April Preview: Featured Artist Gene Kreyd, a pairing with poet Jonathan Travelstead’s “Fast Food Cook Mansplains the Large Hadron Collider”

/, FEATURED ARTISTS, FEATURED FINE ARTISTS, LITERARY ARTS, Lyric, Narrative, Painting, Poetry, STUDIO ARTS/April Preview: Featured Artist Gene Kreyd, a pairing with poet Jonathan Travelstead’s “Fast Food Cook Mansplains the Large Hadron Collider”

Jonathan Travelstead

Fast Food Cook Mansplains
the Large Hadron Collider

“Three Red Drtagons and the Sage” by Gene Kreyd

The way I see it, it’s not so much a look through the void

as it is a Mexican stand-off between Switzerland & Chicago.

See, scientists from cheese country & scientists from

the most corrupt state in the Union say “Ok, go!”,

then cannonball two luchadores in opposite directions


around the planet. Only it’s not a planet, it’s a seventeen-mile

long underground ring. And the wrestlers are

Lilliputian particles of light. Why are they doing it? Because

those lycra-clad numbnuts in a split-flash

of headbutts will polish the lens of our third eye, clear


so we see the machinery of ghosts. Why do I care?

Because talking to ghosts means I won’t need this shit job,

or money. Only it’s been months since the experiment.

The Kitchen of Tomorrow’s here. My Ouija board says

reality as we know it still stands. My body double


never showed this morning, so here I am, fifteen bucks

per hundred burger flips, scalding my forearms with grease

while Pam gets her second smoke on. Come January 1

they’re replacing the counter girl with a screen because

the computer’s only vices are bricks & smudged thumbs.


Me, I’m the last lucky drone still assembling Big Macs.

Dude, the writing’s on the wall. I had a teacher once say

China would mass produce pinpricks of black holes

we could study up close. That a Mack truck tractored

into one would fill a teaspoon with so much mass


it would plunge straight to the earth’s core. Me?

I’d knock anyone upside his goddamn monocle who even

thinks of dropping any clickety-clack ball bearings

in a particle accelerator. Who wants another chain reaction

of economic upheaval from rapid, cascading shifts


in the technology sector? Who wants another epoch

of transition from corn syrup back to simple fructose,

silicon to cellulose & fig leaves? Fuck you. You can have it.


About the writer:
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 as co-editor for Cobalt Review. Having finished his MFA at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, he also turns a lathe, crafting pens under the name Scorched Ink Penturning. His first collection How We Bury Our Dead by Cobalt Press was released in March, 2015, and Conflict Tours (Cobalt Press) was released in 2017.

Image: Three Red Dragons and the Sage” by Gene Kreyd. Enamel on canvas. 80 x 70 cm. 2016. By permission. Gene Kreyd is a Russian-born California artist. Kreyd is the O:JA&L Featured Artist for April 2019.