EMPTY HOLLOW HEARTS
By George Gad Economou
Empty, Hollow Hearts
all you’ve ever needed
was to get out of the rain;
silent moments in the storm,
stars making grand promises
to empty walls.
from far away a laughter soft,
moans from the uninhabited bed.
cold streets, no light,
sauntering into the darkness,
praying to listen to the oncoming train just on time to
on the window falls the rain,
there’s nowhere to go.
so many years
of empty embraces,
cold replacements sleeping under
a blanket made of snow during
there’s nothing but the broken needle;
squirting rotten blood and traces of junk
that once used to warm the soul.
snowing outside, children lost in avalanches.
cries of early morning,
gintears in every tall glass emptied.
there have been too many broken promises
to drown in just a single bourbon bottle.
failing at the game called life,
once more to square one;
one step forth means three backwards.
it’s alright; there’s a god somewhere
currently sitting on a golden throne,
laughing his ass off at the miseries below.
it’s alright; the monkeys dance in street corners,
angels hide in the darkest alleys,
patiently waiting for you to arrive.
we tried, more than once,
to uncover the mysteries,
we kept on failing till we gave up
and discovered the greatest gift for the racing mind.
always gintears in empty bourbon bottles,
searching for meaning in all the places
that shouldn’t be; from afar the Bar calls.
trying to run, chained
to the cold ground.
fears in the sky,
nightingales unable anymore to sing,
bluebirds that refuse to fly.
where do we go, where were we?
you were then only for a second,
too much lost time.
there was nothing then,
there’s nothing now.
nor will it ever be anything but nothing.
hence, let’s go.
walk the line, chop the line;
a new shooting gallery.
more walls to stain.
the bottles are getting here fast,
are emptied even faster;
it’s all we could ever have wanted.
all our hearts ever truly desired.
it’s all gone; perished into the devastating flames
of the bombs.
we cried only once;
that fateful night.
the tears never stopped flooding ever since,
filling empty bottles and I’ve still got
Gentle Winds Blow the Dust
the silent movements of the sea;
as the industrial wings take off,
glide, glide along
the empty seashells and
the raised towns.
burn through the ground,
drill a hole
the ghastly walls,
the dead confines
of a wooden coffin abandoned
along the seashore,
feel the waves,
embrace the seagulls diving
roll, roll the dice,
bring forth the deuces,
abandon all hope
as you walk up the staircase.
follow, follow the marble,
listen to the music from broken speakers,
hear the words,
brace the silent movements of the sea.
surf along the waves,
reach, reach for the island
in the middle of nowhere.
bring back the fire,
stolen from a mage of a
time no one remembers.
long forgotten miracles;
empty shells, bombings
in the streets.
take cover, hide,
and the moon has risen,
red, like wine
the empty voices of ghosts
somewhere in the distance.
the needle on the ground,
the glass-pipe buried
inside deaf, muted walls.
darling of old times,
yesteryears’ grand love.
can you still hear me?
break, break through the ceiling,
come, come through
the unholy hole.
bring back our lost daughter
from the alleys;
somewhere far away,
to the dead silence of the grave
the undying silence
of the dark ocean of
still searching for those heavy real drinkers,
who sit in a bar all night long,
downing whiskey and beer not to get
and get a life,
but to forget the misery surrounding them.
do you remember,
when we did all that,
and so much more?
four months drunk, not a single moment sober;
even though you worked
and I had to attend language courses.
at a bar with a vast collection
five glasses of Old Granddad.
“I’m hungry, let’s go eat”,
the plea of one friend.
“I’m driving, can’t drink more”,
the excuse of another.
they had some,
they gave up.
where are those heavy real drinkers,
that never quit,
but wait for their liver to quit on them?
I’m still looking.
and I drink alone.
being patient with my friends,
downing the beers and the bourbons fast,
in hopes I’ll discover what I lost,
when I saw you sitting dead
next to me on a stained blue couch
that is now resting at some
friendless and empty,
with all the memories still
imbued in the fabric so many times
stained by melting junk and dripping ice.
and you’re gone, forever,
I still miss your smile,
the bars are empty.
the bottles full.
only one glass.
we drank one case of beer daily,
downed hastily gin bottles,
four months drunk.
six months high.
nine months in love.
one afternoon was enough
to take it all
searching for someone like you.
in the dark,
One of Those dark Nights
it was one of the darkest nights;
she had just come home from a night out with her friends,
whom she hadn’t seen for a long while.
