bad poem, good poem

What makes a poem bad?

Or rather,

What makes a poem good?

Simple: it isn’t a what but more of a who

Because I make poems bad countless times in an effort to purge my emotions.

I’ve made mixtapes dedicated to exes where I poured my regrets and agony onto word vomit. To say to them things I didn’t get to say. Words they will never hear. Equivalent to yelling at a wall. My private deaf audience as I sang out of tune complaints.

I make bad poetry when I get too centered on the I.

I forget there’s a whole society out there suffering. A disparity between the rich and poor seen from outside my window: million dollar houses with the homeless right across the street.

The money flows uphill and the shit rolls down.

But do I care? No. Obviously it isn’t reflected in my writing. Obviously I want to ignore the fires. The red hazy sun. The drops of rain that doesn’t exist. The beggar digging through the trash for food but refusing my burger because he doesn’t eat meat. The masked faces and the fear of the cough.

Obviously I rather plug my eyeballs into an animated portal to escape the dilemma that is happening all around.

The birthing pains

I make poems bad when I am not honest with myself.

When I fail to disclose that I am a Christian who loves Jesus and believes in Him and believes that He is real and that He will come again.

But I am not honest to others about that because there is stigma against it. And because I constantly fail myself over and over again.

I don’t read the Bible daily. I lust over men. In my daydreams the car who cut me off on the freeway dies a fiery death while I drive peacefully by…

I am not a good person. I am not a good poet.

But sometimes. Sometimes good poetry comes out of me.

I know a poem is good when it flows well. When it reaches specificity but also speaks to all. And it rhymes and it flows and it sings and dances off the page and into the mind

Where it will live to tell the reader their reflection of the world and what we can do to make it better.

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