CHANTEUSE DELUXE (have a listen, then read the poem)

What drives her to carry on so?
No limit to grandiose gestures:
Hand thrust heavenward as she
sings of graces she cannot touch
(yet seems to know well).

Delivery of gut-bucket blues,
growled, a feral cat in heat.
Singing is her salvation;
her masquerade; her comfort;
her inherent, inherited blessing
(born of a curse).

Tapping into sources of drama
most would never dare; airing
her truth with power, to power
(and always with a whimsical smile).

Striding through dark, abandoned
psychic hallways and caverns
where others might tiptoe
(their flashlights, shivering beams).

Her early demons gifted her,
then she was lifted from hell
by an undercurrent of free-flowing jazz.
She follows in footsteps of her people
(unhinged but brutally honest souls).

She is compelled to prize a pearl
(from the slimiest of shells).

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
PROCESS NOTES: A barlette is my own creation; this one has a longer form. Normally, the barlette runs three lines plus (a commentary line). This long forms allows more flexibility before the comment line.
PERFORMERS: Carol Ackley is a longtime and very dear girlfriend who was coaxed to the mike for an impromptu duet; we had not sung together in years. “Since I Fell For You” is one of my favorite standards. Sax solo is by the great reed man/percussionist/composer/musical powerhouse Rob Weinberger, who is also my former husband and father of our little Drummer Girl and artist, Riley Dunn.
PROMPTS: For Sunday Scribblings #311 (honest) and The Sunday Whirl: Carry, Singing, Follows, Drives, Hallways, Drama, Limit, Gestures, Hand, Delivery, Inherent, Sources, Previous, Drives.