Free Errata by Michael Allen Zell

Book: Errata by Michael Allen Zell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Michael Allen Zell
erotic desire and sun-drenched wistfulness (occasionally, a single head contains both of their faces, like the god Janus, similar though separate), but the most recent entry in the array involves an unfamiliar writer in a room.  I’ve yet to decipher whether or not he’s chosen isolation of his own accord or is being held captive, but his existence is limited to a small one-room structure of metal, defined only by its interior.  His name is Mutter.  He’s not written this name, in fact he writes another, but Mutter emanates from him nonetheless with resonance and constancy.  His room is doorless and contains only a desk with notepad and pen, small library, and a speaker/microphone device mounted to the wall opposite his desk.  At any point he’s asked questions about his writing and thoughts, always questions, by a dispassionate computerized voice of low quality, a cracked digital interrogation to which he’s obliged to stand and answer.  The savvy Mutter intelligently and meticulously responding is juxtaposed against his artificial inquisitor.  There are never follow-up questions to his replies, merely different questions, and when there are no more questions, there is silence.  The silence accompanies Mutter when he thinks, writes, or occasionally looks out the single window with satisfaction at the single tree, the tree always accompanied by darkness.  His room, by comparison, is always brightly lit, and although he appears healthy, rested, and generally fit, it’s unclear how he eats, sleeps, cleans, or removes his body’s waste.  This doesn’t seem to bother him, and his general tone of character is one of acceptance and duty, of settling into noble years after seasons of being warmed by several suns.  I wonder if his mind has replaced his digestive tract and intestines or if the letters he forms carry out these integral duties for him? 
    This is the sole dream that I don’t understand presently.  The others are perfectly clear.  What is his puzzle?  Am I Mutter or the voice, the tree or the window?  Perhaps I’m none of these and this dream is a parable about being caught between, the endless loop of routine and literary dedication securing one to an endless present between two names, the negotiation of secret twins, as if both designations, past and future, cling to the shared head orbited by the loop.  Now then, there’s the matter of what it is that Mutter actually commits to paper day after day, beyond the name which isn’t Mutter penned at the top of each page.  The chief characteristic of his writing is its navigation with considerable musicality (pearls which are mostly elegant acquaintances but also hostile snarlers), to speak a language of migration, the wide talk of a winedark crawl.  Canny transactions with the familiar silence of a tiny room. 
    Although this dream is of me (meaning it’s mine, surfacing and receding through my own layers of consciousness), the writer Mutter’s story is of him, so I’ll reveal no more other than to say that the seeming best way to satisfactorily portray both his writing and answers to the voice is to characterize it all as the letter by letter unburying of a name. 

Day 19

    C, t, b, d, r.  C.  Cuba, crocodile, constellations, confidence man.  T.  Tarot, 22, two-faced, taboo, The Pelican, the place.  B.  Books, bricks, beard, buried.  D.  Death, dirt.  R.  Rub. 
    They were pointing and waving at me like a scattered Greek chorus accusing, He’s Guilty!  I realized that in my panic and haste to remove the body from the house, grimace it into the trunk, and race off, I didn’t remember to remove the cab magnets, so locals along the way were hoping for a lift.  It was the 4th of November.  Fancy Nest, Follicle Need, Flighty Neighbor, Faust Necro, Film Noir, Fickle Name, Furious Noise.  My heartbeat a tympani roll, insistent and crescendoing to the crack of dual gunshots that continued cracking in my mind well after their initial

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