Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘going for the throat’

The Shit

In anger, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, blues, depression, getting sober, mental health, recovery, sober, sobriety, solitude, straight edge, truth, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on February 23, 2017 at 1:24 pm

If you want something different to happen, do something different.

-My Zen Master of an ex-girlfriend
They’re out there grinding it out, beeping and drilling and building their towers of greed into the sky.  I had to get up just before starting this to shut the window and put on Rebels, Rogues&Sworn Brothers, at top volume, just to drown the sounds of new Austin out.  I’m on my second large mug of Extra Dark and this post is shaping up to be the kind I loathe.  Who the fuck am I and why should you care about what I’m listening to and what kind of coffee I’m drinking?  I got caught up in a rom com on TV the other night, because I’m a romantic jerkoff, and I realized that nothing will ever be the same.  Know what I mean, Brothers and Sisters?  Never again will an all-white cast living in New York City be acceptable, even for harmless distractions.  It used to just be evil and vapid-you know, pop culture-but now it feels criminal.  The middle class is part of our mythology now.  It only exists up on the screen and in the cellulite.  It ain’t me, Brother, and it certainly ain’t them-the working poor-who I’m one disaster and dental appointment away from at all times and we’re not white or black or Hispanic or Middle Eastern or Sioux but in fact all of them and more.  From now on, there is only us and them.  It’s always been that way but some of you are just waking up now, you didn’t listen to punk rock before it became a fad, or grew up somewhere so incredibly isolated it could’ve been life threatening for you to make a stand.  Make no mistake, we are in The Shit now, and this will be our fight for the rest of our lives.  Or, we could just slide nice and sleazy into the new world order, draw the blinds and turn up the TV.  Apathy has never looked so good and this is where things get sticky for me.
Apathy is a reaction.  It’s a feeling (or lack of), and there are prescribed actions that come in response to it.  Once you’re apathetic, you gotta feed the monkey.  The world only spins darker, you’ll need better drugs, cheaper booze, an extensive supply of British cigarettes.  The problem, good reader, the rub-I ain’t got no monkey.  If I were to be as apathetic as I dream about for these harrowing last gasps of The America, I’d need something to keep it all at bay.  Well, I ain’t got it. Nothing.  I’m straight edge and asexual (most of the time).  There ain’t a lot I go in for.  My point is, as much as I’d love to hide somewhere-I ain’t got nothing to take away the pain, nothing to quell the anger.  I’d be stowed away with it and it would destroy me.  Just like opiates or alcohol or a codependent relationship would, my anger would consume me, chew me, trash me-you bet.  This brings us to point.  I’m sick of here.  It’s fucked here.  I’m hating everyone and everything.  I’m nonplussed and unimpressed.  In the interest of wanting to change my life I offer this overly personal, petty and cringe-worthy post.  Why should you care?  I don’t know.  Why should any of us?

You played yourself to death in me.


Ab irato,
Jim Trainer
Going For The Throat
Yellow Lark Press

Come celebrate the release of All in the wind this Sunday at Malvern Books, with readings by local favorites G.F. Harper and Jenna Martin Opperman, also releasing beautiful collections of their own.  As per usual, I’ll be telling a story-about Philly, sobriety and you, My People.  Light refreshments provided.  

Yellow Lark Press

Emotional Physics

In alcoholism, anger, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, getting sober, going for the throat, Jim Trainer, media, mental health, Poetry, publishing, punk rock, RADIO, recovery, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on October 14, 2015 at 12:26 am

I’m about to have a nervous breakdown, and my head really hurts…
-Black Flag
Sooner or later we all hit the wall…
-Nathan Hamilton
How would you like a worms-eye view of your own psychology? The nuts and bolts of the machine, the blood and guts of the monster, your reasons, your dreams, your desires, your doubts and fears? Any of you curious about what really makes you tick should publish your own book of poetry. You’ll be pulled through the eye of the needle and shot from the mouth of the cannon. Hours of synchronous bliss working on a dream coupled with marrow scraping minutes doubting every decision you ever made.  Putting your work out into the world can prompt some gnarly questions. The design of my book saw my coveted verse suddenly swarmed by an army of critical voices. And but Christ the questions.  Keep in mind that you’re the one asking, especially if you’ve been sitting in the same chair in your apartment for 14 hours on your day off. Best believe you’re the only one there. You’re on your own and these questions of worth and purpose will surface, and pass through you like hot shrapnel. In fact it could just be the emotional equivalent of Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Translated, for every wild desire to be manifest there is a nightmare of Karma rearing at the same speed.

One of the biggest inspirations for this blog, its main thrust, is that one day I will finally and fully unreel the inner-diatribe of self sabotage.  I will have fully documented the script that grinds out any high hopes or goodwill about living like a cigarette butt.  And it will be here, online, out in the open for all to see. And we will laugh. And laugh and laugh and laugh. We will die laughing. It’s the byline of this blog for a reason. I really feel like I can do it, finally get it all down and slay the dragon, using words as brick and mortar to wall the fucker in. I bring this up because I smell like shit. I’ve been smoking a pack of triple-nickels every day since I first opened InDesign. I don’t answer the phone, don’t go to Yoga. My diet is the simplest form of protein which means bacon and eggs, every day, gross, and caffeine aho I been mainlining the shit. Espresso, iced mocha, bullet coffee (thanks Ceci!) and iced tea. I drink more seltzer than 10 recovering alcoholics and I hate my computer. I’m suffering a certain and specific stabbing pain which can only mean that my hips are cranked beyond any reasonable range of motion and I woke up, this of all mornings, throwing my phone against the wall, for reasons unclear but in doing so jarred something loose and nasty in my shoulder and I can’t wave my right hand without looking like I’m heiling Hitler.
My creative flow was blocked. Which could explain the colorful language of this post.  But at least that shit still works. Like wildflowers sprouting from my skull.  I mention this morning of all mornings because today was the day, or, depending when you read this, yesterday was, but today really is. Final file time motherfucker. Last proof before I get a mockup from Minuteman Press. After mockup and final file and any last edits there is no turning back. I’ll have 100 copies of the book-block of September. I’ll have accomplished a heaping third of actualizing a dream I’ve had since I was 17. But it came with a price.
This wasn’t free. Remember that?
Please live your dreams. It’s the best and worst thing you could ever do to yourself. The most ecstatic torture. While reaching for the stars you’ll feel the cold pull of the earth, and old voices will waft up from the grave, telling you a story of a 17 year old kid sitting on a stoop at his friend’s house in Upper Darby, looking down in awe at Rollins’ One From None.  That’s when the dream gripped me and this whole thing started.  We both know what happened next. The dream laid in my guts for 23 years, while on shift and in the yard, pissing my time away for a dollar, heinous in itself but tragic if my stagnancy came from a deficit of confidence. As it turns out all I had to do was confirm that that way of life was killing me.
When I say Karma I mean history.  The dream won’t be wrenched free easily. Reaching for a dream you’ll be checked at every venture, Brother,and every task and turn from frame to finish, with every edit and redo—you’ll hear a a nagging voice telling you it can’t be done, shouldn’t be done and you’re only your parents failure, you never should’ve left your hometown, should’ve stuck around the campus of community college and bided your time with a new drug addiction until you found your rightful place on Megan’s List.  You’ll feel a fatal gravity of doubt-but none of that matters because if you keep bucking and kicking you will confront yourself. You’ll live through it and have confronted yourself. You’ll come to the new understanding that Karma is behavior. And you’ll know what you always knew.  The writing life is a courageous life.


In Broken Heart, Jim Trainer, National Poetry Month, poem, Poetry, THIRTY FOR THIRTY CHALLENGE on April 27, 2015 at 7:33 pm

every day worn out with the wrong reason
for this
every attempt to save it somehow, vetted
for this
I sit by the window drinking coffee
and it’s easy
I buy roses from Billy on the corner
and it’s good
walking into the setting sun
pretending I can feel it rise in Hong Kong
feeling you out there, somewhere
behind me
walking the kind streets of my new city


In National Poetry Month, poem, Poetry, THIRTY FOR THIRTY CHALLENGE on April 25, 2015 at 11:15 pm

he broke
from his bone altar
to dream his last dream

Boxter Blues

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2014 at 7:37 pm


Sittin’ On Top Of The World

In Being A Writer, blogging, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on July 17, 2014 at 5:34 pm

up on the rooftop
they won’t know if you jumped
or you fell off


Brother Mark out there in the July heat. And me up here-same. July leaves so much to be desired in Texas, but I still got my imagination and a kinghell supply of the goodstuff… Maybe someday this’ll all make sense to you.
Maybe there is no Heaven.
Maybe it never will but I’m back out on the roof again. It’s been high time for awhile now and even longer that I should be far from here. Maybe some gulf town, our bodies bronzed and lazy, cruising with the top down listening to the Ramones and stoned out of our fucking gourds. Take it ease. Mobile down the alleyway and roll along in the ocean breeze at 20, head back to the hote and fuck like bunnies. Up with the sun and Yoga. Then coffee and sex and breakfast and a nap before she goes out shopping and I can get down to it-the fast 800 or the mean 12, but-what the fuck am I talking about? There’s no rest for the wicked so I’m back out on the roof again.

singin for my supper down at 12 street and vine

What happened to that old dream anyway? The one where I’m a lover, a true romantic? The one where my one aim and sole motivation is only to please her and her sexual exhaustion is the only way I can truly get some work done on good conscience, my Queen?
Welp. I don’t know. But I’m out here on the roof, drinkin beer in the hot sun and waiting for the miracle to come. Until it does it’ll have to be a fast 800 or a mean 12, neat&fine.
What else?
Amanda wants a ranch. Trainer wants a War Room. Aho my point is that we all have dreams. Some vision, some far away idyll, some panacea or beach front where we can finally UNWWIND. Put it all down and in the words of Belle Leaver, finally take out our toys and play!
But the sun is setting on the Empire. And there are people who need our help.
there’s people getting angry in theses darkest hours, there’s blood on the streets, the streets are ours
I’m out here on the roof again. The bomb hasn’t dropped. But it hangs there-waiting. And that suit of armor’s still out there in the garden-rusting. All our aims to dismantle our defenses, strip our armor and truly covet and hold the world, never despising a single one of her enigmas? All for naught. You can’t get in from the outside anyway. It’s an inside job. Ian MacKaye was right. Function is the key.  What else, Brother? The Bard of Bettie Naylor’s out here again. In a court of blackbird, grackle and thrush, redbird, bluebird and, what was once mistaken for a lark-the white-eyed Vireo. Shit. The White-Eyed Vireo’s come out of the darkness, friends. Whereas the Yellow Lark sung of liberation from our suffering, the White-Eyed Vireo is out there on the shoulder of this savage road. He is there, Brothers&Sisters. He’s seen the sunrise, Children-and there ain’t any use in talking a bird out of its will to live. It’s futile. Like all such foolish dreams. Romance is dead. Paradise is far off. I’m on the roof typing again-in the heat and sway, with the chiggers and construction crews and milf Judges and… I feel wonky. I was up writing the screenplay with Amanda til 4. The Boss is taking it easy on me today but either way it’s good to be working. If I didn’t have a dayjob I might not write at all. And the rooftop ain’t bad. In fact there’s no place that I’d rather be.

Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pure gibberish—a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow—to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested . . . Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.

On Writing

In Being A Writer, Writing on May 14, 2014 at 11:37 am


She wants to keep it light. Fuckin A. Hard to argue with that. I been up against it so long, I fight shadows in the dark and create problems for myself in Paradise. Yep. This old soldier’s plenty battle worn and more than a little loopy. Be nice to take it ease, as they say in South Philly. But it ain’t easy taking it easy. She can’t save me. Nobody can.
I don’t need to be forgiven.
-Young Widows
The only thing that will ever save me is my Art. You’ve heard me write it before. My art has been the salve, the anchor, the reason and the way out, again and again. The buddhists were right. The way out is the way in. And so it goes.

And so, at this juncture, with the bad blues whipped and PLENTY of time to git behind the great white machine, and my oft confessed desire to be something other than a beer-swilling Bukowski wannabe, I will now address writing.
That fucking beast!
Lately I have discovered that my modus operandi has very little, if anything at all, to do with it. I thought I needed to smoke to write. Turns out I was just writing so I could stay out on the roof and burn down another triple-nickel with a lizard eye trained on the beautiful women of Judge’s Hill paying visit the mansion. Turns out I smoke because I am out of my mind. Or perhaps Dr. Asare was right and cannot deal with the world otherwise.
Also, turns out that I can either change it all, get hip, or just take the plunge and go deeper: full-drunk and continue waking up with a headache and a hardon in a nest of typewritten pages. Aho those drunk pages have a flow! They’re far from brilliant and further from coherent, but-whuddiaygonnado?
The truth is, writing is such a battle for me, I sometimes wonder if I should just get a job and do something else.

The only lasting and final danger is this contentment. There’s not one goddamn thing wrong in my life right now. My health informs my Art but better, it sustains it. And shit. This much madness has been too much sorrow.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been performing at least twice a month since I got back from Philly in December, and the crowds are loving it. Performing my work has been a boon to my writing. A reason and a schedule. And let’s not forget the Great White Machine. The machine does all the work, as I was telling Georgia at the White Party on Saturday. The hardest part of writing is sitting down. And that’s it. That’s the gist of it. The nut. The hard 90% that once you win, sells the other 10. Buys the other 10, part&parcel motherfucker.
And so the problem becomes, good&cherished Reader, how do you sit down for the length of time to write 800 words at-a-time? Just like this…or, I mean, other than this? With some undying, burning artist’s credo to do it now, motherfucker-rail against the dayjob and the nightjob and hate the sun for the way it keeps moving on me and if I told you what I was doing today would you shut up and get out of my way? Caffeine Caffeine Caffeieeeeeeeeeeeeene motherfucker and than beer after beer after beer after-ya, you know. Have I rivaled my heroes? Will I ever? Is trying to catch up with them…attainable, or even sustainable?
I got a bead on me. I wake up more me than anyone will ever be for their whole life. Shit, I gotta be me, whoever that is. Keep stripping that old armor and stop trying to live down my working-class, Upper Fucking Darby karma. Do you see what just happened?
Just like that it snaps. My desire to be better has backslid into a slimy transgression of self-hatred or better-the unholy pressure I put on myself, some kinghell kind of pressure that amounts to nothing in the end except a pack a day habit, too many beers and an anger problem.

But I wrote that book already. In fact it was just last summer that I lost my adolescence. It couldn’t of happened at a better time, unless sleeping homeless in the cemetery of your hometown with an abscess and the teachers of your community college on strike for 2 more weeks of endless summer was the time. DCCC, 93.

Be great to get Zen with it. Breathe. Really chisel at the fucking thing-this “story of my life”. Certainly cut down on trips to the beer store and rule out anymore heavy telephone calls to the girl.
She’s a sweet one. A rare and precious jewel. With the hair of a raven and a smile warmer than the Texas sun. She inspires me to pay attention. Get some writing done and finished, if only to get out into the night, meet her at the dancehall and put my hands on those curves. Those curves are the best writing I’ll ever do. And so I’ve got some catching up to do. And she knows this. She’s right. Even a fool like me can see that.

And so the beast of writing has tamed the beast in me. Writing’s the real problem. Nothing wrong with Jimbo that some Yoga and meditation won’t fix. Or another Guinness and the Counting Crows at 12. Yep. Writing. That cruel Crew Boss, that endless cavern beneath the earth that leads to the sky. But in the coal mines of daylabor writing’s the canary that will never die. We of the Yellow Lark.

Viva la ficción.
Cheung Wai ain’t got nothin on me.
Never Forget The Workers of Upper Big Branch

See you in June.
Austin, TX


Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#14: Livin’ the dream.

In Being A Writer, Jim Trainer, Poetry, Writing on May 7, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Dear Jim,

Thank you for sending your poetry to Philadelphia Stories again! We would love to use your poem “the old dogs of Karma” in our Summer 2014 print issue.

Please reply with your (30-120 word or about 3 sentence) bio and let me know that the poem has not been previously published — in print or online — nor is it slated for publication in the next year. From our author agreement:

Author grants exclusive first North American Serial rights to publish ____________________ (Title) in print and online for 12 months. All rights revert back to the author in one year.

Author hereby acknowledges that this poem has previously been unpublished.

Author acknowledges, warrants and affirms that he/she has read the submission guidelines as set forth in Philadelphia Stories’ website, and acknowledges, warrants affirms that this submission meets those guidelines.

I look forward to hearing from you soon — ideally, before the end of the week.

Thank you so much!

Courtney Bambrick
Philadelphia Stories, Poetry Editor


In Kevin P.O'Brien, Poetry on April 30, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Long eyelashes fall out of my skull. Sometimes they make sounds like branches or arms falling from a tree. I am King of Wishes. A pile in reserve. An arsenal for a really bad day. A wonder of mammoth proportions. Sometimes they get stuck in my eye. They scrape at the glass like hungry children. A mother’s burning finger pulls and one is torn free, placed on the altar, wished upon, and sent sailing into the oblivious wind. My wishes are scattered in parking lots, train stations, bars, sunny beaches, on board ships, on bathroom tiles, in ashtrays, and on women’s skin.

by Kevin P.O’Brien


In Bevan McShea, National Poetry Month, Poetry on April 29, 2014 at 8:34 pm

In The Guidance
Of My Beloved
I built a pillar for all the Stars
To Sea
I sang a song to make
Jesus Smile
And then I died
That my Child may be made

I forged the sword
That could divide the armor
Of any man that it slams
(Swift the mind
Split the planet)
And I threw it into the vast expanse
Of the span of the Atlantic
And it will bloom a tree of coral
In a thousand and twenty years

(Athens, Greece)

by Bevan McShea