Jim Trainer

Archive for December, 2015|Monthly archive page


In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Performance, Philadelphia, poem, Poetry, publishing, self-publishing, Spoken Word, Writing on December 23, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Moonstone Poetry Presents
“September” Philly Release, An Evening of Poetry&Spoken Word

January 7, 2016, Philadelphia PA
Jim Trainer will read from September, his second full-length collection of poetry, at Fergie’s Pub on January 7.  Also featuring Poet Charlie O’Hay and multi-media artist Bevan McShea.

-Charles O’Hay is the recipient of a 1995 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in poetry. His poems have appeared in over 100 literary publications including Gargoyle, South Carolina Review, Brooklyn Review, West Branch, Mudfish, and New York Quarterly.  The author lives with his wife and daughter in eastern Pennsylvania. Far From Luck and Smoking In Elevators, O’Hay’s full-length collections of poetry are out now through Lucky Bat Books.

-Bevan McShea is an artist, musician, and poet from Philadelphia. His journey into poetry began while living in New York City’s East Village, where his spoken word performances earned him a feature presentation at NuYorican Poets Cafe. Bevan’s style has continued to evolve as he weaves his spiritual reflections, lyrical mysticism, and his love for cities and travel into his poetry. His first collection, “The Contour Lion,”is out now through WragsInk Press.

-Jim Trainer’s work has appeared in Raw Paw 6: Alien, The Waggle, Philadelphia Stories, Divergent Magazine, Anthology Philly, A Series of Moments and PoetryInk. The release of September, his his second full length collection of poetry, coincides with the founding of Yellow Lark Press. Trainer lives in Austin, Texas where he serves as curator of Going For The Throat, a weekly publication of cynicism, outrage, correspondence and romance.

-about September
“…tough as crucifixion nails, with a switchblade wit and as sensitive as a Geiger counter.”

Jim Trainer could easily be writing about his scrappy past as a day laborer, a tempestuous old romance or even the muse itself. All appear and disappear throughout September, leaving Trainer in turns marveled and stumped, sitting at his typewriter at the end of summer. He’s hardly mournful. His past and his love and even the muse may have gone but the wonder of Trainer and the poetry in this collection is that he’s able to make an altar of their graves, and find repose in the Autumn of life.

“Every single poem has the teeth of a 20 year old, tempered with the wisdom gleaned from twice that much time living the life.”
-Jason Woolery, Central Texas Writing Project (CTWP)

September Philly Release, An Evening of Poetry&Spoken Word
Jim Trainer (Farewell to Armor, September/Yellow Lark Press)
Bevan McShea (The Contour Lion/WragsInk)
Charlie O’Hay (Far From Luck, Smoking in Elevators/Lucky Bat Books)
Thursday January 7, 2016
Philadelphia, PA

CONTACT: Jim Trainer: 512-203-6288

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Shreiks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails-Dear Chuck

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2015 at 8:17 pm

Going for the Throat

The Office of Jim Trainer
Fox Den
Hippie Town, USA

Chuck Daas
New Orleans, LA


Dear Chuck-

Holla at yr boy.  Tell ’em sorry.  Don’t tell ’em I could never be alone.  The deadline wasn’t kind but nothing is.
coffee&a couple packs of long brown MORE cigarettes-what am I, a 60year old woman?
Aho and beware the Whiskey.  It takes away the pain but you need pain to write.  And time.  Time’s more important than all these sundry ingredients& pharmaceuticals or some Holy Suffering in the Land of the Free.

It’s officially summer here and I am officially done with the bio.  The July sun was just:  burn&peel, yesterday when me&my partner were trolling the Drag, blasting Brandi Carlisle and looking for falafel.  Summer.  Aho.  Thee most celebrated of seasons.  We lucked out w/some rain the past two days.  It’s cooled everything down and even…

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Good News For People Who Love Bad News

In blogging, journalism, media, mental health, new journalism, news media, punk rock, RADIO, recovery, singer-songwriter, sobriety, Writing on December 16, 2015 at 5:09 pm

Heaven, are you really waiting outside the door?
-The Fire Theft

Happiness is a hard gig for a survivor.  The worst kind of trouble can be no trouble at all.  I’m dumbfounded to be hitting my stride now, 10 months in on a sober jag, practicing Yoga every day and sleeping for 8 hours every night.  Contentment can be a real bitch for those of us who’ve decided to be born into this life, if not to make or break with dying than at least to stand and be counted, shock the squares and make our mark before we go down for good and back to dust.  I’ll admit a grudge match with death is no way to live, but a denial of it, even a convincing one, can make you seem dull and young.  Beauty fades and belief as anything but a verb is a product.  History is brought to you by purveyors and it’s a real shame the way we can spin out on things that don’t even matter but fail to grasp what’s most important.  The point is we’re alive and we’re here.  The punk rock movement put boots to ground but sprouted up organically as if it was always here.

We’ve shaken death’s hand.  Not only have we rivaled every foe, we can’t think of an enemy worthy enough to take us away from the real work.  Though they try, we pay visit with the Friend in our work, and it’s in his company we celebrate.  Every step of this process completed is a success.  Every EP, spoken word performance, missive of the New Journalism, every poem and journal entry, every stroke on the canvas and photo taken is a victory.  We can have this life.  We’ve twisted out of the wreck with a new language of love.  We’ve fled mass market culture and made our own.  We’ve shed the mask of the godhead and answer the call daily-at the keys in makeshift offices and behind microphones at ad hoc radio stations.  It’s our world.

The hard part for me becomes, to what do I devote these 600 words?  How do I fulfill the publication schedule of this column?  There are hawks and doves jamming the wire and the big business of news reporting is rife with tropes of us bee-lining it to the grave, fearing the police and toeing the company line with our heads down and dumb hopes of heaven or a payday.  What do I rail against when I’m not really pissed off and how could I possibly be able to spend the hour or so writing this and enjoy it at the same time?  How’s it possible that my hands are filled with work that I love and how is it that I can feel this thing snowballing, gaining mass and momentum and it might not be too long before I can segue a caregiving gig in the Live Music Capital of the World into the life of a fulltime Artist?  What do I rail against when I’m not really pissed off?   How do I fulfill the publication schedule of this column?

Just like this I suppose.  And with your help.  I’d of never made it this far without you but don’t you quit me yet.  We’ve got to jam this fucker home.  We’re seated at the table.  Now let us feast.

We are hopeful that Mosby will retry Officer Porter as soon as possible, and that his next jury will reach a verdict. Once again, we ask the public to remain calm and patient, because we are confident there will be another trial with a different jury. We are calm. You should be calm, too.
-Richard Shipley, Freddie Gray’s Stepfather on the mistrial of Officer William Porter


half life

In Uncategorized on December 8, 2015 at 1:52 pm

To remind me of how far I’ve come, here is a repost of “half life”, a poem I wrote last year. You don’t have to be a victim of depression. There is help out there. There are solutions and ways to alleviate your suffering. Thanks as always.

Going for the Throat

for Ryan Camp

worse than last year
and last year I was feeling
worse than the year before
I’m half the man I was
and even less than that every year
I look in the mirror
and it’s the same face
is the goddess still in love with me?
time wrecks me and wears me down
the red heart’s pocked with hatred
and I’m better off w/o them
but it got me, too
this cheap, fast life
in which you hold on and you can’t win
but if you let go you’ll just lose
I can tell you’ve grown tired, friend
you’ve held me up too long
and it’s dragging you down
you know I still know what’s right
shit, she tried to hug me at the party
last night
there won’t be any forgiveness for her
she’s as phony as they come
her porcelain smile…

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Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#6: The summer won’t end and we’ll win.

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2015 at 10:59 am

Send me your address and I’ll send you a letter. Letter Day, every Friday down here at the Office. #goforthepost

Going for the Throat

The Ruined Rooms of the High Life
Fox Den
Hippie Town, USA

Pat Klinck
Past the Swollen Outroads of Empire
Bedford, VA



The only lasting and final danger is this contentment.  And Smokestack Lightning is thee finest rock&roll song ever written. I don’t remember where I was the first time I heard it. It was like I always heard it. Sumlin just bending the flat third and then the 7 for the whole song. The bass thumping 5, 7 DOWN on the 1. That drummer is just swinging his way through history. It’s the beat, brother. The beat is the road that Wolf is just struttin & prancin around on. and Gettin’ unruly.
Why don’t you hear me cryin?
Wolf was the real deal. Punkrock&black and new to town with a .38 and a record contract. Punk rockers ain’t got nothin’ on these guys, Pat.  Nothin.

