Jim Trainer

MID

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2020 at 11:00 am

The literal meaning of life is whatever you’re doing that prevents you from killing yourself.
-Albert Camus

Activism is healthier than avoidance.
Amy Siskind

Listen to the dissidents. They will not appear on television. They will be smeared and treated as lunatics. But you need them if you are going to be able to resist the absolute barrage of misinformation, or to hear yourself think over the pounding war drums. Times of War Fever can be wearying, because there is just so much aggression against dissent that your resistance wears down.
Nathan J. Robinson

Those poems are the most authentic way I can deal with what it means to be alive.
Eliza Griswold

What poetry is asking us to accept can be difficult. Our proximity to our mortality, the fragility of our existence, how close we live in every moment to nameless abysses, and the way language itself is beautifully, tragically, thrillingly insufficient… these are some of the engines that drive the poem. It’s natural to want to turn away from these things. But we have to face them, as best we can, at least sometimes. Poetry can help us do that nearly impossible work.

It’s just a breath away.
Angie Knight

I’m sick and have been since I flew the coop and left a steady check in September 2017.  I’ve been rattled and tortured but at times proud too.  I know it’s been a climb which makes the torture tenable I guess–going against is better than going nowhere but really what’s the difference?  Know what I mean Good Reader?  High time should’ve been any number of times really, that we slid down and lowered the bar on our standard of living.  We took comfort over a thorny truth and then simply bent the truth to fit a politic of convenience.  We fight on social media.  We grandstand.  We do all the great things you can do when you’re published and you have a voice.  But I don’t think we’ve changed a damn thing and we’re living out the end days of this final Rome with our heads buried and our hands in.  The worst is the weather, the air is warm and fetid in February and summers are hot and bleak and reek of gasoline.  Riots would be nice, or they would’ve been.  Same with healthcare and a living wage and not dropping heavy bombs on countries smaller than Texas for non-reasons in a forever war.  I suppose it’s a terrible corollary that it might be too late for me except that I’m aware now, even when I’m choosing not to be.  The world wide web has left us no excuse and personally I can’t enjoy anything these days without knowing that it comes with a price.  This country is steeped in blood but I don’t hear any complaint or protest living in one of the fastest growing destinations in the Land of the Free.  If you’re crying or bellyaching, chances are you’ve got it pretty good because the poor eat shit quietly and get sick and die and you won’t come off as anything other than privileged no matter who you’re voting for.

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Ten years ago Andrew Stack flew a single engine-plane into the Echelon I office building at 9420 Research Boulevard in Austin TX.  He posted his manifesto, a bitter rail against the IRS, the night before.  Nine months later I started this blog.

There’s no point here but was there ever?  I only wanted to prove Professor Macaluso wrong–for failing me twice in English Comp while working the phones for 30 hours a week sophomore year in Community College.  Those couple years set me up I guess but it used to be pretty ok to move furniture 60 hours a week and smoke Drum tobacco, live in a $400 1 bedroom with a P-bass and a Remington manual.  The 90s were some great fun, Good Reader, the early oughts weren’t too bad neither.  By 2004 the screw was in and besides being at war for the rest of our lives, the crash of ’08 was all she wrote.  No matter the ACA or legal hemp and same sex marriage.  You could go back to ’88 and rue the fact we failed to act on what James Hansen had to say.  Or you can quit yer bitchin’ on the whole rig ’cause the chipper blades are whirring closely now.  I only wanted to write.  Subvert essay writing and write poetry hot and quick like lightning.  I only wanted to forget and hide myself from the madding world.  I only wanted to be in love.  Now I’m sick and the simple things that used to bring me joy are betrayed.  The sun on my neck is a liar.  The rain.  Every subtle and nuanced exchange.  The end of the Anthropocene has twisted me up inside and too the politic of the strong man stripping away our standard of living and the outrage of the citizen yelling into an unfeeling void.  I suppose I’m scared to die but I’m more terrified of all that I haven’t done.  I’ll be 45 in 2&1/2 weeks.  I’m glad of all I’ve shorn.  Everything I’ll have no more use for.  I hate that I gave in to a disease, that I hid for decades in booze and lust and worse–that I couldn’t deal so I didn’t and wasted the prime of my life hid out and sulking when God knows I could’ve been making miles.  So, I guess I’ll try and get better and if I can, get back up to weight and give it all another go.  I’ve no recourse or better idea.  I’m sick but I need to get better and live like I’ve always done, in service to Art and this world of letters.  It’s a topsy, slipshod world, one where brute force is trumped by a weightlessness of joy and laughter wedges a tiny valiant crack enough to get some breath, double back and foist the fucker over.

BECOME A PATRON AND JOIN JIM TRAINER IN THE STRUGGLE FOR PERSONAL JOURNALISM.
IT’S ONLY GETTING WORSE.  THURSDAYS AT GOING FOR THE THROAT.
SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS AND I’LL WRITE YOU A LETTER!
READ PART 23 OF THE COARSE GRIND, MY MONTHLY COLUMN ON THE CREATIVE LIFE, AT INTO THE VOID.
NO COMEBACKS BY WILL STENBERG AND 2031, JIM TRAINER’S SIXTH FULL-LENGTH COLLECTION OF POETRY, ARE AVAILABLE NOW THROUGH YELLOW LARK PRESS.
GET YOUR COPIES HERE.
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  1. […]  Those first 3 were real, white-knuckling, a thrill.  I thrive on opposition and in this war, being against is better than being for.  What ensues is the holding on, the holding out and the nagging question of What now?  When I […]

  2. […] and how deep I’ve gone, re-reading isn’t pleasant unless I nail it.  A good piece is a good piece even if it’s got some flesh in it.  I suppose I cringe the most when I’ve exposed […]

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