What Happens When You Write a Poem That Isn’t Very Good

Someone asked the question in class yesterday

what happens if your poem isn’t good

your story either what happens if you use

wrong words the character doesn’t understand

what she’s doing or why what happens if the neighbor

never leaves his apartment in your poem

and  he can’t do much that would merit

a description and his name is only Joe

what happens if you decide one day

I want to write a story

about the male prostitute in apartment 86

and you only have the first sentence of the story

His Name Is Ken what happens if all your characters

are the same height if there aren’t any children

in even one poem if you know a woman whose real

name is Eurethra but nothing really rhymes

with her real name if you want to write about a 100

year old woman but you can’t think of a name good enough

for a 100 year old woman what happens if someone says to you

at a reading:  I Didn’t Like That and then clarifies in case

you misunderstood I Didn’t Like Your Reading or Your Writing

Either what happens if one day you wake up and think to yourself

not everyone likes the name Brother for a character who is

actually an Uncle and you write the story anyway.  Or the poem.


Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. I loved this poem and think I have had all of those reservation s before setting pen to paper and then lifted it up and put it back..

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