Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

16/30

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2018 at 7:16 pm

most of adventure is doleful
you sink within
until you’re in the good place
hold on to what you’ve got
and go with that
don’t get sold on promise and prize,
or a dream of the future
the day that never arrives
this isn’t to say it’s simple
or easy or black and white
the truth is, another day is victory
and how you spend it is on you
I’ve worked for them enough, though
choked whole days off, for their profit
at their worry—it’s a troublesome lot
to be beyond small minds but
still under the thumb of the masters
ain’t it though
I always found my work deserting theirs
made this language safe-cracking
and white-hot, ran past the guard
into the sky
and the world and all it knew
fell away like loose change
till I was drunk on the high air
broken, spinning, terribly free.

Please visit jimtrainer.net for 1 of 4 full length collections of poetry and prose.

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41

In mid life, middle age, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized on May 31, 2016 at 11:13 pm

shook out’s about the best
I can do for myself now
there’s no harking back
or reclaiming,
when the sun sets it’s gone
and rises with less momentum
these creaking mornings
but my disappointment
stops shy of my pride
I never asked for solace
never paid in, made no deal
and shook out I’ll face it
but who is this stranger giving rise
and rent through in blue twilight?
what are these dreams, this love
that seem to flow like a banner
down the night skies
and distill these jangling
numbered daybreaks
into a keen and raring loneliness?

Two for Today

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, poem, Poetry, poetry reading, Submitting, submitting poetry, travel, travel writing, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on May 9, 2016 at 10:03 pm

Good Reader-
I couldn’t be happier about all your subscriptions, views and likes down here at Going For The Throat.  I’d like to offer you a couple poems today, brought to you by the wonderful Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review.  I’ve felt on board with them as soon as I submitted.  I heard from their editor the very next day and she has even linked up Going For The Throat on their Facebook page.
These two were written together on one of the first days of the year.  They’re about travel, as allot of my stuff is these days.
I’m booking Houston, Philadelphia, NYC and Boston.  And I’m reading and performing right here in Austin 4 times next week.  September will get a second pressing as soon as I get a few kinks out.  Hope to see you this summer.
Please enjoy two of my poems today, “passage” and “oxbloods ‘neath the cuff“, featured on page 146 of this Spring’s FLAR.  Dig around.  There’s allot of power and talent in this issue.
Yours,
Jim Trainer
jimtrainer.net
Austin TX

EUNUCH BLUES (18 of 30)

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, National Poetry Month, poem, Poetry, THIRTY FOR THIRTY CHALLENGE, Writing, writing about writing on April 18, 2016 at 10:23 pm

Stranger Than Fiction

In anxiety, blogging, depression, mental health, recovery, self-publishing, Submitting, submitting poetry, Uncategorized, Writing on January 24, 2016 at 5:38 pm

it seems we lose the game before we start to play.
-Lauryn Hill

Christ with the hem and haw.  I fucked the silly minutes staring at a screen, they stacked into a pillar of days and now I’m up against a tower of years.  I fucked the time away and now it’s fucking me.  It’s true that all the strides I’ve taken against depression have leveled the playing field.  There are no more advancing ranks coming to whittle me away and usurp the mission.  But the true enemy is revealed and he is within.  Anxiety.  I feel lucky to uncover the REAL bugger, a fly in the ointment that pulls me back from the brink of living fully.  My shrink warned me.  I was diagnosed with a moderate to high level anxiety disorder.  But I was wrestling with the bull of depression and putting out fires.  I was dealing with such a high frequency of pain that I couldn’t afford a long range solution.  I needed it to stop now.  I needed to stuff the sun back into its dirty hole, drink away the nights and lie in self-loathing throughout the day.  Maintain my identity as a hard-drinking halfmad who couldn’t come through with the strong verse unless I suffered for it.  Thank Christ that’s over with.  But now this can of worms.  Point is I can’t believe how far I’ve come but I’ve still got so much further to go.  Not particularly blue, but stuck here waiting…for?  Anxiety’s a real bitch.  It’s insidious.  Takes your time.  Gives you nothing back but an excuse, some lame rationale for you to fuck off, not make it.  Well I’m over it.  I’m renewed and ready.  Punch a hole in the ceiling and leap out to where the wind blows tall.

Obviously my flow’s been backed on here.  I haven’t exactly posted in a straight line.  There are some things I’ve had to gloss over, and more than persuasive reasons to stop posting altogether.  What can I do but pick it back up and resume where I left off?  August, the terrible summer, dealing with Caitlyn and taking sojourns to Pensacola in a Honda 2 door.  I saw the bitch on Friday, standing by the glass doors like a golem.  And Crazy Rainey was behind the bar when I got there.  I texted Caitlyn, told her I missed her and I couldn’t walk two feet in this town without tripping over a corpse.
“Who’s fault is that?” , she asked and I still don’t know.  Just sucks to spend the day looking at hundred dollar flights to NOLA and bumping into an ex-girlfriend as I’m leaving only to be greeted by an ex when I get there.  We had a good run, a good summer.  It’s almost February and I’ve got 2 poems accepted in the mags and twenty-five copies of  September‘s first run.  She’s gonna have a go at him, see if she can make it in Vegas.  She’s young and in love and she should be.  I can only hope to be here when it all falls down, get a little residual non-comittal in the high rooms, pretend my days aren’t numbered for a hot night or sticky afternoon before I have to get back to work.

 

almost taken by the frost

In poem, Poetry, travel, travel writing, Uncategorized on January 15, 2016 at 4:22 pm

for a witchy reason
she leaves the tall panes wide
and thick gulf air washes
over us as we sleep
her black stockinged legs
cobweb over me until
I’m dreaming of our Fathers

always get so lost in this city

that, as she says ,
“The dead can visit.”
never land in her eyes
over hot cups of chicory
in the damp morning
with the Crescent City on my skin
New Orleans my always love.

“This much madness is too much sorrow.”

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Poetry, recovery, self-publishing, sobriety, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on November 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm

…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.
Emotional Physics

come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

Lucille Clifton

Aho good reader. I have gone independent. Thanks to Rubina Martini and the Independent Publishing Resource Center, I have 83 poster pressed and perfectly bound, black on yellow copies of September, my latest collection of poetry. Sometime after Farewell to Armor was released, I came to the sad realization that a publisher isn’t required to do anything for you. Assuming it’s in their best interest to sell books is a mistake and grossly overlooks what a publisher actually does for your publication. I owe allot to WragsInk. They came along at just the right time. I just got off a 2 year unemployment jag/drunk. I had to leave the premises, I had a little over two grand in savings, $2,500 of which was owed to Gioconda Parker for Yoga Teacher Training, and I totaled my car on the onramp to Ben White one rainy night that spring. I was in trouble. It was the usual kind, nothing that couldn’t be beat with a few years of hard labor or shifts as a bartender-but my real work would suffer and I’d have to stay underground for the remainder of my 30s. Without the work, the sum total of my life would be a brutal and tiresome slog and succession of day labor, shit jobs and dysfunctional relationships. I’d have to consider all options including the great shame of going back home, with my tail between my legs and not even a college degree for all my trouble. In a last ditch effort I called up Maleka Fruean and booked a reading at Big Blue Marble Bookstore. It was at that reading I would meet Richard Okewole; and begin sifting through over 250 poems to come up with the final manuscript for Farewell (and fall in love with the editor in the process). That book kept me alive. Kept me current. Prompted me to reach out to great writers like Don Bajema and reconnect with great writers like Butch Wolfram. The rest is history except I wasn’t pleased. I wouldn’t be pleased until I published my own book and founded my own press. A heaping 2/3 of that goal has been completed. I’m back from the Pacific Northwest and I’ve got 25 days left to achieve my goal. Looks like another crash course and this time it’s business. But if the past 2 months are any indication of how this’ll go down, I’m gonna have to make some changes. Some much needed ones, long overdue. My psoas is cranked tighter than a clock spring. I’ve been smoking a pack of triple-nickels every day since the summer. I’ve got big ideas but most of the time I just sit in their thrall, daydreaming and smoking on the roof. I understand the importance of rest. And I know for sure I’m gonna need a partner in crime. It’s high time for me to finish my teacher training and get back on the path of health and happiness. We both know about the dirty decades I spent, living with my Art above all else. My goals seared through romance and contentment. My focus narrowed to the barrel of a gun. I was never sure if I could make it but was certain I would die if I didn’t. It’s time for some integration, some inclusion, something other than the madness of a dayworking poet, at odds against the fucking world. I quit drinking. And I can’t really see a reason to go back to that lifestyle. “No-chance” was a great myth.  It fueled me on but it’s just a myth.   As it is I feel like my days are squandered in a retroactive doubt, which is another blog post entirely.

