Jess Smart Smiley

Jess Smart Smiley makes pictures with his bare hands.

Stories By Jess Smart Smiley

Marrying a Monster

He was a 32-year-old inmate who bludgeoned his own mother and sister to death. She was a 60-something mom with a successful life on the outside. How could she have fallen for him?

The Original New Orleans Diva

With sequins on her arms and a cocktail stirrer hanging from her neck, the most vibrant and vivacious member of NOLA’s preeminent restaurant family made the city her personal playground.

The Night My Fiancé Died—and the Questions the NYPD Won’t Answer

As my fiancé’s life slipped away before my eyes, I was shocked that the cops didn’t perform CPR. When the same thing happened to Eric Garner, I wanted answers.

The Second Life of St. Nicholas, The Cat

My attempt to preside over peace between my mom and her mother-in-law's kitty.

Money Can’t Buy Happiness, But It Can Buy a Cat Toilet

An examination of the pride and misplaced pee brought on by the Cat Genie.

Learning to Love (And Live With) a Pet Person

What happens when you ask the love of your life when their pets might die?

When My Roommate Let the Cat Get Out

A few moments of complete terror, thinking my cat lost forever, made me rethink my living arrangement — and my sanity.

Illustration by Jess Smart Smiley

My Grandmother’s Words

The time poetry showed me my grandmother.

Mr. Right Gets the Wrong Email

The love of my life was a click away, but not in the way you think.