bud smith

WORK by Bud Smith


Oh I forgot to tell you. I had a memoir come out called WORK. Civil Coping Mechanisms put it out on September 18th. Gawd bless them. WORK is about my job working heavy construction, it’s about trying to love people, it’s about trying to make art while also working heavy construction and while also loving people.

The book has been described by reviewers as a nonlinear non-fiction novel. It jumps around in time and is kind of a greatest hits of my best anecdotes about my working life, and the good things and troubles that caused for me. Here is an excerpt.

page 70/ “The new job sends me for a drug test. I pass it. I shave my face. I look different. Younger, somehow. I go on a date with a girl who works in a ‘wild bird store’, as she vaguely explains it. Wild Birds Unlimited, it’s called. I’m high and laughing about that. Picturing these colorful birds flapping all crazy around the store, and her not laughing about it at the cash register. Then I’m bragging to her that I passed my drug test and how I’m officially a high school graduate, just got my diploma today, six years after graduation. I pull the diploma from my pocket. Unfold it. Look. She doesn’t laugh, but like I said, that’s her thing, not laughing. We have a one night stand in my pick up truck in the parking lot of St. Barnabas’ Catholic Church. It’s nice. A mutual decision to no longer continue. But I see her a few weeks later, I stop by her store because I want to see these wild birds she sells. Inside the store though, I find out that Wild Birds Unlimited only sells bird seed. Stacks of waxed paper sacks filled with safflower, millet, canary seed, hemp, thistle seed, corn, green split peas, sunflower seed, wheat, and milo. Ha, look at that. Not a single free-spirited wild bird trapped in a strip mall storefront, let’s celebrate. I get a phone call on the first day of autumn to go and weld at a chemical plant. I’ve lied to them about knowing how to weld. In hindsight, oh what a thing to say. I’m good on paper—in real life, I only know how to destroy stuff. But hey, just like you, I am trying so hard to learn some other more beautiful way.”

It’s available for purchase at Amazon and at Civil Coping Mechanisms

It’s also here at Goodreads

Here’s what some people have said about the book:

“Bud’s writing effortlessly weaves together anecdotes from his life or work into great art.”
—The Rumpus

“Bud Smith is one of the only writers I don’t mind hanging out with in real life. I’ve seen Bud Smith sober and I’ve seen Bud Smith drunk. He’s great either way.”
—Scott McClanahan, author of The Sarah Book

“Refreshing. Bud is a good one.”
—Otherppl with Brad Listi

“Bud is the happy prophet of the stupid world. He’s Walt Whitman only married and working at an oil refinery.”
—Kevin Maloney, author of Cult of Loretta

WORK is a portrait of Bud Smith’s years working construction. It’s about his hilarious blue-collar family. It’s about growing up in a campground in NJ, skipping college, and moving to NYC on a drunken whim. It’s about making art even if that means writing a novel during 1000 consecutive lunch breaks.