Jim Trainer

Archive for September, 2015|Monthly archive page

Shrieks from Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#24

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, poem, Poetry, poetry submission, submitting poetry, Writing on September 29, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Hey Jim Trainer,

Congratulations! “Untitled (2)” has been accepted for publication at The Bookends Review. Please e-mail us with a brief biography, and if you’d like, a commentary on your work. We are under the assumption that you are not publishing these pieces elsewhere. If you ever do, please say that they were published with us first. If you agree to acceptance, you are granting us permission to post your work on our website, as well as include it in potential print editions (such as yearly anthologies).

Thanks again.

Sincerely,
The Bookends Review

Beacons

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Jim Trainer, Poetry, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on September 23, 2015 at 9:02 pm

I’m loving reading yr poems, man. Seriously. I’m excited to be a part of this project, and honored again. Autumn is coming right on time.

Roughly forty poems sent out to Josh Britton at Snakes Will Eat You. He’s giving them a read over to get a feel for the design of the new collection, and to give me a much needed shot in the arm. I trust him. The SWAMP EP wouldn’t have seen the public light of day were it not for him. When I sent him the final mix, I told him those songs would only be used for promotion and booking. He talked me out of that right quick. Because he’s a badass and possesses the rare talent to get through to me, speak a truth of praise that can be heard above the calamitous din of deathly doubt and self sabotage. My trust in him and our collaboration is priceless.
Truth is, it doesn’t take much for me to go from hero to zero and base my entire existence on a line break in a free verse poem. I can get crushed. Despondent. Perhaps it’s my critical nature that gives the work an edge. Perhaps the same vulnerability that opens me up to what feels like crushing failure is the same naivete and openness with which I approach the blank page. Creator Destroyer. Artist.

Either way, I’m on my own. Out in the wilderness without a clue as to why I should be rewarded for my efforts let alone a rhyme scheme. I’m forging my own language with poetry. My vision is based on the one-in-a-million shot at ubiquity (fame) of Hank Bukowski. My business model relies on the audacity of punk rockers like Hank Rollins. I’m forging my own language with poetry, which makes editing it slippery and harebrained. Poetry itself is largely unrecognized and incorrectly assumed to be cryptic, only for intellectuals. The whole thing is an exercise in complete and utter solitude coupled with a dumb hope in alchemy-forging the lead of loneliness into the gold of solitude or even a few shekels for reading it into a microphone under the hot lights somewhere out there in America …
I’m inches from calling it a day, working 60 hours a week caring for a quadriplegic, without a car or a prayer and a slate white IBM Selectric II on a broad oak table. Savage. And then there he is, my compatriot. Out there reading my stuff and giving me a glimpse of something other than my total failure as an artist and other old stories I’ve been telling myself since adolescence.  And there are all of you, why hello there good reader…how lucky, how fortunate we are to have each other like this.

Thank Christ for you. Breaking up the lonely long hours on the sinking throne, betting on the muse…it can get pretty desperate out here. Lonely. Alien. Outcast. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Shrieks from Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#23 : Dear Charlie O’Hay

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Charlie O'Hay, Correspondence, Jim Trainer, Letter Writing, Poetry, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on September 18, 2015 at 2:06 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
709 Rio Grande
Austin, TX

11/15/13, 12:36 PM

Dear Charlie O’Hay-

I’m out front Dirty Bill’s and it sure feels good&warm in that Texzas sun.  The girl who usually works happy hour is off, my boss lets me eat here as long’s I pick him up a Blackened Fish salad and “hurry back”.  I hope you don’t mind me writing.  I barely know you, if at all, but I write letters to folks when I can’t write, or, to justify a few beers while on shift and living tot die.

I was about to write:  “We poets…”, but, fuck that.  I wouldn’t read anything that said that.  While it’s true that I don’t know you, we must test each other’s mettle, Charlie.  We must bleed the Poet’s Heart and see if we can be as vulnerable&strong as people like Lamaont Steptoe or Adrienne Rich.

I think we can agree that the finest poem we’ll ever write will be the first beer of the day, and the sun on your back is a reason to live…so, I don’t think I’m too out of my deepth in writing you.

We will live to see stranger things than our own mortality, Brother.  And, ironically or no, survival is prize.  And children.  And dog love.  I’ll have to cut this short be cause here she comes-the other kind.

Love is pain, but as we close the distance between us&the Sun, all is burning.  (She’s a blonde and you know how that goes.)

Yours,
TRAINER

Got the time?

