Ariel Robello

Ariel Robello

Living in Echo Park, Ariel Robello currently teaches poetry and serves in conducting the HeART project in nearby high schools.  My Sweet Unconditional, her first book of poetry, was published in 2005 by Tia Chucha Press.  She is the founder of a multi-ethnic, multi-generational women’s poetry cipher called Full Moon Phases.  Additionally, her poems have appeared in several literary works, including Urban Latino Magazine, el Aviso Magazine, Poetry Is Not a Luxury, and An Anthology of Poems by Women of Color in Los Angeles, among others.

Included below are selected works by the visiting writer.



where I'm from real people eat tacos at 4 a.m.

drunk and high they enjoy freedom from D



                                                                      P top



low riders

with neon bass and no where

no where to go

real people lie steal and smoke their lives away

angry and undereducated

real people need drama and day jobs

to occupy voids between hangovers

and month late car payments

confined to waiting rooms

real people stare down

real people under florescent lights

they print their names at the X with a lucky pen

for a chance at free checking and chest exams

with security cameras watching

real people dance with mannequins

after closing real people sweat

under heat lamps their bodies melding

into one seamless happy ending

once a flaming rabbit's foot

fell through the black top

of my real world

the roof

the roof

the roof is on fire

it was the first time

i.            la gata loca

saw a hole to the other side

where the best years of real life

were worth more than a slow dance with number 33

on the all star team

for the the thunder of my feet

pounding what's real into molehills behind me

is as loud as the night I decided to hunt the the wildebeest of more

(First published in her book My Sweet Unconditional by Tia Chucha Press in 2005).


Let Me Ride

let me ride in the lover's car

where I am Iztaccihuatl on his lap

white volcano before war

bass rumbling below us

warnings from fault lines undecided

which side we'll choose

it takes an hour to go one mile down the Strip

that is three lights

his fingers tappping Morse code inside

the lover's car where bras are left like surrender flags

and perfect bald heads grow wet with cinnamon kisses

I want to be the Aztec calendar girl

mounted between his shrine to la Virgin and Teena Marie

hickeys framing my charm necklace

laughing at bullhorn warnings

from policemen too afraid to talk shit to our faces

it is before curfew, graduation and Uncle Sam's nagging plea

to be all you can be on this night

you must ride, 15 mph, detailed and louder than your neighbor

you must know which hand signs peace and which will launch wanton action

you must bite down hard on your urge to outrun

every other hard shell in the race

let me ride backseat immune to stop signs

pilfering seconds before life calls

before we become hazy interpretations of what they'd have us be

before laptops and DSL, Afghanistan and dress pants

before credit checks, regrets, training camps, freshman politics, rudimentary

skills we'll need to survive after this night

steady driver, we're making time stand still back here

steady, we're undressing worm holes back here

steady, we ain't ready to go home just yet

(First published in her book My Sweet Unconditional by Tia Chucha Press in 2005).