For More Than Poetry

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Onto Deeper Waters

Here's a little something I wrote during math. Enjoy!

Onto Deeper Waters
I’ve got these currents of words
Streaming through my head
My English teacher calls it poetry
But I know it’s something more
Because the warmth is so strong I find its gravity pulling me to the floor
And for a mere second the reasons for my existence are sure
For every time I let these creeks of words drip onto a page
I feel saved
And brave
I’m dancing in the sunshine
Everything is just fine
I don’t feel a need to rewind
All those words that spilled from my peach lips
Instead of my wrinkled fingertips
Because I know that these poems
Can polish the jagged angles and broken glass
That can sometimes define the past
And these poems are something that will last
And although I could never run fast
The instant I write this
I can fly
I can feel
All the bliss
That so many miss
That this life has to offer
So I swim in these streams
Of poetry rushing through the boulders of my body
And I know that in these translucent warm waters
I will never drown
Because all alone inside the waters of my mind
I am finally found
And one day I’m going to find the ocean
Purify my soul in the waves’ commotion
Listen to my heartbeat’s true sound
I will no longer flee but
Follow that urge
And submerge
And be free
And finally see
That the essence rippling through this sea
Is the real me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Cheer and Movie Fear

It is holiday season once again, and that means traditions shall be brought back to life. As your typical Long Island jew, I continued my Christmas Day custom of visiting the movies. I love it, and usually the movies this time of year are great. This year I saw with my mother The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
The movie had a complex brillant plot along with terrific character development, but man was it brutal. I have never seen such graphic sexual and physical violence in my existence. At times it seemed as if it wasn't even trully needed. SPOILER ALERT: the main character was viciously raped on screen, and it actually wasn't related to the larger plot, just for character development.
This spawned a question to you underaged voices:

To get attention to one's work, is brutal graphic violence needed? Or should the craft speak for itself?

I also recently saw Hugo, Martin Scorsece's newest film. He is best known for violent works like The Godfather but this movie was rated PG. It was not a children's movie. It had a depth and beauty only an adult can enjoy. By doing this, leaving out unnecessary curses and violence, did Sorsece sacrifice attention, or did he create a film strong enough to shine without the soot?

(write about it)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Poemas no son en Ingles.

Hello my lovely underage readers! So for my Spanish class, I had to write a poem, something beautiful, profound, insightful, and not in English. I wanted to impress my teacher so desperately, but felt caged within the patterns of a language I that isn't my own (yet). This poem is in Spanish, and is about my frustration and deep desire to be able to one day express my self in Latino words.
I know plenty of my readers don't speak Spanish, and my maestra would cringe at the suggestion, but google translate?

Para Ahora

Lo siento, pero no me gusta español
La lengua es bella, como las arrugas de las hojas caídas
Y mis palabras probamente no valen la pena
Pero es verdad—no me gusta Español
Porque en clase yo soy la chica con canicas en su boca
Yo no puedo sacar buenas notas
Y los tiempos nosotros tenemos conversaciones
Mi voz he huido
Un oración yo necesito crear es una crucigrama
Un laberinto de gramar
Yo soy atrapado en estos crecimientos
Solamente una letra es un acosamiento
Y mi boca baila sin mi consiento
En dos minutos yo tengo un tango de las palabras españoles en mi cabeza y la música ingles en mi corazón
Mientras los otros estudiantes son artistas del idioma
Yo siempre estoy diciendo que
“La pluma es mi pasión”
 Pero cuando yo escribo en español yo necesito un teléfono
Para llamar el medico de fuegos
Porque antes yo puedo hablar
Yo he perdido el calor de mi alma
Yo trato fumar partes de mi exaltación
Pero las palabras y poemas ya no están con yo
Yo no quiero hablar
Yo quiero decir
Decir de polémicas
Corruptas sistemas
Todas las temas
Cuando la luz en la vida esta enfermo
Lirios que florecen en veranos
Porque inmigrantes necesitamos
Combatir la ley por anos
Porque yo no tengo un padre desde mi dos cumpleaños
Manos de un bebe alcanzan para su madre
Manos de una maestra alcanzan a sus estudiantes
Mis manos alcanzan para tu por esta poema
Si ellos pudiera
Cuando yo hablaba con Dora y Diego
No me preocupe con dar comida a mi fuego
Mi boca era más que un espacio negro
 En Ingles las palabras son mi libertad
Todas mis emociones y sueños son verdad
Yo no puedo tener este sentimiento “sad”
El tren de mis palabras es en ingles
Y lo es porque yo escribiré otra vez
No me gusta español
Porque yo necesito mostrar la poderosa
De mi boca
Y yo sé que
Yo soy demasiado joven para votar
Pero con el idioma
Mis ideas son tuyas
Por el momento yo hablo
Mi acento atropellar el carro de mis crecimientos
Yo tengo miedo

