Phoenix Saga: A Modern Epic in Pro Sé, Book Two

amalL era JesuJes hO

Publisher: Atmosphere Press Pages: 330 Price: ISBN: 9798891322646 Reviewed: May, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

Phoenix Saga by amalL era JesuJes hO, is an intricate, complex and heavily coded fusion of modes and purposes. Although the text begins with a verbatim mental health evaluation report, seemingly the author’s own, the narrative quickly segues into 100-plus pages of a pastiche of styles modeled on the wisdom literature of ancient writings from sources as disparate (and interesting) as the Old Testament and obscure Hermetic tracts.

Presented with a plethora of typographical, syntactical and formatting experimentation, a reader’s tolerance for these sections will be sorely tested. For example: ‘“Long ago, WE bestowed Divine Gifts to JesuJes; Gifts Lost-in-da-Hood – As for OUR Oracles’ Ode, She be Novel Pattern design’d for Synergy – thy Truth of Herstory …”’

Interestingly, though, nearly halfway into the book, it abruptly shifts into memoir. Still coded and hedged with defenses and obscurities, the story presents the author. Intelligent and caring, Joshua James Eller (“professionally known as JesusJes”) hesitantly reveals the difficult emotional and psychic path he has traveled throughout a life that has included college, marriage, work, a wife he loves and two daughters and a son.

The writing in these sections can be bare, clean, moving: “JesuJes’s Heart burns with Passion and Rage/ in search of a Soul lost long, long ago./ He could not know then that a Universe listens, waiting.”

Here also, we learn the author’s struggles with his emotional balance in the world: “A shift occurs, barely perceptible – Dark Energy manifests as Stranger-Danger cuts All throat deep, ear-to-ear.”

Cuts, breaks, fault lines: a life.

Ultimately, the story itself has a certain simplicity – although the narrative style isn’t simple and the intellectual armature is rather heavy (the book ends with 10 pages of reference items and 35 pages of notes – some interesting, some puzzling).

Yet that style is possibly the main reason to read the narrative. An agony of revelation, it’s not any easy read. Still, some might find it worth the effort.