Popular Posts

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

American Burning

Salem, Massachusetts ties women
to charring stakes.
the British burn DC down
the white house becomes ash
General Sherman
sacrifices Atlanta to flames
New York

it’s more than a witch hunt

when you feed mountains gunfire
they become volcanoes
you see riots
I feel eruptions

when I was five
my house burned down
I came home to a bedroom of dust
learned to run from burning

fire isn’t scary
when it was never home
you are never a citizen
never a person
just a moving target

water is a weapon
police and fire fighters
use hoses to put out flames
drown voices in tear gas

you say protesters are unpatriotic
you forget
we celebrate independence
shooting infernos into sky
hot dogs in one hand
sparklers in the other
you forget
nothing’s more American
than charring cities
you forget
we started with a war.

Monday, May 18, 2015


somewhere inside by Loui  Jover
my type has always been tall
my first boyfriend was 6 feet in 6th grade
my first kiss on tip toes
my first love shelved his heart yards above me

As a girl with a big personality
I was taught
chase boys I won’t overpower
date tall
be dust
let him sweep you off your feet
forget the ground
forget standing
forget you can stand
girls with big personalities 
learn to skydive
without parachutes
we are taught
if you want them to love you
put away your stilettos
be small
romance is shrinking

I learned to love boys feet above me
plummeting skyscrapers
who buried me alive

I was a continent to be conquered
catastrophe to be handled
A deformity
mouth swollen with words I forgot to swallow
do not feed the bitch
do not brush her fangs
do not love me
only what you can make me into
the right guy could hold my ugly back

When I was four
I wrote in my diary
I like Brandon. He’s tall.
Did I want to make him mine
or just become his?

girls with big personalities
grow up growing in
swallowing silence
prescribed scoliosis to slouch our voices
I want to stand up straight
I want to stand up out of my seat
with equals
not boys in men's clothing
5 feet and 6 inches of honesty
so grounded I forget gravity
pierce the atmosphere with my own ambition
I'm done making myself small so men feel big.
Tonight I'm going to put on a pair of heels
that make ass look great
even if I’m a foot taller
I’m done reaching down

Monday, May 4, 2015


You know when you meet someone so adorable
that your legs forget they have knees?
Last semester he wore jean jackets
and made my veins vibrate
When I told him I liked him
I did it seven times in a row

After an hour of failed seduction
I released him from my apartment
But before the door shut I whispered:

I’m the girl your ex was afraid of

Yes I did.
But in my head
the statement wasn’t at dramatic

I’m a HSP
A highly sensitive person
Before discovering the condition
I was just the over-reacting
crazy bitch

The label is a cage
It locks the isolation out
I don’t feel misunderstood
now that I have a chance at understanding
why vulnerability feels so toxic
I can’t even swallow a teaspoon

See, I have a heightened nervous system
my neurons are bodybuilders carrying tons of emotion
my life story is written in caps lock
every light is bright
scent is strong
my phone roars like bomb sirens
my feelings run marathons inside me
I’m an old soul
whose inner life sprinted past the physical
everyone calls a bitch
because I’ve been living in dog years

In that doorway
I wasn’t threatening to feed your balls to my cat
I was saying
the last girl
can’t love you the way I will
my heart plays at twice the volume
amplified miles high
is double the distance to fall
when I fall for you
I will shatter the sidewalk
My footprint is an earthquake
My giggles are cackles
My small talk is at best oversharing

When there’s a hurricane inside you
your lips make shitty levees
When emotion floods out
People say I’m naturally a disaster

But love is so much more
when you give it the power to break you
Each crack
transforms my aorta to stain glass
transforms sunlight to colored beams
transforms kisses to grenades
demolishing ribcages inside me
I know of the freedom of drowning
singing without breath
And baby I know my voice quivers
but that’s doesn’t mean
you shouldn’t listen to this song
My sensitivity’s not a disorder
it’s a blueprint of my spine
my thin walls easily flood
but only waves can create pearls

They say humans are recycled stardust
cellular creatures who emerged from the sea
The tsunami inside me
brings us closer to home.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


I am so single it hurts like a rash
or slug lodged up my nostril

When I see a couple holding hands
I develop signs of sciatica

Not tonight
Tonight we watch stand up
Tonight the small talk
with the cute boy
at the nearby table
upgrades to conversation.

One comedian proclaims
As half German and Israeli,
I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to kill myself for years
The word Israel hangs on the cute guy’s lips
and I find myself in a uneducated rant
my Jewish star tangled inside my shirt

He says Jews should just get over the Nazis
The Holocaust was the best thing to happen to them

I wanted him to like me.
I wanted him to like me so bad
I presented a different person to like

I pretend this is politics
Anti-semitism is just politics
But I’m tired of racism being a political agenda

So now it’s time to write a Jewish poem
It’s time to write a Jewish poem and mean it
without apologies and excuses
It’s time to recognize
surrenders will not shatter bullets
war will rage
until no fingers are left to pen poetry about it

They ask
What’s it like being jewish?
I describe flesh beneath a knife
we are dissected
scientists hypothesize our survival
because we were supposed to go extinct long ago
We are not Jew fros and schnozes
NYC sitcoms or pastrami sandwiches
We are ruptures
We inherit black and blue chromosomes
Unravel our skin to cartograph constellations
shot out of the sky
a thousand galaxies
smeared into one Jewish problem

And yes I’m making a Holocaust reference
And I’m allowed to a make Holocaust reference
60 Years is not long enough to forget
600 not long enough to forget
Because there is no statute of limitations on genocide

When you say we just won’t get over it
You’re right
my grandma could not get over Auschwitz
It had electric walls
her neighborhood was reduced to corpses
she shoved into ovens to survive

He says
not everything is about the Holocaust
And that might be true for him
But my sun dives through heaven
Navigating air traffic from Birkenau
I should be living in Poland
Have brown hair across my scalp
When grandma was raped by SS
It condemned me to blonde prettiness
I’ve spend my life trying not to recognize my own rage

My Jewish child
will be wrinkled by revolution
pierced with vision
filled with shouts for justice
And I will never tell him to get over his own brilliance

Because when we are good polite Jews
Seen and unheard
No one notices the Treblinka in their backyard
A quarter of this planet is anti semitic
A billion people don’t I think I should say this line
A third of the people who know about the Holocaust
deny it even happened
I will teach my son we are more than what happened
But the conversation will never be over
The poetry will never have enough lines
We must memorize the history
To recognize when people like you
try to recite the first chapter

Don’t tell me to get over the death of Jews
When your entire religion is based off one
We are more than the lives
you never deemed worthy of resurrection

. . .

. . .


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!