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VITAMIN ZZZ

WINTER 2019

40 WINKS


VITAMIN ZZZ: Winter 2019 40 WINKS Produced by SleepyHeadCENTRAL.com; edited by Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH. All rights reserved. Images included in this digital publication are permitted for use as described in credit captions, or are public domain, or are credited below:                    Cover image: "Winter camping" courtesy PxHere.                           Page header image: "Bear Sleeping." MJ Boswell, 2014. CC-by-2.0. No part of this digital compilation may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher. For information permissions for reprints or excerpts, contact Tamara Sellman at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com. For more information about SleepyHeadCENTRAL.com, please visit the website at www.sleepyheadcentral.com. The content of this publication is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. While the editor and publisher is a board-registered polysomnographic technologist and certified clinical sleep health educator, she is not a doctor and it is beyond her scope of practice to issue diagnoses or prescribe therapies. However, general content found at SleepyHeadCENTRAL.com may be useful if you are in need of general sleep health information.


VITAMIN ZZZ

A digital literary quarterly devoted to sleep

WINTER 2019

40 WINKS Edited by Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH

A PUBLICATION OF SLEEPYHEADCENTRAL.COM


VITAMIN ZZZ

40 WINKS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

About Vitamin Zzz 6 40 WINKS: An Introduction by editor Tamara Sellman 7 SLEEP STUDY Mariana McDonald 8 HANGING IN THERE Deonte Osayande 9 THE EXACT SPOT Bill McCloud 9 HIBERNATION Kristin Bryant Rajan 10 WHAT CAN YOU SLEEP THROUGH? J.J. Steinfeld 11 I REMEMBER NOT SLEEPING Sherri Levine 12 WHY DO YOU THINK THAT THE PIG IN ORWELL'S ANIMAL FARM IS NAMED NAPOLEON? Gerard Sarnat, M.D. 14 MODERNIZED LAZARUS-PICKWICK HAIKU Gerard Sarnat, M.D. 15 ALMOST LYNCHED HAIKU Gerard Sarnat, M.D. 15

2:30 AM Joan Gelfand 16 BREATHING IN THE DARK K.B. Ballentine 20 YOU OFTEN DREAM OF FLYING, M.S. Rooney 21          INSOMNIA Janet McCann 22 MAGICKAL REMEDIES FOR ACUTE INSOMNIA Rosemary Royston 25  THE INSOMNIAC Sanjida Yasmin 26 NIGHT GRACES Melinda Coppola 27 OF LICHEN Judith Skillman 29 THIS PORCELAIN SLEEP Judith Skillman 30 SLEEPLESS Maryann Russo 31 IN THE NIGHT Maryann Russo 31


VITAMIN ZZZ

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EMERGENCE Maryann Russo 31 BLUE MOON Ann Cefola 33

VITAMIN ZZZ

Publisher

HAUNTED Ann Cefola 33

SleepyHeadCENTRAL.com

GO TO SLEEP Patrick Cabello Hansel 34

Editor, Production & Design

somewhere i have never travelled Micki Blenkush 35 Acknowledgments 36 Call for submissions 37 About SHC 38 (back cover)

Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH Contact Information SleepyHeadCENTRAL ATTN: Tamara Sellman 321 High School Road NE PMB 204, Ste. D-3 Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 Comments, questions & feedback: 206.289.0671 Business inquiries only: 206.618.7348 sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com


VITAMIN ZZZ

40 WINKS

ABOUT VITAMIN ZZZ

Vitamin ZZZ is a digital literary quarterly dedicated to all things related to the biological process of sleep. It is intended to be read for enjoyment, but can be seen as an instrument for sleep health advocacy, public health awareness, and patient education.

Editor Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH is no stranger to the world of literary publishing. A freelance writer with a degree in Journalism (specialty: magazine editing and publishing) from Columbia College Chicago ('90), she is a seasoned publishing professional with over 30 years of expertise.

First-hand experiences in publishing since 2000 include work as publisher and editor of Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism (2000 to 2007) and its zine edition, Periphery (2003 to 2006); publisher of the limited edition Southern Revival chapbook, which raised enough funds to replace lost books in an entire small town library following Hurricane Katrina (2006); founder of Writer's Rainbow Literary Services (2009 to 2012), where she served as creativity coach, developmental editor, online workshop teacher, blogger, and literary community leader; and project manager for Penumbra: Speculative Fiction from the Pacific Northwest (2011), among other projects. She is a widely published, award-winning poet, essayist, journalist, and fiction writer with two Pushcart Prize nominations and other accolades (see www.RhymesWithCamera.com). Her journalism credits date to the mid 1980s.

