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.

Thursday, August 16


The other evening I stopped to eat at a diner/soul food restaurant after walking behind a traveling protest through a neighborhood. I hadn’t meant to eat, but passing by Mel’s, it occurred to me if any place had chicken and gizzards in town at that time, maybe Mel’s did. They didn’t, but I got a burger and greens and mac-n-cheese anyways, and sat out front eating, listening to the dude over by me talking about what he was about to get into while his ol’ lady sat there as well. “We drinkin’ vodka tonight, she can’t handle me when I’m on that Hennessey.” She shook her head. “Yeah, I get stupid off that Hennessey.”
The protest ultimately was about racism, and had built off a string of domino events that began with the suggested removal of a confederate monument. Don’t really feel like getting into all that because the past week has been very tiring, and in fact the resurgence of energies from the week of this time of the calendar last year has also been tiring. We lived in a police state locally, in certain sectors, and it left one exhausted from hyper-awareness and fear. I lived in Richmond in the ‘90s during the height of its worst murder rates, and had hyper-awareness and fear then, but nothing like this. The fear of militarized police fucking you up is worse because you know there’s no recourse, no institution to escape to. It is the institution.
I talked my ragged dirtgod shit style, flashing them country dimples to the lady at the counter, and of course she laughed at my silly ass. Finally had my food, chowed the fuck down, and after wandering like 20 miles on foot that day, damn them greens and mac-n-cheese was replenishing as fuck. I had planned on walking home, still another mile away, but after all that, I was wiped out, so texted a friend who had said she’d give me a ride if I needed.
Sat on the bus stop bench (always sitting on bus stop benches it seems), and there was a poster for an upcoming show stapled into the tree still living here in this non-natural zone, tucked into the concrete and small businesses and not yet upgraded buildings to match the economic monstrosities built a couple blocks further west. I felt bad for the tree for a second, as I always do when I see things stapled into a tree. But also trees don’t go out like that. One of my favorite things to find in the woods wandering is when you cross an abandoned barbed wire fence that had been stapled into a tree and the tree grew around the wire, eventually just overtaking it so it looks like the wire belongs to the tree. An even more favorite aspect to that favorite is when the fence is no longer a fence so it’s just a piece of wire sticking out the tree and you realize somebody tried to put up fences somewhere along the way, but nature took back over, and fuck your fences, they’re gone now.
I want to be resilient like that, knowing the fences are there, feeling them stapled into my existence, but still being like, “fuck it” and continuing to grow and survive and in fact thrive and just overpower the fence nonetheless. Resilient like a stubborn ass tree, working fingers into the underground for water, and stretching towards the sunshine. That’s my fuckin’ jam.

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