For More Than Poetry

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Marketplace Inspiration

Have you ever felt completely uninspired? If you said no, you are lying. 
It's all too easy lately to have a desire to be creative yet nothing to draw creativity from. 
Well I have a solution! Markets! It may seem silly, but the endless plethora of market goods will give you so many ideas. Why not write a story about from the point of view of the salesperson, or even the goods themselves? Take a photo of the lovely things, or use the abundance of colors in a painting. The options are limitless. 
 If you don't have a local cultural market, check out some photos I took at one in Israel--hopefully it will get some creative juices flowing.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pre-Poem Feelings

What happens when you write a poem about having trouble writing?

Pre-Poem Feelings

Every time I write
I feel like I am going to suffocate
Because I don’t know if I can even recreate
The voice that has scribbled down the words I have said before
I’m just not sure
If these words
Will be the work of art I am striving to give birth to
I write so many poems
Yet there are so few
I ever read a second time
Because I can’t seem to find my message
The statement I’m desperate to make
I just keep making the same mistakes
Drowning old experience in polluted lakes
I wish that I could take my mind and brush it off in flakes
And rake
All the shattered pieces
And knit them into fleeces
Of poetry
Everyone wants to do that, or is that just me?
Because if I could paste just the perfect lines here I would finally feel free
From the voices in my head
That say you could have wrote something more beautiful instead
Because I feel like your newest work is something that I’ve already read
I don’t want my poems to sound mundane
But my life is drenched in monotony, it’s driving me insane
And I don’t even have anyone to blame
Except the girl who wears my name
And writes words I know I can write cleaner
Obscener
With more luminosity and velocity
More power and pride
More of these revolutions inside
The chambers of my heart
If only you could help me kick-start
Because write now all I do is ramble
And scramble
Some letters like this
And wish that
Someone will think they are worth hearing
Or sharing
Not tearing or comparing
Them to a poem I have read before
Because by the end of a stanza I feel naked on a cold marble floor
Praying no one will open the door
And let the cold air penetrate me
But I keep writing and fighting
Tightening and biting
Into new sheets
So if you don’t mind
Just take a new seat
And listen to these words in a different way
And maybe I pray
It will be worth listening to me another day.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Adventure Time!!!

So in this busy week, (am I the only one deathly afraid of my upcoming midterms?) I have been dying to escape.
Luckily I have some photos I took on my recent trip to Prague. Sometimes a photograph has the mystical power to transport you back to a moment or place, and these bring me back to the cobblestone streets and beautiful buildings of Eastern Europe. What do you think? Where is the place you wish you could adventure to?
Photographs taken by Ariel Sobel in the Old Town Square, Prague, 2011

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dirty Little Secret

Enjoy this poem, it's inspired by a song by the All American Rejects.

I’ve been your dirty little secret
I wish I could tell everyone I’m more than another regret
The feeling when we’re alone, I wish I could keep it
But for now I’m just a dirty little secret

And yes I know
We’re trying to survive
These fragile lives
I have one thing to ask, to do
Am I just wasting my time with you?

Don’t let me be something you’ve thrown away
I know that this is more than a game we play
I’m not the only one who has to know

Stop making me a dirty little secret
Keep going and I know you’re going to regret
I’m the perfect girl you failed to have kept
Your lovely dirty little secret

And I know
The way I feel inside
And you can’t deny
These romantic thoughts won’t lie
Because I swear mine refuse to hide
They’re shattering me apart
Push down that peddle it’s time to start
Honk those horns, be brave and beep it
And make me more than a dirty little secret.

Monday, January 16, 2012

We, Not They

Cue the depressing love poems!

