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

Category Archives: Humor

If you don’t “mind” the “V” word, read on. But remember, I warned you. Also, to anyone who objects, please remember: COPYING, XEROXING, AND DISTRIBUTING MY WORK IS A COPYRIGHT VIOLATION. YOU MAY GO TO JAIL. (I have had mean “stalkers” lately.)

OK, the snarky scolding is out of the way. Fasten your seatbelts!

Me & V
BFF 001
I am a woman.

Each morning I
sit on my vagina and drink coffee.

Every day is
Take Your Vagina To Work Day.

“Betty” watches
while I pee and used to
participate in my monthlies.

She knows my husband. Well.

Me and my vagina have been
through thick and…

I’ve taken care of her for years.
In return, she opened wide and
helped deliver my baby girl.

Me and my vagina: BFFs.

So, Congress, don’t tread on us.
Together, we are a formidable foe.

Just ask my ex.

© 2014 Poetry and Artwork by Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

First, a disclaimer: Betty is not really my BFF. My friend John in Philadelphia is. Somehow, I know that this particular order in the greater scheme of things will bring him comfort… and a laugh.

When ABC Wednesday asked for poems about the letter V… well, ’nuff said!! Peace and reproductive rights for all, unless you want to outlaw Viagra and submit tests on fathers before termination of pregnancies, Amy

Halloween for Black Kitty (Six Sentence Stories)
Image Courtesy of WikiCommons

I don’t understand my peoples today. Kids runnin round in scary cloths and bloody faces like movies. Mommy stackin lots and lots of candy by front door that I always try to get out of. Daddy stabbin a bit orange ball and takin out guts those smell worse than the litter box. Mommy say peoples crool to black cats on Hell Or Ween but not Calico Stripums or Siamese Diva. Now I gotta sit alone in back room watchin Animal Planet but they showin lions makin babies so that OK.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Josie Two Shoes has a new Thursday challenge, Six Sentence Stories. Thanks, Josie, for the invite to participate.

This post is dedicated to the memory of our late black cat, Missy. She was a hoot and always told great stories, this being one I had to write from memory… I should have transcribed all her narratives!

Also “in the margins” at my poetic House of Horrors, Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. Peace and Happy dia de los muertes, Amy


TIRADE (More Crap Made in China)

New egg timer, like my mom’s
Worked well two times; third time bombs
(more crap made in China)

Coffee pots are always new
‘cause last year’s just went ker-phloo
(more crap made in China)

Got our broken toilet fixed
One week later, handle sticks
(more crap made in China)

Used to be American-made
Goods that lasted, made the grade
(no more crap from China)

Give our people back their jobs
Screw the greedy corporate slobs
(no more crap from China)

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

I mean, really. Is it too much to ask, things that work? Why haven’t we gone to Congress, to the White House lawn, and thrown ALL our crap over the fence in protest? Why aren’t we speaking out about OUR OLD JOBS vs. retraining for “new industry”? This is not the fault of the Chinese PEOPLE – it’s the American multinationals, providing “deep discounts” that people snap up without giving a thought to the enslaved children and underpaid workers who toil for pennies, while the manufacturer makes millions. Think of Bangladesh, too.

We have enough kids graduating to fill the “new industry” jobs… let’s put folks back to work, doing what they already know how to do.

This is my own form, the barlette, which has two or three lines followed by (a comment in parentheses). For ABC Wednesday, which is on the letter “T” for trash… trade… trust???!! Also at my poetic pond, Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, and my hangout for all things pencil: Poets United. Peace, Amy

Milk Shakes and Enemas

Some doctors are too strict about
a pregnant woman’s “dos” and don’ts”
So I went to a good midwife
so didn’t issue “can’ts” or “won’ts”

I kept up with my calcium
the folic acid, fruit treats, too
But when the temp hit 1-0-3
I called her, whining “What to do?

“I’m sweating like a roasted pig
I’ve showered cold three times today
I need the consummate relief…
I need it NOW, without delay!”

