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Monday, December 28, 2015

To The Girl Who Found My Bisexual Poetry Offensive & Triggering

I hope you get heartburn from all the hatred you’ve swallowed.
Hope you never enjoy a funny clip from Ellen
the one where
pop bubbles
blown by babies
That Orange Is The New Black gives you night terrors
I hope you get night terrors about Nicholas Cage
Where you are Nicholas Cage
And they are not going to make another National Treasure
I hope your treasures have a cold
That flowers smell like violet caskets
That Sunday mornings taste like bruised grapefruits
Memories sink beneath the wrinkles on your face
Your forehead quicksand saturated with furrowed brow
I hope you fart during every date
I hope you be yourself on every date
That you’re as unashamed of your homophobia
At every poetry slam, job interview and hair salon
I hope the world can see you for who are
Who you want to be
That you end up with people just like you
Crack beside a mirror
broken outlined across your face
But as much as I’d love to crumble you like ruptured horizon
Dust you with darkness
Wedge apologies into your throat
I hope no one breaks your face
Dents your smile
Denies you the right to raise your babies
because of who you have them with
Won’t marry you because Jesus says you’re a bad match
I hope when you tell your parents why this week swallowed you
They don’t defend Wednesday's teeth
Call hate speech a second language you just don’t speak
Put a page count on your life story
I pray none of your days are numbered.
That you are never the gay kid tied to the fence
The rainslicked highway
That no one cares more about you in a headline then a classroom.
Your skin should never thicken into polished oak
Doorknob tumors colonize your tongue
It took me nineteen years to hatchet down
The locks I put on my own happiness
To write that poem
To write I am not straight
I am a sunburst ray pirouetting off anything that can love me
That my love is a ballerina rumbling inside my throat
That my heart doesn’t sketch in lines
It is a 3D printer
Sometimes humming about women
She looks at me and says,
But that my not have been your intention.
I reply,
No, I meant it to be very gay.
I hope this poem is triggering.
I wrote it to gun down memories of outlining myself in shadow
To shoot the stranger in a room where everyone knew my name
I wanted each stanza a massacre
Because I was the person who didn’t want to hear these poems.
My family changed temples when our rabbi came out.
I didn’t support gay marriage in high school,
Thought lesbians were fucked up
Because I didn’t want to be fucked up
Because I didn’t want the world to have another reason to make me the freak
I was so offended by gay that I refused to realize I was it.
I don’t know if this is a letter to you or who I used to be.

But to you both –
I hope you fight for your beliefs
But will be brave enough to change what you believe.
You can’t appropriate oppression.
You       are not under attack
I             am not triggering your hate
It           was spoonfed gunfire in your high chair,
incubated in a crib of Hiroshima
Being gay is not violent
Shoving bullets through your ignorance
Is not violent
It just feels like trauma to realize the ugly duckling was always a swan
Hollow out your chest so there is room for love
Even if it’s the not kind they said was holy
Because all love is holy
I will love you whole-y
With all of myself
even the offensive
parts you hate.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

To The Boy I’m Having Sex Dreams About:

After four consecutive nights
of seeing your naked body leaning across my unshaven subconscious
I found a poem grinning between my gums
A poem that is officially too embarrassing to write
The kind of embarrassing that erupts
When you really fucking want someone
When fucking isn’t a dirty enough word for the collision
The burst of our lavender breath
They started as fantasies
We’re in the mall buying lingerie
I ask you if this means we’re together
You do that yes of a laugh
And suddenly I am under you
Suddenly there’s an amber alert for my clothes
Suddenly I’m quaking in your arms
Constellations drying on my neck
You turn my mattress into a notebook
Stain my memories with tar-bled ink

I’ve told 3 friends
Thought: make this a joke
Turn the haunting into B movie gore
Laugh reverb into this jump cut

But this is not raw desire
Ok it’s pretty raw desire
But not Rocky punching steaks in the freezer raw desire
Like ahai tuna with a side of couscous please hold me until you’ve consumed my breath desire
But not like trendy
Like healthy
Like you are the first guy to meet me past moonlight
And photograph the sunlight in my smile
My self portrait looks a lot like a stabbing
Everything I say
Somehow staples me down
You whisper
Not every sentence has to be my hanging
But baby
If I’m even allowed to call you baby
Because putting you in poems
about me putting you in my sex dreams—
Fuck, it’s my poem, so baby
I scoop out my self-esteem to make room for your compliments
For your chocolate eyes
The overpriced fancy wrapper with quotes and 60% cocoa eyes
The I shouldn’t have bought this in whole foods
But today I stampede delicious eyes

