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.


Tightrope Walking Along Ventricle Strings

Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

My functioning organ, a hot gallery
of chaotic rope lines crisscrossing, ever tense in their taut,
there I feel the lead to you tug
and despite my faulty resistance,
I catch myself t i p t o e i n g,


to echoes of your vocal reverberations,
sifting through my imagination, controlling circadian tides.

In dreams, I’m moving through heavy water

I spend a lot of time alone. As a foreigner in a gigantic city, I’m constantly surrounded by sounds and signs of life and though I interact with it wildly, lovingly and often, I have a tendency to hole up in corners and spaces that keep me isolated in observance. I love to watch the world and the day go by around me–to see the sky change, the children laugh, and watch the lights dim in buildings as the neon signs glow ever brighter. Korea has grown to be a part of me and has impacted and marked me in ways that are perhaps to be expected, but still surprise me. It’s become a place I call home and even though so much of it and so many aspects of the country, the city I reside in and the culture itself are still unknown to me, I feel a sense of ease and comfort within it.

The topic of home enters my mind frequently, almost on a daily basis, and is something I somehow struggle to grasp because home for me seems to be constantly fluid and indefinite, which goes against the stability and foundation that “home” is obviously associated with. My homes are many already and are certain to continue to grow more numerous as I set out to conquer the map that my mind fills with an insatiable need to discover and understand lands and seas and people unfamiliar. It always appeared to be expressed as a joke, this declaration between my father and I that I have gypsy blood, but with the pace at which I ache to unsettle myself, to seek change and simply to move, the joke seems to be far too accurate. Perhaps it’s silly to spend time thinking on such matters, but as a romantic I do harbor these nerves and an anxiety that the way I have shaped my life and this very apparent itch that I have to stay in motion and to remain forever unsettled will result in a heart always in wanting of that mighty, euphoric love that, maybe foolishly, I do so believe exists somewhere. Sometimes it even seems that that is precisely what I’m on an endless quest for, to either find that person or place that consumes me with what I know and envision love to be.

Last night I dreamt that I went swimming in the ocean and ended up trapped in an aquarium somewhere. I tried to get out, but then I decided that it didn’t matter that I couldn’t escape because I liked it there. It’s a slightly humorous image, but also a rather beautiful one, especially when I think about how it mirrors my own life. I wouldn’t say that I necessarily feel trapped, but I can relate to the image of floating in a sea of others as the world goes by because, well, that’s what I do nearly everyday. I can’t decide if this sounds sad or pathetic or something else. I guess what I’m getting at in a very lengthy way is that I’ve grown just a little more content with what I’m doing and how I’m living my life, which is worthy of being called an accomplishment as I am too often crippled by concerns that I am not living up to my potential or that I haven’t achieved enough yet or that I have no idea what I’m doing. I still think these things are true, but I guess I’m becoming more comfortable and accepting that I will likely always feel these anxieties, so why fret?

Anyhow, I guess that’s my journal entry for the day. To every foreigner, anxious girl, romantic, or gypsy blooded soul, I know what you’re feeling too. We’re not alone, even when surrounded by a sea of fishes.

Signs of recovery: Silk and Soil

Silk and Soil
Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Wavering with willow branches bending bright
blue wind and sky,
my knees fold to dusty ground
like paper creases used to make cranes
and love letters.

Silk surrounds me blushing
pink and soft my skin,
the light hair of arms calmly shaking,
hardly showing signs of a breeze scented north.

Clawing at dirt with nails not long,
I feel the dry weight of earth
crumble between my fingers;
this was once bone,
once body like sand was once glass
passing through the hours.

As the sky fades, my attention turns
to the curves of constellations,
examining their glow
as though they were freckles on my skin,
mapping out patterns like secrets
and scars, answers and anthologies.

Though no thickness of cloth
could warm my weathered wings,
I wait with the chill for the presence
of your voice to light a fire,
but you already made amends with silence
and matchbooks were part of the bargain.

Reclaiming organs once left out for dust,
my lungs learn how to expand in full,
and my heart,
unlike the willows wilting,
takes on the qualities of silk
clinging close to my bodice—
soft and alluring,
strong, but only so stable.

Calm, Choppy Seas

Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Color me in a carnival of hues berries and gold,
glittering in a sun kissing my skin pink.
Fall falls onto bones in chills of neutral shades
but only after the greens fade to oranges bright.
Across seas, hear me crunching leaves
like words shaking off your fingertips,
and if you never sense me in the saltwater breeze,
you’re not breathing deep enough.

When you find me, I’ll be in the air
trapped, tickling your lungs–a feeling like love
only less a precursor to crushing.
I can still walk on water
though my lightness has been tampered with
by the shield, iron-clamped to my heart,
still remembering the scent of your stale sheets.

Mountains barricade my body, shuddering in memories
real and imaginary, and though the ship is sinking
with my tokens of you sealed inside,
my feet are sometimes wetted
with the notion of building a bottle to lock our illusion,
in glass, sand and calm, choppy seas.

