Traveling Clothes
by Thaisa Frank
There were other things I didn't think about either -- like the fact that Aaron and I had gotten married and I had forgotten about it until one night it floated up in a dream. "Forgotten? How could you have forgotten?" This from my current husband.

Lo Siento
by Marcy Sheiner
The maid's heavily lipsticked mouth opens in a silent laugh. She turns quickly on her heel and goes back upstairs, shrugging to the other maids who have gathered on the landing. Through their laughing chatter Martha is almost certain she hears the phrase, "El sombrero de la gringa loca."

To The Mountains, Heinz Voss

The Stars Like Rain
by Adhara Law
Her time spent staring into the shimmering pool of night cradled in the telescope's mirror began to grow longer than the time she spent using the telescope itself, until one night she climbed into the mirror and lay on top of it, staring up out of the slit of the dome and into the night, motionless until the sun rose again.

The Dictionary of Youthful Lies
by William Dean
I am a prisoner, the son thinks. I am Cervantes and Casanova and De Sade, locked away because I think of things and the things grow into stories and the stories are not about me but are only about me.

Eat Me

by David-Matthew Barnes
I was sitting in the kitchen with a swollen, fat lip because even though I was a girl, Emerson Randall had punched me in the mouth. He had called my mother a jezebel and I told him his mother was a gold-digging whore, because according to my mother, she was.

On Baseball

Standing Up Against the Yankees
by Jeff Beresford-Howe
Baseball is nothing without narrative and context. Jeremy's fate is one of the few that calls to mind the game's most famous "what if" play, the one in which a ground ball went through first baseman Bill Buckner's legs in Game Six of the 1986 World Series.

The Slow Trains Ten

Writers on
the Creative Life

featuring Robert Gibbons

Meditative Rose, Salvador Dali Writing is the first thing I think about in the morning, last at night. Everything goes toward the work. Even a conscious relaxation is a conscious relaxation toward starting up again, an interim attempt not to burn out. First thought: any useful dream material? Last thought: pay attention to the dreams, listen, too.

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

Rave On
Spring 2002
Welcome to Slow Trains, where the postcards never stop.

Gay Shanghai
by Richard Ammon
Recently I sat with a group of gay Chinese friends at a large dining table, flooded with food, in a private dining room of an upscale hotel overlooking the entire harbor of Shanghai (the Bund). The view is magical, spectacularly Disney, a glittering display with a million city lights reflected in the busy churning waters of the dark river.

The King Biscuit Blues
by Derek Jenkins
There's no easy way to get to Helena. No four-lane highways. But these kind of things are the sugar in my coffee. I took highway 61 through Clarksdale to see Dylan earlier this year in Memphis.

sophistication pales


the rhythm

of slow trains

The Bill Collector
by Tom Sheehan
The front room of our third floor apartment was dance hall bare, as my mother had said many times, and it had been that way for months, a raw corridor in itself. Every so often Id catch her standing at its door or in the middle of that pound of silence (her favorite reference to it), looking as if one of her children were missing.

For the Birds
by Blue Wind Kami
The hatchery always sends 13 baby ducklings, because sexing is not an exact science. Sure enough, we ended up with 12 females and a male who, when they all achieved sexual maturity, was in testosterone heaven.

Story From a Quilt
by Marguerite Colson
In the top right hand corner there is a hammer and sickle, with some bars from the "Russian National Anthem" beneath. Beside the hammer and sickle there is a cage -- the prison cell when he was arrested, trapped by the depth of his beliefs. Caged by society because his sexuality did not conform.

The Hospice Garden
by Diane Payne
On my twentieth birthday, I ate a few peyote buttons in the foothills near a small Colorado town. While walking aimlessly, feeling disappointed that I remained unchanged, I discovered a beat-up hearse parked near an unused mining road with an old man lying in the front seat.

An Ongoing Journal

Entering the Monastery
Part 3

by Judy Bunce

And then we talked about my hand. I told her that I kept thinking, "My pretty hand! All scarred!" She replied that someone had once said to her, when she was having similar thoughts, "What do you want to do, have a good complexion, or be a zen master?"

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The Drum Circle
by Steve Silberman
Master drummers with eager apprentices, drummers who leave their men at home to make love to the moon with their drum, drummers who lie to people but never to their drum.

triptych, right panel: scenes from the book of wasted days
by john sweet
and christ didn't die for my sins / and i wouldn't do it for his / and neither of us will save any / starving children in the / third world

For Alcaeus
by Scott Poole
I can't even imagine / trying to swim in a toga / My God / It must have been like / making love to curtains / without the rod.

Spacious Red Interior, Matisse

Streets for Two Dancers
by Robert Gibbons
Its obvious, he complained, that you are protected by women & books.

Chaos Theory
by Karen Mandell
"Or," you say, reaching for the butter, your arm from elbow to fingertip longer than your entire body at birth, "consider Chaos Theory. Everything has an effect, even that drink, but it'd take eons to measure."

by Brian Turner
when she slides the clothes from her body like this / clouds unveil the milkwhite skin of the moon, yes, / every neon sign in the world hums into crackling vibrance

to hell in a handbag
by P.J. Nights
for the price of one glass of wine at the bistro / and my new look / i get the rest of my alcoholic haze for free

Grandfather's Chair
by Janet I. Buck
She must have been poised on your lap / Forgotten her work, made you her yarn / skipped a stitch, gone for touch

What They Can and Cannot Fake
by Bruce Taylor
Not luck or the Blues, a fugue, cold sweat / Foul fate, true tragedy or real regret


Soup Sonnets
by John Eivaz & P.J. Nights
Soup Sonnets is the way a gasp of excitement sounds, when you take it easy. Like a good movie, it has merging molecules. These 28 sonnets cover all the angles: love, action, comedy, and drama, with flashbacks sometimes only one word long.

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