Jim Trainer

Archive for April, 2017|Monthly archive page


In National Poetry Month, poem, Poetry, THIRTY FOR THIRTY CHALLENGE on April 30, 2017 at 11:28 am

#30 photo

My 30th poem of 30 celebrating National Poetry Month.

Getting Used to Nothing Being Wrong

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2017 at 11:59 pm

Greetings from Central Square.  Fellow reader Kevin O’Brien got stranded in Connecticut, so I’ve set up shop here, at the Starbucks just up the steps from the Red Line in Cambridge, MA.  I’m posted in the corner and facing the red bricked Church In Cambridge, with my guitar, clothes and 50 copies of All in the wind in a black canvas bag.  The rain is coming down.  The following post was written on Tuesday in  sunny Austin.  If you’re reading this on the East Coast, please join us tonight, at the Mill Street Cantina in Bristol, PA, for a 2 hour set by Yours Truly.   As always, thank you for reading.  Your readership is my everything.  

All’s quiet at the mansion.  Almost.  The roofers have loaded out and it’s just me and the Whistler.  I can see him stacking supplies into the bed of his black Ram pickup from my window.  Fuck outta here and get gone, so long motherfucker it’s been nice to know ya.  What can I say?  My problems are few.  I can’t complain but I will.  It’s been a long time that I should be far from here.  But how often are our problems a mere cunt hair from their solution?  Any punkrocker or spiritual guru will tell you that’s always true and today I’m one.  That’s right.  As much as it sucks here, I am getting on a plane tomorrow.  Flying all the way across the country to do the work, and that’s the best part, the cherry on top of an already winning enterprise.  I get to do the work.  2 readings and a rock show.  Like I was born to and like I will be doing soon’s I quit this dog&pony for good, start maxing out my frequent flyer miles and living on a hope and a prayer.

The question of when I’m actually going to quit is bugging me.  I hate hanging around, especially when I’m not welcome.  Waiting to quit and get gone smacks too close to being afraid to live my dreams.  And that will never do.  Nothing to worry over, too much anyway.  Many of these questions will answer themselves and I’m sure a taste of the road and the kind of weeks that are happening more and more will sort things out on a quantum level.  That which is in motion tends to stay in motion kind of thing, a principle that’s worked for me ever since I enrolled in the Wilma Theatre School for Acting in 1998.  Do the thing, anything, to keep the darkness at bay and the demons from closing in.  It’s that easy.  Starting, anyway, but starting always is.  Keeping it going or even doubling down on the life of an Artist at 42 is a different ball of wax, and the pardox is it was easier to start when it felt hard.  Now that the reasons for me to remain on the straight and narrow, and keep my nose down in a 9 to 5 are many and all but stacked against me, it’s a go and it couldn’t feel any easier.  It’s the mechanics of the thing that will be the bugaboo.  I’ve been well paid too long, and rather than figure things out I’ve just thrown money at them.  Slowing down, being prepared, making informed decisions about the life I want to live is as foreign to me as anything else in the straight world.  I been a pirate too long.  I’ve thrived on chaos and am world famous for moving before you even know I’m gone.

It’ll all sort itself out I’m sure.  The first order of business for me is to buy a car, maybe 2 if I want to keep my touring vehicle separate from the daily grind.  Speaking of which, I will need a daily grind.  Something I can make stacks of money at, and put to use booking flights and Air B&Bs, for book orders, and shirts and EPs-merch.  I suppose once I buy a car I could begin booking Texas gigs, thereby making the transition that much smoother.  I love how writing a blog straightens me out and I love that you take time out of your busy life to join me.  Everything is easy and right, which could potentially hurt this blog-having nothing to complain about.  Well…

…I’ve had to pull stakes and finish this post at the bougie coffee shop.  Luckily they’re playing The Pixies&Interpol and not the soundtrack to your cousin’s wedding and a man can get some work done.  I left the Whistler back there on the roof of the mansion.  If you think there’s something wrong with a grown man moving into a 150 square foot cabin to live his dreams then you haven’t seen a man whistling outside your window like some mansize Mexican songbird, with a roofing trowel in a tar bucket and a shit eating grin.  If these are my problems then what the hell am I complaining about-right Brother, Sister?  There’s a 23 year old Jim Trainer drooling over my 42 year old problems, probably on a roof in the suburbs somewhere and hating that sub but…what are you gonna do, eh?  Sometimes the worst kind of trouble is no trouble at all.

See you in Boston Motherfucker.


Eunuch Blues

In alcoholism, anxiety, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Bevan McShea, Charlie O'Hay, getting old, getting sober, hometown, Jim Trainer, mental health, mid life, middle age, on tour, Performance, Philadelphia, Poetry, poetry reading, punk rock, recovery, self-help, self-publishing, sober, sobriety, solitude, Spoken Word, straight edge on April 20, 2017 at 11:22 am

Recorded live at Brickbat Books, Philadelphia, September 2016.

Catch Jim Trainer speaking in Boston next Wednesday April 26, at the Middle East Corner, with the Reverend Kevin O’Brien, Duncan Wilder Johnson, The Droimlins, and Jim Healy.
8:30PM, $5 advance tickets, $8 day of the show.  Please click here.

Jim Trainer will be speaking and reading from All in the wind, his latest collection of poetry and prose, at Toast Philly on Thursday April 27 with local favorites Charlie O’Hay and Lamont Steptoe.
7PM, Please click here.

Jim Trainer returns to the Mill Street Cantina for a special 90 minute set on Friday April 28.
9PM, Please click here.

Won’t Stop

In austin music scene, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Charlie O'Hay, hometown, Jim Trainer, Lamont B. Steptoe, music performance, National Poetry Month, new journalism, news media, on tour, Performance, Philadelphia, poem, Poetry, poetry reading, publishing, publishing poetry, punk rock, self-publishing, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, Spoken Word, TOUR, travel, travel writing, working class, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on April 13, 2017 at 2:35 pm

…to live outside the law, you must be honest…
-Bob Dylan, Absolutely Sweet Marie

It’s a good thing I don’t care about what you think then, isn’t it?
-Your Writer on Facebook this week

Last week on Writing On The Air cohost Martha Louise Hunter asked me where I get the time to do it all.  God bless her.  We were talking about this blog and how 600 words a week is the least I can do if I’m going to call myself a writer.
“Of course there’s Letter Day,” I told her and cohost Joe Brundige, “and I’m posting a poem every day for the month of April celebrating National Poetry Month.”
I told them that All in the wind was book 2 of the 10 that will be published through Yellow Lark Press, beginning with September in 2015 and ending with a collection, as-yet-unnamed, in 2025.
“10 books in 10 years is great, a fine goal,” I went on.  “-but I’m only making up for lost time.”
Brother Joe and I share a symmetry, and experience the joy of communication that can happen between two stringently honest people.  It took appearing on the show twice for me to realize-I am doing the thing.  It’s good when that happens, as opposed to the slave driving I’m usually doing with myself and the crippling feelings of despair anyone reading this blog is, by now, all too familiar with.

I finally booked Boston.  I’ll be speaking at the Middle East Corner with the Reverend Kevin O’Brien and bussing down to Philly the day after, for the Philly release of All in the wind.  Joe and I recorded an episode of Chillin Tha Most at the mansion last week, and it should be on the net next Thursday.  Last week was the kind of week I’d like to have every week, with gigs and radio appearances almost every day.   I kept on pushing till the light of day.  Which is heaps different than the life I’m living in my head, where it’s never enough and I’m only a day working coward.  What’s next is complicated but simple in terms of intent.

I’m quitting this gig.  Moving out to the east side.  Minimizing.  Scaling down.  I’m not sure how it will look or how to even vaguely monetize poetry and the spoken word-but I’m full of ideas and already making half my imminent rent with the gigs I’m already playing.  It’s strange to be striking out now but hardly unlikely.  I’ve long since abandoned anything resembling the common tropes of being an American.  I don’t have any kids, don’t even have a girlfriend.  But I’ve got a passion for media and all forms of communication.  I hope to get further invested in print and broadcast media.  Before I fly out to Beantown the MAMU should be fully assembled and my next purchase will be a touring vehicle.

It took me a while to wrap my head around it.  I had to keep it to myself and it made me resentful.  I couldn’t talk about my plans on here, there was some bad blood about me leaving but there doesn’t have to be.  I’ve started paying my taxes, I got a new dentist and a healthy line of credit.  Everything is moving as it should.  My next venture will be some time researching topics for the blog, so’s to avoid the kind of soul searching pap and whine that she hates and can appear on Going For The Throat when its weekly deadline is on my neck.  Your ideas are welcome, as are paying gigs-do you have a story for me?  Can we find a way to pay my freight so I can come to your town, speak and play?  Please chime in, in the comments below, or drop me a line at: jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com.

This east coast jaunt will be a short one but I’m thrilled to be sharing the stage with the Reverend Kevin O’Brien, Duncan Wilder Johnson, The Droimlins, and Jim Healy in Boston.  The Philly release of All in the wind is stacked, with award winning poets Charlie O’Hay and Lamont Steptoe reading.  By the time I go back to work I’ll have played at least 3 shows on the east coast, sold some books and burned hundreds of miles.  I’ll be exhausted, which is how I like it, and plan to be in the coming months.  Into it, no stops, full bore.

See you on the East Coast motherfucker.


Confessions of a Zen Outlaw

In Activism, activism, Austin, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, christianity, new journalism, politics, PROTEST, punk rock, revolution, truth, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on April 6, 2017 at 5:41 pm

A dear friend is in the hospital in Berlin. He’s being charged 10 euros a day until his insurance kicks in. We lost the Queen of Austin Comedy last night, all the more shocking because she seemed to be making it, even if having to start a GoFundMe to help with hospital bills after her kidney failed last year. The machinations of the Trump administration twist and grind darkly and the days are adding up since he swore in and I swore to keep up with his every move. I keep telling myself that one of these days I’m gonna hole up and just read the headlines from January 20 until today, but the reality is sinking in that the rulers are the rulers, and short of spitting in Paul Ryan’s face out on the street, I’m neither willing nor able to stem the tide.
Professor Joe Brundidge asked me if the fight is over last night, during our taping of Chillin Tha Most.  My gut tells me it’s not but I often wonder. In a strange turn it takes tragedy to shake things up and get a response from me.  I’ll pray in the way that I can but the question of God seems like pointless conjecture when right here on earth a Christian shitheel with an Eddie Munster haircut will try to make it even harder for us to do anything but get sick and die. Meanwhile in the other hemisphere, 250 innocent people will die for no reason at all. It’s hard to be zen about it all-when the base and corrupt, the murderers and plunderers can advance any fuckall agenda while progress for the common man is only mired in red tape and rollbacks. I let my gut answer Joe’s question, but, after I thought about it I had to concede, sadly, that the fight is over. We’ve got about eighty years of a sustainable ecosystem left but, like the poem says, somehow, strangely I feel fine.

In an even stranger turn things are only looking brighter for me, your writer, the littlest bit these days but that’s enough. I’ve gotten by on nothing for so long, it’s not hard for me to thrive with just a little of the gods’ favor. I feel like they may be smiling down on me, and it could very well have to do with the years I paid them respect and attrition. I bowed down to the god of luck even while bargaining broke against the black night, gambling with the shards of a glass ceiling, floating a broom and gnashing my teeth ever since I dropped out of college in the twentieth century. What can it mean? I don’t know. I’d like to tell you I’ll always give back, that no one besides me and New Ghost know better that it’s got to mean something to the folks back home. The truth is I’ve always been giving. Am I privileged? Should I be out there, on the street, fighting the good fight? Well.  If I lead, who will follow? You think it’ll be these hordes? The Americans? There comes a time when you’ve got to ask yourself: am I being lazy or is it just too damn late?  You know what my answer is.  I’m after what I’ve always been going for. This and every post since that bizarro shit show of an election last November have been my long and protracted extraction. I’ll be keeping my people close and closer, and conquering my own world over here.

Don’t believe the hype. There is hope but not much. If you’re busy shaming me for what I’m not doing then you’re not suited for politics. Try religion.  There’s plenty a flock to be fleeced in making people feel ashamed.  But it ain’t me babe.  I’m invested in the arts and up to my tits in bearing witness. I’m not much of a mover or a shaker.  Although, with your help, good reader, in the coming months I’ll be doing both. Stay tuned for a whole lot of good news coming from the Office of Jim Trainer.  I’ll be putting my protest on to the page.

Rest well, Lashonda.  See you next week motherfucker.