Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘maleka fruean’

From the First Row of a Poetry Reading

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2014 at 1:10 pm

“No doubt about it. If you had stayed on the path you were on when we met, you would most certainly be dead by now.”

The girl had a point. My downward spiral during the Never Ending Summer of Evil Kanevil veered dangerously close to the other side of life. So much so that I eventually had to pack up my world entire into a Ryder van, cross St.George’s bridge and ride on down to the slower-lower on New Year’s Eve 2007. There were too many close calls, even for someone born in the Year of the Rabbit, like I was. Too many blank nights and too much Jersey off-roading in the Sentra, too many sad and angry walks of shame home from the Republican in the wee hours with nothing but vengeance on my mind. Philly will only let you push your luck so far before you’re standing on the corner of Passyunk East with a bike lock and a broken nose, no cash and a 20 bag of baking soda.
We were having dinner at Raphael’s when she brought it up. Natalie and me. I remember this part of our conversation well, but little else. The night devolved into too many pale ales at Rembrandt’s and the next day I was on a plane to Houston, so I don’t remember much else, except for our drunken writer’s pact. Aho, it was over the aforementioned too-many pale ales that me and Natalie made our vow. We would publish the blogs we had been holding on to. We would outsmart our shared and most hated writer’s block with a promise to each other to post. This is her end of the deal. Here’s mine.
The reading went off without a hitch and the promotions too. The promotional machinery assembled by me and the publicist cranked out the good stuff in fine gear. I penned a 1,600 word interview with Brother Don Bajema for Philadelphia Stories and attendance at the reading was strong. The film of the reading, done by the good folks at Keystone Pictures, looks great. We’re in the final stages of editing now. But more on all that later…here is great writer Natalie Kelly’s version of events on December 11, 2013.

2013-12-13 22.23.40

a series of moments

jim and maleka

The hum of a fluorescent light fills the silence of a room full of people. The floors are concrete, the ceiling is high. For reasons unknown, no one is speaking. Perhaps the acoustics generate an uncomfortable level of self consciousness. If you were to speak in an environment like this, the words would be absorbed by everyone in the room. That’s kind of the point for a poetry reading but not so much for small talk before the reading begins.

I walk in feeling enthusiastic to see my friend Jim from Austin. People are sitting quietly, waiting for words to be read. I make my way past a legitimate looking piece of filming equipment and whisper hello to Jim. Neither of us are sure why everyone is whispering but our discussion continues at the same volume you would use before funeral services begin.

Jim Trainer and Maleka Fruean are what…

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-MOONSTONE POETRY PRESENTS-JIM TRAINER, DON BAJEMA, MALEKA FRUEAN

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11-13-13

Moonstone Arts Center Poetry Presents An Evening of Spoken Word and Poetry: Featuring Austin Poet and Singer/Songwriter Jim Trainer, Don Bajema and Maleka Fruean

Austin, Texas – What is a poet but someone who reshapes the listener’s perspectives and challenges the reader to think differently about the world. Vision is a subtle thing in the hands of those who express it well.

Jim Trainer expresses his vision through poetry.

good poetry

it’s hard to find
but it’s hard to find
a
diamond
in the dark
and
it’s
hard to find
a woman with a
heart of gold.
so what?
Rumi was drunk
on the
word of god
and Papa was just
drunk in Los Angeles
Levine wasn’t drunk
at all
and Dylan Thomas
drank it all.
good poetry
sings out
it finds you
it wins you.
good poetry
takes you out of
the arena
it re-doubles you
with an impossible
intimacy
it sends you
out into the wasted land
collecting grains of rice
with just a bowl
& a song.

Trainer lives with impossible – and impassioned – intimacy.

The stations of this poet’s cross have included time as a hardcore homeless punk; an acting student, a communications major, a late night freeform pirate radio DJ, a power washing remover of pigeon shit from I-95; a driver for touring metal bands; a landscaper in the projects of his native Philadelphia, a crew chief supervising underpaid hardworking minority men in converting an old candy factory into condos for the rich and largely white, and, as he recalls today, “a bartender at a pizza shop in Shitsmear, Delaware.”

Oh, yes, and a quite short stint as sexton in a Presbyterian church where he collected one, maybe two, paychecks.

Trainer’s, then, is a life led, not learned in a classroom. And he extracts from those varied experiences the essence of what it means to be a living, breathing, craving, wounded and compassionate soul in this world, mining the same rich veins that Bukowski did before him … Bukowski, who “not only showed me how to write (simply, yet profoundly), but also showed me how to live,” as Trainer notes.

Trainer, the poet, was trained by the poet Bukowski. And so it goes.

Other exemplars Trainer have turned to include poets Adrienne Rich, Philip Levine and Lamont B. Steptoe and songwriters such as Warren Zevon, John Lee Hooker, Cory Branan and Randy Newman.

So it’s not surprising that Trainer also is at home with a guitar and a harmonica, bringing his biting lyrics and bittersweet stories to life with the same fervor that defines his readings.

Now living in Austin, Texas, that so-called live music capital of the world, Trainer performs frequently in listening room venues, coffeehouses, wine bars and dive bars throughout the city. His 2010 recording “Swamp Demo” captures the unique sound he’s cultivated in the sonic soils of east coast guile and Americanish authenticity, and today, Trainer says “In the past, when something devastating or heartbreaking happened to me, I would be inspired to write a song and take refuge in music … Now that life isn’t a series of heartbreaks, I hope to move songwriting to the forefront and do it as regularly and daily as I write poetry.”

But it doesn’t stop there. The poet and performer is a communicator with a digital dais in the form of the blog, “Going For the Throat,” where he opines and pontificates on moods of the moment.

Also reading at the Moonstone Arts Center Event:

Maleka Fruean is a writer, publicist, community events coordinator, and artist. She has recently been named as one of the writers in residence at Big Blue Marble Bookstore in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia. She’s created and organized events and programming for Big Blue Marble Bookstore, iMPerFEct Gallery, Torchlight Collective, and more, and has read her prose and poetry all the way from Tribes Gallery in New York to communal houses in West Philly. Her writing has appeared in Molotov Cocktail, WHYY News Works, Germantown Avenue Parents, Patch and Elevate Difference (formerly The Feminist Review).

Novelist, screenwriter, actor and spoken-word performer Don Bajema first came onto the literary scene in the early 90s with Boy In The Air (2.13.61). A proud son of Newfoudland, Canada and current resident of New York City, Bajema has toured extensively in the US, Canada and Europe, sharing the spoken word stage with the likes of Hubert Selby, Henry Rollins, and Jim Caroll. His latest collection of short stories, “Winged Shoes and a Shield”, was released in October 2012 by City Lights Books.

Moonstone Arts Center Poetry Presents An Evening of Spoken Word and Poetry featuring Maleka Fruean, Don Bajema and Jim Trainer.
7 pm Wedensday December 11 at Brandywine Workshop
728 S. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19146

CONTACT: Jim Trainer: 512-203-6288
jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com,
jimtrainer.net
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PRESS Brother DonMALEKA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2013 at 1:23 pm

CONTACT: Jim Trainer: 512-203-6288, jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com

Austin Poet and Singer/Songwriter Jim Trainer Reads From His Full Length Poetry Collection

I don’t know why
but
between trouble&the Blues
we’re expected to function this way
some small window
this
some real gamble
this.
we may have
our
day in the sun
and
we may ride high
atop
some fearless Nights
but
we will have to come back down
and
we will have to hash it out
here
between trouble&the Blues.

-from between trouble&the Blues by Jim Trainer

June 10, 2013, Philadelphia, PA: Jim Trainer will read from his debut poetry collection, Farewell to Armor, on June 27, 2013, at Mugshots (
1925 Fairmount Avenue
 19130). The reading will also feature American Book Award winning poet Lamont Steptoe and visual artist, singer/songwriter and poet Bevan McShea (Pheonix Veil).

Jim Trainer is a communicator. Growing up in the hardcore punk scene of the early ’90s taught him everything he needed to know about real work. Trainer put in the work, playing a vivid mix of blues/folk music around venues up and down the east coast, across the country, and many, many Philadelphia bars, house concerts, and coffee shops. It gained him a following, becoming known for his intense style that rode the artistic fine balance of romantic longing and unexpected social commentary. Trainer also read his poetry out extensively, and one of the readings led to his first full-length poetry book, Farewell to Armor, published by local press WragsInk.

Trainer took inspiration from a Bukowski biography, learning that the great poet didn’t start writing until he was 35. That’s when he really got serious about getting the words down, on a President XII manual typewriter he bought for $17. “I devoted myself to the simple line,” says Trainer, who now resides in Austin, Texas, and plays a regular rotation of music and poetry there. “I remember mornings coming off a graveyard shift, just beat-to-hell tired, pulling into the Shell, getting a quart of beer and heading home where I’d type and drink into the 8-9-10 a.m. hours. Looking back, I think I was forging a new language for myself. I had to get those lines down simple, and quick, because I was working three jobs. It was my only release. Writing has always been a means of survival for me.”

He’s carried the torch for independent media, broadcasting as one of the early voices of Radio Volta 88.1FM while writing for the Philadelphia IMC’s wire in the early ’00s. He currently serves as contributor, editor and curator of Going For The Throat, a semi-daily publication of cynicism, outrage, correspondence and romance.

Philadelphia artist and musician Bevan McShea has been writing poems since childhood. He began performing spoken word poetry as Lightborn after the international success of two underground hip hop albums. Freestyle and a capella versions of the songs live on stage became more appealing than the lyrics over beats, due to the focus on the subject matter, and after a successful feature role at NuYorican Poets Cafe,  Bevan shifted his writing style to fit the spoken word format.

Lamont Steptoe is a poet, activist, Vietnam Veteran, photographer and founder/publisher of Whirlwind Press. He is the author of ten books of poetry. He was awarded the Life-time Achievement Award by the Kuntu Writers Workshop from the University of Pittsburgh in 2002, a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Literary Fellowship in 1996 and has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Steptoe was awarded the American Book Award in 2005. In 2004, rapper Mos Def, opened the Def Poetry Jam program on HBO with a poem from Mad Minute. He has collaborated with Sonia Sanchez, Allen Ginsburg, Ishmael Reed, Margaret Walker Alexander, and Sam Allen.

Promotional copies and book samples available upon request. For more information about the reading, or Farewell to Armor, please contact Jim Trainer: 512-203-6288, jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com

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what I want to do.

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Maleka Fruean

ImageLet’s say you are a poet with your heart on your sleeve and words that get inked to the paper at every chance you get. You have a little writing corner- it’s a typewriter or a computer or a leather journal. You have fingers that fly over the keyboard or you hold a black ink pen, a lucky pen that you use to draft the most intimate of poems.

You are approached by a small publishing company or you decide to self-publish. Your first manuscript. Your first full book is out in the world.

Here’s what I’d like to do for you. I want you to pour your heart out into connecting with all the writers and artists and musicians you’ve talked to over the years and invite them to give some great readings with you to celebrate your new book. I want you to focus on reading your poems…

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