Jim Trainer

John Crow Blues

In Uncategorized on May 10, 2018 at 8:10 am

My youth was nothing but a lowering storm, occasionally lanced by sudden suns…
–Charles Baudelaire, The Enemy

This may sound dire.  Because it is.  If I don’t make it now I might never, but–if you take the theatrics out and the drama away I’ll adjust, and adapt, and find a way for my Art to survive.  This is the struggle.  Ain’t it though.  I been cut free from the slog.  My mornings are quietly constructing columns of words on writing, the ruling class, the America, travel plans, and the nighttime is for poems and letters.  Unemployment’s been good to me, it’s the anxiety that’s been unkind.  I’m faced with the most impossible and fuckall obstacle of all–getting everything I want.  It makes me anxious, like I’ll lose it somehow and not just be back where I started but nowhere, Pal.

As if I could.  I’m not 20 anymore.  Not thirty or forty either and that’s ok with me.  What I remember about striking out into the city are freezing, November morning rides crossing the South Street bridge in workboots.  It wasn’t long till I was in the know, though, living in converted warehouses and steeped in trysts with rockettes and independent film stars.  Philly was savage, the frontier, with plenty of places and people to get lost in.  I fell in love enough times to be considered terribly lucky or desperately low.  I can’t compare my roaring youth to what’s happening now.  I don’t even know why I’m writing about the end of the century, to be honest, except to say that there really is no way I could ever go back but if I could, would that be so bad?  I live like a monk compared to that fast and sleazy decade but I’m on point and I started this writing you to let you know I’m struggling.

I’m fighting the good fight but I’m losing.  I’m confronting the Self and this battle is making the case to start smoking again.  I stared the 10 pages of the CORE app blind.  I did what I could, I’m here today.  I’m working for cash and booking the Fall.  Playing every Sunday night at the Saturn.  I might have to take work out of country and while I might be writing a hell of a lot less than anything else I’m doing with my time these days, it’s a hell of a lot more than it used to be in those sanguine end days of the 20th Century, living with a mattress and a Remington manual.  Those were mad jungle nights compared to these evenings of copacetic cardboard.  The difference is if it makes it to the page and if I get it on wax ain’t it though.  That’s all that matters now and I suppose it’s a great way to sublimate all that anxiety–that perches on my shoulder like a grey turkey vulture, egging me on with rue and failure, reaffirming the worst parts of my story…and wooing me back to an oblivion of the past…the clacking of keys, it’s a good remedy…it’s worked before, and I’ma keep at it, too.

The days go creaking by.  The road is clear.  The worst fears I’ve suffered, and the story that I won’t live my dreams have given way, yielded to a great fear that I’ll be happy and get what I want.

  1. When I get what I want, I then ask, Now what? It’s crazy. Stasis is good but when does it become stagnation. Enjoy the happy moments, but keep looking forward to the next big thing knowing that is okay to be where you are at.

    Your tone is different but definitely still you. I like it.

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