Jim Trainer

Out of the Ashtray

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2020 at 10:41 am

This week’s offering is a mixed bag.  It’s a couple posts from The Wire, on my Patreon, and a few words about being back.  Working 2 jobs and self-publishing while honoring my writing commitments by the skin of my teeth–that’s what it’s going to take in this economy.  This is our world now.  Consider however that 13 Patrons, most of whom contributing just $5 a month, have funded my flights for last year’s tour(s).  That’s exactly what I wanted from Patreon, especially after getting slipshod and ran through by the Philadelphia Parking Authority last summer and gouged with a change of flight fee out of Columbus.  Patrons get immediate access to posts like the following travelogue, which is some of my favorite writing and why I got in the game to begin with.  The Wire also features live recordings of shows and songs and readings–a virtual pile of which that PR guru Maureen Ferguson and I will be culling and posting there soon.  Someone on Bumble asked me what I would do with a year to live.  Without pause I told her tour til death!  Thank you for your patronage and making all this possible.  Consider becoming a Patron and joining me in the struggle for Personal Journalism.  See you somewhere out there motherfucker.  jt

 

from GOOD MORNING BEAUTIFUL SEVEN, Square Life
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12/20/19, 7:45AM
Austin Resource Center for the Homeless
500 E. 7th Street
Austin TX 78701

The following post has been heavily redacted.

Well.  I ain’t been back a day before the world encroached, closed around my neck and churned its concerns in my guts til I’m angry and sick, feeling trapped and cagey.  This morning at the ARCH someone‘s singing
I can’t be the one you love!
Again and again, down in what passes for a courtyard here.  It’s like a prison yard down there, loud unruly men (mostly) with nothing to do but talk shit and shoot they mouth off.  They’re loud and it’s early and I’m at work.  On the way in it’s a marathon of red lights and guessing which streets will be open and not beleaguered with the endless construction happening at all times in this whore of a town.  Construction and timed reds make a 7-minute drive into a hate-filled 15.  Fixing to leave home this morning, ironing my serving black and whites and not even having time to take out the recycling.  Books and EPs to be mailed in one hand and laptop, iPad and lunch in a burlap Natural Grocers bag.  I bend down to get the card key to the computer lab, placed under my doormat sometime after 10 last night, when I was in bed listening to Malcolm Gladwell on Joe Rogan.  There’s only 2 keys between the three of us.  D. covered for me while on the road and I had the key delivered to him before I left so it was down to him to return it.  I texted him at 4, then after 8.  He finally got back to me, saying his phone was fucked and could we meet after 9:30?  I  told him I was going to bed soon.  He asked if I could stay up until 9:30.  I told him I am going to bed soon and sent him my address.  He dropped it sometime after 10 with a text.  Thanks Pal.
I’ve traveled thousands of miles, spent countless hours wrapping and mailing books, doing readings, having them filmed and all while working full and part time in the last 7 days.  Little Brother picked me up from the ‘port and Spencer too.  Looks like we’re rehearsing Sunday night, just when I thought I‘d get a break.  Guitar player’s going out of town.  So, I’m at the ARCH this morning and St. David’s until noon.  BACK TO THE POST OFFICE after that and then home to stretch and drink coffee, pick up my serving black and whites and captain a party for 75-85 tonight.  Learn these tunes tomorrow morning and try and draft the Poem Of The Week.  Work another party tomorrow night, a lunch on Sunday, rehearse Sunday night, do my shift at the ARCH Monday and finally.  be.  fucking.  done.
I’ve lots of great news about the readings and friends and homies like you who make all this possible.  First I’ve got to get the world off my neck.  Back and I don’t like it,

Trainer
Austin TX

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Brother Will Stenberg reading from No Comebacks at Speck’s Records in Portland in December.

