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.

Tuesday, July 31

L00M1NG SH4D0WS 0F S33N GR1DS...

looming shadows of seen grids
nothing compared to unseen
metaphysical stifles

SOVTHERN GOTHIC FVTVRIST HAIKV SLAMS (the rebirth of sikk - fool like dat)





What was called Rojonekku Hand-to-Hand Haiku Tournaments is back, but now called Southern Gothic Futurist Haiku Slam. It is still a tournament where anybody on the whole wide Earth who wants to sign up is welcome to sign-up. We will have best-of-3 rounds of elimination until there are only four people left, who will go through semifinals and finals to crown a champion of ill literary styles in seventeen syllables or less. The more styles the better. This is like a literary cookout (not a pot luck) – bring your own side dish, and make sure it’s homemade, and get the fuck outta here with the whole foods pasta salads.
There also will still be a haiku death match where I take on a proven haiku competitor in a best-of-25 no-holds-barred super destructor bout of haiku supremacy. These bouts are meant to showcase how wild style the haiku format in battle mode can be. I take my role as facilitator/space holder of these events seriously, and look to defend my role as well as challenge myself. AND YET RARELY DO I LOSE.
I am excited to announce as well (which I should’ve already done) that we’ll be going monthly moving forward at the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar on the downtown mall in Charlottesville, Virginia. This is a business that I’ve loved to support over the years, held down the picnic table on the back deck in the hookah lounge playing dominos many a weekend night, been to mad shows there over the years, and love the spot. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to run my event at, because it makes sense. It fits.
When we set this up, I asked for second Wednesdays, just to have a set night of the month, which is easy for humans to remember in robot phone age. Oddly, without planning, it fell the week before the one-year anniversary of a bunch of shit happening in Charlottesville. Tea Bazaar is located just around the corner from where Heather Heyer was murdered. This weighs heavily locally, energetically. These haiku events have always been open to all, and I’ve encouraged them to be a sanctuary where people can express themselves – seriously, strangely, wildly, howeverly – and that has not changed. But it takes on added importance (in my mind) with the launch of this new venue at this particular time.
We get locked down by life and algorithms and activities into our separate and segregated little cliques, and build invisible walls around these little sub-sets, and as we get deeper into these segregated compounds, especially the ones with digital walls which we don’t see out of so easily, we become more distrustful, fearful, paranoid, judgmental, and ultimately outright hateful. I firmly believe in the natural fact that people are people (for the most part) and if you can strip away the propaganda and poison, we can enjoy shared space in a beneficial way for all. That’s the hope of these things. I hope for them not to be my event, but our event.
That being said, don’t bring your poison or toxicity to the cookout. Your ass will get asked to sit the fuck down or leave right quick. We go by sanctuary cookout rules – don’t fuck up nobody else’s good time.


Anyways, this is the long-should’ve-been-done post on my website saying the haiku slams I have held, now called Southern Gothic Futurist Haiku Slams, are back. Oh yeah, the name... Southern Gothic Futurist... what does that mean? Well, one of the most inspirational wild style artistic philosophers of the past half century for me was Rammellzee, and his Ionic Treatise Gothic Futurism document is hugely influential on my philosophies of recent years, as I’ve attempted to take my fucked up lower class bound for doom rural white southern ass, which I’d already healed (a bit) from white trash to dirtgod, and move it further to a more post-colonial way of thinking, due to a lot of personal realizations over the past few years, plus the influence of where I live and the river I sit by and the language all that speaks (which is not English). I love the south, but I realized I love it as a philosophical thing as much as geographical. The American South is where immigration has already had strong foothold for decades. I got a coconut water (agua de coco) at a tienda in sleepy ass Keysville which I used to ride my bike to as a kid. Cross-cultural pollination is a good thing. And the American south I grew up in, with the added influence of Latin immigration, combined with heavy African-American presence, plus ragged underclass white influences, has always felt like a special mix to me, that fits the ingredients to build a post-whatever the fuck we’re living in culture’s healing redone culture.
But also, the Global South, which is everywhere on Earth pretty much exploited and pillaged and siphoned off of by what it is often misidentified as “western culture”, has that same philosophical bent to it. In the spirit of being against the energies that killed Heather Heyer and stormed into Charlottesville last August, and in fact have been rearing themselves like poison ivy throughout the internet and into real life, I want to embrace and manifest that Southern Gothic Futurist vision fully. I don’t care about politics to be honest, at least not at organized level, don’t care about borders, about race or ethnicity, really don’t care about none of these structures put in place which help create those walls I spoke about above. I don’t give a fuck about none of that (which is not the same as saying they don’t exist... they definitely exist). Southern Gothic Futurism is about everybody, all us ragged and wretched and marginalized and forgotten and unheard and even some that aren’t ragged or wretched or marginalized but are respectful, all of us coming together and sharing our selves in short blasts, and having fun, and building community, and building love together, and being cousins in the human experience. We are all gonna be cousins. That’s the Southern Gothic Futurist vision.

