Jim Trainer

Archive for the ‘Charlie O’Hay’ Category

Eunuch Blues

In alcoholism, anxiety, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Bevan McShea, Charlie O'Hay, getting old, getting sober, hometown, Jim Trainer, mental health, mid life, middle age, on tour, Performance, Philadelphia, Poetry, poetry reading, punk rock, recovery, self-help, self-publishing, sober, sobriety, solitude, Spoken Word, straight edge on April 20, 2017 at 11:22 am

Recorded live at Brickbat Books, Philadelphia, September 2016.

Catch Jim Trainer speaking in Boston next Wednesday April 26, at the Middle East Corner, with the Reverend Kevin O’Brien, Duncan Wilder Johnson, The Droimlins, and Jim Healy.
8:30PM, $5 advance tickets, $8 day of the show.  Please click here.

Jim Trainer will be speaking and reading from All in the wind, his latest collection of poetry and prose, at Toast Philly on Thursday April 27 with local favorites Charlie O’Hay and Lamont Steptoe.
7PM, Please click here.

Jim Trainer returns to the Mill Street Cantina for a special 90 minute set on Friday April 28.
9PM, Please click here.

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Won’t Stop

In austin music scene, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Charlie O'Hay, hometown, Jim Trainer, Lamont B. Steptoe, music performance, National Poetry Month, new journalism, news media, on tour, Performance, Philadelphia, poem, Poetry, poetry reading, publishing, publishing poetry, punk rock, self-publishing, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, Spoken Word, TOUR, travel, travel writing, working class, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on April 13, 2017 at 2:35 pm

…to live outside the law, you must be honest…
-Bob Dylan, Absolutely Sweet Marie

It’s a good thing I don’t care about what you think then, isn’t it?
-Your Writer on Facebook this week

Last week on Writing On The Air cohost Martha Louise Hunter asked me where I get the time to do it all.  God bless her.  We were talking about this blog and how 600 words a week is the least I can do if I’m going to call myself a writer.
“Of course there’s Letter Day,” I told her and cohost Joe Brundige, “and I’m posting a poem every day for the month of April celebrating National Poetry Month.”
I told them that All in the wind was book 2 of the 10 that will be published through Yellow Lark Press, beginning with September in 2015 and ending with a collection, as-yet-unnamed, in 2025.
“10 books in 10 years is great, a fine goal,” I went on.  “-but I’m only making up for lost time.”
Brother Joe and I share a symmetry, and experience the joy of communication that can happen between two stringently honest people.  It took appearing on the show twice for me to realize-I am doing the thing.  It’s good when that happens, as opposed to the slave driving I’m usually doing with myself and the crippling feelings of despair anyone reading this blog is, by now, all too familiar with.

I finally booked Boston.  I’ll be speaking at the Middle East Corner with the Reverend Kevin O’Brien and bussing down to Philly the day after, for the Philly release of All in the wind.  Joe and I recorded an episode of Chillin Tha Most at the mansion last week, and it should be on the net next Thursday.  Last week was the kind of week I’d like to have every week, with gigs and radio appearances almost every day.   I kept on pushing till the light of day.  Which is heaps different than the life I’m living in my head, where it’s never enough and I’m only a day working coward.  What’s next is complicated but simple in terms of intent.

I’m quitting this gig.  Moving out to the east side.  Minimizing.  Scaling down.  I’m not sure how it will look or how to even vaguely monetize poetry and the spoken word-but I’m full of ideas and already making half my imminent rent with the gigs I’m already playing.  It’s strange to be striking out now but hardly unlikely.  I’ve long since abandoned anything resembling the common tropes of being an American.  I don’t have any kids, don’t even have a girlfriend.  But I’ve got a passion for media and all forms of communication.  I hope to get further invested in print and broadcast media.  Before I fly out to Beantown the MAMU should be fully assembled and my next purchase will be a touring vehicle.

It took me a while to wrap my head around it.  I had to keep it to myself and it made me resentful.  I couldn’t talk about my plans on here, there was some bad blood about me leaving but there doesn’t have to be.  I’ve started paying my taxes, I got a new dentist and a healthy line of credit.  Everything is moving as it should.  My next venture will be some time researching topics for the blog, so’s to avoid the kind of soul searching pap and whine that she hates and can appear on Going For The Throat when its weekly deadline is on my neck.  Your ideas are welcome, as are paying gigs-do you have a story for me?  Can we find a way to pay my freight so I can come to your town, speak and play?  Please chime in, in the comments below, or drop me a line at: jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com.

