LB’s Poetry: “The Love Song of Zane Simon Marx”

NOTE FROM LB: 

I came to L.A. to write for television in the late ’60s, and with my first gig one of what was to be several love-hate relationships, both professional and personal, began. I did pretty well with the professional thing, at least – achieved every one of my goals as a TV writer, actually, although it feels immodest to say it. Many of my friends from that era did the same. And, professionally speaking, some achieved even more. The following is a true story of that time and place, reflecting bits and pieces of us all:

The Love Song of Zane Simon Marx
by Larry Brody

The moon taunts him.

See it rise.

See it glow.

He drives the Rolls through Brentwood,

Up the hill to his home.

See it rise.

See it glow.

The moon moves with him, always ahead,

Always above;

Holding itself over him, like a woman who doesn’t know his wealth,

Let alone his worth,

Or a network executive unimpressed by his ratings and awards.

A hundred million dollars, that’s what Zane made last year.

See it rise.

His wife made even more. The royalties, you know.

The lights of the Rolls find the driveway.

See it glow.

Zane presses the remote. His electric gate opens.

Shadows spill from the posts,

Jagged black cracks on the cobblestone.

They wouldn’t exist if not for the moon.

The light in his wife’s office is on.

It means Sharon is home.

Means Zane will have to speak to her.

Have to say, “Hello. I missed you.

“Love you.

“Hello.”

Sharon is beautiful, but tired all the time.

Holds herself above him.

Like the moon.

His money means nothing to her. Without her writing

He wouldn’t have it. Yet without his salesmanship

She wouldn’t have hers. Sharon forgets that.

Last week, the First Class stewardess on the flight to New York

Forgot nothing. Nothing Zane liked.

Nothing.

See him rise.

See her glow.

Last week.

Not now.

Now Zane Simon Marx takes the Rolls up the cobblestones to the

Thirteen car garage.

And watches the moon.

And remembers the emptiness.

And knows he can’t reach it.

But wants, oh, how he wants…

Wants,

Wants…

Wants to fly! To propel himself up, out of the Rolls, up past the stone

Turrets of the house he himself—with a little help

From Sharon of course—designed.

Wants to shoot upward, beyond the rooftop,

Beyond the smog,

Beyond the clouds,

To the bitch moon,

To take what he can’t have,

Crank into it,

Love it,

Feel neon-cool warmth washing over him like rain,

Orgasm plasm DNA.

A hundred million dollars!

And still the moon rises and glows

Without him.

Fly!

Fly!

Leave pitches, and pilots, and run-throughs behind!

Abandon casting, and lunches, and P.R. tours!

Lose shmoozing, lose boozing, lose the oozing of charm!

My hair thins.

My thighs thin.

I can’t run anymore.

I want…

I want…

Nerves and tingles, scratches and bites, kneading hands on muscles

That never fail to respond.

Kneading hands on muscles…

Needing hands…

Needing…

I need…

What does Zane Simon Marx need?

Not a hundred million bucks.

Not five shows on the air,

Two in the Top Ten.

Not the house or the car or the wife of his dreams.

Thick hair.

Thick thighs.

Next to mine.

A woman loved me once. Really loved me.

I’ve forgotten her name.

Never knew it.

Never asked.

Never questioned, not then.

Then Zane was seventeen.

He had the moon.

They met on the Boardwalk, in Atlantic City,

In the cold of December. The wood was wet and covered with

White, yet the sky was clear.

Zane could see stars, and the moon.

The moon curved like the one on that

Arab flag, a scimitar slashing through the

Chill, or was it a small boat for the

Butcher, the Baker, and that guy

Who worked so diligently with wax?

At seventeen Zane could leap up and

Touch the moon, and he did.

And he was seen, by the woman who loved him,

The woman he still remembered.

She called out to him, urged him to come

Down. The moon, she said, was not a

Friendly place for a young man to be.

“No air,” she said. “No humidity.”

“Does that mean it’s humorless?” he yelled

To her from his high perch. She

Laughed, and laughs still in the memory,

Laughs as though her heart would break

If she stopped.

Zane jumped down to her, and they went to his

Car, not a Rolls but a Pontiac, a

Poncho they called it then, on the

Cusp of the ‘Sixties before the knowledge and its heartbreak

Began. A Pontiac Bonneville. Poncho.

Bonnie. Green. “The BGB. Big Green

Bonneville, come on inside.”

She did.

She came and she came.

And comes still in the memory,

The memory of Zane Simon Marx.

“I love you,” she said.

It wasn’t his money, because he had none

Then.

It wasn’t his shows, or his house. Not even

His car. After all, it was his

Dad’s.

It was him. He. Me.

Had to be me.

I reached the moon;. Not just that night, but

Always. Just a flexing, a tensing, a shooting up.

Easy, so easy. So easy to get so high.

Just a jump. Didn’t even need to fly.

Then.

Then.

Then…

But now…

Now Zane Simon Marx sits in his Rolls,

And knows he has to go into the house.

Has to say, “Hello, I missed you.

“Love you.

“Hello.”

To a wife whose only answer will be a nod,

And then back to her punchline, set-up, set-up, ker-BLAM!

Has to face the fact that he can’t fly.

Zane Simon Marx peers up at the moon.

See it rise.

See it glow.

Thinks, I could divorce her. No big deal.

Thanks to the prenuptial, it wouldn’t cost a cent.

Except then I wouldn’t get a penny out of what

She wrote next.

And she wouldn’t sell it.

Break her poor heart.

Fuck the moon.

Fuck it.

Someday I’ll get in shape.

I’ll go back to Atlantic City,

To the ice and the slush.

I’ll find a woman who loves me.

We’ll step up to the moon the way I go up my front walk.

“Hello, I missed you.

“Love you.

“Hello.”

The moon taunts him.

It moves with him, always ahead.

But tonight—as always—as ever—it stops at his door.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, “As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, ‘Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you compromise your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t accept money, you can be yourself. Like your art, you too are free.’”

Who is the Navajo Dog? Keep coming back and you’ll see.