Jim Trainer

Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

one gets braver

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2013 at 9:03 pm

with each prick
and each gauze
to stop the bleeding.
one learns to think
over fumes of
alcohol applied to the wound.
one learns
these moments are crucial
they are the only moments
throughout our
fighting lives
there’s too much movement
and not enough grief for
what’s lost
not enough praise or pause.
one gets braver
the more he
can stop
reassess and
take a little pain
push against his
&win a moment or two
with his-self
before he gets back into
the roar
with everybody else.

-from Farewell to Armor, out now on Amazon.com.  Join Jim Trainer for a very special night of poetry and spoken word, with Don Bajema and Maleka Fruean, at the Brandywine Workshop, 728 S.Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19146 at 7pm.
For more details, please visit the events page and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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From Brother Butch w/ Love&Warning (praise&accolades for Farewell to Armor)

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2013 at 6:23 pm

No more paper tigers my friend. It’s only live ammo from here on out.

Take it and shove it down their throats, it’s actually more than they deserve.
Let the universe rotate around you for a bit, and gather up that energy.  You have a road ahead of you.
You did the honest work, took the higher calling.
You wrote it.
Now its the shit river without a canoe. Publishers, venue managers, literary agents and worst of all, other poets, who can’t hold their own dicks when it comes to writing.
Soak in the sun Jim.
Because right now it’s yours, you own it and everything it shines on.
Start showing your teeth.  This is your parade.
Fuck the detractors.

-Alfred Lawrence “Butch” Wolfrom III

A Blog About Nothing

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I awoke today
and suddenly
nothing happened
-Colin Hay

Going straight to hell, boys.  One day at a time.  Last night (Day 2 of a 4 day shift) the Boss had us drinking shots of vod with lemon chasers.  No big whoop.  Just Sunday night with the boys,  hailing mutiny on the ship, “the captain has been drinking!”
I’m ok today, just generally blown the fuck out.  You feel me, Jack.  The brain scraped clean.  Being hungover is like electro-shock therapy.  Its record of effectiveness should’ve shamed this behavior out of existence a long time ago.  But it hasn’t.  And so here we are.  ‘Twas ever thus.

We’ll just forego any thoughts or observations from my inner critic and get on with it.  I’ll tell you-I’ve been involved with the mechanics of promotion&sales of the book and etc. and I haven’t felt safe to sit down to the type and let the music play.  Which isn’t to say that I haven’t been writing.  Sure as shit, right as rain.  But today, this overcast morning in the middle of our nuclear winter, beat-down and hungover, nothing’s pressing and nothing’s  pertinent.  I can just jackoff this screed and get it off to you.

I’ve got nothin for you man.  And it feels good.  All’s well on the third coast.  It has not escaped me that even when reporting on nothing, I feel the need to report to you.  We know this blog is nothing if not transmission.  But I wonder how long I will need you to give myself permission to write, and I wonder about the future of what Hipstercrite has called “selfies”:  self-referential, self-branding type writing.  The over-personalized saga of my ridiculously tragic&lucky life and times.  I guess if you’ve been with me this long I don’t need to question it.
I do however wonder when I’ll be able to sit down in the late evening and get some real work done (sadly without you).  Instead of blowing down the nightstack with clear liquor and honky-tonk music.  When will I grow up?

Or better, when will I truly reclaim the teenager I want to be, take his crown and set him free from chilled bottles on  jailhouse junkyard nights, talk him down off the roof  where he’s sharing cigarettes with deadly-young women,  and convince myself of a better business than bitterly bloviating on Facebook and chronicling all such delusions of grandeur on this blog?

There are no easy answers.  Sometimes there are no answers at all.  What do you want from me?  You want answers, ask Thich Nhat Hanh.  This blog is about nothing.

Para Elizabeth con amor.


In Uncategorized on January 21, 2013 at 11:44 am

CONTACT: Jim Trainer: 512-203-6288, jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com

Austin Poet and Singer/Songwriter Jim Trainer Releases His First Full Length Poetry Collection

January 20, 2013, Austin, TX:

I don’t know why 
between trouble&the Blues
we’re expected to function this way 
some small window 
some real gamble 
we may have 
day in the sun 
we may ride high 
some fearless Nights 
we will have to come back down 
we will have to hash it out 
between trouble&the Blues.
-from “between trouble&the Blues” by Jim Trainer 

January 20, 2013, Austin, TX:
Jim Trainer will read from his debut poetry collection, Farewell to Armor, on February 1. The book release party will also feature Julie Gillis.

Jim Trainer is a communicator. Growing up in the hardcore punk scene of the early ’90s taught him everything he needed to know about real work. Trainer put in the work, playing a vivid mix of blues, folk and roots rock up and down the east coast in venues, bars, house concerts, and coffee shops.
It garnered him a following and Trainer quickly became known for an intense style that rode the artistic fine balance of romantic longing and unexpected social commentary. Trainer also read his poetry out extensively across the country.  One of the readings led to his first full-length collection of poetry, Farewell to Armor, being published by Philadelphia press WragsInk.

For Farewell to Armor, Trainer took inspiration from a Bukowski biography, learning that the great poet didn’t start writing poetry until he was 35. That’s when he really got serious about getting the words down, on a President XII manual typewriter he bought for $17.
“I devoted myself to the simple line,” says Trainer, who now resides in Austin, Texas, and plays a regular rotation of music and poetry here.
“I remember mornings coming off a graveyard shift, just beat-to-hell tired, pulling into the Shell, getting a quart of beer and heading home where I’d type and drink into the 8-9-10 a.m. hours. Looking back, I think I was forging a new language for myself. I had to get those lines down simple, and quick, because I was working three jobs. It was my only release. Writing has always been a means of survival for me.”
He’s carried the torch for independent media, broadcasting as one of the early voices of Radio Volta 88.1FM while writing for the Philadelphia IMC’s wire in the early ’00s. He currently serves as contributor, editor and curator of Going For The Throat, a semi-daily publication of cynicism, outrage, correspondence and romance.

Julie Gillis:  Producer, Performer and Activist Julie Gillis is perhaps better known as ¼ of the hostess/curators of Bedpost Confessions, a monthly performance of “Salacious Stories and Enticing Entertainment” about the steamy side of life.  Julie is also a contributing writer to The Good Men Project, Good Vibes Blog, The Austin Chronicle, Gay Place Blog, elephant journal and Persephone Magazine.  She is an active proponent of Sex Positive Activism and believes in the power of community.

For more information about the book release party, or Farewell to Armor, please contact Jim Trainer: jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com, 512-203-6288.

Farewell to Armor Book Release&Reading
with Jim Trainer
and featuring Julie Gillis of Bedpost Confessions

Friday February 1
at the Fox Den
709 Rio Grande Street
Austin, TX 78701


Promotional Copies and Book Samples available upon request.

PRESS  white calla lilly

The Flailing Acrobat

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I’m just a dreamer who’s been dreaming too long
a deadbeat Vegas crooner singing that same old song

The new desk is by the window where we can smoke. The window faces the Law Offices next door. Somehow their presence makes me feel ashamed. I don’t know these people but I’m ashamed of the way they can sit in their little lighted cubes, do shit and accomplish things. I stare at a screen and scream along with Warren Zevon drink after drink-whiling away my lifetime and they’re cranking away on some project or other for 8 hours a day.

Welcome to my madness. Come on in. These are the days on junkyard time. Long hours on the sinking throne. One million attempts, one million defeats. I never make the cut. When the lights go out next door I pull out from the desk and disengage. I toss another night out and waste it in throes of lust and inanity.

I’m a writer, a wall kisser, a cross builder and a cage welder. I’ve wasted my life pecking away at old bone keys. I spend the high, tight days staring at a computer screen. The night comes as no relief. There will be no relief. The mortal coil’s a ladder with burning cigarettes for rungs. I sullenly climb up and fall out into big, dumb sleep. There’s nothing left to do but wait for death and type another 800 words tomorrow.


Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#8: Dear Wing

In Uncategorized on January 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Dear Wing-
That’s it for us-plaintive sheets of rain, no melatonin and Marlboro reds until the wee-time. Reminds me of when we locked the bossman in the mop closet and rode with fake tags and bad coke across St.George’s into the hated city. Should have kept going: Alabama or New Orleans, even Atlantic City. But I had a decade to murder and I needed someone to blame.
I don’t love her anymore and the heart is safe under lock&channel lock. Nostalgia is the worst thing you can do.
That and smoke Marlboro reds.
Yr Welcome.

