Jim Trainer

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THE INDIGENT, THE ORPHAN AND THE CAPTIVE

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2020 at 5:38 pm

ABHer thighs wrapped around my head like thick boughs, my mouth on her, opening there but tightening at my ears.  We’d be by the pool or somewhere out by the Lake and anyway where we could be alone but it was not to be. Her mother was in town and as I was leaving the sky turned green, bilious and rumbling so I turned around.  I’d never make it to Lakeway.  Even if her mother wasn’t in town I’d be washed out.  I pulled into the Allendale Randall’s on my way back. 

The first thing I seen in there was a high white.  She had slacks on and heels and an ass like a question mark.  Her hair was done in curls, getting loose from the humidity and the rain was coming down on the roof.  Next thing I seen was a thin but hardly slight young Mom in black velour, purple nail polish and dark lipstick.  She looked cruel which I liked.  Then I saw something that racked me, it was seismic, she must’ve stood 6 feet with a big, wide ass that stretched out her shorts when she bent over her cart, right in front of me where I stood smiling, dumbstruck and soaked.
HEAVY AS LEAD

Houston Days

Houston Days, Summer 2012

Another outing botched.  Heading home and climbing 10th, holding it in.  Letting it go.  Breaking through the door and stripping down.  Getting rid of the rest of it and hopping in the bathtub.  It was wet with mucus and bile and the soap only slid off.  I got clean.  I hopped out and lay on my living room floor to dry off and commiserate.  I’d been having problems since ’17.  It started when I was delivering lunches to San Antonio for PepsiCo.  I’d have to hold it in on long stretches of road but when I got to the school it’d be nothing but painful gas.  3 years later it wakes me in the middle of the night.  So I sleep downstairs, mostly, in the big chair.  I’ve changed my diet.  I drink Metamucil.  Eat skinned fruits and prunes.  It’s made me asocial.  Have to to sit out events and gatherings and I dread being intimate with a woman.
-GOING FOR THE THROAT

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But there is action, and action is an easy thing to get hooked on.  It is a nice thing to know that you can pick up a phone and be off to anywhere in the world that interests you—on twenty-four hours’ notice, and especially on somebody else’s tab.
-Hunter S. Thompson

In Personal Journalism, I’m the main character, and my reporting is as, if not more important than what I’m reporting on.  Antiguan Blues, for example–was less about the kind people and God’s arms’ length of sky over a 500-year old cobblestoned and pastel village, resting beneath 2 active volcanoes down below the Tropic of Cancer–and more about the fact I was travel-logged, fagged and coming down with the flu or recovering from it and anyway suffering with a raging case of I.B.S.  I was in a foreign country but the operative subject was the ‘I’ and not ‘foreign country’.

We can get the word out on the street from anywhere in the world and virtually hang with neighbors and friends online.  Listen to what they have to say.  They’re not giving us facts, although they can, but we are listening for a personalized, experientially verified truth.  The objective authority of hard news is neither.  The New Century is a looking glass and authenticity is a hall of mirrors.  The internet changed everything and news media is only coverage now.  The market is wide open.
-PERSONAL JOURNALISM

In the first of many crises-of-faith as a writer, I took off on a 4-city spoken word tour of the U.S. in December of ‘99.  Amtrak offered a multi-ride ticket that ended up costing me a little over $800 for 4 cities. I did the tour by train and when I ran out of destinations, I sold the return leg to PHL to a girl at the hostel in San Francisco, who needed to get back to Chicago–and I booked the same 4 cities for my trip back.  My first stop was Lafayette, which laid me over in New Orleans for free, that is—it didn’t count as 1 of the 4 cities on my multi-ride ticket (Chicago’s another one, by the way, if you’re traveling from San Francisco to Philadelphia on the Lakeshore Limited).

The Philly-New Orleans leg took 24 hours.  There was a bus leaving for Lafayette in the morning and I had the night to myself.  Lafayette was my first gig because the tour was booked on who I knew.  Pearce ran a club there called the Rinky Dink. We read poetry to each other in the dark, over soul food and rye. I kept the phone number of the club, and his Breaux Bridge address, in a black pocket notebook I carried with me from state to state back in those last days of the American Century. I still have that little black book, with the names of people like “Pale Horse” Bob, the meth-smoking trustafarian from Houston and Lindsey the aspiring-sex worker from Holland.  Tour was over by the end of the century.  I spent the next 10 years in Philly playing the blues.
-AN EXPATRIATE IN PROFILE

SAM'S 1997

Sam’s Place, West Philly, Fall 1997

We did the chitlin circuit in 2015, starting in Austin and making our way to Breaux Bridge, Lafayette and finally New Orleans LA for a couple readings and shows. We did it in a Black 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe. We’re doing it again—hitting the road except this time we are getting out of country.
-AN EXPATRIATE IN PROFILE

