Jim Trainer

Archive for 2019|Yearly archive page

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#41: Dear John Martin, Black Sparrow Press

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2019 at 10:01 am

December 8th 1986

Hello John:

Thanks for the good letter. I don’t think it hurts, sometimes, to remember where you came from. You know the places where I came from. Even the people who try to write about that or make films about it, they don’t get it right. They call it “9 to 5.” It’s never 9 to 5, there’s no free lunch break at those places, in fact, at many of them in order to keep your job you don’t take lunch. Then there’s OVERTIME and the books never seem to get the overtime right and if you complain about that, there’s another sucker to take your place.

You know my old saying, “Slavery was never abolished, it was only extended to include all the colors.”

And what hurts is the steadily diminishing humanity of those fighting to hold jobs they don’t want but fear the alternative worse. People simply empty out. They are bodies with fearful and obedient minds. The color leaves the eye. The voice becomes ugly. And the body. The hair. The fingernails. The shoes. Everything does.

As a young man I could not believe that people could give their lives over to those conditions. As an old man, I still can’t believe it. What do they do it for? Sex? TV? An automobile on monthly payments? Or children? Children who are just going to do the same things that they did?

Early on, when I was quite young and going from job to job I was foolish enough to sometimes speak to my fellow workers: “Hey, the boss can come in here at any moment and lay all of us off, just like that, don’t you realize that?”

They would just look at me. I was posing something that they didn’t want to enter their minds.

Now in industry, there are vast layoffs (steel mills dead, technical changes in other factors of the work place). They are layed off by the hundreds of thousands and their faces are stunned:

“I put in 35 years…”

“It ain’t right…”

“I don’t know what to do…”

They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work. I could see all this. Why couldn’t they? I figured the park bench was just as good or being a barfly was just as good. Why not get there first before they put me there? Why wait?

I just wrote in disgust against it all, it was a relief to get the shit out of my system. And now that I’m here, a so-called professional writer, after giving the first 50 years away, I’ve found out that there are other disgusts beyond the system.

I remember once, working as a packer in this lighting fixture company, one of the packers suddenly said: “I’ll never be free!”

One of the bosses was walking by (his name was Morrie) and he let out this delicious cackle of a laugh, enjoying the fact that this fellow was trapped for life.

So, the luck I finally had in getting out of those places, no matter how long it took, has given me a kind of joy, the jolly joy of the miracle. I now write from an old mind and an old body, long beyond the time when most men would ever think of continuing such a thing, but since I started so late I owe it to myself to continue, and when the words begin to falter and I must be helped up stairways and I can no longer tell a bluebird from a paperclip, I still feel that something in me is going to remember (no matter how far I’m gone) how I’ve come through the murder and the mess and the moil, to at least a generous way to die.

To not to have entirely wasted one’s life seems to be a worthy accomplishment, if only for myself.

your boy,
Hank

AIN’T IT

In Uncategorized on November 7, 2019 at 11:00 am

I’m John Hemmer!

There is no bottom to the abyss.
-John Cusack

…forced dispersal of people from encampment settings … accomplishes nothing toward the goal of linking people to permanent housing opportunities, and can make it more difficult to provide such lasting solutions.
The Federal Interagency Council on Homelessness

“He asked me to write this book on his deathbed,” in 1989 at age 42, while he was suffering from AIDS, she says.

I don’t agree with it, I don’t like ’em, it’s fake news, and I’m voting no.
-Citrus County Commissioner Scott Carnahan

The cheats I have to do between devices without the cloud, and volleying between a 5-year old hard drive and an even older iPad, make the reading and writing and attributing of a good journalist impossible.  That quote from a shit-for-brains County Commissioner took 3 stabs at pasting here and the third was a copy from a search page because by then the Washington Post blocked me with a paywall.  John Hemmer’s story’s a good one, at least it was written well and I read it while on shift at the ARCH.  I did 2 shifts yesterday and the vibe down there is nasty.  It’s getting Lord of the Flies for the homeless and it’s coming from the top down. My quote from the Federal Interagency on Homelessness was lifted from a great article in the Texas Observer (note:  write a letter to good guy Gus Bova) debunking 5 things Governor Abbot said about the homeless and all but concluding that the state just wants to sweep the homeless out from the underpass and under the rug.  Ain’t that America and don’t too wise oh ye of the middle class.  When moving day only involves a tent and everything you can’t throw away, the homeless have it easy.  By the end of the terrible summer John Cusack was sounding  Nietzschean but it ain’t hard to be profound when it’s a crime to be poor, libraries call the news fake and lizards rule the barnyard.  None of this has shit to do with me.  I didn’t vote yesterday and even if I could get to the polls I wouldn’t know who to vote for.  I’ll go blue, sure, because these are the choices.  Last time I voted blue though, the President ushered in one of the worst economic catastrophes in American history while only raising the minimum wage once in an 8-year term.  I don’t like to weigh in on politics.  The only party I belong to is the Black Party–as in fade to and curtains motherfucker, kiss your middle-class goodbye.

