Jim Trainer

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#24, Brother Heath

In Uncategorized on July 5, 2019 at 12:22 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
P.O. Box 49921
Austin TX 78765

Heath Brougher
400 N. 8th Street
Reading PA 19601

5/4/19, 2:36PM

Warmest Greetings From The War Room

Fitting I should be writing you, Brother Heath–both because I write letters when I can’t write and you are practically the Patron Saint of Writing.  I ‘Like’ every post of you thanking the innumerable and latest pubs you appear in–both to support you and look them up later, when I’m ready to submit.  Of course that begs the question Where’s the work, Trainer?  Between Farewell, September and All in the wind I’ve practically had to start from scratch.  It’s alarming running out of material. Perhaps it’s a problem you don’t have yet but anyway it’s not a problem at all.  The worst trouble is no trouble at all. Ain’t it though. My dilemmas are needling and particular…the constant maintenance on a typewriter older than I am, IBS and neighbors’ dogs.  Some of us write while others mow their fucking lawns with their dogs barking to oblivion. Between trips to the john I had to call the cops. Now it’s quiet out there, except for a car alarm, now and then (another irresponsible jerkoff neighbor) but I’ll take it.  A dog barking is the most random and piercing and most impossible to work with. I put earphones in, with no music–nope. I can’t write with music on either. Those days are gone. As are those nights typing with beer and wine. I miss those nights. They were a reprieve, Brother Heath!  Now I’ve none. I live sober with my blues and a kinghell anxiety–one that wakes me hours before shift and prevents me from evacuating waste on schedule like a normal human. The only comfort I take is knowing Bukowski had similar problems–but he drank. I’m fucked Brother but I can handle my trouble, can you?  The world is mired in its own shit, things are sinking or falling away and anyway politics will be worthless on an ice floe or in the domes that Bradbury prophesied. The most pressing concern for us as humans is the least acknowledged. Neil Young was right and Neil DeGrasse Tyson but being right won’t make a damn either–may as well hold each other close, stick to the real work and kiss it goodbye.  

Without a typewriter I’m fucked.  I can write poetry on a device but, who the hell wants to do that?  Meanwhile the jerkoff’s car alarm has gone off again, three times since starting this, but I’ll continue my correspondence with the Friend–what else?  Go charging into the alley, that’s what, in my Crocs and PJs and scowling up their backyard to see what the fuck is going on out there.  For fuck sake, Heath.  They want us to work. So we do.  We’re never free though, are we? We have to suffer weekends and weekenders, round pegs wielding weedwackers with dogs roped off in their yards, and any and every intrusive proclivity of Joe Citizen who doesn’t have the sense to invest in something worthwhile like the Arts so instead goes in for the cheap thrills and full ride of working for the man like a good consumer and full-on douchebag.  There’s some other business going on out there in the alley. A tree almost fell from my backyard and across the road. I think I hear the city out there now. The thing is resting on a power line but I’ma keep at it–writing, otherwise I’d go nuts.  

As far as what’s wrong with me, well, anxiety I guess.  The fact that we got 12 summers left worries me more than it should.  I thought I didn’t care. I also never thought I’d live this long, so, maybe it’s time to reevaluate.  I took off work tonight. Other than shitting my brains out, calling the cops on my neighbor and stalking the alley in battle mode, it’s been alright.  I might head out to the bookstore soon but I’ll be sure to go online first. Plenty of friends of mine have been published, recently or otherwise, and I’ve got some reading to do.  Bet. Besides reading I suppose it’ll be an uneventful Saturday night, Another Bullshit Night In Suck City which I’m wagering will be heaps better than the days of liquid gambol when I was drinking–on the hooch and bottle and chasing my lusts in a debased pirouette and otherwise fucking off my lifetime.  4 years in to sobriety and I can’t say it’s better but it is certainly different. What a difference a little difference will make, Brother Heath–this quote from thee Greatest Rock and Roll Band of All Time is strikingly prescient now and anyway you can’t go back but if you do you’re different now.  Innocence only gets in the way of a purer Art. Ain’t it though. I try and approach life with a beginner’s mind but the only place I can really pull it off is at the type.  Poetry is still a highwire act and I’m always afforded discovery there. Were it not for the Arts I ruefully think I might be stuck somewhere, as awful as my hometown and probably worse, on some drug or other and locked in to a toxic codependency with a woman only slightly smarter than me who knows how to fight with a knife and fuck my black Irish brains out.  Since I’m invested though, in the inner life and the world of letters, there’ll be no amour fou for me or anything that takes me from this discipline.  I’ve come to rely on writing. It keeps me sane and from doing a common and dreadful thing like yard work.  F the neighbors, Brother, and the World. We’re writers and we’re all mad here.

We won’t need to know how going forward, I think, but will certainly need a refresher on whyWhy is paramount–when the debate over healthcare is non-existent, you can die at anytime anywhere at the hands of any Nutter with an AK, the top 2% of this country won’t even suffer ecological collapse and it’s always War somewhere in the world and never for the moral or crusading reasons they advertise.  What good’s sanity anyway, Brother Heath, as we advance darkly down the days of Nutter’s Rule? What good will being right or the truth have as we become the working dead and it’s cheaper to buy a gun and blow everyone away than it is to save our loved ones dying of a curable and otherwise Empire-engineered disease?  Hunter Thompson was right, Heath, and there’s nowhere to run or hide. It’s all conquered and the game they’re playing has factored in humanity as the cost of doing business. What kind of glory do they bask in, Heath, these Final Century cowboys and oligarchs shipping yachts full of cash overseas and living in highwalled palaces that keep them safe from the cancerous rays of a deathead and approaching sun?  What is their virtue and what God do they pray to and if that God exists shouldn’t we the People strike him down with all we got and bask when the churches burn and cops get clobbered on the street by the yellow jackets? And what is our virtue, when saving the world is a diminishing return and the order we’ve adhered to for centuries lurches forward over us, consuming us and soaked in blood?

Let’s do some anger, Brother.  Before the end gets here. If winning was everything we would’ve said quit a long time ago.  We will live to see stranger things than our own mortality.

Our work will save us.

Jim Trainer


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