Catherine Cohen, a New York City-based comedian-actor, has found a way to give readers immediate access to the way thoughts ping through the human mind. It's in the sentences she stacks, sometimes wholly divorced from the one before it, in her short collection of hyper-now poetry, "God I feel Modern Tonight."
Nearly each of the pieces is titled "Poem I wrote after" (fill in the blank): "Poem I wrote after I found out that alcohol is actually just sugar" or "Poem I wrote after I texted my therapist that I'm not pregnant."
Cohen, who also hosts the LOL podcast "Seek Treatment" (not recommended for the sexually squeamish), is pre-30 and writes about living in an apartment, the desperate urge to look at her iPhone, her beaded purse and the man she talked to about his stereo system on a train. She muses, in verse, about whether she should buy a microwave, how it's hard to read while lying down because books are heavy, and why she doesn't want to get out of the Uber. She is you, but she is published.
This easily-digestible collection won't fit neatly into the Norton Anthology of Poetry, but it's so many slices of a very funny human's one wild life and doesn't rhyme at all. And it has more weight than she gives it credit for in the piece that opens the collection.
"It's okay my work isn't good but it's online / and that's what counts."
Title: "God I Feel Modern Tonight: Poems from a Gal About Town"
Author: Catherine Cohen
Publisher: Alfred A Knopf