See a Match Burn Twice
by Benjamin Reed
Loose pieces of my attention began to cement together. I guess I had noticed that all the kids on stage were black, but suddenly, I realized, as I scanned the audience before me, that for the first time in my life, I was the only white person in the room.

The Curse
Woman in Search of Her Sex

by Christine Hamm
At 14, I am visited by strange green flies and visions of the virgin. She is out of focus. Her hair appears to be pink. She speaks only in Greek. When I shake my head because I don't understand, she gives me the finger.

Idiot Boy
by Tim Wenzell
In his delirium of sudden change, a fog of futures rolled across his brain in a rapid drift, never stopping to solidify anything concrete. Instead, he beheld only a glimpse of hopeful summer lawns and rooms full of love -- somewhere, he guessed, in a strange house, on the other side of the valley.

by Ptim Callan
Idly, I pointed the remote at my sweetie and hit the mute button. Her lips kept moving, but I didnít hear any sound.

Sikes Hebert: Triangle Player
by Chris Duncan
I am speaking into a tape recorder because my shrink, Mr. Lipchitz, (whom I call "licks dicks") says that I am not in touch with the feelings of my inner child, and that I should record my thoughts. This led to a debate on the differences between thoughts and feelings. After two hours, he finally told me to shut the fuck up and keep a fucking diary because he was the fucking doctor and he fucking says so.

Offense in Black and White
by Marc Estrin
Now the "mere gook rule" doesnít come from nowhere. As a term, it hides and excuses the inexcusable. It grows out of a culture which hasnít seen the last of its lynchings and murders. It inherits the cold-bloodedness of a nation built on slavery and extermination of the Indians, our own domestic gooks.

On Baseball

Fan at Work
by Cecelia Tan
No one seemed the brawling type. But as I would later learn, you can be doing nothing and get ejected from the Fenway Park bleachers, at least when the Yankees are in town.

Lewis in the Bush League
by Jeff Beresford-Howe
As I was watching the A's sweep the Rangers out of town this weekend, I thought, God, it must be depressing to be a baseball fan in Texas.

The Slow Trains Ten

Writers on
the Creative Life

featuring Susannah Indigo

Meditative Rose, Salvador Dali When I was quite young, I was in love with The Paris Review -- The New Yorker was my weekly romance, but TPR went the distance. Pop music & working at Burger Chef & secretly reading The Paris Review, that sums up my schizophrenic teenage years in the lost-culture land of middle-america.

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

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

Gay Switzerland
by Richard Ammon
My family welcomed him -- which was a stretch for them since they were very traditional fair-haired, lederhosen Swiss types who did not know any Muslim people, let alone a gay Muslim boyfriend of their son.

Good Morning AztlŠn
by Jeff Beresford-Howe
It's a band with a heart of gold and a cynic's eye, a drunken stumblebum straightening up to reveal the inner Gregory Peck.

sophistication pales


the rhythm

of slow trains


Dred Scott
by Brian Peters
I hesitate to even write about slavery...but failing to think and write about institutional evil only prolongs its hold on the imagination -- and that hold remains all too powerful, even a century and a half later.

Not Suitable for Children
by J.D. Munro
Do sperm, having passed an entrance exam, queue up at a border crossing checkpoint, scanning a dossier on parental pre-quals they are handed like those programs you get from blue-haired ladies at the opera? The mustachioed tadpole licks his finger, or perhaps wears one of those little rubber finger caps, as he thumbs through the stack, flipping back to check a cross-reference, humming as he concentrates. He comes to a locked-brake halt. "You watch hockey?" He closes the dossier and executes a spectacular suicide dive out of the queue.


you read about these things
trinity poem

by john sweet
january in the / room of empty chairs / and the poem is written slowly / on a light blue wall

Street of Flags
by Janet Buck
I don't recall another 4th where seas of U.S. flags / bedecked a solid mile of road. The avenue is lined in cloth, a carpet to the wasted graves of those we dug and dug to find.

all their characters reflected in my face
by P.J. Nights
ploýra, ploýra, ploýra from the tree frogs / it will rain, it will rain, it will rain / and it does -- cats and dogs and frogs -- over an opaque sugar-cube sky

Still Life With Bullets
Scratching the Surface of the Sun
by Alex Stolis
Davis tells the blonde at the bar how he met Frank Sinatra in Philadelphia / doesn't notice how she turns, winks to the bartender

helpless before her
by John Eivaz
reading the newspaper aloud we board the rabbit, thousands of us draped with obituaries, sexy death notices, but it is a grand hare, air-conditioned.

Send comments to:


Crispin and Cricket
Funambulist Seduction
Fourth of July Farewell

by Joseph Carcel
Crispin is bugged, has a cricket living in his ear. It is like any other cricket except its shape is like a miniature woman.

Tempest of Passion
by Nilanshu Kumar Agarwal
O Bosnian Serbs! do not cleanse the Muslim populace / Rather, come to this territory of my heart / And indulge in the act of purgation

Gold December Horizons
Dual Gifts of Strength & Patience

by Robert Gibbons
Gold December horizons giving in / to tungsten stars piercing blackness / or tonight, the gentle, reflective, maternal glow of the moon / hinting at renewal.

Autumn Vista by Paul Brent

Another Boring Academic Poem
by Michael A. Hoerman
I prefer cruder poems / such as this one, recalling the musky smell of her loins and taste / of her kiss

Level 4 West

by Candy Gourlay
Squashed like an insect / beneath the boots of life / before youth had half a chance / to sprout shoots from the dirt and party / at the club down the street / where these legs once danced in hipsters

Pop Poetry 101
by William Sovern
on the other hand, I got to read poetry in New York three times / the last dancing with the Nuyoricans / hip hop slammers / three days before / 911

When does it happen?
Songs to an unseen film
by Daniel Sumrall
Passion. It can't exist as a singularity. It must be from and to another at once. There must always be another.

lamborghini smiles
infinite sadness walking

by Merlin Greaves
disheveled as though i had fallen off a table somewhere / i struggled to attach onto some kind of expression / one that said no / one that said not this time / one that said i'm not ready / all i got was why

I Gave You My Watch
by Ward Kelley
For me, I asked for your clothes, since it was your / nakedness I desired. Is nakedness better than time?

Before I Stopped Clubbing

by J. Marcus Weekley
I fell for a man with holes in his hands and an / all-day-foot-washing-service / and the rest of eternity to serve me unleavened hotcakes

Calcutta Poems
by Prasenjit Maiti
You and me in Paradise while my salad days fornicate in Calcutta, my days and ways being served as funky platters of crab casserole, ecstatic white steam sizzling and blue skies burning in agony.

Search Slow Trains
  Home Contributors Past Issues The Ten   Links  Guidelines About Us

Subscribe to the Slow Trains newsletter


Slow Trains in Print Slow Trains, Volume 1 in print