Amy Barlow Liberatore… stories of lost years, wild times, mental variety, faith, and lots of jazz

Sing to Spring (Real Toads, an alphabetic poem)

Sing to Spring
(Fade in on open field, where members of the local Women’s Chorus are engaged in their annual ritual of welcoming the new season. Dressed like milkmaids; everyone thinks they are a little nutty.)

Amorous buxom choristers, dancing everywhere
Fearless, guileless, heaving inspirations, juggling knowledge and
lascivious, mature natures…
Pendulum quickens; rhythmic sashay turns vibrant windmill…

(Two hours later, at a coffee shop, the event concludes with these time-honored words…)
Yum!  Zabaglione!

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Yes, my mother told me that, one fine spring day, a group of her friends from a local women’s barbershop group got together and did indeed “Sing to the Spring.” Of course, it didn’t involve a coffee shop; methinks they were slightly hammered!

For Imaginary Garden With Read Toads, where “Play It Again, Toads” found me attracted to Marian’s ABC romp through the alphabet, along with Margaret’s post of “Spring – detail” (1890) by Thomas Wilmer Dewing.  Peace, Amy (and what a fun singer was my Mom, right?)

Pink Champagne (Georgette Klinger)

Pink Champagne

Was that the name of
the chalky rose that graced
my 20-year-old lips

Was it a drag queen or
my girlfriend Rickie who gave me
that stick/mystical tube

Cylinder of cotton candy
and chemical confection
that no doubt helped my pout

Yes, it was Rickie after all who
slipped Georgette Klinger into my purse
and said, “Work it, girl”

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

When Imaginary Garden With Real Toads mentioned the color pink, this little memory emerged from the silver tube of my synapses! I will always be grateful that Rickie Lee Jones is my friend… we are almost the same age, but she was always the big sister, more worldly, a bit wiser. And yes, she still has the BEST makeup, hee hee.

She has her first album of all originals coming out in June, so stay tuned. I will write to one of those pieces.

Amy

Rich White Guy Pyramid Scheme (with art)

Rich Guy Pyramid 001
Artwork © 2015 Amy Barlow

Rich White Guy Pyramid Scheme

Now you gaze fondly upon
your bread of life pyramid
filled with evidence of
those “special rights” you cherish

The right for your hubris to rule my life
The Right be right, the Left be damned
to burn in hell (at the intersection
of Wall Street and Walmart)

The real family values:
caring for children and elders,
keeping the whole family healthy,
ensuring a future for the children’s children

These values don’t make it
onto your pyramid
Unless they are your blood relations
and you can escape the inheritance tax

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Ah, it’s Open Link night at dverse, and Grace is tending the bar. Haven’t posted there in a long while, so come on over and sample the hors d’oeuvres! Also at Mrs. Nesbitt’s brainchild, ABC Wednesday, where Roger and friends are on the letter O (for One Percent!).  Peace, Amy

Now! (with Sid the Kid)

Sid the Kid NOW

NOW! (with Sid the Kid)

Now is the time
to sing our songs
while we’ve breath in our bodies and
souls that speak out loud
those thoughts that were heretofore
only whispered

Now is the time
to sing our songs
Our collective outpouring
of grand illusions
grander delusions
of elusive goals that never
leave our sights

“If not now, when?”
We don’t do ‘then’
We won’t surrender
the immediacy of this impulse

We want it now
We sing it now
We create it now

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

About time I introduced you to Sid the Kid, previously known as A Guy (and usually accompanied by His Ancestor, who shall remain hidden for the moment!). Sid has morphed over the years into an androgynous kid, always full of fun and optimism. I’ve been drawing him for years, much to the delight of my dear friend Sidnie, for whom I have named my little buddy… even though Sidnie is about as cis-gender a woman as I have ever met, lol.

For ABC Wednesday, the letter N… where our fearless leader, Mrs. Nesbitt, quotes John Donne and we all bring our best alphabetically minded selves to the table! An homage to the eternal liveliness of spring. May the season stir us all from our winter lairs of mind and spirit… if indeed that is where we are stuck at the moment.  I know I was, but this prompt helped me break out.  Woot!