Pero yo soy aquí
A tiempo español es más fuerte que mí
Pero yo combato las dudas
Mis poemas son orgullosos
Y me encantan estas cosas
Los momentos
Cuando mis palabras trae tu por vendadas
Yo tengo la sangre de mis antepasadas
La llama de Poe, Angelo, y Langston Hughes
Yo soy un parte de sus
Y aquí esta un
Yo estoy diciendo en español
Mi voz no es fea o demasiado rápida
Es solamente yo
Me gusta español
Pero español no le gusta yo
Para ahora, ¿no?
--Ariel Sobel

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Time to See Writing Outside of my Laptop...

Hey everyone! What a week! First a colossal thank you to all those who liked Underage Voices on Facebook! Your support means a lot in the quest to get my internet child off the ground. 

I honestly believe that poetry and expression has rescued me--from the tragedies I have encountered and many dimensions of emotions within myself.My favorite medium is slam poetry, a form of poetry that is written to be spoken aloud. This style does not just encourage sharing of artists work, but stitches it in its foundation.

I recently discovered I am not the only one with such a passion for this style. Global Writes, a Bronx-based nonprofit organization helps students grow through live slam poetry competitions. By emulating some of my favorite and most renown modern slam poets, these children let writing enter their souls and develop a sense of expression, pride, and confidence. (Check out the video.) Who thinks your school needs a slam team? I certainly do!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Austin Chin and Underage Perceptions of Beauty

It is my honor to share with you a drawing by Austin Chin, a junior at Syosset High School.
This was Austin's response to a prompt: draw something ugly yet find something beautiful about it. I think he has succeeded! Although this man may look feeble and weak, something in his eyes have an untold mystery and beauty.

When speaking of his lovely work, this is what Mr. Chin said:

 Beauty is of course, a subjective topic; everyone will have his or her own opinion of what is truly "beautiful". But regardless of these beliefs, it seems possible to find beauty in almost everything - one simply needs to search for it.

Talented and profound! So readers, what is your perception of beauty? Don't just think, create: draw something beautiful to you, write about the blessings in your life, or even just snap a photo of it. Then submit so we can share the beauty with everyone. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

High Schoolecstasy

High Schoolecstasy
There's this drug I've been taking
It makes my body pulse with adrenaline and sometimes fear
My blood quivers in my veins
It makes my body smell
It's so easy to see everyone is taking it at my school
Because they all host the scent of computer paper, pencil sharpeners, and sweat
When I take it I get paranoid too.
I feel like there's some higher power watching everything I do
the grades I make
the clubs I'm in
the awards I win
and it’s not god, it’s like a school of watchers checking to see if I'm good enough
The drug gives me other feelings
the feeling of being the gopher in wack-a-mole
and being smacked down with the pressure
and it aches and burns and I just feel like I'm going to die
but I go in and take the drug the next day.
I'm so addicted.
And I hate it.
I hate the fear, the grade swings, looking at my classmates like right here, right now we're competing
to survive
and you know what they say about the fittest.
My head aches and I stay up all night
tossing and turning in algebra and world economics
and in the morning I'm incomplete
I'm missing something
and it hurts so bad taking it
I feel like a soulless monster skulking among the shadows
but I've lost all control
it's no longer me, it's a monster rolling around in research papers and reading
so lost with cloudy eyes
like a snake ready to feed upon anyone.
But I try to stop.
I withdraw for around two months.
The symptoms aren't so bad,
playing, sunshine, friends
But it's unstoppable; I am a slave to the drug
And year after year I relapse.
But some people never quit
they are the ones who never withdraw and during the months I relax they continue
studying in dark rooms filled with SAT posters
Eyes cloudy with the drug devouring all light
leaving behind an abyss of who was once someone who did a sport for fun
Or just liked to help people
But now their motives have roamed across the crevices of their minds.
Leaving behind this substance
This drug
Controlling us all.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

