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.

Wednesday, September 30

Tuesday, September 29

female tree from upbringing
sorta rough loved tree named Joe,
so she got his name tattooed

Monday, September 28

immaculate gravestones one
day will be shards underneath
new ape civilizations

Sunday, September 27

cedar strap seamstress, building
an altar to energies
mostly ignored by science

Saturday, September 26

in the distance, ghosts flicker
with attachment to this world
of physical existence

Friday, September 25

Thursday, September 24

deep comprehension of skull
potential requires firsthand
study, measurement, and thought

Wednesday, September 23

flags of forgotten people,
torn and tattered refugee
paths lost to memory banks

Tuesday, September 22

bungee cord holding back screen
door shut from inside, little
grandbaby boy like “what up?”

Monday, September 21

Sunday, September 20

the bureaucracy maintains
more records than our modern
shoulders could ever handle

Saturday, September 19

Friday, September 18

Thursday, September 17

Wednesday, September 16

Tuesday, September 15

Sunday, September 13

thought and memory perched on
each of Odin's shoulders, but
without that good/bad bullshit

Saturday, September 12

Edgar Winter's Frankenstein
loops screwed and chopped, freestyling
under thunderstorm’s downpour

Thursday, September 10

Wednesday, September 9

Tuesday, September 8

birch trees used to get tattoos
back when it was all still old growth;
then mankind gentrified earth

Monday, September 7

fat fucking buddha hiding
behind planet rocks, smiling
because life is suffering

45s on 33 – #1: “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”

The sand castle was maintained for the brief period of decided upon maintenance, though I did slip away here and there for real life high tide events a few times, but was able to patch it back together and keep everything in one sand castle piece. The fleeting endless stream of net flow has become more obvious, as I’ve stopped forcing myself with social medium updates, and that is very much an echo chamber not just in what you learn or are exposed to but even in basic actual interaction. If you are not actively pursuing the social mediums, no one pursues back. I’m not sure if you are left out the algorithm due to inactivity or everyone’s memory is that quickly diminished and all we have is now, so if you are not now active you no longer exist. But it’s weird.
Too many of my real life circles are polluted by that stream as well, and there’s not a lot fueling me with that real life energy. It’s easy enough to see real life still exists and you get stuck in those moments pretty easily by accident (or accidents) but it’s hard to really decide to live accidental life. I guess you have to decide to stop deciding shit in advance.
Continuing to throw shit up on a website seems pointless to an extent, more like building and maintaining sand castles than I even realized when this 100 day project started. The internet feels like it used to be the blue highways of old, with a bunch of weird little shops and diners and libraries and shit all over, usually run by individuals with a local life but then shot out through robot wires for everyone to see. That’s been homogenized now. There are chain websites on six-lane miracle miles right off the interstates outer loop around all that weird shit. Meanwhile they are gentrifying all that weird shit at the same time, so you can have quaint little sites which are actually somehow an extension of the mainstream or funded by it or rich people or I don’t fucking know. I know I feel marginalized, which is frustrating because I grew up feeling marginalized and then was like “WOW THERE IS A WORLD TO CONNECT TO” but I guess they realized that was happening and have re-marginalized it again, so we all feel lost and disconnected and yet somehow have a compulsion to watch TV shows that have shown up in our sidebar ads or with longform thinkpieces at ballyhooed intelligentsia sites.
I do have dreams to remember – dreams of fucking that shit. I have firmly been a “fuck that shit” person from birth. You hear people pontificate self-righteously all the time about whiteness, about the culture that has colonized and demoralized the world as much as it can. For me, whiteness has always been a sterility of life, people who are boring yet judgmental yet self-important, and also oblivious to all this. They have a sense of entitlement that is the backbone to all those aforementioned traits. It is weird to see how the digital realm has become whiteness, even with those who on surface seem to portray themselves as resistance to that. Whiteness permeates this culture now, it is like GM corn and has polluted all the native crops. Everyone acts with whiteness, judging, telling others how wrong they are, making everyone feel small and marginalized. This is the algorithmic processes we are friending, we are faving, we are starring. Shit is fuckin’ wack.
I’m tired of the sand castles. It’s too much work and is gone like that.

