Jim Trainer

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


In Uncategorized on July 11, 2019 at 7:59 pm

…the rain the light, the green and blue.
it’s a festival of colors and air
to keep us dancing and messing up.
Matthew Lippman

Then my wife had a fabulous idea to replant this forest. And when we began to do that, then all the insects and birds and fish returned and, thanks to this increase of the trees I, too, was reborn—this was the most important moment.
Sebastião Salgado

Even if I was not
born in a dumpster
between a moldy cabbage
and an expired loaf of bread,
I too was rescued by an extravagant woman.
Rodney Jones

Bread for myself is a material question.  Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one.
-Nikoli Berdyaev

Well.  Another one in the chipper eh Good Reader?  Time moves blindingly fast and Papa’s sentiment, that the closer we get to death the less important it becomes, may only be braggadocio or else some wisdom to be lived through.  The closer I am to death the more important life becomes, but that’s only when I’m in my right mind and not recovering, like I do, and living half a life as a sufferer of a major depressive disorder.  The bad news is I’m depressed.  The good news is too.  The fact that I’m suffering from a disease means it can be treated.  Going on as I have, this long and addled with a hatred of everyone and everything would be impossible.  Realizing my problems with others aren’t necessarily others is something that can be addressed, even if no easy fix.  Trying to change them and the world not so much.  I’m not saying I’m going to re-commit to the human fold or that my rapacious appetite for solitude should be curbed.  Just that I can hide out and hole up too long and recharging my people batteries only takes me out the game.  I add it up, Good Reader, and it doesn’t look good and anyway folks are leaving this life, faster than ever now, while I’m stowed away “working” or licking my wounds and falling out in a virtual opium den of YouTube and bad blues.

Truth is it hurts to go out sometimes.  Who’s kidding most of the time.  My blues have physically manifest.  I know it can be beat though and it’s really what I set out to do with the founding of Yellow Lark Press—and my oath to release a collection of poetry and prose every year for 10.  At 40 I looked at my life and I was terrified.  I was on anti-depressants at the time and I may have mistakingly included that fact into the harrowing self-view I took at this moment of self realization.  I neglected to see that because of anti-depressants I was able to recognize I wasn’t living to my fullest and not going after my dreams.  Deep down I knew it but the Wisdom had some trouble translating—it couldn’t bubble up without triggering an already overwrought sense of self (or lack thereof) and so I just smoked and drank and fucked it down.  Some of the best sex of my life actually but sex isn’t everything. I miss smoking less than I ever did which doesn’t really say much except that now my desire for a cigarette is often coupled with the retching recognition of how wretched and vile and without class smoking is.  Not drinking is a no-brainer—I’ll even go as far as to say I don’t miss it at all except for how useful it is to forget the time and change the channel in your mind for any reason at any time.  The problem with all these is at any time became all the time.  I wasn’t free but most importantly I wasn’t making great traction towards how I wanted to live my life—that is, I wasn’t living my dreams.  As a Pisces and a punkrocker this was unacceptable but I couldn’t even recognize it, let alone do something about it, because of how overburdened I already was with self-hatred and how close I’ve always been to the total destitution of depression.

So there it is, Good Reader.  I don’t really hate them.  I don’t care for most of them so, why should I let them influence my Life?  I’ve got mad love for the rest though, and the truth is a friend is someone who sees you.  That’s all that’s required.  Get seen and you can take it from there.  And also no one runs this rig alone.  I could list the rank and responsibilities of the Crew but I don’t think I’m really on about the particulars here.  We need help.  I sure do.  I need Julie Niehoff to run my email campaign and Brothers Julian&Leo to have me sit in on the doghouse bass at the Spider House on a Saturday night, Ricky O. to bring ‘em out to the shows and anyway pass along my info to the Chancellor’s for a formal dinner gig in the middle of the week, Mike Baldwin to gear me up and down and continue to amass the MAMU until it’s in ship shape and ready for the road, Dylan Angell in Brooklyn to have me on at Quimby’s…and on and on but, what I’m talking about here is fuel.  My people are fuel and I’ve missed them.  It’s been a long dark night of the soul but I am re-emerging.  Do your people, your depressive and gnarly, anxious-artist types, a solid and accept them—blues and all.  Try and get them out.  Try hard but more importantly, see them when they make it and do get out.  I’ve a mission my bad blues has charged me with.  The bad news is I’m depressed.  The good news is too.

Austin TX

We Love You Meaux Riley
You Will Be Missed
…class rivals beauty, and she had both see… 



Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#24, Brother Heath

In Uncategorized on July 5, 2019 at 12:22 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
P.O. Box 49921
Austin TX 78765

Heath Brougher
400 N. 8th Street
Reading PA 19601

5/4/19, 2:36PM

Warmest Greetings From The War Room

Fitting I should be writing you, Brother Heath–both because I write letters when I can’t write and you are practically the Patron Saint of Writing.  I ‘Like’ every post of you thanking the innumerable and latest pubs you appear in–both to support you and look them up later, when I’m ready to submit.  Of course that begs the question Where’s the work, Trainer?  Between Farewell, September and All in the wind I’ve practically had to start from scratch.  It’s alarming running out of material. Perhaps it’s a problem you don’t have yet but anyway it’s not a problem at all.  The worst trouble is no trouble at all. Ain’t it though. My dilemmas are needling and particular…the constant maintenance on a typewriter older than I am, IBS and neighbors’ dogs.  Some of us write while others mow their fucking lawns with their dogs barking to oblivion. Between trips to the john I had to call the cops. Now it’s quiet out there, except for a car alarm, now and then (another irresponsible jerkoff neighbor) but I’ll take it.  A dog barking is the most random and piercing and most impossible to work with. I put earphones in, with no music–nope. I can’t write with music on either. Those days are gone. As are those nights typing with beer and wine. I miss those nights. They were a reprieve, Brother Heath!  Now I’ve none. I live sober with my blues and a kinghell anxiety–one that wakes me hours before shift and prevents me from evacuating waste on schedule like a normal human. The only comfort I take is knowing Bukowski had similar problems–but he drank. I’m fucked Brother but I can handle my trouble, can you?  The world is mired in its own shit, things are sinking or falling away and anyway politics will be worthless on an ice floe or in the domes that Bradbury prophesied. The most pressing concern for us as humans is the least acknowledged. Neil Young was right and Neil DeGrasse Tyson but being right won’t make a damn either–may as well hold each other close, stick to the real work and kiss it goodbye.  

Without a typewriter I’m fucked.  I can write poetry on a device but, who the hell wants to do that?  Meanwhile the jerkoff’s car alarm has gone off again, three times since starting this, but I’ll continue my correspondence with the Friend–what else?  Go charging into the alley, that’s what, in my Crocs and PJs and scowling up their backyard to see what the fuck is going on out there.  For fuck sake, Heath.  They want us to work. So we do.  We’re never free though, are we? We have to suffer weekends and weekenders, round pegs wielding weedwackers with dogs roped off in their yards, and any and every intrusive proclivity of Joe Citizen who doesn’t have the sense to invest in something worthwhile like the Arts so instead goes in for the cheap thrills and full ride of working for the man like a good consumer and full-on douchebag.  There’s some other business going on out there in the alley. A tree almost fell from my backyard and across the road. I think I hear the city out there now. The thing is resting on a power line but I’ma keep at it–writing, otherwise I’d go nuts.  

As far as what’s wrong with me, well, anxiety I guess.  The fact that we got 12 summers left worries me more than it should.  I thought I didn’t care. I also never thought I’d live this long, so, maybe it’s time to reevaluate.  I took off work tonight. Other than shitting my brains out, calling the cops on my neighbor and stalking the alley in battle mode, it’s been alright.  I might head out to the bookstore soon but I’ll be sure to go online first. Plenty of friends of mine have been published, recently or otherwise, and I’ve got some reading to do.  Bet. Besides reading I suppose it’ll be an uneventful Saturday night, Another Bullshit Night In Suck City which I’m wagering will be heaps better than the days of liquid gambol when I was drinking–on the hooch and bottle and chasing my lusts in a debased pirouette and otherwise fucking off my lifetime.  4 years in to sobriety and I can’t say it’s better but it is certainly different. What a difference a little difference will make, Brother Heath–this quote from thee Greatest Rock and Roll Band of All Time is strikingly prescient now and anyway you can’t go back but if you do you’re different now.  Innocence only gets in the way of a purer Art. Ain’t it though. I try and approach life with a beginner’s mind but the only place I can really pull it off is at the type.  Poetry is still a highwire act and I’m always afforded discovery there. Were it not for the Arts I ruefully think I might be stuck somewhere, as awful as my hometown and probably worse, on some drug or other and locked in to a toxic codependency with a woman only slightly smarter than me who knows how to fight with a knife and fuck my black Irish brains out.  Since I’m invested though, in the inner life and the world of letters, there’ll be no amour fou for me or anything that takes me from this discipline.  I’ve come to rely on writing. It keeps me sane and from doing a common and dreadful thing like yard work.  F the neighbors, Brother, and the World. We’re writers and we’re all mad here.

