The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2022

All Issues
OCT 2022 Issue


dream in east bay

the small / light the / large (rashi)

ask those hebrew ecstatics up there on the trees of sorrow, mystic bloodfruit picked in the season
of the dead

bob kaufman appears at a south berkeley catch out
smells of sweet aromatic cannabis & sweat
we meet under orange tent             blue tarp
ash cloud sky
            no measure for misery in history
bob says
turns to
            i come here to meet bob in my sleep
where he meets me in poems
in poems where we speak
            distemporal whispering carbon
marks soot from former fires
fucks unceremoniously
as brain touching glass
            in fish eye lives
hasidic rebbe
just behind retina
            bob snorts talmudic rubble
bramble bearded
bubbaleh & zugt mir epes zis
throats & licks a poem
            in our mutual absence
the camp has been here for years
since I was born
since bob died
            w birth memory bob reminds
me of something cecilia taught in
oakland            in santiago
the feeling of glacier under
feet, under heat
sounds of life now
dripping into oblivion
            one night when j.g. visits
bob comes along for the ride
to the camp beside the main catch
out in emeryville
carrying a mouth harp like
charlie morrow
            sings to us in rasping
acoustics decoding a passage
from querelle
“what new body wd be his”
            the voices of ghosts
flooding him
behind us fires ripping thru
shipping containers
piles of disposable gloves &
masks cover old mattresses
            when cecilia speaks in memory
i see in her eyes
ancient footlights
            i weep in my hands quietly
“not to make smoke”
            during silent melting icicles
hail scatters wakening snow
wolves in ice forests
            at village’s canary coates
where alter begs archeo
forensics reveal
traces of frank
incense & cannabis
not quite unfathomable
as falsifying a record
& calling it faith
            bob reads over
ecstatic hebrew
at the far end
of the camp runs into
ashby flea market
a fête-like atmosphere of drummers
& rough handlers
            spots kathleen pushing larry
dear larry, who my father
speaks to in shul w/o knowing
who he is
my father who’s always checking
to make sure larry has
everything he needs (he does)
            one night in el cerrito
digging thru photos
larry’s face in that moment
waiting for traffic to pass
            in deep memory wells
            poetry swells
w bob rubbing his hands together
to relieve stress
cecilia whispering over red yarn
            mvmt of the baywrd gulls
turning north of west
past san pablo
            on far side of el sobrante
yes even that far north
where once i fell
asleep at the wheel
            the last camp we visit
across creeks from tracks
ugly sludge heavy lips
harness earth
            still nights we spend
cracked open in air
            it doesn't add up
adjustments agitate nocturnal
caressing silk eyes
in sinuous sonorous embrace
            mouth to mouth
            breath to breath

raisin in every bite                        w jason mitchell

a bush & hedge salivates
agelessness            faith healers
radical faithlessness            chord
thrumming pod scum pixy
goths thumb wrestle into
nothingless guests            a genre
or chance propels us twd
choice            chants instill
anti-silence cannabis rituals
as peter culley’s gorgeous
bearded figure approaches
w glasses of
canadian club
in the shape of chess pieces
            b.b. raises a bishop
p.c. reads clarice lispector’s
agua viva aloud &
i recite sweet aramaic
snake songs        we encant eybikayt
in perverse intrusions of non-
capital-oriented throat
clusters            a seed pops in
pipe till match lit sonrisa
cobras copa duet
            p.c. sleeps in hemp linen
fringes, floats down:
            “don’t frown ya’ll
the secret louche good life
tonic longing raised
thousands of kith faded
believers twd dbl eternity
dbl living creaturely futures
            no secret at all just
high-ass catnip talking
lit pasta friends
hanging out
yelling over a table
            or soon breaking
shreds on
fragrant light
& smoke

bits of

words never reveal him, they do not really define him at all. on the contrary, they seem to enter
through his mouth, to pile up inside him, to settle & to form a thick mud deposit out of which, at
times, a transparent bubble rises exploding delicately on his lips.

argot forgot
whole words
fell out cracked
onto concrete
j.g. greets p.c.’s
cattish fish-fry
lips - tight tight
bell bottoms
hugging his
ass. “wasn’t
it querelle
who spoke
in harmonies
remains?” smoke
up sara laughs
rips a page
from our lady
writes a letter
aloud in whispers
walking us thru dense
desert blooms while
p.c.’s left
arm w a tattoo
it reads:
“light is

the exchange of hunger for thirst (b.g.)

i wanted to send you a poem
dedicated to barbara guest
            in early morn dark i get up
smash up cashews for z
mix in raisins peel whole
apples, & barbara’s name is just
there scribbled in my hand
writing             a notebk meditation
daily ritual like marking
the calendar or making the
bed            we’d been calling
our poems “residues”
imagining them in cracks
& crevices scraps         as
i.j. segal, on factory tissue
papers            to will the night
mare away is not
the same as waking
up from it you said asleep
we awoke to a recording
of barbara reading at the library of
congress (1960):
“it makes us see some
one we love in an
acre of grass”
            & god
did i want to respond
to that call, to barbara’s
cadence tuned & in
toned as sliver & ram’s
wool        on fallow crease
& bump bump
bumps its way into
the poem, a yet
unseated sound re
sounding in at
mosphere         there’s
always text
sometimes soothes the
pain sometimes intensifies it
            if i sent you anything
it was def coated in smashed
up cashew residue          every
thing is these days                 we
joke abt joining the
of our everyday
mvmts turns streams
twd streams wandering
“into clouds & air” (b.g)
            somehow we find time
to pass notes back
& forth             i write my
dream abt you
& barbara in my
notebk but never
send it only read
it to you over


in all many things may fall (b.m.)

take yr time it’s
all we’ve got any
more, that hand
knit scarf is so
talkers in the
dark, warbler
heart magnit
ude seepage
            on shoe
string sutures
routine’s collided
mud fleece
dragged over
sloppy earth
as drunk
arriving home
after bar
parks car on
lawn,             dear
reader, who
else took me in
thru such pleni
tudes but you?
            this memory
of loss having
forgotten what
was lost             in
tongue held
in stilts above
heaving sky
            torpid popsicle
brain clay
ovens, furs
crops of boar
‘s head apothe
caries failing
time        when
time’s failing
            if hope is also
theft        steal
back yr time
            who else
can help but
yr friends
            the waves
seas’s cloven
shaker routines
touched lips
in honey or
buzzing pleasure
therapies on
forehead &
ass lasting hrs
on end
            growling leaves
sun snaps its eyes
longing twd
sight        & price
paid in water
& pack well &
measured depth
against time
            “hope turned
to horror” head
line reads: that
’s what’s meant
no shower
on earth can
wash away
fully luke bath
etic proverbial
blessing of the
nadar:             may
the evil eye
keep far from
here         our little
carbon spot
in the shape
of a great battery
            a shifting alive
mosaic looking
back at powdered
mouth             scowling wild
dogs on every
hill         sound
cries endure
in cells before
our ears


Ariel Resnikoff

Ariel Resnikoff’s most recent works include the poetry collection, Unnatural Bird Migrator(The Operating System, 2020), the chapbook, raisin in every bite (Furniture Press, 2022), and with Jerome Rothenberg, the translingual epistolary collaboration, A Paradise of Hearing(The Swan, 2021) He is a translator of Yiddish, Hebrew and Spanish poetry and prose into English.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2022

All Issues