Sunday, September 6

45s on 33 – #2: “Fly Like An Eagle”

There was an eastern snapping turtle on the side of the road that my ol’ lady saw on her way out to somewhere else today, so she called me and told me to go get it. We found one on the side of the road a few years back and buried it to save the shell and claws but forgot to mark where we buried it so I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere underneath my back art camper, probably infusing it with snapping turtle energy.
When I got to this one, it started moving when I grabbed its tail, which freaked me out because it should’ve been dead, so I returned Fast & Furious to the Redbox at the Dollar General in Fork Union, except the Redbox wasn’t working so I didn’t actually return and now I’m gonna have to pay another dollar-and-a-half for ironic viewing enjoyment of a ridiculous movie with horrible writing but lots of dumb car shit involving souped-up Honda Civics (which should be funny to you but maybe isn’t). When I came back it wasn’t moving anymore so I brought it home, took it back to my farm use truck bed and cut off the feet for the claws, put them in a yogurt container with water (because the internet suggested this), and then was gonna try to remove as much of the turtle as I could before leaving the shell somewhere to finish cleaning itself with nature’s maggotry, but that shit was not really jibing with my desires. I got sidetracked on vibing on the scaly snapping turtle, and wondering how old it was. It had some serious elder energies going on, and I felt bad for just a touch that I had hacked off its feet with a buck knife, but then also it is raw universal energy rejoining the universe hopefully, and it would probably appreciate some people enjoying its claws more than just rotting in the ditch. Then again I don’t know, maybe a dying snapping turtle would think, “Man, fuck humans,” and not want anything to do with us even in death, and also maybe it would think “Turtle, fuck humans,” instead of “man” but I don’t know to be honest.
Even when I cut off its feet it started moving a little and apparently the nerves continue to make movement hours after death. (The internet told me this too. It’s weird how I know I can’t trust the internet but yet it will tell me some shit like this and I’m naïve enough to be like, “Oh okay internet,” and believe that lying ass bitch.)
I rigged up the carcass in a way that I think will allow the small wormy creatures of earth to decompose the roadside snapping turtle while not allowing larger woodlands animals to jack that carcass. Strangely enough, the meat on the snapping turtle looked good as fuck, and I can see why somebody thought at some point, “Hey, we should eat this thing,” because it’s big and full of good looking meat. But I didn’t have it in me; I was too vibed on the old eastern snapping turtle life energies being expelled to think about chopping it up into flesh chunks to soak in salt water then bread and fry.
sky-born electricity
temporarily blackouts
manmade fossilized fuel fire

45s on 33 – #3: “Sunrise”

I am nearing the end of a ridiculously large project to write nearly 1200 sonnets in freestyle mode while they also wove heroic crowns as well. I’m kinda sad I’m almost to the end, though probably won’t fuck with doing that sort of writing so much afterwards. I have contemplated a super heroic crown where there are fourteen heroic crowns which also compose a super heroic crown for the end of the book. I’ve outlined a couple different things roughly, because something that nonsensical and extremely formed in this age of masturbatory free verse brains should have some moralistic story. I always end up going back to birds as the characters though, probably because of my great regard for Conference of the Birds by Attar of Nishapur. That guy is the shit, tapped in on crazy level. It is strange, because I self-publish these assorted things, and to a large extent nobody gives a fuck, though I do have small pockets of solid supporters (which I appreciate greatly of course), but for the most part I am what you would call “obscure”. But I know I’m tapped into some shit most people aren’t tapped into, not like in some weird egotistic way but just through the sheer heavy volume of practice I put into it. Writing nearly 1200 sonnets means you’re gonna write some crazy fucking wild style sonnets that might could be remembered for some decades if you somehow escape obscurity. Not sure I’ll escape it, but it’s nice to know I’m putting in the work.
That being said, I get bored by the allegedly creative works I see around, and honestly get resentful when I see some of the shit that gets heavy dollar support. I know it’s a game, and you have to play it a certain way to achieve that, and I’m not good at playing games as I’m usually pretty fucking consumed by the projects themselves, generally more than one at a time. So I don’t really think about what I do in comparison to others that are doing it now (generally, but not always). So I think the super heroic thing would be pretty difficult puzzle of poetry to solve, and I think of Attar’s Conference of the Birds as an inspiration. I don’t think I’ll ever be tapped in like he was (which makes sense, you’re talking one of the all-time most tapped in motherfuckin’ poet-philosophers there was), but there’s nothing wrong with setting some shit like that as a goal. For me, that’s a lot more motivational than trying to get online journals or random ass poetry mags publish vanity poems if I know the right editor. I don’t know, this world is a strange one, spinning on some external validation shit all the time. It affects me too. Gotta keep focused on those internal quests though, strive for master peace.

