Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘leonard cohen’

The Practice of Innocence Found

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2018 at 9:12 am

Journaling and writing were the beginning of a process of unraveling and living in luck.
Your Writer in the Fredericksburg Literary&Art Review


It was stolen. Against the overwhelming and bi-partisan will of the people.

Reality is running ahead of our vocabulary.
—Louis Menand

Come and see the blood in the streets…
—Pablo Neruda

I was just nominated for best activist in the city – of course, I lost to Austin Pets Alive!, because we care more about pets in this city than we care about people that are affected by issues like police brutality.
—Austin Justice Coalition’s Chas Moore

If they keep pretending to be journalists, we’ll end up with someone pretending to be President.
—-John Lurie

Good Morning from the edge of Empire. I bet that if you’re reading this you’re like me–safe, secure and inured. I’m in terrycloth for Christ. Going For The Throat’s humble beginnings coincided with the Arab Spring. It felt like we we’re winning then or that at the very least the speed of this new media wouldn’t be tethered by the powers that be. In 2010 I hadn’t been on Facebook long, I was only friends with people I knew and I only used it drunk. It was what it was–syllogistic and insolvent and as creepy as you’d imagine from a burgeoning writer in his cups with an anger problem. I knew I could market myself as a writer even if I didn’t know that marketing often makes the nut of business. I honestly thought I could be a full-time writer. I still do but that’s beside the point. I thought I could write about myself trying to be a writer–post essays and poems, letters and creative non-fiction, some photographs of old typewriters and voila! I would appear to be a writer.  Because, let’s face it, in the hall of mirrors of the New Century, things are what they appear to be. Just ask Donald J. He’s the master of it. He’s duped large swathes of the population and could sell out the once greatest country in the world on skin color. He’ll call Haiti a shithole and take away your healthcare in one master stroke of media manipulation and partisan oligarchy–just like that and faster than you can tweet racist! or sign a petition to impeach.

This post is a case for not giving a fuck. My conclusion is we lost. We lost this media first and last. I’ve got no dog in Presidential politics. I don’t believe in American democracy to be frank and it’s a real thorn in my side. If I believed I might try and affect change. The truth is I haven’t been alive long enough to cycle through 6 and 2 year terms of the Senate and House of Representatives. All I know is who I voted for in double aught and buck (2000). It didn’t make a damn then and only spurred our country into 13 years of war and a lionization of The New Dumb–a heavily armed group of jingoists who supposedly got the current administration in office.  Meanwhile, W. is a war criminal who lives on a pension while painting in his Austin studio and going on book tours and brandishing his winning idiot grin. If you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop it was thrown at him in Iraq and if you feel safe you can just leave your shoes on in any security line in America and see how fast that gets you boarded on a plane to anywhere else.

I’m sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can’t stand the scene
and I’m neither left or rightI’m just staying home tonight
–Brother Leonard Cohen

My apathy doesn’t make it easy, Good Reader.  Nor am I acting like I don’t care. At this point it’s no longer an act.  I’m powerless to affect change and so are you. If you really want to shake ’em up then I suggest you put your complaint into the work and organize. Get off the network. You are yelling at yourself. The Boss was right, authenticity is a hall of mirrors. They have caught up to the media. They call MLK a hero but he was murdered in Memphis. They killed Malcolm X and the Kenedys but sent our boys to kill Quadafi and Saddam Hussein. I don’t know why I even try, to be honest. Why post anything about it? Why should Going For The Throat get involved? I guess I’ve always been after a journalistic dream but slowly coming to realize that without school, without any time at establishment papers and publications, and most of all without any concern whatsoever about the end of the world–I am not, nor will I ever be, anything like Hunter Thompson. This blog’s been a way to stay sane. You either hang yourself or you hang it on the wall. The truth is I’m lost, but we all are, and in writing it and having you read I realize this, and am suddenly found–not alone but together, not crazy but mad in the most rage-full and blessed way–we’re lovers and we’re fighters. If you’ve been with me this far, or if you’re just tuning in, I know you are a romantic like me and that what we want is simple and that the blue world is rolling right over us but mostly—we’re just inured, writing in robes on Sundays, sipping espresso with honey and getting it down and trying to feel better about it all ending, somehow. Maybe not. That’s where you end and I begin. Here. On these pages, using this media. Festooning columns of words into a rampart, mouthing and getting off 600 coffee soaked words at a time. Well what a long, strange trip it’s been, eh Sister?

