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Contact Brendan at generationofleaves@gmail.com

I. DEATH

 

The first installment in the GOD trilogy, DEATH takes as its subject the last myth with any real currency in secular times: The Death of God. What Friedrich Nietzsche once ominously alluded to, DEATH chronicles in dramatic detail, enlarging the haunting philosophical metaphor to a full-scale industrial war in Heaven. We hear it all from Joel, a former angel who sided with the insurrectionists after Heaven failed him. Now, singing on his mandolin by the grave of God, Joel offers his account of God's death in memory of Sacredness: a final song to eulogize Spirit. From the ancient origins of religion, then, to the modern disenchantment of the world, Joel narrates the West's epochal transformation, overseen and led by an iconoclastic intellectual named John Faust. The fallout from this existential war, and the personal quest it sets in motion for Joel, are taken up in the poem's sequels, DESCENT and RESURRECTION.

 

II. DESCENT

 

God is gone. Humanity has overthrown Heaven. But despite its high ideals, the new order quickly devolves into a shallow and destructive culture of consumerism and waste. Humanity, suddenly realizing the terrifying new freedom it’s assumed after murdering the divine, desperately seeks some guidance and a sense of direction. It finds it in the all-too-willing Salesmen, a figure who steps into the power vacuum with the tantalizing lure of euphoric-yet-destructive distractions. Soon a City rises from the ash heap of Heaven: endless Towers, grids of metal, and the monotonous gray sprawl. Wandering through this post-war apocalypse of “Progress”—where materialism bulldozes all concern for Nature, history, beauty or depth—Joel grows increasingly disillusioned with the order he himself helped usher in. At last, the miserable state of the post-Meaning world drives him to a radical idea: what if God could be brought back? Pushed over the brink by humanity’s nihilism, Joel commits to descending into the underworld in an attempt to rescue God from the realm of the dead.  

 

III. RESURRECTION

 

The final and longest of the three poems, RESURRECTION sees this endeavor to its unpredictable conclusion. Having come of age during these cosmic struggles, Joel now grows into his own, assuming the unexpected role of a leader. Amassing a mounting protest of Meaning-hungry souls, he instigates a grassroots, raucous, horn-blowing insurrection against the consumerist regime led by the Salesmen. The God Joel found in the underworld has failed to make it this far. In His place rides a beautiful sculpture of a dancing woman, Earth, symbol of the sacred, which the revolutionary troupe has made and which they now wheel into the City. But what lies in store for them once they confront the powers-that-be with their defiant singing and re-imagined divinity will prove a far grander thing than anyone could possibly have anticipated…

This book-length poem tackles issues related to the fraught quest for meaning and spiritual depth in the contemporary world. Casting the existential confusion caused by modernization in imaginative, mythic terms, it narrates the fall of Heaven and the death of God through the eyes of a former angel, Joel. Despite having originally sided with the revolutionaries in their attempt to overthrow religion, Joel soon grows disillusioned in the war’s aftermath. The industrial City that arises from Heaven’s rubble has all too quickly devolved into nihilism, consumerism, ugliness, and wide-scale environmental devastation. Was sacredness what had kept us from such a state? Is it alone what can save us now? What spirituality is even possible after the death of God? The quest to answer these questions will lead Joel into the underworld and back as he attempts to resurrect some new kind of Sacred for the 21st century.

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