Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘being an artist’

Good News For People Who Love Bad News

In blogging, journalism, media, mental health, new journalism, news media, punk rock, RADIO, recovery, singer-songwriter, sobriety, Writing on December 16, 2015 at 5:09 pm

Heaven, are you really waiting outside the door?
-The Fire Theft

Happiness is a hard gig for a survivor.  The worst kind of trouble can be no trouble at all.  I’m dumbfounded to be hitting my stride now, 10 months in on a sober jag, practicing Yoga every day and sleeping for 8 hours every night.  Contentment can be a real bitch for those of us who’ve decided to be born into this life, if not to make or break with dying than at least to stand and be counted, shock the squares and make our mark before we go down for good and back to dust.  I’ll admit a grudge match with death is no way to live, but a denial of it, even a convincing one, can make you seem dull and young.  Beauty fades and belief as anything but a verb is a product.  History is brought to you by purveyors and it’s a real shame the way we can spin out on things that don’t even matter but fail to grasp what’s most important.  The point is we’re alive and we’re here.  The punk rock movement put boots to ground but sprouted up organically as if it was always here.

We’ve shaken death’s hand.  Not only have we rivaled every foe, we can’t think of an enemy worthy enough to take us away from the real work.  Though they try, we pay visit with the Friend in our work, and it’s in his company we celebrate.  Every step of this process completed is a success.  Every EP, spoken word performance, missive of the New Journalism, every poem and journal entry, every stroke on the canvas and photo taken is a victory.  We can have this life.  We’ve twisted out of the wreck with a new language of love.  We’ve fled mass market culture and made our own.  We’ve shed the mask of the godhead and answer the call daily-at the keys in makeshift offices and behind microphones at ad hoc radio stations.  It’s our world.

The hard part for me becomes, to what do I devote these 600 words?  How do I fulfill the publication schedule of this column?  There are hawks and doves jamming the wire and the big business of news reporting is rife with tropes of us bee-lining it to the grave, fearing the police and toeing the company line with our heads down and dumb hopes of heaven or a payday.  What do I rail against when I’m not really pissed off and how could I possibly be able to spend the hour or so writing this and enjoy it at the same time?  How’s it possible that my hands are filled with work that I love and how is it that I can feel this thing snowballing, gaining mass and momentum and it might not be too long before I can segue a caregiving gig in the Live Music Capital of the World into the life of a fulltime Artist?  What do I rail against when I’m not really pissed off?   How do I fulfill the publication schedule of this column?

Just like this I suppose.  And with your help.  I’d of never made it this far without you but don’t you quit me yet.  We’ve got to jam this fucker home.  We’re seated at the table.  Now let us feast.

We are hopeful that Mosby will retry Officer Porter as soon as possible, and that his next jury will reach a verdict. Once again, we ask the public to remain calm and patient, because we are confident there will be another trial with a different jury. We are calm. You should be calm, too.
-Richard Shipley, Freddie Gray’s Stepfather on the mistrial of Officer William Porter


Shrieks from Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#24

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, poem, Poetry, poetry submission, submitting poetry, Writing on September 29, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Hey Jim Trainer,

Congratulations! “Untitled (2)” has been accepted for publication at The Bookends Review. Please e-mail us with a brief biography, and if you’d like, a commentary on your work. We are under the assumption that you are not publishing these pieces elsewhere. If you ever do, please say that they were published with us first. If you agree to acceptance, you are granting us permission to post your work on our website, as well as include it in potential print editions (such as yearly anthologies).

Thanks again.

The Bookends Review


Eye Teeth from the Artiste

In Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Philadelphia, Poetry, published poet, publishing, publishing poetry, recovery, self-publishing, TYPEWRITERS, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on December 31, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Christmas Eve 1995 was the end for me.  Or the beginning.  Either way I was on my own.  I’d had it with school and my parents, well… their 20-year old college dropout of  a son was sleeping in the park with an abscessed tooth on Christmas Eve.  To say that this hardened me and made me bitter is an understatement.  The bitterness came in handy for the next 20 years.  The hardness only left me feeling locked outside myself, right up until my 37th year, when I started writing the transformative poetry collected in the aptly titled Farewell to Armor.  What have I learned these last 20 years as a landscaper, busboy, telemarketer, dishwasher, sexton, demolition man, junk man, sales ambassador, barista, carpenter, server, tourdriver, bartender, piano mover and caregiver?  Nothing much.  Except that I traded one shuck-and-jive for another.  Staying in school might have been easier, but there’s always a price and you always pay.  Wondering if I made the right choice is about as pointless as wondering who I might have been had my parents stood behind me.  Besides, working in the land of the free-coming home covered in pitch with 550 in your pocket and a beer in a bag-is allot better than almost anywhere else in the world.  I can’t complain.  But I will.

College was a huge letdown.  Being blue collar wasn’t any better.  But I can proudly say I survived.   I’ve worked some unbelievable jobs, man.  Horrible rigs, all cash and carry.  I flew my jolly roger for years but nothing much has changed.  I’m only a paycheck away from that hardon 20-year old homeless kid with a copy of The Fountainhead and a pack of Marlboros in his sleeping bag.   I still get knocked down a rung or two.  I lose another tooth and the reality of this life punches me in the balls.  But being a writer and trying to get it down all these years has hipped me to the real story.  And as long as I was writing it down the real story was still being written.

A 3-hour break on this shift affords me the solitude to write this, a golden three hours of silence.   Walls.  My own time to reason it out with me.  The real work still calls, I’m still inspired.  And once in a while, on a cold street corner, I’ll get struck with it-the pathos of people moving through this life, the story of their suffering, the streets coursing like capillaries through this pocked emotional body, weaving through loss and love and waiting to cross at 6th&Guadalupe and get home, back to the beautiful machine.  Behind the typewriter or out on the street, what have I lived but the inner life?  And a rich one, the life of Kings.

We both know I been on that cheap fuel too long.  It’s true that nothing will quite get you through like pure hatred but maybe I need some new heroes.  Even one.  What I’m trying to say is that I am still writing it down.  And while I’ve rivaled my parents, the hometown, school and the job-I just want you to know how much you mean to me.  You see me as someone who’s followed his dreams.   Maybe you’re right.  I’m still knocked out the game by something as simple as dental work.  I’m still out on the corner, singin’ for my supper down at 12street and Vine.  But you see me you read me you feel me and my struggle and you support me.

On the outside I’m about as down and out as ever.  Maybe she’s right.  I’m nowhere in this life.  The world is something I must seek refuge from.  I’ve found my refuge.  You’re still reading me.  And I am still writing it down.

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The Beautiful Machine #typewriter #writing #writer

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