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.

Sunday, July 31

wheel of time recycling through
infinite geneses and
apocalypses; I breathe

Saturday, July 30

Thursday, July 28

smelling of sulphur and tar,
never going too far, but
dreaming ‘bout disappearing
stacking rocks into altars
as they instruct from within
(within me, or within them?)

Wednesday, July 27

"smuggled some smokes and folks from
Mexico, baked by the sun..."
window down and riverbound

Tuesday, July 26

twine kept in milk crate mimics
universal clusterfuck
nature of human life path
work weighs heavy across each
day, even the weekends; and
yet none of this reaches sky

Monday, July 25

fascinated by ghost pipe's
abundant presence this year -
choruses calling to me
signs of imperfection ease
my heart, knowing inside ain't
no shineface life possible

Sunday, July 24

Saturday, July 23

Friday, July 22

fringes still exist, smack dab
in the heart of master planned
developments and progresses
drive 'em 'til they die - leaking
fluids, sliding on balding tires,
but still, back-and-forth to work

Thursday, July 21

"random motherfuckers think
they know Raven Mack because
of” began my scribbled thoughts
small towns too far from progress
metastasize abandoned
buildings and disabled rides

Wednesday, July 20

Tuesday, July 19

all throughout the earth, kids play -
too young to know better yet,
still full of naive starshine
flyover country cockroach,
refusing the death promised
me since simple small town birth

Sunday, July 17

Saturday, July 16

dirtgod theories amplify
out in protective rainbows,
through cryptic geometries
aim to maintain content thought
not made frantic by desire
for that which I do not need

Friday, July 15

loyal wolf-hound explores woods
with lackadaisical wag,
lagging behind mine wander

45s on 33 – #65: “I Just Want to Celebrate”

Fat, hog-jowled Chubb Rock still stood sentry at the edge of Seven Islands along the scenic, rolling, rambling James River artery of Virginia colony, and we what-upped each other like always. He was a good elf, pretty chill, which belied his role as fringe guard of the elven community, but luckily – according to Chubb – rarely did anybody venture into their territories anyways. Humans are bizarrely averse to crossing geographical barriers like a wide river, and yet we worry about arbitrary fence posts with frantic psychology.

Chief Blackberry Blossoms was in a somber mood as he greeted me. “Raven Mack, the human who lays claim to being some sort of ‘dirtgod’. I hear you have been wandering the Other Realms.”

“Yeah. Strange place.”

“You have no idea. We must go down river together, so I can show you something.”

Chief Blackberry Blossoms tended to be chill, as all elves are in my experiences. I mean, I’ve only experienced elves in my little location on this vast earth, and I guess I’ve been made aware of multiple realms just as vast within that singular vastness, so ultimately that means there may be infinite elven peoples, so it would be naïve for me to assume ALL elves are chill by nature from having met a small tribe of them. Reasoning from small part to the whole universe is one of man’s illest logics. But his somber bordering on unchill had me slightly concerned.

We took an elf canoe (these are regular human canoes that the elves steal from a place in the nearby town but then scuff the obscenely bright plastics with stones and mud into a more natural shade) and headed down river, past the freight siding I used to always scribble paint marker tags at. Chief Blackberry Blossoms wasn’t saying much. Neither was I. I’ve learned to mostly let him lead the conversation, even in normal circumstances, but especially when he was in elder motherfucker mode like now.

We went past Bremo, where they have signs saying to not eat any fish you catch or hang out in the water unprotected, due to the two power plants there, one on each side of the river. He guided the canoe to the river bank just past Bremo, near one of the power plants.
Power plants are always prison-like security zones, with high banks of earth built to hide whatever industrial tomfoolery is going on, and impenetrable fences topped with razor wire surrounding all that. I used to stop and want to take pictures, but even something as innocent as that is illegal in our post-toppled buildings terror watchlist American world. To just be standing around outside the wrong fence taking pictures is to ask to be fucked up by the system.

So as we got out the elf canoe and walked on land, I was kinda nervous about secure digital eyeballs seeing us, and coming out to enforce shit upon us. Chief Blackberry Blossoms gave no fucks though, walked through a hole in the gate that I’d never seen before, looking back to cajole me into following with elder eyeballs of authority not recognized by state but honored by me, no doubt, so I followed. We walked up the earth berm and it was a giant mucky nasty ass pond there. It stank and had all sorts of warning signs.

