SmokeLong Quarterly
top menu
Smoking With Curtis Smith
by Tara Laskowski

Smoking With by Ashley Iguanta
Smoking With by Ashley Iguanta
Why do you suppose the tycoon loves dogs so much?

He's been isolated, geographically, by poverty and then wealth, abandoned by his father — dogs are so loyal and simple in comparison.

I admire how you capture a person's whole life in just a few paragraphs. When you write flash, do you experiment with time often? Is this a typical Curtis Smith piece, or is it different from what you usually write?

Most of my flash pieces are a single moment. I had this story sitting around for a few years. One day I decided to cut it to its tightest form. So I deleted and condensed, shedding characters and plot items until I was left with a core that really spoke to me.

The tycoon collects cars and then hands them off to people. Do you collect anything? Are you a pack rat, or do you tend to also give stuff away when you tire of it or no longer use it?

I collect books and music. Not much else. Still, my basement is a mess. I'm not good at throwing things out.

Are you from Texas? What inspired you to write this piece?

I'm a life-long Pennsylvanian. But I do have family in Texas. In the mid-80's, a buddy and I did a road trip from Houston to Dallas. It was winter — chilly and windy and gray, flat, lots of sky. That stuck with me.

Have you studied writing formally (i.e., MFA program) or is this just a passion you've nurtured and developed along the way on your own?

I started writing in the late 80's. I didn't have a writing background then, but after a few years, I did a low-res MFA at Vermont. It was a great experience for me.

Read The Tycoon.

Issue Thirty-Two (June 27, 2011): Bible Camp by Wyatt Bonikowski «» Instead of the Glass by Randall Brown «» Sum of Her Parts by Katie Cortese «» Cotton Fever by Brandon Courtney «» Three Girls by Trent England «» Pebble in a Pool by Frances Gonzalez «» Elephants by James Greer «» All My Friends Are a Lot Like Me by Kyle Hemmings «» Marbles Loosed by Jac Jemc «» Twining by Donna Laemmlen «» On Becoming Women by Cynthia Larsen «» Belly of a Fish by Rachel Mangini «» After Stories by Dylan Mohr «» People Go to Jail for This by Dave Newman «» Gradius by Brian Oliu «» Last Sight of Land by Heather Peterson «» You Alone Are Privy to This Vision by Eliezra Schaffzin «» The Tycoon by Curtis Smith «» An 8mm Clip of Violence by Peter Stenson «» A Morning Routine by Weike Wang «» Interviews: Wyatt Bonikowski «» Randall Brown «» Katie Cortese «» Brandon Courtney «» Trent England «» Frances Gonzalez «» James Greer «» Kyle Hemmings «» Jac Jemc «» Donna Laemmlen «» Cynthia Larsen «» Rachel Mangini «» Dylan Mohr «» Dave Newman «» Brian Oliu «» Heather Peterson «» Eliezra Schaffzin «» Curtis Smith «» Peter Stenson «» Weike Wang «» Cover Art "Doll Parts" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editors
Interested in subscribing to SmokeLong's weekly newsletter? Click here. An email should be created. Send it as is, and you'll be subscribed. If the link does not work for you, send an email to with Subscribe slq-info in the body of the email (no subject is necessary). You'll receive updates detailing the release of new issues, new reading periods, contests, etc. We do not make our mail list available to anyone else.

bottom menu