Jim Trainer

Archive for February, 2019|Monthly archive page

Shrieks from Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#27: Letter to the Editor

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2019 at 9:05 am

via Shrieks from Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#27: Letter to the Editor

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A TERRIBLE LUXURY

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2019 at 8:57 am

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…We watch the fireworks in an open field
and stay so late we miss the train
We grab a taxi on the busy, busy street
and race across the city once again…

Depression is a beast.  It could be we sufferers must always up the ante, lest we get pulled down to the dark depths.  What thrilled us before won’t thrill us anymore and we’ll need to search out new highs and steeper thresholds, all the while towing a great weight somewhere between exhaustion and dread.  Maybe that’s just life.  Either way it’s mine and there are things I won’t ever be able to live down and anyway I’m mostly bored with living, to tell you the truth.  Even though I miss Europe and Guate, I was bored there, too.  Maybe I’m just ornery from being back in Texas too long.  Or else it’s post-book and one man show comedown.  Ultimately my thoughts seem to return to the idea of smoking a cigarette, that a cigarette might tighten my focus just enough to squeeze out the malaise of everything being so dreadfully the same.  Such is the plateau.  I made it and it was a fight and fighting is what I’m used to.  Victory feels like boredom unless it’s knowing I could be doing so much more with my life.

That last part’s the bugger, I can’t really think on it too long.  It triggers the dread, and overly critical thought, and anyway the self-abuse that fuels this twisted carnival of my psyche.  I’m somewhere between thinking my life needs a complete overhaul and that I’d do well to just relax and smoke a fucking spliff every night.  I know marijuana works.  I also know that moderation is not in my vocabulary.  All this is to say I’m dreadfully bored but getting by.  And I’m writing a ton which is never bad but most of it is CNF and anyway all of it is about me.  I’d do well to do a lot of things and all of them different from my normal routine of delivering lunch for 2 hours a day and tweaking my website every night.

This is to say I’m bored, Good Reader, and since I quit drinking and the Life, Jean-Paul Sartre ain’t got nothing on me.  I’ve still got big dreams though.  Luckily they won’t let me be.  I’m still inspired by rock and roll and radio, poetry and print media.  Life is dreadful and euphoric and there is still work to be done.  I wish the world would stop ending.  It’d do wonders for my anxiety and I can’t wait until I’m regular again.  This post is as exciting as my life by which I mean not at all.  How long is this charade supposed to go on?  Can I still consider myself a writer if I don’t commit 600 words here every week?  I can see the chain of logic and succession of events that got me the columnist gig I always wanted and I know a writer writes.  I’ve taken that credo with me down every back alley of boredom and dissatisfaction you can think of.  I don’t know why this week should be any different.

I suppose I could give it back to you, Good Reader, and let you know it ain’t all roses and that this, here–these 522 words and counting have been a real fucking drag to write.  Everything is blasé down here at the Office and, as mentioned, if it is or isn’t clinical, it’s my life.  If I didn’t write this I would’ve been bored doing something else that wasn’t writing.  I’m upping my reading game anyway, so I can be creative when I’m doing nothing, take Editor Phil’s cue and get up to speed on the other malcontents and n’er do wells of the written word.  In my end of year column at The Coarse Grind, I said I hadn’t read much for the year, which isn’t true.  I just focused on fucking off.  Kind of like I just did with this post.  You either hang yourself or you hang it on the wall.  All this one needs is a nail.

Ab irato,
Trainer
AUSTIN TX

CLICK HERE FOR JIM TRAINER’S POEM OF THE WEEK

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Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#3, Ello Luv

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2019 at 10:01 am

From a #LetterDay in 2012 and roaring in from the past hearts and minds of lovers and liars at the end of the American Century. #goingforthepost, send me your address and I will write you a letter.

Going for the Throat

Sybil-

Great hearing from you.  Thank you for your kind words about my writing.  I will try to address each of your concerns/questions in order.

First:  No–she is not my girlfriend.  Generally speaking, I’m in some kind of relationship purgatory, condemned to right the wrongs I’ve done or at least come to grips with the reasons why I’ve ruined every good thing that came my way for the last 8 years.  This one’s a little different–special, as you say, because she’s more guarded than me and if anyone will ruin what we have it will be her. I’m just along for the ride, and yes–that is her car.

