“Who do you sleep with?”

By Jeanne Arnold The April sun pokes—no, dimly casts a cool light through the midpoint branches of the evergreen tree. Except for that point of the sun, you’d think it was late November because of the snow cover around us, a orange-pink color on the whiteness to the west, From my window I noticed a…

Barbara said, “We’re not very good, but we’re funny.”

By Jeanne Arnold  After treating them to lunch, my gang moaned about their lost love of making music, a memory that has been sounding within us all. Barbara and Betty play together but Joanne’s accordion lives in her attic; Mary Lou remembers playing the piano; Sharon likes her bongo drum but is tempted to learn…

Am I opening Pandora’s box?

by Jeanne Arnold I’m not shy but I’m not rowdy. I’m a feminist but I’m not strident. I’m a Racine native, but I’ve been around. I lived a straight life for half of it and I chose to live as a lesbian life with my partner for the other half. I’m a happy mother, grandmother,…

Finishing the Hat

by Jessie Lynn McMains Since Stephen Sondheim died, I’ve had “Finishing the Hat” stuck in my head. “Finishing the Hat” is a song from Sondheim’s 1984 musical Sunday in the Park with George, and in some ways it is the consummate Sondheim song; one of the finest examples of the way he blended music and…

Favorite Music of 2021

by Jessie Lynn McMains My 12 Favorite Albums and EPs Released in 2021 Anna B Savage – A Common TurnSoaring vocals, music that is somehow both sparse and expansive, achingly beautiful lyrics. Favorite track: Corncrakes. Arab Strap – As Days Get DarkTake the existential dread of some of Nick Cave’s work and mix it with…

Jesus of Western Avenue & The Apostles of Humboldt Park

by Jessie Lynn McMains All of Tony Fitzpatrick’s collages—from the largest to the smallest—are packed full. Each one is a visual list, a bright litany, of his loves and inspirations. In interviews and on his website, he mentions some of them: comics (two of his earliest influences were Dick Tracey and Mad Magazine), religious art…

All That’s Left/All I’ve Ever Known

by Jessie Lynn McMains All that’s left of my youth is a stack of notebooks with secrets scrawled in fading ink, a shoebox full of cassette tapes I’ve played so many times the sound has faded to ghost-static, and a plastic bin of zine flats, every word and picture peeling off one-by-one as the glue…

More than a Feeling: Writing and Publishing Perzines

UPDATE (12/17/21): The live workshop has been canceled, because it’s tomorrow but no one has registered yet. I will instead be recording a video presenting the information I would have presented in the workshop and posting it online (for free). My apologies if anyone was actually planning to attend, but as no one has registered…

“you would die, or be happy forever”

by Jessie Lynn McMains A couple months ago, I made a post on Facebook: What was the poem or poems that first made you really say WOW? The poems that felt like spells or prayers to you? The ones that felt like portrals to Elsewhere? The ones that gave you chills, made you cry, made…