Jim Trainer

Archive for January, 2021|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on January 28, 2021 at 7:00 am

Could this be the end? I’ve never had less to say, that hasn’t been said already, better and even in a worse way. This is the passionless age. The best voices offer no direction. The worst, well, their voices are especially odious now but the problem is my reaction to them. There’s never been any solace or wisdom offered on social media, it’s true, but so glaring now that we’re truly in the tank. Mitten memes aren’t just mindless but as fatalistic as they are dumb. A great man, with integrity and experience, is getting lampooned for ha has. A joke that isn’t that funny and with the passive-aggressive energy of a kiss-off. I don’t think we’d be in half the shit we’re in had Bernie took the helm in ’16. Biden’s push for a $15 minimum wage seems gestural as Bernie was saying that 4 years ago and now we’re over a decade in to pretending $7.50 an hour makes a living in a monolithic corporate economy. Too little too late and we’ll take it, but—ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Now I sound like one of them ain’t it. This isn’t a political post. It’s just to say that the man who could’ve saved us is only getting parodied. Or criticized, according to a Facebook friend of mine, for not celebrating the Inauguration and looking downcast and stoic on such the day for black women. But it doesn’t stop there.  Gorman’s poem, a bright sentiment charged with youth and vigor is getting poo-pooed by the writing community. I can’t argue race or identity politics and I’m not a member of the writing community. I can’t voice what my intuition is telling me. Yelling, really. I mean I can but I won’t. It won’t make a damn and worst of all it’ll only make me sick. I’m sick from war and waiting and tired of championing right-thinking. The argument is so low and petty it would only pull me into irrationality, which is as ineffectual as it is draining. 

I’ve been sick for years. I suffer tempests of rage that wreck and rack me, turn my blood cold and my guts to tumult and unease. I can’t think of a bigger waste of time than arguing with humans for humanity, though getting wasted comes to mind. I could divert my energies and I am. Play their game and write and petition them. Get political. No harm in that though what help it is is debatable. We won one for rational thinking but the guy in charge is an establishment shill. He’s suffered pain in his life and I feel for him but his readiness and quick moving aren’t coming up fast enough for folks like me who hope the heat stays on and smoke cigarettes to curtail the symptoms of a raging colitis until the book comes out, which, is of course further delayed. I hate them for stringing us along like this and on increasingly dark days I hate you, too. Well, not you Good Reader, of course not. The currency you offer gets me through and a book order and a cup of coffee will pull the quilts back, get me off the recliner and back at the desk. I’m tired of fighting. I’m sick of living in fear. This could be the end of this blog and anyway a pivotal Art Of War moment for your writer. This is when I cede, fall back and look within. I won’t change anyone’s mind and I don’t want to. The recent development, though, is I won’t even be entertaining the enemy. I put down the hoi polloi because they’re enthralled with money and appearance. But now I turn from even my enemy. The shots they take, emotional and real, and detriment they curate are on them now. Perhaps you can imagine how defenseless I feel, how in the wind and without a clue. Vengeance was always my reason why but now I’m only sick and cold. 

It’s Winter in America and I’m just trying to make it to the end of the month when I’m broke and lonely with a body of work to tend to. I’d love to see you, next week motherfucker, but this much craziness is too much pain. The end isn’t coming, it’s already here. Protesting predatory capitalism on a platform provided by a corporation is dumber than a mittens meme.


Depression is a motherfucker. In some ways I’m equipped for what we are collectively suffering but ultimately none of us are. It takes a while for the trouble out there to get to me in here because it’s been war all the time anyway and for as long as I can remember. I never came to any kind of mastery, the blues are a black torrent pulling on my marrow that compelled me toward poetry and song. It got me through and was a remedy of sorts in that it kept me stepping in the work-a-day world. Alcohol too, and drugs, and anything that could be used as such. Every time you heard of my suffering romantically, it could’ve been because the stakes were so high in it working out I went in blind and landed in shell-shocked relationships of codependency. They weren’t innocent but it wasn’t their fault. I don’t expect people to get me but the general attitude of the general population is mostly offensive to me, and cruel. I’ve been so militaristic towards common thought because it felt like I was fighting back. The hook of the piece above was a contention with the level of outrage aimed at aspects of a ceremony. It angered me because I thought the whole production was a waste. Rather than critique the Inauguration I simply didn’t accept it at all.

