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"Constructs of an Unseen Fly Buzzing in the Room"

A Poem by Gerald Long of Salt Lake City, Utah


I've long been intrigued by Emily Dickinson's poem, "Dying" (a.k.a. "I heard a Fly buzz--when I died"). I find it to be a clever and beautiful work dealing with her uncertainty about death, with hints of and doubts about an afterlife. Now I'm pleased to report that a fine poet, Gerald Long, has given me permission to post his intriguing work that builds on Dickinson's poem. Gerald lives in Salt Lake City and is an old friend of mine from my days at Brighton High School. He's a very intelligent and interesting person and an excellent writer.
Constructs of an Unseen Fly Buzzing in the Room

                                     for Emily Dickinson

1. The Fly Does Not Exist:

This would mean that it consumes nothing; not
air or water, not
food, not sound either
as in the sound of a crouching
spider flecking its beady
consuming eyes. There is nothing
to consume.

2. The Fly is Conscious
It hears itself, that is
if it is not totally contained
in its own sound; that it hears
something besides itself.
Perhaps it feels the sounding
of movement across the cosmos
of things. This would mean
that it is not everything.

3. The Fly is a Part of My Consciousness

I consume aspects
of the fly; its buzzing, its undeniable
black nature, its movement
behind the curtain. The fly is
big in my brain. It's all
I can think of.

4. I Am the Fly

This is understood by the greater
consciousness. The fly
is not aware of time. The greater
consciousness fills in perimeters
of the fly's world. The fly
has a thousand eyes and a myriad
of visions for each.
The fly does not see
these. The greater
consciousness deciphers and sends
them buzzing out of the fly
and into the room: The way
I dance to its crazy sound.

--Gerald Long

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Jerry's poem is also posted at Mormanity, my LDS blog.

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