We won’t need to know how going forward, I think, but will certainly need a refresher on whyWhy is paramount–when the debate over healthcare is non-existent, you can die at anytime anywhere at the hands of any Nutter with an AK, the top 2% of this country won’t even suffer ecological collapse and it’s always War somewhere in the world and never for the moral or crusading reasons they advertise.  What good’s sanity anyway, Brother Heath, as we advance darkly down the days of Nutter’s Rule? What good will being right or the truth have as we become the working dead and it’s cheaper to buy a gun and blow everyone away than it is to save our loved ones dying of a curable and otherwise Empire-engineered disease?  Hunter Thompson was right, Heath, and there’s nowhere to run or hide. It’s all conquered and the game they’re playing has factored in humanity as the cost of doing business. What kind of glory do they bask in, Heath, these Final Century cowboys and oligarchs shipping yachts full of cash overseas and living in highwalled palaces that keep them safe from the cancerous rays of a deathead and approaching sun?  What is their virtue and what God do they pray to and if that God exists shouldn’t we the People strike him down with all we got and bask when the churches burn and cops get clobbered on the street by the yellow jackets? And what is our virtue, when saving the world is a diminishing return and the order we’ve adhered to for centuries lurches forward over us, consuming us and soaked in blood?

Let’s do some anger, Brother.  Before the end gets here. If winning was everything we would’ve said quit a long time ago.  We will live to see stranger things than our own mortality.

Our work will save us.

Jim Trainer



In Uncategorized on July 4, 2019 at 11:39 am

The following post was written in the fallow and fucked winter months of 2018.  It’s no coincidence I was blocked then, it happens from time to time and it’s happening now, today–July 4, 2019.  Back then I solved the problem of writer’s block by posting a poem about a fling, well, about heartbreak, really–along with a photo of a woman who showed mercy on me at that time.  A few months before posting her photo, I wrote to tell her we aren’t friends and could not expect to be. I wasn’t waiting for an apology anymore and I wouldn’t be casual, suffer ribbing or be convivial with her, in public or in any way.  I told her to fuck off, basically, and then mistakingly posted her picture not long after, along with a poem that was derivative of our time together and anyway a time in my life when alcohol helped blur the lines between terrible isolation and dreadful disease.  The opening quote of this post is from her. I don’t need to slag this person but I’ve removed her from my life and I don’t drink anymore. It’s all-me-all-the-time, Good Reader, and I’m racked and buckled with my own bad blues, blocked creatively, sick, overbooked and exhausted.  It’s good to have a couple in the chamber for when this happens but, as my Editor Phil has observed, I had to dig deep for this one–and for this Sunday’s Coarse Grind.  All is not well but I’ll feel better soon.  Thank you as always for reading. I’ve come to count on our time together and your readership sustains me, even for the harrowing seasons of my distress.

Please remove my photograph from your confused memories.

I picked the wrong week to quit Creative Nonfiction.  Those of you following me on social media may recall me posting that this blog is self-interested, cannibalistic and loathsome last week.  I was only stating the obvious. I’d been systematically removing myself from these pages, more and more every week–the people I was writing about found me and reached out to me personally…and I was beginning to feel like a hack anyway.

The people who don’t like being written about hardly ever understand what I wrote about them, which makes it hard to give them any credit.  The fact that their feathers are ruffled kind of makes me feel like I’m doing my job as a writer and I’ve never denied that I’m being spiteful at times.  I work things out in writing and bodies will be caught. There will be collateral damage. I take pride in those barbs, not because I have the last word or because I’m catty but because if it affects them then my writing has legs and it’s getting up and walking across the room, even if only to slap them in they fool face.  There aren’t many folks I’ve slagged on here I wish I didn’t. Things might’ve gone down differently between us in real life if they never read Going For The Throat but I doubt it.  At the end of the day, we come here for the Real and all my most base and unsavory instinct, sexist attitudes and unethical thoughts are best examined here.  I read over posts from ’13 that make me cringe. I haven’t taken them down but I’m not promoting them either. There is a revolution happening and I’ve got a bad feeling about where it’s headed, but, the #metoo movement is a good one, especially in this dark and dumb age.  Trying to be Bukowski or no, a lot of shit I wrote won’t and should never pass muster in these evolving times. The paradigm could be shifting, and the more things change the more they could stay the same, but, either way, I’m able to examine myself out in the open, with you.  The quote above is from someone who asked me to remove her picture from the blog last week. She was kind of who I was writing about but not really. In fact, some of you may recall that earlier versions of the post went up with the caption but don’t flatter yourself, it ain’t about you.  She’s the fling at the end of the poem.  Happy now?

