New Website!

Image

I made me a website. It is here:

www.chelseyclammer.com

I will still post things on here, but you can find my contact info and up-to-date list of publications on the website.

Hearts,

Chelsey

Comments (1) »

Warmth in the Whiteness

 

The snow is slowly looking for a place to land. The flakes find my thighs. And the lonely crow cawing in the distance sounds like a dog offering its barks into the air. The stillness of the snow engulfs this Colorado section of the world. My shoulders shiver.

More heat to be found downstairs. My white-turning-blue toes and frozen fingers yearn for the heat of the bed, the soon-to-be sizzling solace found under two thick blankets.

I have seen water instantly freeze on windows. A man commissioned to clean away the restaurant’s dirt-smudged panes suddenly finding his soapy water frozen before he could wash it away. My friends and I sat inside, watching this scene as we slurped at our Bloody Mary’s.

This is winter in the Northern states.

I move my body to the couch where a white blanket awaits me. Unable to put my pen down, I write out the moments when I have felt the cold freeze my veins.

Chicago. Winter. 4am. Outside of my apartment standing in snow boots I took drags off of a cigarette. The city was so still at that hour that I could not resist but to stand in it. And I was freezing, the snow piling up to there. And the cigarette did not warm me up, though I tried to convince myself it would. A train broke the silence as it whooshed by on the elevated tracks across the street from me. I looked up to its windows as it passed by and saw a few lonely homeless people finding warmth in the only place they could. To ride around the sleeping city, trying to grab some rest in a warm, moving car.

The winter wind blew out my cigarette and I returned upstairs to write more. Snow stuck to my boots, taking its time to melt on my white carpeted floor. Winter in the city. A blizzard would arrive later on that the day.

Years later, and I lie on my couch in Colorado, warming my toes underneath the white blanket. I am thankful to have this place I call home, though the house is not mine. It belongs to my grandparents, and I now live inside it with nowhere else I can afford to go.

The temperature will drop down to six degrees today, and I wonder if the ice will keep me from going to the restaurant where I work. Though I imagine that even in this weather, the townsfolk will want to get out of their houses in order to slurp at a Bloody Mary.

And so I lie on the couch in the early morning thinking about the cold, listening to the cawing crow as it slowly recedes, finding a warmer place to call home.

Leave a comment »

Humor Columnist for The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review

Update: I have not been writing here as much, because since July I have been writing weekly humor columns for the Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review. Check out the website, as well as my columns! They are posted every Monday morning in the Salon feature.

http://thedoctortjeckleburgreview.com

Leave a comment »

Mornings in the Quiet of Cripple Creek

Image

 

Stomach flat, filled with the hollow of the morning. The coffee pot churns. I remove the knit hat from my head that causes too much warmth. My body slightly sweats, my eyes bring forth water to even out the overnight dryness. The yawns continue. This is the space of waking up.

 

I sit on the couch with a pillow in my lap and my notebook resting on top of it. With my palms I wipe away the water from my eyes, but the yawns continue, my eyes squeezing out more water with each yawp. My legs rest on the couch—one curled underneath me, one straight out. And I feel and see the blue, green, gray and black striped socks that stretch up to my knees. “Sock Guy” is embroidered on the toes in cursive lettering. The pillow is as blue as my sweater, though closer in hue to my pajama pants. I know my right foot will fall asleep soon.

 

There is a white knit blanket rumpled on the couch to my right. I remember how I spilled red wine on that blanket six years ago when I was here for a visit. That was when I was still drinking. I cannot find the stain now. On the blue and green striped couch I discover long blonde hairs left behind from a past lover who used to come here with me. I swish some coffee and cream in my mouth and down my throat, and think of the time when I came out here with her and started writing a novel.

 

Now I am writing and memoir. And like my writing projects, I have also changed lovers. The she turning into a him, a man with his own long dirty-blonde hair. He sits in one of the chairs of the dining room table all day long and reads articles about politics. He sits in the chair across from where she used to sit. Both lovers drew the white curtains closed on their first day here so they could better see the screen of their computers. The view of a flashing screen preferred over the window full of mountains.

 

Across the room from me is a black leather chair. I’m thinking of the time when friends came up here with me one March about ten years ago. How I have a picture of my best friend lounging in that chair and reading. She does not like to read. But in the space of this quiet cabin there is nothing else to do.

 

I return outside to the deck, placing my knit hat on my head, and dressing myself in my winter jacket, too. It is not winter yet, though the early mornings say otherwise. The full moon is still out during this 7am hour, and I smoke my cigarette looking up at it. I am finding my own things to do here.

 

There is such a silence, one that at times feels deafening, crashing into my skull, my brain that at times feels lost in such solitude.

 

I return inside to be surrounded by a different scenery.

