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.

Friday, July 29

r o d a d

industrial overlords
developed monsters that leave
men sitting idle 'til death

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - June '11 #12: "Sunny Day" by Screwed-Up Click


I had been taking little notes in a tiny little American Girl-sized notebook of shit to write but that hasn't happened because life has been fatiguing and also because I am more of a natural born free-form type, not meant to be confined even by my own notations for the future. I was going to write about how Screwed music is the greatest summertime music because it's all thick and slow like humidity, and it's been really hot in my real life. I heard some nerd lady talking inside the NPRs about global warming today and how that meant bigger blizzards too and it made me laugh because that's every redneck dude's justification that global warming is bullshit - when it snows two dicks deep in December, they're all like, "Where's that global warming now?" and that's that.
We are an ignorant fucking animal, but hey we've done some interesting things. Screw was ahead of his time because now everything is derivative and the key is to be creative with your derivate bullshit, and that's pretty much what Screw did. This song is like the "Simple Man" of screwed music... Okay, maybe not. That would probably be "25 Lighters" by Fat Pat, but I'm not writing about that, I'm writing about this. I feel bad for Lil Flip because he was so awesome, the king of the world, and got punked by T.I., everybody of the internet age has seen pictures of him in a leprechaun outfit, and really it's hard to take anything seriously now. Plus, he did that wack ass major label release with R&B hooks and shit, although that great "Game Over" beat with Pac Man eating up everything was nice.
I am just sort of rambling because I need to write something for this blog again. Mostly I've been writing crazy man poetry and working on this other thing, plus reading old Confederate Macks to collect into a book, but the early Confederate Macks bummed me out so much I had to pull back. The hatred and frustration I was expressing was sort of shocking to me, and it kinda bothered me people thought that shit was so cool. So then I think, "Fuck people," which is basically the underlying belief behind those early Confederate Macks that so disturbed. This means that even though I'm a completely changed man, and think very differently about the world, I still have the same underlying beliefs. The more things change, the more they are like whatevs.
STEAL "Sunny Day"
NEXT:
Soul food cafe staple!

b o o t f

frog-eyed rain boots sneaking down
the driveway, trying to get
to the good puddles roadside

Thursday, July 28

t i p i c

subaru bumper stickers -
left-leaning, local movements
screenprinted in earth-toned inks

t o o l b

factory-forged stainless steel
that's bounced off the far shed wall
multiple times - still working

Wednesday, July 27

Monday, July 25

s g n z z

fat black kid dripping swagger,
with string bean sidekick, pimping
bright red shirt, shoes, fitted cap

m a n z x

manmade monsters towering
over the countryside; they
hum-buzz into my nightmares

Sunday, July 24

Friday, July 22

Thursday, July 21

Wednesday, July 20

Wednesday, July 13

g r f a x

republican governor
and democratic statehouse -
red and blue; I'm green party

t o o l d

camouflage duct tape doesn't
truly camouflage, so I
bought some skin tone beige instead

