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

Tag Archives: Politics

LOST WORD

I awoke, musing
(first thoughts of morning, always sharpest)
that President Obama’s endorsement
of Debbie Wasserman Schultz was
an implied endorsement of Hillary Clinton
(yes, I actually wake up thinking this stuff)

I then planned a tweet
to that effect
In my mind, typing abbreviated text
(abbrev’d txt)

“Prez hypes DWS; tacet hype of HRC

Didn’t even close the quotes
Stopped short
“tacet”

Is it “tacit”? No, doesn’t look right
Is there a tacet/tacit usage comparison?
Should I google it?
Is “tacit” a word
or a typo?
Or is “tacet” wrong?

At that moment
This very morning, in my bed
I realized, “This is how it can start, with
a lost word.”

Hear this, cruel Fates:

I don’t lose words
I use words
to great effect

(Effect? Affect?
Naw, I’m screwin’ with ya now!)

Poets, writers, artists
write and paint their truth
Individual as brushstrokes

If my truth were
that mental facility would begin to leak
To fallfunnel
an hourglass
emptied
s
l
o
w
l
y

I watched the first grain of sand slip
today
and documented it here

Now, that would be ironic
That precision of loss

© 2016 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Connie Peters and I play Words With Friends. She asked this week whether I would be doing the April Poem-A-Day challenge. At that time, I told her that depression would probably get the best of me, so NO. After this experience, and her musing that “sometimes, it can help,” I have decided to take the plunge after all.

Thanks, Connie! See, we never know when the little words of encouragement will stick. Friends rock.

Alzheimer’s does not run in my family.  Just the usual shot livers, lung cancer, and other addiction-related stuff that is preventable when you know what’s up.  My real fear is that, since my mom lived a long time WITH fallout from addication, I will have to be put down like an old horse when I am 128.  Find a quiet corner of the garden, you know…

For ABC Wednesday, the letter is L… for loss/lost. Amy


If She Were

If she were a cuticle
she’d be bleeding

If she were road kill, she’d be
half in a crow’s belly

This country
These headlines
The prospects, so bleak

She’s dog tired
Bone weary

Dog bone busted

© 2016 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

ABC Wednesday is on the letter “I” and seems to be pointing toward writing one’s own life. Strange to write these thoughts in the third person; yet, to claim all this as mine feels like defeat.

I am hopeful, but this reality is taking its toll…

Peace, Amy


People Talking Without Listening

Once more into the campaign crapper
They talk; we must endure
They espouse; we eschew, usually

They say why; we wonder “why not?”
They say how; we know they are lying

They say they are listening to us
They promise they will make it all better
like the US has a boo-boo, whether it’s
the economy
or climate change (if they admit that’s a thing)
or those pesky women who
insist on getting health care
or The Gays and their Agenda (like all gays have the same one)

They aren’t listening
Who can listen with
all that Hurrah and Howzitgoin Hoodoo
and sly glances in every passing window
to make sure the flop sweat
doesn’t show

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Poets United wanted us to listen to “Sounds of Silence” and pick a line as a jumping-off point. This was easy, as Simon and Garfunkel’s classic is on a disc I listen to as I go to sleep… my personal answer to tinnitus buzzing all about me. Their song resonates to this day. Timeless, relevant, and a perfect record.

As for the subject, I was also inspired by another great song, their “Mrs. Robinson,” especially the line about campaigns:  “Laugh about it, shout about it, when you’ve got to choose… Any way you look at it, you lose.”

I am taking a break from Facebook until after the 2016 elections.  Between the climate change deniers, the not-so-veiled racists and homophobes, and the Planned Parenthood haters in my own family, it’s not worth the pain.  Amy


Are We Not Meat Puppets?

They say jump
We don’t ask why; we say, “How high?”
They say pay
We don’t question “Evil Axis”; we ante up the taxes

When did we become a numbskull nation of
Stepford meat puppets? Coughing up money to
support the Machine that pukes out bullets and drones,
that rains down death on the defenseless and our kids,
that defends “democracy” like it’s alive and well
in this incestuous hellhole of a republic that should be
called the Citizens United Shambles of Anglophiles.

Now a 200-year old experiment gone horribly wrong
reveals the abysmal truth: We were set up to fail.
Ben Franklin knew it; we blew it according to his
prediction that the predilection of the predator rich
would supplant rights of the “lesser born.”