I remember dancing to 

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To Confront Junk

In alcoholism, journalism, music journalism, news media, punk rock, recovery, Writing on December 1, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Twenty years on the outside can seem like a lifetime.    I have fled the wreckage of family, hometown, God&Country.  I ‘ve never owned a tv and I’ve never listened to pop music.  I only sank deeper and deeper into a dream. I know what you’re thinking, no problem.  It ain’t lost on me that I’m the envy of every suburban warrior denizen who for whatever reason bought in to this cheap culture of patriarchy and bloodsport.  My aim was to never be like my Father who, for all his admissions to the Man, still found a way to live as far outside the madding crowd as the taxman would allow.  Point is, I’ve done it.  I’m never like him (besides the fact that I am him but, aho).  Mission Accomplished.  And in 11 short years I’ll have rivaled his lifetime, or go down like him, quick and young.  Whatever the fates hold in store, if I’m not like my father then the question becomes what now?
This morning, instead of going to Yoga, I laid in bed drinking coffee and reading Damien Echols.  I’ve been chain smoking Shag all day, never good, and drinking black roast.  I listen to Blind Pilot and Nick Drake on Spotify, which is the worst of all these.  Last night I took a trip down Resentment Lane, you know, just checking in.  Another upset.  Another rupture.  Another splinter of isolation.  I’m running out of people.  I’ve blocked more people than you have on your friends list, and, you know what they say.  If you encounter an asshole, they’re having a bad day.  If everyone you encounter is an asshole, then you’re the one with the problem Brother.  That axiom will do nothing for those of us who know we’re assholes, however.
I’m very aware that there is a fine layer separating me from the world at all times.  Sadly whenever you talk to me, I’m away.  In the past, the exception were those who I deemed true, whom I coveted, held court with, sometimes participating in an unspoken and co-dependent exchange.  Our deal.  They’d tolerate me, tempests of anger and ice-storms of isolation, battles over perceived slights and who knows what-the-fuck else, I wish I did, but drinking was part of the deal-and I’d suffer their flaws.  A vicious cycle.  Say what you will about alcohol but we needed it to scale our walls.  Whatever it took.    Some (most) of the best memories of my life involve alcohol, groundswells of emotion and passion that a Pisces like me thrives on.  But the mornings got darker and darker.  I got sick.  I would say I got further and further from my authentic self but there was no movement.  A whisky drunk can be fun when you’re young.  After 30 it’s just sad.
My quest for Refuge, combined with bitter droughts of alcohol and isolation, has found me right where I left off, my Father’s son and at the bottom of a rock&roll journalist dream.

I was doing it wrong but I’m not letting go of the dream. There’s something calling me back into the fray.  My eyes have been opened.  I have seen and will never unsee.  It’s not lost on me that as I sit here doing this Leonard Cohen bit, smoking by the window and writing lyrics, that just 15 blocks from here some of the wisest and most devoted practitioners of Yoga are gathered under one roof and answering the call to prayer.  I can’t keep turning a blind eye to world affairs, keep hoping you’ll join me in wishing them from existence.  I still believe we can do it but they’re all lazy offal.  Thinking for themselves causes them to panic.  It’s too much trouble but it ain’t no thing to defy the calls for peace and understanding and health care from an old punk rocking pacifist/iconoclast like me.  I need to keep an eye out.  I’m called to journalism.  I’m called to health.

they’re calling out for war here, Rose
and I hope you’re safe in Dublin

I won’t say I’m redoubled.  We’ve heard that before.  I like reborn better, cuz I know now, and I’ll never unknow.  I’m 40 and everything I ever wanted has come to me.  I had a limited scope though, when I first drafted this dream.  It’s up for review.  I know what I want and I’m gonna get it.  I’m reentering the fold.  I can only imagine what I will find there, but hopefully it’s some original thought, some understanding, something to help keep my feet planted on the savage road.  This health.  This dream.  This media and this journalism can be ours, you know.  Despite what they’ve told you your whole life, it’s our world.

May your dreams know the mountain and your troubles hit the dirt.

Sincerly, L.Cohen