I previewed this post on my Patreon Monday morning.  $5 gets you backstage, and could keep me writing instead of laying there, at 4:30AM, and stewing.  You either hate what you done or dread what you got to.  Ain’t it.  I should know better so now I get up and get to it, to the tune of at least $25 a month–which is 5 Patrons at that level and who I’m broadcasting to on The Wire.  Brother Julian and I agree that being so busy you can’t breathe suits career anxiety sufferers and anyway I’d rather be banging keys than laying there, in the dark, wrenching my stiff laborer’s neck and regretting almost anything I can think of.  I’d rather be with you and so here we are.  The sun ain’t up yet but I’ve got coffee.  I’m live and in the middle of this mess, with you–and isn’t that nice?

Book blocks are in the can and Minuteman Press is rolling.  Might have some last minute edits to the covers and I don’t know when I’ll get around to learning how to design a broadside.  I’m stuck on paper choice but I’ll probably just go with what I got–200 sheets of 100lb, Lemon Drop and Blacktop from French Paper Company’s PopTone and Construction lines.  I’m at the ARCH again this morning and playing the Driskill Hotel with Brother Julian again tonight.  I’m making a delivery first thing tomorrow and playing my third and final night at the Driskill after.  Friday I’m at the ARCH until 12 and then a wedding from 3 until midnight.  Saturday I’m bartending a tailgate party at Bobcats stadium and then I’m finally free…to learn InDesign, catch up with print guru Kevin Auer and Snakes Will Eat You, until Monday when the whole thing starts again.  It’s a good life motherfucker and I don’t know how glad I’ll be when it’s finally over.  Death is my inspiration, you could say, and you ain’t lyin.  There’s a strange kind of finality to things now.  Days they mean more and less, if you know what I mean.  I’m not as prone to be proud or sentimental, in no rush to signal virtue or be seen.  I’m in the dusk and the sun is warm and fine.  Nights clobber me and I fall out, as cleanly and without regret as I can.  Then I’m up, in the pre-dawn dark, waging my war, calling out into the wild.  Banging keys.  Hitting ‘Publish‘.  Sending up and giving voice.  Living forever for a little while and dying all the time.

  Love you.
TRAINER

SIGN UP AND SHARE THE POEM OF THE WEEK AND I’LL WRITE YOU A POEM!
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PART 22 OF THE COARSE GRIND, MY MONTHLY COLUMN ON THE CREATIVE LIFE, GOES LIVE THIS SUNDAY AT INTO THE VOID.
NO COMEBACKS BY WILL STENBERG WILL BE RELEASED THIS DECEMBER THROUGH YELLOW LARK PRESS.  JIM TRAINER WILL RELEASE 2031, HIS SIXTH FULL-LENGTH COLLECTION OF POETRY, THIS DECEMBER THROUGH YELLOW LARK PRESS. 
PRE-ORDER YOUR COPIES HERE.  
Stay tuned for news on these releases, readings and broadsides from each collection, designed by Snakes Will Eat You and letter pressed at the Austin Book Arts Center.

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#40: Ain’t that America, From Governor Abbott

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2019 at 8:45 am

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SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS AND I’LL WRITE YOU A LETTER!

SIGN UP AND SHARE THE POEM OF THE WEEK AND I’LL WRITE YOU A POEM!

READ THE COARSE GRIND, MY MONTHLY COLUMN ON THE CREATIVE LIFE, AT INTO THE VOID.