Second:  I don’t really know what was going on back there but I was glad to help out.  I was just trying to get some sleep. They were back there and being loud for a while and those punks are lucky…

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ROILING IN THE TURNNG ROAR

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2019 at 8:41 am

It is incumbent upon the savage to submit to civilization, the civilized are under no likened obligation.
-John Staples

Success comes from staying in the fight and using what you’ve learned over and over again.
-Joe Rogan

We’ll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
painted upon a pole, and underwrit
“Here may you see the tyrant.”
-Macbeth, Act 5

Rock ain’t nothing but a white version of rhythm and blues, motherfucker.
-Quincy Jones

Warmest Greetings from the War Room.  I’m on cup 4 of Italian Roast with honey.  There’s a diffuse light glowing through the blinds.  In the distance I hear the hiss of wet wheels on the highway.  I’m off temp work for now, after spending 30 hours behind a desk at the Austin Convention Center over the last 3 days, getting up at the butt-crack of dawn and back in bed by 10.  This is a good life Good Reader.  It’s not fair and the stakes are rigged but, despite my life-long career as a misanthrope and cynic, I think people are good, mostly, and by people I mean working folks.  The wealthy fall into 2 categories, and neither of them are affecting change to make things better for people like me, who have healthcare, or for those who don’t, God help them.  Healthcare in the greatest country in the world ranks a lot less than great worldwide, but—don’t too wise.  Folks lucky enough to be born elsewhere may be covered but no one is safe from American Hegemony.  The world is on a precipice, turbulent and wiggy. Everything we’ve feared we created and between our interventions and a dictator, what’s the difference?  There are folks who’ll say it’s been this way since the beginning.  Man builds his own cages, the rich go on gliding and the poor get sick and die.  That kind of acceptance bothers me tremendously but I’m sure my own version of apathy-as-armor is just as gross and worse, entitled.  I find little comfort from spiritual teachers about the way of the world but plenty of practical advice on how to be good to myself and make it through the day.  Perhaps that’s the best place to start or else a rationalization and complicity that keeps the whole thing roiling and mired in blood and toil.

Going For The Throat has always been a fight.  Over sixty two-thousand words against.  If I wasn’t at war with them it was the dayjob and if it wasn’t the dayjob it was the USGOV, and if it wasn’t any of these it was my parents or heartbreak–frivolous love and paltry passions that, to be honest, I walked straight into, as gullible and lovesick as any romantic poet should be.  The fight now though is against this blog, as meta as that is and if you can believe.  Behind the curtain and pulling the strings on the whole show is the inner critic.  Point is, it’s a great and grand dissatisfaction that drives me to write, and as we know writing is my goal and refuge.  I want to write and I write when I’m dissatisfied, so I look for something to be dissatisfied about.  Sounds like the inner critic to me.  It’s certainly the inner critic condemning inside or outside 90% of these posts as trite and hackish.  Then I read a post a year later and fall in love with the written word again, and see that I’ve come through with something exceptional in this power play of malaise and angst we call life, and the whole thing starts again.  The inner critic’s like a crew chief, chain smoking over me as I work the hard ground, digging until my bones are clanging and jarred.  The only comfort I take is in knowing a writer writes.  I may only have a journalistic diary here, I may be a prima donna candy-ass who posts 6-900 words a week in order to feel better but—what’s wrong with that?  At least I’m writing.  I tell that to the inner critic and he’s sated and I can go on about my week.

You either hang yourself or you hang it on the wall and every post you read is the latter. We win this way.  We clear the chamber and reload.  I’m writing to survive and you’re here with me and isn’t that nice?  It redoubles me, Good Reader, and it goes on.  These sessions here are proof.  We made it through lightning rounds of suicide ideation and doubt and this column of black words on a white page flies as a flag of victory.  When we meet again, we’ll know we made it through and we’ll laugh at our pain and skewer the bastards to the wall.  Until then, much love motherfucker.

