Jim Trainer

Archive for 2020|Yearly archive page

KISSING 2020 GOODBYE LIKE I’M KISSING YOU ON THE MOUTH (with playlist)

In Uncategorized on December 31, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Well. That’s over with. KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM: 10 Years At Going For The Throat is in the can. I’m due for a proof-check at Minute Man Press by day’s end and with one more goddamn read-through I’ll kiss it and this wretched year goodbye. The creation of the book wasn’t kind, neither was the year, but I learned a lot and I did what I want. 

Yesterday, setting up at the desk for a goddamn line-edit the internet went out. I paid my past due but they processed my payment to another account so, instead of being done with this thing forever, I was on the phone with Spectrum. Greg, in repair, had a nervous laugh, bless his heart.
“I’m saving you $20,” he snortled. “With a faster speed your new bill will only come to $290 a month!”
$290?!
Whoa Nelly. $290 is a couple weeks in the life of a book publisher in the Year of the Rat, if he lives on eggs and cigarette butts. I’ll spare you my anger—hell, I spared myself, and poor Greg, bless his heart. We sorted it out but I was too tired and sick to finish, so I closed the doc and cranked Neutral Milk Hotel until the sun went down.

And THAT mi querido is why we create Art. Books are cool. Poetry, too. But l learned more about myself in the last 3 weeks at the desk creating this thang than I have all year. My anger is misguided, and worse—it’s affecting my health. I’ll spare you the psychoanalysis and not just because I just read and re-read 10-years-worth compiling and editing the 62 posts from over 640 written at Going For the Throat. I thought I’d share with you some lightheartedness for a change, not the least of which because my only real trouble these days is that the people with real problems don’t have a voice. We’re not listening anyway, at least I wasn’t—working 13-hour days and losing my mind in InDesign. Unfortunately, while I was thinking of everything with my Editor’s cap on, I “failed” to do the research and legwork of quote attribution. 

I use lyrics, poetry and quotes from the news. I make it part of the vernacular but, because the biggest lesson of 2020 is that shit rolls downhill, I should never expect anyone to “get” what I do—let alone some copyright lawyer in a heated office with healthcare out there in America. As such the final hours of my “final edits” of KEEP BLEEDING were spent on the phone with bill collectors and rewriting turns-of-phrase that could get me busted. It’s a small run of 100 but, again—you hear that brown boulder coming down and it won’t matter about your midlife, punkrock cred or your hopes and dreams. The truth is when you’re fucked in this country you won’t hear anything because you’re already dead. I’m sick and unemployed but I’ll survive. The stakes are high but they always were though, through my recent descent and bad brush with authority, I hit a net. 

I’m still plenty angry bet your sweet bippy. But I’m thankful, too and all my enemies should do what they have to. The true enemy has been revealed and it ain’t you or me or Them. But the Art of War in the Year of the Ox will be another story, for another time, and so…here is a playlist of rewrites of copy-written material that could get me busted in Pig Nation on these end days of the Anthropocene. 

this much madness is too much sorrow…
“…this much craziness is too much pain.” 

the bid is closed and everybody knows how much they’re gonna pay.
“…this is America…the bid is closed and your parents lied to you.”

Meet the new boss.
“Mornin’ Boss.” 
Same as the old boss.
“And good night!”

that I see a darkness

Singin’ for my supper down at 12th Street and Vine…
“…singin’ for my supper and robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

first we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
“—hell, even ol’ Leonard Cohen.”

running for the money and the flesh

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?
“Living in America leaves you feeling like Johnny Rotten onstage at the Winterland in ’78.” 

version of death we call life
“…this slip from the wild abyss we call life.”

boom swagger swagger boom boom swagger boom boom boom
“…boom-boom and swagger…”

Ain’t living long like this.

I’m dead but I don’t know it.

What a long, strange trip it’s been.
“How terrible and strange.”

warning sign on the road ahead…
“9/11 was a fire drill and even Osama Bin Laden couldn’t have predicted how far our Rome-with-cars would fall.” 

I ain’t no fortunate one.
“I’m lucky but no aristocrat’s son.”

out of the blue and into the black
“…hurled into the none more black…”

The present paints the past with gold. The past paints the future with lead.
—Henry Rollins

Just when you think you’re out they pull you back in.