NO COMEBACKS BY WILL STENBERG WILL BE RELEASED THIS DECEMBER THROUGH YELLOW LARK PRESS.  JIM TRAINER WILL RELEASE 2031, HIS SIXTH FULL-LENGTH COLLECTION OF POETRY, THIS DECEMBER THROUGH YELLOW LARK PRESS. 
PRE-ORDER YOUR COPIES HERE.  

Stay tuned for news on these releases, readings and broadsides from each collection, designed by Snakes Will Eat You and letter pressed at the Austin Book Arts Center.

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#38: Happy Birthday Little Brother

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2019 at 12:26 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
German Division
Berlin Plaza Hotel
Knesebeckstr. 63
BE 10719 Germany

Brother Julian Root
Guadalajara, GUAM
The Other Hemisphere

7/21/18, 10:43AM

Happy Birthday Little Brother

Just the sound of the words bon chance, spoken to friends and loved ones over the years, has risen through the ethers and charged the air.  I mean it’s phonetically pleasing, it’s rhythmic, and it jives with atheists and patrons of Gods who don’t cull favor.  It’s in the air and it connects us—when I’m out on the road, traveling in Europe, I am closer to you than when I’m slaving to the grind just across the Gulf in Texas.  It’s the good red road and it’s magic that connects us.  Magic the way iconic Saint Nedelya in his cathedral ponders his stony gaze upon a crow, and the candle I light there for my Grandmother burns on even after I’ve flown, a time zone and 3 countries over, arriving just before 1am, my bearing witness to exhaustion paying off in the best Shish Taouk I ever had and waking up in one of the greatest cities in the world.  New York’s another, and would be thee greatest, were it not in a republic in the thrall of rat ideals and pig intellect—the America.  All of this is to say I’ve been thinking of you and thought I’d write you, this morning in Berlin before I head into the city and wear down my blues with an exhaustion that pulls up through my leather loafers and sometimes unluckily to my furrowed, Italian-American brow.

It started with Erik, as a lot of things have.  We were listening to him, post rain and after midnight on a porch in the 9th ward.  Of course there was a cute punk rock girl there and of course I was crushing her.  John Wood smoked his GPCs and the girls drank wine and tequila.  It was a night of reverie and prophesy—looking back to look ahead like you do.  The next day, heading out to Lafayette I put him on, too.  Old Time Memry, pulling on to I10, that hillbilly highway.  My passenger didn’t care.  Neither Layla Musselwhite, riding in the back with a reso and crockpot and box of my poetry. The day wasn’t a total bust—I developed some skills making the best of it and I met some nice people.  Travel is like eating a shit sandwich but asking for salt.  Know what I mean, Little Brother?  Anyway, more than five thousand miles away it was Erik again, discussing him and Mischief Brew and Philly.  Aaron, filling in on bass for Blato Zlato, doubted I was OG until he found out my first ever apartment was across from your old place and right next to the Abyssinia II at 45t&Locust.  It was the biggest 1br I could find for $400 and everyone from the hometown thought I was crazy.  3 years later I’d be getting paid in whisky to read poetry before picking up a Gretsch archtop and ushering in a whole new era of roots music.  Erik was leading the charge.  And the City Wide Specials, I guess.  And the Broken Prayers.  And Robert Blake.  And me.  Yes, me.  I did what I did and what I had to, playing in Philly 3 nights a week for years until I headbutted the PBR clock and played a game of grabass at Fiume resulting in the first of many bans Hostile City hoisted on me during the Never Ending Summer of Evel Knievel.  Point is New Orleans is a city of the dead.  So is Sofia and Maslarevo, and Varzulitsa where Aaron and I discussed Philly in the early 90s.  In Bulgaria they post these memorial fliers of people who have passed on.  They look like Want Ads and they list how long they’ve been gone, not when they were born or when they died.  That makes a lot of sense to me.  Bulgaria is an interesting mix of East and West which in this case is to say—the dead are gone but they are here, in our hearts, forever.

