Jim Trainer

Archive for November, 2018|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on November 29, 2018 at 10:40 am


All 5 of the neighbor’s dogs won’t stop barking.  This is not a metaphor.  I called the cops and am waiting for them to come.  This is not a metaphor.  My espresso’s cold and honey-sweet.  The door is open and a cold wind blows.  This is not a metaphor.  I posted about armageddon last week and a reader’s complained.  He didn’t like the upside down American flag, it should only be used when the nation’s in distress.  I wrote about the end of the fucking world and he complained about a flag and this is not a metaphor.  I’m not big on repetition.  Playing a song more than once is practice and the fuck are you anyway, I should have to repeat myself?  You’re either too dumb or self-righteous but really what’s the difference?  You keep gays out and Bibles in and soon the sun will be here.  The air or water will go first, a Bradbury story or dinosaur extinction in reverse.  Oh, and also, I guess Congress will reflect the ability and ways in which we receive and impart harm are not equitable.  Every color and creed, orientation and sect will have a seat at the table, while outside the skies burn cerise then blood red, blood black then back to phosphorescent eelskin-blue.  The sun will go out but it will win first and the first thing to go will be your politic.  This is just to say your politics won’t matter when skyscrapers queer in and your lover’s skin gets grafted and burn-fitted to her jaunty bones within.

The end of the world shouldn’t be so horrible considering how things’ve been.  Still, there are folks who will say things have never been better.  The more I operate from the phony nexus of social media, the more I feel trapped and inured and distracted and vain.  Nothing good has come of it, save our connection and the fact that most of you come here straight from Facebook.  I’m a year behind on my goal of being offline, so to speak, and doing it all from jimtrainer.net.  I haven’t worked in weeks, I’m blowing through my savings and the world won’t stop being on fire.  It’s not lost on me my complaint on the bane of selfishness and fly in the ointment curating our doom in real time has morphed into my own personal and petty triumphs and worry.  The dogs are still barking and this is not a metaphor.

A cop came and I don’t mind her.  Officer Rast is a nice lady.  I woke up in anger last night and couldn’t take my rest.  I turned on to hear the last minutes of the BBC before the creeping, obsequious voices of Morning Edition came pandering.  I don’t want to be trapped in anger or a prisoner of hate.  I work as always to lower my defenses and be vulnerable, open and even sometimes raw.  I’m far from a saint–I wake in anger today, and will go down tonight in waste.  The case was never for outcome.  It never was their world we were talking about conquering.  I thought we could go on gliding, middle-class or lower, holler our blues and make Art beyond the poverty line.  I thought the media was free now, a world-wide Arab Spring, but business and clannishness have ruled the day.  I believe I’ll become the media in my own way and I know you’ll be there supporting me.  I’ll work on me and we’ll work on we even if the end of times is only 12 summers away.

As self-invested as I’ve been, prone to rage and resentment and stoked mad by egomania or self-loathing, as much as I put my Art on the line above everything, kept writing and kept moving on to the next street, block, town and venture, for every idol smashed and every good and precious thing I’ve ruined and as much as I rose to be on top of it all, hating you, despising your world, hating everything and assailing all you stood on or for–my heart breaks for you and what you had to do to survive, all the dark strokes you’ve swung against and for your loves to be standing in the falling sun and breathing as the light of day goes from amber to rust, you’re breathing and you’ve made it and we’re here, alive but not for long. I love you and as much as my black heart clinches admitting it I am you and your struggles are mine and this is not a metaphor.

See you soon motherfuckers.

Please join Jim Trainer tonight at Testify, Austin’s premier story telling event.  Love&Wages, Trainer’s 5th full-length collection of poetry and prose will be released through Yellow Lark Press at Malvern Books on December 16.  Hosted by The Poetic Butcher and featuring poet Christia Madsci Hoffman (INTENT, Hedgehog & Fox 2017).  

“Ringleaders, followers and dipshits.”

