Jim Trainer

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


In Uncategorized on April 15, 2021 at 10:47 am

Former House Speaker John Boehner was on the radio this morning. It was dark in the Office and I had little on my mind so I closed the glass doors and sat smugly down. We must be the masters of our own delusion and if Steven Inskeep ain’t ashamed he should be. History is kind to the victors and steamrolls over the rest. Trump went down in infamy though his ineptitude is debated by shit-for-brains like David Harris Jr. and Steven “Fuckface” Crowder. Rush Limbaugh got more respect dead than he ever gave to the living and one can only hope he died with regret or at least in pain. George W. Bush found a new cache hanging out with Ellen, hiding candy from Michelle Obama and grinning like the luckiest bastard of the 21st Century. War still rages overseas thanks to that clown and we’re all living down his forever wars and recessions. Obama’s legacy can’t be touched. His shining image is a testament to the power of his charm, even if he ushered in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. He tried, I’ll give him that, and his efforts were thwarted at every turn by the Tea Party and stacks of shit with book deals like John Boehner. Time marches bitterly on leaving us with the impossible task of reasoning with all this blood on our hands. There’s no justice and the worst people in the world won’t look bad in hindsight as long as the media plays nice and puts them on.

I’m having some luck with my diet and I’m drinking more water, even if I never seem to meet my goal of half my weight in ounces a day. I eat veggies mostly, very little processed food if any, and only as much desert as I can fit in my hand. Flare ups wreck me, relegate me to the couch or send me back into the throes of a cigarette and coffee addiction. It’s hard to keep your diet when you’re only shitting blood and it feels like glass. I have hope, generally I’ve been feeling better, enough to attempt some Yoga but as long as my gut is bad my mood is dour and sunk. I’m due for another call with Good Specialist Rocco, and I’ll be taking advantage of the extended enrollment for Affordable Care with some help from the good folks at HAAM.

The Element failed inspection. Two different mechanics said it was the catalytic converter and OEMs are going for up to $1,000 online. I’m deep in the research and wont to get an aftermarket and put the profits from the sale of my CAT right back into the car. 4 new tires would be nice but not crucial. Passenger back panel could be replaced and the fender. The seats need to be pulled out and power washed and it never hurts to get an oil change. It might’ve failed inspection due to faulty O2 sensors but whether it’s the sensors or the CAT, I’d rather climb underneath the car myself than give $1,200 to a mechanic who won’t let me keep the old part. The first order of business is getting on the horn with Honda to ask them why the CAT, guaranteed for the life of the car, is crapping out at 74k miles. It’s running a little loud, nothing dire but not exactly smooth either. I’m hoping an oil change will work it out. A higher grade gas and maybe replace the plugs and filter could do wonders, though, I may be talking out my ass. I need to double down on my research and butt heads with the know-it-alls on the Element Facebook Group. The most worrisome would be rust on the undercarriage. I’m not saying I have it, just that I need to keep an eye out and anyway get a good look at the wheel mounts.

The blog is a bust but I appreciate you being here. My stats are down and so is my enthusiasm. It must be a trick of the mind or anyway depression because reading Pete Hamill inspires me to be the writer and live that life. Poetry collections and novels from friends inspire me as a publisher and I’m hoping to get some more writers in the Yellow Lark stable. The hard part is convincing my peers that the price is worth it. Money’s hard to come by but once your project is funded there’s money to be made selling the printed word. So, what’s to happen at Going For the Throat, as I’m mostly missing my true ballast of anger and unease? It’s hard to be angry and keep it as my anxieties are already working me overtime. The days are blowing by. I’m posting a poem every day on Patreon for the month of April and I’m keeping the dream alive. My physical and mental health are getting tweaked and I’m getting better even if I’m knocked back and need to start over. Ideally I’d be playing music every Saturday night, designing and printing collections through the week and coming hard at journalism and taking my camera with me everywhere. I got vaccinated this morning but I’m not overjoyed. I’m glad I won’t catch CORONA but otherwise not exactly thrilled with the Johnson&Johnson shot I got in Castle Hill this morning. Spring’s here and I think I’m done with being fallow. The hard part is how to get back up and kick it, as ever I am besieged with depression and bereft of the torch of anger that burned and lit the way for so long.


