Jim Trainer

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Hole In My Side

In death, mourning, suicide, Uncategorized on May 25, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 1.37.36 PM

It’s Been A Long Time That I Should Be Far From Here

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Uncategorized on May 11, 2017 at 4:30 pm

For many of us in the KGB, infiltrating the 1970s punk scene was one of the USSR’s most successful experiments of propaganda to date.
Alexandrei Varennikovic Voloshin

Three weeks Tommy boy…
Hero Constituent

The problem with Creative Nonfiction? I’ve addressed it before. The transparency I strive for on here-the bare ugly, it can scrape too close to the bone. Couple that with the fact I’m out of material most weeks and it’s a real dilemma. I know you tune in exactly for this high wire act and I’m thankful for it. Sometimes the only way to get the world off your neck is to build a column of words, 600 high, with venom or in reverie, frame it neat and fine and nail it to the fucking wall. Some people need to be kissed off and the dead should stay buried. Now take all these rules and tell ‘em to the Boss because deadline trumps all. It’s become obscene. We all know about the ones that she hates, and my feelings about the blog are either inside or outside of 20% of them I can be proud of, while the rest are metaphysical bowel movements. For the times when the tide was high and rising, and I managed to get my arms around the thing and send it home, I’m thankful. For your devoted readership, 50+ a week, I’m thankful. But Brother Charlie is right, it’s been surgery on myself without anesthesia, dirty laundry&tears, whining, poems about my dick size, old rivalries roustabouted and new enemies found. In short, it’s fucked but the fix is in. The die is cast and it’s for the fans and a Christian jerkoff on Instagram who learned a valuable lesson about retaliation when engaged in battle with an east coast Pisan.

There’s been much to do about the firing of James Comey this week and I’ve heard enough. When a news story reaches fever pitch, without any answers to the 5 Ws, I find it best to tune it out, put on the latest episode of the Broad Street Breakdown and get horizontal until the sun goes down, maybe take to the streets like some Black Irish manbat or just fall asleep with your clothes on and wake up grizzled and unnerved in a dead Confederate palace to the sound of blowers blowing or club music shaking the rafters at 8 in the morning. It’s a fucked life but I can’t complain. Truth is, this is as good as it’s ever been-but, don’t hate me, it’s not good enough. It’s been a long time that I should be far from here, which should sound familiar to anyone reading this blog on the regular. It’s become my mantra. After all these weeks banging my head against the wall, something had to give and it wasn’t the wall. Being in between isn’t fun anymore. I’m stuck. I come at you every week because I said I would and my word is everything, but the message is the same.

Another constant is my oversight, a deathly modesty that will soon have me forget that I’m 4 cites closer to achieving my goal of 12 new markets by 2018, that I’ve nailed a few venues on the east coast and should be heading out again in July and October. The MAMU is maybe half assembled, certainly amassed, and will be fully operational by the end of the next credit cycle. I sharpened my latest story onstage at the Middle East Corner last month, and gave ‘em the blades at the Poetry&Ptamale Party at Malvern last Friday. Things are moving, even if I’m not. I’m just getting sick and tired of assuring myself of that every week. I need to either make some big moves or be sure that I’m doing the leg work and research for those big moves to go down without a hitch.

Thank you for reading. This blog hasn’t really lived up to its potential, it’s not what I intended it to be. It’s become something else, though-and it’s always a release. I know some of you check in here for the Real, something true and raw in the hall of mirrors that authenticity has become in the New Century. It’s nothing short of a miracle that in writing this blog I’ve been searching for it, that burning beacon, and you read me for just that. That, my Brothers and Sisters, is the power and beauty of creation.

Ab Irato,

Getting Used to Nothing Being Wrong

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2017 at 11:59 pm

Greetings from Central Square.  Fellow reader Kevin O’Brien got stranded in Connecticut, so I’ve set up shop here, at the Starbucks just up the steps from the Red Line in Cambridge, MA.  I’m posted in the corner and facing the red bricked Church In Cambridge, with my guitar, clothes and 50 copies of All in the wind in a black canvas bag.  The rain is coming down.  The following post was written on Tuesday in  sunny Austin.  If you’re reading this on the East Coast, please join us tonight, at the Mill Street Cantina in Bristol, PA, for a 2 hour set by Yours Truly.   As always, thank you for reading.  Your readership is my everything.  

