Jim Trainer

Archive for August, 2019|Monthly archive page

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#30: Drinks For All My Friends!

In Uncategorized on August 30, 2019 at 9:00 am

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THIS THING ON?

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2019 at 11:00 am

When you’re back in your old neighborhood, the cigarettes taste so good…
Wilco

It was never a revolution nor a civil war. The terrorists are sent by your government.
-“
Majd

Maybe in the next life, I’ll be a hero not a criminal…
-The Bronx

2 trips with 2 friends and maybe 2 on my own.  One trip back to wipe down the walls, hit the bathroom and kitchen, mop the floors and get gone.  Uptown.  A 1-bedroom proper in my old neighborhood.  It’s great to have friends (with SUVs) and it’s great to have just what you need although totes full of typewritten pages hardly fit into that category.  I suffer a lifelong regret back to when I had a Kerouac problem.  I fell through suburban backyards and drank cough syrup in graveyards, smoked schwag and Marlboro reds and every poem I wrote that lost, last footloose summer of 1993 was burned and flew up with black wings of ash off a range in the kitchen of my mother’s house.  When winter came I had to jettison most of my things—including my first ever journal, left on a curb in the township and ferried to oblivion on trash day.  Ever since I lost that journal I’ve been saving everything.  Every napkin, flier, typewritten, long hand, ink-scrawled lyric, poem, joke, dream and piece of writing’s been stowed, unceremoniously, in a 10-gallon tote and heaved with me from place to place as I live out these end days as a cash-and-carry pirate of the Final Century.  What makes it worse is a lot of those pages are duplicates, dating back to when I wrote on the President XII.  I didn’t fuck with typewriting ribbon back then, and instead composed poetry punching keys on a carbon sandwich and manual I scored at Saver’s for $17 in 2009.  2009 looks like Heaven from here but even then I knew I was lucky.

About one of the only benefits of these end days is we can see the shits perpetrating the inhumanity and can watch them turn the wheel of Oligarchy in real time.  Hard part is we should see it in ourselves, too.  I know I’m guilty.  Are you?  Chances are, if you’re reading this,  you are.  Point is I’m able to see that being hapless and lucky was just a fantasy.  I’m no dharma bum but a lower-middle class white boy born in the land of plenty, with a couple years of college and acting school and the ability to type a lot of words per minute.  I was born with a leg up but also born afflicted.  I feel shitty often, as this blog can attest but, unfortunately, in the Final Century I get upset with myself for being upset and give myself no quarter as per usual and especially when I start to complain how impossibly hard it is to make it, at times—when you’re an empath with your eyes wide and you got so much to say that the world could give a fuck about.

I can’t blame anyone for my troubles man.  Wisdom tells me maybe I shouldn’t blame myself either and the jewel in the crown is I’m all growed up now, or about to be.  I’ve left the garage.  Come up from the underground and standing in the light of day.  In the too-early morning working the computer lab at the ARCH and trying not to shit my pants pushing 2 Cambros and pulling a wheeled cart in the record-breaking heat.  It’s obscene to glean a little joy here and now but I do Good Reader.  I’ve got Italian Roast with honey getting cold and trees out my window reminding me of a better time smoking Marlboro Ultralights in Abington before Philly melted down and spit me out and I headed down that Americana road to become this grizzled ex-Pat punkrocker typing in his Hilfiger boxer briefs this morning.  It’s incredibly strange to be happy at all, now, as our twelfth summer left together winds down and what would be my Father’s 68th birthday comes around.  I didn’t expect this to be so profound and we know this, Good Reader.  I write to keep the monkey busy but sometimes I catch myself at the writing desk and I’m here to receive and can get overcome with what it all should mean.

The key, I think, to living is death.  Yep and as perfectly contradictory and flawed as that sounds, it feels right.  All this will end Beautiful Friend and we’ll either be standing here missing them or flown and gone and less than ash ourselves.  Death ought to make it, eh?  Set us to rights and put a frame around all this flailing and tumultuous desire—death ought to be the reason why.  Why I’m up early and why I’ve got to sleep at night.  Why I think I’ll french kiss you next time I see you and why I’ll drink water today and eat prunes and avoid dairy.  Death is why the maintenance and death why the repair.  We’re only here for a time, may as well try and make it right.  I’m not talking about the young noise makers or speakers of self-import and politic.  Fuck the young.  Just like they should be saying fuck us, right.  We’re antiquated and we failed the human experiment and we’re all going to die.  That, Good Reader, is exactly why.  Nothing further than the end.  We’ll be there soon.  Let’s live it now and don’t wait.  Not another second.  Let’s do it like it means something and it will.  With beauty and ire.

Sedulo,
TRAINER
Austin TX

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Read Jim Trainer in The Coarse Grind at Into The Void Magazine.

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#29: Dear Mr. President

In Uncategorized on August 23, 2019 at 9:00 am

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WHEN YOU GOT SO MUCH TO SAY

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2019 at 9:51 am

We’re trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death…

Anxiety.  Whoa.  Pocked sleep and wrecked bowels.  It’s a nightmare but it’s hard to parse—where does this disease begin and the festering swirl of the world end?  I can’t remember the sanguine, I mean, I think things were better, at least it felt like they were.  But another voice, inside my head, speaks—a wisdom that isn’t looking back and isn’t caught in the current chipper of this reality and this voice of wisdom tells me things weren’t ever better.  There was so much I couldn’t see back then, when I thought I was happy.   There’s even the proof of Art.  My collections of poetry and prose have mass and a weight that tips the scales, up from the suicide side and can assuage a great and grave anxiety that’s got me cross-eyed and typing this in the dark dawn with the door to the carport wide.  I can’t see otherwise so I cut all the lights and put my iPad on Night Shift mode.  I’m drinking Ruta Maya with the traffic streaming by.  I’m due in at 8:30 today after doing 7 yesterday, falling out with Vegan ice cream and recording some tunes for Julian before calling it a day and suffering the rest of the night with painful, Vegan gas.

I’m writing this now because otherwise I don’t know when.  I’m booked to the teeth mostly and even when I’m not working I am working.  Whatever and back to gratitude.  This post will have to serve as an imperfect and thorny prayer.  The problem with the morning is that it’s the morning.  I can’t see straight and I’m caught between.  I can’t exactly relax writing before work, though this is one of my few attempts and I can’t sleep knowing I have to go to work and face a raging cunt in the kitchen and corporate twats on the phone with your boss when you’re on your way and anyway the entrance to the job is a good 1/8th of a mile from the van and you’ve got IBS and are pushing 2 Cambros and pulling a cart with your serving whites hung and dragging behind.  All this is better than having to get up at 4 and load a 16’ stake bed before heading into the puke of North Texas to deliver electrical supplies for a buck forty a day.  But even that’s better than coming home to find the police torturing your family and then having to flee, wife and kids in tow but losing her and your youngest to the raging swell of a wide river that flows between you and freedom.  By the way the Police and the system I describe in that last exercise of gratitude were created by the policies of the country I live in.  A country that hasn’t raised its minimum wage in 10 years and allowed economic catastrophe to incur while fighting at least 3 meaningless forever wars and is better than almost anywhere else in the world.

Gratitude is a motherfucker.  So’s knowing that this is exactly the life I wanted and that’s why I got it, Bubba.  Cross-eyed and up early, tripping over an upright bass and ironing board, tour receipts and poetry collections and totes of shit everywhere.  Saint Michael’s hung above this mess and over the closet of this soon-to-be-vacated garage apartment where I’ve lived for the last 16 months.  This place looked like paradise to me back then.  I was fleeing a grifting scumbag of a roommate, a toilet paper-hoarding ponce who got me for over $1,700 before I loaded up the stake bed of the work truck and inched slowly down 45th street in the rain, got my gear in, the bed and writing desk and started the Life I agonize over this morning.  It’s been real and it’s been fun but it hasn’t been real fun.  Time to GTFO, leave here and leave this post in your care.  We’re not who we thought we were.  I’m out of coffee and I need to iron my serving whites.  Back into it–the chipper, the American dim.  Keep me stepping into the light of day Good Reader, with raging gas and and an anger problem.  My worst days now are better than the best ones I had before I got free.  I guess you could say I’m thankful motherfucker.

Sign up for Jim Trainer’s Poem Of The Week at  jimtrainer.net
Read Jim Trainer in The Coarse Grind at Into The Void Magazine.

