Jim Trainer

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Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#29, Rejection Is The Finest Form of Flattery

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2019 at 9:00 am

FROM THE TAKE TO THE TERRITORY BOOK RELASE AT MALVERN BOOKS LAST JUNE.  VISIT JIMTRAINER.NET FOR A LETTERPRESSED AND PERFECTLY BOUND COPY, AND TO SIGN UP FOR JIM TRAINER’S POEM OF THE WEEK.  

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In Uncategorized on March 28, 2019 at 9:00 am

I got in my car and called Butch as I was leaving work.
“Yo.”
“Yo man. What are you doing.”
“Putting Arthur to bed.  He’s got diarrhea.”
His son.  And spitting image of Butch.  Same dark Italian features, same handsome face.  The same quick wit flinting in fiery-brown eyes.
“What’s up.”
“Yo man I just did this party in the Hill Country and the people were the worst.”
“Yeah?”
“Yeah.”
“What happened?”

“First of all, this one guy, he starts out the night asking ‘What kind of bartender are you?’  Like that, because I didn’t know the Seresin was a Sauvignon Blanc and the only red we had that wasn’t Pinot Noir was a Cab blend.  ‘No need to be rude’ I said to him. And he goes, ‘Yeah you’re right I’m a horrible person’ then he leans in puts his hand on my shoulder and goes ‘By the way your fly’s down.’  And it was. And I appreciated it but it was a point for him. Cocksucker. Later, he’s giving me looks, like, We cool?  Gives me a thumbs up and a mock-smile. He gets nothing.  Now he’s barking orders at me, over his shoulder, I pour ‘em, he gets up.  He comes over. Pulls out his wallet. ‘I’m giving you, look, I’m giving you all the money–it ain’t much, but I’m giving you all the money in my wallet.’  Looks like $28. I take it. ‘We cool?’ He asks. I look down at the wad and go like ‘$28…?’ and his wife comes up and tells him to sit down and he goes ‘I’m not in control of my life’ and I go ‘ Yeah’ and he thanks me and I feel like it’s handled I mean, out of all these horrible, rich Christian cowboys and styrofoam wives I feel the most sympatico with him, the cocksucker, I point at him, I You The Man ‘im, pointing both fingers at him with my own mock-smile.  He goes back to his seat. I put the money in my pocket. A little later, I’m talking to Paul, the server, over my shoulder, I’m bitching at him about these people and telling him how the other bartender Dan, told me the ice tub I tried to hand him was too much.  It was too heavy for him, anyway, ‘Garbage people’, I tell Paul, ‘the only thing worse than wealthy people are wealthy Christians.’ That’s when Paul sees my man’s wallet on the floor behind his chair. Paul gives it to him and the guy gives him shit for it in his joking-cocksucker way.  Anyway later on he’s back at my bar with some horrible fucking Trumper beside him and he’s telling him, about me, ‘This guy knows all about me and he hates me, all about me and he hates me, right?’  and I go ‘Well, I don’t really know you.’ And it’s just like, acrimonious.  Dude doesn’t get the joke, of fucking course he doesn’t and him and his buddy mutter and stand at my bar and his friend goes ‘He’s going to murder you’ and he goes ‘I’m gonna murder him’ and he looks at me and I go ‘But I’ve got your driver’s license.’ He looks at me and it’s not funny anymore. ‘Did you check?’  Give him the mock-smile again. I go ‘I took it from your wallet, chimcharee. Let’s play.’ ‘I like you, I like this guy,’ he goes, to his friend, ‘I like how he operates…’
So, they auction their bullshit, whoop it up in their money church and get wine drunk and it’s getting close to quitting time. The boss, the guy who hired us for the night, grew up with my boss and he’s fucking weird and wealthy and fucking weird and he doesn’t know how to talk to anybody who’s had to work for a fucking living and he goes  ‘You wanna stay? You wanna go ‘cause I don’t need all of you’ and me and Paul and Dan are standing there and I go ‘I’ll go.’ and the dude gets even weirder now because it’s time to pay us and he doesn’t know how to handle it anyway I turn to Dan the other bartender and say ‘You gonna stay?’  But what I mean is ‘You are going to stay.’ and he goes ‘Yeah’ so I go ‘Have a good night!’ Mock-smile and pat him on the arm.
So we’re standing back in a dark hallway, waiting, me and Paul. Some big lady appears on the other side of a glass door and hands the guy 2 envelopes. He gives ‘em to us says it’s been an honor asks Who’s pen? it was a nice pen so I say ‘I’ll take it’ and I put it in my pocket and we leave.”