Saturday, September 5

45s on 33 – #4: “Yeah Yeah Yeah”

Had to fire up my old raggedy Nissan Frontier Farm Use truck today, to haul off a couple months worth of trash to the landfill. This is a vehicle that had the front driver’s side wheel fly off last year while I was on the interstate, which oddly enough was not as bad as it sounded because most of my adult life I’ve envisioned what I would do should a wheel fly off a vehicle. My subconscious seems to be in survival mode most of the time for whatever reason (probably survival).
Firing up the old truck (which is only a 2001, but man it’s taken some abuse) entails finding a vehicle to jump it. Currently that is a Volvo sedan with its battery in the trunk underneath self-published books and giant posterboard freestyle sonnets. Our family minivan (rapidly getting ragged as well) has a weird battery set-up that doesn’t allow for good negative terminal connection to enable a solid boost. Once I get it fired up, I have to wait for all the mice to jump out of the engine hideaways and glove compartment where they’ve built little mouse lives while it just sat at the back of the yard for months, and then I’ve got to fill it with whatever gas is left in the lawn mower gas can (or siphon from the lawn mower in case of emptiness inside like me), put enough in it to go about 15 miles, or else I’m gonna have to stop at the country store and leave it idling (because once it jumps that’s it, you leave it running or game over unless you want to jump it again) while I go in to pay for like $15 of gas. It’s a gamble putting gas in it too because I always assume it might catch on fire of have the wheels pop off again and make itself irrelevant, thus wasting the gas. This vehicle is beyond ever getting “fixed” again. But it did the dump run nicely, and it was fun to gun it a couple times because who the fuck cares, although I did find one of my bags of trash on the side of the road on the way back. (Yes, I picked it back up, though I left the empty Natural Light tallboy can that was beside it sitting there because duh, I don’t drink.)
On the way back, there was this old dude with like a ’47 Chevrolet out by his garage, hood popped, fucking with it. Made me think of my shitty Nissan, because honestly, though it already has 262K miles, I had kinda hoped to get to 300K with it, and I’m not driving it that much, so there’s no reason for anything mechanically to fail on it so long as I keep firing it up now and then and running it to the dump. It would be nice to see this truck make it another 20 years, just for the fuck of it.
I didn’t bother finding the cord to plug in my ipod for the dump run, but some shitty radio station that it scanned to was having an ‘80s weekend, and after tossing my trash with the chill ass guys that work at the landfill – the younger chill ass dude at the crusher of trash, and then the old lounger who sits inside the barely air conditioned trailer that is literally coming apart at the seams and operates the scale and takes your $8 (I am always at the minimum unless we are cleaning scrap up, but now I have a scrap metal pile so that doesn’t really count any more either), as I was driving out, the stupid radio station with their stupid ‘80s theme weekend played stupid “Funky Cold Medina” by Tone Loc and man, that shit was about fucking perfect.
portrait of the artist as
a frustrated dimwit lost
in success’s labyrinth

45s on 33 – #5: “Troglodyte (Cave Man)”