1N3QV4L1TY C4M0...

inequality camo
is pastelized HardiPlank
blossoming from vacant lots

Sunday, July 29

Friday, July 27

Wednesday, July 25

PH0N3T1CS R3DVC3D T0 C0D3...

phonetics reduced to code
by monks bastardizing man's
place in natural order

SONG OF THE DAY: Space


Occupying physical space, but metaphysical space cluttered, everything seems to be closing in. No longer have access to the woods and advanced mushroom technologies (send microdosing capsules plz) and even walks becoming harder to find time for, immersion into city’s (large town?) ebb and flow. Not to mention the wireless unseen spiderwebs woven all over which are far thicker among the settled environs of Charlottesville – less woods, less lack of power lines and satellite transmission; thousands of cables and cords and satellite frequencies and wireless routers each one an invisible line through the air, weaving stick thicky space which is not there physically but head begins to feel gobbed and gobbed and gobbed, and they (the eternal “They”) will say “that’s not scientific” but science is not altruistic and I can feel the gobs and I can feel it all closing in and I can feel the frustration not just my own but other people too, the suicide and depression and angst and fear and loathing and worry the big stifling worry of it all is growing and choking people, whether science has caught up to reality or not is not my concern, just want some space for me for others to fucking breath. Doesn’t have to be physical, physical Earth is limited, we all know that, and they (the powerful “They”) have put claim stakes on most all of it, fences around much of that, and razor barbs along wide sections of the fence. Don’t care about physical space necessarily, clear the air, wipe the gobs from my head and stop gobbing it up more, which I need to tell myself, stop pushing all this misinformation and mundane nonsense into brain which floats out to internal sea and creates giant swirling islands of garbage floating in heart, the brain being the land we’ve charted scientifically in our internal Earth, and the heart being the vast unknown ocean which we sort of know but not really because we identify ourselves as brain creatures. But all that brain trash floating into heart, and internet poisoning humans into manufacturing more and more brain trash, in fact believing the best way to counter brain trash is to make better brain trash, and many hearts have become trashed, but if the internal Universe is as vast as the external – if each of us is that single drop in the ocean, then there’s unlimited space, right? Right? Unify and spread out, rather than divide and “but…” up against, right? Right?
Right doesn’t matter. Many are left behind. Many were never asked to go, or to be involved. Many are left on the outside, in fact there’s more outside than in most places, far more, and I guess (I tell myself) it’s not that we need space so much as the claims are false, and the fences are false, and the razor barbs put up to delineate the fences reality in sharp contrast to nature are definitely false, so fuck it. Can’t escape the psychic gobs unseen overhead and all around, and can’t escape the brain trash constantly fed me because it is the basis for which people are tricked into enabling this false “make a living” mythology. But I can try to remember to baptize myself in small moments – yard rabbit, or kid spinning in rain, or laughing with crazy dude on bus, or eye contact with beautiful gaze at the DMV waiting for two hours for very little so might as well love that two second gaze – baptize myself in those moments, and try to do so five times a day, at least, inshallah.

TRY T0 K33P C4SH 1N P0CK3T...

try to keep cash in pocket
but ain't had real hustle in
years, so pockets mostly flat

Friday, July 20

Thursday, July 19

Tuesday, July 17

W0RDS C0MPR3SS3D 1NT0 D4T4...

words compressed into data,
rarely if ever fully
re-stretched to capacity

SONG OF THE DAY: Nowhere Fast


Bored and lonely last night so I did what any idiot looking to feel as solitary as possible would do – I rode the bus around for no reason. Mid-going nowhere fast trip though I decided to go look at magazines at the still a book store in the fancy normal people who have money shopping district, thinking “oh hey I’ll buy a Juxtapoz or maybe a train magazine, and then scribble haiku on pages or some dumb shit so I can justify the purchase aka waste of money” but I didn’t feel like riding the bus and walked instead, sitting on park benches whenever one appeared to test the lounge factor and blend into the questionable scenes adding my own question marks of “how do we read this guy?” for others passing by. Eventually, after much goofing off and taking pictures of an abandoned drug store in a dying strip mall, and also lamenting the bulldozed remnants and giant hole where previous old buildings I’d taken pictures of were now lost to progress, including a copy shop where I printed a bunch of zines over the years, I made my way across the street to the fancy normal people who have money shopping district and the book store, to piss in their bathroom, and also think about buying magazines.
Magazines are expensive, so I did not buy any magazines. I am so used to things trickling into my life second-hand or in bulk purchases of old shit either in real life junk markets or the internet junk markets that I forgot new shit, even dumb shit like magazines which is entirely geared towards you spending money in order to “discover” new ways to spend other money, well I forgot that new shit costs more than my broke ass comprehends.
After being bored by new magazines, and Parcheesi blocked walking down multiple aisles by well-tended white men and their princely heirs to their privilege, I made my way back to the bus stop, by the McDonalds, where we sat on the bus for a while while old men smoked cigarettes and the driver ran over to Mickey D’s. Eventually back unto Main Street, it was quarter to nine, so I got off to hit up the Afghani market for a delicious ayran for the rest of the walk home, having successfully eaten up most of the evening, alone, wandering, could disappear and nobody would notice for at least two days. But they didn’t even have mint ayran, only regular. “Fuck it,” I thought, and went ahead and got it, and it was the not main dude at the register but the second-to-main dude, and the main dude charges me flat chill price of regular but this dude hadn’t before, but tonight he did, so though they didn’t have mint ayran I at least wasn’t white-charged at the Afghani market.

