Jim Trainer

Archive for September, 2018|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on September 27, 2018 at 11:46 am

That is not gonna make Oprah Winfrey happy.
Chuck Palahniuk

Dont touch my Willie.  You dont know him that well.  Help yourself to some Luke Bryan or Ted Nugent or any of those clowns.  I know what you heard but I dont walk party lines.  So keep your mouth off my Willie.  We’ll get along just fine.
Troy Stone

We are all absolutely delirious with joy.
Victoria Valentino


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Time has taught me that it goes by. The quality and timbre of our moments aren’t as important as the fact that they’re going and gone. Life can be astounding, if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen…it’s true, but–at the end of the day it’s the end of the day and you’ll never get it back. There isn’t much reckoning I can come up with when I think back on the decades of abuse and waste of at least three-thousand nights getting blotto or anger-fucking and so strapped with depression and dread I was glad to end it and commit suicide if only incrementally. Those things’ll kill ya, they used to say. I’m counting on it, I would respond. It might’ve looked cool, hell it might’ve been cool but the truth is I was so scared of death that the only control I had was to rush toward it. Plus I was young and a poet so I had enough of that post-adolescent cocktail of ignorance, melodrama and Father-issues to be lethal, or at least justify smoking a pack of black Gauloises and drinking bourbon and stout every night, stopping by her house for uninvited rough sex and waking up hating life and ready to do it all over again. I think I thought I’d write on those days. Invariably I probably only stared at a screen as blank as my future, the dread and malaise would return and I’d head out to the bar or get takeout somewhere and nurse a 6 of Black&Tan big boys with a copy of Generation Of Swine. Or I’d smoke a bowl and take Ibuprofen and play a Gretsch archtop through a Fender ProJunior. I was suffering then and I am suffering now. The difference is back then I thought my suffering wasn’t enough. I’d have to go extra if I wanted to write like my heroes. More importantly, and far less disparaging and horrible, the difference is I start writing now. I still stare, putter, jerkoff, eat and, worst of all stalk social media. I still do everything else first, before I start writing, but I start.

That’s what this blog is all about, Yellow Lark Press and a book every year until 2025. My raison d’être post 40. Why I’m back in the states slinging bolognaise and humping crates full of silver into the back of a box truck after midnight. Ok, I do that for money and for the opportunity to generate an email list, start a Patreon campaign, apply for the Community Initiatives grant and attempt to cultivate a daily Yoga practice. I’m making up for lost time. It’s the only way I can pay any attrition for all those lost years. They taught me nothing but it wasn’t all for naught. Those lost years are my biggest inspiration today. Those lost years as a jerkoff alcoholic are really starting to pay off.




In Uncategorized on September 20, 2018 at 10:14 am


Love&Wages, Jim Trainer’s 5th full-length collection of poetry, will be out this December through Yellow Lark Press.  Please visit jimtrainer.net for a signed copy of Take To The Territory, his latest collection–and for filmed performances, journalism and song.  Also out this December–ALLOW by local poet IgnacioBrown Thought” Carvajal.

Is An American Gun

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2018 at 10:11 pm

I either live in a dignified country or I be remembered as a Ugandan who died trying to make a better Uganda.
–Bobi Wine 

For many are called, but few are chosen.
Matthew 22:14

I think everybody in those places is going crazy inside.
Joe Rogan

Whoever gets the vision gets the task.

I’m lucky.  I got the call early and been around long enough to answer.  It’s not easy, nor has it ever been, but I’m not interested in that.  It would’ve been easy to stay in the hometown, stay in school, get a full time gig, get married and step into a pre-fab life, tailor-made for suckers on the vine.  There’s plenty of people who are perfectly happy doing it.  I’m not putting them down.  Just saying that it always felt like death to me.  In between cops who had nothing better to do than hassle me and my friends about our tattoos and noserings, and grown men prowling the suburbs offering us blowjobs.  There was something especially seedy and unsavory about my hometown, and I can only look back derisively and with the most scorn.  As far as college and a full time job, well—look at me now, Good Reader.  Before I clock in to the temp shift, I’ll give the fifteen or so poems I’m submitting tomorrow a once over.  I might even grind one out on the Selectric before I shower and press my serving blacks.  I got one out before work yesterday and it felt like victory.  It always does.  I write poetry out of vengeance and that’s all I can say about my inspiration and romantic inclinations.  Y’all know I’m a romantic—I write on a typewriter for Christ, and the sorry circus of the world needs a tent and a cyclone fence.  That’s what it is, too—my way of getting my arms around it, framing the agony as Papa wrote and earning my roach wings like Uncle Hank.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not celebrating filth or think I’m some kind of anti-hero outlaw poet.  My drinking days are done, as are the ramshackle nights of smoke&ruin and man-made blues that were my answer to the chemical imbalance in my brain.  A diagnosis was the turning point, and one of the biggest motivators for me to change.  When I got diagonosed with Major Depressive Disorder, it took all the shame out of it; and when I found out I could treat it and all I had to do was quit drinking—well, it wasn’t exactly like a light coming on but, after some time insisting on getting drunk instead of getting better, I decided that no matter where sobriety took me I’d rather not be dumb.  Point is, the opportuntiy to rid myself, or even deal with a monkey that’d been on my back for decades presented itself and I instead decided to keep getting drunk until I realized how dumb that was.  It’s not a cureall.  My aversion to being stupid was stronger than my alcoholism.  Again, not easy, nor is it black and white.  Sometimes my alcoholism is stronger than everything else in my life and it still manifests, and I’m still a jerkoff temp sugar junkie trying to get free.  Point of all that, believe it or not, is I am still writing.  I’m still a writer and I am still writing it down.  It’s a world I know.  One I curated on a manual in an apartment on the corner of 45th&Locust, on a Brother electric at 47th&Chester, on those pocket-sized CVS jawns—with covers black, grey and red, on the heralded President XII Tower–the beautiful machine, on a fire engine red IBM Selectric II, on a MacBook Pro that’s overheating and finally on an iPad typing like a praying mantis on this Logitech mini-keyboard.

