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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Resurrection


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


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


But 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
That the Holocaust was the best thing to happen to them


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


I pretend this is politics
Anti-semitism is just politics
But I’m so tired of racism being just 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
New York City Comedies or pastrami sandwiches
We are ruptures
You’ll never know how I got these scars
Because the wounds never close
We inherit bruises
Black and blue chromosomes
Unravel our skin
to cartograph constellations shot out of the sky
a thousand galaxies
smeared into one Jewish problem
You kidnapped our continents
Our mothers carry our race
So you sewed their labia shut


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 was guarded by electric barb wire
her community was reduced to corpses
and she shoved them 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
But 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 have a brain wrinkled by revolution
Eyes pierced with abstract vision
Lungs filled with shouts for justice
And I will never tell him to get over his own brilliance
I will tell him to write poems
Because when we are good polite Jews
Seen and unheard
No one looks at the Treblinka in their backyard
A quarter of this planet is anti semitic
A billion people don’t I think I have the right to say this line
Two out of every three has never heard of the Holocaust
or denies 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

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.

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.

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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!