Queen of Terrors : Fictions
Paperback, sewn, jacketed, 158 pages, 6 x 9", 1994, 0-929701-40-2
In this fourth collection, Robert Kelly tracks the elusive subject of all narratives — the self stripped bare, even — into ever more personal territories. The stories share a common urge to break loose from the constraints of linear thought, employing cubist technique in the construction of experience. Gathered here are close to thirty works of varying style and length, but whether blazing a single page or sensuously occupying a novella's space, virtually every one tells of odd encounters with desire. The longest story, "The Red King," lies at the center of the book, a telling complement to the novella "Cities" collected in A Transparent Tree. This time, a gentle lion in the winter, re-inherits his own body. A second long work, "In Irish America," explores the immigrant experience of displacement in thirty-two prose-poems meant to be read or sung aloud — a species of image-filled music. As usual, this collection will surprise even Kelly's most assiduous readers.