Jim Trainer

Archive for March, 2021|Monthly archive page


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.

10 Years At Going For The Throat







In Uncategorized on March 18, 2021 at 11:00 am

My baby left in peace with his usual smile and now is not the time to talk nonsense.
—Kay G. Hagler

I’ll be honest—I’m at a loss. I’ve thought about hanging it up here more times than I can remember but I never know if I’m only being a chump. So I always pushed through, wrote anyway, and got to the meaty and real stuff again somehow. I felt the urge to call it strongly last December as I’d just wrapped the design on a 10-year anthology of these posts and felt reflective enough to chalk it up to a learning experience. I’m never happy when I’m only meeting quota though I always find pleasure in writing about nothing. I never want to be cute or pithy. I don’t want to make anyone’s day or feel good about where we’re headed. I only wanted to tell it and tell it true, or as true as my blues would let me. Like a hostage note or smoke signal and sent out from the seat of what was bothering me at the desk by the window, with some birds or lizards out there maybe and definitely something irritating and dull happening no more perfectly demonstrated than with the neurotic pacing of the blower man. Truth is I’m sprung these days. I’m out from under a decades torpor. Gone the psychotic machinations of an ugly woman behind a small desk and free even of triples serving corporate lunch by day and captaining some rich folks’ horrible event at night. Almost everything that’s been bothering me my whole life is gone, or at least passes in smaller tremors I’ve been around the block enough times to know won’t take me down. I should be glad of it and I am but I don’t know what the fuck to write about. I should mention that I’m looking for work, I’m unemployed, so the pressure and release that worked so well at Going For the Throat has been relieved. Without the wearing down and quiet desperation of a day gig and never having to suffer anyone like my old bosses and lords, I’m free and easy and dread this column through the weekend and on Monday, if I don’t end up running the writer’s gamble of hoping for brilliance less than 24 hours before deadline on Thursday.

The big bosses are still scheming and screwing ain’t it, and their bootlicks and halfwit supporters rail on social platforms. The marvel of the new media is trumped by the shit-for-brains at the board and on the screen. David Harris Jr. has the most punchable face I’ve ever seen so I’m never surprised when what comes out of his fuck mouth is a love of God over government in a too-tight black tee on Instagram. Steven “Fuckface” Crowder’s about as funny as a frat boy on dollar pitcher night yet bills himself as a Christian comedian when he’s not fucking around and finding out in Austin. It used to be enough for me to only ruminate on their brand of small-dick energy and come up with something searing on my end about how everything these choads champion is soulless and cheap. But that’s only if I wanted to pit what they only half-thought against the brilliance of Dr. West or Noam Chomsky. It never should’ve been an argument and anyway it’s not. My hatred for these clowns is strictly personal and I’ll bet you a dollar they’ve no clue how to find a clitoris or listen to anything resembling rock and roll. That’s more like it ain’t it Good Reader but my point is I’m not satisfied only slagging these bros in print anymore. It’d be good to hurt them but only profoundly and where it counts. The kind of hate I have for that kind of slime isn’t good for anyone, I mean, who cares if it’s any good for them but that much craziness is too much pain. I have to walk back from the kind of confrontation these sour and sexless boychicks deserve because it’s bad for me. Gone the rails and torrent, the urgent spew inspired by dumbbell brains is remiss, and gladly as my days unwind easily with nothing to fear or doubt. My orbits are tighter now and I’m getting an education. I’m removing myself from the arena and taking a final bow. La corrida se terminó motherfucker.

