poem index

Chaos Is the New Calm

Wyn Cooper
Chaos is the new calm
violence the new balm   
to be spread on lips
unused to a kiss.             

Left is the new right
as I brace for a fight
with a man who stands
on his remaining hand.

Fetid harbor harbor me      
until someone is free          
to drive me away          
from what happened today.
        
Don't strand me standing here.
If you leave, leave beer. 

From Chaos Is the New Calm by Wyn Cooper. Copyright © 2010 by Wyn Cooper. Used by permission of BOA Editions Ltd.

Wyn Cooper

by this poet

poem
What was it you wanted he calls out the door
as I walk toward his house, which tilts uphill.
I just wanted to ask, I start to say — but he 
cuts me off, tells me he doesn’t talk to strangers, 
says that I should go away. I tell him I like
his old car, I name the year and model, 
and soon he is shaking my hand,
poem
Imagine you're on Mars, looking at earth,
a swirl of colors in the distance.
Tell us what you miss most, or least.

Let your feelings rise to the surface.
Skim that surface with a tiny net. 
Now you're getting the hang of it.

Tell us your story slantwise,
streetwise, in the disguise
of an astronaut in his suit