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

Tag Archives: Radio

Summertime 60s

Back in the 60s
Not the Beatles 60s and
before Carnaby Street
and Twiggy and Verushka

The Roger Miller 60s
Peter, Paul, and Mary
Nat “King” Cole
Peggy Lee still made the charts

Radio was on all day
Mom was calmer then
Her heroes had not
been gunned down yet

“Trailer for sale or rent”
Most songs, we’d sing along
Drinking coffee and
listening for the mailman

“Is that all there is?”
Yep. And it was enough

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

dverse Poets asked for the theme about each poet’s hisTORY. I poked along on this one and missed the chance to link this poem there, but do visit dverse and read some amazing poets!

Sure, there were difficult aspects to my childhood. Many of you can relate to parts of THAT story. But this felt right for the prompt, and it’s good sometimes to accentuate the positive. Peace, Amy


Little Amy stereo
Image: From Amy’s personal collection, not to be copied without permission.
Amy next to the family stereo, circa 1965 (she’s workin’ that leopard print!)

Glued to Sis’ Transistor Radio

We had a stereo at home
One of those looks-like-furniture
big honking wooden pieces
It was fine, if you bought the records

But who bought every record,
and who knew what to buy until we
heard it on the radio, on my sister’s
tiny transistor, huddled round it

Bound to hear the latest
Beatles, Dusty, Petula Clark…
Radio was alive with sounds and
smooth voices on the intros

First time we heard a new tune, we’d
break into mad dancing, flipping the dial
until we found the song again, screaming
when the new cut was (ah!) Beatles-born

Today, I still listen, as videos turn me off
I like to create my own videos in my mind
With videos, it’s a full-out performance and
the musicians must lip-synch at concerts

trying to recreate the video moves, wearing
unearthly metallic outfits, arriving in plastic
eggs or flying over the arena like Peter Pan
on acid. There’s a word for that action:

Borrrrr-ring!

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, we were “treated” to a Rob Zombie song about “Dead City Radio.” The song was on a video, which made me think of the connections between the two. Many otherwise throwaway songs became classics because of the video performance via MTV. But Jo’s transistor radio was our savior, listening out back by the pool. Those tinny classics became some of our favorites. Then we’d go buy… the 45! This is also at my other poetic station, Poets United. Peace, Amy


FIRST: Still hanging in the Garden for NaPoWriMo, where Imaginary Garden With Real Toads’ Aprille challenged us to write a “double dactyl,” which is best explained HERE. Not sure I managed form correctly; I would love any constructive criticism. This is also at Poets United on the right “crawl.” Finally, my prayers to anyone else out there with PTSD, because I don’t know about anyone else, but I was hyperventilating into a paper bag last night. Too much.

Pointless (double dactyl-ish)

Ever since Boston, the
TV preempt, I’ve been
breathing through paper bags,
tot’lly farklempt.

PTSD holds me
in its sad thrall, what’s the
point of my watching the
TV at all?

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
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SECOND: A free-verse rant about media in general… with specifics.

“Liking” Murrow on FaceBook

Yesterday, some hundred years ago,
we used newspapers for news flow
Radio then put us “In the Mood”
TV babysat us, totally glued

Roof antennae, CBS on the air
Dad adjusted via attic stair
Test patterns nightly, with droning tone
Cronkite and Murrow stood out… and alone

Then came the cable, a crapfest galore
With QVC “gotta-haves,” plus prime-time gore
Televangelists weeping, shouted HOMO
Then they begged money on bottom-crawl promo

All-night-long movies, MTV Michael
Later, the twenty-four hour faux news cycle
Now, the addiction is this Internet
Needn’t leave one’s snug abode to get

housewares, clothing, and even free porn
(Hide your identity, saves you from scorn)
Facebook, all social networking, damn!
Farmville, un-friending, broadcast nastygram

Huff Post huffs and puffs ‘bout the Right
By day, the Tea Party (dons hoods at night)
Hackers and hucksters, scams and teen passes
Internet: Opiate of the new masses

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

The bottom of my email signature has a list of causes I support, along with a tag line: “Stop complaining; become part of the solution!” Seems like folks blow off steam on Facebook and via email forwards (some network blasts from Tea Partiers I know have been answered by me with calm, bullet-point questions and even suggestions… these are often answered with one line, like “You’re sadistic” or “Stop pushing your homosexual agenda at me.” (Ahem, who started the “dialog”?)

Manners are gone. Thing of the past. All that matters are angry birds, more cows for one’s farm (cyber-greed), and ranting online without doing much of anything other than spreading the word. Some is vitriolic, some is obscene, some is so darned funny I laugh my butt off and am immediately ashamed (as with Jim Carrey’s recent “Cold Dead Hands” song on a Hee-Haw set).

The Net is good for calls to action such as petitions, but the best action of all is LOG OFF AND MAKE A PHONE CALL. I have all my legislators’ local offices on speed-dial, plus the White House for my daily “Please stop the drones and bring our kids home” call. Most of the volunteers who staff those lines know me by now!

Log off. Pick up the phone. Give ‘em all hell, because they wheel and deal while you and I suffer and end up addicted to this interactive Oxycontin. Peace, Amy


Lindy at Poetic Licensee wrote a lovely poem today, memories of her mother. I promised her I’d blog a poem I wrote a year ago about my mom, because we had some bits in common, so here it is… This was also part of my chapbook, Dance Groove Funhouse. Thanks, my new friend Lindy, for reminding me of this one! Peace to all, Amy

THE WRINGER

I was the baby so I
spent a lot of time with Mom
watching her perform the mundane tasks
of suburban housewifery
that would eventually lead her to alcoholism

But back then they were fun
The radio was always on
Roger Miller singing King of the Road
We’d sing along
She taught me to harmonize when I was four

Downstairs to do laundry
A humungous circular washer, a wringer
And a clothesline out back
To her this was heaven
having survived the Depression

All these conveniences
meant just for her
In those days, she saw her life as luxurious
And she saw me as company
and the only friend around

After poking a stick into the washing
to make sure the detergent had really dissolved
She drained it and refilled to rinse
Man, she really took the stick to that
Everything had to be clean, perfect, worthy

But the best part
Before the hanging on the line with wooden clothespins
(Someone should invent something with a spring,
she said absentmindedly one day
Her mom was a genius, too)

Was the wringer
The clothes being strangled as they
gave up almost every drop of their being
I pretended they were bad people who were being punished
I prayed for them but secretly relished their fate

Back then it was easy
We’d go upstairs and have coffee (mine was mostly milk)
She light a Lucky and we’d sit
gazing out the window to the fields beyond
Soundtrack by The Lettermen and Peggy Lee

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Also at my poetic touchstone, Poets United.