by Cinse Bonino
“you are not cake” is an in-your-face collection of poems that explores how we choose to see ourselves, how we love, how we engage in and view the sexual aspects of our lives, and the varied ways these things evolve as we age. Almost every poem ultimately offers a small bit of wisdom or a random observation designed to bring us closer to deciding to be willing to love our unedited, authentic selves. Read it, and you might just fall a little more in love with yourself.
You are not
cake to be
sliced and served
a flowing river
its own course.
to the post office
in my secondhand
talked about you
the whole way
Read the Menu
What new fresh hell is this, he asked?
It’s not new, she replied. This is
warmed up, leftover hell. It’s the
Universe’s You Plate Special, the one
you keep refusing to digest.
On the Moon…
where I’m currently stationed
during my goddess training I’ve
been put in charge of washing
and sorting women’s tears.
The tears of the very young
turn into seed pearls so eager
to escape they slip through
my fingers and pool on the floor.
The tears of the older women
turn into big beautiful diamonds
cutting instantly through bullshit
with their sharp brilliant wisdom.
The tears of those not young but
not yet old are a riot of all kinds of
beads like mala and rosary strings
that hold their repeated dreams.
we all know dew belongs to the morning
to the unblemished skin of the young
we are told age shrivels and dries us
making husks of what was once lush
but I’m finding age comes with deeper depths
a sea of swirling droplets formed from all life’s sips
"Life Lines" contains 531 poems that I posted on social media during the pandemic between March 2020 and April 2021. The poems described what I was feeling and observing each day. They helped me to bear the weight of the pandemic. They also made me feel connected to others. My poems became a way for me to hold onto my sanity, and when I posted them on social media I discovered they were a lifeline for many others too. People recognized themselves in my words. This made us all feel closer. This collection of poems helps me to remember what we’ve all lived through and what I’ve learned about myself and the world. I hope they do the same for you.
What people say about Cinse's Pandemic poems:
Reading Cinse's Pandemic poems over this last strange period of relative isolation was always a celebratory experience in communion. Cinse brings us together, by plumbing the depths and exploring the real challenges of being a human being, and by offering us new ways of looking at, learning from, and delighting in life. –Genese Grill
Cinse’s poems get under my skin, awaken my heart and settle in my bones. My head gets what magic that is. –Cindy Hennard
Asking myself if any positives personally showed up during this devastating pandemic I can say, without question the poetry of Cinse Bonino spoke truth – bare boned, raw and real. I thank her for every single shared line. –Marla Bear Bishop
Cinse’s poems are a balm to the soul acutely depicting the day-to-day rollercoaster of feelings brought on by the pandemic. Her poetry is the type to give you the chills from being so poignant and raw. –Marissa Bentivoglio
Cinse shares her unique insight into what folks are feeling, thinking, and experiencing during the Covid-19 pandemic. She touches the soul with a light finger that jolts the senses within. At times her words bring a grin, while others bring out “how does she know how I feel?” within us. Thank you, Cinse for saying out loud how others feel. –Sherry A.
Cinse’s poems were a touchstone for me during the pandemic. Reading Cinse’s compassionate thoughts and fearless insights helped me feel connected during a time of isolation. I shared her poems with family and friends when I couldn’t find my own words to express how I was feeling. Cinse is a brilliant and witty poet that challenges us all to share our truth. –Madeline Bell
In the midst of pandemic and other hard and dreary things, Cinse’s poetry comes like a reviving tonic! The rides she takes us on are sometimes twisty, sometimes reflective, but always fresh. True to say Cinse has given me life. –Julia Curry
Cinse's playful and powerful words are a real-time creative tickle for all the great and terrible things we experienced through the pandemic, and even through the larger scope of our lives. She is a fierce female who unapologetically lives in her moments; so real and so raw. I feel a deep connection to her words, am moved deeply by her poetic voice, and am thrilled to see the writing project now in a book! –T.M. Spring
Maybe you've had the pleasure of reading these madly insightful daily poems over the past year on Facebook and Twitter. Perhaps you missed them. Either way, I highly recommend that you treat yourself to this collection of poetry from the amazing mind of Cinse Bonino. Little gems that are surprising and affirming, emotionally evocative and thought provoking, funny and sad. –Ellen Zeman
Cinse Bonino's poems are small gemstones, tiny moments, images, thoughts, ideas, exchanges from our shared experience during the pandemic and told in spare and powerful ways. What I love about her poetry is the depth and universality achieved in such a small package. Each word is important. But so is the flow and the musicality. –Geoffrey Gevalt