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.

Wednesday, May 22

4N0TH3R DY1NG S0VTHS1D3...

another dying Southside
Virginia town, red clay bricks
crumbling back into the Earth

SONG OF THE DAY: #neverusetheinternetagain



Algorithms continue to feed us fast food pseudo-information, as manipulated by mechanisms beyond our ability to see, buried deep into the terms of service. These methods have allowed for maximizing marketing potential, to engineer our tastes and desires and even overall philosophies and identities, which is all built off the foundation that free market capitalism is good, and that marketing is a psychological mechanism for which all humans have the will power to deny if so desired, and that by taking part in all this culture we share under social conditions, we have given complete and continuing consent to this process. Only problem is most of what we think of as psychological is most likely neurological, which throws out the whole concept of will power, as well as whether this is ethically truly informed consent. But also, informed consent is a legal term, not a moral term, and legality and morality are not equal. Most of our culture is built off legal liability, not moral responsibility, so getting channeled by algorithms into depression, despair, debt, and all the other things – despite not really being all that moral – is entirely legal, and nobody is liable except for you (or me).
Since way back in the day, I’ve always thought of and described the internet as being this tiny little portal wherever you are, right up into the middle of the largest most sprawling cities on Earth, which on one hand is great because you have access to all these people and cultural items you never would be able to see otherwise. But it also gives you access to every dark horrible thing potential within human nature as well, and that access goes both ways. So it’s not necessarily better, or worse, but it’s huge, and imposing, and that may be too much for a single heart to handle in a lot of situations. I often think of giving it all up, going back to scribbling in notebooks beside the river on a bench, and I’d certainly be happier if I did that. But I’d also be disconnected, and miss out on a lot of good things and people I am precariously associated to through digital methods. Not sure if the overall effect is good or bad – I tend to lean towards negative, despite all the wonderful people I care about who I have zero idea of what they actually look like in real physical life. What a time to be alive! Who knew the dystopia would be so bright and engaging? All those ‘80s movies always made it seem much darker and utilitarian.

D0LL4R ST0R3 LVCH4D0R 1N...

dollar store luchador in
lime green light - an artistic
photograph by raven mack

Tuesday, May 21

H4ZY M3M0R13S 0F B4CK...

hazy memories of back
in the day wanderlust road
trips which never got nowhere

SONG OF THE DAY: Toumast


Doom and dysphoria high right now. So much digital fentanyl fog that we ain't even thinking about seeing clear no more, just wanna see our favorite fog, get wrapped up in it and let the hours scroll away. No red pill blue pill binaries, just lost, not even in between the accepted binaries but on a different spectrum entirely, not even acknowledged as real, so that everything feels unreal. Got me feeling that urge to walk to the ocean, make a pilgrimage of returning to the simplicity in most simplistic manner - on my own damn feet, slowly, ragged step by ragged step, and throw rocks into the ocean, stone the devil away, unfuck the world if I can in my own little rippling way while still on this crooked Earth.
The tracks run along the James from here to Richmond (and beyond), just walk checking off the mile markers, passing #69 where they'll scatter my ashes, pass the power plants in Bremo, pass the fork of the Rivanna where Rassawek once was, pass the state-controlled prison industrial complex, on through the western end suburban metastasis sprawl of Richmond, cross the river by Oregon Hill where my firstborn was first born, travel the southern end from there, along route 10, through the more neglected bank of western civilization, the south side always neglected for some abstract potentially related to cartography reasons, maybe cross back over on the ferry at Jamestown but maybe not because you can't walk across the tunnels to the ocean from that tip. Imagine that - building a conduit for travel across an immense body of untravelable Earth, but saying, "there can be no pilgrims here, only larger mechanized vehicles… humans are secondary" because progress is not necessarily ever about humanity so much as strange perversions in the minds of certain men. I'd hope that if I spent a couple weeks walking from here to the ocean, many of my own perversions and delusions and these feelings of doom and dysphoria and of being lost in the dystopian fog might lift a little, the manufactured veil pulled back just enough to baptize myself in the salt water and look out over the immensity contemplating my miniscule yet perfect existence - a single atom in the endless universe - and chill the fuck out, finally.