Last night I was lucky enough to go into Little Italy to celebrate my grandmother's 83rd birthday. It was a phenomenal evening bursting with food, culture, and smiles. In lieu of that wonderful event, here is a photo I took of her while dozing off. Here's your challenge: take a photo of someone you love doing ordinary things and look for the beauty in it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hands are Beauty

Hands Are Beauty
Hands are beauty
The ten elegant oaks rising from the wrinkled plateau
The fingernails, chiseled or curved, lined with nervous imprints of teeth
Dirt hiding under the cave of keratin
Dirt collected beneath a sapling
Or creating a masterpiece
Hands stroking paint across an empty space, thrusting color upon a crisp canvas
Hands doodling new unspoken thoughts along shimmering crystals on the window of an antique car
Hands tossing a peach kiss through the air
A sister’s hands braiding hair, coiling the strands with gentle affection and admiration
Hands coalescing to make the noise
The clatter of pride, power, and acknowledgement
The sound every individual craves, the accolade that cannot be transcribed on paper
Born by beautiful palms
Merely crashing against each other like furious waves
The soft hands of a mother holding her child, her soul kindled with the baby’s fresh light
A surgeon’s hands protecting vigor, aware the recipient will wither without the eleventh finger 
The warmth of the icy metallic scalpel
The hands of a G-d reaching down to us, instructing us to be more than animals but the earth’s keepers
Hands holding hands
The sensation holding onto my scarred skin
Holding each other, holding strength and resilience
Colossal hands, fragile ones, some colorless, other tinted
Hands blooming with youth and caving inward with age
All equal
All a sea of the remarkable, the captivating, the incomprehensible yet still familiar
The hands of the agrarian sewing a tree into the soil
The hands modern industrialist enjoying the harvest of that tree
The hands of a young voice grasping a pencil 
Just beginning to write, but ready to speak
The hands of the hearing impaired ready to shout
The hands of someone somewhere twisting a steel key to open the doorway to a world of creativity
The hands of a clock mumbling that the time we have is leaving, better revel in while we can
Hands scrubbing the soul clean, restoring our innate purity and acceptance 
My hands 
My hands trying to make sense of it all
Of why I am here and when will the world finally see
That there is beauty blossoming from the arms of every soul
That we all can harness it
That we all are the masters of an unnaturally organic force
My hands pressing down letters and syllables and the passion that bursts through my every cell and vessel
My underage hands writing this poem.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Whats goin on..

This video is a beautiful expression of an underaged voice. No matter what kind of pain we are enduring, we can be rescued by sharing our voice with the world.
Love to all those voices who are yet to be heard.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Short Story Time: By short, I mean a cross between oompa-loopas and munchkins.
Enjoy this piece of creative non-fiction:


I was running, my feet washing over the sharp rocks below me like cold rushing river water. The cold dark air was piercing me at every angle, and every angle felt like the thick darkness of the night was consuming me from within, as if someone had planted a black hole deep inside my chest. I felt empty, hollow, and broken. I knew that the other fifth graders didn’t accept me—I was the freak, the loser, that point on the graph that was nowhere near the domain (as my math teacher would say). I was a shattered piece of glass, swept up and tossed into the depths of a black garbage bag. No one here liked me. They laughed at me, so often that every time I heard a giggle I flinched, as if a bullet was cutting through the air to reach me. I clenched my pale cold fingers around the disposable camera given to me to record this, “great experience”, this trip to Greenkill, a place I and the other fifth graders were shipped off to learn about nature. The only thing I had learned was that nature was wild, and that vultures (if they’re hungry enough) will attack and bite off white chunks of animal flesh while the animal is wounded, crying out in pain, not even with the courtesy to wait until it was dead yet. My fist began to compress the camera cradled in it, as the scene echoed in my mind…

