Jim Trainer

Archive for 2021|Yearly archive page

Is That All There Is?

In Uncategorized on July 22, 2021 at 10:07 am

by D.Lori


I made a recent pilgrimage to my hometown library whereat 14, 15, 16, I sat and read much of Helter Skelter and all of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test to escape a crazy home life. 

Where I was graciously un-regarded by librarians and families even in all my visible angst and ire.  It was a good and quiet place that lives in my memory as a haven.  The annual fair happened to be in full swing so I got to walk around that hot hay-covered field and visit my child and teenage ghosts. The smell of the field and the fried food baking in the summer sun gut-punched me into nostalgia.  

I tooled around visiting my three public schools and the strip mall that once contained a Kmart where I used to buy cassettes.  Past the woods I slipped into to smoke cigarettes.  I drove by my childhood home sold years ago and made to look like a place people would actually want to live.  They put up a goddamn white picket fence.  I wonder what it took to get the smell of cigarettes and alcoholism out of the wood paneling.

You know that song made famous by Peggy Lee: Is That All There Is?  That eerie tune about what looms large in the imagination but in reality lays flat like those blow-up Christmas characters that get unplugged on suburban lawns during the day?  Is that all there is to the places I roamed during a torturous youth?  To the home I was kicked out of by a crazy mother?  

If that’s all there is my friends then let’s keep dancing 

In the Saturday morning sunshine it all appears so beige.  Not harmless but distant.  

Let’s break out the booze and have a ball

If that’s all there is   

Irvin Yalom, the brilliant existential therapist, said, “Sometimes I simply remind patients that sooner or later they will have to relinquish the goal of having a better past.”  We can’t magical thinking our way into having been loved and supported properly, and clinging to some notion of it is poison.  A visit to the hometown was not to see something there that made it all ok.  It was to pay last respects.  To go and look around and think is that all there is?  To know that the holding of trauma and depression has been an inside job.    

I am recently unmoored after taking a pause from a career I spent nearly twenty years on because I just couldn’t see how it made sense anymore.  I was a therapist.  Am I a therapist? My biggest piece of wisdom from those two decades is that you’re probably fine.  You’re on a heated-up planet being cooked by zealots and idiots through economic/environmental crisis and allegiance to blowhards and ancient ideals.  You are  confronting funhouse mirrors through the internet where trolls wait to steal your sunshine by assuring you that your body is wrong, your thoughts are wrong and you should just die.  You are not the originator of your dis-ease. Engaging the world is like being in a mosh pit getting slammed into by opinions, critiques, and hot takes.  The intensity, reposts, and popularity read as legitimacy.  But that’s just the feeling that comes from being worn down by repetition. 

Now I am looking for the fucking ground.  Literally throwing myself out into the climate-changed swelter in an East Coast summer to walk around and look at the city up close.  Even if I’m walking in a circle, movement feels like something.  

“You can’t let the critic win,” Jim Trainer says to me on the phone. 

It’s weeks after that hometown trip and I’m walking through the city and the pressure of July humidity. It’s preferable to the burden of judgment.  I was talking to him about the culture of the dissenting opinion and how tired I am of it.  I’d love to believe that comments fired off in the dark or from the mouths of pundits do not accurately represent people but I’m not that naïve.  They are out there—the self-appointed gatekeepers making rules about who can cry, who can complain, who can just be as they are.  And I can’t help but want to understand.  The basis of my career as a therapist has been empathy.  And I’ve found it for people who dressed me down, for people who murdered, for people so deep in delusion that they think my esotropia is the work of the devil.  It’s a strong muscle and my default. 

But having empathy for the wide swath of fascists, trolls and misanthropes only weighs on me. You can’t let the critic win.  You can’t surrender your energy and serenity. So the fight from my side looks like this:

Typing away to do some writing that means something to me.  

Sharing my music after composing in private for three decades.  

Cultivating inner spontaneous joy for my own being and crafting a shield forged from Fuck Yous. I’m probably fine.  I’m just living in a world that’s hard to recognize.   Not harmless but distant. 

D. Lori is writing through a personal interregnum at Gurus Should Find Honest Work, a collection of essays inspired by the peculiarity of the American workplace and way of life.   

