Ariel Resnikoff

From raisin in every bite (Furniture Press, 2022)

Author’s Note. raisin in every bite gathers and convenes devotional notebook poems at the threshold of dreams, where sleep meets afterlife in memory. These poems fly in flocks, in fabulous company of so many living and dead writers, in love and care for that great company, a ragtag translingual family of freaks and poets and outriders. Much of this writing arose in response to a weekly bicoastal virtual social club of poets called “Confetti” hosted by John Coletti late into the night and early morning through the depths of the first year and a half of the pandemic. Although the pamphlet bears no formal dedication, the longer ms-in-progress from which it’s culled — poems w friends & ghosts — is dedicated to the memory of George and Elio Schneeman; and the present selection I dedicate to my friend, the late Kevin Killian, who I miss every day, and who I meet now only in memory and dreams and poems.


precisely, as to you


one need not be a chamber to be haunted,

one need not be a house;

the brain has corridors surpassing

material place (e.d.)


in muddy nests

sounds slosh over

pots, stream

over stones


heavy weight

less river winds

bewildered in




‘s immense

sorrowful mess

& horror. such


odd inexplicable

beauties search

out relation to

learn the word


for pain

for pinecone

or acorn, repeat

it to share


in the riches

w everybody.

tiny palestine

sunbirds play


on fringes

strings in wind

‘s river foams

hovering hum







& glow &


under sunheat

speak in


sweet thin

beak songs.
i want to

learn the word


for pinecone

for acorn

for pain

w/o saying it.


in deepest

languages wild


lush inflect


ions rise up

from frozen

winter soils

& tongues







speaking thru

sleep, letting

sleep speak for

gotten memory



after kafka             w anselm


pressure morning

crows hop foraging 

im/possibility mvmts

the sky looks up

giant blue yarm

ulke nazar ocean

eye in raging storm



entropy trance


on warm jelly

fish blinds

reminder dings

& reminds “b.b. p.c.

fri 7:30 am”



sleep hymns

in anticipation

wakes to

pee texting

the already

awake on

diff time

zones, half-

asleep still

longing for


what can i

write this

morn abt j.g.

who visits

my office

each night

thru bomb

shelter door

smokes deep

in words


from talking

dirt moistening

lips into saliva


what can i

tell you of p.c.

who i never

met but who

visits in the

form of a

good word

btwn poets

a sweet salty

fume grown

into word

world from

grave beyond


others you’ll

meet in their

poems, at the

mallard on a

rogue tues eve

why call this

conjuring the

dead when u

can say “hanging


that life beyond

death in language

so perverse as to

exist for love

alone w no


love is not

the subject of

this poem but

its seed &


u, who inabit

this poem w

me, u reading

this now, who

dwell in poem’s


cook dank food

on shoestring

feast in language


peter contacted

some in life &

thru his poetry

in the lives of

others after


peter who dwells in

poems w us

poet ghost

bless this



dunes of

words rain


in golden

hash oil



current state


reading diane this morning when

sara texts “on the bus to

dresden”        “the language shall

be my element, i plunge in”

(that’s diane)                         one year & one

day today w/o her in the

world —          “the wisest silly

jokester” sara texts,             diane

raised up in good humor    her poems

from breathing bodies

into air



on stumbling on frank at the free library    


in sensuality i find a harvest dawn (f.o’h.)


as flabbergasted

ghastly ghosts

slink in crisscrossing

patterns cross a crowd

-ed page         frank sips

supps, sits down w

atar & me at silo

cafe orders a papaya

juice on ice    says to say

hello to harry                        her

father’s long lost

friend sitting one

table over       the fire

pits heavy ash

covers feet

in bare soot bird

bath morning

night’s cashed ends

light, slightly

sunk we peel

grapes into finger

wine   splash

puddles of blonde

hash pollen on

our eyelashes

frank takes a call

from bilaal

‘s youngest son, the poet’s

“stop by for

a drop, bring atar & ariel

on a cool september

promenade over

looking the medina

pillowly cakes &

bisquitim over thick

muddy coffee            in crust

cracked alleys

letters calling back our dead

color our eyes

in bodies setting

sat in quiet

aleppo synagogues

our footsteps burn at

every hand    forests

shudder ceaselessly


frank coughs into

my arm, intimate as

a child ,           muttering

spontaneous hymns

from inward


“father of

sound wake

harp’s fallen

to earth …”



dream in d.f.


