Materials & Properties

Jonathan Travelstead

Skyscrapers whirligig Boeing 747s away like maple seeds
while nothing grenades down Fifth Avenue, clouding our lungs with emphysema’s
ghost. The new materials, tenfold stronger than steel,

taken out of service for how it wrinkles, then fails at twelve-hundred degrees.
Angels dance on neon atoms of gussets & trusses we print
from the nobler elements. Admiring our construction’s spinoid,

novel geometries, representatives from the class of arachnae
sigh, get on the horn, inform spiders everywhere they can cease weaving silk.
Snow flakes, unsurprising to us now, melt.

Ten years & nary a fire catches the new boughs, jumps a break,
or burns the mountain down. Come, speaking after me: Love Thy Properties.
Come, see what’s under the hood, what new engines purr.

Jonathan Travelstead served in the Air Force National Guard for six years as a firefighter and currently works as a full-time firefighter for the city of Murphysboro and also as co-editor for Cobalt Review. Having finished his MFA at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, he now works on an old dirt-bike he hopes will one day get him to the salt flats of Bolivia. He has published work in The Iowa Review and Poetry Daily and has work forthcoming in The Crab Orchard Review. His first collection, How We Bury Our Dead by Cobalt/Thumbnail Press, was released in March, 2015, and his Conflict Tours is forthcoming in Spring of 2017.


  1. Van Travelstead says

    I can’t wait to dive into your next book Conflict Tours!

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