In peaceful conditions, the warlike man will attack himself.
—from Beyond Good and Evil, 1886

Sharpen your machetes. It’s time to kill your neighbors.
—Rwandan Public Radio
Great quote! I kept it. (NPR, Fair Use)

To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
—written by Lao Tzu more than a century ago

it’s way too early in the evening to get catty gentlemen.
Other than an ex of mine, I can’t find this attribution.

It don’t take much baby, to bring my love around...
The Legendary Shakey Lyman, hope you don’t mind Shakes!

And my favorite:

I’m looking California and feeling Minnesota…
“…looking paradise but feeling Philadelphia.”

Wherever is your heart I call home.

That oughta wrap it. I didn’t expect that Brandi Carlile song to end this in such a nice or positive way. That line didn’t even make it into the collection and I surely thought it might be Gun In Mouth Blues or the Sex Pistols, and my real money was on Brother Neil Young’s Hey Hey My My…Out of the blue and into the black?! Goddamn right that is such a great fucking song.

At Going For the Throat, I’ve always been a mercenary running for the dark side. My intentions were always to pull at the veneer and even slip the veil to get to what’s real. The problem with being an angry jerkoff isn’t old Bosses or bill collectors and cops. The real problem with being an angry jerkoff is you have to be one. The best thing I learned this year is that I love you and the thing about love is it only gets stronger. They can do what they do but without love they’re lost. We’re still right here, ain’t it, the same place but wiser. I made some discoveries about myself—aw hell, I really just mostly loathed myself but I learned about that, too. My hatred didn’t lessen my pain though and it certainly didn’t turn any tides. It’s all been stripped away Good Reader, praise be, and the rancid bulwark of predatory capitalism is rotting in the rain. But we’re still here, together, and isn’t that nice?

Deep cuts below. May the Year of the Ox bring you great fortune and happiness!

KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM:
10 Years At Going For The Throat

AVAILABLE FOR PRESALE AT 20% OFF at JIMTRAINER.NET

ALL BACK TITLES ARE ON SALE AT 20% OFF ( with promo code “Die laughing”).

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SEE YOU ON THE STREETS MOTHERFUCKER

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2020 at 12:10 pm

for Doc

I feel the absence of Dr.Thompson acutely.
-RUN RABBIT RUN 

What a life, eh Brother? Sister? What an absolute treasure, a fine fortune to be able to both shut out the madding world and kick your enemies in the balls.
-BLOG FROM A ROOM

Now I sound like a Nietzsche-quoting misanthrope, which of course I am.
-SHRIEKS FROM PARADISE

Thirteen months without a drink.
-THE PERILS OF SOBRIETY

May the Year of the Dog bring you great fortune and happiness.
IT’S BEEN A WONDERFUL YEAR

PHILADELPHIA 2016

Between trouble and the blues, how will we ever survive?
-ANOTHER HOSTILE CITY BREAKDOWN

“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 drivers 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.’
-MEN

LIFE OVER, GO HOME, TRY AGAIN TOMORROW.
-TOM WOLFE’S BLUES

Darkly turns the wheel on these end days of the final century. 
-MORE FROM THE TRENCHES

They put us on buses.  They don’t tell you that.  There’s no parking at the track so you’ve got to show up a half hour before start time and get to the pickup.  Not that I’m complaining but there’s a gulf of difference between 3:45 and 4:30A.M. 
-BARTENDING AT THE TRACK

It’s 143 miles to the Black Sea and 4,772 to Newark, New Jersey.
-ZDRASTI!

GUATE 2018

Free fall is never good but when ushered in by a carny plutocrat with a dictator fetish, landing is worse. 
-GOD BLESS SHEILA BUCK

COLUMBUS 2019
NO COMEBACKS POLYMER 2019
SOFIA, BG
SUMMER 2018

…YANKED FROM A BROTHER WORD PROCESSOR IN THE YEAR OF THE SNAKE WHILE LIVING ABOVE A CARBON-LEAKING FURNACE IN THE WILDS OF WEST PHILLY… 

PERORMING AT POTTY MOUTH
AUSTIN 2014
NO COMEBACKS

“I had two bottles of Evan Williams White Label in my green army-issue duffle. I got off the train in downtown Houston just before midnight, made my way up the hill and found the place. I walked in, introduced myself to the barista and asked for a mug. I dropped my bags, filled the mug, climbed on top of a table and turned the PA ON.
‘Houston.’ I said and earned my road wings.”
-SHRIEKS OF PARADISE, CORRESPONDENCE&RAILS#38

I hauled 2/3 of a ton of copper from Temple to Austin last Friday, at the tail end of a 13&1/2 hour day and I had to go the whole time. 
-WHAT SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS FEELS LIKE

TAKE TO THE TERRITORY, SUMMER 2018

I never liked Christmas. 
-IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE FUCK THIS

HAVE CAMERA, WILL TRAVEL. 
-BACK IN THE JOURNALISM BUSINESS

See you on the streets motherfucker.

KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM:
10 Years At Going For The Throat

AVAILABLE FOR PRESALE AT 20% OFF at JIMTRAINER.NET

ALL BACK TITLES ARE ON SALE AT 20% OFF ( with promo code “Die laughing”).

BUY ONE LETERPRESSED BROADSIDE GET ONE FREE
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DIE LAUGHING

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2020 at 11:48 pm
FUN FUN FUN FEST 2009

ANNOUNCING CONSOLIDATED PRESS&WIRE SERVICE…A TELEVISION BROADCASTER, A POET & A JOURNEYMAN WALK INTO A BAD JOKE…NO ONE’S LAUGHING…VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE REVEALS THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY OF MOTHER…SLOW TURNING IN THE ANTHROPOCENE, IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT AND I DON’T FEEL FINE…THE STUPIDITY OF USING ALL CAPS
—2020

“I’ll spare you sage advice about ditching gringoes in order to find the right Sex Hotel for your stay in a strange land. I mean, Colombia’s the motherland for you, right? They’re YOUR people.”
—LOST MISSIVE FROM THE LONELY WINTER

How can anyone born after 1969 in this country play rock and roll and not fucking mean it?
—UNCLE SPRINKLES

I came to at a place called Earl Campbell’s, by Gate 15 at ABIA, last Thursday; with no memory whatsoever and no recollection of 30 days prior.
—SHRIEKS FROM PARADISE

though the Blues be my blanket,
and Trouble my home,
I’m finally okay with you bein’ gone

—PASSING THROUGH

LONG IN THE TOOTH, PHILADELPHIA 2011

I lie about a lot of things but I try to reserve my dishonesty for only the most pressing and important matters. All trivial, meaningless and mundane information is given due import and delivered with unshakable honesty.
—RESPONSE TO A FAN LETTER

From the moment I saw the cover, a blurred black and white photo of Rollins rocking out on stage, some part of me knew that I would be published one day.  
—WRITING ANOTHER BOOK, THE SOPHOMORE EFFORT&THE BATTLE WITHIN

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Due to indescribable and excruciating lower back pain and a relentless work schedule, Jim Trainer was unable to provide you with his latest criticisms of the US Gov, the NFL and the vapidly insipid music industry. Upon hearing of his troubles, and as his editor, I summoned him at once to my Office in San Francisco, where he spent four days smoking Jimson Weed in the morning fog before returning to bed to watch Hunter Thompson interviews.
—BETTER THAN DRUGS

…I don’t know why
but between Trouble&the Blues
we’re expected to function this way
some small window
this
some real gamble
this.
—BETWEEN TROUBLE&THE BLUES

PORTLAND OR, 2015

“You are a beautiful machine,” I told it. “You helped me make a masterpiece of my pain.”
—HELLO IGHT

“The stations of this poet’s cross have included time as a hardcore homeless punk; an acting student, a communications major, a late night freeform pirate radio DJ, a power washing remover of pigeon shit from I-95; a driver for touring metal bands; a landscaper in the projects of his native Philadelphia, a crew chief supervising underpaid hardworking minority men in converting an old candy factory into condos for the rich and largely white, and, as he recalls today, “a bartender at a pizza shop in Shitsmear, Delaware.”
—PRESS RELEASE 11-13-13


I like Bajema’s America.  Maybe even better than the real one.  The man certainly offers a more authentic view of the greatest country in the world than the one that’s advertised.  Bajema’s America is at once hopefully idealistic and savagely dark.  It ís no accident that I hear rock and roll when I read Don Bajema.  It has as much to do with his paeans to rock music’s innocence&potency as the dangerous world his characters live but dare to be in love in.
—WHO WILL JUDGE THE RIGHTEOUS?