I’m getting off social media. It’s a cancer and mind control and I’d like to enjoy the natural world while I can–before it’s enveloped in flame and the skies get choked with tar and waterhead racists accost us in bulk store parking lots as church steeples rise and the streets run red with blood. Take To The Territory is stalled in production. I’m due in to the ABAC to take a driving test on the Vandercrook#4. Snakeswilleatyou is closing in on the final design for the cover and your patience, good Reader and Supporter, will be rewarded this year.  Expect 2 publications from Yellow Lark Press as well as a series of broadsides coming out in 2018–a gift for all of you who purchased September back in the heady days of 2015. Besides your support, 2015 wasn’t much better, to be frank, and I’d rather have the tempest and furious grind of these end days of the American Century than the smug and copacetic seasons in the Year of the Wooden Sheep.  I got sober then and lost most of my friends–or, should I say, found my true friends shortly after.  Thank you.

Ab irato,

The Real Work

In Activism, Being A Poet, Being An Artist, Don Bajema, Jim Trainer, journalism, Maureen Ferguson, mental health, new journalism, PDX, Poetry, politics, Portland, PROTEST, publishing poetry, self-help, self-publishing on November 24, 2016 at 3:17 pm


I got bored of Bob then, so squinted,
to make him look more like the other poet, Cohen…
…would have looked up Iggy on my phone,
but we didn’t have mobiles in nineteen-eighty-two.
Me and Bob in Barmouth, Caroline Stockford

…it’s every bastard for himself
the last Century hasn’t ended yet
bring us the head of the King
the last Century hasn’t ended yet

Warmest Greetings from the War Room. The Wisdom is hard to come by these days. I’m sure we’re all at loss. I’ve been tits deep in the work and I’m thankful. It always gets my juices flowing and it kept me off Facebook for a couple weeks. Y’all have been busy! I’m proud of you. Really, I am. There’s a photo going around now, on social media, with a list of phone numbers to call and officially register a complaint, from the White House Situation Room to your local legislators to a pigfucker Sheriff from North Dakota who, when the credits roll will be on the wrong side of history. Aho. That wasn’t nice. I don’t know how that pigfucker can sit around a table with his family today, after blowing Sophia Wilansky’s arm off during a peaceful protest this week-which isn’t nice either. Wilansky’s conviction is what we’ll need now. If I’ve learned anything from my experience with neo Nazis, violence will be part of the conversation.

These are interesting times. Brother Don is emboldened and, as usual, carrying a torch of inspiration that’s astounding. Sister Maureen Ferguson writes that she’s “uncomfortable”, which sounds to me like she’s resolved.  You better watch out Brother. The lady does work. I get to watch these tremendously bright and strong people rise and shine. All I’ve done is footnoted a blog post, meant to get back to later-basically I felt like I should back up my dark intuitions. That’s the change in me. On my way to Starbucks this morning (and I really should just stop right there), I had my guard up, like I do, but was hipped to the reality of a rogue shooter, a Vet or failure of a failed mental health system that doesn’t care for the mentally ill at all. What I am trying to say is it’s always been dark for me. I won’t say I told you so because then I would be a dick but also, I’ve got some issues-I’ve been fighting depression for over twenty years. I’m a poet for Christ, sitting in a mansion writing you about my insights on the way to Starbucks. The world has risen (or sunk) to my expectations but I won’t say I told you so. There have been some real dark turns in the New Century.  It shouldn’t surprise me but it does. The change in me is that it’s not enough for me to write a post that says “We’re fucked.” three times and call it a day. I need to back my dire statements and grim predictions with fact.

These things take time. Time I haven’t had. The new book is practically in the bag. Text and pages laid out in InDesign.  I’ll do a final pore today and tomorrow, and finish a draft of the cover before I send the file to Minuteman for 150 insides to my third full-length collection of poetry. I fly out to Portland on Wednesday, to Letterpress the covers and bind and cut them at the IPRC. I’m 17 copies away from breaking even on September‘s second pressing, and I can’t thank y’all enough. Christmas is coming. Holler at yr homeboy. If your relatives piss you off, buy them copies of my dark and romantic poetry. That oughta fix their wagon. Support local artists. I do and I’m really happy about it. I might even make it easy and generate a list of artists who I respect, which is the real currency. I see you my Brother, my Sister. Let’s do our work and take some time out of our very privileged lives to give back. It’s always been dark but in the strangest turn of events, it’s gotten brighter for me, the littlest bit. You showed me how.

Vox populi vox dei.

See you in Portland motherfucker.
Austin TX-Portland OR


To Confront Junk

In alcoholism, journalism, music journalism, news media, punk rock, recovery, Writing on December 1, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Twenty years on the outside can seem like a lifetime.    I have fled the wreckage of family, hometown, God&Country.  I ‘ve never owned a tv and I’ve never listened to pop music.  I only sank deeper and deeper into a dream. I know what you’re thinking, no problem.  It ain’t lost on me that I’m the envy of every suburban warrior denizen who for whatever reason bought in to this cheap culture of patriarchy and bloodsport.  My aim was to never be like my Father who, for all his admissions to the Man, still found a way to live as far outside the madding crowd as the taxman would allow.  Point is, I’ve done it.  I’m never like him (besides the fact that I am him but, aho).  Mission Accomplished.  And in 11 short years I’ll have rivaled his lifetime, or go down like him, quick and young.  Whatever the fates hold in store, if I’m not like my father then the question becomes what now?
This morning, instead of going to Yoga, I laid in bed drinking coffee and reading Damien Echols.  I’ve been chain smoking Shag all day, never good, and drinking black roast.  I listen to Blind Pilot and Nick Drake on Spotify, which is the worst of all these.  Last night I took a trip down Resentment Lane, you know, just checking in.  Another upset.  Another rupture.  Another splinter of isolation.  I’m running out of people.  I’ve blocked more people than you have on your friends list, and, you know what they say.  If you encounter an asshole, they’re having a bad day.  If everyone you encounter is an asshole, then you’re the one with the problem Brother.  That axiom will do nothing for those of us who know we’re assholes, however.
I’m very aware that there is a fine layer separating me from the world at all times.  Sadly whenever you talk to me, I’m away.  In the past, the exception were those who I deemed true, whom I coveted, held court with, sometimes participating in an unspoken and co-dependent exchange.  Our deal.  They’d tolerate me, tempests of anger and ice-storms of isolation, battles over perceived slights and who knows what-the-fuck else, I wish I did, but drinking was part of the deal-and I’d suffer their flaws.  A vicious cycle.  Say what you will about alcohol but we needed it to scale our walls.  Whatever it took.    Some (most) of the best memories of my life involve alcohol, groundswells of emotion and passion that a Pisces like me thrives on.  But the mornings got darker and darker.  I got sick.  I would say I got further and further from my authentic self but there was no movement.  A whisky drunk can be fun when you’re young.  After 30 it’s just sad.
My quest for Refuge, combined with bitter droughts of alcohol and isolation, has found me right where I left off, my Father’s son and at the bottom of a rock&roll journalist dream.

I was doing it wrong but I’m not letting go of the dream. There’s something calling me back into the fray.  My eyes have been opened.  I have seen and will never unsee.  It’s not lost on me that as I sit here doing this Leonard Cohen bit, smoking by the window and writing lyrics, that just 15 blocks from here some of the wisest and most devoted practitioners of Yoga are gathered under one roof and answering the call to prayer.  I can’t keep turning a blind eye to world affairs, keep hoping you’ll join me in wishing them from existence.  I still believe we can do it but they’re all lazy offal.  Thinking for themselves causes them to panic.  It’s too much trouble but it ain’t no thing to defy the calls for peace and understanding and health care from an old punk rocking pacifist/iconoclast like me.  I need to keep an eye out.  I’m called to journalism.  I’m called to health.

they’re calling out for war here, Rose
and I hope you’re safe in Dublin

I won’t say I’m redoubled.  We’ve heard that before.  I like reborn better, cuz I know now, and I’ll never unknow.  I’m 40 and everything I ever wanted has come to me.  I had a limited scope though, when I first drafted this dream.  It’s up for review.  I know what I want and I’m gonna get it.  I’m reentering the fold.  I can only imagine what I will find there, but hopefully it’s some original thought, some understanding, something to help keep my feet planted on the savage road.  This health.  This dream.  This media and this journalism can be ours, you know.  Despite what they’ve told you your whole life, it’s our world.

May your dreams know the mountain and your troubles hit the dirt.

Sincerly, L.Cohen

Blog From A Room

In Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, Writing on September 8, 2015 at 10:13 pm

The following post was written last Friday.

I like writing. There is nothing more gratifying than framing a fucker of a day and nailing it to the fucking wall. We mix up the medicine here. Make tapestries of trouble and familiars of the blues. We raise it up and, like those old bluesmen of yore, we shake ’em on down. I can’t do anything for the fuck-yous and jackarounds of life. But a slick 6, a fast 8 or a mean 12? Hell yeah. Word count motherfucker. I like tropes. I like metaphors. I like the way I can phantom her, in a loose gown of skin, and bring her back from the dead to curse her name and bury her all over again. What a life, eh Brother? Sister? What an absolute treasure, a fine fortune to be able to both shut out the madding world and kick your enemies in the balls. If you want to change your life, start writing. If you want to save yourself, start writing. The alphabet may have taken the goddess, but through image and motif and with pure visceral screeds we may give her rise, 8 arms and all, and with a necklace made of human skulls. Ok, a bit dark but fuck it. The world likes to put on a happy face. And advertising is big business. A business that has cashed in on our irrefutable desire to want: more, justice, equality, quicker internet, a gluten-free meal, supremacy, world hegemony, a piece of ass or a paycheck. And as long’s we identify with desire, we will continue to suffer needlessly and be further unavailable to those brothers and sisters of the human race who have some real motherfucking problems, Jack. Like war and clean water and a government that comes for your children in the night and puts them in a cell where their fingernails are ripped off.

Christ. I’ve really gone off the rails eh? Sorry. So much coffee today. And nowhere closer to a release for all my angst. That’s right I’m still putting the band back together. Looking for a rehearsal space for Roq to set up his drums so we can get groovin again. Also immersed in 3 separate texts about self-publishing and am quite in over my head. But that’s ok. That’s how I like it. Too much to do is better than not enough. God knows I’ve spent many a dusk burning down triple-nickels in the record breaking heat waiting for the sun to go down and my bad blues to let me go. I’m on deadline and under a kinghell workload trying to get this rig unwound and become the self-published poet, spoken word artist, speaker on the lecture circuit, journalist/blogger, rock&roller I’ve always wanted to be. And of course I am already all of these things but after talking with O’Sullivan on the horn yesterday and having breakfast with the brilliant Ebony Stewart this morning I’m feeling like Henry Rollins or Bruce Springsteen hell even ol’ Leonard Cohen, singing
first we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin…

Thanks for joining me for this latest edition of “framing the agony”. Getting it down, neat&fine. Transmitting it out across the hungry land and lighting down in your heart good reader. Your readership is my everything. See you on the road motherfucker.
Austin, TX

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.