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

Tag Archives: Poets United


The weasly guy from “Mad Men” and
Demi Moore in drag?! Pass the cranberry sauce!

ThanksGIVing?

Here’s to my Mayflower descendants who
enslaved indigenous people.

Here’s to Wrong-Way Columbus, who
first allowed them to show how to grow food.
(Then he enslaved them.)

Here’s to Columbus Day, which
celebrates the schmuck above.

Of course, there’s always
another side of the Judas coin.

It’s a great day to spend with family,
gorging on food and getting tipsy.

It’s a great day to celebrate the
American version of football.

But this year, 2013, we have
a special treat in store:

Retail workers ripped from their
families to work on pre-Black Friday.

Come to think of it, just about
everything Thanksgiving is BS…

especially what they taught us in school,
that “the Pilgrims” (um, the Settlers)

and the “Indians” (who were here first)
dined together and had lots of fun.

Want to see fun? Take a trip to a local
reservation. And I don’t mean the casino…

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

At this, the 11th hour, I implore you, DON’T GO SHOPPING ON THANKSGIVING! It’s not fair to the employees. Of course, Lex and I will boycott all the Big Box stores putting this hokum over on America… but at least let the stores be empty on a national holiday. How about it?

And take a moment to pray for “American Indians,” whatever the hell that means. Just because they have casinos doesn’t mean squat – the guys at the top make all the money, after they pay off their Malaysian bakers for funding the building. And that takes years!

For ABC Wednesday, “T,” and “in the margins” at Poets United and Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.  With hope, Amy


Cuppa Poem 001

To My Cuppa

Here we sit by a fire
The dynamic duo: Coffee and me
Dinosaurs of the old cliché,

“I was sitting in a coffee house
when this poem came to me.:
But that’s how it is.

Hands warmed by
ceramic cup, aromas of
roasted beans, baked goodies,

and the occasional
stinky college student
combine to create aMuse-ment

There is nothing so sweet
as a bite to eat and a sip of
my dearest co-conspirator

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Pictamy also © Amy Barlow Liberatore (click to enlarge)

Food and Writing, Writing and Food. Yeah, that’s the call from Kim Nelson at Poets United. It inspired both the pictamy® and the poem. Food and writing are an inseparable combination… unless you prefer Drinking and Writing, but than try reading what you wrote the next morning, much less tracking down all the cocktail napkins. You know who you are, ha ha.

While the coffee is first with me, always, there’s a nosh… Right, Buddah? Also in the margins at my poetic lilypad, Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. Peace, Amy


Pink, Above and Below

Pink
above and below
She knows this tavern
is a cavern of
half-truths and full-blown lies

Icarus and ice

Yet, this morning
la colorosa* bathes
the barstools and bodies
laid waste by last night

Sunrise brings the glow
of a knowing
that this day
there will be change

Her heart will melt
inthe pink glow of sundown

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image by Oxag at Wikipedian Commons:
Sunrise at Angkor Wat (Worldwide Usage Permission)

* la colorosa means “pink” in Spanish – at least, in Puerto Rico.

Hannah at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads wanted color, a cave (and what better cave than a bar!), a hunger, adventure, and ice. Pull up a barstool and tell me yours. Also on the margins at Poets United.  Peace, Amy


In the Palm of God’s Hand

I dreamed I was in God’s palm
Not alone – a hundred or more
sought the same succor
I explored this miracle

Felt a callus on God’s finger
Sensitivity for the laborer
No silken luxuries in this hand;
traces of humankind’s misdeeds

His right eye, littered with shrapnel
Her left eye wept tears
black as the rains of Hiroshima,
thick as dredged Gulf Sea Tar

One arm was tattooed with a number,
the other bore scratches of barbed wire
from Matthew Shepard’s execution
The pinkie, blowing off bit by bit

by IEDs and drone strikes
His nose broken by bar fights,
her cheek bruised from spousal abuse
A rainbow was painted on God’s cheek

The children on God’s palm cried
One sold, one raped, one homeless
Adults cuddled them, sang songs
to them, and God smiled

“You are my angels on earth,
the face of Jesus, the form of
the Divine Sofia, and the human
evidence of my love for all

“Wake up and help me heal”
When I awoke, I prayed thanks
for this visit, and promised God
I’d give my all, with a servant’s hands

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Not written to any prompt, but on the Open Link page of Imaginary Garden With Real Toads and sidebar of Poets United. This was an actual dream… and there was so much more to tell. Peace, Amy


The Gossip Girls

Have you seen the way she dresses?
Half slut, half bag lady.

And always with one dangling earring,
one post. Is that a gay thing?

Well, she does march in the parades.
And all that gay rights nonsense and
on and on about the homeless.

Her husband is a saint to put up with her.
If I talked that way and dressed
like a tramp, my husband would
slap some sense into me, and I’d
have it coming.

Mine would, too.

I miss the old days when we knew
what was what and who we were
supposed to be… oh, wait, sssssh…
she’s coming.

“Morning, ladies, how’s everything
with you today?”

“Fiiiiiiine.” Butter wouldn’t melt
in their mouths.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Kim Nelson wanted poems on gossip at Poets United – check out the link and read some other poets as well. Poets U. is a wellspring of talent. Also “in the margins” at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.

PROCESS NOTES: As Alice Roosevelt Longworth said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say about others… come sit next to me.” I abhor gossips, quite possibly because I am the subject of same in some circles. Such is life lived out loud! Amy


PEACE IS POSSIBLE (a Fibonacci)

One
mindset
among many
will cause peace
to flow all around us
like a mighty, majestic river of unfathomable love

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

This is my prayer for peace, as prompted by Mary at dverse Poets. Of course, I did not make the deadline, so perhaps I will submit this for dverse Open Mic Night as well as the sidebar at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads and Poets United.  And, yes, I managed a form to boot, using the word-count version of the Fibonacci Sequence (1-1-2-3-5-8).

