Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘30/30’


In Uncategorized on April 16, 2018 at 7:16 pm

most of adventure is doleful
you sink within
until you’re in the good place
hold on to what you’ve got
and go with that
don’t get sold on promise and prize,
or a dream of the future
the day that never arrives
this isn’t to say it’s simple
or easy or black and white
the truth is, another day is victory
and how you spend it is on you
I’ve worked for them enough, though
choked whole days off, for their profit
at their worry—it’s a troublesome lot
to be beyond small minds but
still under the thumb of the masters
ain’t it though
I always found my work deserting theirs
made this language safe-cracking
and white-hot, ran past the guard
into the sky
and the world and all it knew
fell away like loose change
till I was drunk on the high air
broken, spinning, terribly free.

Please visit jimtrainer.net for 1 of 4 full length collections of poetry and prose.

Won’t Stop

In austin music scene, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Charlie O'Hay, hometown, Jim Trainer, Lamont B. Steptoe, music performance, National Poetry Month, new journalism, news media, on tour, Performance, Philadelphia, poem, Poetry, poetry reading, publishing, publishing poetry, punk rock, self-publishing, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, Spoken Word, TOUR, travel, travel writing, working class, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on April 13, 2017 at 2:35 pm

…to live outside the law, you must be honest…
-Bob Dylan, Absolutely Sweet Marie

It’s a good thing I don’t care about what you think then, isn’t it?
-Your Writer on Facebook this week

Last week on Writing On The Air cohost Martha Louise Hunter asked me where I get the time to do it all.  God bless her.  We were talking about this blog and how 600 words a week is the least I can do if I’m going to call myself a writer.
“Of course there’s Letter Day,” I told her and cohost Joe Brundige, “and I’m posting a poem every day for the month of April celebrating National Poetry Month.”
I told them that All in the wind was book 2 of the 10 that will be published through Yellow Lark Press, beginning with September in 2015 and ending with a collection, as-yet-unnamed, in 2025.
“10 books in 10 years is great, a fine goal,” I went on.  “-but I’m only making up for lost time.”
Brother Joe and I share a symmetry, and experience the joy of communication that can happen between two stringently honest people.  It took appearing on the show twice for me to realize-I am doing the thing.  It’s good when that happens, as opposed to the slave driving I’m usually doing with myself and the crippling feelings of despair anyone reading this blog is, by now, all too familiar with.

I finally booked Boston.  I’ll be speaking at the Middle East Corner with the Reverend Kevin O’Brien and bussing down to Philly the day after, for the Philly release of All in the wind.  Joe and I recorded an episode of Chillin Tha Most at the mansion last week, and it should be on the net next Thursday.  Last week was the kind of week I’d like to have every week, with gigs and radio appearances almost every day.   I kept on pushing till the light of day.  Which is heaps different than the life I’m living in my head, where it’s never enough and I’m only a day working coward.  What’s next is complicated but simple in terms of intent.

I’m quitting this gig.  Moving out to the east side.  Minimizing.  Scaling down.  I’m not sure how it will look or how to even vaguely monetize poetry and the spoken word-but I’m full of ideas and already making half my imminent rent with the gigs I’m already playing.  It’s strange to be striking out now but hardly unlikely.  I’ve long since abandoned anything resembling the common tropes of being an American.  I don’t have any kids, don’t even have a girlfriend.  But I’ve got a passion for media and all forms of communication.  I hope to get further invested in print and broadcast media.  Before I fly out to Beantown the MAMU should be fully assembled and my next purchase will be a touring vehicle.

It took me a while to wrap my head around it.  I had to keep it to myself and it made me resentful.  I couldn’t talk about my plans on here, there was some bad blood about me leaving but there doesn’t have to be.  I’ve started paying my taxes, I got a new dentist and a healthy line of credit.  Everything is moving as it should.  My next venture will be some time researching topics for the blog, so’s to avoid the kind of soul searching pap and whine that she hates and can appear on Going For The Throat when its weekly deadline is on my neck.  Your ideas are welcome, as are paying gigs-do you have a story for me?  Can we find a way to pay my freight so I can come to your town, speak and play?  Please chime in, in the comments below, or drop me a line at: jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com.

This east coast jaunt will be a short one but I’m thrilled to be sharing the stage with the Reverend Kevin O’Brien, Duncan Wilder Johnson, The Droimlins, and Jim Healy in Boston.  The Philly release of All in the wind is stacked, with award winning poets Charlie O’Hay and Lamont Steptoe reading.  By the time I go back to work I’ll have played at least 3 shows on the east coast, sold some books and burned hundreds of miles.  I’ll be exhausted, which is how I like it, and plan to be in the coming months.  Into it, no stops, full bore.

See you on the East Coast motherfucker.



In National Poetry Month, Philadelphia, poem, Poetry on April 10, 2015 at 10:10 pm

driving an Acura with the sunroof open
coming down the hill on east 7th
and my city gave rise
my city
gave me blue pastels in the dusk
I never knew existed
my city
full of beautiful women saying “hi”
my city
where I quit everything
got healthy, got sober, got over
the Philadelphia blues

not quite paradise but closer
I could
fall in love or forget about her


In Being A Poet, Jim Trainer, National Poetry Month, poem, Poetry on April 9, 2015 at 11:57 pm

thanks for your letter
you couldn’t be more right
about them, this town and their
so I’m leaving but
I’m not coming to CA
you know you’ve got 20 years on me
and I know you’ll figure it out

I’m tired of the feast, tired of the party
tired of the masks of the characters
and how they all sleep around
tired of the drink and the smoke
tired of the distraction from things that matter
and the devotion to things that don’t

when you find your protest actually
did you in
and all the dealer cuts you is an
empty grin
when you come down from the hills
with just the clothes you have on
and they’ve robbed you even of

meet me in Metarie and
we’ll take the new city
you’ll love me, I know you can

you can take your refuge in me
in New Orleans darling
la ville mes amis


In Jim Trainer, National Poetry Month, poem, Poetry on April 8, 2015 at 2:39 pm

no trumpets of revelation today
no clanging of R.Scully’s church bells
to get me out of bed
no Ali with the petal-blue eyes
at the corner cafe
no Leslie out front idling
in a Jeep Cherokee

no pick-up, no get-go
no reason to try and make it today

sitting here sinking
like lead into the afternoon
no mystery
and nothing to fear
I’m lining death’s pockets with these moments
pinioned between nostalgia&dread.


In Jim Trainer, National Poetry Month, poem, Poetry on April 7, 2015 at 7:42 pm

growth is violent
and the sun burns
some people aren’t nice
and the world runs
on money and greed
if you have a complaint
take it to the boss
or go marching in the street
don’t complain to me
I left the party
a long time ago
and retired to this room
where I put my complaint into the work
I prefer quiet afternoons typing
over any crusade any where
I don’t believe in causes
and these pages aren’t flags
I’m not trying to change the world
and I don’t want to leave a mark
this typing, up here, has been
finding for refuge
far off the grid
from the rally and complaint
of the world


In National Poetry Month, poem, Poetry, TYPEWRITERS on April 6, 2015 at 10:04 pm

Cai had the most beautiful legs,
there was a dark mystery to her
that intrigued me, always
turned me on
we saw each other off&on for years.
last year, she called to tell me
she booked a room for us on the coast
could we meet like we used to?
I told her I’d get a ticket but
I bought the IBM Selectric II instead
and I retired the President XII Tower
after many nights together
in the arena, typing and getting it down
now I write on the Selectric
daily, in the afternoon, stone cold sober
I’ve written countless poems on it
and some stories, too
but I’d be lying if I told you
this was the first or the last poem
about Cai, with the beautiful legs
from Hong Kong.


In Jim Trainer, Music, National Poetry Month, poem, Poetry on April 5, 2015 at 9:15 pm


lit the opium this morning
and black peppery smoke
split the air and swirled around me
like a foolish dream

I thought of Levine
squinting through sulfur flares
glaring at the sun on an
industrial Detroit morning
I could see Molina
sticking his thumb out for the last time
on the bridge out of Hammond

my heroes’ work
delicate, never precious
their scars never for show
they roamed far from Hollywood
and the price was always
too high for Heaven

a poem is the way of living
and a song the way of life
it’s why Molina was always leaving
beneath a blue Chicago moon
why Levine was always looking
for a white sun burning
beyond the towers, through the smoke


In National Poetry Month, punk rock, RADIO on April 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm

radio coming into
the room like it was 1999
“Pink Flag” and all that shit
still holding up
at 3am, the morning
of my 40th birthday

what a thrill
me&Big Brother night
together again

a tube radio will literally warm the room
f-this generation,they are doomed.


In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Jim Trainer, National Poetry Month, poem, Poetry, Submitting, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on April 3, 2015 at 2:06 pm

lately it’s been irking me,
the voice of nay saying intellectuals
behind locked doors of academia
the inner critic’s talking at me
like the highbrowed editor of some fancy journal
&the geeks rubberneck when they see me
and my verse-checked and dismissed.
my poetry, rough around the edges
and with the most abysmal tropes
I mean, “in love with your death”?
I’m fine with it, my poetry, ok
walking the desert blind
and celebrating like a cannibal
in jungles of self-indulgence.
I pride myself on not being precious, or
pretty, or clever
but in my head they in sweaters
and glasses at the end of their nose say
They peck at me, nag and dismiss my cheap tricks
my jailhouse my junkyard my slang

it’s been my biggest inspiration.