Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘Spoken Word’

Interview for Chicon Street Poets and NSFW: Poetry for Wankers This Wednesday at Spider House

In Austin, Performance, poem, Poetry, poetry reading, Writing on May 15, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Today’s poem can be found at the bottom of an interview I did with Chicon Street Poets to promote NSFW:Poetry for Wankers, happening this Wednesday night at Spider House Ballroom in Austin.  I’m happy with this interview, which doesn’t happen often, and I appreciate your readership more than you can know.
My average daily stats are at an all time high and writing poetry every day has given me an anchor in the storm.
Hard copies of the Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review are available here.  Last night’s story mixer was a huge success and there’ll be film of it, available soon.  Thank you for joining me on the savage road, good reader.

Your readership is keeping me alive.
Jim Trainer
jimtrainer.net
Austin TX

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Clearing the Chamber

In anxiety, Being An Artist, self-help, therapy on February 12, 2016 at 2:22 pm

“…that guy is trying so hard to get out, and he’s never gonna be the one to hurt you, believe me.  Let him talk.  Let him tell you what you did that was so bad.  Listen, you know what you did?  You hung on, kiddo.  That’s it.”
-Berger, Ordinary People

Therapy works.  Take it from me.  First time in the chair I was strung out on cocaine.  High for over 30 hours but coming down hard.  Oh, right.  Not my first time seeing a therapist but certainly the first time I wanted to.  I remember sitting in therapy when I was 20, with a swollen black eye and thinking that if I fought this counselor well that would be alright, too.

Generally speaking, something happened and I got buried.  To think on it or wonder why boggles the mind and sometimes there are no answers, no matter how hard you try to find.  Dysfunctional upbringing?  Ok.  But I had become my own man before I even left home. The self-talk I used to help me twist from the wreck of dysfunction worked.  I guess there was more than one way out, but I chose mine and now I’m free.  Or getting there.  The mere existence of self-talk is a loss of innocence.  You’re beside yourself.  Apart.  My brand of the stuff was particularly harsh and unforgiving and, well, ridiculous.  Should somebody have told the rageful 2o year old me that Ayn Rand and Henry Rollins were at best mythical but at least as one dimensional as a page in any of their hard-bitten and overwrought books?  Point is no one could have.  Their and others’ work for me was fuel.  And the point is no one did.

I’m not on here to victimize anybody.  Ok, that’s not exactly true, but I certainly don’t want to victimize myself.  Ok, that’s not true either.  Ugh.  Let’s just say that it’s a wonder nothing short of a miracle that I sit here today, mostly sober, drinking tea and reflecting on the past.  The glory and the wreckage.  I’ve been talked down from the ledge of addiction to cocaine, the depths of alcoholism and the abyss of seeking unconditional love from damaged and narcissistic partners.  Rick, if you’re listening, I owe it all to you.  You’ve been like a father to me, and we roped off my demons and laughed and cried and held on our way to freedom.

Know thyself.
-First Rule of Magic

That I do, good Reader, and often to my own determent do I know myself.  Of course there is the danger of being so active and engaged with your own issues, no one else has to be.  But fuck them.  They can go on living a charmed and unexamined life.  The real danger in plumbing your own depths is simple-you run the risk of isolating yourself.  But, let’s face it, that’s not always a bad thing.  I feel like I’m always heading for the cave, seeking out space and wide swathes of time to “write”.  What’s up for me these days is anxiety.  I’ve roped off the bad blues.  I don’t drink.  I practice Yoga.  I devoutly get 8 hours of sleep every night and fucking isn’t at the fore on my list of priorities.  I am me, at a higher intensity and for more sustained periods of time.  I’m not trying to avoid and I have allot less to prove.  Drinking and fighting and fucking.  Take these off the dais and all I’ve got left is this dream and the audacity of it, calling down to me where I sit and agonize over the details of September‘s Austin release.  I am thinking of all the right things and that’s the problem.  My identity as an artist is on the line and that’s the problem too.  I’ve been strung out on bad anxiety since I published the book, and I’ve dealt with it by laying around and watching Howard Stern.  Jerking off.  I fear the relinquishing of my identity as an Artist to the extent of paralysis.  I let another day go by with my dick in my hand without placing the ad, making fliers or editing the proof.  The fear that I’ll be found out when no one shows up to the reading is my main motivation.  Depression is the slothful bedfellow of anxiety.  Anxiety is the real and it’s a real mother.

I’ve been lucky with therapists.  My first therapist, Rick Ferry, is the man.  We trawled the savage road together for almost a decade.  Don Jones won’t let me off the hook and he’s like the master on the mountain, slapping my self-talk across the face weekly.  If me&Rick went on safari through the rich veldt of the heart, Don and I are in the pit of the arena, where the lights burn the brightest, and we’re doing work.  We will make this dream happen.  It’s my hero’s journey, and how lucky, how fortunate and auspicious that I still got a dog in this fight.