“This is ash pond, where they hold ash from burning coal for what you call ‘power’ or ‘energy’ but really it’s neither; it’s just electricity. Your people do this, to initiate a blazing false glory of electricity which gives you a sense of safety against the darkness. You are still afraid of the dark, even after thousands of years.”

It really stank.

“The problem with this is, in the process of doing this, toxic counter-reactions are created. That’s natural. You are not supposed to conquer the darkness, but learn to live with it. It is cyclical. It goes away. As the cycles turn, light will come back, but of course dark will too. Same with warmth, and cold. Same with black and white. Your people have trouble with this. You are stubbornly stuck to binary ways, and even when you attempt to open yourself, you only open your mind, which is an externally educated organ, trained by sensory inputs, thus a few centuries deep into binary thinking.”

“What’s the lesson for me from this?” I asked.

“There is no lesson. An open heart would help you, but you are also innately human so I don’t know how possible that is. You are likely doomed to your binary thinking, either by enforcing what you believe to be true, or realizing that the one end of the binary thinking could not possibly be true, so you violently enforce the opposite. This is the way of your people. You think the pond will de-toxify the coal ash so that you can keep hiding from the dark with justification. But it won’t. You can’t. But you probably still will.”

plastic ribbon demarcates
differences in owner,
where fences ain’t erected

Thursday, July 14

Wednesday, July 13

45s on 33 – #66: “Take Me”

On the back part of our half-feral pasture, near where I used to raise pigs, blackberry vines spread to an immensity of pokey fruit yin-yang. (I consider good solid wild blackberry vines to be nature’s razor wire, and have done plenty of self-scientific studies on how much blackberry thorn poison can be tolerated by person who is normally highly resistant to bee and poison ivy poisons. Blackberry thorns give off an entirely different type of sting, almost vibratory and painful in a way similar to high-pitched noises, but for your skin not your ears.) They are ripe about now, so I’ve been spending time each day just picking, with last year’s popcorn bucket from the movie theater looped through my belt, pick and drop into bucket, pick and drop into bucket. You learn (at least when your brain is efficiency driven) how to hold with one hand the vine by fat part and pick off handful of berries, two at a time, with second hand, thump them into bucket, and move to another part. Blackberries grown in such large clusters vary their ripening stages too, so you have all these green and just barely red ones sitting there still, waiting to soak up more sun, and be ready next week.

The blackberry cluster we have is crazy large though, and if you’re picking each day, you’ll “cherry-pick” the easy ones on the outer loop, just like the deer and maybe even stray bears do, but you’ll also see these fat clusters of nice thick dark black berries not yet marked by insect effects just teasing you from further in the vine clusters, saying “take me, take me!” I am not one to ignore the near-sexual pleadings of ripe fruiting plants, so I tend to go in further.

Inside the blackberry clusters, you’ll find open spots to stand without having thorns rip at your flesh (I never pick fruit with a shirt on, ever; trust me, the trees appreciate this, regardless of your sex; they want you to be more naked, and perhaps this was the source of the Adam and Eve and accursed apple myth), and you’ll pick away, filling your plastic bucket higher and higher, but then you have to get back out. Except there are no more blackberries on the way out, and there are plenty more further in. This leads you (if you are like me) deeper into the viney chaos with plenty thorns to poke you into thinking you should’ve thought better (like “maybe I should’ve worn a shirt” but then you know that’s bullshit thinking from your brain, not your heart).

Eventually though, you gotta stop. You’re never gonna pick all those berries, ever. And if your feral berry clusterfuck has gotten as big as the one on our pasture overlooking the rock altar and field jukebox nestled underneath the red maple tree, you’re unlikely to work your way all the way through to the other side. You won’t reach the end of it – berries or clusterfuck of thorns, so you have to work your way back out.

I was in there yesterday picking berries meditatively, and I wondered if maybe the time tunnels underneath Buckingham might not be similar to that, especially factoring in the huge variable of timelessness’s fourth dimension to the grid of it all. Maybe this was an existential crisis within the larger existential crisis of there being a multiverse level of Raven Macks scattered outside the exits of those tunnels, where I’m not sure (meaning this Raven Mack, the dirtgod one, 1000 Feathers, me writing this – I think) it’s wise to keep pushing further into all those tunnels, into all that mess. Maybe I should recognize when I’ve gotten enough of a taste and just pull back out.

