The New Experience

By Suzanne Buffam b. 1972 Suzanne Buffam
I was ready for a new experience.
All the old ones had burned out.
 
They lay in little ashy heaps along the roadside
And blew in drifts across the fairgrounds and fields.
 
From a distance some appeared to be smoldering
But when I approached with my hat in my hands
 
They let out small puffs of smoke and expired.
Through the windows of houses I saw lives lit up
 
With the otherworldly glow of TV
And these were smoking a little bit too.
 
I flew to Rome. I flew to Greece.
I sat on a rock in the shade of the Acropolis
 
And conjured dusky columns in the clouds.
I watched waves lap the crumbling coast.
 
I heard wind strip the woods.
I saw the last living snow leopard
 
Pacing in the dirt. Experience taught me
That nothing worth doing is worth doing
 
For the sake of experience alone.
I bit into an apple that tasted sweetly of time.
 
The sun came out. It was the old sun
With only a few billion years left to shine.

Suzanne Buffam, "The New Experience" from The Irrationalist. Copyright © 2010 by Suzanne Buffam.  Reprinted by permission of Canarium Books.

Source: The Irrationalist (Canarium Books, 2010)

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Poet Suzanne Buffam b. 1972

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Time & Brevity, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Social Commentaries, Life Choices

 Suzanne  Buffam

Biography

Suzanne Buffam was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. She earned an MA in English from Concordia University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poetry collections include Past Imperfect (2005) and The Irrationalist (2010). She has received the CBC Literary Award for Poetry and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award.
 
Reviewing The Irrationalist for TheStar.com, poetry columnist Barbara Carey commented that Buffam . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Social Commentaries, Life Choices

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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