RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Wednesday, August 31




#1: don't ever feel quite/clean not like it seems all the/shinefaces feel clean
#2: burning bridges by/habit in big binge of self/(loathing) destruction
#3: know I need to heal/but only ever asked to/heel (which I refuse)
#4: wish I could say hope/felt real but overwhelmed by/lost in emptiness
#5: no self-importance/- millions (maybe billions) feel/this real emptiness
#6: "it could be worse" you're/told meant to minimize pain/of your perceived real
#7: don't ever feel quite/clean six years sober but still/deeply scuffed with dirt
#8: face reality/or run - burn another bridge/enjoy the brief light
#9: real always catches/up when you're not distracted/enough - there it is
#10: those moments stay hard/I often wish for shineface/safety nets... comfort




#1: dIgItAl dEAf dVmb/& blInd; dIgItAl dEAf dVmb/& blInd; clIck rEfrEsh
#2: lIfEhAckIng clImAx/AlgOrIthmIc mIcrOchIp/jIhAdI hIjAck
#3: Is zErO AllOwEd/tO sElf-IdEntIfy As/OnE, & vIcE vErsA?
#4: InnEr-crItIcAl/jEzEbEl ExIstEntIAl/crIsIs prIvIlEgE
#5: dEvIl trIck-knOwlEdgE/smArtphOnE trAckIng dEvIcEs/"all your base belong..."
#6: EvEn (((kEEblEr ElvEs)))/hAvE IntErwEb prOtOcOl/sOcIAl mEdIVms
#7: If OnE cAn't trVst ElvEs/In thIs All tOO I{n} R{eal} L{ife}/wOrld, whO cAn OnE trVst?
#8: An ApplE A dAy/InstItVtEd scI-fI flIck/As rEAlIty
#9: "I always feel like..."/plAnEt rOckwEll prOphEcIEs/sVm bOdIEs wAtchIng
#10: 85%/VsEs IntErnEt dAIly/10% lOllIng
riding the bus in silence,
'til mentally unfit man

Tuesday, August 30

Monday, August 29

satellite no longer works
but fennel grows wherever
I forget to machete
rainbow patinas scattered
then left to decline in true
detritus dirtlord fashion

Sunday, August 28

viking spirit warrior parts
unknown shadow navigate
with activated essence

Saturday, August 27

Friday, August 26

fetal position syndrome -
too much negativity
through electronic impulse
celebrate like holiday
but ain't shit except Friday
with that direct deposit

Thursday, August 25

juxtaposition of grid
designed by madmen and shed
supernatural petals
stacked rock altar salt water
sensory cleanse elements
recalibrating essence

Wednesday, August 24

Tuesday, August 23

the irony of *giving*
land back to indigenous
peoples is no one *owns* land


I only buy used books because new books too damn
expensive for man of limited finances
like myself, as real life creates relentless slam
against me (like most people), so J.D. Vance's

Hillbilly Elegy's too new to trickle down
to my secondhand bookshelf, but I seen that dude's
shineface on TV, perfectly suited: "small town
white working class" blah blah bullshit boss attitudes

about bootstraps and Trump votes, but nothing about
broken people given a fuckin' chance to heal;
just "jobs" more shitty ass jobs lacking any clout
or hope... Hope's lost completely in many folk's real

world day-to-day - broken beyond social repair,
but y'all bighead shinefaces never seem to care.
housing projects *master* planned
into new developments,
where poor people disappear

Monday, August 22

CAR REPAIR!” gasped the shineface
monkeyhead offspring cultures
ability to spring from
burning bridges with bright smile

Sunday, August 21

two roosters named McNulty
and Bunk, fighting over trapped
hens who lay eggs each damn day

Saturday, August 20

chasing pure bodhisattva
essence requires empathy
in even the worst moments
golden masked foolish dirtgod
built median strip pallet
home with blue tarpaulin walls

