Sophie by Carly-Dee Norton

A day like this, maybe a few degrees below
A tower block kid treads tentatively,
She walks into the pages
Of a Dick King Smith story.
Scared, she sidles close to damp bricks
But extends a chubby palm to catch the rain,
She carefully takes one step forward
Into unfamiliar suburban terrain.
Struck by the sweet scent of garden shed
And surrounded by fresh garden smell,
The snails begin to mirror her
As they slowly come out of their shells.


*      *      *

For more work by Carly-Dee, check out her blog.


Hold On by Andrew Ellis

I’d like to smile inside
And age the smile like wine
Restrain its tangy youth
For deeper taste
And slight intoxication,
warm and full.

So hold, hold on.

Ferment with the appointed bitters
That tame too instant sweet;
Confine, combine them, within planks of oak.
The Wood is necessary,
Crafted and carried to carry all:
Make a bad thing good
And a good thing better;
Commingled, kept, aged to peace
Until meted out outside in an old, warm smile.


*         *         *

For more of Andrew’s work, check in his blog.

Four Amusements by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

mom, she says,
let’s pretend I’m dressed up
as God


in the canyon
the sound of water dripping—
between each drop, your name


wishing the falls
would name me after


tonight the answer
to every question—


*               *               *

For more of Rosemerry’s work, check out her blog.

#076 by Mohana Das

she smiles in circles
far away there are floods
a celebrity hung herself in the damp.

in jars of rancid confitures, light
incessantly beat her wings


outlined, sleep holes up in
vacuoles of midnight

i want to shed my skin,
fuse in your intimacy-
tomorrow is but another era.

*          *          *

For more of Mohana’s work, check out her blog.

The symbiosis of moon and moth by Melinda Hildebrandt

the moon and the moth (©Lisa Falzon)

the moon and the moth (©Lisa Falzon)

In the phase of this burdened moon I see myself
Peering up with weary eyes at her, seeking respite
From her flight across endless night skies

She’s part moth –
An insect I fear like the blackness of death
Come to catch me when I least suspect

But her wings are soft as downy velvet
Soft as those deep brown eyes that watch
And regard the dark with melancholic grace

And though her small body brings much weight
To my rounded back and the orb of my face
It is the moth’s rightful place to take rest on me

On this moon, with its life-giving light.

Because in the loving curl of her tiny hand
And the upward bend of her too-pale legs
I feel her need for the shielding form of the moon

So when the stars blur her eyes to the path ahead
Or the fatigue in her delicate wings and her mind
Makes it unbearable to keep soaring on alone

The moon will always be there to guide the way
From its predictable station in the heavens above
And onwards, to the tender space of home.

To read more of Melinda’s work please feel free to visit her blog.

In The Mood by Kim Talon


Tucked on the shelf
dusted over and around
Grandpa says the last time
he heard the old radio play music
he was dating Grandma…
radio perched on the deck rail
singing softly
as they danced cheek to cheek
on the beach in the moonlight
the waves whispering
Grandma’s heels
leaving pockmarks in the sand

*           *            *

For more of Kim’s work, visit her blog.

So what’s this all about, anyway?

Our hopes for 9train Press are pretty well laid out over on the main page, but it didn’t take very long in our discussions to realize that we wanted more from this project. A chapbook contest is definitely important to us, because it allows us to help promote some great poets.

One side effect, however, is exclusion. There can only be one winner. As a result, we wanted a place where we could really celebrate and highlight poets and artists we stumble across (or who stumble across us) that amaze us. People that make us scratch our heads as to how they haven’t recieved some sort of attention yet.

You can submit to this blog by shooting an email to, but we’ll be on the hunt anyhow, looking under every digital rock for a poem that needs a spotlight.

– The Editors