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

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.

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