I walked the rest of the way home, and this city is boring and maybe not even a city to be honest, and I passed all the places of people living, both the projects rebranded as “friendship court” and the pastel or earth tone hearty plank sided homes of gentrification within rock throwing distance of the projects, and thought about all the lives inside those places, and the comfort and lack of comfort, and how some of us have an upward trajectory or downward spiral and many of us simply have neither, just fluctuations slightly above or below whatever the fuck we were born into in the first place. The lack of support I have from family or even solid friends who are there other than when they need my support feels like a thousand pound kettlebell tied to my ankles, both of them at once, tightly, trying to swim out of deep murk. Seeing people, just random ass pairs of people – my age black couple pushing a stroller, affluent white folks headed to the downtown mall, old Indian couple – all walking together got me thinking on that fact how loneliness is unhealthy, but also how you can’t fix it on your own because duh you are alone, and when not wanting to be alone you always find the worst possible fucking humans who vampirize your life and energies. But then while I was thinking that I had already made the steps home, so I went inside and cut on two or three dollar store Chinese lanterns and sat there, thinking “well, that was a day” without even the motivation to write a poem, even a dumb simple poem as means of maintaining practice.

Monday, July 16

B4R3LY ST1LL TH3R3 SM4LL T0WN P0ST...

barely still there small town post
offices occupy space
leftover, not yet condemned

SONG OF THE DAY: Mestizo



Mongrelized nature confusing, especially with broken connections galore from dysfunction leaving one floating alone in this Earth space. I tend to sit at night and write words to nobody because that’s what I’ve always done – it’s always been me by myself it feels like, even though I share blood in direct sense with small group of people but in larger sense with everybody. So many divisions wedged into every fissure of the brain, denying simple fucking heart truth that people is people.
Without human connection to really offer solid support, the one thing that grounds me is the ground – the area I’ve known all my life, because it feels more familiar (as in family) than anything else, and I was unsettled to leave the land I’d known the past 20 years, but at the same time all these little slivers and parcels ain’t really ever owned in any sense, and I can find that same feeling with land of similar make-up throughout this area.
Mestizo, mongrel, mulatto, mutt – a small army of M-words to cover the natural fact that any ideas of purity of human origins is more than likely not true, and we are all the sum product of each other. None of us is pure in racial sense, and yet there’s purity in that. I’ve been feeling very disconnected from my classification, but also understand the system works through classification so it saves me hassle in many steps along my days. There is a grid of thinking that’s been applied to the natural world that doesn’t match the natural world’s ways, so likely that’s why I find walking the land grounding. It doesn’t have to be woods land or along the river – railroad tracks through town or rippling city sidewalks with weed resistance in every crack make just as much sense. Saying “hey man” to familiar faces with unknown lives on the bus does that. Lot of times it feels like we’re disconnected by design, but the grid and classification applied over top of everything is less about serving the needs of all the people, and more about squeezing productivity out of us, or casting aside when there’s nothing productive to be squeezed out of us in a way that allows our feralization from abandonment to not poison the herd.
Me personally? Polish immigrants I know, Swedish/Norwegian orphan-ish and homeless grandmother I know, Scot surname I carry filtered through Appalachian mountains and then a few generations of rural southside Virginia I know, Pennsylvania Germans of some sort I know; and yet I don’t know none of this completely. Grew up my whole life in in the same rough area, know the trees and the rivers and the main roads and the people who live here. Half-cousins and step-nephews and before it all fell apart, family gatherings with more last names than side dishes. In the sense of that applied order, we are all dysfunctional, because the order wants us to function in a way that’s not naturally easy.
Fuck it. It’s that shit that makes me feel alone – that I’m lost from where I’m supposed to be. But I’m not supposed to be anywhere, except right here. Existential crisis depends on existential purpose, which is likely a myth anyways. I’m gonna walk ten miles today, and every face I see is gonna be my brother or sister. So easy to get lost in the hatred manufactured by the classifications and purity tests and ill logic masquerading as intelligence. Just gonna walk this shit off, like humans have done since the beginning of humans.

