Blanket Sea

Arts & Literary Magazine

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“a couple of thoughts to help you understand depression” by Kristin A Trumble

I.

sunbeams criss cross overhead,
above the reach of my live-in pallor.
I am painted
in varying shades
of concrete and shadow.

I cannot stand up
straight enough to feel their light.

My foot has gotten caught
in the legs of this chair.
My arm is stuck between the bed and the wall.

I only rise after sundown
to spit yesterday out of my bloated belly

to watch clouds of smoke circle matted hair

detached from this thing
under my skin,
I focus on gray above,
grime at eye level.

I wait, solemn, for it to fade away.

 

II.

 

it has no color, the blanket

I’m under and the air is cardboard

the only movement anywhere, a tickle,

pin prick, behind my eyeballs, won’t tell me why it’s there, it won’t
name itself.

It just hovers, a faint buzzing loud enough to be frustrating but not loud enough for anyone else
to hear.

it clogs up my thoughts so I can’t remember why I’m here, my head
swollen with rain

only lost images bleed through and tear like wet paper
crumpled in a ball and discarded in the corner.

 

 

Kristin A Trumble is a graduate student and mother in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  A lifelong writer, she is just beginning the adventure of sharing her work with others. She spends much of her free time with her German shepherd dog or in a public library.  She could not bear life without books and credits them with keeping her alive and rooted in the world.

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Poetry by Megan Wildhood

Insomnia at the Beach

The moon reflects the sun white
but the rocks reflect the moon black.

They are missing the point
or else are they being themselves?

This is why I am here, lowered carefully
by muscle memory

to slick stones’ peaks barely
above a seething sea.

I love the froth, the product
of innocent rage, that gathers at the edges

of the stones like a conflicted team.
I love how small I am, how obvious

the truth of my powerlessness is
and how here, away from home,

those things are safe. My home on Sunset Hill,

is small, too, but so I feel large there, like the Olympics
beyond Bainbridge Island I can see from the balcony

that only has room to stand; like I cannot hide,
like I’ve stolen the place of the cement-gray sky;

the ocean, the teamworking spume,
the dark that shows all the crevices

of rare but stubborn light. I hold my breath a lot.
This soggy city shines like a kid with a fever.

I want to be the smallness of who I am,
though it’s dangerous, because it is the truth.

In a powerful kingdom where most of the power
comes from never knowing about it, truth is safe.

A few waves of Puget Sound shove my stone throne
so hard I think it might move, topple me

into the icy sheen. The light would break
apart for only a moment, but not like the flicker

of failed electricity my home, sometimes
my brain, undergo. Looking at water

only makes you thirsty if you need
to be full to be free. I look out to that deep

dark and when I look back, I see the ocean
come to its knees on the shore and the shore

bow to the trees, which are timbering right back,
like they all have probably always done.

I stay until well after you can see the sun’s breath in their shadows,
catch mine and face the hill holding up my home.

 

Both Sides

For my day off, I’ll have surgery.
A transposition from old wounds into new ones.
What history’s all about. I know so much about
Poland’s war years, how my grandmother and her brothers

never fought with each other, what they had
to eat for every meal, even if it was burnt or
undercooked. I cannot name my daughter’s
favorite food.

The surgery. Where they incise both belly and back
to insert the rods to brace the spine, keep it
from slumping ever further, from crushing my lung.
(Have I not put it off long enough, like cleaning the fridge?)

There’s one sure way to kick a habit:
over and over again. But the war that was
exercise and stretching didn’t slow the stenosis,
the narrowing of the nerve trenches around my spine.

Those with the blades might tell you that love and judgment
are oil on water but, as we sit for our last dinner before the operation –
my daughter hates cabbage and steak and using a knife –
it seems like one is the face on the coin of the other.

 

 

Megan Wildhood is a freelance and creative writer in Seattle, WA. Her work, which centers social justice, marginalized voices, and hope for healing, has appeared, among other publications, in The Atlantic, The Sun, and America MagazineLong Division, her first book, was released by Finishing Line Press in September 2017 and she’s currently working on a novel. You can learn more at meganwildhood.com.

Poetry by Elisabeth Horan

The Cruelty of Winter Has Only Just Begun

The little bird came out
in darkness:
t’was my heart and
so disoriented;
and the seed was
not the right
seed, but instead of
dying off
from the frigid cold –

it turned back,
familiar valve found,
hence – alit:
three-toed and tucked,
a hinged
and hungered beak under
hollow-boned
shoulder blade – black and white speckled
wing feathers;
her sanguine queen
comforters:
necessary warmth
to go it once more
in the deepness:
it was in my head
and it was dying
in the end – but not
from the frigid cold.

 

Pain Pilgrim

Bless you Pilgrim
for I know where you
travel to

The hurt will be unraveling
like string, like yarn;
acorns will fall, conspicuous &

Rude. Awakening ancient
anger like a magma floor
boils

A Vulcan you’ve been.

A Vulcan: you blow your top.
but it’s at yourself, most often,
at whom you blow your top –

Not the cat who tangled the yarn
not the neighbor
who spared the oak –

Not the iron ore of earth
in all her bitchiness
and unpredictable nature

Like the heavens
suffer from global frustration

They are as sweaty
as worn out, as tired of bad news –
(children die every day…)

As you are.
That is why you walk the road, young
Pilgrim. For –

Who else, if not yourself,
shall ravel up this
tangled skein of yarn –

 

 

Elisabeth Horan is a poet and mother living in Vermont who has struggled with major depression and anxiety most of her adult life. Most recently, she survived severe postpartum depression which, after the birth of her second son, almost destroyed her. She hopes her poetry might let others, who may be suffering in silence, know that they are not alone. Please hang on Pain Pilgrim, there is hope. @ehoranpoetejfhoran@weebly.com

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