Writing My Pain
by Christopher Bonner

"What shall we do with the pain
Let it marinate
Or retaliate
Deprived of our innocence
With no attempt to validate."

Bonner has created a collection cataloging his anger and frustration at the world he finds himself in. Beginning with a section emphatically titled “Me Against the World,” he chronicles his regret and resentment: “Love is so beautiful,” he writes in “Better Late Than Never,” but “somebody sold me a bad batch.” In “Apology Accepted” Bonner responds with wry humor to those who say to forgive and forget: “As soon as I forgot/ They schemed up a plot.” In some poems, his bitterness is generalized—“I am guilty for being misunderstood.” But sometimes it is more personally directed, less at the world in general and more at particular people. In “Worst Enemies” he uses a few words to great effect:

“Being stuck in your ways
Will have you stuck in a maze
Searching for ways
To be amazed.”

And despite the book’s sardonic title, some of Bonner’s musings are positive. In “Never Give Up” he urges, “Even if you get backed down/ Never surrender.” In “Forever Young” he celebrates an enduring love: “I vow to wow you/ Right now you."

Bonner, who has a BA in Economics, has a penchant for words. In this grouping, he shows his love of the poetic medium while recounting events that have affected him deeply. He believes that his readers will identify with the viewpoints he has garnered through his “ups and downs.” In fact, though the pain noted in the title is evident, there is hopeful and uplifting material here, as well. One senses that Bonner will grow in his craft and use it increasingly effectively as time goes by. With vignettes of life’s vicissitudes in poetic form, his collection allows the reader to enjoy as well as empathize with the author’s experience.

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