She doesn’t remember it that way.  She doesn’t remember a lot of things but it’s not my job to remind her.  My job is writing and remembering it my way, romantically or critically otherwise–whatever.  I don’t explain it. I shouldn’t have to. My work should speak for itself but if it doesn’t then it’s back to the drawing board, and in the meantime–who the fuck is she that I should have to explain it anyway?  She was the person in the photo. She has no other power, over me or my memories, my work and my poetry. She publicized a Facebook message I sent her telling her we aren’t, nor will ever be, friends. And she demanded I take her photo down.  Whoopty do. She’ll still have to live her life and I’ll still have a blog to write. I’ve been extricating myself from these pages for weeks. I dug up an old poem, one I had hoped time forgot or at least cast a wistful and romantic sheen on, that doesn’t need to be fact checked to be felt, and a ghost reached up from the nethers to paw at it and demand I take it down.  Again, it was kind of about her but not really. She certainly informed the writing of that piece. My point is, she might’ve been on my mind when I wrote it, but she ain’t on my mind anymore. That’s why I write about my life ain’t it though. You either hang yourself or you hang it on the wall. Some lady got her feelings hurt and I’m able to move on with my life, maybe even examine it later– during a cultural revolution and I might even discover that I was wrong.  It’s called growth. Introspection+time=Wisdom. Ain’t it though?

I spend my time building columns of words.  Thankfully, other people read them, comment on them, appreciate them–or passively aggressively mine them for how it relates to them, and subsequently demand it be edited or explained.  It’s been a long time I should be far from here. This blog’s been on its last legs–for a couple years now, and that HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HER. I’m just feeling like a hack, and negative–in a bad way.  There’s hardly any benefit here anymore. I feel like I could do so much more for you good Reader, really live up to the love you’ve shown. The haters were just too easy. 

I’m up to my knees in corpses and like the song says there’s too many skeletons in my room today.

I’ve so much to share.  Hopefully it ain’t about me either.

Ab irato,



I am thrilled to announce that Yellow Lark Press will be releasing No Comebacksthis year.  Over forty poetic meditations on the champions of American boxing—working class fighters, dancers and jabbers, griots, gamblers and grifters and warriors all.  A wonderful collection from the brilliant poet Will StenbergNo Comebacks is a human tapestry embroidered in blood and stitched with sweat.  Step into the ring with No Comebacks this year, through Yellow Lark Press.  


In Uncategorized on June 27, 2019 at 8:11 am

It’s not your imagination, Doug.

We have no reason to trust the police or the cops or the courts.
-Mary Hooks

For each of the past four years, more Americans have died from drug overdoses than were killed in the wars in Vietnam and Iraq combined.
Zachary Siegel

He made a dishonest case for war. Thirteen years before George W. Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction to justify his invasion and occupation of Iraq, his father made his own set of false claims to justify the aerial bombardment of that same country. The first Gulf War, as an investigation by journalist Joshua Holland concluded, was ‘sold on a mountain of war propaganda’.

For the past nine years I’ve been struggling to put into words the anger and fear, the survivor’s guilt, and PTSD…I felt overwhelmed watching the news, it seemed like every month in 2015 there was something new and horrible…I started this poem.
Devi S. Laskar

At a check-in for Yoga.
“How’s your Monday?!”  Every note struck with each syllable ascends.  She sounds like she’s on a kid’s show and anyway insane.
“Alright (MONOTONE).”
“That’s not bad!”
“So you’d like to drop in then…?”  She changes the subject.  That’s better.
Asking someone how they are and debating the answer is two times more annoying than the exchange need be and anyway psychotic.  I took the class.  I felt better.  My Monday was alright.

My buddy got charged $349 for health insurance this month.  That’s a 17,350% increase from his usual premium of $2.  When he called the insurance company he was put on hold for 50 minutes while he got ready for work.   They’d have to transfer him to another department.  He held there for about 10 minutes before they told him there was a problem with his 2017 tax credit.  He’d have to fill out 2 forms, an 8962 and a 1095A, with the IRS.  Once he did that he’d have to call them back.
“Ok,” he told them.  “But you need to refund the $349 you took from my account without my permission.’
They said they couldn’t do that, told him he’d have to call the Marketplace and gave him the number.  It was the same number he just called and waited for almost an hour on before they transferred him to them.  He told them that $350 is a lot more than $2 and he never gave them permission to take that much money out of his account anyway and he needed to get to work after spending more than an hour on the phone with them.  They said they still couldn’t refund his money so on the way to work he called his bank.  He cancelled the payment but not before series’ (plural) of questions–the first set verifying him with the bank, the second with the dispute center.  They asked for his social security number, then his email address.
“I just gave you my SS#”, he told them, “why do you need my email?”
“Ok, sir, we’ll just mail you the results of the dispute then.”
“No, I didn’t say you could do that either.”
My friend lives in a garage apartment, he’s been trying to get an address there since he moved in over a year ago.  The landlord dragged his feet on it but finally took the initiative when he thought about individuating the utilities.  But my friend still didn’t know what the address was even after repeatedly asking.  The last time someone sent something to his address it was a credit card company and marked UNABLE TO DELIVER, sent back and the account was cancelled.  P.O. Boxes aren’t valid addresses for credit card and health insurance companies.  He gave them his email.  He was on hold when he got to work and started pulling and loading the van with his phone in the crook of his neck.  They’d have the issue resolved in 10 days.  In the meantime, during Yoga last night, he felt strange rumblings and had to leave the class.  He decided to go and see a GP.  He figured he had 10 days left insured, at least until his bank cancelled the unauthorized payment.

