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.

Wednesday, November 21

Tuesday, November 20

1 L0V3 1T WH3N Y0V C4LL M3...

"I love it when you call me
Big Poppa" coming out old
hotel's uppermost window

SONG OF THE DAY: Serpent's Whisper


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Stalley secretly became one of my favorite rappers this past year. The Tell the Truth Shame the Devil series of EPs, from which this song comes from, is fuckin’ great. I am mostly prejudiced against Ohio, in all forms, because it’s one of the most godforsaken places ever. Not really midwest, not really east, not really Appalachia (fuck you J.D. Vance), not really anything... just a big ol’ mass of kind of a bunch of different things. And yet some wonderful things have come out of Ohio, with stealth. Stalley is that classic industrial shithole rapper though, who got signed to big thangs (Mayback Music Group) but ain’t do shit really with that, and somehow ended up being way better once he was off the corporate chain. People who grew up steeped in struggle, which all rappers claim but there’s different layers to struggle – the struggle spectrum is not a binary (which is why people always play oppression olympics with each other, to prove how oppressed they are, when usually the types who play that are from the lighter end of the spectrum), but once you know that struggle deeply, to your DNA, through generations, lolol shit like “maybach music” is actually corny as fuck to your molecular make-up. So you end up getting dropped, or fucking it up by making poor choices (always poor choices), and you end up releasing a sick ass series of EPs about shaming the devil on your own Blue Collar Gang label.
This song really speaks to me, as does much of Stalley's 2018 body of work. Motherfucker is on some shit.

TH3Y D0N'T ST0P D3V3L0P1NG...

they don't stop developing
an expensive city for
people unlike those I know

Monday, November 19

W3ST C04ST TR4CK S1D3S H34V1LY...

west coast track sides heavily
populated by homeless
encampments and graffiti

SONG OF THE DAY: Night of the Living Baseheads



addiction as function from abuse or trauma, was reading an article claiming science talking about that
but then think of inter-generational trauma and addiction as numbing coping mechanism
but then think about where addiction happens environmentally & how it’s cultured by
our larger poison culture, but then also think about whether these things are chance or not
whether the presentation of crack and heroin and opioids and crystal meth is chance (it is not)
and whether our addiction issues in America are a lack of addressing the traumas
or a perpetuation of traumas continuing to be applied to minority/socioeconomic marginalized
to keep them in the margins, by design, all along

how much late 80s/early 90s hip hop warned us of all these things everybody all of a sudden
feels so fucking proudly woke about in the past four or five years?
how much was that explosion of voice for the voiceless just an unstoppable force because of
previous suppression, and how much was that voice then filtered through
shiny suits and corporate charlatans like puffy and suge, so that the voice of the voiceless
was turned into revenue streams?

fuck America, fuck ppl who think wealthy ppl like jay z or jeff bezos or puffy or are somehow
benevolent and revolutionary. can’t wait for this trauma machine this poison culture factory
to finally burn the fuck down

this is a poem, on the internet, so not a real poem
a data poem, spiked with vitriol for 0s and 1s
rotting you from the inside
you fuckin devils

Saturday, November 17

GR4FF1T1 1S 1LL3G4L...

graffiti is illegal
here, making America
more East Germany than West

SONG OF THE DAY: (No One Knows Me) Like The Piano


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The dark cold is setting in, dark when off to work and dark when coming home, embracing the cocoon psyche, curling up into seasonal fetal existence, keeping it close to home, settling into the place we know comfortably enough. “No one knows me like the piano... in my mother’s home...”
Never learned no instruments, didn’t have the guidance, or patience, or support, or wherewithal, or whatever the fuck, it didn’t align. So I write words, like a fuckin’ fiend, every way possible. It’s my escape, always has been, but escape is also catharsis. Still go there, but never enough, and people always try to put marketing angles to it, how to get paid, and you can’t get paid to heal in this devil system. “No one knows me like the piano... in my mother’s home...”
Holidays coming up with less family than last year, when I already had little left. Holidays coming up in little basement apartment with neighbor landlord old lady with dementia who bangs on the door end of every month demanding I pay her directly even though lease is tied to her adult children and I have to do what I’m legally supposed to do, I guess. Whatever. First winter in this concrete hobbit hole, settling into psychic fetal position until spring rebirth. “No one knows me like the piano... in my mother’s home...”
Oddly though, as fucked as my life is, as this city is, as this world is, I feel better than ever, more hopeful than ever, warmer than ever, more heart fire than ever. Expectations always lead to disappointment. There is no progress to be made. Just live fucking life. Setting in for the cold dark months feeling brighter and warmer than ever, building up my fire to be ready to explode with the spring time.

TH3 GR4P3S 0F WR4TH 4R3 4B0VT...

the grapes of wrath are about
the same, just more mechanized,
but ain't nothing really changed

Friday, November 16

SONG OF THE DAY: Rocky Ground


Malcolm Holcombe is a lovely musician who likely would be clumped into the genre of “Americana” which used to be “alt.country” until ppl realized how corny that was. The rebranding of it as Americana pretends it’s a more country version of country music, truer to the simple spirit that helped build this racist American empire. But unlike a lot of the trash Americana music people always try to convince me I’d love, which I never do, I really do love Malcolm Holcombe. And I’ve done a lot of thinking about this… why does some of this feel so real to me while other parts of it feel like shit somebody would be playing at a hipster breakfast brunch spot that I have to wait outside for 23 minutes to get a table (which I’m not going to do, ever, if I am paying you money I am not standing around to wait and pay you money, unless it’s rare drugs). This is how I developed what I call the Longhaired Country Boy litmus test. When I hear one of these Americana/alt.country/singer-songwriter fuckers, I ask myself, does this person non-ironically know every word to Long Haired Country Boy, and would they likely be okay sitting around an RV table doing crank with my dad, or at least not minding my dad doing crank while they sat there too, even if they abstained? If the answer is no to the first, they’re wack right away. Fuck y’all fake motherfuckers, who have made everything performative and pretend.
As for the second, that’s more difficult. There’s a lot of shit that could pass the first test, and I may or may not like it, but I won’t actively dislike it or consider it false (although this is an era where falseness is real, and real is manufactured or stomped into darkness). But passing the second RV table crank with my dead dad test is a lot tougher. But I have no doubt in my mind Malcolm Holcombe would not only pass that test, I often, when I hear his words and western Carolina natural born twang, wonder if maybe he didn’t sit around a table with my now-dead dad and do crank. This particular song is a wonderful look into the dark reality of Holcombe’s art. It is not going to be on a late show, and he’s not going to get interviewed as “true representation of the white working class that got left behind by global progress” or whatever the fuck way corny motherfuckers always write about everybody who is lost, hopeless, addicted, overdosing on fake freedom, and still out here trying to be alive as a piece of shit white-ish person in a world run by shitty white people who for whatever reason got no love for the white trash. He’s released a new album this year, and that one hasn’t sunk into my electronic jukebox rotation as deeply as Pretty Little Troubles, which this came from, as since last year. But I have a list of artists I desperately want to see, and will go see so long as it’s not too godawful far and affordable. That list is currently three acts – Mdou Moctar, Brother Ali, and Malcolm Holcombe. So consider this an endorsement of this fucker, who makes great music, but it’s dark, and also I think he did crank with my dad.

R3C4L1BR4T1NG G00GL3...

recalibrating google
maps to not take interstates,
or highways, or even roads