I rode in blasting the Counting Crows last Saturday and drove 511 miles to look for work.  The Texas Workforce Commission awarded me almost $1,300 but took it away and are now saying I owe it back.  I’m writing this on a kid’s desk in Mid City.  The bass player’s in the pool and Pearce’s been playing a baritone guitar for the last half hour.  We served fifty people Creole brunch today—gumbo, jambalaya, catfish and pork.  It was an 8-hour day and now we’re back here, resting up for our show tonight at the Saturn Bar.  I played with a full band Friday night, with John Wood on drums at St. Roch’s Tavern.  Made a few dollars and screamed my fucking head off to ‘em—doing tunes like Raining In Ybor City and Dan Auerbach’s Shine On Me.  I did some demo last week, with Brother James and I’m making more money than I could’ve hoped in Austin.  Trying to settle in here and think about Europe but I’m still getting emails about subletting my apartment back home.

I wouldn’t drive faster than 10mph down Dumaine if you care about your shocks and suspension.  I pulled in here 9 days ago and it’s been a blur of rock shows and daylabor, while gorging myself on pork and drinking honey-sweet Italian Roast by the mugful.  I ran into Dan Fox at Siberia last night.  We were both there to see James Hayes play, and I told him that I have a lot of respect for Antigravity, dating back to ‘11 when I interviewed him, and when the Lovey Dovies were in Austin playing the Spider House with the Sour Notes.  Dan’s a smart guy, you can see it in his eyes and besides–bullshitting anyone from the Crescent City is only bullshitting yourself.
-ON DUMAINE

sigh

sigh

Darren Aronofsky describes Bourdain’s show as a form of “personal journalism,” in the tradition of Ross McElwee’s 1985 documentary, “Sherman’s March,” in which a story is pointedly filtered through the individual experience of the filmmaker. 

We left America and flew out of New Orleans on the 4th of July.  New Orleans was holding on to its rank as one of the top 5 deadliest cities in America.  Trump’s tax cut was a skewer job and his healthcare bill was cruel. These are hardly revelations. Days before though, Justice Kennedy had stepped down from the Supreme Court and 5 journalists were gunned down in Annapolis.  The screw was in, everybody knew.  The deaths in Maryland at the Capital were a clarion call, even for a hack journalist like me who doesn’t watch the news. I had doubts about taking the trip, especially because I had no place to leave my car while I was gone.  A friend came through for me in Slidell, though.  We locked up my Element behind the gate in his yard, and I told Pearce we were on.  I charged up my camera battery and packed my things…
-AN EXPATRIATE IN PROFILE

En route to Varzulitsa from Sofia BG, July 2018

En route to Varzulitsa from Sofia BG, July 2018

Dear 116th

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2020 at 10:30 am

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Wear a mask.

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When I struck out at 42 I drove a 16′ stakebed through the wasteland of north Texas.  I left the cushest gig I ever had.  It was a live in position and the longest I ever lived anywhere since leaving home at 20.  I delivered electrical supplies for sometimes 12 hours a day, and had to get to the shop in Round Rock by 4AM.  About a month in to the job, I found out my roommate was overcharging me $250 a month in rent.  It was one of the worst times of my life but I borrowed the work truck and moved all my furniture up 45th street to a garage apartment in Crestwood.  I was seeing this crazy bat who left her husband when she got a gastro bypass.  Said she wanted to get laid and left her “fat husband” to start playing the field.  On our first date we got naked in her car in the parking lot of 777.  She left me in the new place after midnight when I told her I couldn’t fuck her if she had herpes.  Spring was good but only when I got laid off.  I wrote Love&Wages and met Little Brother.  I had a good 4 months with a good woman and sold books and read in Antigua that December.

Being homeless at 20 is a trauma I carry.  It informs my decision-making when it comes to working horrible jobs way past when they’re not good for me.  I always feel a job away from the park and I roll the dice with my dental health.  I put out a book every year and sometimes broadsides.  I closed a couple credit cards traveling to Columbus OH last summer.  I sold out of Love&Wages, a chronicling of jobs I worked–as a courier in a flatbed and all the way back to when I was a laborer in the hometown and slept in the park and graveyard with an abscessed molar.  Of all the barbs and crushed days, subsisting as a working poor, I was lucky.  I’m still lucky.  There are patches, of working jobs between, torturous stretches when the pain just goes on.  It doesn’t feel like it will ever end and then I get a coffee shop gig or ruefully suit up in serving blacks I’ve thrown away or donated so many times.  Sweat my dick off in mansions of the shitty rich and get talked down to in a way that begs my fingers round some twat captain’s throat.  My first gig at the new company, I got a $250 tip, released Love&Wages and drove to Houston the next day.  I got on a flight bought and paid for by Little Brother and got back to being lucky for a while.

