Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘death’


In poem, Poetry, Uncategorized on May 18, 2016 at 11:49 pm

their end has made
the seasons indelible
death consumates
our love lasting and regal


half life

In Jim Trainer, Poetry on November 13, 2014 at 4:39 pm

for Ryan Camp

worse than last year
and last year I was feeling
worse than the year before
I’m half the man I was
and even less than that every year
I look in the mirror
and it’s the same face
is the goddess still in love with me?
time wrecks me and wears me down
the red heart’s pocked with hatred
and I’m better off w/o them
but it got me, too
this cheap, fast life
in which you hold on and you can’t win
but if you let go you’ll just lose
I can tell you’ve grown tired, friend
you’ve held me up too long
and it’s dragging you down
you know I still know what’s right
shit, she tried to hug me at the party
last night
there won’t be any forgiveness for her
she’s as phony as they come
her porcelain smile her perfect triumph
of vanity over truth
she said I was crazy
“the fuck does she know?”
you tell me I’m depressed
at too many parties celebrating
and the cool Fall nights
stacked up and heavy in death’s cadre
weighing me down, coming between us
tipping the scales and tempting me to
go dark fully

I never wanted to hurt you, friend
that’s the saddest part
I know that I’ve let you down and that
really breaks my heart.

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In Poetry on October 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm

crazy this mourning for you
that your death could be more real
than any living here.
even in these carpeted rooms
cups lined with the thickest liquor
books thick&sagging in their shelves
even with all my confidence
that the thick line
of her German thigh
will remain on
the green velour
and I have finally won her smile,
I will have to cut
out back
beneath the eaves
smoke one while looking up
to see the
cleaving the summer away
knowing you now
better than me
making the entirety of it all
baser than the most wicked
wiser than
the highest crown-
this is harvest, this is anniversary.
were I to
rake the loam with your hands
were I to truly
as you have
then I would hear them, too
I would hear them all
and know at once
how strange
is this mortality,
that all effort&endeavor
all lengths you have gone
to provide&protect
those whom you have loved
it has done nothing for this
it has not made time less
it has not made us miss you
any less.


Goodbye bravery.

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm
I time every journey 
To bump into you 
Accidentally I
Charm you and tell you
Of the boys I hate
All the girls I hate
All the words I hate
All the clothes I hate
How I'll never be anything I hate
You smile, mention something that you like
How you'd have a happy life
If you did the things you like 
-Franz Ferdinand, The Dark of the Matinee

I come up from the boiler room. She’s turned off all the lights. There are candles burning in every window. The windows are open but the furnace has stopped blasting the room with hot air. She’s left no note. In the kitchen a sole lamplight is glowing above the type and made brighter reflecting off the blank white sheet in the reel.
I sit down. I crank the silver arm of the President XII, advance and return the reel. My hands are black with furnace grease. My breath is musty, wet&cold.  I’m still exhaling cellar air. I start typing. I begin…
…South Philly…by the sign of the cross on a Monday morning. I am overcome with complete and utter sexual exhaustion. I can feel her in the ease of my joints and in the cracked fascia of my arms and legs. I can taste her and the salt of our sweat. Catholic School kids make their way down the cold pavement in twos and threes. Church bells crack the autumn air.  I walk down the steps to the orange line and sink into another dream…
…A dark rainy morning at the shop.  Auggie and his weed.   Spicer cracking wise.  Led Zeppelin and Bush and Live.  Lightning out through the double doors and then thunder booming down the suburban sky.  The nervous feeling in the bowels of a 19-year-old kid, standing there, waiting for the storm to come.  He’s trying not to hope for the day off.  He doesn’t want to jinx it.  But he is hoping for the day off  just the same…
…Up on a high hill above Wheeling.  It’s just him&her and this connection of feeling between them.  She’d never be so old again.  He’d never be less bitter.  He had the rest of his life to wonder about the wound and the opening.  He was 23, wearing wingtips and innocent to his own game.  They pile into the van and bomb their way through Appalachia.  They’re coming home…
Then this, the blurry amalgamation of my youth in three memories.  I keep typing…
…the yard is filling with water.  It’s up to at least 4″ by now and me&my sisters can’t get inside.  The doors are locked and we don’t have our key.  Mom’s Nova’s in the driveway but Dad’s pickup isn’t.  We run around to the backyard and find the rabbit,  floating by the porch drain, dead.  His solid black eyes seeing nothing.  His paws stretched out, waterlogged and useless.
and then…
…He comes in, hulking and quiet.  The silence of the house is weighted.  It hurts.  There is a shame coming from an anger unexpressed.  I look into his room from the hall  and see him sitting with his freckled back to me on the bed.  He is sinking and silent.  Then I see her face,  giant, pursed, as she shuts the door.
this is much later and I’m 14 now…
…we’re at Dunkin Donuts smoking and drinking coffee before school.  We’re late for homeroom  but we’d make first period and slide right in.  At 8:20am we get up, slap 1$ bills and quarters down and make our way out into the working class morning.  We walk down the length of the counter.  I’m ready to explain to anyone in my way that what I’m doing is my own goddamn business and if they don’t like it then they’ll have a big fucking problem on their hands and a fight they will not win…
It’s the bravest I ever remember being, then this…
…the last day of 9th grade at Upper Darby High.  Someone’s playing I’ll Stop The World in the parking lot.  She’s coming out from the stands toward me.  The sunlight catches her hair, her legs, her eyes.
She’s incredible, gorgeous as always but not so much the cheerleader anymore.  There’s something softer in her eyes and sad.  Her movements have an openess to them now and she’s moving toward me with the unmistakable language of her budding sexuality.  I want to tell her I want her, that I’d stop the world and walk away with her, across the parking lot and across the street from school, through the cemetery and into summer forever.  See you next year, I say instead, and walk away.    I don’t find out til the beginning of sophomore year.  Her father died that day, in the parking lot, when I walked away with more conformity than the lot of them rallying  in the stands behind me and yelling into the hot open air.  Goodbye bravery.  

I rip the sheet from the reel and sit there in front of the President XII.  Goodbye bravery, hello Blues.

This Perfect Machine