Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘WPEB’

More New Century Blues

In Activism, activism, alcoholism, anger, ANTI-WAR, anxiety, art, Austin, austin music scene, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, day job, death, depression, Don Bajema, employment, getting sober, Jim Trainer, journalism, media, mental health, mid life, middle age, music performance, new journalism, Philadelphia, Poetry, publishing, punk rock, RADIO, recovery, revolution, self-help, self-publishing, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, solitude, songwriting, Spoken Word, straight edge, submitting poetry, suicide, the muse, therapy, TYPEWRITERS, working class, WRITER'S BLOCK, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS, yoga, youth on August 17, 2017 at 1:02 pm

It’s been a while but I am at a loss.  The world may have gotten in more than it usually does but I haven’t been without inspiration since the early days at Going For The Throat.  Those days the crisis was real.  If I didn’t make it as a writer I’d be stuck behind a bar or working hospice for 9 an hour.  Dressed like a Hershey’s Kiss on campus or test driving the Golfquick LE in Sugarland.  My definition of “making it as a writer” is broad and wild.  I can sit down and come up with 600 words out of thin air, and by keeping it simultaneously all too and not personal at all, the thing will find its legs and walk its way into you.  The archetypes are free to roam.  The fact that I’ve become a character in my own story, coupled with a 10-ton outrage and Black Irish honesty has made Going For the Throat a success.  My definition of success, too, is unorthodox-but if anything is true about my 20+ year career trekking down the savage road of New Journalism, it’s that the medium is the message.  That means that I’ve got my transmitter, just like in my Radio Days, and I can feel you out there listening.  I’m a writer so I write.  I still got a day gig, one that’s winding down, and I’m not 100 on what’s in store.  I’m booking overtime-I hope to play every night and write every day.  That’s been my dream and charge for as long as I can remember.  “Writer’s Block” is less than a memory for me, but waking up today, fully clothed, in a dead confederate palace with all the curtains pulled back-is taking me back to when I knew I had to be a writer, and tried to do every day what I now do every week.  Back then it was 1,200 and pure agony.   I volleyed the imminent avalanche of self-hatred that would fall if I didn’t become a writer with the agony of coming up with 1,200 words every day.  There was beer involved.  And cigarettes you bet.  It worked but it drove me out of my mind.

I’m just as fond of those hardbitten scoop days for what happened away from the desk.  Hopping fences, getting shitty.  Falling through the Night Kitchen, driving down dark barrio streets with my tongue in Gwendolyn’s teeth.  My hangovers were grim back then, nothing compared to what was coming.  It was beginning to get old but I saw no other way to assuage both the loneliness of writing and my utter dread of never becoming a writer-as the money ran out.  I caught some breaks.  I got a good job.  I met Rich Okewole and Najla Assaf.  I found my community.  I was taken in by the good folks at the IPRC in Portland (and taken right back out by Trump’s America but that’s another story for another time).  Perhaps my hesitation to pull the trigger this morning is indicative of the end of those Salad Days as a struggling writer.  The gravy train has left the station.  Of all my myriad blues and woe, movement seems to be the answer.  As proud as I am of what I’ve become, I’m terrifed here at the midway.  Possibilities that ain’t been realized won’t be and I could die at any time.

It’s got me shook.  I quit my gig of 5 years, should be out October 1.  I bought a car.  I enrolled in this year’s SWRFA and sent 22 booking emails out into the Live Music Capital of the World, even canvassed West 6th.  Survivors Wisdom tells me it’s time to grind it out, hit the road and stop being such a pussy.  Maybe the truth is that struggle is over.  Not this one, but that one.  The battle with self can conclude.  It’s I and I and a good night’s sleep contending for top place on my list of priorities.  I’ve found myself.  I am who I am.  Cruel time has showed me who I am and branded me with the wisdom that there’s not enough time to change that now.

We both know there would never be enough time but that didn’t stop us before ain’t it though.  We rebelled.  We clanged against the deathhead, came for the Gods and offered them the head of the King.  We bled for it, we had something to prove.  It was useless, futile and fatal and the biggest waste of time.  We squandered our youth.  The youth is gone.  It’s time to get off social media and take to the territory.  Our lives are depending on it.  I got witchy women mixing up the medicine for me and an Ayurvedic scholar laying out a diet plan.  I got Brother Don on the telephone and Sister Sarah at the other end of a computer screen.  I’ve got friends like blood, holding vigil and corroborating and besides all this big love-a fear of death that is all too real.  The prime motivator.  The best time to hit it was a long time ago.  The next best time is now.

I better see you on the streets motherfucker.

