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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Horny Poem

I’ll give you a choice.
You can either take off the beanie, or wear nothing but it.

These are the lines I practice saying to you in my head
When I see you in your seat
I can’t help but picture you in my bed
I know how I’m supposed to be seen not heard
But would you rather these words be read?
Wait, let me set things straight

This is not a love poem.
This is a horny poem.

Because baby you turn me on
Get me hot and sweaty like  a marathon
And make me want to take things off
Like that fucking beanie
Hipster I want to make your hips stir between me
Is that line inappropriate?
Because I wanted to follow it
With some crazy shit I want you to do with my nipples
Yes I said nipples
I mean I’m almost 19
And boobs are hot
Or so I thought
When I wore my special bra today in class
You know the one that doubles my Ds
Well honestly I’m already there but today I swear they looked like Es
Probably because you’ve enlarged the size of my heart
Are you studying biochemistry?
Because you’ve incredibly and endlessly
Recharged my hormones to ecstasy
Heavenly, heavily, and aggressively
Transforming me to those dreadfully helplessly enemies
Who let guys reduce their density
Leaving me floating
Supposing if D = M / V
You are massively reducing my volume
Because I actually can’t eat around you
My stomach has become a game of cat’s cradle
I’m not able to digest
How obsessed I am
With your chest
And how I’d like to press my bare one against it
Shit I want you to walk me home then come in
Pin me down and kiss me
Not with your lips
With your mouth
But these words are replaced with doubt
As soon as we come out of lecture
Because I’m sure you have better places to go
And with cooler girls to be
I watch you bike away
And say these words to no one
Except me.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Stress Disordinary

It’s 4 AM do you know where your mother is?

I do
I always do
She’s a floor above me screaming
Heaving up cries
Capsules of air that couldn’t penetrate her lungs
She’s got the runs
She’s literally trying to run away
From a prison I can never locate
So I guess I don’t really know where she is
I hope it’s dreaming
But it’s hard to tell when her body swells with heavy breathing
Seething with cries beneath her eyes but I don’t know
Where her PTSD has taken her
At 56 my mother has been kidnapped
Trapped within a memory of a man I’ve been told to call my father beating her
It’s funny how we use that name even though
It’s not a game
No one wins
Unless the score is being counted by the bruises on her skin
But it’s been years since she left him
A decade since he’s touched her
But there’s something underneath, beneath, within

When my mother got diagnosed with PTSD
I didn’t believe her
Because I thought it was just for soldiers
People crushed by bullets or boulders
Marines in Vietnam burnt down by the Vietcong
I kept trying to understand
To demand
That my mother be normal
Because I felt that her struggles didn’t justify her disorder
I couldn’t see her cuts so I ignored the bleeding
I didn’t ask my grandmother to drive me to the hospital
Because I couldn’t fix something I didn’t even believe was wrong

It wasn’t my responsibility to parent
I wanted to be a child so I acted like one
Because her brand of mental illness didn’t fit the media’s depiction
I disregarded it as fiction
I treated her pain as self pitying addiction
I didn’t recognize
That my mother too had been fighting a war
But even her own country had told her to surrender
When the courts refused to believe
that an educated woman could receive domestic abuse
Her PhD outweighed her battle wounds
When she called for justice it was no use
The friction on her affliction wore in the sores
She was part of a low percentage of single mothers who don’t leave beneath the poverty line
So they sketched her out as crazy
Told her she was insane on enough papers
Until it was a diagnosis
A psychosis
And as I woke up every night to sound of my mother screaming
She didn’t sound human anymore
She sounded like a statistic
She made my lunch and put on lipstick
And it didn’t seem realistic
When the woman who loved me with every number
And taught me every letter
Was reduced to 4

An acronym for
Polite Talk of Someone’s Damage
Pushing Titles on Suppressed Demons
or the
Persistent Tremors Shuddering Down
as the
Panic Terrorizes Simple Days
we’ve classified
Pleasant Talk for Structured Destruction
You can’t function when you’re defined by
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
hammering behind your eyes
And all I can reply is
Please Talk about Something Different
Than how she’s impaired or lazy
Stop saying that you’re crazy
in love
about me
without me
Because I doubt you’d say you’re retarded as a way to get into my pants
Because crazy is just another slur to demean others conditions
It’s time to  reposition
I’ll tell you what’s crazy