10 Years At Going For The Throat

“2020’s been a year of death and graft. Survival is this new paradigm.  It used to be Art or writing and Rock&Roll but now living in The America is its own end.  There’s nothing past this.  You make it to the end of the month congratulations, you’re broke.  You catch this disease or anything under your deductible you’re insolvent or dead.”

KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM is almost sold out!  Get yourself one of the 35 remaining copies, bound in a letter pressed cover designed by Snakes Will Eat You, at jimtrainer.net.  You’ll find a selection from the collection below.


Yellow Lark Press is opening its stables to writers, poets and anyone who has something to say.  I’d love to discuss publishing your next collection, broadside or zine.  


In Uncategorized on April 8, 2021 at 3:31 pm

and Rebecca&Jon

The First Amendment limits the government’s ability to regulate speech. It does not require news organizations to treat all speech as equal, or to provide an open forum for comments. Rather, the First Amendment ensures The Inquirer’s right to publish what The Inquirer chooses to publish.
—The Philadelphia Inquirer

…nobody wants to hear blues on blues on blues.
—Townes Van Zandt


This one’s to keep Going For the Throat alive. I thought I’d get a jump on this week’s post, allow for a wide runway between this afternoon and deadline Thursday. With time I can refine and I might even strike gold. In a way, posts like UNDER THE WEATHER and LIKE A SOLDIER are a victory for plain-spoken and what I call unmiraculous prose. The reporting reveals over time. The moments get stripped and contextualized and from the droll details and mundane the story appears. Or it doesn’t, no story Bubba, and that’s the story. Of course that’s the luxury of personal journalism ain’t it and blogging anyway that I, as your narrator, can wrap any missive by declaring there is nothing to report.

I’m happy when that happens, and much to my old college Prof Macaluso’s chagrin, it’s a stick in the ribs of cute-essay writing and happy endings. Happy endings never rang true for me. Begs the question, though—why aren’t happy endings true for your writer and anyway why should my experience be accepted as truth? Just because happy endings don’t happen for me doesn’t mean they don’t, in general, happen. I’m struck writing this however that with perspective almost anything will have seemed to turn out alright. I never wanted to trade in that happy horseshit. Guess you could say I wanted to revel in it, grovel some or commiserate and, tell you the truth, I’ve never really examined why I always had such a fucking problem with Heaven.

I knew depression, always lying in wait, was sure to take me down. So I tied it on myself and the blues was my message and albatross. I figured if happiness was only going to end then why not just be miserable and save myself the disappointment? When I was happy I was flying high, too, though not in a healthy or sustainable way. I removed all those quick-fixes, self-medications and chemical-love. I’m on an even keel now, mostly. I probably won’t crash. Better than that is this ease in my life now. Nothing wrong or terribly irritating. Well, my gut health is touch and go but I think it’s all connected. So…I’m happy with posts like the last couple weeks’ for the sake of their language and for the fact that they offer no solution, no aha, or feel good, tie-it-together moment as the credits roll. I like just ending a piece and seeing what the language will tell me later. I like it when language tells the story and especially dig it when details and moments from a day observed take on a resonance, and their writing is a talismanning or fetishizing of the normal and mundane into a deeper meaning and significance. None of this has anything to do with not feeling up to posting here anymore. I need input and I’m bored and I used to solve both these problems by digging my claws into the matter and anyway grinding an ax and burying my enemies forever.

It ain’t working, Reader and my efforts to save this blog so far today have failed. I don’t know how much longer I can write to perform. It used to work, swimmingly, and if I’m being honest my real fear in hanging this site up and quitting is how will I ever be inspired to write if I don’t have to? Now this is the real writer’s blues ain’t it and all my hubris and fast-talk about never having writer’s block has come home to roost. Strange it doesn’t hurt more than it does or maybe this is a higher plane of creation for me. This work isn’t so wrapped up in my identity. I don’t know what to write about and it’s not the end of the world. I’m not devastated but hardly inspired either. The thing about this block that’s kind of exciting is I know I’ve been here before. I know that something is waiting for me on the other side and like Mama Greenberg said I should be able to envision a way to create that’s peaceful, that I don’t have to destroy to create, me or them, and I can perhaps be driven by something other than compulsion and be free.

10 Years At Going For The Throat








In Uncategorized on April 1, 2021 at 7:26 pm

What do you think an artist is? …he is a political being, constantly aware of the heart breaking, passionate, or delightful things that happen in the world, shaping himself completely in their image. Painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war.
—Pablo Picasso

By the way, fear works. And if you have a leader that speaks your fears right back at you, boy, that is the most compelling thing to get a vote.
—Adam Kinzinger

This place has always been, above all else, a deeply violent place.
—Sean King

Poverty in the richest country in the history of the world is a death sentence.
—Bernie Sanders

This is the longest I’ve gone without an intoxicant in 30 years. I’ve quit smoking three times in my life—once as a straight-edge skinhead in 10th grade, then at 40 for 6 years and finally last night. There isn’t anything wrong and it’s a bummer you want to know the truth. Of course I could get into it with somebody on the socials or creep out a platonic in what passes for human courting in the pandemic. I don’t want to write this column anymore, it’s painfully apparent. Perhaps it’s time to make the leap from Personal Journalism to Journalism Journalism. It wouldn’t be the worst thing and I can’t think of any other way for me to affect change. Fuck man, write about it. Ahoy it’s time for something different to happen. I haven’t been writing daily, not like I ever did but I don’t know what I should expect from this column as it’s been written, closer and closer to deadline, until finally I’m writing this post past it on a Thursday.

The best thing that happened to me today is I felt the sun on my back. Once in the court this morning and again in the afternoon down at the bodega. Some haircut pulled up in a mini Audi. He squeegeed his windows and dried them by hand. A newscaster with a fat ass got out of her Channel 61 news van but had to pull around to get it pump-side. The skaters down there are endearing and impeccably polite. Michael’s behind the counter, he’s only had his Element for 2 years. I ask him about it, and his catalytic converter, and he doesn’t know or let on. I would’ve told him to beware but he doesn’t seem into it so I stepped out and stood in that Texas sun.

I go down there for junk food and I eat junk food for 1 of 2 reasons. To help regulate me or else to deal with stress. By not smoking a cigarette first thing this morning I took control of the day. This one wasn’t ruined but anyway I’ve still got to deal with my intestine. My gut’s flaring up again though it could be the nicotine passing. Another 3 days of wrenching pain til it all clears. Or it could be gone tomorrow. Girl next door’s going on with her bassy beat and that’s after enduring the teeth-rattling hum of construction all day. They’re installing Google Fiber, if you want to know what’s going on in the world. Ain’t shit changed.

The wisdom of middle-age is attuning to your own deeper rhythm and lost to the general sway. Turn your mind down because everything is so numbing but don’t tune out completely because then you’re only sleeping. Anyway, this post is to fulfill a deadline and I’m sorry but for the life of me I can’t do it like I used to. It makes me sad because I was really hitting a stride writing here in the Fall. I just couldn’t go on being mad Good Reader and I was either not depressed enough or so sunk I didn’t even know it and now I’m punching keys and making word count because I said I would.

It ain’t the worst thing but I hate half-assing anything so expect an announcement from me out of respect and in thanks. I wrote my way through a decade and now the field is fallow ain’t it, posting about the Castle Hill bodega and finally being intoxicant-free, without love or anger and standing in that Texas sun beaming on me in bright-hot and warm glory.


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.  