10 Years At Going For The Throat






In Uncategorized on March 11, 2021 at 11:00 am

Only the strong will survive and the week shall parish.
—Tim Boyd, Former Mayor of Colorado City TX 

The only reasonable divinity is chance.
—Albert Camus

49 out of 50 Republican Senators voted nay on the relief bill on Saturday. One Republican Senator didn’t vote at all. 50 out 50 Democratic or Independent Senators voted to pass the bill. Governor Greg Abbott blamed the Biden administration for allowing the release of migrants infected with COVID into the state, as Biden has stopped subjecting them to Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols and the first MPP arrivals began entering Texas. But yet Abbott’s refused federal help with testing as he’s determined it “strictly a federal responsibility.” This of course is on the heels of his announcement to lift the mask mandate and re-open Texas 100% last Thursday. Despite the unwillingness to help from half of the U.S. Senate, and the monkey shines of a craven dastard of American politics, life is alright. I’m getting by and getting healthy. I haven’t reconciled my deep seated tendency to withdraw from the spectacle and bloody sway of the Final Century with the fact that my silence equals oppression. I can chalk it up to being shut down and shut in with albeit improving health and trying to find work that’s meaningful or at least doesn’t kill me—but that only goes so far ain’t it. Other than bright mornings writing poetry and nights fell the fuck out, the moments don’t pass easy which has a lot to do with why I’m writing you this afternoon. Recounting the nut of the news of Congress, and listing the shameful governance of a horrible man, help me some and you, too—should you find current events a dull blow to the brain like I do. I’ve got a way to go. I announced both a new devotion to Personal Journalism at the Throat last Thursday and a retreat from the culture war at the Grind on Sunday. I know these positions can be reconciled and perhaps my reporting to you this afternoon could be the proof. Pete Hamill and Saint Mike got a jump on me and I’ll never write like these torchbearers. I don’t have the experience for one thing and everything standing in my way of getting it was exactly what I’ve always reported on. Going For The Throat’s beat was the inner life. I’m glad that I could find a way to tell it that was my own. I’m not happy that I’ve only rested on these laurels and I couldn’t get through any other way. I’ve only overcome in writing but now I find for peace and comfort on the 6 days out of the week I’m not posting here, and the 28-30 I’m not writing at Into The Void.

It is what it is. I’m glad to be alive. I found a strange ease I didn’t think I’d ever find. My health forced my hand. The fact that I was only living at meager capacity was a burden but bucking up and making a change weren’t ever what they prescribed. Helpers and the alpha males’ advice only looked good on paper and never worked as a solution. I was sunk with my own blues though to however great effect writing about it. I might’ve used Depression but I wasn’t doing all I can. The half-life of a depressive is a mark of shame which of course only increases the weight of already-struggling days. I gripped it and I doubled down and I missed out. On a lot of blind conformity and paltry hero worship I’m glad to report but hitting 46 on Saturday reminds me this lifetime is winding down. I wouldn’t take back all that’s happened and happened to me but I don’t need to keep making the same mistakes. If you’re wondering what I’m on about or when the fuck this piece will land, I’m with you. I’m writing without anger, live, and I haven’t a clue how. It’s relatively quiet this afternoon. They’re grinding and beeping next door but there’s a high warm wind in the court. March in Austin is the best time to be anywhere and I feel as lucky as I did in March of ’09, unwinding the rig in Tampa, flying out and touching down in Hippie Town. This city’s changed and the country, too, and however horribly I guess it all had to come home to roost. I left Philly and went on tour with 1349 and I never went back. It’s not fair to blame anyone and though some are in no way innocent, I needed to get away from who I thought I was. I couldn’t go on angry and womanizing and soaking the nights in surrender and booze. I left my father’s town but I miss him. I’d never be who I wanted to be if I’d listened to him or the township’s small and tired voices. I am my father, that Trainer blood flows through me and I’m never going to be any way with you but straight. This has been Jim Trainer reporting, on a lack of anything to report, at Going For the Throat.

Join us in celebrating the release of KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM 
on Friday March 12 at 7P.M CST.

To watch last week’s presentation of KEEP READING, A Virtual Releasego here.  




In Uncategorized on March 4, 2021 at 11:00 am

You guys laughed in some of the places I wouldn’t have, but that’s cool.
Glenn Danzig

We’re gathered at a time where the hard left, where the socialists control the levers of government, where they control the White House, where they control every executive branch, where they control both houses of Congress. Bernie is wearing mittens, and AOC is telling us she was murdered.
Senator Ted Cruz-Texas

Just as importantly, you have to call out BS. If somebody is peddling fear, you have to call that out. It’s calling out that stuff openly and aggressively and shining light at darkness. 
State Rep. Adam Kinzinger-Illinois

I don’t know any part of this country where someone can survive on $7.25.
State Rep. Ro Khanna-California 

The only way poets can change the world is to raise the consciousness of the general populace.
—Lawrence Ferlinghetti 

I lived through single-digit temperatures without heat. I suffered roaring anxieties and the terrible turns of colitis and disease. None of these fuckarounds and ailments or blown-top developments of the Final Century were worse than what I’ve done to myself. It seems foolish to ruminate on it now, I’m up and swinging—before dawn and sealing the last of 250 letters sent since the beginning of this campaign. I drafted the Poem Of The Week in the grainy fog of morning and uploaded one to Patreon for The Bard tier. I’m bound to write at least one more letter before I send out the almost 50 copies of KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM, paid for and ordered by you, Good and Cherished Reader. I’ll have to pen this week’s Grind, due to go live at Into The Void Sunday, and I’m glad to have you with me here. This way I can clear the chamber and ain’t it good to be workin? Ain’t it good to do anything, considering the sloth and catatonia that befell me between January 6 and Night 1 of the KEEP BLEEDING release.

Sadly it’s all to common suffering a volcanic anger with no release but to watch all 7 seasons of Mad Men and come up only to pay bills and smoke. Between trouble and the blues, how will we ever survive? Remember that one? I made a career of that doomed maxim and hacked my way through depression for 10 years now thanks to you. I offered no help to anyone but stayed on deadline and figured as long as I kept up the appearance of being a writer I wouldn’t have to write or do anything else. Worse than all this is the harrowing realization that I am the silent majority. Why else wouldn’t I be out there and making change like Little Brother, or at least putting my talents to good use writing letters to shitbags like Ted Cruz and Steven “Fuckface” Crowder? Depression. It’s a motherfucker and if it’s a choice between a black mood and debilitating rage, what’s the difference? 

You’re the difference Good Reader and a bigger part of this than I am. You helped me believe in this columnist’s dream, and read on, as I came as close as I ever will to columnists like Thompson and Ken Herman, writing in the Statesman last week. Understand I’ve no children, and every good and sensible woman gave up on me unless I gave up on myself first. I’ve no student loans and recover debt only incurred while out on the road. I write and publish a collection in a run of 100 every year. I’ve some books and money in the kitty and I can get onstage anywhere and tell it like I was born to but the only furniture in here is this writing desk and a sofa, an upright bass and a bed. I threw out the big chair, if that ain’t an apt metaphor, and when I get to work now there’s no anger at least not the desperate and grinding kind. It’s passed through me but what have I done to make the world better—besides turn my own blues like a shaman and glorify this dumb life imitating Bukowski? I got by and it’s not a bad thing but I fell down and the dark seasons of depression seem to lay me out for 3 weeks out of every 4. I’m not suffering but I’m not writing, at least not how Herman or Mencken tell it. Being idle was a death knell and I can’t say I wasn’t busy. I’m just not as compelled by that dark energy and without anger I’m at a loss penning these weekly columns at Going for the Throat.

It’s a new paradigm, Good Reader, to motivate and perform from a good place, and comically perverse. Why should I take an upswing as democracy withers and the Earth shakes us off like a bad dream? I’ll be 46 on Saturday and living this age that I rued for most of my youth. I feared that what I believed in would die, never knowing I’d only become who I am. I’m back in the personal journalism business but without the fuckall and psychological warfare I’d been suffering trying to make it in their world. I learned to write at the chipper blades but now as I lay down my arms and I can write about whatever I want. Which isn’t to say that isn’t what’s been going on here, but, fever dreams of past lovers and year’s end-lists were only a stopgap. Living for deadline was all I was living for. I’d get up and hit word count and then pull the covers over and try not to think about authoritarianism and ecological collapse. I don’t know how I’ll ever get through these columns but I think I did ok this week, don’t you?

See you next week motherfucker.


Join us in celebrating the release of KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM 
on Friday March 12 at 7P.M CST.  
To watch last week’s presentation of KEEP READING, A Virtual Releasego here.