He was part of the system, ya dig?  Like you, like me and everybody.  Like we should feel lucky to.  Guess it could be worse but I am tired of living that way.  You know, constantly telling yourself how good it is doesn’t sound good to me.  The lady doth protest too much and all that shit.  All I know is, it shouldn’t be so hard.  Why do we need a tax break to pay monolithic and obsolete healthcare providers?  And for Christ–why are we talking about war?  Right, election season.  I’m glad we’re talking about refugees but between keeping them out and letting them in won’t any candidate speak up for a living wage for the rest of us?  They talk about War and the dark other.  They fight with each other but never question if they should be paid a living wage and have government healthcare.  And these aggressions, overseas and in the ravaged and calamitous middle East–you know who will settle these scores?  Our boys, and girls or however they identify (way to go) and who will only come back scarred, insane and … as likely to kill themselves as they are to kill the enemy, whoever that is.  S’ok, we’re living this through, again and again, watching this country stoop lower and lower as the sun comes closer and the air becomes increasingly rarified and tons of ice disappear off the caps.

Somebody should holler or expatriate and by somebody I mean me.  I’ll be out on the road this summer, bet, and scrambling to keep my bank account up to 4 digits.  I’ll keep you posted on the shows, books and readings and I’ll be doing battle with the beast at hand—that is the roaring black torpors of depression.  What else?

See you at the show motherfucker.

48372652_10218508147554512_956004276356775936_nI am thrilled to announce that Yellow Lark Press will be releasing No Comebacks this year.  Over forty poetic meditations on the champions of American boxing—working class fighters, dancers and jabbers, griots, gamblers and grifters and warriors all.  A wonderful collection from the brilliant poet Will StenbergNo Comebacks is a human tapestry embroidered in blood and stitched with sweat.  Step into the ring with No Comebacks this year, through Yellow Lark Press.  


Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#22: From An Outlaw Scumfuc

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2019 at 9:00 am



In Uncategorized on June 20, 2019 at 9:24 am

Our beliefs are just our thoughts repeated over and over.
-Angie Knight

I remember there were a lot of words in the air at the time, rhetoric zinging back and forth on how to fight, resist, right and wrong ways to be, etc.—and maybe in response a part of me was craving a quieter version of myself, to be a conduit and hold channels open without falling prey to (or simply reflecting back) the anxieties around me/us.
-Dao Strom

The very best ones are sent from heaven by Buddy Holly.  The rest take the better part of an afternoon to rip off.
Roky Erikson

The word melancholia is still used in psychiatry (it is identified as a ‘subtype’ of clinical depression in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and as a general term for despondency.

Warmest Greetings from the War Room.  I’m getting down to it, cup 4 of the dark stuff, chased with water and taking me to the heights (depths) of Personal Journalism.  We dive down deep here, ain’t it though, mining for the Wisdom maybe even a little glory–why not?  Shouldn’t we have something to show for twenty hours in 2 days humping chafers and slinging Moscow Mules other than a grand bi-weekly and leftover brisket and bread?  The best thing about working in the “Hospitality” business is you never have to take it home.  The last thing on my mind is work as I’m sleeping late or soaking in a hot salt bath and anyway recovering physically from the Pirate life and thee glaring reason I keep creating Art and find for more and further ways to do it for the rest of my life.  Point is these walls, and this door to be specific, are what I work for.  As mentioned, I write with said door open but I’ve got my own corner of the universe here, in Crack Alley where the transients roll through with the dim and obtuse hours but never think twice about fucking with a crazy Cracker from the East Coast in bright-orange silverfish boxers and brandishing a mic stand.  I popped out with it just a couple days ago but all it was was a possum trying to get a taste from the recycling bin.  My recycling bin is a cart “mistakingly” absconded from a grocery store in town that sells you bags, and the mic stand’s been with me for some years now, going back to a 3-hour casual I did for shit pay and shit people.  The possum just trying to get by in these end days of the Final Century.  Aren’t we all and ain’t it though.