“What’d you make?”
“Counting the cocksucker’s $28 and a $10 from the event planner’s jerkoff husband I made $158 for 4 hours…”
“He was paying you for being a bad person, Jim.  I would kill for the kind of night you had…call me when you’re in, I’ve gotta put him down…”

Butch’s Father broke his arm when he was a kid.  He had to get to the ER somehow and somehow he did.  The last time Butch saw his dad was on Father’s Day and he choked him where he stood, on his porch.  Then Butch got on his bike, a Honda, and rode to the GM’s of this restaurant we worked at, bartending at the time, and choked him too.  That place burned to the ground last Spring. Back in Philly. Butch is inexhaustible with his son. Infinite patience. He works graveyard at a plastics molding foundry and before he goes in he puts his kid to bed.  Talking to him, calm and steady, putting him to bed and being, against all odds and every impulse and hereditary factor he is somehow gentle with him.  Where he learned how to be gentle growing up where we did I’ve no idea or maybe he’s learning now I hear him, talking being gentle now, over the phone and I hear his son answer half-asleep, just total innocence and love, like only a child should and anyway at ease and comforted and safe and with love and wonder and impossibly gentle. That’s where Butch gets it from.  He’s learning how to be gentle from his son.

“Alright man, let me put him down.  You are out of your mind.”
“Alright man, I am out of my mind.”

And I end the call and make it home and pull into the drive.  I throw a steak on and put this Paul Simon song on, “Duncan”.  The house is empty, the housemates gone, moved out this morning.  I put this Paul Simon song on and dance like a lunatic on the part with the Irish pan-flute or whatever it is.  I dance like a madman–wild, embarrassingly flailing should anybody see me, and look through the window under the full moon out there–at a stag poet dancing in his serving whites, wine key and ones everywhere. Unhinged and free and lonely as a loon.

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#2: On Being Right

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2019 at 6:17 am

From a #LetterDay in 2012. #goingforthepost, send me your address and I’ll write you a letter.

Going for the Throat


The Office of Jim Trainer
Fox Den
Hippie Town, USA

G. Razas
Whip In
1950 S I H 35
Austin, TX

7/9/12
10:13pm

Hello-

There may be no finer line between heaven&hell than the cursed, silken trail of cocaine addiction. Many have gone before. None have made it back. We’re left with their stories, their songs, or some gay tapestry they hang behind yr bar at the Whip In.

I thought I would start receiving my mail there and do it like Dr.Thompson, but after Labor Day Weekend I’m wont to just show up and play, and then go home. Who would’ve thought two plain-clothes cops could be so wild&free? Barley wine’s a motherfucker but don’t they have rape training&all that shit in the academy? Oh well, it would’ve been tits to have their traffic clearance last weekend but I can’t complain. I burned down 290 with 7 balls of…

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THE MIDDLE GROUND

In Uncategorized on March 21, 2019 at 9:26 am

Don’t let that fear of dying affect the way you live. You take that fear and you use it as a driving force to keep moving forward, no matter how much pain you have. That’s how I do what I do on stage.
-Dick Dale

By that point, it seems more sensible to just go on. So you do, on across the mountains that turn into row after row of mountains, through strands of timber and barren gullies, until finally you come to the ocean. You walk down to the edge, roll up your pant legs and let the icy water drag your feet down into the sand. Then you scramble back up the bluff and lie down beside each other. You fall asleep watching the water disappear over the other side of the world, and when you wake up maybe the other way back’s gone. Maybe the trail back down the hill isn’t available anymore.
The Middle Ground

So it’s reached full alarm.  I had a window of good feeling but now I’m sunk again.  I feel like I’m sinking through my own life.  I take a small comfort knowing my Art’s not affected, not really, although–it could be so much better and I could be so much further along.  It’s been 10 years since I left the hometown and I’ve changed some–ok, I’ve changed a lot fucking more than some, but now I’m getting down to the nut of it.  I’ve stripped away every distraction and the only thing left is the trappings of my own mind.  The Depression has got me man and it has got me good.  I’m eating though.  Not self-harming.  I go to work but not enough to stop blowing through savings while I’m hiding from the world which of course makes me feel even worse.  It’s got me sunk but I’m glad I got this blog and glad I got you.  I don’t know what happens next.  Appointments probably.  A routine and a regimen and a therapist who cares.  This phoning it in and living like an invalid has got to fucking stop.  I’ve lived blind like this for too long as opportunity only blew by.  I’ve become my old man and I understand it now, Dad.  This Black Irish curse.