NEWSLETTER#1

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2019 at 9:33 am
-My People I Love You-

 

I’m back on shift this morning, at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless after doing 3,563 miles and reading everywhere from Brooklyn, NY to Worthington, OH.  The readings in Philly and Ohio were incredible–the kind of nights I’m in this gamble for. I’m happy to throw the dice doing what I love, whether the numbers come up win or bust, and I’m reaching out in that spirit, Good Reader and Subscriber.  It’s been good on the road and it’s been harried and rife and burdened with undue expense. I had a place to stay in every town I played. But I had to change my flight out to Saturday from Columbus to make a dinner party that beautiful poet Amy Turn Sharp and the wonderful folks in Columbus threw for me.  I wouldn’t need my rental so I paid to leave it there and just before I left Philly the PPA got me with a $300 parking ticket!  I sold out of all my copies of Love&Wages, and finished out the pressing (save for some rescues Kevin and I will attempt at the Austin Book Arts Center this Fall) and I sold 7 broadsides!  I sold some books online, too, and 1 EP to the talented Nikki Wonder in Columbus, Ohio.

I live for the road and know you got to take the hits you want to be in the ring.  I’m back in paradise, the ATX, and back on shift and grind. I’m launching a Patreon to assuage costs like the $700 gaffe I mentioned suffering this tour, and to keep my titles on shelves and in the public purview.  With only $5 or $10 a month from twenty to forty supporters I could put a solid couple of days in at the Office every month on top of the afterhours catch-as-catch-can shifts I already put in writing blogs and columns, typing poetry and penning letters.  Which is my intention. I’m planning on asking for your support and participation.  You’ll be able to contribute to the cause doing everything from sharing my work on social media to throwing me a $5er once a month and/or just buying one of my yearly titles or bi-monthly broadsides during their presale. 

Presales enable so much more than sales. Presales generate promotion and can speed along production. Presales empower you, Good Reader, to personalize your experience and support and even send me, Your Writer, on location to report back.  So that’s my dream, Good Reader&Subscriber. I wanna do what I always do: post 600 words every week at Going For The Throat, 6-1,200 at The Coarse Grind, pen 2 letters every week and self-publish 1 collection of poetry and prose and 6 broadsides every year.  I want to publish other authors and poets.  And I wanna take it on the road. Everywhere I’ve been again, in your thrall and at attention to the moments of this one and only life we have together.

I’ll be asking for your support because I can’t let another week go by without sending the Poem Of The Week because I’m trapped in a car rental kiosk in Philly with no WiFi hours before I have to read and wrap it, get on the J and Chinatown and head out on the PA Turnpike to Columbus in the morning.  This is where I’m at now and I couldn’t be happier or more proud of us because we did this. Us. If you’d like to pitch in starting right now, share this newsletter, with a few words, to your people on social media–just click one of the ‘Share’ buttons in the bottom left-hand corner. Ok, let’s get on to the Poem Of The Week, followed by a bit of housekeeping.

Love y’all.
Trainer
Austin TX

 

For Jim Trainer’s Poem Of The Week, please visit jimtrainer.net.

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#28: Dear Amy Turn Sharp

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2019 at 11:48 am

The Office of Jim Trainer
1500 Crestwood Road, Garage
Bro Country TX

Amy Sharp
841 North High Street
Columbus OH

8/27/18, 5:28PM

Beautiful Friend

‘Ello from the east side.  I got an AirB until my place is ready so I sit here listening to the Counting Crows and drinking jars of black coffee with white sugar.  The coffee’s a takeaway from Europe, where they drink it hot and straight and without cream; and Brautigan, who forever gave us the cup of instant coffee, and the care he put into making it for us has kept it waiting somewhere in the kitchen of our mind ain’t it though.   I’ve my feet up on the bed with my iPad in my lap, staring at the contents of a black rigger’s bag full of my things from out of storage emptied there. The bag is my Father’s, it’s his birthday today—the 3 of diamonds fell out, the 6 of hearts and Southern’s wedding invitation.  I just sealed up a letter to him before I noticed the invitation on the bed, next to Sedaris’ When You Are Engulfed In Flames and among the digital recorder and SD cards, guitar picks, Anne LaMott’s Help, Thanks Wow and Dan Auerbach’s Waiting For A Song, a white, ceramic coaster embossed with a blue Dutch windmill blowing, a pen set my sister gave me I’ll probably never use, a pocket knife I don’t think I’ve used either, and the black sock I’ve been looking for since I landed in New Orleans over 2 months ago.  The road was good, Europe was better but my traveling partner was worse than the shits I suffered—six thousand miles with IBS and an American blues cured only by a couple nights in Sofia and Berlin on my own. I’m weary, and road burned, and thought I’d try and share a little magic with you this way, in writing like we do.  

