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

Tag Archives: High Heels

Night Bus, NYC

Pummeled by brutal fluorescent light
of the crosstown night bus
All sections crammed, and damn, that
fella giving her the FishEye
won’t give her his seat instead

She leans on a rail, awaiting her stop
on the West Side, where Cuban Chinese is
on the menu – her roomie sets a nice
take-out table with chilled Dos Equis

“Broadway at 86,” robots the loudspeaker
As she bunches her keys blade-out
(you never know on a sweatsullen
Manhattan evening), she feels a grasp
The hand of FishEye Guy clasping her ass

She steps back, grinds the tip of a 5” heel
into his sandal-clad foot ‘til it bleeds
“Oh!” she chirps, “I’m so clumsy”
Time wounds all heels, but
hot-rod pumps do the job in a pinch

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

First, Three Word Wednesday posted a call for these words: Brutal, Grope, and Transfer. Then (much to my delight), Imaginary Garden With Real Toads’ Isadora put this challenge up… “Create a list of three words or phrases specific to the worst job you ever had and craft a poem having nothing to do with work. List the words, write the poem, and take back the power! Make sure to include your list of words or phrases in your post…”

My words were from my hellacious years of waitressing at a Greek restaurant that was actually Greek, run by a guy named Dino who was a sweetie (he called me “Amy the Sing-ger,” with a hard “g”), and all the folks were wonderful, and this was back in my hometown of Binghamton, NY. But waitressing was not my calling. This was before my PTSD diagnosis, so every rush hour I’d break into a sweat, forget orders, and neglect to write down prices, resulting in my being docked. (Yeah, like the Hudsucker Proxy… “Ya forget a price, they DOCK YA!”) I was THE worst waitress in the world… and I really didn’t care!

My waitressing words: Take-out, sections, and bus (as in clear tables).  Actually, there was a fourth restaurant reference in there – did anyone catch it?   Izy, thanks a bunch. You were right about “taking back the power.” Simply transporting myself to The City, when I was actively singing as well as working at a very cool marketing research place (where I met folks who are still friends today), was the start of heaven.

And yes, this is a true story. I had a bad temper in those days… Peace – and Cuban Chinese on your menu soon, Amy


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