Friday, August 19

woken moments of brain thought
eventually just blur
together into dull fog
step one: find old rusty spring
by railroad tracks; step two: stack
rocks on that motherfucker

Thursday, August 18

Wednesday, August 17

in warm weather full moons, the
chivos frolic all night long,
confused by lunar sunshine

Tuesday, August 16


#1: r34l1st1c d1rtg0dz/3y3b4ll blV3 skY d3st1n13z/w1th 4ppr3h3ns10n
#2: pr0m1s3 n0t pr3s3nt/n0w 1s 4lw4yz th3 r34l3st/r34l1tY kn0wn
#3: d1rtg0d 0r4cl3/bV1lt fr0m s1xtY-n1n3 ch3v3ll3/sVp3rsp0rt c4rc4ss
#4: r4w 34rth pr0ph3c13z/l4ck p0s1t1v3 m4rk3t1ng/4ngl3z f0r h00k tr1ckz
#5: gr34t3st tr1ck d3v1lz/pl4y3d w4s m4nVf4ctVr1ng/m3r1t0cr4cY
#6: 4m3r1c4n dr34mz/drVmb34t 0n r1t4l1n br41nz/w1th 4lg0r-rhYthmz
#7: 1n r34l l1f3 d1rtg0dz/3y3b4ll s3lf-l0rdz & m4st3r/n4v1g4t1ng p4st
#8: s4m3 Vn1v3rs4l/skY ch4rt n0w 4s f0r3v3r/41n't n0th1ng mVch ch4ng3d
#9: s4m3 s1mpl3 pr3m1s3/t0 p34c3 m34l 3x1st3nc3z/n0w 4s w4s 3v3r
#10: "p34c3 b3 Vp0n y0V!"/s0l4r h34rt s4lVt4t10nz/- 4ll4hV 4kb4r
cultivating chaotic
mosaic of I-self arts -
dirtgod shineface resistance
contemplating Heart Sutra
but also thinking about
Li Po and Tu Fu’s letters

Monday, August 15

industrial detritus
scattered through rural canvas
by dirtgod heart's wired brush stroke
I don't make the rules, nor grids,
nor corrupt hierarchies of
power; I just shadow dwell

Sunday, August 14

teaching the chilluns how to
deface, although "reface" might
be more appropriate term

Saturday, August 13

mostly post-people toxic
earth re-alkalizing like
reverse balkanization
when regular one-on-ones
grow into full-blown full court
public five-on-fives (with “next”s)

Friday, August 12

dollar store pink fingernail
polish, wore out child stretching
dirt toes during concrete rest

45s on 33 – #61: “On The Floor”

After the demise of Chubb Rock and disappearance of the James River elves, my desire to conquer the space-time conundrum I’d found myself immersed in somewhat accidentally kicked into overdrive. So I called Rey-Rey.

“Man, where you been? I’m 69 steps ahead of you.” Rey-Rey told me to meet him at a mutually known spot in the tunnels. He had apparently rented a trailer in the early 1980s (“can’t beat the price!”) outside one of the exits within walking distance through the woods. We went there – a vintage wonderland scenario with a couple dozen junk cars in the woods behind the trailer, which sat by itself at the end of a long rutted driveway, like a pre-fabricated institutional mint blue abrasion against the otherwise entirely natural scene. The footpath from time tunnels to trailer front door was about half a mile through the woods, so Rey-Rey kept the gate at bottom chained shut. The official lord of this land was absentee, reachable only by phone, so they never questioned why Rey-Rey came and went without ever unchaining the gate at the end of the raggedy rugged driveway in much need of fresh ton of gravel.

Rey-Rey didn’t have a key, but he kept a butter knife under a cinderblock by the steps (also cinderblocks) which he used to jiggle the lock free. Inside the trailer was zero furniture, excepting a couple car bench seats which looked like Rey-Rey probably got them from the junk cars in the woods. All these notecards had been laid out and tacked to the floor.

