as drinks are poured, a hot embrace sought, found,
lost—same old songs, dance little monkey, dance!
terrible silence on the other line, phone never rings,
brutal hangovers every morning, by midnight deep into
the second bottle; glass-pipes break on the floor,
spikes are heated, then disposed.
in the zoo, the bears go to see the prisoners,
forcing them to dance with a whip and asking passersby for quarters;
distant affairs, strange happenings, all produced
by strong hash, blow mixed with poison,
hurting throat, bloody coughs,
“how do you do?” the doctor asks,
sees the blood results,
grows pale like a ghost (and maybe he is too)
as the nurses run to see the medical wonder,
still alive despite bourbon instead of blood
and lethal amounts of drugs keeping the mind alive and active.
horror shows, in the cage, “come watch the alcohol man!”
cries the jester, somewhere back in the past, feeding tigers
vodka, they speak their words horrifically; somewhere along the
curvy railway, there’s a pot filled with gold, ripe for the taking,
no one goes to find it, no more fairytale-believers; dreamers dead and buried,
their work burned in a monstrous bonfire that swallowed the world,
shivering from the numbing cold, refusing to go back in,
colder within than without, forevermore picturing distant ships sailing
across dark, strange oceans, battling ravenous monsters
and starving waves, as the sailors jump to escape,
momentous nightmares, horrible trips; the endless charade
as the mind loses it, slowly but steadily,
high on acid despite not having popped a pill for a year.
sobriety died in its sleep, tasting the drugs smelling bourbon,
another child abandoned behind trash cans, one more life
ending before it even began, one breath, it’s over;
the game’s an infinite regress, defining sanity and insanity
as the blow burns the nostrils and
bourbon becomes cognac and the woman across the street
George Gad Economou holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy of Science and resides in Athens, Greece, doing freelance work whenever he can while searching for a new place to go. His novella, Letters to S., was published in Storylandia Issue 30 and his short stories and poems have appeared in literary magazines, such as Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Chamber Magazine, The Edge of Humanity Magazine, and Modern Drunkard Magazine. His first poetry collection, Bourbon Bottles and Broken Beds, has been published by Adelaide Books.