Jim Trainer

Archive for June, 2014|Monthly archive page


In Being A Writer on June 23, 2014 at 2:42 pm


I been to Philly and back 2 times since my last writing. In the trade we call this a “lull” but there really isn’t an apt term to describe the inner-dialogue or kinghell anxiety that can couple with a writer’s lack of output and make him cagey and mean. Professionally I’ve got 2-3 in the chamber at all times, Brother. What have you got? But sometimes being prepared isn’t enough-and our journalist’s imperative will only haunt us, hang our heads lower in our laps when we shut down the machine without even a hundred words posted. It’s unacceptable but my dirty and corrupt ways have allowed me to buck even my own system-eschew my own code and fuck off for 13 straight days in my cups and derelict, not wondering the revolution or swinging the strong arm of the agitator, but laying quite flaccid and feeling powerless and bored.
And that’s just what the inner-critic thinks. But fuck him. Or, thank him. Whatever it is that I had to buck against, and whatever benefit that motherfucker has been to my own progress down the savage road of the New Journalism.
But the Zen of it don’t need him. And it don’t need me neither.
At this late stage of the game, with temporary crowns popping off and a bad smoker’s cough coupled with lower back pain-I have sagely observed that sometimes you got to turn it off and put it DOWN. Hit the roof with the Sisters, glower down on New Austin with one burning, and laugh laugh laugh it all away. Laughter is key, Brother. The great leveller. The measure of our sanity. Die laughing. It’s the byline of this blog for a reason. Die laughing and you win. Die crying and you just die. Either way you die but hopefully with more grace than what it took for me to digress. Better to die than digress which, not only have I done with this post, but in fact was never on the rails to begin with.

There is no excuse or good reason for breaking down and getting out the game for a coupla weeks. In my line of work that’s called retirement. But instead of coming down on myself, I will instead employ the skills and acumen of the inner-critic to examine the aforementioned “line of work”. You know-the career.

I have made my cultural living underground and I have had to support myself while doing so. So before I slap myself on my iconoclast back and before I rest on my laurels about not being ahead of the curve so much as being beneath it, I would do well to take heed: I covet the freedom I have to shrug it all off. The freedom to not pay attention to Pop-culture and world news. It’s easy to be apathetic in America. Just ignore the flagshirts, drink my bourbon and go home, draw the blinds and crank the AC til its blindingly cold, and forget&fuck the world for a little while. Get lost in dreamland and listen to the heart’s heavy song.
I’m fortunate. As are you, Brother. But I can’t pretend I’m better just cuz I don’t care.
Don’t get me wrong. I certainly don’t care. But I’m a part of it, too.
I might choose not to get lost in National Distractions but I shy away from War Talk&the big debate just as, if not more, astutely than any of the bros in tight flagshirts towing they hoochie mamas down West Sixth on a Sunday night in the city.

Thinking on it now I can’t begrudge them, either. They’ve found their release. Their respite. Their way of putting it all down. But this much madness is too much sorrow. The mass hysteria and hypnosis of the masses-I’ve got to take shelter from it, and find refuge on the outside, always on the outside, underground and nowhere.

the spirit wanes
the form appears.


My point? It’s high time to bring the hammer and sickle of a schedule down, here at the Office and up in the high rooms of the Good Life, in the center of Paradise and a dead Confederate Palace. It’s time to kiss it all goodbye. At least the part of the High Life that’s made it ok for me to be lazy. And, while we’re at it, let’s blast the Western notion of laziness and reassert that the Taoists were right. Let us also remind ourselves that we are attempting to get somewhere from here and right here is nowhere-so it’s a Zen proposition. A koan. A question without an answer. Ian MacKaye was right.
Just cuz I’m on the sidelines of the roiling bullshit-parade doesn’t mean I ain’t contributing to it.

can’t avoid the structure cause we’re all within its sights
-Operation Ivy

So, we are back in business. Cranking out the good stuff in the 2 or so hours between when I get the old man rolling in the morning and lunch time. I’m doin’ this one by the window in the kitchen. It’s brutal out there, with the chiggers and mourning doves and sheets of metal they slam and saw every couple minutes building that insipid tower on Nueces. But not only have I found a new perch, my resolve has been redoubled. Viva la July. June was a blizzard. Check it.
But now come the lazy, hot lolling days, and a perfect opportunity to get this thing cranking again. Get back on the road in the fall. And take thee once-hated longview and take better care of me. Get on track, get straight, wind down these over the hill years stepping through a wide window of opportunity.
Aho. This chance to get right, regular, if not normal.

