Jim Trainer

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#35: Dear Gallardo

In Uncategorized on September 20, 2019 at 8:40 am

The Office of Jim Trainer
P.O. Box 49921
Austin TX

Laurie Gallardo
KUTX Public Media Studios
300 W. Dean Keeton, A0704
Austin TX

1/26/19, 10:56AM

…the Zen master is evidently playing the long game—the longest game of all, in fact, which is eternity.

Ahoy Gallardo

How instantly folks must feel at once connected with you, having experienced your voice in their cars and homes, and of course through the love of music.  The magic of these mediums is constant and being at the helm of either is unmatched. I love singing and playing music but I really love speaking into the cardioid and being broadcast onto the city.  I’m in awe of radio but more than a little jaded with playing music. For one thing, I’m not nearly as depressed as I used to be. I’ll have to re-examine the need to scream my fucking head off onstage, maybe even think about technique and that a song could serve something other than the devil inside.  The blues is just a good man feeling bad and I’ll be a punk rocker until I die. Of course it’s an ethos and we know this but my point is the reasons for me to be up under the hot lights aren’t as crucial as they used to be–thanks to psychotherapy and whatever Gods have fell in love with me. Radio on the other hand, well–nothing really trumps that feel does it, the absorbency of the atmosphere out there, the command and diction through hot ‘phones and carried on a radio wave through hard stanchioned walls and high-reaching steel and glass.  And when you put on Bob Mould or The Ramones and for 3 or 4 minutes all is well with the world, the knives of the mind have ceded and we’re still and completely engaged. Punk rock may be the most important socio-political movement of our time. It certainly dwarfs most of what the square public swore by in the 20th Century. Punk was unerringly prescient and for me it’s been my unflinching “why” and armament searing through any amount of “how” and fuckaround, red tape and small hours on shift and paying taxes, listening to the news and anyway shucking and jiving and taking what they’re giving until I can get under those hot lights or sit at the helm as the ON AIR sign goes red.

I feel a kinship with you and it’s not just the songs you play.  It speaks to the magic of the medium, that we can enjoy the music in the same way and at the same time but from our own corner of nowhere.  Rock and roll’s charm isn’t a deluded one. We know things are breaking down and that the world runs on power and greed. Rock and Roll doesn’t deny.  We celebrate, we shake and groove in calamitous tones and we celebrate how inadequate we often are to overcome the beast within. The heart can be savage and the confidence of decay may be our only faith.  Nick Cave and The Sea and Cake. These are all the reasons why I wanted to write you, reach out and say YES and THANK YOU. Afternoons in this town can feel like you’re waitin’ round to die and the tragedy of it’s compounded when you look around to see you’re planted on the hot tar with a horde of patrons of horrible Capitalism and a religion of money and death.  But you put it on ain’t ya and we revel the littlest inch, we rattle our chains and make it, off the deathway into the carport and throw everything down on the other side of the door just to get online and lookup the band that gave us that sound.  That thin wild mercury sound, that killit punkrock music and couplet that cracks the hard nut of solipsist suffering that is working full-time in the America.  Man, I really tried to keep this concise, at least not be entirely wild and poetic. This unhinged missive and cracked narrative only speaks to how much I love rock and roll.  Put another dime in the jukebox baby. I’ve no regrets for how it makes me feel nor even this nonlinear letter to my beloved hometown DJ.

Letter writing never fails to circumvent writer’s block.  I’m happy to be writing but I can only commit so much Personal Journalism.  It’s bad, Laurie. Blogging is a dirty business–it’s self-mired and passe, unreliable and insane.  It all comes down to craft, though, and only if the craft is being practiced. I’m sick of myself so I write about that.  I get unruly and blue, so, that too. I fantasize, ostracize and get wiggy with truth, or at least come to what Dr. Thompson has called the Wisdom.  I can get there and it’s usually a line or two that’ll bring me around on the idea of living that will justify spending some hours hitting the keys by a grey window and drinking AA-levels of coffee while occasionally blasting Shellac or Cory Branan before I dive in for another go round and exciting draft of Personal Journalism.  We’re all mad here.  Thank you for you.  I can’t help feeling like I’m in High School when I listen to you which leaves me wishing for my youth if only so I could burn through Marlboro Reds again, take black smoke into pink lungs, maybe read The Rebel and get inspired by the songs of the street, dare to be unjaded and move despite the acute tenderness of being in love with a world that’s destined to end.  There weren’t many good things about High School and sadly the worst things about it are only prevalent today. So are our days now. High School never ends.

See you on the airwaves.  Keep rocking. If the kids are united then we’ll never be divided.

Ab irato,

Austin TX

And openly I pledged my heart to the grave and suffering land, and often in the consecrated night, I promised to love her faithfully until death, unafraid, with her heavy burden of fatality, and never to despise a single one of her enigmas. Thus did I join myself to her with a mortal cord.
-HOLDERLIN, The Death of Empedocles



In Uncategorized on September 19, 2019 at 11:00 am

Deadline trumps all.  I wouldn’t exactly say I phoned it in these last couple months, but I couldn’t commit to the material and the deadline won.  I had to go with what I had and catch-as-catch-can it while taking an uninvited houseguest, learning a new repertoire on a new instrument and moving.  All’s well now I guess.  I had a little downtime yesterday and spent it just shy of the brink and at my favorite place in the back of my brain before I made the drive to Dripping Springs and reported to my bar captain, the trolling wench.  I sit here this morning with little to nothing wrong facing the green window at the writing desk, sipping the dark stuff with the fan blowing overhead.  Realizing it’s only been 2 months I been remiss feels a little better if not great.  The worst thing in the world for me is if my work suffers as I’m sure you can understand.