I don’t know why now’s the time but I’m glad and I’m gonna go with it.  It’s like when it’s easy—you’re satisfied with yourself enough to be nice for once, and you don’t have to go all out for thrills and sex.  You alright and sleep is the prize of a good and even good&goddamned day. I suffer some ailments, nothing a little maintenance couldn’t address—reading glasses and Acidophilus, plenty of water and breakfast.  The stage is set, lady friend, I can’t handle The Jobs much anymore and it’s got to be for more than survival. The inaneness of Camus’ blues and living to die in The America can really get to me. It’s a trigger and a call back to those deep, blue overdoses and kinks in my psychology that’ll have me flailing and reaching out for numb—the bottle and the blackness like a gun.  I’m ready to think about my next move and that’s what these days are. Before I blindly plunge back into day labor, I’ll need a plan.  So, I’m posted up here with a large Staples wall calendar and 10 different colored Sharpees. I got the Selectric out of storage and just looking at it eases me—like a large, red cat here on the desk.  I’m writing you up here on the desk now, so I can dig in and you know it’s getting serious.

We are in the loam-dark and clutched tight inside ourselves like seeds.  Magic still exists and so do we. I feel a love coming from you, from every direction like a star, even if you may not.  What do stars know of their own brilliance anyway, anchored in a cold and endless black sea? What do we know of love except a lowly lit room to wrap ourselves behind their covetous and breathing shape?  The reeds will bend to know the wind. Shadows will stretch to double in the dark. The house will grow into the earth and our bones will rejoin. In spirit we call and respond and listen for echo but someday we will know the Other fully and rest together beneath a flowing river like stones.   

8/28/18, 9:39AM
Well.  So that was last night and that was dusk and you’ve beared witness to my struggle as a manbeast creative who loathes day labor but abhors everything else.  I’m always thinking of Buk, my Papa, because I have no other example. My Father worked, speaking of, but kept his passions quietly to himself. He loved music and poetry but I don’t think he gave that to me.  I was too young and angry to get anything from him, though I tried. The last date booked of 00’s spoken word tour was Wilmington and he picked me up at the train in a black Toyota Tundra. We smoked Marlboro Reds the whole way back and drove through the snow.  Eventually my ex caught up with me, she found me out there in Delaware—or maybe I’m confusing this time with when I was in acting school and tried to teach the old man some guitar. I regret not spending more time with him but never would’ve learned that lesson had he not passed.  It’s the saddest goddamned thing but I suppose it would’ve had to be something so utterly tragic to soften this old armor.  Not that I suffer fools either, something I most certainly got from him—spite, the crown jewel of the Black Irish.  

This place smells or maybe I do.  A baby roach crossed the cement floor this morning and I don’t know if it’s ‘cause it’s summertime in Texas or because I’m a slob.  I mean, I know I’m a slob, and am more than happy to be. I’ve been luxuriating in solitude, Amy. After being somebody’s guest for 2&½ months I needed to unpack and leave my shit everywhere and not say a damn word to anyone.  The isolation chamber as my Lady Friend calls it, though I’ll have to get the place together if I’m going to entertain her. Only her, though, and you. No one else.  I been too long in the wasteland, at large and abroad, in 6 countries and 11 cities, I’ve traveled over eight thousand miles and the America looks small to me now, and sad.  I wanna say they deserve McCain, and Trump, and whatever travails of entitlement or petty dramas NPR can spin but they’re my people. I don’t know what THEY ( R ) think, though the ship’s sinking for all of us and as mighty fine as it is to call out Whitey, the truth is we’ve got to vote and exercise democracy for those who can’t, I suppose.  That, or just go for the guy or gal least likely to drop bombs. It works for Ian MacKaye and this way we can really dig into them—then again, like Judy Blume, maybe I won’t.

