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January 9, 2022

Three Poems

Mike Andrelczyk

Chewing on the Gum Tree

an upside down palm tree in my upturned hand
a backwards lemon tree with no lemons
a judas tree with a mylar balloon shaped like a police car stuck in its limbs
a leopard dreaming about bandits in the crook of a baobab
a fir tree wrapped in caution tape
a beech tree full of umbrellas and bikinis
a nightmare growing on an elm tree
an ash with a thousand spinning wheels
a poplar populated with lean hog and sugar futures
a clown smoking trees in a tree house in a tree that’s on fire
an eastern hemlock with keys for leaves
a redwood falling to the ground at the steady rate of one inch for every one hundred years





the hack comic wagging the machete
wrongly asserts bamboo
spreads like a bad dad

like: what did the rubber tree say when it left the party?

I’m bouncing.

like: what did the ghost of the ancient forest say to frighten the weary-boned travelers hiking under the hazy moonglow?


he says bamboo

is as invasive
as the echoing
thoughts that camp out in the mind

like: what comes 13 minutes after the final thought is thought?

like: the opposite of undulating is unundulating.

like: will we need stand-ups on Mars?

but really bamboo is
only like the ghostly
music of empty flutes and wooden fish
fanning out like laughter into space

just kidding I don’t really know anything





when I was a kid I would play
in our backyard
under a giant tree I named “Lancaster”
I would pack up my Hot Wheels and Ninja Turtles and say “I’m going to Lancaster”
and disappear under shade of the tree

but I’m not a kid now
and I don’t live there anymore
and that tree was cut down long ago

but there is a pretty big tree
behind the apartment where my wife and I live
I don’t call it “Lancaster” though
I call it “the tree where that guy got shot.”