How to bandage a wound: a year of words and heartbeats

Before opening up my journal’s pages, I feel it necessary to say that I don’t normally do this. I’m not a particularly private person, but what follows is quite personal and I don’t take to posting this here lightly. Mostly, I think, I seek to pin these bits and pieces here as a form of catharsis. I am healing, you see, and words are one of the few ways I know how to bandage a wound.

I spent the last year in love with a figment made of telephone wires and airplane wings. A love built out of suspended sounds, touches too quick to disappear and memories too lovely to be absolutely trusted. Below is a collection of words written over the course of a year spent loving and longing a faraway heartbeat. These are words sewn permanently somewhere in the hollow of my ventricles. These are words wonderful, destroyed, delicate, imaginary, and true. These are the words making up a heart strong, wounded, and learning now how to resuscitate.

3.18.2009 — on a plane heading westward (NYC –> DSM)

You struck my lightning and left
traces of your pitch
pared in my bones and wet pain
played through my gulf stream veins–
water without a lifeboat–
your palpitations reverberate off buildings
as mine whisper fiercely in a faraway wind.

4.30.2009 — in the middle of America

You are my sticky sweet finger wings
reaching through the breeze to bend my body
fold my limbs
wrap my veins in you

5.21.2009 — in heat of the desert sun

Mountain me gold and silver,
gardens of a spirit seeking Shiva,
and find me weaving freckles into place
where we lay the beams of foreign fleeing stars
bracing the steaming earth.


Opal me my Cherokee lover and feather flesh wounds mighty…
Teach me your tactics and flood me with the secrets weaved around eyelids thick…

7.7.2009 — on the road in Oregon

Ghosts will trace us to gods fingertips
hammering at the brass maps guiding our glass wings.

Clang, clang, cling
Sounds tapping like raindrops striking a reflection,
mirror me deep, deep deep in you.

Take me in your tusks to the tips of mountains
and peaks of seas.
Let me dampen and flake with wet earth and fruit,
soft a pulse perfumed in dirt berry.


He isn’t here, but he surrounds me, is entwined in the hairs of my arms and the breezes cooling my skin, always.

8.27.2009 — in Des Moines

Like moss sticking in a hue of golden green,
a wet stone shining in mornings orange light,
Like feathers waving and weaving over skin,
Like a shape shifting through pale water seas,
raising the hair grazing your arm and the curve of your neck,
Like a taste of salt leftover in my mouth,
the linger of sea teasing my taste-buds,
Like this and everything,
I am tangled up in love with you.


Though my skin stays damp and oily
in a color glowing lonely
I ask you to ignore the stillness in the morning
where our bodies lay both alone.


…curl up in an ache like ligaments pinching,
this is where loneliness sleeps
the space in already weakened muscles
folded with aspirin…

10.20.2009 — on a plane leaving San Francisco

There was a mountain we were building when we met
and where clouds unfurled meet metal wings, the daylight
reminds me that we have yet to try to live in steel.

And as fog billows a blanket along my surface,
there I swoon–silk has been sewn into your fingertips
clutching at my hips.

Shock me electric, shake me a shiver to remember you by…

11.24.2009 — in Minneapolis for Thanksgiving

I worry he has forgotten what it is to be in love with me…


He never denied the difficulty of our love.

2.16.2010 — sitting in Newark International Airport

I hear you cooing in the tender leafed thicket and am reminded by sounds and snow piles that winter is still in you. The dry skin itched red from wind wanes when the sun drips down through your tawny branches and when rain beads the tips of your eyelashes, when the thaw coats the sidewalk wetting your toes, then we will know it is spring.


Before I dream I see lightning flashes to remind me that your storm is coming though you will be nowhere in it.

4.1.2010 — in Iowa

Like a fever, I can almost feel the slow fate of our love through the receiver.


There is a powerful storm whirling outside. Rain water is beating against my window and lightening flashes are strobbing against my eyelids. It’s violent, chaotic, and slightly comforting to a spectator with shelter. I want to tell you about this as I watch it from my bed. I want you to call me so I can, but you won’t because you haven’t called me in a long time. Because we don’t seem to talk like we used to or maybe because we don’t seem to care as much. I’m not really sure what’s happened to us.


My lungs were shipwrecked in the morning as breaths were made wet. A flood of crystalline streams down cheekbones, the dams burst first with the sunrise…
…Every shower is a baptism as I try to purge any remnants of you still etched in my bones and as I dry, I feel the muscle of my heart toughen like the belt tightening around my lungs.

Organic Serene

Lately I’ve been reading a bunch of found poetry and there was one that stood out in which a writer took the instructions for brewing tea and WHAM (think of this wham along the exact same lines as the sound effects on the old school Batman series)  he had found himself a poem. Since I work at a cafe and happen to be surrounded by a wide array of teas (Green Tea Mint is my favorite, in case you were wondering), I decided to scan the tea tins and what did my eyes come across? A poem, of course!

