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

Tag Archives: Psychiatry

Once again I find I’m lapsing
My brain is not synapsing
quite properly, and still
(as life requires we will),
I must do family taxes.
No time for “poem-relaxes,”
nor room for fun with Wordles
My cocoa sits and curdles
as I, ‘sharp little’ in hand
do battle with The Man.

But… one real poem for the road, what say? I’ll be back soon!  This will be at Poets United, where the math is easy… but the social studies can be a bit challenging!


The utile compass pinpoints
and twirls
Traces my brain
seeking sense in vain

Its sharp center
pierces a fold and
the golf pencil
in search of principles
and edicts, only to find

bloody rivers of
flowing memory
Streams of unconscious longing
Thwacking rhythms of
a gutbucket blues

Tintype verses
Blowfly curses
Meandering forgetfulness and

a singular kaleidoscope
filled with broken shards
of a life
and a city and
things that happened

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Psychiatry, according to my former practitioner, is in fact experimentation. “Anyone who tells you otherwise is full of shit,” he said, explaining that the details lie in the psychiatrist’s ability to listen, to ask questions about how the counseling is going, and to be sensitive to the patient’s vibe. I imagined what it would be like to look at my brain from a clinical, almost forensic, standpoint… except the practitioner is Tim Burton. Peace, Amy

Quick note:  I’ve been quite vocal (well, I AM an activist, right?) about the “auto-check” option that WordPress foisted on us without notice, flooding our (and our followers’) email boxes because “Keep me posted on follow-up comments via email” was now automatically checked. Complaints flew this way and that; I posted a series, including a “fix” for the “glitch.”

Apparently, many WordPress followers made their voices heard, and together (go, WPbloggers) we AFFECTED CHANGE. This was a wonderful, peaceful activist movement.  Y’ALL DID IT AND Y’ALL ROCK!  Next time you feel a call to action, take it.  You’ll be amazed at what happens.  As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  Amen, ma’am.


Song of Psychiatry

Paperwork presentation
plus insurance information
Explanation of condition
(that part really saps ambition)

Process of elimination,
might need “bin” incarceration
Finally, the prescription(s)
matching your description(s)

(If you didn’t tell it well,
your mental health goes straight to hell
Then you end up in “The Bin,”
feeling like you’re lost again)

Follow-up examination
Tweaking meds, anticipation
that he’s found the incantations
to relieve these odd sensations

(Ennui and extreme malaise,
lasts for weeks or only days;
MANIC, I could climb a tower
but that wears off in an hour)

Diagnostic confirmation:
Bi-Po PTSD-ation,
winter bluesy affectation…
Happy Light, a true salvation

(All these meds for downs and panics!
I may Kafka into Xanax…
Lex will look for me until
he finds me, morphed into a pill)

Don’t skip therapy’s vital function
Psych meds only, mental unction
Counseling’s for exploration,
finding roots of situation)

Now shrink gives me medication
Spirit gives me meditation
Thus my balance has been struck
(Thanks to doctors, God, and luck)

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “S.” Also at dverse Open Mic and my poetic haven, Poets United.

NOTES: I have a generally productive, sometimes difficult life, a fantastic husband and daughter who understand all the facets of my chemical imbalance, great friends and a supportive faith community, and I’m not on public assistance – because I have solid mental health coverage. WE NEED UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. It would half-empty our prisons and save many homeless people from the isolation of despair. I’m an advocate for Health Care For All. How about you?

Or Not To Be

To be
picked apart
as carrion
plucks at

To be
as specimen
as subject
as experiment
as something less

Jaw ripped from
Voice prized from
Thoughts from


© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Trifecta, photo by Meghan McCabe