RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Tuesday, December 31

new Workingman Book - LIFE IN CHAOTIC STATE... THEN SILENCE


So I dropped a new book called Life in Chaotic State... Then Silence, which is a collection of renga poetry I wrote in monthly batches on twitter. The feature renga was done October of 2018 during a three-week period where I rode the Amtrak from the east coast down south, out to California, had a week-long residency there, did a haiku slam in Oregon, then rode the [t]rain back through the upper midwest and Chicago, back down to Charlottesville. It's a pretty great book in my opinion, as are the other ones. All are available on Amazon, or from me in person.
Additionally, I'm offering up signed copies of the new book (along with a few select older titles), where you can purchase it directly from me, received it signed, with a tanka poem inscribed in it as well (since I'm doing those on postcards as part of my patreon as well), and I'll tuck a recent copy of Sovthern Gothicc Fvtvrist zine in the envelope as well. Cost for this is $12 (plus $3 shipping).


TITLES
Who is signed copy for?


Monday, November 18

SONG OF THE DAY: Bang


the bang of creation, 
inner muse ejaculated upon the world 
oftentimes unnoticed, stains along 
the bottom sides of capital life's secondhand cushions 
easing the existential pain of mundane existence 
common wage slave's resistance 
"LIFE IS PAIN MOTHERFUCKER" 
proclaimed buddha ray moore 
and never have those words been truer - 
that's it… never have they been truer… 
this is what being human is about 
navigating the ridiculously sprawling labyrinth 
of manmade obstacles we've built over centuries 
stale places of mildew and rot 
and devising a way to make it feel fresh 
cultivating bang culturing bang 
to fend off the metaphysical vultures 
by swinging our vorpal blade 
around at the entangling world trying 
to choke us out like kudzu made of burnt copper 
wires snaking through yakubian spreadsheets…
by swinging our vorpal blade 
clearing out a little space 
to take a deep breath 
and realize deep in your heart 
fuck it 

Sunday, November 17

Kyusho Basho 2019 Honour Tanka Day Eight: Ishiura (4-4)


it's a cold Sunday, 
so I made chanko nabe 
stew in big steel pot 

sautee onions and garlic 
in oil, add chicken thigh meat 

I make my own broth, 
frozen, on hand, stored in old
yogurt containers 

one at the ready to throw 
in the big pot whenever 

bought some giant red 
beets the other day, so took 
the tops, chopped them up 

throw it in the pot, along 
with some shiitake mushrooms 

chop up spinach bunch, 
add that; starting to smoke so 
throw in broth ice cube 

everything cooks while broth melts, 
softening, blending, stewing 

I have that "crab meat" 
stuff, which when cooked unravels 
kinda like noodles 

threw in some mussel meat, plus 
medium-sized shrimp, with tail on 

that shit was on sale, 
half-price - ingredients are 
determined by cost 

next time I make it, it'll 
be completely different 

and yet, entirely 
the same essence - slow, simmering 
stew of hearty shit 

all this sat on medium-low 
for a good hour, rightening 

busted out saucepan, 
six minutes to soft-boil eggs, 
runny in middle 

timer goes off, dunk in ice 
cold water until all cool 

I just let it all 
sit there, simmering on stove, 
did my Sunday chores 

washed and hung clothes, vacuumed, watched 
little Anthony Bourdain 

finally, I was 
ready for big fat bowl of 
chanko nabe stew 

in fact, I ate four… it'll 
sit on the stove for few days 

I've often joked that 
Ishiura should eat his 
chanko nabe stew 

so small, always looking to 
do the side dash thing for win 

and yet this second 
Sunday of this basho, side 
stepping didn't work 

Nishikigi clutched him tight, 
gripped for inner position 

Ishiura seemed 
doomed, yet again, when his trick 
failed upon start 

somehow, once Nishikigi 
pushed, Ishiura slipped past 

with upper grip now, 
Ishiura wrapped one leg 
around opponent 

he grabbed Nishikigi's left 
leg, and thrust his head like goat 

Nishikigi's vast 
body fell like oak, carrying 
Ishiura with 

ultra-rare triple attack - 
mitokorozeme move 

me sitting here with 
chanko nabe dribbling down 
blackberry bush beard 

no smack for Ishiura
more man than I'll ever be 

I finish it all 
by writing silly poems 
for obscure website 

while Ishiura drives off 
in his green Lamborghini 

Kyusho Basho 2019 Honour Tanka Day Seven: CHIYOMARU (5-2)


Chiyomaru's one 
of my down-low favorites - 
sideburned heavyweight 

born in Shibushi, as a 
child he studied judo first 

by high school, sumo 
chose him, even though he had 
not yet chosen it 

he's got that extra-sumo 
shape, yet extremely agile 

his judo remains 
with him - day seven he fought 
Kotoshogiku 

immediately has his 
man pushed to the dohyo's edge 

Kotoshogiku 
regains footing, so "fuck it" 
thinks Chiyomaru 

he just shoots back other way, 
slapping his opponent down 

I often wonder 
the sense of touch in these men, 
feeling muscle shifts 

naked flesh pressed together, 
feeling the other man's thoughts 

unconscious of mind 
reaction times when one feels 
energetic shift 

using opponent's own force 
against himself - pure judo 

Kyusho Basho 2019 Honour Tanka Day Six: SHOHOZAN (4-2)