Ab irato,
Trainer
AUSTIN TX

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Shrieks of Paradise#23, It Feels Good And I’m Gonna Go Wild

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2019 at 1:34 pm

Cenote Cafe
1010 E. Cesar Chavez
Bro Country TX

Jason S. Woolery
119 Cheatham Street
San Marcos TX 78666

8/20/17, 1:06PM

Well. Here we are. Drinking weak coffee in the shit heat with bougie dogs barking and 80s music on. I’m glad to be writing, even if this will bear no good news. I’ve been constipated since Election Night, suffer arthritis on most of the fingers of my left hand and I haven’t exhaled fully in over a year. Everything is so fucked and yet I keep walking around, dumb-lucky and old, misunderstood and pelted by barbed smiles.  It’s 90 in the shade and as they play Tears for Fears, I’m seized with the feeling that it’s been a long time I should be far from here.  I’m done with Blair October 1 and I got a place in Hyde Park.   It’s quiet and clean. I surprised myself, out on the road this summer, when I considered leaving the country.  I dream of a place where there are seasons and healthcare and your Art is subsidized by the government–Norway or Amsterdam, for example. Fuck a whole lotta here.  It’s fucked. I don’t feel good but why should I?  My only hope is that after 2 weeks of good night’s sleep, the last 5 years working as a servant to a millionaire will recede into the past.

Enclosed you’ll find Spray Paint The Walls–an interesting read, to be sure.  Author Stevie Chick’s an outsider to American Hardcore, he’s a Brit for fuck sake. While I admittedly wasn’t up on all my Black Flag history (they were never my favorite, not even in my top 5), Chick maintains a distinct spin on it. I feel like he doesn’t have to look cool so he doesn’t even try to and he’s able to come across with something different–even if suffering at times from aggrandizing testimonials of bit players and hangers on.  Keith Morris surprised me more than once in this book, and it’s amazing to think that 2 or 3 kids growing up in a shit port town can change the world.  Morris’ book came out not long after this one, and that might be a good place for you to continue your research on American punkrock. My point about changing the world (it happened in D.C., too, spawning not only Black Flag’s longest running singer but my favorite rock and roll band of all time) is that, sadly, I don’t think it can happen anymore.  There’s the world wide web, for one, but also–I’m not sure if we’re at the same dire precipice those kids were at in the early 80s.  Once upon a time, the fear that the U.S. or Russia might blow up the world was very real. These days? Do me the favor. Ain’t that right Reverend. 45 talks about dropping the big one and I’m like, “Ok.” No protest.  It could be the depression talking but you won’t see me hemming and hawing about politics on Facebook. Point is have at it.  I don’t care. If I was outraged at every ominous turn happening in the New Century, I’d never leave the house. I hardly do anyway so what the fuck do I know? I won’t be jumping through hoops or showing my outrage, though, on Twitter or anywhere else.  It’s a hall of mirrors and an echo chamber, the writing is on the wall and if you’re going to blow us all away then go right the fuck ahead.

Whoa. Told you this wasn’t going to be good. There are grackle in the short trees and my coffee is tepid and tasteless. My fourth collection of poetry should be out December 1 and I’m still sitting on copies of September and All in the wind.  If there is anything promising about my newfound nihilism, it’s acceptance–the world and its worries have fell away, and my hopes of doing anything in addition to subsidizing my Art have lost all zest. Which is a long and writerly way of saying that if I have enough in my PayPal for the next book then I’m good.  I still dream and I always will.  I just need to get my health in order. I’m sure an attitude adjustment will follow. At this point, I’ll take 10%. If I feel at least 10% better, that ought to carry me home.  I mean, I’m functioning now.  Barely but incredibly, considering I feel like I’m falling and the world is ending right before our very eyes.

Christ it’s fucking hot.  I’m done here.  The music is terrible and the vibe has shifted.  I’ve grown accustomed to moving through their world as a stranger.  Immune to their fears and culturally non-plussed and numb.  Please pray for me.  I’ve got big plans but I feel stuck in a way I’ve never felt before.  It could be that I’m looking down on myself from on high and all that’s happened before is only a husk, and all that got me through won’t get me through.  The intrepid 3rd Year of Sobriety.  I’ve never wanted to burn as bad as I do today.  That could be the difference.  Before, in youth and love I was always burning and I sought refuge.  But this is different.  Now I seek the heart of the Sun.  There is so much yet to do.  I gotta move.

Let’s visit soon. I want to read and speak and play in your town. I’ve got books to sell.

