Get this: IT ISN'T! Don't show me or anybody your poems until your poems-as-couch-sessions end. Doing this will prevent thousands of lousy poems from print and will thus save many trees-- which we need more than we need crappy poems. Confessional poetry in the right hands-- Berryman, Plath, Sexton, etc.-- can be good, even great. In the wrong hands it is nothing but a flubbed brain scan ruining perfectly good blank paper.
The world is full of stress, depression, pestilence, war, famine and pain, much of which can give birth to good poetry but, in the main, I (and everyone else really) don't care about your stress, depression, pestilence, war, famine and pain. I have enough of my own and I make it my business to make it not your business. If you're going to write yours down at least do it as a way of practicing the craft for your future poems. Aim for one good poem some day in the far future. This is a cruel art. Don't kid yourself and give me your therapy. I'd rather hear the cats yowling in the dark.
In the next post: Advice for Young Writers
So long for now.