Happy New Year.  I’m writing this on the third floor of the old Bell Telephone building, off Logan Square in Philadelphia.  I’m facing North and the sun and the light on the high rises and old buildings is familiar and strange.  I’m drinking Earl Grey because I’m sick and the truth is it’s bad Good Patron but let’s just keep that between us.  When I get back to Austin I’ll have gone from serving the rich to helping the poor and my body will thank me.  Besides benefits there will be a welcome dip in the stress from my dayjob life.  I could do it but I couldn’t handle it.  Catering is a thankless job but it’s some of the best money I’ve ever made.  It’s a tradeoff I guess because it’s got me sick.

I’m writing you this morning to get a grip and touch base.  It’s been a while and I’m redoubled just thinking about you and your support with a noreastern beam of sunlight ‘cross my grizzled mug this afternoon early in the year.  Patrick the Cat is quiet.  I’m glad of all that’s come and gone, glad I survived even if I‘ve no idea about the future or if I’ll ever be well again.

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Tour was a raging success Good Patron and when I think about your gifts I get a real warm feeling.  You helped me pay for these flights so I’m out here speaking and reading and telling stories and getting the whole thing on wax.  PA Spencer Mirabal sent me the audio from the Austin reading at Batch and they’re all keepers.  3 stories told on the mic, a bunch of work from 2031, a letter from ‘07 and even a blog post.  PR Guru Maureen Ferguson and I will be powwowing about how to get all this great material your way soon and then there’s the film.  Plenty of live footage coming your way in 2020 Good Patron.  I’m hoping we can see our way through another year even if it’s one of only so many.  I hope to get out into the territory and look you in the face and see you out there from under the hot lights.  I’ve given myself a rough deadline of 4 towns to hit before we wrap the Year of the Rat.  I’m thinking East Coast ‘cause it’s easy but of course Columbus and some others beyond the gateway to the West and North.

I‘ll start lecturing this year in earnest.  My first stop is the Austin Book Arts Center for a discussion called HEAVY PROSE.  Then it’s on to San Marcos in February, on Uncle Hank’s birthday actually, followed by a reading with the Reverend and Sybil Journal head Stephen R. Spencer III.  I’ll be Professor Joe Brundige’s guest for his storytelling night in February and returning to the wonderful campus of LSU Shreveport.  I’m hoping to get it all documented too Good Patron and put together a reel so I can continue lecturing and anyway paying my freight to towns out in the territory and no doubt double booking whatever cafe or performance space will have me.

What I said about being sick is true enough but I’ve been laying low since Christmas and doing a bit more of it when I get back to the ATX.  I’ve been anxious—who isn’t these days?  But, as soon’s I got started writing you a shaft of warm sun fell on my face like the best blessing and now, especially after punching out these words to you I’m feeling my weight again, engaged in the work and excited about what’s to come.

Can’t thank you enough for your Patronage.  It has literally helped to fund the cost of flights for this tour.  Also you’ve given me reason to rise this morning, this early afternoon on the East Coast when the Birds have lost and the world is on precipice and anyway burning diaphanously down.

We were able to spend this time together Good Patron and isn’t that nice?

Your Warrior,
Jim Trainer
Hostile City U.S.A.

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THE FOLLOWING POST WAS WRITTEN FRIDAY JANUARY 10, 2020 JUST BEFORE THE STORM.

The skies are dark as midnight.  But it’s only 6:25. I drank a cup of coffee too late.  Instead of fighting for parking I came home without the last of my book orders made.  My toilet is clogged. For lunch I had a pickle and wheat thins, dates and a candy bar. I’m trying to get it together for rehearsal tonight but it’s hard.  Hard traveling and I’m not well.

Went by the kitchen to talk to my boss.  Had it all mapped out but lost it when he asked
What’s going on?
I told him I’m taking a full time position with Austin FreeNet.  I’m taking a white collar gig for a nonprofit where the only backbiting they do is about the fucking man.

This morning at the ARCH I had to tell a client 5 times that a password is a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.  It just felt like he wasn’t getting it on purpose. I yelled a lady down at Trinity.  She asked me what I want. I told her I didn’t want anything. She said then why you standing over me. I said I’m not she said you is. I said if you say so she said if I reach out with my arms I could hit you and I said well then we’re going to have a problem then aren’t we?  Then she ignored me and wouldn’t let us through. Volunteers Diane and Sydney watched me go out with a client, arm in arm and with her bag and my cup of coffee in the other hand. 

