Jim Trainer

Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page

In Parts

In Uncategorized on August 31, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Yes.  This week.

It was the publicist, calling to tell me to run the intro and now.  Her voice is soft and svelte, a birdsong compared to the panicked rasp at the other end of the line.

She’s a good girl.  She’s wont to break it down country simple and gently “talk me down” when I get like this.  I had been on the roof for 7 hours.  I had over 3,500 words written in tribute to guest-blogger Don Bajema but it was not a kind journey.  The kids at the Khabele School across the street were giving me queer looks and I  glared back at them, crunching down on a burning cigarillo with hater blockers on.  I was greasy with Deet and the shit was giving me a chemical high of the worst kind.  I had drunk more coffee than the APD working nightshift on Judge’s Hill.  The bugs and the heat and the caffeine and the smoke were making me jiggy.  Not only that but every time I climbed in through the window to get more coffee I took a piece of hardware with me.  The dead mouse hung by its cord out the window and earbuds were tangled, twisted and burning in the ashtray.   My spare hardrive lay in sorry pieces scattered all over the roof at my feet.

Just send me what you have.  I’ll take a look and we’ll run it tomorrow, mk?
OK?!  Ok.
Just focus on your respect for the man.  Don’t get too bogged down, and, parse it out.

I hung up and stared at the pile of hardwire and the mess of black wire twisting at my feet.  What had happened to my life?  Whatever could it be that has brought me to this loss?  All my efforts to write smoke-free had been usurped, laughed at and thrown down by the bad bitch of a deadline.

Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.

-Ernest Hemingway

Don’t get me wrong.  It’s a good life.  These days the worst kind of trouble is no trouble at all.
Some folks are better writers simply getting out of bed in the morning than I’ll be all day.  And some writer’s blow their brains out with a shotgun in a remote cabin in Idaho.  We’re all mad here but deadlines, like time, will wait for no man.  Being on deadline is kind of like having a nervous breakdown.
Any seasoned journalist, like me, has many tools (drugs) in his toolbox.  But as the heat index pushes temperatures above 102, and the caffeine wears off and the scales of life teeter dangerously toward the suicide option side, it’s best to call it a day.  Most wise.  Pour yourself a drink and watch the sun set on the Empire, burn down another night and blast that banshee with rock&roll and loud, motherfucker.
Aho.  I’m glad for writers like Bajema.  There is no finer an ally to enjoy sunset in America with.  And I’m just as glad for the gentle and kind folks who tolerate me, who at times offer me guidance&support as I cleave down the savage road I first stepped foot on nearly 27 years ago.
The publicist, the editor, readers like you-you’re all keeping me alive.

The girl was right about parsing it out.  It was Labor Day Weekend.  School was letting out across the street.  My ankles were raw and bloody.  I was covered in sweat.  Another day at the Office.

It is my great pleasure to present to you an intro for guest-blogger Don Bajema.
In parts.



STAY TUNED FOR PT I OF:  WHO WILL JUDGE THE RIGHTEOUS?…Guest-Blogger, Beautiful Writer&True Patriot Don Bajema Makin’ em Know on Going For the Throat With the First 3 Chapters of his Latest Work…NEXT WEEK


In Uncategorized on August 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Hewitt Lake Club
Minerva, NY