R3S0RT SKYL1N3 FR0M D1ST4NC3...

resort skyline from distance -
wide variety of same -
American leisure dreams

Thursday, May 16

PVTT1NG MY M0N1K3R 0N...

putting my moniker on
top of chemical cars, where
nobody will ever see

SONG OF THE DAY: Pocket Full of Stones



Had a chance to wander the woods near where I lived for the previous 20 but not the past year recently, and made me sad I missed the early spring popping of all the quartz pushed out the ground by cold frozen weather – a fresh crop of sharp powerful stones, same stuff used back in the days in these parts for tools and arrowheads. One time where the goat pen was on the land I used to live, they’d dug up an arrowhead. Got kinda afflicted with rockhound thoughts over the years wandering those woods on a quartz vein, where this one or that one would call me, want to come with, get stacked somewhere else. Sometimes I’d reach down and they wouldn’t let go of the ground and I’d be like “aight stone, you can stay where you want to be” and I’d let it go. I’ve got little piles of quartz everywhere where I used to live, everywhere where I walk now, in my apartment, trunk of my car, secret corners here or there – any time I go in the woods, whether cargo shorts or track pants, my pocket gets full up with stones that wanna go for a trip to somewhere else, and I put them together in little congresses, stacks of white trash quartz making noise in a pile, unified voices looming larger than individually libertied ones not wanting to be tread upon.
But whenever my silly tromping ass gets out in the woods (never lost – no grid out there to be lost from, just keep wandering, you’ll hit a creek or river or ugh development at some point) and I end up having all these rocks calling out to me, hitchhiking to a different location, circulating the power of lounge as charged by universal magnetics, getting weighted down slowly, even used to have a rucksack just for these purposes, I’d inevitably hear Pimp C’s slurring syrupy Texas drawl going “I got a pocket full of stonnnneeeeesssszzzzzzz” and that usually means I start freestyling heart scripture gibberish, which luckily out there in the woods is not gibberish at all but perfectly beautiful in its unscripted unedited unthunk-about-with-educated brain state. “I got a pocket full of stoonnnnnnneeeeeesssszzzzzzzzz…” alhamdulillah.

B4BVSHK4 0F TH3 4L03...

babushka of the aloe,
who after I took this pic
started killing the aloe

Wednesday, May 15

Monday, May 13

F1GHT1NG 4 D41LY B4TTL3...

fighting a daily battle
against mortality and
all the projects left in mind

SONG OF THE DAY: Floating



Floated through life without ever being shown the best direction, which is fine, because I’m a natural born seeker with that ancient caveman molecules nomad heart, searching for something that feels as close to right and real as I can find. Spirituality comes in an abundance of paths, because when that right and real gets nailed down at some random vivisection of time and space, and the steps for that moment are discerned and outlined and bullet pointed, the universe don’t give a fuck and keeps on spinning further, every molecule bound by constant motion, not stillness and the same. So spirituality has to bob and weave, ebb and flow, and feel out where right and real has meandered.
I’m doing pretty good today, although everything is as unstable as ever… most of that instability is just my position within the culture of order I’ve been born into. My personal stability is about as good as it’ll get, and ready to fluctuate if necessary, attached dangerously tight to far less, but holding onto what’s important with those I’m in constant rotation with. Continue to float through this temporary existence, and think a lot of the river I hike the railroad tracks along, which is the exact river that western culture first took hold in the Americas, at Jamestown down closer to the mouth of the James. Same river slaves were shipped up, western progress crawled up, our poison culture’s invasive tendrils going the wrong way up the river, against the floating flow, forcing a different way of things. I’m not saying it’s all bad, but I can’t pretend it’s all good either. And in very basic sense, removed from political discourse and too much brain thinking, in my heart I know it’s more pleasure and natural to float down the river than fight my way up it. There’s a lesson in that, but by pointing it out specifically I move from the ebb and flow to the forcing order of making you notice. So I fucked it up. Should’ve just gone to the river and sat there instead of typing these words. The crows say it so much better than I ever could anyways.

