What does it mean to be an artist? What is the balance between the creative end product, the sense of self, and the exchange with the audience? Listen to Jim Trainer, singer-songwriter, poet, and journalist, discuss his pursuit to share candid moments, break down the fourth wall, and to bring the reader into all situations. “It’s all about the authentic life. Poetry is for the people. That’s who it’s for.” -Jim Trainer.
Singer-songwriter, journalist and curator of Going For The Throat—a weekly publication of cynicism, outrage, correspondence and romance. Jim Trainer publishes one collection of poetry and prose every year through Yellow Lark Press. Love&Wages is his 5th. Please visit jimtrainer.net for his collections, and for music, film and appearances.
Love&Wages doesn’t veer from the street level often, but flies fancifully when it does, in the thrall and arms of lovers past, real and imagined. Largely written during Trainer’s return to hard labor in the Fall and Winter of 2018, Love&Wages is an industrial pastoral and not a kind one but for the hardworking men and women who move through the collection, at odds and finding for grace among the rigors of blue-collar life. For all the romance Trainer strips away from labor with his work poems, his tributes to lovers overflow, are devotional and muse-like and as close as he can come to a reason to rise in the predawn dark and head to line and yard in the rust-colored dawn. Perhaps the only balm offered by Trainer here is with his dedication—for Dignity, as a reminder that the deal working-class men and women make is with themselves, even as their humanity is wagered as the cost of survival.