Jim Trainer

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.

  1. fuckin ain’t it tho

  2. Pencil, pen, ribbon or ink cartridge — it’s all writing and you’re doing it and I’m still not so bulky for you, dear friend. Write on.

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