Not sure though, but all these blackberries of course reminded me of the wizened old leader of the elven people who lived on the Seven Islands scattered in the middle of the James River – Chief Blackberry Blossoms. I hadn’t thought of him originally until I questioned whether I should continue these time tunnel explorations with Rey-Rey and Railroad Time and all, but like a flash, in the middle of a bunch of blackberry fruit born from blossoms, I was like, “Oh yeah, Chief Blackberry Blossoms,” and figured I should pay my man a visit on the morrow.

bright flickers of what might be
not allowed to shine always;
mute sensory siren songs

Tuesday, July 12

Monday, July 11

the elven folk celebrate
any day still alive as
holy; I am too humane

DIRTBOT 69000 BABEL CODEZ: first expedition

THIS BEGAN AS A SOMEWHAT CONDESCENDING EMAIL FROM A SNOBBISH PRO WRESTLING FAN THAT WAS SENT TO THAT ALLAH-FORSAKEN DEADSPIN SIGHT A FEW YRS AGO AND THUS MADE INTO A QUIRKY & WITTY INTERNET POSTING AT THE TIME, HELPING TO FURTHER THE CAUSE OF GENTRIFICATION OF THE INTERNET. AS I AM WONT TO DO FROM TIME TO TIME, I TOOK THE TEXT OF THE EMAIL AND SMASHED IT INTO GOOGLE TRANSLATE, FROM ENGLISH TO ARABIC, THEN FROM THAT ARABIC TO POLISH, THEN FROM THAT POLISH TO WELSH, THEN FROM THAT WELSH TO ENGLISH. HERE IS YOUR POETRY FOR TODAY: 

The story is set some time after the deposit of ECW, when a group of very talented wrestlers to perform in front of tens of thousands of independent wrestling programs in gyms High School in front of 50 people.
 I love ECW and I was a big fan of Steve Corino and his grip OID School King. Then it was on display at the local high school, my address, my brother-in-law and I decided to go. We show up, not knowing what to expect. They set up in the middle of a ring shitty plastic chairs surrounded by basketball. The ability to 2000. Probably 50 people there. Do not even need to use the stalls. And depression. The most frustrating from the crowd, comprising 50 members, maybe five to Juggalos - Crazy Clown Clown Posse devotees full of grease paint.
 Sitting in the first row and shout abuse at runtime. "It was Fiqir- GOT! (Applause, applause, applause, applause, applause)", for example. Small worms breath. I want to part of the ceiling fell on them.
 Juggalos and guided by brutal, I call the blue hair, because, well, he had blue hair silly. The four other children are obviously stupid. I mean, like, you might not be able to read stupid. Blue Hair It is clear that the most intelligent and daring than five, and therefore the leader. The biggest boy I call Slim because it is like a 6-foot, but it is grown in a man's body yet, but believes that there is a strong man. blue hair tends more than slogans and assholery year.
 Very good show indeed. Some players call it, and some wrestlers hunting hungry for a chance to sing in mind more. Finally, comes the main event. I was wondering whether it can Corino, used to show the largest, will be sent by post. Oh, no. Put on a virtuoso performance. He worked very hard. This puts everything by himself. We are really trying to get some fun. I expect him to put in the game 15 minutes superficial, but refers to the 30, and it takes several large bumps, sweating heavily. This works so severe, as if the crowd is 50,000 people. I know it sounds exaggerated, but it was kind of right and inspire art for art and performance.
 This is impressive, especially when you consider that these fuckers some crazy shit screaming in his face when he is not singing "Jug-GA-LO! Jug-GA-LO!" Yes, this is a show all about you, shitheel.
 Corino until the game ends. There is applause, even from just hate chest hair. I Corino spent, covered in sweat, and bows and leaves the ring and went to his desk GIRL selling more hockey jerseys. That's when it happens. blue hair being dropped altogether suddenly, as if going to the bathroom, or to one of the other tables Girl gladiator. But -clearly planned in advance - it turns on a dime, jumping and shouting next Corino in his ear: "Corino in a bundle of firewood!" Corino, anger, turned as if to measure. Dance blue hair, smiling. Slim, inspired by his boss and said, "Oh, Corino want to throw away?" Corino and loans, and ready to swing at it
 And then I saw that in turn activate the Steve Corino. It's tired, sweaty, irritated. He lay on the performance of his life in front of 50 people ungrateful absurd. Now some mouthbreather overgrown going to hit him? OH HELL NO. Corino grabs the child. He put his front edges. Fucking shit out starting fail it.
 Three other children, which of course he was going to attack Corino as well, suddenly have big eyes and mind. This guy is in good condition, pissed off, and even if not the rest of the crowd jumped to help, will be able to take all five of them easily.
 Wait, do not say five? blue hair smiling like the Cheshire cat and disappeared into the crowd. He had planned it all together, it seems to know his friends would take the dumbest ass kicking him. The other three, and see Bounce leader, peace quickly too. For the rest of us, we just stood there, watching Steve Corino bombing of the child until he holes. Some of us are cheering. Some of us approval. This is not exactly the one we are trying to stop him.
 The next day, I looked up Corino Internet. I wrote him an email thanking him for his outstanding performance, he said that all they really want to do what he did, and told him that if he has any legal problems as a result, I can confirm happy for him, that Juggalos shooting first, so I tell you.
 I got an email a nice back thanked me. It was signed "good luck, SC."