It’s time to finish what I started. I’ve pulled myself up and out of the ashtray. The struggle to become an aritst is over. Now is this surrendering to being one. To go forth into this world I’ve made. The dream cracked wide. My chosen destiny.  

stick with me baby, anyhow
things should start to get interesting
right about now
-Bob Dylan, Mississippi

Join me.
Trainer

Willamette

In PDX, Poetry, Portland, self-publishing, Writing on October 30, 2015 at 1:29 pm

get off the 4 at Division
face as blank as a cueball
I walk away from the sun
and toward the bridge.
prints I made shook out
the subtler hues
but the broad and gaunt
blacks cut down the page
in relief
blue emulsion in the nails
filling my lungs with shag
drinking Ford Food coffee
with cream
before I go back in and
close the building
box up the rest and head
out into Oregon Indian Summer

the West Coast is a lover
with stars in her hair
and a ring around the moon
when it rains

I step out, and into it,
my 40s
and the valley opens its heavy hands of clay
the secrets of the streets just as precious
the night an ally, a black rose, a blade
cleaving me lean the lie of time
free as a ghost, alive as a memory.


september interior title copy

Jim Trainer’s second full-length collection of poetry is out now through Yellow Lark Press. To pre-order 1 of 83 poster pressed and perfectly bound, black on yellow copies,
‘Like’ Yellow Lark Press’ on Facebook and tag the page on a repost of this blog. Thank you very much.


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.

See A Grown Man Cry

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Jim Trainer, poem, Poetry, self-publishing, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on October 8, 2015 at 9:16 pm

“you know you get up there
and tell these stories about how
all these crazy bitches have
done you wrong…”

-Pauper’s Parade

Me and my therapist never talk about women. We always talk about my career. Dr. Jones came recommended from the good folks at SIMS. They said he was confrontational, not the kind to let you get away with anything. Sounded perfect, and 7 months on the good Dr. is asking all the right questions.

Shame I couldn’t keep up with you, good reader. Have you here with me up in the high rooms where it’s killing time. Thanks to Josh Britton, I got 36 poems taped to my kitchen wall. I’ve just stared at them for the last 2 hours and they aren’t ready to tell me what their final order should be. Half are good, solid pieces in a logical order. As mentioned it’s a shame we couldn’t be together, but you can ask Ms.Hawk or any number of good-intentioned people who reached out to me thinking a break might do me good. They were right but I didn’t listen. I just smoked more. Cursed out loud. Blasted the Dropkick Murphy’s and Lords of the Underground. Basically, I behaved like a teenager, in turns proud and utterly destitute about the life I chose over twenty years ago.

Sometimes I draw strange but irrefutable connections in my work. Some days I walk around with the same poem beginning and ending, getting stuck on … in my mind, driving me crazy until I can get in front of the PC and load up InDesign to take a look. The point I keep coming back to in this seemingly pointless post is I wish I could’ve maintained our connection and continued with all other creative endeavor. As it was I had to put off KO, suspend Letter Day until further notice, change my mind about playing at the Brunch show and just show up at the gig and hope it’s entertaining. It’s not lost on me that I enjoy my work. It’s everything I ever wanted. You’re not lost on me either, good reader. I see you in my stats bar and it’s everything. I’d like to think that someday soon I’ll have it all together and I’ll be sending word out while I’m interviewing great writers, writing songs and practicing the harmonica, and all of it hinging on a robust Yoga/meditation practice. At the very least I could’ve bided my time making a business plan for the book, instead of staring at 36 poems and chain smoking on the roof on the verge of tears for the last 14 days.

Your readership is not nothing. In fact it’s everything and so, the de facto business plan for September and Yellow Lark Press is to fly up to Portland in a couple weeks, run off 100 books on a letterpress, offset the cover and do some screen printed broadsides. I know I can sell 100 books. And I know I can because I know you. Preorder your copy of September and you’ll receive one of a hundred machine pressed and perfectly bound copies of my latest work.

The collection is largely about what we already know. Long hours on the sinking throne, writing poetry while staring at grackle and drinking iced coffee until I spot her coming up Judge’s Hill dressed business formal. The thrust of her hips is the prime mover of the universe, her boom swagger swagger boom boom swagger boom boom boom knocking some sense into me, believing in the dream again, setting the veins alight with the gamble of life, ripping the page out, loading the wheel and getting back to work.