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

Tag Archives: Control

Abusive Remains

Each has their own version of What happened and How,
but most importantly, Why.

Emptied of shame, I still wonder.
Am I sure in my memories?
Have I scratched theme enough to bleed,
to tear a hole deep through to
the beating heart that still skips a beat
when HIS name is mentioned?

Did HE really hang the moon?
Was HE blameless,
HE was, after all,
Should I feel guilty? Was I mistaken?

Perhaps I was demon-possessed after all.
One good exorcism and I’d be like new.
One dip in the blood of the Lamb and I’d be reborn… or so she says.

Except, as I drift off to sleep on some nights,
my head still tilts back slooooowly and
my mouth opens and
I am choked in that brutal rhythm.

It was real.
It happened.
It remains.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Poetic Asides asked for poems on the word “Empty,” and ABC Wednesday, rather than reverting to another alphabet, started over with “A.” Also posted at the STELLAR blog, Poets United. Come to all these sites. Meet my genius friends!! Amy

A Wordling Whirl of Sundays gave us some great words:  Fading, flew, hurtles, limbs, clears, toss, turned, reaching, fresh, flossed, flecks, and siren. Thanks, Brenda, for a good challenge! Also posted at Poets United, the poets’ collective.

Unexpected Turn

Her mom’s car hurtles down the road,
windows down, fresh air, CD player cranked.

Amanda glances at her IPhone and waves it, yelling:
“Mindy says she just flossed her butt with a new thong!”

Cath is a new driver wishing they’d be quiet.
(Wait’ll they get their licenses, then they’ll understand.)

Amanda and Kara, texting like mad, oblivous to
the nerves of the new driver, who clears her throat.

Flecks of sunlight obscure her view.
(Damn, I shoulda worn my shades.)

“SHUT UP, GUYS!” she finally yells,
reaching the limits of her patience with her friends.

A deer darts across the road; Cath swerves and
heads straight for Mrs. Hardy’s fresh-painted fence.

They hit the ditch first and flip,
tossturned as limbs fly in slow motion.

The ambulance flew, sirens screaming,
but Kara and Cath were already fading.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Three Word Wednesday gave us Gag, Maintain, and Omit.   Also at Poets United, my poetic community of friends. Peace, Amy


Who’s Crying Now?

The only way he could shut her up
was to gag her with a bandana.

The only way he could maintain control
was to try tying her to a chair

The only mistake he made was to omit
searching her pockets for pepper spray.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Women, Woman

In a sea of Marthas
She remained the Magdalene
Neither wanton, nor wayward, still
different, misunderstood

Her gestures of sisterhood
looked upon as threats by
the many married mommies
who kept their men on short leashes, well-heeled

Had they taken time
to listen to her thoughts
How she cared for their town
How she admired their ability to maintain stability

They might have warmed to her
But women are women, and
wives are wives, gathered in hives
And single mothers lead separate lives

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Sunday Scribblings (“Flock”) and my poetic home, Poets United.

Poetic Asides offered an interesting prompt, “Never again.” This is a hard one to read, but I hope it will give someone, anyone out there second thoughts if they ever consider taking their own life… Peace, Amy


Bloodletting bride of
Over-rated solution to
Delusion tells you it’s
the only way out
(“Please proceed to the nearest exit”)

Psych meds assuage the
Numb it, dumb it down
But for the dedicated
Hounds of hell at their
In the end
it’s the end.

A final farewell to friends, family
Never mind who finds you
Don’t worry, your mom will bleach
the bathtub
But the sight will frighten and
haunt them forever

Never say never – again, I say:
Pick up the phone
Make the call
You are loved

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For April Poem A Day, I have decided to post to Writer’s Island and to go off prompts for the month, for the most part, and delve into poetry I’ve written over the past couple of years that has yet to see the light of day.

The Man Who Became An Island

Withholding his thoughts;
withdrawing day by day, floating away toward the sea

She stood by, calling him back away from shore,
back to this world,
the real world.

But he was “expanding from within,”
convinced that no one else could comprehend
his power, his vision, his wisdom.

“You are all ants,” he proclaimed,
“scurrying around a hill, dragging crumbs,
while I am destined for a higher purpose.”

He pulled in every corner of his being and
drew it around him into a cocoon of bizarre grandeur.

An island.

And later, as psychosis grabbed him by the throat,
a whole ‘nother planet.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Two – count ’em – TWO limericks (R.J. Clarken is rubbing off on me, clearly – and that’s a good thing, as you can tell by my sidebar, I Love These Poets, where she is listed under Light Verse) for ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter K.   And neither of them mention the Kama Sutra!!  Amy

Kow-Tow Boogie (ABC Wednesday, K)

To Madison Tea Party’s credit
They found out Scott Walker “don’t get it”
At first they did guard
this greedy blowhard
And now they admit they regret it!

Knowledge = Power

G.E. pays no corporate tax
Yes, these are the cold and hard facts
But lawyers finessed
to have G.E. blessed
with two billion in gov’ment kickbacks

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

CHARMING THE SNAKE (for Thursday Tales)
He spoke only in monotones
His voice, the flute
And I, foolish cobra
drained of venom
danced to his tune
his orders
Performing at his whim

That day has passed
I found my fangs
Reclaimed my venom
And dance to my own tune
Pity the snake charmer
He is always left with
an empty basket

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil