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.

Sunday, March 31

SONG OF THE DAY: Set Tripping

Fuck it, I'll listen to more Boo Yaa Tribe, sitting in the back yard with the bluetooth speaker dangling out the window, reading about the history of ghazals. Violets and dandelions everywhere, here in this strange part of Belmont, Charlottesville that's not quite Hogwaller (that's once you pass the BP) but also not really the gentrified part of Belmont just yet, though there is a big ass house they're finishing building up two doors down, and the old lady who legally owns this house I'm renting the basement apartment of had a stroke and is in her 90s, so once she passes, who knows what her kids do with these properties. Sometimes the process of old ways dying literally requires old people dying and the next generation not wanting to fuck with all the work of farming or owning places or working on washing machines or cars, and everything has slowly gotten outsourced to corporations for the past 40 years, and we are fucked.
I often think about weird things that academia doesn't give enough attention to, like how L.A. gangs, which were always geographically based, have been altered by gentrification. Are there hybrid gangs now in certain communities, or new truces and disagreements because of how certain neighborhoods were relocated to certain certain aging devalued subdivisions? American culture is weird, because it's sort of like having all these weird little actual cultures underneath the superficial level of no real culture at all other than absorbing the undergrounds ones into the sunlight until you've bleached them of all their microflora.

4 ST3R30TYP1C4L...

a stereotypical
sunset on wrong side of Earth
pic by simple eastern boy

Friday, March 29


still think about Kehinde
Wiley flipping wild stained glass
futuristic styles weekly

SONG OF THE DAY: Nont For Sale

Got turned onto Sudan Archives in the past six months and been loving that shit. Turns out she’s on Stones Throw, which has quietly been one of the consistently great pushers of solid music for a couple decades now. Capitalism is so fucked because in that twenty years, record industry remains shady as fuck, streaming has changed everything so that artists get exploited in even stranger ways, and my old ass is still illegally downloading things which has my kids lmao’ing at me because they stream it all, and then I’m like WHAT Y’ALL GONNA DO WHEN EVERYTHING’S IN THE CLOUDS BUT WE AIN’T GOT ACCESS TO THE CLOUDS NO MORE? WHAT Y’ALL YOUNG ‘UNS KNOW ABOUT THAT? and they roll their eyes. At least that that Juju on the Beat song is faded out so I don’t have to keep doing my WAIT A SECOND Y’ALL GOTTA HEAR THE REAL ONE and force Knuck if Ya Buck on them again, which usually leads into me playing Circles too and explicating the difference between pop rap and actual MC, and trying to clarify why Crime Mob MCs are superior to pop-manufactured female MC character actors, but just more eye rolls because kids know everything and old people like me don’t know shit. smdh.
Anyways, Sudan Archives is great, and Stones Throw is essentially Blue Note Records; if you don’t recognize that you’re probably actually the old one. In fact, just contemplating a Best of Stones Throw set of like 50 tracks to put up against any other label… or even doing such a project? Might have to call up the Xpert Whiteboyz Crew.

Thursday, March 28


Jesus pontificating
on how double-sixes is
the only real dominoes

SONG OF THE DAY: Funky Dividends

[as our scene begins, I am staring at the statue of liberty, 
who is sitting on the secondhand ikea futon in my living room... 
I have a look of frustration on my face; she speaks] 
AMERICA: "why you lookin' at me like that Raven?" 
ME: "cause man, American capitalist system built on meritocracy myth, if I had known you were going to do me like this, I would have never stepped to you from the giddy up." 
AMERICA: "well if I had known you weren't going to provide for me, I wouldn't have talked to you anyways. Straight up. I thought you was the Greatest Artist Alive. But I guess I was wrong." 
ME: "hmm. I wonder if my grandpops and pops went through things like this back in the day. Cause man, this ain't worth it." 
[boom bap beat fades as I disappear into the mountains, never to be heard from again, after hopefully creating a semi-autonomous zone, rather than just being eaten by the mountain demons born from the bat monster/mothman] 

