And some gratuitous selfies, cos I’m a babe today.
Not totally zine-related, but: I redid the wall above my desk.
Left: Read More Books bookmark from WORD Bookstores. I Love My Public Library sticker. High Priestess tarot card, added to and sent to me by wallflowercabaret. Un-death Before Decaf sticker. Reckless Chants sticker and little drinkin’ punk (both drawn by isweatgarlic). Alimentando a los gusanos, by Alynn Guerra. Live Fast & Dye Your Hair Manic Panic sticker. “The heart is a repository of vanished things” (Mark Doty), the epigraph page from Reckless Chants #20.
Middle: Poster from the Jack Kerouac Festival in Boulder, Colorado, in 2007, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the publication of On The Road. (Be warned, responding to that Kerouac post has rekindled my Kerouac obsession.)
Right: World/Inferno Friendship Society sticker (inspired by an old Weimar-era poster). Razorcake sticker (razorcake). Punk Rock sticker. Philly Shreds sticker. Art Is Dead sticker. A Ramones drawing I did after Tommy died. Below that - PBR/Holy Water print (bought at CZF, I didn’t catch the artist’s name and it’s not signed!). “Another Girl, Another Planet”-inspired print by Marissa Luna. Photo print of Philadelphia by jukiebot. Protection from Forgetting print by Corina Dross.
Today’s International Zine Month ‘challenge’ was to take a photo of yourself either with your zine, or your zine collection. I couldn’t decide which one to do, so I did both.
top photo: (part of) my zine collection. Far left: zine-related books. Next to that: Some of my favorite zines. (Featured: zines I’ve recently received that I haven’t had a chance to read yet.) To the right of the doll: zines and books I have published in the past 15 years, as well as other zines/mags/papers that I have contributed to or that have reviewed my zines. (Featured: Lost & found & ten years down, from 2009, which I have recently realized is probably the best zine I have ever done/will ever do.) Not pictured: zines I made prior to 1999, and the rest of my zine collection - those are all in boxes in my basement.
bottom photo: me, with Reckless Chants #20, the most recent zine I’ve published.
And this one, too!
Lost & found & ten years down
Stories of grumpy punk dudes, weirdo love, and weasel girls. Being a teenage fuck up, hating your friends, and listening to Alkaline Trio at the bar. Artwork by Waza-Loo, words by Rust Belt Jessie. Originally published summer 2009.
Sometimes I reread this zine and think that it is probably the pinnacle of my zine-life and I will never do anything quite as good. Click through to read the .pdf version on Issuu.
Warning: the zine contains mentions of self-injury, abuse, rape, drug use and abuse, and alcohol, so proceed with caution.
But this really isn’t supposed to be a bummer of a zine, I actually think most of it is pretty humorous.
The Dead Kennedys, Mabuhay Gardens, San Francisco; captured by Stanley Greene (1978)
-Things are good. They were really rough for a while, but they’re getting better.
-My days are filled with writing (both the stuff I want to write, and the freelance stuff I’m doing for $$), reading, gardening (both at home and at the community garden), the kidlet, and sometimes adventures.
-Writing: I’m working on two novels (yes, two now; Real Dreams That Never Go Smash, that I was already writing, and now another, as yet untitled one - I saw a shopping cart half-submerged in a pond and I listened to the Sleater-Kinney song “Jenny” and somehow a novel came out of that), three essays, several poems, and Reckless Chants #21 (though I’m not planning on having that done until autumn).
-I am really excited about this new novel. It is coming to me so urgently that I know it’s what I need to be writing. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I will say it involves ghosts, Kenosha, Chicago, queer teens, punk, and zines. So, basically most of the shit that is important to me.
-Adventures: wandering all around Racine and Kenosha, and the Racine County Fair, bookstores, the Kenosha Harbor Market, the Kenosha Public Museum, trying all the best breakfast places/diners in the area.
-Two nights ago, I saw the most beautiful woman riding a bicycle through downtown Racine. She had short black hair, was wearing a black leather (or, leather-like, couldn’t tell) jacket, a black t-shirt that wasn’t tight yet clung alluringly to her breasts, tight black jeans, Converse; she was damp from a rainstorm but smiling wide and lifting her feet off the pedals; her bicycle was old school cruiser-style with a basket on the front and everything (much like my bike!). I just, it was one of those instant: I love you and I’ll probably never talk to you moments. Sigh.
-Later on that night, I watched an owl swoop through my backyard and land in a tree. It stayed there, hooting eerily, while P. and I drank beers.
-Two nights ago was the first night I drank any alcohol in nearly a week. I haven’t been feeling it, and I try to take short breaks from time to time just to remind myself that I’m not dependent on it. Not drinking for five+ days was okay, except I found it much harder to get to sleep.
-I had intense dreams two nights ago: I dreamt about my novel/the characters from it (I tend to dream about whatever project(s) I’m heavily involved in). I also had a dream where I hung out with The Ramones and Jello Biafra. Okay, so, in that dream, it was the original Ramones, they were all still alive, and my brain actually aged them to the ages they’d all be now. They were taking a Greyhound bus to Chicago, and I met them at the station, and then we ate at this weird cafeteria?? And they were all really nice, except for Johnny, who was grumpy, of course…and Jello B. was there too, and later the Ramones left, and Jello and I had sex in a cemetery?? What?? I have seriously never been attracted to Jello in a sexual manner so that was odd.
-Upcoming adventures: Thursday, going up to Milwaukee to see the LGBTQIA zine exhibit at the UWM Library coffee shop, then hopefully I’ll get to have coffee and/or wander around with some of my Milwaukee pals. The yearly pilgrimage to Door County is coming up not too long after that. And then in November…Milwaukee Zine Fest!
-Have I mentioned how much I love Wisconsin? Cos I really, really do.
It’s funny how you find ideas that fit your way of life. For a long time I agreed with Didion when she said she didn’t respect people who never left home. Now I’m not so sure that’s a virtue. The people who stay in their hometowns, who face their pasts, who live among family, those people are the tough ones. They’re the ones who are willing to live for something that goes beyond that selfish idea of “getting what you want.” Who ever said we were owed that? Who promised that to us? In our time, everyone knows there is a whole world out there and that all you need to see it is enough money to get on a plane. You don’t have to be brave to leave. You have to be brave to stay.