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

Tag Archives: Rich People

Clothes Make the…

Picture this
A cocktail party
Only chic elites parading in
Ralph Lauren, Valentino
Stella Mc (no, no Butterick)

Dripping in blood from
Harry Winston diamonds
Sleek, shiny, baubled
Finest wardrobe money can buy

Picture this gathering of
the 85 people who own
HALF the wealth of the
planet. 85 = $½ of ALL OF IT*

Crappy, credible math
They drink, snort, and laugh about
those wretched K-Mart shoppers
About the 99% (that’s you and me)

“How do they manage?”
“They should get real jobs”
“I never shop at WalMart,”
smirks one of Sam Walton’s girls

Their gowns, regardless of
high-fashion label, imported
from Chinese sweatshops
from Indonesian factories

Bangladesh burned but they’re
still pumping out product,
thanks to hard-working
child slave labor (and women)

These rich women, coiffed
and manicured, preening
These sons of smarter men, coiffed
and manicured, peacocks

They say clothes make the man
but these schmucks
sure as hell didn’t
make their clothes

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
* Per OxFam, a non-partisan worldwide watchdog for the underprivileged

First, a HUGE “thank you” to all who have sent messages asking where I’ve been and if I am all right. Long story short: Played at two Christmas Eve services, then got the holiday/deep winter depression… followed by a flu I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Not even GWB. But finally able to sit at my desktop (the messages were monitored on my phone, but it’s no good for posting poetry) and contribute once again.

So off to my “play pond” I ran! Shay at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads’ Fireblossom Friday wanted a poem in which clothing is a major component. See, I can still be politically snarky while writing about high fashion! Peace, Amy

Military Schooling

Son of aristocracy, 1922
Flinty Mayflower stock
Brittle china lay at table
Burnished tea set

He was cocooned and at age 12
sent away to military school
The train’s scenery, a blur
from his first-class berth

The boys, also Sons of Sons,
were bigger, rougher than he,
raised as he was with two austere sisters
and a chalky-pale nanny

His first evening, knees scraping
the bathroom floor, drenched in sweat,
tongue rancid with the barnacles
that clung to the older boys’ yachts

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For the Sunday Whirl: Blur, Cocoon, Tongue, Scrape, Burnished, Brittle, Austere, Flinty, Drenched, Rough, Barnacles, Chalk. These words formed themselves into the best account I can figure of the “schooling” of delicate boys in the old days of private, all-male schools. Always a “new fish,” just like prison.

Also at Poets United’s Poetry Pantry, which welcomes poems of all types.


Here is the heart of the matter:
One percent get fatter
while children starve.

Their parents are
stark-stricken with guilt.
We 99ers built this country,

White indentured servants;
Black slaves who gave all and
all they got was, “Y’all are lazy,

yer not even worth
one whole person.”
They nursed hope anyway.

The Rich are the sons
and grandsons of men with
ideas but the DNA diluted.

Ever see a xerox of a xerox of
a xerox? Sometimes that’s called
Mister President.

The Rich of today
have never worked
or earned their money.

They play Monopoly
using real people as
little game pieces.

They play the game of Life
using worthless mortgages
as cash for their bank.

They don’t play chess.
That game takes work.
Effort is not their style.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “R.”  Also posted at Poets United, my poetic sanctuary.

Rich Men Suck

Sheep without shepherd,
Raw thread sans loom…
O, rich white man, is that how you see us?
As ants scurrying to gather your crumbs?
Does this vision strengthen your egos?

Give me your hands,
your fingertips, softer than mine –
pushing paper and counting money all day.
Opalescent nails, polished and perfect.
(I can’t afford a manicure, sorry if I offend.)

In your mind, you picture
raw, thirsting power.
A lion’s heart with the speed of an elk.
The virility of a man’s man (who doesn’t really NEED the Viagra).

But I’ve spied you in the office corridor,
side-glancing in the gilt mirror,
yearning to look like Don Draper.

Real power needn’t preen
nor reassure itself.
Real power was in the humanity you left behind
when you bought your first pair of Guccis.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For dverse Open Mic Night and at my poetic hearth, Poets United.

The Dark Side of the Moon

Nuclear plants faced big fines
They’d filled all cave and mines
In Vegas, locals now know
You can gamble AND can glow
Like the bright, full harvest moon

Edict came down from on high
Nuke garbage would now fly
And be stored, safe and secure
In a place with no allure
On the dark side of the moon

Computer parts also flown
With spent missiles to the Zone
That waited in deep space
Old Man Moon’s Janus face
On the dark side of the moon

Flotsam and jetsam were sent up
Poisons, deep-water sludge went up
And rich people paid good money
Ashes placed, “Him” and “Honey”
On the dark side of the moon

As long as folks could view
The same pizza-pie milieu
They wouldn’t burst the bubble
Nor cause a whit of trouble
‘Bout the dark side of the moon

Scientists perturbed
Moon’s balance was disturbed
The orbit now decayed,
There soon was no more shade
On the dark side of the moon

Imagine each frightened soul
When La Luna spun out of control
And the first place it hit
Was Alamos with nuke shit
From the dark side of the moon

© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Poetic Asides, the blog that got me started in poetry (thanks, Robert Lee Brewer and all the Street gang!) had an intriguing prompt: Out of this world. I’d been thinking about this concept for a long while. Peace, and keep the moon crap-free! Amy

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Men (for We Write Poems, with a nod to Wallace Stevens)

I.          They’re different in certain ways, but what’s in common reigns.
II.        Through the bottom of a shot glass, darkly.
III.      Millions are fathers deserving of respect, when respect is due.
IV.       Sometimes, they are bullies or abusive and deserving of no respect at all.
V.         As leaders of our nation; therefore, we should elect more women to level the playing field.
VI.      Warily.
VII.     As warmongers and war profiteers… and troops who actually have to fight the battles.
VIII.   While wearing rose-colored glasses (which you will eventually lose).
IX.        As friends who are with you no matter what the circumstance, especially if they are gay and you are one of those straight girls who just loves them to death (like me).
X.          As husbands or committed partners – in which case, keep your hands off them (straight OR gay!). Monogamy should be honored (and polygamy, well, eeeeeeeew).
XI.         As co-founders of our country, along with the mostly forgotten Founding Mothers.
XII.       As white/Anglo and born to privilege, never having to earn the money they now fight so hard to keep.
XIII.     As people of color who are often overlooked, profiled, or assumed to be criminals, in the US illegally… or born in Indonesia, so he can’t REALLY be president.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil