RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Tuesday, July 17


words compressed into data,
rarely if ever fully
re-stretched to capacity

SONG OF THE DAY: Nowhere Fast

Bored and lonely last night so I did what any idiot looking to feel as solitary as possible would do – I rode the bus around for no reason. Mid-going nowhere fast trip though I decided to go look at magazines at the still a book store in the fancy normal people who have money shopping district, thinking “oh hey I’ll buy a Juxtapoz or maybe a train magazine, and then scribble haiku on pages or some dumb shit so I can justify the purchase aka waste of money” but I didn’t feel like riding the bus and walked instead, sitting on park benches whenever one appeared to test the lounge factor and blend into the questionable scenes adding my own question marks of “how do we read this guy?” for others passing by. Eventually, after much goofing off and taking pictures of an abandoned drug store in a dying strip mall, and also lamenting the bulldozed remnants and giant hole where previous old buildings I’d taken pictures of were now lost to progress, including a copy shop where I printed a bunch of zines over the years, I made my way across the street to the fancy normal people who have money shopping district and the book store, to piss in their bathroom, and also think about buying magazines.
Magazines are expensive, so I did not buy any magazines. I am so used to things trickling into my life second-hand or in bulk purchases of old shit either in real life junk markets or the internet junk markets that I forgot new shit, even dumb shit like magazines which is entirely geared towards you spending money in order to “discover” new ways to spend other money, well I forgot that new shit costs more than my broke ass comprehends.
After being bored by new magazines, and Parcheesi blocked walking down multiple aisles by well-tended white men and their princely heirs to their privilege, I made my way back to the bus stop, by the McDonalds, where we sat on the bus for a while while old men smoked cigarettes and the driver ran over to Mickey D’s. Eventually back unto Main Street, it was quarter to nine, so I got off to hit up the Afghani market for a delicious ayran for the rest of the walk home, having successfully eaten up most of the evening, alone, wandering, could disappear and nobody would notice for at least two days. But they didn’t even have mint ayran, only regular. “Fuck it,” I thought, and went ahead and got it, and it was the not main dude at the register but the second-to-main dude, and the main dude charges me flat chill price of regular but this dude hadn’t before, but tonight he did, so though they didn’t have mint ayran I at least wasn’t white-charged at the Afghani market.

I walked the rest of the way home, and this city is boring and maybe not even a city to be honest, and I passed all the places of people living, both the projects rebranded as “friendship court” and the pastel or earth tone hearty plank sided homes of gentrification within rock throwing distance of the projects, and thought about all the lives inside those places, and the comfort and lack of comfort, and how some of us have an upward trajectory or downward spiral and many of us simply have neither, just fluctuations slightly above or below whatever the fuck we were born into in the first place. The lack of support I have from family or even solid friends who are there other than when they need my support feels like a thousand pound kettlebell tied to my ankles, both of them at once, tightly, trying to swim out of deep murk. Seeing people, just random ass pairs of people – my age black couple pushing a stroller, affluent white folks headed to the downtown mall, old Indian couple – all walking together got me thinking on that fact how loneliness is unhealthy, but also how you can’t fix it on your own because duh you are alone, and when not wanting to be alone you always find the worst possible fucking humans who vampirize your life and energies. But then while I was thinking that I had already made the steps home, so I went inside and cut on two or three dollar store Chinese lanterns and sat there, thinking “well, that was a day” without even the motivation to write a poem, even a dumb simple poem as means of maintaining practice.

Monday, July 16


barely still there small town post
offices occupy space
leftover, not yet condemned


Mongrelized nature confusing, especially with broken connections galore from dysfunction leaving one floating alone in this Earth space. I tend to sit at night and write words to nobody because that’s what I’ve always done – it’s always been me by myself it feels like, even though I share blood in direct sense with small group of people but in larger sense with everybody. So many divisions wedged into every fissure of the brain, denying simple fucking heart truth that people is people.
Without human connection to really offer solid support, the one thing that grounds me is the ground – the area I’ve known all my life, because it feels more familiar (as in family) than anything else, and I was unsettled to leave the land I’d known the past 20 years, but at the same time all these little slivers and parcels ain’t really ever owned in any sense, and I can find that same feeling with land of similar make-up throughout this area.
Mestizo, mongrel, mulatto, mutt – a small army of M-words to cover the natural fact that any ideas of purity of human origins is more than likely not true, and we are all the sum product of each other. None of us is pure in racial sense, and yet there’s purity in that. I’ve been feeling very disconnected from my classification, but also understand the system works through classification so it saves me hassle in many steps along my days. There is a grid of thinking that’s been applied to the natural world that doesn’t match the natural world’s ways, so likely that’s why I find walking the land grounding. It doesn’t have to be woods land or along the river – railroad tracks through town or rippling city sidewalks with weed resistance in every crack make just as much sense. Saying “hey man” to familiar faces with unknown lives on the bus does that. Lot of times it feels like we’re disconnected by design, but the grid and classification applied over top of everything is less about serving the needs of all the people, and more about squeezing productivity out of us, or casting aside when there’s nothing productive to be squeezed out of us in a way that allows our feralization from abandonment to not poison the herd.
Me personally? Polish immigrants I know, Swedish/Norwegian orphan-ish and homeless grandmother I know, Scot surname I carry filtered through Appalachian mountains and then a few generations of rural southside Virginia I know, Pennsylvania Germans of some sort I know; and yet I don’t know none of this completely. Grew up my whole life in in the same rough area, know the trees and the rivers and the main roads and the people who live here. Half-cousins and step-nephews and before it all fell apart, family gatherings with more last names than side dishes. In the sense of that applied order, we are all dysfunctional, because the order wants us to function in a way that’s not naturally easy.
Fuck it. It’s that shit that makes me feel alone – that I’m lost from where I’m supposed to be. But I’m not supposed to be anywhere, except right here. Existential crisis depends on existential purpose, which is likely a myth anyways. I’m gonna walk ten miles today, and every face I see is gonna be my brother or sister. So easy to get lost in the hatred manufactured by the classifications and purity tests and ill logic masquerading as intelligence. Just gonna walk this shit off, like humans have done since the beginning of humans.


RVs with monthly payments,
debit card transactions tracked
when renting spots, vagrants cleansed

Saturday, July 14