Yours,
Trainer

ABSTRUSE BLUES

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2019 at 10:28 am

The best running story of all is a war. 
-Stephen Kinser

Hello and goodbye.  I’m pushing past the comfort zone and dropping coping mechanisms that take up too much bandwidth and anyway finding for time better spent building a dream than hiding from the world.  This blog could be the former, or at least considered part of the process. The angst here is the ore and a hatred of their world the furnace. Either way drudging up my own bad feelings or dirty laundry only to slag life is a drag.  And it makes me feel like a hack. Grist is necessary, sure, but, as any practitioner of the black arts knows—you can’t mix up the medicine without spilling some on yourself. Dealing in negatives yields negatives.  The problem with positivity, however, is two-fold—most of what people consider positive is neurotic, and all the positivity in the world won’t cure you of depression.  I’m at a familiar crossroads but I’ve the wisdom from the last time this shook out. The last time I really came to grips with The Problem With Grim Jim I was 15 and played in hardcore bands, sometimes 2 at once, and I lifted weights and journaled. I’m in its plainview again—depression, anger and hatred are coming to rest in me and weighing me down. I can get sunk by what’s wrong with me and anyway stuck or on pause.  This most recent onset started when I hit 40.  I knew I needed to get out into the territory, really rattle my chains and anyway tear myself from the yolk of small minds, psychopathic girlfriends and crippled bosses.  So, I quit drinking alcohol, quit smoking cigarettes, quit having sex and quit the longest job I ever had, and moved the fuck out of that place after 5 dumb years.

It’s been 3 years since and my bad blues has caught up with me.  I guess those first years were fighting and I’m used to that.  When engaged in battle your small shames and giant fears get prioritized and better–sublimated.  The smell of blood is all it takes to kick the sympathetic nervous system of a hunter into fine gear. The endgame trumps all when you’re white-knuckling days and enthralled with the single-pointed focus of getting sober.  What’s more is you really feel alive.  Now that I’m over the hump (4 years Febuary 25) things have sunk to baseline.  I know I’ll make it through the night.  The question isn’t How? so much as Why?  I know I’ll get through the day but why should I?  Know what I mean, Good Reader?  Better, the ways I use to get through now are a whole other set of toxic behaviors, no different from drugs or alcohol and anyway the original and years-old ways of mine to self-destruct and anesthetize.  I began this post with the latest news that even enumerating on my blues and attempting to ratiocinate what’s wrong with me only compounds my depression.  This blog and my attempts at self-therapy have become tiresome.  It feels useless, although I know better, and it feels like writing 600 words every week has become a coping mechanism.

You either hang yourself or you hang it on the wall.  How many times you heard me say that, on here or at The Coarse Grind?  Out there in the world, with Babylon on my neck and surrounded by the Americans, self appointed Kings of the Free World and apprentices to the crass capitalism of the Masters, suffering the blowhards and dingbats of the Media Class and even the outdoor apparel wearing-liberals of Hyde Park, another day here should be a celebration and our lives a marvel considering the teeth of this machine, how many ways they have to kill you and even charge you when you die for laying you low.  It’s on lock, soldier, and so are our days now.  We got 12 summers left before it hits the fan and we’re surrounded by 63 million people who would rather spend 5 billion on a wall than have healthcare.  We know though, ain’t we?  That wall is to keep us in.  If I had one-tenth the political nerve of Noam Chomsky or Hunt—

–whoa.  There it is.  Fly meet ointment.  Caught in a rage and slagging away.  In almost 10 years writing for GFtT I’ve slagged everyone, and avenged any and every slight–felt, perceived or imagined.  I’ve fleeced insincere betties who kept hamming me along and I’ve roasted liars, lovers, bill collectors, temp job bosses, bartending bosses, emotionally-crippled millionaires and cowboy boot-wearing tech bros up in the hills after swilling their hooch and decamping in their linen closet to sober up for the ride home.  I been a venom dealer, spite and bitterness thrown in for free and good measure.  And it was fun.  But now what?  I’m 43.  I deliver corporate lunch.  I live in a garage apartment off the highway with all bills paid and a carport between me and the madding world.  Nights rivaling loneliness can get as quiet as a tomb.   You’d be shocked to realize how little of them and their business you need.  How little any factor or directive other than Prime One really matters.  It’s also insane and unhealthy and I’m caught in the time like amber.  Mid-life is a stasis and I’m frustrated.  I’m ready for the next move.  Bet.  I’m over the circus of depression and seriously outlived any further use of coping.  I’m sick of coping and living half the time and squandering this most precious and only one life.