Tuesday, July 12

Homepix/Gambleraku

Had a comment from a friend about the nature of the gambleraku poems (which I occasionally have arbitrarily started spelling gamblerokku lately) being more hopeful at one point or another, and being I have come to the start of the creative end of the homepix cluster, I thought I would share the process, being the fact two pics and poems a day pop up on the site can be misleading.
Although at a younger age, I did lots of art and zines with wacky artboy things in them, I have never really considered myself a visual artist so much as a word artist, and I've typecast myself into that role voluntarily a lot of times, being my brain has thought in words so easily. But the item that initially started the rojonekku blog was a project I had where I wrote a thousand haiku over the course of a couple of years. After I started collecting them, I also began collecting the empty 12-pack boxes from the beer I drank, and also have long had a workboot box full of magazine pictures culled from all sorts of sources, all trimmed to roughly the same rectangular size. It seemed to me that sorting through the haiku and picking four to handwrite on colored paper, and affix to a flattened 12-pack box, along with five assorted pictures from the magazine clipping bootbox, would make a good thing. The haiku part was inspired to just write about my shitty back roads poor assed life, but in a poetic way, and I've always been inspired by Han Shan, the T'ang Dynasty poet. Really, he's more a hero to me than any writer of the modern era. But it made sense to involve my obsessive compulsion to clip pictures from magazines with my drinking with my simple man haiku. And once I started compiling the Beerbox Haiku Plates (of which I think there are about 225 or so total), it also made sense to grommet holes in them and attach them in sets of three so that they were giant nearly six-feet tall wall hangings. Which is what they now are, at least the ones that are completely done.
A lot of what I do is ruled by mathematics and organizational eliminations. Thus when I was to pick out haiku, I would organize the haiku - each of which was written on its own notecard - into piles, and shift them about according to which compared to which better or worse, process of elimination until the haiku I was feeling the most was sitting at the top, and then put those in groups of four relatively related poems. The whole thing is actually much more complicated than that, but in a ridiculous nerdy way that I can't even bear to explain. I've barely explained it to my wife, just enough so she knows there's method to me shifting giant stacks of notecards around for two hours on end every now and then. And she is very tolerant of the methods to my madness, as well as the madness to my methods.
So in the process of working on the Beerbox Haiku, it made sense to me that I'd have to eventually take my own pictures to make this work as a creative endeavor, or else I'd run into the same sampling issues that hip hop ran into by using parts of other people's pictures for my bullshit. At that point, which was only a few years back, I - like many dork artphags - got into taking Polaroid pictures. But once I bought a bunch of Polaroid film to take pictures with, it only made sense, for whatever reason, to take pictures of vehicles, which I did. That became the Poloroidz Projects thing on here, which is something that I've immensely loved and is amazing to go back and look through. If you've never fucked with that, go to the bottom of the page to the tag cloud and click on Poloroidz and stroll through that nonsense. (In fact, a lot of what I've done over the years in this site involves weaving tags together into nonsense, in the hopes that you can lose yourself in that if you are of the right mind. I know common internet website practice is to have neatly laid out lists with multiple pages per list, but I prefer the rich retarded fabric of nonsense for my internetting pleasures, and that is what I've emulated with Rojonekku.)
But Polaroid stopped making Polaroid film, and that shit went sky high. It was already like $10 a pack at Wal-Mart, putting it at about a buck per picture, which was worth it if I only took pictures of old cars (part of the reasoning behind the them actually was making it worth the waste of money), but once it was no longer available, damn... I was not the only artphag into taking Polaroids, and I was not very high up on the socioeconomic scale amongst that group, thus I got priced out pretty much as soon as you could not buy it at Wal-Mart anymore. (A 10-pack of Polaroid film now, which was around $10, averages about $50 on ebay, which amazes me. Something that at one time was readily available enough and discreet enough that people took naked pictures of each other with it is now not affordable to most human beings on earth.)