0FF1C14L M3RCH4ND1S3 FR0M...

official merchandise from
major festival held in
outer banks roadside bathroom

Wednesday, March 27


my second child born upstairs
in this simple country home,
thus it's still sanctified ground


HEY! – did a zine in the past month that’s for sell at my website shop, but the response has been underwhelming. Not sure if it’s because it’s a shitty zine, because people don’t read zines, because people don’t have money, or because we’re all in a digital fog and tend to have open books on our lap to rest our phones on while we play new-fangled versions of grandma’s solitaire that’s somehow supposed to make us smarter.
HEY! – have a haiku slam coming up Friday night in Richmond, VA, at the Electric Nomad Dance studio. I’m actually excited to come back to Richmond, because I lived there so long, and have so many people I love so much there. The space is small but wonderful so I am super excited that hopefully good things come from this.
HEY! – I’ve been meaning to lay out and publish books quarterly this year, beginning with this spring, but time is at a premium for ya boy. I know everybody says that, but seriously, I am lucky if I ever sleep 7 hours a night three nights in a row, ever. In fact, generally it’s five a lot of nights. I am no yogi, this can’t last forever.
HEY! – Hit up my patreon. I’ve got neat shit going on over there, and for as little as a dollar a month you can get access to those things. And to be honest, the $10 a month level gets you tanka postcards in the mail, which I think is amazing, but much like the zine, response is mostly subdued.
HEY! – I don’t know if the world is foggy now, or I overrate my artistic value. Fuck it. I’m a horrible marketer and wracked with self-doubt, operating in a world that requires wolf behavior to gnaw constantly towards economic success. Maybe I need understudies. I’ll give you 5%.


staring directly at sun
then river brush, searching for
hidden signs inside the blurs

Tuesday, March 26

Monday, March 25


pack of high school boys proudly
putting on red M.A.G.A. hats -
too young to think that strongly

SONG OF THE DAY: Igrawahi Assouf

Homesickness or a longing for a home, as expressed through the guitar at hands of guitarist from historically nomadic people. The arguments of whiteness and nation-state in context of America sometimes miss me completely, because I don’t always feel at home, or there’s an aching in my legs to move, not even fly not get away, just to walk and make a pilgrimage to somewhere, try to find home. I often think this is what motivated hunter/gatherers to expand where they were, but out of a sense of something missing, not any colonial notion of ownership. The Earth is owned now, for the most part, at least all the parts if I have handy foot access to in my current lot in this only life I’ll get. And yet something is missing. I lived in a place for 20 years previous to my current tenancy, and hardly had just begun to feel at home there, and in less than a year that sense is completely gone. That’s the longest I’ve lived any one place in my life. Before that, I grew up in a vague geographic area, mostly entirely in the same county, so that part of the state sort of feels like home; but my relationship with the blood I came from is so fractured beyond repair, and the area has developed in ways that don’t feel the same to how it felt decades ago, that it doesn’t feel like home either. 
A sense of homelessness, different than houselessness, because being houseless is considered being homeless in America, because our notions of property ownership are so firmly ingrained that this is what it has to mean, and that once you have a place to live, you have reached a sort of material paradise where you couldn’t possibly be “homeless”. But I don’t know, a lot of the transitions with my kids in the past year in dealing with how their lives have changed is definitely a sense of no longer knowing where you live, and feeling homeless in my apartment, that’s it’s not home. I’ve felt that too. Shit I’ve been there almost a year and still feel like I’m just visiting the place. How many people think this way in our American culture? I’d bet plenty. Occupying spaces – leases and jobs – yet feeling completely homeless in any heartfelt way. And yet we mostly ignore it, or medicate ourselves with materialism, increasingly with digital materialism where the abundance is stored in the clouds which we’ll one day lose access to, and not only have the emptiness of spiritualism, but we won’t even have the clutter of physical materialism to continue pretending. 
I’ve done two loops around this nation, three summers ago by bus and train, and this past fall by train alone. I’d love to do it by foot, even if I didn’t make the entire continent. Or walk south, until I find a home, whether that means back to southside Virginia, or North Carolina, or the mountains of north Alabama, or the border of Texas and Mexico, or fuck it maybe I walk all the way through Central America and end up somewhere entirely different on these conjoined twin American land masses, and finally find a place I feel myself with, completely, because I don’t think I’ve gotten there yet. 

