Dear Li-Young Lee,

Sage CohenThe life poetic3 Comments

My favorite day is Saturday. My favorite color is dog tongue and empty bowl. My favorite color is “happy,” the way my son says it, clutching his small ambulance. My favorite day is Thursday. Thumb of circumstance. My favorite window hinges on the distance of open and closed, my heart its trapped glass blushing a sunset-streaked descent. My favorite dream … Read More


Sage CohenSage poetry and prose, The life poetic4 Comments

We understand least what we hold closest. Cup contains, water resists. Thirst: a lineage of cups with no trust in the future. What wakes you up in the night mouth empty, sheets blank might be the faucet’s dumb neck arched with a brassy assurance that you have not yet learned to tap.

From Dysfunction to Duende

Sage CohenThe life poeticLeave a Comment

“What is to give light must endure burning” — Viktor Frankl More often than not, when I tell people that I write poetry, they get a wistful, faraway look in their eyes. Exhaling deeply, they admit, “I used to write poetry once, too.” When I inquire as to why they no longer write poetry, the answer is so invariably the … Read More

Convenience Kills

Sage CohenProductive writing, The life poetic2 Comments

I remember reading the news article about people dying from E. coli occurring in pre-washed, pre-cut, plastic-bagged spinach. At that time, I also read an interview Susie Bright conducted with a farmer who explained that spinach in and of itself is not dangerous. It is our passion for convenience—to open a bag of vegetables that someone has already cleaned and … Read More

Author Erika Dreifus contemplates how memory informs poetry and prose

Sage CohenPeople I admire, The life poetic7 Comments

Erika Dreifus is a force of incredible goodwill, generosity, intelligence and service in the literary landscape. I first encountered her through her role as editor/publisher of The Practicing Writer, a free (and popular) e-newsletter featuring advice, opportunities, and resources on the craft and business of writing for fictionists, poets, and writers of creative nonfiction. And then I had the good … Read More

Dear Theo,

Sage CohenThe life poetic3 Comments

Don’t let anyone tell you an apple tastes the same in slices as it does in bites. Or that you won’t find sharks and elephants and mommies on Old MacDonald’s farm. You know the ladybug and her captor spider have equal rights in the weave of life, and that metaphor can be chewed from toast. May you find in pirate … Read More

Dear Cupid,

Sage CohenThe life poeticLeave a Comment

It was more likely that you’d hit an artery or splinter the neighbor’s picture window than find a way to divide my pride at the perfect precipice where possibility lifted above the crumbling stories I had outlived. The day Jon left his undershirt behind and I filled my breath with his lingering absence, though my armor was glistening with intent, … Read More

Fall in! Fall in!

Sage CohenProductive writing, The life poeticLeave a Comment

“Just write. I know it sounds cliche or simplistic, but nothing else will teach you to write. You can take a million classes, read a thousand books, but the only way to learn is to put your hand to paper or the keyboard and get started. Imagine a novice baker who read all the cookbooks in the world but never … Read More

Keeping Your Wilderness Alive

Sage CohenThe life poetic8 Comments

Solitude is the sense of space as nourishing. What usually happens with solitude is that people equate it with loneliness, which frightens them…There is a way in which we treat our relationships almost like a colonial expedition: we want to colonize the space, all the territory in between, until there is no wilderness left. Most couples who have deadened in … Read More