Jim Trainer

Archive for December, 2014|Monthly archive page

Eye Teeth from the Artiste

In Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Philadelphia, Poetry, published poet, publishing, publishing poetry, recovery, self-publishing, TYPEWRITERS, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on December 31, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Christmas Eve 1995 was the end for me.  Or the beginning.  Either way I was on my own.  I’d had it with school and my parents, well… their 20-year old college dropout of  a son was sleeping in the park with an abscessed tooth on Christmas Eve.  To say that this hardened me and made me bitter is an understatement.  The bitterness came in handy for the next 20 years.  The hardness only left me feeling locked outside myself, right up until my 37th year, when I started writing the transformative poetry collected in the aptly titled Farewell to Armor.  What have I learned these last 20 years as a landscaper, busboy, telemarketer, dishwasher, sexton, demolition man, junk man, sales ambassador, barista, carpenter, server, tourdriver, bartender, piano mover and caregiver?  Nothing much.  Except that I traded one shuck-and-jive for another.  Staying in school might have been easier, but there’s always a price and you always pay.  Wondering if I made the right choice is about as pointless as wondering who I might have been had my parents stood behind me.  Besides, working in the land of the free-coming home covered in pitch with 550 in your pocket and a beer in a bag-is allot better than almost anywhere else in the world.  I can’t complain.  But I will.

College was a huge letdown.  Being blue collar wasn’t any better.  But I can proudly say I survived.   I’ve worked some unbelievable jobs, man.  Horrible rigs, all cash and carry.  I flew my jolly roger for years but nothing much has changed.  I’m only a paycheck away from that hardon 20-year old homeless kid with a copy of The Fountainhead and a pack of Marlboros in his sleeping bag.   I still get knocked down a rung or two.  I lose another tooth and the reality of this life punches me in the balls.  But being a writer and trying to get it down all these years has hipped me to the real story.  And as long as I was writing it down the real story was still being written.

A 3-hour break on this shift affords me the solitude to write this, a golden three hours of silence.   Walls.  My own time to reason it out with me.  The real work still calls, I’m still inspired.  And once in a while, on a cold street corner, I’ll get struck with it-the pathos of people moving through this life, the story of their suffering, the streets coursing like capillaries through this pocked emotional body, weaving through loss and love and waiting to cross at 6th&Guadalupe and get home, back to the beautiful machine.  Behind the typewriter or out on the street, what have I lived but the inner life?  And a rich one, the life of Kings.

We both know I been on that cheap fuel too long.  It’s true that nothing will quite get you through like pure hatred but maybe I need some new heroes.  Even one.  What I’m trying to say is that I am still writing it down.  And while I’ve rivaled my parents, the hometown, school and the job-I just want you to know how much you mean to me.  You see me as someone who’s followed his dreams.   Maybe you’re right.  I’m still knocked out the game by something as simple as dental work.  I’m still out on the corner, singin’ for my supper down at 12street and Vine.  But you see me you read me you feel me and my struggle and you support me.

On the outside I’m about as down and out as ever.  Maybe she’s right.  I’m nowhere in this life.  The world is something I must seek refuge from.  I’ve found my refuge.  You’re still reading me.  And I am still writing it down.

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The Problem With Creative Non-Fiction

In Being A Writer, blogging, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on December 25, 2014 at 8:16 pm

The blog is a bust because you’re afraid she’ll read it? You’re Jim Motherfucking Trainer! You’re a bad ass. You wouldn’t edit yourself for anyone!
You’re an artist-you take inspiration as it comes, its part of the process. Without sharing, you pretty much have a diary.
You’re promoting your work, it’s part of the business. This is your career. You gave her your heart, don’t give her your career.
Write. Publish. Blow the fuck up, and she can stay home and smoke pot and pretend she’s Anaïs Nin while you’re out there doing it.

-My good friend Red

Aho good reader. Been a minute. Only took me 13 false starts and a shit ton of self-flagellation but, here it is-a long overdue missive from the iconoclast. “False starts” is a bad way to put it and “13” is weak on the outside. I’ve penned allot more than 13 posts since the last time we met on here, but they’ve only sat in the draft folder. I’d love to try and bring it back for you-it’s good writing-but it’s out of context and, in some cases, months old. A diary indeed.