Sellman established her board credential as a registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT) in 2013 and was one of the first in the world to become board certified in clinical sleep health education (CCSH) in 2014. She currently produces SleepyHeadCENTRAL.com, Vitamin ZZZ, a weekly column ("While You Were Sleeping: This Week in Sleep Medicine") for the American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST), sleep technology training modules also for the AAST, and contract work for sleep clinics, online health publications, and nonprofits.

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40 WINKS: AN INTRODUCTION

Appropriately, I'm writing this during Seattle's biggest snowstorm in seven decades. The hush of a foot-high blanket of snow at sea level is hardly disrupted save for a random foghorn coming off the ferry or the cheers of children sledding down hilly streets. A rare stretch of snow days beckons, with actual powder and fluff to play in. Where I live, "snow days" are actually "ice days." Those rosy-cheeked children will find great sleep this week! With any luck, their frazzled parents will surrender to the snow-insulated slowness of time off work, move past the glaring lack of snow plows and make the most of it at home: reading books, making cocoa, measuring snow by the inch, shoveling with a light heart, and, later, napping. It's easy to feel guilty about taking naps on sunny summer days when you should be pulling weeds or washing cars or going back inside to work, but it's so much easier to catch a good 40 winks during a wintry snowstorm. Which is why we're celebrating the complex art of human hibernation in this allpoetry edition of Vitamin ZZZ. Kristin Bryant Rajan takes the notion quite seriously in her poem, "Hibernation" (p10), and Judith Skillman gives it a classic Northwest twist in "Of Lichen" (p29.)  Ann Cefola studies the charm and mystique of nighttime wanderings and lunar sentries in her poems, "Blue Moon" and "Haunted (p33), and "Magickal Remedies for Acute Insomnia " (p25) by Rosemary Royston gives us an epistolary recipe for good sleep by someone in search of forty winks. Plenty of people have anxiety about sleep, so a snowy winter only generates more hypervigilance, as seen in poems about insomnia by Joan Gelfand ("2:30 AM" on p16; Janet McCann's "Insomnia" on p22; and "Sleepless" by Maryann Russo (p31). Meanwhile, unique takes on finding sleep come to us through Mariana Mcdonald's "Sleep Study" exploration (p8), a compelling illustration of sleep in a mental hospital in Sherri Levine's "I remember not sleeping" (p12), and Dr. Gerard Sarnat's tongue-in-cheek haiku renderings (p15). We hope these poems keep you cozy until the first buds arrive this spring.   ~ Tamara Sellman, ed.

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SLEEP STUDY

Classroom: packed with people, sleeping problems epidemic. Sent home with a test kit:

Diagnosis: Mild. My options: 1)  Vader, 2) Dental, 3)  Lose the weight.                    

Chest strap, gut strap, wrist band, pulse ox, nasal plugs, cheek-tape, gadget plug, press and

No contest! I’ll go hungry to keep my dreams unmasked 

Houston, we have a Sleep Study! A shot of cold meds, and we’re off….

Mariana Mcdonald

(Is it working? Is it beeping? Am I sleeping?) Now the readings: Sixty snores, a dozen dead stops, briefly breathless; pulse ox lame.

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MARIANA MCDONALD lives in Atlanta, GA. "I like to sleep with regularity, but sometimes I get stood up on dates with Mr. Sandman, and insomnia shows up instead. I've been trying lots of things to make my sleeping stable and to rule out sleep apnea, including a recent sleep study."

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HANGING IN THERE

THE EXACT SPOT

black cat/chat noir/ whatever you call/ him, me and my pet/ live in this world/away/ from all my illnesses/  anxiety/  depression/  bipolar/  narcolepsy/ we live in these/moments/ of peace/and isn't that too/

You pull back the sheet patting the exact spot on the bed where you expect me to land and you smile So I do and I turn and fall into the comfort of the bed and your arms But it’s actually your smile that I’m falling into Bill McCloud

a blessing/to live in this/ world of stress/and find/

BILL MCCLOUD, writing from Oklahoma, finds that focusing on her smile tends to make all the bad stuff fade off into the distance.

delight/in your being/a man and his cat/I ate today/and that too is something/to be grateful for/and I am/thankful/ to be alive/to live out/all/ these/moments/these/these alternate/  time lines/ with my little buddy/beside me/ Deonte Osayande

DEONTE OSAYANDE lives in Detroit, MI. "I tend to listen to my favorite YouTube pages and let them lull me to sleep."