5 more days on the mountain looking like death and feeling worse. The high warm sun up here is bulbous and mocks me where I sit in the screenporch writing for most of the day. My nights are broken and punctuated with nightmare dreams and so it seems-all bad love is with me, all exile&regret. The stain of death marks me and mornings coughing and looking in the mirror to see the tell-tale signs of living like this too long. My nose moves down my face, broken crooked and ugly. There are some serious black rings beneath my eyes. I am becoming that death mask that haunts me in nighttimes. My beautiful company here does not relieve me. Intimacy acted out in lone declarative statements, strangers stabbing at the dark. In such peaceful bucolic settings, the war in our hearts cries out in bitter Victory and in sallow defeat.
I will never get over losing him.
When I tire of hero-worship and the conversation at dinner makes me want to jump up and flip the table over, when I must participate in shallow revelry and solemnly accept it as love, when I’m leaning on the railing of the cabin over the lake, silent and smoking,
things come to me only as my desire for them.
His freckled, Irish skin only present as my aching for it-his flesh his hair his body his cough his laugh his music. What I miss the most would be one honest word from him, but I’m left only with my need, as much as when he was living, but now my anger is gone and I at once understand the tragic and ironic reality of death-I had to lose him to lose what kept us apart. And now he is gone and he is no longer here, and I am left only with my need and my conviction buckles under the weight of forever. Death has shown me the true value and fleetingness of life. Our lives are blips on the screen of eternity and our anger is even smaller, so small as to not even exist.
We suffered fissures of dysfunction, living out this American script that cleaves sensitive hearts away from the love between fathers&sons. There is nothing left to forgive. There is no going on and no life to be shared. Here ends the bloodline, with me.
And here begins my blues.

So, take my love, take it down,
oh climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills,
well the landslide will bring you down
-Stevie Nicks

Guest Blogger Don Bajema

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm

A repost from the Campaign Trail last fall about Brother Don Bajema. I’ll have some exciting news to announce about him and Going for the Throat in the next week or so.

Going for the Throat

It was through no fault of  novelist, screenwriter, actor and spoken-word performer Don Bajema that it took me this long to find him. But now I’ve got him in the arsenal and there is no finer an ally to have in your corner as we enter these early-dark days of Autumn in America.

I came across Boy In The Air sometime around its release through 2.13.61 (Henry Rollins’ publishing company).  That would be around 1996 for me and the beginning of a hardheaded&balls out decade of my post-adolescence.  I don’t think I was ready for Bajema then.  I wanted nothing to do with rock&roll and I wanted to forget all about America and where I come from.  I might have superficially judged the former world-class athlete and football player but more than likely I was intoxicated with my own young&dumb ideas about immortality and romance and rebellion.
To reconnect with the creator of…

View original post 347 more words


In alcoholism, beat writer, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blues, Boredom, Broken Heart, Buddhism, buddhist, Charles Bukowski, day job, depression, employment, Love, magic, mental health, mid life, poem, Poetry, punk rock, solitude, suicide, the muse, TYPEWRITERS, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on August 16, 2013 at 10:09 am

I first read him in a bookstore when I was 19.
Reading him was like being given a key,
it was before I became acquainted
with the shrinking room
before such wrong&wicked love-
the kind that leaves powder marks
the kind that betrays
streets who’d curl up beneath me-
it was before that part of town
and before I developed such dire fondness
for brown mash,
before the strangling roots of comfort
before the burgeoning bitterness
and bouts with homelessness
it was the beginning of a couple
decades on the dayshift
falling in and out of love.
at that young age I felt so misunderstood
I ached for something,
to break me out&he showed me how
as I stood in the aisles
I knew this man was giving me something
he was showing me how to burn
before my hell had even began.

papas grave

Curator at Going For the Throat, columnist for Into The Void, progenitor of stand-up tragedy™. Jim Trainer publishes a collection of poetry every year through Yellow Lark Press. To sign up for Jim Trainer’s Poem Of The Week, visit jimtrainer.net.
Papa, along with 6 other poems and an essay written in tribute to Charles Bukowski, are available in the latest issue of The Schuylkill Valley Journal.

Another Day in the Life of a Writer

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm

 Posts?  We got ’em.  Out the yin-yang.  I’ve got a post written in thanks to the folks who made it out to the book release last December.  I’ve got one written in thanks to the folks who made it out in June.  I’ve got links, photos, letters and a hulking, 22, 000 word document called “Spungen”-chock full of newsworthy quotes and incredible things I felt I had to document.
The wasted summer shimmers on and I’m still out on the roof, jettisoning any and all progress me and the life coach have made toward writing smoke-free.

