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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jeans

Everyone has that one fact
That no one really expects
But once you hear it makes perfect sense
For me, it’s that I don’t own a pair of jeans
My closet looks like the 70s got drunk and threw up in it


But when I was 7
my favorite pair of jeans
breathed embroidery
pockets stitched with salmon meadows
snarling vines and outstretched leaves
wrapped my thighs with aneurysms of color.


But their insides were always more fascinating.
Layered in tangled stitches
An unseen tango of  indigo thread
seams expanding silent fireworks
tangled,
like breaths inching between lovers lips
connecting and colliding at the same time.


At 7,
they were too vibrant to keep to myself.
So one day I went to school
with my pants inside out


This was the first time
my feet were strong enough to stand their ground
Those jeans taught my knees not to buckle
at my classmates’ snickers
how to love things for their insides.
When my pockets were exposed
exhibiting their full volume
I discovered how much I could carry.


Today jeans are not enough
I need more than inverted pants to hold
my new craving
to turn my skin inside out
Showcase patterns of veins
like threads embroidering my surface
I want to wear my inner layers
Accessorize lungs with dangling atria
I’ll sway my neck bones like silver chains
capable of surviving a thousand brands of whiplash.
My flesh is torn with pimples
but my blood has flawless molecules.
My brain’s wrinkles map out boundaries I have crossed.

You can read my face like a book

but it's only one chapter
You need to know my everything
to understand anything
how being called nothing
transformed me into something
Something
When people ask when did you become a poet
I tell them it was the moment I turned myself inside out.
The moment
I wore my heart on my sleeve
The moment
I let words confined to the back of my throat
knit a scarf around my neck
because I wanted to feel warm
because I wanted to stop feeling alone
because I wanted glaciers to rupture with the warmth of honesty
shattering miles of silence inside me.

Let me replace my mirror with an X-ray

let me unzip my skin
wear my guts
my stomach of caged bluejays burning to migrate
I only feel whole when I'm bleeding out
when I liberate crimson memories into the wind
I am a wish whistle dandelion
growing into a 19 year old who doesn't need
to wear her jeans inside out
I don’t even own a pair
Instead I fill my wardrobe with words
Let every outfit be a statement
Because if beauty comes from within
We can burst every seam.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

UnSaid

I was telling Marcella how the other night
When I said hello
Even John Henry noticed you ignore me
The nicest guy sharpened his pencil to test you out
Scribbling your name into the crowd
You didn’t just greet him
But shook his hand with respect
That I guess you don’t think you owe me anymore


The story wasn’t half as funny after I said it


You’re not telling me something.
She said.
How did miscommunication degrade to non-communication?


I tried to explain that we had broken up
Not in the couple kind of way
because you wouldn’t let it get to that point
But there was a crack between us
a line we never crossed again
I told her about that night we went home together
making pit stops to make out at every statue on the way back
But I didn’t describe my wobbling feet on heels too high
Or your stumbling body on legs too long
how your giant hands were moths scattered into the night
I couldn’t catch midair
Or that moment clenching each other’s cheeks
whispering that we loved each other too much to love each other
We were avalanches
if we touched we’d tear apart the earth beneath us
But we tumbled into kissing a way I’d never been kissed before
Violently colliding
we came up to breathe three times
Before noticing the passed out Santa across the floor
How do I tell her how I clung to you in shadows
commenting on my slutty costume 
when I was not a girl who wore slutty costumes
Admitting I wore it for you
Reeling scales before recognizing your fins in the sea
How it hurt that you didn’t notice
You apologized but never told me I looked beautiful
I didn’t feel beautiful roaming into your apartment
Marcella I want to tell you about how when we got into his room
He left the lights off
And that I didn’t know to expect that
But I didn’t want to exit the moment
So I left pieces of myself in his doorway
I never got to pick up
Because I wasn't invited back
I didn’t tell her
when you asked me if I’d ever been in love
I didn’t feel experienced enough to answer yes
So I absorbed a girl who cut you
From an angle I could never reach
Thankful you didn’t bring up another she again
You realized her mind was not going to rearrange its wrinkles
Your obsessions with women who were never going to love you
While I was just the girl who tried to make you love yourself
I didn’t tell Marcella we were each other’s diagrams
Maps to navigate ruptures in our atria
You cartographed scrapes long faded into scars
crossing borderlines carved with a shard of glass littering the street
where I was locked under moonlight
I recognized my own sadness in your voice
when you asked if I ever wanted to kill myself
As I shook my head you whispered
I have
I reached for your fingers but they burrowed down my shirt
Laid in silence
Let you dig craters in my chest
Craving to be alone together
Bearing witness to each others wounds
I couldn’t explain how you told me to participate
So I haphazardly pulled off your shirt
Exploring not chest but demands
But when you suggested we both get naked
The no permeated my lips
because regardless of what you said
Undressing would reveal more than flesh
Amplifying the poor in our decisions
Crimson regret spilling across bone
I breathed relief the next morning
When we discussed that I was just seventeen
And you muttered
I almost committed rape
Admitting the stop signs I choked up
Sometimes halted motion more important than traffic
But at that point I was sober
And you were high
I was always sober and you are always high
And I can’t mention to her
the only reason I started drinking was to prove our compatibility
how once you were gone I started smoking
hoping brushing air through my teeth
would make me understand your power to evaporate
you’re gone but I feel droplets of your touch across my spine
my hair as thread for your fingers
you told me it was everywhere and you loved that
Back when we mentioned being doomed to fall for each other
Bare chest to chest glossed by daylight


I didn’t tell her when you stopped accepting my kisses
I continued even though your mouth tasted like hangover
trying to reawaken its lips
How you made it clear that you had things to do and places to be
And I was not invited
I froze beneath your covers
Tongue thawed when my eyes struck your skin
I like the way you look shirtless. I said.
I like the way you look shirtless. You said.
I exhaled I don’t and you shot me a look of pity
That bled out my capacity to tell you anything again
You bargained for me to leave
Saying the only kiss I’d get was one goodbye
I slapped on your sweatshirt and flip flops
Which you’d repossess that afternoon
For my walk of shame
Which began when I made you kiss me a second time
In a way that felt like you meant something
Sentiment I could trace between our tongues
Later you named it confusion
Do you want me to tell her
How this was just the first page of the saga
Where you’d write songs about me writing poems about you
Of the night your drunk tongue nicknamed me baggage
Or drunker you dived into me again
And when I drowned you in rejection
You followed me throughout the party
trying to tongue every girl in my vision
How we went from friends to lovers to enemies to strangers
to letters on a unprinted page

Or are some tragedies better left unsaid?

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!