Thursday, February 23, 2023

new from above/ground press: WAVE 1.0, by Isabel Sobral Campos

WAVE 1.0
Isabel Sobral Campos

& read a biography of Amílcar Cabral

My mother writes her narratives

radiator heat, reflection at bay  

snow raptures windowpane

spinach patch swooning on winter burn

perhaps the nipple will be used

again, an aftermath I wake up

in a toll-breath of anxiety linking

time to loss as it remains evident

my furrowed brow when I look at her

thinking of time & timed processes

reproduction or repro

ducing what happened humble

assaying of facts, “mother land

or ancestral or lion’s land,”

one unravels the political

vision by unearthing a rock

from a building, Caxias, Peniche,

Tarrafal concentration camp

miscegenation by rape-contact

We know that stones speak

their actinic light rumbles

an ineffable shape unbeknownst

to urban colonials, lapidity 

of nightmares,[1] a stone’s transudation

has a murmuring moan

then a brick in the sun, baked[2]

seasonal layers, Atlantic fumes,

Finisterre ghosts on horseback

simmering western squalls

[1] “Cabral returned to Portuguese Guinea in 1952 to work has an agronomist. For two years he traveled extensively in the colony to conduct its first agricultural census. This gives him the opportunity to learn about the colonial realities experienced by the colonized. His seminal study on land use, crop cultivation, and, among other things, soil conditions, remains a work of reference.” Peter Karibe Mendy, Amílcar Cabral: A Nationalist and Pan-Africanist Revolutionary (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2019), 20.

[2]The ‘Frigideira’ (frying pan), also known by prisoners as ‘extermination chamber’ or ‘torture chamber,’ was a place of punishment where prisoners were tortured, deprived of food and light, and subjected to temperatures as high as 50 to 60 degrees Celsius.”

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
February 2023
as part of above/ground press’ thirtieth anniversary
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Isabel Sobral Campos
is the author of How to Make Words of Rubble (Blue Figure Press, 2020), and Your Person Doesn’t Belong to You (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2018). Other works include Material (No, Dear and Small Anchor Press, 2015), Autobiographical Ecology (above/ground press, 2019), and Sobriety Crystal (The Magnificent Field, 2021). Her poetry has appeared in the Boston Review, Brooklyn Rail, and in the anthologies BAX 2018: Best American Experimental Writing and Poetics for the More-Than-Human World. A collaborative translation of Salette Tavares's LEX ICON is forthcoming in 2023 with Ugly Duckling Presse. She is the co-founder of the Sputnik & Fizzle publishing series.

This is Campos’ second above/ground press chapbook after Autobiographical Ecology (2019).

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

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