I’m getting choked up writing it, Little Brother, so I want you to know I have a lot of love for you.  How could I not love a fast talking, tee-totaling, Jewish ex-Pat who plays the banjo and loves his mother?  Love for you is love for me.  I is another and may you always travel with a mate and not a bane or bully.  I left mine in Sofia yesterday, drank 3 Americanos and took a nightflight to Berlin.  I feel better alone especially if I’m not with him.  I told him I can’t talk to him and he told me I was in the minority.  Does anything else need to be said?  I confess to my mate, who I’ve just traveled over five thousand fucking miles with, by plane and bus and train, rental car and taxi cab, that communicating with him is impossible for me and his response is that I’m wrong.  Brother Julian, say it with me now, in true Philly style…Fuuuuuuuuuuk you.  Am I right?  I can’t wait to never see him again.  Oh, dread.  My anger’s got the best of me and the best of what was supposed to be a respectful paean to that bon chance energy, out there in the ether, blowing round a green bowl of the Balkans and warping the black air of New Orleans, high and white up here on the terrace of my room at the Plaza Hotel and down to you, my best unbeaten brother, in your exile with your guitar and your women and the words that keep coming and falling out like black ink soldiers on to the white page…the white page.  The white page is what’s so sad about all this so we fill it.  Let us.  My left arm is asleep.  This room stinks of chicken and rice.  I need to shower and hop on the Ubahn, head to Kreuzberg and post up somewhere else and drink coffee.  It’s what I do.  I’ll try and wrap some of these travel articles and get some dollars out here, recoup, get my arms around it and send it off.  I’ll wait to hear from Raffe, another Brother and Friend.  If I can get a guitar we’ll do one for Erik, maybe even one of his, send it out to the living.  Send it out to the dead.

Feliz cumpleaños.  Always write.  Always love&hate.  Always say what you have to say.  Unless they won’t listen in which case fuck them we’ll see them in Hell, if there is one.  If we make it to Heaven it’s all gravy—you and me and tall German women.

Yours,
Jim Trainer
Berlin, DE

NO COMEBACKS by Will Stenberg

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2019 at 11:34 am

Ahoy Good Reader.  It’s publishing season.  I love this time of year.  Proofs are in the can.  The covers are donezo.  There’s nothing left to do but barely and anxiously contain ourselves as we await our work to become manifest.  I published another writer this year–a classic poet, punkrocker, boxer and total sweetheart, Mr. Will Stenberg.  People love Will and I do, too.  When I say classic poet it’s ’cause I don’t wanna say real poet though that’s exactly what I mean.  Stenberg’s work is lean, taut yet whimsical.  He let’s the language do what it does.  There’s nothing wasted in his work.  He takes you to the canvas and lets you square off.

I couldn’t be happier for Will to be the first featured writer, besides myself, at Yellow Lark Press.  His people couldn’t either and pre-sales of No Comebacks have certainly reflected that.  It’s a boxing book, 42 poems, each dedicated to a champion of American boxing.  We’ll be releasing No Comebacks, along with 2031, my 6th full-length collection of poetry, at readings here and in Will’s hometown of Portland.  Stay tuned for all the details.  In the meantime, for a sneak peak of No Comebacks and Will Stenberg’s wonderful essay on the “sweet science”, read on to his feature in the latest Parhelion Magazine.  Pre-sales for No Comebacks and 2031 are still open and we could use your help.  Order now and get 2031 at 25% off, while supplies last.  And wait ’til you see our broadsides.  Thanks as always Good Reader.  We couldn’t do this without you.  

Jim Trainer
Yellow Lark Press, Patreon

SIGN UP AND SHARE THE POEM OF THE WEEK AND I’LL WRITE YOU A POEM!
SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS AND I’LL WRITE YOU A LETTER!
READ THE COARSE GRIND, MY MONTHLY COLUMN ON THE CREATIVE LIFE, AT INTO THE VOID.
NO COMEBACKS BY WILL STENBERG WILL BE RELEASED THIS DECEMBER THROUGH YELLOW LARK PRESS.  JIM TRAINER WILL RELEASE 2031, HIS SIXTH FULL-LENGTH COLLECTION OF POETRY, THIS DECEMBER THROUGH YELLOW LARK PRESS. 
PRE-ORDER YOUR COPIES HERE.  
Stay tuned for news on these releases, readings and broadsides from each collection, designed by Snakes Will Eat You and letter pressed at the Austin Book Arts Center.

