Jim Trainer


In Uncategorized on April 2, 2020 at 4:41 pm

wasn’t anything the prophets said
changing their stories to accommodate the end
not the people
with their 
politics of convenience
it was James Hansen on the Senate floor
punk rock and Cornell West
though any bearers
of truth or prescience
died with it or told
to sit down so they did
whoever it was
knew this Century would be the last
we’ve lost them
their message sunk
by rank rallies for a system
kept our eyes on towers while beneath us
the floor open-mouthed, wide
no comfort anyhow
to have known then or know now
fate’s circling it won’t land
everything’s moving there’s no skin
left on the monolith
the old gods turned over and
backyard’s overgrown
the charming blue petals
in root and tacky vine
with lizards
red-necked and blue on their spine
looking at me sideways with
their lizard eyes
through the window
through the glass door
standing at my desk
I must be
like a meteor to them
an event
they splay stuck against
planks of the wood fence
between my little rented square
of briny moss and tall grass
and all that’s out there
the tree-line
across the roofs
and the vast sky
giving me their darting
side eye


Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#60, Dear Myra

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2020 at 6:03 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
1500 Crestwood Road, Garage
Austin TX 78722

Myra Reichel
Media, PA

4/16/18, 3:32PM

Dear Myra-

I can’t thank you enough for your gift. It helped make the nut of tour and certainly eased my transition back.  It was a shot in the arm too, and it felt like the universe was trying to tell me to go for it.  I love when that happens.  I got fired when I got back, which isn’t really a bad thing considering that job was killing me.  It was taking over my life.  Now, thanks to you and some other things coming my way, I’ll be spending this week getting a proposal for the CORE grant together.  I feel like the universe was telling me to do that, too.

I put the timer on and gave myself an hour to write.  Then I’ll get back to the application and tighten it up for them and for when I bring it in to open office hours tomorrow.  The new place is good, it’s private-ish and all mine.  I have the carport to myself and I like to open the front door and get some writing done on the loveseat, away from the desk.  The arts are still giving, Myra, and I only expect it to get better.  Like life.  We live to create and pretty soon it’s creation that will keep us alive.  I’m working this weekend, Friday and Saturday—old hustles that I can do in my sleep even if they’ll wear me out.  I’ve got 2 checks coming to me from the old job and I might even qualify for unemployment.  If I do, it’ll be, to quote Hunter Thompson, like falling down an elevator shaft and landing in a pool full of mermaids.

I’m finding for the life, taking to the territory.  It’s what I’ve always wanted but came to find it especially lacking while caring for Blair, the quadriplegic man I cared for, for the last 5 years.  I turned 40 working for him and that’s when a great and terrible dread seized me  I had a visit then, in 2015, from my muse, my Dean Moriarty–Bernard Pearce. He had some choice words for me.  Token words I won’t forget.  He planted a seed and now we’re going to be on the road together.  Everywhere from New Orleans to Bulgaria and we’ll be singing and writing and speaking the whole way.  It’s a good life.  I expect it to get even better, too.  Wider in scope and greater in acquisition.

I’ve been set free and it’s terrifying.  I’ve stripped myself of intoxicants, except coffee which I drink copiously, and I’ve a new confidence.  I may be terrified but I’m not as scared as I used to be, if that makes any sense.  Makes me think of Lao Tsu…Small fears eat away at man’s happiness.  Giant fears swallow him whole. I’m not victim to the small fears anymore, Myra, at least—I can see beyond them.  I’m taking to the territory and inspired by the giant fear, which is probably death but more likely death in life of which I am terrified.  I’m hoping it will fuel me on.  With all this time on my hands it’s easy to get distracted.  I must constantly stimulate myself and remember that this is it.  The young time is over and it won’t be coming back.  This is the old time, the seasoned years, the greys sprouting through the black and the mornings breaking harder from the shallow nights.  If I forget, or get sidelined or distracted all I have to remember is that I earned this.  Every last bit of it.  It wasn’t free and it’s mine  I wouldn’t have made it if I didn’t put it on the line and I’ll never make it without the love and kindness of people like you.

