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, June 10

45s on 33 – #88: “I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water”

Whenever I got complicated shit to complicate, I go to the river. Being a human, dark actions always are gonna end up staining your hands from time to time, so going down to the river to baptize yourself in the muddy water, get yourself cleaned for a few hours, is always going to be a worthwhile endeavor. Once a week makes sense, but we’ve regimented our lives to where the old spiritual calendars are hard to apply. (Perhaps that is the point of the gridlock.) But I try to get down there to the river, specifically the James River through central Virginia, specifically the CSX river-hugging train line between mile markers 120 to 56 roughly, but micro-focused around mile marker 70, right where the Seven Islands are situated in the James River twists a few miles past the lucky horseshoe bend of Scottsville. I hung out at and around these Seven Islands for years, scattered haiku spike magic all around them, and always thought of them as uninhabited. Eventually, after having left hundreds of haiku spikes, I found out – or it was made aware to me – that an elven people live there, and have done so, for as long as regular-sized people have been around. (That’s a self-centered fact, because I am assuming my size is regular sized. I am ashamed but am going to leave it unedited, with apologies to the elven people.)

I’ve known the elven people for four or five years, and always try to call in on their chief, Chief Blackberry Blossoms. I guess I should probably share a little background info on how the local elven tribe is structured, sociologically though.

The eldest seven males, only the eldest seven, decide who is chief amongst them. It doesn’t have to be the oldest necessarily, because sometimes the oldest elven dude is done having to make all the decisions. Except the elven chief, as decided by the oldest seven dudes, is a ceremonial leader only, as the elven people are a matriarchal culture (thankfully… this is how they have preserved their ecology and secret existence and mostly peaceful history), and the chief answers to and executes the wishes of the eldest seven females, who are the de facto leadership council of the elven tribe. Due to it being the eldest seven males and females, and due to elven people being lifelong monogamists, this means there are personal relationships between members. In fact Chief Blackberry Blossoms’ wife is one of the eldest seven females. As you can imagine, this leads to comedic situations as old elves make tribal decisions in the midst of some inter-personal relationship bickering. I’ve often wondered if that’s why they created the ceremonial chief position, so that only one male had to be at the important discussions.

Anyways, after all that had been going on, I decided to roll down to the river to immerse myself in the dirty waters and cross over to the Seven Islands to confer with the elves. I didn’t really mean to ask them specifically about any of my troubles, just kind of wanted to kick it. Elven people are by nature chill as fuck, and it’s beneficial to soak that up through the osmosis of lounge.

But I was down there, kicking it, trying to recharge to the Power of Lounge, when Chief Blackberry Blossoms came down to sit with me. “Any railroad spike haiku for us today, son?” he asked.

“Yeah, I brought three. I left them with Chubb Rock.” (Chubb Rock is one of the elves; he’s not the famous Chubb Rock of human world, but instead a pretty chill sentry elf of central Virginia river islands.) But as I looked at Chief Blackberry Blossoms, for the first time since all the nonsense in my field, I realized he had the same look in his eyes, the same eyes in that weird way hominid eyes remind you of somebody else, as Ellabell. So I asked him, “Blackberry Blossoms, I have a humble question for you… Do you know a fucked up fairy type person who floats around in glowing orbs named Ellabell?”

Chief Blackberry Blossoms grinned a huge heart-full grin, and said, “Ahh yes, sweet little but way too smart Ellabell. Has she visited you?” And honestly I felt fucked up that elven people and other versions of me and floating light orb fairies were all interconnected. It was heavily harshing my humane superiority complex buzz, to be honest.

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