Peace, Amy

#art #poetry #spring #now #sketches #coloredpencil #abcwednesday

Bedside Manner (Imaginary Garden With Real Toads)

Bedside Manners

Sometimes in the fever of my dreams
Mom is alive but dying…

Here she is, going again… an alternate version
conjured in my vulnerable, variable mind
DAD has come to pay his respects to his wife
who is laid up, Frida Kahlo style
Four-postered with guests

He enters to their collective gasp
because he’s brought his girlfriend along
(now I know it’s a dream because he
is asking permission)
She is a short one, tanned midsummer dark, brown hair
Big smile. Would be likeable
if not for the timing and her smarmy date (Dad,
who holds her hand while his
other paw is on her shoulder
like a pull on a bra strap)

Mama smiles, honest to God
She seems happy
Then Dad’s date begins to shrink
Below his shoulder, almost to his elbow, then
shorter still as Mom watches fondly/strangely

Same straight hair, same dark coloring, same
as me
Same brown eyes, same smile, same
as me
And then it hits me, I understand Mom’s smile
She wasn’t happy
She was relieved

Sometimes the best way to
get a bad man out of your bedroom

is to send him across the hall

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Open Link Night, the Tuesday Platform at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads! Love me some gardening, especially on such a beeeeeautiful day here in Wisconsin. Peace, Amy

#abuse #WithRealToads #poetry #freeverse #daughters #night #openlink #death&dying

Oh, the Horror! (Marshmallow Peeps)

Oh, the Horror!

Bane of childhood Easter basket
Gumptious lather
clodded by machine into
alien-colored, noxious turds

Unnatural, they were, and
poisonously sugar-laced
Pillowstuff spongy

Look if you dare into
the Wayback Machine
That’s me
The kid who ate three or four
The girl whose stomach rebelled
Whose barf was projectile and yet
so colorful
Whose cat was not quick enough
to dodge the onslaught of
harsh-dealt
secondhand
marshmallow peeps

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Never too late for an Easter memory, even on Wednesday! No, I didn’t really barf on the cat, but it seemed like Diva (sitting on my lap, natch) wanted a cat mention in this one, and that was the only way to appease her…

For ABC Wednesday, M for Marshmallow: Merciless Mouth, Madcap Misadventures… add your own ideas in the comments. So glad to be back writing! Amy

Chocolate Gives (Blog-a-ton 53)

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 53; the fifty-third edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. In association with ​Soulmates: Love without ownership by Vinit K Bansal. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Dark Choc
Chocolate Gives (Blog-a-ton 53)

It gives
Gives way to nibbles
Decreases at increase of tooth; sweet
pressure, the tingle, thy name is chocolat

It gives
Hormonal cravings soothed
Creased brow smoothed
by silky melt on hungry tongue

It gives
Oh, the hips
Bulky, sumptuous
Babushka arms sway leisurely as I wave

It gives
Vain pleasure
Fleeting moments of indulgence
Your fragrance leaves me longing

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

It’s BLOG-A-TON 53! Thanks to Blog-a-thon Marshal Saravana Kumar Murugan for sending the link. They’re taking poems about chocolate all day, so pick up your pencil and dive into the sweetest pool in town… Peace and chocolate bunnies (which Riley and I never had the heart to eat. I mean, where do you start?) I am THRILLED to be joining bloggers in India for this challenge. They accept as many as one can write; just put the link into your message once the “doors” open! Good luck, and happy writing. Amy

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: XX

Gertrude Steinisms

gertrude
Gertrude House

Alice and the door. Wood of hallway mouth. Come and go, go there to other.
Greet days of tokens that go, away. Type the write of it. Desk the way to thought of chair and desk, Alice and hand.
Oak. Oak the way to Alice. Fro and for.

Chocolate Stein

Chocolate is. Color brindle barn, silent the waft.
Smile chocolate of kitchen, orange stain the bowl.
The bowl brindle; chocolate fine and feeling, cat nips at cream for dream.

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

In the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, we are conjuring Gertrude Stein. Does it all make a bit of sense now? I sort of hope not! Amy

#cross (art and words)

Hashtag cross 001

Artwork by Amy Barlow © 2015

#cross

#cross
#golgotha
#crucifixion
#deathpenalty
#executionbystate
#sacrifice

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

In memory of Mama, who died 23 years ago today during Lent.  Also, for ABC Wednesday:  Love, Lent, Loss.  Peace, Amy

Determined Swimmer

determined swimmer 001

Acrylic on canvas, 9×12 by Amy Barlow (Liberatore)

Determined Swimmer

She’s good in water
A determined swimmer
An athlete going for the gold
With each stroke, determination grows
Hope flows with coursing blood

(a flash of daddy’s face)

Swimming for her life
or because of it
Because water will wash away
traces of THAT
Wash her clean of past, passed

(what happened, over and over again)

Almost there
Air collapsing from her lungs outward
The sea, an effervescent bubble mass
of inside, now outside

(he’s dead yet alive, too alive and too strong)

The picture fades from view
Her eyes shine in a wide-awake stare
A limp doll sleeping
on solid ground
at last

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

The painting says it all, if you understand her determination. I have felt like this, too many times. May all who have been abused find peace… peace that does not need this kind of plunge. Amy


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