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HIBERNATION

I feel the Mid-West gray of winter deep in my chest, the innocence of snow blackened by city smog burdens my breath.

Back to my beckoning bed, to sleep until spring. Kristin Bryant Rajan

Sleep pulls me deep into intoxicating, soothing blankets, long after most of the neighborhood has had its second coffee. I force myself from delicious warmth, walk into the cold dark of my living room. Trying to find a rhythm, I lift my heavy arms into textured air, reaching for peace with movement. Something presses hard against my right shoulder blade. Bone shifts like sand with a forceful tide, pierces like platelets scraping in my back: an earthquake of pain. A pinched nerve floods my body with a reason to surrender after noble effort.

KRISTIN BRYANT RAJAN currently lives in Atlanta, GA but wrote this while living in Cleveland, OH. "This piece was largely inspired by the long, dark winter days in Cleveland. Sleep is a gift to me and always has been. When out of balance, sleep teaches me. When it’s in balance, sleep nourishes me. Of late, I’ve been practicing the hugely rejuvenating 20-minute power nap, not yet a competitive sport."

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WHAT CAN YOU SLEEP THROUGH?

A jab to the side? A pitiless rifle shot? The thunder of guilt? The knocking of remorse? Violence near and far immediate and repeated? The screams and bleeding of others known and unknown? Will you awake or grip tightly to sleep?

J. J. STEINFELD lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. "As a writer of fiction, poetry, and drama, I find sleep/ dreams/dreaming significant aspects of and contributors to the creative process, whether as literary devices, metaphorically, or as important ingredients to the stimulation of imagination and creativity."

Will you, deep in your sleep, negotiate with metaphysicians, and dream slyness and evasiveness sidestepping deception and betrayal? Will you dream the question, What can you sleep through? Will you hide even in sleep? Will you finally escape sleep finding everything gone like in a treacherous dreaming? J.J. Steinfeld

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I REMEMBER NOT SLEEPING

I remember lying on a squeaky cot, in a room full of women, listening to them breathe like lung machines, steam hissing from radiators, heels clicking down halls. I remember not sleeping in psychiatric hospitals. I remember a flashlight shining in my eyes every two hours during the night, a needle poking in my arm. I remember my roommate swallowing a crushed light bulb. I remember the bitter taste of pills I hid under my tongue. I remember spitting them out later. I remember not being able to sleep for a month.   I remember waiting for the sunrise, for the store to open, so I could buy cigarettes. I remember a doctor said sleep deprivation causes mania.   I remember crashing on other men’s beds and feeling cold all the time. I remember not knowing where I had slept the night before. I remember how good it was to come home—to stretch my legs across my bed, wrap myself in clean, cotton sheets and listen to the rain.   Sherri Levine

SHERRI LEVINE lives in Portland, OR. Sherri has suffered a chronic mental illness for over 30 years. Lack of sleep induces a mania, and too much sleep is a sign of depression. Given too many drugs, or the wrong drugs to her, she slept too much of the time. She was in mental hospitals and lost relationships. Now she sleeps well and is mentally healthy.

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TITLE

"Dream Woman." Jรถrg Prieser. June 2014. Digital image courtesy Pixabay.

"Where the Plants Live." Simon Matzinger. January 2010. Public domain image.

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40 WINKS WHY DO YOU THINK THAT THE PIG IN ORWELL’S ANIMAL FARM

IS NAMED NAPOLEON?

I was asked to be present (all expenses paid) at AARP’s annual event to receive an honorary silver plaque for the lucky senior citizen whose Medicare compliance scores among CPAP wearers were second in the whole goddamn fast-food nation but when that gloriously fine time finally came mid July the fat lady from some circus who won had just expired so moi ascended to top of the podium which actually’s no joke since our Big Brother government collected microchip data on everybody with obstructive sleep apnea—without permission— leading me to develop really bad insomnia.

