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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sex Before Sexuality

I lost my virginity under a bed
the cave where monsters hide
when they’ve grown too big for the closet
our nails sliced each others tumbled tree hipbones
our trembling names army knived across peach bark
there was permanence in those quivers
those matching panties ironed to the floor
that half digested shame

she’d seen my breasts before
but this time I showed her
showed her a drawing of these curves without hemlines
let her color me in with wildfire

It was the first time I bubble wrapped my body in branches
and last time someone thanked me for it

we weren’t in a closet
but I was still hiding
fenced up in her skin

I left no cards in her memories
Became the guy I was afraid to fuck
the bed deserted in a maze of snores
the lethal mute on harmonized heartbeats

After our flame all I wanted was a fire escape

I gave all of me
but took her pieces once the sheets bleached to reminiscence
Ironed myself a virgin for another year
Hoping it could wire her aluminum fingers into a DVR
I could record straight over 

What do you call finding the right person before yourself?
Sex before sexuality?
Learning CPR and in a massacre
and pounding your hands against a gasping corpse

Six months later
at a frat party so buzzard crowded
you could only rot alone
I texted her
Asked if we could do that thing again
that thing
you goddamn well know you aren’t ready to have sex
when you can’t let the word surf your tongue
When it tastes like an apology
or an exclamation point lopsided to a question mark
She was not punctuation
she was the whole sentence
I was just too afraid to say it out loud
But now
I am saying it
Out loud
Standing up as straight as lightning
slightly leaning both ways
but still electrifying
The italicized exclamation point as I was meant to be
the queer girl I was meant to be
We did it under a bed
but that didn’t make us monsters
We did it under a bed
because she didn’t like to sleep too high
because even dreams can be grounded
because this moment didn’t need to be put on a pedestal
We did it under a bed
because coming out shouldn’t be put on a pedestal
It’s skydiving
Not the hardest thing to do
but the hardest thing to decide to do
and I guess I needed her to say yes for me
and the next time I will make her say yes for me
like a sunset stretching its neck across the horizon

Here’s to the next morning.

Monday, December 28, 2015

To The Girl Who Found My Bisexual Poetry Offensive & Triggering



I hope you get heartburn from all the hatred you’ve swallowed.
Hope you never enjoy a funny clip from Ellen
the one where
puppies
pop bubbles
blown by babies
That Orange Is The New Black gives you night terrors
I hope you get night terrors about Nicholas Cage
Where you are Nicholas Cage
And they are not going to make another National Treasure
I hope your treasures have a cold
That flowers smell like violet caskets
That Sunday mornings taste like bruised grapefruits
Memories sink beneath the wrinkles on your face
Your forehead quicksand saturated with furrowed brow
I hope you fart during every date
I hope you be yourself on every date
That you’re as unashamed of your homophobia
At every poetry slam, job interview and hair salon
I hope the world can see you for who are
Who you want to be
That you end up with people just like you
Crack beside a mirror
broken outlined across your face
But as much as I’d love to crumble you like ruptured horizon
Dust you with darkness
Wedge apologies into your throat
I hope no one breaks your face
Dents your smile
Denies you the right to raise your babies
because of who you have them with
Won’t marry you because Jesus says you’re a bad match
I hope when you tell your parents why this week swallowed you
They don’t defend Wednesday's teeth
Call hate speech a second language you just don’t speak
Put a page count on your life story
I pray none of your days are numbered.
That you are never the gay kid tied to the fence
The rainslicked highway
That no one cares more about you in a headline then a classroom.
Your skin should never thicken into polished oak
Doorknob tumors colonize your tongue
It took me nineteen years to hatchet down
The locks I put on my own happiness
To write that poem
To write I am not straight
I am a sunburst ray pirouetting off anything that can love me
That my love is a ballerina rumbling inside my throat
That my heart doesn’t sketch in lines
It is a 3D printer
Sometimes humming about women
She looks at me and says,
But that my not have been your intention.
I reply,
No, I meant it to be very gay.
I hope this poem is triggering.
I wrote it to gun down memories of outlining myself in shadow
To shoot the stranger in a room where everyone knew my name
I wanted each stanza a massacre
Because I was the person who didn’t want to hear these poems.
My family changed temples when our rabbi came out.
I didn’t support gay marriage in high school,
Thought lesbians were fucked up
Because I didn’t want to be fucked up
Because I didn’t want the world to have another reason to make me the freak
I was so offended by gay that I refused to realize I was it.
Girl,
I don’t know if this is a letter to you or who I used to be.


