Jim Trainer

Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page

adding up the late Night at the Fox Den

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2012 at 10:39 am

for Kris

1000 words on Saturday. 8hours sitting in the same spot on the roof smoking&drinking Mate and Iced Mocha. I took breaks-did handstands and rocked some Steve Earle on Spotify. I finished around 4:30pm. Sent it off to Brother James. I ended my workday drinking Lone Star big boys at the Key Bar and listening to Patsy Cline radio on Pandora. It was date night. I came back to the Fox Den, showered&shaved.
Katinka came by and showered her love down on me. We were laying down in the quiet&dark. Then came the questions. Ask a question, get an answer. Common sense and appropriate behavior in the world of professional adults.
Sunday morning I woke to an email from the Editor: 1000 word blurb due by midnight.
We grilled out Sunday. 6lbs of lamb, 6bottles of wine. Simmering dusk w/my sistren on the porch. More wine&raging&bad girl-craziness after dark.

My point?
I overdid it. Woke up Monday with death on my shoulders and in my lungs. Regret-its what’s for breakfast, and if you doubt that it’s all in your mind you’d do wise to take warning, Brother. There is nothing but total War in my head at times, and I wish to be a soldier no more.
Last year at this time I was trekking up to OK and out to La Grange, running from death for money. Not much has changed. I’m still roaming out on the corners of my psyche, somehow trying to wear out spirit&put it to rest. But now the body is tired and spirit is only ingratiated.

Still running against the wind.

The trouble is far more complicated than some Christian coloring-book, Psych 101-type shame. The guilt I feel and the regrets I have are only further burden on the body. They do not set the spirit free. They do not set my brothers&sisters free.
I am wrapped tight in Samskara and fall victim to spiritual greed again&again.
Sometimes a pilgrim but mostly a thief between Temple and the bad road.

Got the blurb off. Re-working the bio today. If we meet on the street will you please share with me the word of god?
Tell me that he’s not alone and that we’ll meet again.
Don’t tell ‘em I could never be alone or stand myself for more than a few hours at a time-in Temple or up on stage or out on the Good Red Road somewhere.

there I go, playing the star again
-Bob Seeger
My heart is filled with a great Compassion for all things living, all things dying but I’ve grown weary of the mortal coil. I lose patience w/blues&trouble and I have zero tolerance for bad craziness.
For decades, you paraded as a crazy bitch,
Wretchedness-your lucky charm.
Hung like a bracelet,
Displayed on your arm.
-Shellac, Didn’t We Deserve A Look At You The Way You Really Are?

Get professional help or get off my phone. If you’ve got a deadline for me you need to have a check for me as well. Death&money. What else?
There is a great&grave suffering in the world. If we meet on the street will you please share w/me the word of God?
I only sing for God.
-Angie Knight
Life goes on. Then it ends. Then death goes on.
We pray for the dead.

Jim Trainer
Fox Den
Hippie Town, USA

June Must Be the Kindest of Months

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2012 at 10:05 am

I don’t feel like being angry today. What used to be fuel is fodder. I give like blood. I give like water. Trouble was, trouble is. There is no difference. The Blues will never say goodbye. We will rise with him, he is within us.

May you be Luckier than the Lightning.
We’ll be together again.

Jim Trainer
Austin, TX
June 2012

Classy Wars

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2012 at 10:15 am

By: Steven DiLodovico

We were on the bum in North Carolina. It was a hard time, but it was uncomplicated. Poverty is never very complicated. It’s there and it settles into your shoulders and spine providing a fine and sound foundation to hold that giant chip in place.

Work was there to be had, of course, but the question was always: “how long will it last?” Meaning, how long until my utter contempt became more than a barely perceivable vibe that those around me had previously only guessed? How long before they saw through a thinly veiled (and heavily affected) enthusiasm to the truth of the matter; that not only did I not give a fuck, but that I was slowly ripping them off blind? Every job I’ve ever held has that countdown: as soon as I started it would be all smiles and “yes, sirs!” and on-time returns from breaks. Just enough to fool them. But eventually that veneer would give way to grumbling about management, about the lack of affordable and adequate health care benefits, about uniform policies and costs… I was always good for the first three months or so; good work ethic, always on time, etc. But, inevitably, it would begin to fall off. My ability to invest energy into a place that stole my time and returned nothing but a pittance would wane; I’d become surly. It always started with the talk about how I needed to say “good morning” to every single fucking person I worked with every single fucking time I passed them.

