Tag Archives: Flies

[It’s spelled F-L-Y] Lit.




So. For one reason or another I just began drawing comparisons between flies in literature — you hear true — something-or-other sparked this engine (buzz-buzz-buzz), but what matters, honestly, is the horror that I’ve stored enough of this slag in readily available memory to even write this crock. I thought I’d share.

From the most recent [read: January 09] issue of Eclectica Online, Anne Germanaco’s “Autumn” — which is just wonderfully written, although I have to admit I’ve no lick of an idea to what’s going on; regardless – it’s beautiful — includes the following:

The Fly

The thing begins with a large, buzzing fly. The child, a boy, really just a crawling baby, goes after the fly with ambition and might.

The baby crawls after the fly and gets tangled in the older man’s feet. The feet, despite their age, are nimble and practiced, astonishingly swift.

The mother fears a kick; perhaps the feet do as well. But they stay nestled amongst the baby’s chubby limbs. A good catch.

The fly flies away, no buzz.

A while later, the fly returns. There’s no baby here now, no man, no mother, just a fly buzzing its life against the windowpane of a room.

I gather the point is something about impermanence, imagery of a baby (then the lack thereof, suddenly vacuous) juxtaposed with the all to familiar fly exhaustedly picking its way through the window (I am confident that given a century, he or she will have broken the glass). 

Then there’s Emily:

I heard a fly buzz when I died; 
The stillness round my form 
Was like the stillness in the air 
Between the heaves of storm.

The eyes beside had wrung them dry, 
And breaths were gathering sure 
For that last onset, when the king 
Be witnessed in his power.

I willed my keepsakes, signed away 
What portion of me I 
Could make assignable, and then 
There interposed a fly,

With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz, 
Between the light and me; 
And then the windows failed, and then 
I could not see to see.

At her death, there’s no tunnel of light, there are no angels glowing, but just a fly – just a fly. I however prefer the following gem:

Well I’m a human fly
It’s spelt F-L-Y
I say buzz ,buzz, buzz, and it’s just because 
I’m a human fly and I don’t know why
I got ninety six tears in my ninety six eyes.

I got a garbage brain, it’s drivin’ me insane
And I don’t like your ride, so push that pesticide
And baby I won’t care, ’cause baby I don’t scare
‘Cause I’m a reborn maggot using germ warfare. 

I’m a human fly
It’s spelt F-L-Y
I say buzz, buzz, buzz, and it’s just because..
I’m a unzipped fly, and I don’t know why
And I don’t know, but I say 

Buzz…ride tonight
And I say buzz…rocket ride
And I say buzz…I don’t know why 
I don’t know – I just, don’t know why.

which of course is by The Cramps. I don’t give a damn what you might say against them [and this], but Human Fly, it’s rambling and lacks total coherence and accepts, frankly, that there is no explaining anything (ever) (so partay) – very Kafkaesque, or Omar Khayyamesque – but that’s a little different.