IF MY BOOK: Kennel-Born by Willem Myra

If My Book. Kennel-born by Willem Myra

Welcome to another installment of If My Book, the Monkeybicycle feature in which authors shed light on their recently released books by comparing them to weird things. This week Willem Myra writes about Kennel-born, his new story collection out from Thirty West.

If KENNEL-BORN were an unexpected moment in Italian literature, it’d be when the knight Astolfo from Ariosto’s 16th-century Orland Furioso had to fly to the moon to recover the titular character’s wits in a bottle and have him sniff them.

If KENNEL-BORN were an underground rapper with a penchant for the bizarre, it’d be milo, the wise owl himself. And if KENNEL-BORN were to be lyrics from milo’s discography, it’d be: “I’ve never done anything impressing because being remembered / as a headline would be delineating / I’ve never really wanted to be remembered”.

If KENNEL-BORN were an ice cream flavor it’d be pineapple. Or coconut. Or pineapple and coconut. Yum…

If KENNEL-BORN were an alien civilization, it’d be akin to the locker-room furry little things in Men In Black II who worshipped Agent K’s watch.

If KENNEL-BORN were a hashtag, it’d bother discussing the book itself, but it’d instead share lesser-known Surreal artists and their works, like Kansure Yamamoto or Frederick Sommer. In fact, such a hashtag exists already: #KB727

If KENNEL-BORN were a rhetorical figure, it’d be an enjambment simply because of the musicality of the word. ♫en-jam-be-maaaaaaant ♫

If KENNEL-BORN were secondary talent on a British panel show, it’d be Fabio’s equally fit half-naked prize-showcasing helper from 8Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown who doesn’t even get the privilege of having a name, real or fictitious as it were.

If KENNEL-BORN were to cosplay as a knight, it’d look something like this

the stainless-steel-wire-covered limited edition. Perhaps we should’ve marketed it as the Astolfo edition…

If KENNEL-BORNwere a single biographical note, it’d be that time in 2012 (or 2013?) when I was coming home from university and a homeless man attempted to sock me in the face, only to wish me a good day once I ducked out of the way.

If KENNEL-BORN were a shooting star during Saint Lawrence’s Night (August 10), you’d wish to know once and for all if wishing for wishes was a surefire way to waste your wish or if it was the most pragmatic, albeit the least original, way of utilizing a wish.

If KENNEL-BORN were a misnomer it’d be coconut, which is actually a fruit and not a nut. Also, one of the best ice cream flavors.

If KENNEL-BORN were a rocking chair on a balcony, you wouldn’t be surprised by it and you wouldn’t try it out; instead, you’d sketch your feeling of falling asleep on said rocking chair on a piece of paper carried by the wind, then you’d fold the paper, stock it behind your ear, and go back to your flâneurship.


Willem Myra is the author of the short story collection Kennel-born (Thirty West, 2018) and fiction editor for former cactus magazine. His work has appeared online and in print in three continents. He lives in a modest Italian city where he shares his love for literature with two cats and never enough books. Find him at willemmyra.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @WillemMyra.

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