… “Why did you tell him I liked him?” my voice echoed in naïve confusion, vulnerable and innocent, “I thought you were my friend! It was a secret! Why did you do that to me? How could you do that to me? I trusted you…”. She looked back at me nonchalantly and replied in a dead voice, cold and hard like a fleshless bone, “He wasn’t going to like you anyway, so I knew that I might as well just get it over with.”…

…Here I had learned that there aren’t good friends and bad friends, only friends and enemies. I was lacking in one department. And there I was still running, still blind, cold and broken—hard rocks stabbing at my sneakers, surrounded by the dark brisk night air, alone. My legs shuffled, stumbled and then I was tumbling, over those rocks, then embracing them on the ground. I was flying fast, slicing my body through the darkness. I felt a sharp ache, one filled with shock, as if someone had shot me in my knee like I was an enemy airplane that needed to be taken down. My camera fell out of my hands, and just as I reached the ground the darknesswas conquered by a blinding flash.

Monday, November 28, 2011

My 16th Birthday Post

It's hard to find the words hidden in m brain to write a proper post for this moment in my life. I only have an hour left of this birthday, a birthday that is repeatedly glamorized and told to be a coming of age. But I know that this day is not what it claims to be. I did not awake this morning as a complete woman, just a person in progress, a soul still be created and refined, torn down and redefined, and forced to look forward while looking behind. I am Ariel, and now I am 16. I have often stood still as I watched the world deteriorate around me, and tried to rebuild what I could, and I have often been the destructor. But this birthday, a one filled with emotions--love from those dearest to my heart, fear of the future, and regret for the apology not said, the road not taken, the fight forgotten--I have made a single wish: for happiness and health, for there to be creation and no longer destruction, to be as whole as an incomplete person can be. I love my family so much, more then I think they could ever understand, because I feel that as well as I can express myself through the written words, I often struggle with expression of the appreciation, respect, and intense love through my actions. I hope that I, an underage, rough, scatterbrained, tame, wild, inspired, fighting voice can finally find the way to express its meaning through my actions, not only art.
I love this world, and the g-d that has put me here, has given me the resilience to survive the challenges I have been presented, and I love all the people that can appreciate what my voice has to offer and are willing to take the time and sincere care and passion to help me improve it.
I think that every voice is born imperfect, and it is only through friendship and family one can smooth out all the cracks.
Dear Mama, thank you for always being there, for loving me for the 16 year old I am and the person I am becoming, throughout every moment, every struggle, every time I fall down and feel like I don't have the strength to get up.
Dear Rebecca, thank you for being my best friend, my sister, my framework I could not exist without.
Dear Grandma, thank you for being a loving and generous individual that I know will always protect me.
Dear Jeff, thanks for the laughter.
Dear Grandpa, thank you for being an image of strength, honor, and dignity, and for never accepting anything less than the best I can deliver.
Dear words, poetry, language, prose, plays: thank you for giving me the power to say this, for without you, it would all be locked within me, trapped, just like how I feel far too often in this life.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Young Voices=Teen Angst?

After an emotional day, a good friend of mine wrote this compelling poem:

i'm drowning in a pool of uncertainty.
i'm groping in the dark for something that isn't there.....the flashlight that isn't there.
how can this be done in the dark?
looking for the awakening that won't come, the emotion that fled, the misdirected attention, the wasted resiliency, the life with no direction.
trying to push away the strangling confusion, the inescapable judgement.
the senseless thoughts, the merciless claims, the arrogant geniuses, the omnipresent depression.
what's left?

Electrifying, right? The feeling many young voices have--the confusion and darkness--is evident within these lines. I would love to do an artist profile, but he declined, stating:

The artist has politely declined Ariel's kind request for a profile in light of the mood of the piece. As incorrect first impressions may be drawn, further background information will not be provided.

I guess our mystery man isn't proud of this dark mood that often we as youth are drowned in. But it seems as if this is not the last time we wil hear from this underage voice!

Handing out Light

This is a photo of my beautiful younger sister. I think it portrays a message that there is insight and beauty we are capable of giving to eachother, the candle she seems to be handing to the audience is like a symbol of positivity, light, and clarification.

What do you think? Are there any photographs or voices you know that have a similiar meaning? What are your thoughts?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sometimes I can go weeks without remembering...

Sometimes I can go weeks without remembering

Why I write
Why I jumble some poetic words and propel them into flight
Off my fingertips and onto the screen
Where sometimes while reading them I growl or beam
And they become a stream of thoughts
Rocked together by rhythm and rhyme

Sometimes I can go weeks without remembering why I write
I am caged within life’s patterns
And don’t have the time
I forget, and become temporarily blind
To the fact that my only liberty is through each poem escaping my mind
How when I write I have a choice
I have the power to regret or rejoice
I have a message that someone can hear,
An uncensored meaning that they can judge or fear
When I scribble, even though I am too juvenile to speak
Compressed within society’s chest, silent and meek
I still have a voice

That when I write I am more than a mundane adolescent
Striving to discover my natural light instead of a fluorescent
For when I write
When I embrace a stage
I hold ability far beyond my age
My name is worth remembering
Even though its wearer is constantly blending and bending
Changing and rearranging
Merging with the views of those who witness me and how I perceive myself
Sometimes she revolutionizes with such stealth
That when she peers into the mirror she views a woman
That she’s not ready to be
That I am not ready to be
I just want to be Ariel
But I don’t know who Ariel is
How can I find myself if I haven’t even created it?

Sometimes I can go weeks without remembering to write
Because I’ve forgotten how
If I forget to write
I’ve forgotten to fight
To be heard vibrant and proud
I lose the feeling steaming through my veins right now
The feeling of not breathing air but words
That through my lips escapes a plethora of birds
Creating a home within the mind 
Of anyone who dares to find
A call that was designed for their ears
A line that can soothe their fears
And how each stanza I remember to inscribe
Is a member of the tribe
Of clarity and understanding
Reinvigorating and expanding
All the beauty standing on this earth

But right now I have not forgotten
And I refuse to let these words dwell in my skull until they become rotten
This is a moment I have driven myself to write
And pour down a cascade of insight.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Universal Canvas

Completely drenched in glee with the creation of Underage Voices, I quickly emailed the link to a few friends and told them to look, critique, and suggest. Useful feedback came from my friend Paul, who noted:

I think the reader will get a better sense of what you mean by this is our canvas if you can make the concrete connection between your personal blog and the multitude of other people's voices. How is it their canvas but your blog? How can they communicate, or is it just meant to showcase the ability to be heard regardless of age? Or is it just their canvas via their comments?

It is my honor to tell you that this is a universal canvas. My work will be featured in posts, but so will  yours! The blog will showcase the work of many young powerful voices I see day to day, as well as voices I am yet to meet! If you are interested in expressing your young voice, send some work where it is expressed (writing, art, photography) to  along with a statement about what your voice is calling out. 

I fully understand the unwillingness to submit one's work to a website due to fear of plagiarism as a fellow artist, but I can give you nothing more than my word: Everything that is sent will be regarded with the utmost care and respect for you as a growing young voice! This is our moment, and be assured that I, nor anyone else has any intention to rob you of your insight, for there is no achievement or pride is distributing a creation that is not one's own.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

An Introduction

Who am I?
I am a poet, a dreamer, a fighter, a speaker, a listener, a seeker, a photographer, an artist, an activist, a survivor, an explorer, a lover, a friend, a sister, a daughter, but mostly, anything but ordinary.

What is this?
This is the place where I will express myself, and present my young voice to our world through creative mediums (mainly art and writing).

Time and time again I have felt oppressed and repressed because of my age. In our society, we often treat our youth as if their age inhibits them from delivering insight, shove them and their views aside, claiming that because we have witnessed less sunrises and sunsets our voices have less to offer.
I know this is a strong claim: when there are so many strangled by the chains of slavery, famine, and war, to say that I am repressed in the paradise of middle class America does sound ridiculous, but I have learnt both from quantitative numbers and personal experience that we underestimate and undervalue the opinions of today's youth. It will take many more posts to voice my opinions, study, and experience with this problem (which will come in time), but this blog is not about whining "we have a problem" without even  attempting to make a change. This blog is the change, the place where borders are shed, walls topple.

I will not allow there to be a bouncer checking identification and prohibiting minors from entering the hub of creativity, the land of expression, or the ears of this world. This is our time. This is our blog. Here I will show you my voice, and invite you to share yours.


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
New York & Los Angeles work preferred!