POST-DIGITAL REVELATION by my friend J.D. Casten is best classified as book length verse although the last section is partly told in narrative form.
I think the best way for me to describe what this is about is to talk about creation as an artist and as a lifeform. The first page introduces us to a narrator literally willing himself into being.
$ira la round de la de da up: I was writhing in the twilight
A wizard of ooze – translucent and snapping open
Eyes burst forth and in precise bisections illuminate
Radiate rotation and in erratic adjustment turn
With confidence and style, stretch, yearn, learn, laugh
Through much of the first 2/3’s of POST-DIGITAL REVELATION, God and devil imagery collide with the conscious perceptions of the narrator. The devil prepares his hell while God is less of a materially rendered being.
Is your truth evil?
An evil invention?
The invention of evil?
Everything is a lie! Morality, mortality
They mean nothing to me
Is it moral to feel morally superior?
This often is augmented by his paranoia, his sense of being part of something greater. His storypoem is one of eternity and machines and one of the mind functioning under external stimuli. Much of it is presented in the language of dreams.
The collective perspective rediscovers itself
Light eons from the beginning, collecting
Fragmented pieces of an eternal puzzle
That refract and reflect all that prior
To the opening of the inception
The Big Bang theory and aliens are introduced later. The aliens in particular represent another part of the dream mind regurgitating back on itself what it knows from pop culture.
The aliens began to shape shift
With chameleon colors changing
Into various human representations
Found throughout history
From E.T. to Mr. Spock and then
Settling on the Great Gazoo from the
The Flintstones cartoon show
It is the last two chapters with the introduction of scientist Dr. Christine Herold where perception and the revelation of the possible identity of the narrator that gives us a twist like something out of a novel by Phillip K Dick. In fact if Dick had written poetry, it would have been something very similar to POST-DIGITAL REVELATION I imagine. I am also reminded of a more lucid William Burroughs. Casten explains himself and his vision in a way that is well thought out not the overly hallucinatory cut-up style of Burroughs. In his short punchy stanzas (in most of the first four chapters) one is also reminded of Allen Ginsberg and his ability to slide back and forth between scenes of seeming non-reality and scenes of what feels very real. Of course, the spirit of William Blake resides here as well-man having no problem breaking down the wall between himself and an otherworldly experience and bearing witness to this
To me, as a poet, there is nothing harder than creating book length connected verse. I am planning a future project along these lines but I know it will be a tough execution. Even harder is creating something that tells a story using this format. Throw in the changing perceptions and the answer might be this couplet appearing towards the beginning:
If we cut through this tide of delusion
And got to the real illusion.
J.D. Casten is also my publisher and more information on his book, his music, and publishing company can be found here - http://postegoism.net/Casten.html