Jim Trainer

EMISSARY

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2018 at 10:00 am

is this the moment?  has it
finally arrived, after
squatting on my bowels
for months
and releasing only liquid?
is it the anger, finally
coming in to this room
like red wings of fury
clamping down into a dark crown?
is it the black street in
the black night come to
reclaim its son and champion
me, slithering “You
only been been playing at loneliness
now it’s time to get lost again”?
those first depressed years
reaching
like tendrils to choke out
the dream, give me back the night now
tell me only desert as I say, only
“Thirst.”  Back to perigee
back to thin air, back to bullets
chambered with the blanks
another ending and it’s total
back to dust and lean past bone.

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GIMME SHELTER

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2018 at 11:38 am
It’s just a kiss away…

Suicide is so close.  Mostly I’m too lazy and just get pulled along which isn’t valiant by any stretch.  Neither my comparisons, or knowing in the third world and even my hometown folks would kill for the life I have. A paltry relativity as pathetic as my lazy will–not to live, just not to die and either way is the existential squeeze in which I don’t thrive or even enjoy my life.  Days pan out mercilessly dull and without courage.  Which isn’t to say I don’t die all the time, just that I’m able to change the channel in my mind when I consider hitting the median or hanging from the high ceiling of my garage apartment and kissing it goodbye.  Couple this with the fact that suicidal thoughts come from my disgust and shame at who I’ve become and how far off the mark I’ve hit with hardly any time left.  Throw in the fact we’ve got 4,000 days before ecological collapse and it’s as bleak as a bitch, Jack.  With no reason to go on at all–my existence is a senseless volley between excruciatingly dull and mundane and terribly entitled, lazy and self-mired.

I still don’t know what to do about the end of the world but writing this has shown me that what I think about myself and living is depression.  I’m thankful for the truth and recognize that the ability to see it is ubermenschian, a godsend, something I can thank my black Irish or Italian ancestors for, and why I’ll always write.  Some people live their whole lives in the dark.  Being different than the madding crowd doesn’t mean I’m happy with who I am, however.  The world is going to pot with velocity now but at the end of the day I’m alone or snuggled up with a sweet lady, wide awake and staring at the walls.  I’ve been worse but I’ve hardly been better.  February 25 will be 4 years without alcohol and the hardest year yet–a real doozy when all my resentments came to the surface and I weeded out 90% of the people I used to interact with.

I don’t mind being apart.  The fix is in and so deep in their mind I wonder if I should be considering murder instead of suicide.  Of course, I then realize that violence is my connection to the world and I’m as at odds with living as I am letting them live.  Maybe it’s not such a big deal, just some bosses I’d rather choke than work for; but my own blues and dissatisfaction and angst, coupled with the disgust and fear of who I’m becoming burns like a meteor.  I’ve finally tired of this model of suffering and salvation and my body is worn down.  I’ve no sense of wonder.  Depression seems to win round after round.  I find no forgiveness for others and have even less for myself.  It’s a fucked season and I’m up against it like always.  The 40s are sticking it to me good Reader.  There’s a lot of shit I won’t entertain these days.  I’ve less headaches, zero hangovers and no adrenaline dumps of psychopathic and diabolic dilettantes of love with father issues making my dick hard and throwing my guitars through plate glass into the yard.

I remember a reading I was doing at Dozen Street for Potty Mouth a few years back.  There was a woman there I used to see.  At intermission, when we were smoking outside, she suggested maybe I’m the one with the issue, and not all the narcissistic soul-suckers I’d tirelessly devoted so much of my work to.  I told her I really hit the wall that summer. I’d experienced utter depths of vanity coupled with such complete dearths of self-awareness I was shook.  I’d wasted years of my life working for self-serving shitheeled girlfriends and bosses and I’d no heart or stakes left.  The only thing I could compare the terrible summer of ’14 to was when I had to flee Hostile City for my life and sanity and get sober.  So, here I was, in the same situation—the cloying world on my neck, reading every week on my nights off, drinking a shit ton and mixing it up in a derelict mansion or outback a dark and dirty bar with an ex-Girlfriend offering ill-informed and half-baked psychoanalysis, uninvited and completely unbidden.

Ok, then, it’s got you shook.  So maybe you’re the one who’s crazy.  She balked from within her nest of diet Coke cans and crushed Marlboro Ultra-Lights.

