Jim Trainer

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


In Uncategorized on January 17, 2022 at 10:21 am

Poetry is madness until it is song…

Why can’t I just close the door
and let myself be more than yours?

—Lydia Loveless

Then I started writing again. Maybe it was how I was raised, maybe Catholicism had some sort of impact. Growing up, I didn’t see Catholicism as optimistic. But there’s something in this world, and beyond maybe. I thought I was ready to throw it all away. But now I feel like there are still things to be done. I know my time here is limited. All our time is. So what are we going to do with it, even so?
Bart Solarczyk

It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for the lack of what is found there.
—William Carlos Williams

Compassion is the basis of morality.


The dusks are easy now, as I bear the brand of a new and redoubled solitude. It isn’t just that loss has cracked me open but that my heart is a flue and takes burning, junk and her memory, and lets go of the smoke. What’s gone paints the low and warm sky. I am not speaking to death these days, as it rears and moves closer than it’s ever been I walk. In the city and through her. I came home with a poem but kept it only sketched in ink and lay looking through the glass doors up to the turning sky. I fell asleep and was startled awake by a priest in a vampire movie. I watched your video chat, smoking in the court. Calling me darlin’. The hard red line of your brassiere pushing up through your pajama top early in the first morning of the year. There’s an ease to and us and it eases me. I woke up like that, easy, 6 hours later with you still on my mind. This life we dreamed up for ourselves—it was so simple to them, they think it just dropped right out of the sky and not from the love we had and beared for them. It is no longer tied, and free. Free to our books and songs, strong black coffee and Export As, Ballade No. 4 in F Minor and Mama You Been On My Mind.

I put the ’21 penny on the altar to be burned. And a nickel from 2014. I took the Rumi calendar out with the trash. Full of flights and dates and hope. Threw it all in the bin, standing caffeinated under a pig-iron sky, staring at the neighbors, more than a little hurt and spry. I’m done leaving the hometown and stuck here, as far as I can tell and not going anywhere. I’ve still got a thousand dreams etched in stained glass across the cathedral of my heart. The old git’s got a broke string. The nut’s been gorged by a hack tech and buzzes some, despite Little Brother’s efforts. It’s full of those old songs we can’t sing anymore. Sturdy tunes but we don’t like where they take us do we. The cut path in the yard is snowed over and the phantom of our fathers have slipped the cage and left the door open. They took some of the old karma and beat-up love and we are here, wondering and free. It doesn’t matter the pain or even our looming end. I bought a used French press at Goodwill and my days are fortifying, calling out and pulling down another dream. We can have it now and each other and let go into the simple ease of the price we paid. Your voice and your fine legs and whatever this tame and wild life has in store. I can’t wait to see you.

STRIDE, perfectly bound in jet-black ink on gamma green covers designed by Snakes Will Eat You
4.5×5.5″ broadside of RECURRENT, letter pressed in black ink on 100lb. lemondrop yellow paper
Broadside of TO A DOG I MET IN CALABRIA, letter pressed on 110lb. Blue Vellum Bristol paper, 11×17″ and a stand alone piece of art perfect for a gift or to hang on your wall.


XMAS 2021

In Uncategorized on January 10, 2022 at 3:52 pm
Pop-Pop “Breezy” Gaetano (at bar)
December 1970

Circa nineteen-eighty-one
he pulls you back…

Liz Phair

Wholehearted faith is about recognizing our belovedness.
—Jeff Chu

Hate everything, just don’t let it hate you.

—Big Brother, me, to Little Sister

Hard getting up and I can’t remember the dream I had with us except that it felt good and the first thing to come into focus was a shiny new penny that fell off my leg and to the floor, heads-up—2021. Eggs and bacon at my old boss’s, where I used to work and live, with my adopted family. Posey Jo’s mom and dad, separated and working together. Her grandparents, same. After breakfast Posey Jo’s mom and me talk about the X (and the ruin she represents), moving forward whole-heartedly, places to live (Lisbon) and you.

Came home and slept for 5 hours, woke up to video call with Mama Greenberg, Don, my adopted mom. I love her so much. We talk so deep we hover, about: death, growth, publishing, poetry, the X (and the ruin she represents) and you. Warm all day, cool at night. Heard from another poet on STRIDE—”Like DeNiro in Raging Bull, taunting through his own blood: ‘You never got me down Ray. You never got me down.’” Your name is musical, it rises from kvetching and conversation throughout the too-warm Christmas, 11 years later on a calliope wind.


