Yellow Wallpaper – Susanne Alexa N. Hillman

With my sisters we tore down the yellow wallpaper
the maddening one that ensnared you when you wanted to run
we found you hiding under the bed shaking and mumbling
and we listened and returned to you your song
which had been silenced by a heedless spell.
We patched up the walls and painted them purple
and then we opened some windows so the light could shine through
we folded the shreds into paper boats and set them afloat
on the river by the well
your husband, we sent him to hell.


Susanne Alexa N. Hillman grew up trilingual in Zurich, Switzerland with a Swedish mother and an American father. The first time she heard poetry was at the C. G. Jung Institute, where her father was director of studies. Though very young, she remembers the beauty of language and the rapt audience in the dark, packed auditorium. At 18 she moved to New York to pursue music, playing drums in the bands Hit By A Truck, Five Easy Pieces and Lieutenant 70. She was part of the New York underground scene of the 1980s and spent most of her young years in clubs dancing, attending concerts, rehearsing, and performing. In her 30s she studied art history and received a PhD with a dissertation on Robert Rauschenberg. She then moved back to Europe to start a family and write, and spends her summers on a remote island in northern Sweden. She has lived in Berlin since 2013 where she became inspired by the lively English language poetry scene to write poetry full-time.  You can read  more of her writing