Currents, an Interview Series with Brian Alan Ellis (Episode 53: Zac Smith)

Zac Smith

ZAC SMITH is the author of 50 Barn Poems (CLASH, 2019) and Everything is Totally Fine (Muumuu House, 2021). His writing has appeared in various places like Hobart, Maudlin House, and X-R-A-Y. He is also the managing editor of Back Patio Press, which publishes small-batch books of literary fiction and poetry.

My current favorite thing to read is: LIVEBLOG by Megan Boyle. I’ve been reading/rereading it and enjoy the different approaches to writing the liveblog she employs throughout. I also enjoyed imagining a rewrite of LIVEBLOG where, after talking about trying to join the navy, she successfully joins the navy/NASA and the remaining ~350 pages consist of a military thriller novel with strong Christian and patriotic themes.

My current favorite thing to watch is: clouds. Getting really into clouds lately. Looking at clouds seems cliché, but it’s still good. Like… finding shapes in clouds. I like doing that right now.

My current favorite thing to listen to is: King Night by Salem. Somehow I never listened to it back when they were vaguely popular ~2010. I think it’s good and withstands repeated listening. I’ve enjoyed listening to “Trapdoor” on repeat while cooking breakfast for my family.

My current state of mind is: …I don’t know. I just googled “states of mind.” Feeling confused by what a state of mind is. Not gonna read the (long) Wikipedia article on this. I think I’m fine.

My current chemical romance involves: cold brew coffee. I feel like, at any given point in time during the day, I wish I had more cold brew coffee. I’ve also been experimenting with THC, which is why I think I recommended looking at clouds earlier. I think looking at nature while using THC is really good.

My current words of wisdom are: “you’re gonna lick ass.” I just sent this, as a typo, to Dan Eastman re: him getting interviewed for a local PBS affiliate.

My current mode of transportation is: a Subaru Outback. I have good memories of my friend’s mom’s Subaru Outback from when we were in high school and when I had a kid we decided to get one as opposed to a generic sports utility vehicle thing; I thought Subaru Outbacks are/were technically station wagons but learned, sometime last year, that all Subaru Outbacks from at least 2002, maybe even before this, were/are technically sports utility vehicles. when I first filled this questionnaire out, prior to rereading and editing, I originally wrote “an Outback Subaru.” When I reread and edited this a second time, I found that I had changed it to “an Subaru Outback.” I have enjoyed feeling confused by myself writing about my car.

My current favorite fast food item is: probably a Dunkin Donuts cold brew coffee. There aren’t any other fast food places around me, I don’t think, besides Subway and McDonald’s and Wendy’s, and those are all terrible. Dunkin Donuts is also terrible, but the cold brew is fine.

My current workout routine consists of: nothing. I’m really fat currently and doing nothing to improve things.

My current regrettable decision involves: eating half a bag of organic, grain-free “nacho-flavored” tortilla chips for lunch. I feel exceptionally shitty right now.

My current hopes and dreams are: to feel validated by people whose opinions I care about.

My current projects/hobbies include: playing big stoner metal riffs on my guitar, editing/working on books, and reading/writing emails to/from people I like.


Zac Smith is online at

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.

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