Against a backdrop of dullards and feebs and perverts and ex-cons I was golden. No record whatsoever, not even a traffic ticket. When the “work history” part of the interview came up I always had a “well, I tried to strike out on my own in business and, well, with the economy being what it is…” tale of woe in lieu of references. They loved it, commended my bravery, even. Let’s face it; I am a white guy going for a minimum wage job. Of course I looked good compared to most applicants. All the while I am distracting their gazes from my beat-to-shit shoes. The shoes are always a dead giveaway. Nothing tells the tale of a man’s station in life as truthfully as his shoes. Mine were, of course, fucked. It was all I could to do to smile and nod and pump handshakes heartily. I was great at the interview part. Always looked them in the eye; always had a firm, sure handshake at the ready. They ate that shit up.

“The Working Poor.” That was a popular term for it. It meant you ate just enough shit to subsist on a day-to-day basis, but you never had enough of your own to make a move. It kept us all on the same treadmill; same thoughts and angers, same bullshit Wal-Mart necessity-fashion, same TV dreams and cheap detergent smells. It meant you had the scaled-down, cheap, plasticized version of the trinkets and baubles everyone else owned. Most of us were softened by bad diets and easy carpets, but we still carried resentment with us. Some glowed hotter than others; some saved it for the end. For the working poor your goals are daily; they live right under your nose and never let you forget how close to a feral stage you live. Eat or smoke? A bottle or pay on the light bill? Heat? Fuck that, the oven works just fine. Always gotta’ keep the right amount of spare change next to the bed so you can get to work in the morning.

We didn’t live in a “home;” we were contained in “housing.” They called it “Section 8” and that was funny to me; it only made me think of corporal Klinger and his wacky antics. I was called “nigga’” more than anything. Don’t worry: it was in that familial, “you’re one of us” way; like over the passing of a bottle or blunt. The softened “a” at the end, not the harsh “er.” Whatever. It was all the same shit.

I had tried to write myself out of a hole. 35 years old and my biggest dream was to be Bukowski. Well, I had the lazy, surly, failure part down pat, that’s for sure. But I had nothing approaching “genius” so I didn’t even have the satisfaction of convincing myself that all my stuff was just “way over their heads.” Laughable. I had dozens of letters and emails telling me how childish and pointless my writing was. That my stories went nowhere; that I should abandon the first person perspective and create characters and plot and narrative and all those other nice writerly words. That I should study composition and not curse so much. I wrote real happy-type shit: about gleeful rejoicing upon hearing a childhood rival and bully had committed suicide. I wrote cowardly nihilism under the guise of punk rock and never re-wrote a single fucking thing. These things go a long way in the commercially successful development of an artist…

So we worked, and I walked around the small town on some “wish a motherfucker would” type-shit and I found new and spectacularly immature ways to get fired from job after job. I had one job setting up for a catering company. Real fancy, upscale outfit. The kind of place where jerkoffs paid $13 for a half a salad. We were in Charlotte NC; the banking and New World Order capital of the universe. We had some heavy hitters in Charlotte; big banking magnates and when the shit all tanked it went hard in Charlotte. This one time I had a setup for a big power meeting at the top of the Bank of America building. This was in early 2002, and so the entire world was at the edge of paranoia. To do this particular job I had to go through the rectal-exam equivalent of homeland security. I.D., birth certificate, blood, urine, stool, and semen samples; the official “white card” to prove I wasn’t one of the “mud people” and a copy of my credit report. The first line of security is at the dock. These are the $10 an hour guys; guys who couldn’t give a fuck about security. We were all on a first name basis; this was an old circuit with the same players. We saw each other every Monday through Friday; we burned weed out on the docks and swapped tales of miserable marriages and unfathomable bills. But, once them planes hit everybody became real stiff and official. It was a pain in the balls.

So, on this particular day, I was delivering some pickled ass artichokes in braised fetal sauce with succulent sides of deer dick and muskrat anal gland garnishes when I had to pass four different levels of security. The first three took about a half an hour; the last stop was pretty much when I had had enough.