a group of us

in the street

for a reading

in d.f. which



but never did

bernadette’s the

honored poet

& we read

all of us 


in a square

to a great crowd



it seems

our poems

& conversations

slip easily

btwn english

& spanish

bernadette closes

w a fav

if i suffered what else cd i do

& we retire to

an outdoor bar

a block from the

trotsky residence

the bar            i shd mention

has a moat

& crocodiles in it

snapping away

but we are not

afraid             order

large glass nargilas

& mescal w mint

on rocks

smoke giant plooms

of hibiscus lemon

shisha over back

gammon tables

bernadette leans

over to me &

suggests we 

poison some

fascists           i’m an

old poet she says

i’ll do it & they

can throw me in

jail, & y’re a

young poet, ariel

you can clean up 

the mess        laughs

phil almost chokes

a siren sounds breaks

dream frame for a sec

it’s the police

they’ve come to

murder someone

you see what i

mean ariel

but the cops

are clumsy

they’re not

expecting the moat

& trip suddenly

as one ugly wall

into the crocodile


a horrific scene


which we flee

relieved & not

overly worried

abt the cops

like the egyptian army

after exodus

free, we cut out

to a 24hr taqueria

& order

chicharrón prensado

tacos to share

rumspringa galore

washed down

w cold horchata

someone’s shlepping

a typewriter

probably bernadette

& we sit down

in the street

to drink &


& write you



lord of grass


after dark


reclining doubt


supplanted grief


at an ant farm funeral


wakes the campers


from heavy sleep


in camo green


burning grasses


for a night job


to a moon god


a parched peach


punch in mouth


feel my tears


fill yr eyes


key’s in b flat


piercing skin of


peach cheap panel


faces wince


heaps in twisted


sheets & bedding


tense sentences


fences’ groves


lost traces in sleep


follow trails


to redwd stands


w poems tucked in


breast pocket


like dew drip


ping off pine


wraps injured


bee in warm felted


wool mixed linen


gestures arriving


from skies beyond


tallest trees


& searches fwd from


futures to sound


finds a piece


red & smokey behind


bottom left molar


& begins to sing



it’s good to swim in a church (b.m)


“what was i just going to say?

we drink. alli pours another

glass of red. riv finishes her

pastis. b makes a face at

pasta. we are drunk &

stoned on giant joint

& several bottles of

wine & now pastis. it’s

getting twd that time

& we still gotta eat the

peach! that pici was

divine. I love it i think

the  duration of dinner

btwn hrs & years





no one will know

but the ghosts

k.k. told me

he believed he

had had a stroke

the v last time

i saw him, look

at me ariel, i’m

not me!          the first

time i heard him

read, i cd hardly

believe such a

poet existed &

lived among

us        at a gala

fundraising for

rachel’s new bk

k.k. was happy to

do it, arrived by

bart (refusing

cabfare), ate

burger before

hand (tho dinner

was served), asked

linda & me to

sign his auto

graph bk beside

rezzy & george

(when he

was the celebrity)

taking our picture

for pleasure

(not to post

but for his collection)

gave the best

reading of the

night (tho everyone

was great — hey sophia,

hey eleni)

drinking two diet cokes

(quickly, consecutively)

hugged me tight

when he said goodbye

(see you soon friend)

the last time i saw

kevin on this earth

at alan’s father

‘s reflectrograph

show at right

window: “i read

fascination on

the airplane, i tell

him, fucking

loved it, “you

perv, he laughs,

“what did yr seat

mate have to say?

reading over yr

shoulder thinking

now this kid’s

a real freak!

what i remember best?

at any given reading

kevin wd find the

least initiated

person in the rm

to chat to & take

their email or number

the most generous poet

i ever met

hands down

& again i’m reading


this time in bed —

“you really

are perverted, i hear

kevin smile