All’s quiet at the mansion.  Almost.  The roofers have loaded out and it’s just me and the Whistler.  I can see him stacking supplies into the bed of black Ram pickup from my window.  Fuck outta here and get gone, so long motherfucker it’s been nice to know ya.  What can I say?  My problems are few.  I can’t complain but I will.  It’s been a long time that I should be far from here.  But how often are our problems a mere cunt hair from their solution?  Any punkrocker or spiritual guru will tell you that’s always true and today I’m one.  That’s right.  As much as it sucks here, I am getting on a plane tomorrow.  Flying all the way across the country to do the work, and that’s the best part, the cherry on top of an already winning enterprise.  I get to do the work.  2 readings and a rock show.  Like I was born to and like I will be doing soon’s I quit this dog&pony for good, start maxing out my frequent flyer miles and living on a hope and a prayer.

The question of when I’m actually going to quit is bugging me.  I hate hanging around, especially when I’m not welcome.  Waiting to quit and get gone smacks too close to being afraid to live my dreams.  And that will never do.  Nothing to worry over, too much anyway.  Many of these questions will answer themselves and I’m sure a taste of the road and the kind of weeks that are happening more and more will sort things out on a quantum level.  That which is in motion tends to stay in motion kind of thing, a principle that’s worked for me ever since I enrolled in the Wilma Theatre School for Acting in 1998.  Do the thing, anything, to keep the darkness at bay and the demons from closing in.  It’s that easy.  Starting, anyway, but starting always is.  Keeping it going or even doubling down on the life of an Artist at 42 is a different ball of wax, and the pardox is it was easier to start when it felt hard.  Now that the reasons for me to remain on the straight and narrow, and keep my nose down in a 9 to 5 are many and all but stacked against me, it’s a go and it couldn’t feel any easier.  It’s the mechanics of the thing that will be the bugaboo.  I’ve been well paid too long, and rather than figure things out I’ve just thrown money at them.  Slowing down, being prepared, making informed decisions about the life I want to live is as foreign to me as anything else in the straight world.  I been a pirate too long.  I’ve thrived on chaos and am world famous for moving before you even know I’m gone.

It’ll all sort itself out I’m sure.  The first order of business for me is to buy a car, maybe 2 if I want to keep my touring vehicle separate from the daily grind.  Speaking of which, I will need a daily grind.  Something I can make stacks of money at, and put to use booking flights and Air B&Bs, for book orders, and shirts and EPs-merch.  I suppose once I buy a car I could begin booking Texas gigs, thereby making the transition that much smoother.  I love how writing a blog straightens me out and I love that you take time out of your busy life to join me.  Everything is easy and right, which could potentially hurt this blog-having nothing to complain about.  Well…

…I’ve had to pull stakes and finish this post at the bougie coffee shop.  Luckily they’re playing The Pixies&Interpol and not the soundtrack to your cousin’s wedding and a man can get some work done.  I left the Whistler back there on the roof of the mansion.  If you think there’s something wrong with a grown man moving into a 150 square foot cabin to live his dreams then you haven’t seen a man whistling outside your window like some mansize Mexican songbird, with a roofing trowel in a tar bucket and a shit eating grin.  If these are my problems then what the hell am I complaining about-right Brother, Sister?  There’s a 23 year old Jim Trainer drooling over my 42 year old problems, probably on a roof in the suburbs somewhere and hating that sub but…what are you gonna do, eh?  Sometimes the worst kind of trouble is no trouble at all.

See you in Boston Motherfucker.

