Joel Shearer


“Usually I Do”

Sometimes I put the bananas next to the lemons

Sometimes I forget to breathe

Sometimes I feel lonely

Sometimes I hold my loneliness in my lap and stroke its head until it falls asleep

Sometimes I am too busy to feel though I really want to

Sometimes I make myself too busy to feel cause I don’t really want to

Sometimes I wish things were different

Sometimes I am full of what ifs

Sometimes I am happy for no reason

Sometimes I let my dog sleep on the couch

Sometimes I don’t want to eat from my garden, I just want to look at it and feel grateful

Sometimes I think I am in love, but only cause I want to be in love,

not cause there is anyone actually there

Sometimes I cry at sunsets

Sometimes I lose my mind

Sometimes I fumble my words though I know what I want to say

Sometimes I fall back on sorry

Sometimes I help a friend but only cause I think I should

Sometimes I check my email with no intention of replying

Sometimes I sweep instead of vacuum

Sometimes I give myself credit

Sometimes I leave my freshly laundered shirts inside out

Sometimes I feed the squirrels

Sometimes I hope for the best

Sometimes, instead of doing what I need to I:

Organize the studio, clean the cupboards, sort the closet, move around the books, delete digital photos, back up hard drives, redo the tool shed, read through old journals, get rid of texts, futz with the loose handle, fix something around the house, water the garden, masturbate, go for a hike, call a friend, check my Facebook, dance in the mirror, sit outside in the sun, wrestle with my dog, do the dishes, make a list, dust the house, rake the yard, squeeze out a black head.

Sometimes I avoid


Sometimes I call my mother, careful not to step on land mines

Sometimes I don’t answer the phone

But usually I do

 Photo & Poem by Joel Shearer
© 2013


  1. lkthayer · August 8, 2013

    I love this poem & the great photo of the dumpster by Jack Grape’s class!! Haha! Great work Joel & welcome to The Juice Bar! 🙂

  2. alexisrhonefancher · August 8, 2013

    Love Joel’s work, especially this poem. Yay! Nice to see his work up at the always fabulous Juice Bar.

  3. Roz Levine · August 8, 2013

    Joel, love this poem and the work you’re doing. Miss you, my friend.

  4. Ann Harper Reed · August 8, 2013

    Joel, you make me smile! Love this work.

  5. nicolerigets · August 8, 2013

    Damn wonderful… !

  6. Davia Rivka · August 8, 2013

    Joel, sometimes I put the bananas next to the lemons, pow, what a great line and so is the rest of the poem. Rockin’

  7. Mitch · August 8, 2013

    Sometimes our mind is overflowing with rubbish… Tissss good to take the trash out!!!…. Well worth it!

  8. Marilyn Conrad · August 10, 2013

    Wow, Joel–what an amazing poem. I’ve read it five times already and I feel so understood–I might even answer the phone (if it were to ring soon). Thank you, Joel.

  9. Katie · August 14, 2013

    Such a huge fan of your work. Love this piece.

  10. laverne · August 14, 2013

    I heard this read aloud and loved it – so great to be able to go back and savor it at my own speed.

  11. adeshkaur · August 14, 2013

    Thank you for this poem. I walked with you into every line. “Sometimes I hold my loneliness in my lap and stroke its head until it falls asleep.” Frick! You’re breaking my heart. Magic man.

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