The Temple of Air
by Patricia Ann McNair
When I saw Mom sneak a pack of HiDeeHo cupcakes out from the bottom of the pan cupboard and slip them in the pocket of her sky blue bathrobe, naturally I thought they were for me. It was my birthday after all, we were supposed to do that kind of thing for each other, right?

Pink Oleander
by Anne Tourney
That summer I was trying to decide whether to become a whore or a poet. I knew I couldn't be both: vivid and sexual, quiet and solitary. Though I didn't know exactly what whores did, besides wearing flashy dresses and smoking and swearing, I believed I knew what poets did: they lived in seclusion and wove their words in silence.

You Speak Good English
by Aaron Paulson
The real thing, Megook had already decided, was a stork, was a praying mantis stretched out on a branch of a cherry tree. And it was the real thing Megook had come half-way around the world to find. Not some shadow, not some second-rate imitation of the hamburger and vanilla milkshake world he’d left behind.

School Day
by Brendan Connell
Children circle math, worshipping her unalterable rules, her savage truth. For while parents lie in their puerile unreality, their wishfulness, mother math is puncture frank, telling you how in all likelihood you will not live more than one-hundred sixty-five thousand three-hundred and thirty-five days.

Tell Me About Africa
by Susannah Indigo
It seems to me that men and women deliver some extraordinary pain to each other as they desperately stumble toward passion and love. I've had three passions in my own life -- travel, writing, and Matthew. Matthew, who on day one of my love for him said he would take care of me always. He said it right after the mate in our third game of chess.

On Baseball

How Baseball Changed My Life
by Marcy Sheiner
Five years ago, if anyone had told me I'd be walking around in a baseball cap, cheering, booing and citing statistics, I'd have thought they were nuts.

Those Old Suntanners
by Tom Sheehan
You know, the old summer Class A's they saved from their promised long weekend leaves, those killers, those formidable young warriors, those hot Omaha Beach swimmers with salt in their noses and in gun barrels and curing half the ills and evils they had ever known...

In Memory

Uneasy Kesey
by William Dean

Kesey's kicked it at last / He's shuffled off the scuffed Levi's / and dowager boots / and joined the coots / up there where the past / is all coffee houses, divas, and lies

George Was My Beatle
by Samantha Capps Emerson

I am eleven years old and I can sign George Harrison's autograph so well it looks almost like the real thing.

All material in Slow Trains is copyrighted to the original authors and may not be reproduced without permission. Violators will be prosecuted.

Rave On
Winter 2002-2003
Welcome to Slow Trains, where the postcards never stop.

by Dave Gregg
Hartsburg has entered her death throes. The good businessmen have fled, a great Arabic caravan of carpet dealers, jewelers, appliance salesmen and clothing merchants. They have retreated to malls where customers stroll through climate-controlled environs sheltered from such nuisances as atmosphere.

In the Beginning There Was Theda
by Anthony Puccinelli
In the film's most famous scene, a jealous, abandoned lover draws a pistol to shoot the vampire. Imperious and unafraid, Theda commands: "Kiss me, my fool!" Unable to shoot her and unable to live without her, he blows his brains out.

sophistication pales


the rhythm

of slow trains

Turning Green in Ecuador
by David Taylor
It was getting dark in the Andes and the conductor -- the only person in the world who knew where we needed to get off -- was dozing in the stairwell of the bus. The driver had no clue that my wife and I had to get off at the remote village of Rio Verde. Lisa and I had no idea what Rio Verde looked like, we only knew it was tiny and had a church.

Miracles of Art
by Robert Gibbons
Time allowed that red hat to be supplanted by the complexities involved in Vermeer's Woman Holding a Balance. How often she righted the course of my passionate advance which was often askew. How often A Lady Writing asked me why I was not writing.

Pictures That Became Words
by Tony Leather
Less than 20% of the people of England could even sign their names, in Elizabethan times -- a period regarded as one of literature's golden periods -- yet before that, only the priestly castes, or the very powerful, received the necessary education in reading and writing. Even today, there are 900 million adults in the world who are illiterate.

The Fritz Chapel
by Brian Peters
There is a characteristic of that Great Faith I'm so miserably unable to define, which I think applies here. Universally when I have seen it, persons of Great Faith lead what might be called examined lives.

Timeless / Lover's Rock
by Jeff Beresford-Howe

Reviews of new music, including the Hank Williams tribute, Suzanne Vega, the Grateful Dead, and Sade's Lover's Rock

An Ongoing Journal

Entering the Monastery
by Judy Bunce

For me, it's a day off. I'm on kitchen crew for this three month practice period, which is something that everyone who stays at Tasssajara long-term has to do sooner or later. I'm sitting on my bed with two kerosene lamps burning and my laptop running on its battery. What a life.

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Hangover Sestina
by P.J. Nights
If the stars of Gemini hadn’t been invaded by Jupiter / perhaps that malarkey with the crocodiles / wouldn’t have left me here at the North Pole / crying into my over-the-top tequila shot.

A Kiss in Dreams
by Rebecca Lu Kiernan
I watch you sleep for the last time.You were to be my / stepdaughter, laughing angel, fragile pixie. I have been / planning my getaway for months, feeding and dressing / You, trying to detach myself.

Satori in the Fifth
by Michael K. Gause
The second drink / finds my tears diluted / with whiskey, the glass on the table

Magic Fire, Leonardo Nierman

Falling Back
by Lytton Bell
The dark man's bed is already on fire / by the time she runs to it / it has, by all accounts, spontaneously combusted

Selected Poems
by John Eivaz
Jackson Pollock's Lucifer / hung in a girl's bedroom / until she left for college / and then was placed / in a common area of the house

The Best Two Things about Verlaine
by Robert Gibbons
Angels have begun to inhabit the larger bells / which seemed to have been abandoned, / & with that, a chorus of song rang out / orchestrating a regular Christmas / Babes in Toyland atmosphere / or wonderfully cacophonous Bruegel.

Tuscan Valley View

Long Distance Love
by Lawrence Schimel
As far as the poem is concerned / this is our sole sustenance / and if we remember brunching / it was only for the pleasure / of feeding one another

rossellini shooting while the seamstress ceases copying life
by PJ Nights and John Eivaz
the director / speeds through crafty reality and ansia dell'esistenza / in an Alfa Romeo, each change of terminus / requires a change in muse

Who's the Ju-Ju Man?
by Pasquale Capocasa
Two drinks into the new bottle / I glanced up and into the bar / mirror to see a man standing / behind me, leaning heavily / on a slender, wooden pole. / Odd, I thought.

Girls Named After Flowers
by Itir Toksoz
You boys / sleeping next to girls / named after flowers! Wake up!

Unintentional Provinces
by Kathryn Rantala
We are hurtling / pressed and folded in two suitcases / We are hurrying / paying the intercity charge and buying wine

Route 1 Free Association
by Tony Gruenewald
You'd think you were Neal Cassady / if you only knew who he was / but you don't / so you also don't know / you're just settling / for fancying yourself a / James Dean, who unlike Cassady / couldn't handle the speed.

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