“Writing about writing can be a real drag. But not for me.”
—I MATADOR, I ACROBAT

ON TOUR WITH ALEXA RAY JOEL, 2006
RAFFE&CHRISTINE’S WEDDING 2011

What can I say? All of my dreams have come true. And life is good. Except that I am due to appear at Texas State on Friday, presenting myself to faculty and attempting to explain to them why I write, how I got my start and how they might better serve and inspire their students when it comes to their desire, or lack thereof, to write. What could I possibly have to share with them? That my writing was the only way out, and the only way in? That I tried to break out the President XII and etch some poetry out of the savage dark in blue-black ink on a quiet Spring night working as a live-in caregiver? And that it didn’t work and I am instead penning this missive to you, wine drunk and stoned to the gills?
—RETURN OF THE KING

AUSTIN 2014

RIP DIXIE BLUESMAN
Jason Molina
12/16/73-3/16/13

What have I learned these last 20 years as a landscaper, busboy, telemarketer, dishwasher, sexton, demolition man, junk man, sales ambassador, barista, carpenter, server, tourdriver, bartender, piano mover and live-in caregiver? Nothing much. Except that I traded one shuck and jive for another.
—EYE TEETH FROM THE ARTISTE

FAREWELL TO ARMOR BOOK RELEASE, AUSTIN 2013

REST EASY SWEET BROTHER
ARTHUR MITCH III
11/10/75-4/20/18

“I moved to Austin dejected, at the age of 34. The first book I checked out of the Library was Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life, a biography of Charles Bukowski by Howard Sounes. It was profound for me to discover that one of my literary heroes began writing poetry at 35.”
—LETTER TO WRITING ON THE AIR, KOOP RADIO 91.7FM

THIS MACHINE REMEMBERS YOU.

KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM:
10 Years At Going For The Throat

AVAILABLE FOR PRESALE AT 20% OFFat JIMTRAINER.NET

ALL BACK TITLES ARE ON SALE AT 20% OFF ( with promo code “Die laughing”).

BUY ONE LETERPRESSED BROADSIDE GET ONE FREE
(with promo code “Broadside”) 
at JIMTRAINER.NET

New Presentism In The End Days

In Uncategorized on December 10, 2020 at 12:12 pm

There’s something acting on this body
something goes in when nothing comes out

How’s your dissolution going? I checked in on Neal Street last Saturday to bang out the design of KEEP BLEEDING. I hit a snag in production and I’m sorry. Never mind that everything I set out to do gets put off and sucked down by the bad heaviness of things. Besides lockdown is this black maw of our days now ain’t it. The world ending in slow motion doesn’t compute. How does one integrate the knowledge that these days are our last and how important could anything else be in light of this information? Addicts and survivors, we’re cursed with our indomitable and impervious will though ain’t it. You been through Hell you keep going. To boot, Gen Xers like me never went in for the zeitgeist or government, pop music and the news. On top of it all the insistence of presentism by the human race can make you feel disassociated and crazy or unproductive and sad if you’re not already. Going on for me ain’t much different these days except I can’t even do what I have to. Yet the leaf blowers keep blowing don’t they, in stereo on either side of me while I sit here writing this morning.

I always did what I had to and then I went home. I found something better than the games they were playing and lived off the “trash of the entitled” for most of my lifetime. I made a career out of evasion ain’t it, though, after 10 years blogging has only started to pay. I invested in the inner life and it got me through on shift as a live in caregiver, bartender and Volunteer Coordinator. Further still I get real sustenance with each Yellow Lark Press release. Ideally these releases pay for themselves and even assuage the cost of tour. Tour of course is a function of promotion and part of the cost of doing business as a stand up tragedian. I don’t make money putting out books or speaking and performing in other towns as much as do my damndest to meet cost. You bet but even if I’ve found real work in the great outdoors, far and away from day gigs and shift pay, I made my own bones telling it on stage and writing it down. It’s all I ever wanted. The thick skin and never-say-die determinism of a survivor though, it’s not serving me if it ever did. The weight of the world’s heavy, it’s slowing me down and I’m making mistakes.

I’m at a at a bad breach as a personal journalist besides. It’s down to me to come through and report on what the fuck is bothering me but if what’s bothering me is keeping me from work I’ve agreed to at your employ then it compromises things and anyway makes a post like this a sticky wicket ain’t it. Ultimately I decided to include you, Good Reader, because I’m a communicator and all I’ve ever done is reach out and ask you to include me. Time out of mind are these sessions ain’t it. Read me and my blues and in all hopes the space between me and you is enough to make a break. I’m a current writing here but only when you close the circuit. Country simple I thought I’d let you know I’m still hard at work though my usual dumb and brutish artistic comethrough has ingrown and become strange. The end of things is really getting to me. It’s getting in the way of Art which if you know nothing about me you know that’s always been unforgivable. Yet I press on, as we all are, without a bottom or a plan. The day-by-day that are our lives now has rid us of pretense and left us bare in the present tense. I feel lighter confessing my trouble to you but better I feel clear. The lines are open. I’m sorry about yesterday. I’m living with what I could never live with before. I’ve let you down but I’ll make it up to you. The new presentism is no past if no tomorrow but today I am up and swinging.

