ON LA GIOCONDA
Crowds press in to glimpse her terrible smile.
What diet of secrets sustains it?
The crowds soon tire
And retreat to the buzzing café.
Aloof behind her varnish and her bulletproof veil
She casts her gaze on nothing now—
The greatest, said Da Vinci
Among all great things found here among us.
ON INVERSE RELATIONS
The pleasure I feel
When I say the word “trousers”
Is equal, exactly,
To the discomfort I feel
When I say the word “slacks.”
ON SPACE TRAVEL
Not to see the frozen heavens up close
But to see our leaky planet from afar.
I try to write “automatically”
But keep stopping to look at the sky.
Birds are in it
And a great blue silence
That fills the distance between.
ON AD CAMPAIGNS IN THE UNDERWORLD
Bet you can’t eat
As he held out his handful of pain.
Little Commentaries is the central sequnece of Suzanne Buffam’s second book, The Irrationalist. It is forthcoming this spring from Canarium Books. (www.canariumbooks.org/wp/home/).
Suzanne Buffam is the author of Past Imperfect (Anansi, 2005), a poetry collection which won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award in 2006. She teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago.