April 23, 2016

The other day, I had a freakout about one of my projects--The Girl With the Most Cake. I started it back in October, wrote about half the poems I wanted to include, and then got so busy with other stuff that I had to set it aside for a while. I started working on it again in earnest last month, but I got stuck, because I was trying to force myself to write the other poems that I'd mapped out back in October, and they just aren't calling to me anymore. I decided to push back the release date; I deleted the preorder page from my Etsy shop, and I offered refunds to people who have already preordered and don't want to wait. Secretly, I thought: "I'll never finish it. It was a good idea but I missed my chance." Of course, as soon as I took the pressure off myself to get it done now, and to do it a certain way, I had something of a breakthrough, and now I know it will be finished. I'm not setting a release date yet, because I'm focused on the very-close-now release of What We Talk About When...

January 5, 2016

I published eight zines in 2015: and it murders your heart (they didn't tell you that part)Belmont & ClarkThis House is Not a Landmark (split with Jesse Ankle Grease), Treehouse b/w Insect SummerWhat We Talk About When We Talk About Punk (the titular essay from my upcoming book), Reckless Chants #22, Full Ghost Moon (a ghost story I made into a mini-zine for my patrons), and Major Arcana of the Punk Rock Tarot.


My writing career took off, and I mean Took Off. It has been picking back up for the past couple years, after years of dead-ends, but in 2015 it started to feel like my hard work was finally paying off. The biggest things were being named Poet Laureate of Racine, and being nominated for the Pushcart Prize (for the second year in a row!), and one other really big/great thing I can't announce just yet. Also: I started writing for Witchsong, had pieces appear in volume one of Crush Zine, issue two of SRVIV,...

July 16, 2015

Just like that, I was a Sonic Youth fangirl. No longer was I content to try and be as cool as the indie kids at my school, no, I was gonna try and be as cool as Thurston and Kim (to say nothing of Lee and Steve). I saw a picture of Thurston in some mag, and he was wearing a pair of maroon low-top Chuck Taylors, so I bought myself a pair. I vowed that one day I would have an electric guitar, and I would make weird, noisy music of my own. (And I eventually did, and it was terrible and great.) And I bought my second Sonic Youth album, Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.

—Jessie Lynn McMains, from TEACH US HOW TO FAIL: A SONIC YOUTH PLAYLIST at witchsong.com

May 22, 2015

you ever listen to a mix tape (or CD, or playlist - I forget sometimes that it’s 2015 and almost no one makes mix tapes anymore) so many times that you get used to the songs in their relation to other songs on the mix? you know what I mean - you hear, say, “Jeepster” by T. Rex, and you expect to hear Johnny Thunders’ “All By Myself” right after. and when you don’t, it throws you off.


you ever wonder what happened to all the people who once made mixes for you? you ever think: well, they’re out of my life, but I still have the music? mix from _____. he carved that into the cassette, but he may as well have carved it into your fucking soul.

October 30, 2014

from the train window I saw the old me and my friends

who are ghosts. this is the haunting season

come devour me, ghouls.

then stepping out of the station, the cold wind like ghoul’s

teeth nipping, whipping

my bottle-red hair around my face so when I went to light

a nasty habit

I almost set myself on fire.

and whiskey burning from my flask down into my throat,

belly, toes

the deep south side

the Chinatown bars

photobooths, soul food, hipster music

and politics

the politics of fuck Rahm Emanuel, I don’t want to

Build a New Chicago, I want the old one back.

the politics of broken hearts.

we found a park

statues of stern men with fantasy novel names watched us

as we walked the gold-lit pathway that led

toward downtown, and the brick circle like a portal.

I wondered, if I lay my tobacco, zines, tallboy, notebook

on the four directions, would it unlock and open

the city of ten, fifteen years ago? all it opened was

the politics of cheap-as-hell burritos.

the politics of walking ‘til your feet hurt.

and I wept, whiske...

October 30, 2014

The Salteens - Whiskey & Records 7"

Ama-Dots - s/t


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