The Problem With Creative Non-Fiction is the very thing I have found it most useful for-its transparency, its immediacy and its honesty. These things assured that I would never run out of material and never have writer’s block again. As long’s I got up in the morning there would be something to write about. And it’s done wonders ridding me of the enemy, be it my own agony&blues or the myriad of unreasonable tyrannies thrust upon sensitive souls like we. Aho. Bosses have met their end here, and phony rock&rollers, goodtimers, pols, police, any and all comers but especially the Big Business of News Reporting and my ex-girlfriends. And therein lies the rub, good reader. ‘Cause sometimes I don’t want to be seen, and going to war with your enemies only esteems them.
Perhaps the Buddhists are right, the best living is done with compassion and the ultimate expression of the human heart is a flowering. Not a stonewall or with venom, but in love. That’s a fine vision and a noble path. One I hope to really be making tracks down someday. But in the meantime I couldn’t find anything equally true and suited for the public. And I was sunk in hatred. Pocked with it, tell you the truth. I had the blinds down for 90+ days of a hateful season. My cocoon swelled like a cyst with venom but I had no release. I wore out my friends and it rained all the time. The fiction didn’t stop, mind you. Neither the movable feast and parade of beautiful women passing through my life and my days here. Point is I was swoll with rejection. I had it streaking down the boulevard like a scavenger and striated on my abdomen, lying destitute on my big red bed. But I couldn’t report on it. I was fucked.

“You know, you get up there on stage and talk about how all these crazy bitches did you wrong, but you’re the one who’s crazy. You know that, right?”
-Madi Distefano, Co-Curator, PoTTy Mouth

Aho, betty. Ain’t lost on me. A couple things, though, sweetheart, and here they are:
I’m a Pisces, I’m squirrely. And I was born in the Year of the Wood Cat. We rabbits avoid confrontation at any cost. We’re always nosediving it back into our holes, and quickly. We’re he luckiest sign of the Chinese Zodiac, although, again, the rabbit’s luck is less his divine providence than his diligent and meticulous work ethic.
I’d rather be a rabbit than a snake-but I’ve shared more than a glorious summer with a fine woman born under that sign. She was svelte, naturally, and she had the ability to molt off the world and its petty concerns. She was a Gemini as well so she had that mutable magic working for her. Weekends with her are etched on my heart. I won’t be soon forgetting her as she is tied with Papa for number of poems written in tribute. Ah but I was so much older then. But I’m not 25 anymore. Christ I’m not even 35 anymore. And the summer is over.
The other thing is I never explain my work. I might talk about it, in the right context, such as with my Editor or good friend The Reverend. But I will never, ever, EVER explain my work. Why? Well, first and foremost, it’s writing, and it’s meant to be read. Now, if you hear me reading it on stage or on the air or whatever, then it’s the same thing except you have the benefit of nuance, and subtlety can be ascertained.  Basically there is no difference except you are entreated to an even better reading of my work if you see it performed live or on film. The key word here is reading. As mentioned, it is writing. And as such it is meant to be read. Not discussed with you or anyone else. I can’t think of anything more simultaneously gratifying and utterly insulting than someone asking me, about my work,
Did that really happen?
Of course it did. You read it, didn’t you? The other reason I will never explain my work is because. Motherfucking because. Keep in mind that this goes both ways. I’ll never explain my work but nor will I ever use my writing as a dishrag and be petty and with “computer balls”. I assure you, if we have a problem we will discuss it in person. Unless you’re not really worth my time-which is the real reason I haven’t been posting to Going For The Throat these last few months. It just wasn’t worth it.

Stay tuned to Going For The Throat for further installments of “The Problem With Creative Non-Fiction”, including Trainer’s contributions to RawPaw and its PLOG, his lecture at Texas State last June and missives from the Terrible Summer while out on the road in Hot Springs, AK, New Orleans, LA and Hostile City, USA this winter.