The fact that my mom can’t come back
But my dad has gotten all the slack
That they tell her she needs revision
When he hasn’t paid child support in 5 years
Yet still works as a pediatrician
Or we that we consider it a fortune
To have to wait for a government approved date for an abortion
Or that the media’s more obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence undressed
Than Angelina’s work with orphans
Or that a PTA will support a PSA against PDA
But when my friend’s PTSD won’t go away
And she can’t escape last years rape
All USC’s administration states is that she can have a service cat
Along with ¼ students whose assaults are trying to be put back with scotch tape
In public they exclaim that they care
But over there on the row you know
That the only stand those rapists will be put on is a keg
And I don’t mean to peg all these problems on them
that’s going too far
But what’s really crazy is that we take people with emotional bullet holes
And don’t even let them heal to scars

It’s 5 AM and I wish I knew where my mother was
Is she going back to her days as a scientist in the amazon
Stumbling upon undiscovered plants
Or trying to soothe me through my oversensitive rants
Is she in England sipping hard ciders as a cute guy picks up the tab
Or educating the next generation of doctors in her lab
my mom has been with all sorts of peoples
and done all sorts of things
been the .01% of female ethnobotanists that our patriarchy brings
She has so many beautiful memories
But her identity has been reduced to a disease
So mama please forgive me
For not believing in the things I couldn’t see
I can’t take back history
But I can demand that the world understand
That to me you’re initials will always be
not PTSD.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Last night I realized that I’m not in a single picture on my wall
Out of all 50 images
I’m not in one
As the clock struck two
I knew that I was in those moments
And my face is placed above my bed
It’s not really my face just a retouched head
All my life I have been told to edit
It’s not done until you’ve reread it
Redraft your papers
Spell check your poems
Don’t ever make the original your final decision
It was only a matter of time before my body became just another place for revision
I just never thought it would get to this
What started as removing a zit
Became full fledged air brushing
I used to put blush to emphasize my cheekbones
But now I move my cheekbones to emphasize my blush
Even when I’m rushing
I draw on my eyebrows in the mirror
And then again in photoshop
I’m a house 
Without foundation my walls will drop
And as I razor off the fat on my thighs
I wonder if that’s the only part of me I’m slicing off
I always liked my nose but last night I made a job out of it
Went to down
Shrunk it down
Then made the photo my pro pic
It’s not just about reducing the size of what my mother always called my ugly fat lips
I brighten and widen my eyes
Lighten the shadow
Line the liner
And I don’t want to sound like a whiner
Because I don’t think I’m ugly
I just have been told I’m not typically pretty enough
To know that I’m probably not at all
Now don’t be appalled
Don’t ask about my insecurities or mentality
I’ve just accepted that guys will always date me for my personality
My priority will never be getting into the top sorority
I’ve accepted that reality
Let me explain and refrain
That I am not ugly
I’m just prettyif
prettyif I had less acne on my face
prettyif there was less fat around my waist
if my eyelashes were thicker I’d get you drunk like liquor
prettyif I possessed a more lifted chest
and i didn’t jiggle when i walked
and my crooked bottom tooth didn't show when I talked
the dress I tried on would look great when I finally lost those 20 pounds
and any guy would dance with me after a couple rounds
I just need a filter
that could change water to alcohol
my skin to a complexion
a jpeg out of my reflection
but my face never cleared up
the diet never worked
my misaligned tooth never felt like a cute quirk
so before I went berserk
I edited out the if
Ariel Sobel is now a beautiful girl
She just rents out her world to Mark Zuckerberg
She’s thin
Has perfect skin
She might be single
But baby you want to be relationshipped in
But no one can reach me at my web address
It doesn’t matter how many likes I possess
Last night I asked my roommate if you can recognize me on the internet
And was surprised when she said yes
I’ve realized that this poem is never going to be finished if I don’t stop editing it
I’m never going to fixed until I stop telling myself I’m broken
Never going to be whole until I stop tearing myself apart
I can’t be pretty if I can’t let myself be
And it doesn't mean anything if I only make the term
Skin or pixel deep
And the only like that matters
Is the one that comes from me.

. . .

. . .


Ariel is available and interested in anything creative!
For spoken word performances & workshops, web & graphic design, or other writing/film projects please contact via email at arielsob@usc.edu.
New York & Los Angeles work preferred!