windows; nothing can come in

nor out, abandoned ghosts struggle through

the mist to reach the coveted exit.


fervently seeking for meaning,

the one lost so many nights ago

during a snowstorm in another land,

so far away, yet I can still feel the warm

hand in mine, the words of passion echo in my head

during every haunting nightmare… where are you?? I wake up

screaming. no reply.


gone. and the night grows older,

the sun’s making his first appearance, radiant red rays

shower us all with new false hope, new promises to be broken by dusk.


and the ghosts remain in the cold, within the mist,

still searching, still fighting, still surviving.


all the hollow moments, the shallow evenings,

the dives and the whorehouses and the shooting galleries and the dark alleys,

nothing ever has haunted me as much as the fallen angels,

the strangers of the night, the midnight rides,

chopping lines from here to the North Pole.


and that’s all there ever was, a constant state of decay,

looking for meaning in glass-pipes and needles,

until it was all taken away, for good; ever since, I’ve just been

wandering about, another ghost in the mist.



a line, (a short blue one)



Dancing with Jim


would you ever believe I’d make it to twenty-fucking-nine?


the age of the outlaw poet and I’m swigging down bourbon;

hopeful to reach an equal amount of shots as my age.

gives me a reason to hope for eighty.


when I turned twenty, you were there. we polished off

a couple of bottles of Jim and too drunk we tried to fuck.


now, you’re too far gone; probably nothing remains of you

but the imbued memories in my dazed head.


swilling drinks down from morn till passing out; my whiskey girl

and it’s been eight long years since you stayed in the flaming meadows.


dragon chasers; I edit the manuscript, going back to those times.

those places. back when junk heaven gave purpose to an otherwise

empty existence.


whiskey and pharmaceuticals took Hank away at my age; yet,

he accomplished too much, I’ve done nothing yet.


posthumous recognition? am I as good as Poe and Kafka?

you said yes; I never believed you.


time to sink the shot and head for the bars. one free shot at each.

too much distance to cover for the twenty-ninth.



a line, (a short blue one)



Staring into Modern Hell


gulping down well tequila in attempts to convince myself

to embrace modernity; social media, self-publishing, positive messages, etc,

etc, etc, etc…nausea returns and I subdue it with mezcal.


there’s nowhere to run to, no hiding places; not enough money

for a cabin in some forgotten by civilization woods,


no lakehouse wherein to drink my dreams to oblivion.

wandering the crowded by ghosts streets, wondering whether

Euripides will throw a second glance.


downing bourbon and beer in the bars, trying to block out

the crowds girdling me. drowning in the modern world,


not because I’m different, not because I’m marginalized.

I just represent myself, but, no one likes that, because


I’m not the poster boy for change.

another shot of mezcal, trying to combat the urge to jump from

the roof, while I convince myself, still not drunk enough to succeed,

to enter social media, start the self promotion horseshit,


accept the modern vanity.


into the bonfires, the dreams, the hopes, long lost loves that would

have at least encouraged me with a smile and a kiss.


all alone, no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel.


only a poker table with Emily and the Devil; waiting, calling me.

I’m going; can’t stand the torture, the needless days, the purposeless nights.


better to drink Maker’s Mark with the Devil, shoot junk with Emily;

down there where I belong, with those I used to drink with.


now, it’s nothing but the mist tightly engulfing me, the beasts

lurk close(r), I’m done for.


another shot, here it comes, the step into the void of social media.



not drunk enough. getting there.

slowly. first bottle’s almost empty, I’ll pass out before


I jump into the pool of piranhas.



a line, (a short blue one)



Tequila Courage


went to my dive, shortly after another attempt at a relationship had the usual

bad ending you won’t find in all those damn “books” you find at the top

of bestselling lists.


“where the fuck have you been?” Jim asked and handed me a double rotgut.

“on the house,” he winked. “for being alive; thought the booze had

“finally done you in.”


“if only I was so lucky,” I choked it down, cleared my burning throat.

for a short while, I’d been on a break from my greatest love, hooch,

for the sake of a pair of lying brown eyes.

“you got tequila?” I asked.


“whatever’s fucking cheapest.”


no mezcal  in Denmark, so, I got some brand of well tequila I can’t remember.

three shots in a row; my mind in a haze and Jim confiscated my phone.


bad habit of drunkenly calling anyone under the sun and he knew the routine.


after five shots, I shot pool—probably.

seven shots in, I couldn’t remember the cold embrace I wanted to forget.


an angel walked into the dive; her wings nowhere to be found, but,

her bright blue eyes talked to my perishing soul.


ten shots in, I sat on her booth. I smiled, she smiled.

accepted the shot of well tequila, gagged, yet smirked.


“strong, huh?” she giggled. “yeah,” I nodded and got us another round.


I’d razed the past down to the fucking ground, a new beginning

emerged from the tequila fumes that made my breath flammable.


“I prefer bourbon,” she said, when I got us a third round.

Jim handed me, on the house (bless his soul), two Jacks neat.


“much better,” she swigged it. “indeed,” I nodded, already lost

in a spinning blurriness.


how we got back to my apartment, I’ll never know; she examined my

bookcases, while I drunkenly fixed us two arid martinis (failing even

at pouring gin).


cranked Hank up on the computer and she kissed me,

tears in my martini.


to the day, I don’t remember her leaving. I don’t recall her name.

only her bright blue eyes and the way she smiled.


I was back at the bar the following night, Jim confirmed

I hadn’t hallucinated her. she never returned.


I drank rotgut, chasing it with draft beer,


and waited for the next angel.



a line, (a blue one)


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