‘Gateway 2000’ by Mike Andrelczyk


Gateway 2000

Our first computer
came in a big box
That looked like a cow
Like a computer inside a cow
A farm computer
I guess it was their marketing thing
It wasn’t like computers Now
It was the computer of Now Then
The name was even futuristic
Gateway 2000
It was like Christmas ’94.
We also got an Encarta ’95 CD-ROM
A chess game and a golf game and a skiing game
I mostly played the chess game
The CPU was named Ziggurat
In the beginning
I liked Ziggurat
Because on the Beginner level I could win
And Ziggurat explained the openings
There was the Giuoco Piano, the Queen’s Pawn Gambit
The Ruy Lopez, the Fianchetto
I liked the Fianchetto for its dramatic sweeping bishops
You could even occasionally catch Ziggurat off guard on Beginner
Then I felt smarter than the cow computer.
After I few weeks on Beginner I moved right to Grand Master.

Then it was like Ziggurat wasn’t my chess friend anymore
Ziggurat got deadly serious.
Its moves were instant, efficient and it played them with menacing intent.
I never won again.
Soon I switched to the the golf game or searched the Encarta ’95 CD-ROM
I searched Rutherford B. Hayes because my dad’s mom’s like great great-grandmom
Was his First Lady
They called her Lemonade Lucy, I think it was because she hated alcohol.
But then I got bored of Rutherford and my family history
And played the skiing game.
The skiing game started slow and got faster as you slalomed
Down the slope. And you could jump on the jumps and do dumb tricks
Until a big furry monster inevitably gobbled you up
Then that was the end.
Then like a bunch of years went by
Then I was in college and tripping on psilocybin
And I was alone
And I had my head on my pillow
And my head was like exploding onto my pillow, but, like sweetly and softly exploding
And everything was a pale purple
And a pyramid grew out of my brain
And it kept adding levels and levels and
Anxious levels
And I knew it was Ziggurat
And I still sucked at chess
And Ziggurat was probably like three moves away from
Gobbling me up

But it was cool because I could just open
And everything would disappear.

Mike Andrelczyk lives with his wife in Pennsylvania. He is the author of a chapbook called “The Iguana Green City & other poems” (Ghost City Press, 2018).

‘V Poems’ by Mike Andrelczyk



The Phoenix Suns are a basketball team
And a metaphor


the way we want
mountains and the mountain next week I was going to


a red triangle
a shape on a radar
a lone ranger
riding in a world
of waves and strings
something that will come back to you
in two more steps
only changed


Rex built the pyramid Tak built the pyramid Jolene built the pyramid
Oko built the pyramid Vico built the pyramid Nukuwl built the pyramid
Ashlylynn built the pyramid Nessa built the pyramid Des built the pyramid
Khalil built the pyramid Stacey built the pyramid Javy built the pyramid
Eden built the pyramid Hester built the pyramid Billy built the pyramid
Nobody knows what the pyramid is for


The shape of a mountain
A score of centuries
The tooth of a behemoth
An arrow to the future
A passage through
A cheap cigarette scheme
A mound of ash
A new party hat
For another year
A thing that comes to an end.

‘III Poems’ by Mike Andrelczyk


Buried 66 feet beneath the backyard swimming pool is the biggest deposit of dinosaur bones that civilization will never see

Losing all my money on an eight-legged horse I turn instead to be hypnotized by the woman with the rose on her neck and the Minotaur in her hair. There’s a cloud leopard out her kitchen window. Y stands for walking in the sky and the dogs are barking at the rain. Her eyes are like the clenched fist meme as she waits at the bus stop on the Scottish moor and everything is backwards so that’s her room. I have nothing to pay her with. But she doesn’t seem to mind. We

are always walking above undiscovered treasure. She throws a lasso and disappears. The 8 Ward bus pulls up, hissing and I get in, still broke.


I ran over a bunny

with my dad’s lawn

mower. broke its legs

I cut the engine.

grabbed the shovel.

made a shadow

over the bunny.

But I couldn’t

smash its brains out

and end

its suffering.

I just went back to mowing my dad’s lawn

and feeling

like a worthless asshole

A Beginning

I pressed the button to turn on the tv

Then it was on

We sat on the worn-out blue recliners

The smoke hung blue in the ping-pong room

The rusted blue refrigerator on the porch was broken

The screen on the door was torn and the spring broken

And it was spring

And it was blue

And broken


And the tv was on

And I could feel in the place where my other hand used to be

I remember

A lion roared.

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.

Continue reading “Five Poems by Mike Andrelczyk”

Five Poems by Mike Andrelczyk


Hey buddy you’re sitting at the death desk

the apocalypse will happen
In over/under a hundred years

(Laughs) under
a hundred years

I take out my wallet take
a sip of hot coffee bite
of doughnut scratch
a lotto ticket

thought I had a five
got a K-A-R-M-


Conestoga Ave.

A cop walks in a circle
Around an abandoned panel truck
With “Juan 3:16”
Written in spray paint
On the back

A crow
Flies from the telephone pole to the street
And the street to the telephone pole.

Continue reading “Five Poems by Mike Andrelczyk”