Jim Trainer


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

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