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

Tag Archives: ABC Wednesday

Rich Guy Pyramid 001
Artwork © 2015 Amy Barlow

Rich White Guy Pyramid Scheme

Now you gaze fondly upon
your bread of life pyramid
filled with evidence of
those “special rights” you cherish

The right for your hubris to rule my life
The Right be right, the Left be damned
to burn in hell (at the intersection
of Wall Street and Walmart)

The real family values:
caring for children and elders,
keeping the whole family healthy,
ensuring a future for the children’s children

These values don’t make it
onto your pyramid
Unless they are your blood relations
and you can escape the inheritance tax

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Ah, it’s Open Link night at dverse, and Grace is tending the bar. Haven’t posted there in a long while, so come on over and sample the hors d’oeuvres! Also at Mrs. Nesbitt’s brainchild, ABC Wednesday, where Roger and friends are on the letter O (for One Percent!).  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


Oh, the Horror!

Bane of childhood Easter basket
Gumptious lather
clodded by machine into
alien-colored, noxious turds

Unnatural, they were, and
poisonously sugar-laced
Pillowstuff spongy

Look if you dare into
the Wayback Machine
That’s me
The kid who ate three or four
The girl whose stomach rebelled
Whose barf was projectile and yet
so colorful
Whose cat was not quick enough
to dodge the onslaught of
harsh-dealt
secondhand
marshmallow peeps

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Never too late for an Easter memory, even on Wednesday! No, I didn’t really barf on the cat, but it seemed like Diva (sitting on my lap, natch) wanted a cat mention in this one, and that was the only way to appease her…

For ABC Wednesday, M for Marshmallow: Merciless Mouth, Madcap Misadventures… add your own ideas in the comments. So glad to be back writing! Amy


Cacophony
Cacophony © 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil (Click to enlarge, lots of detail)

My Wednesday night, up until 4 am, still fritterminded.  Shared with ABC Wednesday.  Miles to go before I sleep…or even shlep!  Amy


Zen Tangle 001

Zentangled

Doodlers delight in empty margins
Empty spaces need a bit of this and that

My teachers hounded me for scribbling
Riley suffered the same fate in school

Only difference: She became a bone fide artist
while her mom still doodles oodles of oddities

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

ABC Wednesday is on Z, and I am into Zen tangles just before sleep. Such a calming pursuit, helping me to let go of the day, simply allowing my mind to follow my pencil as it meanders.

I know serious Zen Tanglers work in pen, but you know me… This blog ain’t called Sharp Little Pencil for nothing! Happy New Year and peace, Amy


Frrp, Frrp, Frrp…

Frrp, frrp, frrp, frrp…
His slippers drag in the hall
Pulls the blanket over her head
It’s Daddy’s nighttime call

She has a lot of sore throats
and trouble swallowing pills
Doctor never questions
rashes that sting like quills

And Daddy took her to the hill
to watch the stars at night
And Daddy brought her home so late
She can’t remember things right

Frrp, frrp, frrp, frrp…
The sound will haunt her dreams
Even though he’s dead and gone
He still looms large, it seems

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

If you’re new here, I hope you will take this recollection of being sexually molested for what it is: Dark truth, frank as blood from a tapped vein. I was a victim; eventually, with work, I became a survivor. This is for anyone who gets a flutter reading this poem. Think about starting therapy. There could be something worth harvesting… and throwing away.

For ABC Wednesday, the letter “F.” Check out the link and find some amazing poets! Amy


Clueless Crux of the Klan

Bound by
blood-spilled ties
Lies lingering
on forked tongues

Generations of
isolation
indignation
under-education

Toddlers in Klan hoods
pointy as their parents’ heads
Gleaming white dunce caps
Halloween meets HollowHead

Legacy of spittle-drop
shouts and
conspiratorial whispers
“…president is a n*****”

Dude once told me blacks are
‘taking our women’
‘YOUR’ WHAT?
responded/resounded I

Got to
Got to
Got to
keep that bloodline pure

(Just like Hitler, soooo original)

Nazi Yahtzee
Roll the dice
We lose twice

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; view the original image HERE.   “Klan-sheet-music” by Original uploader was Bcrowell at en.wikipedia – Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Klan-sheet-music.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Klan-sheet-music.jpg.

You can’t spell FASCIST without the letters F-A-C-T-S.

The more we learn through calm engagement of racists, the more we understand the root causes. Self-hatred, parental abuse, moms who were subjugated servants, the crass collage; the bleachbright hoods of ultimate cowardice: “I will declare myself the ultimate arbiter of God’s justice, but I’ll do it in disguise.”

Yeah, you so macho.

Thanks to Roger and Mrs. Nesbitt at ABC Wednesday for getting my righteous indignation flowing over the letter “C.” Just remember, I could have picked a worse word!! Peace, Amy


Rattling the Cage
(Rollie Triptych, Part III)

Rollie Matt 001
Perfect timing for
a horrible outcome
On impulse, we drove
to Binghamton for a visit

Stayed with my folks
Call at 5 am, Mom
jostled me awake
“Rollie’s in the E.R!”

