SHOCKing Sonnets: David Cronenberg’s THE FLY

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Our resident poet Nigel Parkin gives us some SHOCKing sonnets, pulse-pounding poems and horrifying haikus.

Motion Sickness and the Poetry of Steak: A Free Verse Celebration of David Cronenberg’s THE FLY

He is Brundlefly, of course

Right from the start

With his bug eyes

And his twitching

And his buzzing bursts

Of manic energy.

 

And like the film

He’s ready to show off,

Ready to whisk us to his pad

To show us his pods

As soon as possible.

 

The figure we first encounter

Is Cronenberg at the Hollywood party –

The mesmerising outsider

Full of electric, eccentric

Danger

And brains – BRAINS!

YES! – we want to go with him

We’re locked, hooked, gripped –

We can’t take our eyes off him.

He stares at us

From out of that giant screen

Warning us we may be

In a mainstream cinema

But he’s going to show us things

We’ve NEVER seen before –

Wouldn’t DREAM of seeing!

Are you coming?

 

And the music –

The MUSIC!

SWELLS!

And SWIRLS!

It’s LUSH!

OPERATIC!

INTENSE!

A man and a woman

Have only just met

And already this music

Is making us aware

There’s tragic romance

In the air.

 

He suffers

From motion sickness –

Of course he does!

The roots of his destruction,

The sickness that will

Be catalysed

By the ultimate motion

Are already there

In his mind

And his body.

 

And soon he will feel them

In his FLESH!

Oh yes!

There is much talk

Of THE FLESH!

This is CRONENBERG

After all!

 

And the FLESH

Is powerfully present,

Tingling, aroused

The moment we’re near

His pods –

The mechanical manifestations

Of his MIND!

Veronica seductively removes

Her stocking

As an offering

(A sacrifice

A test

A temptation)

For teleportation

And there are sparks!

And flashes!

Brilliant surges

Of heat!

And heavy sounds

Of RELEASE

As doors click open

Sucking air

And spewing steam –

STEAM!

And Brundle takes

Veronica’s hand

And leads her to the pod,

To the threshold –

And through the steam

She sees

Her stocking,

The dressing for her skin

Smoking –

Disturbingly reprocessed.

 

It begins.

 

Things move

At the speed

Of Brundle’s

Brilliantly

Boiling thoughts.

 

A baboon is turned

Inside out

In a bright red

Goulash of guts

And Brundle

Taps furiously,

Feverishly

At his computer

In an inspired rush

To reach the heart

Of the poetry

Of steak.

 

In the meantime

Veronica

Crosses the threshold

Of her bathroom,

Pulls back the curtain

Of the steaming pod

Of her shower

And finds her editor.

‘I still have a key, remember?’

He says, then asks

If straightforward sex

Can still be on the cards.

‘You’re disgusting,’

She replies,

Little knowing

How terribly

Those words

Will echo

Later.

 

And so the battle lines

Are drawn.

Two men playing

Power games

With science and sex

And the woman who,

Unwittingly,

Drives them to destruction.

 

 

 

‘How can you have

Any fluid left in you?’

She asks Brundle,

Exhausted,

Overwhelmed

By his desire

Once he is both

Man and fly.

 

And that,

Of course,

Is the point.

He’s all fluid now –

Sperm

And blood

And slime

With corrosive enzymes.

He’s a leaking,

Squirting,

Popping,

Vomiting

Mass of collapsing

Manhood –

A fly who

Dreamed

He was

A man.

 

‘That’s disgusting,’

He says,

All too knowingly,

Apologetically,

As he spews

His acidic slime

Over a doughnut.

 

And he’s not

Just talking

About the gross-out

Spectacle

He’s become.

 

He’s identifying

The being

Within –

The one whose

Desire

To consume

Flesh

Knowledge

Power

Has given birth

To this disease.

 

‘It’s like a cancer,’

He says,

Suggesting

The whole thing

Has lain dormant

In him

For years,

Waiting

For its time

To wake

To grow

To rise.

 

And therein lies

The real terror

And cathartic

Beauty

Of this film –

For those of us

Who’ve seen

Loved ones

Transformed

Reduced

Reshaped

By what can

Grow within,

The climactic sight

Of BrundleFlyPod

Hauling his mass

Of intestines

And cables

Towards the one

Who can release him

And lifting the rifle

To his pitiful

MANBUGHAMMERHEAD

In a wide eyed

Plea

For understanding

And mercy

Glazes our eyes

And tightens our throats

While at the same time

Filling our

Horror-loving

Hearts with joy

As we sing

The operatic

Delights

Of outrageous

Sights

And absurd ideas.

 

God, how we

NEED

Films like this!

Because life

Is a bloody,

Beautiful,

Painful,

Freakish,

Frightening,

Arousing,

Thrilling,

Sickening,

Hilarious,

Aching,

Desperate,

Delirious,

ESSENTIAL

Party –

And there we are,

Like Brundle

In the opening scene,

Eyes burning,

Full of adrenalin –

Eager for

The next stage

Of our adventure

To begin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekend: Sep. 26, 2019, Sep. 29, 2019

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