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

Tag Archives: Fame

I’ve changed my blog settings so now, all comments are approved. The backlog was immense and guilt was clouding my creativity. (I’m Black Irish, so that kind of guilt is quite weighty!) I will attempt to figure out how to respond to your comments later… but right now, the burden of guilt lifted from my shoulders, I shall post. Peace, Amy


GUMM… AND GUMMER (A Suite in Two Movements)

I. Frances Gumm

Child stardom thrust upon her
by mother’s demand
Couldn’t navigate a ship
she didn’t command
Crinkles, cramps, crevices
of age came too soon
The voice we all loved:
Judy’s sad, silent tune


II. Mrs. Gummer

You know her
or you feel like you do
That crinkle in her smile
The creases framing her sparkling eyes

She’s a survivor
Bucking the demand that actresses be
plump only in the lips and
possess a Stepford-smooth forehead

She will continue to navigate
the Hollywood torrents with grace,
and if awards come too, that’s fine.

What matters to her is the work.
What matters to her more is family.

Marvelous Meryl Streep!

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Three Word Wednesday (Crinkle, Demand, Navigate) and ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “G.” Also at my poetic lair, Poets United.

Bobbi’s Mom

After the weeping wears down,
the fog of loss and regret

After the last interview (because
inquiring minds want to know)

After the blur of has-been celebrities
trading her confidential secrets for
visions of their own names in print

After her life has been ransacked,
laid out in pieces like a tacky
Hollywood lawn sale, as customers
lay claim to a bit of her charms

We will remember the girl who had to
grow up too soon, the bronzed beauty
with the punk-ass husband who put a KICK ME sticker
on her back and showed her his belt

and helped her to addiction she couldn’t kick
We will honor the icon – but let’s not forget
she was a daughter, a mother, and a fragile soul
No one can outrun an Achilles’ heel

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

The Sunday Whirl: Belt, Fog, Sticker, Interview, Weeping, Visions, Blur, Ransacked, Confidential, Customer, Charms, Trade.

Rest in Peace, Whitney. You will never be forgotten.

Remember the book I helped edit? IT’S HERE!  Read this poem and I dare you to tell me  you don’t want to read this guy’s story.  Fred Weintraub tells it like it is, like it was.   He admits he can be a schmuck, but as for me, he’s a MENSCH – a real human being who knows how to laugh at himself, and when.   The most powerful man in Hollywood you never heard of.   So if you want to get a great slant on the 50s and 60s and beyond, follow this LINK to get your e- or hard copy of Bruce Lee, Woodstock & Me.   (He even mentioned my “sharp little pencil” in the acknowledgments!) Thanks to my old friend David Fields for hooking me up to an incredible project. Peace, Amy

in peace or otherwise

Fred’s not dead
Not by a long shot
He’s kickin like Bruce Lee
Full of chutzpah and
ready to tell the tale

Tasted the Bitter End
Made the brick wall a comedy club icon
Helped nunchucks whirl their way
into the American vernacular
as well as Bruce Lee
Woody, Cosby, Pryor
Peter, Paul & Mary

Wandered the world
Saw a Cuban jail and
a lot of women
Played piano in a cathouse
Anything to keep away from
the safety of a picket fence
and an ordinary life

If not for Fred
No footage of feel-good hippies
in Woodstock mud
No historical record of the
defining, deafening cry of the 60s

Vulnerable to sentimentality
Seriously blessed by serendipity
and occasionally a real pain in the ass

Fred’s not dead
Not by a long shot
And he’s telling all…

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Boulevard Noir

I was a crumb, out of a job again,
feeling fallow, hanging out with the other writers at Schwab’s.
An obsolete automobile, titanic and shiny as a new penny,
pulled up; we were slack-jawed, admiring the grandeur.
In front, a bald chauffeur; his passenger, a forgotten icon, Silent era.

She offered me a job, plus room and board.
(Around repo time, one swallows one’s pride and hides
one’s rambunctious side, replacing it with unctuous politeness.)
I approached a mansion at the address she gave me.  Rang the bell;
the stately old house echoed, hollow, eerie.

Her butler took my coat and placed my fedora on the hat-rack.
Who could know that, within one month, I’d be
avoiding her embrace in the palatial garden and
waltzing her around the grand ballroom at a party
“Just for the two of us, my darling…”

And who could predict I’d end up face down her in “cement pond,”
blood lacing the water around my bobbing, lifeless body?

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For The Sunday Whirl and at Poets United.