Poetry, chapbook, 40 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
Modern, commercial Christian doctrine prizes the prosperity gospel, televangelist preachers with mansions and million-dollar salaries, and praying away poverty. This collection of poems is aimed at the heart of this western capitalist religious dogma. It re-imagines that distorted iteration of Christianity as a defunct theme park, complete with with a “Red Sea Wave Pool,” a sprawling roller coaster that will put the fear of God in you, and a board walk over a lake of fire.
Holy Land™ pulls together biblical stories and characters in a surreal environment, exposing the crisis of faith at the heart of materialistic religiosity. We get to know the doubts and fears not only of believers, but of the biblical characters themselves who are caught in a wage-labor trap reminiscent of today’s retail and services industries. Written in a plain, but nuanced and original voice, this is an educated essay in poetry form on the shortcomings of the Church of Greed.
Matthew Sidney Parsons is poet, singer-songwriter, and farmer from eastern Kentucky. Raised in a family of subsistence farmers by his mother, a librarian, and his father, a bluegrass banjoist and luthier, Matthew learned the value of artistic expression and hard work at an early age. His work has been featured in print and online journals such as Still: the Journal and Rattle, among others. His debut full-length collection is forthcoming from Pine Row Press. Matthew lives in Carter County, Kentucky with his wife and two children in a small, inter-dependent farming community.