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2018 at 9:46 am

I’m neither left or right‬
‪I’m just staying home tonight‬…
Leonard Cohen

By 2030, the cumulative rise in global temperatures will cause ecological collapse.  A profound degradation of modern society will follow for the 10 to 20 years after, but my gut take is the 2% won’t be terribly affected.  They’ll go on living comfortably, perhaps in bio-domes and sheltered from these dystopian turns.  The Kardashians of 2050 will have more than a private fire department at their disposal to meet the steep demands of hostile and unlivable conditions.  Staying alive may be a full-time gig in the future but the aristocracy won’t have to lift a finger.  That’s where you and I come in.  We’ll be serving then, too–at the poverty line or taken by the poisoned wind outside. Crazy talk, you would’ve said only 6 years ago.  Pessimist you’ll call me even now in an attempt to reduce scientific research to a paranoiac world view.  I don’t really care what you say or to what party you belong.  The news is entertainment now and I don’t feel like being entertained.  The leaders of the free world have more in common with the filthy rich despots they defend than you or me or the children of a dismembered American resident.  Point is say goodnight, Children.  Show’s over, kiss it goodbye.  You’re playing identity politics but I’m talking about the end of the world.

Sorry to over personalize but it’s been the end of the world since I was born.   Mine is the gas-mask generation.  We knew it was over and we said so.  We sang it and we wrote about it and anyway it comes as no surprise.  Whether or not there’s a window, I’m not sure–ask Noam Chomsky or Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  Whether or not the human race can turn it around in time is worthless conjecture that only tries the jaded belief system of anyone born after 1964.  I’ve complained plenty as a GenXer, but it was never a petition for inclusion.  I didn’t bemoan not getting invited to the party–I showed up anyway.  I was there–in 1991 and 2000 and 2003, but I left early.  The America always was a shitshow so I made my money and went home, choosing instead to spend my late nights typing on a machine that didn’t even plug into the wall.  Y’all rallied while I drank alone and you went off to war, and you sang vapid pap while I picked on a Tacoma Guild and strummed lonesome and low, somewhere way below, decidedly under and off the pop charts.  It’s your world and now it’s over.  I could’ve done so much more for you Brothers&Sisters, but I never threw in to the great debate, and I ain’t about to start.  Quibbling, bickering–news as entertainment.  Gnashing, backbiting and heading into town for murder.  It’s all a wash and it’s all the same–senselessly tragic and ending very soon.

Then what do you propose, we all just slit our wrists?
I don’t care what you do, Citizen, especially and as long as you don’t include me in ‘we‘.  This is your world, Jack.  You rah-rah-rah’d and you cried your clown tears.  You went in for comfort and now it’s got you here.  You’re trapped and inured and so am I.  You used to just say you’re depressed again and you were probably right.  I’ve been on the wrong side of whatever side there was since 1975 and I was probably a cynic in the womb.  My issues are legion and we know this.  Archiving this site will take me 3 months at least, it’s on average of 250,000 words and THEY’RE ALL ABOUT THE TROUBLE WITH JIMBO.  Grim Jim.  8 years I been on here, searching for inspiration and instigating drama, so you KNOW it can get pretty dark in my cubby but–not this time.  When I say it’s the end it’s the end and it’s way worse than anything the Lizard King could’ve imagined in the sanguine, post-Camelot days at the edge of Western Civilization in the American Century.

My cause is Life.  It it ain’t been or ain’t been apparent, it is now.  If you engage me in debate about Life the conversation is over.  If you pull me into an argument about whether people should live or die then laters.  The cause of Life INCLUDES police brutality and INCLUDES military intervention and INCLUDES health care and the victimization or disenfranchising of any color, stripe or variance.  Y’all talking about a blue wave can drown in it because that’s what will happen when these caps finally melt.  You swarthy fundamentalist Christian jihadists can keep tweeting, and choke on the bone your God’ll be shoving down your throat as the skies crack wide and part for fire and black rain.  I don’t care.  What you do.  Unless you’re trying to stop the end of the world you can fuck right off.  Get back to the rally and stump, aggrandize and ego stroke, fetishize and be right until most of the air is gone and everything is on fire.  I’ll die at my desk, where’s the coffee, punching out screeds and misanthropic-love poems on the machine, what else?  My world ended a long time ago but there’s still hope for yours.  Come on now, People.  Shut the fuck up and let’s go back to work.