They had installed a brilliant new security/identity system whereby each and every visitor could have an instantly-made picture I.D. badge. This, of course, meant that everyone had to pose for pictures. I wasn’t having none of it. NONE OF IT. They had enough paperwork on me; they didn’t need pictures, too. The well-fed suit in charge of this whole thing wasn’t playing around either. I was trying to decide if today was going to be the day; if I had enough money squirreled away until unemployment kicked in or I could get back on the food stamps. Because I knew I was going to do something stupid here. The only unknown in this equation was if the outcome would see me merely unemployed or both unemployed and facing charges.

After a few minutes of futilely arguing the invasive points of this new system I launched in on Mr. Paunchy Mustachioed man and cursed him for all I was worth. Reinforcements were called in to separate us. I pretended to calm down, agreed to their picture and whatever other bullshit I had to do to get into their little clubhouse. A few hoops later and I was standing in front the camera. Big smile, and as I counted the milliseconds until his finger clipped the “go” button, I had a hilarious punk rock idea. As the flash popped I lifted both fists and flipped a couple of birds. No big deal, right? Just a goofy prank.

Not so much.

I was summarily tackled by four similarly unfit, balding men. Literally tackled in the vaunted marbled halls of the great Bank of America lobby. The squeak of stiffly arched dress shoes squealed against high-polished slickness as the five of us tumbled to the floor. Grunting and out of shape, we were all gassed, but still cursing, kicking, punching. Somewhere, at the bottom of this rugby pile, I had started laughing. It was so fucking absurd. I started giggling, and it quickly turned into huge, gasping guffaws. Well, you ever want to totally freak out dudes who are pummeling you? Start laughing like a loon while they’re punching and they will lose all fervor and aggression. I didn’t even fight back. I picked myself up and started walking away. Because fuck ‘em, that’s why. I left the cart full of delicacies there and just walked out. I had to go back to the job (which was only two blocks away from the bank building) and I figured that was it. I went in and waited. Turns out the call had already been made and they were waiting for me. As I was being marched into the manager’s office I noticed a couple of guys in expensive suits and serious looks following my progress from kitchen to office. Homeland Security. Oh yeah, now I was in it.

I got the requisite verbal lashing from the manager; she was an insane, moody cunt who loved to tell the staff about her vacations and her pool and all that other good shit. I never even heard a word; I was too concerned with the feds waiting outside the office. I thought back to all of my antisocial internet rants full of anti-government sentiment and knew I was done for. Done for, I tells ya.

Well, instead of waiting I calmly got up and went out the back door, hopped a bus and went the fuck home. A week later I had disconnected the phone and we had moved into another place under someone else’s name. I hid in a paranoid cave for weeks before I went out to look for more work.

See, here’s the rub: we’re the invisible ones. Below the poverty line is a hard place to live. But it’s also got its advantages. While their soft, flabby frames become more impotent and malleable, we gain the strength of broken and re-broken backs.

I had nothing in my name; in the eyes of the world I was no one. Nothing. I could move silently, unseen. I am the one who serves you and I am as inconsequential as that dead slab of soft beef I am feeding you. I run your credit cards, I handle your food. I could spread the wicked pollen of evil and murder you just by not washing my hands. I have lived so long in spiritual filth that I am immune to the sickness and germs that would kill you in an antiseptic second. I breathe disease and dust and if I put it on you I will have long disappeared by the time your first sniffling symptom arises. I handle your money and give you back diseased change to take to your wife and your closeted lover and your mewling, puking kids. I operate in the dark; in the back of the house, and you’ll never know which of the servants took up his hand in anger.

Yes, there’s a war going on. And it has nothing to do with occupation or sloganeering or bumper-sticker philosophy. It is not the armed revolution that everyone is expecting. It is covert like terrorism; it flies in the face of conventional warfare and attacks on the most basic of levels. We are in your water, your oxygen. We sit in hot basement holes with itchy asses and poverty rashes and seething maladies. We strike like opportunistic rodents. We are Ellison’s invisible men; we are Dostoyevsky’s underground malcontents.

And, trust me: there are a lot more of us than you.