The latest carnage in Kenya, at a mall in Nairobi, took many lives at random. And yet here in the States, gun violence continues to claim veterans, spouses, children, and people caught in the wrong place (or school) at the wrong time – also, a gun on hand means access to a fast suicide, rather than trying to reach out. The Second Amendment provided for armed militias, like the National Guard, and was conceived when one-shot muskets were the standard. I’m not against others hunting (as long as it’s for meat, not ivory), but the proliferation of high-powered rifles with huge magazines – and people with violent histories being allowed to own guns? Is Ted Nugent running for president or what? Get a grip, people. Peace, Amy


Brian, Abbreviated

He walked into the party like… yacht. Abbreviated man, missing pants, unembarrassed, but bare assed. Cake, PUNCHy punch, kids screaming H.B.D!

Serenaded by open mic readers, feted by muses, celebrated by blogosphere. A party to be remembered; a personality destined to move mountains, if only by click click click on the keyboard and constant commenting.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

At dverse, Brian Miller wanted 55-word stories to celebrate his birthday. I even borrowed one of his deVICEs to pay tribute. My comments about his sense of humor and his dedication would be longer than the story so I’ll stop. Happy Birthday, my friend! Peace, Amy


FATHER COMPLEX (Complex Father)

It’s tricky, sticky wicked
That piñata over her head
Follows her night and day and
especially late at night
Waking sweatshivering but
carrying HIS shame, unfair…
Quivering over vague memories or
screaming at every fire alarm,
My house is burning down
(as her young kids cower)

Piñata full of poisoned treats
Candied little deaths
One for every time it happened
It’s chockfreakinfull
Been that way for many
yeasty years, its yaw
occasionally pin-pricked
(precision meets sweaty palms)
but never baseball batted

The conundrum:
If she whacks it, will candy
attack her with what it is?
Will she binge on the bittersweets
and purge up the truth?
Or will the piñata float
over her like a raincloud
Rancid, restless, ever
present

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For ABC Wednesday, the letter being F. Also in the margins at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads and Poets United.

For all women who have not gotten to the truth of having been molested as a young child: this type of horror is usually perpetrated by a family member or close friend. For me, it was my dad, so I used him. Hell, he used me enough, why not?

If alarms alarm you to the point of screaming, if the surprise of a lover’s gentle touch makes you jump out of the bed… Think about seeing a therapist, NOT a psychiatrist, cause baby, this chigger can’t be chased away by chugging drugs.

A comprehensive article on the signs pointing to both remembering and finding the way to recovery may be read HERE.

You’ll go through hell in therapy, maybe need a temporary anti-anxiety med, but you just might be rewarded with a life worth living, and kids who are not scared of you, nor embarrassed by your public explosions.  Call Samaritan Counseling, they have a sliding scale.  And your issue may be something totally different, even a more recent event that still sticks to your muscle sheath memory like Elmer’s Glue.

I have a life thanks to therapy.  It does work, if you’re ready to dig deep.  Blessings to all, and may this never be visited on ar young person you know…  Amy

 


LONELY GIRL

Face of oblique glitter hears
Whispers that he done her wrong
Restless spirit, frozen
Hearing again their sad old song

Shine it all on, lonely girl
You know I’m kin in spirit
Face it now, lonely girl
That song, you know I can hear it

Neither of us had no loving since
January, February, or so
Why not climb off that lonely perch
C’mon – ready, steady, go

We’ll speak of days gone wrong
We’ll snicker at misbegotten men
We’ll hide our eyes from strangers til
We do it all over again

Find others to do us wrong
To keep us stuck in one place
But I’ll remember our big time out
Each time I look at your face

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Ha! Betcha didn’t know the subject of my poem. It’s

… and yes, we did trip the light mediocre one night eons ago, back when the world was full of vague regrets but more possibilities.

The subject was the moon, courtesy of Izy at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. Catch: We were not to place the moon in the sky, speak of night or starry night, etc. So I took my girlfriend off her perch and we talked it over. Sure, she’s seen same place, same time, every night, but now she does it by choice, because we got so plotzed on Margaritas, she doesn’t want to come down to earth again. My bad.

This is also “visible” at my poetic lunacy rompfest, Poetic Asides.  Amy


THE DRINKING YEARS

The drinking years poured on
in various degrees of fizzfriction

My dream manifested: 18 at last
My tribute, a friend bought
the first round and round we went

Soon, my lonely heart found itself
nestled in the arms of some shlump
I met the night before… score

I had envisioned losing IT
over Chateauneuf du Pape
Not snotlockered over boilermakers

Finally I was a space cadet in
launch mode: “If I am to…
stay here for a… p-period of time,
will someone pleeeeeease
persuade the floor to pleeeeease…
stop spinning?”

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Sunday Whirl gave us a Baker’s Dozen of words. Click the link to see what others have done with this unique prompt, and, as always, thanks to Brenda Warren for her sharing the list!

This is also “in the margins” at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads and Poets United.

Suffice it to say, after watching my mother die from a combination of 50 years of smoking and 40 of drinking (she was in recovery toward the end), I gave up partying. Besides, I’d much rather enjoy the occasional microbrew beer than depend on Gordon’s for a lifeline. Thanks, Mama, for showing me the better path. Peace, Amy