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A different perspective could be I’ve rivaled myself.  I set goals and I achieved them and now I’m only restless.  Being left to my own devices is never great for me.  Problem is being among them ain’t roses either.  They exhaust me but most things do.  I feel misunderstood a lot of the time.  I’d rather be unseen than humored and I don’t go out unless I have to.  I support my friends because they support me and to put it like that is horrible but it gets me out of the house.  Otherwise I don’t have the stamina to fight this depression and I’m not sure I ever did.  I just…smoked and drank.  Put myself through the wringer for lusty, wretched Queens and wenches.  I don’t blame them for their, or my own, version of dysfunctional love.  I’m the one to blame for what’s lost.  I lost more to my anger than any of them anyway and I still do, you bet, every day.  It’s got to be this disease that makes everything so incredibly tedious and aimed at catastrophe.  It makes all the maintenance and chore of life barbed and tortuous so I put them all off until I’m lying in a pile of mistakes and neglect.  My faculties as a writer still work, apparently and thank the Gods.  It takes me a paragraph or so to get warmed up but when I do the juices begin to flow and a moment takes shape from out of the senseless sucking void of time.  A column of words is birthed from the abyss and when I look back at paragraphs 1&2 I’ve wedged the tiniest space between me and this disease that all the time wants to destroy me.

And that, as they say, is that.  You either hang yourself or you hang it on the wall.  Far be it from me to be crying wolf on here or the least bit melodramatic.  Truth is these 545 words have backed the knives out the brain, and given me room to breathe on a heretofore suffocatingly late afternoon on this day of Saint Padraig.  I’m wearing my wounds Good Reader and letting loose the snakes of my own malaise.  I’ve got the door open now and cold air fills the office as ribbons of cerise are peeled from the slate-grey sky and get blown and gone.  I’m free for a moment, here, by the miracle of a magick they can’t ever fully take from us.  Brother Damien Echols held on to his for 18 years on death row and came out telling us how to live.  I know I will heal and that once I do, the Artist’s life I have been dreaming of will come true and come to bear.  This is a most-bitter flowering, bulbs punching through walls of frost and tearing through the loamy hard ground until they themselves are gone and all that’s left is green and shooting up to reach for the god of a burning Sun.

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GOOD MORNING BEAUTIFUL

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2019 at 8:08 am

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places.
Matthew 24:7

He really is a motherfucker.  
Kim Campbell

Well, I’ve got bones beneath my skin, Mister…
Counting Crows

Welcome back you might be thinking.  We missed you, maybe, or Our days were remiss without your hot take on the barbed seasons of a lifelong sufferer of major depressive disorder. Perhaps not.  Maybe the break was good for ya, as good as it was for me, and a week or two without 6-900 words on the darkening down was just what you needed and anyway felt good after we’d been cutting so close to the bone down here at the Office.  Truth is, after writing posts like UNDENIABLE DILEMMA, things begin to turn.  This is the power of writing.  We talisman our pain at Going For The Throat, and hang tragedy’s head like a bulbous bead on a necklace of skulls.  We whip it, whip it good and at the very least get a column of words from the wrenching torpors of depression.  And the love and care you’ve shown me since, well–shucks y’all know how to show a man he’s appreciated, that I matter and better–I’m seen, and heard from the radio tower of this blog.  It all comes back to writing, and communication, and of course the Blues which, may in fact be an ally and anyway our unfailing source of inspiration and grist.  Much love, Good Reader.  We are going to make the nut, pretty babies, and we’ve got each other and isn’t that nice?

I turned 44 last week.  Celebrated with 2 Yoga classes and a day off from the corporate.  I had a sleepover, too, and she’s a real charm.  I love with boundaries these days, which is…strange.  Considering I been in their thrall for most of my life, devoted and consumed, marked with lust and perseverating for cruel and dynamic wenches and queens.  For reasons I needn’t get into–aw, Hell, because of bad boundaries (i.e. none) with my own Mother growing up and a default state of beauty worship combined with a devastating and diabolical pillar-of-salt level of self-doubt, I went in for them.  I got shacked up and was often running after midnight to or from them, sometimes with my belongings toted up in the back of a Korean hatchback or strewn about on a tidy lawn in the suburbs.  In short they abused me and I always went back for more, feeling that, surely, I didn’t love them enough for them to treat me this way and anyway getting plenty enraged in my own right and abusing them with my own cruel intolerance of their dysfunction but only pulling back at the brink when they broke down and I could see they, like the rest of us, only needed love and the whole thing would start again.  Well.  This went off the rails didn’t it.