THE ONLY ONE AS WEIRD AS ME

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2021 at 10:25 am

If all isn’t well at the end of the world at least it’s the end.
GETTING BY IN THE END OF TIMES on Patreon

Stories are the basic unit of human consciousness.
Steve Almond

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

The Bronx

Demi Jurada wrote me in the summer of ’15 but I didn’t get her letter until I was up on a mountain with no reception and a drinking problem. I solved the drinking problem by not drinking but getting down to why I drank is like peeling an onion full of razor blades and bad memories. I was probably in my cups and definitely in the paint, in a cabin by a lake in North Country when I read her letter. I knew instantly she was a writer. Writers should take you there, or else why read them? Her letter was like a small stair I had to crouch to climb and inside was her wild and peculiar mind. Her letter was the beginning of a long and supportive relationship which is also why I knew she was a writer. Writing and creating art are simply, if not easily, manifestation. She wrote me of her particular isolation and I, in mine, received it. We forged a bond and these years later I’m convinced she’s the only one as weird as me.

Her blog is plain-spoken and singular. She’s got the best voice and let’s face it, voice does most of the heavy lifting in writing. Rhythm’s just as important and she’s got it, a kind of janky illogic that feels comfortable, if not right. Calling it, what it is or otherwise, makes for great writing, sure, but if you’re calling it I’ll be pulling up a chair. The world needs more stories and certainly different ones than the one they’re selling—and I need your blood. It’s how I make it through the day, sober and in turns horny and mad, destitute and proud of the life I chose doing the same and calling it in my own way. If you tell it, they will hear but the truth is by the time I’ve told it I’ve got the Bose cranked and staring out the glass doors with a decaf Americano imagining the blower man defeated by The Bronx at volume 10. Another great friend of mine told me you keep choosing what you want and everything else will just fall away. Fall away it did, Reader. I’m barefoot in ripped jeans, listening to post rock. I’m a writer who spends most of his time putting off writing, which is perhaps the easiest way to spot a writer. I read only what doesn’t offend me, and so much does. It only takes 3 words for me to know I’m in and I’m in on Demi, pilgrim, all the way. She’ll be guest-posting here and Your Writer’ll find some ink on her wonderful Gurus Should Find Honest Work. We write to get it out and feel better and because it’s what we do. You read and we come together and isn’t that nice?

See you at Gurus, motherfucker.

SUPPORT JIM TRAINER’S POETRY AND PERSONAL JOURNALISM AT PATREON

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THE COARSE GRIND IS DEAD

LIVING IN THE BLACK&WHITE

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2021 at 11:32 am

I went walking into the city dusk.  I had Gun In Mouth Blues on at cilia-frying levels and kept my phones on while stalking angrily through the Whole Foods Industrial Complex.  The fine bodies and smooth skin, shirtless bros in sunglasses, yoga pants and dogs fed my alienation.  I need to be careful with this anger.  It’s good for the pain but numbs everything else.  I face a solitude I never earned.  Anger’s just the cheapest way to get there.  It’s easier to be alone if you act like you hate everyone. I come to the temple of this room, redoubled even in failure knowing the cost of my anger is a price I can no longer pay.
on Patreon

Did you catch Matt Borczon yesterday? How about your homeboy this month? I’m hard at work on STRIDE, my seventh full-length collection of poetry and it’s a dark one. Every book has been a spell and this one is no exception. I suppose in hoping to soar you’ve got to grovel first and anyway live down the generations’ karma of bad love and war. Patrons at the $10 level will get a signed and acknowledged copy of STRIDE and Patrons at the $5 level get all the access. Poems and songs, readings and missives like the one selected above are all yours for supporting your long-suffering romantic nihilist, Jim Trainer.

Fight war not wars.
—CRASS

PART 39 OF THE COARSE GRIND GOES LIVE THIS SUNDAY AT INTO THE VOID

KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM is almost sold out! Get your copy here and watch the reading and its release here and here

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RETIREMENT BLUES

In Uncategorized on May 10, 2021 at 1:52 pm

THE FOLLOWING POST WAS WRITTEN BETWEEN MONDAY MAY 3 AND FRIDAY MAY 7, 2020

SOCIAL MEDIA IS SHIT…TRAINER SEEKING HEALTHCARE…TRICKS OF THE TRADE, ADVICE FOR SUFFERING COLITIS AND LEARNING HOW TO TRUST A FART…JOIN JIM TRAINER ON PATREON FOR THE REAL REAL

If a man doesn’t work he doesn’t eat. Not me saying that in the bible.
Sheldon B. Lamey

Fucked. Forgive me if I dispense with the pleasantries. No need, right? We know each other. No need to go any further with Sheldon, either. He’s just as fucked but on a whole other level.  HEY YOU SITTING AT HOME TOO MANY PLACES HIRING FOR YOU TO STILL BE COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT, he posts, as the human race greasily slides down an evolutionary link. I don’t know how we became friends on the socials but we’re not anymore! Unfriending him was the healthiest choice and one of many I am making today. Waking up fucked in America. 