Never forget that, motherfucker.

guest blog: SICKO

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2012 at 8:10 am

Me&my brothers stand guard at the gate, burning one down and ripping each other to shreds with wit and malicious love&sarcasm.
Errybody’s got their heyday, their hoo-rah, they youth and they time before the cataracts of youth fall away.
What the kids today don’t understand is we paved the fucking road they stand on the corner of, looking cool&posing as some gothfag or whatever-the-fuck. We did. And us?
Shit-we was just some pip-squeaked middle class/working class brats livin’ in the burbs and not quite understanding that w/o humor our sarcasm&derision could metastasize and leave us, bitter and alone like our parents. Somehow we ended up that way anyway but we still have a sense of humor, for Christ.

I present to you, Steven Dilodovico/SICKO.  He’ll be guest blogging here tomorrow.  I don’t know why or how come people call him that, Sicko.  I tried calling him for comment but the man is a writer and he doesn’t answer his phone.
Also, he remembers a time when a hairstyle could get you beat up by the highschool douchero, but, if you shaved off all your hair you might get jumped on the way home by a cadge of Ball Pein hammer-yielding Nazi skinheads.
It was us. We did it.
He was listening to the Serial Killers on WDNR and sporting a devilock when doing such was all the licence the jocks and the longhairs and the teachers and the parents needed to SINGLE. YOU. OUT.

How do I know Sicko did such things?
Because I did, too.
The only way out of the Township is in a pine-box or landing a job w/the Upper Darby Police Department ( the Nazis all got all the cush badges, riding around Ridley in red cars&out by the town line. )

hand over hand over hand
-FUGAZI, The Greatest

A man is only as good as the friends he keeps. Right?
Something like that.
In another sense, being from Delco (Delaware County) is my Karma. And it’s my brothers’ Karma, too. It’s where we come from, dig? Straight outta Upper Darby. Aho.  I shudder with a great and terrible shame just writing it.
But it’s not where we’re going.

Look for my brother Sicko in:
The Examiner
Smutlife Magazine
Everything Sucks
He’s also a coproducer&writer for a film called
RIOT ON THE DANCE FLOOR, a documentary about the notorious City Gardens Club in Trenton, New Jersey; where we all saw some of punk rock’s last throes and whatever-the-fuck.  (Back in the idyllic 20th Century.  Back when you needed your parents to drive you to the show and you wished THEM luck when they dropped you off.  You know, pre-Nevermind and before all of this went down.  Christ with all they faux rock n roll jibba-jabba. )
Aho.  To paraphrase Henry Rollins, when Sicko does work you get destroyed.

Meanwhile, in the flagship branch of The Whole Foods Industrial Complex this morning, they were playing this little gem:
I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair-Sandi Thom-fuck outta here.
I can credit Sicko w/this most brilliant of colloquialisms: fuck outta here.  Get it?  No?  Then get.
What else?
Do us all a favor and die laughing. Life goes on and then it ends. What’s tantamount is what are you doing now, punkrocker? Aho. Always and for true. I was always more interested in post-punk anyway.

Skate or die, fag.
-What You Were Bound To Hear Growing Up In My Hometown If You Didn’t Care About Sports or Metal

It’s nice to know a brother’s holding it down out there, in some last outpost in the Wasteland of that hated town “grew up” in.
The only thing me&Sicko got out of our hometown was the fuck outta there.


Jim Trainer
Fox Den
Hippie Town, USA

we’ll be Together

In Uncategorized on June 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Aho. Jimbo’s back from the island. Hope all’s well in your corner and if not then you got some fight in ya with a few rounds left.
The Retreat was unbelievable. I’ll be recounting my adventures&time in Tulum shortly.
Right now I’ve got a bad bitch of a deadline, two shows to play and three books of poetry to work on.
I also got a steady private Yoga client and some songwriting work.
Then there’s the day job.
Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that you shouldn’t believe everything you read on Facebook and, all is well.
We’ll be together again.

Alright-back to the front.

