A Diamond is not a Stone

A car is not a purse
I want to say to the man
down the road whose house
is so full of things
he can’t throw away
he buys car after car,
fills them with newspapers
he plans to read, letters
he hopes to answer.

The cars still run
when he abandons them,
weighed down like trees
with too much fruit,
like the trees in his yard.

by Wyn Cooper

© Wyn Cooper, 2010. ‘A Diamond is not a Stone’ is taken from the book Chaos is the New Calm, and reprinted by permission of BOA Editions.

Notes courtesy of BOA Editions:

Wyn Cooper has published four books of poems: The Country of Here Below (Ahsahta Press, 1987), The Way Back (White Pine Press, 2000), and Postcards from the Interior, (BOA Editions, 2005), and, most recently, Chaos is the New Calm (BOA Editions, 2010), as well as a chapbook, Secret Address (Chapiteau Press, 2002). His poems, stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in PoetryPloughsharesThe Southern Review, CrazyhorseSlate, and more than 75 other magazines. His poems are included in 25 anthologies of contemporary poetry, including The Mercury Reader, Outsiders, and Ecstatic Occasions, Expedient Forms.

Chaos is the New Calm, from which ‘A Diamond is not a Stone’ comes, is a book of sonnets and sonnet-like poems, some rhymed, some not. Starting with the idea of the sonnet as a fourteen-line lyric poem, this book plays with the form, putting rhymes in unusual places, inventing new stanza forms, and addressing an unusually broad variety of subject matter. You can find out more about the book here, and more about Wyn Cooper here.

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