Jim Trainer

Archive for June, 2018|Monthly archive page

The No News Blues

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2018 at 12:25 pm

It is what it is.
Cory Branan

You got to rattle your chains.  I came down to Murder City with 2 iPads and 7 sets of uncderclothes.  It was a hard ride and a long drive.  I’d been up til 4 the night before and I had to pack and load up the iPod before I finally hit the road at 2 o’ clock Texas time.  I pulled on to Dumaine in the sticky night 8 hours later and posted up in a kids bunkbed in a small blue room.  What happened next was a whirlwhind of catfish and pork, barrels of dark and honey sweet coffee, readings, shows and nightswimming.  This town’s been good to me and I was able to catch a glimpse of who I really am.  That can go both ways and in my case I saw I’m a man of talents and the hush of the crowd is sometimes a good thing—and that, I’m a man of worry, that rehasing and hemming and hawing is my way of trying to stay in control and if I lived everyday like I did this week then at this time next year I’d probably be sitting right here in this chair, at this CC’s in Mid-City, working on a letter or blog post.

As such, this blog’s been a boon and a bane.  You got to get it out.  For reasons beneficial and perverse, I’ve done it live, with you and on the page.  Sometimes I nail it and the feeling that gives is enough to keep doing it every week.  Other times I cringe and worse, wonder that the hell I was really on about—I mean, I understand it, but, I wrote it.  Some posts on here are fatuous, conviluted, heavy and morosely obtuse.  The truth is I’m in love with language and I was often trying to rope a bad blues.  Ennui and depression, high anxiety, the aforementioned worry and need for control.  Ultimately I’m happy for the release that 600 words affords me.  It means I’m writing and that I am a writer, so win-win.  The truth is it’s got to come out and that’s because there are venues where my voice is needed.  You got to clean your guns.  I should need to weigh in on the nasty New Century.  You should need to hear from me while out in the territory with a mirrorless and flanked by a loud Alpha tourmate.  I need the release and Personal Journalism needs me.  I need to get out of town before the loathing sets in and I need to clock in daily, somehow, with the work.  I dread getting back to it but there is some hope there, too.

My worst fear is that life will bulldoze over me and take my Art and creative expression away.  Now the longer I hang in, the larger the body of work becomes and the weight of it sways the mechanism.  I might have to report again, first thing, to a slog that’s brutalizing me.  But I’ll do it with 4 books published.  Fear is fear and will be.  As far as this blog is concerned, well—if my worst fear is that my Art will be taken away then I’ve probably got bigger problems than that, namely some fundamental psychological flaws rooted in greed and narcissism.  Ain’t it though.  I write it here to get it out.  I clear the chamber and reload.  After 600 words I’ll feel better, I’ll hit publish and send the out the word.  Once I’ve thrown in and close this window, I’ll log on to the New York Times, get a letter to the Editor off and pitch to the travel mags and poetry pubs.  It’s got to mean something to the folks down home.  See you on the streets motherfucker.

Live In The Writer’s Room ATX

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2018 at 7:07 pm

Go Where The Work Is

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2018 at 8:12 pm

I got two girls, one’s in heaven and one’s below
one I love with all my heart and one I do not know…
—Townes Van Zandt

It’s hot here, and humid. It rains almost every day and clears up just as fast. A lot of buildings in town are leaning to. It adds to the charm. A lot of folks down here are living the Life. Alcohol and cigarettes over table candles and under street lights.  I’ve been hanging out in bars. Sundays at the Saturn, St. Roch’s Tavern and Siberia. The biggest crowd so far was Monday at Bud Rip’s and the highlight of the show was singing Two Girls with Stumps the Clown.

It’s 7:19PM and I’ve been sanding floors all day. I write this under a big fan, by the fishtank in a small blue room. A bird on a wire sang to me at an intersection today, and it was the most incredible thing to happen to me in a long time. His song was congruous with the sun and sky, the lurch of us at the light and electric wires cutting through nimbus clouds fat enough to pop. I sat on a white sofa at the Orange Couch for 3 hours yesterday, and talked on the phone the whole way home in the rain. Labor will never work again for me but I suppose it will if only for the next 3 weeks. I could busk uptown, and I sitll might, but not before I have a go at where the money’s steady and see how much misery I can stave or shrug off with nightswimming, catfish and cornbread pudding and mugs of honey sweet Italian Roast.

The only way to beat the heat is to get up before the sun. Concurrently that could be the only remedy for me as writer and daylaborer. I’m writing this after work, with coffee, so I know it’s a victory. The pinky side of my right hand is numb from working a palm sander for 7 hours—but I type on. I wanted this post to be obsequious, to get in and get out and fulfill my weekly obligation of 600 words, and for it to remain true like it should while not giving too much away. I’d rather be coy with you then lie and I’ll never be fake, certainly not in writing anyway. My stay here has been bountiful.  I’m cared for and I’m playing shows. It’s a good life, it’ll be 2 weeks Saturday and I can’t wait to come home.

I’m up under the hotlights at least 2 times a week. I got a rocking little combo and a spokenword gig and double header on Sunday. I’m racking my brain, gestating as they say in the Personal Journalism business—on how to approach An Ex-Patriot In Profile. Bernard Pearce is Louisiana born and bred, a Breaux Bridge boy. He spent years booking bands at the Rinky Dink and Pussycat Lounge and opened the Feed&Seed in Lafayette. Now he’s looking into other markets. The American dollar can go a lot farther almost anywhere other than here. Pearce wants to post up, out in the wild, maintain an outpost and hang a lantern. He hopes to open an Artist In Residence program at the southern edge of the Eastern Bloc. I’ve got a mirrorless and obligations to 3 different pubs including this one. 900 every other Friday shouldn’t be too much to ask of a working writer and my column at The Flake News keeps my head in the political game. The Coarse Grind is good fun and has become, in the words of Into The Void’s sage editor Philip Elliot, a spiritual quest. It’s my way of giving back and sounding out to all ye writers pincered in the savage night or too-bright mornings trying to get it down, neat and fine.

It took me about a week down here to find my groove again. It’s become an antidote, really. If I can bang a column of words out of thin air I’ll feel better. Ideas will take shape in the mist and the impossibility of my dreaming heart becomes tangible and very real. Whatever it is, the story, I’ll keep telling it and writing it down. Wherever I am, hither and yon and on this or the other side of the deadly stakes of American hegemony, I know I can reach out, send out a signal and raise it up the pole. I know you’ll always hear me and we’ll be together again. Whatever peak or valley this raucous mortal carnival has in store, you know I’ll be poking the Godhead and grasping at the why, armed with this new media in a holy and perseverant quest for wisdom. I’ll always be your writer.

The Territory


In Uncategorized on June 7, 2018 at 11:48 pm