Saturday, May 11

S0M3H0W S3LF-3V1D3NT TRVTHS...

somehow self-evident truths
became justification
for a lot of fucked-up shit

SONG OF THE DAY: Definition of Infinity


Defining infinite is a poet's endeavor, because you are moving from objective fact to conceptual reality. And reality is still more conceptual than fact a majority of the time. Facts are the minority, yet they have taken a position in our culture as if they are the dominant majority, creating this false sense of scientific validity to all we do. This is why it's unsustainable. It can't maintain infinity. I prefer to live infinitely, not unsustainably, and ironically this means doing more with less, and sometimes even doing everything with nothing. Accumulating everything to where you can't do anything with none of it is the opposite of infinity. Conceptually speaking at least. I think.

4T T1M3S, W1SH1NG F0R B3TT3R...

at times, wishing for better
camera, but then again
we all get what we deserve

Thursday, May 9

4 M1ND FVLL 0F 1D34S...

a mind full of ideas,
inside a body tethered
to ceaseless obligations

SONG OF THE DAY: Chauffeur Bi



Having been privy to a decades long result of the terms and phrases people search to end up finding websites, I am going to guess this song title shall be a light that draws more than few wandering moths looking for something else. Luckily it’s a great song, even if you were seeking a vintage French porn clip instead.

DR41N1NG L4ST S3C0ND THR33S W1TH...

draining last second threes with
crowd of redbuds going wild
(except not, since public park)

Wednesday, May 8

L4Y3RS 0F D3C4Y 4FT3R...

layers of decay after
years of abandonment... and
yet, still beautiful to me

SONG OF THE DAY: Think About It



hard ass track from Sean P. (RIP) utilizing classic Special Ed sample
gives me multiple layers of hyped up
ready to quit my job and drive to Uruguay 

Monday, May 6

0VR L4NDSC4P3 0V3RSH4D0W3D...

our landscape overshadowed
by æther, but our focus
is misdirected downwards

SONG OF THE DAY: I Gave Up All I Had



First day of Ramadan, and I am not fasting because that fourth pillar is a tough one coming from the poison culture background of unsustainable abundance. I know fasting would be beneficial, but I’m weak right now, or lazy, or just generally unwilling to change, at least right now. It can sometimes feel like there’s been too much change, too rapidly, and one can’t possibly handle it. But at the same time, it’s not so much too much change as it is just the true nature of things recalibrating back to where it’s supposed to be. And you can handle it. Meaning I can handle it. Shout out to everybody trying to be a better version of themselves, especially those working without a good path to follow.

P30PL3 C0MPL41N1NG 4B0VT...

people complaining about
humidity, like complaints
about cold four months ago

Sunday, May 5

SONG OF THE DAY: Skinz


"skinz" is such a weird slang word in retrospect 
I am not a fan of ghostwriting in general when it comes to rap 
you should be your own words anything less is not alpha enough 
for my toxically trained ass 
however 
I will say 
any time Pete Rock was on the mic 
I enjoyed the fuck out of it 
even though I know he ain't write it 

ST4MP1NG Y34R 0F CR34T10N...

stamping year of creation,
like it's '82 until
infinity (but it ain't)

Friday, May 3

D1RTG0D N4TVR3 1S T0 S1T...

dirtgod nature is to sit
there watching the chickens cluck
around from now 'til the end

SONG OF THE DAY: Devil Got Me



devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me
devil don’t got me
devil got me 

Thursday, May 2

S4M3 R1V3R F0R C3NTVR13S...

same river for centuries,
which western progress crept up
wrong direction like kudzu

SONG OF THE DAY: Yo Soy Norteño



Every day of my life I think about how I need to get better at Spanish. Couple years back I rode the bus from L.A. to New Orleans, and until we hit El Paso, I was the only gringo on the bus as it crawled along the highway close to the border. I hadn’t had a shower since Chicago (having gone to Seattle by bus, then down to L.A. by train since Chicago), and baby wipes in the bathroom wasn’t cutting it. Sat next to this nice bilingual woman though, who said nothing about how I stank, and even shared her George Lopez special on her ipad with me. It was chill.
Where I used to live out in the country, there was people across the road with confederate flags still up, and they was on that immigrant hate shit, I’m sure. I never got that, because if somebody’s taking your job, is that the worker’s fault, or the bossman’s fault? If your boss is hiring somebody for lower wage and pushing you out the door, why are you mad at the other worker? That’s a dude in the same situation you are, out here struggling to survive on this goddamned greedy ass Earth. I’d rather have immigrants next door than confederate flags anyways.
Nonetheless, I gotta get better with mi español. I look forward to be an old ass gringo somewhere where it’s not white as fuck, reading Galeano at a café that makes an ojo negro with cayenne.

