From Whence, and Why

Mom and Blanche

From Whence, and Why
(My Poetic Manifesto… because Gay asked for it!)

I write to give voice
to those without a choice
The homeless, incest survivors
Deep-water depression divers

I’ve been, at one time, all of these
I claim it, no third-person tease
Stated as fact, no truth untold
Some wish that I wouldn’t be quite so bold

Raised to speak raw truth to power
Toe to toe with guys who tower
far over my little Irish ass
(Pardon me, but I can be crass)

Give me paper, a sharp li’l pencil
and life’s underbelly I will stencil
Most people in sight of my spigots:
Racist, homophobic bigots

I’m not important, not myself
My poetry rarely graces a shelf
I drop truth bomb after drone
My words, the only weapon I own

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For dverse Poets Pub, our host Gay Reiser Cannon asked for “Manifestos.” Reasons why we write, our impulses and drives, where it all first came from. I dedicate this piece to my late mother and my grandmother Blanche. The maternal side of my family, shanty Irish, were always mindful of those who had less, whether people of color, LGBT folks, victims of war (especially troops who died and their families)… perhaps because they themselves had been in a position of being homeless and next to starving during the Depression of the 30s.

They also thought Ayn Rand was full of shit. We ARE our brother’s – and sister’s – keepers, and if you deny that, you supply the world with ZILCH. Hence my manifesto. Peace, Amy

23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. brian miller
    Mar 08, 2014 @ 19:05:09

    ha. crop your truth bombs ames…we dont have to be big to use them…and i am glad you use your voice to confront the dark corners and are willing to share your story as well….


  2. kaykuala
    Mar 08, 2014 @ 21:11:18

    Brave lady to fight for not just justice denied previously but justice for all. Giving voice to the voiceless,listless,homeless of society not many dared or even tried. Wishing that you have all the boundless energy to fulfill the noble cause. Well done Amelita! You’re a gem!



  3. Sherry Blue Sky
    Mar 08, 2014 @ 21:42:57

    And a powerful weapon they are – words can change and enlighten thought, which is how things get better. I love your truth telling and your fight for justice, Amy……..keep that sharp li’l pencil moving!!


  4. El Guapo
    Mar 08, 2014 @ 21:51:04

    You never fail to wallop.
    Shout it from the rooftops!


    Mar 09, 2014 @ 00:23:36

    Uncomfortable may they sometimes be, your words already ring with truth and passion. Keep at it, Amy – you’ll change the world!


  6. claudia
    Mar 09, 2014 @ 04:07:58

    writing to give those who cannot speak for themselves a voice, without aiming for honor, the shelf and to impress people – i love this… it’s uncomfortable but we need brave people like you amy… write on…


  7. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Mar 09, 2014 @ 08:19:42

    I definitely support any strong voice vielding a sharp pencil against bigotry and cowardly seflishness… fight on girl :-)


  8. coalblack
    Mar 09, 2014 @ 08:43:37

    Keep smoking out the troof, girlfriend! LOVE that you refuse to tone it down. Love ya!


  9. mybeautfulthings
    Mar 09, 2014 @ 11:26:41

    I love your manifesto and admire your courage to say it as it is.if only everyone did…… :)


  10. jae rose
    Mar 09, 2014 @ 12:29:14

    Thank God for those truth bombs and you x


  11. whimsygizmo
    Mar 09, 2014 @ 17:04:20

    Love this, especially, Amy:
    “Raised to speak raw truth to power”


  12. Josie Two Shoes
    Mar 09, 2014 @ 18:06:12

    But there is so much power in those words of truth! Not hiding promotes healing. I loved this poem, Amy is back among us!


  13. Gay Reiser Cannon
    Mar 09, 2014 @ 18:30:08

    What a great post and how fortuitous and serendipitous that you wrote it on International Day of Women! So brave and courageous to get it down, so important to make a stand. That’s what the best poetry has always sought to do and thank you Amy for this fine declaration! I will return to it. Thank you for your kind words to me as well.


  14. Old Rgg
    Mar 09, 2014 @ 23:46:48

    I feel ashamed for being so spineless myself. Thank God he gave the job to you!


  15. Susan
    Mar 10, 2014 @ 21:34:43

    Truth to power, and shock is also necessary. Happy for your manifesto!


  16. Cosmos Cami
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 00:53:40

    Strong and bold, for sure, but you also didn’t shrink from the playful. Well done.


  17. grapeling
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 12:28:47

    I’d say you fully embrace the motto, afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted, Ameleh ~


  18. Lindy Lee
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 20:34:20

    You write & I read– good writing for good reasons…


  19. Jinksy
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 16:03:21

    and life’s underbelly I will stencil
    Great way to leave your mark! LOl :)


  20. Sara v
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 07:24:38

    Amy, this is why I love you and your poetry! You release me from the constraints of whatever conservative and/or heartless person is messing with my head, by saying what my heart feels, and I do not have the words to express. Thank you my poetic sister–peace and love, Sara


  21. Trackback: Somewhere, Over The Foolishness… | Guapola
  22. purplepeninportland
    Mar 15, 2014 @ 16:50:19

    You speak for many who cannot bring themselves to do so. Your poetry is always raw, wonderful, totally you.


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