Xmas in Texas

In Uncategorized on December 23, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Recorded live at Bedpost Confessions’ Quickies, December 2013
Film Courtesy of Justin Southern

Going for the Throat


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Shrieks from Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#19: Dear Reverend

In Being A Writer, Correspondence on December 19, 2014 at 6:39 pm

The Bard of Bettie Naylor
Royal Blue Grocery
Hippie Town, USA

Reverend J.S.Woolery
Between Trouble&The Blues
San Marcos, TX

9/7/14 2:40 PM

if the blues don’t kill me, boys I’ll never die
-Steve James


We will live to see stranger things than our own mortality. The worst horrors and petty piss-ons of life are just a drop in the cup compared to our blues. But our blues has made us strong, if not resourceful.

They play the worst music here at Royal Blue but it’s my office away from home so whaddiyagonnado?
Kids today don’t understand that this music sucked when it was popular, when we were young men and believed in things like love and strength. Adam Ant and the Cure, Destiny’s Child-this was the shit blasting out the winners’ sports cars as we brazenly and bitterly stuck our head into the wind on the dirty streets of our hometown.

But enough of that ballyoo, I want to know what happened. I was riding high this Spring and heading into summer I thought I had said goodbye to the blues forever. I was falling in love, had poems accepted to several zines and even lectured at Texas State. Ha. I thought I had it whipped, Bud. What I presented to the CTWP that day was true; I believed it. I won’t say that I don’t write. My worst day is heaps better than my best day before, but I’m choked with grief and loss and I mostly just sideline it on the roof with cheap white wine until the sun sets and I can drink the Boss’ Vod.

I’m no fool. I never could have dreamed of the life I’m living now. I’ve become everything I wanted to. There is still so much to do but the view is grand. And still I find-those same old problems-a kinghell dissatisfaction with everything and everyone, a pack a day habit and a monkey on my back.

I guess this shit’s supposed to make you strong. And it will. But I carry it with me, J. All the loneliness of the world. And I’ll never live down that I have become exactly like my old man. Bitter and closed but never able to stave off a hypersensitivity that the Buddhists strive for but the Western man just smokes away and bides his time the best he can.

The Western Man is fucked. Don’t get me wrong I am a feminist. I was raised by women. But the frontier is closed. There’s nothing left worth killing except ourselves and the jury’s even out on that one.
The point of this letter Reverend is to say that it hasn’t gotten any worse but slightly better, until we’re attacked by it, this silent stranger within, who wants to choke all the joy out of the life we’ve built and fought and strived for. This motherfucker wants to burn it all down and worse, he’d love to sit down at the feast with you and make sure you don’t enjoy a second of it.

That’s not the point either, Reverend. We isolationists should do well to welcome the Harvest, celebrate the razing of fools and give cheer even of the ruse that once had us spellbound-mistaking a silly girl’s game for love. But let’s face it the real mistake is in thinking that there is anything that will save us. We don’t need saving. We’re doing better than our Fathers and if they could they would tell us that we did good. They’re proud. My point is that all mindfuckery and subterfuge, all draining dross and styrofoam love has only brought us closer. I believe it and I’ve got to. My days are filled with nothing. An abyss that I will fill up with letters to friends, poetry and Creative (or otherwise) Non-Fiction.

I won’t be coming around on the idea of togetherness. Because it doesn’t last and it never felt right even when it did. I believe in the road and I believe in the work. They were only in the way of the work and every heartbreak paves the way. Every disappointment, every ridiculous lie we hung onto is one less thing in the way. Did it hurt? Better believe. And does every day. But for every thing I’ve lost I’ve found myself. I’m with Rollins on this one. Folk music pisses me off and I’m counting down the days until I can go dark on the social networks. Get down on Vonnegut time. Surpass these zeniths of hatred and coast on a plain of dispassion.

The terrible summer has ceded. Time will do away with them and leave me with my pain. If I can’t get any work done at home then I’ll setup shop out here at the cafe and crank out another angry missive to my Friend, the Reverend.

Royal Blue Grocery
Austin, TX

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Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#18: “Ain’t it good to be workin.”