Jim Trainer
Fox Den
Hippie Town, USA

My Father’s House

In Uncategorized on June 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Last night I dreamed that I was a child
out where the pines grow wild and tall
I was trying to make it home through the forest
before the darkness falls

I heard the wind rustling through the trees
and ghostly voices rose from the fields
I ran with my heart pounding down that broken path
With the devil snappin at my heels

I broke through the trees and there in the night
My father’s house stood shining hard and bright
the branches and brambles tore my clothes and scratched my arms
But I ran till I fell shaking in his arms

I awoke and I imagined
the hard things that pulled us apart
Will never again, sir
tear us from each others hearts
I got dressed and to
that house I did ride
from out on the road
I could see his windows shining bright

I walked up the steps and stood on the porch
a woman I didn’t recognize came and spoke to me through a chained door
I told her my story and who I’d come for
She said, “I’m sorry son but no one by that name lives here anymore.”

My father’s house shines hard and bright
it stands like a beacon, calling me in the night
Calling and calling, so cold and alone
Shining ‘cross this dark highway, where our sins lie unatoned.

lyrics by Bruce Springsteen

Hot Damn

In Uncategorized on June 7, 2012 at 9:28 am


Congrats! I would love to publish two of your poems, “Between Trouble & the Blues” and “The Matador and the Bull” in the popular upcoming anthology! Great work…loved your work.

I’m attaching the contract for you to print/sign/scan/email back to us. If you don’t have access to a scanner let me know and we’ll figure something else out. Along with your poem being in the anthology, you will also be invited to area events, readings and more to promote yourself in the literary world. We do ask that you get this to us no later than June 15th.

I’m really excited to be working with you. Thanks for your interest in the contest…you are quite talented and I certainly hope to have you aboard.

Thanks and again, congrats!

Dennis Finocchiaro
Editor, Anthology Philly

Made Of What We Lost (an urban Journey through the Chakras) by Maleka Kay Fruean

In Uncategorized on June 4, 2012 at 10:45 am
1) Muladhara (the Root Chakra): 
I remember you climbing up to the upper platform, your hands outstretched, standing silent. You had just lost your father, and there was music all around you, a keg opened, and you stared at everyone, your pain on your skin. I remember how you told me “if you don’t believe in god, then you’re all alone out there in the world” and I remember thinking, what is my foundation?  What do I come home to? We sat in that house with no heat, trying to find our home within ourselves, taking care of animals and men and women and all the while trying to find the warmth, inside blankets or arms, inside the absences. My hair four different colors, with the dark brown roots always showing.

2) Swadhistana (the Sacral Chakra): 
I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.
– James Baldwin

3) Manipura ( the Solar Plexus Chakra):
Learn how to digest. Take in the news, the belittling speeches by your Ethiopian boss at the bar telling you “you’re not special”, the half-rotten tomatoes that you still eat because there is nothing else in what your friend Diya refers to as your “rainbow kitchen”. It means you’re broke and the gas bill is due and the electricity bill is due and the rent is due and the cat is shitting next to the turquoise baseboards, and you need to learn how to take it all in. Let your gut expand. Go to the first yoga class in your life ($5.00 at the Wise Women’s Center) and come back ready to take out the trash, ready to eat kale and drink fresh water. Let your ribcage open two inches and place your hidden words inside. 

4) Anahata (the Heart Chakra): 
the tattooed mess, the ex-boyfriends, the man who did the chicken dance, the republican cuban, the girl who called me hot box, the emcees, the boy who was afraid to tell his mama about girls, the skateboarder, the film student, “you were nicer when you first moved to this neighborhood”, the musicians, the man who sounded like sublime, “you look hotter than any girl in this west philadelphia party”, the art student, the alcoholics, the sad poet, the married kenyan, the man who read flannery o’connor stories every night, “just look at her, because i think she is the definition of joy”…. love love love love love 

5) Vishuddha (the Throat Chakra): 
One day, while trying to order sandwiches with her not-boyfriend, her throat seized up, and she choked on words. She could not even speak to the man at the deli, couldn’t say the simple phrases “cheese hoagie, please” (because she was exploring the idea of not eating meat), couldn’t even excuse herself. It was there, at that dump of a deli in upper darby that she realized her words were meant for more than this, for more than staying silent during boxing matches and speaking up during parties, for more than asking men if they were going to ever call back, for more than waiting in between the ignorance. He stared at her muteness, and ordered a turkey sandwich for her, while she glared at his ice blue eyes, ready to scratch another tattoo onto his throat, “I am” …. taking a deep breath and listening to the old brag of her heart, “I am, I am, I am…”

