A Field Guide to Ghosts and Cryptids of Southeast Wisconsin

by Jessie Lynn McMains If you’re anything like me, the start of spooky season has given you the urge to seek out haunted places and creepy creatures. Actually, if you’re anything like me, you have the urge to seek out those things year-round, but I digress… Wisconsin has a wealth of ghosts and monsters. What…

Revolution Poet-Style Now!

by Jessie Lynn McMains 100 Thousand Poets for Change began in March 2011. It started with just a few people, who had the idea to get poets (and other writers, and artists, and musicians, and activists of all stripes) together to raise their voices in solidarity. To act as megaphones shouting for peace and sustainability,…

Magic Gardens

by Jessie Lynn McMains On the north wall of the Nielsen, Madsen, and Barber building, at 1339 Washington Avenue, there is a mosaic mural. Whether you are driving or walking past, it is impossible to miss. Strange beings loom out at you—mermaids, creatures with fish where their arms should be, beings whose limbs and eyes…

I Dream A Highway

by Jessie Lynn McMains Oh, I dream a highway back to you, loveA winding ribbon with a band of goldA silver vision, come and bless my soulI dream a highway back to you Gillian Welch, “I Dream A Highway” State Trunk Highway 32, also known as the 32nd Division Memorial Highway, the Red Arrow Highway,…

The Transverberation of Frida Kahlo

by Jessie Lynn McMains Woman with dark hair full of flowers. Woman wrapped in thorns and vines. Woman draped in bangles, necklaces, earrings of jade and silver. Woman with magenta lips; with eyebrow perched above her knowing eyes like a blackbird, singing. Woman surrounded by dogs, monkeys, deer. Chicana. Communist. Rebel. I don’t give a…

tell me all of your secrets

by Jessie Lynn McMains 1 Many people have told me I’m bold, in my writing. That I’m brave to put my life on the page, on the screen, click print, hit ‘publish,’ and not care who might read it or what they might think of me afterwards. Many people have told me I seem to…

August

by Jessie Lynn McMains The long summer yawns into August. It’s still summer—the hottest part. The dog days. Sultry, slow, the air so wet you can see it even at night, when the neighbors’ porch lights make it glow orange. There are bees in the lavender, cup-plants and pink lilies and goldenrod growing riotous in…

All Men Are Free / DCxHC

by Jessie Lynn McMains Door County, Wisconsin. Land of shipwrecks, fish boils, caves water-cut into limestone cliff faces, and the balsamic, camphorous scent of cedar. Haunted by the ghosts of history, and many of my own personal phantoms. Door County, Wisconsin. The peninsula that made me punk. I have tried to trace my path to…

Let’s Be Bad

by Jessie Lynn McMains Sometimes, I want to do bad things. This is not a confession of nefarious plots or dirty thoughts. Maybe I should rephrase it. Sometimes, I want to allow myself to be bad at things. I want to let myself make crappy stuff. I want to let myself just make the absolute…