In Being A Writer on December 16, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Jim Trainer
709 Rio Grande Street
Austin, TX 78701

Raw Paw, The PLOG



I am excited to pitch for your consideration as contributor and columnist for the PLOG. I am a 39 year old blogger, journalist, published poet, singer-songwriter and ex-Pat punkrocker.

When I started blogging, I simply wanted to exercise my columnist’s voice. I put myself on deadline. I forced myself to come up with 1,200 words, neat and fine, every day. With the advent of social media, it seemed that immediacy could supersede objectivity. I was thrilled. We could in fact become the media. I could write from where I was at, like all my journalistic and literary heroes had done.
Creative non-fiction was always where it was at for me, but I had no idea of the fount of inspiration I would uncover in the blogosphere. Here was a medium which I needn’t offer an introduction to the reader. I needed no back story and the main character was me. This was a boon to my writing. The fourth wall had come down for me as well. I would never have writer’s block again.

Current themes at Going For The Throat have been (but are not limited to): being a writer, the creative process, day labor, the struggles of sensitivity, rock and roll, current events/politics and literary criticism along with poetry and prose.

Topics pertaining to breaking through, pushing past your limits and getting to a place of habitual expression could be of great value to writers, would be writers, creatives and anyone seeking creative expression. Obviously this type of content would not be time-sensitive. I believe it would largely be adult content. While I never censor myself on my own blog, I am quite open to editing and creative input. As such, I’ve cleaned up the language in some of the samples offered below and offered them as published and in their entirety in the links as well.

I’ve had success supporting my posts with photos from Instagram. Facebook has been the main source of traffic to my site. I am always looking for ways to build and enhance my aesthetic, however. My grand vision is to be full-on, a one stop shop containing all forms of media. In the meantime I couldn’t be happier that I can continue to write on an electric typewriter and just snap a photo to present to the digital world.

Thank you for the opportunity to pitch this; and to the wonderful David Jewell for putting Raw Paw on my radar. I look forward to hearing from you and reading future issues of Raw Paw.

Jim Trainer
Austin, TX

attached&pasted below:

excerpts and links from

-13 DAYS
-On Poetry
-Interview with 1349
-Kingdom Found

-Don Bajema’s Hero
untitled (a poem)

mon vieil ami

In Being A Writer, Jim Trainer, Poetry, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on December 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm

I broke down and bought a pack.  Smoked one on the roof in the cold.  I thought of her and her California.  Missed her like I often do.  It was the end of a blue day.  At the end of a blue year.  Nothing out of the ordinary for me.

I’d found a way to own my blues.  They publish it, this publishing house.  Back in my hometown.  I could write about bullfighters tonight, or do my “fiction” about heartbreak.  But there’s no magic left in it and nothing miraculous about the arena anymore.

There was a time.  When as matador I could take it on.  Sit behind the President XII and the bottle and work it out.  But you get up.  And you get over.  Maybe look back longingly over the black canyons of Major Depressive Disorder.

I spent allot of time down there.  With some true companions.  They did what they could for me and I’ll never forget it.  There was the other kind, too.  Who kept a boot to it, their faces strangely masked.  The vain and the cruel, their love was a false love.  This ain’t about them. Their summer and their fun.

We’re heading into winter and the colder climes will strip the rest away.  Leaves and petals shorn, cleaved and cut down from their pale once-coveted sun.  The air out here is clean.  And the sky is clear.

I come in off the roof.  There’s a white page in the type.  I sit down, write

 Goodbye my old friend.  Au revoir.  I’ve no more use for you.  There isn’t anything to fight against anymore.  And everything to fight for.  

Tomorrow her black Mercedes will cut like a bullet through that tabernacle of trees.  Ginkgoes and high oaks, a bony penumbra of branches in the crystalline sky above us as we drive.  We’ll snake around the museum and she’ll drop me at the station.  I’ll kiss goodbye her sanguineous lips, her green eyes.  To my lips I’ll hold her gloved hand.  Then I’ll sink into the tunnel and be gone.

Twenty years on the outside entering Crescent City.  Summer peeling offa me; their summer, their fun.  Winter in New Orleans.  Christmas in the Quarter.  City mes amis it’s been too long.  There isn’t anything to fight against anymore.  And everything to fight for.

au revoir