Next door to this place Mama sits by a dead Lincoln.  She says her house burned down but there’s no building nor remnants of any there.  She’s got Cokes in her cooler and water and some folding chairs. When night falls I don’t know where she goes.  I suffer in here, with my own worth as a writer and small and large despairs. The summer is ending and the world is at a precipice.  We can’t go on unknowing, we know now and the ungainly and grotesque truth is beautiful compared to living a Lie. If we turn our backs now we’ll know it and we’ll deserve whatever pogrom and Working Poor World Order these soulless hucksters and shills can come up with for us.  War, probably, and a winnowing of the creative class, definitely. It’s still auspicious though, don’t you think? The way the end of the summer shimmers and the light gets thin and pale. A Byzantine light and eroding wind. The cloud people are crouching proud in a wasted industrial sky, the land will break and our hearts will break open.  Destruction comes and shakes the moorings, I can see a new morning from the dark wings. I know that night is just night, the birds will dive and the trees will die, everything acrid and agape, we’ll burn for our arrogance and suffer what suffering we’ve denied. There will be rain and it’ll wash it all out to sea. We’ll all flow broken, in pieces back to One.

It’s the end of the world and I want to know you, Luscious Lady.  Be well and be with me for a spell, in letters and poems and thoughts kind and wishes of love.

Yours,
Jim Trainer
Austin TX

BETTER THAN LOVE

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2019 at 10:51 am

What fresh Hell is this?
Virginia Konchan

Hope was a signpost pointing
straight in the air…
Linda Pastan

and you flash a wave. Hello! Your eyes are still
bright, the blue color of deep water on maps…
Cate McGowan

What would you trade me for?
The National

Hello from the Road.  The readings are going great and I’ve been provided for—everywhere from Brooklyn to Worthington there’s been a roof overhead and bacon in the pan.  It’s a good life because you’re in it and I’m glad to pay visit, escape the annals and prison of social media, take to the territory and see your smiling face.  Poet Amy Turn Sharp’s eyes are bluer than any  dream, like a cold glass of water and Charlie O’Hay’s stories about the All In The Family bar are side-splitting, too-funny-to-be-true yarns about the old life in the American Century.  I wake up to poetry and parking tickets and I have long conversations on the PA Turnpike listening to Psalmships.  I’ve sold 16 books and 5 broadsides and that’s not even counting orders online.  Touring is the only life for me and my training is serving me well.  I’d be hard pressed to present you with anything from out here where I’m living in the moment going 100mph through Tuscarora or floating cooly past midnight on the Chinatown bus.  I’ve learned some things about myself on the road and though I can’t call it I’ll leave ‘em here for later or as a document.

Point is things are too good on the road to even try and come through with the lowlight reel and what’s become di rigueur here.  Yes 10 years writing at Going For The Throat’s been a decade in the dumps ain’t it.  Doldrums and disaster, diaphanous and depraved.  Not this time Good Reader.  And not today, Satan.  Bet, when, I’m doing the work there isn’t anything wrong—well, besides more than a couple hundred dollar flight-change fee and three hundred owed to the scabrous cunts of the PPA.  Hostile City always takes a part of me and the road does the rest, though it’s a different exhaustion I’m working with.  The J out of Williamsburg at 11 on a Sunday with New York out the window, incandescent over the dark water and full of itself affords a hard-worn wisdom.  You can’t get much better than Ohio in the meantime sipping Jungle Love roast in a quiet suburb on an iPad reminding you of a software update every fucking 7 seconds.

Ok—nevermind, I’ve changed my mind.  What I learned on tour is too grim to share here, especially in light of how well this intro came out.  It was meant to be an intro anyway, to a post I wrote last week on being sick and living out the end days of the Final Century getting shit sleep and not being able to shit besides.  But why bring you down, even if that’s all I’ve ever done over the years?  It’s too early in the evening to get catty, Gentlemen as she used to say, though our life and love together is a long time gone.  That’s what coming home can do, too—show you the passing of time, how much you’ve grown and anyway how less of us there is around but plenty more love required.  I will say I know now more than ever that what love is is presence.  In fact presence is better than love because it’s not an idea.  All I ever want is to be seen and that’s what we’ve been doing with this blog ain’t it.  Stripping the sheen to get to what’s real.  I like my truth simple, everything else is a lie and anyway we’ve made lean here, all the glories and pain, the death, birth and bright shine of a collapsing star and dog-roses blooming in the junkyard wild.  You’ve joined me in the inner chamber and like this we’ve lived together.  The road closes the circuit and loops round this thing we’re in it for.  I’ve much to report from the road, the grislies I checked myself from sharing and the soft, green air of late summer on the East Coast, where the end of the world doesn’t seem so bad.

Love y’all.
TRAINER
The Territory

TONIGHT at the
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!

 

WHAT’RE YOU AN ASSHOLE?

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2019 at 9:34 am

All conceptions of race in the modern world are grounded in predatory capitalism.
Dr. Cornel West

It’s what I believe. But it isn’t all that matters.
John Michael Colon

It would kill me to find out life is too good to bear.  Especially after all the hiding, ducking and taking cover and not to mention subterfuge I’ve thrown—hijinks and antics I used so as not to get taken by the swell and anyway filter it all, somehow, with drugs and alcohol and even my own anger.  What if Life was actually grand and at least pretty fucking cool and the thirty-year sabbatical I took and camp I set up behind a tall wooden fence in the live music capital of the world wasn’t because things were bad but because they were so good I was afraid to face it, lest the other shoe drop or I’m happy?  Wouldn’t that be a bitch.  I’ve ceded happiness and contentment always seemed like a trap.  In my weird life I’m content in my own way even if it’s far and away from all the things they say it takes to be fulfilled.  What the fuck do they know anyway?  You can die at anytime now, Good Reader, anywhere—from a Walmart to a church and get rubbed out by fate only for being there and in the scope of a white nutter’s automatic.  Whoops.  Backsliding into it there, ain’t I?  It’d be a fool’s errand to try and ration out a new sense of well being than the usual state of oh Shit-panic mode I been in since 15 ain’t it, especially with how close and hot the chipper blades to us whir.  I can hear oblivion calling my name most days and most days I can tell it not today Satan or at least be so booked to the teeth my death would be a welcome break.  I guess I can’t really reckon it, or try and come through with the new shit—another take on Life that maybe includes some joy and wonder and even love but I do wonder, if not actively and actually know in my gut, that my survival is assured (as much as it can be in these end days of the Final Century) and the coping mechanism of a teenage alcoholic skinhead who’d rather die than stay in the suburbs is outdated, ain’t workin’ and anyway the Life I always wanted is right here and now.

I can’t speak to how big of a fraud I feel like I really am most of the time.  Or how I’m  not an Artist and the 5 collections I’ve published ain’t shit and neither’s this blog or the 600 I post every Thursday, or the 6-1.200 every month at the Grind, the readings, the letters, the shows and the spoken word stories.  It all feels like nowhere, bet, but it’s not the same nowhere as the Township and getting thrown to the concrete by 5 pigs in kevlar or getting my nose broke by some guidos with a mini-slugger in Stone Harbor on a dumb, tequila-filled night down the Jersey Shore.  Life is…life.  Sure it’s better.  Sure I’m still getting beat by the same hounds of Hell.  Sure there’s no peace but a little I’ve found and some gratitude that sometimes swells up and doses me with wonder and awe.  Everything is so strange now that I’m sober.  I can’t call it but I’ll probably make it and no doubt find myself in the grip of anger and my old friend the blues before even tonight is over.  It’d be good to hear I’m making it and even better to know.

I don’t know how to tie this in with the suffering of the world.  Fact is I’ve been under cover too long.  Acted like I didn’t care and now I really don’t.  The horrors of the world are so far out from me and everything is.  I’m still chasing a dream and it feels fucked and selfish and I’ve no recourse.  Even as more innocents are mowed down and the machine lurches forward over my Brothers and Sisters, I am at a loss.  What to do with a roiling, rotting world but let it burn?  As far as everything being ok, for me at least and the littlest bit over the years, it’s nuts—unreasonable and impossible and against all odds I should be happy and ok with my life.  Against.  Yeah, that sounds right.  Out of the loop and leaning in to the wind.  Taking shots like kisses and waiting for something weird and unexpected to turn, a little love to make mend with and something better than this republic of get mine and death worship.  Maybe the world needs saving but maybe it should just end.  Chances are as it all comes down, Mr. Lucky—your batshit Bastard writer, will have a smile on my fool face.  Why should I be happy as everything comes crashing?  Why shouldn’t I?

