Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘portland’

“We are not the dreamers of dreams. We are the word become manifest.”

In alcoholism, Austin, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, Charles Bukowski, depression, getting sober, going for the throat, hometown, mental health, mid life, middle age, new journalism, Performance, Philadelphia, poem, Poetry, poetry reading, poetry submission, Portland, published poet, publishing, publishing poetry, punk rock, recovery, self-publishing, sober, sobriety, solitude, Spoken Word, straight edge, submitting poetry, working class, Writing, writing about writing on March 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm

 

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…outside is America…

In austin music scene, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, christianity, day job, journalism, new journalism, news media, PDX, Poetry, politics, Portland, PROTEST, published poet, publishing, publishing poetry, self-publishing, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, War, working class, Writing, writing about writing on December 15, 2016 at 5:49 pm

Hello darkness my old friend.  I’ve got a kink in my neck.  It’s a few twists away from being a real fucking problem.  There’s a leak coming from my kitchen ceiling.  I went up and talked to the Kid, but we couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.  I came home from Portland on Sunday, after being snowed in for 2 days, with three-hundred Letterpressed covers for All in the wind, but no books.  I’m scheduled for a binding session at Minuteman Press on Monday.  We hope to have 150 copies done by end of day Tuesday.  I’m playing House Wine tonight, beneath the palms for 3 hours in 50 degree weather . There are far worse ways to make a dollar.  I oughta know.  I missed deadline filing my income tax for 2015 so there’ll be a gap in my healthcare coverage.  The Boss tells me the plumber will be by at 9:30 tomorrow morning, and I go back on shift at 5.  I’ve been fighting with one of my homies, and it all seems stupid and trite, and that’s because it always is.

These are my problems on a warm winter afternoon in Hippie Town.  Everything happens at once or nothing happens at all.  That’s this life I’ve bought into.  These years I’ve traveled down, trying to be anything other than a company man, a factory man.  Never wanting to be anything like my old Man.  The years slide past, nice and sleazy, while I crank out poetry on the dayshift, and play rock and roll music in wine bars, to women and friends and have an unbelievably sober and fine time.

Things are different in the other hemisphere.  Folks are dealing with a whole other hierarchy of problems-shit that could relegate 90% of what’s wrong in America to an entitled and candy ass complaint.  Which isn’t to say there aren’t dark corners right here at home.  Somewhere someone is paying and you always do-unless you’ve got healthcare and your country isn’t being bombed and you’re white, and you can afford security to stand down the high walls of your gated community.  To watch Vice’s A House Divided is to be lividly reminded that what split this country between hateful racist yahoos and the rest of us was Universal Healthcare.  Which is what we deal with over here-each other and pitted so by an oligarchy with a Christian hardon.  As hard as it is and as undignified is the slough we feed from in the end days of Empire–it’s probably better than anywhere else in the world.  Except maybe the Netherlands.

See you in Amsterdam motherfucker.

Emerald City Blues

In Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, getting old, getting sober, mid life, middle age, PDX, poem, Poetry, Portland, publishing, publishing poetry, recovery, self-help, self-publishing, sober, sobriety, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on December 8, 2016 at 11:03 pm

What a week.  Feels like I lifetime since I last sat down with you at Ford Food+Drink, to wax on the political nature of everything.  I’ve spent days and days at the Independent Publishing Resource Center, a cold building just west of the Willamette River in Portland.  Saturday I took a 6-hour Letterpress workshop with IPRC Studio Manager&Letterpress Artist Caitlin Harris, and came away with some smart looking cards with a line from a poem on them.  Sunday, Caitlin and I got cracking on my cover.  Pre-production took about 3 hours, so, when I was inked and ready to go, I kept going until I had 300 covers and the center closed.

The book blocks I had travelled with, all the way from Austin, were useless and I really wish I’d been assured of the correct dimensions for the design because, other than the $679 I won’t get back, I spent the rest of my time in Portland designing file after file of the book in InDesign.  I was dispirited and out money, so I designed the book again, from scratch.  Once done, I was told the dimensions were off, the final paper size way too large for a 5×7 book.  I designed the book yet again, but was unable to open the file when it came time to print a mockup.  The final design was done last night.  I came back to Butch’s and was up at 8 this morning looking the copy over.

I got into the center today right before snow started falling, tweaked the file and printed my mockup.  Someone from the center would have to help me bind it.  If it looked good, I’d have to find a printer who could turnaround 150 book blocks by end of day, so I could bind them with Binding Steward Derrick, but have to fly back to Austin with the books uncut to size.  The IPRC shut down though, due to weather.  So, with the snow falling I loaded up my Uber with the covers, a ream of Eclipse Black paper and the polymer plate from September‘s pressing.  We stopped at New Seasons’ grocery and I got back to Butch’s, ate a frozen pizza and fell out in front of the vent on the third floor.

