At Exactly 11:38 PM, Thirteen-year-old Drew Barrymore Loses 78-days of Sobriety in a Bar Bathroom

by | Jonathan Cardew - February Day 1

Friends with cars
white tights and shoes
the double life I was leading.

Older kids laughed at my jokes.
We bitched about our rotten lives.
She opened the packet to dole out the lines.

I looked at my watch and blew it right there.


  1. Benjamin Niespodziany

    Wow! Short and packs a punch. One I found myself reading three times in a row. That last line works so well with the context and the title. A line (pun intended?) that wouldn’t make much sense on its own, but ties it all together perfectly in this format. Great!

    • Wendy Oleson

      Thank you so much for reading, Benjamin! I’m really flattered you read it three times!!!

  2. Al Kratz

    love the double life and the bitching about rotten lives and then the return to the time precision of the title and the strike of blew it right there. each of these 44 short words in the right spot.

  3. Jonathan Cardew

    Perfection! Wendy, this is phenomenally tight with a great landing at the end. I love the verb choice “dole”–such a great word, doleful!

    This could be a super micro or a poem. In fact, I can see this as a sequence of Drew Barrymore pieces (with those sentence-titles). A series of these (in prose format) might be a great fit for wigleaf? I know Scott Garson loves those sequenced micro micros.


    • Wendy Oleson

      Oh, Jonathan, there is SO MUCH MORE Drew coming to the world!! She’s in the novel manuscript I’ve been working on for years, and I may have to trim her way back from that, so I shall console myself with a sequence of Drew micros. I love her book Little Girl Lost, which I had on my desk and fiddled around with for this! Yay!

  4. Robert Vaughan

    Love this and JC’s suggestion for the Drew Barrymore sequence of pieces. Yes, please, may I have some more?

    • Wendy Oleson

      I love his suggestion, too!!! More you shall have!!!! Thank you, Robert!

  5. John Steines

    Hello Wendy. Micro indeed. I’m intrigued by how the title and the content are so integral to each other. I don’t know if I could do this sort of thing. ‘double life…packet to dole out the lines…blew it’, like if I fractured this work into three parts, the others being ‘laughed…bitched’ and the last being ‘tights…shoes…rotten lives’, then it makes so much sense to me. May be just me, but I think that is fascinating. Such skill you have, as this cannot be a drop off 3 minute piece, unless you’ve rehearsed it for years. Very impressive. Best. j

    • Wendy Oleson

      John! That’s so kind of you!!! I suppose in a sense I have been writing about Drew for years, so it’s nice that something cohesive has finally come of it! Thank you.

  6. David O'Connor

    Love it, I love the word dole, really like and pity Drew Barrymore (what a family)–you capture a true moment here. Nice one.

  7. Wilson Koewing


    Love the title. Did not know what to expect after that, and I was surprised by what it was, in a good way. It’s an oddly powerful little piece. Short and satisfying, like taking a line of cocaine.


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