forget the fuck away from me

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In forget the fuck away from me, Jessie Lynn McMains uses a variety of poetic forms and tactics to discuss the ‘90s and their memories of that decade. In these poems (three previously published, seven brand new), McMains (an old Millenial/young Gen X-er, aka Xennial) writes about everything from identity to crushes, trauma and mental illness to hanging out at the mall. Laid out like a zine, and featuring more ‘90s pop culture and musical references than you can shake a mixtape at, the ten poems ftfafm is nostalgic without being overly sentimental. Recommended for anyone who just barely survived their teenage years and anyone who (sometimes) misses the ‘90s.




I fell    so easy    & so often    the padlocked chains    I wore

could not protect    my fragile    heart & when    my poems

slammed into the spotlight    at the cafe    open mic

in a nervous caffeine stutter    I said    fuck you    I’m Allen

Ginsberg’s daughter    said    fuck you     I was just a geek

in smalltown U.S.A.    but the cute librarian    Ramonesed

me, got me singing    hey    little girl    I wanna be    the next

Cometbus    writing zines    about stomp-dancing    to L7

in blacklit bedrooms    stoned    flirting with girls    in holey

jeans    & hi-top Chucks

-from "forget the fuck away from me (origin stories of a safety pin girl)"




Make me pray, to say love’s confines, oh I’m just another rider

burned to the ground. I’m a liar and a thief amongst the rubble of her

body, so she fills up her sails with my wasted breath. I’d like to hear

a little guitar. Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld—I’ve searched

the holy books, it’s likely they’re just jealous and jaded. The days

and nights are long. Birds fly by a.m. In her bedroom stare, the moon

is a lightbulb breaking. Where all the bodies hang on the air, wanna get

into a car and go? Anywhere?

-from "So I Can Sigh Eternally (Sad Boy Cento)"

Praise for forget the fuck away from me

If you want to know how important and iconic forget the fuck away from me is, turn to the title of the poem 'You Might Be An Xennial If' - if this book feels like black coffee on your rainiest day; if these poems are a spiky hug to your troubled inner youth from someone who knows; if McMains's recollection, rewinding, reworking of their 90s subculture life - at once extremely personal, yet immediately recognisable - is the book you needed at the time, but no one could have possibly written yet. For me, and no doubt many others, this chapbook is all of the above. For anyone else, you will read it and understand. The nostalgia is strong, but more importantly, so is the ache.

-Kate Garrett, poet and editor; author of The saint of milk and flames (Rhythm & Bones Press) and You've never seen a doomsday like it (Indigo Dreams Press)

This exploration is one-part ripped fishnet & one-part safety pin, fusing academic craft elements of poetics with the DiY ethos of 90s Riot Grrl/Grunge/Punk scenes. Forget the Fuck Away from Me uses source material that will feel familiar to readers who lived the 90s, as well as those who lived on the edges (or in the shadow of) a generation that watched everything go up (or down) in flames. Here, you’ll find punk-rock centos, re-imaginings of memory, and an exploration—both outward and inward—of the disconnect between the multiple selves we become as we get older, and how to co-exist with all our own dualities, contradictions, and the ways we’ve committed that worst 90’s sin, “sold out.” To paraphrase a quote from the film The World’s End, "Let the [adult] you have become be the [teenager] you were," with the poems of Forget the Fuck Away from Me.

-Allie Marini, writer; author of Here Comes Hell (dancing girl press) and Southern Cryptozoology (Hyacinth Girl Press)

The poems in Forget the Fuck Away From Me are as uneven as the 90s were and it’s why they feel good. Jessie Lynn McMains isn’t trying to paint the time as something it was or wasn’t; in truth, the decade still doesn’t know what it was – but as with any of us from the time, identity is irrelevant in survival mode. Everyone needed a distraction or was one, and that’s where this collection is most honest: the 90s was about getting in and out of moments, feeling something – even if it hurt.

-Rachel Nix, poet; editor at cahoodaloodalingScreen Door Review, and Hobo Camp Review