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

Tag Archives: Celebrities

Authentically Fake

How come some have it all, she wonders
The clothes the Corvettes the coats so warm
Houses so big, all for one movie star and her boy toy
Pools they don’t swim in, just get drunk beside
More cars than they could ever drive
like little boys collecting marbles

Women panicked by age, skin stretched and sewn
Poisons injected into foreheads, butt fat into lips,
plastic made for Barbie breasts and big booty

Arnold must sit in a private spa with a head full
of foil to keep that blond, Redford, too
Hair Plugs For Men (I’m not only an action star;
I’m also a client)
– only his agent knows for sure
Guys gayer than picnic baskets, hand on the girl’s
knee – but never higher than that.

Rich people dressed like… clowns.
BEIBER! Pull up your damned pants!
HEIDI KLUM! Put those girls in a bra!
KARDASHIANS! Just go away, now!
Jeez, they are all so fake…

My shopping cart, yeah, this is real
And my cup full of change from kind people
This bench, solid and all mine, for now
I may be homeless but I’m not a public joke
Here on Hollywood near Vine,
I’m the most authentic person in town

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Poets United wanted poems on truth, on authenticity. As seen through the eyes of a homeless woman, we begin to question what is real and why some people work so hard at faking it to appear authentically young, perky, and prosperous. Peace, Amy


This is for Sunday Scribblings, which gave the prompt word, “Hitch.” Also at Poets United, my poetic home-away-from-home. Enjoy, movie buffs! Amy

HITCH

Close-up, sloooowly, Grace leans in
and Jimmy Stewart wakes to a kiss.
Raymond Buff commits a sin,
but Grace and James still find their bliss.

Tippi Hendren, without words,
the schoolkids must deliver:
Running from the pecking birds
to a house where they all shiver.

Wartime Cummings, Saboteur?
Joel McCrea, war correspondent.
Ingrid, a provocateur,
leaves Claude Raines despondent.

And how can we forget the sight
of Janet Leigh’s ill-fated shower:
Black and white blood, one stark fright.
Tony Perkins’ finest hour.

When the planes swooped o’er the grain
Hitch made Cary Grant look tough.
We won’t see Hitchcock’s like again…
but Tarantino steals his stuff.

Alfred Hitchcock, Lord of Thrills,
his wife an aide in everything,
he still brings us stellar chills.
Screw “no Oscar,” Hitch is king.


Absolutely true story, and managed to write it in Poetic Asides’ 10×10 form as well. My cousin Gregg and I are a lot alike: Complete unimpressed by celebrity, and able to get off a one-liner without cracking up (until later). You go, cuzzy!

Carradine vs. Laughlin (0-1)

You’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead
But this one’s too funny to go untold

David Carradine, in his “Kung Fu” days
Came to a rest’rant my cousin Gregg ran

Carradine went barefoot a lot back then
and Gregg said, “Sorry, no shoes, no service”

All puffed up, the star went on to protest
“Don’t you know who I am? Any bistro
would be glad to serve me, barefoot or not!”

Gregg deadpanned, “I suggest you go find one.”

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Also posted at Writer’s Island, my NaPoWriMo home, and at Poetic Asides, plus, as always, Poets United.


For Poetic Asides’ “Spring” prompt, and for Three Word Wednesday (Dual, Identical, Volley).  She was the world’s first superstar, captivating us – whether as a Hollywood home-wrecker, star of one of the biggest box-office losers of all time (Cleopatra, in which she met her match, Richard Burton… so who really lost there?), and finally, fulfilling her promise as a person of influence by becoming one of the world’s most vehement activists in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  God rest and keep you, Elizabeth Taylor.

Liz (Farewell)

Young Elizabeth, whose eyes were
dual violet gemstones, capturing the hearts
of a generation: Velvet Brown
astride her beloved racehorse, Pie.

Liz. the National Bitch who stole Eddie Fisher’s heart
from America’s Sweetheart, Debbie Reynolds
Sexy Liz, who married seven times
(including twice to an identical husband, Richard Burton).

Elizabeth Taylor, survivor of disease,
bad press, bad marriages… redeemed by activism;
who threw an early volley at HIV/AIDS,
challenging the world to spring into action.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Since I wrote about Barbara Stanwyck recently, I thought I’d give you one on another of my favorite stars!  Peace, Amy

KATE CHILLIN’

Katharine Hepburn
deemed a house rentable
if she could take
an ice-cold shower
and come out refreshed.