Sometimes I’m able to make sense of the torturous minutiae of everyday life. Sometimes I’ll take us fancifully away, to a place far from Heaven, and more honest.  I won’t lie, blogs where I can get some vengeance, go for the throat and bring down the beast satisfy me greatly.  The robust readership of this blog has silenced that impulse some, but I’ll never explain those kinds of blogs to anyone.  I like those kinds of blogs.  You do too, I gather-they weild us a little power and connect us, and cockroaches hate the light.

This post is the other kind-a factual reporting back, a checklist, a recounting of disappointing news.  I’m disappointed and I’m sorry.  But I laughed allot with Butch this week, and I was touched by a poem and a letter that came to me all the way from across the continent.  True friends only confirm the horror of having a heart in a heartless world, and laugh at it with you.  We should die laughing.  As far as vengeance is concerened, there is no more total revenge than laughter.  The fact that 2 former street fighting men can stand in a kitchen in pajamas on a cold night in the suburbs of Portland and laugh is uncanny-just twisted enough to be real, wracked and bent and salty with outrage as we are.

One of the best gifts of sobriety is vision.  Seeing clearly without delusion.  My eyes keep getting opened.  I don’t like what I see, but it’s better than being blind.  This is just a setback, a reouting.  Some of you are keeping me alive.  I hope to have copies of All in the wind available for you before Christmas, so we can celebrate that way, with each other and reveling in the heart’s work.

See you in Hippie Town motherfucker.

Apolitical Blues

In Activism, anxiety, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, depression, getting old, journalism, media, mental health, mid life, middle age, new journalism, news media, observation, PDX, Performance, politics, Portland, PROTEST, publishing, publishing poetry, recovery, self-publishing, sober, sobriety, WRITER'S BLOCK, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on December 1, 2016 at 6:24 pm

Everything is political.
Ian MacKaye

I’m glad that quote reached me from the mouth of one of the greatest intelligences of our time.  I’m sure Angela Davis or Terrence McKenna or Camile Paglia has said the same thing, but it wouldn’t have mattered much to me because, except for my punk rock allegiances, I was apolitical.  You know, too cool to be bothered.  Besides being on the wrong side of whatever side there is, I never stood for anything.  Politics were boring.  Activism was never as fun as bombing through the streets of Houston in a black Bronco with young trust funded Republicans, smoking meth and spouting on about the evils of socialism.  This is gonna be hard to reign in.  Especially while the most gorgeous young lady sits in front of me at Ford Food&Drink in downtown Portland, eating a tangelo and sipping tea in blonde curls and elf boots.

That’s right, Portland, and I fucking love it here.  Anything could be a step up from last week-being called a peasant by the boss and caught in a flame war about Kanye-for Christ-West with a Democratic choad from my past days delivering rich kids luggage in the hills of upstate NY and New England (love ya Nate!).  That, combined with the news these days made it a banner week for shittiness.  The only glimmer was listening to Father Ian on Tuesday and getting the fuck out of town and flying into the Emerald City on Wednesday.

I still haven’t got around to being political yet.  I’ve been balls deep in the design of the new book, waking up every day to find hours of work wasted, gone, and unusuable but rebuilding the book Mr. Miyagi style, my skills sharpened from failure after failure with Adobe’s Creative Suite.  There are some glitches, it’s true, but dealing with their Help Center for hours only to be told it’s not a fault of the s0ftware was time I didn’t have.  I had to get 150 book blocks printed by end of day Tuesday, and board a plane with them on my shoulder at 10am the next day.  All while on shift, you know, the peasant gig, and shutting it down, cooking dinner for the old man, cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry and packing.   I guess it could be worse.  In fact I know it could, which, as stated last week, is the change in me.

This blog is completely self mired and utterly self referential.  I count on the readership of sensitive folks with anarchistic and anti-authrotarian tendencies who feel my pain.  It’s been nothing short of wonderful sharing the plight and the pleasure of being a poet with you, and,  best of all-it kept me inspired.  After all, I’m just a song and dance man, a performer-and this blog has been more a stage than anything else.  As far as being inspired, never having writer’s block as long as the main character in my writing is me-I wouldn’t exactly call it a deadend, as here I sit, 2,000 miles from home, in a cafe full of hipsters in sweaters listening to indie music, with 611 words written at the stroke of noon.  Jackpot and Hot Damn, as Dr. Thompson would say, victory over idleness and blues and for the simple fact that I got out of bed and made it into town and wrote all this down without a cigarette.  I’m useful, I’m writing and I’m communicating.  Thanks in no small part to you.  But when I hear the clarion call almost daily, and it’s been revealed that I’ve been sidelining it for most of my life, well I knew that much and it was in fact a deliberate choice, but that it’s not acceptable anymore and all I can do is write…I’m thankful.  Purposely.  Resolutely.

Ian MacKaye was right.  I’ll always need to get it out, get it down and “frame the agony”, somehow come to grips with the nowness and immediacty of everything.  Seeing Uncle Hank on Tuesday night reminded me what initially attracted me to the man.  He talked about being a hyperventilating borderline child who was on Ritalin until he was 18.  I remembered something about myself that I almost forgot.  I am what you call “too much” (but never how my cuntface X meant it).  Some of us are too much for this life, we can’t contain our energy and love and enthusiasm and pain.  Life is too much, the world is too much, it’s all too much.  So, we lift weights or do Yoga or run or smoke and drink and fight and fuck or, simply, write.   I’m still glad to be here with you  sharing these long hours on the sinking throne.  I know the pump is primed.  I know that, if informed (thank you President Elect Trump) I can write about anything.  I can’t be lazy though, and a Facebook and HuffPo diet have made me feel like I was doing something when all I was doing was being outraged.   Outrage is ok, until folks like Ian and Henry Rollins and Robert Kraft show you how work gets done.  And if you have a tendency to be outraged, like I do, it’s gonna be a long night.

Stay tuned for some incrdible news about the new collection and rest assured, for this week at least, about the political nature of your work, your striving, your song and your poetry.

I speak here of poetry as a revelatory distillation of experience, not the sterile word play that, too often, the white fathers distorted the word poetry to mean-in order to cover a desperate wish for imagination without insight. For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.
-Audre Lorde

 

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
–Unwound

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.
Trainer
Austin TX-Portland OR

 

Warmest Greetings from the War Room

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, day job, media, mid life, middle age, new journalism, published poet, publishing, publishing poetry, recovery, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, submitting poetry, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on November 3, 2016 at 12:28 pm

The main problem in any democracy is that crowdpleasers are generally brainless swine who can go out on a stage & whup their supporters into an orgiastic frenzythen go back to the office & sell every one of the poor bastards down the tube for a nickel apiece.
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, Hunter S. Thompson

Each network is a corporation unto itself, with nearly infinite money to spend and the unbelievable power to shape your opinion and mine.
-Henry Harvey

We’re not coming. You’re not paying attention.
Sex Pistols Letter to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own dharma.
Bhagavad Gita

This post has nothing to do with National Politics.  If you came here to prove a point I’m sorry.  Maybe you can  hang it up and listen to me bitch for a little while?  I’m aware of the ineffectiveness of apathy.  Not caring might’ve worked for the last twenty-six years but it didn’t help-and things have only gotten worse while I was banging down blue streets strung out on a poet’s dream and railing against unrequited love.  So, I was foolish in my youth, with my time and my everything.  I’m here to make amends.  What else’s a kid suppose to do, in this country or anywhere else?  It seems to me like they die for it over there, in the other hemisphere.  They lay it on the line for the kind of freedom you and I only piss and moan away every day.  This ain’t in defense of apathy but neither your crusade.  The only change I can affect is within and I can barely handle that.  If shaking my lower middle class karma was as simple as quitting cigarettes and alcohol, I’d be home free.  I’m watching you get played by an Oligarchy on tv, a system where the house always wins, but I’m mad at myself for laying down this long and being too cool for school while the world only spun on, deeper into its oblivion.

It’s only getting worse.
-Lamb of God

The real dilemma is that I’m stuck in a glorious grind.  I’m called to the real work but the money and the perks of this gig are alright.  I don’t know what it looks like, to be on the road for long stretches of time; just that I can’t seem to do more than send a few letters out on shift, or post a blog and other incremental types of checklist tasks that forced me to fire my therapist and quit therapy.  I’m sure I’m doing just fine.  Plugging along.  Seems like every week I get the good news that my work will appear in another mag, journal or anthology.  I’ve been hitting the road, too, taking long weekends to the East and Gulf Coasts.  I’m bound to Portland in December, for a workation that’ll yield the next collection and sharpen my printing press skills.  I’m happy about that.  If I step back, I can see that Art is needed on a heart and blood level.  The colors we splash onto the canvas are alive and the characters we write are drawn to collide.  The world we create is full of lovers running into and from each other’s arms.

But I’m short a grand from travel, and the War Room&MAMU aren’t completely set up.  Besides all the ways I’m coming up short in my efforts toward being an Artist full-time, I’m wasting away.  As glorious as this grind is, it’s still a grind.  It stabilized me and picked me up, put me on a regimen with meals and a bedtime.  It was exactly what I needed after I totaled my car and was out of unemployment compensation and the only thing on the horizon was donating plasma and a temp job with the University COOP.  This job’s been a godsend.  I’ll have 3 collections of poetry published by the time I quit here but I’m feeling tethered, tied down and dragged.  It’s time for something else and I’m gonna have to get creative, good Reader, find a way to diversify my talents so that the cheddar can keep rolling in while I plot the next jaunt and get the next collection together, book the next show and find some print for my work.  This post has only put me where I am.  Which is fine.  The pale hot afternoons on shift make me jiggy and it’s not unlike me to feel like I’m spinning my wheels.  So I reach out to you.  Write this screed, edit it and post.  You either hang yourself or you hang it on the wall. I’m about to get back to it now.  Working full-time and then over time to ensure the market for an independent singer-songwriter, published poet and hack journalist.  Please send love and if you’re at the show offer to put me up.  As far as the election is concerned take C.O.C.’s suggestion and vote with a bullet.

See you next Thursday motherfucker.
Trainer
Going For The Throat
Austin TX-Nationwide

Is Something Wrong?

In anxiety, Austin, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, day job, getting old, getting sober, Jim Trainer, Maureen Ferguson, mental health, mid life, new journalism, new orleans, on tour, PDX, Performance, Philadelphia, Poetry, poetry reading, poetry submission, Portland, publishing poetry, punk rock, recovery, self-help, self-publishing, singer songwriter, sober, sobriety, Spoken Word, Submitting, submitting poetry, the muse, therapy, TOUR, travel, travel writing, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on August 22, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Does a bear shit in the woods? Does the Pope wear a funny hat? Is the government corrupt? Did your parents lie to you about what it was really like out here, in the wide world slaving the hours away for some shekels and a piece of bread, 4 walls and the game on Sunday? Yes, something is very wrong here and Mr.Jones ain’t the only one who don’t know what it is.

Another 4 days, another email sent. Christ.  Had I started walking with the message it would’ve got there sooner than it did when I finally hit ‘Send’ this morning. Things I’m not up for are things that must be done. Unless I don’t mind the dayjob and am perfectly happy being a wage slave, locked in a gilded cage and living in a yellow mansion here in Babylon-Hippie Town-Austin Texas-the Velvet Rut of the world. This town is like a mirage but the livin’s easy, nowhere near as brutal as Hostile City but never as real either. It’s where the Californians come to die, tech babies and plutocrats live in gauche condos in the sky and the artists and Mexicans beat the heat in pools far east of any metropolitan action. Fuck. Sorry. I  drank too much coffee and the jackhammers up the street seem to be boring into my skull.

Why anxiety? Dunno, good reader but after talking with pillar of strength and badass redheaded wicked witch of the North-none other than the lovely whipsmart Maureen Ferguson-this morning, I think it high time to up the ante. Time to book myself within an inch of my life, lest it take me days to send an email and too long to book a tour and I’ll find myself napping away what precious time I have left in my 40s to do this thing.

“This thing” is be an artist. Which, as discussed in blogs previous, is foregone-and right now looks like publishing 1 book a year at the IPRC and hitting the road every summer on the Gulf Coast junket and the East Coast in the Fall. It’s taking me too long to do things though. I feel retarded and unworthy.
Which as you know by now good reader, is only how I feel about it. The truth is I’ll have hit 6 of the 12 new cities I said I would’ve by the end of October. If I ever get back in front of the Great White machine I’ll have punched 6 submission deadlines to the pubs with flash fiction, essays and poems by the end of August. So, I am busy. And I don’t feel like I am. And rest never comes easy when you’ve got a chip on your shoulder and no college degree.

Be good to hit the ground running, in a Honda 2-door instructing Yoga and playing gigs until I can get out on the road again. Streamline the MAMU so that wherever I land will be a portable War Room and the fun doesn’t have to stop. Perhaps I should be grateful. I’m in good health and beside an enlarged prostate and being out of breath when I tie my shoes, I do get out of bed every morning. The words keep coming even though I’ve stopped offering libations and black hash smoke to the muse. I’ve no lovers in my life but no trouble either. When I look at the map of the Continental U.S. on the wall of the office I think I can do it. And when I reach out for help, I usually find I’m the most able-bodied and ready soldier in the room.

So what the fuck is wrong? Dunno, good reader. Dunno. One thing’s for sure though and that is it don’t take much to bring me around. I just hit the 679 mark on this post and it’s my 4th and last day off before I report back to the dayjob. Have I slain the dragon of anxiety? Hardly. But now I’m up on the mast again. Me and Ahab. Coursing the deep and ready to take another stab at nailing down the East Coast, compiling the new effort and booking the room.

See you on the road motherfucker.

Trainer
Going for the Throat

 

 

“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
the first time I met her
with stapled copies in a clear valise
I was so much older, but the colors fade
you forget her, everything dies even
what you don’t need

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,
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