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.

Tuesday, December 31

new Workingman Book - LIFE IN CHAOTIC STATE... THEN SILENCE


So I dropped a new book called Life in Chaotic State... Then Silence, which is a collection of renga poetry I wrote in monthly batches on twitter. The feature renga was done October of 2018 during a three-week period where I rode the Amtrak from the east coast down south, out to California, had a week-long residency there, did a haiku slam in Oregon, then rode the [t]rain back through the upper midwest and Chicago, back down to Charlottesville. It's a pretty great book in my opinion, as are the other ones. All are available on Amazon, or from me in person.
Additionally, I'm offering up signed copies of the new book (along with a few select older titles), where you can purchase it directly from me, received it signed, with a tanka poem inscribed in it as well (since I'm doing those on postcards as part of my patreon as well), and I'll tuck a recent copy of Sovthern Gothicc Fvtvrist zine in the envelope as well. Cost for this is $12 (plus $3 shipping).


TITLES
Who is signed copy for?


D3P3ND1NG 0N LVCK'S BL3SS1NGS...

depending on luck's blessings 
to survive these squeezing times 
of diminishing returns 

Monday, December 30

CH4NN3L3D 1NT0 TH1NK1NG TH4T...

channeled into thinking that 
economic theory should 
allow brain to rule the heart 

Sunday, December 29

4LL HVM4NS H4V3 P4THS L41D 0VT...

all humans have paths laid out 
before them - many of which 
are traps designed by others 

Saturday, December 28

TR4PP3D B3H1ND M3NT4L F3NC3S...

trapped behind manmade fences, 
as much mentally as it's 
true and real physically 

Friday, December 27

F3T1SH1Z1NG TH3 S1MPL3...

fetishizing the simple 
life, made too complicated 
by the shackles of progress 

Saturday, December 14

SONG OF THE DAY: Racism 2.0



This past Sunday I had to drive my eldest and their friend to DC to fly to Asia. There is a long stretch of United States highway 15 – the same highway I grew up along mostly – that once you get past the Wal-Mart Supercenter and distribution zone by the interstate, and the couple of subdivisions sprawling from said interstate’s diamond exchange with 15, it turns to dilapidated farmland along the Blue Ridge foothills, and is straight as fuck, so you are tempted to go a thousand miles an hour but you also know police lurk like copperheads in the bushes, waiting to strike and inject poisonous revenue tendrils into your already depleted financial body. As I was fighting the urge to go a thousand miles an hour, and had withdrawn $350 from an ATM which had been transferred by my ex-in-principle-but-still-legal-wife from her paypal to a bank account we still shared, so that I could leave an envelope full of cash on the kitchen counter for the wood guy next week, we saw a bald eagle at same level as the car, dragging the entrails of a recently hit deer along for a meal. I thought to myself, as my now adult child prepared to get a passport stamped in southeast Asia again, “wow, that’s like, a metaphor or some shit.” And then I kept driving along, as doomed as ever.

C4RN1V4L R1D3S M4D3 T0 L00K...

carnival rides made to look
like spaceships, because people
want to escape life of dread

Friday, December 13

4NX10VSLY 4W41T1NG SPR1NG'S...

anxiously awaiting spring's
metaphysical rebirth
(all due respect to winter)

SONG OF THE DAY: John Bena



Every wack fuckin’ rapper on Earth now has a song named after some shitty fuckin’ wrestler. Used to be you could make a list of wrestling references in hip hop and be excited, but fuck man, it’s like a PWI 500 of shitty ass songs that are just trash verses but then somebody samples one line of Curt Henning from youtube so they call it Mr. Perfect and think that’s clever. Everybody’s so fuckin’ tired creatively. Y’all fuckin’ suck. Try harder with your wack asses.
Nonetheless I enjoy Westside Gunn, even though he’s beat this wrestling reference horse to fuckin’ death. Wish ECW was actually still around, and actually not a sub-entity of WWE, so that like Westside Gunn could show up with the Gangstas to battle whatever little flip-floppy white asshole tag team y’all pretend are super amazing in a double barbed wire cage match in the ECW Arena. If rap is too corny and derivative, wrestling is too fake woke, ignoring the fact that pro wrestling’s bread and butter demographic is proudly and fiercely ignorant folk, not the woke. Way more people sitting in a Trump rally than a hipster coffee shop next to the comic book store. Internet communities have falsely made us think we don’t have to exist in the regular world, which is still a giant piece of shit. You can’t walk through a day IRL without stepping in the shit. Online makes you think a better world could exist. You overlook the fact humans are fucking stupid.

