The pioneers of aviation were never lonely
Check which is the shallow end and note the point where you will be out of your depth.
Who: Bud Smith.
Where: Jersey City, United States What: writer.
Cat No: DW-90
What do you do?
I'm a guy from New Jersey who works heavy construction and writes stuff.
Stock question. Can you tell us a bit about your influences?
Most of my influences are New Jersey and working heavy construction. But also, I grew up around the corner from a video store that burnt down. So first, I was influenced by the easy access to cheap art. And then I was influenced by seeing all the cheap art swept away forever, overnight. But then the internet came out and I got it all back. So, I'm good now.
Can you tell us about your most recently published book and whether it does or doesn't differ from the types of things you've written before?
Dust Bunny City just came out from Disorder Press. It's about the time I went out on a day drinking bar crawl though the city with my wife. We hadn't gone to bed, instead of sleeping we got drunk. Then after that, she went to India and China for a couple weeks and I just kept going to work at the refinery in New Jersey where I heavy construct/destruct.
Dust Bunny City is a mash up of illustrations by my wife and prose and poems by moi. It's a mess, but life is a mess, ya know?
Usually my books are a little more normal, or classifiable. I'm not sure what Dust Bunny City is, and I'm not sure what life is.
What are you currently working on?
I'm working on welding patches on the side of a blast furnace in New Jersey, at night, in the freezing cold. Also, doing a lot of torching apart stupid steel with an oxy acetylene torch
Swimmers Club has a focus on the state of independent culture at the moment (independent coffee shops, presses, record labels, etc). How healthy do you think independent culture is right now?
My coffee shop up the block is really lame. It's always full of super serious super quiet people and when I moved here I asked the owner if there were ever any poetry readings or bands that came and played, he said, "O god no!"
The coffee shop is such a perfect shit hole though. It'd be great for independent creative culture. But sadly, it's just a space for super serious people to sit in dim light with their faces washed in blue laptop light.
What influence, if any, does the city in which you live have on your world?
I live in Jersey City, NJ and it's a huge influence. I used to work at the power plant here. I got married here. Every time I flip on the light switch I think about the times we fixed the power plant when it was broken. Every time I walk past the movie theatre where my wife and I got married, I think about how lucky I am to live here, and I always check the marquee to see what movies are playing and it's never anything good. This is a town full of crazy people. The other day I saw a car "parked" outside my window and all the wheels had been stolen off the car and the car was balanced on a lone cinderblock. Do you know how fast those thieves had to be? It's a busy street.
Finally, can you swim?
I can swim. The best job I ever had was doing brick work at this rich person's house on the ocean. Every day at lunch I'd run into the ocean and jump around and have the best time. It was August and I was 20 and there were nine other people on the job and they were all in their 40s and used to sit on the porch and eat their miserable sandwiches and sweat and be miserable, but there I was, swimming, motherfucker!
Bud Smith works heavy construction. His books are F250, and Calm Face, among others. www.budsmithwrites.com.