In Uncategorized on November 15, 2018 at 10:00 am

is this the moment?  has it
finally arrived, after
squatting on my bowels
for months
and releasing only liquid?
is it the anger, finally
coming in to this room
like red wings of fury
clamping down into a dark crown?
is it the black street in
the black night come to
reclaim its son and champion
me, slithering “You
only been been playing at loneliness
now it’s time to get lost again”?
those first depressed years
like tendrils to choke out
the dream, give me back the night now
tell me only desert as I say, only
“Thirst.”  Back to perigee
back to thin air, back to bullets
chambered with the blanks
another ending and it’s total
back to dust and lean past bone.


In Uncategorized on November 8, 2018 at 11:38 am
It’s just a kiss away…

Suicide is so close.  Mostly I’m too lazy and just get pulled along which isn’t valiant by any stretch.  Neither my comparisons, or knowing in the third world and even my hometown folks would kill for the life I have. A paltry relativity as pathetic as my lazy will–not to live, just not to die and either way is the existential squeeze in which I don’t thrive or even enjoy my life.  Days pan out mercilessly dull and without courage.  Which isn’t to say I don’t die all the time, just that I’m able to change the channel in my mind when I consider hitting the median or hanging from the high ceiling of my garage apartment and kissing it goodbye.  Couple this with the fact that suicidal thoughts come from my disgust and shame at who I’ve become and how far off the mark I’ve hit with hardly any time left.  Throw in the fact we’ve got 4,000 days before ecological collapse and it’s as bleak as a bitch, Jack.  With no reason to go on at all–my existence is a senseless volley between excruciatingly dull and mundane and terribly entitled, lazy and self-mired.

I still don’t know what to do about the end of the world but writing this has shown me that what I think about myself and living is depression.  I’m thankful for the truth and recognize that the ability to see it is ubermenschian, a godsend, something I can thank my black Irish or Italian ancestors for, and why I’ll always write.  Some people live their whole lives in the dark.  Being different than the madding crowd doesn’t mean I’m happy with who I am, however.  The world is going to pot with velocity now but at the end of the day I’m alone or snuggled up with a sweet lady, wide awake and staring at the walls.  I’ve been worse but I’ve hardly been better.  February 25 will be 4 years without alcohol and the hardest year yet–a real doozy when all my resentments came to the surface and I weeded out 90% of the people I used to interact with.

I don’t mind being apart.  The fix is in and so deep in their mind I wonder if I should be considering murder instead of suicide.  Of course, I then realize that violence is my connection to the world and I’m as at odds with living as I am letting them live.  Maybe it’s not such a big deal, just some bosses I’d rather choke than work for; but my own blues and dissatisfaction and angst, coupled with the disgust and fear of who I’m becoming burns like a meteor.  I’ve finally tired of this model of suffering and salvation and my body is worn down.  I’ve no sense of wonder.  Depression seems to win round after round.  I find no forgiveness for others and have even less for myself.  It’s a fucked season and I’m up against it like always.  The 40s are sticking it to me good Reader.  There’s a lot of shit I won’t entertain these days.  I’ve less headaches, zero hangovers and no adrenaline dumps of psychopathic and diabolic dilettantes of love with father issues making my dick hard and throwing my guitars through plate glass into the yard.

I remember a reading I was doing at Dozen Street for Potty Mouth a few years back.  There was a woman there I used to see.  At intermission, when we were smoking outside, she suggested maybe I’m the one with the issue, and not all the narcissistic soul-suckers I’d tirelessly devoted so much of my work to.  I told her I really hit the wall that summer. I’d experienced utter depths of vanity coupled with such complete dearths of self-awareness I was shook.  I’d wasted years of my life working for self-serving shitheeled girlfriends and bosses and I’d no heart or stakes left.  The only thing I could compare the terrible summer of ’14 to was when I had to flee Hostile City for my life and sanity and get sober.  So, here I was, in the same situation—the cloying world on my neck, reading every week on my nights off, drinking a shit ton and mixing it up in a derelict mansion or outback a dark and dirty bar with an ex-Girlfriend offering ill-informed and half-baked psychoanalysis, uninvited and completely unbidden.

Ok, then, it’s got you shook.  So maybe you’re the one who’s crazy.  She balked from within her nest of diet Coke cans and crushed Marlboro Ultra-Lights.

Sister, please–you’ve no fucking idea.

