The poetry of George Gad Economou

Searching for the Lighthouse

drinking bourbon,
listening to Hank Williams,

as the dark falls over the city once more,
Friday night and there’s nowhere I want to be.

only in the old couch, in the old apartment,
drinking till the end of the world, searching for
a lost highway into which to roam and speed through
the towns and cities, stopping only at the honky-tonks
in order to look for the fallen angel I once saw in desert dreams.

I hear the voice of someone I barely know, just met,
and she doesn’t know not to come close,
when I’m getting drunk; she’ll learn.

bourbon; one glass down, another poured.
I’m coming, soon.
come to bed sober, for one motherfucking time.
a conversation from another life, when gin and glass
were the only things I needed to survive.

she’s trying to rile me up, she wants to go out,
partey, and I can’t stand people, the crowds,
the morons surrounding me. she wants to dance,
I see no beauty, nor expression, in dancing.

some get drunk on dancing, others on life.
I get drunk on gin and bourbon.
she met me drunk, she doesn’t know how I look sober.
no one does; not even myself. I’ve forgotten how it is to
walk around without stumbling, talking without missing words,
or, even sentences.

and some wonder why my poems are filled with awkward lines,
or, half-finished sentences.

I pour another strong one, crying for the one I lost so many years ago,
drowning my desire to shoo the new one out to a dance club on her own.

when I’m drunk, baby—I need to tell her—
leave me in my stoned haze. don’t come dragging me out of the mist.

she doesn’t understand; she just wants to dance!
and I want to drink.

another ending comes too soon, I don’t believe in rehab,
in changes of heart.
I just want to drink; till the early morning hours,
till I’m petrified and blackout.

and some honky-tonk angel descends upon me in my dream
and guides me away from the shithole and up to the Bar.




Dreams Dead and Gone

just like every night I sat and shot,

staring at the perishing bluebirds falling from the cold
mauve sky, I often wonder now,

in my sober and devastated disposition,

where the hell have all the dreams gone?
no flowers on the streets, no jumping smiles,
nothing. only the same old desolation known
from countless junkie faces, from eyes
tired of chasing down the same old foreign dreams.

unable to stop; look around at all the heavily indebted
men and women, the starving families having mortgaged everything,
including their souls.

they once tried to live a grandiose life they didn’t deserve,
now, they’re paying the price.

equally, I more than once tried to capture
the essence of the spike—glorious moments
that cost me true love. I’m still alive,

having already experienced park benches and starvation.
no surprises there, I know how dives work,
I’ve fought, and lost, in back alleys.

yet, I stare around at all the hopeless dreamers
still avoiding waking up—realize how close to death I came,
and I regret not taking the final step into the Bar.

staring about at all the once-hopeful now-destroyed
souls, that lived high up in the mountains for only a second,
and even their memories are being foreclosed.

for me, I’ve had the spike, I still have the bottle.
happier than most, even deep into the goddamn mist,

even when a rejection slip arrives,
I hear Hem and Buk fighting over a beer and I rejoice.

George Gad Economou holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy of Science and currently resides in his hometown of Athens, Greece, where he works as a freelancer, trying to earn his way to a new place. His novella, Letters to S., is due for publication later in 2019.

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