“GATEWAY 2000 & Other Poems” Excerpt by Mike Andrelczyk

This book of poetry is available for pre-order from Ghost City Press. For more information click here


Gateway 2000 

our first computer  

came in a big box 

that looked like a cow 

like a computer disguised as a cow  

a computer harvested from a farm 

I guess it was their marketing thing 

it was supposed to be the computer of future back then 

the name was even futuristic   

Gateway 2000 

it was like Christmas 1994 

we also got an Encarta ’95 encyclopedia CD-ROM 

what even was time back then  

we also got a chess game and a golf game and a skiing game 

there was also a fighter jet game that made flying stealth fighter jets 

seem very boring  

until you were pelted with missiles  

and you exploded 

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 King’s Fianchetto 

I liked the Fianchetto for its dramatic sweeping bishops 

and you could even occasionally catch Ziggurat off guard on Beginner 

that’s when I felt smarter than the cow computer 

(and if you ever feel smarter than a computer that’s a bad sign) 

(to outdo a computer with emotion is another story) 

after a few weeks on Beginner I skipped right to the Grand Master level 

then Ziggurat wasn’t my chess pal anymore 

Ziggurat got deadly serious 

its moves were instant, efficient and played with menacing intent 

it was a wolf in a cow suit in a computer suit 

I never won again. 

soon I switched to the golf game or searched the Encarta ’95 CD-ROM 

I fell absently into a portal to infinite information 

I searched for Rutherford B. Hayes because my dad’s mom’s like great- great-grandmother 

was Lucy Ware Hayes, the First Lady 

they called her Lemonade Lucy, I think it was because she liked  lemonade and hated alcohol 

I liked lemonade and hated alcohol too, but I was like 10 

the article on Rutherford B. Hayes said he was considered an average  president 

it seemed weird to me that a president could just be considered average,  but I was like 10 

I wondered if being related to a president made me anything special 

but no I was not anything special 

I wondered who the last president would be, probably nobody that special  

the last man on earth  

might not be all that great either  

(I wonder when men will stop 

needing someone to tell them what to want and to do) 

I wanted a lemonade and I was bored of Rutherford 

I played the skiing game 

the skiing game started slow and got faster as you slalomed further    

down the slope and you could jump on the jumps and do tricks  

like flipping through space  

until a big furry monster inevitably gobbled you up 

then that was the end 

the randomness of the ending bothered me, but I was like 10 

then like a bunch of years went by 

ok 

then I was in college and tripping on psilocybin  

absently accessing a portal to ancient info 

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 

a white and black pyramid grew out of my brain 

and it kept adding levels and levels and  

anxious levels 

and I knew it was Ziggurat  

a wolf dressed like computer dressed like a mushroom growing  

from inside cow shit (my brain) 

and I still sucked at chess 

and Ziggurat was probably like three moves away from 

gobbling me up furry monster-style 

checkmate 

but it was different now  

it was cool  

because I could just open  

my eyes whenever 

and everything would disappear 

and I could just keep flipping through space  

just like this 

until 

the end  

The Paranormal Enthusiast Frat Boy Sees a Ghost Palindrome  

Bro! Orb! 

A Disembodied Voice Makes a Command Regarding Muffins (chill out mix) 

I stopped at the grocery store late one night  

And I heard a computerized female voice say: 

Enter your muffins.


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