COUNTING DOWN

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2019 at 11:00 am

Our fear of dying is so strong that we can only accept it if the whole world dies with us.
-Mark Goodin

So go on the human heart, go on through the dark
through the dead generation, that don’t need anyone…
-My Name Is God

The only hope for human civilization lies in a radical, abrupt, and probably violent transformation of that very civilization. Failing this, we all face—all humanity—within our lifetimes and the lifetimes of our children—a catastrophic collapse of the biosphere upon which human life depends.
-Roy Scranton

now that
the fight is over
we simply recede
under the dead brilliance of stars
2031

I’m spending more and more time in the War Room, pressed up against the desk and banging keys.  There’s tea on or cold coffee and it’s quiet as a tomb.  Typing at the wide, green window with my chucks on or shoes off and buck naked as my birthday.  I’ve passed endurances of loneliness to win this solitude and it’s everything I ever wanted.  I slept in this morning, past the 5, 6 and 7 alarms but after coffee and a hot bath I went through the manuscript for 2031.  Me and the homie Danielle are editing it for flow and readability.  I looked over the book file for No Comebacks in InDesign and sent a .pdf to Kinkos so I can get a look at the thing in real time.  I edited the author page for my own collection in InDesign and talked to Josh Britton at Snakes Will Eat You.  We’ve been collaborating for years and we like to work from the gut.  Ain’t too much hemming and hawing from either of us, just a yes or no and let’s keep it moving.  Publishing has got to be my favorite time of year.  There may be a better time for it than the Fall, when work and gigs and travel conflate and everything in the natural world is hunting and gathering for winter.  I’m thinking the dead seasons, between January and February and July and August, might be better for creative endeavor but they wouldn’t feel as good as when the leaves change, the light gets pale and I’m typing by the wide green window and getting words to page.  As soon as I meet with print guru Kevin Aurer tomorrow I’ll book flights–to PDX and PHL.  My goal is to sell 100 copies of 2031 and 100 of No Comebacks.  I just might have to pony up for some flights cross-country to do it.  We’ll have broadsides too and these and pre-sales should conflate with the launch of my Patreon in November.

I’ve been asked by my PR guru Maureen Ferguson to come up with a mission statement for the campaign.  Something to open up the avenues and ways for you to support me, Good Reader.  I took some hits on my rust belt jaunt this summer.  Getting to Columbus was harried and cost me too much money even if I’m forever glad I did.  That city will be part of my circuit now and I can think of inside or outside of fifteen people living there who’ll put a smile on my face and support me any time I can make it through.  Which is the point.  I’m asking for help with this thing.  I’m not really selling anything.  I’ll have plenty of gifts for you, bet, and plenty of things I just do and give away anyway, for the love and comradery and because death’s not getting any further away.  I need help taking this thing further and you’ll be lavished with gifts in addition to supporting the noble cause.  Can you help me?  Truth is by the time we launch I’ll already be in a better place.  Putting value on things I do without thought or consideration as such will help me plan.  I’m over 40 and 70% of the population will be gone in 12 years.  The good news about the worst news is I can plan now and I want to.  ADD or fear of death kept me shooting from the hip and never planning for tomorrow for decades of wasted youth.  Now that death is certain, no turning back, I know I’ve got to be exact, strike on target and keep moving.  That’s what it all comes down to, Good Reader.  I’ll need to write and publish at least 100 books a year for the next 5 and break into as many markets, that is, find as many cities offering Columbus and Philly levels of love as I can, by the middle of the next decade.  The beauty of Patreon is we’ll do it together.

That oughta do it and anyway explain why after working 2 jobs and over 40 hours plus time at the keys and consulting with Will Stenberg and Snakes Will Eat You I’m up and at it today, banging keys and tweaking timelines, drafting blogs and tempering my plea to you.  Help me down this savage road Good Reader.  We’ve got about 12 semi-comfortable years left here together and I’m doing what I’ve always done.  Art is striking back against the absurdity of death.  We can live forever in our work.  At least it’s fun to think so.  Requiescat In Pace motherfucker.

Screen Shot 2019-10-15 at 5.57.16 PM

SIGN UP AND SHARE THE POEM OF THE WEEK AND I’LL WRITE YOU A POEM!

SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS AND I’LL WRITE YOU A LETTER!

READ THE COARSE GRIND, MY MONTHLY COLUMN ON THE CREATIVE LIFE, AT INTO THE VOID.

NO COMEBACKS BY WILL STENBERG WILL BE RELEASED THIS DECEMBER THROUGH YELLOW LARK PRESS.  JIM TRAINER WILL RELEASE 2031, HIS SIXTH FULL-LENGTH COLLECTION OF POETRY, THIS DECEMBER THROUGH YELLOW LARK PRESS. 
PRE-ORDER YOUR COPIES HERE.  