I called Community Care but they only see refugees. Lone Star Circle of Care can’t see me until June 29th. I got my blood work and treatment notes from Austin Gastro this morning. Signed up on the patent portal. My next round of calls will be to find a specialist who works with low-income patients. Otherwise I’ll have to file my taxes and go the Affordable Care route. All of my efforts hinge on my last phone call of the morning to the Texas Workforce Commission to see how much longer I can stay on unemployment. Fucked…


More and more this site is becoming what I always wanted for my work—a large and private audience and anyway a direct line to you.  I don’t get the same charge blogging as I did in earlier days of the Final Century, when you could make it here, when comedy made you laugh and your dick still functioned.
on Patreon this week

JOIN ME ON PATREON FOR EXCLUSIVE CONTENT WHERE WE CAN RUE THE LAST DECADE TOGETHER

Tuesday was an off day and I didn’t get much done. I successfully avoided doing my taxes, if inactivity counts for anything but I’d imagine Monica “Don’t fuck around.” Clark isn’t pleased. I talked with sustainability impresario and all-around Good Witch Melissa “Mesa” Materese though, and she worked wonders by offering simple connection and laughter. Also:

  • probiotics, broken up and dissolved in coconut water, switching between brands and strengths
  • kefir, in coconut water (non-dairy), feed the kefir to stretch it out as it’s a culture that will grow on its own
  • mesalamine in a flare, give it a try for 3 days, if doesn’t work try a couple more
  • ginger+tumeric, turmeric in everything but it needs something like ginger that’s heating
  • chia seeds, chia pudding made from soaking the seeds overnight
  • water, 1/2 your weight in oz. a day, with ginger+turmeric root throughout the day, chew the softened root at the end of the day or add it to dinner
  • Collagen, builds up the cellar lining of the intestine
  • peppermint oil, rubbed on belly in a counter-clockwise direction and on the soles of the feet
  • Do I have Candida?
  • Go outside, get out from 4 walls and breathe

Join me on Patreon for the whole story and more on the hopeless condition of Jim Trainer, and enjoy query letters, unpublished work and live poetry readings. I get a charge posting there, same’s I did here over 10 years ago, crunching triple-nickels on the roof of a dead Confederate palace in the triple-digit heat. Those were the days.  Here’s a sonnet from the brilliant Wanda Coleman and a charmer from Irish legend Steve DenehanKEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM is almost sold out! Get your copy here and watch the reading and its release here and here. Thank you for reading. Thank you for believing in me.

SIGN UP FOR JIM TRAINER’S POEM OF THE WEEK AND RECEIVE AN ORIGINAL POEM IN YOUR INBOX EVERY MONDAY.

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KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM:
10 Years At Going For The Throat
NOW 
AVAILABLE AT JIMTRAINER.NET

READ THE COARSE GRIND AT INTO THE VOID

FAREWELL FOR NOW

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2021 at 4:39 pm

What has become of the green pleasant fields of Jerusalem?
Twentieth Century Man, The Kinks

I don’t care about these “jokes” being offensive. They’re just not funny. They’re not clever. There’s a reason he never made it anywhere as a comedian. He is not funny and he is not smart. He is, however, very good at capitalizing off of dumb people. For that I applaud him.
—EastSideFishMurder on Twitter

Luckily, the University of Vermont has begun an incentive program to encourage New England farmers to delay their second cutting, so the birds have enough time to breed and raise their young.
—Didi Jackson

I’m happy to announce that STRIDE, my 7th full-length collection of poetry will be released this year through Yellow Lark Press.  Supporters at the $10 level on Patreon will receive a copy of the collection, signed and acknowledged and absolutely free.  I’m thrilled to be able to offer supporters at any level what will become exclusive content.  

The amount of work I come across from poets involved in academia is staggering.  Most of them are teachers.  They’ve had books published and their collections benefit from the push of publishers.  I write poetry.  I’m not enmeshed in the Higher-Learning Industrial Complex. I don’t teach.  I won’t have to because I’ve got you.  My 7th collection of poetry will be out before year’s end.  Stay tuned for its news and announcement.  I need to step away from Going For the Throat.  This much craziness is too much pain.  I need to concentrate on getting my health in order and rather than impede the total access I’ve proudly always offered you, I’ve decided to just put it down.  You came for The Real and if I’m not in a place to deliver then I won’t.  I’d rather not say anything if I can’t offer anything crucial, or of import.  I’ve little to report these days because I’m coming down off a decade of outrage, and the anger is no bueno for your Writer right now.  This isn’t bad news.  

The bad news is that the channels are clogged with pseudo-science and amateur punditry.  I no longer wish to be part of the discourse and let’s be honest these terms are incredibly generous.  What’s happening in the world isn’t political.  What the fascists are offering isn’t an argument.  I’m not arguing.  I’m mad but I can’t afford to be.  With your help I’ll figure that out but in the meantime I’m through yelling at folks who are never going to listen.  I know it was never about them, it was about us, but between debilitation from illness and crushing hopelessness, I’m at a loss.  My weekly posts have become a diary, and when I see the unending stream of petty and self-involved concern that is social media I don’t want to add to it.  The bad news is it’s the end of the world and the public at large won’t include my voice throwing it down and cutting up through the fray.  

I’d like to invite you over the paywall in the meantime, and to join me on Patreon for exclusive products, performances and content—including posts from your Writer that would’ve normally appeared on the pages of Going For the Throat, were the discourse not completely sunk and my well-being not at stake.  Patrons contributing at the $10 level will get a copy of STRIDE, signed and acknowledged, in 2021 and I’m happy to offer supporters at any level what will be exclusive content during this respite.  

See you on the other side, motherfucker. 

THANK YOU.


But it’s written in the starlight
and every line in your palm
We are fools to make war
on our brothers in arms
—Dire Straits

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Click on “Get Reminder” to join us this evening as wonderful poet Steve Denehan shares a selection from his just released The Streets, Like Flowers, Come Alive in the Rain. Tonight at 7P.M. CST!

KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM:
10 Years At Going For The Throat
NOW 
AVAILABLE AT JIMTRAINER.NET

READ THE COARSE GRIND AT INTO THE VOID

ON WITH IT

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2021 at 9:50 am

FACTS:
The election was stolen.
Kyle Rittenhouse did nothing wrong.
Joe Biden is a puppet.
Gina Carano did nothing wrong.
Trump did not incite violence on 1/6.
Derek Chauvin is innocent.
Covid-19 is over politicized.
The vaccine is more dangerous than the virus.

Erik Bekke

The trial of Derek Chauvin is one of the three most important trials at the center of race and America of the past 100 years.
Shaun King

Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified at having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human. It is always the same words telling the same lies. And the fact that men accept this, that the people’s anger has not destroyed these hollow clowns, strikes me as proof that men attribute no importance to the way they are governed.
—Albert Camus 

Blank-canvas blues, ain’t this a bitch? I’m pitched up at the Whole Foods Industrial Complex. I loaded up and headed out of Castle Hill this morning with the MacBook, chargers, iPad, notebook, paper, pens and a pair of Sony MDR-ZX100’s. These earphones are as crucial to writing as the laptop and pen. Lucky for me the music they’re playing today is middle-of-the-road corporate fare, nothing too mawkish or cloying and certainly not the kind of rock and roll that is threatening, i.e. good. Whatever they’re playing can’t be worse than suffering the sounds of construction at home. The high whine of the digger, carving out tunnels beneath the street for Google Fiber, forfeits any chance of peace and quiet. Naturally one tries to drown out the sound but, for me, discovering I’ve been putting more effort into NOT hearing the long-suffering bastard machine than actually on the task at hand angers me. Anger is no bueno for your Writer and getting worked up would only mean a visit with the foreman and anyway suffering another of the rages that have rendered me constipated or incontinent. I’m still suffering with colitis and at times quite sick, but the point is I can’t do this anymore. I can’t look around or watch the news and I can’t report on it either. Ask you, what the fuck could I possibly say to the shit-for-brains author of the quote at the beginning of this post? “You’re wrong?” The nutters have sunk the discourse. I’d much rather enjoy a haddock filet and sip this peppermint tea than “argue” with someone that fucking dumb. Ain’t the half either as what drew me to him to begin with was his argument on Twitter that Chauvin may have saved Floyd’s life by choking him to death, being that he was on “3.5 times…” the lethal dose of fentanyl and “lots of other drugs.” It’s not that I don’t care about the rotten bastards in what passes for Police in this country. I just can’t stoop that low. The nutters don’t deserve it, for one thing, being that the basis of their whole argument is an unstated and full-on racism. The other thing is my aforementioned anger, rages that have found me here, at 46 without an intoxicant in my system and all my dreams of travel and conquest on hold and drying up. Homeboy’s not getting any smarter and I’m can’t help him. Or this country. I’m nursing my own heartbreak anyway and lamenting all that I haven’t done.

Being 46 is a bummer. Not for the mastery and typing quietly (hopefully) in a large 1BR in the live music capital of the world. Not for my mostly ok health, actually, and the fact that I can get out of bed and drive my car and sleep solid for 6 hours a night. 46 sucks because of all that I haven’t done coupled with the supposition that I might not ever. It’s fucking me up, Reader. I’m not going to be who I thought I was going to be, and instead I’m only me. If that ain’t spirituality and anyway an invitation to start experiencing life as it is or at least find for adventure as a personal journalist trawling the same citywide beat. Even then the territory for your Writer only spans the Whole Foods I’m in right now, the Office Max across the street and Little Brother’s on the east side. I thought I’d make tracks down the same roads as Rollins and Thompson but I live more like Papa, without the booze and women or acclaim. The writing always came and that saved me. You read and dug and supported me in so many ways. You bought the collection and were as integral to the realization of Jim Trainer The Writer as writing it down. I can’t deny that I’ve self-published and have at least been realizing this dream. It’s been a half life living like this, though. Suffering depression and dead after the catharsis and transformation of art and craft. Week by week, this blog has got me through. It’s been my raison d’être, my sword and shield and a reason to endure: bureaucratic fuckarounds, chlymadic cunt bosses, amour fou and even the bearing-witness industry of social media while rapt as a mark watching the world wind horribly down. But now I’m at a loss. The easy answer is often the best but when it comes to taking a break or sabbatical I feel my identity as a Writer is at stake. Without deadline I’d have to face myself. I’d just be…me! The truth is I used Art to get me through, and praise be. My heroes reached me and showed me how. Praise be that it spoke to you in ways I never could while trading skin in Babylon or engaged in the silly game of killing time in a culture that worships youth and death in equal measure. Without anger and trying my best to abstain from its foul humor, without outrage and without the drive for this quest of being The Writer, I’ve come down with the empty-canvas blues. As No Doubt plays in this bougie supermarket, intoxicant-free and at odds with myself and all I haven’t done, regretful and without love but ok, me, Jim. Ain’t this a bitch?

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KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM:
10 Years At Going For The Throat
NOW 
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READ THE COARSE GRIND AT INTO THE VOID

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SAME AS THE OLD BOSS

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2021 at 10:47 am

Former House Speaker John Boehner was on the radio this morning. It was dark in the Office and I had little on my mind so I closed the glass doors and sat smugly down. We must be the masters of our own delusion and if Steven Inskeep ain’t ashamed he should be. History is kind to the victors and steamrolls over the rest. Trump went down in infamy though his ineptitude is debated by shit-for-brains like David Harris Jr. and Steven “Fuckface” Crowder. Rush Limbaugh got more respect dead than he ever gave to the living and one can only hope he died with regret or at least in pain. George W. Bush found a new cache hanging out with Ellen, hiding candy from Michelle Obama and grinning like the luckiest bastard of the 21st Century. War still rages overseas thanks to that clown and we’re all living down his forever wars and recessions. Obama’s legacy can’t be touched. His shining image is a testament to the power of his charm, even if he ushered in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. He tried, I’ll give him that, and his efforts were thwarted at every turn by the Tea Party and stacks of shit with book deals like John Boehner. Time marches bitterly on leaving us with the impossible task of reasoning with all this blood on our hands. There’s no justice and the worst people in the world won’t look bad in hindsight as long as the media plays nice and puts them on.

I’m having some luck with my diet and I’m drinking more water, even if I never seem to meet my goal of half my weight in ounces a day. I eat veggies mostly, very little processed food if any, and only as much desert as I can fit in my hand. Flare ups wreck me, relegate me to the couch or send me back into the throes of a cigarette and coffee addiction. It’s hard to keep your diet when you’re only shitting blood and it feels like glass. I have hope, generally I’ve been feeling better, enough to attempt some Yoga but as long as my gut is bad my mood is dour and sunk. I’m due for another call with Good Specialist Rocco, and I’ll be taking advantage of the extended enrollment for Affordable Care with some help from the good folks at HAAM.

The Element failed inspection. Two different mechanics said it was the catalytic converter and OEMs are going for up to $1,000 online. I’m deep in the research and wont to get an aftermarket and put the profits from the sale of my CAT right back into the car. 4 new tires would be nice but not crucial. Passenger back panel could be replaced and the fender. The seats need to be pulled out and power washed and it never hurts to get an oil change. It might’ve failed inspection due to faulty O2 sensors but whether it’s the sensors or the CAT, I’d rather climb underneath the car myself than give $1,200 to a mechanic who won’t let me keep the old part. The first order of business is getting on the horn with Honda to ask them why the CAT, guaranteed for the life of the car, is crapping out at 74k miles. It’s running a little loud, nothing dire but not exactly smooth either. I’m hoping an oil change will work it out. A higher grade gas and replacing the plugs and filter could do wonders, though, I may be talking out my ass. I need to double down on my research and butt heads with the know-it-alls on the Element Facebook Group. The most worrisome would be rust on the undercarriage. I’m not saying I have it, just that I need to keep an eye out and anyway get a good look at the wheel mounts.

The blog is a bust but I appreciate you being here. My stats are down and so is my enthusiasm. It must be a trick of the mind or anyway depression because reading Pete Hamill inspires me to be the writer and live that life. Poetry collections and novels from friends inspire me as a publisher and I’m hoping to get some more writers in the Yellow Lark stable. The hard part is convincing my peers that the price is worth it. Money’s hard to come by but once your project is funded there’s money to be made selling the printed word. So, what’s to happen at Going For the Throat, as I’m mostly missing my true ballast of anger and unease? It’s hard to be angry and keep it as my anxieties are already working me overtime. The days are blowing by. I’m posting a poem every day on Patreon for the month of April and I’m keeping the dream alive. My physical and mental health are getting tweaked and I’m getting better even if I’m knocked back and need to start over. Ideally I’d be playing music every Saturday night, designing and printing collections through the week and coming hard at journalism and taking my camera with me everywhere. I got vaccinated this morning but I’m not overjoyed. I’m glad I won’t catch CORONA but otherwise not exactly thrilled with the Johnson&Johnson shot I got in Castle Hill this morning. Spring’s here and I think I’m done with being fallow. The hard part is how to get back up and kick it, as ever I am besieged with depression and bereft of the torch of anger that burned and lit the way for so long.

SUPPORT JIM TRAINER’S POETRY AND PERSONAL JOURNALISM AT PATREON

KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM:
10 Years At Going For The Throat
NOW AVAILABLE AT JIMTRAINER.NET

“2020’s been a year of death and graft. Survival is this new paradigm.  It used to be Art or writing and Rock&Roll but now living in The America is its own end.  There’s nothing past this.  You make it to the end of the month congratulations, you’re broke.  You catch this disease or anything under your deductible you’re insolvent or dead.”
—KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINE
M

KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM is almost sold out!  Get yourself one of the 35 remaining copies, bound in a letter pressed cover designed by Snakes Will Eat You, at jimtrainer.net.  You’ll find a selection from the collection below.

READ THE COARSE GRIND AT INTO THE VOID

Yellow Lark Press is opening its stables to writers, poets and anyone who has something to say.  I’d love to discuss publishing your next collection, broadside or zine.  

FOR THE SAKE OF THE SONG

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2021 at 3:31 pm

and Rebecca&Jon

The First Amendment limits the government’s ability to regulate speech. It does not require news organizations to treat all speech as equal, or to provide an open forum for comments. Rather, the First Amendment ensures The Inquirer’s right to publish what The Inquirer chooses to publish.
—The Philadelphia Inquirer

…nobody wants to hear blues on blues on blues.
—Townes Van Zandt

THE FOLLOWING POST WAS WRITTEN ON APRIL 5, 2021

This one’s to keep Going For the Throat alive. I thought I’d get a jump on this week’s post, allow for a wide runway between this afternoon and deadline Thursday. With time I can refine and I might even strike gold. In a way, posts like UNDER THE WEATHER and LIKE A SOLDIER are a victory for plain-spoken and what I call unmiraculous prose. The reporting reveals over time. The moments get stripped and contextualized and from the droll details and mundane the story appears. Or it doesn’t, no story Bubba, and that’s the story. Of course that’s the luxury of personal journalism ain’t it and blogging anyway that I, as your narrator, can wrap any missive by declaring there is nothing to report.

I’m happy when that happens, and much to my old college Prof Macaluso’s chagrin, it’s a stick in the ribs of cute-essay writing and happy endings. Happy endings never rang true for me. Begs the question, though—why aren’t happy endings true for your writer and anyway why should my experience be accepted as truth? Just because happy endings don’t happen for me doesn’t mean they don’t, in general, happen. I’m struck writing this however that with perspective almost anything will have seemed to turn out alright. I never wanted to trade in that happy horseshit. Guess you could say I wanted to revel in it, grovel some or commiserate and, tell you the truth, I’ve never really examined why I always had such a fucking problem with Heaven.