You need a hook in the kind of work I do. As much as I try to subvert common essay writing, I still need something to say and I’m going to have to lure you in and keep spinning yarn while I’ve got you here. Latching on to common thought and pillorying it from a punkrock place has served me well, if the last 10 years are any indication. The kicker, though, is I had to get mad at some people getting mad and I haven’t given anything or shown another way, and effectively only blocked a road of thought. I’m sick of how organized we are in our complacency and I took my complaint here and thought I was better somehow because it was thought out, beyond byte-size and in a clever way. Truth is I’m no better. I wrote some, which is the point of this blog to begin with, but without any argument besides the contention with someone else’s argument, I’m just sick. Isolated. Unwell and angry. Shut down at the desk and by the glass doors. Shut down at the Office in a shut down world. I end this postscript the same way this post began. No resolution, only anger, and disease running slipshod through my gut and darkness on my mind. I can’t say I’m hopeless but without anything except a debilitating rage, the circuit is closed. It’s cold and dark here and long is this Winter in America.

Curator at Going For the Throat, columnist for Into The Void and progenitor of stand-up tragedy™, Jim Trainer’s KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM:  10 Years At Going For The Throat will be released this year through Yellow Lark Press. To sign up for Jim Trainer’s Poem Of The Week, visit jimtrainer.net.

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


In Uncategorized on January 21, 2021 at 9:00 am

Thank you, but fuck you for being there.
—D.C. police officer Michael Fanone 

Been dealing in hate and it can’t be good. Though it feels alright. Never mind. Doesn’t even feel alright. My every impulse as a writer and devotee to solitude is to split the furor, sink into the heart of wisdom and let it all crumble. Or feel myself detach. These nutters should have no ground now but we don’t feel vindicated do we, because they never did. With their fame and notoriety and platforms online. So many people I’d have never entertained if they weren’t blaring into the office in blue light for 11 hours every day. Fuckfaces like Steven Crowder and barbie-doll gurus on Instagram. The world has never been so full of answers but yet so completely out of sync and wrong. I can’t even do a Bukowski and slink home in a Japanese car from the supermarket where they play R.E.M. I get the letters out, and poems, even creative flash nonfiction. I’m scraping by but it’s a hollow victory. There’s choppers overhead in my backyard and at the desk it’s as quiet as a tomb. I chose by not deciding, sidelined arenas of competitive worth and stationed myself as far from predatory capitalism as I could get away with. I won’t get away with it anymore.

The age of the Artist has passed, and the middle class, and the Great American City has died. We’ll have to starve awhile before we see another punkrock or Woody Guthrie. Visionaries will be the ones who survive. Anything more brilliant than that will wither like Hitler’s passion for brush and oil. The shifting plates beneath the wealth divide and obstructionist politic are healthcare and ecological collapse. The headlines we should be seeing are beneath the fold and under insurrection, death and graft. We’ve executed more than three times as many people in the last six months than we have in the last six decades. If Biden doesn’t start a war I’ll be shocked beyond this state of fight or flight I’ve been ratcheted to for the last 4 years. I thought we’d find a way or go down fighting but wish I could’ve seen that what we’re fighting for is less and less with each passing too-warm winter as the death toll climbs. My guts are burning, it served me well, but now I’m only burning out. Colitis and credit card debt, no contact but through a screen. I fell in love with you again and know more than ever the value of music and Art. But my days are sullen, driving by the bars where tech bros and UT students sit with a vapid expectation on their maskless, dumbfuck faces.