In Uncategorized on December 15, 2021 at 9:58 am

ANNOUNCING STRIDE, JIM TRAINER’S 8TH FULL-LENGTH COLLECTION OF POETRY, 9 Sales Needed At Press Time, Get Yours HereOAT MILK&COLD INSTANT: Part 4, Pounding Ham In The Anthropocene & Wading Through The Blood, Personal Journalism On Patreon…THE WORST KIND OF TROUBLE IS NO TROUBLE AT ALL, Blowing Deadline At World’s End…90s ‘TALLICA & TURTLE BLOOD…EVEN SAMURAIS GET THE BLUES BUT ROCK BUT ROLL CAN NEVER DIE, Jim Trainer Returns To The Workforce With Loose Teeth & A Bad Catalytic Converter…THIS IS NOT A CULTURE WAR, Fuck You Stew & Recipes For Eating The Rich…WAR ALL THE TIME, Uncle Joe & Vladimir Talk Turkey&Hegemony…YOU’RE MY FUCKING PROBLEM, Poet Shuts Down Sawed-Off Castro Look-A-Like At The Sahara Lounge Saturday…TAMANAHA 2024, Amateur Hour Extended For The Rest Of The Dumb Year of the Ox

What do I know, as my small victories with the New Dumb have only come to a sexless and unsteady peace at the Office, where I sit with my dick in my hand and nothing but time to devote to this life.  This life of course being the writer’s life, which includes all such droll minutiae as date night, at the antifascist bar, and getting in a fight with a cosmopolitan Castro-a-like in beard and bowtie, with my Beaumont beauty beside—pretty and lithe with legs long enough to kick ’em in the teeth and walk right out.

I prefer her to any other


Good Reader I need you. I need you like all the things I need but when I get aren’t you. I need you in the day, passing like scraping marrow, and at night, beneath the moon tower, some white noise whirring and making me mad and restless like a domesticated dog hearing something out there and keeping me awake and pacing the floor. Though the hours I keep at the Office these days could technically qualify me as a bat and anyway some cross between vampire and street-dog. I’m good but I’m wily, and uneasy. The nights are short in the Antropocene ain’t it and when you get up at 1A.M. the days aren’t anything but long. But what do I know? I’m an aging punk rocker with an anger solution. Writing hours are squandered on the phone, with spiritual and material-advisor big Sisters setting me to rights and getting my shots in like any little Brother should. The Black Witch of the North tells me life is only wasted if you’re not digging on it. Maureen Ferguson told me this years ago. We let it all go and see what remains. It’s good for the chaos-quotient, a little pick-up sticks with the calamities and needs of a middle-class life we accepted being trapped in the belly of the beast. None of this is what I came here for as what I came here for was you.

I had to get off social media and anyway be sure that the brand of Jim Trainer was throwing enough smoke I could handle my dark dirties in the A.M. and yet still get my performer rocks off. Being seen is power ain’t it, unless you’re throwing your heart and soul and even holy loads of shit into the fray on the socials, with shakey butts and pundits, self-righteous gurus and prudish street people. I had to get off the socials cuz it made me ill. Everything did, back then, and bet that Bitch and her little fat sasser at my last job were the bane and crux of my dilemma. They were at the root of every existential problem I had in the Year of the Rat, and they did it smugly and smiling in their crooked way, as I lost doctor’s visits and healthcare, income and finally even my voice on this blog. Yep I hung it up and bet it hurt me, too, as the only other time I’ve had to password-protect this site was when I was so blue in 13/14 I only took down the sad slope of alcoholism with a bad lilt of defeat. Hard times. Rivaled only by what that bitch and her shit-sister threw at me in meetings, aggressions met in better times with full retaliation. I often wonder how some people down here would fare acting the way they do on the streets of Philly. Not so well, me thinks, and anyway I don’t think so, Janice, but they try and try don’t they—to avoid their own fear of death by tempting you to throttle them.

I can’t call it and far be it from me to couch-analyze the wonts of a sawed-off beardo with a Daddy-didn’t-love me problem, stepping to me at the Sahara Lounge last week and giving my lady a giggle when I had to swat him down. People, am I right. They’re everywhere. You try and get away and once you do and your fridge is full and if the heat’s still on, they cut off your internet until the end of the dumb weekend, or they play Iron Maiden ironically at a café barely open at dubious and bourgeois hours. I ain’t worried. I survived. I’m relieved about all the noise and dissolution out there at the end of the world. It means a man can get some work done in here but sometimes—Good Reader, even getting to the work and in the headspace to do it is a full-time job. If you’re like me and were raised Catholic you might confuse things running smooth with the fact you’re doing it wrong somehow. Anything in pleasure and with flow is certainly not what you should be doing. Country simple I think I’ve just spent the last 2? 3? 4….months in a stalemate of unaccepatance versus self-worth as a writer. Which was the real and compelling reason that took me from you and these pages, tore me from your heart and threw me to the cesspools of anonymity of the Internet, where I didn’t have to sign my name or tell the truth.

