JON LINDSEY is the author of Body High (House of Vlad, 2021), and his work has appeared at New York Tyrant, Post Road, and Hobart. He lives in Los Angeles.
My current favorite book is: …recently, I read the complete works of Allie Rowbottom, Sam Pink, Sarah Gerard, Troy James Weaver, and Emmanuel Carrere… I also read a lot about a comet that hit Earth at the end of the last Ice Age, 12,800 years ago, and likely, wiped out early-advanced civilizations in the Americas. I say this as a skeptic, knowing I sound like a wack job, but an impact of that magnitude would have caused a catastrophe on the scale of Noah’s flood, would explain why cultures all across the world have flood myths, and would fit the timeline Plato gave in his dialogues for the submergence of Atlantis. Last year, under the ice sheets of Greenland, scientists discovered what is likely the crater of the comet—the book, Path of Souls [by Gregory Little], touches on what may have been lost in the impact of the comet. The book decodes the star myths of a culture formerly known as the Southern Death Cult—now the Mound Builders—who flourished in the Mississippi Valley for thousands of years, and whose myths are similar to those found in ancient Egypt. The similarities suggest not only a link between the cultures, but an entire world history lost when the comet struck. The shared mythologies describe the journey of our souls after death, a dangerous leap into the constellation of Orion. There our souls are judged by an entity referred to the “brain-smasher” who kills inadequately prepared souls. Only if our souls are deemed righteous are we allowed entry through cosmic gates of the Orion Nebula and into the afterlife… My therapist says, my obsession with the comet is a longing for control, to know the unknowable about why my mom killed herself two years ago. That’s probably true.
My current favorite film director is: whoever made this Scott McClanahan video.
My current favorite television show is: …the survivalist reality show Alone captures a sequence of events that illustrate my philosophy on life. To be clear, I’m no survivalist. It goes like this: A contestant stalks and kills a moose with bow and arrows. Now he has enough moose meat to survive the winter. He’s going to win the show. He’s going to win a million dollars. Except, in the night, something starts to steal his moose meat. The elaborate scaffolding he’s built in the trees to hide his moose meat is useless. He has no choice, without the moose meat he’ll starve, so armed with only a little hatchet, he leaves the safety of his shelter to go into the night to fight the unknown. In the darkness, in the snow, gorging itself on his moose meat, he encounters a wolverine. The life or death battle between man and wolverine occurs off camera, so for the span of a commercial break, the audience legitimately questions which will live, and which will die. When the man reappears on camera, in his shelter with the carcass of the wolverine, there’s a deep sense of relief. He’s saved his moose meat. He’s going to win a million dollars. But in the weeks that follow, the man’s waistline continues to shrink. He’s getting super skinny. He’s starving to death because the caloric content of moose meat isn’t enough to keep him alive. In the end, the Alone man survives and wins the show and the million dollars. He’s surprised by his wife, who loves him, and they share the type of embrace that makes you misty eyed. As millionaires, life for the couple is going to be much easier. For now.
My current favorite band is: …for months I’ve been working on an essay about the relationship between the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the time I nearly stabbed a guy in a motel room.
My current state of mind is: …this morning I woke up, rolled over, and googled: “How to be less irritable.” The website where I landed said to get in touch with compassion. I’m trying.
My current chemical romance involves: …Ketamine is the only way I can sleep after all the cocaine.
My current favorite quote is: “Go where you are celebrated, not simply tolerated,” a shaman whispered in my ear, while massaging my groin, in a Yucatan sweat lodge.
My current favorite fast food item is: …for the decade I was vegan, I made an exception for Jack in the Box tacos. I think of them like envelopes from Ted Kaczynski.
My current workout routine consists of: …my second date with my wife (the writer Allie Rowbottom) was a yoga class. I wore her mom’s old sweat pants. I blew out the crotch doing Warrior Two. Namaste. I still do yoga, but since quarantine I’ve supplemented it with Pilates. The exercises are like full body Kegels. They keep me fit for surfing. I live in Los Angeles. I pronounce Pilates like Alice Cooper pronounces Milwaukee.
My current regrettable decision involves: …admitting that I do Pilates feels shameful, like I will regret it, which makes it funny to me.
My current hobbies include: …surfing, like writing, is ruining my life. Are they hobbies? I consider them spiritual activities.
My current mode of transportation is: …yesterday, the sun was setting as me and my surf buddy caught our last waves to the beach. When we got back to my silver 2014 Prius, the battery was dead. Roadside assistance was going to take too long. We ran across the highway, bought beers at a roadside biker bar, and ran back across the highway. By then it was dark and we lay on the hood of my Prius drinking and looking at the stars. Orion was out, and I told him about the Path of Souls. Last year on my birthday, I smoked DMT on a beach in Mexico, in the crater of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, and tried to travel the Path of Souls.
My current hopes and dreams are: …my debut novel, Body High, comes out in May. People will love it and people will hate it. There’s no sense worrying. But I do.
My current projects include: working with Cory Bennet, and most of the greatest writers alive, on an anthology of essays about suicide.
Visit Jon Lindsey online at houseofvladpress.com.
Brian Alan Ellis runs House of Vlad Press, and is the author of several books, including Sad Laughter (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2018). His writing has appeared at Juked, Hobart, Fanzine, Monkeybicycle, Electric Literature, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Funhouse, Heavy Feather Review, and Yes Poetry, among other places. He lives in Florida.