Some Men

by ...

Troy Jollimore


A man wakes up
in a monastery
on a mountaintop
in Tibet,
having given all
his possessions away,
and cries out, “Dammit,
I’m still me!”
A man walks into
a martini bar
carrying a chainsaw
and we all wait
to see what will happen.
A priest, a rabbi,
and a Zen Buddhist
live in different neighborhoods
and never meet.
A man says,
“Take my wife, please,
to the emergency room.
She is bleeding badly.”
Several men
are running as fast
as they can
out of some
martini bar. Something
is happening inside.
A man wakes up
in America, filled
with joy at living
in this land of opportunity
where anyone, regardless
of class, race, or religion,
can grow up and
assassinate the President.
A man puts a cat
in a box, connects
the box to a tube
that contains a toxic
substance, connects
the tube’s lid to
a mechanical arm
that is, in turn,
hooked up to a computer
that monitors an isotope
that may or may not
decay in the next
twelve seconds. The cat’s name
is Simon. The whole time
the man is thinking to
himself that for
at least ten years
he has felt—not dead,
exactly, but
at the same time
not quite
entirely alive.