In alcoholism, anger, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Poetry, publishing, self-publishing, sober, sobriety, Writing on September 15, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Writing about writing can cast me as acrobat, deadbeat romantic, matador, hack journalist, and dayworker. And if you follow, writing about writing is like holding a mirror up to a mirror. There are infinite mes spreading out into the horizon, with just as many typewriters and mugs of steaming black espresso.
-from I MATADOR, I ACROBAT

I told someone I don’t know to go fuck himself on Facebook last week.  And I was accused of watching too much mainstream news.  Commentary is the new activism. Shit’s wonky everywhere and I volley between torrential fury, moderate agitation and the near catatonia of an emotional hangover. None of this is useful when the clock is ticking and somehow I have confused accomplishing what I set out to with the validation of my entire existence. It might sound ridiculous, it certainly feels that way, but forty years hang in the balance and the days hemorrhage past while I’m fucking away what scant time I have in worry and utter disgust at the world.
I just cannot deal, People. And I just cannot deal with people. There is too much to do, time is punching me in the balls. What the fuck was I thinking? Facebook?! The kicker is that I’m by myself most of the time. All alone on social media. How much longer can I devote myself to Art while deflecting the inane distraction and outright pathological detraction of simple minds?

I need to get a grip. I’m called to pray in the only way I know, with Yoga and meditation. Hatred won’t keep me safe. Nothing will. Sometimes I can carry the world, slice through like a Samurai. But these windows are pitifully small. And let’s face it, most of the time I’m mired in personal struggle. I against I. As wont to get in a fight on Facebook as I am to work out an outline with the printer, get 2 letters off every Friday and figure out the basics of InDesign.

The first thing I do when I’ve been shaken from my tree is harbor resentment, cover myself in a quilt of disappointment, grovel over the fact that there’s no net, never was and I’m on my own. Coupled with the fact that I often confuse not being an Artist with the grim assumption that I have failed at life, I missed my chance and I should’ve never left my hometown.

Now that I wrote it out I can see how ridiculous it all sounds. Not to put a silver lining on a pile of shit but my Art still talks to me. Poetry is still telling me things. And this season, without a girl Friday to edit and drink and get lost and end up in bed with, I confront my inner critic. That motherfucker. Laden with Karma and speaking a twisted language of doubt and fear. I’m close to not having a crutch at all, which is all I ever wanted-to get up and face me and really take a swing. And without-booze and sex and hate and anger, I’ve only got me. It’s daunting, but no more than it ever was, and real. That ought to put some voltage into the mess of my mind, shake up my bad bag of disappointment and help me pick up this sad stack of bones, make my way through the junkyard and never look back.

See you on the other side motherfucker.

Blog From A Room

In Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, Writing on September 8, 2015 at 10:13 pm

The following post was written last Friday.

I like writing. There is nothing more gratifying than framing a fucker of a day and nailing it to the fucking wall. We mix up the medicine here. Make tapestries of trouble and familiars of the blues. We raise it up and, like those old bluesmen of yore, we shake ’em on down. I can’t do anything for the fuck-yous and jackarounds of life. But a slick 6, a fast 8 or a mean 12? Hell yeah. Word count motherfucker. I like tropes. I like metaphors. I like the way I can phantom her, in a loose gown of skin, and bring her back from the dead to curse her name and bury her all over again. What a life, eh Brother? Sister? What an absolute treasure, a fine fortune to be able to both shut out the madding world and kick your enemies in the balls. If you want to change your life, start writing. If you want to save yourself, start writing. The alphabet may have taken the goddess, but through image and motif and with pure visceral screeds we may give her rise, 8 arms and all, and with a necklace made of human skulls. Ok, a bit dark but fuck it. The world likes to put on a happy face. And advertising is big business. A business that has cashed in on our irrefutable desire to want: more, justice, equality, quicker internet, a gluten-free meal, supremacy, world hegemony, a piece of ass or a paycheck. And as long’s we identify with desire, we will continue to suffer needlessly and be further unavailable to those brothers and sisters of the human race who have some real motherfucking problems, Jack. Like war and clean water and a government that comes for your children in the night and puts them in a cell where their fingernails are ripped off.