Yay, life is good for this Writer and you won’t catch me without giving thanks and thanking these Gods who gave me…well, everything.  They gave me the muse and a voice, and the body and mind to use it.  They gave me this one Life and I am trying to be here for you.  Good Reader.  Yay, we laid the good Doctor low last night and it was an alcoholic sendoff that would’ve touched the man, yay even made him proud.  I told a story about the Petulant Generation and actively reminded myself to be present, for my people, in their thrall and in they’re arms.  Bet.  Now I’m sitting here drinking reheated-with-honey with the door open and it’s quiet as a tomb.  No one on the phone and trouble and bad drama at bay.  One could argue that this is where the trouble starts–when everything is ok and after all these years surviving my own blues I tend to agree.  I’ve got work in my hands though and that’s what’s different now.  Were it not for a Gemini witch I might not be living this way, as the Artist I always wanted to be; and were it not for another Gemini woman I might not be here at all.  June is probably my second favorite time of year, the air is charged with Mercury and the heat and dog days ain’t set in, sticking you to your shorts and belting you with the heat until you’re nothing but an ascetic and devotee of Barton Springs.  I hope to get out to the healing waters more than ever this summer.  And I’d like to hereby declare that my mission is to book at least 1 gig every weekend between now and January 1.  It’s a heady goal and I’m bound to fail but if you don’t shoot for the stars how will you ever get your feet off the ground?

The worst trouble used to be no trouble at all.  Now I’ma just bask in it.  The inner life is a refuge and a garden.  The grounds of my psyche are acres now.  We’ve got this time together, you and I, and–isn’t that nice?  See you at the Springs motherfucker and up and under the hot lights.  If winning was everything we would’ve said quit a long time ago.  Love ya, Doc.

Love y’all.
Austin TX


I am thrilled to announce that Yellow Lark Press will be releasing No Comebacks this year.  Over forty poetic meditations on the champions of American boxing—working class fighters, dancers and jabbers, griots, gamblers and grifters and warriors all.  A wonderful collection from the brilliant poet Will StenbergNo Comebacks is a human tapestry embroidered in blood and stitched with sweat.  Step into the ring with No Comebacks this year, through Yellow Lark Press.  





View this post on Instagram

Brian “Doc” Lamont It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of Brian “Doc” Lamont. Doc was a faithful member of the Austin Facial Hair Club, a brother, a friend, and an outrageous talent. Everything Doc touched turned into art: words, paintings, decoupage, sculptures, the napkin sitting on the bar. Never a more talented human have we known. It’s no wonder he took pride in being a young curmudgeon, having to deal with so much inside of him yearning to be expressed, to get out of his body and be shared with the world. We are beyond grateful that he shared himself, which was his ultimate masterpiece, with us. Doc’s life was his art, regardless of any medium. He saw things differently than most of us, through a filter that made the grisly, beautiful, and the exquisite, appalling. He understood the balance that most spend their lives seeking. It was both a gift and a curse. We were lucky to know Doc, lucky to have him in our club, lucky that he was a member of our tribe and family. He loved our club and we loved him. He took the club as seriously as Doc could, always volunteering to help whenever needed, even taking the Quarterback role in an upcoming Darts fundraiser, one of Doc’s favorite pastimes. What we have lost, the Universe has gained. Doc now has an infinite palette to scribble his musings and express his brilliant soul. We will miss him more than we can express and send our loving sympathies to his mom and the rest of his family and friends throughout the world. May Doc rest in peace, while continuing to disrupting the cosmos. HAIKU – 2 "We are all stardust but shit always falls apart entropy's a bitch from the cradle to the grave, this is all there is so don't fuck it up crimes and convictions are different things so work on your cardio" ~ Brian “Doc” Lamont (@doctorgrosz @docsdoodles )

A post shared by Austin Facial Hair Club (@austinfacialhairclub) on

Live in the Writer’s Room ATX

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2019 at 3:35 am





In Uncategorized on June 6, 2019 at 9:29 am

I don’t cook, I don’t clean
I don’t have the energy for the scene
and I don’t got no car
I don’t worry about the price of gasoline…
Circle Jerks

Clean clothes piled on the writer’s chair.  Dirty clothes on the floor.  Dishes, sink.  Leftovers on the counter.  Nernie beside me on the loveseat, where I write in boxers and black socks with the blinds up and the door wide.  I’m out of honey, I’ll have to drink the shit black unless Brother Julian doesn’t mind I have a spot of the Mesquite he bought from the Native Texas Boutique last month. The wisdom of this mess is that it’s pretty bad even horrible at times and I’ve never had it so good.  Saturday I did a wedding for 190.  Cocktailing in the hot sun, then serving all night until 10.  Sunday I was late but captained a party for 8 hours and unloaded an hour back at the shop for 9 all day.  The difference between these 2 gigs is staggering and reflects the aforementioned wisdom—it could be worse and it sometimes is but it’s also better.  Doing parties with my full-time is hardly a drag because my man R.O.’s a real pleasure to do it with.  Temping always sucks but I’ll do it if it’s bartending, away from the fracas and fray and with the potential to make some additional dollars in tips.  I didn’t want this to be a work journal, rather—I should be keeping one and anyway, like I told Cole Noppenberg in the Writer’s Room, the best writing practice is always more.  We both know I’ma need to get it out of my system and the details of life, oft forgot, can come in handy from a psychological perspective as well as a creative one.  Country simple, if you want to write good, write bad and I could stand some other practice besides falling out like an addict with junk food and YouTube after at least 8 hours on my feet anyway.

