Went and saw Neutral Milk Hotel last night in Jersey City, Nj at the same old Lowe’s movie theatre where my wife and I got married in May, 2013. The show was great, Jeff Magnum sang all of Aeroplane Over the Sea. There was singing saws, moog synths, horns galore and plenty of sweater wearing freaks in the audience. I didn’t even have a beer, that’s how in awe I was of the whole thing. I was sober like a 17 year old (but even then I was drunk at shows!) I always wanted to see Neutral Milk Hotel play live. I’m really surprised that it happened, especially in such an intimate venue. Got them crossed off the list, now looking forward to the next show we have tickets for, Arcade Fire in Brooklyn in August. (I need to see some shows before then obviously)
Blurbs for ‘Everything Neon’
Other news: got some great blurbs for my collection of poetry Everything Neon (release date Feb. 20th or thereabouts). Everything Neon is a full length, 170 pages, writing which mostly focuses on my 8 years living in NYC and spending time with my wife Spout. The poems were written between 2012-2013, and it’s my hope that the collection is enjoyable for fans of poetry and for peeps that aren’t sure if they like it at all, yet.
Two quick testimonials:
Here’s one from Writer’s Digest editor, James Duncan
“Reading Bud Smith’s poetry is like waking up is someone else’s apartment and walking room to room picking up the alien items so strange and yet so universal, a nectarine like every other you’ve eaten except this one is tied to someone else’s life, someone else’s story, and the stories roll on, page after page of his book, item after item, picking them up, listening, setting them down, intimacy and commonality. Bud’s poems are little blueprints for surviving life’s epiphanies and doldrums, and his stories are your stories told in ways that you’ve never imagines to tell them and yet they become clear as consciousness as his words scroll across the page—yes, yes, this is how it all happens…”
— James Duncan, editor at Writer’s Digest, author of the book The Cards We Keep
And another one from one of the baddest assed poets around these days, Kevin Ridgeway, author of All the Rage
“Bud Smith writes poems that punch you in the face, make you laugh out loud, fall in love and break your heart all at the same time. This collections paints a vivid picture of life in Washington Heights, NYC that is electrifying and triumphant. It is an amazing achievement. It reminds me of the rock concept albums of the 1960s and 1970s in its mastery. Most of all, Bud Smith’s voice as a writer always comes off like he is the most sincere man in the room. And you want him, and his words, in your corner.”
–Kevin Ridgeway, author of All the Rage (Electric Windmill Press)
Really looking forward to share the book with y’all soon. I just got an invite to do some readings at AWP in Seattle, Feb. 28th-March 3rd. And I’ll be doing a bunch of readings in NJ and NYC, including one this weekend in Toms River. I have a proof copy of the book already and am trying out poems on peeps in the audience to see how the poems work in a live setting. So yeah, that shit it fun.
Real happy/humbled to see another write up on my novel tollbooth …
The write up was from an editor at the magazine JMWW named Micheal Gilan Maxwell, a great artist, writer and musician. He said:
“Bud Smith’s 2013 release Tollbooth is one of the most entertaining, refreshing and compelling novels I’ve read in a long time. The protagonist, Jimmy Saare is a toll collector on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey. It opens with Jimmy saving the lives of a mother and daughter by pulling them to safety from the flaming wreckage of their vehicle after a horrific accident. It’s Jimmy’s second day on the job. Although this is a real event in the life of Jimmy Saare, toll collector, it’s also an important piece of metaphorical foreshadowing.
The story takes off from there like a bull exploding out of the chute at a rodeo, twisting, turning, bucking wildly and it doesn’t stop until it’s over. Tollbooth takes the reader on a wild ride through the interior psychological landscape of Jimmy, his hallucinatory break with reality, a marriage in the midst of crashing and burning, an impossible obsession with a nineteen year old sales clerk and his involvement with a bizarre cult and the exterior physical landscape of the Garden State Parkway, coastal New Jersey, strip malls, Iceland, and a commercial fishing trawler all the way to the gates of Hell and back again on an unexpected path to redemption.”
You can read the whole review here
The book seems to keep having a life, carrying on and on. I’m thrilled to see that. It sucks when a book comes out and no one wants to read it. Truth be told, I just talked to the publisher of the book and they said that there are 8 more review copies available. So, I’m looking around to see who would like to read the book with the intention of writing a review for a magazine/newspaper, or amazon & Goodreads. Contact me if you’re interested.
Thanks for readings and all that. Hope your week is going good. I need some coffee.