The Girl With the Most Cake

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The Girl With the Most Cake is a book of eleven poems (five previously published, six brand new) inspired by Courtney Love and her music. Through these poems, McMains channels Love’s persona, and imagines conversing with her about relationships, loss, gender, fairy tales, hunger, motherhood, aging, and more. The verses crackle with energy and are by turns angry, humorous, and tender. Recommended for fans of Megan Falley’s Bad Girls, Honey and Kiki Nicole’s Sullen Girl, as well as fans of Daphne Gottlieb, Amber Tamblyn, and Clementine von Radics.





can be glamorous and

still be a mess. You can

be an aging debutante in a

ripped dress, but there

will be no quiet sighing

for you. Rage, rage against

the dying of your youth.

Scream if you feel like it.

Cry as much as you want

to. Wear thick black eye

makeup and let your

tears make it bleed. Do

it in public. Make them

watch you fall apart.

Channel Frances Farmer.

-from "Over Cocktails, Courtney Love Tells Me About Aging"




First, girl. Mermaid of the great lakes

fishhooked by beauty’s cruelty. Streaks of blue and a seldom

smile. She, altar, I, offering. My guitar heart, my escape route.

-from "Courtney, Love, and the Ones We Couldn't Save"

Praise for The Girl With the Most Cake

In Eliza and Her Monsters, author Francesca Zappia wrote, “Broken people don't hide from their monsters. Broken people let themselves be eaten.” Nowhere does this quote ring more true than in the poems of The Girl with the Most Cake, where the poet uses the 90s icon Courtney Love as a repeating leitmotif. Through Courtney, the poet (and reader) are empowered to explore themselves, their generation (Gen X, Xennial, Millennial) as a whole, the promises (and disappointments) of youth and naïvety, and the myriad ways that male genius is provided more leeway to exist than its female counterpart, where ambition is equated to monstrousness. In these poems, find a collection of broken people, like one reflection grinning back from the shards of a splintered mirror. Find also the artistic hunger for cake—sweet, fake, light, celebratory, indulgent.

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


In poems that celebrate both "plastic doll parts" and "bloody beating broken hearts", and advises those of us who will one day be old ladies to "be an acquired taste", this chapbook soothes like a bout of ugly angry-crying. From youthful sexuality to grief to motherhood, the responses of and to the body are discussed, and an understanding is reached through conversations with a wise persona of Courtney Love. Leaving the last page of The Girl With The Most Cake is to collapse into the windswept calm after a riotous storm.

-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)

The Girl With the Most Cake is Jessie Lynn McMains’ nod to the mouthy grit of Courtney Love, to the insecurity that made her a voice for those of us who’d make it out of the 90s. The poems are about McMains as much as they’re about Love as much as they’re about anyone and that’s the kicker for this collection: in the angry growl, there’s also a half-cocked plan to survive, to come out of the corners we’ve been shoved into. Love made as many or more mistakes than most of us, and it’s why we love her – why we can love ourselves.

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