What is your beverage of choice?
I’m fine with tap water, I’ll even drink out of a garden hose, I really don’t mind.
Tell us a little bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.
“An Orange Cat Doesn’t Live Here” is a poem about the street in NJ I go and visit sometimes in the summer. Close to the beach, actually. It’s a residential neighborhood with a drainage pond and all these houses that were built in the 60s that are all basically the same house, just a different color. There’s stray animals that just wander around because there’s not too many cars. Sometimes if you sit in the backyard and close your eyes it feels like the world blew up last summer and the birds are brand new and just coming back. The dogs that are barking in the distance are happy to be alive and stuff.
What is your typical writing process?
Usually just on my phone in the notes app. Type with my thumbs. But later edit on a computer. I usually write sober and edit sober, and submit plastered. Other times I write things in a notebook but I’m really horrible at typing that stuff back up, but just recently have gotten into reading the handwritten stuff into my dictation speech to text function for the cellphone. There’s a lot of mistakes that way, but there’s a lot of mistakes in every aspect of life.
If you had a talk show, what would the name be?
I had one for a little bit. I called it The Unknown Show. It was a streaming internet podcast that I recorded live and then later people could listen to an archived link. I called the talk show The Unknown Show because I had no idea what I was going to ask the gusts and usually didn’t know anything about their work. That was nice, I didn’t have to pretend to be ignorant, I was legit ignorant.
Do you have any home remedies for loneliness?
Make people laugh, even if you have to open a window and bother someone on the street. Let people make you laugh. Pick up the telephone and call people instead of texting them. If they don’t usually talk on the phone you just text them and say, “I broke both my thumbs, can I please call you? I want to tell you how I broke my thumbs.”
What have you conquered recently?
Picked up a little baby and carried her around, put her back down when she got tired of my bullshit. Went swimming in the pool at the old age retirement community and when the security guard came over and asked if I was there with a resident I said, “My father in law is on the toilet …” and I pointed at the men’s room and he waited there for a little bit but finally got bored and left me and my wife alone in the old age retirement community hot tub.
Where can we buy more of your work (if applicable)?
Paperbacks of my two novels F250 and Tollbooth; collections of stories, Calm Face and Or Something Like That; and a collection of poetry called Everything Neon are all here.
But if you are broke, I’ll send you a PDF of anything or a Kindle copy of anything … I’ll also swap with you because I’d like to read your book. Just message me on Facebook or Twitter @bud_smith
My website is here. If you want to read my stories for free that aren’t out in any books yet, there’s a lot of them here.
What motivates you?
I want to make chunks of art where I’m not sure where I’m trying to get to and the reader isn’t sure where I’m trying to go.
Any upcoming projects?
1. A book of flash fiction about day drinking in the city with my wife, illustrated by my wife, thing is called Dustbunny City. Should be out around Thanksgiving? from Disorder Press.
2. A full length collection of poems, similar to “An Orange Cat Doesn’t Live Here” coming out from Cheeseburger Nebula. That’s called High July. Should be out Feb. 2017.
3. A book of short stories from Funhouse in London, maybe end of year 2016 … no title yet, but sometimes I call it Tiger Blood … we’ll see.
Other than that, sending around other novels and short story collections to presses that I admire and just trying to keep the ball rolling along, even though the ball is a triangle sometimes.
If Earth is a mother, and Time is a father, then what is Art?
Art is an ocean on a real hot day and you can jump in it and swim out happy if you aren’t afraid of drawing or being eaten because you taste good; Art is the ocean on the coldest day of your life and its frozen solid, so you can walk out on the frozen surface as far out as you like if you dress warm and don’t mind the danger of suddenly disappearing through a supposed solid surface.
Make sure to read Bud Smith’s work in Issue Two!