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

Category Archives: Drugs

Back then every morning broke both ways. Salty and sweet

Head already splitting sitting up, sliding into bell bottoms, frayed hems fringed over faded espadrilles

Peasant top, you know how it was, a roach clip on a looooong feather clipped into frantic loopy hair

Sip of last night’s to get me out the door, down to Ruby’s

Step out near the canals, the shaggy likewise join the journey

Who’s holding? Lights up, the high travels along the line of linked arms like a fuse

Snickersnorting to the boardwalk, Jingles and Frank ready for busking

All the lovely boys building bodies to bodacious on the beach, sand sticking to evvvvvery sinewed limb, pump pump bump

Now we can smell the coffee smell the bacon smell half the customers too, or at least their smoke

The clatter of breakfast – and always smiling Ruby (“somebody hit the juke for Ray Charles!” and his voice, “They saaaaay, Ruby, you’re like a dreeeeeeeam…”) She was 100% movement but never rushed us

Lazy, luxurious breakfast, runny eggs, and how they got bacon that crispy while retaining every bit of grease that came off the hog is a mystery of faith

OJ from the carton (back when we still called it that) not fresh, but we only drank it for the sugar hit

And so Sunday began. We were together. We had survived another Saturday night. And as we ramshackled back onto the mostly deserted boardwalk, it never occurred to us that something else might happen. That soon, Ruby’s place would turn into Starbucks; all the trash on the beach would become all the Eurotrash in the tragically samesame cafes; and eventually, Jingles might get a ticket for loitering.

Not yet. We didn’t have a clue that it was coming: the encroachment of developers, the diaspora of cool. I can still smell Sunday morning, the sweet greasy and the sweat weedy.

Thanks to my old friend Roger Green for kicking me in the butt to post something! He’s at www.rogerogreen.com


Shark Smack Redemption

In this corner
we have two junkies
(clutchin their insides,
achin for a fix)

And in this corner
a dealer and his flunkie
(carryin’ with pride
the primo mix)

Gentlemen
Come out bargaining

C’mon, Mister Bang
don’t keep us hangin
Last week was a deal
a downright steal

Yeah, that was last week
Now it’s changed
replies Mr. Silk Suit
Buddy carries the loot

Have mercy, Bang
I need it badder’n bad
Cantcha see I’m dyin
One cringe away from cryin

Tell you what, Jake, says Bang
Remember your girl
That blonde was right rooty
and she sure got the booty

You want her, she’s yours
She’ll do what I ask
Just give us a taste
‘fore we go to waste

(Scans the room in panic
Isn’t it romantic?
He motions for Jill
to join in the thrill)

Mr. Bang offers three
One for him,
one for his co-horse
Third to prime “First Course”

Go on now, Jill
I’ll see you back here
Just give Mr. Bang
a little that thang

But Jill shakes her head
Tells him she’s not for trade.
You can’t redeem this girl
like Green Stamps for a whirl.

Off go Mr. Bang and ass-
istant to find other buyers
No jack, No Jill for Jake
just sweats and a bellyache

No redemption
Smack preemption
Simply two losers
who, tonight, will be boozers

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For dverse Poets, Victoria Slotto wanted a piece that describes our passions. I give you the opposite, in a way. I’m still fascinated by how far people will go to get high, to self-medicate, and that much further away from love, from God, from peace. I have known women who would give their bodies for the sake of a fix for themselves and their old man.  In the Old Daze, I could have witnessed a scene very much like this, when it was LA and everyone thought they were immortal. Then a junkie died in my lap, and I saw things differently indeed. Peace, Amy