Jim Trainer

STIRRING DULL ROOTS

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2022 at 1:08 pm

It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly… Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them…throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you…trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly…on tiptoes and no luggage…completely unencumbered.
—Aldous Huxley

And I woke up in the garden
I woke up in the sun…

—Cory Branan

A hurricane blew through Austin last night but it’s been raining indoors since the Fall. I went out last Wednesday to see Nathan Hamilton. We sat in the sun and talked. About poetry and art and love—the relationship kind. I missed my Austin and missed the most beautiful weather anywhere that is March here. I missed the charge of being in the center of the rock and roll universe that SX, at its best, can be. Sipping beer with Freedy Johnston at the Whip In and getting scorched by Bill Kirchen sitting in with Mike Stinson at the G&S Lounge in 2009. Seeing Cory Branan three times in two days in 2017 with Aimée Mackovic crying beside me the first time we heard The Vow. Mojo Nixon Day at the Continental and seeing the best drummer I’ve ever seen, playing with Chuck Prophet, with Heather from the back of the stage in 2010. Turning on the radio in ’12, fresh out of Yoga School and moving with a new job, to hear The Boss drop gospel on KUTX. Drinking all day at Romeo’s and at the bar with John Swenson in ’11 and talking about Katrina and the promise of rock and roll. It’s a promise that delivers, bet, but me and Nathan enjoyed the simpler pleasures of Austin—outdoor seating in the hot sun and interactions with nice, young ladies who just say Hi to you (Hi, Erin Ivey). 

I’ve missed so much and I know we all have but the blessing and curse of my isolation is that I can always take it or maybe my mind’s made up that I should and just learn how. It’s not lost on me that STRIDE, though intended to be a celebration and pat on the back (if not obvious from its title), and though it does in fact celebrate the fuckall power of Spring and going on, it ended up being a rumination on solitude. The fact that the collection took yet another left turn into the joy of persevering romance, its initial meandering into isolation and what I call “the room” was honored. Country simple I thought we could make it, that we put the time in and had bettered ourselves and could be happy together now, like we always thought we could. I was wrong. In almost every way though the jury’s out on the joy of persevering romance. I mean, the kitchen is closed and I feel like a fucking fool. Also, I’m older now. Though I’ve leveled the stakes and am a poet now, it’s still a struggle. Working for a living and relating to one another.  I’m depleted and regretful and blue which, by the way, is a tradition as strong as any springtime rite in the hometown (hometown of Austin, it should hereby be noted). 

Spring has sprung. As a society we have collectively determined to fuck the old and infirm and immuno-compromised—we are going to get back to living and doing it our way. S’ok but even after just 28 hours working I am wrecked and my apartment, too. Piles of dishes and dirty laundry. Oatmeal and Fuck You Stew in the fridge. A kink on my left hand side that creeps in and all over my neck and arm and shoulder. Manageable colitis and a smoker’s cough. Everything is so fucked up. But I feel lighter now and I’m taking it in stride (see what I did there?). The past is the past and it’s a fucking wasteland back there. Just like old times but I’m stubborn and really have no other recourse than to do what I have always done. My dead are buried. I buried parts of myself with them. My name is Jim Trainer, I’m 47 and I am trying to get those parts back. See you in the sun, motherfucker.


32 Patrons keep the lights on and more importantly the internet, as I work as little as possible and devote my time off to personal journalism and poetry.  I’ve crossed the threshold and am actually doing the fucking thing—which is telling it, our way, and making it month to month on oatmeal and the truth.  Most of those 32 patrons are contributing as little as $5 a month, and they’re getting letters for it, letter pressed broadsides, live readings and songs.  They’re giving because they want to and from a sense of duty.  I, in turn, am on duty too, as your witness and your voice and I need your help.
Poet Will Stenberg’s got a great way of asking for help on Patreon but I’m good on coffee.  How about a few minutes of your time and devoted readership?  Patrons kept me stepping with 6-1,200-word weekly missives until I could find ink.  I’ve found it, I’m sunk in, too far gone and anyway now is not the time to turn around. 
Now we go forth, into it and within each other’s arms.  I’m asking for your support.
Your Personal Journalist,
Jim Trainer
AUSTIN TX

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