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

Tag Archives: Politics

C’mon. Don’t tell me you didn’t see a rant coming this week! Politically yours, Amy

Naked at the Tea Party

Morning mist lifts over Madison
yet a cloud remains
following the foolish victor who
occupies a solid gold throne
furnished by a Faustian family
from a land far, far away

As he breaths through his mouth
he complains his crown
is bulky, unwieldly (gotcha! He doesn’t know that word)
adored as it is with spangles, sparkles
the spoils of ill-gotten gains
and still – ill repute remains

He resigns himself to another day
of allowing teachers to go home (forever)
Freeing children from pesky doctor visits
Yet his doom looms: HE IS JOHN DOE
Jump one hurdle, slam into a wall
The drumbeat grows: Indict “Koch Lite”

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Three Word Wednesday: Bulky, Mist, Reign.
Also at my poetic soapbox, the ever-trusty Poets United (not a PAC, incidentally!).
Image courtesy of the magazine named for my patron saint: Mother Jones.


Wild in the Streets

Those crazy Wisconsinites
From Madison to Green Bay
They’re getting ready
The signs are up; protests continue

Bikers now pump their tires full
Those who walk are re-Scholling their shoes
Unions are getting out the vote
Churches are getting out the vote

Raging Grannies are getting out the vote
College students are getting out the vote
The handicapped are all accessible:
Teachers, farmers, union rank and file

Families on public assistance
People whose jobs were cut to give fat cats tax breaks
Women in general
(Hell, he doesn’t discriminate, he hates ALL of us)

Governor Doofus. Dumber than a sack of rocks.

We’re jumping in the pool
We’re jamming the polling places
We’re ready to make our stand
We’re gonna tell the Koch Brothers that

WISCONSIN IS NOT FOR SALE.

And when we’re done, we’ll meet
on State Street for some local brew
Scott Walker, start packing now
Save us the embarrassment of evicting you

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Sunday Scribblings (‘wild’) and for Poetic Bloomings, asking for poems based on a movie title.

“Wild in the Streets” is a cult classic about a pop star who eventually gets into politics.  Once he’s president, he mandates things like putting people in nursing homes on LSD.  It’s a true stinker, but the title was perfect for how some Tea Party members from other state view us, as we strive to get the incompetent man pictured above out of our everyday lives.  Teabaggers still don’t get that they have been co-opted by the Brothers Koch, who pull all the strings and want to privatize schools and end reproductive freedoms.  Silver-spoon trust fund babies; never really had to work because Daddy left them everything!


Day Four of National Poetry Month’s “Poem a Day.” Feeling my oats, thanks to Poetic Blooms (see below for process notes and sites). Peace, Amy

MRS. CLEAN WIPES THE SLATE

Woe to you, lobbyist and profiteer
Avenue K will be set on its ear

Begone, day traders sipping hot
MochaccinoSkinnyNoWhipLattes,
as your fingers scurry over the laptop keyboard,
some letters and most numbers worn off,
scars of fiscal battle

Gird your loins, o members of Congress,
for your days of feasting shall draw to a close
as I focus my wrath on your graft

Whosoever can be bought will be for naught
Sweeping streets and slaving in call centers
(for a living wage, of course)

The payola shall be purged
Elections no longer auctioned to the highest bidder
(or Brother), nor Diebold election machines
glean false numbers from pro-Machine hackers

Even the Supremes will feel my ire for
conspiring to convince us corporations possess
ears, eyes, tongues… and souls

For I, Mrs. Clean, now hold the power:
Contained in the Golden Rule,
affirmed by the Great Commandment of Love

I am trusted by even the crustiest atheist
(because I’ll drink coffee and shoot the shit
with people of every belief or non-belief)

Mrs. Clean will change the scene and proclaim
the mighty truth: Democrats and Republicans
stink of graft equally, and in good measure

President Obama should bring our troops home NOW
And when that is set right, the real work begins:

Mitt Romney will wash windows at women’s clinics
Newt Gingrich will scrub toilets in public restrooms

Hillary Clinton will bake free cookies on 12-hour shifts without
breaks, just like Chinese children work on her watch

Ron Paul will oversee Area 51 but make no more money
than the baristas at the low-cost local cafes

Rush Limbaugh will be bombasting “Would you
like fries with that?” in a little paper hat

Michelle Bachmann will be sent back to middle school
to learn history and how to recognize gay boyfriends

And Sarah Palin? Field-dress THIS

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Poetic Bloomings – a second take on their prompt, Superheros, which I had answered earlier with “Reflector Babe.” Also at my site of sites, Poets United and that dynamite poets’ cafe, dverse.