I feel your and Lou’s support of me always.  You guys are part of my life in wonderful ways.  Your son got married and had 2 incredible children.  And I’m still out here on the road, trying to make it and the greatest thing to happen to me is knowing that I will.

Best to Lou.

Much love Always,
Your Other Son


In Uncategorized on March 26, 2020 at 10:10 am

Fuck it, if the world’s ending, I wanna make a crazy piece of art!
Scott Gorsuch

Almost everything that could have gone wrong with the speech did go wrong.
Dan Balz

So this year I decided to delete all the apps and just start fingering my own ass.

Deprivation is for me what daffodils were for Wordsworth.
-Philip Larkin

We’re living in a post end-of-the-world world.  I’ve been social distancing since 1991.  It was Black Sabbath and Coors Lite back then and Yummy Tummy mint tea in the lamplight now.  I always cross the street when I see them coming and all I was and even who I thought I’d become are extinct.  These are strange days now, as I go on ebbing out into fissiparous and peculiar atmospheres of solitude, needing less of them than I did even last year.  My health is a literal pain in the ass.  I can’t shit or have to immediately and repeatedly.  Cecily worked out whatever voodoo they been running down on me, and managed to move what felt like a wood stake driven up through my my shoulder blade and coming out through my heart.  Everything I just wrote is what they call creative nonfiction, what I aspire to be personal journalism and anyway closer to being real than the truth.  The truth on newscasts and social media feeds, “the truth”.  I can’t piss on everybody’s hot takes seeing as how the internet is how I made my bones.  Besides, I can’t enjoy a moment myself without contextualizing it for the Crowd and that’s ’cause I’m a fame whore who can’t wait to get home from his walkabout blasting August and Everything After…to quote it somehow, cute and pithily and it makes me want to vomit.  Maybe I should do like Lesley Ann and just fuck it.  Go dark.  I saw her announcement and then she was as gone as the California grizzly, not even in my inbox anymore, like a good witch somewhere and not here but betwixt.

I don’t know how to express to you that I don’t care.  Probably because I’m not sure I really don’t or if it’s actually a defense mechanism but I do know that of the world’s end, pandemics and world wars I am not worried.  I am not overly concerned.  I worried myself sick putting out 2 books this winter, and trying to hold a job doing 15 and 18 hours shifts in the Texas heat, serving pomegranate mules to dickhead rich cowboys and betties in law firm break rooms.  The thing about shit work is you know what you get so you don’t complain.  You get your hourly.  Go home.  Turn off your phone and drink a six pack with your coworker and have young and angry sex together.  Whoops.  Got off track there.  How can I impress upon you that I don’t care that it’s all over baby blue?  How weird have I got, am I really out here spinning and living my life in service to hours spent at a typewriter, sipping tea and watching the world slip darkly down, beard and backyard overgrown, the former in grey and rusty Irish-red and the latter with charming blue flowers?  Yes, Good Reader.  Yes.  The last party I went to I spent the whole night wondering why I was there.  The hostess invited me but it didn’t seem like she wanted me there, which I can relate to–I hardly want to be anywhere.  I’ve got problems and I’m not normal Good Reader.  I should’ve worked this out years ago and anyway learned how to be alone.  Instead, what I did to get through those slipshod years only comes back to haunt me.  I’m either regretful I did or that I didn’t but blue either way.  Sore and angry and incontinent.  I’m not great Hell I’m not even good most of the time but I’m above ground, walking around, taking what they’re giving and spending too much time reading your reactions to the disruption of your entitled life and mine.

Don’t get me wrong.  I know you’ve suffered.  We all have.  I just wish I suffered for the right reasons and that I could stand myself even just a little bit.  I’m probably like a whiskey or a wine, or water boiling to dark coffee and firing through coarse grinds.  I’ll be good enough to drink someday.  Maybe I’ll give you a call.  On second thought maybe not.

I ain’t got a halo, don’t claim to be a saint
just killing myself for what I’ve become and all the shit I ain’t…



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