You are my newest prescription of twitching heartbeats

Cover me like fresh snowflakes
Fill my teacup kneecaps with honey
So I can stick to something
So I can stick and not be stuck
You say I speak a lot and really fast.
I say there aren’t enough moments to dig up the words you bury in me
You walk me to my apartment
Your bike skids into a memory
I’m laying between extra pillows and poems
Hoping see you later
meant tonight

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cat Dissection

I’ve realized that 90% of human interaction is metaphor

Complaining over single ply toilet paper
tells your housemate to clean the bathroom

the perfect dress is the trophy for winning a breakup

We insert items in place of emotions
So I'm writing this poem about my anxiety--

Let's talk about my cat.

I got him to nestle in the shadows of all the empty I carried this summer
He found space to sleep in the loneliness I swallowed
Tiptoes across my stomach
like it’s been paved by pointe shoes
interrupts everything
interrupts my mind mid poem
mid class
mid breath
the last time I left my flesh in a man’s sheets
let his fingers bristle against my broken
I scarved down cereal and fled home to feed him

My cat is the anchor to my bed

only comfortable between the comforters
and behind closed doors
He tsunamis over moonlit voyages
Repossesses my dreams
I have midnight silence
Eyes wide open
Mind never quite shut
He sprints across a copper wheel in my crania
Mows down every person who’s told me I matter
Every person who’s told me they will be here

I trust my anxiety more than people because
he always will be here

Anxiety--I mean kitty
follows me across my kitchen and nibbles on my breakfast
reminds me I am never alone
that the universe is a china shop
and I am always the bull
he knows I rupture everything I touch
knows I'm running from expansion of my bones

When I admitted I was a cat person
I made more friends than ever before
a classmate tags me in posts of tiny tigers on instagram
my friend clenches me a joint
and says it lets his kittens out long enough
so he can sleep

Everyone likes dogs
but for some of us
the purr of anxiety is the only way we recognize home
they call us crazy cat ladies
but it is not just tattered women
it is not just the hum of insanity
Trembling nervous systems don't talk about our quake
silence is our evolutionary shell
We carve cellular cages to contain our rumble

this is my dissection
Scalpel's crash against my seizures
Stroking my kitten while typing in lines

I’m must acknowledge he exists
before I leave him at home.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

This Poem Is Not A Movement

To the self proclaimed proclaimed advocates
who smolder flame wars in burning cities
post about homelessness beside the hungry on their street:

Your profile claims you're the leader of our revolution
but you poured ice water on your head to avoid donating to ALS research
for an “activist” there is nothing active about you
championing from the comfort of your keyboard
you tweeted #blacklivesmatter
while people outside your window
chant it in the streets
chant it in the tear gas
chant it in the prison cells

you crave convenient equality
to be the cavern praised for its echo
but oppression’s eyes can’t be gouged by thumbs up
facebook likes elevate your ego not the fallen
today you shouted through a silent medium
we became the generation
who demands wildfire out of unlit cigarettes
you are a severed lighter who’s never tasted flame

we were not built to tweet from the shoulders of giants
we climb blood and bones for more than the view
Malala took a bullet to go to class
and we pretend sharing an article about her
is solidarity

Resurrected hope isn’t reverb
isn’t the applause of a digital choir
the three minutes it took to reblog about Orange is the New Black
won’t spark prison reform
posting hunger statistics won’t change them
Just as staring at beer won’t take you off those antibiotics,
splashing around in your own tub will never make waves
a hashtag is not a movement
a retweet is not a movement
this poem is not a movement
a movement involves moving
standing up for something
strong enough to pin you down
wrestling with controversy under mustard moonlight
until it quivers at the edge of your jaw
skin it into a saddle and ride into a ruptured horizon

you know, Ghandi didn’t instagram the sea
he marched to it

it’s important to be heard
but America’s systems
have bleeding out for centuries
someone has to stitch us back together
someone has to do more than scream doctor
someone should start a conversation
but we need more than just talk.


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!