Two Poems by Tim Suermondt

The Mall People

It does sound like the title

of a science fiction or horror movie—

and given the many types of beings

streaming in and out, “all the human

flesh” as Montale put it, it’s not hard

to believe there’s a malevolent Martian

or ghoul in the mix. Laziness has brought

me to the food court, oh the sins I commit

out of sloth. Spider-Man shirts seem

to be the rage—thank you, but I’ll pass.

A Philly cheesesteak and I’m outta here.

On The Way, Or The History of ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll

Here the edge of town
is just an edge, only miles
and miles of flatland ahead
and hopefully a gas station
run by a man with his dog
at his feet—if you’re lucky.

Somewhere in a town close
to the big city a band is playing
in the cellar of a bar/restaurant,
rocking their patch of the world.
This is the knowledge that keeps
you going—keeps you alive.

Tim Suermondt is the author of five full-length collections of poems, the latest Josephine Baker Swimming Pool from MadHat Press, 2019. He has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine, On the Seawall, Poet Lore, and Plume, among others. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.


Image: Found photo, Grammercy Park, NYC, 1999

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