Clothes Make the…

Clothes Make the…

Picture this
A cocktail party
Only chic elites parading in
Ralph Lauren, Valentino
Stella Mc (no, no Butterick)

Dripping in blood from
Harry Winston diamonds
Sleek, shiny, baubled
Finest wardrobe money can buy

Picture this gathering of
the 85 people who own
HALF the wealth of the
planet. 85 = $½ of ALL OF IT*

Crappy, credible math
They drink, snort, and laugh about
those wretched K-Mart shoppers
About the 99% (that’s you and me)

“How do they manage?”
“They should get real jobs”
“I never shop at WalMart,”
smirks one of Sam Walton’s girls

Their gowns, regardless of
high-fashion label, imported
from Chinese sweatshops
from Indonesian factories

Bangladesh burned but they’re
still pumping out product,
thanks to hard-working
child slave labor (and women)

These rich women, coiffed
and manicured, preening
These sons of smarter men, coiffed
and manicured, peacocks

They say clothes make the man
but these schmucks
sure as hell didn’t
make their clothes

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
* Per OxFam, a non-partisan worldwide watchdog for the underprivileged

First, a HUGE “thank you” to all who have sent messages asking where I’ve been and if I am all right. Long story short: Played at two Christmas Eve services, then got the holiday/deep winter depression… followed by a flu I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Not even GWB. But finally able to sit at my desktop (the messages were monitored on my phone, but it’s no good for posting poetry) and contribute once again.

So off to my “play pond” I ran! Shay at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads’ Fireblossom Friday wanted a poem in which clothing is a major component. See, I can still be politically snarky while writing about high fashion! Peace, Amy

31 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kerry O'Connor
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 00:01:38

    They sure as hell didn’t. Sharp Little Pencil certainly is back and firing on all cylinders in this expose of the wicked self-interest of the .5 percentile of filthy rich.


  2. Sumana Roy
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 00:32:30

    love this forceful volley of fiery words and the starkness of expression….the power and compassion combine beautifully…great lines…


    Jan 25, 2014 @ 00:52:44

    camels and needles come to mind. Sorry you’ve been poorly. My poetry muse is on semi-strike, too – only works in fits and starts.

    I had a pair of Dior shoes for my first wedding in 1960 – cost me a months’ wages, and our puppy ate ONE of them.


  4. brian miller
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 02:00:46

    no they dont…not a party i would be too comfortable being in and would get kicked out the first chance i had to put one of them in their place…ha…sorry its been a rough season for you amy…good to see you though….


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Feb 07, 2014 @ 18:52:38

      Brian, I’d be bounced about the same time as you! I have no patience for the pampered. Once saw a nouveau riche idiot put out his cigarette on a RODIN. I was playing piano. I got up and told him off and left without expecting payment, but I did tell the host what happened, and he was outraged. I could not play for such idiots. A


  5. grapeling
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 02:10:22

    good to see you, Amy ~


  6. Sam Edge, Writer
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 03:29:06

    love love love this! perfect mix of sarcasm and clever commentary on a world gone nuts!


  7. coalblack
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 06:17:59

    Welcome back!!! And she comes out snappin’! Though she be but little, she is fierce”! (Shakespeare)

    85 people have HALF?!? 85! Wowwww. You caught the entitled snobbery to a tee, and I loved the line about sons of smarter fathers. On the backs of millions, a few enjoy their ease. Ah well, the last shall be first and many of the first shall be last. Ever seen a camel squish itself through the eye of a needle? (I just love it when “prosperity” preachers try to tell people that that verse doesn’t say what it clearly says!)


  8. The Transcanada Poet
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 07:43:43

    great commentary poem.. about issues that seem to be pushed into the background…. I have often traveled passed abandoned textile mills and abandoned houses in the Carolinas and Southern Virginia..all those people displaced ,life’s changed forever .. for a few pennies more into the cash register.. Great to see you back… :)


  9. Rachelle Smith Stokes
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 08:14:03

    I approve of this message! Very clever word play as well. Especially the blood diamonds lines!


  10. Altonian
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 10:11:09

    Welcome back Amy, and swinging with both fists, as usual. Terrific piece!
    I have had a bit of a hiatus recently, but am creeping back with my new blog:


  11. Stormcat
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 12:09:54

    I love it “Butterick” They wouldn’t even know what it means! Brilliant!


  12. hedgewitch
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 13:33:56

    Sharp and (literally) on the money, Amy. Saw this stat last week, as well as all the gushy froth about this supposed sym[posium of the wealthy of inequality–probably to discuss why Morgan Stanley has bigger bonuses than Goldman Sacks.. Loved it, and good to see you back.


  13. Helen
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 15:00:01

    Sharp Little Pencil .. USING that sharp pencil, in a loud strong, clear voice! I’ve sewn many a frock using a Butterick pattern. How fun seeing that name.


  14. Roger Green
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 21:47:21

    Welcome back. Burn their stupid butts, Amy.


  15. El Guapo
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 22:49:43

    Glad to see your absence hasn’t dulled your pencil!


  16. dani
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 23:16:59

    you could still be politically snarky writing about pig crap! (one of the things i love about you, Amy!) glad you’re feeling better!

    i just saw an ad for a Stella McCartney purse for $1800+ ~ i swear to god! how many people could that feed? what beyond her name is she really selling? it literally made me sick to my stomach.

    and a belated happy new year!


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Feb 07, 2014 @ 18:13:47

      Oi. Gee, do you really think she is trading on her daddy’s name? Like GWBush? Shocker…!

      Pig crap. Oh, yeah, we already did that one with Dick Cheney. Right on target as always, and yes, the price of a single purse that is more than our RENT? Holy crap. Coming your way now… Amy


  17. gabrielle
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 02:34:14

    I read this statistic earlier this week–unfathomable. thanks for the outrage expressed by your sharp little pencil. butterick is a stroke of genius. Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling so poorly. Hope you are feeling better soon.


    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Feb 07, 2014 @ 18:15:28

      Thanks, hon. Yes, isn’t that unbelievable? But as long as we have FaceBook and other things to keep us distracted, they will remain on top. Time to unplug… except for blogs, ha ha ha. Amy


  18. Lindy Lee
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 17:10:13

    Real fashion & actual wealth have no materiality. As usual, your few words speak volumes…


  19. J Cosmo Newbery
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 23:03:27

    Good to see you again Amy There is much that is wrong with this world; clothing is but one. :-/


  20. Sara v
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 07:04:04

    Hi Amy! So good to see you again :-) There is an incredible amount of injustice in this world. Working on making it better. Hugs :-)


  21. purplepeninportland
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 22:24:06

    Right on Target, Amy!


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