In Uncategorized on February 25, 2021 at 11:00 am

God—these hands were in a war?
Tim O’Brien on Fresh Air

They’ve been building three houses next door since I moved in last August. When they’re done for all I know the new owners will price us out. I’m up before dawn, my body still responds to the call of war, and so are they, back hoeing and cutting brick. The Office glows in the early spring light. The snow’s melted and the wild cherries fell. Behind the trellis and the wood fence rich kids throw the ball and whine at each other. I’m standing, drinking mint tea and staring into the sky. The worst kind of trouble blankets and blinds me. The best kind puts me to work. I’m about to start my 46th year and I’ve regret but it comes with a wisdom to go at trouble and get to work or let it take me and just lay me out. I was born with a rabbit’s acuity and raised in a climate of forced loyalty and fear. Blame is fun but it’s a distraction and if I could destroy my enemies I’d only end up with corpses. Though they’re here and my love is, my loved ones are not. I lived a life running and got away with it mostly. I’ve come out on top of every turn but rehearse my every bad deed. At it’s best the pain I know reminds me to be present with them especially when I feel a drift when I look in their eyes. The reminder of my pain reminds me of theirs, though some cannot be helped, and this is the wisdom that made losing you a trade. Which isn’t to say it’s easy. It’s never easy. I’m a default working-class Southwest Philadelphian. Out there it’s survival and I’ve lost my center. I gave too much fighting. I tire quickly and easy but when I look in your eyes there’s a lightning that splits me wide open.

I read you that Bukowski story. I think I came home drunk and living in my father’s town. Though I’d head out eventually, from Albuquerque to Toronto, and those rooms are empty of me and the Hermes—that night you listened, through the phone, as I read you to bed. That afternoon coming up from the cocaine morning, I’d been talking to them but my eye went round the room. You left and I don’t blame you and now you’re gone but not all the way. It’s a crowning shame, to suffer and lose, but be left only with the suffering that made me run away. It was some decade falling through the city but falling’s only good for a while. You’re alone in free fall, your laughter gets hollow, but it’s quiet of shame and there aren’t these thoughts you’re always trying to forget. I’m done with drunk living, and the cocaine, I stand in the court as the new city is raised around me. The rich kids go in, and the back hoe’s still scraping. I can’t hold on to your loss. The smell of March rain is hanging in a sky paling to the hue of a healing bruise. I come in and sit, put you down in writing, gold-panning your memory and feeling your femynyn crack out of dumb bars and late night telephones. I appeal to the goddess, lay this time like alms. I remember you to the point of buckling. I don’t want to let go of the pain even though I’ll have to, to get on with living and giving all you gave me back to the world.

Curator at Going For the Throat, columnist for Into The Void, progenitor of stand-up tragedy™. Jim Trainer publishes a collection of poetry every year through Yellow Lark Press. To sign up for Jim Trainer’s Poem Of The Week, visit jimtrainer.net.

Thank you for joining us at KEEP READING, A Virtual Release. To watch the program (and recieve a promo code to get KEEP BLEEDING IN THE ANNO FINEM at 25% off, go here
Stay tuned for Night 2 TBA 

10 Years At Going For The Throat



In Uncategorized on February 18, 2021 at 1:09 pm

It’s 12 degrees and I’m in my car, charging my devices and listening to NPR. I thought I’d try and get some work done while I’m out here because there isn’t anything happening in my apartment where I’ve no power or heat. Last night I lay prostrate, wrapped in a thermal sleeping bag and blanket, until I fell asleep to dream my college-dropout dreams. We had power for less than an hour yesterday so I drafted and sent out the Poem Of The Week. It was back off by the time I hit send, so I wrapped myself up and lay down and didn’t get up until after 7 this morning. I’m not 100 on the details but the rolling blackouts needed to protect the grid turned into power outages going on 30 hours now. Without power, we’ve no heat and some of the coldest temperatures ever are expected between now and Saturday in South Central Texas. Going without power at any time is a health risk but the failure to share the wealth, vis-a-vis rolling outages during single-digit temperatures is deadly. I’ve an 1/8 of a tank of gas left and last I checked the whole town is shut down. Yesterday, when I got to the bottom of Castle Hill and through a wet wind, the gas prices at the 7-11 were lit up but the store was dark and locked. Some people were out there, driving, going God-knows-where. Record-breaking temps have shut down the grid. We’re without power the exact moment we need it most. Downtown’s lit up though and some neighborhoods have had zero interruption whatsoever. Little Brother’s gone 30 hours without on the East Side but in Bee Caves folks are only asked to conserve and keep their thermostats at 60. I won’t pretend to know the whole story but I’m drinking tea and writing this in my car in a first-world country. Austin Energy said the rolling blackouts would continue until this afternoon but they haven’t even recognized these are full-blown outages. I tried but I can’t get anything done in my apartment. After wrapping this post I’ll have breakfast and move around the place putting it in order and not stopping long enough for my blood to still and the cold to creep in.