Tuesday I was like some rockabilly bowling ball, knocking down strikes of Lonestar beer with Wing, up on the roofdeck at Rattle Inn and listening to Robert Appel kill it.  Life is good but it’s not my own yet.  As much as I swore I’d never be like my old man, and as far down this artists road as I’ve gone, I still can’t shake the karma of his generation.  I go to the office.  I drink coffee and smoke.  I do work.  Then I blow it out drinking beer and shooting my mouth off with a good friend.
Ain’t living long like this.
-Waylon Jennings
Aho I have heard the call.  There’s nothing left for me to do but answer, head back down and live in wisdom for a while before I start up the next peak.  No one told Siddhartha to turn around.  They wouldn’t if they could; or, rather, he would only answer that presence is the continual turning within, that the path winds many ways and for the candle flickers, the flame is never gone.
I have sworn off the oft-penned self-help blog, thank Christ, so there’s nothing really to write or talk about.  There is only the next step.  I’ve already started this journey.  I’ve been called to higher and I’ll never live it down.  The price I pay for my coping mechanisms is too great. This much madness is too much sorrow and my days left here only become less, if not richer and harder to kill.
Throughout my drinking career I’ve tried to forget or somehow not see.  It didn’t work.  I saw everything.  I remember it all too well, and on soaked nights laying in bed it’s like a circus of catastrophe and a Calliope of things I’ve done wrong.  It’s a cheap fix that’s only afforded me temporary blindness to your pain, foolishly thinking I could fortify myself behind a wall of dread&apathy.  I don’t blame myself for wanting to turn it off ( or down ) every day of my adult life.  There’s a lot of pain in the world and there’s a lot of boredom that comes from watching you go through your shit and never get anywhere.
What has changed?  Nothing has changed.  This used to be bad news.  Not anymore.  If nothing has changed then I’ve still got a chance to make things right.  I’ve still got some fight left in me, even if it’s buried under the tar from a pack a day habit and usurped on silly teenage nights in bars with friends.  I’m not admonishing.  I’m not apologizing.  This isn’t a self-help blog, nor is it an apology, thank Christ.  Whether or not I need to be forgiven is a tall order and infinitely more or less difficult than something as stupid as quitting smoking.
Nothing has changed.  I have heard the call.  I’m answering it.  I’m also out here on the roof writing this, smoking and drinking coffee.  Just another day at the office.

All the colors lie
and I’m an only man
the lies hurt my mind so I think you understand,
color driven madness was all I used to see.
Living in the black and white
breathing in the black and white
being what there is to be.
-Henry Rollins, Black&White

"Up on the rooftop, they won't know if you jumped or you fell off!"-9353

“Up on the rooftop,
they won’t know if you jumped or you fell off!”

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#12: Glorious Print

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2013 at 11:16 am

Dear Jim,

We would like to include your poem, “The Philly in Me” in our Fall 2013 online issue. As we were debating work to accept in the magazine, we all found that we related to the experience of being outside of the area (in the Midwest or on the West Coast, in particular) and feeling decidedly “Philly” when others were nice for no reason.

Please respond as soon as possible letting me know that the poem has not appeared nor is forthcoming in print or online (in any non-password protected site, including personal blogs). Also send us your most recent bio.

Thank you so much for sending your work to Philadelphia Stories!

Courtney K. Bambrick, Poetry Editor
Philadelphia Stories

End of Thee Hated Roadtrip, Lost&Found in America

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2013 at 9:54 am

The road was not fun. The mountains were not fun. But we made it out and down.  When we pulled off the road on Wednesday, that placard of the state of Texas up on the highway, just this side of the Texarkana line, was like a vision. The wastelands of Arkansas gave way to rolling plains with cows sleeping under trees. Those crazy, lazy browns and the heat&the drawl of Texas was welcoming me with open arms.  A somnabulant southwestern “breeze” was blowing.  It pasted my balls to my leg and opened my eyes dry&wide.  It was good to be home.