W4ND3R1NG 4M3R1C4N...

wandering American
landscape, attempting to find
a place that doesn't feel cramped

Thursday, December 12

Wednesday, December 11

D0N'T R34LLY KN0W WH4T TH3 FVCK...

don't really know what the fuck
I'm doing, to be honest;
just making random shit up

SONG OF THE DAY: Chains 4 Crowns



In old studio wrestling, the role of the jobber was them dudes who always lost, week in and week out. You had the glorified jobber, who was usually the guy who seemed like he might be a star one day, minimally so, and he usually had the main event television loss to an actual star, but most of the jobbers were just jobbers. The true jobbers didn’t even have the look – you knew there was little star potential in that body, just a malformed ungraceful blob of an existence that was born to lose, even long after actual competitive meritocracies were all replaced by theatrical oligarchies who dedicated resources to engaging still in the performative acts of pretending shit was real. True jobbers.
I appreciate the fact people love to hold up kings and queens and these high cultural watermarks of greatness for all of us to look back on and identify. This is especially important for oppressed people, who in the larger culture are rarely allowed to see themselves in a successful light. In order to keep people from feeling hopelessly destitute in their humane existence, they need to feel like they can have something to attain in life.
And yet, in every human culture from the beginning of time, there’s many many true jobbers, and few true kings or queens. Too many true jobbers, doomed in America, doomed in Europe, doomed in Africa, doomed in all corners of the Earth whenever pyramid scams have been erected where some are seen as greater than the rest. I’m very thankful for the class transition I’ve made in life – I was born a true jobber, and now I feel like I’ve attained glorified jobber status. I look like I could be a minimal star, there’s the tease of actual success always present, but I come out losing most every week, taking the loss, but doing so against even better and higher positioned talent. It took a lot of work to not be a straight up true jobber, lot of luck too, and I got to use the bias of the culture against itself too, because you clean me up, put a decent shirt on me, I look like their preferred style of star to an extent. They don’t realize I’m a piece of shit as easily as they would someone with a different skin tone. But I don’t pretend that I’m not still a jobber, and ain’t ever gonna hold a meaningful title while wrestling with meaning in this performative American life where we pretend it’s still real. Nothing is real anymore.

TH3 M4RK1NGS 0F 4 DVMB4SS...

the markings of a dumbass,
not really beast-like because far
too damned domesticated

Friday, December 6

SONG OF THE DAY: I'm a King Bee



It’s weird that blues music got watered down by old white dudes, because good blues music is straight up a soundtrack for fucking, and nothing about old white dudes with goatees and funny hats is sexy at all. In fact, that’s my litmus test for blues music. Does it have a good fucking rhythm, and make you wanna fuck? Then it’s good blues music. And let’s be honest, most of life’s blues come from fucking, either accidentally fucking the wrong person, or not being able to fuck the right person. Sometimes you double down on the poor choices and end up in a situation where you can’t even fuck the wrong person, but you really want to anyways, and that’s when the high quality full life blues kick in.
This made me wonder the etymology of “blues” and a rapid internet search told me it perhaps stems from a 17th century English expression for “the blue devils” one sees during severe alcohol withdrawal. But like all of the most wonderful things, there’s no real known beginning of what “the blues” means, nor really when blues music started. Shit just kinda came together, like cultural gumbo, and then it existed bigger than anybody realized, and now it ain’t going away, because once obsessive old white dudes get ahold of something, it’s stuck in for good. I refuse to believe the true etymology of “the blues” doesn’t have to do with fucking, or lack thereof though.

Wednesday, December 4

SONG OF THE DAY: The Way We Used to Beg


An old roommate of mine's, who plays the guitar. I once watched him and my other roommate get in a fight over the last piece of bread. Also my bedroom was literally a closet. We are all thankful social media didn't exist back then because that place was fucked. Anyways, Matt still does the music, classic singer-songwriter stylings, but he's not wealthy or connected to wealthy, or touring the hipster diner circuit. So he just shit, obscurely, in an attempt to make the constant train wrecks feel better.

Saturday, November 30

SONG OF THE DAY: Basquiat


Hi. Do you need an angry but positive fuck you anthem after too much extended family and unrelenting consumer capitalism beating on your fucking brain? Good. Relatedly, a couple months back I was in the outlet store and they had Basquiat socks, which I got, because I have a job where I wear fake nice clothes and act like I'm a decent and upstanding member of society instead of the mental degenerate who wants everything to crumble into a fresh progressive apocalypse that I am. So I bought these Basquiat socks for like $3, and it feels pretend resistant, but it's actually just somebody got a licensing agreement for dead Basquiat's art, and I bought some fucking socks, which apparently not enough people bought at the regular overinflated price, so I got them at the outlet store. Trickle down identity, lol, a lower class boy that's done come up in the world, WEARING A MOTHERFUCKIN' THREE DOLLAR PAIR OF SOCKS, LIKE A GODDAMN FAUNTLEROY.

Friday, November 29

SONG OF THE DAY: Polite


I'm not one of those types to do an album of the year list, because I don't like tying my enjoyment of music into consumption of brand new items only, and also calendars are kinda bullshit. People who make these lists usually wrap them up by the first weekend of December, which eliminated almost a whole month. Fuck that shit. We're not all curators of culture to where we gotta do this shit all the time. That being said, if I limited myself to the calendar on the wall, and thought about some shit I ain't even listen to before 2019 but have played the living fuck out of this year so far (and counting), Bambu's at the top of the list, which isn't even a list to be honest, but just me thinking about it. There's so many faux woke people posturing online to gain woke credits for their little circle jerks of selfish self-righteous people, I can really appreciate the actual don't give a fuck attitude of Bambu, which also really does give a fuck, just not the way we're all trained into channeling our fuck giving. I'm sure "polite" and "politics" got the same root, but I don't feel like googling that shit, and I'm not an etymological encyclopedia, but it was funny to see people posturing about how they was mad at their racist uncles or drunk aunts on Thanksgiving. What the fuck? Go fix your goddamned own lives and families, and stop being out here judging every fuckin' body else for not following your lists of rights and wrongs. Anyways, it's Black Friday, and I ain't buying shit, but I do gotta mail a couple books out that got bought off my site, so I do have to go the post office for that shit, but I'm gonna bump Bambu loud as fuck as much as possible, because it sounds like people are moving into the apartment upstairs, and I've enjoyed the lack of neighbors overhead clomping around on the goddamn floors for a month or so, so I want them to know what the fuck's up. Or not. Fuck being polite all the time. Or politically righteous. Or political at all. I ain't wanna do shit but sit around and play dominoes to be honest, at least this weekend.

Tuesday, November 26

SONG OF THE DAY: Jailbreak the Tesla


Jailbreaking an army of cybertrucks to drive into the wireless zones of West Virginia, to leave there to rust. Code name Teflon Rust, working with crow allies to combat starling drones manufactured since at least 1983. There is no technological solution to being human.

Monday, November 18

SONG OF THE DAY: Bang


the bang of creation, 
inner muse ejaculated upon the world 
oftentimes unnoticed, stains along 
the bottom sides of capital life's secondhand cushions 
easing the existential pain of mundane existence 
common wage slave's resistance 
"LIFE IS PAIN MOTHERFUCKER" 
proclaimed buddha ray moore 
and never have those words been truer - 
that's it… never have they been truer… 
this is what being human is about 
navigating the ridiculously sprawling labyrinth 
of manmade obstacles we've built over centuries 
stale places of mildew and rot 
and devising a way to make it feel fresh 
cultivating bang culturing bang 
to fend off the metaphysical vultures 
by swinging our vorpal blade 
around at the entangling world trying 
to choke us out like kudzu made of burnt copper 
wires snaking through yakubian spreadsheets…
by swinging our vorpal blade 
clearing out a little space 
to take a deep breath 
and realize deep in your heart 
fuck it 

Sunday, November 17

Kyusho Basho 2019 Honour Tanka Day Eight: Ishiura (4-4)


