by George Gad Economou 

Rough Ride

time to spend a few hours to watch Wrestlekingdom,
and I wish you were here, to crack a Wild Turkey open,

crank some shit up. like events from too many years ago,
tightly in each other’s arms, you grew to like my little
secret passion, and whiskey certainly helped.

just to have you here, holding my hand; through this
new blue darkness, as there’s no sun and last night
it snowed and I stood there, watching it cover the streets.

no spike in my arm, no bottle in my hand.
just your ghost, whispering “keep going,
“I’ll be waiting.”

wish I could believe; wish I still believed in the Bar I entered,
when the same vice that took you away almost killed me, too.

the snow fell heavily, and it was back to a small backyard,

holding each other warm, while we tried not to nod off in the snow.
full of dreams, fueled as they were by majestic blue dragons,

and hopes for a future that was eviscerated way too soon.

coffee, stale cigarettes, and NJPW; snow’s melted away
like everything within me,

and I watch others living their dreams,
while I pray for a bottle of Maker’s Mark and your embrace.

Best Job for Recession

had to sit through a ninety-minute orientation for a job I wasn’t gonna
get, nor accept; sales rep for some health diet products
(ain’t endorsing them by naming them—besides, don’t have money for
libel suits. if I hit the bestselling lists, I’ll tell you all about them).

me, representing and encouraging people to drink protein shakes…
best breakfast is a highball of bourbon and an 8ball of unpublishable.

I’d have loved to tell it to the guys from the old dive; it’d make for a fun round of
but, as I saw ninety minutes of my life wither away,

I realized what the best job for recession is; selling dreams.

the speakers repeatedly said fantastic, amazing, great, brilliant…you
get the drift. had some “success stories” there, too. people making
good money selling those products.

and, yeah, for one out of a hundred it might work out. for the rest,
it’s hassling and huffing and puffing and sweating in social media
to get a couple of sales and make meager money.

they even tried to sell me the idea I won’t have to pay taxes
till I pocket thousands per month—in the same country where Tsipras
has taxed even birds and trees and the air we breathe.

too good to be true; it always is.
but, selling dreams is a great job. I just need to find
a saleable dream and I’m fixed for life.

perhaps why my alter-ego makes money out of sex-stories
while all I get is rejection slips.

well, down goes another lowball of rotgut, bottle’s half-empty;
I stop giving a damn about lodgings, bills, food, the future.

I’ve got some booze and till the bottle runs dry

I’ll be alright and won’t care what others dream.

Ice-Covered Sandy Beach

those serene nights forever imprinted in my head; a calm suburb
in a small Danish city, a sandy beach, the big houses all around.

we sat on the sand, in the middle of the night, when all the
hard-working people peacefully slept,

drinking bourbon and fortified wine out of the bottle,
smoking cigarettes (and sometimes glass). we kissed,
talked, laughed, fucked, silently stared at the moon in a tight embrace.

those nights forever in my head, despite the booze and the mist
I can’t forget them.

after Emily, I shared the beach and the beautiful spots
with others, but,

it was never the same. with Emily, I was there. no stories in my head,
no envisioning words. only her hand, her embrace, her lips.

the bourbon we shared and the ice that got us sane.

on winter, the beach would freeze. despite the sharp bone-penetrating breeze,
we sat there; warmed by booze and a passionate kiss.
we had it all, and one day we’d live in some big mansion,

drinking top-shelf whiskey and smoking cigars.
wistful, hopeful, youthful thinking.

Shadow Kissing at Dusk

picturing all those early mornings hungry for the fix,
the pain unbearable numbing the mind and soul,

desperately searching the apartment for the 8balls, the leftovers,
anything; and usually there was nothing.

chasing shadows in foggy forests, trying
to capture the coveted prize, but,
we were so deep into it, so left out and alone,

we had no chance in hell; as the sun was setting,
signaling yet another end, promising new tomorrows that would
never dawn,

we kissed in the absolute darkness, horrified of light
(natural and artificial alike),
hoping we’d escape the insanity one fine day and emerge
victorious; we knew
the fairytales were only lies, grand masqueraded lies
offering false promises to the gullible and the desperate.

morning would always come, as cruel as ever;
the circle would continue, we had no intention of breaking it,
we couldn’t, nor did we really want to,
somehow madly in love, engulfed by a flaming passion,
despite the cold needles, the midnight cooking; kissing
under the setting sun, staring at the horizon, the sea,
listening to the seagulls crying for their mates… we had each other,
for a while it felt like it was all we truly needed.

About the Author:

George Gad Economou holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy of Science and currently resides in Athens, Greece, freelancing his way to a new place. His work has been published, predominantly, in Spillwords and the literary platform in progress Jumbelbook and Spillwords and his novella, Letters to S., has been published in Storylandia Issue 30