The trip sucked, for all the usual reasons, but that wasn’t the worst of it. I was plunged into a bad dark up on the mountain, which could only be the grim&undeniable reacquainting of the self with the self.  My time up in the mountains was like the part of a Stephen King novel when his protagonist has really gone off the rails. I could see no end to the drunk rain and when the sun finally showed itself in Hewitt, the boss told us to load it up and head for the border, only to get popped for weed on the Canadian side at dusk.

Sunday I was stuck at the BP in Five Points, Nashville, waiting for a cab and Facebook messaging a girl back home. She’d been reading the blog. She’d been feeling my pain. That somehow someone out there was reading-registering my blues and following these mad chronicles of heartbreak in America, well, shit-it’s really touching, to tell you the truth. And it’s Art.  Aho and good goddamn.
I’ve been feeling like it’s time to retire this blog and I was especially feeling that way out on the road.  I would read over what I’d posted and hate life even more. Aho even the work wasn’t enough to carry me through and, greasy and despondent in some hotel room in Malvern, Kentucky, I would curse myself for not being able to write through the misery; opting instead to watch the most horrible television, jerkoff and go to bed. But this story ain’t over; rather, you’re still reading it. And, just as I was deriding myself for not having the discipline of Papa or because I never put in the hours that great writers like Jason Woolery do, the blog’s views spike up to the second biggest day in Going for the Throat’s history.

My point is that she was feeling me. And you kept reading. The blog’s got up and started walking; your steady trickling of views is what pleases me, no matter the road or consequence. You’re reading and my pain has been received and transmuted, framed and stuck on the wall for us to marvel or laugh at on better days. Better days are coming, brother.  You can count on that. Even as that deathead crowns the horizon and the Man takes a pound of flesh for a pound of gold, we’ve got each other, and isn’t that nice?

The high wind up north is really something. Up Vancouver or Niagara way, the north wind bids you to keep travelling on, keep going. I remember walking the streets of Vancouver in the fall of 2008. I had just bought the woman I was living with back home a black dragon Kimono robe, in Seattle the night before. The thing made me hard just looking at it, picturing her in it. When I called to tell her I had bought her something special, she told me that all my “shit” was packed up on the lawn. It would be there and ready for me to move out when I got back to Philly, she said.
(That never came to pass. She had moved all my shit back inside by the time I got off tour and was back in Hostile City. There it sat in the living room, still packed but no longer outdoors.  I loaded it up and headed down to Texas.)
Besides that rueful telephone call, what I remember best about that incredible fall day in Vancouver was this feeling that I could keep on walking forever, leave the guys in the RV behind me, keep going North and never come back.
I was feeling that way again a couple weeks ago up by the Canadian border. The north wind in Niagara was blowing through and I felt like it could carry me on and blow me away. We had just got pinched at the border for the old man’s weed. It was a disaster on top of the nightmare that the trip already was. I was thinking felony and no more trips to Tulum or anywhere outside the U.S. I was thinking a lot of things but mostly I was thinking what I would tell the Canadian border guards should they sequester me in a small room for questioning. I would absolve myself completely. I would tell the truth. They’d cut me loose on the streets of upstate NY and I would ramble. Leave the job, taking only what I could carry. Goodbye President XII. Goodbye workingman blues. How could it be any worse?

One learns survival by surviving.
-Charles Bukowski

Jimbo’s back.  I have lots to tell you and share.  Friday is letter day at the Office and I want to hear from you. Send me your address and I’ll send you the things I write when I can’t write-letters. When inspiration is lacking and the body is wrecked, I look to you and am renewed. I wrap up a day’s work with a walk through the garden, past the rainbow Kale and Neapolitans, through the pride of Barbados and to the tall blue mailbox on Rio Grande, and I send out my love to you.

Please keep reading.  You’re keeping me alive.
w/ Gratitude,

Memphis BP

Your Writer at the BP in Five Points, Nashville TN