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…

READ MORE POETRY (#thesealeychallenge)

by Jessie Lynn McMains If you follow the same sorts of people on social media as I do, every year in late July, your feeds are flooded with photographs of hulking book-stacks and captions that read something along the lines of: Can’t wait to read these in August! #thesealeychallenge. And if you’re anything like me,…

Jack Kerouac in Racine

by Jessie Lynn McMains (& Jack Kerouac) The children in Monument Square pay no attention to me, either that or because I’m a ghost they don’t see me. Belle City rattles in my haunted head — O to be out in Racine in the summereve, air so wet and thick it slicks along my shoulders…

Why Bother? (we set out to change the world & ended up just changing ourselves)

by Jessie Lynn McMains There’s a scene towards the end of the film Velvet Goldmine, when Curt Wild (Ewan McGregor) says to Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale): “We set out to change the world, and ended up just changing ourselves.” “What’s wrong with that?” Arthur asks. “Nothing,” Curt replies, “If you don’t look at the world.”…

International Zine Month

by Jessie Lynn McMains It’s International Zine Month, so I’m using my first post as your new Writer-in-Residence to preach the Good Zine Word. I’ve been reading zines since the early ’90s, back when everyone and their hip uncle had a fanzine, and you could find them cheap or free in every coffee shop and…