Stealing the name of the tea along with parts from its descriptions I came up with/found this:

Organic Serene

Golden colored infusion
with notes of blossom
and lavender


On a semi-related note, doesn’t the name “organic serene” sound like it should be some new world anti-depressent or maybe that’s just me? Also, if I had to define what I think love is (for the record, I have no idea) I’d like for it to be a golden colored infusion with notes of blossom and lavender. Love sounds pretty to me or at least I think it should.

Smooth and Rough

arrowed lady

In my creative writing seminar we have been crafting a party pack of poetry, a task I’m relatively unaccustomed to, and so here are a few of my early attempts at writing poetry.

Summer For Sale
Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Summer contents
spills contradiction
a watercolor storm
of wayward shivers
a kiss, repeating remember.

It could be tender conquest
in tack and tumble
when your fingers,
clang like prostitute bones,
wax pranks against me.

“Summer for sale,”
said the sails
binded to my lap
his attention stuttered
brief a spectator to my blooming.


Population Reconstruction

“Caution” said the toolbox

your impenetrable storm
blistered the atmosphere.

We never prayed

population reconstruction
sharp the burns

permanently christened.

Broken conclusions
read of sunder

the flood rush

drunk on the hurricane pier

mourning in our government

issued bikinis

We acted like a family.

Hover your questions to the moon.

Return to My (Foreign) Childhood

Despite my qualms about being entirely unprepared, I managed to find my way to Prague intact and with an enlivened spirit starving for adventure.

Moving to Prague is similar to what I imagine being reincarnated as a child would be like. Everything is so surreal, so new and so exciting that, most of the time, I find myself in a state of absolute awe.

My eyes are constantly darting every which way, taking in sights unseen and marveling at the great heights of the brilliant castles, cathedrals and unknown structures that tower over me and, at 5′ 10″, I finally feel small again — a feat I was almost certain had been lost after puberty.

My ears, bombarded by a slew of unfamiliar phrases, searches for syllables that I just might comprehend while my tongue softly sounds out the foreign words I can’t wait to pronounce properly. This confusion is all set to the tune of my favorite ’90s hits blaring out of every stereo, every car and every speaker in every store, club, bar, restaurant and on every street.

Getting lost at every turn, tripping over myself (mostly cobblestones) daily and generally eating foods unacquainted with my palette, all take me back to the days of my clumsy childhood when I was surprised by and marveled over everything.

In almost every way I feel like a kid again.

I say almost because my childhood never involved acquiring a taste for (excellent) Czech beer, gargantuan dance clubs or the fear of being pickpocketed — though my parents did warn me against strangers.

As often comes with the territory of being a child, my first few weeks in Prague have been marked by a myriad of intensified emotions.

Joy has attached itself to my frequent bouts of amusement at finding something shocking and breathtaking around every corner, though frustration has also had its way with me; all those times that I try, and fail, not to come off as an American tourist.

Not to mention the frustration of overpaying for food in any remotely touristy part of the city, an area located quite close to my current abode.

Among all of my impressions, feelings and emotions, I find myself being particularly overtaken by a single one, and, as cheesy, and clichéd, as this certainly will be to say, I find myself falling in love with this place.

I’ve been flirting with Prague for almost three weeks now and find that the city is making quite an impression on me. Although it’s not perfect, just as no cities truly are, part of my love affair with Prague is strengthened by the flaws that give it character.

The graffiti marking the walls and steps to the metro. The people, sometimes cold but often kind deep-down. The language I slaughter with my inexperienced speaking tongue. The missing cobblestone that begs me to pay attention to my step. The hills that lead to views no photo can appropriately capture.

This is the Prague I’m getting to know and love.

The second entry from my relocation blog on Prague TV.

This heart’s on fire

I saw Wolf Parade the other night and they certainly surpassed my expectations. They played my favorites, “This Heart’s On Fire” and “I’ll Believe in Anything”, along with most of Apologies, which was particularly appreciated by myself since I’m not exactly in love with At Mount Zoomer.

My inspiration for writing, both short stories and micro-pieces, generally develops somewhere in the midst of sound, electricity and passion– things all very much connected in my mind. What I write about are usually the things I have difficulty grasping-god, faith, love, death- and the way in which I see these things exist in the super-saturated technicolor world that is my mind. Music is an essential part of most people’s lives and usually factors into my own creative visions and so, it is not shocking that the Wolf Parade show led to an idea of sorts.

This short short came from a combination of things.

After searching for weeks, I finally came across my heart ring given to me by my father, perhaps my favorite piece of jewelry for a number of ‘symbolic’ reasons involving its own flawed and purposeful design. In many ways I found it ironic that I had ‘lost my heart’ while I was experiencing a brief bout of anxiety tied to writer’s block. In the mix of finding my ring and being exposed to a live version of “This Heart’s On Fire” complete with bright lights and a passionate performance, this came to mind:

Her heart was an echo

Calling, calling

Love me, love me

I love you.

It’s simple, yes, and concise, but I like it. It kind of reminds me of echo herself, a figure I’ve fallen in love with and have relied on as a main character in one of my previous stories. That’s all I’ve got for now. The Wire and banana nut muffins are calling my heart, so, faretheewell.