I could say that I just wanna kick a hole in the sky. I wanna break it DOWN and get my little chisel in it, at it, that great Wall of the slave mind. And all that would be true. But the real truth is I need to get this career in gear. And not for the satisfaction of something as elusive&endless as the demands of an insufferable inner-critic. This ain’t about my self-esteem. This ain’t about proving to myself, once and for all, that I am an Artist. It is time now only to make Art. Redirect my focus on the work, and take the scathing eye off of the worker. Be less of a performer in my own mind-but therein lies the rub.
Because I am the character here and being a writer has been the leif motif and thrust of this whole rig.
Aho. So there you have it. Just as I thought I had it all figured out a new level is added to the thing.
I’m twice-bitter and thrice-fucked.
And as the clock ticks and the flags wave and my outlook on life dwindles to peasize til I’m looking at the sun through a keyhole or fervently trying to care about War&Futbol, we think it best to leave these mysteries of life&unanswerable questions to the Zen masters.

Enough Zen, already. It’s time to get back to work.



Return of the King

In Being A Writer, Writing on June 10, 2014 at 6:10 pm

This post is brought to you by Weezer’s first album, a bottle of Guilhem White and hash oil. Too much hash oil, in fact, but I had been drinking when I loaded up my ecig with the stuff. I couldn’t be sure if I was high so I kept smoking it and now-this. Christ. It’s the opposite of paranoia, but why should I be paranoid? All of my dreams have come true. I’m down here in Paradise listening to rock&roll and drinking wine. Everything is fine.

Everything is fine? Are you fucking kidding me?

There was a time, brothers&sisters, when everything was NOT fine, and we beat back the hammer of night with drugs and madness and we drove too fast and there was never too great a risk and we did not fear death. Although we probably should have, in that hostile city and at that time, at the end of the American Century. But ultimately it has only made our love strong and redoubled our faith in the God of Luck. He ain’t failed us yet. I mean, shit. How ya like me now? Living in the Last Confederate Governor of the U.S.’ old place, in the Live Music Capital of the World?
Let’s just say that my worries are few and my joys are many.
The last 4 days in Hostile City were incredible. I did an On The Hill Session with stellar musicians Mark Furman and Phil Dagostino the day after I flew in from Hippie Town. Then I blew the doors off Melodie’s Cafe the following night. Saturday I read with incredible writer Don Bajema and wonderful poet Charlie O’Hay. Sunday night I got stood up at the airport. My ride was lost in daydrinking and thought that as a “rockstar” I could just “get a cab”; but instead I was picked up by the lovely Courtney Bell. She drove me home for whiskeys at the Star Bar and I slept all day today. Only to wake up and swoop into this evening like a bat, turn it out and bring it back for you pretty babies, oh good&cherished Reader.

What can I say? All of my dreams have come true. And life is good.

Except that I am due to appear at Texas State on Friday, presenting myself to faculty and attempting to explain to them why I write, how I got my start and how they might better serve and inspire their students when it comes to their desire, or lack thereof, to write.
What could I possibly have to share with them?
That my writing was the only way out, and the only way in?
That I tried to break out the President XII and etch some poetry out of the savage dark and blue-black ink of a quiet Spring night working as a caregiver? And that it didn’t work and I am instead penning this missive to you, wine drunk and stoned to the gills?

I mean, if you’re still around (like I am) at this late stage of the game, pushing 40 and tempting death, and you can still sit here and crank out 800 words while jamming Monster Magnet-if you can still host your own party, long after you’ve given up on the lot of them-shit, that is winning. What else?

According to my calculations I’ve got at least 10 more years of good living attempting to execute pure writing. I should certainly be able to bring it all back home for you and the faculty of Texas State on Friday.

Am I right, Brother?
Let’s take our crown and win awhile. We earned this.