Book Review :: Insomniac Sentinel by Abraham Smith

Insomniac Sentinel poetry by Abraham Smith published by Boabab Press book cover image

Guest Post by Nicholas Michael Ravnikar

reading’s at a loss for punctual and capital in abraham smith’s 125-page Insomniac Sentinel so’s that the rarely contractions and possessions make em half known

each poem puts on a voice that’s not his self’s but’s still his own, like “Hoodwink Aubade” leans on a big stick to jaw about u.s. gun culture’s manliest ideas

the enjambments leave “a black eye / everywhere on the body” & insist asking how’s the commonplace meet divine as “god does / teeth to babies”

you start to notion how well organized & awake verge on disorder maybe or past it

it’s often we see little how “we / are one musical family” yet the book stays awake & ever watchful over tercet-storied dialects interjecting bits of punt nonce scents and elide how endings end in ing

that hurts to watch if you’re not so careful as him

here’s then tales to hand stories over to unspeaking & such fanciful finds we earn in the barest sense of the word

enough to veil up a skyfull of featheries

there’s cranes or crayons to keep color in the clouds run through all the pages

you’ll see for yourself if you’ve the patience & alertness

you can learn a lot from abe smith


Insomniac Sentinel by Abraham Smith. Baobab Press, 2023.

Reviewer bio: Nicholas Michael Ravnikar is a disabled neurodivergent writer, artist & critic who lives in southeast Wisconsin. He once ate peanut butter off a landline. It’s a long story. A father and spouse, he enjoys lifting weights, yoga, and meditation in his spare time. Connect with him on social media and download free books at bio.fm/nicholasmichaelravnikar@gmail.com

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