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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jeans

The insides of my jeans were always more fascinating
layered in tangled seams
rugged pale edges of denim


the universe that crashed against my legs
was simply more intricate than its echo on my outfits


when I was seven
my favorite pair of jeans
breathed embroidery
stitched with salmon meadows
snarling vines and outstretched leaves
aneurysms of color laid across my thighs
but the real spectacle dwelled beside my skin
an unseen tango between crimson and indigo thread
seams expanding silent fireworks
weaving grass blades in the breeze
tangled like breaths inches between lovers lips
connecting and colliding at the same time


the abstractions were too vibrant to keep to myself
so one day I turned my pants inside out
and strode to school


when my classmates called me out
I looked straight through their eyes and replied
That this is newest trend in Paris


I didn’t realize how good an excuse it was
until the next day I wandered into a class
of seven year olds wearing their jeans inside out


That was the first time
I realized my feet were strong enough to stand my ground
Those pants taught my knees not to buckle
I recognized that if I styled myself without shame
my intricacies could be a trend
When my pockets were exposed
exhibiting their full volume
I discovered how much courage I could carry


But today pants cannot hold
my new aesthetic
An urge to turn my skin inside out
Showcase the patterns of my veins
like streams of thread embroidering my surface
I want to wear my inner layers
Accessorizing with my organs
pockets of air that fill my voice
dangling atria that skips and scatters
beating a tune that must be heard
Instead of silver chains I’ll sway my neck bones
capable of surviving a thousand brands of whiplash
and a collar line that refuses a leach
my flesh might be torn with pimples
but the blood behind it is composed of flawless molecules
the wrinkles on my brain cartograph my wisdom
mapping out the boundaries I have crossed

I’ve always been told I am flamboyant
Dressing too loud
But the words don’t rest on my tongue or fingers
but rather the muscles that charge them


when people ask me when I first became a poet
I don’t think of when my voice lost its virginity to paper
I remember of the moment my insides felt better out


I’m here
Because poetry is the fashion show for our inner layers
The trend is a heart on your sleeve
I’m here
to unleash the patterns within
let the words confined to the back of my throat
cuddle my neck like a scarf
I’m here
because I want to feel warm
I want to stop feeling alone
Watch the glaciers rupture with the warmth of honesty
shattering the miles of silence
we put between each other
Because although saying my pants came from Paris
made an ample excuse
I’m tired of needing excuses for expression
to anchor myself with apologies
This generation found it vogue
to hold thank you prisoner
When we face a compliment
we let it rest between our lips
wrestling with our tongue
falling into the cavity self doubt that can never be filled
we can’t show our appreciation when someone calls us beautiful
because that would acknowledge 
we believe them
you call us entitled but
we feel unworthy of praise
chic is to replace thank you with denials
repeating that we are not pretty
calling ourselves ugly until we answer to it
but I have faith in the insides of fabric
fraying seams within our tongue cells
Because if beauty comes within
let’s permit eyes to behold
the insides of our jeans
and eruptions beneath them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

UnSaid

I was telling Marcella how the other night
When I said hello
Even John Henry noticed you ignore me
The nicest guy sharpened his pencil to tested you out
Scribbling your name into the crowd
You didn’t just greet him
But shook his hand with respect
That I guess you don’t think you owe me anymore


The story wasn’t half as funny after I said it


You’re not telling me something.
She said.
How did miscommunication degrade to non-communication?


I tried to explain that we had broken up
Not in the couple kind of way
because you wouldn’t let it get to that point
But there was a crack between us
a line we never crossed again
I told her about that night we went home together
making pit stops to make out at every statue on the way back
But I didn’t describe my wobbling feet on heels too high
Or your stumbling body on legs too long
how your giant hands were moths scattered into the night
I couldn’t catch midair
Or that moment clenching each other’s cheeks
whispering that we loved each other too much to love each other
We were avalanches
if we touched we’d tear apart the earth beneath us
But we tumbled into kissing a way I’d never been kissed before
Violently colliding
we came up to breathe three times
Before noticing the passed out Santa across the floor
How do I tell her how I clung to you in shadows
commenting on my slutty costume when I was not a girl who wore slutty costumes
Admitting I wore it for you
Reeling scales before recognizing your fins in the sea
How it hurt that you didn’t notice
You apologized but never told me I looked beautiful
I didn’t feel beautiful roaming into your apartment
Marcella I want to tell you about how when we got into his room
He left the lights off
And that I didn’t know to expect that
But I didn’t want to exit the moment
So I left pieces of myself in his doorway
I never got to pick up
Because I wasn't invited back
I didn’t tell her
when you asked me if I’d ever been in love
I didn’t feel experienced enough to answer yes
So I absorbed Annabelle and how she cut you
From an angle I could never reach
Thankful you didn’t bring up Chloe again
You realized her mind was not going to rearrange its wrinkles
Your obsessions with women who were never going to love you
While I was just the girl who tried to make you love yourself
I didn’t tell Marcella we were each other’s diagrams
Maps to navigate ruptures in our atria
You cartographed scrapes long faded into scars
crossing borderlines carved with a shard of glass littering the street
where I was locked under moonlight
I recognized my own sadness in your voice
when you asked if I ever wanted to kill myself
As I shook my head you whispered
I have
I reached for your fingers but they burrowed down my shirt
I laid in silence letting you dig craters in my chest
Craving to be alone together
Bearing witness to each others wounds
I couldn’t explain how you told me I’m supposed to participate
So I haphazardly pulled off your shirt
Exploring not chest but demands
But when you suggested we both get naked
The no permeated my lips
because regardless of what you said
Undressing would reveal more than flesh
Amplifying the poor in our decisions
Crimson regret spilling across bone
I breathed relief the next morning
When we discussed that I was just seventeen
And you muttered
I almost committed rape
Admitting the stop signs I choked up
Sometimes halted motion more important than traffic
But at that point I was sober
And you were high
I was always sober and you are always high
And I can’t mention to her
the only reason I started drinking was to prove our compatibility
how once you were gone I started smoking
hoping brushing air through my teeth
would make me understand your power to evaporate
you’re gone but I feel droplets of your touch across my spine
my hair as thread for your fingers
you told me it was everywhere and you loved that
Back when we mentioned being doomed to fall for each other
Bare chest to chest glossed by daylight