Trauma should’ve trained me better but I would’ve acted a whole lot different if I knew the worst was still coming and only piling on. I did decades hiding out, apolitical and sideways and safe. But in the Final Century there’s no underground and no resistance beyond spectacle or event. The very thing I’d waited my life for, that made me a writer and gave me a platform, has made me worse than an observer of my own life. Being shut in is one thing but under tech’s virulent eye, disguised as treacly faces and pith, I’m never alone but alone all the time. Everything seems like a TV show, with someone suffering somewhere and me sighing my shrinking middle-class woe. If there was ever an argument for ending it it’s never been stronger than right now. In the Final Century, with America clearing off the poor and the ranks of the working poor only balkanized. The palatial neighbors who sneer at me from grand porches as I walk by in fatigues and Doc Martens leave their yelping dog out all day. Next door construction goes for 7 days and 365. Holidays I get to see how rich most of this city is, in Yoga clothes and fit as a model with white teeth and shining skin. I move among them like a hypocrite and covered up to my angry eyes. Was a time my hate could save me or keep me apart until I got back home. I’ve still got it but I’ve no release and I’m a cyst full of venom watching and waiting as this country dies.

Curator at Going For the Throat, columnist for Into The Void and progenitor of stand-up tragedy™, Jim Trainer’s KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM:  10 Years At Going For The Throat will be released this year through Yellow Lark Press. To sign up for Jim Trainer’s Poem Of The Week, visit jimtrainer.net.

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


In Uncategorized on January 14, 2021 at 2:00 pm

for Paul Jackson

140-pages on 100% recycled paper, with covers designed by SNAKES WILL EAT YOU, letter pressed and perfectly bound by hand in a limited run of 100.  


In Uncategorized on January 7, 2021 at 12:47 pm

The enemy is a very good teacher.
—The Dalai Lama

Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 808Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

More people died from covid in this country today than stormed the capital.
—Kathleen McCaffrey

Sorta ironic how the insurrection at our nation’s capitol today resulted in many of the GOP giving up on their objections to the electoral college. True protesting, would accomplish the opposite.
—Jaime Lynn

A high percentage of 73 million people dug what they saw yesterday.
—Brother Don Bajema

I do not like them, Sam I Am. I do not like Green Eggs and Ham.
—Senator Ted Cruz (TX)

As for the twerps in the House – and on Fox News – who are spinning the fantasy about this really being Antifa. Ha. Let them. It means three things. First, they look ridiculous. Second, they now can’t mourn their “heroes” who died, because . . . duh, they’re Antifa. Third, if they want the story to hold ANY water, the army of MAGA-trolls need to go home. They can’t do any more violence, if their excuse is “Hey, wasn’t me!”
—Saint Mike Tallon

3,964 to be exact, Ms. McCaffrey, thank you. Well Ms. Lynn, isn’t that a nasty nugget? Thank you. Thank you Brother Don, I can only imagine how painful it must be to see in a world of blindness. Thank you, Saint Mike, for knowing and telling and being a beacon at this treacherous pass of the Final Century. Most of all, thank you Ms. S. “Leeza” White, of Yeadon PA, for pointing out my ignorance and just plain failure-to-see that I was a sheeple and should just stick to writing songs and poems and whatever it is [I] think I do...Thank you. Your reputation precedes you and your tits and bartending shift at Dirty Nellie’s more than qualify your opinions on mainstream media and my artistic career. I am glad to know all these good People. I’m a better man for it, though I still do not, nor will I ever, like Green Eggs and Ham.



KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM: 10 Years At Going For The Throat, my 7th collection through Yellow Lark Press, is available at 20% off through Friday at jimtrainer.net with promo code “Die laughing“. This collection is 140-pages on 100% recycled paper, with covers designed by SNAKES WILL EAT YOU, letter pressed and perfectly bound by hand in a limited run of 100.

The truth is a little higher than anger and maybe neck and neck with disappointment and the night is long when you don’t have to wake up in the morning. This Work is everything I wanted and everything I wanted it to be, and I’m only left feeling like I should’ve wanted more. If I hadn’t have just wrote my way through I might’ve affected greater change. The fact that my writing got me fired was a dumb coincidence and a little bit of luck coupled with a lot of ignorance that power-without-authority only banked on in the Year of the Rat. I’m no Martin Luther, I just got caught unaware but the truth is that while engaging you your enemy is blind. Your enemy is blind to their own enemy and without luck anyone can get caught unaware. Oh well. I’m not feeling vindictive but it’s only Tuesday and I’d be mad if I wasn’t sick and waiting for my unemployment check.
THE COARSE GRIND, my monthly column on the creative life, appears the first Sunday of every month at Into The Void Magazine.