September 10, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Daisy Bassen




House of the Birds, Museu Nacional



The word for a word that is not yet a word,

Verging on emergence from glottal stops,

The canny re-assortment of lingual conjugation,

Portmanteaux and backformations, lucent

As lucubration with its embedded candlelight,

The hand rubbing the back of the neck

Where the spine reaches up to skull, studded

With thorns we kept, that keep us safe;


The museum is meant to preserve the critical,

But what’s left is ash, like Alexandria, a haze

Over the city of carbon and the fine, infinite pains

That went into making. The meteorite survived,

Naturally. It’s an alien and fire is no more trouble

Than the distance between planets. We had no hand

In its creation, none in its destruction. The mummies

Went up first, lit like torches. They were made to burn.






Daisy Bassen

I am a practicing psychiatrist and poet. I graduated from Princeton University with a degree in English and completed my medical training at the University of Rochester and Brown. I have been published in Black Buzzard Review, Oberon, The Sow’s Ear, AMWA Literary Review, The Opiate, SUSAN|The Journal, Arcturus and Adelaide Literary Review. I have pending publications at The Delmarva Review, The Minetta Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Pirene’s Fountain, After the Pause, THAT Literary  Review, LEVELER, Mothers Always Write, Mobius, The Paragon Press, MORIA, IthacaLit and The Cape Rock. I was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry. I live in Rhode Island with my husband and children.

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