Jim Trainer

Archive for May, 2016|Monthly archive page


In mid life, middle age, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized on May 31, 2016 at 11:13 pm

shook out’s about the best
I can do for myself now
there’s no harking back
or reclaiming,
when the sun sets it’s gone
and rises with less momentum
these creaking mornings
but my disappointment
stops shy of my pride
I never asked for solace
never paid in, made no deal
and shook out I’ll face it
but who is this stranger giving rise
and rent through in blue twilight?
what are these dreams, this love
that seem to flow like a banner
down the night skies
and distill these jangling
numbered daybreaks
into a keen and raring loneliness?

In ANTI-WAR, PACIFIST, PACISFISM, poem, Poetry, PROTEST, Uncategorized, War on May 30, 2016 at 1:50 pm


In Uncategorized on May 29, 2016 at 9:43 pm

From National Poetry Month 2013.

Going for the Throat

fat man on a stool
grinding out
a Backwoods
before he
gets up
and waddles down the row
I slump down
and pull my hat down
there’s every kind of crazy
in this line
and every kind of drunk.
cracked up
hard luck men
in the hard luck
in line in front of me
and behind
in the lobby
of Labor Ready
San Rafael, 1999.

outside the puter fog
waits to take our silhouette
and make phantom
the dreams
of the loveless and free
coffee’s hot&putrid in here
c’mon fat man, pick me
please don’t
pick me.

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In getting old, mid life, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized on May 28, 2016 at 9:08 pm

with midlife comes a stasis
what’s been pulling is now wrought
what was feared came and past

find you’re standing in gloaming longer
said she’d call when she got there
but you’re never one for long goodbyes

summer storms as they gather now
magical in this late way
clouds crowd the coast
like dark colts thundering

can there still be wonder
even though you know the end?
Can you let go a little more
even though it’s already gone?




In Uncategorized on May 27, 2016 at 11:17 pm

From National Poetry Month 2015.

Going for the Throat


contests have nothing to do with poetry
and confessional poetry is a very hard dollar
great poetry is born of great consequence
but often comes to none
Hank said great poetry’s got blood in it
so tell me, who bleeds on command?
your praise has been encouraging
and I appreciate it
it’s good to know you’re out there
while I panhandle the muse
suffer 30 deadlines
and blow smoke in the face
of the inner critic.

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In on tour, poem, Poetry, TOUR, Uncategorized on May 26, 2016 at 10:18 pm

haha fat fucking chance
construction crews in Toronto
wouldn’t get
a skinny penny from me
even if our rig bent their mirror
all the way back.
another city, another room
another cold backstage area
with just cheese&lunchmeat
sandwiches or
American beer.
we roared down
the dirty road and I
NEVER saw a more beautiful creature than Tamara
at a bus stop in Vancouver
in the fall.
we couldn’t get out of the Midwest
fast enough and we probably would’ve paid to
we tore up the coast
5 from Orangevale
and down the orange groves
we weren’t impressed with L.A.
left there
Portland was a wet bummer
Seattle fared better.
I was living on Gauloises and
we were hauling
a 30’ RV and pulling
a single axel trailer
I was young&stubborn
out on the road
with the boys
a tourdriver.


In poem, Poetry, the muse, Uncategorized on May 25, 2016 at 9:51 pm

poems are anonymously
hoisting a black flag
in dark sunglasses
and taking the hills with fire
filling your pockets with dead coins
till you’re sunk to the bottom of the sea’s blue dream
pulling you in to croci of sheets and hair and leg
as rain pings off the roof in syllables
and calliope melody rises dark on the wind


In National Poetry Month, on tour, poem, Poetry, TOUR, Uncategorized on May 24, 2016 at 11:44 pm

Rita the real estate agent
met you in the lobby of the Westin
on the 4th of July
the boys had been calling me all night
the light rig on the trailer was shredded
we’d have to travel by day
and even then we’d be lucky
not to get pulled over
I ate a 20 bag for breakfast
washed it down with a couple Coors Lites
you gave me your card and told me to call you
if I was ever back in town
I haven’t thought about you
since that terrible morning
the highways lined with troopers
the country marching off to war
crawling back to New Orleans
on the 4th of July.

Poem 21b/30, written for National Poetry Month on 4/21/15 at 11:05:19 pm.



In poem, Poetry, true love, Uncategorized on May 23, 2016 at 10:35 pm

a red strand
and a brown whirl
clapping up
the glowing hills
bearing down
on ghetto concrete
we rode down
our America
3,000 miles young
and the last one
a brown whirl
dirt roads and mud houses
and a red strand
running through
you, me






In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized, working class, Writing, writing about writing, youth on May 22, 2016 at 10:52 pm

I know the last time I wrote
it was bad on the east coast
I had wasted a third of my life
working in the building
and getting sober
and now it’s 10 years later
and young laughter wafts
up to the window where I write this
I’m still on shift but writing more
and the books are out,
one of them self-published
I make enough playing gigs
to pay my health care premiums
Tuesday will be the end
of an eleven day shift
I’ve played 3 shows and did a reading
on the clock, which is incredible
and the sobriety’s really sticking
I’m calm and contented
and on an even keel most days
why it had to take
all those hard luck years
all those fucked-off embroiled
loading dock days,
why I had to suffer a thousand
greasy saloon nights in wingtips
and a pencil tie
why I had to lie in wait
for the odds to turn
and squander my precious youth
on scores and sex and rage
just to feel young now, tonight
at 41 in Texas is a cruel mystery
and a gift, this new youth
mostly a gift.