For today I am a child…

KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM:
10 Years At Going For The Throat

AVAILABLE FOR PRESALE AT 20% OFF at JIMTRAINER.NET

ALL BACK TITLES ARE ON SALE AT 20% OFF ( with promo code “Die laughing.”).

BUY ONE LETERPRESSED BROADSIDE GET ONE FREE
(with promo code “Broadside”) 
at JIMTRAINER.NET

MARSHALL MCLUHAN WAS RIGHT

In Uncategorized on December 3, 2020 at 7:00 am

Fear of death is keeping me alive…
Tim Heidecker

Personal Journalism is too personal. Blogging is passé. Some things should be kept to the vest and anyway who lets it all hang out and is so confessional in his work as to verge on embarrassment? Other than me, I mean, is there anybody out there baring their daily dirties such as I? Working it out in writing and going to therapy on the page? For most of my life the work has been its own end and always more about the saying than what was said. I’ve had a lot of luck and I’ve flailed at it blind. I threw every adjective I could at the page and wound every statement in contradiction both ways. I cut my way in and nudged my way out but I didn’t just want it both ways either–I wanted it every way and with every thing in every post. Like it was the last post on Earth, I wrote crucially. I bled into it. I wrote like my life depended on it and don’t think for a second that it didn’t. It kept me in it, my feelings and anyway rapt at my desk in the quiet indoors rather than looking for some savior to jagged and unholy thinking and I gave it voice.

Back in ’03 it was a weird combination of Addreall and Wild Turkey 101 that steeled me to “finishing” Year of the Dog–a short story about the death of my Dad, philandering and addictively and continuously falling in love. Even then I took to the wild and ran out into the streets of West Philly and got shacked up with a runaway from Baltimore before I committed to literally cutting paragraphs from a printed Word doc and stapling them together. Writing was an event then and it’s an event now. It’s still exciting but only when the chamber is getting cleared. Writing live is a sin I’m not going to be able to live down but I don’t suppose I’ll suffer as long as we’re still in the digital age ain’t it. I can’t journal, or take deep counsel with my self, which is a real shame and perhaps my pound of flesh for this career I guess. I used to write in the bathtub drinking pale Ale and smoking hash and black cigars. Now I sit here weekly and the honey in my coffee is the extent of my vice and damage. I needed those familiars then, potions and medicine to spur the imagination and anyway come through with something other than the mundane and ho hum, blood-on-the brain of everyday life. Now I just do it live and even coffee’s not required.

Writing live is a jolt and joy and time out-of-mind away from my own fear of failure. I’ve cast myself here in this passion play and slay the beast in me, one line at a time. My armor is white terrycloth and my inspiration the pale and brighter beams lancing the black branches of the late November trees. I wait out the blower, the cut man on the Mexican construction crew and I reach the plateau of a new way of thinking. If you’re wondering, how do I work this? When getting up and out of bed sometimes is weak and lousy with self-sabotage–how can I commit and come through with 600 words every Thursday regardless of if I’m on a triple or ain’t worked for the man at all in the 360 hours since my ‘term date? The answer, Good Reader, is precisely that. Fear of failure, it ruminates most of the moment, though less and less and especially for these sessions. We come here and we do it live. I write here and transmute my pain. The perils are real and I’ll face my fear. Maybe I’ve had it easy and I am in no way underprivileged. I’ve suffered though and it’s been merciless and at times felt like it’s always raining here, but, I get up and get to it, I reach out for you in the ether and we’re together for this communion. We’ve got each other and isn’t that nice?

THIS DECEMBER FROM YELLOW LARK PRESS
KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM:
10 Years At Going For The Throat

ALL BACK TITLES ARE ON SALE AT 20% OFF, BUY ONE LETERPRESSED BROADSIDE GET ONE FREE

WITH PROMO CODE “Good Reader” 

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WHAT WOULD RAYMOND CHANDLER DO?