I’m back home now and cringing that I couldn’t be more real with a celebrity in town and taking some time for photo opportunities with me and my work yesterday.  I couldn’t be real, had to be all business and get my photo op.  I gave him every single one of my books and a couple to his assistant. Though I cringe. I can be 100% real unless I’m expected to be. Then it’s all over, Bubba. Lamp on at the writing desk with fucked bowels and an encroaching storm.  Dreaming of the road.

BECOME A PATRON AND JOIN JIM IN THE STRUGGLE FOR PERSONAL JOURNALISM.

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SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS AND I’LL WRITE YOU A LETTER!
PART 22 OF THE COARSE GRIND, MY MONTHLY COLUMN ON THE CREATIVE LIFE, IS LIVE AT INTO THE VOID.
NO COMEBACKS BY WILL STENBERG AND 2031, JIM TRAINER’S SIXTH FULL-LENGTH COLLECTION OF POETRY, ARE AVAILABLE NOW THROUGH YELLOW LARK PRESS.
GET YOUR COPIES HERE.

 

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Tour til death.

 

 

 

INTO THE ASHTRAY

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2020 at 11:00 am

It’s wintertime right now, you know what I mean?
-John Cash

No, no, no, no, no.
Bret Easton Ellis

Why not? I know it’s a shame to be white in Philly right now.
Mike Tomaszwski

We thought our white skins would save us, then we got burned…
Yusuf Islam

It damages all of us.
President Jimmy Carter

Yelling in a band is one of the best therapies outside of actual therapy that there is.
Jes Skolnik, Senior Editor
Bandcamp

If I can’t dance I don’t want to be in your revolution. 
-Emma Goldman

Good Morning.  Or what’s left of it.  Sitting here cranking this out, 11:48AM, Tuesday before post.  I been back a week tomorrow.  Flew in and played one of the most enjoyable gigs I’ve played in some time, at Haymaker’s.  Been working at the ARCH and Trinity, rehearsing for gigs at Whisler’s and drafting this Thursday’s lecture.  I’m feeling passé with every detail of my life mentioned here.  The drab and minutiae, the devil in the details I’ve been able to whip in writing is winning the round.  I’m bored and boring and anyway due for the bad blues that comes when I’m not out there and on the road.  I’m sick too though 4 baby aspirin and a cup of tea gave me the best night of sleep I’ve had in a very long time. I’m sick and I’m sick of it but I’ll spare you for now which is its own brand of torture, I suppose–sitting here writing you but unable to divulge the whole pretty.  It’s counter intuitive and goes against every tenet and sole raison d’être of this blog to begin with.  But let’s press on, shall we?

Tour was a raging success.  I start full time with AFN on Thursday and lecture at the ABAC that night.  All’s well except me but I won’t be weeping long.  I’m getting my mental health together this year and I expect that getting in physical shape will take no small part in that.  I’ll have a travelogue up on my Patreon before too long and most if not all of it will find its way back here and onto the pages of GFtT.  We’ve got film of the readings–ATX, PDX and PHL, and audio too.  I’m coming round on 52 letters posted up at GFtT, taking to letter writing in earnest and anyway writing letters at a reasonable and weekly pace.  (2 a week was a wild expectation and it only kept me from writing.  1 every Friday shouldn’t be too hard to parse, especially as I got Friday afternoons off.)  Wish I could offer you more than this droll housekeeping post.  I’m caught between not being able to divulge and just plain useless, tired and full of the hate and dread that comes with being off the road.  That’s life, Good Reader.  It ain’t all filled seats and hot lights, poetry and airport terminals.  And straight time sheesh–I don’t know how I’ll ever function as a square and after all these years struggling I suppose I’ll give it a shot.  I know the road’s out there and I’m bound to go.  Just got to get some things in order.  Learn how to sleep and eat like a normie and otherwise not be such a fucking maniac about everything except writing.  Getting better.  I’ll still be rabid after those.  It just seems paradoxical or ironic that I’ll be applying my well known and documented intensity to calming the fuck down.

