Author Archives: Justin

About Justin

Justin Kern pays the annual bill to own this domain that contains his name. What you see here is a sampling of how he chooses to use that online space. He lives in Milwaukee and still plays Sega Genesis.

The Museum of the Unintentional, on display again

Originally rejected by The Ephemerist (summer 2023 edition) Our collections bring us together in this space, in person or remote. But does the same hold true if the collection centers on the uncollectible, presented to the unfamiliar? This spring, for … Continue reading

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“The Now End of the Universe”

A band I’m in, FUDGY, is closing out 2020 with the release of “The Now End of the Universe”, our 30-song, two LP big idea/goof album. You can only purchase it by making a donation to the nonprofit Pathfinders. They … Continue reading

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New Pitchin’

I’ve begun to write a quarterly column for the Wisconsin Horseshoes Pitchers Association newsletter. It’s called “The Cruel Shoes”. My guy Todd says I should change my bio so that it only mentions that I write for this newsletter. We’ll … Continue reading

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The Milwaukee Anthology: now for-real and in paper form!

Find it here from Belt Publishing! (per the back cover …) “The Milwaukee Anthology is a book on hope and hurt in one of America’s toughest ZIP codes, brightest Midwestern ‘burgs and biggest U.S. small towns. In these pages are … Continue reading

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“Still Trying to Figure Out What the Future Is Going to Be”: Q&A with Astronaut James Lovell, the Self-Professed Second-Most Famous Milwaukeean

The morning of Saturday, April 7, 2018, I called James Lovell’s Illinois house. I haven’t been nervous for an interview in a long time but Lovell’s stature, his undeniable capable nature had my voice and questions shaky at the start. … Continue reading

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“The Pure Devil”: Excerpts of Grief and Remembrances from Victims’ Families During the Sentencing of Jeffrey Dahmer

Lost in the glamorization of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer are the lives he took. His apartment building in the Avenues West neighborhood is gone, the chocolate factory he worked at in the Valley, too, as are many of the nightclubs … Continue reading

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(This piece of FOIA bric-a-brac didn’t make the final cut for “The Milwaukee Anthology,” a collection edited by me and to be published in April 2018 by BELT. Submitted here for your consideration.) While an Ikea briefly stole the show, … Continue reading

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(This is a non-fiction piece I wrote that no one else wants to publish so I get to here. It takes place from 2007-2017 in Wisconsin.) Paul’s hands submerged into an inflated blue balloon as the village cop knocked on … Continue reading

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Briefly: your Milwaukee stories and mine on the demolition derby (kind of)

Two items, connected by the marvelous crew at Cleveland’s Belt Publishing: ONE: What’s your Milwaukee story? Your painful, silly, and only-in-the-Cream-City tale? I’m editing/curating an anthology of nonfiction Milwaukee personal stories and essays. Details here, get your submissions in by … Continue reading

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We, the group of friends and acquaintances, in order to re-read or finally read America’s signature legal document, in the face of Tyranny, with a belief in Freedom, and an uncertainty on the Framework of It All, did ordain and … Continue reading

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