Thus began my dabbling with digital cameras, meaning we had one for the family that was relegated to second-class status because it was only 2.something megapixels, and was busted up, so I played around with using that, but then ordered a lime green Polaroid digital camera off the online, thinking in my head it was a natural technological continuation of the Poloroidz Project. Oh man, was I wrong. That camera, although tons more megapixels and able to hold a thousand million pictures, sucked. I gave it to my then 5-year-old to be her camera and went back to the old crappy family camera, which I always loved the feel of anyways. It's much bigger than your modern digital camera, and is busted in a way that the thing that holds the batteries in won't shut, so I have to wrap it in duct tape, and it looks like some sort of terrorist device, especially when I used blaze orange duct tape.
That became my camera, and I started to wander and take pictures wherever I was. While in Las Vegas early on in taking on this camera as my go-to camera, I realized I was bored with the rhythm of 5-7-5 syllable haiku. Now I know that western linguistics does not match eastern character-based language, so we don't necessarily have to stifle ourselves to the 5-7-5 format, but I also feel that the 5-7-5 form has become a tradition on its own in western society, so to just arbitrarily write three short lines of poetry and call it a haiku seems sort of chumpy to me. But like I said, I was getting bored with the 5-7-5 rhythm, so being I was in Vegas, I just decided to go with a 7-7-7 structure instead. Thus was born the gambleraku (or gamblerokku as it is sometimes called). So almost immediately as I thought about putting homepix up on Rojonekku, I realized I was also scribbling these three-line poems all the time on notecards again, like the original 1000 haiku project. Thus it made sense to pair them together.
Somewhere in the process of taking the homepix, I realized I had a good eye for it, meaning I saw beauty in the ugly, or whatever. I know that the dumb shit I take pictures of is better than most of what I see people with fancy hypertronic lensed expensive cameras taking. You will not see close-ups of flowers, unless there's like a half-melted wax soldier in the background or something. I have an eye that is not like other's it seems, and I am thankful for that.
That being said, picking the pictures that I put up from the ones I took mimicked the process with the haiku boxes where I'd go through all available pics, putting them in different folders, figuring out which ones I liked most in batches of ten, and then writing the name (which itself was just a five-letter code for whatever it was the picture meant to me) on a notecard, and then carrying the notecard around until I wrote a gambleraku to go with it. About two weeks ago, I sorted through what was left of the homepix at a point where I found some different settings for the camera that were doing wacky things, and thus I decided that was it for this first phase of the photographs, and the homepix project. So the taking of pictures is done.
I still have a stack of about 100 notecards to write gambleraku for, which I do late at night, sitting in front of our large ass monitor, zoning on them, usually with headphones on like a 1978 stoner kid. And the ones that were written are already set up to go on the blog, for like a month now, which means combined with the ones I've yet to write, even though the project is starting to wind down, it'll still be going up for a couple months.
That being said, when you see a moody or downtrodden or cryptic gambleraku, that is not necessarily my mood at that point. They don't even go up in the order they were written, as that doesn't fit the parameters of how I do them. I am a man confined by self-created parameters. Like heavily so. But when you get a change in tone, the change is a subtle or consistent one that has probably already passed through my real life and perhaps already come back and left and so on.
I really feel like the homepix/gambleraku things are a great and wonderful and wacky thing, and honestly have been surprised it hasn't been discovered by more internet dorks into that type of thing. Part of the problem is probably that aforementioned fabric of nonsense that causes things like that to get lost. Usually if somebody has an internet gimmick like this, they only do this, on their site, and keep everything else clear. I cannot be such a person. All my madness is here, for the most part, all in one place. In fact, after a few different blogs with such one-style parameters, I figured it best to keep it all together anyways. Hopefully you enjoy that wackily woven fabric. Straight up and from the heart is how it's always been.