 

There is an obvious silence to seclusion. There is a stillness one must learn how to settle with. In a large city with so many distractions, I found my mind in an easier place in which to be able to concentrate. Now, with nothing distracting me, the concentration is hard, the mind wandering off to the spaces that fill the air. Their silence. The way the pink clouds crawl across the blue sky, the morning sun. The way each piece of furniture in this living room feels old and tired, their bodies left unmoved since they first arrived in 1971.

 

And so I distract myself with the lack of distractions around me. Check email. Troll around Facebook. Go outside to smoke a cigarette and drink coffee and read poetry. As if all of this will bring me back into my brain.

 

There is a poem hidden somewhere in here, one that crawls between the spaces of each word. A secret code I am trying to crack. As where “slight caesura” has slowly become my favorite phrase. Between each letter this is a stanza waiting to break through. A poem wanting to be heard, if only I can find the breath to say it. Muster up the insight in order to see it.

 

But these are my words I offer into the day during in this quiet morning: stay present in each moment, do not let the blankenss of the coming day permeate into my brain. Time will be filled, and I cannot make the world move any faster into the moment when I will have to move my body into the space of the city. How I yearn for something else to do.

 

So for now I soak into the silence, the stillness of the air, and find my way of living in the quiet mountains up here.

Comments (1) »

Dogs on the Hills

ImageImage

I ran 18 miles today, good lord. It’s the furthest I have ran in over two years. And while I feel a little giddy-stoned from running for that far, at least I have my cigarettes and coffee to make me feel a bit more grounded, a bit more in my body and mind after I spent so much time just wandering through the mountains of Cripple Creek, CO. Which makes me reflect on what the hell did I think about for all of that time? I do not know where my mind goes when I run. It wanders off, singing songs and thinking about other runs and races I have done. But today, I did have other thoughts about dogs to consume my brain.

Today, a dog followed me for six miles. When we were three miles away from her house, the dog looked a little confused and lost, so I decided to turn around and run her the three miles back to her part of the neighborhood. She is a dark colored German Shepard mix, and I have taken to calling her Sheila. I do not know why Sheila, but that’s just what I call her. In the past few weeks when I’ve done long runs, she has followed me for a little bit, the returned home. Today she was waiting at the top of the May Queen Road hill for me. When I get to that spot on my long runs, Sheila usually comes chasing after me from down the road. But not today as she stood attentively, looking for me as I came up the hill. Sheila has become my companion on my long runs, and I am reminded by her of my dog Athena.

Athena was a beautiful Blue Healer/Australian Shepard mix, and I would take her on runs with me in Texas. One of the country roads behind my college was permanently blocked off from cars, because there was a small hole in a bridge that crossed over a creek. I took Athena on this road with me, and let her off the leash once we got past the cemetery and the road block. She would race ahead of me, her tail, like Sheila’s when she sprints off, swinging behind her. There were two hills in the short three mile run, and Athena would always wait at the top of them for me to catch up.

Today when I saw Sheila at the top of May Queen, I thought of Athena. And I looked down at my leg where I have a tattoo of Athena so she will always be running with me. And even though she’s almost thirteen years old now, and has a bum leg and hip from falling in a hole when she jumped for a Frisbee, and she lives in Chicago with a different family now, she still runs with me. The tattoo keeps her close by, keeps her continuously contemplative as she rest easily on my running leg.

And so maybe what I think about when I run and sing to myself is those past runs with Athena, the way we would soar together down empty country roads. And perhaps a part of Athena has found me again, trudging up that hill as Sheila waits for me, then accompanies me back to what feels like home, to those memories of Athena.

Image

Comments (2) »

Learning to Read

Image

And here are my lips as I try to figure out the page. And here are my eyes that scroll along with the finger pointing to text. It is a story of a man and a cat. The drawings of the scene I ignore to try and spell out my own understanding. Understanding now lost. As where the vowels and consonants become only sounds, and speech breaks down on my tongue. As where there is a little girl finger trying to traverse her way across the page. I remember the cover of the book was blue. And I sat between the space left open between bunk bed and wall. As where here my body contained, I hoped to finally figure out where my hands did crawl. And the meaning slipping away, and the sound now the only thing left I can recall. Here, the text is tiny and Comic Sans in my kid eyes. Here I wonder what my eyes would make of the lettering now. And here are my current lips, whetting themselves to the memory of that first taste of unconquered text.

Leave a comment »

Submit to re-ject!

Image

Send in your submissions!

Re-ject is accepting submission of fiction, nonfiction, and especially, mixed-media. Deadline is July 31st. Pieces must be under 5000 words, and must have been rejected somewhere else in order to be submitted to us. Why is this important? Check out our website at www.re-ject.org to figure this bit of info out. We also have a phone app, so pieces under 500 words will be considered for that. Submit your orphaned little bastard stories, and we’ll raise ‘em up right.

Leave a comment »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.