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…

Forget Paris on the Seine. I’ll Take the Louvre on Lake Michigan

Would you rather have a brat or a baguette? A Kouign-amann or a Kringle? Paris with its Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo is 4,100 miles away from here, and who needs the Louvre Museum when you can experience fine art (and engage in much more) at the Louvre on Lake Michigan, better known as Spectrum School of the Arts and Gallery? Spectrum is located within the historic DeKoven Center campus in Racine, WI at 2050 Wisconsin Avenue and has served southeastern Wisconsin with culture, education, entertainment, and fellowship for over 40 years.

My Kind of Town: Kenosha

don’t get around much anymore. That’s not just a song title or a result of the pandemic, it’s a fact of my life. Long-distance travel doesn’t suit me. I’ve tried to stuff my 6’3 frame into an airline’s economy class seat and found Houdini couldn’t escape from a space that tight. When my family would travel to Yellowstone or other spots when I was young, I was left behind in the care of my aunt. They did not want to be on a car ride with me then, and you don’t want me as a passenger with you today. It’s a good thing I’ve learned to bloom where I was planted: Kenosha, Wisconsin, the fourth largest city in our state, nestled on the shore of the second largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan.

Keep the Fire Burning Bright

My friend, composer Karel Suchy, calls it KeRacine, pronouncing the word, in his cool Czech accent, like you’d say, “ker-o-sene.” With this term, he’s referring to the Wisconsin cities of Kenosha and Racine, but it’s more than a mashup of names for him. He’s talking about a powerful energy, fueled by the the creative culture that burns bright here.