We got the room
in other hands, to exit like a merino ghost.
What was I telling you about?
- John Ashbery


pylon goes with pediment off
p makes me think ‘python’
my neck of the snake family
snak’e’s tongue spooled
‘round-a-pillar chameleon
feeling, cored morning light
a snaked-it, constricted flume,
over tree-shaped tonsils
animal word on cool spruce
or pig gram oinking solitary voyeur


gashed lit flaming instant
thoracic flowering curled
like a memory redeemed
by bite with frontal teeth   
neon percussive feedback
loop in empty auditorium
I retract jab confession#1    
spilled wine on white sheets
while you were sleeping
pending littoral swagger
braggadocio in my blood
polite way of saying ‘crazy’
tractable over autumn
when I turn another year
upside now w/ heart-shaped
spade, trailing fevered light
from candlestick abridged
confession#2, I lean over
fence, irrupted stormy wind
scaled with reminiscence
subtracting certain presences
from my brain as confession#3
holds existence over crispation
possibly frothy hair, nails darkened
by dirt ovation, the word ‘plumule’
flashing on the frontal lobe
nerve endings bathed in long
confession#4 feeling daringness
for touching mere leaf
rumbling musingly, a shoot
in my ear moderately adjusted
to soundscape, stalking edge of
frame with a single sycophantic
eye, wrinkled cryptic cosmology
three-dimensional vortical
picture within picture as birds chirp
alongside bark in worm mockery 


leafy light swells like a halo
on a gecko’s head, or other
whorl repel bug meat in
sketch#2, edible berries
crisp buttered bread, spilled
morning glasses, congenial leftover
crystalized sauce in mottled dish
as liquid intake threatens solid
consumption by ratio of 4:1
mostly buzzed bubble at times
fermented synecdochic way of
saying ‘drunk’, sketch#3 grows
silent in magenta petal [insert
verb into empty sprocket]
as late summer decay bottled up
gale will not seduce sketch#4
into kinetic recall, this touched slushy
fear straightjacketed as gradual escalation
of emotional disquiet reels
despite mind’s repressive efforts


northern forest birds within grey
mountain, palpitating green stalk
as peaked form, at once dreaming again
of being effulgent ribbed grass alongside
precipitous cliff, pumice soaked in silvery
light, stone dream waking to votive sonnet
in eyelids of another dream, inch in
nightmare inside claws tearing at the id
could not recognize a single word, mouth
glued by jest, hiding a pit of bosky silence     
I see orbital in the computer screen, not
digital insanity, or ripe larynx data voice,
clothed recitation in numeral submission
puritan leap between code, an incarnate
message from the afterlife of ciphers
I am cold without my lost gabardine
approaching a homeless mongrel
from inapt urban canine velocity
moan measured against ankle pressure
unpluck the wave washing through this past


definition of leg muscle begins to shrink
in proportion to mood disorder, pill#1
rebuke sugar-cube & coated chocolate, add
pill#2 to scalded roof of relaxed mouth
not yet salivating ‘hoarily’ reasoning as pill#3 alters
poetic pilgrimage beginning to rust, sophisticated
design subduing pill#4, the adjective is ‘briskly’
spiraling toward delusion, eternally trivet recalling
grandma’s flailing curtains rubbed & shuffled
southern winds, “View full results for” pill#6
metatarsal adjudication wobbling pain of burst
ankle as cautionary conduit for wary spinning
on hind legs somersault, barely the eye per its multiple
canes, flashy or fleshy as incipient winter light taps
booklet with my spinal gauntlet, ink on wrinkled rip
folds pill#7 waiting expiration of mercantile date 


mirrored self-image in your
fanciful girth breathing inside
my ilk as mole#1 on left breast
retained inside bruise, mighty
signature, subcutaneous
signatory consciousness
with mole#2 retrograde planet
concludes a leap or star cluster
from collarbone to mammalian
fold, as staged skin marooned
in ripple-less seafoam cubbly cloud
emphatically steers mole#3 body
reflecting underbellied thought
sleep slushing through porthole
called night-mare, my moss on wet
rock, green fingers floating amid
flocks, gusty air rubbing my skull
fantastical & hairy as dreamy mole#4
on offspring’s forehead, clandestine
reticulation of vein called belonging



Isabel Sobral Campos is the author of the poetry collection Your Person Doesn’t Belong to You (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2018), and the chapbooks Material(No, Dear and Small Anchor Press, 2015), and You Will Be Made of Stone (dancing girl press, 2018). Her poetry has appeared in the Boston Review, Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere. Chapbooks are forthcoming with Above/Ground Press (2019) and Sutra Press (2020). She is the co-founder of the Sputnik & Fizzle publishing series.