This east coast jaunt will be a short one but I’m thrilled to be sharing the stage with the Reverend Kevin O’Brien, Duncan Wilder Johnson, The Droimlins, and Jim Healy in Boston.  The Philly release of All in the wind is stacked, with award winning poets Charlie O’Hay and Lamont Steptoe reading.  By the time I go back to work I’ll have played at least 3 shows on the east coast, sold some books and burned hundreds of miles.  I’ll be exhausted, which is how I like it, and plan to be in the coming months.  Into it, no stops, full bore.

See you on the East Coast motherfucker.

MIDDLE EAST CORNER 4:26

Nicorette Blues

In anger, anxiety, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, Charlie O'Hay, day job, depression, Don Bajema, getting old, getting sober, Jim Trainer, media, mental health, mid life, middle age, new journalism, new orleans, on tour, Performance, Poetry, poetry reading, politics, self-help, singer songwriter, sober, sobriety, songwriting, Spoken Word, therapy, TOUR, travel, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on August 8, 2016 at 10:49 am

The blog’s been on lockdown.  Letter Day.  Poetry and songwriting-don’t get me started on songwriting.  We’ll save that can of worms for when we’re up the road a piece, with some space between me and this anxiety ridden nest of calendars and seltzer cans, Amtrak itineraries, rental car agreements, press releases and road maps.  It’s a mess.  I’m excited to get out on the road with wonderful poet and friend Bernard Pearce in a few weeks.  I’m looking forward to hitting the east coast with Brothers Don Bajema and Charlie O’Hay in the Fall-and I feel compelled to this life.   It’s time to transition out of that old skin-book the dates, order merch, press the EP and sink deeply and irrevocably into a dream.  But it took me 4 days to send 2 emails last week.   I’m sunk with the day job, sometimes sleeping and lying around for the whole shift.  My identity as an Artist isn’t on the line.  My heels aren’t licked by the maleficent flames of personal anguish.  I ain’t on the run.  Everything is fine and it’s not fucking fine. I don’t need to write myself out of anything-unless it’s this, six hundred words with myself and with you, good reader, to stir the pot and galvanize, get this rig the fuck unwound and smoke the day job with real work.  Because in the meantime it’s been torture.  I’m slothfully doubled down in middle class comfort.  I eat ice cream by the pint and take naps on the hour.  I hit literary target and I’ve smoked the idea that this is a hobby.  But instead of getting to it, I’m horizontal, watching old episodes of The Howard Stern Show and listening to Henry&Heidi, or worse.

I’ve asked you to consider me, the Artist-consider my work and know I’m here and what I’ve come for.  I had a breakthrough in therapy when Ol Don Jones said
“We’re just gonna do away with you thinking that you’re not an Artist.”
So we did.  And now I’m out here in the wide world.  Blowing off ordering more books.  This morning I wanted a cigarette more than, in the last 8 months, I ever have.  I needed something to bring me out and set me straight.  I jerked off and laid down, tried to sleep off a caffeine headache and forget that today is a day I won’t get back.

I try to keep in mind that I’m lucky.  I’m closer to living my dreams than I’ve ever been.  I’m practically straight edge, unless you count Nicorette-which I chew incessantly.  As good as life’s been to me it feels pretty fucked and I guess there’s no one to blame but me.  I feel locked in, stuck and without drink or drug or sex  I often have nothing to reach for.  Just these words and you.  So I do.  It don’t take much to bring me around.  Five or six hundred words with you and the undeniable power that comes, if not from solving, then identifying the problem.

We start where we are.  Now we begin the practice of Yoga.  Were it not for this blog and our time together, I might have stared down another couple hundred baleful miles of Facebook feed or engaged in self-important dialogue and discourse on the Dog and Pony of Presidential politics.  Without this blog, I could’ve wasted the diminishing hours of my life fucking off in any myriad of pointless and self-destructive American ways.  Of course I could’ve done nothing but then that’s the fucking problem now isn’t it Pilgrim?  I can see the problem.  It has been identified.  The enemy is within my sights.  Writing like this.  Banging on the temple door.  Going for the throat.

Shrieks from Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#23 : Dear Charlie O’Hay

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Charlie O'Hay, Correspondence, Jim Trainer, Letter Writing, Poetry, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on September 18, 2015 at 2:06 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
709 Rio Grande
Austin, TX

11/15/13, 12:36 PM

Dear Charlie O’Hay-

I’m out front Dirty Bill’s and it sure feels good&warm in that Texzas sun.  The girl who usually works happy hour is off, my boss lets me eat here as long’s I pick him up a Blackened Fish salad and “hurry back”.  I hope you don’t mind me writing.  I barely know you, if at all, but I write letters to folks when I can’t write, or, to justify a few beers while on shift and living tot die.

I was about to write:  “We poets…”, but, fuck that.  I wouldn’t read anything that said that.  While it’s true that I don’t know you, we must test each other’s mettle, Charlie.  We must bleed the Poet’s Heart and see if we can be as vulnerable&strong as people like Lamaont Steptoe or Adrienne Rich.

I think we can agree that the finest poem we’ll ever write will be the first beer of the day, and the sun on your back is a reason to live…so, I don’t think I’m too out of my deepth in writing you.

We will live to see stranger things than our own mortality, Brother.  And, ironically or no, survival is prize.  And children.  And dog love.  I’ll have to cut this short be cause here she comes-the other kind.

Love is pain, but as we close the distance between us&the Sun, all is burning.  (She’s a blonde and you know how that goes.)

Yours,
TRAINER

FROM AN OMELET TO A SHALLOW GRAVE by Charlie O’Hay

In alcoholism, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Charlie O'Hay, getting sober, Jim Trainer, poem, Poetry, recovery, sober, sobriety, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on August 6, 2015 at 3:56 pm

for Jim Trainer

In the near perfection of a dark house
the refrigerator
that by day once said
“I’m keeping your beer cold”
now says
“I’m humming so you’ll know I’m right
where you left me
and not standing over your bed
about to smash your skull
with frozen peas.”
It is the small assurances
that get one through
night’s long tunnel.
But on the road an orphaned light
in the distance like a stone
through a black mirror may mean
anything
from an omelet to a shallow grave
and half of America between.
So best be packing.

Charles O’Hay is the recipient of a 1995 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in poetry. His poems have appeared in over 100 literary publications including Gargoyle, South Carolina Review, Brooklyn Review, West Branch, Mudfish, and New York Quarterly.
The author lives with his wife and daughter in eastern Pennsylvania. Far From Luck and Smoking In Elevators, O’Hay’s full-length collections of poetry are out now through Lucky Bat Books.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In Bevan McShea, Charlie O'Hay, Jim Trainer, Performance, Philadelphia, Poetry, Spoken Word on May 10, 2015 at 8:31 pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 5/10/15

Please join us for a great night of poetry and spoken word. Jim Trainer returns to Philly to perform and read with wonderful poet Charlie O’Hay and multi-media artist Bevan McShea.

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Charles O’Hay is the recipient of a 1995 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in poetry. His poems have appeared in over 100 literary publications including Gargoyle, South Carolihna Review, Brooklyn Review, West Branch, Mudfish, and New York Quarterly.
The author lives with his wife and daughter in eastern Pennsylvania. Far From Luck and Smoking In Elevators, O’Hay’s full-length collections of poetry are out now through Lucky Bat Books.

landing 2

Farewell to Armor, Jim Trainer’s debut full-length collection of poetry, is out now through WragsInk Press. Trainer is the founder of Yellow Lark Press. He currently lives in Austin, Texas where he serves as contributor, curator and editor of Going For The Throat, a twice-weekly publication of cynicism, outrage, correspondence and romance.

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Bevan McShea is an artist, musician, and poet from Philadelphia. His journey into poetry began while living in New York City’s East Village, where his spoken word performances earned him a feature presentation at NuYorican Poets Cafe. Bevan’s style has continued to evolve as he weaves his spiritual reflections, lyrical mysticism, and his love for cities and travel into his poetry. His first collection, “The Contour Lion,” is out now through WragsInk Press.

Moonstone Poetry Presents
An Evening of Poetry&Spoken Word
with
Jim Trainer, Farewell to Armor(WragsInk)
Bevan McShea, The Contour Lion(WragsInk)
Charlie O’Hay, Far From Luck, Smoking in Elevators(Lucky Bat Books)
Thursday June 18
at
Brandywine Workshop
728 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
7pm

CONTACT: Jim Trainer: 512-203-6288
jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com
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BLOOD AND ASHES

In Charlie O'Hay, Poetry on May 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm

When you step off the bus in a strange town
duffel over your shoulder
hot breeze in your face
you remember the thing you’re trying to escape
is the thing you always bring with you.

