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September 27, 2018 / barton smock

Our Earliest Tattoos – poems – Peter Twal


Our Earliest Tattoos
poems, Peter Twal
The University of Arkansas Press, 2018


With vision and expanse enough to spot grass in the teeth of god, poet Peter Twal is able, in Our Earliest Tattoos, to palm the pop mortality of what it means to be appropriately beheld and, as such, so gently infiltrates the inner circle of distance that one may get carried away with the knowledge that we don’t last long. In form, the work is bent by sonnet to its interrupted blessings; in shape, it is a gospel gone to pray for the unclosed if of immediacy; in voice, a haunted medicine dropper lifted from imagination’s melancholy and held above the ghosted vulgar of characters italicized by a dryness specific to the short life of apocalypse. Twal’s touch is deceptively light, but not secretive; mystery, here, is visibly moral; and mark, a brief bed for the…

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