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Published: Sun Jul 1 2012
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
My Idea

My idea of a piece of sculpture is a road.
_       _ —Carl Andre

My idea of heaven is a road
that winds and winds toward home.

My idea of a car is not a car
in a showroom, shiny and still.

My idea of galactic travel
is a road through space.

My idea of color is evergreens
against a blue sky, snow below.

My idea of ideas is vague,
conceptual, fragmentary, fluid.

My idea of the unknowable
is something I know too well.

My idea of a night on the town
is staying home in the country.

My idea of a basket is your lap.
My idea of a lap is your lap.

My idea was to steal your ideas
until I became you.

Wyn Cooper is the author of four collections of poetry: Chaos Is the New Calm (2010), Postcards from the Interior (2005), The Way Back (2000), and The Country of Here Below (1987). His poems appear in twenty-five anthologies of contemporary poetry. He has taught at Bennington and Marlboro Colleges, the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, the University of Utah, and the Frost Place. For ten years he was a principal organizer of the Brattleboro Literary Festival in Vermont. He has written songs with Sheryl Crow, David Broza, Jody Redhage, and David Baerwald. His second CD with Madison Smartt Bell, Postcards Out of the Blue, was released in 2008. Their songs can be heard on six television shows. He lives in Vermont and most recently worked for the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute, a think tank run by the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. He works as a poetry manuscript editor for established and novice poets; more information is on the editing page of his website, www.wyncooper.com. (updated 8/2012)

Extra-credit trivia for fans of Wyn’s poetry: having come across The Country of Here Below in a used bookstore, Sheryl Crow used his poem “Fun” as the basis for her smash hit “All I Wanna Do.”

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