I didn’t tell her when you stopped accepting my kisses
I continued even though your mouth tasted like hangover
trying to reawaken its lips
How you made it clear that you had things to do and places to be
And I was not invited
I froze beneath your covers
Tongue thawed when my eyes struck your skin
I like the way you look shirtless. I said.
I like the way you look shirtless. You said.
I exhaled I don’t and you shot me a look of pity
That bled out my capacity to tell you anything again
You bargained for me to leave
Saying the only kiss I’d get was one goodbye
I slapped on your sweatshirt and flip flops
Which you’d repossess that afternoon
For my walk of shame
Which began when I made you kiss me a second time
In a way that felt like you meant something
With some sentiment I could trace between our tongues
Later you named it confusion
Do you want me to tell her
How this was just the first page of the saga
Where you’d write songs about me writing poems about you
Of the night your drunk tongue nicknamed me baggage
Or drunker you dived into me again
And when I drowned you in rejection
You followed me throughout the party
trying to tongue every girl in my vision
And how we went from friends to lovers to enemies to strangers
to letters on a unprinted page

Or are some tragedies better left unsaid?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Let's Make Love

The inconvenient truth is that I’m a hopeless romantic. 
An insane, 
poetry writing, 
long dress wearing 
reckless hopeless romantic. 
The kind that finds a Nora Ephron film life affirming. 
And I’ve never seen a happy relationship in my life. 
The only kind of love I’ve ever been witness to is a glorified form of settling. 
But damn I want to love you with every piece of me, 
every molecule and vein. 
I want to dance to no music 
and lay next to each other naked
just skin to skin
Because it never feels like falling. 
It always feels like skydiving. 
I’m up so high that as I soar downward 
I am alive for the first time. 
So let me crash. 
Crash on your couch. 
In your memories, into you 
so fast and so hard 
that that our love will be a crater 
the scientists will study, 
a pseudonatural wonder. 
Let’s make history. 
Let’s make love.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

An Explanation

Bryn scurries to class
Leaving me once again alone with
Bennett, the long term boyfriend
A sludge of mixed schedules, run-in and intos
and the fact he’s in love with my roommate
have drained all typical small talk for our
strangely large amount of private moments.


So how’s your love life, Ariel?


I guess we’ve come to this.


It’s ok. The usual.
Oh, you have one?


The accuracy of it’s statement makes me
unable to take insult to its subtext.


Well…
i like guys.
Tall damaged deep thinking guys
Who like skinny jeans
and ironic notes
and poetry
which i write.
and they read every line
inserting themselves between them
and sometimes they’re right
but usually i splice shards of sensations
with moments and men
fossilizing ephemeral feelings
that rarely fit anyone’s truth
even my own
the stew simmers
bubbling my blood vessels
and leaving my fingers clawing across my shell
because soon enough
they think the poems are about them
when they’re really about me
you doesn’t mean you
it’s just an energy
fleshed out air and atrial migraines
and when i rhyme to him
it’s either fictional
or about things
i’m not ready to admit to myself are true
so i write more
and they leave
and i write more
and they return
and i write more
and they yell at me
and i keep writing
until there are no echoes of boys or syllables left
just a giant X
crammed in crimson across this love corpse
you're asking me to describe
but i keep tripping
over subtle stubble and unsilenced sensitivity
hoping that one day
i will plummet so hard
that my pencil shatters
leaving me with something more than material.


I don’t think a lot of people have that problem.


Me neither.

. . .

. . .

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!