Some weird malfeasance, no doubt, or else graft and negligence that amount to the same thing. You’re poor it’s too bad in this country, which was ok for those of us who thought we weren’t. But the ground has shifted beneath us. It takes a lot more to do what we’ve always done while the pay has stayed the same. It’s an incremental bleeding and all the cut corners and underfunding really show when we need help the most. We’re a calamity away from the poor house, always. This outage is an utter failure of city and state government. You wouldn’t know it listening to Governor Abbott or from the Mayor’s tone in a town hall yesterday. Austin Energy isn’t offering anything either except a flat-out denial and placing the blame squarely on the privately-owned ERCOT. Mayor Adler was urging us to check on our neighbors, completely missing that many of us wouldn’t even be able to watch the town hall without power and further implying that 43% of this City without heat in its coldest temperatures ever is business as usual. More calls for togetherness and unity. Sound familiar? Saturday’s verdict on the Impeachment was crucial, because the way things are going we’re probably going to need a governmental overthrow, just not one led by a grifting ponce and con-artist. Now we’re locked in to the Left. Raising the minimum wage is a start, but it’s time to ease the standard of living, too. $15 an hour will pay your bills, maybe, but that’s all. What about healthcare and the general assumption that being poor is your own damn fault in this country? Clever trick the masters pulled, always having a foil and someone we can look down on instead of realizing we’re not making it here. I told you last month I shared those Crackers on the Capitol’s rage and I can’t see anything but red and class warfare as I’ve been without heat for the last 30 hours. The bloody turns of 2020, the graft and brutality, and the fact we only got $1,600 since this plague began ought to show anybody—the means of production have been used to control our lives. I was always told you needed a job to buy food and clothes but I always knew that work is how they control you. It should be apparent now. Those who don’t see it, well…I don’t know. No getting through there, I suppose. Certainly not making any points with someone from the township about voter fraud when his documentation is a computer printout “from the Whitehouse” or an email with FRAUD in the subject line. Long is this Winter in America. Brr.

Thank you for joining us at KEEP READING, A Virtual Release. To watch the program (and recieve a promo code to get KEEP BLEEDING IN THE Anno Finem at 25% off, go here. Stay tuned for Night 2 TBA and

10 Years At Going For The Throat


KEEP READING, A Virtual Release

In Uncategorized on February 12, 2021 at 12:12 am

A winter storm warning remains in effect until midnight in Central Texas. It’s cold at the Office and I’m rip-torn from being up all night. 5 readers from across the world will be with us at the Virtual Release tomorrow. And I hope you’ll join us. Posts chronicling real love at world’s end, wrecked cars and heroes will be featured, and I’ll be saying some words of thanks. I’m not a silver-lining kind of guy. Things didn’t have to get so dark out there for me to realize my love for you. Truth is the worst and best are neck and neck which is why tomorrow’s always precious. Hang in for a turn and things’ll come around. Ride high too long and you’re bound to fall. Tomorrow changes everything. I’m surrounded by the best, and your kindness and enthusiasm are never in short supply. Readers and thinkers, mothers and lovers. Homies and witches and compatriot writers. I know you all and I know you’re at the ready and when I say Go we’re on our way ain’t we. I don’t need an ice storm to appreciate the gas heat. I don’t need a corporate state run by bureaucratic death-fetishists to know that you’re the real thing. You’ve kept me alive this long and now let’s live awhile. Even as the Earth shakes loose her children and terrorism and ignorance are celebrated. We can laugh. We can fight the bastards and still enjoy each other. The ruin and the calamitous sway won’t take you from me and anyway I’m gonna hold you tight. If that’s alright. Look in your eyes and sit in lamplit rooms with you, sipping hot tea as the cold wind blows.


Join Jim Trainer, and a stellar cast of luminaries, writers and musicians from around the world, in celebrating the release of 

10 Years At Going For The Throat

KEEP READING, A Virtual Release 
The Lunar New Year 
February 12 2021
at 7P.M.