Jim Trainer

Archive for October, 2016|Monthly archive page

Low Drama

In alcoholism, anger, Austin, austin music scene, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, blues, depression, getting sober, going for the throat, hometown, Jim Trainer, journalism, media, mental health, mid life, middle age, Music, music journalism, music performance, new journalism, news media, Philadelphia, publishing, punk rock, recovery, self-help, self-publishing, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, solitude, travel writing, WRITER'S BLOCK, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on October 27, 2016 at 11:55 am

“So much for Objective Journalism. Don’t bother to look for it here―not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.”
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, Hunter S. Thompson

…In the city there’s a thousand men in uniforms
and I’ve heard they now have the right to kill a man…
In The City, The Jam

When I first got into the blogging business, I was up to my knees in a day gig.  It didn’t pay much, $7.50/hr, and not much was expected of me-just 40 or so hours a week putting tags on orange merchandise for the University of Texas COOP, in a cold building on the corner of Real&Alexander.  I could’ve played it right so many ways back then but I didn’t play it at all.  I was young, 34, and new to town.  The woman I was living with back home had forced my hand.  While living with her had all the trappings-4 walls and a hot blonde milf with blue eyes and big tits-it was crazy, ’cause we were crazy-so rattled from our dysfunctional upbringings we couldn’t dislodge from the deathgrip of each other, and the sex was incredible.  I didn’t play it any way back then, working in the warehouses.  I didn’t have the luck or what some call confidence to go for what I had come for.  The Rockabilly Dream.  I had my first piece of journalism published by the end of my 5th month here so maybe I was leading in with the writing.  The truth is I didn’t start blogging in earnest until a year later.

Laid off as a bartender and emboldened by articles appearing in Verbicide magazine, along with the news that I’d be receiving $444 biweekly from the state of Texas in unemployment compensation, I figured the time to be a writer was now, or, then.  The Fall of ’10 saw me suffering one of many well documented crises of faith I have suffered throughout my lifelong career in the arts.  A crisis of faith can best be described as do or die.  If I didn’t make it as a writer, while on unemployment in Texas and during my 35th year, I’d be doomed to factory warehouse work, promotions work, bartending or hospice care.  That’s what life offered me then, what it looked like.  But what a wild, reckless time I had trying to be a writer.

The image of me standing up bourbon drunk in a black convertible speeding through the barrio with a sexy redheaded nurse at the wheel is a good one, a fine image to have.  But also, many black mornings, much anger and frustration, much banging of the head against the wall.  My writing regimen of an hour a day had been upped, naturally, to 1,200 words a day and it was nothing but pain.  Looking back I was learning the hard lesson that whatever you do in the Arts, and more importantly, despite what you think about whatever you’re doing in the Arts, doing something is not doing nothing.  It all counts.  If you’re diehard and Irish like me, something will have to give and if you’re up against the wall, does it really matter what gives?  Your head or the wall, Pilgrim-but let me tell you something-there are many ways through a wall and if you’re lucky, like me, you can make your Art about that and many will join you and celebrate through you, get behind you and push-until you’re through.

This blog is what it looks like on the other side.  I know that with the littlest amount of discipline, I can come up with a 644 word missive and whale-killer of a blog that’ll sink any amount of blues and malaise and anger and sexual frustration.  I know how to do it because I put so much time in doing it.  My blogging medicine is strong.  Now when I say the littlest amount of discipline, I mean that what you’ve read so far took me 20 minutes.  Most blogs do.  It’s the excruciating tweaking and editing that takes up the nut of time needed to get these up and posted for you good reader.  20 minutes to wrap it-my blues, my anger, the jagged edges of sobriety and Kelvin depths of loneliness.  What a blessing.  What a goddamned miracle.  You know how I can do all this in 20 minutes, Brother?  Because I’ve spent days doing it.  Yep.  1,200 words used to take me 8 hours, a 6-pack of Black Lager and a late night drive through the barrio.  Now I do 600, for your benefit, and at the speed of the Age of Information we are living in, and I do it in 20 minutes.  Is it good?  I’m happy with it, extremely proud at times, but ultimately comfortable in the knowledge that if you want to write good, write bad.  At the helm, in the War Room, at your desk or easel, even on the road at the MAMU-there is no wasted time creating Art.  This, right here, is the best 20 minutes I’ve spent in the last 3 weeks, Sister.  Now if I could only find something to do with the other 1,420 minutes of the day.

See you next Thursday motherfucker.
Vote with a bullet.
Trainer, Going For The Throat
Austin, TX-Nationwide

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anniversary

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2016 at 3:09 pm

crazy this mourning for you that your death could be more real than any living here. even in these carpeted rooms cups lined with the thickest liquor books thick&sagging in their shelves even w…

Source: anniversary

Slow Day At The Office

In alcoholism, anger, anxiety, Austin, austin music scene, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, day job, getting old, getting sober, Jim Trainer, journalism, media, mental health, mid life, new journalism, PDX, Performance, politics, Portland, recovery, self-help, self-publishing, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, solitude, working class, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS, yoga on October 21, 2016 at 1:40 pm

It had nothing to do with drugs, the F word or being cool, and everything to do with the fact that Thompson never lost his sense of appropriate outrage, never fell into the trap of accepting that moral compromise was somehow a sign of growth and adulthood.
-Matt Taibbi’s Introduction to the 40th Anniversary Edition of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 by Hunter S. Thompson

Nothing on climate change, nothing on poverty, nothing on ending the war in Afghanistan, nothing on banks, on housing, on education, on campaign finance, health care, racial injustice….

Jeffrey St Clair on the Presidential Debates on Wednesday 

Welcome back motherfucker.  ‘Tis I, the bitter and grizzled one.  I’m siting here sipping iced coffee with a bum leg-amidst piles of poetry, calendars, lists, and Hunter Thompson books.  I just finished Generation of Swine this week and I’m a quarter into Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail ’72.  I have a lot to say about the good Doctor and his eviscerating view of politics in this country but not a damn thing to say about what was going down on just about every TV set in the country last night.  To the disappointment and chagrin of every hard working and earnest participant in this thing we call democracy I am not voting on November 8.   That’s about all I have to say about it.  One less voice oughtn’t tip the scales, right Brother?  The way some of you are carrying on, my silence can only improve the landscape, or at least afford me the peace of mind to get these 600 words written and posted up for you, good reader.

The psoas is cranked tight.  11 days on shift with an anger problem has fucked me, Pilgrim.  I take hot baths and do what Yoga I can.  That, and sessions with the lovely Cecily, coupled with long bouts on my back has been the sum total of my time off so far.  I stepped out to see Turning Tricks With The Darlings chop a man’s dick off onstage last night at Bedpost Confessions; and with these scant hours before my Third Thursday at House Wine tonight, I’ll try and get to the kernel of it.  The Wisdom, as Dr. Thompson has eloquently referred to it.  The reason, the meaning, the gist and the thrust-the why if not the how.
Truth is I can’t tell you nothin, man.  I mean I just spent 296 words telling you how I’m gonna come through with 300 more, and that they will have weight and discern some meaning from the spinning circus of birth and death we are all caught up in.  And just as I set that up and build enough tension and thrust around the thing, I tell you I’ve got nothing.  That I’m laid up in between gigs and the day job with a bum leg and an anger problem.  That I couldn’t give less of a fuck about the dog and pony of Presidential politics, I’m behind deadline on the next book-I should’ve been in Portland by now, and without drugs or alcohol, without the cigarette I need so fucking bad right now, the only thing I can do is write to you.

Oh but what a blessing, eh Sister?  That what’s wrong with me is what’s right with me.  That anger and anxiety, lust and greed and spiritual poverty-this is what spins the wheel of dharma round.  That I’m totally gone and halfway to nowhere.  I don’t mind standing at the back of the theater, dressed in black and sipping seltzer, laughing at Nikki DeVaughn.  That I’m the King of Irish Goodbyes and I don’t mind being alone for long periods of time.  I’m a freak and you’re a freak and we’re all freaks in this Circus-except for the squares, who ain’t right, at all.  In a geeked out way I feel I’m really coming into my own.  I feel like I’m gonna wanna be sober for what comes next.  Life is the strangest trip and I don’t want to miss a thing.  The dark can take its turns, the job can take its pound of flesh.  And the TVs can blare blue light into every house and home as the Autumn rages on-and our days dwindle and we find what little love there is in these waning hours and dare to give of it and make it last.