I recently did a lot of reading on the hominid species that existed before homo sapiens because if you don’t learn your history you’ll be doomed to repeat it. When you think about the hundreds of thousands of years and evolutionary possibilities both past and future, it makes shit like global warming not that scary. I mean, things will still exist of some sort, just not me (but I’m going to die anyways). Of course, I was just standing in the kitchen in the dark of the middle of the night eating butterscotch cookies, only barely lit by the dull green digital time showing on the stove (which some people call range). The stove time is always five minutes behind for some reason, and I’m not sure where that five minutes went, but again, when I think about future hominids twenty thousand years from now walking on an earth where even all the plastic has decomposed, that five minutes doesn’t seem so important.
Human consciousness has created god and tall buildings and split atoms but also seems to think a little too highly of itself. I think even saying we are destroying the earth is somewhat egotistic. Even bemoaning other species dying off at a rapid rate does as well, because you know most other species are probably like “yo, humans are fucked, stay away.” Unfortunate for most plants they can only grow away, which is far slower than our predatory gait. But most other animals know what’s up, pretty much all of them except dogs and cats, and dogs we’ve broke them psychologically from raw wolf nature to where they are way into us. Cats, I’m not sure there, what with all the weird Egyptian hieroglyph alien suggestions, cats may actually be performing a long con on the earth using us as their tools. The cat feces-induced schizophrenia/dementia thing might just be their shutdown mode at the end, and then they’ll live for centuries just picking off birds in the square and rectangular concrete ruins of what was once human civilization.
The cool thing is there will always be some raggedy ass humans still around, even ten thousand years from now once the earth has become a blistering heat zone, and some new hominid starting to build a new hominidic civilization, and there’s gonna be some dumbass homo sapiens staggering along the fringes, and the new hominids will be like, “lolol, what a homo sapien… look at that stupid fucker.” I hope to be that stupid fucker (through my offspring, obviously, but I’ll try to be that myself should things evolve faster than expected).

Friday, September 4

45s on 33 – #6: “Babies Having Babies”

There’s this big ass toad that lives under our porch, and he’ll hang out on the steps in twilight, and twice now I’ve almost crushed him walking up the steps. Both times I pull my weight and nearly fall over, then finish carrying whatever the fuck I’m carrying inside, to go back out to check on the toad I think I squished. The first time I got down on the ground and watched the little dude, so got a good long look at him and know what he appears like. I poked and petted him and he didn’t jump, so I picked him up, which caused him to piss on me (I guess it’s piss, or maybe some sort of toad protective fluid… I don’t know), which freaked me out and I dropped him, so he sat there, then finally jumped away.
So when this happened the second time, and I squished him harder, but not fully, and I went back out to scope it out, I knew it was the same guy. He didn’t jump away this time either, so I was certain he was internally fucked, but when I picked him up he pissed on me again and I dropped him and he tried to jump away. At that point I figured this must be some sort of thing with him, like he is having fun pissing on me after I think I killed him, or maybe he’s sitting on the steps because he knows I won’t try to step on him and he’s trying to kill me. I honestly don’t know. Toads are really smart. But I caught him and carried him over to the edge of the field and put him down there, hoping he’d move along and not live under our porch and try to piss on and/or kill me.
The next day, my ol’ lady told me she stepped on a toad on the porch, like hard, and asked me to clean it up. I went out there and there was no toad. Not a sign. I asked her, “Are you sure you killed it?” And she said she stepped full weight down on it and there’s no way it didn’t die. But there was no toad. I can only assume this is the same toad.
My concern now is what the fuck is the end game here. What is this toad’s ultimate goal in living under our porch and trying to get under our feet. And have we actually “killed” it multiple times? Like this might be some sort of supernatural toad that can’t die. I find it unsettling. The worst part is my youngest child is deathly afraid of toads, and while I used to always try to convince her there was nothing to be afraid of and I’d hold toads up for her to see how harmless they were, maybe she is tapped into some supernatural knowledge herself and has been trying to warn me. So I’m really confused as to what to do now, but luckily we haven’t seen the toad in a few days.
meandering gamble called
life path never doubles back
unless you made a mistake

45s on 33 – #7: “Higher Ground”

