Traveling Tales: Seven nights in Tokyo

For a week I set out to conquer the megalopolis that is Tokyo. Many coffees were consumed, cafes visited, sushi feasts devoured, neighborhoods weaved through, boozy beverages downed, friends made, totoros found, dreams realized, love matierialized. Tokyo wooed me with its sexy, crazy, coolness and she was a costly lover, my week-long tryst was an adventure well worth every yen spent. Below are some of my favorite images captured during my time in Tokyo.

Beat makers outside Meiji Shrine in Shibuya

Sake barrels outside Meiji Shrine in Shibuya

Guard and processional along the path to Meiji Shrine

The afternoon chaos of Shibuya crossing

Blue nights in Tokyo

Women in kimonos shuffling in Omotesando Hills

Traditional Japanese dance party

Doughnuts at Streamer Coffee in Shibuya

A Tanaka specialty, the Gibraltar, at Bear Pond Espresso in Setagaya

Pachinko neon

Shrine streams in Ueno Park

Tokyo Skytree

Neon geisha in Shinjuku

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Filed under Asia, Sights, Stories, Traveling Tales

Skyline

Skyline
Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Buildings babel upwards
towards cloud lanes, past cathedral spires,
beckoning to god’s
as patrons in awe on pavement
gaze at glass monoliths,
confusing towers with the heavens.

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Dressing Room

Dressing Room

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June 30, 2012 · 3:34 pm

Ash and Snow

This past winter was a dark one in my life, marked by periods of mourning over loved ones buried and a loneliness more severe than previous snowy seasons. A blessing and tragedy of living far from family is that when crises occurs, I benefit and suffer from a level of detachment due to the distance that separates; I’m no stranger to that sensation and have grown accustomed, perhaps even too comfortable, with my living in my self-prescribed exile. This particular piece was written shortly after my grandmother passed in December and though there isn’t anything especially revealing about the piece, I required some time before being able to share it. My grandmother was a woman bearing such a kind, generous, and warm spirit, and a woman of unshakeable faith; there’s no other person who has made me want to believe in the heavens more than her.

Ash and Snow
Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Frailty failed her lungs,
breaths left dangling in the space above her bones,
the dissolved muscles and grey skin drained of its glow–
the absent sting of sunlight an illusion as bold as sunset.

Life rarely leaves lovely behind,
though caskets cling to the remnants
as if at war with soil’s desire to consume.

I’m told there was a mountain behind the funeral procession,
one which begs the imagination to blur colors of ash and snow,
as if they are not the same.

In earth her body lay buried,
wrapped with silk,
drenched in smooth faith.
Her soul in a distant ascension,
legs a reliquary latched to the stairway made of scripture.

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Filed under Fact and Fiction, Poetry, Stories

Reverie Trails

Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Reveries revealing winding trails to doors ajar,
in nights I waltz through forests
to find you in foliage, eyes shining,
the blue glow of our moon dancing
a train of shivers and sentiments across skin,
glazing with goosebumps.

The breeze whistles, beckoning our stride to the seaboard,
sand sprinkling its jagged glass spheres
over our imaginary fairytale.

When we wake, timezones stretched between us,
our nostrils fill with the scent of sea foam
from the shores of where we always meet,
a place we’ve never been before.

These haunting daydreams grip to all hours,
minds lost–wandering through
the thicket of reverie trails.

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Sleep

Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Sometimes I dream of burning metal,
an aneurism smelling stains, staining smells into the nostrils of my nightmares,
places daydreams go to visit, rare to return.
This is a place speckled blue and bright,
dark matter, rays of fire, swirling in a phosphorescent haze.
Our mind’s made up of galaxies, battling and bending,
breaking when we fall out of

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Filed under Fact and Fiction, Poetry, Stories

아저씨 (Ajusshi)

I met an old man this evening, well, that’s a half-truth since we never actually met or exchanged names or pleasantries, but as with all those who’ve lived an impressive number of days, he struck me as delightful, delicate, and wise, stealing a seat beside me at a bustling cafe. He ordered hot chocolate and smelled of stale grass, his rusty cologne speckling the coat keeping him warm as he sniffled. It wasn’t a particularly cold night, but the chill has a way of mingling with frailty, wiggling into bones. Though it shouldn’t be special, his avid fingers managing a smartphone seemed, for a moment, somewhat odd; that was until I recalled where I was, resting at the technological future’s neon heartbeat, or at least one of its pulses.

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Filed under Ramblings, Stories, Traveling Tales