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

Tag Archives: Forms

Remember When

There you are again,
curled up, pretzel-thin.

Still wondering why
he won’t say goodbye.

Daily you’re a doubt.
Half laughter, half pout…

Therapist listens.
Talent glistens,

but for whom?
Since the womb

you’ve been easing
into people pleasing.

Why not relax?
Reconsider Xanax?

You think it’s almost over?
Baby, run for cover.

Hate to burst your bubble,
but you’ll be causing trouble

long after you’ve gone grey,
long after this dark day.

Looking at your through
this mirror of new,

I see you back then,
knowing you’ll remember when.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Poetic Bloomings: Let your future self advise you in the NOW.

Also for Sunday Scribblings: Suspended reality or fantasy.


Labor Room Blues (in the key of AARGH!)

Would that my trap door’d been
strung with elastic
My labor would have been
oh, so easy – less drastic

If I am blessed with one
more babe, I’m sure I’ll
scream, “Cancel the Gatorade!
Let’s try epidural!”

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Three Word Wednesday: Labor, Cancel, Elastic
Also at Poets United, prompt: Strings
And Riley, no hard feelings! But if you think you’re getting a baby sister or brother at my age, think again, ha ha.


ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter, “Z”! (Do we start on the Cyrillic alphabet now?) Also at the poetic collective, Poets United.

This poem is based on the phenomenon that effectively destroyed my piano-bar career… Amy

Zithromax (Think Before Lighting Up Indoors)

A smoky club, the trapped wait staff
take your orders and get the shaft.

While you puff a cig or two,
others do just as you do.

You can leave and breathe fresh air;
singers, barkeeps, stuck in there

Low-wage job with no insurance;
Z-pac samples help endurance.

When you blithely light that match
think of what the workers catch.

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


The Poets United prompt was Loneliness. This was my take on it. Peace, Amy

In My Solitude

He’s gone out the door for yet another
long, dour weekend with his mother

I am left to my own devices
TV never quite suffices

Hating the quiet, the isolation
I head out for café consolation

Alone in a crowd, it’s win, win again
Just me and my journal, my mind and my pen

Could call up some friends and do a flick
Then toast and get toasted until I’m sick

But I decide not to pick up the phone
The comfort: Control is mine alone

I hear music vaguely beguiling my mind
See dancing figures upon the blind

Phrases now pop up from deep recesses
These help assuage any “home alone” stresses

And with synesthesia, quick movement of eyes
Creates haunting noises that always surprise

I pray, I eat takeout, and sure, I do miss him
But sometimes a girl needs a break on a whim

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

(Synesthesia affects me this way: When I move my eyes side to side, there follows a tracking, sort of metallic noise, not unlike the Six Million Dollar Man jumping sound. Sorry, it’s a US TV reference, my out of country friends!


Poetic Asides had an interesting prompt:  Sound.

I don’t often indulge in haiku, but Sensational Haiku Weds. on You Know… that Blog? posed a single word: Wish.

So it’s one cynical and one hopeful. Both are also at the poetic collective, Poets United, where I think my interview is still posted as well! Peace, Amy

FOR POETIC ASIDES (also posted on their blog)

Snap, Crackle, Plop

The sizzle of a full-pound burger hitting the grill
The crackle of a Snickers bar just dropped in a deep prayer
The burble of Mountain Dew as it glugs from a 2-liter bottle
The pop of an opened Pringles can

The crunch of hot, salted french fries.
The hiss of whole milk foaming for a macchiato,
another hiss for the extra whipped cream
The snap of a third or fourth Twix bar.

The plop of millions of butts onto sofas
for “Dancing With The Stars,”
plus whatever else will fill a full four hours
of family television viewing.

The click of the computer mouse
as Facebook meets Farmville.
The thumbpunch on a keypad, texting
from a comfy chair at the Internet café.

The huff-puff of labored breathing
and murmured swears as the businessman
struggles to climb a single flight of stairs
(elevator out of order).