Gerard Sarnat, MD

IMAGE CREDIT: "Animal Farm artwork" courtesy the National Archives UK. In 1950 the Foreign Office commissioned a strip cartoon version of Animal Farm from the cartoonist Norman Pett and his writing partner Donald Freeman. 14


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MODERNIZED LAZARUS-PICKWICK

ALMOST LYNCHED HAIKU

Woke up pretty bad CPAP tube tied ‘round my neck came to in three hours water spewing like Columbia River Gorge’s fun day anyway.

HAIKU

We prayed. Headmistress brought back from the dead: next time resusc, use CPAP. Gerard Sarnat MD

Gerard Sarnat MD

GERARD SARNAT MD is from California. "I'm a physician who's both professionally, personally, and deeply engaged in assisting people with sleep apnea and chronic fatigue syndrome. The former is a well-accepted 'disease' entity with clear-cut sleep study metrics and therapy; frustratingly, the latter is just beginning to be defined. The good news is that CPAP improves underlying extreme fatigue. We work together as detectives trying to figure out how to make CPAP 'nests' work as well as possible."

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2:30 AM

It’s 2:30 AM. Do you know where you mind is? Because this is not the mind you woke up with. The ‘go get em’ mind. This mind is gone. You jolt awake. On the verge of a heart attack, nervous breakdown or a blood clot about to burst. You’re going. Just like your next-door neighbor, Carl, who mounted his bike every Saturday morning but now lies in hospice dying of carotid artery cancer. Or Beth’s husband Casey, run down on his bike by a distracted driver. Or Jennifer, your friend’s daughter who died at 40 of throat cancer. Why not you? Everyone else is going. It’s 2:30 and the world is asleep. Except really, it’s not. There’s an army of mid-night wakers, pill takers who will down anything that knocks them out. We’re boxers in a ring praying for that one-two punch. It’s 2:30 AM. Your mind is out wandering—drifting with all the other minds

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And picking up bad ideas like a black sweater picks up lint or dandruff. Last week you read a cartoon, a list of nihilistic password security questions: What is the name of your least favorite child? In what year did you abandon your dreams? In what city did you first experience ennui?  On what street did you lose your childhood Sense of wonder? When did you stop trying? For fun, I add my own: Were my wedding vows really true? Don’t I really miss My sister who wrote me a “Dear John” letter six months after our mother died? Have I wasted my life?  What will I do after my husband dies? The minutes tick ominously; my mind an irreverent puppy out sniffing for trouble. We’ve all lost our minds at 2:30. How could you not, in that dark pit of night Your spouse slumbering, your daughter going about her day on another continent? You’re on the other side of losing. Your parents are gone and you’re next. The frets pile up like so much detritus. What jewelry was given to you that you lost? How many times have you been robbed? Rejected? Insane with grief? Rage? How much money have you lost? How much weight have you gained? Why is it that at 2:30 AM, the degrees, the accomplishments, the kudos, continued

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TITLE

"Dream Woman." Jรถrg Prieser. June 2014. Digital image courtesy Pixabay.

"Stress and Anxiety." TheDigitalArtist, digital collage courtesy Pixabay.

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the success vanishes like invisible ink? Those are thoughts for the light of day. At night, moonlight traverses the crevasses of your mind, chills the amygdala, shocks the cerebral cortex. At 2:30 AM, you talk yourself off the ledge, down a blue pill, feel a failure for another broken sleep. Joan Gelfand

JOAN GELFAND lives in San Francisco, CA. Joan has been an active dreamer all her life. Her award winning poem, “The Ferlinghetti School of Poetics” was composed from images Joan recalled in three different dreams over the course of a year. Los Angeles filmmaker Dana Walden created a five-minute film of the dream which won Certificate of Merit at the International Association for the Study of Dreams. The film was shown in film festivals around the world. The poem, published six times (including Levure Littéraire, a French literary magazine where it won best poem) won Poets 11 Judged by Jack Hirschman, Poet Laureate Emeritus of San Francisco.

