When I Used To

I used to track porn sites
until I realised that
patting my dog
was a better use
of time and emotion.
I used to write love songs
and then, one extended day,
my thoughts turned
to the sourness of failed
words and a jumblefield of
vapourised dreams.
I used to love planting peppercorns
and watching them grow
into salt shakers,
until I realised that
the pharmaceuticals in
my brain were setting me on fire.
I used to suck on memory, until
one blistering whitehot night
only a vacuum remained
with no trace in sight
of the path I was on.
I used to read a poem once
that seemed to posit
a choice of turn:
left here and your boring
life can continue; right here,
and whatever may happen,

Allan Padgett (Western Australia)


yellow wall

‘writing for the rats’
— Charles Bukowski

I see a yellow wall
turn it over

there’s writing
on the other side
scribbled notes
theories on life

I haven’t been to Paris yet
but I will soon
then I’ll have lived

I might go to Turin
and Genoa, or Barcelona
or a village on that coast
or all of them

then I’ll have lived
a little bit more

I’ll come back here
or a place very like it
and find…

Owen Bullock (New Zealand / Canberra)


Jón Páll Sigmarsson’s first installation is a mobile phone standing twelve feet high. You type the letter A by pulling down a lever which takes all your strength. Activate letter B by lifting a 30 litre bucket of water from a shelf at chest height. Clock letter C by sawing through a 40cm log with a bow saw. A message can take an hour. The exhibit relays what you’ve written to a real cellphone which sends the message, though there might be network problems. Sigmarsson’s work will be tremendously popular, the gallery owners tell me.

Owen Bullock (New Zealand / Canberra)