Jim Trainer

Archive for November, 2015|Monthly archive page

Autumn in America

In journalism, media, new journalism, news media, Uncategorized on November 24, 2015 at 7:05 pm

I can’t die today. I’ve got shit to do. I have little kids. Fuck these people.
-Mercutio Southall Jr.

Dark days buddy, even for a nihilist. The Great Nothing brings me no comfort when it seems like the whole world is on its precipice. They’re calling out for war here, Rose. I hope you’re safe in Dublin. Healers talk about healing. And hawks talk about war. France has completed Phase 1 of making the world safe for hegemony. Who knows what’s cooking in clandestine rooms back here in the States but Obama’s probably counting down the days until January ’17. You would think that all anyone would want would be peace. But don’t count on anyone to refrain from popping off about things they have no idea about. I haven’t met a single “Syrian refuser” since Paris, but I live in the Pearl of the South, left of the dial, where the living’s easy. I want what I always want. Refuge. Jacked up mornings on black roast and triple nickels beneath dying trees in a puter sky. It’s Autumn in America, and I’ve nothing in my hands. Nothing much on my mind. Fighting my inner battles, like I do. While the world is awash in idea, taken to sloganeering and waving flags, beating you where you stand and even gunning you down.
What scant refuge I find can be soiled by inquiring minds. I do Creative Nonfiction, Brother. Like journalists do theirs, and writers and poets. I stick to the axiom of “most accurate, least factual”. I present my life to you the way it should be, or in the only way I can swallow. Heartache and regret and just about any malady of the mind can be banged out here, made smooth. Refined. It seems like once or twice a year some good readers, fine folks really, will want to know:
“Is it real? Did it really happen?”
I could take it one of two ways. But I never answered the question. Until now. I’ll go on record here to say that yes, it’s real. But not for long. My travelogues to Houston and Sequin and NOLA. My letters from the edge. My rope-a-dope with the blues. All very real. It’s hard to shut it down when I’m asked though. I can’t help but simultaneously feel like I haven’t really done my job as a member and constituent of the New Journalism, and that I nailed it, told you a story that had you, riveted or otherwise, you went there and I took you. When it comes to the former, I think it’s time I hang it up. Shelve the yellow sheets, stop ringing it in on deadline, quit this journalistic racket and tell you nothing but lies. I think it approbo, don’t you? As the flag suckers encroach and the political machine grinds you down, lies have become the new truth. The biggest lie being that we’re separate somehow, or want different things. Racists? Warmongers? Patriots? Republicans? Who are these people? They ain’t in my life, Brother. But you are. So, I’ll be bringing it to you crooked from here on out. As Autumn in America deepens and we entrench ourselves in idea, get swept away by desire and huddle together in our faux bond of fear and hate, I’ll be bringing you nothing but lies.
There’s really only one thing to hate and that’s the media. Aho, just when I thought I was out they pull me back in. I can’t really get behind hating the media though. Hating them would necessitate their existence. Ok, false alarm, I’m back. But I’m keeping this blog for the next time someone asks me if it really happened. I hope they can find some time to devote to what really happens out on the street. The rest of y’all can just go on fighting with each other, but next November, if we fall prey to another rock&roll swindle, you better bring all the heat, Brother. Because if you don’t it’ll be open season on you warriors of the armchair down here at Going For The Throat. Yup I’ll remind you of your righteousness, your anger, your sanctimony. It’ll be fun. Maybe. Judging by the last time this happened you’ll just sit there, like they taught us, and take it. Be cool with the war cries of a falsely elected President as long’s he/she keeps talking about that tax break. I know you, America. Too well. It’s too late in the evening to get catty, gentlemen. I picked the wrong week to quit journalism.
ab irato,

The Painter

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Rode out to Seguin to see her. Stood in the doorway like she’d always been there. Fine&strong legs. Still working it with colored scarves. She wears it well. She always did.
“You know, I still think back to when we were 15 and you waited for me at my locker with a rose in your hand.”
Nothing’s changed. I’m still an old sap romantic. Just mangled some. My lover’s history one hot&crazy summer night in the ghetto. When Red threw a brick through the window ’cause she wanted her copy of Great Shark Hunt back. And Maryte took a swing at me at the bar but I blocked it and she fell and I yelled to call the cops. Ruth wouldn’t let me cross the roominghouse steps without spitting on the ground for months after we broke up. And Laura would haul all my stuff out on the lawn, but bring it back in right before I got back from tour. The worst ones did their worst and there’s no accounting for how bad I treated them.
It’s a snug fit in her loft, she wraps those fine&strong legs around me. She really jams against me, grinding and rubbing her clit until she comes. She’s voracious. A Giselle. We lay there talking after and that’s always the best. There’s a small room across the yard. It’s lit red and the window’s open. We blow smoke out the window and talk and talk and talk. And laugh.
How sad it was, when she drove away from me at the Embarcadero. And I blew her a kiss and lit up a smoke. It was sad but I was so young. Invincible. We split, and all of life’s peccadilloes and tragedies and triumphs rushed at us, changed us. Refined us. That’s a love you know. You know it and you know you’ll never be back here again. She married and watched him die from his bedside. Had a kid. I’d been to every state in the lower 48 (barring South Dakota), trying to not be like my old man. Like him I kicked booze. 9 months sober.
I can’t believe it. I’m crying, holding her. We’re looking across the yard at the red room with its curtains blowing out. A humid fall night. Loving her like always. Slated to leave in the morning but could fuck it through Sunday.
“I’ve missed you.”
We fall asleep with me stroking her fine Giselle legs. All night I can feel her just outside the edge of my dreams.


