Saturday, May 8, 2010

CRITTERS (Writer's Island prompt)

For the Writer’s Island prompt, “Stowaways,” comes a poem a bit less ethereal than other offerings, but absolutely true… from the late 70s, a time my friend John calls “Amy: The Lost Years”!


Cardboard boxes chockful of
my few worldly possessions
lugged one flight up to a friend’s apartment
My third Venice digs in two months

Communal in a sense but
each to their own room
and roommates didn’t seem to bedhop
I liked it that way

Day One a girl wanders in and
announces she has scabes
Little disgusting lice-like creatures
their place of embarkation most likely her privates

“But I just moved in,” I wail
as I’m forced to empty my boxes and
hot-water bleach all clothing
and then comes the fun part

My first day with my new roomies was spent
naked on the rooftop in the California sun
slathering each other with Quell
but better than being infested with sex cooties

Such a glamorous place, LA
Such high rents to pay
Such dangerous games to play
Such toxic stuff to make it go away

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


  1. Love it, Amy. Especially the continued rhyme in the last stanza. :)

  2. Naked on the rooftops would have been cool, but without the Quell. I had not heard the term sex cooties, it made me laugh -- though certainly not the affliction... :-(

  3. Sex cooties was one of those odd phrases that comes to mind and leaps out onto the page. I have a million of 'em over the years from playing piano bar... but never wrote down more than a few. It's part of the glory of manic-depression, a gift for saying the first thing that comes to mind. Awfully useful in poetry!

    Remember, Woody Allen said, "Tragedy plus times equals comedy." That says it all for me!

  4. De, knew you would appreciate it, thanks!!

  5. oh gosh, nearly spit my coffee all over my laptop. Hilarious (though I'm sure it didn't seem so at the time!)

    Piano bars? Holy crow, girl!

  6. lol the good old times without the scabes

  7. Naked on an LA rooftop with the roomies... slathering Qwell...

    Ah! the good times! LOL. Definitely better than the sex cooties! I enjoyed reading this, Amy!

  8. Phew...glad I hadn't eaten my breakfast yet. Ack! LOL!

  9. What a horrible experience but glad you can find a way to laugh about it through poetry.

  10. Gee, Linda, sorry about your breakfast...!

    Yeah, if you don't look back at this stuff and laugh, you're just gonna start crying.

    Paul, you crack me up. We did lots of naked rooftop stuff in those days; it usually didn't involve petrochemicals, though!!

    And yes, all, I'm a veteran piano bar and cabaret performer, NY to LA and beyond. Just now, dealing with some bursitis issues, though. It's a rotator cuff thing... guess I should have laid off the pro baseball all those years, LOL.


  11. Ah, the seventies. I think I forgot...something, but would probably have remembered naked Quell, too.