Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘correspondence’

Shrieks from Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#23 : Dear Charlie O’Hay

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Charlie O'Hay, Correspondence, Jim Trainer, Letter Writing, Poetry, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on September 18, 2015 at 2:06 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
709 Rio Grande
Austin, TX

11/15/13, 12:36 PM

Dear Charlie O’Hay-

I’m out front Dirty Bill’s and it sure feels good&warm in that Texzas sun.  The girl who usually works happy hour is off, my boss lets me eat here as long’s I pick him up a Blackened Fish salad and “hurry back”.  I hope you don’t mind me writing.  I barely know you, if at all, but I write letters to folks when I can’t write, or, to justify a few beers while on shift and living tot die.

I was about to write:  “We poets…”, but, fuck that.  I wouldn’t read anything that said that.  While it’s true that I don’t know you, we must test each other’s mettle, Charlie.  We must bleed the Poet’s Heart and see if we can be as vulnerable&strong as people like Lamaont Steptoe or Adrienne Rich.

I think we can agree that the finest poem we’ll ever write will be the first beer of the day, and the sun on your back is a reason to live…so, I don’t think I’m too out of my deepth in writing you.

We will live to see stranger things than our own mortality, Brother.  And, ironically or no, survival is prize.  And children.  And dog love.  I’ll have to cut this short be cause here she comes-the other kind.

Love is pain, but as we close the distance between us&the Sun, all is burning.  (She’s a blonde and you know how that goes.)

Yours,
TRAINER

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Shrieks from Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#19: Dear Reverend

In Being A Writer, Correspondence on December 19, 2014 at 6:39 pm

The Bard of Bettie Naylor
Royal Blue Grocery
Hippie Town, USA

Reverend J.S.Woolery
Between Trouble&The Blues
San Marcos, TX

9/7/14 2:40 PM

if the blues don’t kill me, boys I’ll never die
-Steve James

Sir-

We will live to see stranger things than our own mortality. The worst horrors and petty piss-ons of life are just a drop in the cup compared to our blues. But our blues has made us strong, if not resourceful.

They play the worst music here at Royal Blue but it’s my office away from home so whaddiyagonnado?
Kids today don’t understand that this music sucked when it was popular, when we were young men and believed in things like love and strength. Adam Ant and the Cure, Destiny’s Child-this was the shit blasting out the winners’ sports cars as we brazenly and bitterly stuck our head into the wind on the dirty streets of our hometown.

But enough of that ballyoo, I want to know what happened. I was riding high this Spring and heading into summer I thought I had said goodbye to the blues forever. I was falling in love, had poems accepted to several zines and even lectured at Texas State. Ha. I thought I had it whipped, Bud. What I presented to the CTWP that day was true; I believed it. I won’t say that I don’t write. My worst day is heaps better than my best day before, but I’m choked with grief and loss and I mostly just sideline it on the roof with cheap white wine until the sun sets and I can drink the Boss’ Vod.

I’m no fool. I never could have dreamed of the life I’m living now. I’ve become everything I wanted to. There is still so much to do but the view is grand. And still I find-those same old problems-a kinghell dissatisfaction with everything and everyone, a pack a day habit and a monkey on my back.

I guess this shit’s supposed to make you strong. And it will. But I carry it with me, J. All the loneliness of the world. And I’ll never live down that I have become exactly like my old man. Bitter and closed but never able to stave off a hypersensitivity that the Buddhists strive for but the Western man just smokes away and bides his time the best he can.

The Western Man is fucked. Don’t get me wrong I am a feminist. I was raised by women. But the frontier is closed. There’s nothing left worth killing except ourselves and the jury’s even out on that one.
The point of this letter Reverend is to say that it hasn’t gotten any worse but slightly better, until we’re attacked by it, this silent stranger within, who wants to choke all the joy out of the life we’ve built and fought and strived for. This motherfucker wants to burn it all down and worse, he’d love to sit down at the feast with you and make sure you don’t enjoy a second of it.

That’s not the point either, Reverend. We isolationists should do well to welcome the Harvest, celebrate the razing of fools and give cheer even of the ruse that once had us spellbound-mistaking a silly girl’s game for love. But let’s face it the real mistake is in thinking that there is anything that will save us. We don’t need saving. We’re doing better than our Fathers and if they could they would tell us that we did good. They’re proud. My point is that all mindfuckery and subterfuge, all draining dross and styrofoam love has only brought us closer. I believe it and I’ve got to. My days are filled with nothing. An abyss that I will fill up with letters to friends, poetry and Creative (or otherwise) Non-Fiction.

I won’t be coming around on the idea of togetherness. Because it doesn’t last and it never felt right even when it did. I believe in the road and I believe in the work. They were only in the way of the work and every heartbreak paves the way. Every disappointment, every ridiculous lie we hung onto is one less thing in the way. Did it hurt? Better believe. And does every day. But for every thing I’ve lost I’ve found myself. I’m with Rollins on this one. Folk music pisses me off and I’m counting down the days until I can go dark on the social networks. Get down on Vonnegut time. Surpass these zeniths of hatred and coast on a plain of dispassion.

The terrible summer has ceded. Time will do away with them and leave me with my pain. If I can’t get any work done at home then I’ll setup shop out here at the cafe and crank out another angry missive to my Friend, the Reverend.

Stronger,
Trainer
Royal Blue Grocery
Austin, TX

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#13: Fired From the Life Coach

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2013 at 9:32 am

Absolutely, Jim…

I would like to begin by emphasizing that this is not about blaming/shaming or finding falut-for either one of us! I will attempt to put into words what is somewhat intangible. In my time working with individuals, I have developed a sense that communicates to me when there is a fluid, easy and mutually committed rapport between myself and my client, which indicates a readiness and contributes to a momentum that motivates us toward the best possible outcome. I have on occasion felt the need to suspend the relationship when I sense it is not there. The reason that this rapport is missing is often not apparent – and it may not always be necessary to know. We humans often need to know the reason ‘why’ – and often it is irrelevant and simply eludes us. All I can say is that I have learnt to trust my intuitive instinct and in this case it is telling me that it’s in the best interest for all to let go right now. I have faith in your wholeness and your capacity to express your talents in the way that’s right for you and truly wish the very best for you, Jim. I hope these words support you in knowing that there is nothing ‘wrong’ with you- and you trust the wisdom that is guiding my choice.

Kindly,
Mahatme Lourdes, MA
reclaimyourspirit.com
1-800-NAMASTE

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Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#12: Glorious Print

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2013 at 11:16 am

Dear Jim,

We would like to include your poem, “The Philly in Me” in our Fall 2013 online issue. As we were debating work to accept in the magazine, we all found that we related to the experience of being outside of the area (in the Midwest or on the West Coast, in particular) and feeling decidedly “Philly” when others were nice for no reason.

Please respond as soon as possible letting me know that the poem has not appeared nor is forthcoming in print or online (in any non-password protected site, including personal blogs). Also send us your most recent bio.

Thank you so much for sending your work to Philadelphia Stories!

Courtney K. Bambrick, Poetry Editor
Philadelphia Stories

End of Thee Hated Roadtrip, Lost&Found in America

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2013 at 9:54 am

The road was not fun. The mountains were not fun. But we made it out and down.  When we pulled off the road on Wednesday, that placard of the state of Texas up on the highway, just this side of the Texarkana line, was like a vision. The wastelands of Arkansas gave way to rolling plains with cows sleeping under trees. Those crazy, lazy browns and the heat&the drawl of Texas was welcoming me with open arms.  A somnabulant southwestern “breeze” was blowing.  It pasted my balls to my leg and opened my eyes dry&wide.  It was good to be home.

The trip sucked, for all the usual reasons, but that wasn’t the worst of it. I was plunged into a bad dark up on the mountain, which could only be the grim&undeniable reacquainting of the self with the self.  My time up in the mountains was like the part of a Stephen King novel when his protagonist has really gone off the rails. I could see no end to the drunk rain and when the sun finally showed itself in Hewitt, the boss told us to load it up and head for the border, only to get popped for weed on the Canadian side at dusk.

Sunday I was stuck at the BP in Five Points, Nashville, waiting for a cab and Facebook messaging a girl back home. She’d been reading the blog. She’d been feeling my pain. That somehow someone out there was reading-registering my blues and following these mad chronicles of heartbreak in America, well, shit-it’s really touching, to tell you the truth. And it’s Art.  Aho and good goddamn.
I’ve been feeling like it’s time to retire this blog and I was especially feeling that way out on the road.  I would read over what I’d posted and hate life even more. Aho even the work wasn’t enough to carry me through and, greasy and despondent in some hotel room in Malvern, Kentucky, I would curse myself for not being able to write through the misery; opting instead to watch the most horrible television, jerkoff and go to bed. But this story ain’t over; rather, you’re still reading it. And, just as I was deriding myself for not having the discipline of Papa or because I never put in the hours that great writers like Jason Woolery do, the blog’s views spike up to the second biggest day in Going for the Throat’s history.

My point is that she was feeling me. And you kept reading. The blog’s got up and started walking; your steady trickling of views is what pleases me, no matter the road or consequence. You’re reading and my pain has been received and transmuted, framed and stuck on the wall for us to marvel or laugh at on better days. Better days are coming, brother.  You can count on that. Even as that deathead crowns the horizon and the Man takes a pound of flesh for a pound of gold, we’ve got each other, and isn’t that nice?

The high wind up north is really something. Up Vancouver or Niagara way, the north wind bids you to keep travelling on, keep going. I remember walking the streets of Vancouver in the fall of 2008. I had just bought the woman I was living with back home a black dragon Kimono robe, in Seattle the night before. The thing made me hard just looking at it, picturing her in it. When I called to tell her I had bought her something special, she told me that all my “shit” was packed up on the lawn. It would be there and ready for me to move out when I got back to Philly, she said.
(That never came to pass. She had moved all my shit back inside by the time I got off tour and was back in Hostile City. There it sat in the living room, still packed but no longer outdoors.  I loaded it up and headed down to Texas.)
Besides that rueful telephone call, what I remember best about that incredible fall day in Vancouver was this feeling that I could keep on walking forever, leave the guys in the RV behind me, keep going North and never come back.
I was feeling that way again a couple weeks ago up by the Canadian border. The north wind in Niagara was blowing through and I felt like it could carry me on and blow me away. We had just got pinched at the border for the old man’s weed. It was a disaster on top of the nightmare that the trip already was. I was thinking felony and no more trips to Tulum or anywhere outside the U.S. I was thinking a lot of things but mostly I was thinking what I would tell the Canadian border guards should they sequester me in a small room for questioning. I would absolve myself completely. I would tell the truth. They’d cut me loose on the streets of upstate NY and I would ramble. Leave the job, taking only what I could carry. Goodbye President XII. Goodbye workingman blues. How could it be any worse?

One learns survival by surviving.
-Charles Bukowski

Jimbo’s back.  I have lots to tell you and share.  Friday is letter day at the Office and I want to hear from you. Send me your address and I’ll send you the things I write when I can’t write-letters. When inspiration is lacking and the body is wrecked, I look to you and am renewed. I wrap up a day’s work with a walk through the garden, past the rainbow Kale and Neapolitans, through the pride of Barbados and to the tall blue mailbox on Rio Grande, and I send out my love to you.

Please keep reading.  You’re keeping me alive.
w/ Gratitude,
JMT

Memphis BP

Your Writer at the BP in Five Points, Nashville TN

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#10: Dear Butch

In Uncategorized on May 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm

And so it goes. ‘Twas ever thus. A pound of flesh and an eye for an eye on the too-small working class streets of my first love has made a war of my heart. What a waste. And what a dumb decade we spent in the pent-up rooms and shut-down shacks at the corner of nowhere&oblivion. It’s a wonder we survived at all.
There’s nothing left to do but take our Crown. Don our coat of wounds and crank the twitching hours into a masterpiece of pain&resistance. Resistance would’ve worked. It could have been the way but now the body gives out and the mind grows tired of the chase.
We won’t need their paper-thin platitudes of false love anymore. Nor their comradery.  Nor their praise, pride or prize for half-bravery.
We have starved to the truth long enough. Now let us feast.

Welcome to the mountain chain.
Yr Brother,
James

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Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#9: Already High (to Brother Kit with love)

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Crank the twitching hours
crank the twitching days
let the love we buried
rise up and choke them
in the tower
ring the bells
and call to arms
those who’ve sworn to this
and those who’ve bled with us
Crank the twitching hours
&crank the twitching days
by tooth and nail we give over
our time for our lives
and find
that survival is no longer prize
but winning is
living to fight
another day.