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.

Monday, December 31

December V

If you think your boxcutter blade might be dull, you should change it because it is. Mind is the same: if you think things are feeling dull, sit down and read for 20 minutes - a one thing that takes 20 minutes, not a bunch of little electronic shits that isn't really reading so much as robot scanning. A dull mind does not cut through long days that easily.
[then I got bored and wrote a sonnet in 14 minutes inside the facebooks of boredom dumb shit]
waning moon hovers over the end of lost year
boring further dullness into my life's routine,
I gave up self-destructing, gave up drinking beer,
sometimes gave up dreaming in this world rinsed too clean.
my natural born grime shows through my scars, my
scuffed, marked with homemade ink stains, bright brain going dark
because all the shinefaces buzz by, born to win.
marked by birth to live lemmy lyrics on a lark;
one step astray, ten years hard work to straighten out,
running what I brung with my supersport ass soul,
but no matter the holeshots, still sit idle, shout
at random passersby, wondering how this whole
facade got built with insanity and magic;
so ends this sonnet written melodramatic.
and then I was gonna complain about how full of shit everybody is, not really just online but in the town I live in, which seems content to pretend to be this little vibrant community without actually building anything artistic or unique about itself, as well as the small city/college I live near and work around, which also seems pretty content to continue to pretend it's some sort of great savior of thinking minds when in actuality it's a country club for the liberal-minded. but you know what? fuck it. 2013 will have me thick up in it, and you motherfuckers can either get down or get ground.

Friday, December 28

December IV

We are at the end of the line for this collection of boxes called a calendar year.
This World is going up in flames, as Charles Bradley sang. Did you know you can pretend to put the World in flames by supporting my arts in the forms of words as well as objects?
I will always agree with this graffiti, so long as it is speaking of the slang pigs and not real pigs. Real pigs are chill as fuck. Perhaps this was some chill as fuck pigs writing "Fuck you pigs" as in "fuck you rest of civilization specifically human civilization, sincerely signed us pigs."

Wednesday, December 26

December III

Fuck man don't even know what I do on this site any more. I really hate the internet and mostly want to be outside, away from the bzzzbots.
Fire cleanses. One day there will be a huge fire that burns up our entire electrical gridlock. The air will have that weird plastic chemical fire smell for half a generation, but ultimately it will be worth it.
Our scraps and shards become artifacts down the road. How will digital shards and scraps exist? If I blew up this site tomorrow, what would the wayback machine salvage? What ends up being our legacy once we go offline? The fuck if I know.

Monday, December 24

December II

don't really have shit to say, but my man Ben LeRoy of Tyrus Books did tell me, "Hey I recorded this thing called '19 Cycles' you did last year," and I was like, "What the fuck is that?" so he uploaded it. It's actually pretty chill. I think I was writing some sort of epic Chinese poet reincarnated as rural stream of conscious rapper thing at one point when I was transitioning from my Ancient Hobo style into something else. But honestly I don't fucking know. It's pretty cool though, and got me hyped start doing readings on the regular in 2013.
Christmas week so I'm off all week like any good bureaucrat. This is the ghost band that marches through my brain. Been trying to write more but haven't felt good inside so mostly write by burning fires outside at night and writing haiku in offline notebooks, plus started fucking around with sonnets again. I've got this epic thing I started outlining in an Excel spreadsheet, as when I realized a 15 sonnet crown had the 15th sonnet comprised of the last line of the other 14, I figured, "Why hasn't anybody written a crown of crowns?" where there are fourteen crowns and then a final super-crown sonnet comprised from the 14 crowning sonnets. So I started outlining it. Honestly, sometimes it pisses me off how fuckers think America is great, because for the price of one fucking death missile, the government could subsidize me for like five years to work on shit like this. Our legacy will not be long for the history books or strong for the legend, that is for sure.
Still though, Christmas, time with the family, enjoying my kids and Bird Tribe compound. I found blue jay feathers in the woods today and built a couple rock statues and practiced catching chickens and wrestled with goats and wrote some haiku and made chili and chilled the fuck out. This is a good life. Be clear though, nothing enables good in your life but yourself. No government, no gun, no god, no nothing makes your life good except you. Even if there were no governments or guns or gods and we lived in chaos, good still comes from inside your goddamned brain. Remember that shit.

Monday, December 17

December I

A hermit wrote this drippy writing on a dumpster. It is drippy from the calm sadness of hermitic solitude, which is not so much sadness at being alone but sadness at what man's false claims of civilization have become.
I followed the drips which led back to this scrap tin shack near the abandoned power plant along the Rivanna River. This was the roof, or a close-up of the roof. If you look closely in the rain-slick reflection on the tin roofing, you can see the mirror image of dystopia.
The hermit, when confronted, shrunk himself tiny and crawled into my brain through my left earhole. I tried to shake him out doing that comedic Curly from The Three Stooges thing where you lean your head over and bang on the other ear, but the little hermit didn't come out. For years, he didn't come out. Then I bought this O-scale freight car at the antique store in my small town which is actually a pretty shitty antique store to be honest with you, and also while I'm being honest I'm not sure it's even an O-scale car, I just said that because I know it's not the normal tiny scale people use this time of year around their Christmas trees. But when I brought this toy freight car home, the little hermit started coming out at night and leaving graffiti on the toy freight car. I leave him different color Sharpies out at night. Sometimes he uses them, sometimes he don't.