“These are all the exits I’ve mapped out, what I know about them, what we’ve seen. I’ve talked to Railroad Time about a few things but he don’t seem to like too many questions and shit.” Each card had scribbled notes in obsessive Sharpie squiggles, urgent yet self-medicated looking, kind of like how east coast graffiti starts to look once you get below the Mason-Dixon line. There were hundreds and hundreds of index cards scattered across the stained sandpaper carpet, indexing the time tunnels multiple worlds as best as a single man’s experience and weed-hazed memories could lay out. It was also – bizarrely – a living testament to the obsessive behavior I was capable of. Rey-Rey was, after all, a version of me, one without a wife and kids, unchecked by responsibility to anyone but himself. It disturbed me a little, probably because it forced me to imagine my life without my family’s anchoring influence. A dilapidated trailer rusting back into the earth beside a forgotten auto junkyard certainly seemed kitschy and appealing in notion, but to see it in reality, with obsessive compulsive scattering of notecards tacked into manufactured floor with semi-permanent hopes – it made me thankful I was not this version of me.

The realities of multiple versions of yourself is kinda fucked up actually, and Rey-Rey was explaining the basic layout of what he’d laid out, but I was lost in the existential crisis of hating a version of myself that wasn’t really me. Rey-Rey was excited to have his life, and to have this early ‘80s escape from that life as well, and he smelled like dirtweed, and his hair was greasy about three days beyond having needed a shower. It honestly fucking disgusted me. Why was I here? Why was he here? Why were we together, when we were the same fucking person, branched off in different realities? And god, he was so fucking annoying, with his stoner laugh.

“So over here, this is where that future dude lives who is trying to control all our shit. But I been watching him, and he’s also got spots at these other two exits he stays at.”

I zoned back into Rey-Rey’s actual words, the results of persistent reconnaissance. Rey-Rey sucked, but he was the only other me I had as an ally against that worst of all versions of me that caused this whole convoluted mess. I think.

supreme universal math
common denominators
remain most highest not low

Thursday, August 11

45s on 33 – #62: “Back To The Island”

I decided to go back to the Seven Islands of the elven peoples, hiding in plain sight along the James River in my home state of Virginia, but it was strangely quiet when I got there, and inflatable boat floated across. They keep it nomadic enough, to hide their existence from humanoids when necessary for peaceable survival, but I knew that, and they knew me. Generally, you’d run into one of their sentries at the edges before getting far onto the island, but not this time. There was no sign of them, not even up in the trees which you could usually still see elven trinkets made of driftwood if you knew what you were looking for. Nothing.

I poked around all the islands looking for them. It should be noted to you the reader that when I say “island” these are tiny places. You can cover the entirety of all Seven Islands in an hour. We’re not talking huge Pacific rim volcanic archipelagos or anything. It’s just land that chopped and screwed itself into the middle of the river instead of on either bank. But on the fifth island, one of the smaller ones, I found somebody finally – Chubb Rock (one of the main sentries… I’ve mentioned him before earlier in this thing). Chubb Rock’s beard was fucked up though, his beard heavily soaked in elven blood, and he was mumbling. I leaned down, talking to him, tried to lift him up like dramatic movie scene, but he just moaned in horrible pain an ungodly elven moan of impending death, so I didn’t try. In the attempt though, I could see the throat camouflaged by beard had been slit, not cleanly but in a rough and rusty serrated fashion, which is probably why he was not already dead, as the blood was a slow leak, not gusher.

“You are here finally. They left me for you to find.” His voice was gargled and meek, lacking all the jovial nature Chubb usually possessed. “I am supposed to tell you… nothing.”

“What? Who left you? You’re supposed to tell me nothing? That doesn’t even make sense.”

“Yeah. Nothing. These worlds don’t always make sense, do they?” And his eyes had a flicker of laughter to them before the moaning took back over, before a chuckle could make his voicebox.

