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 2

45s on 33 – #96: “Long Train Runnin’”

I previously thought of creativity similar to marking up trains. One didn’t get paid for their creativity, and in fact it was mostly frowned upon by industrious society, as a less-than-industrious activity to waste your life with. But when left alone, unseen, where the freight trains sat still between obligations to industry, you could mark them up, either in abundance with small cryptic illustrated poetries or longer form large mural style epics. It was up to the artist. Then these arts would wander the country along our industrialized arteries, scattering your art throughout the perverted American landscape, and hopefully pollinate other people’s insides with your own madness, which remained unowned, and mostly illegal.

But having had that Heart Star float around my head, it sort of ruined this industrial fetish of mine, that I should be “producing” art, whether words or images, in fact that I “produced” anything at all. The industrialization of humanity is a relatively recent event in the grand scale of hominoids making tools upon the earth’s surface, and if I am a machine, I’m a really shitty one, prone to philosophical breakdowns daily. (Machines don’t even have philosophy, even new-fangled computerized machines programmed with artificial intelligence. Thus, I must be the worst machine.)

The Heart Star rubbed my face down in the field in the natural fact that, well, I’m more natural than machine. Manmade things find their separation in Man vs. Nature argument by being extracted, changed, and remanifest into a new tool. I have not been extracted from anything, nor have I been separated and reformed (thankfully). I suspect that perhaps these things might be tried on me, psychologically, psychically, subliminally, subconsciously, but they are not obvious things, and despite all our wonderful advances, hominoids remain some obvious motherfuckers with our heavy-handed, light-hearted “manmade” ways.

Thus, I’ve got to be nature, not machine. So if I’m scattering images or words or both or more or less or the great myriad of whatevers that constantly emit from oak nut people like myself, it’s not “producing” anything. It’s just doing. And the explanation of The Inspiration that Ellabell gave me as I gazed in on her little paradise city of inspired existence, it meant that the orders to do what I’ve thought of as producing arts were not actual orders that came from somewhere, but more likely just as natural as DNA or creeping phlox blossoms or dandelions growing, whether in roadside patch of random grass or in neglected concrete crack in the middle of hustling, bustling civilized pretend-industrialized people.

And yet, those long trains running along manmade tracks – the hours and hours and years and lives of manpower used to hammer forged spikes into steels lines on wooden ties snuggled into gravel mound beds – even though it is industrious as hell, to a perverse level, it also has some strange natural quality to it. There’s something about trains, especially when marked up with cryptic mad monkey signs and rainbow murals of human monikers, even more especially when trawling along riversides, making the arteries of continental land masses, and also philosophically and literally leading back into those vast oceans of primordial salty nature what which one has to assume all natural life sprung up out of with a lightning strike of get going at some strange point long before this era of scientific inquiry.

Oddly, this has freed me greatly when revisiting the trains lately, not feeling compelled to do the same markings I normally do, to keep my production uniform, to make it obvious all these little white Mark-all paint stick characters come from the same person, because I am not a machine, and do not need to stamp a brand on my creations. Yeah – creations, not productions; I create shit, and no longer produce any thing at all.

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