Jim Trainer’s second full-length collection of poetry is out now through Yellow Lark Press.  Please visit jimtrainer.net to receive 1 of 83, poster-pressed, perfectly bound and signed copies of September.

We’re All Mad Here

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on November 12, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Middletown 2007 2

Poetry is striking black against the white sheets.  It’s kicking against the pricks. Declaring war and reigning supreme or singing high, lonesome songs into the wind.

Source: We’re All Mad Here

“This much madness is too much sorrow.”

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Poetry, recovery, self-publishing, sobriety, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on November 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm

…one day I will finally and fully unreel the inner-diatribe of self sabotage. I will have fully documented the script that grinds out any high hopes or goodwill about living like a cigarette butt. And it will be here, online, out in the open for all to see. And we will laugh.
Emotional Physics

come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

Lucille Clifton

Aho good reader. I have gone independent. Thanks to Rubina Martini and the Independent Publishing Resource Center, I have 83 poster pressed and perfectly bound, black on yellow copies of September, my latest collection of poetry. Sometime after Farewell to Armor was released, I came to the sad realization that a publisher isn’t required to do anything for you. Assuming it’s in their best interest to sell books is a mistake and grossly overlooks what a publisher actually does for your publication. I owe allot to WragsInk. They came along at just the right time. I just got off a 2 year unemployment jag/drunk. I had to leave the premises, I had a little over two grand in savings, $2,500 of which was owed to Gioconda Parker for Yoga Teacher Training, and I totaled my car on the onramp to Ben White one rainy night that spring. I was in trouble. It was the usual kind, nothing that couldn’t be beat with a few years of hard labor or shifts as a bartender-but my real work would suffer and I’d have to stay underground for the remainder of my 30s. Without the work, the sum total of my life would be a brutal and tiresome slog and succession of day labor, shit jobs and dysfunctional relationships. I’d have to consider all options including the great shame of going back home, with my tail between my legs and not even a college degree for all my trouble. In a last ditch effort I called up Maleka Fruean and booked a reading at Big Blue Marble Bookstore. It was at that reading I would meet Richard Okewole; and begin sifting through over 250 poems to come up with the final manuscript for Farewell (and fall in love with the editor in the process). That book kept me alive. Kept me current. Prompted me to reach out to great writers like Don Bajema and reconnect with great writers like Butch Wolfram. The rest is history except I wasn’t pleased. I wouldn’t be pleased until I published my own book and founded my own press. A heaping 2/3 of that goal has been completed. I’m back from the Pacific Northwest and I’ve got 25 days left to achieve my goal. Looks like another crash course and this time it’s business. But if the past 2 months are any indication of how this’ll go down, I’m gonna have to make some changes. Some much needed ones, long overdue. My psoas is cranked tighter than a clock spring. I’ve been smoking a pack of triple-nickels every day since the summer. I’ve got big ideas but most of the time I just sit in their thrall, daydreaming and smoking on the roof. I understand the importance of rest. And I know for sure I’m gonna need a partner in crime. It’s high time for me to finish my teacher training and get back on the path of health and happiness. We both know about the dirty decades I spent, living with my Art above all else. My goals seared through romance and contentment. My focus narrowed to the barrel of a gun. I was never sure if I could make it but was certain I would die if I didn’t. It’s time for some integration, some inclusion, something other than the madness of a dayworking poet, at odds against the fucking world. I quit drinking. And I can’t really see a reason to go back to that lifestyle. “No-chance” was a great myth.  It fueled me on but it’s just a myth.   As it is I feel like my days are squandered in a retroactive doubt, which is another blog post entirely.

It’s time to finish what I started. I’ve pulled myself up and out of the ashtray. The struggle to become an aritst is over. Now is this surrendering to being one. To go forth into this world I’ve made. The dream cracked wide. My chosen destiny.  

stick with me baby, anyhow
things should start to get interesting
right about now
-Bob Dylan, Mississippi

Join me.