“Smoke and mirrors,” I told them. They of the inner circle which used to include you and I am sorry for leaving you in the lurch. I missed my accountability to you. We came to Jesus ain’t we. Did the thing that in recovery is recovery and that’s telling it, scraping up the black mar and your own churlish and true resentment and anyway thoughts and self-talk that, for me anyway, includes what I call suicidal affirmation. When I wrote you that you were saving me you think I was kidding. Or that I’d ever lie to you. You gave me this platform and a microphone, it was you on the other end of this media that I just had to know would be there with a net or grabbing hold and falling with me. It was you and I turned away. Shits-for-brains and tragicomic cunts held sway with their prying syphylitic eyes. Their need to avoid their own fear of death by confronting Jim Trainer was flawed and not only because if we met on Hostile City streets I’d of wont to bash ’em with a ladder stop, or rip out her high bun and brain ‘er in the kidneys over a bum-buster on a park bench. Instead I had to keep my cool. In a way I had to turn my talons in, or claws, but don’t get it twisted. Bats have hands, with claws on 2 digits of each. They’re bound to be smarter than dogs as they can grab but at least they look cool. If I’m heavier on the bat medicine these days it could explain why whatever white noise rumbling however inaudibly to the sleepers and nubes of this technocratic, yuppie-town has heretofore unnerved and got me thinking on murder which, all things considered is fine. Sim Bawb was right, it’s either murder or suicide, and the choices that flower from our intention to kill just to end our, or their, suffering (and anyway the suffering that can only come from them) if unacceptable at least can be forgiven. You draw up the turret ain’t it, batten down and all that. Hang a sign THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED or without a peep dip off into some weird liminal corner of the internet, where all the you that’s seen is what you create and it’s mostly only seen by you anyway. What a fucking nightmare. Thank God for you. I’m back bebe. Buy my book and I’ll see you at the screens, motherfucker.

71 poems sprawling from reconsidering love in the bright, early-spring to the pen of winter and this room, buckling under a heavy solitude, heartbreak, and finally—resolve.
STRIDE, true romanticism on how to keep it moving at world’s end.




Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#64: Blood In My Love In The Terrible Summer

In Uncategorized on November 29, 2021 at 1:05 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
1024 Lamb Road

Lovely U.
48603 Highway One 
BIG SUR CA 93920

9/14/21, 9:25A.M.

…the dead burn alone toward dawn.
—Saint Philip Levine

Dear Miss U.

It is my great pleasure to have you with me, in this liminal place between tomcats and lizards in the court, and the filth of a life on the fringe in my apartment behind me.  It’s quiet, which can be suspect, especially in these last throes of the Final Century.  I write you of sound mind and quiet heart, mostly.  The skies have gone pewter and this city’s endless fucking construction becomes distant and soon fades.  The sun breaks through as I write this sentence and it gives me joy.  Or whatever it is the sun gives, for me, namely a reason to go on.  The number of times I have thought of ending it followed by the sun on my neck telling me something else is profound and I took notice.  It’s what we do.  We feel it.  We write it down.  Contextualize and frame it and nail it to the wall.  The writing life is a courageous life and even now as mountains tumble and the seas burn we can tell it and so be relieved.  It isn’t just my great pleasure having you here, it is the pleasure of you that starts and piques me, and suddenly in a flash of auburn light you are conjured.  A curious rustling, a molecular alignment of kundalini and curiosity-of-other (you).  You know how I feel.  I won’t try to smooth you.  Or seduce you or any other thing Bob Dylan has, like most things, already said better.  I will write you though, and instead of getting heavy with you via text I’ll just get plenty heavy where it’s good, on the page where I till my land and anyway simply visit with you on this warm, numbered morning of the Anthropocene.  Cholo Proud Boy Siamese paid visit earlier and by grabbing him by the scruff of his neck I was able to scrape away eye gunk from what once were scars.  From the corner of his eye on down the length of his nose I could not access as he’d scabbed over there from mites and scratching.  When I let go he stood there.  He paused, really, as did I.  He felt better and so did I and it is in this spirit I offer you some time together for the length of this letter and however long it pleases you, to either carry around with you or pull out in quiet hammocked moments of exquisite and nameless solitude.  

