the discontinuity at the waistline
My #MeToo Poems
Marion Deutsche Cohen
The Discontinuity at the Waistline: My #MeToo Poems by Marion Deutsche Cohen is a collection of poems focusing on everyday micro-aggressions many women face throughout their lives, from pre-adolescence to adulthood. Wonderful in the way it details the author’s early experiences using images from childhood and dreams, transitioning into becoming a married woman and a mother, and depicting her strength and bravery as a woman, this collection sheds light on many realities of women in this world and their stories which are necessary and important to share.
An early review by Beth O’Brien of Mad Hatter Reviews states, “Throughout the collection, the description of unwanted male attention and the ability to politely say no without damaging a man’s ego are demonstrated with great accuracy. Moreover, Cohen highlights the sexual expectations women often feel compelled to conform to, both in and out of relationships... Ultimately, this collection is a hard-hitting read but overwhelmingly necessary. Cohen states at the end of the collection, ‘I have never been raped or assaulted but there were things I didn’t want to do’. Through her poetry Cohen validates the feelings and concerns of her younger self who is surely not alone in these experiences.”
By validating what she herself experienced from such a young age, Cohen also validates the experiences of all women who have ever felt uncomfortable in the presence of a man or under expectation from society. We live in a world where culture defines much of the way we act, and this is a subject that Cohen hones on with resilience, unafraid to look at these issues in the face and speak for all those who are still remaining silent. This book highlights all the ways the author is able to eagerly echo the battle cry that so many woman and assault survivors have taken up with, “Me Too!” and gives reason for the reader to journey with her as she travels back, examining everything from her dreams to her sexual habits which are shaped by growing up in a society that has unrealistic and often absurd expectations of what it means to be a woman.
"Marion Cohen has given us all another intensely personal and heart provoking book. And I am unabashedly a fan. Her book about being a caregiver had touched me deeply, in part because I was a caregiver myself of a severely disabled man. Through her words, I was able to acknowledge just how very difficult it was and that somehow made it a bit easier. This #MeToo book is like that too.
Marion Cohen is just so interesting. You'll want to read about her 'cheating' with her vibrator, her bad clit day, and seeing her father in the bathtub. You'll appreciate her father being scary. You'll want to read the titular poem.
She doesn't make too much or too little of these experiences. Mostly you will just feel more of your own humanity as you experience hers. Was it Tolstoy who said we need experiences that thaw the ice around the human heart? Marion Cohen thaws ice I never knew I had."
--- Karen McGreer, LMFT; marriage, family, and sex therapist
"What I love most about the poems in this collection is Cohen’s voice, how we are brought into her worlds of childhood, teenage-hood, young adulthood, motherhood and marriage, and see what "me too" has meant to her, Marion Deutsche Cohen. She writes boldly, with honesty and bravado, and even some humor, giving all of us women out there hope and courage!"
--- Minter Krotzer, a writer who lives in Philadelphia
Praise for Marion Cohen's previous works:
for "The Project of Being Alive":
"There is a great precision and correctness in Marion Cohen's work... We live in a state of shared alone-ness, and this is a book to keep at our bedside and, while reading by oneself, not be alone at all."
-- Mike Cohen, author of "Between the I's" and host of Poetry Aloud and Alive at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore
"I savored her bounty of questions and absence of judgment -- and her sense of astonishment."
-- Rachel Simon, author of "Riding the Bus with My Sister" and "Building a Home with My Husband"
"... Time becomes a network for identity rather than nostalgia. Reality is always being tested..."
-- Hal Sirowitz, author of "Mother Said" (Crown"
for "Crossing the Equal Sign":
-- Anne Hudson, poetry editor of Facets
"Marion is one of the few poets who can successfully explore the join between the literary and the mathematical sensibilities, and no one does it as well as she."
-- Jet Foncannon, Professor Emeritus, Drexel University
for "Truth and Beauty":
".. a snapshot of her love affair with her students, with the young minds and hearts who open up and flourish when a teacher sincerly and finally asks them to."
-- Gizem Karala, Pamona University, co-editor of Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, staff member of The Mathematical Intelligencer
"These vignettes assemble themselves into a perceptive dialogue between students and teacher..."
-- Alice Major, author of "Intersecting Sets: A Poet Looks at Science"
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marion Deutsche Cohen is the author of 29 collections of poetry or memoir; her latest poetry collections are “The Project of Being Alive” (New Plains Press, AL) and “ “New Heights in Non-Structure” (dancing girl press, IL)., as well as the just-released “The Discontinuity at the Waistline: My #MeToo Poems” (Rhythm and Bones Press, PA) and “The Fuss and the Fury” (Alien Buddha Press, NM). She is also the author of two controversial memoirs about spousal chronic illness, a trilogy diary of late-pregnancy loss, and “Crossing the Equal Sign”, about the experience of mathematics. She teaches a course she developed, Mathematics in Literature, at Arcadia and at Drexel Universities, as well as a new course she developed, Societal Issues on the College Campus. Other interests are classical piano, singing, Scrabble, thrift-shopping, four grown children, and five grands. Her website is marioncohen.net .