Love&Wages, Jim Trainer’s 5th full-length collection of poetry and prose will be released this December through Yellow Lark Press.  Please visit jimtrainer.net or write Jim at jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com to pre-order a copy and for more information.  Thank you!


In Being A Writer, creative nonfiction, Uncategorized, Writing, writing about writing on November 1, 2018 at 8:10 am

Though lovers be lost love shall not…
Dylan Thomas

When I say “romantic,” I mean a sensibility that sees everything, and has to express everything, and still doesn’t know what the fuck it is, it hurts that bad. It just madly tries to speak whatever it feels, and that can mean vast things. That sort of mentality can turn a sun-kissed orange into a flaming meteorite, and make it sound like that in a song.
Jeff Buckley

All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name.
Andre Breton

Working for a living is the worst.  Not only are you surrendering your lifetime for money, you’re participating in your own oppression, and contributing to the oppression of those beneath you. We all need a foil, bet, and the wealthy aren’t the only people who need someone to look down on to feel better about themselves. That’s capitalism, Comrade, and further proof white guilt is a shallow gesture and ego stroke that has nothing to do with black and brown people. Some of us rise up no matter who we are and conquer our own worlds behind a typewriter after driving a bus all day.  These are the exception, the Artist and the Writer, and, as far as writing is concerned–the only thing worse than working for a living is starting to write. Beginning. I don’t know why starting is so hard or why it stops so many of us from writing at all. It could be a mistrust of the slipshod world, that once we open the inner chamber, the flowing channels of wisdom that are ours for the taking when we write will be interrupted and get rushed by the filth and the fury. There’s a certain amount of safety needed to write–and quiet, if not peace.

I did over 12,000 miles this summer, and visited 6 countries, but I couldn’t write at all.
A good Reader writes from “an attic in Smithville”, adding:
My traveling partner had no boundaries and zero respect for mine. He possessed a horrible combination of aggression and southern hospitality. He was a bully, but not an overt one. And he never shut the fuck up.  On commuter trains, busses, hotel rooms, lobbies, waiting rooms and especially in the tight quarters of a prepper farm on the foothills of the Ural Mountains.  Between Kazakhstan and the Barents Sea, he insinuated me to death! He gaslighted me constantly. He loved to tell me how he was looking out for me while he hinted and suggested the bullshit out of every waking moment.”

“Couldn’t you find any time to be alone?,” I asked.

No. His presence was so toxic I couldn’t write even when I was on my own. I was too shook and his presence loomed. He assumed I was beholden to him, that I owed him somehow.”

I can relate”, I told him, and the truth is—what kept him from writing on another continent, and all the mindfuckery and empathy-exhaustion of bad travel he described, probably feels no different than the dread of starting writing I’ve experienced on my days off from the temp job.  Once I get rolling no prob, but starting, or thinking about starting?  It takes up more bandwidth than actually committing to the thing.  A lot of times I got so much trouble on my mind and I forget that writing is the way out, Brothers&Sisters.  The solution is locked in the arms of the problem.  You’ve got to unfurl, unkink and let wisdom speak and speak through you.

No more, Butchie, no more of this.
Phil Leotardo

So much for the trouble with writing and bad travel partners.  I could tell you some stories, good Reader–make your asshairs stand up.  I’m due back in New Orleans, to pay a $600 ticket, but maybe I should run some voodoo down.  Either that or never travel without expenses paid.  The world is on fire anyway.  We got inside of twenty-two years sustainable left and I’m quitting Creative Nonfiction.  It’s a bummer–the fact I have to drudge up and shake out my small shames and great fears every week, if I want to keep writing and consider myself a writer.  I’m not speaking to how this blog speaks to you, or that it connects us in catastrophe and dispels the isolation of being a seer in the land of the blind.  It worked and for the last 8 years it’s been a boon, a great way to pass the time and the luckiest goddamn thing.  But too a bane, ain’t it though.  I’m switching formats and I’m driving to New Orleans.  I’ll be working in the Personal Journalism business now and I know a place in Mid City where I can get a bag of gris-gris, solve my buddy’s problem and mine.  Welcome to the darker half.  It’s time to bury the dead.

Please tune in to Into The Void Magazine this Sunday for Part 9 of The Coarse Grind, Jim Trainer’s monthly column on writing and the creative life.