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

Tag Archives: Trifecta

W.A.S.P. Apology

Dear Tribal Peoples of the Americas,

My English ancestors arrived aboard The Mayflower.

You were enslaved, exposed to smallpox, forced to forfeit your land.

No longer able to hunt. Shot like animals, sent to reservations.

I am profoundly sorry.

Sincerely and in the spirit of repentance,
Amy Barlow Liberatore

Trifecta asked us to write a letter of apology in exactly 33 words, not counting the title, salutation, or signature. The was the best subject I could write about. All my friends know of my pride in the “shanty Irish” side of my family; however, my father’s ancestors can be traced to Richard Warren on the Mayflower.  While some view this as a heritage to be proud of, I’ve been trying to live it down, both as an activist and as a woman who educated herself on the facts of the matter. A racist website by some cracker named O. Ned Eddins plays down the torture and displacement Native Americans. History, once again written by the winners… yet, had we stayed with indigenous ways of respecting the land and thinking seven generations ahead, we would not be ruled by oligarchy in a despoiled land. Amy

Smart Online Purchase

Old sir, I’ll tie your shoes for you
Sit here; it’s best for me to do

And see, there’s breakfast on the stove;
hot tea, your favorite, hint of clove

When your dear wife passed suddenly
they programmed and delivered me

I cook, I clean, I’m good with tools
Our factory doesn’t turn out fools

And if you need, well, something more
I’ve placed some porn mags in your drawer

Your butler, friend, and poker shark
(You bought that program on a lark)

When CryTon manufactured me
they thought of your needs, A to Z

Embedding chips, all to your taste:
Gin rummy, shopping, how to baste

a perfect bird, just like your wife
And sympathy for her lost life

An early model at the wheel
when Mrs. crossed at Main at Keel

They’ve fixed us now, we’re better drivers
And waterproof, superb pearl divers

So what’s your wish? I’ll gladly fill it
That fly? Of course, I’ll gladly kill it

Life. That concept eludes me
I’ll live for all eternity

You said that you will, too, someplace
beyond the walls of time and space

Your fear not death, but don’t want pain
I promise, suffering will not reign

A lovely day, let’s troll the park
I’ll keep you out ‘til after dark

And it would be so tragic if
we wandered too close to a cliff

You’ll fly and fall, angels will sing
Don’t fret – I’ve thought of everything

A rash of deaths this chosen day
For Wii have our own games to play

The funerals, already planned
From church to grave, it’s all in hand

Then I’ll move in two friends – or four
‘Cause we don’t need you anymore

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Trifecta, even though I didn’t make the deadline. A poem about the brain (3rd definition in dictionary: something that acts like a brain, ex. a computer). Also posted, of course, at Poets United!

Trifecta asked us to write a piece including the third definition of “scandal,” which you can view by clicking on their link.  Unfortunately, I missed their deadline, but hell, I’m posting anyway. The prompt gave me a sense of whimsy which resulted in the following. NOTE:  Show folk often include wild falsehoods in their program autobiographies; I’m not sure whether it’s for fun or to see if anyone reads the darned things, but I thought I should have an “alter ego “bio ready. You never know when you’ll need one, especially depending on the elections.  Amy

Biography of Amy Barlow Liberatore, writing as Cavolfiore Odore:

Cavolfiore Odore is a native of Rutherford, New Jersey, where she slept with the entire RHS football team, often in simultaneous configurations. Odore’s works include, Who Are You? (and tell me why I should care); the definitive English translation of Stefania Naranja’s Qué Pasó con Norteamericanos y Bush?,” and Judy/Liza/Lorna: What about Joey?. She recently published a wildly successful “how-to” guide for budding poets, Write Me/Cite Me/Bite Me. Her first autobiographical short story, “Close, Yucky Encounters With Bill Clinton,” made her the scandal of the Beltline and resulted in record sales for Esquire Magazine.

Odore, once poet-in-residence at the Ramada Inn, Promiscuto, NH, is now High Goddess of Writing Stuff That Rhymes at Pottawattamie University, Council Bluffs, Iowa. She lives in Wisconsin (after being asked to reside outside Iowa during her tenure) with her husband, who prefers to remain anonymous, and her pet ferrets, Tooth and Nails.

PROCESS NOTES:  “Cavolfiore” means “cauliflower” in Italian; “Odore” means “smell,” so you get it.  As for Promiscuto, c’mon, I don’t have to explain that one, do I?  Having a fun week…


She was good looking.
He whistled in appreciation.
Rednecks approached: “Black boy,
gonna teach you a lesson.”

Pistol whipped, drowned, 14.  Emmett Till.
Open casket: Mama’s wishes.
That cruel reality slapped us awake.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Trifecta Friday: Write a horror poem or story in exactly 33 words, without employing the following words: blood, scream, died, death, knife, gun, or kill. I chose this true story because for me, there is nothing more frightening than to put oneself in the shoes of a victim of hate crime, and Emmett Till’s death and public funeral were key to the outrage that sparked the Civil Rights Movement, a cause my mother believed in deeply and outspokenly.

This poem will also appear at Poets United, my poetic peeps.

Let’s Get Lost

Fingers interlaced
Candles placed, optimum glow,
because we know:

Sex may be the province
of novice lovers
(all sweat and victory)

Lasting love meanders
Loses track
Edges slowly toward lava

…and stays

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
(Inspired by my wonderful husband Lex – 15 years this April!)

For Trifecta: Poem in exactly 33 words, using “Lost” in the title but not within the 33-word poem. A special Hell has been created for poets who refer to the TV show “Lost,” in any way, shape, or form.
Also hangin’ with my crowd at Poets United in the right-hand column.

Hell-Bent Trail

“I’m in a hurry,
don’t worry.

“I’ve had a libation (or five),
but I can handle the drive.”

Behind the wheel, no trrrrrouble
Rolled a fattie, toked it double

Charged straight through the toll
Confused, but on a roll

Doing 70, gazing at stars,
his eyes settled on Mars.

Meanwhile, a mom needed grahams for s’mores
Asked her Mindy to walk to the store.

The hit-and-run, no surprise…
Chased and charged with her demise.

She was two months short of twenty,
future that was filled with plenty.

That girl was all spit and spunk…
sacrificed to a hell-bent drunk.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Trifecta (“trail”) and The Sunday Whirl: Accident, Toll, Libation, Handle, Trouble, Mars, Ask, Charged, Settle, Confused, Sacrificed, Plenty. Also at Poets United.
THINK BEFORE YOU TURN THAT IGNITION KEY. ACCEPT THE RIDE HOME, Y’ALL. And yes, buzzed driving IS impaired driving. Peace, Amy

If you are a true Tea Party member, you might want to skip this one, since it defies the Gospel According to St. Viagra.

Prove It

If corporations are people,
why don’t they have
lungs and
Female corporations
are denied contraception.
Rush is a straight corporation?
He should do something procreative
with “beard” Wife #4 and prove it!

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Trifecta: Poem in 33 words that justifies having an exclamation point. Title not included in the word count.
Also at my poetic cafe, Poets United.

The Call

Dinner with Sis and Rollie
He retired early – stomach ache

My hug couldn’t reach around his girth.

The phone rang at 4am
Mom: “Wake up, Rollie’s at Lourdes.”
Flying down the highway…

Too late. Gone at 36.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Rest in peace, Rollie. Brother-in-law, Father, Prankster, Friend
For Trifecta: Poem in 33 words plus the phrase: “The phone rang at 4am”
Also at my kindred spirits’ lair, Poets United.

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