Jim Trainer

Archive for January, 2018|Monthly archive page

The Practice of Innocence Found

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2018 at 9:12 am

Journaling and writing were the beginning of a process of unraveling and living in luck.
Your Writer in the Fredericksburg Literary&Art Review

WE’RE SEEING THE WHOLESALE LOOTING OF AMERICA.

It was stolen. Against the overwhelming and bi-partisan will of the people.
—Medium.com

Reality is running ahead of our vocabulary.
—Louis Menand

Come and see the blood in the streets…
—Pablo Neruda

I was just nominated for best activist in the city – of course, I lost to Austin Pets Alive!, because we care more about pets in this city than we care about people that are affected by issues like police brutality.
—Austin Justice Coalition’s Chas Moore

If they keep pretending to be journalists, we’ll end up with someone pretending to be President.
—-John Lurie

Good Morning from the edge of Empire. I bet that if you’re reading this you’re like me–safe, secure and inured. I’m in terrycloth for Christ. Going For The Throat’s humble beginnings coincided with the Arab Spring. It felt like we we’re winning then or that at the very least the speed of this new media wouldn’t be tethered by the powers that be. In 2010 I hadn’t been on Facebook long, I was only friends with people I knew and I only used it drunk. It was what it was–syllogistic and insolvent and as creepy as you’d imagine from a burgeoning writer in his cups with an anger problem. I knew I could market myself as a writer even if I didn’t know that marketing often makes the nut of business. I honestly thought I could be a full-time writer. I still do but that’s beside the point. I thought I could write about myself trying to be a writer–post essays and poems, letters and creative non-fiction, some photographs of old typewriters and voila! I would appear to be a writer.  Because, let’s face it, in the hall of mirrors of the New Century, things are what they appear to be. Just ask Donald J. He’s the master of it. He’s duped large swathes of the population and could sell out the once greatest country in the world on skin color. He’ll call Haiti a shithole and take away your healthcare in one master stroke of media manipulation and partisan oligarchy–just like that and faster than you can tweet racist! or sign a petition to impeach.

This post is a case for not giving a fuck. My conclusion is we lost. We lost this media first and last. I’ve got no dog in Presidential politics. I don’t believe in American democracy to be frank and it’s a real thorn in my side. If I believed I might try and affect change. The truth is I haven’t been alive long enough to cycle through 6 and 2 year terms of the Senate and House of Representatives. All I know is who I voted for in double aught and buck (2000). It didn’t make a damn then and only spurred our country into 13 years of war and a lionization of The New Dumb–a heavily armed group of jingoists who supposedly got the current administration in office.  Meanwhile, W. is a war criminal who lives on a pension while painting in his Austin studio and going on book tours and brandishing his winning idiot grin. If you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop it was thrown at him in Iraq and if you feel safe you can just leave your shoes on in any security line in America and see how fast that gets you boarded on a plane to anywhere else.

I’m sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can’t stand the scene
and I’m neither left or rightI’m just staying home tonight
–Brother Leonard Cohen

My apathy doesn’t make it easy, Good Reader.  Nor am I acting like I don’t care. At this point it’s no longer an act.  I’m powerless to affect change and so are you. If you really want to shake ’em up then I suggest you put your complaint into the work and organize. Get off the network. You are yelling at yourself. The Boss was right, authenticity is a hall of mirrors. They have caught up to the media. They call MLK a hero but he was murdered in Memphis. They killed Malcolm X and the Kenedys but sent our boys to kill Quadafi and Saddam Hussein. I don’t know why I even try, to be honest. Why post anything about it? Why should Going For The Throat get involved? I guess I’ve always been after a journalistic dream but slowly coming to realize that without school, without any time at establishment papers and publications, and most of all without any concern whatsoever about the end of the world–I am not, nor will I ever be, anything like Hunter Thompson. This blog’s been a way to stay sane. You either hang yourself or you hang it on the wall. The truth is I’m lost, but we all are, and in writing it and having you read I realize this, and am suddenly found–not alone but together, not crazy but mad in the most rage-full and blessed way–we’re lovers and we’re fighters. If you’ve been with me this far, or if you’re just tuning in, I know you are a romantic like me and that what we want is simple and that the blue world is rolling right over us but mostly—we’re just inured, writing in robes on Sundays, sipping espresso with honey and getting it down and trying to feel better about it all ending, somehow. Maybe not. That’s where you end and I begin. Here. On these pages, using this media. Festooning columns of words into a rampart, mouthing and getting off 600 coffee soaked words at a time. Well what a long, strange trip it’s been, eh Sister?

I’m getting off social media. It’s a cancer and mind control and I’d like to enjoy the natural world while I can–before it’s enveloped in flame and the skies get choked with tar and waterhead racists accost us in bulk store parking lots as church steeples rise and the streets run red with blood. Take To The Territory is stalled in production. I’m due in to the ABAC to take a driving test on the Vandercrook#4. Snakeswilleatyou is closing in on the final design for the cover and your patience, good Reader and Supporter, will be rewarded this year.  Expect 2 publications from Yellow Lark Press as well as a series of broadsides coming out in 2018–a gift for all of you who purchased September back in the heady days of 2015. Besides your support, 2015 wasn’t much better, to be frank, and I’d rather have the tempest and furious grind of these end days of the American Century than the smug and copacetic seasons in the Year of the Wooden Sheep.  I got sober then and lost most of my friends–or, should I say, found my true friends shortly after.  Thank you.

Ab irato,
Trainer


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AMERICAN CENTURY BLUES

In Uncategorized on January 17, 2018 at 5:23 pm

Jimmy the crew chief
doesn’t wanna hear I don’t know…
when you’re back late from your route
me and my partner slid in, we missed the hammer of rush hour
even with 3 extra stops thrown in last minute this morning
this is the first day Isaiah didn’t wear shorts, bashing out of the walk-in
laughing to shake my hand
the guys in the office ask me if I like it and I don’t know what to say
daylabor weaves an exhaustion into you
it breaks down your defenses so everyday occurrences
of the natural world take on a phenomenal and mystical weight
dawn and dusk in industrial parks
shouldn’t be so pretty, the brown briar crowning
pitiless bodies of water, maybe as deep as a creek
but gone by the end of the week, and the sun
slanting in so hard you’re dry drunk on the light
we’re all covered in a salt barely visible, the dried sweat
of hard men and women working in the building
the job reminds you what you kid yourself about as a young man
what you need, what you’ve always needed and what you always will–
something steady at home, standing in the kitchen
bringing you sweet tea with a smile–
I’m 42, it’s not as hard as it used to be but just as taxing
I guess the difference is I let the job take it from me,
all of it and what’s left is for her,
it’s easy to get romantic about work
driving into the sun both ways, being worn down and tired
steel-toed boots and leather gloves tied to your waist
but that’s what’s different now, too–it could be romantic
but it’s not.

Laugh At All The Lovers And Their Plans

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2018 at 10:31 am

Were it not for all these flags that wave, I would not know I was free…
Through the Rye

They lion grow…
–Philip Levine

My heart
a whorish beast
roaming darkly

Love Junky

…there’s a really specific definition to the world that seems to be diseased and hostile and violent, or maybe decaying. And there are one or two specific narrators that are either like peeping at the world or kind of on the lam.
-Dan Bejar, Destroyer

I think it’s going to rain today…
Randy Newman

How long is this supposed to go on? My heart the medicine chest. This blog the clothesline. I found the 2 of Hearts walking through my wonderful Hyde Park yesterday, listening to Jason Isbell beneath the grey sky in a smoky wind. Everything is fucked, everything is fine. I know there’s inspiration in the ether, I’m touched by it when it flies so close. But I’m in my tomb a lot, or womb–safe and lazy and warm, and I’m so tired of writing about my life. I’ve outlived a decades old trauma but it’s in the memory and conditioning. Wraiths of the past can still nip at my heels but there’s a whole new cast around the table. Think of each of these statements as a talisman or many sided coin. I need to write in ambiguity because I gave it all away and I am so tired of writing about my life.

Philly’s supposed to happen–in March. Pslamships and I will hit the road from there, and lay some tracks when we return. The moving job fell through–too many days standing around and being lied to and sent home to trust I’d be safe out there on the road or behind a dresser coming down a flight of stairs backwards. I’ll be lucky to get paid for the 6 hours I gave them, unless of course they call me to pay for my company coat. That’s the fucked half but I got an interview next week and the corporate threw me some extra cash Thursday for doing 7 drops instead of 2. That’s the fine. That simple gesture actually helped me make up my mind. I gotta get full time and stop living off my credit card. I’m not starving, not homeless and actually writing, in earnest these days. I knew I’d have to get the new year off right, so I submitted 3 poems to a contest and a zine December 31 and I am so tired of writing about my life.

Sara the Italian looks good on a bike, out there in Alpine and inspiring me, reminding me of the Good Life. It’s not peaches and cream and you’ve got to rise and shine to grab it. You bet. Brother Raffe‘s in Hostile City, he’s playing again and in town from Berlin, on the phone talkin’ with me ’bout Bulgaria and the Blues. It’s Sunday and I’m sipping cold espresso with milk and brown sugar, in my small bedroom and office officially preparing to get this rig the fuck unwound. The 2 of Hearts I drew on my walkabout yesterday–it’s Wisdom could be self-evident and painfully obvious. Surprise birthday dinner last night, for Brother Adam with friends, vibing over Thai tea and Topo, the best shrimp I’ve probably ever had at Deckhands, about sobriety and recovery, laughing like a lunatic and tipping Candle 95%. I fell out, like I do, and woke up late and here we are, Good Reader. There’s no fat in the fire and no grist for the mill in this week’s post. I’m just writing because I can, avoiding the deathly and dire, skimming over the heavy and thinking out loud because I am so tired of writing about my life.

See you next week? Motherfucker?

ANOTHER HOSTILE CITY BREAKDOWN

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Sooner or later, we all hit the wall…
Nathan Hamilton

Between trouble and the blues, how will we ever survive? Between mental illness and class it’s a wonder we’ve done anything for ourselves, let alone the ones we love.  I had to get gone from the hometown but I should’ve left a long time ago.  There are some folks back there still making it.  They still got some love for me, their hearts would only betray ’em otherwise and anyway they’re too stubborn to die.  Most of them I’m better friends with from a couple thousand miles, though they’re not to blame, or anything or anyone besides anger and addiction and the crushing blow of loss.  I’m never a stranger back home, which is good considering all the years I was there and all these years I feel on the outside practically anywhere else.  They love me in Philly and I love ’em right back but that’s only because years have passed since I danced on a burning bridge making drunken midnight phone calls singing songs full of broken glass.  I was an asshole of the highest order but we all take a turn.  When I go back some are still cautious around me but they’re usually the ones I never liked anyway.  If you thought this was going to be a humbling apology from me you’d be half right–I’m not humble but I am sorry.  I shook up some squares, forfeited any good reference, drank to blurry shakes and fought out on the street but mostly that was just another long, boring night in Hostile City.  Ain’t it though.

They say you oughta be nice to the people you meet on your way up because you’re only gonna meet them coming back down.  I’m not coming down and just because I’m coming back doesn’t mean I should need to kiss the ring or stand on ceremony. Those 317 baleful words above are only a loquacious lathering, a fancy way for a straight edge Big Mouth to announce I’m heading back to the yard and I got a job moving furniture starting Wednesday.  Sister Sarah suggests I may be overthinking it but words like failure and colossal mistake seem apt when you’re interrupting your status as a full-time artist to attend the same shuck & jive as your first ever full time gig, striking out on the mean streets of West Philly at the end of the Twentieth Century.  My first apartment was the biggest 1-br I could find for $400 in 1996, on the corner of 45th&Locust–right next to the Watusi II where, seated on a stool on a grey Fall day, Lucien Blackwell Jr. kissed me on the cheek.  Where my Gary Fisher Marlin was stolen in a snow storm.  Where it snowed heavy in the winter and they drank just as heavy next door, closing the bar every night with the syrupy down beat of 90s R&B, when the line was 45th and no Penn kid would be caught dead or robbed below 40th&Pine. Kathy Change burned herself alive that Fall, and it was as fitting as it was foreboding–she was right about everything.

Worse than reminiscing about ritual suicide in Hostile City is that I’ve headed back to the yard.  Oh well.  If I can’t be sorry and I won’t ask for forgiveness then the best I’ll get from memory lane and a 40+-hour daylabor gig is a chance to really see how far I’ve come.  You can’t go home again.  You can stash your shekels though, if you’re lucky, and live to walk sideways another day.  You can stay in the city of Philadelphia long enough to play some music and read some poetry, revisit the ties that bind and use your hometown advantage to get on the air and up under the hot lights of those same haunts and barrelhouses you said you’d never go back to.  It’s really doing a number on me, Brother.  I’m staying up late at the keys like I used to, back when I had to get it in while I could, on a manual Remington in the hot summer lit up with blunts and Pirate Radio.  What a long, strange trip it’s been.  Just when you think you’re out they pull you back in.  At midlife the past is mythic, you’re a testament but a song of the future is still being sung.  Anything can happen, if by anything you mean the same exact thing only 3 wars and twenty years later.

See you back there somewhere, motherfucker, in the blue mystery, on winding streets of smoke and drunk on the bloodwine of history–wandering, wondering, captivated, free.

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