“Who’s they? Where did everybody else go?”

“Nothing. I am telling you nothing. That is my dying duty.” He coughed up thick chunks of partially coagulated blood. “That is what you know. But it is suspected you think you know more than nothing. You don’t. So I am to tell you nothing, so that you can know nothing.”

The elven people loved riddles, especially with humans, because we think of ourselves as so logical and efficient, in a way that goes beyond actual nature of all things. I can’t say if the elven tribe was more in-tune with nature or not, but they certainly lived without forcing a dominion on all the surrounding real world. So having an elf riddle me some nonsense gibberish was not surprising in itself. But for Chubb Rock to be dying, beside me, no sign of any other of the elves, that was weird. It was all very confusing for the logic – albeit an alternative and non-traditional logic – that ruled my thinking somewhat oppressively.

“What the fuck do you mean, Chubb Rock!” I yelled dramatically, as if in a theatrical facsimile. But there was no answer other than finally a little bit of laugh coming out with the clotted chunks of bloody mucus from Chubb Rock’s mouth. He gave a little elven laugh, and then that fucker was dead. And I have no idea why.

halal wild style futurist
converted airstream food truck
powered by rose quartz crystals

45s on 33 – #63: “Linda Mujer”

It was always fun gawking at gone people on these Greyhound bus rides through the 1970s. One time passing through Lynchburg though, it got familiar in multiple directions. It must’ve been school shopping time back then or something, because I caught a glimpse of what I’m pretty sure was my mom and me in this shitty old brown Honda Civic hatchback we had back in the day. It certainly looked like a little blonde ass kid like me sitting there, and my mom’s face focused forward at the stoplight. She looked stressed but not mad, and I was looking out the window, passenger side, just like the other more current me (well, not current in that scene I guess) was on the bus passing the dirt brown Civic. It seemed like it could’ve been us, but I wasn’t entirely sure, because I don’t remember going to Lynchburg to go school shopping specifically that time. I know we did sometimes, trips to the nearest city (not even a city by most city folks standards) where they had a giant mall – an hour from my actual home, but hopefully cheaper clothes by having so many clothes option packed tightly together in a thicker concrete cluster of American civilization.

As a kid, school shopping was like a fake Christmas, because you’d hope you’d get all these wonderful things, but mostly what you got was practical shit. Once I got old enough to have peers and pressure, brand consciousness became a thing, which in a poor rural school was less complicated because there were no higher class systems involved (all those kids went to the private school in our area) but kids were jocking Nikes once they became prominent. All I ever wore was bobos though, the cheaper more generic department store knock-offs of the famous shit. No “My Adidas” for me, instead “My Kangaroos”, with fat laces that didn’t even color coordinate completely because fat lace selection was thin. But whatever, I was clothed, without holes, and knew to change into young dirtgod play clothes right after getting home from school, to maintain the integrity of my good shit.

My mom got pregnant with me at 16, and married to my dad – also 16 – before I was born. In the wedding picture, she is visibly ripe with me growing inside her belly. Both turned 17 before I was born, and my dad didn’t really get too much further than 17 in terms of maturing, but my mom held it together. She did well enough that I did well enough – here I am now, a grown ass man with my own kids, college degree (first in my family), with kids expected to go to college. (Not that I associate college with progress, but it allows access to shit my line didn’t have access to in that 1970s real world. So even if my kids fuck up, they have a wider range of opportunity to achieve or fuck up. I guess that feels important – to not limit your offspring.)

