Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘tour’


In National Poetry Month, on tour, poem, Poetry, TOUR, Uncategorized on May 24, 2016 at 11:44 pm

Rita the real estate agent
met you in the lobby of the Westin
on the 4th of July
the boys had been calling me all night
the light rig on the trailer was shredded
we’d have to travel by day
and even then we’d be lucky
not to get pulled over
I ate a 20 bag for breakfast
washed it down with a couple Coors Lites
you gave me your card and told me to call you
if I was ever back in town
I haven’t thought about you
since that terrible morning
the highways lined with troopers
the country marching off to war
crawling back to New Orleans
on the 4th of July.

Poem 21b/30, written for National Poetry Month on 4/21/15 at 11:05:19 pm.


81 south

In blogging, travel, travel writing, Writing on July 30, 2015 at 4:27 pm

Leaving town can make you nostalgic, and whether you’re looking back fondly or no, you won’t be looking back long.  As the highway rises in front of you what can you do but punch it, forward and move-go.  1,483 miles to Austin.  2 and a half days in sleepy Shepherds Town in our belt.  Ben driving, jamming some Dylan covers record, and me beside, writing this.  Boss in the back strapped in with all our gear.  We’re driving into a panorama of large, lush trees.  I feel fine but I could do better.  Been juicing on the road, before coffee and smokes.  Found a Sheetz in Shetown that sells Black Spirits for $6 a pack.  These last 15 days, 10 states and over 2,000 miles have been a trial of sobriety, a wits-end, raw-nerved, white-knuckled keeping it together, and knowing that there’s nothing that can ever help you with the road. It starts to get into your bones and then you’re done for, just surrender, let it pass through you, bore you out and wear you down-exhaust you in the middle of a god foraken nowhere town somewhere in America and only taking solace in the fact that as bad as it gets out here it’s better than being back home. People are dumb everywhere, stuck in their own ruts, trying to survive in a cruel and dark world. But back home they know you. And there’s hardly any wiggle room in their perception of you. The streets sting, there’s nothing new around every corner, it’s familiar and staid. It’s the same out here, you can never outrun your demons-but you can try and exhaustion and frustration and the countless tests of dealing with people in their own arenas of dysfunction will have you reaching for it-sex, booze, cigarettes, sleep (if only you could!). You must bear down. There is no escape. The more I stay sober the more I realize that life is a series of jobs to do. You could fall off the grid for awhile, like I did for a sleazy decade in Philly, but there is a job to do and you might as well saddle up and get to it. Otherwise you’ll lay in bed thinking about it. Don’t do that to yourself. Jam that fucker until you have nothing left. Pack your gear. Load up your shit. Do the miles. The road awaits…you’ll sleep better at night and nothing helps cut through the bullshit more than a clock winding down, the sword of time. You’ll sleep better and your life will be your own.

Thank you for joining me out here in America. See you in Texas motherfucker.

Going for the Road #4

In alcoholism, blogging, Jim Trainer, sober, TOUR, travel, travel writing on July 23, 2015 at 4:58 pm

7/20/15, after noon
Ah sobriety. Sartre’s wet dream. Before I go on I should mention that I’m smoking about a pack of cigarettes every 2 days. Which is good, for me. Haha. I bring it up because nicotine is a drug and a fine one at that but is mostly consumed in the most wasteful and deadly way. Yep so high on Camels. Yuck. And a little of the Boss’ G13. Very little. You don’t want me to break down on this mountain all alone, do you? Naw keepin it straight bra. Totes. The only thing for me to do when my underwear is done drying is head into town and park at Stewart’s root beer stand until some college girls say hi. We can cruise together down the killing roads of North Creek-Damn I forgot about these! 28N and 87 as chronicled in Farewell to Armor. I was astounded the memory of writing some of that book up here and what a different, well, boy I was then. So much has changed. And I am still climbing.
A deeply personal post on an already over-personalized blog (redundant). You’ll have to forgive the sensitive stuff. Marijuana. There just ain’t nothing doing up on this mountain, Brother. My sleep is fucked and I got 1 more day on shift before the big lazy. 3 whole days in Minerva with nothing to do. Hold on a second. I’ve got an idea.

Allow me to offer this, a post, as testament to the reason blogs are disrespected, often shagged by established or professional writers. I may be 40 but it ain’t no mystery to me-blogging is the shit. How else can I publish and send out my work to the world with just the click of a button? With no editor and no inclination whatsoever to cater to my audience or even find a target just hit ‘Publish’ and I’m published. It’s pretty fucking amazing and also trite and funny in a tragic way. I’m not innocent. I’ve posted many blogs on here like, well, this one-jagoffs and details of one life in seven billion, and nothing political or insightful to offer to the National Conversation.
And, I’ve been building walls. While some have sought to be a part of the world, make their mark, even make better, I have sought refuge from it and have found a way to work alone for hours a day and talk about what I want to talk about which are my feelings goddamnit and well, why not? Blogs can trump the establishment and big business of news reporting. Blogs can offer a truer voice than some earl grey-and-coattails choad newscaster. Or they can be much like dirty laundry-you look at it but only long enough to think to yourself why won’t he take that shit down? Speaking of which I think my skibbies are done. Sorry about this post. Next one’ll be a real dinger, I promise. I’ve got a hankering for root beer. This town sucks but it’s ok out here in the woods I guess.

Jim Trainer, Blogger
Going For The Throat


In TOUR, travel on July 14, 2015 at 1:11 pm

As a tourdriver I’ve been to every state in the lower 48 barring South Dakota.  I’ve been clear across Canada in the middle of Febuary in a 30′ RV hauling a single axel trailer.  I’ve gotten up close and personal to the people out on the road and that’s not always a good thing (Indiana).  And, late in the afternoon on a brisk day on Victoria Island, I envisioned a future for myself in Austin, while smoking Duvalier’s and reading Chronicles in my room at the St. James.  I’ve travelled with some real pieces of work-I’ve been on tour with 5 seperate dudes with 5 seperate drug addictions.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to see America is with Europeans. Norweigians to be specific, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more eqipped or better oiled machine than Satan’s Roadcrew (on the road with 1349 in 2008/9).  Those boys are doing work and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single complaint from any of them over the couple hundred days being on the road together.  Those tours are very special to me.  And ironically some of the hardest.  Nothing beats working together especially when times is tough out there and laughter, shit the laughter-it’s all you remember after you’ve been through the fire with your comrades.

When you’ve done 32 cities in 35 days, a couple thousand miles seems like a dream.  A cake walk.  Ah but don’t too wise.  The road can bring out the worst in people.  And it’s all about how you roll, brother.  Will you crack?  And if so, it’s ok, but will you be able to put the pieces back together, get back on hitch and keep rolling down the highway until the road runs out or the wheels fall off?
I’ve seen some beautiful women on the road.  And I’ve had more than one relationship ruined by the road.  It’s a hard gig, takes allot out of you and the ones you love.  And if you’re petty or controlling (a Virgo) you won’t be able to handle your partner being away for so long and in so many cities and backstage areas with groupies and porn stars.  The truth is I never saw much of that, barring L.A., and the fact is-when the real shit was going down I was horizontal in the RV with the doors locked, dreaming my Benadryl dreams until sometime after 2 when the roads are clear and the cops don’t care and you can really jam it to Worcester or Orangevale.  It wasn’t very glamorous for me out there. At all.  Matter of fact all I did for long stretches of time was sleep and drive.  But I believed in it.  The Work. I believe in black metal and the Work of 1349 and as such I let it become my life for awhile.  I wonder if I could ever go back to that life.  There’s a thought.  Ah but I was so much older then.

Truth is I’m kind of bummed we’re leaving.  I’m really getting the hang of being a writer and my days are filled with the Work.  I’ve sent out over 20 letters in the last 2 weeks and when I’m not writing poetry I’ve got it on my mind.
Just this morning in fact, I got an idea for the new book.  It involves several cities, actually, and maybe it’s because we’re leaving tomorrow and I’ve got the road on my mind.  Yes and of course it all comes back to me…busted and lumbering back from Amarillo, rejected by a Christ Church woman, stopping in Houston for an ill-advised trip down memory lane, through West Virginia where I’ve been the happiest in love, up in the North Country, all alone on a mountain top wondering how I went wrong and why, when I think about love, all I think about are clay pigeons up on a wire and shooting ’em down.  One by one.  And as I was conceiving the idea a single butterfly lit down on the Pride of Barbados out there and I realized something about love.  Maybe I need to work on myself.  Maybe I need to be alone.  Single.  I guess the point is that I am.
Do your work.  Stand in the world like it’s your truth.  People come and go.  You know the price. You know the deal. A butterfly lights down, from out of nowhere, from out of the noise and ruckus and smells and whistles of construction crews building towers of greed into the blue lazy Texas sky.  And here she comes, too.  In gold and white laced pumps, her tawny brown legs and arms hazing a long lazy S swaying in the heat coming up the street-the prime mover of the universe.  She is why, Brother.  She is why the everything.  She is why I get to live this life and slum it here in Paradise.  She is creation.  It’s her world.  Keep your war.  I’m hitting the road.

Sweethearts sat in the dark and sparked,
they hugged and kissed in that dusty old dark.
They sighed and cried, hugged and kissed,
instead of marriage, they talked like this:
“Honey…so long it’s been good to know ya’! “

-Woody Guthrie
July 14, 1912-October 3, 1967

See you on the mountain motherfucker.

Jim Trainer
Satan’s Roadcrew
Austin, TX


In National Poetry Month, Philadelphia, poem, Poetry, TOUR, travel on April 13, 2015 at 9:10 pm


Amtrak offered 4 cities for $800
and since Lafayette, LA was one of the two dates I had booked,
I got laid over in New Orleans for free.
I went clear across the country
all the way to San Francisco
when I got there I signed up for food stamps
and sold them to the Asian ladies out front
at 2 on the dollar
I sold my return leg to a girl at the hostel
and rebooked the same 4 cities
for my return
Aurora-Houston-Lafayette (NOLA)-Wilmington
I had the best gig of my life in Houston
at Notsuoh on Main
and I met allot of nice people along the way
I was 25
it was the end of the century
I spent the next 10 years of my life
lost in the city of Philadelphia.

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.