But to you both –
I hope you fight for your beliefs
But will be brave enough to change what you believe.
You can’t appropriate oppression.
You       are not under attack
I             am not triggering your hate
It           was spoonfed gunfire in your high chair,
incubated in a crib of Hiroshima
Being gay is not violent
Shoving bullets through your ignorance
Is not violent
It just feels like trauma to realize the ugly duckling was always a swan
Hollow out your chest so there is room for love
Even if it’s the not kind they said was holy
Because all love is holy
I will love you whole-y
With all of myself
even the offensive
triggering
bisexual
parts you hate.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

To The Boy I’m Having Sex Dreams About:


After four consecutive nights
of seeing your naked body leaning across my unshaven subconscious
I found a poem grinning between my gums
A poem that is officially too embarrassing to write
The kind of embarrassing that erupts
When you really fucking want someone
When fucking isn’t a dirty enough word for the collision
The burst of our lavender breath
They started as fantasies
We’re in the mall buying lingerie
I ask you if this means we’re together
You do that yes of a laugh
And suddenly I am under you
Suddenly there’s an amber alert for my clothes
Suddenly I’m quaking in your arms
Constellations drying on my neck
You turn my mattress into a notebook
Stain my memories with tar-bled ink

I’ve told 3 friends
Thought: make this a joke
Turn the haunting into B movie gore
Laugh reverb into this jump cut

But this is not raw desire
Ok it’s pretty raw desire
But not Rocky punching steaks in the freezer raw desire
Like ahai tuna with a side of couscous please hold me until you’ve consumed my breath desire
But not like trendy
Like healthy
Like you are the first guy to meet me past moonlight
And photograph the sunlight in my smile
My self portrait looks a lot like a stabbing
Everything I say
Somehow staples me down
You whisper
Not every sentence has to be my hanging
But baby
If I’m even allowed to call you baby
Because putting you in poems
about me putting you in my sex dreams—
Fuck, it’s my poem, so baby
I scoop out my self-esteem to make room for your compliments
For your chocolate eyes
The overpriced fancy wrapper with quotes and 60% cocoa eyes
The I shouldn’t have bought this in whole foods
But today I stampede delicious eyes

You are my newest prescription of twitching heartbeats

Cover me like fresh snowflakes
Fill my teacup kneecaps with honey
So I can stick to something
So I can stick and not be stuck
You say I speak a lot and really fast.
I say there aren’t enough moments to dig up the words you bury in me
You walk me to my apartment
Your bike skids into a memory
I’m laying between extra pillows and poems
Hoping see you later
meant tonight

Sunday, November 1, 2015

This Poem Is Not A Movement

To the self proclaimed proclaimed advocates
who smolder flame wars in burning cities
post about homelessness beside the hungry on their street:

Your profile claims you're the leader of our revolution
but you poured ice water on your head to avoid donating to ALS research
for an “activist” there is nothing active about you
championing from the comfort of your keyboard
you tweeted #blacklivesmatter
while people outside your window
chant it in the streets
chant it in the tear gas
chant it in the prison cells

you crave convenient equality
to be the cavern praised for its echo
but oppression’s eyes can’t be gouged by thumbs up
facebook likes elevate your ego not the fallen
today you shouted through a silent medium
today
we became the generation
who demands wildfire out of unlit cigarettes
you are a severed lighter who’s never tasted flame

we were not built to tweet from the shoulders of giants
we climb blood and bones for more than the view
Malala took a bullet to go to class
and we pretend sharing an article about her
is solidarity

Resurrected hope isn’t reverb
isn’t the applause of a digital choir
the three minutes it took to reblog about Orange is the New Black
won’t spark prison reform
posting hunger statistics won’t change them
Just as staring at beer won’t take you off those antibiotics,
splashing around in your own tub will never make waves
a hashtag is not a movement
a retweet is not a movement
this poem is not a movement
a movement involves moving
standing up for something
strong enough to pin you down
wrestling with controversy under mustard moonlight
until it quivers at the edge of your jaw
skin it into a saddle and ride into a ruptured horizon

you know, Ghandi didn’t instagram the sea
he marched to it

it’s important to be heard
but America’s systems
have bleeding out for centuries
someone has to stitch us back together
someone has to do more than scream doctor
someone should start a conversation
but we need more than just talk.

Contact

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!