Moon Over Mike Henry
©1994 Arlen Lazaroff



©1994 Arlen Lazaroff

Arlen Lazaroff

Putting myself in the film, I first imagined myself the hero
the poison arrow lodged just below my blood pumping heart
but soon the experience frightened me
into a new evaluation of my life 
and drove me to a redemption of my sins 
like a coupon at a discount store
for a discount religion.

I wanted my money back halfway through the movie
but the cranky old lady behind the glass window 
eyeballed me horribly
as she counted neat stacks of bills and coins into paper holders
dreaming of banking profits for the next show, I suppose

and as the fourteenth Tarzan leaped from poisoned trees via plastic vines battling pesticidal planes and cracks in the ozone 
I figured that wimpy chimp companion of his
who bit him and required plastic surgeons to reconstruct his face
into the football players handsomeness it once was 
would soon be grease for Burger King specials

and the scowly old lady
fingering copper, nickel and silver into bankroll papers 
told me it had already happened:
"Now leave me alone!," she said ...
"you can't have any money from me
but the girl behind the refreshment stand 
might give you some popcorn
if there's any left on the bottom of the popper 
at the end of the evening."

So I shuffled back into the theater
and a light image of E.R. Burroughs' alter ego became a space age lupus howling on the brightest full moon night of the year
bonding with apes who were his foster parents 
daring gibbons and mandrills everywhere
to take over movie seats
installed with buzzers calculated to shock patrons 
who talk too loud during love scenes between men and beasts
attempting to will new species into their children.

Well.. at first I refused to take this situation too seriously...
don't want to attend a theater of the apes
but Mike Henry’s Tarzan can save us from that..
When Cheta ripped his handsome football player's face
plastic surgeons ordered the aggressor destroyed
with precision skill they tore bits of flesh 
from the dead chimpanzee 
stuck bits of chimp on Tarzan's new profile
made him over with animal magnetism 
rechristened him Tarzan from the apes...

and I told that nasty old lady
dumping pennies in a purse behind a bulletproof glass cage
"your dinky profits from this first run feature 
should pay Mike's medical bills!"

The pain of his operation could have driven him to pills
bouncing off the sides of the Hollywood hills
couldn't even drive a vine straight, much less a car
and the pesticide planes he had to battle 
dumped so much smog on southern California 
they'll never breathe clean again.

A race of apes is taking over the west coast
and the crabby old lady who sells tickets and popcorn fits right in.
The second coming of Tarzan is a scientist named Jane 
entertaining in trailers for dismal filmland stories
proclaimed 'the cutest pair in the jungle!"

Apes move into condos next to our relatives 
and confess their sins at cheesy drive-ins
while sending cleaning bills to movie mogul ape suit designers 
and renaming trailer courts in Tarzana
in honor of Dinky the chimp, also known as Cheta of the Movies!

Thirty three years running now
the crazy lady's showing "Tarzan and the Valley of Gold" twice daily
and it's getting kind of old
along with the popcorn in the bottoms of the poppers
as movie star Tarzans all die hard
with the confused movie goers of today.



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