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, October 30

TH4T P0L3 WH1CH H0V3R3D 0V3R...

that pole which hovered over
daily life now blurred into
memories; keep moving on

SONG OF THE DAY: Hip Shake



One of my greatest memories that I don’t really remember because of drugs is doing acid and listening to the actual cassette copy of Exile on Main Street by Pussy Galore that my old roommate had back in the day. To this day, the sounds of this tape sound a way that probably don’t sound right to anybody else, but my personal atomic structure upon this earth is tinged with the experience of that time, which was life altering in the moment.
What we know, despite all claims by scientific method that a universal scientific truth can be determined, is all built upon foundation of experience. We’re living in a hostile time, and people are getting madder and madder at each other about how come other people don’t know what seems obvious. I’m not justifying ignorance, or suggesting turn the other cheek to fascists, because tbh I’m swinging kettlebells every night in preparation of what might be coming up fast. But yo, nobody’s is just automatically born a perfectly formed philosophical entity. In fact, no such thing exists. (Haha, I said “fact”.) But people stay mad at other people, not just the extreme ones (who deserve scorn, because they not even trying to be anything but hateful), but also those on the spectrum not too far off from them. It’s weird to me how groups of people who have openly embraced the concept of a spectrum instead of a binary will all of a sudden apply binary thinking in a situation. The concept of decolonizing our shit is deep and layered and fuck, we got so much work to do.
And at the same time, you still gotta have moments where you smile, where you kick start the serotonin, where you shake your fuckin’ hips and feel free, even if in the confines of a temporary sanctuary you’ve built with a like-minded person or peoples. Serious shit is going on in this world, but you’ll burn out and become useless if you keep it serious around the clock. Life is life, and you gotta keep living, while also fighting the riptide of bullshit.

Saturday, October 27

Thursday, October 25

Saturday, October 20

Wednesday, October 17

Monday, October 15

Wednesday, October 10

Thursday, October 4

CR34T1V3 PR0J3CTS VND0N3...

creative projects undone,
life an abusive shitstorm
never allowing me peace

SONG OF THE DAY: Nothin' To Lose


Nothin’ to lose, nowhere to go, circle a prayer around the largesse land mass I inhabit. Nothin’ to lose, everywhere to go, meander my shit all over, scatter thought seeds in hopes something takes root somewhere, bears fruit in different environment that gives me sustenance I ain’t getting in this depleted soil. Humans don’t physically have roots, just metaphysical ones we make for ourselves, slowly over time, over generations, sometimes with more traumas and shocks than comfort and cultivation. Nothin’ to lose except what you’ve got, which when it don’t feel like much, fuck it, go for it.

GR3W VP 4L0NG R41LR04D TR4CKS...

grew up along railroad tracks,
so it tinged my natural
inclinations to be gone

Wednesday, October 3

M3T4L CH34P3R TH4N ST1CK-BV1LT...

metal cheaper than stick-built;
fossil cheaper than solar;
climate change cheaper than change

SONG OF THE DAY: The Cut Off


I am no J Cole apologist as is seen upon these internet lands, who assumes the contrarian position that J Cole is the supreme rapper of his time. But I also ain’t gonna lie, I don’t mind J Cole at all, and actively enjoy him if I’m being honest. Also, there is no doubting he is likely the most prominent rapper of this Piedmont Virginia/North Carolina land I’ve always felt was home. Often I look at old indigenous tribal maps (roughly drawn by western scholars) to see how those non-existent delineations of tribal lands often seem to coincide with the metaphysical feel places have. Although even in the context of indigenous history, the entire swath of Virginia and the Carolinas which was many other things will be marked as Powhatan lands, likely because the Powhatan worked with the colonists to an extent. And also, back to J Cole, is there nothing more perfectly Piedmont than a bi-racial kid coming up with dreams that straddle cultural worlds? And I guess there’s nothing more American than kid born on military base in Germany who grew up in Fayetteville which itself is off-shoot or supported by major military base itself. Culture is such a complex, layered thing, anywhere really but very much so in these strange and terrible times of the United States experience. Escape feels necessary, except there are limited means for those who desire escape the most to actually achieve it. We are stuck. So there are two sedentary routes of escape – through the arts, or the substances. Both essentially work to solve the immediate issue of I AM DOOMED. Currently I am of the belief that the substances treat the symptoms (standards western cultural practices tbh) while art attempts to untangle the source. But that’s also likely a self-supporting mentality not really based in reality. Life’s fucking hard. So I can’t fault anyone for self-medicating (unless they’re stealing shit out my house to support their habits, should they develop them), but I’d also enjoy your art more (I hope). And I enjoy J Cole’s music art, without having to get caught up in the superlative argumentative-laden mindset of the internet, where everything and body has to either be a greatest of all time, or its trash. (Also, I will always refuse the acronym for greatest of all time, because real goats are way better, in every instance.)

L00K CL0S3 T0 S33 C4D1LL4C...

look close to see Cadillac
reflection in door panels
(good art always has layers)

Tuesday, October 2

SONG OF THE DAY: Astral Weeks



Van Morrison pops up as that classic soothing country soul shit, due to past memories. My youngest sibling recently sent me a Van Morrison link, which means it runs deep in our memories. When my folks split up when I was a kid, my dad moved into a trailer down the road from our house, and I stayed up there a lot, because he had his demons and I ain’t want him to be alone with them. He played a ton of Van Morrison in that period, and I remember just kicking it, door always open, small ass old trailer so the living room was basically the front yard too, sitting there while my dad, my uncle, dudes from up and down the road, all came and went. Both my folks had their issues but I love ‘em because fuck it, without them, no me. And I love me, finally.
The other day we was riding somewhere in my given-to-me Honda Civic with the slipping clutch that I can’t afford to fix, and the kids were talking about funny nicknames and one of them said “Tuna”. I told them how that was their grandfather’s nickname, how more people knew him as Tuna than Charles. Anyways, my family is fucked up but it’s okay, so is everybody else’s. Life’s been hard the past year or so, but it’s okay, so has everybody else’s. But it’s weird how some simple shit like Van Morrison just sneaks right into that eye of the storm chillness – recapturing those tender calm moments even though life’s a fucking chaotic blur most all the time. I’m not sure there’s any musician I can think of more than Van Morrison that captures those snapshots throughout the entirety of my life better. Always makes me want to leave the door open and prop the screen door with the fisherman concrete statue I got and let the bugs come in and let the man go out, all of us freely.