Jim Trainer

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#59: Dear Carlos

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2020 at 8:30 am

The Office of Jim Trainer
4610 Avenue D, #A
Bro Country, TX

Carlos Figueroa

11/24/17, 11:40PM


Warmest Greetings from the War Room.  I’m on the small couch in a white terrycloth robe with blue UGZ bottoms.  At a glance it either looks like I sold out or never left our middle class beginnings, which would be criminal either way considering what I’ve been through to get here.  I was granted a reaudition to the University of Arts for jazz bass in 1995 but I never went back.  Instead I fell through the decades trying to be Bukowski and on the outside and never really getting back in. I fell in love—hard.  She was 15 years my senior and taught me everything I needed to know to get me here, on the short sofa down in Paradise—the Live Music Capitol of the World.  It is what it is Brother.  Climb a mountain or scale the depths of alcoholism but ultimately what you’re left with is what you lost and the wisdom that came from losing it—if you’re lucky, like I am.  I was born in the Year of the Woodcat.  Rabbits are hard workers and aren’t so much afraid of confrontation as deathly shrewd with their time.  I wouldn’t corner a rabbit and I wouldn’t try to catch one either.  All that matters to me in these paling years is all that ever did and that is the work.  The real work, which is why I’m typing this letter to you, just before midnight on Black Friday after working assembly on the temp job for 11 hours.

I write 600-1,000 words for the blog every Thursday and about that much within 2 letters every Friday.  I know my mind. Without deadlines I wouldn’t do much except worry about the strange drift my life took ever since that cold day waiting on the R3 with a fire engine-red P bass strapped to my back.  I know  I’m going to write every week and thus can continue with the savage quest to be a writer.  Another deadline is to publish a book of poetry every year until 2025.  I don’t know what will happen then.  I can’t even see next month to be honest and these Nuclear Winters do nothing for my Armageddon Blues.  I need to ween off the social media and stop writing about myself.  Now we begin the practice of Yoga.  That’s the first Yoga sutra and that says it all.  We begin where we are and we begin now.  Fugazi sang it just as well and my practice is just as well served off the mat and in the painful maw of the waiting world.  Which is the long way around saying that only now am I a writer, when I put down the filter, stop being myopic, broaden and take to universal topic.  It’s a hard bullet to bite but when you consider that my last blog was about being so bored and inured with the end of the world my arms were sore from jerking off—it’s kind of poetic, kind of apolitical and jaded but mostly just sad.

Music’s going well.  Just need to get my full voice back.  I play gigs for money and I’ve enough original material to save for the good set, when my people have arrived and I can turn the mic stand toward ‘em and look ‘em in the eye.  Getting my voice back will be a journey through the bureaucracies of the square world.  In the meantime I can still belt ‘em out, in my own way and am constantly developing as full a sound as I can on a Tacoma Guild and a $20 harp.  The songs will come, as great or terrible as they’ve always been, but certainly and decidedly better than anything Side Effect ever wrote.  I’m lucky man.  Lucky to have a dream.  Lucky to sit here, labor-sore, smack dab in the middle of my middle class life with the heat on and a full stomach.  The only way out is through and the way through is gratitude.  The Beasties knew and the Dalai Lama, too.

December is going to rule it—gigs and a book coming out, temp jobs and poetry banged out on a President XII Tower or IBM Selectric II if I’m lucky—which, as mentioned, I certainly am.  I feel like luck and trouble are my gods and goddesses, and I’ve kneeled to and been raised up by both.  I don’t ask for favoritism but to take my turn as I am able and have a warm, quiet place to work.  Our work will save us and why not?  Work is why I fell through a couple decades and work is how I made sense of it all, the roar and sway of an unreasonable heart, a tender heart, a vengeful and a knowing heart.  Best to you, old Brother.  Keep loving and you will be loved.

As strong as we are,

Jim Trainer
Austin TX

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