Whew!  After a bout of allergies that almost went bronchial on me, I’m back. Sorry I’ve been absent. I’ll send you all a note from my mom. (Welcome Back Carter: “Signed, Barlow’s Mother.”) And I’m catching the tail end of posting for Three Word Wednesday; this week’s words were: Amateur, Diligent, Nurture. Also for Poets United, Poetry Pantry.

What We Need

What America needs to nurture
is a new-style politician,
who won’t afford rich white guys
such undue recognition.

“Clean Money, Clean Elections,”
lots of diligent candidates.
Amateur by Beltway standards.
but that slate would be first-rate.

We’ve been so disillusioned;
lost our voices to Big Money.
But some unspoiled men and women
will take back Main Street, honey.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


During all the recall mishigoss, I had time to write something more all-encompassing! Here’s to the new America, as envisioned by Newt, Rick, and (depending on the day) Mitt (featuring backup vocals by Michele and Sarah):

Anthem for a New Party

Harken to the new American song!
The mating call of the vulture.
“Take wing and we shall restore prosperity.”

Blood drips from his beak,
from his talons,
trickling down upon the rest of us.

The offspring of this vulture are
vile, virulent creatures
who cannot fly but still flock together,

plotting, under the right wing.
Taking tea with spiders whose backs bear
hourglasses, betraying the truth:

Time’s almost up.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Also at my poetic nest, Poets United.


First, an apology for not being up to date answering your comments – I promise to catch up by the end of the week!

Three Word Wednesday asked for poems containing these words: Might, Passive, and Flag. Took some liberties with those words… let me know what you think, especially after you decode the definition below (if you’re not a Wisconsinite, that is!) Amy

Dragon’s Breath

A Dragon’s breath is rancid
Stifling, smells like hemlock that’s
been brewing too long

Dragons hate Badgers, tough little guys
who burrow so fast their escape routes
to dodge the Dragon’s flames

Badgers have claws so long and hard,
rodent talons that can scrape Dragon’s tongue
into ribbons of blood and leathery flesh

One particular Dragon, draggin’ in riches
from Wizard Brothers, shows off his
shiny scales and mighty bearing

Badgers are not passive. They have seen
Dragon burn through other Badgers’ lives
like fodder, trying to scare the rest

back into holes, to render them unnoticed,
inconsequential. But Badgers’ tenacity
will stand to fight as one:

They will chase the Dragon from
their own flagged castle, as the Golden Lady
points the way to a better future

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

NOTE: For non-Wisconsinites, our state is engaged in an effort to recall the current governor, Scott Walker. The Dragon is obvious; the hemlock, well, you can draw your own references, although the Wizards are the Brothers Koch, who funded the Tea Party, then helped them look like a grassroots effort, when in fact it’s more like a perfectly manicured lawn. The Badgers are the namesake of many sports teams, including our UW College team, and also refer to everyday, six-pack Wisconsinites. The Golden Lady is “Miss Forward,” a statue atop our “castle,” the Capitol Dome here in Madison. She bravely points the way forward… wearing a helmet that has a BADGER on it! How cool is that?


Living Love (for Kate)

So far down on his luck, he’s under it.
Literally.
Living beneath a bridge called Home.

Gathering other folks’ flotsam by day
to make do, then retreating to his camp
where he sleeps unmolested each night.

From her window, she spies the man.
She ventures out, offers some food, scopes out
the soul hiding underneath his misfortune.

They don’t talk much, but then,
true generosity is not a grand, chatty deal.
Her gifts are met with quiet gratitude.

She buys him a propane grill and this and that.
He probably needs psych help, but she’ll never
push – so easy to scare a rabbit from its hutch.

