I"ve discovered something in my work in the genre of bad poetry. When you read an actual bad poem, one not written in order to be bad, but one that simply fails, it is always worse than one that is deliberately bad. It is either a kind of non-existent poem, not a poem at all, or a poem that aims to be good but is confined by its expectations of what a good poem ought to be. Sometimes, the poem falls into the crack between these two options.
Take my poem "Textiles" for example:
Once I did not understand textiles. I read about them as a child in
encyclopedias, how some countries or regions produced them
in abundance, and were known for their finery, but the word itself
bore no meaning for me. I wore shirts and socks
but had never seen a textile in my life. What could it be?
I think about this, Diana, as we take on and off clothes
morning and night, changing and choosing them,
bathing and making love without them on, washing
and repairing these fine textiles of our domestic bliss.
Ok. I'm glad I got that off my chest. I think I am looking for that sweet spot between the actor who thinks he is talented and hams it up, and the actor with no illusions who is merely wooden, who cannot even emote. Or, we could say: taking poetry seriously, as the conventionally good poet does, but de-MFAing her work. Nothing should be in the poem because it's supposed to be a poem.