…a question of Fuel…

In anxiety, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, Charles Bukowski, depression, employment, getting old, getting sober, hometown, media, mental health, mid life, middle age, music performance, new journalism, new orleans, observation, on tour, PDX, Performance, Philadelphia, Poetry, poetry reading, Portland, published poet, publishing, publishing poetry, punk rock, recovery, self-help, self-publishing, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, solitude, TOUR, truth, Uncategorized, Writing, writing about writing, yoga on December 22, 2016 at 10:10 pm

Introjective depression – the autonomous kind, on the other hand, is characterized by intense self-criticism and there is frequently, then, an intense drive for achievement to offset the internalized sense of inferiority and self-scrutiny.  These individuals can be extremely critical of others as well as themselves and can be intensely competitive, often achieving a great deal, but with little sense of satisfaction – no amount of external validation seems to satisfy the harsh and demanding person that they can be in relationship to themselves.
-Karl Stukenberg on Sydney Blatt’s Developmental Theory of Depression

it seems we lose the game,
before we even start to play
Everything Is Everything

Got my walking papers.  Guess this means the gloves are off.  5 years can feel like a lifetime or it can go by way too fast on shift, on the clock and working for the man.  If it sounds like I’m complaining it’s because that’s my voice, I’m charged with it-fiery and riled and launching these missives through the barrel of a gun.  It’s because the last thing I want to do is tell you a lie or waste your time.  It’s this voice I honed and came to grips with, working for Mr. Fox.  The job gave me a bedtime, gave me the morning, still hated but doable, forced me to eat meals and sleep and watch movies and be lazy.  Above all it taught me what I need to be high functioning, and it’s hardly what I thought it would be.

I’ve published 3 books in the last 5 years, written hundreds of blogs and letters, and played more than 120 gigs, not counting spoken word and storytelling gigs, since I was hired on.  I’m glad to put it this way, and catch a rare reprieve from the inner critic.  The first sentence of this paragraph riddles the inner critic with buckshot, stuffs its mouth with gauze and sends it 6 feet closer to Heaven.  I might not be Henry Rollins but I’m gaining on him.  The pace is fucked.  I’ll never be happy with how long these things take and that’s probably because I’ll never be happy with myself.  I feel like I’m behind before I even wake up in the morning and wonder of the wisdom, sung by Lauryn Hill, in that song from days past.  But there’s so much more to it than that.

Up against it as we are, fucked and doomed to play their game should be enough to motivate, and it does.  The specter of death, terribly advancing on us from the day we’re born should be enough, and it is.  Never being Henry Rollins, never being good enough, has been fine motivation these slipshod and lean years-I know where it’s gotten me but I draw a blank when I think about what’s next.  It’s because you can’t build on a negative.  Anybody who’s ever quit anything knows that not doing it is only the beginning.  You must substitute it with something you are doing.  Quitting smoking, for example.  Of course, I had to first stop doing it.  Once I did the space opened up for something else.  Saying FUCK FUCK FUCK in my head seems to work, until I rupture a blood vessel, but certainly got me through terrible and troubling hours at the IPRC a few weeks ago.  At every step of All in the wind‘s production I was struck with the anxiety of never living my dreams-a great dread that neatly incorporates my fear of death and incredible lack of self esteem into a thorny and torrid cocktail called WHY I WORK ALONE.

Fear of dying will get you out of bed in the morning.  You bet.  A voice in your head telling you you’ll never be anything, never were anything, your parents were right and just because you left your hometown doesn’t mean you got away can also be great motivation, but not in the long run.  I’m 41 and I feel like I am just getting started.  Yogic wisdom tells me that all we are ever doing is getting started, and completing tasks with the quickness of Shiva’s wheeling hands.  The twisted cocktail of death and low self esteem, and the example of great men like meteors burning across the small town sky of my psyche can be potent, virile and all the ingredients needed for a bomb-but I feel like I’m gonna need a fire and for a fire you need fuel.

Work in media suits me.  It’s probably the only kind of work besides performing in which I feel like I am making a change.  I’m struck, sitting here, that it was just over 5 years ago when I decided to do something meaningful with my life and said goodbye to the bars with a few answered ads for Caregivers on craigslist.  In the last 5 years I was able to produce consistently as an artist by going to sleep at a certain time every night, and getting up at the same time every morning.  I had to make enough money to fund the first pressings of All in the wind and September , and have enough spare cash to fly out to the many unpaid (if not thankless) gigs in Philly and Louisiana.  HAAM paid my healthcare premiums but I was only able to get behind the trouble in my mouth with a begrudging loan against an inheritance from my mother, who sent me a check made out to the dentist.   Which is nothing I want to get into now.  It should be noted that I’m sitting on a lengthy backlog of posts, inspired by the prospect of being on RawPaw’s payroll in the Fall of ’14 and a request from Bean Maguire to recount my savage road to sobriety.  The point, now mangled and drug down this winding graph, is I only did it with a whole lot of gumption, even more bitterness and a little bit of luck.

I discovered what I need these last 5 years.  What I want has never been in question, but the crossroads of dread and inspiration at the hated age of 41 has me asking other questions.  Like, how will I hit 20 major cities a year and maintain my bedtime?  How can I possibly create without seeming to be in control of what happens within my own 4 walls?  Simply, maybe I’m not Rollins.  It’s not exactly in the cards to be on the road for over 200 days a year.  Knowing what I need is a start, knowing that it’s fuel is even better, and how I can be at my strongest and even ease the grip of this dream, live a little and breathe is healthy, and necessary.  the area of pause, as Papa put it.

Bukowski, as close to an example and road as I have, lived most of his life at War, but the man knew how to rest, too, and the author’s photos on his later works showcase the hard earned, worn and warm smile of Hank-a man aware of his limitations and therefore resting fully in his own power, if not in love then at peace.

The Painter

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2016 at 5:38 pm

“Nothing’s changed. I’m still an old sap romantic. Just mangled some.”

Source: The Painter


In Uncategorized on October 24, 2016 at 3:09 pm

crazy this mourning for you that your death could be more real than any living here. even in these carpeted rooms cups lined with the thickest liquor books thick&sagging in their shelves even w…

Source: anniversary

Farewell to Armor Reviewed by Butch Hamaday

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2016 at 5:44 pm

“…transcending muted and lost love, isolation, unflinching introspection and long days put in at pay and wage jobs-the 56 poems in the collection leave the theatrics behind.”

Source: Farewell to Armor Reviewed by Butch Hamaday


In Uncategorized on October 14, 2016 at 10:15 pm

From a Letter Day in June of 2011.

Going for the Throat

The Offices of Jim Trainer
Avenue of the Dead
Land of the Free

David Hagysback
Lap of Luxury
Hippie Town, USA



Trouble comes in a myriad of merciless and twisted forms.  We’ve taken on the Blues, it came with the Night.  We bought it part&parcel at the onset of this twisted dark journey.  We’re pioneers and we’re Kings.  The Big Boss Man will find you, however, so sip your iced drink with the dumb&the Blonde, we’re all gonna be judged and we’re all gonna pay.

The good news about Democracy and Revolt in the Middle East and parts of Africa is nothing good for the workingman lest he’s a company man but even he ain’t smilin like they do in the boardroom when they hear about some immoral pirates taking to the streets in the third world.  Military time has always worked for me-at least it did until…

View original post 270 more words


In Uncategorized on September 11, 2016 at 8:52 pm

Written in 2011, on the 10th Anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks.



In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Charles Bukowski, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing, writing about writing on August 16, 2016 at 10:20 am

by celebrating with us
shrinking nights
&sharing with us
his fool’s joy
by sitting back
with his booze
for a total eclipse
of the world he knew
and kissing it all
Hank gave poetry some balls,
he gave the soggy road some heart
the classical music on hot
San Pedro nights
was nothing compared to the
symphony he played
the man roared
played death,
and bluffed,
and won
he bluffed and raised the stakes
for us all
he sat at the center
of humanity’s
blind orbits of idiocy
and sidelined it
on the skid rows of East Hollywood.
he had a toothless smile
as wide as the Buddha he typed in front of
in his last peaceful years,
a far cry from his
cruel factory days
when racked&buckled
under the sad no chance pain
and he looked that pain
in it’s most vicious and glaring
yellow eye
and Hank asked

don’t try.