D3C4Y N0T 3V3N N0T1C3D...

decay not even noticed
on a day-to-day basis;
but sure enough - back to Earth

Sunday, March 24

PR00FS 0F 4 C0NSP1R4CY...

proofs of a conspiracy
become self-evident once
you've swallowed rabbit hole's hook

SONG OF THE DAY: Cherish the Day (Chopped Not Slopped)

Walked around DC the other night and there was a sterilization process I hadn't realized was so far done already. I mean, I knew five years ago when you saw cranes across the skyline, it was happening, but damn it's done now. I wondered where all the people went - same thing I wondered going to Richmond recent years, or is happening in Charlottesville now too. I'm sure it's like this all over America, and in fact the world, wherever those who can develop their deranged master plans see potential to do so. This was part of what drove people into Taksim Square in Istanbul. Globalization has happened post-Soviet collapse, and now we are seeing the sterilization process happen, so you'll eventually be able to eat at the same fucking shitty restaurants near the same fucking shitty hotels across the Earth.
Also while walking saw a pack of high school boys, all white but one Asian, and every white boy was proudly strapping on a Make America Great Again hat, but not the Asian kid. Felt weird because I always see people say we're aging out of this shit, that progress is inevitable. I don't know man, shit feels as fucked as ever politically, and global kleptocracy-wise.
But also my phone battery died while tromping around DC, and I was feeling somewhat dissociative too, out of my element (human), but I found a used book store and got a weird Japanese death poem book and got a medium fries at a Five Guys because they had outlets so I charged my phone and nibbled on fries, and there was a transient dude behind the column fumbling with his CD disc player and eating some food out of a clamshell he'd hidden in his bags, which he had rolling suitcase and trashbags full of shit by the door. Other people, well to do looking, came in and looked at him negatively, but then I turned around once and there was a white dude glaring at me too. Haha, what the fuck man, I guess the sterilization process will wipe me out too, I'm not the right type of white male. But I was sitting there watching the chill kids working at the Five Guys and the older black dude cleaning up, and the homeless black dude fumbling with his CD player still, and me, and the occasional lounger who wandered in or by despite all the progress that was being forced on everybody else, all the making things great again, which somehow feel worse to true loungers, and I realized that none of this matters, that we give politics and the powerful too much power. We could overthrow these fuckers any day we all decided, fuck an election, fuck voting, fuck the system, all the sterilization happens all the progress and cleaning but in some corner somewhere there goes a bang of energies and the whole thing is undone by sheer volume of loungers who refuse this shit.
Make no mistake, regardless of where you identify yourself on the divided political spectrum - it's all some bullshit right now, manufactured outrage and manipulation of weakened media sources. But the largest chunk of humanity, even in America, has an innate sense of lounge that one day y'all gonna put the sterilization procedures too close to, and it's gonna flash bang into what you hoped wouldn't happen. The spirit of lounge often is occupied with enjoying the moments, trying to live a life full of Sundays, with everything slowed down, cherishing each moment, each day. But the sterilization takes those spaces away, pushes us - the majority of us - into corners. We get depressed, feel trapped, sad, angry, resentful, because ultimately we just want to fuckin chill and be allowed to live.

