live fast, die young
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by George Gad Economou




Bourbon Memories


a glass of Wild Turkey withholds way too many

painful memories;


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.


“I’ll never make it past 30,” I told her during a real bad

night. “like Hank, 29’s the threshold.”


back then, 30 seemed so far down the future;

an impossible age.


“oh, we’ll make it,” she reassured me

while refilling our dirty glasses.


now, I’m 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 we’ll 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 it’d be forever.


after Emily, I couldn’t love anyone the same way.

some tried to penetrate the stony exterior I’d 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

we’d just killed our unborn child.


dives and booze claimed my soul ever since, and the Devil’s

the only drinking partner I care for.



a line, (a short blue one)



Healthy Life


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?”

“you’re gonna kill yourself; die young.”

“that’s 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.


“don’t you want to live? grow old? you’re gonna die young!”

“that’s the point.” I repeated, growing tired of the repetition.


the Devil grinned and got us another round; He’s the only one

that doesn’t want me to die young. perhaps why He’s kept me alive

during all the suicidal blackout nights.


“if my liver fails,” I told the flabbergasted woman, “I’ll die knowing

“I lived. can you say the same?”


she didn’t respond; she slithered a few stools away, leering at me to ensure

I didn’t follow.


I didn’t. I didn’t care.

I downed Jim and tasted Christine’s 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 Maker’s Mark. hoping to go the same way as Hank and Dylan.


only without their fame; perhaps, they’ll be waiting at the Bar.



a line, (a short blue one)



Drunk in the Rain


during one of the many storms, trying

to get back home, drunk beyond the mind’s capacity.

once more

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, there’s 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 don’t 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; it’s okay though. I’ve learned to live

with it, with everything. a long sip, my body’s warm, my mind slightly more numb.


nowhere near good drunk, too close to getting mean drunk again;

wonder what I’ll break tonight. I’ve nothing expensive, nothing of worth or value.


only memories, and they won’t be erased.



a line, (a short blue one)



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

can’t change them; every day’s 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 it’s 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.




a line, (a blue one)


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