July 2004 / Volume Five / Issue Three / Online
Dan Gallik
A Former Zen Master Is Breaking Down

The cordís encircled me.  I foresee
ugly death in the center of a eel.
He rubbed his hands in anticipation
then added, my being is done with.

And my wife, my wife, she just sits
crosslegged, every once in a while
asking for a Scotch as she soothes
her eyes staring at the sun.  I mean,

I tell her, I am fucking dying, and
she says, ainít we all?  Jimmy, my
only son, cries.  I mean, at least,
he understands.  And I do too.  I

let him cry. I know he needs to cry
about such a thing as death.  His
teachers call us and complain about
his moaning in class, how it messes

up their lectures about the three
branches of govít.  Screws their
sessions on the difference between
past and present participles.  They

listen to me cry over the phone line.
Theyíve reported me to the county.
I told this civil servant about my
death.  He told the wife she should

raise our child.  Only 1 is listening.
My audience is my self.  My positive
emptiness is compelling me to see that
my actualizing is a singular ending.