Something registers. I am looking for drugs in a bin. Is this happening? Not even proper drugs, kitchen-prepared black pepper and blue lotus marijuana substitutes. It occurs to me that there should be alarm bells ringing, announcing once again that I’ve hit a new low, but memories arrive – brief flashes - drunk at 4am, picking the butts out of the ashtray to see if I can piece together enough dry tobacco for a rollie. Ah, I remember, this isn’t so low after all.

That’s what happens, you do it drunk once and you’ve set the bar for the rest of your life. That stuff hurt my throat anyway. That constant drone returns again, like the washing machine spinning down, or the TV on standby. It feels softer now.

How long ago did I throw it out?

I sit down and open the word processor and I type. I don’t like what I write. Change one line. Iterate and increment. Shitty poem v0.1 beta. Five minutes later I have something pseudo-profound:

the birds are going mad up there,
they must be up to something,
my silence sets them free and so
they sing for all to hear.
hung out the clothes to dry and i
stood barefoot on the footpath,
the wind of changing seasons,
above a clouded mind.

It’s beautiful, consistent enough to suggest that it means something, yet vague enough to make others think that I get it and they don’t. Throw in the word “mind” and every wide-eyed poet nods willingly. That’s the trick. They’ll be impressed when they hear this one. Already in my head I’m at the Poetry Smackdown with the local indie beatniks, standing at the microphone, feigning modesty and shyness in my casual jacket. I’ll sit back down and the girls will tell me how great that was. They didn’t know I had it in me.

Yes, this is a masterpiece. I look for something else to do, but my gaze has already drifted... perhaps if I empty the bin out on the floor...

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