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…

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…

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.”…