all this manmade shall return
to earth, but no reunion -
we ain’t even separate

Sunday, July 10

on-the-road children a wild
blur of queen bed bounces across
chaos and elvish giggles

Saturday, July 9

thankful I live where slave plants
and wage slaves both got big sky
overhead to take deep breaths
don't pretend to comprehend
the strange maths inside my head
which be/cause such behaviors

Thursday, July 7

Wednesday, July 6

Tuesday, July 5

achieving peace-meal compound
slowly over the decades,
building simple Shambhala

45s on 33 – #67: “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”

Got lost for a little while, nobody’s fault but my own. Sometimes all the daily battles become overwhelming, but you walk through the woods while it’s raining and notice the ghost pipe congresses blossoming, and you realize all those daily battles out there navigating the immense gridlock, both infrastructural as well as psychic, just isn’t all that important. Even the Other Realm gridlock of time tunnels and future versions of me trying to enslave all other versions of me seemed trifling and unnecessary. I can’t control it all, can’t even control tiny portions of it, and in fact try to remain grounded in the fact that it’s all energies and chemistries and the most I can hope for is to be at peace with all this shit, just tune my energies to flow smoothly with all else.

The complication becomes the infrastructure that civilization has put in place, meaning the physical gridlock. We, as humans, don’t really respect the larger biosphere’s equality too well, and still have a pretty strong sense of god-ordained or even god-like dominion over all else. As I was on the forest floor, contemplating the ghost pipe, this was really driven home to me.

Ghost pipe looks fungus like but is in actuality a chlorophyll-free plant, which grows in long straight stalk, white as white, with single flower on top that shows signs of pink. They grow in clusters – and I always think of them as little beacon congresses of hope. They are scientifically considered parasitic, because they feed off the mycorrhizal woodland sub-strata, and they’ve never been grown in captivity because there’s too complicated a relationship between trees and fungus and sun to replicate them.

Are they real though? Of course they are, even if they look ghostly and a strong example of Other Realm-looking shit in our real life. But scientific thinking suggests that real can be replicated in the lab, that those conditions can be recreated by man. Ghost pipe can’t be grown in cultivation though, never has and likely never will. Thus, according to scientific egotism, it doesn’t truly exist.

It seems to me easy to extend this to much of the other Other Realm things that have happened to me, that though science can’t explain the shit through re-creation, it doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t exist. But mankind, when armed with militant mind, regardless of the hollow point philosophy behind that militancy, is so quick to judge and demean and demoralize. It leaves me feeling drained, and not really wanting to fuck with it, not caring about Heart Stars or making words have rhythm or finding images that capture magic or bother with any fucking art at all. It makes me disappear into the woods, sheltered from judgmentalities and the gridlock.

Of course, even in the woods we’ve built our footpaths, and we have our maps from previous travelers and the gridlock still sneaks its nefarious little philosophical tentacles into our actions. But yesterday I was walking along through the woods, hit a crossroads of two planned paths, and a turtle was there, in a direction I wouldn’t have gone. So I figured he was pointing me that way, so I went, and then that path ended, and I should’ve kept going, into the wilderness, but I was afraid to leave the gridlock completely, wasn’t ready for that just yet, might not ever be, because heart can’t completely commandeer this spaceship body from monkey-minded egotism, so I went back. It hadn’t been but ten minutes tops, but the turtle was gone, nowhere to be found in any direction.

I walked the path back out the woods and went home, eventually, but sat at the ghost pipe for a long time. I didn’t write shit, and tried to think as little as possible, at least with my brain. I breathed in all the world’s suffering and exhaled relief. It helped, but as soon as I hit the asphalt with truck tires, the judgment started beaming in from a myriad of manufactured sources again. It felt like a losing battle when I thought about it too much.

late model pick-up truck kept
clean enough to remain proud,
not just jacked for no reason

Monday, July 4