Engines of Longing - Bill Abbott

Imagine yourself as a train, a couple of
engines up front, a bunch of cars, maybe a
caboose if you’re feeling fancy. You fly
down the rails, rainy days and snowy days,
days where the weather doesn’t care about you.
You slow down for towns, stop here and there
for a few moments, attacked by spray cans
proclaiming things in swirling letters. You are
canvas, then moving artwork. You ride the rails
literally, gliding your way through the dark and
the light, leaving lonely whines in small towns
that teens will think is a beckoning call to travel.
Your trainship, your trainliness, is the romantic
freedom, the quiet and lonely freedom, the way
of the world until life derails you, spills your
cargo across the fields, or the towns. Spills you
across the roadways of life. Reminds you
that your freedom only extends where there
are rails. Reminds you there are limits, but
aren’t they scenic?

Bill Abbott has been involved in Poetry Slam since 1992 and is the author of “Let Them Eat MoonPie,” the history of poetry slam in the Southeast. He has attended regional and national competitions, hosted three regional events, and organized and hosted poetry events across multiple cities and states. Having earned his MFA from Miami University in 2018, Mr. Abbott lives in Ohio, teaches creative writing at Central State University, and co-parents his two children. He reads extensively in his spare time and enjoys science fiction, fantasy, and poetry in particular. His new book of poetry, “(My Life and Other) Famous Train Wrecks of Ohio,” has just been released by Milk and Cake Press.