Ah, heard back from Brother Julian and I won’t have to suffer this bitter light roast without some sweetness.  An apt metaphor.  I’ve set up living absconded from the harshness of life.  I don’t do too many days in a row working and my workday is never the same.  I don’t have a car payment, no student loans and my lease here is month to month.  I suffer the trappings of being transient—rough digs and a mostly isolated existence living grisly and solo but it’s nothing compared to what I’d be going through if I felt trapped or hemmed in by a full-time life.  I’ve felt that way at several junctures and it was never good.  It could be argued that these periods of contraction always preceded an expansion.  Got to dig your roots down deep you want to sway your branches, and you’ve got to pay your dues you want to sing the blues.  But I don’t know.  Getting up at 4 and driving a 16’ stake bed through North Texas was one of the hardest times of my life and ending up in the Land of Eternal Spring at the Year of the Cock’s close was a peak experience for me.  You could say I turned it out, which is true enough, but I wouldn’t have done it without a lot of help.  From family and Brother Julian, now that I mention it, who not only flew me down but booked a reading with a 25-sold guarantee.  My grandmother left me enough to buy a car and get my teeth fixed.  Who knows where I’d be today without that leg up?  Lastly, my new boss and the company I’ve signed on with are making the slog of food service less barbaric and adrenaline draining.  Last but not least is you, who, not only buy my merchandise but fund my dream by believing in me.  I know I’ll sell 100 books so I publish 125.  Every year.  I know I’ve got you, reading here and even helping me go further—to the territory on future jaunts expanding my residence on Earth.  I’ve become journalist with your readership and it’s everything I ever wanted.

But it could be better.


In Uncategorized on May 30, 2019 at 9:00 am

…people in those positions are controlled in the exact same way as people who are considered traditional employees.  Nothing changes in their lives except they don’t get unemployment insurance, or they don’t get worker’s compensation.  They don’t get the minimum wage.
-Veena Dubal

I just wrote in disgust against it all, it was a relief to get the shit out of my system.
Charles Bukowski

I felt shut out of those relationships. 
Heather Derr-Smith

…I don’t think the normal rules of journalism would apply to what I was doing.
-David Brock

Warmest Greetings from the War Room.  It’s been so long, eh Good Reader?  Not that I left you holding the bag.  I had 2 of them thangs back loaded and ready to go.  Long ones traipsing the thorny terrain ain’t it though.  Sure enough by the time I had the last 2 weeks’ posts written for Going For The Throat, things began to turn.  I was telling Brother Rob on the phone that it works every time and how blessed we at the wheel can be.  It either drives you or it drives you insane.  This is surgery we gather here for and I can’t do it with drugs or alcohol so I may as well cut and splay the inner diatribes of a workaholic scribe who bartends and captains parties for $15-25/hr to keep me from the outdoors and anyway quiet afternoons like this when I can get it out in 6-800 words here or at The Coarse Grind.  Mencken was right, this is the life of Kings although Rich didn’t seem so jazzed or plussed about it.  Last night around the sink in the kitchen at the Texas Tribune I told the part-timer that his was the real work but he wasn’t so sure.  He’s 29.  Things are different for him.  Now there’s an understatement.  He’s thinking he’s got it made, and he does–it was a moment further from death for him than it was for me, scrubbing out the tequila from a beverage dispenser as he loitered in the kitchen at a work party for journalists.  Long may you run.

We lost the best storyteller this town had a couple weeks ago.  Doc was a brute at the mic and a mensch of a man besides.  All I can come up with is sadness.  He was a soldier and I left him needing, wide open and exposed on the frontlines.  Brian, I love you Man, and I can’t wait to see you again.  I showed up late to his memorial at Kick Butt Sunday but for good reason.  I was reading to support the release of Justin Arnold’s A Dog Outside at Night in a Fight.  Life goes on and death goes on but Brian Doc Grosz’s death has given me a gift.  I want to be there for it, this Life, and you, even and especially when you bore or exacerbate me.  I know that’s not the right use of that word.  I’m a poet–what do you want from me?  I know that this is all there is and that boredom and even irritation with them can be the first line of defense for this lifelong sufferer of a major depressive disorder.  I’ve started practicing Yoga again, with my guru and Friend and I’ll be taking a mentorship with her this Fall to get this rig unwound, start paying attention and devoting myself to something greater.  That’s what I was on about the last couple weeks–blogging here and jerking the days off, suffering the shit carbs and sugar of a 7-11 cuisine after humping 2 coolers full of ice to the 6th floor of the Texas Tribune simply will not do, Good Reader.  I don’t have time to be down.  Or the bandwidth or anything other than beauty and ire to give to this Life.  It’s for Doc.  I’m here to celebrate that I’ve culled some real Wisdom in the arena of self mastery.  I can see how much I’ve wasted and the only way to reconcile this loss is to use it as my inspiration today.

