TIm Suermondt - "The World Doesn't Know You," "The Beautiful Sheen," "The Little GIrl Gives Me a Drawing."


The World Doesn’t Know You

And it’s good

to be inconspicuous as the beetle bug.

there’s nothing to live up to

or live down to.

And you can make your masterpieces

As small as you like.

the nights in Fishkill are possessed

by the same beauty as the nights in Venice

and lights shine on a woman’s boots

like beacons from paradise



There it was: the blue porpoise
lying among the trash on 4th Avenue.
I could picture it splashing
in our inflatable pool, leaping between
high-rises—its beautiful sheen
bright as a beacon light. But for all
my enthusiasm, its slick skin
made carrying it home impossible.
So I brought Pui red roses instead—
she thanked me but in her heart
must have wished I had demonstrated
a more imaginative touch. “I wanted
to bring back a blue porpoise.” “Oh honey,”
she said, stroking my cheek, “of course you did.”


“It’s not a horse, it’s a sea otter.”
Makes absolute sense—
I’m more a sea otter type
than a horse, I think.

She tells me she wanted
to add fish and gulls
but she lost the red crayon
and decided to keep it simple.

“Those eyes are your eyes,”
she says—and they are:
intense baby blues.
The sea otter, I tell her,

never looked happier
and that I’m hanging it
in my study, on the gray wall,
beside the Memento poster—

‘Wine for a Healthy Heart’.
When I say: “One day
this drawing will be a masterpiece,”
she says: “What’s a masterpiece?”—

the attitude capable of making it so,
so i

n old age I can strut around
in hope and reliable shoes—
my pockets stuffed with cash,

as rich as she will be beautiful.

Tim Suermondt is the author of TRYING TO HELP THE ELEPHANT MAN DANCE

( The Backwaters Press, 2007) and JUST BEAUTIFUL coming from NYQ Press in the Fall of 2010. He has published work in Poetry, The Georgia Review, New South, Southern Poetry Review, Poetry East, Bellevue Literary Review and Poetry Northwest, among others. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong. 

Posted on November 6, 2013 .