He’d sat up in bed
Said, “I can’t breathe”
and all 300 pounds of him
flopped back, dead
Rollie Casey Teddy Bears 001
Hospital. “He’s gone, Amer.”
But his son turned 1 last week
Older son only 4
I was so pissed at God

Funeral, Baptist Church
His folks’ choice, wife’s
voice unheard, unheeded
Pastor, on a roll, droned on

“Rollie’s above with Jesus”
(when his true loves were his wife,
a beer, a bong, and a beer bong)
“Blah blah blah Jesus blah blah”

Mid-sermon, a THUD
A big one, stopped preacher
mid-pontification
about the Pearly Gates

Sis whispered, “What was that?”
Couldn’t help my reply
“Rollie turning in his casket”
We cracked up, but good

Shoulders shaking and
folks behind us thought
we were sobbing, patted
support on our shoulders

Which made us laugh harder
Yowza, leave it to Rollie
prankster, stoner, merry-maker
To poke us with one last joke

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

The final chapter of The Book Of Roland Newton. Rollie died at 36 of an embolism.  Pictured above with older son Matt, around age 2, and younger son Casey on his first birthday, surrounded by the teddy bears that always remind me of their dad.  Matt and Casey are young men now, both charting their different courses.  I wish they knew their dad from more that just stories told – usually funny ones.  Everyone should have a Rollie in their lives.

This is for ABC Wednesday… Y is for Yowza and Young.  Peace, Amy


Wisconsin Tragedy (Slenderman)

Where does real begin?
At a mother’s breast
First dip in a pool
First lick from a puppy

Where did unreal begin?
Remember Bambi
The shotgun off-screen but
your parents were there
to hold your hand and
dry your tears and
talk about how movies aren’t real

Where does the new unreal begin?
Parents turn on the TV
and tune out their kids
The video games seductive
Playing pimp or dealer with
a steady aim and BLAM
And all the women are whores

Where does real begin now?
The Internet, shady Slenderman
A sick fantasy with lots of fans,
lots of kids, is calling the shots
The stabs

Real is unreal
Fantasy is reality
Parents are clueless
Kids rule their own worlds
Worlds of pain and loneliness
Worlds their parents don’t
care to think about

Boomers, we were lonely too
But we had trees to climb
and time and time
…and time

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For ABC Wednesday, the letter “W.” I wish this was not a true story. I wish it did not involve 12-year-old girls trying to kill their friend because some sick person told them to do it and they believed in Slenderman more than God.  For those who aren’t in the States, two girls were convinced by a fictitious character (whose stories are all over the Internet, written by hundreds of people) that to enter his “club,” they had to kill someone.  Whoever created Slenderman in the first place is sick enough, but whoever dangled this bloody carrot should rot in jail.  The girl survived.  Her friends (being tried as adults) left her for dead but she crawled to a roadside.  She is home now, but psychologically, who knows what is in store for this poor kid?

This was in the suburbs. Waukesha is in the heart of the Christian Right, Paul Ryan’s land. I pray for the soul of my state, even as I reside in the “hippie district.”

Peace, Amy


The Book of Nina
(for her parents and Team Nina)

Her last chapter finished too soon
Take a look at her book
Pages of stories, of friendships

Several paintings: Cerulean, Manganese
All shades of blue
White for the waves capping
The sea, the surf, her board,
and suddenly our own feet bare,
warmed by sunned sand

Turn the page and bubbles stream out
When they rise and pop,
her laughter rings out again and again

More and more art…

One page, a pool table
Look closely as the balls roll around
and pocket themselves at the hand of
the pool shark

Sad to see the book’s author
lost so young
with such promise
with so much talent

And yet, we will hold Nina’s book close
Take it out often
Leaf through a life well-lived
Not a moment wasted

And we will scribble our memories
in the margins

We miss you

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

The subject of my last, hopeful poem, Nina Fitzpatrick, has passed over to the other side. She was – and is – a formidable presence in the lives of many students at Laguna Beach Institute of Art and Design. Check out her FaceBook page and see her in her glory. She was awake at the time of the accident and even posted a message complaining about all the CT scans…then there came an irreversible swelling of the brain and she ceased connection with the physical realm. although they talked to her and were sure she could hear… her soul suspended between the bed and the beyond.

Nina, like Riley, decided early on that she would never want to be held in a vegetative state and that she wanted her organs donated. Her parents, surrounded by “Team Nina” (Riley and other close friends), were there 24/7, a testament to love and hope – and finally to the heartbreaking act of saying goodbye.

Nina will graduate from LCAD. Students are now pushing harder for an overpass to avoid that unbelievably dangerous crosswalk. Let’s hope the city is shamed into finally taking action. It’s too late for Nina, but she will be watching, I know. BECOME AN ORGAN DONOR if you’re not already.

This will go in as a Memorium to ABC Wednesday, Letter M.  Thanks for reading this. Amy