I knew depression, always lying in wait, was sure to take me down. So I tied it on myself and the blues was my message and albatross. I figured if happiness was only going to end then why not just be miserable and save myself the disappointment? When I was happy I was flying high, too, though not in a healthy or sustainable way. I removed all those quick-fixes, self-medications and chemical-love. I’m on an even keel now, mostly. I probably won’t crash. Better than that is this ease in my life now. Nothing wrong or terribly irritating. Well, my gut health is touch and go but I think it’s all connected. So…I’m happy with posts like the last couple weeks’ for the sake of their language and for the fact that they offer no solution, no aha, or feel good, tie-it-together moment as the credits roll. I like just ending a piece and seeing what the language will tell me later. I like it when language tells the story and especially dig it when details and moments from a day observed take on a resonance, and their writing is a talismanning or fetishizing of the normal and mundane into a deeper meaning and significance. None of this has anything to do with not feeling up to posting here anymore. I need input and I’m bored and I used to solve both these problems by digging my claws into the matter and anyway grinding an ax and burying my enemies forever.

It ain’t working, Reader and my efforts to save this blog so far today have failed. I don’t know how much longer I can write to perform. It used to work, swimmingly, and if I’m being honest my real fear in hanging this site up and quitting is how will I ever be inspired to write if I don’t have to? Now this is the real writer’s blues ain’t it and all my hubris and fast-talk about never having writer’s block has come home to roost. Strange it doesn’t hurt more than it does or maybe this is a higher plane of creation for me. This work isn’t so wrapped up in my identity. I don’t know what to write about and it’s not the end of the world. I’m not devastated but hardly inspired either. The thing about this block that’s kind of exciting is I know I’ve been here before. I know that something is waiting for me on the other side and like Mama Greenberg said I should be able to envision a way to create that’s peaceful, that I don’t have to destroy to create, me or them, and I can perhaps be driven by something other than compulsion and be free.

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

AVAILABLE AT JIMTRAINER.NET

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UNDER THE WEATHER

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2021 at 7:26 pm

What do you think an artist is? …he is a political being, constantly aware of the heart breaking, passionate, or delightful things that happen in the world, shaping himself completely in their image. Painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war.
—Pablo Picasso

By the way, fear works. And if you have a leader that speaks your fears right back at you, boy, that is the most compelling thing to get a vote.
—Adam Kinzinger

This place has always been, above all else, a deeply violent place.
—Sean King

Poverty in the richest country in the history of the world is a death sentence.
—Bernie Sanders

This is the longest I’ve gone without an intoxicant in 30 years. I’ve quit smoking three times in my life—once as a straight-edge skinhead in 10th grade, then at 40 for 6 years and finally last night. There isn’t anything wrong and it’s a bummer you want to know the truth. Of course I could get into it with somebody on the socials or creep out a platonic in what passes for human courting in the pandemic. I don’t want to write this column anymore, it’s painfully apparent. Perhaps it’s time to make the leap from Personal Journalism to Journalism Journalism. It wouldn’t be the worst thing and I can’t think of any other way for me to affect change. Fuck man, write about it. Ahoy it’s time for something different to happen. I haven’t been writing daily, not like I ever did but I don’t know what I should expect from this column as it’s been written, closer and closer to deadline, until finally I’m writing this post past it on a Thursday.

The best thing that happened to me today is I felt the sun on my back. Once in the court this morning and again in the afternoon down at the bodega. Some haircut pulled up in a mini Audi. He squeegeed his windows and dried them by hand. A newscaster with a fat ass got out of her Channel 61 news van but had to pull around to get it pump-side. The skaters down there are endearing and impeccably polite. Michael’s behind the counter, he’s only had his Element for 2 years. I ask him about it, and his catalytic converter, and he doesn’t know or let on. I would’ve told him to beware but he doesn’t seem into it so I stepped out and stood in that Texas sun.

I go down there for junk food and I eat junk food for 1 of 2 reasons. To help regulate me or else to deal with stress. By not smoking a cigarette first thing this morning I took control of the day. This one wasn’t ruined but anyway I’ve still got to deal with my intestine. My gut’s flaring up again though it could be the nicotine passing. Another 3 days of wrenching pain til it all clears. Or it could be gone tomorrow. Girl next door’s going on with her bassy beat and that’s after enduring the teeth-rattling hum of construction all day. They’re installing Google Fiber, if you want to know what’s going on in the world. Ain’t shit changed.

The wisdom of middle-age is attuning to your own deeper rhythm and lost to the general sway. Turn your mind down because everything is so numbing but don’t tune out completely because then you’re only sleeping. Anyway, this post is to fulfill a deadline and I’m sorry but for the life of me I can’t do it like I used to. It makes me sad because I was really hitting a stride writing here in the Fall. I just couldn’t go on being mad Good Reader and I was either not depressed enough or so sunk I didn’t even know it and now I’m punching keys and making word count because I said I would.

