Jim Trainer

HOSTLE CITY BREAKDOWN

In Philadelphia, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized on October 19, 2017 at 10:50 am

to live and die is human
it’s our lot and fate
in Philly both these things
can happen in a day
I want to push up against someone
and have them shove me right back
I want to feel them standing down and parting
and cursing me at my back
I want to yell out on every corner ayo!
be pulled along to the brink
shrouded by street sages smoking on stoops
beneath centuries of trees
I want to remember why, what I’m cut from
what I’d resort to in a pinch
I want to push back walking
bleeding blue into cement
I want to shake hands with Bobby Lemons
the old Mayor of 10th Street
sip at the Last Drop, 12th&Pine
remembering street poetry and sweat
for years I spoke into mop handles
above an Ethiopian bar
for years I tumbled roaring
rolling rye bottles out of cars
there’s a woman for every season there
a reason every time it broke
you take the tender part and tie it
‘round your neck in a shimmy, yoked
Philly’s the perfect place to lose, get lucky
or walk sideways for a decade
it’s my Irish Italian parents
a perfect foil an utter bane
you figure it out or you get fucked there
or you get fucked when you do
Hostile City might help you win a little
but will laugh at you when you lose
someone’s car alarm is always going off
people are rude and mean
the cops won’t help you, someone will rob you
your reflexes are always sharp and lean
some of my favorite people in the world live there
best friends, loves, family
shame it took some and buried ‘em
but, too, it seems
Hostile City has a way
to rid you of all your enemies.

 

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DON’T BECOME NOSTALGIC FOR THINGS THAT WERE ACTUALLY AWFUL

In Uncategorized on October 12, 2017 at 7:50 pm

You can’t live without a mother. Without a mother you can’t die.
Narcissus and Goldmund, Herman Hesse

Don’t let your reptile brain override what you knew was right then and is certainly right for you now.  Don’t go on a world tour of pain rehashing things that you’ve passed on or take another stab at things that’ve long since passed you by.  Shitty people are shitty.  The sea changes people say they’ve been through, that’ve brought them back from the dead and into your life are just another charade and they’re never doing it for you, so don’t get enmeshed.  Move on.  Always forward.  Never back.  This paragraph will be one fuck of a non-sequitir if it doesn’t tie in with anything except its cribbed title from an article about Joe Biden.  Truth is I don’t know what to write about this week, I don’t know where I am, except in a state of free fall, and I’m grasping–at love and the past and ideas of things that didn’t bring me comfort before but I insist will now, somehow.  It could be high time for some real deal spirituality.  I’ve skirted it long enough.  It could also be a great time to forego ideas of love and romance and let go the need to be taken care of.  How much more could I need anyway?  I’m on the love seat I bought yesterday, in my bedroom of the new apartment.  I just ate a reheated Mixmix from last night’s dinner at Koriente.  My car is parked in the driveway and it’s peaceful here, a little stuffy but fine in the fading light. No one’s going to blast in here and stick a gun in my face.  These walls won’t fall tonight and I’ll enjoy my first night of sound sleep in over fourteen days on a brand new mattress, delivered this afternoon.  The world is on fire and the end days are winding down–but everything is ok.

I bring up love and romance because I’m a romantic.  And I met a woman who we’ll call Kali, and she smacked me down to size when she told me that what I needed was what I had.  I’ve been unemployed since October 1 and as mentioned I’ve been falling through the days.  Lucky there have been some truly profound moments in the sun down here, too–days the old, street fighting me would hardly believe.  It occurs to me that other than knowing we’re on the brink and it’s all over baby blue, the torrential malaise of my psyche these days might have something to do with survivor’s guilt.  I made it through, it’s true, to be on this harried plateau where I feel the utter depths of a longing for suicide but grin from ear to ear in the sun driving fast in my car.  I know I’ve had to leave a lot behind and I’m not as glad about some of it as I am about the rest.  There’s a lot of junk back there but love too, and innocence, and every time I hurt you I know I hurt me too.  The best thing that Kali did for me was remind me this wasn’t free.  The bad love and the streets–they’re more than just fodder and grist for good poetry.  It was real and it really happened.  I’m suddenly overcome thinking about the folks I left behind–them in their misery because it was their karma and me out the door ’cause it was mine.

I can’t see an end to the insanity.  Certainly not in the New Century and maybe not in me, either.  I’ve a brave man in my life talking to me about God, and I’ve the same reaction to it I’ve always had.  The only thing changed is not that I’m losing control but that I never had it.  Fate, the World, cold plasmas of space–it’s the nature of things to break down, our bodies included, and I feel the more that gets in the better and the less you leave behind.  I didn’t think it’d get darker but I guess that’s why you get stronger.  Not to see the light but so you can rival the darkness.  Things are really winding down.  My spirituality has always been the seasons but now we’ve no Winter and no Fall and the smiles on all the faces are a prison.  The only other benevolent change has to do with music.  It’s affecting me the way it used to.  It’s splitting me down the middle again, making me feel alive and thousands of volts.  It’s giving me my edge over the sleepers and I burn down the streets of this town like a Black Irish shadow with earbuds.  Rock and Roll never forgets.  Neither love, you should know.  There are some of you reading these words right now and I can feel you in my heart and it makes me strong.  We are all we have.  I’ll keep falling as long’s you keep holding my hand.

See you next week motherfucker.

 

Goodbye, Goodbye

In poem, Poetry, Uncategorized on October 6, 2017 at 1:11 am

It’s been a life, blown and bowled over, marveling at the destructive act.  It’s been nights cornered by lust, like a fly in a tarantula dream, and days that split the long beams down my eyes.  It was a white sun in Lafayette in 1999 and the only time I truly knew would never be again–in youth.  There was a heavy, grey lead blues and a black flapping ‘gainst the pane blues.  The yards, up north–burning down Camel straights through the chain link, and spitting out hot sugared coffee in the snow.  It’s a good thing to remember now as I can’t turn, I won’t turn, I can’t be–any of these but all of it now and roaring.  The cadence of my later years has laden each day with all the days, each day carrying a load of the days before, my past like a bushel of coal and future that cuts prisms of mash.  I love and lose and I am born and I sink.  I am tequila on Ocean Beach and I am warm Lager above the Dawson in her hot 3rd floor.  If I am all loves then I am all love and every sky is winding and every whisper knows a scar.  Ravenous I am without regret, I revel and twist and dwindle in a reverse sailor’s dive.  I stitch my dreams with nightmare silk and I feed fear to courage, my love is in the mouth of a lion, my love is the cutting stink of a locomotive train.  Everything that was true is still.  Everything that’s false will find you out, and crack you from your earthen bed but if you wave from Heaven we’ll see you and we will wave back from Hell…