It walks inside your shoes
sleeps inside your pillow
knows your bad dreams by name
and won’t wash out with soap
or gin.

You find a job washing dishes
or unloading crates of auto parts
(love and hate tattooed across
the knuckles of each day)
and still at night you can’t sleep.

You play solitaire with the pages
of an old pinup calendar
and count the cuts on your hands
while humming a Charlie Feathers song
to drown the engines in your head.

But the steady broom of tires
on wet pavement
tells you it’s time to pack up again.
Another bus ride, another town
more blood, more ashes.

The thing you pack first
is the thing you’re trying to lose.

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Charles O’Hay is the recipient of a 1995 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in poetry. His poems have appeared in over 100 literary publications including Gargoyle, South Carolina Review, Brooklyn Review, West Branch, Mudfish, and New York Quarterly.
The author lives with his wife and daughter in eastern Pennsylvania. Far From Luck, his first full-length collection of poems is out now through Lucky Bat Books and available on Amazon.com.

Please join us for a great night of poetry and spoken word. Jim Trainer returns to Philly to perform and read with great writer Don Bajema and wonderful poet Charlie O’Hay.

Saturday June 7
An Evening of Poetry&Spoken Word
Don Bajema
Charlie O’Hay
Jim Trainer
Big Blue Marble Bookstore
551 Carpenter Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19119
SHOW TIMES TBA

Events Page on Facebook

HOW TO KEEP A LETTER FROM FLUSHING

In Charlie O'Hay, National Poetry Month on April 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm

As a kid
whenever I got a letter
from Flushing
I knew it was from
my grandfather.

He’d been there for years
with his shack job
Bonnie
drinking themselves
toothless.

My grandmother said
he’d been a handsome man
once
long ago
and showed me a picture.

A letter from Flushing meant
a five dollar bill
still smelling of a taproom
and a card
written by a shaky hand.

Somewhere in a box
on the top shelf of my closet
I still have one
just one:
my inheritance.

by Charlie O’Hay

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HOLES

In Charlie O'Hay on April 3, 2014 at 10:09 am

 
“Latest Dig for Hoffa Remains Called Off”

The cops have sunk more holes
than a dozen golf courses
but still, no Jimmy. Not in the yard. Or the field.
Not behind the cannery. Or in the swamp.
Every year there’s a new tip, another old mobster
who says he wants to clear his conscience
from the wilderness of a prison cell, another
wiseguy trying to get right with God.
More shovels. More holes. More reporters.
They’ve found plow blades, glass marbles,
lost keys, license plates, dog bones, cat bones,
but no Jimmy.

It’s become a joke, this roving
surprise party in search of a guest of honor.
At the diner they say,
“If the burger bites back, it’s Jimmy.”

 
by Charlie O’Hay

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made a precious Poet out of me

In Charlie O'Hay, Jim Trainer, National Poetry Month on April 3, 2014 at 9:22 am

he works
like all writers work
but he shares his work
almost daily
and it’s quality.
here I’ve gone all this time
getting by on the advice of Papa
that those that know
don’t show
but
Brother Charlie-
he’s making ’em know!
Brother Charlie knows
that there’s still some luck&lightning
left
and there’s no harm
in tinkering with our broke toy hearts
and
Brother Charlie shows
how to hold on to your tenderness
in a world so roughshod&mean.
he’s took some hard knocks too
and in the only way worthy of respect
the man walks it
jauntily he
takes you down the road with him
like all the greats do-
they don’t tell you what to feel,
they don’t hand you some obtuse or
complicated thing
that you can pretend to understand
in the pages of the New Yorker or
worse
at the salon
and the reading,
christ a room full of poets could very well be
the worst nightmare,
imagine that-
the loud voices
the bad breath
the eyes rhuemy with drink
and the shoes-
christ!
Charlie O’Hay knows how important shoes are
and hats
he knows that magic isn’t out there waiting,
that you’ve got to find it wherever you can
and the dirty bars&streets of Philly
are’s good a place as any.

I wouldn’t mind
being at a party with Brother Charlie
he doesn’t strike me
as the kind of guy who would visit
the atrocity of talking about writing
on me
or anyone else.

(Read some of Charlie O’Hay’s wonderful poetry here, here and here.)
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