A lot of shit was missing from childhood that you’d want in an ideal world (which mostly doesn’t exist), namely emotional stability. Young parents do young things, and party was a well-used verb in the biosphere I was cultured from. But somehow, I got to where I am. Knowing all the various possibilities that exist, not only in terms of my one narrowly defined real world existence, as well as all the infinite chances of multiverse chaos, I realize how blessed I am. It wasn’t perfect, but it could’ve been a lot worse. It still isn’t perfect, but it still could be a lot worse. And as that shitty old dirtgod brown Honda Civic hatchback turned right at the light and I caught a quick glimpse of the blonde face looking out the passenger side window (definitely me), it struck me (now me, the one who went back to ride the old bus) how that’s what’s important, how that’s the bettering of the world I do. I don’t make the whole universe better necessarily, at least not in any discernible way, but in that little one drop of universal essence that this real life is, I make that one drop more pure, more clear, less toxic. That’s all I can fucking do. It’s not easy (never is), but I fucking do it, and I can be okay with that. You’d hope everybody would do that, each variation of each one of us, but that’s the work that needs to be done, to let existence continue. I can’t take pride in it, because it’s work that needs to be done, but I’ve got to feel pretty damn okay that at least I’m doing it, no matter how hard.

what makes America great
exceptional progressive
weaponry electric drone

Wednesday, August 10

45s on 33 – #64: “Sugar On Sunday”

After Chief Blackberry Blossoms walking lesson, I kinda disappeared for a minute. (Minute is slang for period, because actually I was gone a few weeks, decades even when factoring in what I was doing.) I wouldn’t say I was depressed necessarily, but the realities of my real world (the one I know) as well as the whole universe (all real worlds combined) left me feeling heavily introspective, lost in thought deep inside the rib cage, far removed from the brain. At one point during Rey-Rey and me exploring the time tunnels, we found an exit that was in the late ‘70s, so I took during this period to weekend round trip bus rides through the 1970s rural south. At first this was mostly contained to Virginia – back and forth to Roanoke or Richmond or Norfolk, but it expanded to all the other cities I remember from Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling as a kid: Greensboro, Asheville, Charleston West Virginia, Charleston South Carolina, and then went beyond that down to Atlanta, Birmingham, Biloxi, New Orleans. I didn’t do shit but ride the bus and talk to people. A lot of the areas were mostly shutdown on Sundays, so it was slow, and stops would be next to closed stores, but you could see all the people coming and going from church – black folks and white folks, and the deeper the South the brighter the church clothes it seemed.

It got complicated getting old money to use to buy bus tickets, but older stores were far less secure than ones nowadays, so I cashed out a few grocery store registers from time to time, just enough to have plenty of old money to not raise eyebrows by buying 1970s bus tickets entirely in quarters. (Old change is far easier to come by than old dollar bills. Dollar bills cycle out of existence pretty fast it seems, once you become attuned to noticing the date on them.) But I kept it handled.

What was far less easy to handle was my place in my own real world. Having access to this multiverse escapism made it too convenient to self-medicate in a way off into another world not my own, not attached to my realities and responsibilities and hard ugly truths. Real worlds are all about ugly truths – you do not ever stereotypically hear of the extremely wealthy having real talk Come To Prophet moments about “the real world”, unless they are attempting to scare an offspring into more corrected behavior.

I don’t have it bad as a human – I am entirely unfulfilled by my work for pay, but the pay is enough to keep my family fed and two-thirds of our bills paid before final notice. We are able to juggle credit and hustling to cover the rest. But after the Chief Blackberry Blossoms lesson, when I realize I am metaphorically treading water in literally toxic water, how am I making the world or collective of worlds known as the universe a better place? Ultimately, how am I improving the health of the whole? Or am I just slowing down my own individual part in the metastasis of humane death, in a way to pretend I’m not part of the problem because I’m not as glaringly wretched as other more obvious examples?

That’s what I was thinking on looking out the passenger side window of Greyhounds, about halfway back on the bus (the far back of the long trip bus has always been a hellish sketchy place at times, thus not good for introspection, as you may be thrown into someone else’s fire), staring at past towns passing by, sipping on throwback Pepsis, which weren’t throwback but mainstream then.

roads go on forever in
all unsorts of directions,
easy to slip off nowhere