Currents, an Interview Series with Brian Alan Ellis (Episode 79: Kurt Eisenlohr)

Kurt Eisenlohr

KURT EISENLOHR is a writer and visual artist living precariously in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of Stab the Remote (Far West, 2021) and Meat Won’t Pay My Light Bill (Future Tense, 2000).

My current favorite things to read are: The Revised Boy Scout Manual, William S. Burroughs (The Ohio State University Press); Her Lesser Work, Elizabeth Ellen (SF/LD Books); You Only Bend Once with a Spoonful of Mercury, Jennifer Robin (Far West).

My current favorite things to watch are: The Andy Warhol Diaries. Soul Train. My cats.

My current favorite thing to listen to is: …there’s a line in a song that one of my co-workers wrote for his band M.A.R.C and the Horsejerks that goes, “You call that a Jacuzzi, I call it a big fucking hole the yard.” I can’t get it out of my head and often find myself singing it aloud. Swap out the word Jacuzzi for whatever is at hand and it’s a useful utterance for practically any situation. I’ve also been enjoying John Coltrane, A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle. Oh, and my upstairs neighbor screaming at my other neighbors to shut the fuck up. Operatic, almost. She has her reasons, of course.

My current state of mind is: spiraling.

My current chemical romance involves: caffeine. Seattle’s Favorite Chocolate Death Bars. Nicotine, though I’m down to 5 or 6 cigarettes a day, as opposed to 25 or 30.

My current words of wisdom are: when the rent increases beyond your means (as mine has) and you get evicted (as I may, if I stay in Portland, or simply live too long) ditch your belongings but keep the cardboard boxes you’ve collected to put them in. Cardboard provides a modicum of insulation when sleeping on sidewalks in the richest poor country in the world. I’m not trying to be funny. Shit is terrifying.

My current mode of transportation involves: busses, trains. My feet. Edible induced astral projection. Questionable TV. Sun Ra. Books.

My current favorite fast food items include: bean burritos from the freezer at work. Popcorn at home. Popcorn has always been my go-to nervous food. Hand moving from bowl to mouth, mouth to bowl, bowl to mouth, compulsively, the way my hand used to move glasses at bars.

My current workout routine consists of: walking. Chasing after busses, missing them. Push-ups when panicked. Push-ups for peace. Push-ups to get the blood pumping. I try to do 30 a day, but some days I’m too beat and instead stretch out on my couch and light one of the Pretend to Give a Shit candles I sell in a place called The Peculiarium. I was feeling anxious the other day and thought about doing some quick push-ups to level the plane but decided it would be too weird, behind the counter, with people there. But everyone is weird now, aren’t they?

My current regrettable decision involves: …I am often paralyzed with indecision which often ends in regret.

My current hopes and dreams are: …this question has haunted me for over a week. I don’t need anyone adding to my existential tailspin. Fuck you.

My current projects include: narrowing down and editing the hundreds of photographs I took of graffiti cover-ups during the early days of the pandemic to see if they’d make a good book. Same with the fragments of writing I have stored on my phone and on bits of paper scattered all over the place. Trying to record a two-hour reading from my latest book for a radio show called The Cold War Happy Hour.


Kurt Eisenlohr 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) and Hobbies You Enjoy (serialized daily on Instagram: @hobbiesyouenjoy). His writing has appeared at Juked, Hobart, Fanzine, Monkeybicycle, Electric Literature, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, X-R-A-Y, Heavy Feather Review, and Yes Poetry, among other places. He lives in Florida.


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