American royalty (the Bushes, the Kochs, the WalMartons),
bred and more often inbred into simpering, faded Xeroxes
of hypocrisy, invading Congress (or buying a senator or two,
plus a Supreme, a real bargain these days)

They co-opt the middle class covertly
Privatizing public schools
(Susan B. Anthony reels in her grave)
Privatizing health care
(Big Pharma wanks the banks)
Busting unions and demonizing the rank and file
(Mother Jones rattles her bones)
Abusing immigrants
(State of Liberty or Torch Your Ass, Amigo?)
Espousing the Trickle-Down Theory
(Paul Ryan, please pass the toilet paper,
or your budget – they’re the same thing)
Citing voter fraud and discouraging minority voters
(we NEED ID because four cases were proved)
Continuing worst practices in banks
(FDR was a socialist; rich people deserve bonuses)

With help from some bastard pastors who live
in mansions, drive limos (or are driven in same),
who wouldn’t give Jesus a dime or the time of day
if they passed Him on the street (Private police
will handle homeless, and they won’t have any
Big Government oversight in how they handle it)

With help from us, the pathetic apathetic…
they strain our brains and even our mercy through
media propaganda and corporate corpulence
And we fall for it, fall into it, ground up into
walking, talking, FOX-spewing meat puppets

And as Monsanto and their ilk skip off to another
Koch Brothers cruise to the mutilated, prostituted
Caribbean, we say

Have a nice day and
Why doesn’t somebody do something about them and
Kim Kardashian is really getting fat and
Honey Boo-Boo is on, microwave some popcorn and
Wow, this (genetically engineered, dye-infused,
growth hormone-laden, e coli infected) beef is
too expensive, but fire up the grill and pass me
a cold one or two or twelve

Where is our indignation?
Is it American Idol or American Idle,
cause this sure ain’t American Idyll

NRA, FOX, ALEC: know your acronymns and
dismantle their poisonous, licentious, homophobic,
woman-hating, war-profiteering, racist, divisive
shitmongering, unconstitutional, IMMORAL machinery

By any nonviolent means necessary

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

So Kerry at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads wanted a rant, in remembrance of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl.”  Since this angry state of mind is so utterly foreign to me, I did my best to act like a political activist and member of the Christian Left.  Hope I succeeded.  (wink)

Peace, Amy


STOCK STILL

stock still
starting off wrong foot hold

a time to answer
ruler gave little to stand in.

storm threatened, exploded cold shadow
mysteries appear at the door
another burn on the sojourn

bury arms.
conduct friendly first year.
side now up to the clouds above.

For dverse, an erasure poem from Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. Dedicated to the Republicans in our U.S. Congress and the way their “not playing well with others” holds us hostage. They know quite well they hold the keys to our security: At home, abroad, and universally… I keep hoping they listen to what Lincoln called “our better angels.” Lincoln would be ashamed at what his party has become: Obstructionists, secessionists, rich men in silk suits who spit on the poor. I call ‘em like I see ‘em, and depression only makes the lines seem deeper and more entrenched.

Also at my bipartisan poetry hangout, Poets United… proud to be a member. Peace, Amy


REJOICE

No more cracks ‘bout “voter fraud”
Not a peep from Hair That’s Odd*

Ryan, back to same old lying
Mitt’s hair won’t need so much dyeing

Mister Prez must buckle down
Get it straight in Lobby Town

Stop the war, stop the fracking
Congress, he can start a-smacking

Beef up this new Health Care Act
ALL need coverage; that’s a fact

Give my friends the right to wed
You don’t need to see their bed

But the best must surely be
No more smack ads on TV

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

* Donald Trump tried to make this election about himself. “Birthers” should get over it.

You know how I voted, because I’m an unapologetic leftie. But I voted by default this time, not by mandate. Until our country reverses policy on energy – no Pipeline, no more fracking (all the water we have is all we’re getting, folks. Earth recycles it, and the more polluted it gets, the deeper trouble we’re in). Germany is awash with solar panels, something like 80 percent, and we have so many great places for that as well as turbines.

Don’t get me started about the war. I will keep pressing to bring our troops home NOW. Why not join me? Here’s a link to find out all your U.S. congressional contacts – click HERE. Don’t wait until January. There’s no reason they should sit on their asses on your dime!

Class warfare is not ended with this election, although the Right spent over six bucks for every vote, and the Left won with a little over ONE buck per vote. Since the election, racists are ramping up their rhetoric, and gays don’t have equal rights yet. Hell, WOMEN don’t have equal rights yet!

