Tim Suermondt

Tim Suermondt’s sixth full-length book of poems A Doughnut And The Great Beauty Of The World will be coming out early in 2023 from MadHat Press. He has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine, Smartish Pace, The Fortnightly Review, Poet Lore and Plume, among many others. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.


Galaxies Around the Kitchen Island

If I know you’re here, then I am here too and love you, and love you.
–Robert Creeley

Pushcart Nominee 2023

Last month a sad month
but here we are slowly doing
some dance steps again,
your elegance of movement
carrying my stumbling gait.
We dance from the living room
into the kitchen, circling the island
like little engine boats a number of times.

Sooner than later we’ll dance
through the door and down the hallway
and through the building walls,
anyone’s guess as to where we’re heading,
though the Milky Way is a possibility.
Don’t worry: saying I love you
in outer space means as much as it does,
much as it always will on earth.

The Translator Begins

Shimmer is easy, but he hits translating
turbulence early with humdinger, not
knowing what the word means, let alone
how best to render it in Polish.
The church bells have stopped ringing
and every belfry again cuddles the sparrows
all around the town. The translator circles
humdinger twice, even penciling a star
just above it. He feels this might be a good
time to huddle with a glass of wine,
in the back of the smallest café on the square.
Whatever humdinger is, he thinks, surely
it won’t mind being paused for a shot of red.

History Can’t Keep Up Either

So many quick incidents and long stories

it can only rush through without comment
or reflection and the chance of my history
living in history forever is well, rather nil.

But unlike history I can rest and chronicle
on my own terms, as if people will recall
me for thousands of years to come, books

written about me endlessly, mixing me up
in fragments I saw just the other day: Neville

Chamberlain crying his heart out, Joyce
walking and dreaming in Paris, the motorbike
a brother was last seen riding, a little girl

waving from a bridge to say everything is okay.

The Center of the City After…

My wife and I take turns
pointing out the new stores,

whether we’ll frequent any of them

or not. The streets are bustling with people,
collectively buzzing like a hive of bees.

I missed the bustling and don’t complain.

“It’s good to have the city back,”
my wife says, staring skyward as if

remembering how high some buildings are.

She’s right, but she’s always right. Beautiful
City, beauty itself is again in your midst.