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, January 1

River Dip #1

Almost didn't because I felt lazy or fighting off cold or something or other, but did end up dip dip diving into the dirty James River this afternoon. The ol' lady laid out, fighting off the ironic anemias, but my eldest kid did the soul baptism to start a new year as well. Water was cold (naturally) but air was nice, heart muscles clenched up for a brief minute and I wasn't sure if I was bound to die a Polish immigrant death or not, but my body settled and lungs started working. It was good.
I turn 40 this year so am hoping for 40 dips in the river (at least), spaced appropriately, so as to utilize winter water to keep the Viking Blood pulling to the top. I already notice a difference in my ability to enjoy cold, which will be beneficial should I have to sleep outside in the coming years I guess (even with global warming, temp. extremes will occur).
I set some goals for the year, and since most were attached to quantities, which I am trying to replace with quality attitudes in my life, there's no need to recap those goals specifically. But in a nutshell, it is like so:
#1) distribute my paper words more AS SEEN HERE, which is a relatively new thing kickstarted by the fine people of Earth this past month. I had planned on writing like 10 of these in my week off from work, but holidaze got in the way, and honestly I've been writing more poetry than anything else the past few weeks, which is odd. Still though, this will be my first means of expression, because I am disillusioned with the power of the internet (or betrayed is probably more appropriate, lying fuckers, always trying to squeeze dollars out of a motherfucker). And related to this is...
#2) do more readings. I am hoping to start a series in the Charlottesville area in the coming month, and hopefully can line up a similar less regular thing in Richmond. Additionally, there are a number of areas people have said, "Hey, we can do that here," or "I've got a place, let's do this," but you know how people are - when you actually want to do something you find out they are all ideas without many actions. Real shit is hard to find. But I plan on riding buses regularly for weekend tours to do readings. If you know a place or set up readings, or whatever, let me know. Looking to do Friday/Saturdays within bus trip of each other, and hopefully the cheap ass budget buses go wherever the fuck you are at.
#3) slang these haiku spikes AS SEEN HERE, which the more I have them around the more amazing they are. These motherfuckers got power, ain't no doubt about it. I hope to eventually be spending all non-bus-riding weekends carving these things in the back yard and tearing up power tools. (There's photographies on that store too, so scope that shit. Taught myself how to cut mats freehand and everything. Country livin' bitch, you either learn to do it or you don't get it done.)
#4) writing more sonnets. I've laid out a number of crowns of sonnets, that I'd like to get started on because I fear like the Beerbox Haiku project from previous, this will probably be a three to five year process to do what I'm thinking of doing. That being said, I've definitely shifted into sonnet mode for whatever reason, settling with the three rhymed quatrains, then rhyming couplet to close out, all lines 12-syllables (Alexandrine) rather than standardly popular 10-syllables (aka Shakespearan style), because honestly, fuck ten syllables. Twelve has a much better rhythm to me, you can split it into sixes if you want to do internal rhymes as well like a decent battle rapper would, and even split those sixes into threes if you want to go buckwild and do internal linguistic patterns within the rhyme scheme. I don't necessarily do that, but I also don't necessarily don't. In fact, lately when I am bored, I write a "freestyle" sonnet, which means I just sit down and do that shit. I can do 'em in roughly 20 minutes. They ain't time-loved classics, but they have proper syllable/rhyme schemes, follow a story, play with words, and that's probably not normal "casual" behavior for people. Hopefully, I amass a fat stack of these things this year, somewhere in the triple digits. Knowing me, I might get close to 100, or I might write 450. Hard to fucking say.
#5) make music again. Have not made music in a long minute, mostly because I lost the partnerships to do so, one to distance and the other to severing the ties that bind. Amping myself up to post a song a day in February, when I actually do turn 40, which will cover the shit I've done in my life musically (which isn't much), but will hopefully trigger me making some new shit in the next few weeks. I dug out all the broken parts of my haphazard recording system, and everything seems to still be there, other than needing a new pair of dollar store pantyhose for the twisted coathanger spit guard I clip onto my cheap ass mic. Lo-fi til I die, y'all.

A new year really ain't nothing but flipping an old set of calendar boxes for a new set, but still, I hope it brings to you hope for new beginnings and burning out old clutter and cutting those ties that bind. We had a fire today in the yard and burned up all the Christmas greenery we had used for decorating the holidays - cedar twigs and holly and all that shit - and it flamed up white and bright and wild like evergreens do, and it felt pretty crazy. Definitely some letting go of the old bullshit involved, and moving into the new real. I've felt large strides of personal growth the past two years, as has my ol' lady, and our paths are definitely intertwined beyond just being the Bird Tribe family together. Our ultimate purposes have not fully presented themselves, but I'm willing to keep pushing at it, and excited to see it unfold.
If you are a regular follower of this site or my bullshit over the years, I hope we get to connect face-to-face this year. Let's build. And let's destroy. Unfuck the World.

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