Five Poems by Mike Andrelczyk



He’s dying.

Slowly.       Skin yellow

Crinkly like the pages of an old telephone         book full of plumbers’ numbers.

But still every day I bring him Diet Pepsi

Which he drinks

And a piece of white cake

Which he eats

People aren’t supposed to live

This long on cake and Pepsi.


He never speaks out loud

Only sends neon green telepathic arrows

Through his black eyes

Under        gray moth-like eyebrows

He hates me

for making him suffer

With my hammer of cake and Diet Pepsi.

He’s dying.

Even I fool myself into thinking

I’m helping.      I’m keeping

Him alive.


I poke at him with a vinegar-soaked sponge

taped to the end of a broken plastic broomstick stick.

He’s an angel made of light and hate

But I know that when he dies

We’ll just toss the body

Out the back window

On the grass between

The Science Building and the EZ Pump parking lot.

Yodels, Ring Dings, Swiss Rolls and Ho Hos

  1. Maloney sent Ortiz undercover to work the register at Suzy Q’s.
  2. Whitey pushed open the door, shot Ortiz in the face, grabbed all the 20s, 10s and fives, four packs of Marlboros, two Yodels and left. The sleigh bells jingled.
  3. Whitey ordered a ginger ale and waited. He met Sal at the Devil Dog Bar and bought a bundle off of him. He hung around to listen to the end of Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing” on the juke.
  4. Little Debbie faded in the homestretch and finished out of the money. Sal finished his coffee, tore up his exacta ticket for the seventh and answered the phone. He took out his book and put Red down for five on the Giants getting three-and-a-half.
  5. Rocky the Bagman made a pick-up at Sal’s. Did two bumps off the People on the coffee table and ate one of Sal’s Ho Hos.
  6. Rocky made the drop in Vinny Funny Bones’ office in the back of Drake’s Steakhouse. Rocky took his cut and two ribeyes for Adrienne to cook for dinner and two pieces of chocolate cake for dessert. He winked at the hostess on his way out the front. She didn’t respond with any kind of look.
  7. Vinny Funny Bones skimmed off the cream and added the bills to his stash behind the red pepper jars in his mother’s basement. He could hear “Wheel of Fortune” above the floorboards. “Death by chocolate.” His mother solved the puzzle.
  8. The Zebra waited for Funny Bones to come out of the house and he followed him down Malt Street and cut across Hershey and when the Funnyman got out he put two behind his ear and dialed Mr. Paul and said into the phone “I️ got ya your Ring Dings.”
  9. Paul lit one. Told Jimmy Cupcakes to see that the Zebra went extinct. Inhaled. Exhaled. Called in the Kid and told him to wait until Jimmy Cupcakes took care of the Zebra and when that was accomplished to take care of Cupcakes. Then pay a visit Maloney.
  10. The Kid polished off Jimmy Cupcakes, paid a visit to Maloney and handed him his fat weekly envelope.
  11. Maloney pushed back in his office chair, unwrapped a Swiss Roll, shoved it in his mouth, wiped his hand on his pants, counted the bills and, with a mouth full of Swiss Roll, called in Rodriguez.


Here it’s 10:34 p.m.
In Iceland it’s probably not
Pouring the anise-flavored liquor over the ice and into the glass
A toast:
“They’ve got pretty women frozen in crematoriums in Iceland too.”

It’s Thursday and I’m Still a Monkey

It’s Thursday
8:57 a.m.
Works starts at 9
I live 20 minutes
I’m still at home
Eating a banana.
And typing this bullshit.

Poem about my first job when I moved to Los Angeles

It was a temp thing. We each had a little station

With a copier and a paper cutter and a stapler and we would cut around the edges

Of scholarly articles and class materials about sheep genetics, the French Revolution and Spanish verbs and make packets to be used at USC.

Somehow I wasn’t good at this job. I couldn’t keep my edges clean and many of my copies would come out slanted.

Often a little man with a knife scar on his nose would stop by my station and yell at me for being the kind of idiot who could fuck up a job as simple as that one was.

On the third day there was an earthquake. The copy machine lids all slammed down, but everyone kept working. So I did too.

People get used to destruction and bad jobs. It’s easy.

Sometimes I would take home an extra copy of one of the articles and try to study it.

After a while I’d get bored (anything I learned then I’ve since forgotten).

Eventually, I would open up Infinite Jest.

Took me a couple months to finish that fucking thing.

By the time I was done with it I had moved on to two other jobs that were equally stupid.

At night I would drink tequila, play the guitar, shoot cockroaches with rubber bands and count the days left on my lease.

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