I set up my life in service to Art.  I took the example of working class writers and poets and take jobs that take the least from me mentally.  That might mean I’m exhausted but that’s easily remedied.  The kind of jobs I take won’t be calling me after hours and if they do they’d be wise to just hang up and save it for the shop.  In short I get paid by the hour and when I’m not on the clock I’m as good as gone.  The idea is to make it back to the place and bang it out on a manual or electric typewriter.  If my work suffers than I’m only a bartender and suffering the hard luck hits of a Boheme life for naught.  Point is in the midst of learning upright bass, housing and carting around an uninvited guest, working 2 jobs and moving and going on tour, I had to fly by my seat on here and go with posts I’d have rather sat on and anyway took more time to revise before I hit PUBLISH.  So I’m here today, at the writing desk, putting a little time in before I woodshed on the bass and get my set together for a house party in Wimberly this week.  I’m hoping for the best writing this and at the very least making sure this week’s post is written well before Thursday, when it’s not crunch time and I have to go with whatever I wrote because the 40-hour work weekend is looming or I’ve got to rehearse for a gig that pays $50 a man.

It’s a good life.  Besides having to remind myself of that constantly I can’t complain.  Though I often do, as the weeks burn by and I haven’t done the work, that is–put in the time.  My posts at the Flake News are a great example of how work can flow if you work at it.  My appearance on Dig This! in the summer of ’18 as well.  I sound informed and it’s on the breath–everything from the stolen election of ’00 to media and the end of the world.  You can refute a well-informed writer but you must esteem him as an adversary first.  Hell I’m glad I got those posts out but it’s not enough.  Well it was enough but not what I want.  I hate to be hacky, on the page or up there at the mic.  I was rusty Friday, at the Hearsay Poetry Open Mic and it was one of those nights you got to just get through, not exactly a bad night and certainly better than my worst shows of the past. Some nights you can only try not to suck.  It’s only rock and roll, but I wasn’t prepared.  Just like I wasn’t prepared to read in Brooklyn last month, printing out material in a FedEx on Market Street in Philly an hour before I had to get onboard a Peter Pan to NYC.  I made the nut in Williamsburg and read to 6 or so people who didn’t seem to care and I spoke and read last Friday and sold a book to Poet Christina Jackson.

I’ll get back at it–early mornings at the ARCH and St. David’s, corporate lunch in the triple-digit heat and rehearsing on the doghouse, really digging in to that thing and playing music simply because it keeps the depression away. It sure as shit does.  Even if I fell out of love with songwriting, playing the bass calms me, sets me to rights much the way writing does.  It sucks when this blog or the Poem Of The Week becomes something I have to do or even worse something I need to fit in between rehearsing and working part and full time as a computer lab tech and banquet captain.  It all sucks, I won’t lie, being conscripted to this life but it’s better than the alternative.  At least I keep telling myself that.  I hate always having to be somewhere and I’m coping by telling myself I wanted everything I have.  Half way through a slipshod life and burning everywhere, piquant with lust, dark and bitter and too stubborn to die.  


Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#32

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2019 at 8:00 am

6:10 PM

Funny how you can be in two places at once, isn’t it?  Funny as in queer and queer as in shifty, dynamic and mercurial.  We both know that accepted realities and truth, sane and staid law and order, are harder to believe, and by belief I mean in the truest sense, in the deepest body—the difference between knowing and being-believing.  Why should I be in New Orleans on a pew, sipping chai in the Bywater, watching Bernard lurch like a bear with his shoes off, doze in and out in front of the small volume of Kerouac poems?  Why couldn’t I be in the court with you, stalk thin and bright, and those matriarchs of your youth?  Why can’t this bayou air, in this town below sea-level, be the same air, high and white and far away, at another time on another continent?   There is magic to be had, to grasp and be grasped by, as the small illusions dissolve, as a sword of presence can sever us from all we thought we were, until we’re falling into what is, what truly is—the grand and molting illusion.  The dreamer and the dreamed.

Bernard is asleep but awake.  Our nights are different but the same. Native Americans believe that Crow are the keeper of mystic law.  Mystic law is beyond contradiction.  Mystic law is and is not.  Neither and both.  Maybe there is no you and me, two sets of eyes, two pairs of hands as one and at once with this letter.  How can I be there with you now but still be sitting here, in the past, in the Bywater, Louisiana?  When Crow saw his shadow he pecked at it.  He pecked and pecked at it until his shadow became alive and killed him.  The Crow we see in this world is not crow.  The Crow we see in this world is Shadow Crow.  Real Crow lives in the abyss.   Shadow Crow can do some impossible things in the real world.  He can shift and multiply, appear and disappear.  The real world is not as it seems.  Maybe the real world is not real at all. Night is here. Like it always was.  My dusk in Zimbabwe is over. Fly to me.


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