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BREATHING IN THE DARK

“In a world that lives like a fist mercy is no more than waking with your hands open.” –Mark Nepo Last night I was a child again gripped by fear of a wolf on my chest, eyes gleaming into mine as I woke in the dream. Headlights through my window, twin beams that flared my room, urged me to struggle from my sheets, stumble the hall, dim and small, into their room. Warm darkness, their breathing a comfort. I tripped my way to the bed, climbed in and slid between them. Whatever waited, whatever followed, here I was safe. K.B. Ballentine

K.B. BALLENTINE: "As a child, I had recurring nightmares about wolves, even though I lived in Florida. Now I live in Tennessee and usually have zero trouble going to sleep and staying asleep; my husband drops off pretty quickly just sitting down anywhere but has the unfortunate (for me) habit of waking up at about 3:00 AM. If he's good, he doesn't wake me; other times… Let's just say I've spent time on the screened porch listening to the night life and waiting for morning.

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YOU OFTEN DREAM OF FLYING,

I do not. Sometimes late at night when your head drops in sleep and your book slips onto the bed, I watch the faint movements of your empty hands.

M.S. ROONEY lives in Sonoma, CA. "Who is not intrigued by the mysteries of sleeping, when we are unaware of being alive, and dreaming, when we sometimes feel most alive?"

How strange and beautiful your fingers are. Are you remembering wings? M.S. Rooney

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INSOMNIA

                 i

               ii

puffy-eyed and wheezy she eyes the cat, who can’t sleep either

why can’t we have a van gogh insomniac café

who crawls onto her belly curls between her hipbones but then rises and yawns she rolls over and he makes biscuits on her back and she looks out the window at the moon and the black trees the moon a single open parenthesis and the trees scribbles on the deeper dark shuts her eyes the whole sky is inclusive the whole dark                  

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it would have to have couches for breaks from all that vivid consciousness and screaming color we could sit and talk about poems and all our former lives the conversations would shift something would be served by shadow waiters, a substance of indefinite blue Janet McCann

JANET MCCANN lives in College Station, TX. She is an insomniac who tries everything.

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TITLE

"Bedroom in Arles." Vincent Van Gogh. September 1889. Public domain image.

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VITAMIN ZZZ

40 WINKS "Boneset in Watercolor." Original digital art by Tamara Sellman. All rights reserved.

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MAGICKAL REMEDIES FOR ACUTE INSOMNIA

—after Edain McCoy’s Mountain Magick

Dear B— I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble sleeping. Since I’m visiting Aunt Edain, I’ve asked her what you should try. Here’s what she shared:

ROSEMARY ROYSTON is from Blairsville, GA. "For me, sleep is a spiritual process. It allows for creativity, reflection, and rejuvenation. Without good sleep, I am not my best self."

Soak the bark from a black locust or birch tree in pig urine and place under your mattress. Sleep with your head at the foot of your bed. Spend the night at Old Union cemetery, aligned in the same direction as the dead. Drink milk from an eggshell. Sip a tea of boneset leaves. Repeat (any above) every Sunday ‘til cured. Much Love, R Rosemary Royston

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THE INSOMNIAC

she wanted to close her cloudy eyes to the black night at length, she decided to arise & fight off her fright to the shadows of the night, she began to prattle & fight off her fright without any battle

SANJIDA YASMIN lives in Bronx, NY. "Sleep to me is intoxicating, captivating and mind numbing. Once it hits me, I can't stop it. I succumb to it and become dead only to awake the next morn."

she began to prattle in order to sleep without any battle, without counting sheep in order to sleep, she wanted to close her rubbed raw eyes without counting sheep at length, she decides to arise. Sanjida Yasmin

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NIGHT GRACES

                 Each sleep cycle you wake happy, chirping psalm-songs into the darkness, small warm circles of air rising from your   curled body, and you tumble toward my bed, proclaim morning whether it is midnight or three or more thankfully five, and I surface from moondreams and embrace you, little Talitha of Ursa Major, Gemma of Corona Borealis,     insistent beacon, nudging my fatigue aside so   this perfect view of the stars,   the glorious jewels of the night reveals itself as the gift it is and I, your student, humbly bring you a glass of water.

MELINDA COPPOLA lives in a smallish town in Massachusetts. She'd tell you sleep is her lifelong respite: a perpetual longing and welcome necessity, at times elusive. Dreams are the ultimate mystery; sometimes pathless forest, others a grand stage upon which pieces of her psyche try on roles, act out possibilities and give voice to her waking Muse.

Melinda Coppola

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"Kishu kumano iwatake tori (Iwatake mushroom gathering at Kumano in Kishu)." Hiroshige II. 1860. Public domain image.