So now that I see where I am
I see race still determines the blessed from the damned
and the greatest of all historical shams
is believing you cannot do something you can
Erik Petersen

LOVE&WAGES
Excited to release Love&Wages at these fine establishments this 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
Wednesday August 14 at 7PM
Prologue Bookshop, Columbus OH
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!

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#27: Hello In There

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2019 at 9:02 am

22 June 2015          

JMT:


I thought it fitting to write you while waiting in a chilled room for a judge to need us.  I am in a collective of rumpled Americans doing civic time.  We have a
nswered our summons.  We are jurors.  2 days prior I came quite close to purchasing an American flag shirt – button down, made of some light silky polyester.  Not red, white, and blue but worn brick red, yellowed-white, and faded cornflower blue.   I have America on my mind. Recently an Iranian attached himself to me.  He is here on political asylum trying to get a life together which is not easy when you’re a middle easterner who does not understand colloquial English.  A lost kitten.  Though he is an accomplished musician and tailor he will try to convince a man he wants to install windows and if he can he will be closer to the American dream.  I looked at all the faces of my fellow jurors.  And like a corporation concerned with its image, the mass was made up of all colors and classes.  A whole rainbow of voters. I imagined each of them standing behind a short curtain, torsos concealed in the name of democracy.  The day before at a sparsely attended Portuguese heritage festival I drank green wine and stood under the hot sun while dancers festooned with red, green, and gold spun in circles their arms straight up and waving like they were signaling surrender.  My fresh-off-boat Portuguese companions railed their government and the whole European Union in one breath and the next invited me to their quaint city to eat Bacalhu prepared by their elders.  I listened with a half dead ear.  The night before lasted until the morning after. I slept lightly in a room with blackout curtains from 6-10am and thought about World War II.  The whole day took on a sheen of something not quite real that I remembered from my years as a teenage insomniac.  That feeling of being superhuman—outside of the need for rest, and knowing the night’s secrets. At home on my couch is sleeping a genderless human come to my state to rectify the backwards law we keep that allows a boss to fire someone for being gay.  I am all up in the business of how America works.  Immigration, heritage celebration, trial by jury, boots-on-the-ground democracy.  

The week before, when you shook my hand you invited me to dinner.  I declined.  I need to make a salad. When you shook my hand you placed your other hand in the mix and enveloped my fingers in a tight, slightly rough, manly grasp.  The air in the room felt still and stupid.  The thoughts in my head were jumbled and inarticulate.  I wanted to lie on the grass.  I wanted you to lie on the grass and cup your hands over my ears as I closed my eyes and hummed trying to recalibrate or shake something loose.  That night I went home and lay in a bed with my ears wide open.  No dreams came.  I shot up awake at 3 or 4 am and wondered what I had forgotten.  

I am reading books voraciously and writing a play that is molasses-dense with personal meaning.  I am walking 4 miles a day sometimes 5 or 6 and jogging 3 at a time.  There is so much momentum that standing still causes vertigo.  The soles of my shoes are coating the city sidewalks like a bloodletting.  I am aiming for the seaside soon to see if I can be motionless on the sand allowing the ocean to make the moves.  If that reads as anxiety it is accurate.  But, make no mistake, I also live in Bobby McFerrin’s world.  My cheeks often hurt from laughing.  

I had a pen pal when I was an odd teenager.  Incarcerated, he wrote to me on yellow legal pads and sent letters with prepaid postage he had bought from the commissary.  I sent 8, 10, 12 page letters full of my young, yet already jaded ideas of the world.  He reciprocated once writing a full letter in runes.  What else are you going to do with 23 hours a day in your cell?  I have written almost no letters since.  Did I do alright?