I keep an old copy of Aristotle’s Metaphysics in my bathroom, not even sure where I got it used but the thing is massively underlined. I guess whoever had the book lacked highlighters or something because all these key points are underlined in black ink, but on some pages it is literally about two-thirds of the page they underlined.
On top of this, being the book is in the bathroom of my house – an old farmhouse perhaps not functioning in the ways most Americans expect modern houses to work, there have been water stains and mildew growing here or there. Honestly, I don’t know if that was there already or joined up after it got here, but it certainly fits the possibility of post-Raven existence to become mildewed after being left in the bottom end of a sideways peach crate in his bathroom, so I’m going to give the used book the benefit of the doubt and say it’s my fault the mildew water stains are in there. But the purple-ish stains combined with the massively underlining make for beautiful pages, not so much in their original printed format but in the layers of existence that this particular copy of this book has gone through.
The confusing thing to me though is the book is so heavily underlined, but stop about midway through Book Iota (which is about halfway through the entire book). Why did somebody underline almost everything, as if this was their bible, then stop? Is the underlining person dead? Was this for a class and they just stopped giving a fuck? What happened? This really bothers me sometimes, because the first half of this copy is so heavily underlined but the second half is like a normal used book somebody would sell you, unmarked.
I generally just flip it open somewhere and read. You really can’t pick the wrong page of Aristotle’s Metaphysics. It’s an amazing book, and though complex as fuck, also really simple, sort of like how Buddhist parables are actually. Ideally, I’d like my own copy of Ibn Sina’s Metaphysics (which built off Aristotle) to have in the bathroom too, but my copy of that is checked out from a library and I ain’t trying to fuck that one up in normal Raven possessive fashion, so I keep it on my desk. Both Metaphysics are absolutely amazing works though, and I will probably study both of them for the remainder of my life.
I don’t understand the consumption of books, the ticking them off like a list, as if you have to do all these different books to show how much you have consumed of literature. I could honestly read the same ten books over and over and over for the rest of my life. Granted, it took a lot of reading to get the list down to those ten, and if you had asked me five years ago, Ibn Sina probably wouldn’t have been on the list, so there’s a positive to expanding your knowledge base, for sure. But also, books like the Metaphysics you could read once a year for the rest of your life and never get the same reading twice. That’s actually the reason Ibn Sina wrote a Metaphysics of his own, because he studied Aristotle for years and never really felt like he had a deep understanding of it, so wrote his own as a means of obtaining a better understanding. If we have visionary philosopher writers like that nowadays, they certainly don’t cross the book consumption radar too often. If you know of any, I’d love to hear who they are though.

Thursday, September 3

hauling the heavyweight freight
of human existence while
fighting for fresh oxygen

Wednesday, September 2

Tuesday, September 1

45s on 33 – #8: “Ghost Walk”

Ancestral ghosts tended to use to walk with me, some I had known in this realm, others I only knew through oral histories shared between human bridges. At times this would feel weird, having these ancestral voices whispering at me, but there was also a certain confidence that I was not alone even when alone, but I haven’t heard them as much lately and that seems even more unsettling to be honest. From the ones I’ve known, all of whom left in traumatic circumstances to one extent or another, I’ve guessed that if most spirituality theories are assuming some sort of re-immersion into the overall way of the universe, sort of re-unifying with everything (which could be scientific as well, if you think of it in simple organic chemistry terms), then these spirits might be ones that were still too attached to this physical existence, thus couldn’t achieve complete re-unification. (Of course this is all ridiculous speculation, but fuck man, most of human philosophical thought is built off ridiculous speculation.) Those ancestral voices that speak to you (meaning me, as all I know is my own experience) might be attached to you because of blood (genetics) or just shared experiences. Of course, folks have also felt presence of ghosts that have no genetic attachment to them, and those are usually geographically tied to wherever you are.
My ol’ lady recently visited a place that has some high level scientific satellite shit going on, and there was a certain older intelligence agency vibe to the place. There also were a lot of spirits floating around there, so much so it tinged the ol’ lady as well as me. So there can be dark voices floating around too, and if you don’t think government has thrown resources after trying to tap into shit like that, you’d be naïve. Research remote viewing. And when it comes to “government intelligence” always remember anything you are learning about is at least a decade old most likely, and probably outdated info. They’re not releasing the hard shit to the public.
I say this because when it comes to ancestral voices, I can’t get caught up in that “dark forces vs. light forces” geopolitical bullshit. I honestly don’t give a fuck at this point. We have these arbitrary borders applied to us, and somehow it’s supposed to make us exceptional from all others in some way. It doesn’t; it’s pure chance. You get deep enough into the blood lines and we all came from the same limited stock. But I do worry about why these voices aren’t as heard by me lately, and how that adds to this feeling of psychic solitude.
Most of what is considered African folk religion, in fact most folk religions regardless of continent (even Europe) had this aspect of receiving communication from ancestral sources as part of existence, with certain acknowledgements (offerings) made up now and then to keep them talking. I’m guessing maybe I need something like that, but we’ve moved so far into a technological fog which has been empowered by alleged scientific spirituality, that I’m not even sure what to do. So mostly I go for walks in the woods, and wait for something to come to me.
homemade Tesla coils using
dollar store solar lights plus
absconded copper wiring