VITAMIN ZZZ

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OF LICHEN

Here in timberland it’s the same old game of algae and symbiosis, co-dependency. Sleep the commodity one can’t get without a Benzo. Short term memory impaired. Is it snow or moonlight? Was the snow here all day today or has it newly fallen? Judith Skillman

continued

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THIS PORCELAIN SLEEP

Does not come, does not come easily. Can you walk around a sculpture? This kind of derivative— rest and its ponderings, regeneration of the betrayed— neither nacre nor the core, rather a slippery slope where ex nihilo festers in its accouterments. Who is it nods off easily in a world full of knock-outs? Who silences the drone, the voice impersonating that monkey caged in the mind? There were, once, saucers so thin you could hold them up to the sun and see your own hand behind china. For good or evil, the hand, its many acts of heresy— including self-pleasure, the making of artifacts and idols.

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This porcelain sleep— sonorous, nonporous, subject to frequent waking, to liquid and the oceans of water flooding those whose welfare it was once my charge to protect. Judith Skillman

JUDITH SKILLMAN lives in Newcastle, WA. Her relationship with sleep has been difficult for all her now sixty something year life, as she suffers from primary insomnia. Dreams are regenerative and fuel writing, especially of verse; chronic sleep deprivation is taxing. Skillman has been to sleep clinics and myriad doctors in her quest for wellness. Her current strategy has changed to one of acceptance. She views chronic pain, which is a partner to sleep or the lack thereof, as a messenger sent to teach the body.

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SLEEPLESS

EMERGENCE

I cinch up my skirt at the edge of the road, trying to lure you. My thumb out. Take me—I’m yours.

It is near darkness when the shadows disappear and I see everything for what it is

You pass me once again— rejected orphaned left to wakefulness all night long.

IN THE NIGHT...

I am held hostage by stillness and an idle body Thoughts rattle about like birds that have outgrown their nests

the dreams tucked inside soon to spill into the room where I sleep in secret where fear prepares to leap like so many heartbeats into fast forward there is always hope just as I believe after the long night light will emerge cradled by darkness ready to show itself to the shadows Maryann Russo

Sleep hovers over the onslaught of mind hoping to settle

MARYANN RUSSO lives in Palos Verdes Estates, CA. “Sleep and I have been working on a better relationship for years. I have tried medications, natural remedies, meditation and more. I am learning to accept and befriend my bouts with insomnia, tending to the thoughts that love a vacuum of quiet to fill. Compassion is key."

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"Spooky Old Moon." Digital image courtesy MaxPixel.

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BLUE MOON

HAUNTED

Light deflected: The snow’s mirror angles over trees like low-flying egret. It creeps through blinds

Float down stairs. My open palm grazes banister. First floor. Grandfather Julius stares an oil    brown-coated    his turn-of-the century      gaze I walk through    Lovrien    Isadora    Ike to opened kitchen window wind rolls down gray road, lifts silver oaks, sprays        my lashes.

saying, Don’t sleep. For you, I abandon my translucent calluses and nails painted nude-pink. I leave the soft porcelain girl, breathing evenly, behind.

I tilt one ear. Another wave. Yes? What else? Conches. Starfish. One black pearl.

Homeless solar ray, I want to peer in windows and rattle the insane, my pale gaze turn icicle to flame, draw long shadows in snow, freeze random glass panes. Sticking like dry ice, my touch’s blue powder. Best avoid my aluminum glance: see how I burn white-hot, I spiral outward.

Hmm. Turning, I part the darkness with my arms, toes splay on each carpeted step. Now I know what I don’t know. Night having blown imperatives from my head, I open closed doors. Ancestors wring paper hands, pray my restless spirit goes back to bed. Ann Cefola

Ann Cefola

ANN CEFOLA lives and works as a writer in the New York suburbs. "Sleep is the diving board to dreams where I receive guidance, gifts, and an occasional loved one long gone."

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GO TO SLEEP

On winter’s nights, Talia’s soft blanket crinkles with star spark as I go to comfort her. My fingertips become the downy nest caressing her head; my song, still sleepy and unknowing in its homelessness covers her with pre-dew: the mist that whispers wind, the warm breath that has held our hand since time was a new born, picking and peeping at the world’s thin shell.

PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL lives in Minneapolis, MN. "I've experienced insomnia, childhood seizures at night and comforting my daughters when they can’t sleep. As a pastor, I've also been woken in the middle of the night by someone whose sleeplessness is much more of an adventure."