I delivered corporate lunch that winter.  Bartended on the weekends.  Wrote.  Had a good run with sweet Shanti.  By then my guts were twisted, damage done on the courier gig and being back in the food service industry meant I wouldn’t shit regular or be able to be far from a working toilet ever again.  I moved out of Crestwood.  Into a large 1BR loft with Little Brother and Sexy Cati’s help.  I’ve a writing desk and recliner.  A bed and an upright bass.  I work for a non-profit, in front of a screen for 6 hours a day.  I got benefits, blood-work and am waiting to see the G.I.  I’m recouping Europe and publishing 2 books last year, getting gouged by the PPA and a change of flight and car rental fees while out on tour.  I’ll never forget poet Amy Turn Sharp picking me up in the rental garage.  An emerald green scarf blew out behind her in an icy plume of conditioned air, where she sat in a 2020 Ranger Rover wearing mirrored aviator shades.  I burned out on the food service industry and hopefully for the last time.  I write.  I’m hoping to stay lucky.

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

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I.B.S.U.S.A.

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2020 at 11:31 am

When predominantly white-led crowds of largely unmasked protesters, some armed, take to statehouses to rally against the most basic public health advice—or refuse to mask while shopping—they are not just signaling their political affiliations. They are also performing their racial dominance, manifest, in this case, as selective exemption from the imposition of governmental control.
-Rhea Boyd, Nation Magazine

I don’t want to talk about anything in relation to him.
-James Charles

It’s going to be a very different industry when we get to the other side.
-Bill Banowsky, Violet Crown and former C.E.O. of Landmark Theatres

At the end of the day, I have to sleep with myself.
David Gutowski

The last of the great decades.
-Vanilla Ice

Very well, then! of that sort only are my readers, my true readers, my readers foreordained: of what account are the rest?  The rest are merely humanity.  One must make one’s self superior to humanity, in power, in loftiness of soul—in contempt.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

A wholesale white wash of history will not provide redemption, forgiveness of the past, or protect us from ourselves.
Don Bajema

…the “great” America Trump set out to remake with his presidency is the city on Reagan’s hill, shining not with any moral virtue, but with the raging, white-hot, destructive fires of imperialism and capitalism.
Lucy Diavalo

Turn the light out, say goodnight
no thinking for a little while
-The National

Why aren’t we in the streets in every city?
Guerrilla Man

I thought I’d see you on the streets, motherfucker but it turns out I’d rather stay indoors.  Run down reams of feed and squander precious hours in a bubble of armchair outrage and YouTube shows.  If there’s anyone who’s not concerned about politics it’s the technocrats of the nouveau riche.  Alphabet stock is at fifteen hundred and rising and the last thing on Mark Zuckerberg’s mind is how you feel about Facebook’s support of the Campaign of Donald J. Trump for President.  Even if YouTube is showing some conscience by changing its algorithm and I shudder to think how the Police would behave if they weren’t on film, the passive window of social media is not good for my mental health.  The only world I see beyond this desk is the one they show.  I’m looking California good Reader and feeling Minnesota and anyway wondering how they do in Holland and Oslo.  We’re just a kiss away and when the shit hits we won’t be able to say we didn’t see it coming.  A fourth reich or else some Corporate state where our every move is made on a grid and we’re told what to think and know better than to say.  We make just enough to stay hungry but never get organized or strong enough to overthrow.  The strangest thing isn’t that it’s almost real but that we’re acclimating and accepting it by degree, every day and night at a screen and “protesting” within a character limit beneath a banner ad. 

Maybe you’ll recall me writing at The Coarse Grind how I’d be getting out there and founded the CP&WS for it?  Well that was a months ago and Black Lives don’t matter to the media unless there’s blood to purvey.  I’m feeling helpless Good Reader though  I don’t know how much better I’d feel out there.  I said I’d get busy writing but I’ve been writing to get by.   Which is exactly what I trained myself for–here and at the Grind and even poetry, for years I wrote my way through while working full and part time, playing gigs and self-publishing.  I’ve raised a couple hundred dollars for the ACLU with my work and it could be my proudest moment as a writer.  But I won’t rely on charity for ego strokes, not the least of which because that’s not what charity is for.  I’m having a real hard time these days looking back over what I wrote and knowing I ain’t got out there for fear of getting sick or because I already am.  I’ve stayed in and wrote to keep the demons at bay…and it worked but the reality is sinking in.  It took 4 months of isolation and acting like everything was fine.  Everything is not fine.

What’s coming is a third-world order and corporatocracy which I’m sure is just fine with these jackbooted slobs as long as they’ve occupied their reptile brains with who to hate.  This is really it, a showdown and culmination of every rollback and dismissal of basic human kindness and generosity.  The 20s aren’t looking great though Brussels looks like a dream and the personal journalism I pioneered here for the last 10 years won’t stop what’s coming now.

 
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J2157 BLUES

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2020 at 11:07 am

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Sign of the times

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Play stupid games win stupid prizes.

-Bernadette Klaus

A budget is a moral document.
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Work on your intellect, ability to reason and your humanity.  And goodbye.
-Billy Brent Malkus

I just hope that karma and Darwinism does its stuff.
-Nick Barber

Believing passionately about the palpably not true…is the chief occupation of mankind.
-H.L. Mencken

Another week at the chipper blades.  Days winding down and peeled off the Anthropocene.  Hours mired in cesspools on the people’s platform while getting fleeced and mined for habit and political persuasion online.  I don’t need to get into it.  Without presentism and the belief that life, as is, was how it was and how it will be, there’s little to no hope in the day-to-day.  It’s compounded by The Stupid, of course, and the end of the world can’t be comprehended or felt fully without some armchair pundit telling you it ain’t so or it’s all because Masks Guns Gays Blacks Muslims China Obama.  Whoops.  Said I don’t need to get into it.  The sun’s heat, trapped in a carbon layer we put up there, will melt the polar ice caps which in turn will release methane into the atmosphere, trap even more heat overhead until we’re burned right off the face of the earth–but they won’t stop and it looks like we won’t even be able to die in peace with the noise these nutters make.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve made a career of evasion.  I like you but not them and I make my money and come home, pull up to the writer’s desk and get busy writing it down and anyway chronicling life on a dying planet in a Pig Nation full of science-deniers.  It’s one thing to have to die this way and another knowing the New Dumb will already be at the extinction event, decked out in Reich-red, angry and armed and looking like the beer line at NASCAR on flag day.  I tell you I don’t engage and that’s nothing new.  I fight my own battles and sing my own blues.  The worst thing about having boundary issues is not that people can’t be good but that I’ve resolved to a life alone rather than have to fend them off.  I’m not lonely but I’m sick and strange.

They mean no harm.  Ok, yes they do, but underneath their authority fetish, behind their ALL CAPS screeds and white trash talk radio they’re scared.  Ask you who isn’t?  What’s wrong with me on the other hand, well—The Problem With Jimbo has been fine motivation, some might even call it fuel, and anyway I know I’m never out of material as long as I maintain this heady mix of Catholic guilt and a shunted sense of self stuck somewhere around the age of 15 when the bottom dropped out.  Those were some days Good Reader.  Adolescence in the township, carrying a wrench in my bomber jacket for any jocks or Nazi skins I met on my way to school and back home to lying parents who played each other and us kids as a second and third thought.  Whoops, don’t need to get into that either.  Took me 473 words to get to point and the point is this–I haven’t been affected by the barbs and throes of the final century, at least not in any grave or catastrophic way.  They bleed us incrementally.  I wouldn’t tell you otherwise.  I’m angry but I’ve always been.  There’s a fight happening but for me it’s not with them.

I’ve coped with what was wrong with me and I lumped what was wrong with them into column B.  With my rent paid and food in the fridge I could close my door and so I did.  What was wrong with me only trumped what the world was going through and I always felt like I could never make a change as long as I was a depressive fuck up with zero self-confidence and colossal intimacy issues.  So, I kept the world at bay and I did this work and it got me here.  I’ve come around the bend though, Good Reader.  I laid my burdens down.  I got better and the world got worse.  I’m happy to be alive and choked with regret–in blinking fluorescent clips.  I needed writing to get through and I’ll need to write to get through.  This much hasn’t changed.  It’s been a gorgeous and thorny thirty years.  Days of beauty and ire.  Days feeling like I’d never survive.  Though, I did.  I survived.  I’m up and looking around.  I’m here.

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Warmest Greetings From The War Room

In Uncategorized on July 9, 2020 at 12:29 pm

…ANNOUNCING Consolidated Press&Wire Service–A Television Broadcaster, A Poet & A Journeyman Walk Into A Bad Joke…No One’s Laughing…Vice President Mike Pence Reveals the Ultimate Authority of Mother…Slow Turning in The Anthropocene, It’s The End of The World As We Know It and I Don’t Feel Fine…The STUPIDITY Of Using All-Caps

Eat or be eaten.
-Iggy Pop

The lurch and thrust of the final century is merciless and the 24-hour news cycle is no better but I’m on deadline so I’ll have to limit my scope.  At least I did for the wire but I got it off.  228 words on Zoom’s shutdown of an account hosting a commemoration of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, on May 31.  Cole Noppenberg, Butch Hamaday and I have started writing for Consolidated Press&Wire Service–a loose hub hosting content and reporting done in-house from outposts in Krakow, Baltimore and The Office of Jim Trainer right here in Austin.  My next 200 should concern union-busting at the ACLU and perhaps some new direction for the funds I have devoted to raising for them.