Next time, let’s see what a woman can do. As long as it’s the right person, I’m game. Peace, Amy


November Dilemma

Conflicted electorate.

Convictions worn like armor
or on sleeves, bleeding
or, better yet,
whispered in the back rooms
of country clubs and
boo-yahed in skinhead bars: Are you
white enough, is the White House
white enough, is the First Lady
blonde enough for you?

If the robber barons manage
to steal this one, we’ll be
back to Reaganomics and
a president who, like Ronnie,
dyes his hair. Just. That. Vain.

The Trickle-Down Theory
will be the law of this land…
once again, the Free Market
(“as opposed to the slave market,”
joked a RedStateNeck who thought
I wasn’t listening), yes, the
Free Market will reign. And rain.

Trickle-Down Economics.
We know what’s gonna be
trickling down on us; we’ll need
lots of toilet paper to clean up
that mess. Should I buy stock
in Kimberly-Clark? It’s bound
to shoot higher than
Mitt’s real hairline.

Ah, but Kimberly is owned by the Kochs,
who invented the Tea Party (ironic,
those initials: T.P.).

Thus, you see
my dilemma.
Shall I profit off
the grief of the majority
or continue to
fight the moneyed minority?

Yeah, like there’s an option!
This year, make “Blues in the Night”
a victory dance,
if we stand a chance
against Diebolt and Hype Finance.

Or will we be finessed
by Salt Lake City’s best,
confessed, silk suit pressed?
(Though his agenda for the oppressed
shows him decidedly undressed.)

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For ABC Wednesday: P is for Politics! Check in a few days to hear it at Buddah Moskowitz’s Virtual Poetry Reading site. Also at the politically non-affiliated hub of activity, Poets United.  Adding to the dverse Open Mic Night, too!


HOOPLA!

In silly, obtrusive hats
they banter on the floor of
the convention, knowing
the intention and the rules.

Their duty, to nominate
their candidate… yet, they’re
only in their element
acting like damned fools.

No matter which party,
they’re mostly foolhardy.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Three Word Wednesday (Banter, Duty, Element) and ABC Wednesday (H). Also at the convention of brilliant poets (who let me write there, too!): Poets United.

PROCESS NOTES: Yes, I watched BOTH the Republican and Democratic conventions, as much as I could, some online. The stupid behavior and outlandish dress displayed by members of both parties was truly a turnoff, considering the solemn duty they are to perform.

I hope all voters will take time to watch the speeches (now that they are so easily accessed online) and visit the various fact-checking sites to evaluate, to discern… not simply go for the usual line. However you vote, GET TO THE POLLS! Otherwise, I really don’t want to hear your complaints. Get active, get American, get real. Peace, Amy


Going the Distance:
“Who Do You Think You Are, Amy Barlow Liberatore?”

Let’s hear what everybody else says first:

“You were born 40 and you’re working your way backwards,”
said my mom, when I was 7

“Charmful little armful,”
said my musical mentor

“She can SANG!
said our African-American piano player

“Get that bitch off the podium!”
snarled the Buffalo cop at a peace rally

“Please don’t say that about your dad,”
cried my mom, when I was 35

“You’re not a dyke, why should you care?”
asked a Fundie at a PRIDE rally (when I challenged their ‘God Hates Fags’ sign)

“Good thing you can sing. Your dancing sucks,”
joked my friend at a big band concert

“You’re not a victim; you’re a survivor,”
said my therapist

“You wear manic depression well,”
grinned my psychiatrist

“You have the soul of a dinosaur,”
said the oracle Sidnie

“Don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel,”
say bloggers (with a wink)

“PLAY ‘FEEEEELINGS’!!”
slobbered countless drunks at my piano bar

“You’re just a gay man trapped in a straight woman’s body,”
said Jeffery, may he rest in peace

“You’re going to hell for encouraging those homosexuals,”
say… too many people to mention

“If you’re going to hell, it’s gonna be in a FABulous handbasket,”
giggled Jason

“Thanks for the lessons,”
said my BFF (and only he will understand that comment)

“I have no dramatic coming-out story because you were so accepting,”
laughed Riley

“She’s a pain in the ass,”
said the FBI agent, flipping through my file

“Take it off! Take it off!”
cried Christopher after I sang a comedic song about stripper envy

“Because she questions my authority,”
said the principal to my mother, as I sat in detention

“You are SO worth it,”
says my husband, over and over again

My life is chaotic peace.

I’m a sharp little pencil, still writing my life.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Poetic Bloomings (“Who Do You Think You Are?”), for Sunday Scribblings (distance), and for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.