Wherever two of you shall meet…are you familiar with this passage from the Book Of Matthew?  It is my credo as an artist and simply a way to be.  Yearning for the ether and space between us and anything really to escape my own mind.  An impure impulse with wonderful result.  I feel that way ON THE AIR and at the mic and I feel that way writing these letters to friends and would-be lover(s).  I scale the void with my voice and come across the divide with my body.  Why don’t you meet me there?  In caring hands leaving the self can be blissful, and limitless, with our eyes fully-open.  

I wondered if I came on too strong or that I scared you away but ultimately I know these aren’t things to be flippant or casual about.  I don’t wonder how you’ll feel about this letter as we are together in my moment of writing and of yours reading me.  In that regard my work is done.  I forego the heavy and get right to the heavy, but really it’s not that heavy at all.  I took a shine to you pretty early on my friend, but couldn’t do anything about it and was mindful of your space, i.e. that you are living your life.  As we all are.  This letter is to break out of the faux-now of online living and truly be together, and apart, as we all are.  I know I’ve said several things to you that upon reflection are curious if I let my mind go, and it will if I feel our focus shift from each other.  I’d like to put you at ease with all that and gladly do so here and now.  When I told you I’d like to be friends with you it was in the spirit of respect and that perhaps I should tread lightly.  But I also told you I want to be with you in physical time, that you have captured my imagination and that I find you to be incredibly, off-the-charts and smoking, hot.  Bet, but it’s all good my lady friend, as you are living your life and too licking your wounds.  I came through these questioning thoughts feeling the same.  I’m glad I was honest with you, and it’s new, at least in the way I handled it with you.  My cards are truly on the table.  But also I am cycling through grief, if better each time through, and—should we be an anchor for each other I don’t want to sully it, it’s true.  I’m stepping back with open hands as the Buddhists say but there will be no difference in our relations.  I might not wait to hear from you but I’ve got you in my sights and on the fringe of my daily life and living.  You have captured my imagination and are so very much my type indeed.

There is desire, as stated, and the discussions of that desire.  There is a shared pain and respect between two who have and will continue to see the truth and write it down; or at least admit when we’re throwing up our hands and shine our intention through an audience as other.  There is our lives being led and the general fuckarounds and what-abouts we can drive ourselves nuts with.  And then there are the conversations…I want you to know that I dig your voice, Lovely.  So much.  It tells me so much about you and I like what it is telling me.  You’re pert but grounded and are a slow wisdom.  You don’t miss things and you listen and also you’ve such a seductive langor to you.  When I think of you I think of an auburn fire, burning low and steady on the beach in early September.  And the sea and the sea. 


I suppose the most salient point of this unsane and devotional letter is that the sun is on my back now.  It burns through my black sleeveless tee, and on, searing up my neck and arms.  Sure feels good and warm in that Texas sun.  This line from an old song written right around when I got down here has become a way to be.  A devotional in itself which is simply a call to prayer.  I hope my biblical quotes don’t worry you.  I assure you I am a pagan raised Catholic in the township and as far as quotes and lines—Philip Levine’s is more important and always with me.  Speaking on his mother and the every-Detroit morning—the ever-present past if you will.  He masterfully leaves us there and we now have a reason to burn on or get up before dawn.  Smoke cigarettes and drink water, eat watermelon and come to prayer.  I approach you in this spirit, Lovely, and I not-so-subtly hint at an altar of you, standing tall like a statue, a buxom beauty fit to devote and to be devoted to.  I honor you in all these ways.  In lives that are going on, wounded and wondering why but going on.  In casual late night conversations with your sultry voice on the line, luminous and cold as milk in the dark.  In ways of craft, during one of our last summer’s fading—the craft rising from the claw of the past, putting us here in ourselves and reaching out across the divide for connection and something earthly yet other-wordly.  So above so below.  All I have ever said to you was true.  But speaking of craft, it’s so much better this way, where my reverie and mystique rise from filtered Norwegian Shag in the tray, and the sun shines through me though I am at this time ultimately lit up with you.

Live your life, Poet, and have coffee with me in Philly.  It’s not as heavy as this letter would suggest but it is.  The truth is never or but and.  And the truth is I’ll be in Sellersville and Souderton at some point between 10/25-10/27 and should like to make it easy for us to see each other.  When you suggested coffee I didn’t know where I’d be, honestly, but I have a much better idea now.  It would be an absolute charm.