Free At Last

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Day 11 of an 11day shift.  This place is destroyed.  Dishes and yoga texts and amplifiers and clothes everywhere.  A bouquet of glasses on the desk where I write this.  The construction crews have moved back in.  RJ’s telling us that they’ll be here until March 24.  My back is sore and I’m terribly fagged.  11days of getting up in the middle of the night.  Luckily the shift stretched over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  I haven’t shaved in over a week.  My hair is like a bouffant full of angry raven.
I haven’t seen anything remarkable over the last 11 days.  Just waves of group think on the social networks:  dull&empty holiday sentiment and even duller repeated and recanted zeitgeists about gun control.  In fact, after two straight weeks of listening to you talk about the shooting, it started to die down.  Then a few of you wiseguys started posting about how the whole thing was staged.  And that’s when we deleted you.  It feels good.  I think I hit three, which is good, I had some catching up to do.
Drinks for all my friends!
-Henry Chinaski from Barfly

It’s ok.  Heads know me.  They know when Jimbo’s rawhiding or rather when I should just let ol Uncle Sprinkles take the wheel.  That’s right-Uncle Sprinkles Homeslice, Uncle Jimmy, J.Holmwood formally.  I met Uncle Sprinkles up in the Catskills one twisted cold spring in the Year of the Horse.  Back when I was hot, young, running free a little bit better than I used to be.  We were up in the Catskills catering to the filthy rich celebrating Passover.  10 days of serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to the rich and the Jewish in upstate NY.  I think the pay was $1,500 and whatever tips you could get from your “family” for being unobsequious and ingratiating (of which I am neither).  Uncle Jimmy is a big loud and hairy man from the Bronx.  He pulled up to the dining hall in a golf cart wearing yellow aviators and a red bowtie, smoking a Maduro and laughing like emphysema.

“Let me tell you, those Rican girls  from Queens know how to party!”  He yelled at me and stuck his hammy hand in mine.

It’s been some strange, dead years since I was a jagoff Pirate on the Hospitality Circuit.  Soaked to the bone in booze.  I went up with some friends and the X (bad idea).  The whole thing was a bad idea but yet perfectly in line with my diehard philosophy and work ethic of:  whole lotta hell, whole lotta money.  Anyhoo, Unkle Sprinkles took me on as his nephew.  He said I feel too much and I’m too honest (he also offered me some of the strangest and most potent advice ever offered me in my 37 years-Chicks dig liars).  I have certainly had my share of trouble living with my heart on my sleeve all these years.  For some stupid reason I took a stand when I was 19.  I chose homelessness over music school and I’ve been underemployed for over 20 years.  But I loved heartfirst back then.  And…never again.  It must be love because when I look back, even though I miss those witchy warrior women, I miss the part of myself that could be open to them.  To spend weekends falling deeper.  To confess in temples of sweat and lying under windows open to the  poetry of the street.  I miss being completely riveted by a woman.  All to their credit.  Feels like the playing field has been leveled.  No one compares.  Or better, no one can play ball with the old soldier.  Maybe I am tougher than the rest.

But upon the exhaustive advice from one of my favorite witchy women that apparently chicks can tell if you’re getting laid all the time (and they don’t like it?), I have given up sex.  I get it.  I mean I knew I wasn’t steadfast on the path when it came to sex.  Hell, Bramacharya could be considered thee roadblock in the way of my Yogic education (that or a 91page book of poetry that I don’t even own a copy of).  Or-21 days on a beer soaked mountain that shook off all my students and my practice and plunged me back into the depths of alcoholism.

I don’t know.  But-we will walk through the door and get on with the end of the dirty year.  Through the door and into the streets of the city-alone and insufferable (since 1975).  I’ve done allot of walking over the past 11 days.  When you’re job confines you to be indoors for 21 hours a day, you take to the streets to reason out your loneliness, beat the pig-iron night and scissor the bad blues with loud insolent bootheels cracking against wet December pavement.
I am a recidivist.  But I am a tireless fighter.  Survival is no longer prize but winning is fighting another day.

See you on the streets motherfucker.

so it goes, so it goes
so it goes, so it goes
but where it’s going
no one knows.

The Atheists

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Week after Christmas, first night of the first day of the year. The backyard’s quiet. I’m hanging a wet mop and breaking cardboard for kindling. The ashtrays are filling with rainwater. I sip from a chilled glass among the dim lights on a dead holiday. The kitchen is clean. The shift’s almost over.
She gets out of a white Volvo and sips from my glass. She leads me by the hand into the old house. I pull her pants down to her boots and bend her over by the fireplace.
After, we lay entwined by the fire. There are no sirens and no laughter coming down the drag. 9 days on the shift, another Christmas kicked in the teeth. The vodka from the glass almost drained.
Tomorrow a white sun will rise. It’ll make pain of the stretch and take all conviction from protest. It’ll shine down, say it’s over, get back to work. I’ll reach up and shut the blinds and we’ll roll over. The sun like everything else is a liar.