“Of course you know your self-talk is ridiculous and of course you can see the logistics clearly, after the gig.  But that’s of no use to you now.  Not while you’re in it.  You’ve got to track the anxiety.”

It’s Thursday afternoon.  I’m waiting on word to go ahead with the ad for the reading.  Waiting to hear back before I book a flight to Crescent City and a train ride back.  I’ve been shot-through and ridden since I got back from Portland but there’s one thing I can do and that is track the anxiety.  Once a nervous wraith of doubt hung, I turn the barrel around and take the safety off.  I’m not strung out on coke, weighted and soggy from booze or mad with perseverant lust-but a nervous and dreaming boy, wide-eyed and wanting more, wondering if I deserve to have the life I want for myself, but not for long.

My time here is parsed with deadlines.  I’m nothing if not stubborn, my Italian mother’s son, my cocky Irish father’s boy.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In Bevan McShea, Charlie O'Hay, Jim Trainer, Performance, Philadelphia, Poetry, Spoken Word on May 10, 2015 at 8:31 pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 5/10/15

Please join us for a great night of poetry and spoken word. Jim Trainer returns to Philly to perform and read with wonderful poet Charlie O’Hay and multi-media artist Bevan McShea.

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Charles O’Hay is the recipient of a 1995 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in poetry. His poems have appeared in over 100 literary publications including Gargoyle, South Carolihna Review, Brooklyn Review, West Branch, Mudfish, and New York Quarterly.
The author lives with his wife and daughter in eastern Pennsylvania. Far From Luck and Smoking In Elevators, O’Hay’s full-length collections of poetry are out now through Lucky Bat Books.

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Farewell to Armor, Jim Trainer’s debut full-length collection of poetry, is out now through WragsInk Press. Trainer is the founder of Yellow Lark Press. He currently lives in Austin, Texas where he serves as contributor, curator and editor of Going For The Throat, a twice-weekly publication of cynicism, outrage, correspondence and romance.

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Bevan McShea is an artist, musician, and poet from Philadelphia. His journey into poetry began while living in New York City’s East Village, where his spoken word performances earned him a feature presentation at NuYorican Poets Cafe. Bevan’s style has continued to evolve as he weaves his spiritual reflections, lyrical mysticism, and his love for cities and travel into his poetry. His first collection, “The Contour Lion,” is out now through WragsInk Press.

Moonstone Poetry Presents
An Evening of Poetry&Spoken Word
with
Jim Trainer, Farewell to Armor(WragsInk)
Bevan McShea, The Contour Lion(WragsInk)
Charlie O’Hay, Far From Luck, Smoking in Elevators(Lucky Bat Books)
Thursday June 18
at
Brandywine Workshop
728 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
7pm

CONTACT: Jim Trainer: 512-203-6288
jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-An Evening of Poetry&Spoken Word at Big Blue Marble Bookstore-Saturday June 7 at 7 PM

In Performance, Philadelphia, Poetry, Spoken Word, Writing on May 29, 2014 at 12:25 pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 5/29/14

Please join us for a great night of poetry and spoken word. Jim Trainer returns to Philly to perform and read with great writer Don Bajema and wonderful poet Charlie O’Hay.

Jim Trainer is a communicator. Growing up in the hardcore punk scene of the early 90’s taught him everything he needed to know about real work. Jim Trainer believes in rock and roll. It may be our only salvation in this dark world. He’s carried the torch for independent media, broadcasting as one of the early voices of Radio Volta(88.1fm)and writing for the Philadelphia IMC’s Wire in the early aughts. He’s appeared as The Reason, broadcasting on WKDU 91.7fm while writing for its Communiqué. He’s been the driver for several internationally touring bands, taking him to every state in the Continental U.S. He’s followed that Americana sound all the way down to Austin, TX where he works as a Singer/Songwriter and contributes to Verbicide Magazine.
Farewell to Armor, his debut full-length collection of poetry, is out now through WragsInk Press and available on Amazon.com. Trainer is the founder of Yellow Lark Press and serves as contributor, curator and editor of Going For The Throat, a semi-daily publication of cynicism, outrage, correspondence and romance. If you hear his voice on the air or read his words on the page, Jim Trainer is trying to break down the separation they have built between us. Jim Trainer believes you can be set free and that communication is the key.

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Novelist, screenwriter, actor and performer Don Bajema was born in St. John’s, New Foundland, Canada in 1949. He is the author of two highly acclaimed collections of short stories, Boy In The Air and Reach, now published as one volume, Winged Shoes and a Shield, by City Lights. As an actor, Bajema first appeared on stage in the West Coast premiere of Sam Shepard’s “Curse of the Starving Class”. With a lead role in the 1983 film “Signal Seven”, Bajema began a long-time collaboration with groundbreaking independent film director Rob Nilsson. He had a lead role in Nilsson’s 1988 Sundance Film Festival Grand Prize winner “Heat and Sunlight” and he wrote and starred in the 1996 film “Chalk,” which Nilsson directed. He has appeared in more than a dozen feature films, most recently Carl Franklin’s 2002 film “High Crimes”. A favorite on the “spoken word circuit”, Bajema has toured extensively in the US, Canada and Europe, performing at hundreds of clubs, theaters and universities. He has shared the spoken word stage with the likes of Hubert Selby, Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins, and Jim Carroll. He is a former world-class track and field athlete who competed in the 1972 US Olympic trials and played football for legendary coach Don Coryell at San Diego State University. He currently lives with his family in New York City.

Brother Don

Charles O’Hay is the recipient of a 1995 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in poetry. His poems have appeared in over 100 literary publications including Gargoyle, South Carolina Review, Brooklyn Review, West Branch, Mudfish, and New York Quarterly.
The author lives with his wife and daughter in eastern Pennsylvania. Far From Luck, his first full-length collection of poems is out now through Lucky Bat Books and available on Amazon.com

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An Evening of Poetry&Spoken Word
with
Jim Trainer (Farewell to Armor) WragsInk
Don Bajema (Winged Shoes&A Shield) City Lights Booksellers
Charlie O’Hay (Far From Luck) Lucky Bat Books
Saturday June 7
at
Big Blue Marble Books
551 Carpenter Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19119
7pm

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

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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

the one that she hates

In Uncategorized on October 1, 2013 at 10:32 am

He said he never heard you laugh
the way you laughed
with me
we got it up to 8 and ¼ inches
in the bathroom
you sucked on it
until it grew enough to get the tape on it
and measure it
but
from where?
“the base?
the
balls?”
we could hear the old man out there
on the other side of the door,
“Guys? Hello? Hello? Guys?”
the day was getting on
and I was getting annoyed
with life
the way I can get annoyed
with life
we rolled around on the daybed
drinking the old man’s German beer
must’ve looked like
a thousand Hemingways
rolling around on the daybed
laughing
we finally said goodbye
the sun hadn’t set
yet
the old man was drunk&unintelligible
and you got in the van
and drove away.
I miss you.

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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10 Years Stayin’ Young

In Uncategorized on December 3, 2010 at 10:57 pm

I am large, I contain multitudes.”-Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

I got into town just before midnight on a warm and balmy night in 1999.  The skyscrapers of Houston rose up on me as I climbed the hill from the train yard.  “I am a long way from home.”, I thought, and I was free.  I got up on stage at the club and I poured myself a mugfull of Evan Williams white-label.  “Houston.”  I said, and the crowd was with me.  They were with me until I had spouted all my words and finished the mug of 100 proof. 

It all came back to me walking down La Branch on Sunday.  Ruby Wring and her Texas Rollergirls were competing against the Houston Roller Derby.  I was playing a show at Café Mango’s that night and we were meeting up with an old friend who I hadn’t seen in 10 years.  When we got out of the car and began walking, it wasn’t just a memory that came back to me, it came over me.  With a memory, it’s kind of linear, you remember something that happened like you’re reading it off a page.  This was a feeling-and not just any feeling.  I felt the same exact way I felt 10 years ago, succinctly, and hadn’t felt since then.  The exotic warmth of Houston in November and the giant reach of anonymous skyscrapers downtown took me back to a fearless time in my life when I was walking tall down these city streets for the first time. 

We met Josh outside George R. Brown Convention Center.  We walked around checking out all the souped-up and shined cars on display for Autorama.  We cheered Ruby on as she and the TXRG beat the Houston Roller Derby 120-108.  We hung out at Lucky’s for the afterparty.  Throughout the day and into the beer-drunk night it was revealed:  we are still game. We’re still up for the next adventure.  We’re older now but that doesn’t matter any more than it did then.  By the end of this whole adventure me and my friend were confessing our love for each other.  I know it’s silly to have fondness for an old oil-town but I do.  Because when I got off the train back then I knew I had made it.  It must have been 12 degrees when I left Philly.  Not only was I doing a two-week, 8-city spoken word tour, I was making friends.  And the thing about friends is, when you see each other again it’s like no time has passed. 

Rachel from Philly joined us that night at the show.  I had an audience with members from:  Alabama, Houston and San Antone, Vermont and Philadelphia.     

When we left Houston, I watched the skyscrapers drop away.  “I’ll be back.  We’ll see you soon.”  Texas 10, the musical highway.  How comforting it is to know there are other heart-lights out there, beacons really.  They’re with me when I’m walking down 6th, I feel them out there, and I contain multitudes.  This feeling of  connection, it doesn’t make the world smaller, it somehow makes me bigger.  There’s more room out there and there’s more room in here.  It’s anti-small town walls closing in.  It’s everything.