Jim Trainer

4:44P.M. HAT
Aloha.  You’ve the benefit of just reading this letter.  I’m going to spare myself that, because I know my intentions were good at the time.  It’s all these days later and I am riveted by your visage, commenting on Facebook when I said I wouldn’t.  It’s a beautiful thing.  Since I wrote this letter, you’ve offered to have coffee as friends, and I didn’t care for it, though not b/c it could very well be your wish.  To which I say no problem, except that you were on my mind for many days on end and left me thinking about you on my own until you were worried about me.  As friends, you should know that I don’t view social media as anything real.  I draw from my life, of course, and I am branded as me.  Enough about that.  I will leave it to you to settle the contradiction you offer and add that I was as direct with you as I could be.  I don’t know what you think is going on in coffee shops but what else, Lovely.  Also, maybe you’re confused.  I am too and don’t look at the pictures you’ve sent anymore and anyway I won’t be confused for very long.  As soon as I send this letter off, finally, I will know that I have called out and told it and left it to you to respond, or not, which isn’t my favorite but certainly clear.  From paradise I say to you that we’ll do whatever you wish but get around it, or make it frustrating, or all the heavy things you and I just untangled ourselves from.  I would’ve just texted you but, idk, seems kind of flippant.  xojt




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In Uncategorized on November 19, 2021 at 6:27 am

DARKNESS AT 4, Personal Journalist Jim Trainer Ends It, Dejected & Listless At Dusk …ANNOUNCING THE RELEASE OF STRIDE, Support Yellow Lark Press With A Price Break&Package Deal On Jim Trainer’s 8th Full-Length Collection Of Poetry+A Limited-Edition BroadsidePUNK’S NOT DEAD IT JUST SUCKS NOW, Jim Trainer On Nirvana At Music, Movies&HoopsTOURING IN A POST-PUNK WORLD…DATING IN THE LAND OF NOD, Didn’t Get Laid, Got In A Fight

How’s your epoch? If you’re like me and don’t wanna go all in, you just write corollary (read: extra) pieces to the Real Work and anyway put more effort into fucking off than doing the thing. I got mired writing Part 3 of OATMILK&COLD INSTANT last week, not that having too much to write about is ever a problem. One easily solved, in any event, as I’ve trained myself as a war correspondent in the throes of day labor. I got it in when I could make it and made it count. I sat down and bled and then hit Save draft and hoped for the best. In a way I was a shaman writing this way but it’s not hard to come with the full magic when engaged in craft. We unfurl what else and anyway unravel like smoke any kind of self-reflection that takes us from the moment. The moment is slipping away as I drink my nth cup of coffee and head into this November night of my 46th year cautious if unjaded, and primed.

Part 3’ll be a doozy bet, but in the meantime I am pleased to get ink on Nirvana here and on my own personal plight that we’ve all come to covet and loathe, here. I soft-released STRIDE last week, along with the details for you Good Readers to get your hands on a letterpressed broadside, black ink on lemon drop paper, of RECURRENT. RECURRENT is scheduled for a live reading this week, so join us as it broadcasts live and we can cut it up in real time bet. My troubles are many but my worries are few. When you start your day at 1A.M. you’ve little berth for any come down or talking to. You just move like a bat through the lamplit rooms and creep out just before dawn and down to the bodega for that little light in the night what else, some movement to prove to the streaming traffic you’re here, and then gone, limping like Jack Sparrow and rising up the hill like a post-punk apparition.

Patrons at the $10 level will get a signed and acknowledged copy of STRIDE absolutely free.


Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#34: Dear Gallardo

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2021 at 4:13 am

My first letter to KUTX DJ Laurie Gallardo on the pain of being human and the salve of rock and roll.



In Uncategorized on November 8, 2021 at 9:11 am

LIVING ALL OVER ME, Personal Journalist Jim Trainer Ends Tour With A Bad Case Of The Hometown Blues…SELF PUBLISHING IS PUBLISHING, Support Yellow Lark Press With A Price Break&Package Deal on STRIDE...AMATEUR HOUR EVERY HOUR, Halloween Ain’t The Same & The Age of the Great American City Closes On A Plastic Note…PUNK’S NOT DEAD IT JUST SUCKS NOW, Jim Trainer At Music, Movies&Hoops…BORN TO TROUBLE, BORN TO FATE, Support Jim Trainer’s Personal Journalism On Patreon

The tour was the culmination of yearly jaunts back home going back to ’11.  I’d fly in, do the show, try and hit an ancillary city or make an appearance on-air and then fly back like nothing happened.  The readings were always good but the cost of putting on these shows volleyed between manageable and destitute.  This time I stacked up my losses, though there weren’t many.  I pulled the trigger on flights without a guarantee, and that’s exactly how I’ve always done it.  I lucked out having one leg be a job interview, and my luck continued by word of mouth on the socials. 