“You’re nine months in, due any day
May I suggest, indulge yourself
Choose something cold and make it sweet
Go get the blender off the shelf”

Now Baby kicked up quite the storm,
I took it as an omen good
Some chocolate ice cream, Hershey sauce
The ultra in forbidden food

Plopped by the air conditioner
set on Freeze Off My Toes,
as Baby did the Caffeine Dance
my smile bloomed like a perfect rose

Of course, that night, my water broke
and labor quickly did commence
with my intestines like a brick…
The milk shake, oy! No common sense

Now, enemas are never fun
Less so when huffing through the pain
Were I another babe to bear,
no third-trimester shakes again

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Amy Laura Strangle
And they all lived happily ever after
(Image from Amy’s private collection, pls. do not duplicate)

Poetic Bloomings wanted a poem about two contrasting things. This was the first “odd couple” to come to mind, and it’s a true story, ugh. The only good thing that came out of that ordeal (I spared you the boomerang Gatorade!) was Riley.

Also linked to my little slice of heaven, Imaginary Garden With Read Toads’ Open Link Monday!

Before we begin, you must pardon certain bits of “flavor” in today’s poem, for it was written to the theme of “incorporate the punchline of your favorite joke into a poem” for Poetic Bloomings (and you must remember I had a long career in theater and cabarets, so the humor was rather salty), but I also used some rather unsavory words from The Sunday Whirl, including “Spit,” “Pulsing,” and… well, you’ll see!  Also at my favorite poetic salon, Poets United (going on three years of membership!).

If you are faint of heart or faint over mild vulgarity, best you skip this one.  (wink)  Amy

To the Manor Born

They number in the thousands,
with up-front titles such as
The Duke of Whodidwhatshire and
Lady Fluffingsham, that sound like
they pee chicken soup, their spit is
a blessing, and their hearty red
corpuscles could run pulsing into
a petri dish and create a ruby.

Dressing takes hours beyond count;
their every text message is met by
thunderous headlines in the
Brrrrrritish tabloids. Oi!

Said Lord Worthlessthan as he dined
on braised pheasant and oysters during
a recent champagne luncheon at Beltchington,
“We call ourselves The Aristocrats…
but really, we’re plain, humble folk.”

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

When Mama Zen
asked us for brevity
I thought ’twas the
height of levity

For how could I
ever think to contrive
the breadth of my soul
in a mere forty-five?

Yet brief it must be so
I bequeath to you, my-

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads has Words Count With Mama Zen, who sets the limit at 45 words or less. I may break most rules, question authority, and generally raise hell in politics, but… “when Mama ain’t happy, ain’t NObody happy!”

Also at Poets United, where they let me blather on all I want. Mama Z, thanks. This is a good exercise for me!

A bit of doggerel from your dogged friend, Amy

DAD’S DYNAMIC DEEDS (The Talented Mr. Barlow)

“A really good fart should come from the heart.”
So said my dad, with no shame, accepting blame.
He blew more gas than a Guernsey.
A one-man methane machine; each a Homeric task.

Expansive explosions the stuff of legend.
The Cryptkeeper would beg for a match
if Dad opened his hatch for a quick dispatch.
Our eyes would water from the slaughter,

and we’d laugh ‘til we cried over his
lack of knack to hide what was inside
and his singular absence of embarrassment
about the mass of gas from his ass.

My mother didn’t mince words:
“BUD! Did you chew your cud?”
Take all the grazing grain-fed cattle,
every bean-eating buckaroo from Blazing Saddles,

plus the backfire from a battered Buick,
throw in a whoopee cushion (or twelve),
push ‘til you’re blue, and your result
would be an inadequate insult to

the Sultan of insufferable incense
A mere shadow of the Shaman
A whisper on the wind compared to
my dad, The Singing Sphincter.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

NOTES: Absolutely true, and one of the best memories of my dad. Seeing “Blazing Saddles” with him at the movies was a trip.   The two of us got to the campfire scene and laughed ‘til we cried. I was afraid he was going to have a heart attack, gasping for breath. But then with the belly-laughs came the wretched gas. He poured forth and I had to change my seat for a few minutes until the cloud cleared.