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Out of the Bag

In Activism, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, getting old, getting sober, Jim Trainer, journalism, media, mental health, mid life, middle age, new journalism, news media, observation, PACIFIST, PACISFISM, politics, PROTEST, RADIO, recovery, revolution, self-help, sober, sobriety, War, working class, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on November 17, 2016 at 3:35 pm

For years they had me locked in a cage
then they threw me onto the stage
-Bob Dylan

Ho hum.  Howdy motherfucker.  Trainer here, with the wisdom.  In the days following the election I didn’t know what to feel, let alone how to put it into words.  That’s because the focus of this blog has always been myself.  I didn’t have it in me to be selfish, and would never expect you to be into it either, after Tuesday night’s rude awakening.  I didn’t want to say I told you so, as if that ever helps anything except the pride of the fool saying it.  I know why I didn’t vote, and I’ve seen the readership of this blog decline for making that known, but I was still horrified at the result, and suffered bad constipation (among other things) as the reality sank in.

We’re fucked.  I’ve lived long enough to feel that way 3 other times in my life, and all of them have to do with the highest office in the land.  This feels different though, and I’m different, and as twisted and dark as it is right now, I’ve nowhere to hide.  The last time a candidate who won the popular vote was denied the Presidency, I was 25 years old.  I had, or thought I had, plenty of time to fuck around.  I got lost in West Philly.  I devoted myself to the Arts, even got involved in the battle for free radio.  I fought as much as I wanted to and even though between me and myself it’s never enough, I can look back proudly on that time, my Radio Days.  The truth is it wasn’t enough and it’s never enough but it was the end of the Century and I sure had a good time.

The next time I knew we were fucked was in the next race, 4 years later, and the country had gone stark raving mad for War, and persecuted you for saying otherwise.  The news media in the Land of the Free was onboard.  It was fucked.  It still is.  If we can’t agree on the intricacies of hegemony and U.S. interventionism, then surely we agree that the luring of our young men and women to fight for a lie and come home to a country that doesn’t care about its mentally ill is treacherous, inhumane and wrong.

The collapse of the market and federal bail out that ensued is the watershed moment, good Reader.  It’s when the capriciousness of the Bush dynasty came home to roost.  As progressive and even glorious were the advances made by President Obama, the mess he inherited and how he handled it, has fucked us, the People of the United States for the remainder of this country’s existence.  Something exceptional would have to happen.  Vigilance was needed and a tireless commitment to righting the vessel.  None of those will be forthcoming.

I think it’s worth mentioning that little would be done under Hillary, either, and business is as business does could be the slogan of either party in this cracked oligarchy we will be living in for the rest of our lives.  The little that Hillary would’ve done might’ve been enough to keep spirits up, and her election might not have emboldened the homogeneous bigotry of this country like Trump’s has, but they would still be out there and deals would still be cut in there, hand over hand in her Oval office or his-certainly our inhumane actions abroad aren’t going to change no matter who is President.

The DNC is broken, or, it’s only fulfilling what it always had in mind.  The Republican Party should be over and done with, except that they rule the House and the Senate.  The fact that a reality TV star ran on a non-policy of hate and fear, lost the popular vote and will be President is fucked.  His attitude and bias is piggish and without compassion but even the 47% of people who voted for him will tell you that.  Great writers have already concluded that this is the American character.*

You don’t need to hear it from me that we’re fucked.  If you’ve tuned in and read me-I thank you.  The fact that I started this blog aiming for an outsider’s voice either more critical or accurate than mainstream media, but only came up with a self-help journal and reason to go on, spend a couple hours writing instead of going out to the bougie store for a pack of triple 5s or hanging myself from the chandelier in a dead confederate palace on a slow Tuesday night in Hippie Town is what it is.

I want you to know, though-despite your kind words and appreciation and readership that’s kept me from swinging-I have really let myself go.  I’ve let my writing go because on the eve of ruin in the Land of the Free, I was without words and the only thing I could come up with was a parable about getting old.  Don’t get me wrong, getting old is a thing and a very sad thing when you consider how far I am from my goals and how slow going it’s been.  Every shock of the world and hysteria brought on by charlatans of the news media was dealt with by putting my head back in the bag.  Now I’m sober and the story is the same.

I’ve been here almost 5 years, been posting on here for 6.  I don’t have the spring of youth in my step and I’ve retreated so far inside myself that it took the election of a diabolical asshole to wake me up to the reality-I’m not living to my potential.  It’s a popular refrain down here at the Office.  I’ll never know if the Inner Critic is just on overdrive or if I should just be doing more.  I’ve still got a monkey on my back though, and Art has been re-purposed again as vital, life saving and something to live up to.  This is just the beginning.

See you on the streets motherfucker.

Ab irato,
Jim Trainer
Going For The Throat
Austin TX-Portland OR