I write from the hip and we know this. I go for the throat, theirs and mine, and we know that too. I throw these words down, tight little nuggets of filigree and rage and make sense of it later if at all. I write letters, 2 times a week when I’m on my A Game, which I hardly am. I’m working as a temp—for 13, 14 and $15 an hour, loading tables and humping luggage, slinging drinks and serving dinner. While typing a letter the other night, there was this fucker on his back, on the tiles by the machine—a tree roach, judging by his size. They’re coming in out of the rain and one of them even ran the fuck up my back. This place is all bills though and month to month, and I’ll stay because mostly, during the day, it’s as quiet as a tomb. My writing desk takes up about 30% of the space in here, just underneath a Full XL loft bed that I never sleep in. I slept in it the other night but that’s when the visitor ran up my neck and if I think about it too long I’ll draw a bleak conclusion. I know I chose this. I know that anything can happen. I know we’re terribly inured here, enslaved and entitled by our comforts and our politik, and we voice our paltry protest online but come Monday morning fall right back in line. I got just over 60k on a Japanese car and I’m as free as I can manage but I’ma have to get freer. You know the deal. We rant. We rave. We suffer sorrow and celebrate joy. The world’s still turning and the end is coming soon. Shit’s about as fucked as it can get but I guess it’s gonna have to get worse. It can always get worse and it can always be better. I’ll be at my desk if you need me or on campus plating dinner for 80 and thankful for another day I’m not living in my hometown.


In Uncategorized on September 6, 2018 at 7:44 pm

The hearings don’t matter.
Emily Bazelon 

Another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage.
Alice Stewart

The false, even, belief that you have agency is what keeps us alive and keeps us actually surviving and going beyond trauma.
Jennifer Fox

Maybe you’re a baby who can write.
Maroline Martin

My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.
President Gerald Ford

I still got one of his hickeys. It won’t go away. It’s a scar.
Kids In The Dark

Quantitative scientific measures are almost always more accurate than personal perceptions and experiences but our inclination is to believe that which is tangible to us, and/or the word of someone we trust, over a more “abstract” statistical reality.
Gabriel Weinberg

I got an hour here before I have to take a call.  It’s been a rough day writing-wise and that’s because I’m not prepared.  I’m never prepared and that’s because I loathe doing this–well, I hate drudging it up and “coming to a conclusion” and talking myself into continuing the charade.  It’s as hopeless as it sounds but, maybe it’s not.  The price I pay for sensitivity, I could tell myself.  What I mean is I woke up knowing I’m not Hunter Thompson and that, it being Thursday, I’d solve the crisis of either writing or hating myself by coming through with 600 words neat and fine or otherwise.  But I gave up on that before noon and started looking around for something to post that wasn’t personal or current and wouldn’t remind me that I’m a fraud.

I came across my filmed performance, at Metaphorically Challenged last January, and started singing a different tune.  Sometimes I need my friends to tell me I’m a writer but sometimes I can figure it out all by myself on a day off as a luggage handler in a small garage apartment in the Pearl of the South.  I couldn’t download the video to my desktop though.  My Mac tells me I’m out of space on the cloud.  I don’t know why that should matter but it seems like a brilliant business move to have some of the machine’s functionality out of sight and as invisible as a cloud so that you only notice it when it’s gone and that’s when you’ll need it the most.  These are the shakes and breaks, the little pin pricks that can pop your balloons, not to mention the device and ease that’ve trained us to be consumers and send us out into the hordes on a perfect day of solitude to get what we need–Christ.  Tangential fits of filigree and rage like that are exactly why we tune in here ain’t it though.  Why you’re here reading and why I sit here writing it down.  It’s also exactly the kind of thing I’d much rather avoid but the video is still loading and my MacBook’s only heating up tallying my bill for storage for its master.

You gotta serve somebody and life here is inuring and mad.  It don’t feel right to complain but it don’t feel right besides.  Over there they’d kill for what we have and over here we kill ourselves.  I spent too much money this summer but I’m changed now and I can’t go back.  There are over a thousand shots in my Dropbox and I’m playing in town some, getting back into the groove.  It feels good but none of it is a cure for the malaise that comes from building your own cage.  I know I’ve got to get free.  I can see the way out and it’s what I’ll be working towards for the rest of my days.  There’s a tally I know I’ll need to settle.  There are universes of misunderstanding between me and Them but it’s nice to know I won’t have to fight against a dull idea of living anymore.  Being alone has made me strange and being independent’s made me queerer still.  I wasn’t understood in the hometown so I left.  I’m not understood in Austin but I live behind a tall wooden fence off the highway and people leave me alone.  I’m still trapped by my own comfort and the Machine has got me coming and going too.  I wake up most days a failure but sometimes I can convince myself otherwise.  I can still hump luggage for $14/hr even if I have to shit my brains out the whole time.  I suffer tension headaches, hardons, fear and lusts great and small.  The sun is always setting and the moon is always giving rise.

I’ll take it, too–another breath, diminishing returns, this uncanny strength in ease.  I’ll always be glad for another day, one I’d rather have than not, no matter it’s outcome, despite its reward or travail and whether or not it’s Thursday and I have to write another fucking blog.