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2020 at 12:00 am

Two very simple rules. a. you don’t have to write. b. you can’t do anything else.
-Raymond Chandler

When you can meet what you dread with a smile on your face you will truly love who you are.
-Belle Leever

Good Morning. It’s 8:59PM on Thanksgiving night and gloriously quiet. I’ve got a knot somewhere in the gut of my heart. It’s kept me from posting here and from a lot of things. It’s a bad fear. I’ve been unemployed 2 weeks tomorrow. Why I’m not off and running and doing everything I can for the career has got to be fear but like I said it’s in the gut of the heart–somewhere betwixt, hard to get a bead on and impossible to work around. Working around was how I wrote for the last 10 years. Saturday mornings and Tuesday nights, a couple-two-tree hours here and there when I wasn’t bartending, driving a stakebed or working as a lab tech at the homeless shelter. A good 5 years of the last decade I wrote in the morning while working as a live in caregiver. After I got my Boss out of bed, showered and fed him I’d hit the roof with a pack of cigarillos, a hot flagon of instant espresso and hash. Now that I’m sober everything’s become easy and that’s what’s so hard. I’m inured to my own blues. Nothing’s dire which makes everything feel like it is. I back off from the hard edges because I know how bad it can get. I don’t want to wake the sleeping beast of my own critical mind but it makes these days without a day job soft as a smothering pillow.

The first quote above is from America’s finest writer. The second from my first true love. The years that have passed since have made me strange. I am somehow more me but completely different than the 23-year old hardcore kid and budding alcoholic who fell in love with her. Chandler’s writing is bracing. It’s whisky. It’s brisk. It pulls you along. He became a writer after losing his job as an oil company exec, at forty-four during the Great Depression. Tonight is the kind of quiet I hope for every day sitting here, at the desk–by the window cursing the kids or their loud uncle and worst of all the blower and Mexican construction crew. I’m so mad at myself for finally having this quiet, all this time and free money but only squirreled away in fear and anyway unable to look critically at my own material. We whittled the anthology down to 67 posts and I can’t tell, I either love or hate my work. I’m too close to it and so I keep my distance with marathons of TV drama. I sleep late and write a few lines, post on social media and drink coffee until I have a headache, jerk off and take a nap or talk on the phone. This post is for shit but these are the annals and this is the proof. I hate the place I’m at creatively but I can’t shake it. Oh yeah, the economy is as worse as it’s ever been and a quarter million people have died from a pandemic. It sucks out there and it sucks in here. This post about writer’s block is over.

THIS DECEMBER FROM YELLOW LARK PRESS
KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM:
10 Years At Going For The Throat

ALL BACK TITLES ARE ON SALE AT 20% OFF

WITH PROMO CODE “Good Reader

at JIMTRAINER.NET

KEEP BLEEDING

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2020 at 11:00 am

Frank Mankiewicz, McGovern’s campaign manager, would often say in later years that the book, despite its embellishments, represented “the least factual, most accurate account” of the election.
-on Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72

He was concerned with how a great power handles multiple internal crises–the faltering of the institutions of domestic order, the craftiness of unmoored and venal politicians, the first tremors of systemic illegitimacy. He wanted to understand the dark logic of social dissolution and how discrete political choices sum up to apocalyptic outcomes.
Crispin Hull

You take whatever takes you back…
Cory Branan

10 years ago I was probably thinking I blew it while simultaneously trying to disprove it and anyway just start where I was. I was awarded $243 a week by the state after getting laid off by the Whip In but redoubled while reading a Bukowski biography that summer and discovering Papa didn’t start writing poetry until he was the same age as me. I forgot how terrifying it was back then until Friday when I got fired and I’m on unemployment again. Now it’s 10:20AM on a Wednesday and I’m about to fire up another flagon of Trader Joe’s espresso roast. Of the 96 hours that have passed since my term’ date I’ve fucked off maybe 75 on social media, watching Mad Men and talking on the phone. I keep thinking about what Diamond Dave said about how long it took him to write Jump and anyway holding to the wisdom that you can only tell a tree’s age by looking at its rings but by then it’s been cut down. These sage and savage gems, kernels of truth and caveats and provisos are exactly what it means to be a writer. Country simple deadlines are to be fucked off, less thought about than worried on and anyway should loom over the writer as he invites and deflects the attentions of suitors and ladies either bored at their desk in their offices or unemployed themselves. A writer should, tremulous and uneasily exist between the birth and death impulses of creation and sex, and hitting Send on 600 words to the crazy man who said he’d pay $60 for it.

