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.

Thursday, June 23

45s on 33 – #76: “I Promise To Remember”

Rey-Rey and Railroad Time stormed in at some point, well that’s what I assume happened at least, but honestly most of my attention and intention and all my mental and heart might was being applied to speed growing lifesaving rat tail from my skull. The grounding nature of my own hairs making tendril connection to dirty earth, warmed by inner lave core, allowed me to fend off incantation of snake blood, but at some point I heard Rey-Rey ask if I was alright and Railroad Time was spin kicking the top boy from these other fuckers with serious force. As the racialists ran off, the top boy dude was yelling, “FUCK YOU RAILROAD TIME! I AM THE MASTER OF ALL TIMES, AND HE WAS GONNA BE MY BOY. I PROMISE TO REMEMBER THIS, AND RECLAIM ALL MY PROPERTY!”

The cold got out my blood, and I started to feel somewhat normal again, all time tunnel supernatural racially tinged fucked-upness considered. Rey-Rey laughed and said, “Oh man, nice rat tail, bro.”

One of the pack of runaways from earlier was there too. “What’s a ‘rat tail’?” he asked.

“His hair, the one long strip down the back. They call that a ‘rat tail’.” He looked at us funny.

Railroad Time turned and said, “Don’t worry ‘bout it, Woodie. That’s some future boy shit. C’mere though. This one of them stones?” He was talking about the large table they had been holding me down on while doing their strange chanting.

Woodie (I guess that’s his name now) went over and felt the stone. “Yass. That’s one of them slate tables they had us bring down here. That’s what him does his white magic on, crazy ass devil magic.”

Look, let me just fill you in on the flesh of these details, as Railroad Time explained to my groggy question-asking self over the course of the next twenty minutes or so (regular time, not sure if it even was time down there). That crazy crew that was chanting over me were led by the slave owner of these runaway slaves, who apparently worked the slate quarries back in the day, which were located at some of the entrances to these tunnels, near Arvonia. He had them carry large smooth stones down into these tunnels for his ceremonies, as he explained it to Woodie. But being a pack of slaves had been shown the tunnels, and knew about them, they knew they could hide out there instead of being chased by dogs through the pines. (And nobody trusted the river back then, according to Woodie, because many slaves couldn’t swim, and also there were stories of crazy elf people on the river. I had to laugh at that, thinking about Chief Blackberry Blossoms.)

“So that’s how the runaways got down here, running away from slavery?”

“Yeah,” said Railroad Time, “except they got lost down here, and come out one time in one of y’all’s future worlds, which got them so worked up they just lived down here.”


Woodie spoke up, “It was either go back to that damn devil master and workin’ the stones, or go into whatever the hell confounded mess it was out the other end. We stayed, lived in the dark, eyes got used to it, like bat owls.”


Railroad Time looked to be an old-timey dude too, of African-American origin. “How’d you get down here?” I asked him.

“Well, just before we had to come find your almost possessed ass, I was gonna tell Rey-Rey that very history. Let’s us go back to the safe spaces of the tunnels, and I’ll tell you both all about how ol’ Mo Slater became Railroad Time, confounder of bull-headed masters from here to Bama.” And we started walking deeper into the expansive darkness of lost time.

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