Conflict Tours: Poetry

5 out of 5
(1 customer review)

$16.00 $12.95


Conflict Tours is Jonathan Travelstead’s second book, arriving two years after his debut, How We Bury Our Dead (Cobalt Press, 2015).

Conflict Tours…chronicles a narrative journey through external landscapes shaken by catastrophe and social turmoil and internal landscapes threaded with amphetamines and loneliness. From the United States/Mexican border to the nuclear reactors in Chernobyl, and from the Appalachian Trail to Kroger’s discounted meat cooler, each poem maps a balance between the visceral and the vulnerable. This collection offers an unflinching inward gaze coupled with the reminder that it is “time and nearness […] that makes us forget what is dangerous.”  — Lesley Brower, poet, general badass

Release Date: April 10

Category: .

Product Description


Conflict Tours is Jonathan Travelstead’s second book, arriving two years after his debut, How We Bury Our Dead (Cobalt Press, 2015).

Release Date: April 10

1 review for Conflict Tours: Poetry

  1. jacob erin-cilberto
    5 out of 5


    A review of Conflict Tours, a book of poetry by Jonathan Travelstead

    Jonathan Travelstead enlists us in his reading army with his book Conflict Tours. We can’t help but be pleased to be part of his traveling branch of service readers. This book is filled with incredible images of war and its aftermath, of nuclear devastation and the threat of it. Makes us feel more of what is going on with North Korea, as we relive 1962 and the Cuban Crisis all over again.
    I like how he introduces us in “Tourist” and says “You marvel at the list of places/ slashed with checks like an itinerary, or a set/ of collector’s Iron Man comics. Cavalier, Aloof, you might be Bob Dylan, who never escaped a picture’s centerstage./ A younger version, maybe, in that black-and-white, pre-electric poster…” Jon’s images make us feel like we are not only looking at the poster, but hearing some perfect radio broadcast from older times, with static and all.
    In “Rapture” he speaks to us in a voice that says “Take this, my capsule, its orange and clear ends/ unsleeved for you…,” reminders of Agent Orange and its effects on those who served in Viet Nam and how they still haunt those individuals who were “an army of tongues.” The poem also speaks of longing to be lifted higher… to heaven? Or just higher to forget.
    In “Monster” Jon points out how the soldier measures his value “by the metronome’s swath.” And that the “truth is, haters gonna hate, but every day with you’s the same/ Hand to lying mouth, mouth to fool mind./ Alibies.” Yes, we make them up out of fear and frustration… we are in denial of the hate which rules the world and causes prejudice and war. As Jon reminds us, “something in the lighthouse is gonna break.” He foresees and warns us with his words, similar to the many warnings recently due to the power of the hurricanes as they are on the verge of attack. Our own hate attacks others and ourselves, and the hurricane that is nuclear war is just on the horizon.
    His poem “Ghost” talks of one being “a burning house where the flame’s long been kindling.” It not only is but will continue to and our names will be,” In infrared, just visible through the wall.”
    We build walls to keep others out, but imprison ourselves within them. Jonathan Travelstead takes us on such a journey through all the demolition, shows us past and present, and warns with such incredible metaphors and stark imagery where we are going if we don’t stop the madness.
    Conflict Tours is a must read for our times. A book we should not only read but listen to, listen very closely.

    jacob erin-cilberto (Author of Rewrites and Second Chances)

Add a review