To this day, I don’t think I laugh at anything more than passing gas. If you are near me and “let one go,” I apologize in advance for my guffaws. Can’t help it. It’s hard wired. Just ask my sisters or my best friend, John; they remember. Hope you had fun… Now open a window, for God’s sake!! Peace and a vanilla-scented candle, Amy

For ABC Wednesday (D), and Three Word Wednesday (Backfire, Embarrass, Task), and my source of poetic refreshment, Poets United.


Shall I compare thee to a summoning day?

Wherefore art thou, morphine drip?

Death, be not proud… nor painful.

Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high, I.

How that corpse got into my pajamas, I dunno.

Don’t forget your parting gift as you exit
the chapel, a little bit of Amy as a souvenir.

Am I still bipolar now that I’m dead, and does that mean
I can spend half my time haunting people who sucked?

Reports of my death will be greatly exaggerated, because
I’m just THAT special.

Rock stars die in plane crashes, but poets die with a phrase
that just came to mind, whispering, “Where’s my journal…?”

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For We Write Poems, asking for our epitaph. (Also at my poetic “resting place,” Poets United!) I’m having my ashes put into doggie bags and distributed to mourners on their way to the post-funeral party at a cheesy bar, with notes to each on where to scatter bits of me. Part to Blanche’s stomping grounds, Council Bluffs. Part into the confluence of the Chenango and Susquehanna Rivers in Binghamton, and a pinch of me dumped into the spiedie sauce at Sharkey’s Bar… Matt Sweeney will get that assignment, no doubt. Carolyn will have Duncan to varnish a bit of me onto her harp used in playing at hospices. Christopher will sneak me into the old Pavarotti dressing room at the Met. Joseph will toss me off the Brooklyn Bridge; Colette gets Venice Beach duty. Walt will sift me onto the floor of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo; Nimue will keep me in a little pill box until she feels a good sneeze coming on, while Viv will sew me into the batting of one of her quilts.

Lex and Riley will be sent on a voyage to San Juan, to Bermuda, and to other places far and wide, so they will have time to talk about stuff. Marcia and Jesse will join them for the Venice Canal tossing; Greggie will take me to 6th and Wilshire, the site of the old Great American Food & Bev. Co. I’m thinking of sending my Republican relatives tea bags filled with… no, that would be mean. And it would taste nasty! Peace, Amy

Sounds easy peasy, right? Trifecta says, “Take your favorite book and tell it in 33 words. No more, no less. So, my friends, here is my Cliff Notes version of the Bible. Peace, and please keep your humor! Amy

THE BIBLE (condensed version)

God creates everything,
pulls Adam’s rib to form Eve.
Except in Genesis 2.

Moses delivers Commandments.
People mess up, drown, turn to salt.
Jesus comes, says “Love,” gets killed.

Revelation still scares kids.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Also at my poetic home, Poets United.

NOTE:  In Genesis, Chapter 2, the Bible says that God created Adam from dust and the Spirit blew life into him, completely contradicting the first account.  Biblical literalists, please take note!

Polly at Journal Read asked us to create an alternative reality. Since most of my reality is alternative already, this didn’t seem much of a stretch, and yet…

Sky Green

As I loll beneath a laughing willow
reading The Wit of Virginia Woolf,
sipping lemon juice from a
ceramic to-go cup…

I am struck by passersby who,
in the cool breeze of mid-August,
saunter to urgent meetings
when they should be hustling fast as sloths.

My blue hair is showing traces of
youth these days, bits of gold that
catch the noonday moonlight,
reflecting a crown-like glory.

Shall I stay on the lush red grass
or wander off past the former Starbucks
(now a café for overground art)
to catch the stagecoach back home?

Green sky at morning,
sailors take warning.
Grey sky at night,
sailors delight.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Also posted at my trusty REAL reality, Poets United.