Jim Trainer

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#43: Dear Editor Phil Two

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2019 at 7:34 pm

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

Philip Elliott, Editor
Into The Void Magazine
The Great White North
Toronto ON, CDN

1/4/19, 7:42PM

Editor Phil

Happy New Year.  We’ve put another one in the can ain’t we?!  The Year of the Cock began with jaundiced bulging eyes and those first few steps into the barnyard were wobbly and bold.  Who knew the whole thing would be rewarded or undone depending on which career I base my self-esteem on? The first few days of ‘18 were spent standing around a freezing yard in Manor, huddled round with n’er do wells, criminals, dreadlocks and immigrants waiting to go out on a truck.  They were paying $11.75 an hour and I kind of lost my mind thinking I was back in the moving business, after twenty years and 3 cities, bartending jobs making twice that and a deep cast of unbelievably rageful and lust lorn babes and witches, cooing me to sleep in suburban bedrooms or plunging me through the barroom glass.   It was a head trip getting up Phil, putting on the steel-toeds and standing on the hard ground at sunrise in the cold yard–I mean it triggered my fight or flight and I’ve been in FIGHT ever since. My lady did me well on that end this Fall. She soothed me. We laughed and we slept and we read Post Office together.  But now we’re done and it’s Friday night in the city and I’ve got 2 columns in the can and am on point for the relaunch of Letter Day with this half-baked missive to you.  ‘18 was alright. I ended it with a trip below the Tropic of Cancer and sold enough books to get by.  

Good thing we were interrupted, a pause was in order…I said I sold enough books to get by.  That is uproarious mate, fucking unbelievable but it happened. Because of people like you and Heath and my Sister and Aunts and because of a good Brother down near the equator, working in a cobblestone out front a mezcal bar and lit like a cave.  Little Brother came through, Phil. He bought 25 of them thangs and I’m caught between shrugging it off and yelling to the heavens, in tearful thanks–my dreams have come true. Money in poetry is a hard dollar, Brother. Took me maybe 33 years and endless reams of white sheets with dead poems or scrawled lyrics on the other side and nights under a red light reading through a brown prism of mash and ironing out dirty ones and fucking with our clothes on in the ladies’ room.  Poetry is everything, Phil. I know my work teeters like a smoking car and that in my work are streamers, green bottles, back alley toms and vixens as stately as stone, there’s desperation in my work and blood–blood is the hope, there are voices, vices, sages and rue in it and ghosts appear and fade awayPoetry is the row we hoe, it cuts jewels from the dark night and lilts in Chinese whispers.  It’s the way in, out, through and back again. We know this but now it’s taking me places and it’s paying the bills and the luck I feel has put some slack in my bones.  I’m not exploding, though I’m very often on the edge, but letting it resound and burrough deep in me. There comes an ease of confidence when the Universe says yes, Brother—and I believe there is nothing better worth living for.  

I suppose spite will get you through, but me and Lindsey are never going back again.  I feel like I could be a completely different person by this time next year and I want to stay friends and gauge our wrath and triumph through each other.  I’ve heard tell that writing doesn’t come from happiness because if you’re happy then why write? My necessary corollary is if I’ve been able to write through the cutting dark and call all the dogs home then I should be able to crank this out, a note to the Friend, on a Friday night–the worst time to write, a most hollowed out and empty time when traffic streams by and girls laugh loud and high and men dress up and get down to get wasted.  I’m not concerned with them and I mean it this time. It was a weird renunciation drinking in the graveyard at 16 and listening to Black Flag but it only portended of alcoholism and there was nothing dire or righteous about fate in my hometown. We’ve all fought and now the victory becomes pause, repose and otherwise staying straight and getting rattled only at our desks, in front of our machines, the only place we’re ever truly free, and mad.  We’re all mad here.  

Best to you, Brother.  Dare we look into the Year of the Brown Pig and see that it could bring us closer?  That maybe it’s time for me to head up and anyway for us to talk about an anthology and self-publishing, readings and book releases?  Do you happen to know of any bookstores up the Great White North way into supporting independent authors and eager to purchase their work?  Because that’s all it would take, Editor Phil. I’m like the wind and coffee and cheap quarters are what makes the deal to go down.

May Your Crown Be A Halo.

Your Writer,

Jim Trainer
Austin TX

Check out Editor Phil Elliot’s great work and this interview he did about his excellent punk noir epic Nobody Move.  

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