On The Hill Series-Jim Trainer-Oh, Angelina

In Uncategorized on January 3, 2013 at 10:50 am

Sunday night in the hometown, week before Christmas.  Sets at Gunner’s Run in Northern Liberties by yours truly, Phoenix Veil and Kettle Pot Black.
Phoenix Veil does strong, melodic vocals over sometimes drony, sometimes power chords.  One of the things I like about Phoenix Veil is he’s sustaining some of the good qualities of hardcore music, strong&positive melody, but thankfully doesn’t sound anything like hardcore.  I’d been a fan of Kettle Pot Black since before I left Philly, back in 2008/09. Band leader and KPB progenitor Mike Batchelor got up and did his old-timey, fingerpicking thing, sounding typically dynamic and forceful.
Mike sent me this video a couple days later and I was really impressed. The acoustic guitar sounds so full you find yourself looking and re-looking at the screen to be sure that it’s just one guitar. Mike asked if I’d like to come out to Lafayette Hill and do one. I’d be the first of his On The Hill series: a live recording of a song coupled with the video of it being done; but with a rustic feel to it, some film filters, authentic being the operative word of the project.
I took a $40 cab from Fairmount, put a Leadbelly LP up on the table behind me and did the tune. I think there might have been a false start. But then one take and done.

Oh, Angelina
This song, for me, was an experiment.  I wanted to see if I could write a song mechanically, with no prompting of the muse.  The feel I was going for (and by feel I don’t mean anything musical) was the feel of a Dylan tune, “I Feel A Change Comin’ On”.  I basically played the Dylan song until I was comfortable with it and found for my own way inside of it.  The chord progression is the same.  I ended up lifting the title from Bobby D too, although inadvertently.

The tune is in open D with a capo on the second fret.  I feel that with the open tuning the song has a thicker bottom to it.  Open D also offers different voicings for the chords of an oft-repeated (1625) progression.  It gives the chords and strokes of the leading notes some space, some air.  One of the reasons I keep performing this song is b/c of that space.
A big Deep Ellum bottom.

Everytime I play this one I’m not sure how to end it.  Do we find Too-Bad Jim at the train station at the end of the song, as in the beginning; or is it simply a murder ballad, the train station is in his near future, after the trouble with a gun and a wedding ring is over with at the ball?  That’s why the dramatic pause.  Also, I wasn’t sure if I could get it out.  I was digging for it.  In a pack-a-day chest and through a whiskeyed skull, I was digging for that old bluesman’s holler.  I was calling on one of Texas’ oldest troublemakers and progenitor of Americana music and rock&roll, Mr. Huddie Leadbetter.  I think this tune reaches, too.  It stretches out.  It’s calling on an old blues trope with an old blues tuning and sung in a deliver-me-from or take-me-to the devil blues type holler.

Sometimes I walk on this one, an Elmore James type feel, with leading and descending bass notes but there’s too much space in between the lines of the lyric when I do it this way.  And speeding it up doesn’t help.

Generally speaking, all I’m ever doing is trying to emulate the tautness of rhythm that’s inherent in all good blues.  I’m also trying to crack the archetypal code of the blues lyric.  I don’t have the finger picking chops so it’s a crooner.  But, rightfully so.  This song should be a crooner, sung at a wedding.  Probably not her wedding but you get it.

leadbelly saturates

Mike told me to bring something representative of me that we could put in the vid.  Honestly I hadn’t thought beyond getting this Leadbelly LP in the shot.  It was given to me the night before, during a whiskey sotted night of Shellac&Bright Eyes with some old friends.  The end of the night came to soon for the old man-me.  I paid dearly for that glass of bourbon but the music didn’t seem to suffer.  Everytime the vid rolled in production I looked away so I could hear the music better.  It wasn’t until days later that I noticed its eerie resemblance to the LP.  Then I was sure Mike was up to something good with this series.

Hope you like it.  I’m looking forward to more installments from Kettle Pot Track’s On The Hill Series.  Looking forward to sessions with Phoenix Veil and Psalmships.  For you purists (like me) Mike’s made a blog for the audio on Soundcloud.  You can peep some tracks whose videos are still being edited.  Some great live tracks up on there.

I present to you-Oh, Angelina.  Hope you like it.  Thanks!