Signs of the South

Signs of  the South
Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Breath hollowed, a southern suffocation,
the taste of tobacco and Tabasco filters into lungs,
chicory smoke signals sharpening senses,
attuned to the tunes dancing
through a sun bathed breeze in the afternoon.

The streets are covered in glass confetti,
remnants of last night’s debauchery
when stars glittered like spilt liquor on asphalt.

An entire city floods with freaks and foreigners,
sound-weavers, shaman,
the voodoo you can’t do
anywhere but here.


Train Daze

Train Daze
Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Birches blaze by, leaves aflame,
a yellow fire fading to mulch beneath piles of snow.
The wailing horn, the steady pulse of clacking iron,
sounds the same in every language.

Lulling me towards dreams in motion,
lunar phases and time zones drift and shift past
without mention.
The daze of days spent riding rails,
a confusion, stinking bliss,
for feet cursed with a lust for less permanent ground.

To Mecca, Malta, Malawi

Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Smuggling daydreams in knapsacks,
we hop the border between imaginations
and some place we’re told is real.

Existing in this capsule, an aqueous membrane,
a speck, flake, drip drop amidst the mountains of our universe,
we spin without moving our feet, muscles in constant motion
despite our trusted illusion of stillness.

Craving fanciful moments formed in a daze,
the haze of waking life
separates drones from revolutionaries,
the weary from those chasing thrills.

Whenever will the morning unveil the unfamiliar?
Waves undulating at frequencies our senses suddenly render–
purples uncharted, seas unseen.

Following a dotted line,
my feet make a mess of the sands
that once provided directions.

To Mecca, Malta, Malawi,
westward leaning treetops billowing in the breeze,
nowhere is everywhere I’ve been before,
somewhere I’ll be, in between the fabric,
caught in the stitches of winding, wandering reveries.

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.

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.


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

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.

Electric Guitar Car Crash

Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Nails lengthening
in accordance with lunar waxing,
I ply strings to create booms and vibrations,
to tingle toes and tongues,
a tidal wave of hot sound comes crashing,
feeling less like water,
more like the assemblage of factory thumbs splintering,
Sheets of metal and glass shatter,
the noise overtakes us.
All we can do is sit there
and listen—
and wait for the wails to drown.

Breathing. Clouds. Space Bodies

This is a piece of found poetry that I stitched together from one of my student’s reading assignments at school. On the ground I spotted an essay cut up into three sections, one on breathing, another on clouds and the last on space bodies. The sound and images of these titles together was something I instantly connected with and considered to be quite beautiful and thus this little ditty was conjured up.

Breathing. Clouds. Space Bodies
Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Bodies made of frozen gas and dust,
meteors in an orbit,
stretch out across the sky,
immerse yourself in the towering cloud:

You are ready to practice regular breathing.

Legs tucked, curl like a feather
composed of crystals in an atmosphere burning,
sink into the satellite’s arms and glide forward:

This is called floating.