c h v z s

spare part sixty-nine chevelle
supersport back home behind
my mom's unabomber shack

f a m a d

wearing the same shirt as seen
in picture - my shit ain't as
friday night fresh as I feel

Monday, July 11

Sunday, July 10

s c h e z

modern day viking, backwoods
hiking, building haphazard
towers out of white quartz rocks

m a n z w

cybertronic humbots squeeze
through copper wire to try and
steal my breath while I'm sleeping

Saturday, July 9

l i n c d

loungers got their windows down -
humid southern summer air
fermenting laid back psyches

r o d a g

I write rhymes - rhymes don't right me;
every day of my life
I wonder how y'all blind see

Friday, July 8

t i r e b

tore all the fencing down, hauled
off the cattle, then sprayed green
into brown to prep for corn

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - June '11 #13: "Don't Do It" by The Band


We don't recognize the flexible beauty of age in this superficially encouraged world we rock out upon. I passed a simple scene where I work the other week - an office with a hefty but attractive woman sitting at her desk and a thick-glassed man talking to her. Neither was textbook beautiful according to glossy magazine pictures - her a little chunky but round in all the best places, and with a sweet southern smile; him a little nerded out looking but with gentle eyes and a non-threatening demeanor, yet sturdy and not submissive in stature. They were talking and sharing googly smiles at each other, and I only caught a flash of it as the door was cracked open in passing, but it was beautiful.
There's a natural beauty in age, more flesh and less tautness of the forms we lusted after in our youth, but that's a natural flexibility that has come with use, that has been earned not condemned upon the body. Vaginas that have gave birth and penises that take a little longer for round two than they used to, softness between two people who want to savor those soft moments, not stab at each other with sharp figures and jolting epileptic frenzies. Makes me think of tomatoes on the vine, because green tomatoes are hard bodies but taste terrible. And them older tomatoes, all soft and red ripe, dripping juice, might have a bad edge you have to slice off for the compost bucket, but it's good and perfect and messy and doesn't look like the ones in the supermarket that they take pictures of for circulars, but damn if it don't taste thirty times better.
Don't hate age. I'm getting on close to wrapping up my fourth decade in a couple years, and I ain't the same as I was, but I'm a goddamned beautiful motherfucker. Not sharp-edged pretty like a 20-year-old girl sucking at the tit of pop culture would gawk at, but hey, I can't help that. I don't want to help that. I feel sad when I see older women running themselves to death to try and keep their sharp-edged magazine mirror "beauty", all gaunt and Ms. Skeletor-looking and needing a sandwich. And I feel sad when I see old dudes brow beaten into hiding their scuffs and scars and ink-stained skin, hair chopped into an business appropriate coif, fighting to hold their imagined spot as the younger, firmer, less savvy dudes roll into the overall picture.
I say all this knowing my hair has gotten shaggy and I work a job where responsibilities hover over everything like storm clouds, and there has been no thunder from up the ladder, but I know I need to cut it shorter again. And whenever I get to that point, and look in the mirror and know my shaggy hair looks stupid when I comb it (because that's not it's nature) but looks perfect when I've driven 49 miles with my window down on the truck because the AC's broken, and it's all over the place on my head, looking like a European basketball player but with an Al-Qaeda beard, and I realize I should probably just run in the opposite direction instead of trying to keep making the storm clouds happy, because the storm clouds come from the same place those hard-edged threatening stabbity images of beauty come from - a sad and worried place never quite comfortable with what it is and always wanting to look a little bit more like something it ain't.
That being said, I'll cut it. Light bill don't pay itself. I know. I've been waiting three months, and it ain't done it yet.
STEAL "Don't Do It"
NEXT:
A summer ass jam that I swear was on a J.J. Krupert countdown before but doesn't show up as so in my secret J.J. Krupert master database of dork sciences!

Friday Love/Hate

I hate work; it gets in the way of life. My work is not real and is full of unnecessary manmade political dramas and I sit in a room with like five computer screens pointed at me like Vietcong rifles, couple of them with 30-inch monitors, and to some who would look at this it would seem like this cozy technological nest to cherish and feel awe over, but to me it's a goddamned conspiracy, and cracking the fissures in my neural tissue. I am experimenting with personal counters to protect myself from these overcivilized devils and their machines, and it's a constant process (dare I say, war) but you have to do it, or else you are one of the brain dead zombies and end up thinking Bill Simmons is funny or that you have to see a movie right away that Friday or else it will be ruined for you. I ain't going out like that.

I love my ol' lady. It is a war against the forces that are out there, but serious wars are boring and unfun to fight, and morale gets low. It is beneficial to have a life partner in these wars who shares your strange sense of humor for the strange slant of a world that thinks itself perfectly upright. We are fine-tuned to each other like any proper partnership, and can communicate with slight non-gestures oblivious to others. Without her I would not be what I am, which I am not sure what that is but I know it's a lot fucking better than it would have been without. It goes both ways too. This ain't a Hee Haw skit, it's a partnership, in a fun-loving, good-natured war against the unloungin' anti-spiritual over-civilized forces that have proliferated our 2011 world.

r o d a f

found an untapped power zone
between home and employment -
expect weekly infusions

Wednesday, July 6

Tuesday, July 5

c u b b a

want to run from the life I
have - not because I hate it,
but because it's too much work

m e a t b

barefoot in the chicken pen -
country fucking reckless, just
don't think scientifical

Saturday, July 2