Aileen Bassis


Aileen Bassis






It May Be Like This


       in the year three thousand,

crowds may wade through vast salt

flats on cloudless nights, relishing

mud’s squish between their toes

and in silence

drift above drowned cities swimming

in blue light from bioluminescent squid,


and people will fill cool rooms scented

with synthetic roses in the year three thousand,

and no is alone, their thoughts

fly from one to another

like aromas

and in unison, they chant, to feel

their tongues move inside their cheeks,


and beyond all possibilities of sound, two

bubble universes may collide

and tear apart letting


flow two ways and in the year

three thousand, people may

tunnel forward into another future

or dive

back into the past,


and when an old man wakes

confused, with a memory of kisses

on the curved bottoms of his feet, he

may wonder if he’s still asleep, or

wandering into another time

       in the year three thousand




Park Jam


Lakeside, in August.

A tree trunk outlines a willow

filled pocket of space, wavering

without a breeze.



turning one way and then another

like red dragonflies

skimming on the smooth water

Four drums are beating in the shade.


One man

set the rhythm,

playing with time, slicing

it thin, scattering a field

of microtonal riffs,


tessellated fractions

placed precise as latticed crystals piling

high above stone walls, buses,

trucks, the willow quivering,

the canoes radiating


ripples and climbing like a step

ladder above the march of apartment

buildings in a red beige and grey

brick and concrete,

an undulating indigo blue.




Wend A Way Home


My wallet from Firenze,

       redolent with lazy

       recollections of fond November,

              soft orange,

       holding nineteen cents.

Snap open for pennies,

              nickel, a dime sings

out to the phone ring to an elevator

ding, here they are.   I’m stacking

circles: orange,

blue, yellow plates; the doorway

crowds.  My husband’s arms heap with coats.

Our son, his girlfriend, her uncle, a cousin,

              on that same sofa, he once wondered,

                            If ever

              truly love?

       (his blue arm swings

              a juicy squeeze around her.)



out the photo of my grandson,

tucked in a wallet pocket for always but look, I’m

booting up.  Come see this video post, watch again

again and again, these pixels and bytes:

              he’s eating yogurt dabs with dollops all over and down

              his shirt, baby with a red

              spoon crowing almost words, turning

              up his blobby

head, an oval crowning



The driver’s license is almost out of date,

hurry, now is not

a roundabout, it’s a thru

way prodding stories while everyone

is drinking brandy made from roots

from a four hundred year old recipe and rolling out

travel tales: his cousin’s car with wooden engine

parts, a tow rope,

              a road chosen and out

              goes Y-O-U

wheeling through woods to when

              my cornucopia overflows and out

lines sprawl a yellow

              dash along we go.













Aileen Bassis is a visual artist in Jersey City working in book arts, printmaking, photography and installation. Her artwork can be viewed at


Her use of text in art led her to explore another creative life as a poet.  Her poems are published or upcoming in B o d y, Red Branch Journal, Milo Journal, Pinch Journal, Specs Journal, Spillway, Grey Sparrow Journal, Canary, Amoskeag and others.



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