Category Archives: Fact and Fiction

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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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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Romance of the Typewriter

Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

There’s something so elegant about the typewriter. It’s clicks clacking, paper reeling, disappearing, reappearing with stamps, our words tattooed onto white skin. I miss the pleasure of punching keys; the tragedy of mistakes, the beauty of perfect lettering and alignment. I miss that commotion that typewriters bring to writing, a symphony lacking from my pen. My typewriter remains on its shrine of silk scarves from Bohemia, awaiting the oil of my fingers to beat it back to life. If only my Corona could come with me to whatever seas my diver directs me to.

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Self, February Something

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Searching For Salt and Finding the Bearded Woman

Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

I sought the taste of neon in the morning, its glow an apparent absence only present in the irises of night crawlers dripping pale, waiting for the sun.

I searched my skin for treasure troves and salt quarries, only ever finding pieces of paper torn and folded into creases and scars.

I hunted through dreams to days too cold for the scent of tangerines to wet my fingers, or apricots to taint my tongue with sweetness.
There’s no luck for senses seeking fruits in the winter.

When the ice cracked and dripped through drainpipes, I came to find the circus, folding origami flowers out of a field’s colors, somewhere, not here.
The bearded woman grabbed my hand, she said I was an acrobat and not to bend to break. She taught me how to do both.

Whatever rope line led to reality was neither real nor rope nor strands of thickly braided hair, though it resembled all three.
And then, somehow, came the sun.

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Sheets That Smell Just Like A Day At The Beach

Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

At first she only tasted the faint smell of salt seasoning the air, unaccompanied by any sight or sound. Her view was enveloped in a darkness so consuming she was momentarily convinced that salt had forever been painted black–that her memory of its whiteness was flawed, likely misinformed by a strange dream, a wrong deja vu. She could feel the rough grains of salt between her toes and would only realize what rubbed her skin when the light bent open her eyes. There brown, grey sand slipped through her and the sensory flood swelled as sea foam left its fading bubbles clinging above her ankle; limbs instantly washed over by the wet chill of an unforgiving sea, its crashing whistle ringing in her ears; the bath of warm sunlight dripping from her taut white bodice.

This was just like a day at the beach except that it wasn’t. Wherever Claire had just awoken was nowhere within the realm of the familiar despite the seething sensation that she’d done this all before.

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List Season : : Books Read in 2011

1. Americana by Don DeLillo
2. Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick
3. Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim
4. Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis
5. You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers
6. The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac
7. Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski
8. Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
9. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
10. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
11. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
12. Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nobokov
13. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
14. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell
15. Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami
16. Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
17. 1984 by George Orwell
18. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
19. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
20. Collapse by Jarrod Diamond
21. Between Parentheses by Roberto BolaƱo
22. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
23. Miss Lonelyhearts/The Year of the Loccust by Nathaneal West
24. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
25. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
26. The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
27. The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
28. Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
29. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
30. Point Omega by Don DeLillo
31. Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku

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