Christ. I’ve really gone off the rails eh? Sorry. So much coffee today. And nowhere closer to a release for all my angst. That’s right I’m still putting the band back together. Looking for a rehearsal space for Roq to set up his drums so we can get groovin again. Also immersed in 3 separate texts about self-publishing and am quite in over my head. But that’s ok. That’s how I like it. Too much to do is better than not enough. God knows I’ve spent many a dusk burning down triple-nickels in the record breaking heat waiting for the sun to go down and my bad blues to let me go. I’m on deadline and under a kinghell workload trying to get this rig unwound and become the self-published poet, spoken word artist, speaker on the lecture circuit, journalist/blogger, rock&roller I’ve always wanted to be. And of course I am already all of these things but after talking with O’Sullivan on the horn yesterday and having breakfast with the brilliant Ebony Stewart this morning I’m feeling like Henry Rollins or Bruce Springsteen hell even ol’ Leonard Cohen, singing
first we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin…

Thanks for joining me for this latest edition of “framing the agony”. Getting it down, neat&fine. Transmitting it out across the hungry land and lighting down in your heart good reader. Your readership is my everything. See you on the road motherfucker.
Trainer
Austin, TX
9/4/15

Three Poems by Jim Trainer

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2015 at 5:37 pm

“a yellow lark lit down today
a curious, out-of-nowhere
friend
he leaped up to the high bough
and I resigned
I began to let go.”

Source: Three Poems by Jim Trainer

Heart Work

In Correspondence, Letter Writing, Writing on September 4, 2015 at 2:51 pm

#letterday #goingforthepost #goingforthethroat

People keep saving me. I’m inches from the shark shallows, Mr.Motherfucker is at the door and the backyard’s full of jilting lovers and phantom brides. And then I’ll get a message, like the one above, from Brother Chris. I wrote Chris one afternoon on a mountain in upstate NY. I took to writing letters after the good Doctor Thompson, who had upwards of 25,000 letters in his archive when he died. And I know that any excuse or reason to write is good, but even then, when the world is at my neck and time has branded me with its claws, I know I can sit down at the Great White machine and work it out. Send it out. To you good reader. Because you are infinitely more inspiring than my old ass mama’s boy blues. And then you write back and I’m astounded and thrilled that writing, communicating, has become my life. How fortunate. How miraculous, that the short story I wrote at the age of 10 about a pudgy, pigeon-toed Italian kid who could go beyond the walls into another world has come true. Then, when I can’t even write about not being able to write, I’ll send out word. Send you a letter. Walt Whitman was right y’all. And I contain you.

Down at the Office, Fridays can be a bit of a jackoff. Send me your address and I’ll write you a letter. If you’ve sent me your address already, rest assured, you’re on the list (but feel free to remind me), you might even be next and my love will be with you.
Always.

Go for the post.
Jim Trainer
Austin, TX

This wonderful mourning, this grave celebration.

In anger, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Poetry, publishing, self-publishing, sobriety, therapy on September 2, 2015 at 11:21 am

Follow your heart in all things.
Honey Polis-Bodine

It’s been a banner week. The crews are up the street drilling and wrenching their towers of greed into the sky. We had a slight rainfall and now is this pause between hot&blasing hot. Of the tempest I’ve sunk through and at the rat’s edge of despondency now comes this-what, could it be summer breaking? The terrible summer over? You don’t say. I’m out here on the roof burning down my wish and geeked on cold brew and nicotine. A variety of easy days has come and bounds through that torpor of desperation like a white-eyed vireo. Ah but don’t too wise says the old soldier mind. The grackle are still pensive and the jungle of survival is not absolved. Even if these purple-black beauties have found shade among fallen stalks and petals the color of rust.

I’m completing work on September, due out on December 1 through Yellow Lark Press and the manuscript and screeds therein are art in service to the high order of understanding.

In therapy I discovered that instead of angry I’m just disappointed and that’s an easy pill Brother if not pleasant. I’m disappointed that I never had any support at all as a young man, even though I struck out and did it anyway. The job’s a grind but it’s my grind and working full time affords me the choice between submitting poetry and fucking off.

My dream was to write and print my own work. And as it comes home to roost, I save the accolades and celebration for you my People. Let the rest be cast aside. I’m torn between a decades old heartbreak and an increasing frequency of buoyant days, nose down in the work, not wondering the detriment of flatlining people who didn’t have to share my vision but certainly didn’t have to try and quash it either.

One always had to pay for one with the loss of the other…
-Herman Hesse

Sorry to be cryptic but that razor-thin line is where I am riding now. Relinquishing again the junk of the past. Moving forward and beginning to grieve now, really grieve, for what I never and never will have. What I have is you and I am ever in service to it-connection, transmission, media and music and all the rest. The road is still ours and I am called to pray. For the living to march on and the dead to stay buried.

What else is new?

…set your heart’s beacon ablaze…
-from a forgotten poem