Hakuho's tiny 
protege, Enho, always 
fights above his weight 

somehow he does well, despite 
being many stones lesser 

against Shohozan
he again did far better than 
his size would dictate 

Shohozan maintained composure, 
got him slipping on the sand 

Enho had strange split - 
sumo dudes practice that leg split 
mobility shit 

the level of specific 
training involved in insane 

thousands of practice 
bouts, pushing giants backwards 
until exhausted 

serving up chankonabe 
for stable elders, for years 

this has been Enho's 
destiny, living under 
Hakuho's strong wing 

Enho's fighting an uphill 
battle, succeeding thus far 

but he's many bowls 
of chanko nabe lighter 
than most of these dudes 

on day six, mighty 
Shohozan caught the young buck 
slipping, sat him down 

on a day where all leaders 
except Hakuho took loss 

Shohozan - wily 
veteran maintaining place 
middle of the pack 

too good for juryo, but not 
quite good sanyaku level 

Friday, November 15

SONG OF THE DAY: Jump In



Discourse Warning – none of us born here chose to be American, that shit chose us. Any space is only as exceptional as how much effort and work the people occupying that space put into making it exceptional or special, or whatever the fuck. People don’t seem to be “putting in work” but they wanna still expect everybody to give America the accolades of being some mighty shining beacon of whatever the fuck we’re supposed to be a beacon of. One of the greatest strengths of trash culture like poor people or gangs or survivalist hillbillies is that these cultures all know that YOU AIN’T SHIT IF YOU DON’T KEEP PUTTING IN THE WORK. It’s all sand castles and washes the fuck away pretty quickly unless you keep putting in the work. Right now, America is fucked, but it’s mostly fucked because nobody wants to do the work. And I don’t mean manual labor at construction sites, I mean the hard work of fixing a bunch of shit that ain’t working for the benefit of most people. You can’t keep selecting your favorite self-important asshole because they got a blue or red check beside their name, and think they gonna do it. None of those fuckers care, because they don’t understand. But they think they know. People who don’t understand but think they know are the most dangerous human beings around. And that’s about 99.9% of our political class. So we’re fucked in that sense. So I’ll just keep putting in work, try to make alliances for survival, try to carve out a shady corner to be able to take deep breaths without somebody stepping on my head. I didn’t choose this life I’m living, it chose me. None of us picked getting slowly crushed by the corporate oligarchy’s avarice and greed that is the pyramid scam of America in the 21st Century; but we’re here. Putting in work won’t set you free – there’s no escape, unless you’re lucky. But putting in work means you don’t crushed out of existence, hopefully, at least not today. Although it’s crushing somebody else right now, and crushing way more than it’s lifting up.

Thursday, November 14

Kyusho Basho 2019 Honour Tanka Day Five: MEISEI (4-1)


Takayasu's big 
hairy ass is personal 
fave… always has been 

stoic gaze and bulldog frame, 
but the ozeki's struggled 

always injured it 
seems, and there's no break from this 
sumo life (for life) 

Meisei arrived on day five, 
with spirited performance 

they give an award 
out for best fighting spirit 
every basho 

Meisei made an early play 
for its consideration 

Takayasu's five  
thousand metaphysical 
pounds came out thrusting 

Meisei danced the physical 
rikishi tango dervish 

with lime green power aura, 
Meisei's metaphysical 
mystical force rose 

a twist of torso, yank of 
Takayasu - victory 

Kyusho Basho 2019 Honour Tanka Day Four: TOCHINOSHIN (2-2)


if Tochinoshin 
had remained full strength, might've 
made yokozuna 

the Georgian mountain of a 
man could overpower all 

full-strength, he lifted 
even the most gigantic 
men, and carried them 

now, with perpetual sore 
knee, plus elbow, not the same 

and yet, somehow he's 
still able to pull off these 
amazing displays 

tussling Takarafuji
no man gaining advantage 

looked like another 
Tochinoshin slow defeat, 
after his strength failed 

as it looks almost over, 
a rare kubihineri 

"head twisting throw" is 
the Japanese translation, 
first time in nine years 

one arm around opponent's 
neck, the other takes his hand 

then Tochinoshin 
twisted Takarafuji's 
neck until he flipped 

"where your head goes, your ass shall 
follow" George Clinton once said 

or something like that; 
but even not at full strength, 
Tochinoshin rules 

can't help but wonder about 
if he had remained healthy 

might we have seen the 
first ever European 
yokozuna rank? 

sumo is relentless; body's 
health will job to mental state