I wanted to touch on both how bad it’s been writing here and how great it is to have you reading, but only devolved into my own dysfunction and a paltry explanation as to why I loved without boundary for so long, and how I keep it an even keel these days and that we’re getting along.  She’s nice which wasn’t ever interesting or desirable to me in that old, sado-masochistic life as an alcoholic woman worshipper and self-destroyer.  Wow those nights eh Good Reader?

…you remember the good times to such an extreme you end up not giving a fuck about good times, bad times or rock and roll.

That’s from this week’s #LetterDay, a doozy to a black-haired Betty I neighbored with in those heady days trying to be a writer, banging my head against the wall mostly and anyway swimming in my cups at night and floating down dark barrio streets standing shotgun side of a black Miata with the top down and a redheaded nurse at the wheel.  My memories are only ghosts which is to say they’re of an old life dead and gone, however rageful and despite the mad tune I was banging to.  There’s nothing like Youth, bombing through the city, rash and beading with anger, spiting the Gods and culling their favor in a fedora on a Trek 3-speed from bourbon bar to backyard.  It’s hard to rival innocence, unless that’s what we’re doing now.  We know now and anyway we rise.  We get out of bed every day to face this horror and lay down, our hands at our sides, every night.  Our hearts beating.  There won’t ever be the same excitement we had the first time but only the clarity and candor of survival for the next.  It might not feel as good as Maker’s in a glass chased with pale ale and the blue-black smoke of a Gauloise but it’s still pretty fucking good being alive.  Sober and old and standing in the light of day.  Stalk yourself Good Reader.  You’re going to love what you find.

Ab irato,
TRAINER

“SOMETHING THAT YOU FEEL WILL FIND ITS OWN FORM.”

Kerouac_by_Palumbo_2

SAINT JACK

 

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Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#21: Fun Fun Fun Fest 2009

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2019 at 9:00 am

1500 North Street#A
Austin, TX 78756
512-203-6288

Heather Shofner, Jackson Ellis
Editors, Verbicide Magazine
verbicidemagazine.com

10/26/09

Fun Fun Fun…won’t get fooled again…contact for bands and performers…PR contacts…Advice

Heather&Jackson!

Compared to Austin City Limits (ACL) and South By Southwest (SXSW), this one should be a blast.  ACL blew through town weekend before last. Austin may boast itself as the live music capital of the world but this once homegrown concert series featured headliners Ben Harper and Pearl Jam.  Plus, fans had to deal with something called “dillo dirt”–a combination of compost and treated sewage used as fertilizer for the fresh laid grass in Zilker Park and the incessant rain we been under since the summer broke.  What would a music festival be without over-hyped bands and mud? Let’s not forget the port-o-potty situation either.

The horrors of ACL are nothing compared to the notorious South by Southwest Music Conference, which of course I’ll be pitching to you shortly.  To prime you, imagine a music festival as big as SXSW; featuring on average of over 1,800 bands for two warm&crazy weeks in March. Now adjust yourself to the reality that although SXSW is hosted by a city with over 200 venues and an estimated 1,990 musicians, it is not kind or supportive to any of them.  Maybe it’ll make more sense to you when you discover that sponsors of SXSW include PepsiCo and Miller Lite. If it doesn’t make sense and your as non-plussed as I am then perhaps you’ll understand that the fuck-ton of traffic that descends on this already small&congested town like a nightmare hipster-parade is not okay even if some out-of-town band gets signed.

I would hope that a music festival created by those in the scene such as Fun Fun Fun Fest wouldn’t try to insult me with something as mundane as Ben Harper for $145.   I’d like to catch some sets from some great independent bands and see what these punkers can do with a music festival.

Rest assured that between Cayte and me you will have a story on your hands.  

Port-o-Potty’s-Ahoy!

Your Writer,
Jim Trainer
Austin, TX

FFF 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANIELLE LORI COLE

In Uncategorized on March 7, 2019 at 9:00 am

YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE AS WEIRD AS ME.

FROM THE LOVE&WAGES BOOK RELEASE AT MALVERN BOOKS ON DECEMBER 16, 2018.    PLEASE VISIT JIMTRAINER.NET FOR A LETTER PRESSED AND PERFECTLY BOUND COPY, ADDITIONAL YELLOW LARK PRESS RELEASES AND TO SIGN UP FOR JIM TRAINER’S POEM OF THE WEEK.

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails #28, Pitch Thrown In The New Century

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2019 at 8:59 am

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THIS LETTER WAS ALSO FEATURED IN THE COARSE GRIND, MY MONTHLY COLUMN ON WRITING AND THE CREATIVE LIFE, IN THE ALWAYS STELLAR INTO THE VOID MAGAZINE.