Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘irish’

Earth A.D.

In Activism, alcoholism, American History, anger, ANTI-WAR, anxiety, Austin, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, journalism, media, mental health, mid life, middle age, Music, music performance, new journalism, news media, observation, police brutality, politics, PROTEST, punk rock, recovery, self-help, sober, sobriety, straight edge, suicide, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on June 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm

I’ve read your blogs.  I’m not impressed.
Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana

You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism.  
-Jeremy Joseph Christian

…By the time that ad hit TV, AM radio had been taken over by “music” played by fake bands that were putting out fake pitches for “flower power”…completely divorced from the Nam, the military funerals we were serving daily in our parish church—where the caskets didn’t have bodies because the boys had been blown to bits, the heroin being shot by draft dodgers and vets alike over in the park across the street from my childhood home…and the police riots in Oakland against the Black Panthers….
Anthony

Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congress members. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over.
President Jimmy Carter

I go inside her pants.  I move my fingers.  I do not talk.  She doesn’t talk.  But she makes a sound which I feel was an orgasm.
-Bill Cosby

Christ.  Ain’t even been back from the island 2 weeks and already got them Babylon Blues.  They’re playing Steely Dan at the bougie coffee shop and singing along in biker shorts like useless bearded choads.  The heat’s reaching for triple digits out here on the patio and I’m coming down with flu-like symptoms-a soreness in the bones and spongy raw feeling besides, no doubt depression knocking and the ennui of prescience in these End Days.  I am truly at a loss.  I mean, before I left for retreat I was fucking exhausted.  Now I’m on call in the middle of an 11-day shift.  My sleep is fucked from 5 days in a row of turning a disabled man over in bed at 4 in the morning, and I’ve got 6 to go.  It’s been a long time I should be far from here, and the irony is that when I finally decide I’ve had enough and it’s time to go, I find myself working even more and for longer (October), and gearing up for 21 days on the road.  Christ.

There’s no consolation in the news.  Nothing promising on social media.  Everything is painfully bleak and bland, and enough to drive a man to drink.  Know what I mean Brother?  Lucky I have this time, though, and lucky we have each other.  I’ll be posting a poem for the Black Lives Matter movement, on my pages and feeds.  It perhaps offers very little for the struggle, if staying the question of where my outrage is and where it’s gone-why I lay on my back in the afternoon and can’t even be bothered to pick up the phone and call those hardons on the hill.  They’re taking away our right to live healthy happy lives and they kill you out there on the street, in front of your daughter and your girlfriend, and nobody will be outraged or speak up for you, let alone the NRA, who heretofore couldn’t shut up about the right for people like Philando Castille to bear arms.

Musings on my neutered outrage and declarations at the end of the world aside, there are torch bearers out there-like Saint Shaun King and Jimmy Carter and Henry Rollins and Lamont Steptoe-and anyone telling it from the mountain and making ’em know.  It should be noted.  Whatever these good folks are on they should send some our way, right Sister?  Blow some of the smoke of outrage downwind to weak dysfunctionals like us, who’re struggling in our own way with something on balance with the guilt of keeping our mouth shut while the Police declare war on black people and elected officials declare war on the poor.  I’m looking for a way through, good Reader, because it’s gotten so dark and twisted here, and my only hope is in the dumb strength of my Irish Italian-American blood.  We’re long suffering but hard to kill.  I’m disgusted at this disease and that it has taken to this virulent level.  I mean, it’s black and it’s in me and I can feel it acutely.  Which is heaps better than waking up 3 months from now with a three hundred dollar bar tab, smoker’s cough and all my friends mad at me.

At least this way I can get my arms around it, right?  I can really have a go at taming the beast, maybe look into psych meds and self defense classes, start that post rock band with Doc and start blowing doors in East Austin and giving ’em the what for.  The alchemy of this blog, the power of writing, never ceases to amaze me.  In penning this post, sweating it out out here, drinking Hairbender and Topo and admitting these gnarly thoughts and dark kinks in my psychology to you, I have discovered that I do have hope, however myopic and self-interested.  I have hope that one day I will feel better.  That one day I’ll have taken this thing up a notch and I’ll be in better health, maybe even be in a place to serve.  What the hell?  Even a bougie place like this will play Randy Newman if you show up (and complain) enough.  I hope that one day I’ll feel better.  What’s wrong with that?  Should I hope that I don’t?  What’s tragic and funny is, with the way things are going, and the way the world is slanting darkly down, it’s a toss up.  Do I assume the worst for myself, and only buckle in for more misery?  Or do I get it together somehow, really put up a fight and claw my way up to the plateau for a better view of the end of the fucking world?

It’s lonely at the top.  See you next week motherfucker.

Clearing the Chamber

In anxiety, Being An Artist, self-help, therapy on February 12, 2016 at 2:22 pm

“…that guy is trying so hard to get out, and he’s never gonna be the one to hurt you, believe me.  Let him talk.  Let him tell you what you did that was so bad.  Listen, you know what you did?  You hung on, kiddo.  That’s it.”
-Berger, Ordinary People

Therapy works.  Take it from me.  First time in the chair I was strung out on cocaine.  High for over 30 hours but coming down hard.  Oh, right.  Not my first time seeing a therapist but certainly the first time I wanted to.  I remember sitting in therapy when I was 20, with a swollen black eye and thinking that if I fought this counselor well that would be alright, too.

Generally speaking, something happened and I got buried.  To think on it or wonder why boggles the mind and sometimes there are no answers, no matter how hard you try to find.  Dysfunctional upbringing?  Ok.  But I had become my own man before I even left home. The self-talk I used to help me twist from the wreck of dysfunction worked.  I guess there was more than one way out, but I chose mine and now I’m free.  Or getting there.  The mere existence of self-talk is a loss of innocence.  You’re beside yourself.  Apart.  My brand of the stuff was particularly harsh and unforgiving and, well, ridiculous.  Should somebody have told the rageful 2o year old me that Ayn Rand and Henry Rollins were at best mythical but at least as one dimensional as a page in any of their hard-bitten and overwrought books?  Point is no one could have.  Their and others’ work for me was fuel.  And the point is no one did.

I’m not on here to victimize anybody.  Ok, that’s not exactly true, but I certainly don’t want to victimize myself.  Ok, that’s not true either.  Ugh.  Let’s just say that it’s a wonder nothing short of a miracle that I sit here today, mostly sober, drinking tea and reflecting on the past.  The glory and the wreckage.  I’ve been talked down from the ledge of addiction to cocaine, the depths of alcoholism and the abyss of seeking unconditional love from damaged and narcissistic partners.  Rick, if you’re listening, I owe it all to you.  You’ve been like a father to me, and we roped off my demons and laughed and cried and held on our way to freedom.

Know thyself.
-First Rule of Magic

That I do, good Reader, and often to my own determent do I know myself.  Of course there is the danger of being so active and engaged with your own issues, no one else has to be.  But fuck them.  They can go on living a charmed and unexamined life.  The real danger in plumbing your own depths is simple-you run the risk of isolating yourself.  But, let’s face it, that’s not always a bad thing.  I feel like I’m always heading for the cave, seeking out space and wide swathes of time to “write”.  What’s up for me these days is anxiety.  I’ve roped off the bad blues.  I don’t drink.  I practice Yoga.  I devoutly get 8 hours of sleep every night and fucking isn’t at the fore on my list of priorities.  I am me, at a higher intensity and for more sustained periods of time.  I’m not trying to avoid and I have allot less to prove.  Drinking and fighting and fucking.  Take these off the dais and all I’ve got left is this dream and the audacity of it, calling down to me where I sit and agonize over the details of September‘s Austin release.  I am thinking of all the right things and that’s the problem.  My identity as an artist is on the line and that’s the problem too.  I’ve been strung out on bad anxiety since I published the book, and I’ve dealt with it by laying around and watching Howard Stern.  Jerking off.  I fear the relinquishing of my identity as an Artist to the extent of paralysis.  I let another day go by with my dick in my hand without placing the ad, making fliers or editing the proof.  The fear that I’ll be found out when no one shows up to the reading is my main motivation.  Depression is the slothful bedfellow of anxiety.  Anxiety is the real and it’s a real mother.

I’ve been lucky with therapists.  My first therapist, Rick Ferry, is the man.  We trawled the savage road together for almost a decade.  Don Jones won’t let me off the hook and he’s like the master on the mountain, slapping my self-talk across the face weekly.  If me&Rick went on safari through the rich veldt of the heart, Don and I are in the pit of the arena, where the lights burn the brightest, and we’re doing work.  We will make this dream happen.  It’s my hero’s journey, and how lucky, how fortunate and auspicious that I still got a dog in this fight.

“Of course you know your self-talk is ridiculous and of course you can see the logistics clearly, after the gig.  But that’s of no use to you now.  Not while you’re in it.  You’ve got to track the anxiety.”

It’s Thursday afternoon.  I’m waiting on word to go ahead with the ad for the reading.  Waiting to hear back before I book a flight to Crescent City and a train ride back.  I’ve been shot-through and ridden since I got back from Portland but there’s one thing I can do and that is track the anxiety.  Once a nervous wraith of doubt hung, I turn the barrel around and take the safety off.  I’m not strung out on coke, weighted and soggy from booze or mad with perseverant lust-but a nervous and dreaming boy, wide-eyed and wanting more, wondering if I deserve to have the life I want for myself, but not for long.

My time here is parsed with deadlines.  I’m nothing if not stubborn, my Italian mother’s son, my cocky Irish father’s boy.