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

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GREEDY BASTARD

He was always greedy
Wanting more buildings with his name
emblazoned in new neon
Then, when customers
found flaws and defaulted or fled
he got in bed with the State to
deflate his debt. Bankruptcy,
more than financial, substantial
penalties were paid by ordinary Joes,
like schmoes, we sat by and watched
as he snatched victory from the
jaws of the Street

When his first wife was no longer
trophyworthy, he moved on
And again
And again
Like a rich white kid tiring of a toy
Or a car
he traded his women in
for newer models
Sometimes foreign, sometimes domestic
(sometimes actual models)
All with solid chassis and
that new-wife smell

When he tired of Atlantic City
he moved on to TV
the natural place for such as he
Bombastic, plastic,
spasmodic delivery

When he got fired from TV
he moved on
to the real big deal
And now his greed dictates
that we should grant him
Gold toilets in the White House

Do we really need
to cater to his greed?

© 2016 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Hey, I have not posted anything about Tr*mp (whose name is a swear in our house, like, “Go tr*mp yourself”).  Sometimes it’s good to vent.

No image, because ewwwwww. Tagged under “Jerks” for ABC Wednesday.

Peace, Amy


A Life Less Weird

would be lacking in gusto
would sap our strength
would pull us under to
the place where normalcy shadows all that matters

A life less weird
is something to be lived by
wonderful, caring people who
just happen to lack that “spark of madness”*
that shines so brightly in
those who robinradiate

© 2016 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

*Thanks to the late Robin Williams for this phrase. He said, “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”

Poets United, thanks for letting me tag along on the “Weird” prompt! There is a lovely flavor to neurodivergence (and thanks to Ian Nicholson for sharing that term, for schooling me through “Barking Sycamores” on how I can relish my own particular groove).  Also, thanks to Saana for enticing me back to Poets United!

When life appears to“trump” fantasy, fantasy actually has the better foothold!

Peace, Amy


If She Were

If she were a cuticle
she’d be bleeding

If she were road kill, she’d be
half in a crow’s belly

This country
These headlines
The prospects, so bleak

She’s dog tired
Bone weary

Dog bone busted

© 2016 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

ABC Wednesday is on the letter “I” and seems to be pointing toward writing one’s own life. Strange to write these thoughts in the third person; yet, to claim all this as mine feels like defeat.

I am hopeful, but this reality is taking its toll…

Peace, Amy


Bridge the Gap

Thoughts here
Pen there
Bridge the gap

Under cover of covers
Mind unsnuggled and busy already
Journal over on dresser…
Oh, to find courage and brave
the icy sprint in thin flannel
to capture, capsulize this inspiration

Make haste
Bridge the gap

© 2016 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Mama Zen, you are my hero today. I was winnowing files, shrinking the ever-growing pile of laundry… and then, when I logged on to Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, the “Play it again, Toads” prompt brought back a “Words Count” post from you – Twitter, fewer than 140 characters (this is 114). Since I was in an editing mood, this seemed perfect.

Also, it’s worth noting that I had the first stanza in mind just before falling asleep. I grabbed a paper napkin from the nightstand and scribbled with a stubby pencil. Completed the rest just now at my computer! Peace, Amy


Bright Brit (For Alan Rickman)

That smooth sotto voce baritone
A voice for the ages
The prominent proboscis
Teeth that said, “Yeesss, I’m from England”

Slightly sibilant ‘s’
A peculiar British drawl
The singular instrument that was his voice

Hilarious or reserved
Alien or Austin
Wizard or Will Shakespeare
He was all of it, and sublime

We lost a good one that day
but the work lives on
in velvet couplets
and spells cast

© 2016 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Had to come out of the cold to pay tribute to a wonderful man. Alan Rickman was one of my favorite actors. Yes, there was the loss of Bowie, but Rickman’s talents touched me in unexpected ways. I fell in love with him in “Truly Madly Deeply” (no commas in that title – see the film to find out why).

Lex and Riley and I quote his Dr. Lazarus from “Galaxy Quest” incessantly – “By Grabthar’s Hammer… what a savings,” and “…five curtain calls!”

Rickman had the knack of being droll when others were chewing scenery. He was a generous actor and colleague. He stayed true to the same woman for 50 years! Who even does that in the performing arts?!

I miss him. Thanks to ABC Wednesday for hosting my scribblings, the first in months.


From the Brooklyn Museum; photograph by Margaret, used with permission

Dance of the Vessels

They wait to be asked
asked to dance
asked to grab coffee
asked to participate

in the dance of the vessels
each filled in her turn with
disappointment, with joy
with whatever he chooses

They were told that if
they waited long enough
and stayed shiny, attractive
they would be chosen

See the restless vase
rustling her dust
edging closer to the edge
She will fall and break, in a

glorious shower of shards
and a mischievous giggle
They will clean up and toss her
Better to jump than to fall for it

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Margaret Bednar is a Toad.  Well, a member of the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads…and for this prompt, she offered up some lovely photos of vases.  I chose the group on shelves, but there are quite a few images of vases at the site, along with links to some dandy poets.  Why not head over to the Garden and try your luck?  Thanks, Amy



Listen to Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto interpret Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “O Grande Amor”

Bossa

The beat is bossa
Songs with names like Dindi, pronounced ‘Zhinzhi’
Like fingertips stroking a five o’clock shadow

Stan Getz on sax, the American who
fell south and south again into Brazil
and landed in the lap of
hypnotic undulations of la bossa nova

His singular sax
wobbly, clarinettish vibrato
smoking breath of a dryer reed
(listen to Dusty match that menthol
on “The Look of Love”)

Here, meeting the challenge
of Gilberto and Jobim
(‘Zhilberto’ and ‘Zhobim,’ say it)
O Grande Amor

Chords minor and descending
never resolve until that solo,
the punchy, punchdrunk Getz

the aaaaaah of post-coital cigarette ash

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

I landed “north and north again” into the land of cooking from scratch and scritching in my notebook, sketches that are on my Instagram account, @amybarlowjazz. If you enjoy ink drawings of anxiety attacks, well, hell!  You’ll love my stuff!  Also political commentary using an old airplane barf bag… it’s complicated.

My first poem coming back on the scene is for ABC Wednesday, with thanks to Roger Green, who always stays in touch, even when I’m not posting.  Peace, Amy


Sid the Kid NOW

NOW! (with Sid the Kid)

Now is the time
to sing our songs
while we’ve breath in our bodies and
souls that speak out loud
those thoughts that were heretofore
only whispered

Now is the time
to sing our songs
Our collective outpouring
of grand illusions
grander delusions
of elusive goals that never
leave our sights

“If not now, when?”
We don’t do ‘then’
We won’t surrender
the immediacy of this impulse

We want it now
We sing it now
We create it now

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

About time I introduced you to Sid the Kid, previously known as A Guy (and usually accompanied by His Ancestor, who shall remain hidden for the moment!). Sid has morphed over the years into an androgynous kid, always full of fun and optimism. I’ve been drawing him for years, much to the delight of my dear friend Sidnie, for whom I have named my little buddy… even though Sidnie is about as cis-gender a woman as I have ever met, lol.

For ABC Wednesday, the letter N… where our fearless leader, Mrs. Nesbitt, quotes John Donne and we all bring our best alphabetically minded selves to the table! An homage to the eternal liveliness of spring. May the season stir us all from our winter lairs of mind and spirit… if indeed that is where we are stuck at the moment.  I know I was, but this prompt helped me break out.  Woot!

Peace, Amy

#art #poetry #spring #now #sketches #coloredpencil #abcwednesday


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 53; the fifty-third edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. In association with ​Soulmates: Love without ownership by Vinit K Bansal. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Dark Choc
Chocolate Gives (Blog-a-ton 53)

It gives
Gives way to nibbles
Decreases at increase of tooth; sweet
pressure, the tingle, thy name is chocolat

It gives
Hormonal cravings soothed
Creased brow smoothed
by silky melt on hungry tongue

It gives
Oh, the hips
Bulky, sumptuous
Babushka arms sway leisurely as I wave

It gives
Vain pleasure
Fleeting moments of indulgence
Your fragrance leaves me longing

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

It’s BLOG-A-TON 53! Thanks to Blog-a-thon Marshal Saravana Kumar Murugan for sending the link. They’re taking poems about chocolate all day, so pick up your pencil and dive into the sweetest pool in town… Peace and chocolate bunnies (which Riley and I never had the heart to eat. I mean, where do you start?) I am THRILLED to be joining bloggers in India for this challenge. They accept as many as one can write; just put the link into your message once the “doors” open! Good luck, and happy writing. Amy

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: XX


gertrude
Gertrude House

Alice and the door. Wood of hallway mouth. Come and go, go there to other.
Greet days of tokens that go, away. Type the write of it. Desk the way to thought of chair and desk, Alice and hand.
Oak. Oak the way to Alice. Fro and for.

Chocolate Stein

Chocolate is. Color brindle barn, silent the waft.
Smile chocolate of kitchen, orange stain the bowl.
The bowl brindle; chocolate fine and feeling, cat nips at cream for dream.

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

In the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, we are conjuring Gertrude Stein. Does it all make a bit of sense now? I sort of hope not! Amy