She says, “When the president came to Madison,
he drove right over that bridge.”  The irony
is thick as brick, and just as heavy.

That’s not a troll under there; no beast from
a Grimm tale.  He’s a human being.  And she
acts out of the words of Jesus, quietly.

She lives out of love.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Sunday Scribblings; the prompt was “investigate.”  Iif Kate had never checked out this man and his circumstances, she’d never have had the chance to help him. Also posted at the wonderful Poets United.


Weirdos In Living Color

Pondering life, parsing a Wordle
at my local locally owned café
Out the window, saw a weirdo
Headed over Starbucks way

Reet suit, silk tie, plus a gadget
dangled on his ear, he talked to it
Rhythm on the street was financial
I could tell – he walked to it

People in hats lug large boxes
with handles they clutch tight as breath
Talking so fast ‘bout Wall Street, K Street
Talking fast as a dealer on Meth

Where’re they going? What’s the rush?
Why is Rush a god and God replaced
by Sunday crosswords, fancy brunch
What’s the point of all their haste?

I’m content with three hots and a cot
Better still, a rabbit-eared TV
Come watch parades of Armani lemmings
dive off a cliff so willingly

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Poetic Bloomings, “Life’s a Little Weird.” Also at my poetic touchstone, Poets United.


I missed church this week because I was down with the flu. So it’s only right that, I should post a revised version of a religious “food-for-thought” poem I wrote long ago.. Whether you agree or disagree, ALL comments are respected and appear unedited on this blog (unless you use the F word or something really tacky like that). Only hateful comments which are directed at OTHER bloggers will be deleted; hateful comments directed at me are fine, I don’t mind the heat and I love all haters (which just kills them!).

Also posted at Poets United, the poetic collective. Peace to all, Amy

ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE

When confronted with yet another conundrum,
the umpteenth tease to ensnare the “troublemaker,”
the Learned Ones asked,
“Should we pay tax to Rome?”
Jesus replied, “Give to http:Caesar that which is Caesar’s;
give the rest to God.”

If we wiped “In God We Trust” off every coin,
all forms of currency,
would God be offended?
Cease to exist?
Wipe a soon-to-be-designation “sinful city” off the map?
(Those pastors never predict; they only proclaim)

“Under God” inserted in the Pledge in the 1950s
assuring all that we were not a Godless nation
(like those Commies in Russia)
Would God disappear from our lives should we
revise the pledge, restoring it to the original?

If the Word is written on our hearts
why do we need it minted as well?
What reassurance does it give the poor man
who inserts In God We Trust into a slot machine
hoping to stave off foreclosure?

God is our Creator, and genderless:
This is my personal belief, not a universal truth.

Do schoolchildren, reciting the Pledge by rote,
paying no particular attention to one word over another,
believe in God more because God’s name is in it?

No Godless person am I
nor spiteful
Just pondering what I read in my Bible today

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


OK, I had to come up with a poem to meet my own prompt at We Write Poems!

The form is “3 + (x) = poem,” and today, as I rode the bus and hung out with a homeless Vietnam vet my age who’s been given six months to live, there was no place else to go but the steam grates and the fact that the two major refuges for homeless folks will be shut down this winter by our lame-ass governor, Scott Walker (brought to you by The Koch Brothers; paid for by same).

I’ll be away for the weekend, so pardon my not answering comments promptly. Have a peaceful Labor Day – if these guys get their way, that holiday will mean nothing in a few years. RIP, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory women – you are not forgotten. Amy

Homeless in Madison, Winter 2001

Homeless folks dread winter
This coming winter especially
We with homes worry for them, too
(Governor closed two safe havens)

Wisconsin is “penniless”
No money for “extras”
We with homes give to NGOs
(But the Guv has bucks to redo the Capitol Cafeteria – all winter long)

Ironic. That cafeteria provided
daily shelter for many residents
from punishing, sub-zero winds
(Merry Fucking Christmas)

Our governor “doesn’t hate anyone,
least of all, the poor”
We protest to remind him of his lies
(As he settles into his plush office for a toasty-warm Madison winter)

Politicians and the Constitution
don’t always agree… we need many
voices to speak on behalf of those in need
(and to recall this sorry excuse for a governor)

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil