More than a Feeling: Writing and Publishing Perzines

Hey, it’s me, Jessie Lynn McMains, your resident zinester. I’ve been writing zines for almost 28 years now, and for at least 24 of those years, they’ve mostly been perzines. (What’s a zine? What’s a perzine? Check out the post I wrote for International Zine Month.) And now I’m here to teach you how to…

“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…

Love Song during Riot with Many Voices

by Jessie Lynn McMains All through the summer of 2020, from May to September, I returned again and again to Lynda Hull’s poem “Love Song during Riot with many Voices.” I thought of it when police murdered Breonna Taylor in her apartment, and the protests began in Louisville, demanding justice. I thought of this man,…

One Long Longing

by Jessie Lynn McMains Homesick is just a state of mind for me, that I’m always missing someone or some place or something, I’m always trying to get back some imaginary somewhere. My life has been one long longing. Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation Anyone who knows me well—or has read enough of my writing—knows that…

Halloween (The Devil’s Ball)

by Jessie Lynn McMains for Jack Terricloth It was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Hallowmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, & all of us! Come, do you hear it? The wind, calling you back to childhood. Calling you back to…

Haunting, Haunted, Haunts

by Jessie Lynn McMains All houses wherein men have lived and diedAre haunted houses.—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, from “Haunted Houses” Every house is a haunted house. The things which haunt them might truly be ghosts, or they may just be the ghosts of memory. They may exist independently of us, may reside in the pipes and…

Dear Peter Lorre—

by Jessie Lynn McMains Lieber Teufel— You are as strong as you are honest. Says the railroad bridge over the river. The graffiti. The river graffitied with all that autumn light. Rust and rusting, golding and gold. Honesty’s not my business. For example: you make a face, a ghastly, blissful grimace, and it sticks. That…

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,…