it's a cold Sunday, 
so I made chanko nabe 
stew in big steel pot 

sautee onions and garlic 
in oil, add chicken thigh meat 

I make my own broth, 
frozen, on hand, stored in old
yogurt containers 

one at the ready to throw 
in the big pot whenever 

bought some giant red 
beets the other day, so took 
the tops, chopped them up 

throw it in the pot, along 
with some shiitake mushrooms 

chop up spinach bunch, 
add that; starting to smoke so 
throw in broth ice cube 

everything cooks while broth melts, 
softening, blending, stewing 

I have that "crab meat" 
stuff, which when cooked unravels 
kinda like noodles 

threw in some mussel meat, plus 
medium-sized shrimp, with tail on 

that shit was on sale, 
half-price - ingredients are 
determined by cost 

next time I make it, it'll 
be completely different 

and yet, entirely 
the same essence - slow, simmering 
stew of hearty shit 

all this sat on medium-low 
for a good hour, rightening 

busted out saucepan, 
six minutes to soft-boil eggs, 
runny in middle 

timer goes off, dunk in ice 
cold water until all cool 

I just let it all 
sit there, simmering on stove, 
did my Sunday chores 

washed and hung clothes, vacuumed, watched 
little Anthony Bourdain 

finally, I was 
ready for big fat bowl of 
chanko nabe stew 

in fact, I ate four… it'll 
sit on the stove for few days 

I've often joked that 
Ishiura should eat his 
chanko nabe stew 

so small, always looking to 
do the side dash thing for win 

and yet this second 
Sunday of this basho, side 
stepping didn't work 

Nishikigi clutched him tight, 
gripped for inner position 

Ishiura seemed 
doomed, yet again, when his trick 
failed upon start 

somehow, once Nishikigi 
pushed, Ishiura slipped past 

with upper grip now, 
Ishiura wrapped one leg 
around opponent 

he grabbed Nishikigi's left 
leg, and thrust his head like goat 

Nishikigi's vast 
body fell like oak, carrying 
Ishiura with 

ultra-rare triple attack - 
mitokorozeme move 

me sitting here with 
chanko nabe dribbling down 
blackberry bush beard 

no smack for Ishiura
more man than I'll ever be 

I finish it all 
by writing silly poems 
for obscure website 

while Ishiura drives off 
in his green Lamborghini 

Kyusho Basho 2019 Honour Tanka Day Seven: CHIYOMARU (5-2)


Chiyomaru's one 
of my down-low favorites - 
sideburned heavyweight 

born in Shibushi, as a 
child he studied judo first 

by high school, sumo 
chose him, even though he had 
not yet chosen it 

he's got that extra-sumo 
shape, yet extremely agile 

his judo remains 
with him - day seven he fought 
Kotoshogiku 

immediately has his 
man pushed to the dohyo's edge 

Kotoshogiku 
regains footing, so "fuck it" 
thinks Chiyomaru 

he just shoots back other way, 
slapping his opponent down 

I often wonder 
the sense of touch in these men, 
feeling muscle shifts 

naked flesh pressed together, 
feeling the other man's thoughts 

unconscious of mind 
reaction times when one feels 
energetic shift 

using opponent's own force 
against himself - pure judo 

Kyusho Basho 2019 Honour Tanka Day Six: SHOHOZAN (4-2)


Hakuho's tiny 
protege, Enho, always 
fights above his weight 

somehow he does well, despite 
being many stones lesser 

against Shohozan
he again did far better than 
his size would dictate 

Shohozan maintained composure, 
got him slipping on the sand 

Enho had strange split - 
sumo dudes practice that leg split 
mobility shit 

the level of specific 
training involved in insane 

thousands of practice 
bouts, pushing giants backwards 
until exhausted 

serving up chankonabe 
for stable elders, for years 

this has been Enho's 
destiny, living under 
Hakuho's strong wing 

Enho's fighting an uphill 
battle, succeeding thus far 

but he's many bowls 
of chanko nabe lighter 
than most of these dudes 

on day six, mighty 
Shohozan caught the young buck 
slipping, sat him down 

on a day where all leaders 
except Hakuho took loss 

Shohozan - wily 
veteran maintaining place 
middle of the pack 

too good for juryo, but not 
quite good sanyaku level 

Friday, November 15

SONG OF THE DAY: Jump In



Discourse Warning – none of us born here chose to be American, that shit chose us. Any space is only as exceptional as how much effort and work the people occupying that space put into making it exceptional or special, or whatever the fuck. People don’t seem to be “putting in work” but they wanna still expect everybody to give America the accolades of being some mighty shining beacon of whatever the fuck we’re supposed to be a beacon of. One of the greatest strengths of trash culture like poor people or gangs or survivalist hillbillies is that these cultures all know that YOU AIN’T SHIT IF YOU DON’T KEEP PUTTING IN THE WORK. It’s all sand castles and washes the fuck away pretty quickly unless you keep putting in the work. Right now, America is fucked, but it’s mostly fucked because nobody wants to do the work. And I don’t mean manual labor at construction sites, I mean the hard work of fixing a bunch of shit that ain’t working for the benefit of most people. You can’t keep selecting your favorite self-important asshole because they got a blue or red check beside their name, and think they gonna do it. None of those fuckers care, because they don’t understand. But they think they know. People who don’t understand but think they know are the most dangerous human beings around. And that’s about 99.9% of our political class. So we’re fucked in that sense. So I’ll just keep putting in work, try to make alliances for survival, try to carve out a shady corner to be able to take deep breaths without somebody stepping on my head. I didn’t choose this life I’m living, it chose me. None of us picked getting slowly crushed by the corporate oligarchy’s avarice and greed that is the pyramid scam of America in the 21st Century; but we’re here. Putting in work won’t set you free – there’s no escape, unless you’re lucky. But putting in work means you don’t crushed out of existence, hopefully, at least not today. Although it’s crushing somebody else right now, and crushing way more than it’s lifting up.

