Beautiful Ashes: Travis Kurowski

Presented by Jen Michalski, for PANK. For a description of this guest series, click here.

Three Poems
by Travis Kurowski

Amid the chaos, there comes a costume 
        Lines taken from famous superhero comics 

as you all know, I’ve been working on a synthetic man, a man so fast that he not only outraced his shadow

                                           this secret base in the magic sphere, the young lady behind the rubber mask in her silent, invisible plane where once there was so much sound

                  this deserted barn should do nicely. I’ll set my robot control pilot and let down the ladder. Activate the Aura of Negativism! Apply your protective helmet! You see, I was trapped in a ship’s hull not long ago. It drove me mad

                                                                                                              meanwhile, in the chambers of the enchantress: the parachutist fires point-blank, the astonished men enter to find a surprisingly modern laboratory, the fortress of doom rises

                   something went wrong with my figuring. Who are these people? Where did they come from? I wonder if Captain America has problems like

                                                                    and these are but two of Earth’s possible futures: a towering skyscraper becomes empty, a highly-concentrated light beam strikes

             don’t hurt me and I’ll make everything clear: The figure is a wall of fire. This devil is done for. This is a horse of a different color. Cosmic rays mutated four American adventurers. Into your battle suit, Captain! I am The

                                                                                                       when Vanessa wakes, you begin





Space opera (II)

Lines taken from the comics and words of Jack Kirby (1917-94)



Quiet, you brainless gargoyle.

                          Why should I be a nowhere nobody? I have a good

sense of history. I get letters from people of my own status. Those pretty boys think

they own the world. Can you deny the evidence of your own fingerprints? The city that

dies twice—it’s been above us all this time.

No one knows what is best for you.




Space opera (III)

Lines taken from the comics and words of Jack Kirby (1917-94)


Nobody was in the mood to joke unless you hit a guy with a baseball bat; I didn’t like

places with rules.



Travis Kurowski teaches creative writing and publishing at York College of Pennsylvania and is a founding editor of Story, a new national literary magazine supported by the college. He is the editor of Paper Dreams: Writers and Editors on the American Literary Magazine and the “Literary MagNet” columnist for Poets & Writers—and his poetry is forthcoming in Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books.