RVS W1TH M0NTHLY P4YM3NTS...

RVs with monthly payments,
debit card transactions tracked
when renting spots, vagrants cleansed

Saturday, July 14

Friday, July 13

SVND4Y M0RN1NG C0M1NG D0WN...

Sunday morning coming down
route 158, prostate
full of hazelnut coffee

SONG OF THE DAY: Sex and Violence


One time back in the day I worked with an older dude who I used to go get high with, I was high school but mature, he was adult but immature. Lol he introduced me to weird shit like the Werner Herzog documentary on Rev. Gene Scott, and also he gave me a giant fat stack of old records of his, which included the Exploited, and I'm pretty sure I still have that record today, though to be honest my records are at my old house so who the fuck knows. Anyways, my dad and I still had weird arrangement where he sort of looked the other way on my actions and behaviors, but my folks were separated and I slept at my dad's a lot because it was just him in his shitty trailer for the most part. At one point local dirtweed scene was somewhat dry but I had some weed, couple ounces I think, and sold half ounce to the dude who gave me the Exploited record, so took the weed from middle bedroom in dad's trailer and took to other end of county for that other dude.
Then like a day later my dad came back, after a long complaining dry spell of no dirtweed, with a brand new quarter ounce from that dude's house. So that is the story of how a quarter ounce of shitty weed went one bedroom down the hallway of the shitty trailer my dad and I shared.

TH3 3Y3S 1N TH3 M1RR0R D0N'T...

the eyes in the mirror don't
look as bright as they used to,
and I worry I'm lost cause

Thursday, July 12

W0RK1NGM4N T4TT00S N3V3R...

workingman tattoos never
all at once, thus a road map
through life's memorable times

SONG OF THE DAY: World



We was normal poor folks so summertime we spent at grandma’s, which few generations back would’ve been mountain home but by the time of Reagan admin meant grandma’s trailer at the bottom of a hill not to be mistaken with “The Hill” which was one hill over where buncha cousins and shit lived. But it was grandma’s got my first taste of homemade vaporwaves, old style, buttermilk vaporwave that she’d mix up and store in the icebox for couple hours, mixing it up before sunrise while my uncles still was sleeping on the pullout sofa bed in the living room of the trailer, walls covered with three generations of 8x10s, and before my daddy had dropped me off bc he had to go to work and won’t no child care but grandma’s trailer and I was still too young to stay home by myself bc I wasn’t old enough to look at all the penthouses and hustlers I knew was hiding.
Grandma’s vaporwave would be sitting there in the icebox when I got dropped off, making sure not to slam the screen door bc grandma would be like “boy, stop slamming that screen door!” and then later in the day we’d be in and out and she’d go “make up your mind either in or out, in or out” and when I’d be getting there my uncles would be getting up not wanting to go to school but they couldn’t sleep on the pullout sofa bed in the living room with 19 nephews and nieces and not for-real nephews and nieces but grandma watched them too just like her own, and I was usually the first to get there which was weird bc my dad ain’t like to go to work just like his half-brothers ain’t like to go to school, but everybody went where they wasn’t wanting to go bc that’s what we was supposed to do and it wasn’t nothing to do where you’d end up being if you didn’t go nowhere anyways.
But I’d get to grandma’s trailer at the bottom of the hill and she’d reach in the icebox right beside the big jar of pickled beet eggs and pull that homemade vaporwave out she’d mixed up before the sun, and it would be so firm and thick and she’d ladle it out into her skillet synthopan, dropping dollop of bacon grease she’d saved from Sunday morning in old tin can on back skirt of stove, and fry me up a big ol’ slab of that shit, drop it on my plate there at the kitchen table, me squeezed in next to the wall bc my uncles was more grown so got the seats that opened out and wasn’t so stifling. I’d sit there with that vaporwave, put a little bit of syrup on that shit, and just start freestylin’ on it. My uncles would be coming out from the bathroom, “damn mama, vaporwave again?” and they ain’t like it and ain’t want it and they’d grumble off to school, you could hear the Frankenstein Nova they shared roar to life outside in the yard like a guard dog seeing the clock sneaking up in the middle of a decent morning, and they’d be gone and it was like five minutes of quiet before all the other little shitheads started showing up and I’d take my uncles leftover vaporwaves and be rhyming over them too and finally all the other kids would be there and grandma would kick us all out except the babies who were just babies so had to be tended, and we’d go outside and have hella kickball games out there at the bottom of the hill in the trailer park, and all day long I’d still taste that vaporwave when I rubbed my tongue over my crooked teeth.