She took the shower
without first informing
the real estate agent
After all, it was her decision
and she felt entitled

She’d simply emerge from the bathroom
wet towel around her fiery red hair
and say
yea
or nay

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


This time of year, we always pull out our copy of “Meet John Doe” with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, as well as Barbara Stanwyck’s oft-missed classic, “Christmas in Connecticut.” She is one of my angels on the tree – with just enough “li’l devil” to spice things up!

BALL OF FIRE (Barbara Stanwyck)

She started off in Brooklyn
Ruby Stevens was her name
Petite, brown-eyed, brunette, lithe
She was destined for fame

First it was those small parts
The best friend or the maid
Then they saw beneath the sheen
there lay a bright-edged blade

Some years further down the road
Changed her style, her dress, her spiels
Stood tall to kiss Gary Cooper
Seven books beneath her heels

Throughout the years she played ’em all
from tough-as-nails jive dancer
to executive and old West rancher
to cute and sly romancer

But the role of hers I love the most
was never shown on screens:
Simply being Barbara Stanwyck
playing cards with the boys ‘tween scenes

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


My dear friend George emailed me a link with recent pictures from The Strand, one of many grand old theatres in our hometown of Binghamton, NY.  Those images inspired this poem.  Thanks, George!

THE STRAND THEATRE, BINGHAMTON, NY

She was what they used to call A Grande Dame:
Stately, opulent, inspiring awe and delight.
Follow me back in time…

Look up: Tiffany crown.
Look down: Plush carpet.
Look around: Roomy seats, wide stage, velvet curtain, affording itinerant vaudevillians room to slay ‘em with a joke (told 2,380 times from Omaha to Syracuse, but here, heard by fresh ears, rewarded with belly laughs).
Room for dancers to tap sway meringue swing do their thing.
Singers thrived on the Strand’s perfect acoustics.

As with all perfect miracles on earth,
vaudeville died,
and She, the stately Grande Dame,
found her spacious stage usurped by a screen.

Movies drifted from Keaton to Talmadge
Robert Taylor to Rod Taylor
to Johnny Rodd (“Deep Throat played there;
the Art Theatre was deemed too small,
its floor sticky with patrons’ souvenirs)

Eventually, like even the gamest of girls,
she was abandoned.
Now she’s a shell of her former shined and
shimmering self, laid low by scavengers
and an abortive attempt at plastic surgery.

But within, her heart beats in steady memories.
Echoes of Liberace, who packed the house
(winking at fawning old ladies and
joking about his brother George).

Echoes of Ish Kabibble and Hugh Herbert,
leaving ‘em in stitches.

Echoes of the pit band, all local musicians
earning a decent living doing what they loved.

Echoes of singers whose names are remembered
only by a cloud of witnesses floating in
a plaster-dust atmosphere
or written on peeling wallpaper.

A strand of pearls, unstrung, save in our hearts.

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


SO MUCH MORE

Love is not best expressed
through sex, yet sex sells
on the squawk box. From
VH1 videos to BET, you
can bet our youth are so
deprived of anything more
thank the depravity of the
booty call. Of women as
moving, bump and grinding
blow-up dolls. Of men with
faces only a mother could
love, whether country stars
(ten-gallon disguising their
hair plugs and plaiding their
paunches), Promise Keeping
Brothers who still leer at
the camera, or rappers who
pull teeth in favor of diamond
implants. These images imbed
like a cancer; only one answer:
The parental counter-punch.
Demonstrating healthy, loving
relationships. Turn off the
TV and unplug the modem;
talk about what lies beyond
the birds and the bees. Soul.
Spiritual bonding. Looking
your partner in the eye, not
sneaking peeks at anatomy.
Friendship first; hormones in
harness; self-esteem before
chasing the false, fleeting
dreams of sexy steam.


…and sometimes the Page turns you

Betty Page was all the rage
Never had to hit a stage
Simply posed for photographs
Steamy, sexy, some for laughs

Never in apron or bonnet
Often with some leather on it
Betty Page was quite a oner –
Sharp as nails and quite the stunner!

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Previously published at Poetic Asides