I stayed inside, began watching pro-wrestling at one in the afternoon,
kept on going till almost three in the morning; show after show,
card after card. always with a bourbon bottle in my hand.
it was during the good times, where money were good
and I could afford to buy more than six bottles per week;
usually, because she’d pay for the ingredients of the meals I’d cook.
when she came home,
I was well into my way of finishing the fourth bottle of bourbon;
still standing, albeit barely. still breathing, even though
I was trying to surpass Dylan and then go meet him at the Bar.
she came home, got frustrated, flustered, bewildered, nervous,
horrified, infuriated; it was all in one.
and I could not be bothered at the moment; too lost in my mist,
too exhausted from aimlessly wandering in the dense forest.
she sat next to me, held my hand;
we exchanged a few words,
all I recall saying was
“I’m coming to bed, just let me finish the show first;
it’s over soon, we’re on the main event.”
she sat by me, her arms around my neck,
holding me tight; horrified I’d be gone,
if she let go.
we went to bed together;
I could barely see the room.
her lips touched mine.
I couldn’t get it up,
I couldn’t respond to the kisses.
“I want you to come to bed sober,
even for one motherfucking night.”
it had become our relationship’s slogan,
the one motherfucking night.
it felt alright. it wasn’t.
whilst the world was spinning around me violently,
I thought of the soft snoring next to my ear,
the heavy breathing on the back of my neck.
her arm was wrapped around me, holding me anchored.
nowhere I wanted to go,
no place else I wanted to be.
the world kept spinning around;
till I passed out.
it was in the middle of that drunken slumber I
heard a soft whisper:
“I love you, George. God damn it, I love you.”
I was half-awake, half-dead. I wanted to reply.
I couldn’t; kept my eyes shut, a piece of my soul
was dead at that moment.
one of those rare moments I could have uttered
“I love you” and actually mean it;
I didn’t. missed the second, and insofar last, chance
to be truthful. misused the dreaded L-word
so many times; why didn’t I say it then,
when I could? just for once
be truthful about it.
the red wine I’m drinking has no answers;
it only further numbs the soul,
reawakening memories that should rest in peace.
come next morning,
I crawled to the bathroom
to vomit my guts out.
she was there. she held my forehead
whilst I puked, violent spasms overwhelming my weak body.
she never uttered a word of complaint.
couple of hours later, I sneaked back into the bathroom,
this time to get my needed fix. I felt slightly better,
not by much.
she cooked that night, I could barely eat.
I only downed five glasses of cold white wine
and finally felt like I was, indeed, alive
and not just
a dead body somehow ignoring the physics of death.
the mist refused to be lifted,
I was wandering pointlessly within the forest;
Christine was still around,
her voice guiding me through the numerous traps.
yet, every glass I poured was a stab at her already wounded heart.
moments, they’re all gone; every time
I pour me another tall glass of wine or bourbon,
I remember those few precious moments
I let go to waste;
her lips I’ll never taste again,
I’ll never hear her gentle voice whisper
“I love you”
in the dead of the night.
she’s far gone,
away from the toxicity of my presence.
I light another cigarette, drink more wine.
the ending always remains the same,
the mist still surrounds me, I see no escape,
no emergency exit.
occasionally she visits me in my dreams,
we kiss and I’m sober,
so I can say “I love you” back to her and mean it.
there’s nothing left,
only the phantom touches,
the ghost kisses.
one more sip,
the soul’s lighter.
first time in months;
time for yet more wine.
will be the night
I’ll escape the insane asylum
all the little pleasures I once
threw into a raging bonfire.
About the Author:
George Gad Economou, a professional drinker born in Athens, Greece in 1990, has recently finished his Master’s degree in Science Studies at Aarhus University and is currently living in Athens, sending out CV’s to any job ad he comes across.