War of Dictates by John Baltisberger
On one side, the monstrously powerful Semyaza, master of the fallen Watchers, seeks to own humanity, to dominate them through blood, sex, and pain.
On the other, Ashmandai, the very incarnation of imperfection, freedom and passion, whose love for his wife Lillith spurns him to greater and greater acts of defiance against the unnatural order set in place by the infectious Watchers.
Neither will submit, but only one may survive.
Rhythmic Cadence That Pumps As Much Blood As It Spills
Beautifully sacrilegious and almost sinful in its flowing, narrative language, War of Dictates by John Baltisberger is something that can be thought of as almost a Kabalistic Hellraiser in poem form. I first thought of it as Paradise Lost for the S&M crowd, but that works only if Aleister Crowley had been halfway resurrected to pen the volume with still decaying hands. Instead of ruining the work by following it up with Paradise Regained (as Milton did), Baltisberger doubles down and digs deep into the darkness and deviance of a place worse than hell. I wish I could recommend this book to everyone, but I know poetry (even the most cruel and depraved) has less wide appeal than it perhaps should. That being said, I still have to recommend it to anyone who might take the time to read it. This is a Gospel written in blood and fire, fueled by rage and dreams.
Evocative Graphic Verse
Splatterpunk Award Nominee War of Dictates is an Epic of dark cosmic and historical horror told completely in verse. This brilliant and revolutionary piece by John Baltisberger is the new standard in epic horror poetry and rivals anything like it in classic horror literature. This is not dark prose, it is evocative, graphic verse. Baltisberger pulls from Jewish lore and history to weave and epic tale of The Watchers, The Nephilim, The Fallen, and the darkness of humanity. This is a brutal tale, impactful and unmerciful. It chronicles a history and evolution of sin and brutality and the biblical beings pulling the strings of man from the beginning of time as we know it. You will never again look at history, horror, or humans the same. On a personal level, I found this epic tale moving, evocative, mentally stimulating, and horrifying. I found Baltisberger’s presentation daring, his concept engrossing, and his verse darkly beautiful. This is not only shelf-worthy but a library must have.