These are the sounds of obesity.
The sounds of Americans feeding not only their addiction,
but the corporate coffers of people so rich, they
laugh all the way to their next liposuction appointment.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

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FOR SENSATIONAL HAIKU WEDNESDAY

Wishing and Doing

Wishing on a star
mimics prayer, save but one thing:
Invoking God’s name

Praying for world peace
Will not ever be enough
We must work for it

We must all cry, Stop!
Take it to the streets, until
real peace is world-waged

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


ABC Wednesday is on (puff, puff) the letter “Y,” and even though I wrote this song a while back, thought it would be a nice addition. This one has never been recorded, or I’d give you a link, sorry!

Also posted at the poets’ collective, Poets United. Give that link a try and scan down the right sidebar for some incredible poets. And now (drumroll, please, Riley)…

I’d Say Yes (bossa nova)

We share a noontime table
There’s curry and coffee and a lump in my throat
I tell him all I’m able
But stop short at the popular vote:
‘Cause my girlfriends say, “Just tell him”
But caution tells me, “Don’t”
Now I’m nervous that the truth will come out
And twice as scared it won’t

He treats me like a sister
We have a long history of talking things out
He says he couldn’t resist her
But now that she’s left him, she’s left him in doubt
Now my instinct is to comfort
And my arms say, “Cradle him”
But I’d hate to blow a friendship
on an odd, romantic whim

He asked me once, can’t remember when
But if I had to do it over again, I’d say yes
Yes, it’s true
Yes, I am
Yes, I will
Yes, I do

It’s funny, how a friendship
can turn into love if you lower your guard
But if the love’s a secret
it’s such an unnatural state of the heart
‘Cause half of me’s talking logic
While the other’s lost her sense
And I’d hate to miss the fireworks
Straddling the fence

I said “no” once, can’t remember when
But if I had to do it over again, I’d say yes
Yes, it’s true
Yes, I am
Yes, I will
Yes, I do

He asked me once, long ago
But if he asks me in a hour or so, I’ll say yes
Yes, it’s true
Yes, I am
Yes, I will
Yes, I do

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


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.


Two poems – I hope both will bring a smile.

ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter X, and with a nod to Gary Larson of “The Far Side.”

Instrumentation (haiku)

Welcome to Heaven
Here is your full Steinway Grand
Hell?  A xylophone.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

 

Three Word Wednesday words:  Bump, Transfix, Knuckle.  Odd set of words, but here’s mine!

The Thump

My pregnancy was no mere baby bump.
More like a lump, and a thumper to boot.
Alone in the evening, we
(baby plus me) would sprawl on the bed, shirt lifted up.

A sight to tranfix Mesmer himself,
the balloon-within-a-balloon,
my belly encased her home,
my womb.

I’d poke, she’d kick back.
I’d sing, she’d sway to an internal rhythm.
Her foot would push against the edge of her universe,
like a knuckle bulging inside a glove.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


True story. Again, using the “snowball” form… Amy

Who Really Needs the Shrink?

Here
in the
waiting room
a little boy
frantically pushes
buttons on a hand-held
video game and says, “Shit!”
Mom smacks him upside the head and
looks around, daring anyone to
say anything. She gets his script. They leave.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Also posted at Poets United


Two for ABC Wednesday.  Two divergent subjects:  Innocence and Iniquity.  First, free verse; second, another “snowball poem,” with a descending number of syllables, one through ten.  Don’t ask me why, but this form has me spellbound. Thanks to Joseph Harker for letting me know the name of the form!

Welcome

Welcome to the world
little wonder, who
worked her way
from my womb,
winding through the waterslide
into the waiting hands
of a woman who already knew
we two would make it work
without him.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

————————————

Witch

She’s
a witch,
there’s no doubt.
Vipers emerge
from her mouth; venom
paralyzing those who
get in her way, considered
inconvenient or bothersome.
You’d never guess, beneath her perfect
new frock lies a heart cold as charity.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Also posted at the poets’ collective, Poets United