For More Than Poetry

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cages

Our world is full of fences, borders, and boundaries. But what do these simple barriers symbolize? That depends on what medium you are using. 
A photography technique I have discovered in my work is to show something symbolic behind the bars of a fence. This shows an underlying feeling of oppression and gives a photo extra meaning.
For example:

I challenge you to give this technique a go...you might like what you get!
Please feel free to attach a photo in the comments or email it to underagevoices@gmail.com, it might get featured!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ruins

I felt the electric pulse of the water under my feet, each molecule crashing within the walls of body, and knew that I was home. It was early morning when he took me there, right before the summer sun became searing, demanding the attention of all who dared to dwell beneath it. His dad explored here during the seventies, and had spoken of a solid marble bridge within the forest, now engulfed by the sports centers, fine art centers, and drama centers. This bridge was not a “center”; it was the center of everything that adolescence, beauty, and I meant, even though at that time I had not even begun to grasp any of those definitions. We slowly hiked within the mustard lines of an average road, one countless feet had rustled upon. Oaks served as stain glass windows, converting sunlight into a mystifying emerald. The steep road was frosted with dew, the aphotic pavement seductive, like the air of a crisp summer evening. Words echoed through the walls of my mind: I wish Julia wasn’t here—that it was just he and I together and in this silence he would finally hear the underlying and overarching emotions I keep shouting at him. But Julia’s presence graced this memory, for he and I were just friends…only friends. He looked at me; his heart didn’t vibrate rapidly like the wings of hummingbird flying from a ruby chrysanthemum to a snowy rose. He didn’t see a goddess draped in sapphires emerging from the sea. He couldn’t—could he? Did he? Within my internal caverns I knew that when he looked at me he witnessed a girl in dark skinny jeans jotting down poems with a leaking plume. He led us to a field that had never previously entered my pupils. It was empty. It was purposeless. So it was beautiful.
He taught us to descend through a patch of worn grass, down to a brush of olive vegetation, saying beyond the shrubs, sticks and barbs resided the bridge. The courage to continue the search had not developed in our hearts. We just stared at the slithering plants, seeing a barrier of thorny serpents.
               In time, love was discovered, hearts became shattered, and memories within the pages of my mind were mindlessly stained with coffee and tears. I revisited that bridge. Without him. I ascended to the sacred place alongside my friend Roxanne, but I was alone. Yet I needed Roxanne there; she wouldn’t play with my heart and rearrange it like a mechanic trying to remake a car, twisting its inner-workings with a cold rusted wrench. She wouldn’t do what he did. She couldn’t. I needed to share this site, for I couldn’t return to where everything was once whole, and view myself now, unfiltered by the desire to staple the emotions within my gut in an attempt to maintain normalcy in front of a peer. I couldn’t look at the pre-owned Volvo I had swiftly become. Beneath my hood was unsalvageable damage, minature metal screws shattered and blue wires meshed with the red and oil polluting my tank, causing it to erupt in an enormous internal fire.  I needed a Julia to be there—for this world not to be our place, his place, my place, but a place undefiled by a possession term before it.  
I weaved myself through the brush, bristles stabbing my chest as my feet gripped unsettled soil. Within a pulse I immersed in a foreign organic utopia. It was beautifully silent, silent and loud, the colors of trees shouting at me, the firefly creek sprinting. I held a thirst—to find that bridge—the judgeless bridge, the missing file in my memories.  My feet dropped into the water and danced across a mosaic of russet rocks. Upstream I went. I walked up; I ran up; I flew up. There was no bridge.
               Stabbed by shards of disappointment, devoured by darkness, yet standing in the light, I continued encountering a huge wall of cement. I had searched for a mystical bridge and merely discovered a product of industry polluting my paradise. The urge to attack every piece of the artificial edifice swelled within my core. I rotated to the other side. There lay an affable lake which stretched beyond the corners of my mind, speckling citrine. It was in motion yet obsolete. It was everything and nothing, esoteric yet austere. I plunged my foot within its body and it merged with me, then connected me into my surroundings. My soul drove within the waters, stimulating an extreme jolt, as the driver liberated her form from dented steel doors.
               With the whisk of the wind she turned to the other section of the concrete wall. I was consumed by the intricate carvings dripping down its angles. Its shards were scattered on the ground like the sneezes of stars. These carvings, these ruins, were molted skin. They were the remnants of my coveted bridge, and they were there, broken yet still beautiful. And at that moment, amongst those ruins, I felt pieced together for the first time.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Desert Days

So does anyone else want a burst of warmth and summer? Just because it's February doesn't mean that we have to burrow ourselves in snow. This summer I visited the Negev, and now it is time to return. (And take you with me!) Check these photos out.

Sunrise over the Dead Sea

View from another desert mountain

Looking upwards from inside a desert cave
Palm trees near a Bedouin tent

Dawn at Masada

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

America the Land of the Free (Except for Children)

The mistreatment of children is no well kept secret--Over 3 million reports involving multiple children are made each year. The statistics are plain devastating, yet very few know them. 
It is time to get informed. No matter what the age of a person, they are still a human being and deserve to live a happy life free from fear.
Here are some quick statistics and reasons why change is absolutely crucial.
  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
  • More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
  • Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. 1
  • It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates. 
  • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
But what is being done? 
Absolutely nothing. 
More than 190 countries to have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a 1989 treaty that sets out protections for children. 
Every country except the U.S., Somalia, and South Sudan (which has just recently been established) agrees with a passage stating that countries must protect children from "all forms of physical or mental violence".

We still think that corporal punishment is not abuse. We are wrong. 
When you physically attack someone, the pain is not ageist.
Laws preventing abuse shouldn't be.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Quick Message

I haven’t posted in a while
But when I do it makes me smile
Shrivels all my discomfort in a pile
Okay I may be embellishing for poetic effect
But I’m just hoping that these words will reflect
A smudge of gratitude
I have towards you
My near and dear reader
My gentle heart beater
For without you these poems would simply be descriptions
Not statements
Devoid of all meaning
Without you I would not bother re-enter my rhyme scheme
My work could not rock another into a dream
It would be just some scattered screams
Falling apart at the seams
You give me organization
A celebration
An odd sensation
Of success
You give me a reason to dress
With a little conviction
To not weep at every dismal prediction
To let my words be more than fiction
But my story
So please my lovely friend
Do not make this relationship end
Even when the lines get boring.

Only For Now


When I hear the words
Together we can
I don’t think about halting the oppression plaguing the world like bedbugs on our sheets
Or the tyranny grasping the souls of the innocent
When I listen to that phrase
I only hear you and me
Because boiling in my soul I know that together we can
Make each other’s hearts flutter
Like the vibrating wings of a hummingbird
And make our juvenile tongues stutter
And that’s fine, because the words spoken by our eyes are already heard
And that together
I won’t need to spend my time decaying in Sephora buying blush
Because when I’m beside you
My smile tingles
My emotions mingle
And I am in a whirlpool of waterfalls and bowling balls
Crashing through my chest
Because every moment with you is a rush
I know that together I would never feel lost
In this labyrinth of life
Because you would always be there
Devouring shadows and flicking on the light
Hidden in a crevice in my mind
One that gets lost in the darkness
One you always seem to find
I know that together
I’ll never feel foul or feeble
Or just plain senseless or wrong
Because when you speak
You say I’m beautiful: eyelashes thick, speech strong
Because your voice runs along
Through me like a symphony
A brilliant bird’s song
Rippling through my heart
Together we can.
But for now, we’re apart.

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!