08.14.2004

Right After the Title Page

The copyright page of my new book from the UK states, “the right of Michael Heller to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him.” I’m afraid those words are not exactly true. Not only did I not assert anything, neither the name “Michael Heller” nor the words “right” and “identified,” but other words such as “work” or “author” scare me. And that phrase “to be” is quite problematic. Such language leaves me a bit sick. In fact, I’ve had to raise my eyes from the page to remember that the room, the ceiling, the sky, are the only arenas of longing. And that meanwhile, I’m still looking where to go, what hallway to wander down, still haven’t entered into real concourse with a word since I was a babe and shouted mama, mama! I know, a name certainly makes one think he exists, but, sorry, I’m not going to look in the mirror to see who I am. Such appearances are not worth bupkiss, my mother used to insist when I grabbed some toy and said “mine” or “Mike’s.” I didn’t write those words above, didn’t even proof them on a page. Perhaps I was meant to declaim them to a crowd, wherever a crowd might gather. You want to hear them again?, Here they are: “The right of Michael Heller to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with Section 77 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.” Whew! Isn’t that a mouthful. OK, now I’ve said it, but don’t you believe it. I don’t.

Michael Heller (© 2004)