It ain’t the worst thing but I hate half-assing anything so expect an announcement from me out of respect and in thanks. I wrote my way through a decade and now the field is fallow ain’t it, posting about the Castle Hill bodega and finally being intoxicant-free, without love or anger and standing in that Texas sun beaming on me in bright-hot and warm glory.

LIKE A SOLDIER

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2021 at 10:31 am

According to the department’s collective bargaining agreement, disciplined officers’ names cannot be released to the public unless they are fired, Transit Police Chief Tom Nestel has said. SEPTA declined to release a copy of the investigation report or the precise wording of the social media posts.
—The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 17, 2021

Too many voices, they’ve made me mute
Minor Threat

I’m up before dawn most days. It’s the bad result of ill health and a resolution of middle age. At 40 I stopped playing around with a lifelong fear of death and just accepted it. Of course by that point I had a lifetime denying that inconvenient fact behind me, and the attitude and habits that kept the game afoot caught up with me. Colitis found me, though the real trouble is anxiety and that’s what gets me out of bed. I drink tea and water, and smoke. I mostly eliminated caffeine from my diet a month ago, and it’s a wonder I lasted as long as I did drinking coffee. Caffeine doesn’t give you energy as much as trigger your fight-or-flight. When I met with a gut-health guy he told me my habits and diet had conditioned my body into thinking it was living in a war. No surprise there, Doc but I’m backing off from living this way. My anger was out of control and I was a prisoner to it. It helped me get things done but burned me out and made me unwell. Like caffeine, anger was a cheap substitute for energy but worse was a deficit of self-worth. Fear of failure cleverly masked the fact that if I failed as a writer I’d only be me. I could never deal with just being me so failing was not an option. I was driven by these bad humors and performed at exhaustive levels until the work was done and I’d shut down and hideaway til I could nurse myself back from burnout. I don’t want to live that way anymore. There’s too much downtime. Relying on a schedule of scattershot brilliance, cultivated by the life of a shift-worker made my writing high-reaching but falling short. It fell short in scope and with its integration. I did work and it was done. That’s about how integrated it got for me, though it’s true that only after a book has been out for awhile am I able to see it for what it is—if at all. Point is I’ve so much left to do and I could be doing more but I’ve been running and gunning, posting here and printing titles and on to the next before they even sell out. That’s not a bad problem to have, artistically, if unhealthy. But I’ve got over 100 copies of 2031 left and they’ve been sitting in a box since the winter of ’19/20 when I put it (and Will Stenberg’s No Comebacks) out while working 3 jobs and writing columns and blogs and sending out the Poem Of The Week.

I’m glad of the work I’ve done. It kept me from feeling like a failure and having to live down what I’d wretchedly become at the age of 40. Now it’s time to see it through though, Good Reader. It’s fine and well the 6 collections I put out since 2012. The Coarse Grind falls short and soars consistently. Some of those columns fill me with pride and a terror of the other kind with their looming deadline. Going For the Throat‘s been a bear though I always forget that it’s fail-safe and I’ll always feel better after writing and posting one of these. So you see I’ve used this work, I wrote my way through, and I’m through, but using Art to cope has only kept me above ground. I fall out in the dusk. Though I’ve gone from feeling undead in the dark morning to treasuring dawn as the only free time I have, I still dawdle. I hem and haw. It’s the writer’s way, sure, but performing this way is at my expense. I set deadlines and I meet them but a vale of opportunity has opened before me. I’m called to re-devote my energies to a life in the Arts. There’s so much more I could be doing that only gets sunk in a dream as the days get whittled away. I’m at a loss as to how to inspire myself as I’m not at war anymore and I still feel depression pulling at me and winning the day. Outside it’s America, sliding down into fascism nice and sleazy, and at our door constantly now is this beast of predatory capitalism, ushering in destitution and ecological collapse. It’s a heady mix, the sick world spinning out there and me in here cloistered with my own dysfunction and fear. I’m not living my best life. I’m up before the sun. I’m inspired by the new collections of the poets and piecework of Pete Hamill and Michael Tallon. I write and send the letters out, address them Good Reader and crank out a missive like it’s the only proof I was ever here. The sun’s risen. It’s likely depression will win another of these brilliant cold-spring days and I’ll survive. I’ll get up in the dark, because I’m going to die someday, and live with the disappointment. I’ll continue foraging into the canyon between me and my love. Somewhere down here darkly flowing between unforgiving shafts of stone is a river of stars.

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

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