Keep your ear to the ground,
Demi Jurada

TO THE MATTRESSES

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2019 at 9:00 am

Everyone’s lucky, few are prepared.
-Mike Dooley

The blooding process has begun within the democratic world.
Fintan O’Toole

The chick, whose sex cannot be identified without a blood test, will be ready to fledge–or take flight–for the first time in November.
Tim Hauck

I tell people struggling with depression that they are more tuned in to real human experience and emotion than those pushing the positive-vibes-only agenda.
Vanessa Smith Bennett

Chasten
2 :to mark by some ceremony or observation : observe

for Matt Borczon

Well.  We’re really jamming now.  Ain’t it Good Reader.  We’ve acclimated to wild gunners chopping children down, an increasingly militarized and murderous police force, wildfires and whole swathes of species going dead as the dodo.  Straight into the chipper all of us ain’t we but at least we annihilated this week.  Seems dumb to sit in traffic as the sun burns a hole in your roof.  It makes even less sense to take shit from anyone let alone some geek in the food service industry asking what you’d do if a gig came up when you’re scheduled to do a $15 delivery.  High School never ends but neither does temp work if you’re a hustler and an artist like I am.  There’s no dignity in it except that you’re living your dreams but don’t expect any glory.  Not while you’ve got bills to pay and still have to make it in the square world and interview with people you’d rather slap and rip the ID badge off their collared shirt and shove down their fucking throat.  This post isn’t about them, or the end of the world.  It’s about depression which, after 10 long years writing for Going For The Throat, should need no introduction.

Yay the black temper has been with me ever since my Father came back to live with us at 15.  My parents were perpetrating a fraud, at least he was, and I couldn’t do anything about it except smoke cigarettes and listen to Black Flag in the basement.  Drink all his Coors Lite and get arrested for punching out windows at the Landsdowne Ave trolley stop.  There was an anger then and not a good one.  It didn’t burn or inspire.  It was paralyzing and it split me—I disassociated from my home life but became a stranger to myself and had to act like I wasn’t angry while he was around.  When he left again she leaned on me.  I became the de facto man of the house and it was emotionally incestuous and wrong.  I was paying for what he’d done, and for what her Father had done years before.  I was raised to hate myself by a man-hating woman, left to my own devices and without any strong male guidance or coping mechanism whatsoever.  Good Reader.  I didn’t expect to go so—deep.  Ha.  Have we fucking met?  We go deep here, go for the throat and let loose the slipshod reel of a poet’s psyche and cynic’s dream.  Truth is I came here to work it out like I do, and attempt to get to the bottom of why I’m still angry and disappointed and reclusive and down, and utterly without compassion for myself.

I made rent playing music this month.  Something my old man would be proud of.  I guess.  Judging by our last conversation anyway but then again if I were to go by that exchange he’d probably volley some other derision at me and it wouldn’t be enough.  No surprise there and astoundingly coupled with the zero effort he’d shown toward doing what he loved.  She’d only take credit for it but I don’t owe her a damn thing when it comes to my music career or any other.  Barring her own derision and interference which could be viewed as inspiration in its own way.  Which is the wisdom ain’t it.  The key to this locked down morning with the blinds keeping out the white sun, typing in my American flag boxer briefs and sipping Italian Roast with honey.  I need friction.  Derision.  Bad blood.  I need to tell myself it ain’t working because that’s what inspired me before.  I had no support so I give myself none.  The 2 Jims who split back in ‘91 are a boon and a bane.  Your writer is out here doing the thing and making it happen, by hook or by crook and with 4 readings on the East Coast&Midwest next month.  Black Jim’s sitting back in this recliner, hungover from sugar, dirty and malfeasant.  Black Jim’s who I’m at odds wit, and sadly this is how he runs the show.  Black Jim will come up behind me, as I’m playing upright bass at a refugee shelter, tap me on the shoulder and say
Hey mothefucker.  This sucks.  Yeah, you’re playing music but so what.  I’m ‘onna blow these charts over so just do me a favor and hate life when I do—hate your bandmates and the weather and the people in the crowd.  Hate them all and everything until you can get home and crawl back into this hole I made for you.  Fulla sex and sugar and distraction and darkness.

If this sounds crazy to you then to you I say–my name is Jim Trainer and I’m a bullfighting writer, bleeding on the page, an acrobat on fire, flying flaming through the ether and I write to get it down and feel better.  You either hang yourself or you hang it on the wall.  By the time I hit publish this shit will be up there, too—bet.  And I’ll be out again, in its thrall and throng, making my way, pushing til the light of day, doing what I have to do to make it as the world comes crashing and the Final Century winds down to bone and ash, blood and fire.

Ab irato,
TRAINER
Austin TX

LOVE&WAGES

Excited to release Love&Wages at these fine establishments this 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!