It’s unbelievable that the ACLU would practice union busting,” United Media Guild-CWA business representative Shannon Duffy stated in the Witchita Eagle last week.  Indeed Brother Shannon but in the final century batshit is the new normal.  Chaos is baseline.  Shock doctrine from the top down and flag waving all around.  Jabronies and YouTube pundits have taken to the airwaves but so have we.

Vanilla Ice cancelled his July 4th appearance in Austin last week, while the city and this state and country consider how to eat our own.  It rains all the time here, which is odd to complain about when otherwise it’ll be triple-digits into Fall.  The lizards, taken over since quarantine began, hold guard on the plank fence I can see from the writing desk, puffing out their red throats, watching.  In here some new genus of chigger has mutated and rose from the recycling, long past when it should’ve been taken out, to send me into volleys of minor annoyance and major rage.  Apple reminds me I’m out of iCloud storage every 70 seconds but won’t let me play Nick Cave&The Bad Seeds’ Skeleton Tree on this MacBook, new-to-me.  The work laptop is dead and, for all intents and purposes, lays there like a useless and cheap plastic brick.  ZME Science reports on the fastest-growing black hole in the universe eating the equivalent of one sun per day which is good news for those of us who’ve given up hope a long time ago.  Call me a nihilist, but, what could be better than total annihilation?

Another hot cup of black roast with honey for starters, or, wild sex for 48-hours in the loft before getting back to writing–the only work that sustains me and what Mencken rightly called the “Life of Kings.”

Tell me if it is still
possible to announce triumphant justice
and deliver the lessons of the new world.
I’m going to kiss your lips,
they are cold and taste like the word America.
The Wound Before the Tomb of Walt Whitman, Fernando Valverde

See you on the internets, Pretty Babies.

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GOD BLESS SHEILA BUCK

In Uncategorized on July 2, 2020 at 9:00 am

I’m not quite sure what I just read.
-Renee Phillips

I couldn’t begin to describe the crushing disappointment I’ve walked around with every day of my 45th year, but maybe I won’t have to.  Free fall is never good but when ushered in by a carny plutocrat with a dictator fetish, landing is worse.  I’m not who I was supposed to be but in a strange turn of macabre luck, I won’t have to dwell on it too long.  I need to be here for what’s happening now but I still get stuck in a loop on the socials, yelling at Right Wing Gene, supine in the big chair and passive for hours and yes, even wrapped up in my own blues and disappointment–as selfish and disgusting as that trip is.  However, sometimes, a line or motif or theme will be on the tip of my tongue and I’ll reach for a self-published collection of my own work and turn the pages on the only archive I have (besides this digital trail of over 72k words and a tote in the garage of a green and white house in Delaware).  There comes a pride when reaching out and seizing your own work off the shelf but the truth is these books are the deal I made.  Without self-publishing a collection every year I’d have sunk to even greater swells of disappointment and self-loathing.  My work is the hard proof Good Reader that I am not as threadbare and compliant, that I haven’t sold out all the way, and anyway I’m still kicking some–even if it means doing what I have to for 30 hours a week and writing when I can.

Writing when I can is what Going For The Throat was/is all about.  It was always about writing and the way through and writing as the way through.  Therapy or anyway flesh peddling and egomania.  It resonated with you and that’s a miracle.  It kept the muscle working and procured for me essays in journals and even my own column.  I write about what’s wrong with me and we’re here together and isn’t that nice?  Except that this country has slipped out beneath our feet and at last count 63 million people don’t mind the cashout of our lives, would rather not have healthcare if the Government says they need it, even though they do need it and anyway are victimized by The America, too.  Its schools and violence.  Its brutish and cruel capitalism yielding diminishing returns on your lifetime.  It’s got them so punchdrunk they’ll believe and repeat that the uptick in infection is due to testing.  I get the anger.  But it’s blinded them, and given them a sense of power they haven’t felt before and need so bad.  The fact that a lot of them aren’t intellectually ahead of the curve shouldn’t matter, but it does.  The fact that they need to be told about right or wrong and worship power as the only principle shouldn’t matter, but it does.  Country simple, the only problem with 63 million dumbshits blind with rage is they’re armed.  The only problem with their Paleolithic beliefs delivered by a modern market Jesus is that they’re on the street, without masks and behind the wheel.

Which is all to say I’ve been writing my way through.  Who could blame me, sure, but this blog comes up empty Good Reader, as does my life every week.  I take this complaint to the work and write my way through it and the whole thing starts again.  It’s this grisly perpetual motion machine that’s kept the lights on and the banner flowing, a cycle of misery and release and covering, like a reporter, depression as my beat.  It worked for coming on 10 years now but that was before this age of crumbling and dissolution, before the rains came and when we weren’t drowning in our own blood.

ACB 2

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ALL I NEED IS ONE TRUE FRIEND

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2020 at 12:00 pm

 

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The rich build monuments to generals—the poor to martyrs.
Charlie O’Hay

Some of the tropes are familiar, but we haven’t seen this movie before. No one knows how dark things could get, only that, in the Trump era, scenes that seem nightmarish one day come to look almost normal the next.
Michelle Goldberg

The only principle is power.
Jon Stewart

Morning.  It’s the first week of summer in America.  I don’t know what the death toll should be or how the Police could go on killing us without our protest but it’s 92 days til Fall.  NPR blathers but under the spinning fan I can’t make out what they say.  It’s overcast but it’s always raining here.  I’m writing this at odds with my workweek, the daygig–I should get a jump on things but sometimes I feel this need, and I know enough to know, you don’t take the muse to the dance she’ll just find another ranch hand.  I don’t know if I’ve buried the lede or if I’m just getting warmed up and holding fast to anti-essay writing and anyway eschewing the rules of journalism until I can come through with my own voice which brings me to point.  Last week’s post was an embarrassment but also–a success.  I wrote about getting on message and devoting these channels to the cause.  But I’ve done little to no research (though I maintain the due diligence of a personal journalist by adding to a Word doc called The Week and to a raft of grudge and smear I swear I’ll get to as soon as I can determine how slagging them will benefit me).  The latter is their names mostly and links to their socials.  Hateful, small (white) people who’re on the record now in a WordPress draft and anyway potential stories, leads and jumping off points for the new news and this–personal journalism.

I’m offering a limited edition broadside letter pressed at the Austin Book Arts Center last summer.  Jet black and cool red ink on white stock.  AMERICAN CENTURY BLUES, from Love&Wages and whose proceeds benefit and support the ACLU in their efforts fighting for our rights. Pictured with link below.  That ought to cover the last 7 days while of course I was working 30 hours for the non-profit and feeding myself, trying to get a pool date and cinch my circle of friends to a tight two, maybe, though I guess one’ll work for the dissolution of the republic in the time of corona.  Otherwise I’m back at it.  Trump’s failed rally and a few days without murder porn have made me reasonable if not well.  I’m still thinking on how to further the cause and besides the broadsides and this column, and my monthly at Into The Void, the boys and I are putting up a wire and should have some stories and media coming through, an offering somewhere between the slough of online coverage and the armchair piss-and-peanut gallery.   I’m taking my own advice, Good Reader, just had to give it a couple times and anyway truly hear it.  I’m re-devoting my energies.  I could get down and twist titty with Lynette the scowling wench from Arkansas City–what would that do though but stoke both our flues and build it up in me to fever pitch a mix of rage and righteousness too big for this small room I spend inside or outside of 21 hours a day in?  Let Lynette live and drag herself for all I care.  Let them all reveal themselves and if they got stones as big as their keyboard fingers we’ll see them on the streets motherfucker.

ACB 2

 

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READ THE COARSE GRIND AT INTO THE VOID MAGAZINE
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ARTHUR MILLER WAS WRONG

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2020 at 12:00 pm

8378e0829fecc95364ee272b25364d2bHam and egg salad on white bread, keeps me company on nights like this,
a pack of mentholated cigarettes keeps my air nice and thick…
-PRIMUS

Personal Journalism is a hard dollar.  The toughest job I never get paid for.  I trawl my own depths for a bit of your time.  I wrangle my blues, and put it down, 600 words at a time.  They say I’m a writer and I like when they say that.  I don’t slave over the text at least not all at once and I usually only edit it for flow.  I’ll tweak a post though, throughout the week and in this way a blog can get better over time like wine.  One thing’s for sure, I get it down and I feel better always.  Depending on what’s eating me and how deep I’ve gone, re-reading isn’t pleasant unless I nail it.  A good piece is a good piece even if it’s got some flesh in it.  I suppose I cringe the most when I’ve exposed myself and it’s not even good–posts that ramble and confess and anyway champion me and my own ego.  Who the fuck do I think I am?  I ask myself reading over these types of posts, cringing until the window is closed and I can convince myself it’ll all come out in the wash once the book comes out.  The Going For The Throat anthology ought to prune out these…I don’t know what to call them, posts that say too much but not really anything and where I go on and on about me as if I’m important or worth reporting on.  Just know, Good Reader and best believe–I’m only mining for the goods.  …in the coal mines of isolation are diamonds of solitude, or something like that.  That’s from MORE FROM THE TRENCHES, written last May and a particularly cringey Hi my name is Jim Trainer and I’m an alcoholic-type of post.  As a writer I know it had to be written but as a reader I judge the author for flesh-peddling and egomania.

Point is not every day at the desk is a good one.  I sometimes have to sell parts of my life I’d just as soon not admit and certainly not make public and available to over 70 readers a day.  It is what it is.  I nail it and all is forgiven.  Even now, with a post on personal journalism as plodding and fucking ponderous as this half-over–I am having the time of my life.  Writing and reflecting has sustained me in a way not much else has.  I make communion with myself and you bear witness and it’s perfect.  Call me a writer and it’s love.  I wrote inspired by pain and after 10 years posting here, and 35 besides, I found no better motivator.  I wrote on break–Saturdays or in the middle of the week when I tell ’em I’m on my way in but really my phone is still in bed and I’m getting down to the grainy part of the pot, the light through the blinds is perfect at the desk and it’s flowing molten, neat and fine. Goddamn.  Catch as catch can writing, inspired by what’s wrong with Jimbo, has given me this-ahem-career in the Arts.  It could be better served ain’t it and these days every time I write I feel guilty.  If I don’t write on current events I’m part of the problem and if I do I’m taking up valuable bandwidth.  You know where this is going.  This platform could be better served.  I just need to put in the research and research=time.

I’ve got the time too, Good Reader.  Maybe next week I’ll get right back to roasting crackers and pig Cops, slicing and serving up my enemy because fuck them.  There’s always room here for it but we’re gonna need better fuel.  There’s something deeper than anger that I’m hip to and it’s health and probably a cleaner currency.  Something to help us run on for a long time that doesn’t blind us but helps the world to see.  The way out of the dark, Good Reader, and not some cheap, sugar-high whiteboy armchair outrage either.  Like I said I got the time.  I’m only doing 30 at the non-profit and I’m more than inclined to make kicking against the pricks my vocation full time.

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2031, JIM TRAINER’S SIXTH FULL-LENGTH COLLECTION OF POETRY, IS AVAILABLE NOW THROUGH YELLOW LARK PRESS.

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…into it, brightly with pain…
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Well. 

In Uncategorized on June 11, 2020 at 7:15 pm

Stop treating us like animals..2but my mind cuts through it all
Like a wrecking ball
-Gillian Welch

The long arc of history better fucking bend toward justice.
Lisa Konigsburg

I’m a misanthrope but also I’m depressed.
-Your Writer

They were like “We’re on your side and we believe in what you’re doing and what you’re  fighting for.”
Amisha Harding on doing the Macarena with the National Guard

Austin is a really cool place for people that are not aware of the injustices occurring in the world.
Chas Moore, Founder
The Austin Justice Coalition

Stop treating us like animals and thugs, start treating us with some respect.
-Mike O’Meara, President
New York Association of Police Benevolent Associations

There’s blood on the streets,
the streets are ours…

-The Blitz

IMG_4924

I can’t tell you anything man.  Not what you know already and certainly not what you don’t.  The proof is on film.  It’s indisputable.  Medics and pregnant women shot.  Non-protesting citizens maced.  Innocents swung on with skull cracking batons and the rest ran right over with horses.  It’s got me sick.  Anyone reading this column too I reckon and anyway who hasn’t trusted the Police or USGOV since their first rude awakening to the de rigueur brutality and death culture of The America.  Deniers humanize cops but it’s their only trick in the stack.  Similarly they dehumanize victims and frame this as a fight between criminals and citizens.  The fight isn’t against cops but the cops are in our way.  Who they’re serving and protecting is who we’re up against and they forfeited their humanity when they put the badge above it.  Point is this is a war between the rich and poor.  Country simple, black and white.  Facts.  Black Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by the police than whites while their median income is 20% less (according to the US Census).

The last thing I’d want is to get into a war of words or contest of research, especially if you’ve already made up your mind.   I don’t anticipate any of that from my cherished Readership.  For what it’s worth my record stands as staunchly anti-authoritarian and pro-working class. Sides are drawn and this is a good fight.  I haven’t felt more alive or inclined to take to the streets since marching in Philly for Mumia in ’98.  There’s a cynicism that happens to idealists, Oscar Wilde said it better, but I’ve had the option to hide out and make my way in the underground.  Truth is I owe it all to my heroes for showing me the way and to all of you when I got there.  I’m still getting there.  Personal journalism was my way of crassly staying on brand but also writing here and at Into The Void was and still is my refuge.  Even now, choppers still circling overhead, them banging out some millionaire’s new construction next door, some other millionaire’s kids whining from their jungle gym on the other side and having to throw this Dell on the desk, jump up and just make it to the john to piss blood out my ass–writing is how I’m dealing.

My worries are real but few.  I’m fed.  I’ve walls and a bed.  Truth is I’m living down a decades-old trauma, far from recovering though I do make strides.  I’m doing what you do if you can do it–you take your lumps and your savings, take the pay they’re giving and make home, play nice and insulate yourself as much as you humanly can from the people and culture of this country.  They’ve got us fighting them and I don’t mind.  I never cared for bullies.  Truth is our anger is needed elsewhere so I don’t waste too much time on those crackers and uniform fetishists anyway.  I commit personal journalism because it needs to be told at the street level.  I like it in the underground, it’s quiet mostly, but lately living this way has only got me sick.  Maybe I’ve lost you, maybe this post isn’t anything but whiteboy complaint and, so–before I get back to work on the day gig I’d like to go on the record saying I never liked cops.  I never will and I never realized how much the USGOV did for me until it didn’t.  Let’s be clear this is a 20-year old problem and we all know who we are and what we’re doing here.  Sides have been drawn and I’m glad.  It’s never been clearer.  They make me sick and y’all make me so proudSee you on the streets motherfucker.

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13 12

In Uncategorized on June 4, 2020 at 8:48 pm

13 12 3

What if you had the opportunity to take away people from this place?
Andrew Farnsworth 

How they’re named after the fact of their fast deaths…
Jihyun Yun

Life is imitating the wrong art.
Henry Nagle

jr 4

Felton Pilot, producer of MC Hammer, the lead singer and trombone player told me…You have something.  Never quit show business.  You are going to make it.  
-Kolob Harvest

It’s possible I’m being ironic.  I’m not quite sure anymore.
Brian Rihlmann

I hope the city doesn’t burn down tonight.
Don Bajema

IMG_4909

Despite the fact that I use patterns and certain color combinations in my artwork, I am not a believer in, or follower of, bullshit.  
Justin Duerr

He is my President.🇺🇸💯
-Stephanie Casey

Blind obedience, congratulations.
-Jason Dikes

sarahPHOTO BY SARAH H. BLOOM

I hate writing so close to deadline.  I’m liable to pop off about how a dead cop is a good start or that if you’re still behind this administration there can’t be any appeals to your sense of reason.  Willfully ignorant is generous though probably dumb as dogshit and racist and anyway unwilling to see the cities burning, the old folks dying, the schools and teachers, first-responders and hourly-wage workers getting razed and ragged on a burning hot spit of the American Dream.  Nothing I can say you’re going to hear or that H.L. Mencken hasn’t said already.  Trump is everything they love about this country.  The police and strongman politics are why I left the suburbs but the city was no better.  What happened in Fishtown last week was just a Monday for them.  They might not have chased black people down the street before George Floyd was murdered but they certainly relished and seized upon the opportunity with the blessing of the Philadelphia F.O.P.

What a field day for the heat, eh Good Rioter?  I’m writing an hour before you’ll read it, in the dead heat of a quiet evening.  The truth is I can’t point fingers because I’m not out there and neither are you or anyone who’s afraid of getting the corona virus.  Consider that those who are out there, risking life and limb and at the mercy of an Army of Pigs, have no other option but to risk catching a deadly disease.  They’re getting killed anyway.   Might as well try and make a change.  I’m a horrible reporter.    A world on fire is what a true reporter lives for, why we’ve had and have great men–like Hunter Thompson and Cornel West and anyone who’s ever carried a camera like a torch.  Their words mean something or they did and who’s writing the new stuff if not some tacky lower-middle class cracker on Twitter under a red and black banner?  Why should I be safe indoors writing as the their bones break and crowds get fired on and gassed?  Why should I let the pigs win another day for The America, the news reels roll on without me trying to affect change or at least maim and hurt horribly the office of law and aggressors of order?

The truth hurts but at least it’s the truth and I’ve done 468 words in service to personal journalism.  It’s hardly worthy duty but a duty nonetheless to go on the record, here, and say–it’s too comfortable for people like me, otherwise I’d be out there swinging on them and bleeding.  What’s more this cause is just and they should come for us all, force our hand to make a stand and look a pig in the eye before we squash and shut this whole system down.

USING YOUR VOICE IS NO SMALL THING.

distress

PERSONAL JOURNALISM, PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY.