Kafka in a Skirt is my newest collection of stories and loops, coming out this Fall.
The subtitle is Stories from the Wall®, with the registered trademark, kind of, I guess, as a joke, or an allusion to some absurd reality, not only here on the border, but thought out literal and cyber space.
But I’m excited about the book, because as I was writing it, I was able to discover hallways and rooms that I didn’t even know were inside of me. Perhaps they weren’t even in me; but somehow, the sound and the images in my head lead me into portals where I discovered these stories.
Like one early evening about a year ago, I was walking aimlessly around Madrid, past the Museo Reina Sofía, when I heard a voice that said, “We’re hungry!”
And in my imagination I saw a man sitting in a restaurant by himself, ordering enough food and wine for several people, and that became a story called “The Cauldron.” As I was writing it on the steps of the museum, I didn’t know where the story would go or what it would be about, but I followed it to the end.
Someone asked me what is my favorite story in this new collection, but I have a hard time answering;
But maybe it would be “Fu**k Shakespeare,” a story I wrote when I was in graduate school at Fresno State, where the poet Andrés Montoya and I were involved in el movimento Chicano. One of the characters is based on Andrés.
This is the oldest story in the collection, the onlyold story in the collection, and it had been sitting in my story graveyard for many years inside computer hard drives, storage devices, and various memory clouds.
When I opened the tomb, the story came back to life and demanded to be included in the collection.