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)

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