We Interrupt Your Regularly Schedule Program
(a full-tilt boogie political rant)

As the prez drones on
Americans are bored.
As the drones fall on
Afghanis, they’re gored, ignored by
the drumbeat of war, the military
rhythm of their streets, their football meets,
their homes, Rumi roams their graveyards.

American values pressed upon them
like Nagasaki tattoos in hues of death
searing their flesh, a mesh of
indelible reminders that cling to
the very marrow of their own beliefs.

Skies, fly-bys, murmurs of surprise,
more stealth attacks by wealthy whackadoodles
with poodles whose pedicures cost more than
the Dewers that fuels their mules, duly noted.
I voted, but it didn’t matter, records
shattered for brazen fundraising.

TV talking heads walking through it,
praising Lindsay Lohan working the program,
no grams up her button nose; I suppose it’s
intensely interesting to the Real Housewives of
Stepford, but it IS. NOT. NEWS.

The view expressed by Fox’s best,
yelling bellicose foghorns with degrees in
anything but journalism, kernels of truth
plus one ton of pure Hereford fertilizer?
THIS. IS. NOT. NEWS.

Our rights taken from us, our voices choicely
squelched by Citizens United, dividing the
green from the lean, the rich bitch from the
working, lurking stiff upper lips standing in line
at the Union Hall, all shirking off unemployment
because there’s always a job for any slob who will
do it. Screw the indignity of the position, it’s their
mission to have purpose percolating in the mass of days,
rife with strife, but it passes for life in America.

Meanwhile, Koch-heads yacht a lot, spend and spit
on us, that’s your trickle down theory, they piss and
don’t miss as we struggle, strain to avoid their toxic rain,
strive, staying alive even if it we lose our house to the bank that
tanked playing rushing roulette with our debt. The rich
don’t create jobs, don’t create anything, moving
money around is their pursuit of happiness.
Happenstance made them rich, not effort.
THIS. IS. NEWS. The kind that should be reported,
not distorted, nor distended, deliver as intended.

Families living in cars, sitting at bars, behind bars,
that’s news. Mental health strategy a traumatic
tragedy, that’s news. Not Happy News that gives you
a toy made by a Chinese boy in a sweatshop, top of his
head covered with Communist slogans, paid in tokens.
It’s not Good News for the FUNDAlack of MENTAL
functionISTS, but it passes like gasses from blowhard
Beltway asses whose glasses were replaced by Lasik on
our dime. I’m sick and low-income? Sorry, chum,
you’re a lazy bum. What becomes of you won’t show up
on The View. Gee, you think? Don’t blink.

The new news is glitzy, blonde tanned ditzy reporters
distorting but clueless that their teleprompters spew
lies on abortions, on choice, our voice no longer heard
because “Corporations are people, my friend,” will that horse’s
end please shut up, four deferments from Nam, never heard
a bomb, cuz he was Mormonizing in France, dancing at
draft rallies all the same. Who’s to blame if he dodged it, the
logic is on his side, but don’t turn hawk if you balked
when it was your turn. Even had de Gaulle to show up at
draft rallies, tallies not in his favor, but winning’s his
favorite flavor. THIS. IS. NEWS. (reported on the BBC, not
through Corporate Corpulent American Broadcasting)

Today the news is: Gays are hated, Liberals are jaded, Latinos
berated, Treyvon wrong-shaded and Dems are Commies. Filthy Zim,
the trimmer of black population, zoned on medication, toting
a habit of hatred, a habit of meds, side effects include an itchy
trigger finger. America is for the armed, the beautiful, and
the moneyed. Honey, it’s the way things are; don’t complain
about CEO gain and golden parachutes or hoot and holler about
the borrowed dollars Bush cushioned on a credit card to wage war
on a third world country, Weaponless but we brought the Mass
Destruction. The fact is, that war never made our taxes, and no
draft left the middle class daft. Elections cost billions, one
candidate worth millions, he laid off thousands, and though he
says his corporation may be a person with a thumper of a
tickertape heartbeat… it has no heart. THIS. IS. NEWS.

Reporting live from the edge of democracy, trying damned hard
not to be pushed off the edge, this is Amy Barlow Liberatore from
WASHthemoneycleanINGTON. Good night and good luck.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Thank you, Aaron Kent, for reminding me to rant away like I used to, spitfire style and purely politically.
For Three Wd. Wednesday: Cling, Murmur, Taken. Also at my poetic tickertape access, Poets United.