Patrick Hansel

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somewhere

i

have

never

travelled

after e.e. cummings watching you asleep on the couch after supper your hood pulled up snug around your neck swaddled at the age of 48, like a baby able to sleep anywhere, even in our bed

of your own mother as she reads to our daughter before we drive off into the winter night you arranged on her couch, eyes closed, head tilted at easy angle, face warmed by your own unseen star

though i poke you all through the night each snore crashing me back up onto shore instead of letting me float adrift on the words you’d read to me hours before, your soothing

Micki Blenkush

voice carries me out into the blessed tide of sleep until gusts of thought pick me up, drop me off on some abandoned pier where i watch the clock as though waiting for an overdue ferry all the daytime’s if-thens like theorems crowding across the stretched blackboard of my own mind swarming like jostled bees around the room then up over the house and into the universe of all possibility unlike you i never could sleep during the day it takes a certain gravity i will never possess, but sensed in your orbit where i remain, drawn to you like home, like how you must feel lying beneath the voice

MICKI BLENKUSH lives in St. Cloud, MN. She notes, “My dreams usually involve running late while finding myself stuck doing various inexplicable tasks or lately that I’m about to be executed and focused not on what I did nor the impending loss of life but instead on my crappy last meal or that the guards have brought me someone else’s clothes.”

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

“Blue Moon” (p33) originally appeared in Face Painting in the Dark by Ann Cefola (Dos Madres Press, 2014). “Haunted” (p33) by Ann Cefola was first published in Cicada in 2015. “What Can You Sleep Through?” (p11) by J.J. Steinfeld was first published in Highbrau in 2014. All previously published materials reprinted by permission of the authors.

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40 WINKS

2019 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Vitamin ZZZ seeks creative writing on sleep health, sleep disorders, sleep deprivation, sleep habits, dreams… anything directly correlated with the human process of sleep. Writing should explore SLEEP, i.e.:           ► personal experiences with diagnosed sleep disorders                      (sleepwalking, sleep apnea, circadian rhythm problems, daytime sleepiness,                        shift work disorder, jet lag, insomnia, etc.)            ► people suffering from unexplained or undiagnosed sleep problems or sleep deprivation           ► caregivers concerned about the sleep health of their patients or loved ones   All perspectives are sought and welcomed: humorous, clinical, personal, spiritual, political, fantastic, familial, experimental, confessional. The voices of healthcare professionals are especially desired. Only the highest quality work accepted.  ►HINT! We can always use more prose poems, flash fictions, personal essays, hybrid work, and creative nonfiction.  Topics we especially like: sleep disorders or sleep problems related to a comorbid condition (Alzheimer’s, diabetes, mental health concerns, chronic pain, obesity, etc.) or to other obligations that force one to choose between sleep and other activities (such as school, job, athletics, parenting, etc.).  Spring 2019 THEME THE FAMILY BED (Spring 2019) (submission deadline March 31, 2018) Topics of interest: We are looking for work discussing the family bed, cribs and                           cradles, sleeping with children, sharing beds, bunking, Grandpa’s favorite sleeping                          chair, favorite napping places in the household, memories of quilts or pillows,                           pregnant mothers and sleep, etc. HOW TO SUBMIT: See complete writers guidelines at https://sleepyheadcentral.com/vitaminzzz/

WINTER 2019

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WINTER 2018

THE SLEEPYHEADCENTRAL MISSION

“The SleepyHeadCENTRAL mission is to develop an accessible, accurate, and user-friendly online clearinghouse of sleep news and information. This effort is designed to help educate healthcare consumers on the vital importance of sleep in overall optimal health. My aim as Curator is to give healthcare consumers clear and empowering options to actively address their sleep problems.”                                                                                                     —Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH

The VITAMIN ZZZ mission

While many learn best about sleep problems through their own research and frank discussion with medical professionals, others may be better served by learning about sleep problems through the creative expressions of those who live with them. Vitamin ZZZ exists to illustrate, through this literary vehicle, how sleep problems truly affect our lives.

—Tamara Sellman, Editor

TO LEARN MORE: www.sleepyheadcentral.com

Profile for SleepyHeadCENTRAL.com

VITAMIN ZZZ [Winter 2019]: "40 Winks"