Sister, please–you’ve no fucking idea.

Love&Wages, Jim Trainer’s 5th full-length collection of poetry and prose will be released this December through Yellow Lark Press.  Please visit jimtrainer.net or write Jim at jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com to pre-order a copy and for more information.  Thank you!

LET THE DAY BEGIN

In Being A Writer, creative nonfiction, Uncategorized, Writing, writing about writing on November 1, 2018 at 8:10 am

Though lovers be lost love shall not…
Dylan Thomas

When I say “romantic,” I mean a sensibility that sees everything, and has to express everything, and still doesn’t know what the fuck it is, it hurts that bad. It just madly tries to speak whatever it feels, and that can mean vast things. That sort of mentality can turn a sun-kissed orange into a flaming meteorite, and make it sound like that in a song.
Jeff Buckley

All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name.
Andre Breton

Working for a living is the worst.  Not only are you surrendering your lifetime for money, you’re participating in your own oppression, and contributing to the oppression of those beneath you. We all need a foil, bet, and the wealthy aren’t the only people who need someone to look down on to feel better about themselves. That’s capitalism, Comrade, and further proof white guilt is a shallow gesture and ego stroke that has nothing to do with black and brown people. Some of us rise up no matter who we are and conquer our own worlds behind a typewriter after driving a bus all day.  These are the exception, the Artist and the Writer, and, as far as writing is concerned–the only thing worse than working for a living is starting to write. Beginning. I don’t know why starting is so hard or why it stops so many of us from writing at all. It could be a mistrust of the slipshod world, that once we open the inner chamber, the flowing channels of wisdom that are ours for the taking when we write will be interrupted and get rushed by the filth and the fury. There’s a certain amount of safety needed to write–and quiet, if not peace.

I did over 12,000 miles this summer, and visited 6 countries, but I couldn’t write at all.
A good Reader writes from “an attic in Smithville”, adding:
My traveling partner had no boundaries and zero respect for mine. He possessed a horrible combination of aggression and southern hospitality. He was a bully, but not an overt one. And he never shut the fuck up.  On commuter trains, busses, hotel rooms, lobbies, waiting rooms and especially in the tight quarters of a prepper farm on the foothills of the Ural Mountains (between Kazakhstan and the Barents Sea) he insinuated me to death! He gaslighted me constantly. He loved to tell me how he was looking out for me while he hinted and suggested the bullshit out of every waking moment.”

“Couldn’t you find any time to be alone?,” I asked.

No. His presence was so toxic I couldn’t write even when I was on my own. I was too shook and his presence loomed. He assumed I was beholden to him, that I owed him somehow.”

I can relate”, I told him, and the truth is—what kept him from writing on another continent, and all the mindfuckery and empathy-exhaustion of bad travel he described, probably feels no different than the dread of starting writing I’ve experienced on my days off from the temp job.  Once I get rolling no prob, but starting, or thinking about starting?  It takes up more bandwidth than actually committing to the thing.  A lot of times I got so much trouble on my mind and I forget that writing is the way out, Brothers&Sisters.  The solution is locked in the arms of the problem.  You’ve got to unfurl, unkink and let wisdom speak and speak through you.

No more, Butchie, no more of this.
Phil Leotardo

So much for the trouble with writing and bad travel partners.  I could tell you some stories, good Reader–make your asshairs stand up.  I’m due back in New Orleans, to pay a $600 ticket, but maybe I should run some voodoo down.  Either that or never travel without expenses paid.  The world is on fire anyway.  We got inside of twenty-two years sustainable left and I’m quitting Creative Nonfiction.  It’s a bummer–the fact I have to drudge up and shake out my small shames and great fears every week, if I want to keep writing and consider myself a writer.  I’m not speaking to how this blog speaks to you, or that it connects us in catastrophe and dispels the isolation of being a seer in the land of the blind.  It worked and for the last 8 years it’s been a boon, a great way to pass the time and the luckiest goddamn thing.  But too a bane, ain’t it though.  I’m switching formats and I’m driving to New Orleans.  I’ll be working in the Personal Journalism business now and I know a place in Mid City where I can get a bag of gris-gris, solve my buddy’s problem and mine.  Welcome to the darker half.  It’s time to bury the dead.

Please tune in to Into The Void Magazine this Sunday for Part 9 of The Coarse Grind, Jim Trainer’s monthly column on writing and the creative life.  

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