Jim Trainer


In Uncategorized on July 25, 2019 at 9:14 am

…half the house will have to come down.
Constantine Cavafy

If you sing it will give your spirit lift to fly to the stars’ ears and back.
Joy Harjo

Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.
-H.L. Mencken

I believe in everything and nothing.
-Maureen Ferguson

I am not a Buddhist. I like dead cops and panty heists.  Burning churches and the unmitigated suffering of my enemies.  These dark intentions don’t exactly inform my life but spite and bitterness will quite often get me through in a pinch.  I’m sure I could fix what’s wrong with me or at least recognize my flaws instead of putting it on the heads of the characters and anyway soaking myself in the candor of hate while sitting in a cool dark room with the blinds down and typing on a machine older than me. Even so, I’m not big on society.  I’m glad the dissolution of the union, happy to hear it ain’t workin’ and more than obliged to kick you when you’re down if you got it coming. I don’t forgive or forget and I’m probably a prisoner of my own ill will.  Oh well.  If winning was everything I would’ve said quit a long time ago.  Notwithstanding these dark and unsavory kinks of mine, the end of the natural world saddens me.

I miss the Fall. I miss smoking cigarettes. I miss belts of pint whiskey outside Ninja House on an Autumn night at the end of the century waiting for Stinking Lizaveta to play.  I miss radio and the feeling you get en route to a vestibule of 800 watts over the city.  I miss rock and roll and amour fou, road trips into the frontier and the feeling that just being there and bearing witness was enough.  Everything I love is gone and everyone I know will say goodbye. Or I will and with tremendous gratitude for our time in the trenches or simply because I will gladly never see you again.  I miss youth mostly and that covers just about everything mentioned except I didn’t really feel young at the time.  These days I’m mostly going through a gentle revolution.  I’ve ceded the murderous desire to burn it all down and kiss it goodbye to a slow and steady lifetime creating Art.  It’s all the longview now and I’ve a tedious pace I could never maintain when I was young and rash and fevering and foolishly scared to die.  I’d like to say I used to believe but I think even then I was jaded.  I never voted Green in ‘00 but my eyes were wide sucking on a gel tab and smoking Marlboro Reds on an Amtrak outbound. I had no physical doubt—I believed in my body and I believed in you and comradery.  I don’t exactly accept you anymore though buddy and it’s all your fault as much as it is mine.

My art is the most important thing to me. It’s trumped love and friendship and certainly edged out comfort and security.  I’ve been blind after it and the only thing that’s changed is by degree.  At 44 my biggest motivation is not regretting these years.  It’s no longer a wild and high dare that springs me from slumber.  I know I’ll make it and the way there will be a series of repeated maintenance and continual devotion.  At 44 I am thinking beyond survival—I have survived.  Now’s the time to book and apply for poetry prizes and think about 50 which is when I figure most of these midlife kinks and peccadilloes will have worked themselves out and anyway I’ll have sunk deeper into an appreciation and acceptance of gnarly dark and mangled me.  The path was burned open in me years ago and I’m thankful to the women who birthed me.  They’re a part of me still, and me them, even if as a thorn and sting.  We’re all out here in the wild now and anything can happen to anyone.  It’s time to cinch the net on this dream, bring this hero’s journey home and fulfill this myth and destiny.  I’m pulling the chalice down, bet, taking it from the Gods with a wet kiss on the mouth.  Everything I ever wanted is within reach as the world is razed and the pillars and institutions fall, the mountains crumble and the seas burn.  Let the day begin.

Ab irato,
The End of the World


Excited to release Love&Wages at these fine establishments next month:


Sunday August 11 at 7PM
Quimby’s, Brooklyn NY
with Dylan Angell, Ed Askew and Shy Watson
Monday August 12 at 7PM
A Novel Idea, Philadelphia PA
with Charlie O’Hay and Rob Kaniuk
Thursday August 15 at 7PM
Seventh Son Brewery, Columbus OH
with Amy Turn Sharp


For more information and to sign up for Jim Trainer’s Poem Of The Week, please visit jimtrainer.net.  Thanks!

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