KEVIN MALONEY is the author of Cult of Loretta (Lazy Fascist Press, 2015). His fiction has appeared in Hobart, Barrelhouse, The Nervous Breakdown, and a number of other journals and anthologies. He and his wife, Aubrey, live in North Portland.
My current favorite book is: Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson, but lately I’ve been revisiting some writers I loved when I was younger. This morning I started reading an essay collection called Florida Frenzy by Harry Crews. I’ve also been working my way through Journey to the End of the Night by Céline, which I’ve started a million times but never finished.
My current favorite film is: …a couple weeks ago my wife and I watched Singles. It’s sort of bad, but I love the way it captures early 90’s Seattle. Imagine watching an episode of Friends where Joey and Chandler are having a stupid conversation in a club while Alice in Chains plays “Would?” on stage, and the members of Pearl Jam hang out at Central Perk.
My current favorite television show is: Love is Blind, but recently I’ve been diving into Married at First Sight and The Bachelor. I love bad reality shows about love and marriage. Good TV bores me.
My current favorite musician is: Chad VanGaalen. It’s good for late winter/early spring, when the days are getting slightly longer and life feels a little less miserable. Favorite song of his: “Rabid Bits of Time.”
My current state of mind is: productive and hopeful? I’ve had some job changes that have taken me away from the things I love most, but this past week I’ve been gradually returning to those things with a new sense of discovery. I’m excited about gardening and reading and the prospect of writing a new batch of short stories reflecting this weird fucking world we find ourselves in.
My current chemical romance involves: …lately I’ve been trying to keep my drinking to reasonable levels. Give me two glasses of red wine and a quarter of a 1:2 weed gummy and I sleep like a baby.
My current favorite quote is: …been thinking a lot about the prologue of Nico Walker’s Cherry. The thing most people get wrong about drug books is thinking you can make your characters shoot heroin and it’ll be interesting. But most books about drugs are insufferable. Nico Walker is a genius because he writes these incredible sentences. He’s got Denis Johnson energy. And that prologue… he does these things I’ve never read before: “I’m on the sidewalk. I’m an Indians hat and a red scarf. I’m a blue hoodie and a white button-down shirt, some jeans, white Adidas, nothing out of the ordinary.” Grammatically, it doesn’t make any fucking sense, but it sounds rad. And my favorite line: “The big swinging dick starling’s got all the other starlings scared.”
My current mode of transportation is: …I hardly ever drive anymore because of the pandemic. My car battery died at some point, and I have to carry around a portable battery to jump my car every time I want to go somewhere. In the fall I was going for walks every day in the beautiful park by our house. It’s full of these incredible 100+ foot fir trees, and the forest floor is all ferns and native wildflowers. Unfortunately the park is infested with obnoxious Frisbee golfers who ruin everything.
My current favorite fast food establishment is: Carl’s Jr. My wife and I are pescatarians, so I keep an eye out for meat substitutes. The Beyond Famous Star with Cheese is as close to nirvana as vegetarian fast food gets.
My current workout routine consists of: yard work. The other day I assembled a greenhouse from a kit and crawled around under our tiny house doing amateur plumbing. I’m not sure crawling around in a cramped space full of hobo spiders counts as cardio, but it’s the best I’ve got right now.
My current regrettable decision involves: 2020 pandemic drinking. May 2021 bring temperance/moderation.
My current hopes and dreams are: …as soon as the pandemic gets under control I want to go on a trip with my wife to visit some friends in Panama. Other than that, I want to find a publisher for my novel and put together a short story collection and write another book or two. Oh, and I really really really want a hot tub.
My current hobbies/projects include: trying to get a Backyard Habitat certification, meaning I’m planting native plants everywhere, transforming our yard into a love grotto for butterflies and bees and dragonflies and whatnot. In my ideal yard, there will be chickens and bees pollinating tomato flowers, and a bonfire and a poet reading on a makeshift stage and good friends drinking white wine spritzers and no pandemic. Mostly, I just want to read and write and have an enchanted home and be surrounded by ladybugs and amazing, talented friends.
Kevin Maloney is online at kevinmaloney.net.
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.