As far as the world, well, I wish I could’ve just went straight for the wisdom because it’s been brewing in me awhile now.  There isn’t anything to do about the end of the world, Good Reader.  Nothing we can do about the arctic floor or the hundred or so species who’ve gone to mystery and left us here to burn their bones.  We can fight, I guess, but even the thought of protest is a slap in the face.  You get to feeling like an ant in amber, viscous and stuck and twirling towards a hot disintegration in the heart of the sun.  This is our world now.  Living without healthcare in a rogue state.  All we can do is be together, have a cold pretzel at Easy Tiger maybe, as we’re flung and thrown into the smoke and stink of karma, flailing to hold on to one more day as we drown in our own blood.

JOIN JIM TONIGHT, AT THE AUSTIN BOOK ARTS CENTER, FOR A DISCUSSION ON THE CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE OF SELF-PUBLISHING, WRITING AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS.  HEAVY PROSE, LIGHT REFRESHMENTS.  AT THE AUSTIN BOOK ARTS CENTER, 7PM.

AS LITTLE AS $5 A MONTH GETS YOU BACKSTAGE ACCESS TO JIM TRAINER’S PROCESS–LIVE RECORDINGS, SONGS, UNPUBLISHED MATERIAL, TRAVELOGUES AND PHOTOS.  CONSIDER BECOMING A PATRON AND JOINING JIM IN THE STRUGGLE FOR PERSONAL JOURNALISM.

SUBSCRIBE TO JIM TRAINER’S POEM OF THE WEEK

READ THE COARSE GRIND AT INTO THE VOID

SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS AND I’LL WRITE YOU A LETTER!  jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com

 

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#50: Dear Skye

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2020 at 9:55 am

The Office of Jim Trainer
709 Rio Grande
Austin, TX 78701

Skye N. Downing
305 E 5th St,
Austin, TX 78701

2/21/15, 5:12 PM

Hello Dear-

Windy and warm here on Judge’s Hill.  Kind of weather a man can feel his luck.  Trouble these days ain’t the batshit kind.  Not even little fires need putting out.  Life becomes maintenance of the highest order–a tending to the Self.  No more waiting for God.  We’ll bring him down with our ablutions, our mercy, our work and love.  What’s fallen has fell and the days and nights have no more dire consequence.  We lay down with ourselves. We feel it all acutely now.  The Sacred Path of the Warrior is no panacea.  In fact, the more we open our hearts, the more they will be broke.  The broke part isn’t the point of this journey and  even the point of the journey can change.  That’s what the end of my 30s should bring–an end to my resistance.  A realistic look up&down the row.  Not a “how much” but further.  Not an escape from pain but a way to bring water.

The nights now like jangling phosphorescent jewels.  And the days steely and bright, glimmering at the edge of a knife.  We step up now. This is where the struggle begins. Beyond the self and not at war with the world.  We make our way across the wide canyon.  A single tear is prize when flowing from this overabundance inside.  Seeing no opposition, no end.  Free of lust and greed.  Without burden and without our brother but moving towards him.  Moving towards our brother, our sister.  Hear them call from out in the wild.  We’ll hear them clearest in our dreams.

Our engagement with desire snaps, we’re sent out into the wide arms of the world.  The barriers come down.  Lies so long and hard they calcified tendons on the tree of life they choked the sun and made a scythe of the moon.  Our suffering was everywhere but apathy has not kept us protected.  Seeing clear-eyed finally, rising up and out, bearing witness and pulled into and through our one true love.  We celebrate presence now by being present.  We don’t have to heal the world. Evil has been through us and it’s fine.  It wracked us and made a yolk of survival.  But here and now we know.  Here is prayer.  The moment, sweet moment, keeps arriving and departing.  Just as we breathe, in and then out.  And all else falls and will fall and rise again but we are prostrate we are still.   Praise we can delight in the storms.  As witness. Breathing, tending these wild poems of the wind.

Further,
Jim Trainer
Austin, TX