If you’re looking for closure keep looking.  No bows this week, Good Reader, just blues.

TRAINER
Austin TX

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gonna fade cause I’m already dead

Shrieks of Paradise#22, Dear Tara

In Uncategorized on February 1, 2019 at 4:47 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
In The Garage
Bro Country, TX

Tara Edicott
The House That Roark Built
Media, PA

4/15/18, 4:29PM

Firecracker-

How goes the unlucky territory, are you talismanning your way through, are you finding magic in even the tight breathless spots and have you given every beggar your smile? Hello.  I write letters so I can get away with questions like that.  This ain’t poetry.  And it ain’t nonfiction.  It’s not official in any capacity and I’m inspired by the love I have for folks.  It can come in handy, I’m sure you know, when inspiration is running low.  And I like writing here on the loveseat, instead of at the desk.  The desk is where work gets done, where the machine and the calendar is, the lamp and extra monitor and large Webster’s dictionary.  I write this with the door and windows wide to the wash of traffic on 35, drinking cold coffee with non-dairy creamer and only my love for you to inspire.  I knew I’d write you as soon’s we left your place next morning, just as I knew the night before was singular and magic.  I can’t explain why but nor would I want to.  It was the trees that I missed, the familair chill in the air that took me back to childhood and parts of childhood that are only locked inside me.  It was laughter and the fire and Beach House making me feel like I was on drugs or in a bad 80s movie.  So, here it is.

The courier job fired me and I ain’t even mad.  I worked a 9&1/2 hour wedding last night and slept until 3 today.  What a drag it is getting old. I hope I didn’t give you the wrong impression about me.  I’d never dress up how hard it’s been, nay, how hard it’s felt being me. It wasn’t for the payoff but the payoff’s been grand.  I had to burn out so much of the under forrest, and forge deep the vessel to hold this much wine.  I’ve battled depression for almost thirty years now and the hardest part can feel like you’re not getting anywhere and living half a life.  That still happens to me but I’m excited to learn I’ve made strides against it.  You can feel good again.  And I do, Friend, I certainly do.  I feel better than I ever thought I would.  Now, I wouldn’t take away the long, sinking hours in the black but I’ve got to watch out.  I might end up shacked up with my own dysfunction as a lightning storm rages kinetically-wild outside, or miss a phone call with someone lovely who understands because I’m only coveting wounds.  All is well and all is not well. We get along thanks to each other and love and friendship are the uncanny wild cards, ain’t it though, proof that maybe there is something beyond all our suffering and we can be saved, if for a night playing rock and roll or writing a not-at-all sane and deeply flawed poetic letter to the Friend.

I would tell you not to fight so hard but then I’d have to tell myself first.  It’s hard clearing out all that old karma because the tools we were given only destroyed those who gifted them to us.  It can be done and there isn’t anything in this universe that presence isn’t good for. I see you out there, in the territory and doing just that, with the little and the Meadow—just being there, and, considering all that we’ve been through just being here becomes the miracle.  Ain’t it though.  I’ll be writing for a grant this week.  Making plans and shucking jives.  I am the King of the Side Hustle, a factotum, and when I’m not terrified it’s alright.  My Father worked all the time.  It’s horribly hypocritical to criticize him, he provided for me doing just that.  I know he would’ve wanted this, though, and if he could see me on stage he’d be proud and tell me so.  Death’s taught me, Tara, how useless anger is.  I use it for most everything else but it only damages love, which is a shame because love is the only thing not bolted down they ain’t got a racket on.  The masters have us, coming and going, but the Dalai Lama was right about everything.  It will be love that’ll bring us back and love that will cast us away.  Dreams can be confusing but they can also be reinterpreted.  I’m willing to be wrong, about anger and the rest, if it means I can be happy and even better, at peace.  I am wishing the same for you my Friend.

Always,

Jim Trainer
Austin TX