Instead, I had a third cup of coffee and realized the sluggish Pacific Surfliner might not be the best mode of transportation for the over-caffeinated. Now we were shoehorned into the last roomette in the lower level of the first sleeping car, surrounded by a boisterous "family suite" featuring a bathroom, four bunks, and four preteens swinging from whatever strap or handle they could get a grip on. At home in nature and at home among handicrafts, at home in the academy and in far-flung places: Yeah no. There was no shortage of paddlers, surfers, and kayakers soaking up salt and sweat. Poems to Set You Free. It just might keep your head from exploding, or at the very least say, for those of us who thought a train trip might be romantic keep you from making the kinds of glib remarks that land you in divorce court. After a six-year gap, Promise Me reintroduces Myron Bolitar, former NBA first-draft pick whose basketball career ended with a knee injury. The one-way coach ticket from Santa Barbara to S. In addition to the swinging boys and the busted movie player and the busted air-conditioning, there was the cold war taking place between trains. In Grover Beach and Guadalupe, the train offers cockeyed views of backyards, some perfectly kept with green grass, plastic pools, and swing sets, others piled full of metal car parts. Views from the Starlight, taller than the normal northbound Pacific Surfliner, are stunning. A caravan of five or six Airstreams and picnic tables under a string of lights perched the bluffs. American flags hang on each launch pad. It exposes you to spaces usually hidden from the public eye. Ostrom's poems have been appearing in journals, magazines, and anthologies for three decades, and they have won several prizes.