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

Tag Archives: Greenwich Village

Following a three-day “manic panic” and the PTSD (Post-Trampoline Stupid Depression!) that followed, I’m back on an even keel. Even tried a new form today, which is the first poem, and answered a Wednesday prompt within 24 hours! Now that’s what I call progress. Peace, Amy


My Blue Plastic Nurse

Compartments are labeled, one for each day
I’m keeping track of keeping track of me
Pill boxes can be fun if you like play
Varied colors bring mental harmony
Blue, turquoise, tangerine, help color me
Curved, tubular, round; all help shape my days
Some score scarred, others numbered clinically
Count it wrong and I’ll be in stupor gaze

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For dverse, the amazing Gemma (an Aussie whose blog is Greyscale Territory)schooled us on the Huitan – basic structure being eight lines of eight or ten syllables, with rhyme scheme A B A B B C B C. A much more instructive post can be found HERE AT DVERSE. My first time with the form, and I must say, it was more fun than I thought! As always, this is also at the blessedly formless, shapeless void of pure poetic love, Poets UnitedBut wait, there’s more!



Greenwich Village, Late 60s

The pulse of Bleecker
measured in bongo bangs
In the Beat poets’ Howls
and comic harangues

That mellow café scene
One coffee took all night
Pressure built over Nam
The Man made a fight

Scene took on substance
as poets and folkies
took on the rhythm
of Guthrie’s Oakies

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Three Word Wednesday, Beat, Pressure, Substance. Also at my poetic café, Poets United. Coffee’s always on and the conversation is fabulous! Peace, Amy

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

Christopher Street
(for Jeffery, Jimmy, and thousands more)

Remember the good old days when
the word “immune” didn’t start with “auto”?
When a wine stain was something
he hand-washed off his shirt?

When, drenched with sweat,
two men would lie in bed all day,
not because they were sick…
they were just lolling in love.

Stonewall came and Gay Pride grew
‘til the storm clouds massed and
lightning struck down too many men
in the prime of their lives.

Christopher Street no longer radiates
the joy we knew back then, nor does
the Village hold the singular charm of
young gay lovers stealing a kiss.

Who would have thought a virus could
change our world in such a visceral way,
and never return us to yesterday?
Look back, remember, smile, cry, and trudge on.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Three Word Wednesday – Drench, Immune, Radiate.  Also on Poets United… Pray for a cure!  Amy