Stay tuned for news on these releases, readings and broadsides from each collection, designed by Snakes Will Eat You and letter pressed at the Austin Book Arts Center.  Also stay tuned for the launch of Jim Trainer’s Patreon!  

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Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#38: Dear Keith Richard Pierce

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2019 at 11:45 am

The Hipster Coffee Shop
4th&Bettie Naylor
Austin TX

Keith Richard Pierce
Northern Arms
Hostile City, USA

6/20/16, 1:51 PM

The Killing Moon.  That’s all I have to say about this place for you to know that I am fucked.  This place is the worst. I prefer the ‘Bux downtown for anynimity but I had to come through here to get some air in my tires and long is our suffering in the Land of the Free.  Is there anything worse than bad music? I need to include high powered headphones in the MAMU(Mobile Area Media Unit) from now on, if only to insulate me from the kids and their culture of pretentious faux-punk and reverb soaked whine.  Juan Pelote is Austin chic, too cool for itself, overpriced and self-satisfied. With the right tools (earphones), this place can go to Philly in my mind, and get destroyed there. Not that I’d want to be back on those streets in the terrible summer, but as a state of mind Philly is something caustic and deadly I can stuff these feelgoodies into and they’d never survive.  It could always be worse but I miss the ease of self-destruction. I’m closer to straight edge than I ever was, and that includes my years as a hardcore skinhead in the suburbs of adolescence, and I must forge better coping mechanisms and lines of defense against their bright smiles. I dress in black and chew Nicorette like a fiend. My break is over in 49 minutes and I’m glad to be alive, glad to be writing and letters are the best way for me to keep writing, even when I need to flee the mansion and get out of my own head.

The truth about sobriety is harrowing but I’d rather lose a fight with reality than be the king of my own delusion.  Life is good for me now, which can mean utterly boring and horribly copacetic. The goal of each day is exhaustion and eight hours of solid sleep is my prize.  My long range plan is invariably about serving my Art, which makes planning simple:

1)Write
2)Book
3)Promote
4)Play

Songwriting is as hard as it ever was but complicated.  Without the heartbreak and high drama of the drinking life of a day laborer, I have the choice of what I want to say and sing.  I don’t have a world-sized chip on my shoulder anymore and playing shows is a professional venture. It’s not as exciting as my punkrock killit days but it’s better than. climbing a ladder or swinging a baby sledge in the hot sun.  I took your addressed envelope with me down to Houston this weekend and I thought I’d write you about the first time I played the club I was playing. Notsuoh (Houston spelled backwards) is a very Philly place, and it’s downtown, which adds to its hidden, dirty-jewel charm.  First time I played there was a warm night in December, 1999. I’d eaten acid for every leg getting there. I was doing an 8-city spoken word tour by train and took 2 gel tabs for the Philly-NOLA leg, met some people who had more acid, and took that leaving Lafayette. I remember walking the aisles a lot and not sleeping except in a weird lysergic way.  I had 2 bottles of Evan Williams White Label in my green army issue duffle. I got off the train in downtown Houston just before midnight, made my way up the hill and found the place. I walked in, introduced myself to the barista and asked for a mug. I dropped my bags, filled the mug, climbed on top of a table and turned the PA ON.

“Houston…”. I said, and earned my road wings.  I’d never be nervous reading poetry again, if I ever was, and I am equally proud and ashamed of that moment.  Perhaps I’ll never live it down. Ultimately no matter how fat and old I am now, if I had a picture of that moment I’d hang it up right beside portraits of Rollins, Bukowski and Dr. Thompson in my kitchen/office, if only to show up the voice of failure that has been my reluctant company all these years on the savage road to living my dreams and becoming an Artist.

I’m excited for what’s next, Keith, and I’m excited for all of us.  Those of us doing the work that is. Teetotallers or not, any of us fighting against death, bringing forth life and books and songs and albums and poems. The voice of failure is fading and I keep thinking about the Bad Brains:

…and now a big surprise we can thrive and stay alive…

And the way through all of it, the shadows of our Fathers and poisoned milk of society is that we enjoy it.  We can create a life to enjoy. It’s the only measuring stick we’ll need–a simple and perfectly aligned intention and endless source of inspiration.  Some call it love and I’m ok with that. But not the easy kind. It’s got to mean something to the folks down home. I don’t suppose I’ll ever gladly suffer the charmed and uppper-middle class, with their easy dreams and saccharine rock and roll, and that’s fine. I’m just passing though.