New piece of personal journalism up on my Patreon what else. Besides the real chronicling of a time-zone traipsing poet with an anger solution you’ll have access to an archive that includes: songs, performances, readings, hate mail and poetry. Folks at the $10 level have all but funded STRIDE, my eighth full-length collection of poetry due out this December through Yellow Lark Press. We just need you to get there. To sign up and receive an acknowledged edition of STRIDE, go here. I’m also sending Patrons a rare edition of a broadside of RECURRENT, in quicksilver ink on asphalt-black paper just cuz. They’re along for the ride. 6-1,200 words a week on an artist getting by in the end of times, 2 oft, read-live poems and road work—logs and diatribes keeping record of my time in the great outdoors. It’s wild out there, Reader, and I wouldn’t have it any other way than with you by my side.

I’ve wrapped over 12,000 miles and I’m back home in a crouch in the court, drinking cold instant with chocolate milk and burning shag shamelessly. I can’t shake the feeling I’ve got to be somewhere and invariably get blue when I realize I do not. I got a writing gig so youse should look for ink from me in Music, Movies&Hoops on Wednesday and Friday.  A piece on Nirvana and the end of punk rock as we knew it, and a tour journal what else. I’m living the life. Enraptured by gamble. Driving a Japanese car to ultra-chic hotel lobbies and outdoor bluegrass jams trying to scare up work. I’m due for some long hours at a screen—designing broadsides for Patrons and Will Stenberg, and my own and Butch Hamaday’s collections. InDesign should win out that I’ve picked the wrong week to quit smoking. But I’ve got hot dates in libraries and another edition of the Cool Dude Book Club this evening. To say I couldn’t do this without you is obvious to a pitch of the inane. It’s just us here. What else.


Haiku House  

Derby Kenton

Secret Studio

Donkey Coffee

Cavanaugh’s Headhouse

Photo courtesy of Every Love Photography

Patrons at the $10 level will get a signed and acknowledged copy of STRIDE absolutely free.


Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#63: Dear Kate Caldwell

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2021 at 9:12 am

The Office of Jim Trainer
P.O. Box 49921

Kate Caldwell
2906 Fruth Street

1/26/19, 1:05


Well.  This ought to be a delight, for the love as they say and anyway stray far from the invariable routine of writing I have come to painfully understand as head v. wall.  At least that’s how it’s always felt which, let’s face it, feelings are everything.  It’s why the broken prevail and the gifted only go on gliding.  If I wasn’t suffering I might’ve given up and done something else with my time besides stare at a screen and stalk my mortal coil one cigarette at a time.  Wisdom may be recognising how blessed we are, even and especially, within the travesty and dysfunction of our rattled brain and carnival heart.  Country simple—writing hurts but so does living and that pain was worse so writing won out.  I can do 1,200 words now, no problem, but, back in 2010 beer was required and an “inner parent” I hope to God no one close to me ever has to see.  I’ve something like Joan Crawford roaming my psyche and anyway dark motivations inform and inspire me heaps more than anything positive or pollyanna and close to the reasoning of an MFA poet.  The great poet Lamont Steptoe wrote “my dream got broken glass in it” and he ought to know.  My work has blood in it and vengeance is why, if anyone wants to know, though I don’t think anybody does after reading some of my black verse.  There’s a lot of clearing off in my work.  Being a  lifetime sufferer of a major-depressive disorder I’ve come to appreciate stillness more than joy.  I sought refuge in my work and that’s not a bad thing but now, from this peak, I can see the chain.

I don’t sing because I’m blue anymore but that doesn’t rule it out.  The truth is there is nothing wrong in my life right now.  I can write a song about anything in the world.  Whatever strikes my fancy or piques my interest, which, let’s be honest—is terrifying.  Tabula rasa, indeed.  What I am trying to say is Art has taken me to the other side, Kate.  I’m here, I made it and I’m glad I did.  The tricky part about being a 43-year old Artist who’s used his angst as fuel and vengeance as his motivation for the better part of his career is when peace comes—what then?  Every songwriter worth his or her salt knows that writing a happy song is probably the biggest charge that comes with the job.  The blues?  In my sleep honey.  Heartbreak?  Ha.  I don’t think I’ve written a song that isn’t about heartbreak.  But happiness?  Joy?  Even Madonna knows there’s no point in writing when you’re happy. Everything’s connected and everything is shrinking behind it’s own facade but true songs about real happiness are a hard dollar and a harder sell. Just ask Cory Branan or Randy Newman.  This culture can choke on itself but Rock and Roll can never die.

Thanks for this opportunity.  Letter writing is a fount for me, and I’m able to loop around my bad blues and depression or any thorn and thicket of life keeping me from banging keys.  Ask Stephen King.  Taking the focus off the self is never bad especially if your gig is at least thirty six hundred words on the Night Kitchen of your own skull, and the frame of reference for your work is you and you alone and for fuck sake.  Also I am especially inspired to write to such a brilliant and gorgeous dynamo as you.  You’re making this easy, Kate, easier than it usually is writing to others which is anyway heaps better than writing for and/or about myself.  The Lonely Kingdom.  Either way, I’ve come to covet the diffuse light through these apartment blinds.  I’ll crack them, sure, right around cup#4 of espresso roast with honey, like I do.  Coffee is such a workingman’s drug and profoundly writerly.  Cigarettes too, I suppose, and bourbon and these are a few of my favorite things.  I can’t think on what my heroes would’ve done because they would’ve done all 3 plus something a little more, maybe, a pick-me-up for the dark, hungover mornings.  Put it to you this way, Dylan Thomas would not be my go to for inspiration on how to write sober, Buk or Thompson either.  I’m a writer so I need to write and that much I will gladly and continuously from them glean.  That leaves Rollins, Uncle Hank.  

Henry is known to drink black coffee.  He’s an Aquarius, like you, and he’s got the disciplined insanity of one.  He’s probably had the biggest influence on me out of all of them.  He basically said to me, at a young age, that I could do it and in fact would.  I’ve no other way to explain the change that came over me when I first saw a copy of One From None on my friend J.’s stoop in 1992 in thee hated and most-reviled hometown of Upper Darby PA.  Thank god for heroes, eh?  Or else where would we be?  Don’t answer that.  The strangest thing about regret is its motivating power.  Nothing inspires me to blindly strike the monolith and attempt the impossibility of surviving as a writer in the new century more than knowing I done goofed.  I fucked up, Lady.  The decades, the moments, in the thrall of nothing at all when depression would not let me off the hook.  I understand it’s a disease now and I’d never give that back.  I know what it’s like to let it go because I have and I’m older than I ever hoped or feared but—I’ma have a go again.  Because fuck ‘em that’s why.  Roger Daltry ain’t the only one whose love is vengeance and I know losing well enough to know regret doesn’t make a shit in the long game unless it’s fuel.  It took me 43 years to arrive at this moment.  I’m not letting it go.

Stay beautiful.

Ab irato,
Jim Trainer

Friday is #letterday. Send me your address and I’ll write you a #letter
#goingforthepost #goforthepost #jimtrainer #writerslife
Friday is #letterday. Send me your address and I’ll write you a #letter
#goingforthepost #goforthepost #jimtrainer #writerslife





In Uncategorized on October 7, 2021 at 10:15 am
Jim Trainer, Poet


Contact: Jim Trainer

Phone: 512-203-6288




Poet, publisher and performer Jim Trainer brings his Standup Tragedy™ to Athens, at Donkey Coffee on October 22.  With a show consisting of music, the spoken word and dark humor Trainer has embarked on a vax-card only tour, with dates everywhere from Maui to Philadelphia.  Trainer is promoting the release of his 8th collection of poetry, STRIDE, due out in December through Yellow Lark Press.  In addition, he will offer a limited edition and letter pressed broadside of his poem RECURRENT, shared below, along with back titles and a 5-song EP.  

Trainer’s VAX POPULI VAX DEI tour was booked in response to being unable to book a tour through the usual channels, and going crazy at home like everybody else from a lack of performing. 

“It’s a punk rock operation all day, Bubba,” Trainer says.  “I’ve got cities booked without venues, but I’m not worried.  I need the stage as much as I needed the vaccine.”  The tour’s been hatched together by a job interview in HI and his biannual homecoming to Philadelphia—Hostile City USA.  

As a personal journalist Trainer has spent over a decade chronicling the inner life of a creative, while documenting the travails of being a shift worker, “romantic nihilist” and citizen trying to “stay in walls” and continue writing in peace alone.

Jim Trainer’s storytelling, poetry and song are from the street level but with a literary bent.  Punk rock poetry.  What else.  Offering a “least factual, most accurate” account of an artist trying to make it in the end times.  Join Jim Trainer in celebrating the release of STRIDE, his 8th collection of poetry, at these venues worldwide:

Derby Kenton
Secret Studio
ATHENS OH  10/22
Donkey Coffee
Cavanaugh’s Headhouse Square

Word Count =  280

Jim Trainer is a poet, publisher, writer and performer.  He blogs weekly at Going For the Throat and writes a monthly column for Into The Void magazine.  As a proponent of personal journalism Trainer reports on the inner life while writing about recovery, mental health and the creative process.  Trainer publishes one letterpressed and perfectly bound-by-hand collection of poetry, and sometimes prose, every year through Yellow Lark PressSTRIDE will be his 8th.  Trainer is the progenitor of Stand Up Tragedy™ and performs regularly throughout the world.

Jim Trainer



-attached to email

-pasted below 



In Uncategorized on September 12, 2021 at 6:06 am

OHIO AND BUST: Small Trouble For A Small Town…TOUR TIL DEATH: Standup Tragedian Jim Trainer Recoups Credit Card Debt On The Road…GIRL TROUBLE: Is There Any Other Kind?…GETTING BY IN THE END OF TIMES, Kind Of Digging This Global Warming Thing…4 PLANES AND EIGHT AND A HALF TRILLION DOLLARS LATER: Jim Trainer Memorializes 911 By Throwing Radio Into The Court…INTRODUCING OATMILK&COLD INSTANT: Trainer Debuts New Column Aplomb With Destittuion&Romance…LOVE&HATE, WHAT ELSE: The End Is The Beginning of the Work Week for Personal Journalist Jim Trainer

“What do I know? I’m an aging punkrocker with an anger solution, and I go down before the sun most days. Days ‘off’ I come down with imminent adrenal-failure after fighting for a living in Trump’s America. Bosses and girlfriends and X-bosses and wannabe girlfriends. Dudes, I gotta say it, are just dudes—easy to spot and avoidable, if you’re quick, like a bunny. I was born in the Year of the Rabbit and those born under this most auspicious sign are wont to flee and built for it. Don’t too wise though, as those same pistons propelling the woodcat forward will knock your dick in the dirt should you get ‘im on his back.”
Follow Jim Trainer on Patreon for personal journalism, poetry and music.

Well, the night does funny things inside a man
these old tomcat feelings you don’t understand…

—Tom Waits

Good morning. There isn’t a better way to address you in these wee, wee hours and anyway you probably don’t want to be addressed at all. It’s early. I’m up before the sun most days, sometimes just after midnight. The mind flares and the body tends to the flame. The anxieties of the Anthropocene, coupled with heartbreak, dealing with the rich and fending off fruity groupies has exhausted me to the point of depletion. I’ll come around but last week was a bust and found me at the bottom of an adrenaline dump, and dysfunctioned, from keeping my cool under uncanny duress. It’s work staying at peace and it’s work being at war. Choose wisely. The righteous and the wicked have been marked down but I’m up early, smoking and drinking cold instant and going over the list. Figured I’d post you, let you know I’m alright, that I’m getting by in the end of times and even feeling frisky on this dark morning of 6,928 of sustainable living we have left. I’m wont to drop this wisdom here what else like a tomcat dropping a rabbit at your feet. Which, if not the leit motif then was certainly the reason for writing Part 1 of Oatmilk&Cold Instant last week. I wanted to pay homage to tomcats and Papa and because writing is the next best way to spend my time. The first is of course being wrapped up in you, but, you’re hesitant, and that’s fine.

Part 1 of my new weekly is for Cholo Proud Boy Siamese and all those street-fighting Bodhisattvas out there and all around us. They’re always there and they need us to pray for them. Not just cats but the living and the dead. We pray for those who’ve gone before. We pray for those now here and we pray for those who are yet to come. When they pray we’ll hear them from our great beyond, and though my boons are great and worries many, I’ve a full faith in all that is to come. We’ll see the enemy driven before us, mad with illusion and drunk on violence. I am not afraid. When you’ve lived month to month for over 30 years, death is almost welcome and accepted at least to get on with your morning and crank it out. Get the words down and drink cold water. Hit the streets stoned—bound to love and ready to fight. It’s the body politic summer and I want to see you on the streets motherfucker. If you’re in the rust belt or on the east coast chances are you can see me. I’ll be out there, telling it and playing guitar some. I do it because I love it and because I’ve no recourse for my blues except to transmute and make use of them or die. Pain doesn’t matter. Neither their lies. We’ll take all kinds & comers into our robotically-farmed eco village at world’s end. Except for the deniers, who we both know are dead already. I’ll have to come around on praying for them.

Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo! See you on the road motherfucker.