Thursday, November 14

Kyusho Basho 2019 Honour Tanka Day Five: MEISEI (4-1)


Takayasu's big 
hairy ass is personal 
fave… always has been 

stoic gaze and bulldog frame, 
but the ozeki's struggled 

always injured it 
seems, and there's no break from this 
sumo life (for life) 

Meisei arrived on day five, 
with spirited performance 

they give an award 
out for best fighting spirit 
every basho 

Meisei made an early play 
for its consideration 

Takayasu's five  
thousand metaphysical 
pounds came out thrusting 

Meisei danced the physical 
rikishi tango dervish 

with lime green power aura, 
Meisei's metaphysical 
mystical force rose 

a twist of torso, yank of 
Takayasu - victory 

Kyusho Basho 2019 Honour Tanka Day Four: TOCHINOSHIN (2-2)


if Tochinoshin 
had remained full strength, might've 
made yokozuna 

the Georgian mountain of a 
man could overpower all 

full-strength, he lifted 
even the most gigantic 
men, and carried them 

now, with perpetual sore 
knee, plus elbow, not the same 

and yet, somehow he's 
still able to pull off these 
amazing displays 

tussling Takarafuji
no man gaining advantage 

looked like another 
Tochinoshin slow defeat, 
after his strength failed 

as it looks almost over, 
a rare kubihineri 

"head twisting throw" is 
the Japanese translation, 
first time in nine years 

one arm around opponent's 
neck, the other takes his hand 

then Tochinoshin 
twisted Takarafuji's 
neck until he flipped 

"where your head goes, your ass shall 
follow" George Clinton once said 

or something like that; 
but even not at full strength, 
Tochinoshin rules 

can't help but wonder about 
if he had remained healthy 

might we have seen the 
first ever European 
yokozuna rank? 

sumo is relentless; body's 
health will job to mental state 

Wednesday, November 13

Kyusho Basho 2019 Honour Tanka Day Three: WAKATAKAKAGE (3-0)


the makuuchi 
debut of another young 
sumo rikishi 

twenty-four years upon Earth; 
grown life in grappling's clutches 

his first basho has 
begun with promise and strength - 
but life can be cruel 

how many young rikishi 
start strong but burn out promptly? 

the weight of broken 
dreams attacks the heart harder 
than red meat vices 

his chankonabe bowl's full 
right now though; enjoy it, prince 

SONG OF THE DAY: No Class


I have meant to post more but I’ve been uninspired. That’s mostly your fault, to be honest. The internet is a bougie ass cesspool of neoliberal pretty vacancies, and that’s just the part I look at. The larger internet is giant strides towards blissful fascism, and fuck both those choices. I take pretty pictures and manipulate words with good practice, but I still think classlessly. I am a dirtgod – thus born ugly and forced to take pride in my wretched nature, because even if fully assimilated and exploited, I can’t be one of y’all. (Unless you’re not one of them either; in that case, did you watch that Dolemite shit on Netflix? That was great, wasn’t it?)

Tuesday, November 12

Kyusho Basho 2019 Honour Tanka Day Two: TSURUGISHO (2-0)


Tsurugisho 
and Shohozan have epic 
slap happy battle 

Tsurugisho absorbs 
concussion-like punishment 

and yet somehow he's 
able to grab Shohozan
and flip his ass out 

afterwards, for long moment, 
Tsurugisho stands still 

able to withstand 
in the moment, but after 
brain's like "what the fuck?" 

life briefly turns black and white - 
fighting through concussive fog 

sumo protocol 
is you continue until 
you are unable 

masculine traditions which 
are toxic yet intriguing 

wish my own toxic 
masculinity involved 
wearing dope silk robes 

instead, I sit, self-conscious 
in these lavender silk draws 

life slapped me around; 
and still I stand, stubbornly 
existing, goat mind 

noble Tsurugisho's 
fight through slap fog inspires me 

life is often like 
running headfirst into walls 
keeping you confined 

metaphysical slaps from 
all directions… frustrating 

fuck it though - refuse 
to quit; exist simply to 
piss off your masters 

goat minded people shall walk 
beyond End Times (like always)