4M N3V3R R34LLY SVR3 1F...

am never really sure if
people could see what's going
on in my bedroom or not

Wednesday, May 1

TH3 SM3LL 0F R4C1NG FV3L 4S...

the smell of racing fuel as
strong as the smell of fresh cut
grass or mimosa blossoms

SONG OF THE DAY: Loup Garou



The mythologies of demon creatures who perhaps were never demons but just normal spirits that organized religion demonized to pull people out the swamps and from the mountains, out of the semi-feral but entirely whole Earth, and into stone clusters of boxes called civilization. Rouxgaroux is a wolfman from the swamplands, and carried the same threatening stories to misbehaving children that were used elsewhere with the New Jersey Devil or the Mothman (who was a “bat monster” in the story my parents recounted to me of them having seen him as teenagers). Science and religion are a binary in our culture, and as with all binaries, what’s really the truth is probably at neither binary pole. These creatures can’t be proven to exist thus they aren’t scientifically validated and fall on the wrong end of the true/false binary of science. But also they’re not necessarily evil spirits so much as spirits that exist beyond Christianity and outside the godly good end of the religious good/evil binary. So these two binaries of belief – religion and science – put the rouxgaroux on the bad end of their binary, thus it’s a grey zone of the science/religion binary. And even the description of these creatures breaks binary thinking – a human who transforms into an animal, at least with the head of an animal, which suggest thinking like an animal, like a wolf or dog, or in the case of the Mothman with a bat’s head. Both science and religion also think our brain is where we think everything so the mythological head being a different creature means our thinking is fucked and unhuman.
I don’t know, have you looked around at everything lately? Maybe we need to not think so much like humans. Maybe we need a little more holistic swampland philosophy in our lives, a little more “what would a dog do?” in certain moments. I ain’t saying it’d solve everything, but all these binaries where we make everything an on/off switch like the lights on the front porch, it don’t seem to be working. And by “working” I don’t mean remaining productive, I mean giving us a good quality of life where we enjoy existence. Kinda feel like that should be the goal, as a culture, and to be honest wolves seem to have that shit down better than humans do. So maybe we need more wolfmen.
Oh here’s a great story. When my maternal grandmother was dying, she was in the hospital, and it was literally the final days, she was on oxygen, not eating, and I went to sit with her, and just sort of pray and hold space for her to be at peace and transition. She wasn’t talking at this point, kind of in and out, but she started yanking at her oxygen thing in her nose, and I kept fixing it. But she kept, in this half state of consciousness at the door of death, fiddling with her oxygen tube to take it off. I kept fixing it. All of a sudden she opens her eyes, looks at me, and says, “Just because you look like the wolfman, doesn’t mean you have to act like him!” And those were my grandmother’s final words to me, and perhaps to anybody, as she passed within the day.

H1D1NG VND3R 4 TR3STL3...

hiding under a trestle,
hoping the wireless poisons
are minimized... feeling weak

Monday, April 29

M4T3R14L C0NC3PTS 0F...