Tuesday, December 11

new goings ons in cyberlands

Hi regular purveyor of fine literary gobbledy-gook, as well as random casual wander-thru-er. I have added a pair of links at the sidebar there that are places you can now purchase the One Thousand Feather zines as well as wacky railroad spikes & junkyard photographies. Perhaps you will consider these things as worthwhile additions to your various lifestyles. Perhaps you won't. Ultimately it is your choice. Ultimately all things are your choice, although not really when you consider the neuroscience triggers often set off by popular advertising as well as the overall numbing effect of electromagnetic pollution. But you still kind of have a little choice in things, and these items I offer upon you are all ideally suited to further help you have more choice amidst the buzzing robot world trying to destroy our dirty animal minds.
So hey, say something in the comments... It helps me waste time when I am watching the minute hands crawl around the same clockface during the daytime.

Sunday, December 9

One Thousand Feathers winding down, explaining my madness

So the ONE THOUSAND FEATHERS KICKSTARTER, which has been wildly more successful than I ever thought, is winding down today. To be clear, I'm using each $100 to support one issue of this thing, so all the extra money is just supporting more of this craziness, not just lining my coffers with gold. Anyways, I showed my junkyard photographies and railroad spike haikus this weekend at a show, and response was strong. I wrote up an explanation of my different projects to have as a one-sheet explanation for folks at that show, and it seems like a pretty good explanation of what the fuck I am doing in my various ways so I am putting it up here for you to peruse and maybe support my kickstarter today. Thanks. Let's unfuck some shit down.

Rojonekku is a style of word fighting arts taught by me, Raven McMillian (aka Raven Mack) to various demographics of the Universal Underclass as a means of empowerment. A general socio-economic condition of the Universal Underclass is local legislations usually make illegal normal underclass means of survival, thus creating outlaws through normal living. The goal of Rojonekku is to channel these natural Universal Underclass psychologies and genetics into word fighting styles that are generally overlooked by local legislative bodies, who prefer to use the Freedom Charade Technique to keep the masses placated. Thus, word fighting can be disseminated throughout, in traditional means as well as through the use of newer developing social media technologies, without literally causing imprisonment.
I was born from trash psychologies and genetics, and it has taken me hard uphill work for most of my nearly 40 years to recycle myself into a positive enough force to not self-destruct, much less help others who come from similar backgrounds gain power over their lives, even if nowhere else other than the realm of the human word clusters that live inside our heads. When the world around you is a prison, sometimes literal and sometimes metaphorical, it’s probably a good idea to unlock the inner-worlds which go as forever as outer space. Big picture of the forest, that’s the goal of Rojonekku.
Inside that forest though, each tree cannot be a grandiose utopian dream. For the Universal Underclasses, life is hard work. So the trees of Rojonekku – the lessons I use with my students, the forms of writing we share with each other, the forms of expression you see here before you – they are all  work. There is dirt and grime and struggle in all of it, because that is what we come from. And instead of feeling ashamed of this dirt and grime and struggle etched into our bloodlines and scarring our insides, we need to embrace it, get the good out of it, and discard the bad. This is what I was born into, so beyond my choice, that is what my life’s work must be.

I had for years kept this box full of scraps of magazines cut to the same size, for so long I can’t even remember why. I think it used to be to glue into a writing trigger notebook, but then it became its own thing. At some other point, while deeply immersed in the rewarding life of being an hourly housepainter, I fell in love with haiku again and decided, “I shall write a thousand.” So I did, each one on its own notecard. As they started to pile up, I wanted to highlight my favorites, but all I had laying around was the box full of magazine pictures, as well as empty 12-pack boxes from my family’s recycling bin. So in the haphazard way, I started making Beerbox Haiku Plates.
Eventually, the plates piled up themselves, so I decided to put them together as wall-hangings in groups of three plates. All told, 1000 haiku (only 900 of which were used on boxes), 225 empty 12-pack boxes (most of which, unfortunately, I probably drank on my own, which in itself is 2700 beers), 75 total wall-hangings, not to mention the thousands of magazines pilfered for images over the years. I am glad to say that at this point in my life I no longer self-medicate with factory alcohol products, but piling these haiku up in such a literal sense around me in my life was an important step in moving beyond the self-medication/destruction tornado many Universal Underclass people like myself get stuck inside of.

Haiku, being quick observational flashes, indirectly led me to starting to take pictures of random roadside detritus along my life’s meandering path. At first this was with a Polaroid, where I just took pictures of old cars. But then Polaroid stopped making Polaroid film, and this became a hot commodity amongst artsy types, thus pricing me out of that realm. It was sort of cutting it close before they stopped making it, but I enjoyed the dirty effect of Polaroids enough to justify it to myself. Once prices went black market, I couldn’t.
We had multiple family digital cameras, so I took the older one, which has always had a nice feel to it to me. It’s been dropped a number of times so has a cracked bottom where the batteries/card are held in, and has to be duct-taped together to keep the connection working. Thus it looks like a homemade bomb. I bought a new digital Polaroid camera one time, thinking it would continue the Polaroid lineage, but it failed to match the simple megapixel beauty of the older digital camera. In fact, over time I have tried two other newer, better digital cameras, one even suggested by an actual protographer friend, but none of them gave me the happiness of the old ones weird settings. These pictures started going up on my website one a day, and I would write a gambleraku poem to go with them, and then they just started being their own thing. It’s a very meditative experience for me, to just wander around the back sides of the American Façade and take pictures of beautiful blight.

Gambleraku is a three-line form of poetry with 7-syllables in each line I started writing because I was feeling confined by the 5-7-5 standard westernized haiku structure, but do not support free form poetry, as it is not workmanlike. Free form poetry is vacation from constraints, and my life is all about constraints for the most part. My constraints have constraints. But I started tinkering with the 7-7-7 structure and enjoyed the flow of it, to use with my pictures I put on online. Somewhere along the way I stopped putting them online, but then I found a roll of receipt paper for a gas pump, and thought, “Wow, it would be fun to turn this into a graffiti scroll.” So I am, little by little.

Carving haiku into railroad spikes came to me as a great modern recreation of the work of my favorite rapper – T’ang era Chinese rapper Hanshan, who was a mountain hermit and scribbled poems into cliffs and caves. Where I wander, there are no cliffs and few caves, but there are tons of railroad spikes. These spikes are wild harvested from throughout Virginia, wiped down with vinegar, and then a haiku I’ve written is painfully carved into them, using an industrial back yard method that is loud and physical and really great. These haiku are only used for the spike they are carved on, then gone, so not only are no two alike, but that haiku is unique to that spike.
Additionally, railroad spikes are considered powerful objects in southern hoodoo magic, often used to bless or protect properties. The spikes are infused with the energy of labor, and for me also the spirit of the railroad which has always plucked an outlaw nerve in American history. With this southern hoodoo magic tradition in mind, where the spikes were placed at the corners of a house or property with the pointed edge of the top pointed inwards, I carve the haiku in such that the side with the pointed top edge is blank, and can thus be pointed in the direction you need the haiku to shoot. Conceivably, these haiku spikes could be driven into the ground with the point properly directed, and the energy and spirit of the haiku would shoot in that direction. There are aspects to Wilhelm Reich’s theory on orgone energy involved here as well, and honestly I am afraid to really explain all that these haiku spikes mean for fear of weakening their magic.
I am available for railroad spikes commission work for individuals or properties on a larger scale. This can mean either special requests, or a visit to your land or home, learning its history and your history with it, getting a personal sense of the place, and composing and carving original haiku in relation to the place. These are powerful objects, either for marking a space, or for helping heal a place from past activities.

One Thousand Feathers is a pamphlet project I’ve recently started that will involve the creation and dissemination of one thousand small literature tracts over the course of the rest of my life. Having a father and a father’s father who both died in their mid-40s, mostly from being caught in that self-medication/destruction tornado that afflicts the Universal Underclass, this project is a means for me to envision and shape the second half of my life beyond the age of 40. This is a portion of my life that I honestly did not believe would exist until recently, and I am excited to see how it unfolds. You can learn more about how to make it unfold, literally inside your hands, as it progresses, online.

Further information about all of these projects, or questions, request, or commissions can be done at www.ravenmillian.com (web), ravenmack@gmail.com (email), PO Box 270 Scottsville VA 24590 (mail), @SSVa_Raven (twitter), Rojonekku (google), or along the back roads of Virginia (life). Thanks for your interest and support.

Wednesday, December 5

an interview with RVA Mag

Hey, I did done an Interview with RVA Magazine and perhaps you will find amusing things or insight into my personal nonsense or maybe you'll just find things to mock, who knows? That is the nature of the cybernet. I know this though - you won't make any hilarious animated gifs from it.

Saturday, December 1

tis the season

remember when america had gas stations that sold american gas and it cost less than a dime and plus you could buy a loaf of bread for a nickel? shit ain't been right ever since old Ma Joad died.
remember when ghost goats used to fly into the brains of our enemies and drive them to madness? ever since these fucking smart phones de-ionized the paranormal planes of earth, we can't use our ghost goats like we used to did.
these are the rock structures I build all over the rural south, a thousand a day, usually only in one state at a time. they counteract the detrimental effect of the de-ionization of our auraspheres. whenever you take a picture of them, it ends up looking blurry and rainy like this, kind of like that The Ring movie except for real and not from japan first. this shit is american. southern american. raven southern american. motherfucker.

simple things in life

expensive but busted up american girl dolls
outlaw jack of diamonds, which is a hard card to play
hiding behind the chaos pole, spying on my house
while I'm at work to see if the DHSes
come in like I suspect they do,
those motherfuckers