Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Twentieth Century Fox, 1973
I’m enthralled by stillness in the chaos engine
as I watch this ultimate chapter wind its coil.
How bitter I’ve grown at bullets & bombs
murdering hope in preceding episodes.
I’ve often seen the hero die by winning
in a constant shitstorm of misfortunes.
Now, although the plot might not be so compelling,
at least there’s the birth of innocence coming.
Scholars rewrite their own histories, &
I drink from a fountain of repose
spilling its tear down the simian statue’s cheek.
The Three Stooges in Orbit
Columbia Pictures Corp.,
Normandy Productions, 1962
Saving the world with juke-step jitterbug.
Saving it through animation.
They teach the Martians how to dance
to songs of an atomic bomb.
They make Stooges of the army,
generals pie-faced clowns
in women’s undergarments.
There comes a point in all their films
where the absurd embraces what’s serene,
humor ceases, & a villain learns defeat,
choking on rage in his throat
as if a rubber-chicken bone.
None of them ever gets the girl,
though sometimes glory touches them
like a slap, chisel to the forehead,
or an eye poke, which is the one thing
they no longer do.
Trumbull/Gruskoff Productions, 1972
I was eighteen, freshman year,
when my then-girlfriend’s boss—
who ran a candy shop at the mall—
loaned me a copy of this on VHS.
He called it a classic, swore
it made sense of the future.
“You should see it,” he said,
so I did. Now, sitting through it
again after a quarter century,
my thoughts are constant: I don’t get it.
Unhappy beginning, unhappy middle,
fucking-depressing, unpleasant end:
the last forest floating in space,
no one left to appreciate it. Sure,
the movie writes its poetry
in protest like Allen Ginsberg
but with permanent Caesural pausing &
less hope. Yet, after the first view,
I soon forgot it existed,
just as since I’ve forgotten the name
of the man insisting I see it &
that of his sugar warehouse
which disappeared years ago,
blasted into blank space
memory so often calls its own.