I’m trying to tell you I love you and you’re a pain in the ass and this Life is all we got.  Let us be courageous like the Buddha, stand out in the light of day and die laughing if we can.  Our work will save us.  Vox populi vox dei.




Love you Brother.


In Uncategorized on May 23, 2019 at 5:26 am
I’ve turned my pain into a masterpiece.  A body of work anyway.  Even if I survive my blues, which, technically I always do, and I get home and hang it up and look around the musty environs of an isolated garage apartment behind a high wooden gate and off a busy boulevard with all bills paid, I’ve a body of work.  Some in totes in the closet—reams of white typewritten pages and journals.  Some published—also in totes but bound neatly in gorgeous covers designed by Snakes Will Eat You.  And most—on here and elsewhere and scattered across the great wide web.  10 years of posts exist here and whether you like it or no (and more importantly whether or not I do) it’s a body of work.  I wonder if I’ve only trained myself in the wrong kind of journalism, that Chas is right and blogging is passé and anyway I’m only a narcissist who when he gets home from slinging food and drink is practically buried in his own words.  Sadly I am the only thing that’s interested me for the last decade.  Sure, I wrote about them some.  We picked ‘em off ain’t it though.  Shot high and aimed low on the bastards.  Point is Creative Nonfiction was wide enough for me to get my arms around what was bothering me and then I took it on the road.  Personal Journalism may not pay but it’s lit my way traveling to the southern tip of the Eastern Bloc last summer and down below the Equator to the Land of Eternal Spring last Christmas.  The question isn’t if I should write less about The Trouble With Jimbo but even more from the Night Kitchen of my own warring mind.  I might not write without the Blues and anyway all I write about are the Blues.  Ain’t it motherfucking though.
Also, I parlayed.  I think I’m coming through with The Coarse Grind.  You tell me I am.  Pioneering the dissolution of classic essay writing can be a lonely profession though, and I’m not even sure it’s a profession.   I start, see it through, and I finish.  If I’m taking the advice I gave writers at my lecture at LSUS in April, then I am writing.  Writing is the why of all this and I laugh recalling how worried I was that the real work would only suffer quitting drinking.  I write more now than I ever did.  Columns and poems, blogs and letters.  I have different kinds of hangovers now but that’s another story—and different kinds of damage.  I’m still getting to the bottom of it and writing’s the shovel, Good Reader.  The last 2 posts on here alone will attest.  It’s always a wonder that writing the worst turns and getting my arms around the diaphanous down my mind takes is what always precedes the pick up.  I come around.  Bet and we do it together, and–isn’t that nice?  Point was I’m able to write about “other”, aren’t I?  Or am I deluding myself and this body of work is only in turns riddled and addled and anyway volleying between a colossal egomania/devastation and the inability to see a paragraph through, at least in common essay writing and ENGLISH COMPOSITION terms.  Ah but don’t too wise—I started this graph declaring I can write about the other and will wrap it by saying it doesn’t even matter.  Fuck Macaluso and fuck any idea I’ve ever had about being a paid journalist.  One aughtn’t never say never (now that’s a fucking statement) though, especially when it comes to ends.  I’m not painting myself into a corner as much as I am fighting my way out of one.  I’ll get a book deal out of The Coarse Grind and self publish an anthology of Going For The Throat.  They’ll know me by my name and anyway with my legs up and the door wide and sipping honey-sweet Italian black coffee while writing is everything to me.  I’m able to take off in my mind, go remote inside and even affect my own psychology.  I don’t think it beyond the realm of possibility that I can write my own ticket, and I’m going to keep at it anyway.  In many ways my dreams of becoming a columnist have come true.

As far as my other dreams, well—it’s been 10 years since I rolled into town and I’m spinning my wheels to black.  I make more money playing music than my dayjob, I just need to book enough shows to live on.  A steady check is more than a steady check as I’m sure these posts will attest. I’ve got an ingrown dread of being outdoors but I’m at a different fork now.  Doesn’t mean the shows should just be up for grabs but the path for me is perhaps somewhere in the middle of playing music for a living and gigging as much as I work the dayjob.  The dayjob’s alright, Good Reader, for now. I just need to get a hold of my damage, what else is new, and make the most of my days even if it means 16 hours at it, for weeks at a time, bartending and serving and banging them out on a Selectric II in the A.M., James Kelman and me, and getting out on the road and finding for you, my People.  I know you’re out there.

See you soon motherfucker.

Jim Trainer — Back in the Game from Michael Batchelor on Vimeo.