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

Tag Archives: Drinking

BOX ROOM

Awakening
Counting ceiling tiles, blurred
She loses track

Wondering
Was that a scream she heard
falling through a crack

Speaking
Her words not quite right, slurred
The drugs’ve made her whack

Feeling
Straps on her wrists, tethered
Detox. The Rack.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For anyone who has made it through detox. My mother did it cold turkey to avoid the above experience, and she had a lot of help from my father. Issues with Dad aside, this was the best thing he ever did for my mother – help her get through kicking alcohol at the age of 60. She spent her last 10 years in recovery and died sober. Amen. Amy

For dverse – a fascinating group = and at Poets United, forever my home.


Escape Can Be Forever

Authentic, unapologetic
Manic-depressive, chose Meth over meds
Yowling cat-scratch vocals

Wound-up top
Inviting us for a spin
Next to none, under your skin
Energetic, enigmatic
House-high beehive
Outrageous, bawdy “bad girl”
Undulating at the mic
Soul singer to the end
Everlasting, never built to last… Amy Winehouse

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

NOTE:  For ABC Wednesday, took longer to complete than I imagined, but wanted to get it right.  Amy Winehouse’s legacy is not just her incredible music.  She serves as a symbol of the confusion between addiction and mental illness.  It’s true that many times, as with my own mother, people who need other help self-medicate… the difference is, Amy was DIAGNOSED as manic-depressive (bipolar) and refused to take prescribed medicine or stick with therapists.

To say she was an addict and post “Just say no” on FaceBook does a great disservice to many people who might see themselves in Amy’s downward spiral and possibly seek medical help.  As a person living with manic depression and PTSD, I wanted this message to go out to as many folks as possible. 

Also posted at Poets United. RIP, Amy Winehouse, and peace to her family and fans, Amy Barlow Liberatore


Poetic Asides asked for poems about Opposites. My friend Pearl Girl is going to post this for me, because their format changed and unfortunately, I cannot offer you their link. But it’s also to be found at Poets United, of course!  Amy

Yeah, Like That’s Gonna Happen (an acrostic)

Over at the bar
Posturing like he’s all that and a bag of chips.
Poster boy for the Stud Club.  The exact
Opposite of what she needs.
Staring at her like she’s a prize filly
In need of the right rider, or at least his
Tether.  She’s got her act together,
Easy to say “no” to his line of
Shit.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


My friend Leslie used to have stilettos she called her “rat-stabbin’ heels.”  The phrase stuck with me after 30 years!  This is fiction about some very good times in some very bad places, making terrible choices, and Riley if you are reading this, don’t listen to a word of it, because NONE of it is true.  But just in case it’s true and I don’t remember, I’m tagging under “Amy: The Lost Years”! For the new blog, dverse, as well as Poets United, both of which you MUST check out.   Amy

Rat-Stabbin’ Heels

Slip, trip, get a grip
Wait – fate, caught on the grate
in my rat-stabbing heels

Pub, club, feel the rub
Dance, prance, get some romance
in my rat-stabbin’ heels

Girls, pearls, out for whirls
Grind, blind, unrefined
in my rat-stabbin’ heels

Stairs, chairs, got no cares
Blues, booze, I’m the news
in my rat-stabbin’ heels

My fly: Martini, dry
Noise, boys, they’re my toys
in my rat-stabbin’ heels

(Next day, hell to pay
‘Scara ruined, all raccooned
Wha’happened to my heels?)

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


It may be the wee hours of Monday, but it’s never to late to answer ABC Wednesday‘s prompt for poems using the letter “Y.” This goes out especially to my high school buddy and still great friend Michael Weil, who visited from Potsdam, NY (think colder than Madison!) with super wife (and also old friend) Amy Jo and verrrrry cool son Alex today, along with new friends Paul and his partner Dean. Mike and I reminisced about the ever-abundant supply of Yuengling beer at our house, and how he just “converted” to their Black and Tan variety. I had actually written this “snowball” poem days ago, but now I HAVE to post it, right? Safe travels, you “Weil things!” Amer

Also at the poetic collective, Poets United.

YUENGLING

Sun,

summer,

cold Yuengling.

Man, our basement

fridge was full of it.

Easy access for teens

to grab a brew, hit the pool,

and bask in alcoholic bliss.

Mom never kept inventory, so

we drank, swam, laughed, and tanned all summer long.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil