Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘on the hill’

Have Heart on the Hard Road

In alcoholism, anger, anxiety, art, austin music scene, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, Buddhism, buddhist, day job, death, depression, employment, getting old, getting sober, going for the throat, Henry Rollins, mental health, mid life, middle age, Music, Performance, punk rock, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, solitude, song, songwriting, straight edge, suicide, travel, travel writing, truth, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on July 27, 2017 at 1:53 pm

You should learn how to feel sad without actually being sad.
-Laurie Anderson’s Buddhist Teacher

Self-editing is humiliating. I didn’t start a blog called Going For The Throat to censor myself. There have been times over the years and I’m sure I’ll be called to do it again, for whatever dumb reason life may deal me at that moment. Admittedly, I’ve steered away from skewering certain individuals because it would’ve only esteemed them. Those come out in the wash, though. It took me a couple years but I was able to call out certain cunts on here who’s name I never would’ve mentioned before. Of course there are professional considerations, but if you’re a dayworker like I am you have very little control or catharsis-I’ve found that biting your tongue on a shitjob only rears in the end. You can abstain from speaking your mind but if some boss deserves it, it’s only a matter of time before your hands are on him in the alley behind the break room. Things have their way of working themselves out. Living in fear is worse than dying which might soudnd idealistic to you but any jerkoff who posts at least 600 words about himself on the world wide web every week isn’t playing with a full deck of practicality to begin with. What that means is if I’m crazy enough to dream it, you know I’m just plain crazy too. Self-editing, or censoring, is bullshit and I only do it if I’m at an impasse. If I’ve stared at the same post, and re-read it enough times to know it by heart, then it’s time to flush it and start anew. This isn’t poetry. At best, Going For the Throat is a gun-I’d only point it at you if I’m shooting to kill.

Greetings from the Hewitt Lake Club, Population 7. It looks like rain on Lily Bay, but it’s looked that way since 9. The sky is turning silver, there’s a low thunder rumbling and a high wind swaying the gingkoes and lone evergreen to the left of the screen porch where I write this self-censored post. Whether it rains or not means little. I’ll be wet by the time I get to the greasy barn and it’d be great to build a fire in the pod. Two days ago I would’ve had a completely different answer, with Ben in Brooklyn and the rain coming down it was just me and Blair sitting around the fire-in our pod, all day long. I was worried my resentments had ruined this trip, but woke up charged, on my day off yesterday, bounding out of bed at 6:30AM and writing over a thousand words about the horrid grind my life has become. Thank Christ that’s over with.

Out on the drive behind the cabin, by the garage where I sing, working on a tune called It’s Been A Long Time That I Should Be Far From Here-I realized something. Music, songs and songwriting, lyrics-these could be the last haven for wonder in these paling years. Fantasy. Myth. What I’ve rued since giving up the life-otherness, lust, change. Of course the fear is that perhaps I only use songs to help me through rough and large transitions. SWAMP EP, for example. I must’ve buried 3 exs alone by the end of The Winner, SWAMP‘s opening track. I resolved some issues I had with my dead Father in So Many Roads, acknowledged that I loved her in Back (I Want You) and laid out LA Telegram and Back In The Game like a dream map of the South, the Rockabilly Night and my new Spring in Austin ever dawning. I’ve penned some tunes since then and unearthed even more. I wrote down the titles to anywhere from 12-15 solid songs, songs that I’ve written that I like…which ain’t bad for someone who thinks he doesn’t write enough songs. So the fear is that, at the end of this ordeal, I’ll have 3 or 4 tunes that have helped me through, but I won’t be closer to my songwriting heroes. I’m sensing a theme here, and just wrote to Compatriot Cole this morning about never realizing what I call the Rollins ideal. Oh well. At least with songwriting it’s easy to keep in mind that it’s good work if you can find it. Songwriting is a different kind of spell-it’s writing and self actualizing but it involves the Gods on an intimate level. As a songwriter you can become anything (or anyone) you want to be. It’s instantaneous and only a fool could ask for more.

When peace comes it’s profound. The blood in my head sinks at the same rate as the sun, and I’ve expereienced dusks here both utterly sublime and completely ordinary. That’s all I ever wanted. I don’t need fireworks. I never wanted Heaven though I guess I settled for Hell. Didn’t I Brother. I never wanted a panacea or a cure all, but that could be depression talking (why bother trying to feel good when it’s such a short ride from the good life to the blues?). Know what I mean Sister? Life is…life. I got a good feeling about leaving this gig even if I only heard back from 3 of the 20 booking emails sent out from the greasy barn last Friday. I wrote another verse for an old tune and revisited one that’s been brimming from the heartlid before 10AM yesterday morning. This tenuous balance, periods of synchronous bliss coupled with torrid maelstroms of anger and irritation, sounds like life to me and of course there’s so much more I could do.

Sorry for the hodge-podge, good Reader. I tried to salvage the high points of my charge and kept the low points of the original missive to myself. No good deed goes unpunished ain’t it though, ’cause now I’m out here in the garage writing this. I flew the screen porch and came out here to wrap this fucking thing. Our pod got too full of good vibes and company, no room for me and my bitterness, which, truth be told is only killing me. Jill just walked by and said I could turn on the light if I wanted to. I told her I’d just suffer in silence and we laughed, this 86 year old Artist and me, hard, because she’s right. I could turn on the light if I wanted to.

Philadelphia Blues

In Jim Trainer, Music, music performance, Performance, Philadelphia, singer-songwriter, song on January 6, 2015 at 5:11 pm

walkin down Hazel street one day
I heard a man say “I’ll kill you.”
a little ill at ease when I’d walk these streets
I don’t know about you
but there’s no such thing as paranoia
in a town where they shoot you fer yer shoes
no respite, no mercy, the Philadelphia blues

in a city of millions I can’t see how
the two of you could end up at the same hotel
you sit at the same table share the same scenic view
what my ex-wife and my girlfriend
are discussing I haven’t a clue
must be hatchin plans to give a man the Philadelphia blues

little umbrella girl in the pourin rain
with the snout of an elephant or a shrew
gonna get it all down with her pad&pen
dirty whore knows what to do
gonna get it all down gonna mark it all down
maybe put it on pay-per-view
a sad little movie starring you, called the Philadelphia blues

ain’t a bar in town that’ll serve me now
their doors closed to me and their bolted, too
but if there’s a bar in Hell, gonna order me a whiskey&vermouth
and say “Hello Satan! Something I wanna talk about with you.
You don’t have to giver cancer Just give her some
Philadelphia blues.” 

walkin down Hazel Street today
I slapped my pistol down in that pig’s face
we all got things in our lives we can’t undo
rain pourin down on the beltway, I’ll be in Little Rock around 1 or 2
put the pedal down makin miles from the Philadelphia blues

Jim Trainer returns to Melodies’ Cafe this Friday January 9, performing with a stellar lineup including Mark Thousands, Cardinal Arms and Andrew Meoray.
Songs of Sadness&Light
this Friday January 9
at Melodies’ Cafe
2 East Lacaster Avenue
Ardmore, PA
8 PM

Waiting for the Lightning

In Austin, Music, music performance, Performance, Philadelphia, singer-songwriter on July 29, 2014 at 9:41 am

Jim Trainer — Waiting for the Lightning from Michael Batchelor on Vimeo.

I was so young and wet
love hadn’t left me yet
Stood out in the dark fields of the republic
waiting for the lightning

Her black hair would turn blonde in the spring
we climbed the hill and I gave her my ring
High on atop the town and everything
we waited for the lightning

dark clouds they gather deep
rain pocks the dusty ground
but no flash, no spark, no heat
just thunder through the old house
in a low, rumbling sound

What will be will be
what will haunt will haunt
Heron hang their heads in the pond
they know better than to wait for the lightning

When the sun hung high and white up there
was not rain streaking in her hair
There was no rain no lightning there
beneath the willow

just thunder through the old house
in a low, rumbling sound

Lifetimes and miles away
came the news one day
From the storm she and our daughter stowed away
as lightning cracked the willow

(c) 2010 Jim Trainer

Waiting for the Lightning

In Music, music performance, singer-songwriter, song on July 20, 2014 at 9:25 am

I was so young and wet
love hadn’t left me yet
Stood out in the dark fields of the republic
waiting for the lightning

Her black hair would turn blonde in the spring
we climbed the hill and I gave her my ring
High on atop the town and everything
we waited for the lightning

dark clouds they gather deep
rain pocks the dusty ground
but no flash, no spark, no heat
just thunder through the old house
in a low, rumbling sound

What will be will be
what will haunt will haunt
Heron hang their heads in the pond
they know better than to wait for the lightning

When the sun hung high and white up there
was not rain streaking in her hair
There was no rain no lightning there
beneath the willow

just thunder through the old house
in a low, rumbling sound

Lifetimes and miles away
came the news one day
From the storm she and our daughter stowed away
as lightning cracked the willow

(c) 2010 Jim Trainer

To download this song and view Jim Trainer’s On The Hill session, click here.

The Worst Kind Of Trouble Is No Trouble At All

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Trainer’s fine baritone, compelling songwriting, and unrelenting rhythm drive this tune that could have been unearthed on some Lomax recording just as easily as written last week: it’s timeless.
Michael Batchelor, Curator of On The Hill

There are two kinds of blogs that I will always dread&abhor.  One of them is thee hated self-promotional blog.  Seems like, at this stage of the game, I should have a girl doing this for me.  She should dress business-formal, just this side of sexy, and pay visit to the office.  A hot girl Friday in glasses and heels.  She could get this stuff off to you and I could watch, drink and systematically bend, break or obliterate any mores or rules of conduct and sexual harassment.  But, I digress..
I have lots to share, good&cherished reader.  The Pope has stepped down and a Nazi hasn’t quit that much ass since Hitler resigned from the Third Reich with a bullet to the head.  The Grammys happened this week and despite its asslicking bloviation of un-threatening and irrelevant culture, rock&roll will never die.  President Obama delivered his State of the Union on Tuesday, revealing the profound and ever-deepening extent of my utter apathy about politics.  I’m just giving you the hard stuff, Brother.  No chaser.  Drink it down.

My trouble these days is no trouble at all and it seems that the only lasting and final danger is this contentment.  Also, I’ve developed some nasty habits to get me through.  It’s all gravy up on this vista and slowly killing myself with cigarettes&alcohol doesn’t seem like a good idea anymore.  Perhaps this is my Karma.
I come from a long line of alcoholics.  The Irish side of me drank to get through the Twentieth Century and the Italian side did worse.  Don’t get me wrong, that I’ve survived at all and am here today is testament to my ancestors.  They did what they had to do to close out the bloody age of Pisces.  They fought, fucked and killed but mostly they just smoked&drank.  Like any good American would, new to the country on the streets of Southwest Philly and involved in utterly dysfunctional marriages and brutal dayjobs as laborers and masons.I am no different.  The bottom is always the bottom and the sky is always risin’.  I didn’t get this far without an Irish-Italian American’s spit&spite-the ire of the Irish or the redhot passion of a dago’s fire.

But now I look in.  The battlefield’s been leveled.  There’s nothing but old soldiers and champions up on this plateau and there’s no room for losers.  I smoke fat black Maduros in the sun.  Drink my coffee and my beer at cafe tables but still peel a few dollars off my wad for gnarly landlocked sailors, drunk with madness-the insane and the homeless.  The homeless are the only folks in the world you’ll ever hear me saying God Bless You to.  It’s because it’s the only possible way I could sincerely mean it and, truly, I hope that if there is a God he will bless them.  Then…I’m off.  I fly the cafe(s) and  make my way back to the mansion.  I climb the fire escape and slide down, nice&sleazy, into the good life.
Not a fucking thing wrong in my life right now, Brother.  But I’ve got some dirty habits I need to break.  It’s killing me but worse-it’s weak.  Also, it’s nothing special.  Like any smoker, I suffer from the dissociative schism of doing something that pleases me profoundly but is also fucking killing me.There’s a lot in store for us all during this most auspicious year of the Water Snake.  As I told you before, I am going up on the mountain.  It’s time to set the record straight.  I’ve been interviewed for Mike Batchelor’s On the Hill Series and it should be up on the site next couple days or so.  I landed a gig reviewing music which should be a good ride until the publisher finds out that we’re all mad here and she should have known better than to give the job to a perverted poet with an anger problem.  Aho.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my beautiful Editor is on her way over to the office, hopefully dressed business formal and just this side of sexy.  She’s a bright flower and she’ll be in charge of all such self-promotional blogs as this from here on out.

What a drag it is getting old, eh Brother?  See you up on the mountain motherfuckers.

Maduro