We, Not They
You are the guy with whom I thought I would end up crashing a glass under my white heels
She is the girl with the stunning eyes and flawless face
You are the boy who is going to ask her to prom
She is perfection, everyone’s desire, and acres out of your league
I am the girl who let your piercing words echo through my eardrums
You are the guy who told me you are going to send blushing roses to her doorstep
I am the girl who hoped to be your conciliation prize
You are the jerk who said your back-up is my generic best friend
He is the guy I know is everything you’re not
I am the girl who is falling for everything I never wanted
He is the guy who clenches my books as we stroll across the clustered hallways
I am the one who was supposed to be with you but is starting to prefer the look in his eye
We are the couple that was meant to hold each other
They are wrong
They are our ignorant impulsive mistakes
We are beautiful
We are just having trouble witnessing our splendor.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Get Over It

I recently got into a fight with a close friend. So here is the only way I can get over it--poetry.


Get Over It

He stared at me
His off-white eyeballs contrasting with his amber skin
And I saw no look of remorse
No quiver of compassion or comprehension in the curve of his mouth
And I realized that he wasn’t going to change
He was going to leave everything the way it was
It didn’t matter if he hurt me
If the helpless feeling pierced the walls of flesh within me
If I feel like I wanted to scream and throw myself onto the floor
In front of everyone in 9th period research
All that was important to him
Was that he got what he wanted
That his decision was the one that stayed
If he had slapped me
It wouldn’t have infuriated me as much

But he didn’t slap me
He stabbed me in the feelings
In the part of your stomach in a way that makes it churn for hours
In the area of your throat that makes it feel like there is a mouthful of water that won’t descend
In the face that makes it become a capricious creature—shifting from dead white back to humiliated pink
And back
And over
And over again
And at that moment
I wasn’t sure I wanted to be friends anymore

I’ve been here at my computer
Somehow expecting an apology to emerge on the screen
It didn’t that afternoon
The evening
This morning
This day
This night
And I don’t think it will

And I don’t think I’m going to get over this.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

After Advanced Writing Studio

Peer editing can be an agonizing experience. So what do I do? Continue diving into the pit of poetry and writing about it. Tear this apart, folks.

After Advanced Writing Studio

Upon me lies an endless stack of papers
Drooling with red ink
Each page has different penmanship
Although each letter has different curves
Some angular
Some light like they were engraved with the end of a feather
Some polished like the text of a modern machine
I know they all say the same thing:

This is good.
Not art.
You can do better.
Push.

And so I must follow the orders of the pencil markings
Upon a poem I thought was a masterpiece
And rip out the stiches I crocheted between words

I want to shout at the cantankerous peer
Who scribbled

Shallow poetry.
Dislike Hate the rhyme scheme
Reminds me of a wanna-be rap
This is rather amerature

What gives you the right to criticize I when you
Over confident pseudo-intellectual
Don’t have the capacity to spell amateur correctly?
Do you bother to tell me how to improve?
Of course not.
Even if my poetry is dwelling amongst the ashes
It’s not like you wish to assist me in beautify it
Humpf
*Stomps Foot*

I hate peer editing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Homework Interlude

Just something I wrote between my math problems and Spanish essays. Enjoy.


I have something to say
But I don’t know how to say it
I have a deck of cards to play
But I’m not sure how to play it
I just want to be a flame
And make sure I stay lit
Or have the luxury to blame it
On those who have wronged me in the past
And I’m listening to music
But the notes are slipping by too fast
I’m trying to let the lyrics cast me
Within a sea
Of harmony
Amongst some thoughts that can set me free.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Spicing Things Up

Hey everyone! I'm not in a writing mood, but here's a spicy photo I took of a pepper shaker, and a quick question: is photography an art form, or a separate mode of expression?
Answer in the comments.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Brave New Voices

So I want to take the opportunity to spread the word about youth slam poetry competitions. They are not for library's anymore, but actually a national event. Several associations like Youth Speaks and Brave New Voices have missions like mine. According to their website:
Youth Speaks Inc. is a multi-faceted organization that understands and believes that the power, insight, creativity, and passion of young artists can change the world. In addition to a wide variety of arts education, youth development, and presentation programs that serve thousands each year in the Bay Area, we house a repertory theater company (The Living Word Project) that commissions, produces and tours internationally-recognized new work in new aesthetics, host an annual gathering of young poets and poetry organizations from throughout the world (Brave New Voices), and have built a network of like-minded organizations developed on our model throughout the country.

With ongoing, comprehensive programs in the San Francisco Bay Area serving 45,000 youth locally and national programs that serve over 250,000, Youth Speaks facilitates safe spaces within and outside of public institutions where youth can critically analyze, write and voice their own experiences through this powerful artistic medium to thousands of their peers. Youth Speak is the leading nonprofit presenter of spoken word education, performance, and youth development programs in the country.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordsmith

The first poem of 2012! This was written on New Years Day. It's slam poetry, but I think it's still a decent read. 

Wordsmith
This is the poem I wrote for a slam
To tell you what I’m about
Who the hell I am
And I know that once I get the flow
Of these words
 I can be heard
And understood
No, I didn’t grow in the hood
But I have felt pain
The kind of agony that drives you insane
Harsh memories that you wish you can pour down the drain
Like the bath tub gin Ms. Hannigan is always sipping
And now this poem is tipping
From the kind of rap tap slap drama that was dripping
From my mouth in the beginning
Because I made an allusion
Not an illusion
But I can create one of those too
If that pleases you
Because I know if I can get these words right
I have the power to give you sight
To my world
To show you I am not ordinary girl
I am a poet
And I know it
From the moment I began scribbling these sentences at 11:20 at night
To the moment I am speaking them to you now
Damn I lost my rhyme scheme
And I now I have to dream a bunch of sounds that can cuddle with your ear
Because without this glitz I doubt you would bother to hear
The message I am trying to share
I know it’s there
But I quite haven’t found it yet
This makes me upset
Because I need this work to resonate with you
Reinvigorate and redo
All these problems that have turned our world into a zoo
Like rape and intolerance
Wars wrath
Mothers dipping their babies in a bath
And not even taking the time to clean up their own act
I want to touch upon
Something greater than Real Housewives marathons
And the Louie Vuittons that some 13 year olds drag around
While there is poverty
Illiteracy
Equality’s inconsistency
That’s sound hasn’t quite been found
Am I sounding profound to you?
I pray I do
Because that’s why stirring these words into a poetry stew
Hoping your impression of me has flew
Oops flown
Man I need to own what I’m saying
So everyone doesn’t think I’m playing
Because this is for real
If I’m going to change this world I need syllables like steel
That can do more than rewind the movie reel
But change the frames
Rearrange the pain
Give the limping child a cane
So I will never have to refrain
These words in another poem
I just take these and show them
And you will understand
That I don’t want to hold your hand
But lift you from the shadows
End all the battles
Slaughter evil like cattle
I’m sorry if this offends you
I’m not a vegetarian
I’m a humanitarian
You know what?
I’m not sorry
I’m proud of every word that I have found
To grace the air
So be prepared
I’m done being scared
And unsure
That my words are too juvenile
To be heard
I’m nerd
And I am capable of using sophisticated vocabulary
But I don’t want to talk down to you
This may be literature
But it’s most importantly a conversation
And I want you to respond
Are you fond of each letter’s location
My description of the situation
Come talk to me
 But be patient
Just pause
Because I need to listen to that sweet applause.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Post

Once again a year has slipped through our fingertips. But if there is nothing else I can be proud of in 2011, this blog is something that has meant so much to me. I feel like it has become my diary (even though you don't see any giant hearts and declarations of my love for Enrique Iglesias), and through posting to you,  I  have been truly able to reflect on my craft, goals, and loves. So here are my hopes for this blog in 2012 (one for every year in the new millennium):
  1. Get more submissions! I don't want to be the only underage voice calling out!
  2. More followers. It's a beautiful thing to know there is an audience.
  3. I'm going to try to post 5 days a week, which will be hard, but you guys deserve it.
  4. Showcase some lovely work
  5. More art and photography!
  6. I would love to get some recordings of spoken word up here.
  7. Get you guys to actually comment. Come on, you have opinions and I'm dying to here them.
  8. Music! I would love young artists to put their compositions on this canvas.
  9. Reach 1000 views. 'Nuff said.
  10. More photos on the site.
  11. Great quotes anyone?
  12. Get some adults to acknowledge my cyber child. 

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!