En la Victoria,

Jim Trainer
Austin TX

 

LEARNING TO DIE IN THE ANTHROPOCENE

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2019 at 11:00 am

This is an example of flagrant and audacious fraud, and a shameful misuse of public funds.
U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain

The most obvious shift is that the cost of living is so insane, it’s difficult to hire and keep new people.
-Elaine Katzenberger, City Lights

We Have Spent $32 Million Per Hour on War Since 2001

It don’t take much to bring my love around…
Shakey Lyman

THE FOLLOWING POST WAS WRITTEN YESTERDAY, WEDENSDAY OCTOBER 17, 2019, BETWEEN 4 AND 5PM CST

Feeling good is bad for business in Personal Journalism.  It’s off brand anyway, but deadline trumps all.  That’s why I set them.  Deadlines must be upheld, whether I’m disinclined, morose and fucked or if I’m fine, ok, copacetic and even happy.  I’ve used my blues, truth be told, like a bullfighter, but who the fuck wants to write when they’re happy?  So I’m hacking it out and incredibly having a hard time writing today because nothing is wrong.  The worst kind of trouble is no trouble at all.  Ain’t it, Reverend?

They were certainly having a hard time between 7th&8th on Red River this morning.  The city votes on new vagrancy measures tomorrow so the police and EMS were breaking up the homeless camps beside the ARCH and behind, in the alley.  Front Steps staff were huddled in a circle by the exit when I walked out with my parking pass.  Exodus.  The homeless are getting moved.  Tarps and pallets loaded and hauled away. It was hostile out there and that’s the first time I can say that–in over 2 months of reporting to the ARCH as a computer lab tech with Austin FreeNet in the pre-dawn and piss-smelling dark.  There was talk of an abandoned hotel and a town hall meeting but I left to go to job#2 only to be stood up by my Audi-driving boss.

The deadlines I’ve set, to release a collection every year until 2025 and post up to 1,200 words here every week until I die, are a deal I’ve made, with you and my own self-worth.  I prove to you I’m a writer and if I don’t then I failed.  These are the stakes and the dark motivations that keep me posting, self-publishing and anyway stepping into the light of day.  It’s this deadline that has me here in the War Room punching this out instead of walking around out there in the glorious Fall.  Meanwhile all those folks unwell in body or mind or just unlucky probably yearn to be in here.  This city is trying to sweep them under the rug but it’s too late.  Everything’s been exposed.  We all see it and we won’t be able to pretend disparity doesn’t exist anymore.  The 4th wall’s been razed and I’m glad of it though shit’s gnarly ain’t it.  The 4th wall coming down is what gave me my start, here, at Going For The Throat–and my charge is 6-1,200 words every Thursday, regardless of how lucky or unlucky I feel.

Luck comes and goes, but it’s mostly privilege that got me here.  Inspiration can be fickle but it’s only testing you.  We’re here, 444 words in.  We all know the score.  I can’t do anything about what’s wrong with the world.  But I’ll do my part and be glad to.  Twelve or so hours a week down there and with a new and roving eye for the non-profit sector.  Truth is I identify with the row and people on hard times way more than I’ve ever related to squares and even my Brothers and Sisters of the working class.  Bullshit bores me but the real will keep me interested and better, focused.  I don’t have much time for anything else.  I’ve got books to put out.  Hope to see you on the streets motherfucker.