6) Ajna (the Third Eye Chakra):
The wooden floors creaked, in late night talks, in intimacy, in insomnia. I think we each knew it would end. 
Because our intuition was blocked with carbon monoxide. 
It was blocked by the noise of the pitbull puppy, chained to the neighbor’s upstairs deck, for three days, crying for food and water. 
It was blocked by our lack of sleep, our abundance of cheap hamburger. 
It was blocked by the smell of sweat, mixed with frustration, a sense of moldy dust, tobacco, and herb creeping into the corners.
It was blocked by what was unsaid.
It was blocked by what was undone.
We are still finishing the chores.

7) Sahasrara (the Crown Chakra): 
I prayed to God that night. I thought I saw a white light, an illumination, through the hole in the floor. 
He said to me, “I’m just waiting to see the light in you.”
It had burned down to nothing for months and months, anchored to loss.

 I left that house with a mission.  I give thanks for everything I lost there.

It’s five dimensions, six senses
Seven firmaments of heaven to hell, eight million stories to tell
Nine planets faithfully keep in orbit
With the probable tenth, the universe expands length
The body of my text possess extra strength
Power-liftin’ powerless up, out of this towerin’ inferno 

-Mos Def


In Uncategorized on June 1, 2012 at 11:46 am

“Your flight is booked.  It’s under RAT MEILLY.”
If you ever meet a radio personality, face to face, it’s a real trip.  Your mind tries to associate&link the voice you know intimately to the strange&unfamaliar face speaking to you.
“Got it.  3-4hours.”  My mind is sharp, a trap snapping shut w/the details of the mission.  Sealed forever, until now.

I rode my bike down.  The Texas sun hadn’t fully risen.  I was slick with a slight sheen of summer morning sweat.  It was good to be alive.  I locked my bike behind the old power plant, out back by the weeds&thrush.  I put on the hard hat, the gloves.  I smeared black dirt&gravel down my cheeks and down the front of my jeans.  I kicked up some dirt and dragged my boots around.
I came around the building and I heard the music.  It was like a movie.  Every movement felt watched&slow, deliberate.  Ravel coming from a black Mercedes.  Aho.  Good morning fuckface.
I grabbed the barricades.  I stomped up to the car.  I rammed the horse DOWN against the driver’s side door.  Rapped on the tinted glass.
He gawked his stupid nose&face out at me.
“Yaaaaaa…?” he drawled.
“SIR.  WILL YOU HOLD THIS.”  I handed him the roll of SAFETY fence.  Walked around shotgun side.  I rapped on the window there.
“SIR.  WILL YOU GIVE ME THAT.”  I jammed the other horse down.  Grabbed the roll.  He tried to get out of the car.  He tried to roll up the windows.  It was too late.  He was tied in.  No Escape.
The laborers and the foreman stared on.  But as I got closer-they were only looking through and just beyond me, with the bitter detachment afforded only daylaborers working in the hot sun.
I threw the helmet down.  The gloves.  The vest.  I walked away.
My route back was circuitious&serpentine of course.  But I really dug it, too.  I rode through the dome, under the Tower, the Frost Building, and down the drag.  I imagined the town where Steve Earle lived.  Mid-to-late 70s, beat sun, dive bar, donut shop.  Rock and roll.  Something happened to this town.  It got overblown.
I bombed round to 6th.  The Whole Foods megaplex rose up on me.  Beyond it, the condos.  I coasted down Judge’s Hill.  I was home.
I fired up the Yerba Matte.  Turned on KUT, Morning Edition.  The news was weird.  Cannibals in FLA and millionaires on the pundit.
I drew a hot bath.  Squeezed in some tea-tree oil.  Lit some lemon-grass.
Then I listened.
It was the voice.  The voice I  knew intimately.
Good morning, the voice started, I’m Jody Denberg and you’re tuned into KUT.  I’ll be filling in for Jon Aeli on this, most beautiful, first day of June.  I thought I’d start you out with something from the Decemberists.  From their excellent album  The King is Dead, this is the Decemberists on KUT.

It’s gonna be a great summer.