Not only is this post a celebration of the last 10 years at Going for the Throat, it’s a piece I’m getting paid for and to announce I am back in the Personal Journalism business. Let the characters collide and the bills wait to the brink of collection. Best of all let the words flow and the dance card fill. Lest you think I’m not serious about women and writing I am considering starting smoking again. The only thing stopping me is how hard it is to quit with the low self opinion that persists of any career smoker feeling unfit and short of breath. None of this is what I came here to write about but for 10 years I ain’t had a plan so why start now? This isn’t literature but the annals of a writer who needs to feel like he failed before he even starts. It’s a kink and a flaw that could just be tragic. It could go either way and ultimately is precisely what my motivations are as a writer. The collections, that come out every year, and that I letterpress and perfectly bind by hand irrefutably prove I’m a writer. It doesn’t get more pedantic than that though in its creation those collections come to life. It’s that same birth/death impulse and continuum coexisting with one of the most important maxims of artistic creation and expression–you must let go of your work. This is to say I cannot fully appreciate my work until it is done and it doesn’t get more done than published ain’t it.

Which isn’t to say that’s all that’s inspired and thrown me further down the savage road to living my dreams. Pain, you wanna know, was the reason and expression for its own sake. As important if not more as the message was the medium. I was high on transmission because otherwise my motherboard was dark and cold. I need that jolt that comes from the microphone and I don’t know how long I could write if it wasn’t LIVE before I veered and swerved over, upset the creative/destructive continuum and did a Foster Wallace from the high walls continuing a hero’s tradition of ending it on my own terms. One of my heroes anyway.

Papa went on after what probably felt like the end of his life. He started writing poetry not because he loved it but because he had to. He hated poets, called what they were doing poesy. He couldn’t live down his heroes though and almost drank himself to death with gastro problems trying to be a novelist. We’ll never know the desperation he, and all our heroes who didn’t make it, felt. The phoenix rises from the flame but ordinarily life goes on.

I couldn’t be Rollins, for whatever reason. I found myself at 40, though I knew it all along. 45 was worse. It’s a strange dichotomy and anyway that birth/death continuum maybe bearing out that the older I get the more I want to kill myself but by then I’ll have hopefully done enough that the reasons to go on compel me just as much. I’d say it’s worth it but only from experience. I know it’s worth far more to you my confession that I more and more often wonder and with stronger conviction about it and if I should go on at all.

Anyone who’s been there knows hearing how so-and-so is engaged with suicidal ideation and fantasizes of his own death can redouble and even help, at least–it’ll make you feel vulnerable and more human. Even though your self-doubt is up to your throat and middle age has closed that universal door–even though I was sure I blew it, at age 35, unemployed, a 5-song EP to show from decades playing, even though I felt like I was nowhere, nothing, a nobody–I also knew I could be wrong. I used my own self-doubt against itself. I got smartened up and even though at the end of 10 years I’m only getting paid $60 for a post like this, it’s the real work, it’s what I chose, it’s kept me cloaked and wrapped in love and safe from time. I’m less weary if less spry, but the ladies who come by look great, they can’t get here fast enough, can’t wait to smile in my lap and dote on me and anyway forget all about their desks at their hated office jobs.


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Protected: SOME HUMANS AIN’T HUMAN

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SONG FOR MY ENEMY

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2020 at 12:00 pm

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IN LOVE WITH YOUR DEATH

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2020 at 7:12 pm

I’m whittled
I’m sharpened, fine
I’ll heat seek you
I can find you blind
I’m feeling like
Kevin James
“…glad I left LA…”
I keep a number by your name
it gets smaller every day
I covet your end and I
pass the hours
burning hearts out of playing cards

this is the midnight of my life

I’ve got ears planted everywhere
I’ll heat seek you, I can find you blind
Midnight of my life and I’m halfway there
from the first dawn to the last one

the first dawn
you were painted on
I cut the soft ash
from the mercury
the next dawn
the final one
your secret’s out
ended the mystery

this is the midnight of my life

I’ve got ears planted everywhere
I’ll heat seek you, I can find you blind
Midnight of my life and I’m halfway there
from the first dawn to the last one

first dawn to the last one
first dawn to the last one

I’m
in love
I’m
in love
I’m
in love
with nothing
but
your death
I’m
in love
I’m
in love
I’m
in love
with nothing
but
your death
©2014