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Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#38: From Brother Heath

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2019 at 4:52 pm

I’ve been feelin a bit down too but, my GOD!, how can you possibly even entertain the idea of a life lived in vain?? Let me clarlify something right now: you have led a life that is the antithesis of anything remotely vain!! And I’m not just fuckin saying that! I was also surprised to hear you say you don’t really care about the world when you’re one of its most True and honest shapers. You’re a brilliant writer, creative genius, etc. Of course you’re not gonna feel too close to the useful idiots that schools and societies churn out, LITERALLY, like a fuckin factory!! But just think of all the times you’ve helped them. How many times have you caused them to look at something differently or made their eyes blossom as they realized something very deeply they never would’ve realized if not for you. And don’t worry about the depression. It can give the best of us some serious guff at times but just try to see it as a dark cloud in the sky while you sit back and watch the weather change. An album I had been waiting 13 years to come out recently did and I read the final lyric of the last song on album which was “A tempest must be just that.” I’m assuming that “tempest” is a metaphor for life, here. Ha! And it’s true. A tempest cannot be a kangaroo! Right? It can only be what it is and we can either choose to step up and face it or run and hide like most people. I don’t think I need to ask what kinda person you are.

BLACK IS THE COLOR

In Uncategorized on October 10, 2019 at 11:00 am

I write her a letter
just a few short lines
and suffer death
a thousand times
-Irish Folk Song

What’s it like to be this shamelessly desperate for access and attention?
-Beth Lynch

She is his unwritten poetry.

All of it was made for you and me…
-Iggy Pop

I hate this place.  Last time I was here Dude was whistling to Run To The Hills at 9 in the morning, with a line of preppies to the door, and I love Iron Maiden.  Dude was normalizing it though.  It could’ve been Supertramp or James Taylor and they would’ve stood there waiting—pensive, frowning, self-important and upper-middle class.  Today Dude’s listening to some red dirt trash country and, again, it’s not that I don’t like music.  I don’t like it when it’s featured and an aspect of the barista’s personality on display.  Fuck out of here. Yesterday I camped at the ‘Bux on 5th. I’m back here today because I still don’t have WiFi in the new place.  I’m drinking their bullshit light roast and on hold with Apple through cans pitched jauntily over one ear.  Apple asks me what kind of music I’d like to hear while I wait.  43’s in my feed. Him and Ellen at a Cowboys game and 507,000 dead in the forever war.  I’m not in a good mood at the moment, it’s local weather but I am of the opinion that the end of the world is O-K.

At least 63 million of us think there’s nothing wrong with a minimum wage that’s 10 years old, that healthcare costs are prohibitive of living and the business of American politics makes it cheaper to die.  Then there’s the rest of ‘em—khakis and choads, beards and body Nazis who sip light roast and think Iron Maiden is cute.  Some, if not most, of these folks will even vote for Bernie but for them it’s a vote of conscience.  Our vote, Good Reader, is another matter.  One need only reflect on the rigged outcome of the Presidential Election of ‘00.  W. didn’t get the popular vote either but took the electoral votes from his brother’s state of FLA by a margin of 537.  One vote from you or me Brother was the difference between living in peace and prosperity and eventually getting mired in 3 different forever wars and pushing the economy to the brink of collapse.  Either way it’s ok for the upper-middle class.  These are the same people online “maintaining their integrity” should they happen upon W. and calling me an asshole for saying he’s a war criminal. These are the type of people that can make a fella happy about the end of the world if only to see them cry and be burned alive.  In fact the only silver lining to ecological collapse would be this cafe moldering, it’s walls ground to soft powder, it’s beams twisting in the charged, red radioactive wind.

I’m in a bad mood, sure, and I’m sorry about that but I sure as shit ain’t sorry or sad to see this rig get unwound and the human race reset and rid itself of these scabrous shiny-shoed cunts.  The only thing worse than them is me.  The difference?  I’m not happy being so entitled.  I commit egregious acts of self-import and ignorance every day and I lay down every night a lot less than a man and certainly not an honorable one.  At least they’re involved in living.  I don’t even have that going for me.  I suffer them and keep my circuit narrow.  I work and go to band practice.  I live on bacon and bread and don’t do anything without coffee.  I’m an entitled slob who doesn’t watch Ellen, didn’t support W. (or his wars) and poo-poo my own privilege in the prime of my life whilst shut in by my own anger and blue woe.  I suffer a great and grave anxiety.  It pocks my sleep and fucks with my bowels.  The end is coming.  If I never see them again it’ll be too soon.  It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine motherfucker.

In 11 years global temperatures will reach catastrophic level.  Jim Trainer will release 2031 this December. Forty-six poetic ruminations on the end of the world through Yellow Lark Press.  Also from Yellow Lark Press, No Comebacks by Portland poet Will Stenberg. A poetic homage for each champion of American boxing, out this December through Yellow Lark Press. 

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