Macaw & Friends

Isabel Sobral Campos

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You’ll eat magpies if you have to as one thousand eyes compress

inside a single sack of bones,

one thousand possibilities, for flies have grown angel flaps

so have various masked insecta whose names we memorize by installing taxonomy software in our brains



Looking for being in reticence of Latin,

nom de plume:

ectognatha variorum,

nom de plume:

mantis religiosa,

poem’s nom de plume:

mope or mopeum, a sometime pome.





c d    e kgj l

m n o p t u

v w y   r   x z


poem’s axe

’s invitation

’s insulation

’s population

‘s palavering

’s stronghold

‘s sneakiness

‘s furtiveness

‘s fuzziness

‘s blitheness

‘s bereavement

‘s moodiness

‘s rabidness


mope’s doppelganger is not a shadow or a razor, but a film of light traveling through that strange temporality which will save poems, perhaps even people, or parrots, but not whales or other large mammals, not simple filmy beings, not something that chooses to look & not move, not eyes, & not mouths used only to eat, not language as we know it, already “the-death” fabricates reverse illusion whereby nothing was ever born, both without & within, from the perspective of false gods, Macaw, whose eyes were red before turning white, tells us, in the beginning poem walked up to poem & said:





   ipo   nnnn



in that order & shape for Macaw says you could hear the pause swinging, then poem walked back to poem & said:



kl :op&     one of them wasn’t equipped to understand



Net Fragment awoke among the world’s ashes where two sisters were singing, perhaps, Macaw said, they looked exactly alike & might have even been the same person.



When Macaw laid down its crest                  ,


when Macaw’s eyes became white circles                                 ,


when his feathers ruptured human eyes                                                                ,


mope wanted a red feather

mope wanted a white eye



seeing itself in interplanetary dimension of poem  & tasked with emitting messages:

lllooo  llllooooo   llllloooooo



when Macaw presented a skull with shinny letters :


h   l  k  p  y   t 


f a w ow mdjsm rkd


ears rested on the side of the skull


hands moved alongside the skull

for Macaw was thinking about a being who would make mope into poem




first there were sounds


then there was a conversation


:jkl? Aodj


:saow. amdadprjtjp.aosd?


quicksilver as poem’ s blood

cooling inside a cave              when mope  began to swear: sfsr7r9udsjffnfirf!!


Macaw’s after-ghost symposium begins with giggling thunderbolts shattering stone tablets

Fortify your intent to whack fractured precursors of words

sikl  , for example     ilmk , for example  kil


as mope is not ideal translator, 


if Macaw spreads its glossy wings


if buffy


or if drenched in rainwater its wings sag down



Macaw returns to its primordial setting

whispering at the kimono sleeves of clouds

tapping on memorabilia


stepping lightly on the carpal earth         from where mope emerges fungi-fresh


fuchsia marveling millennial stare

in Macaw’s wonderful world of rebelling chicaneries

i.e. letters  





Druid inside helm of letter,      crust of tee


the purple scavenger, a shepherd


of Nordic birds


numbering the universe

subduing its strata with


a tiny wingspan

tattooed on eyelid



pome sees





cacophony for indifferent hominids             spasm of sound











pome’s home is literatim     though

its beak stains




red poked


of clearing




bird calls



chiseling nectary dots in i’s plurally singular




A pig-like bird,

a pome pressed

into being poem



Macaw stretches its longwinded beak bathing in first congenial silence

reddish underwing over recumbent fog slithering through grey spaces


between leaves, through capped chilled peaks steaming with pressure, or is it

a million scintillating points in macaw’s sexless chest?

the rumpus of voice distilling thunder from world’s uttering


 Is it mope’s dream or pome’s carrion? 

Or is it poem’s macabre glossary of blue primaries and ricked feathers?

Macaw’s newlywed spring fosters

a swelling dream of plants, roots

and water,


spelling animal yearning & appetite,

of splashless moonless rivulets in premonition of porousness,


Pecking palm fruits, halving their husks shaped like tongues, Macaw awaits

a mating call. A dwarf volcano spits ebullient letters simulating hail,

touching the near infinity of the world. Macaw buries its bird artifice

ejaculating on sand,

bird-ooze of creation,


deviance in salt


of a


recumbent  L   brokenness becoming


open to touch


if Macaw bathed in circles, if Macaw decked its nest, the last infamous letter

remained unrecognized


mope could not see itself in it

pome could not mate with it

poem could not lick it  


, Macaw’s chestnut forehead,


yet where were the helping animals?


the beaver?    the muskrat  ?  


Isabel Sobral Campos reading “Macaw & Friends”:

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 Bone Bouquet, Boston Review, Brooklyn Rail,Small Po[r]tions, Big Lucks, Oxidant/Engine’s BoxSet Series, and elsewhere. Her writing will also appear in BAX2018: Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan University Press). She is the co-founder of the Sputnik & Fizzle publishing series.