And that’s all it is.  This blog.  You, me.  This thing we got.  A torch.  Thank you for burning yours back at me.  See you next Thursday motherfucker.

Trainer, Going For The Throat
Austin TX-Nationwide

Dharma…it has to do with one’s life calling. It seems that many people either get way off-track or come close but no cigar. Few actually hit it right on. I’m not necessarily talking about the ‘dream job’. It’s nice to be able to monetize a passion, but there’s often a compromise that happens there.
It’s bigger than that. It’s the burning desire that drives you… its the process of it, the feeling you get from it, it’s all that good stuff you’d do if money, situation, practicality and laziness were not an obstacle.  All of it.
I feel like you have to persistently and tirelessly head in the direction of your Dharma, always. You might feel depressed and unfulfilled if you don’t. Sometimes that can be suppressed and sometimes you have what I call a “self-correction moment”-a midlife crisis, a Saturn Return, a meltdown, or just a big, bold-as-fuck life changing decision. The decision has to be to move toward your Dharma.   It has to be. 
-Brother Chris, from out on the road somewhere in the Pacific Northwest

 

Farewell to Armor Reviewed by Butch Hamaday

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2016 at 5:44 pm

“…transcending muted and lost love, isolation, unflinching introspection and long days put in at pay and wage jobs-the 56 poems in the collection leave the theatrics behind.”

Source: Farewell to Armor Reviewed by Butch Hamaday

Shooting My Wad

In Being A Writer, blogging, Broken Heart, day job, Jim Trainer, loss, Love, mental health, true love, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on October 15, 2016 at 3:23 pm

People are weird and life is strange.  Any veteran lover will either tell you it was worth it, or be so punchdrunk and jaded that love’s gone septic in their blood, and there’s no chance left at them ever falling in love again.  You see the latter in the bars, destitute and venomous out on the street, long gone but only rivaled by the former, the lucky in love, who see everything through a haze of gold dust and every person as a chance to get lost with nothing but time to lose.  The world is full of lovers and the lovelorn, each rattled and insane, one drunk on faith and the other just drunk.  There are exceptions.  Like me.  I’ve been so lucky in love I could live the rest of my life a hermit and it would be ok.  I’ve had plenty of sex, although, can you ever have enough?  The point is I am both lucky and bitter enough to stop the merry-go-round, get off and go home.  Or, go home and get off, as it were.

Truth has got to be the worst drug.  There’s no come down but it doesn’t get you high either.  It tastes right but it doesn’t taste good.  The truth will never be as tantalizing and exotic as The Lie.  Love can be like this, and many will use lies to get it.  Procuring a partner is best done with drinks and perfume-with the jagged edges smoothed out and under the cloak of darkness, where you can’t see death in her eyes or the bitter lines that hold up his bright smile like a dollar sign.

Most people lie to get love because they feel unworthy.  They’ve got to trump themselves up, be sure to impress upon you that they’ve got it together.  There’s no carnage back there, at least no bodies piled in the dank crawlspaces of their heart.  So much for Generalizations.  There are, as mentioned, exceptions, and for the sake of this blog and all that it stands for, the people I am telling you about-who audition for love, who jump through hoops to appear sane and together and healthy and not bitter, no, never bitter-those people are me.  I’m them.  Yep.  I’ve been auditioning for women since I was 15.  Before that was innocence, and another story, a heartbreaking one and a joyous one, but certainly one that is over and long gone.

It’s me, Brother, Sister.  I am the one who is most dutifully trying to convince you that I’m normal.  I don’t think too deeply, don’t think too much at all.  That I have a career but it isn’t the string of deadend blue-collar labor that’s filled my resume for the last 25 years.  That I believe in this country and have strong views on who should win the next Presidency and I don’t think cops should be dragged into the street and tried on their knees in places like Detroit and Baton Rouge and Michigan.  That I have a good feeling about where things are headed, and that although my Brothers and Sisters are misguided they at least have their own best interest in mind.  Yep that’s me.  And I’ve had you fooled ain’t I?  And I’ve had more than a little luck at it.

Maybe Pilgrim but I’ve paid.  In ways that aren’t kind.  I’ve suffered heartbreak-the real kind and I’m back to tell the tale-splayed open and ready for the next blue-eyed jazz singer to come in and light up my heart like a cathedral.  Heartbreak I never mind.  On principle.  It’s napalm in the trenches when it’s going down, and I’ve kept State Express tobacco in business for many heartbroke years, but it meant that I was alive.  I took the chance on somebody.  Even though in most cases there was every indication I should not love this person-I have.  Many have not come back to tell the tale.  And some will be friends in my heart and out in the green world forever.  You know who you are.  There’s a fair share of poetry about you, and the other kind.  The other kind who I’ve had to bury in words, those I’ve had to eviscerate and crucify, dig up and kill again.  You were the ones who wasted my time.  The clever trick was to make me think it was me who wasn’t worthy.  Me who was crazy.  Me who you wouldn’t mind if I’d just forget:
You’re never doing anything wrong when you’re telling the truth.
-Bill Ackerman, Supporting Characters

Now I have no sympathy.  My blood has dried to clay in my veins.  I used to never mind that you were broken.  ‘Cause I knew that I was too.  Now I don’t have much time left, no space for bullshit and candy ass prima donnas who think the sun rises out their ass.  The only thing I have is an address.  Our conversation will now be reduced to this.  You asking.  Me telling.  Us being together.  Otherwise I’ma sit here and do my thing.

Just kidding.

I’ll be putting some time in.  Really working on myself.  Tightening up the wardrobe and getting my facial scrub on point.  Shining my shoes and whitening my teeth.  I’ll be working overtime to have the money to treat you to nice things.  The struggle and crises of my past will be just that.  You’re on Easy Street now, honey, ’cause here I come-your tall dark and successful man, a strong silent winner who never uses the word bitch and doesn’t care if you lie.

Just kidding.

I’ll be on Facebook, posting articles about Trump and asking people what they think about Trump so I can tell them what I think about Trump and I won’t rest or shut up until November 8 when Hillary takes it like she should, and fulfills the Clinton family’s destiny to bring dynasty rule to the Land of the Free, one the Bushes could’ve had but who will laugh with anyway at a private party behind the rose garden, put on by Wall Street with security provided by the Fraternal Order of Police…and I’ll be in the kitchen or behind the bar, shuckin’ and jivin’ in my serving blacks like the American jackoff I’ve become since I dropped out of music school to be more “real” and mistakenly think I could fight my heroes’ battles and take a long-suffering road I didn’t have to take, just to prove myself to an old man who didn’t care and a woman who doesn’t know how to.

Just kidding.

Down here at the Office we think it best I stick to posting at least 600 words a week, along with a letter to the fans, to keep these demons at bay and avoid spewing 1,134 vituperative words in a caustic spray at random degree…and that’s how it goes.  You either hang yourself or hang it on the wall.

See you on Thursdays motherfucker.

 

#12

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2016 at 10:15 pm

From a Letter Day in June of 2011.

Going for the Throat

The Offices of Jim Trainer
Avenue of the Dead
Land of the Free

David Hagysback
Lap of Luxury
Hippie Town, USA

6/10/11

Hallo-

Trouble comes in a myriad of merciless and twisted forms.  We’ve taken on the Blues, it came with the Night.  We bought it part&parcel at the onset of this twisted dark journey.  We’re pioneers and we’re Kings.  The Big Boss Man will find you, however, so sip your iced drink with the dumb&the Blonde, we’re all gonna be judged and we’re all gonna pay.

The good news about Democracy and Revolt in the Middle East and parts of Africa is nothing good for the workingman lest he’s a company man but even he ain’t smilin like they do in the boardroom when they hear about some immoral pirates taking to the streets in the third world.  Military time has always worked for me-at least it did until…

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