material concepts of
ownership no longer make
sense; return to Earth like rust

SONG OF THE DAY: Working Class Man



A lot of my interactions with punk music growing up were interactions with people further up the class scale than me, often times speaking to me condescendingly for not knowing something. That’s always been my problem with punk to be honest. On top of this, in the places I’ve lived, there started to be this pseudo-southern image cultivation on top of that class issue, perhaps best exemplified by the PBR craze among seemingly scummy types in mid-‘90s Richmond. I found that shit untrustable in a lot of cases, and for the most part the folks who tingled my “nah, don’t trust ‘em” intuition have panned out correctly. I will never get the rear view mirror looking back on what you did a long ass time ago thing, because – in my mind – you ought to still be doing things. I don’t believe in that notion that people are wilder when they’re young then get more conservative with age and live more normalized lives, and also thus reflect back on their younger adult years as something special. Why the fuck ain’t you still challenging shit? Ain’t nothing really changed for the larger world. You just settled down and into the channel you already were following. Anyways, I’m open to all people, but tbh I find allegedly “old punks” who are blatant capitalists or entirely stable middle class denizens tiresome af. Growth is a real thing, I know that, so I don’t expect you to be G.G. Allin until you die, but goddamn don’t be sitting there with $2000 worth of visible tattoos drinking an $8 pint of beer trying to talk to me about what’s real and authentic. Because you’re not speaking my language.

M3 4ND MVLL31N ST4ND1NG T4LL...

me and mullein standing tall,
beside the railroad tracks on
a simple Sunday morning

UPCOMING HAIKU SLAMS

The 411 on upcoming Sovthern Gothic Fvtvrist Haiku Slams.
  • WEDNESDAY JUNE 12 - CHARLOTTESVILLE VA - TWISTED BRANCH TEA BAZAAR

Our regular gig at Tea Bazaar for June. Always a spectacle. Don't forget to check out the monthly open mic at the Tea Bazaar as well, on the first Monday of each month, hosted by your boy Raven Mack.

I do also have an official (lol) website now, with a page on haiku slams there as well - check it out - and book me to come do one of these things in your neck of the woods.

Friday, April 26

TH3 BR1GHT S4F3 ST3R1L1Z3D...

the bright safe sterilized
lights of nicer better but
unaffordable D.C.

SONG OF THE DAY: Oatmeal


Always forget how much I love oatmeal because I don't eat breakfast for the most part, until I make it, and put in some golden raisins and pecans or walnuts or whatever almost expired fruit and nuts is sitting in my cabinet about to go bad and get tossed to the squirrels, which feels dumb to have spent $15 at Trader Joe's seven months ago just to feed squirrels now.
But sometimes I am standing there, wasting food, and money, and I think "oh yeah, oatmeal!" and I make some and it is always good, but never good enough to make me think I should eat breakfast all the time. Fuck that, I'm staying in bed that extra eleven minutes.

3V1CT10NS T0 M4K3 R3P41RS...

evictions to make repairs -
gentrifying neighborhood
laundering morality

Thursday, April 25

SONG OF THE DAY: Childhood's End



I was going to write some things but then the song is about childhood’s end and I figured I’d rather go outside than write some things. I’ve been trying to do that more. Internet is a poisonous cocktail for all our hearts. It didn’t used to feel that way but they’ve put in some additives, wireless corn syrup or some shit. So I’m going outside, to sit on that one bench in the corner of the spiral garden. I’ll be there for like 45 minutes so come out there and talk to me.

M3M0R13S 0F TR4V3L1NG...

memories of traveling
to gnome enclave hidden deep
in California redwoods

Wednesday, April 24

BLVRS FR0M BVST3D C4M3R4S...

blurs from busted cameras -
just dropped another one while
getting out the car tonight

SONG OF THE DAY: Let's Do It In Slow Motion


OUT HERE LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST 
EVEN THOUGH CULTURE TRIES TO SHRINK IT TO THE SMALLEST 
TRYING TO CRUSH MY LIME GREEN BLAZE ORANGE AURA YIN YANG 
BENEATH MINIMUM PAYMENTS AND MAXIMUM TIME DEMANDS 
BUT YOU KNOW WHAT POISON CULTURE? 
I STAY MOVING SLOW, EVEN WHEN ON THE CLOCK 
KEEP IT SLOW AS FUCK, GOT MY HEARTBEAT AT SCREWED AND CHOPPED BPM 
Y’ALL GONNA KILL US ALL ANYWAYS 
THE ROAD GONNA END WHEN IT ENDS 
MIGHT AS WELL ENJOY THE SCENERY 
WITHOUT BLOWING A GASKET EARLY 

B4CK WH3N P30PL3 W4S BV1LD1NG...

back when people was building
to be enjoyed for a life,
not flipped at a profit