Saturday, March 23


dollar store champagne glasses
clink in basement apartment,
waiting for pending downfall

SONG OF THE DAY: Blaxploitation

my real name is not my government name 
government names are considered 
the source of truth and the only real answer 
by assholes or cops or bosses 
or cop bosses or boss cops 
and unfortunately we live 
in a horrible age of boss cops 
which is why it is important to have 
less official real names 
more important than ever in fact 
the more real names you have 
the less authentic your government 
name becomes and thus the less 
power boss cop culture has over you 
so long as you keep it moving 

one of my many monikers was 
one thousand aliases because 
one can never have too many aliases 
this became one thousand feathers 
as each alias is a facet of the whole 
and to rely on a government name alone 
as official source of truth 
to properly answer to all these 
boss cops and cop bosses 
that is to no longer be free 
to not be who somebody thinks you are 
which you likely ain't 
any more 

H4RN3SS1NG TH3 P0W3R 0F...

harnessing the power of
fossilized dinosaurs, to
ensure a fresh extinction

Friday, March 22


snacking on baby bok choy,
oblivious to grand scale
disconnect I'm living in

SONG OF THE DAY: Sunshine Men

springtime official so 
the sunshine men can 
finally stop wearing shirts
or shoes or jobs or sobriety 
or earthbound thoughts from heart 
and finally start practicing 
outside magic at more 
regular pace as in 
every goddamn
day y'all 

C1V1L1Z4T10N 41N'T MVCH...

civilization ain't much
more than extension cords of
human power connecting

Thursday, March 21

SONG OF THE DAY: Overnight Scenario

I never was a Jay-Z fan, always thought he was overrated in that way NY is always quick to overrate dudes in order to maintain status as the true and living home of hip hop. I mean, he’s not bad, but he’s not part of the greatest ever conversation. Big part of what sealed that thinking for me was him trying to jack this Rare Essence hook and act like it was cool just reworking something, no big deal. Fuck that.
No hip hop mogul ever became a hip hop mogul through their hip hop skills – it’s always been traditional capitalist exploitation practices, specific to music industry. Puffy, Dre, Russell Simmons, Jay-Z… all these guys didn’t become fabulously wealthy to where they can own Basquiats by making dope beats or writing ill ass verses. They did it by exploiting others through music industry, and then other means. They’re good businessmen, sure, but to be honest I don’t respect “good businessmen” at basic level, because in American version of business, there’s a certain level of heartlessness involved. But now Jay-Z and Beyonce are this fabulously wealthy power couple, and they get news fed into my brain fairly regularly, because we’re supposed to love them as an alternative to traditional power couples (namely, white and old), and it creeps into bugging me about how I don’t really want a more diverse ruling class as much as I’d rather have no ruling class. Like sure, a diverse ruling class is not as fucked up as just an old white ass ruling class, but I’d really prefer there not be insanely and unnecessarily wealthy people who because of their wealth have anything they want to be forced into my consciousness get shoved into my brain by algorithms which are the yakubian semi-perfection of commercial trickeries, considered psychological manipulation but let’s be real, it’s neurological likely, the science just ain’t caught up to it, and probably never will because science wants to enforce our preconceived hypotheses a lot of times, and ain’t really all that altruistic itself.
Anyways, all this bums me out when I think about wealth and poverty and people struggling to survive and how almost everybody I know is barely treading water, and how I still dream like a fucking mark of getting paid for my art or writing, which is a rube’s delusion that the carnival is not rigged, and the carnival is not even paying out fetal alcohol token stuffed animal prizes any more like it used to, because nobody can afford the carnival, and we’re living in a closer to end times situation than anybody is acknowledging, and it spirals into a total and complete lack of giving a fuck. But then I put on actual go-go music, not shitty Jay-Z music, a fringe cultural creation that’s pretty amazing, which never was able to capitalize on its greatness in any large worldwide marketable way, but is still greater than so much that has been marketed. The idea that economics makes something better is a trash concept. But the go-go makes me feel better, and it also reminds me that people have always done amazing things in what might look like dark and terrible environs, because art helps people feel better. Thus go-go thrived, despite DC’s crack epidemic, and groups like Rare Essence built legends, even if they didn’t get paid anything like a Jay-Z, nor could a Jay-Z figure out how to exploit them at national level, other than stealing their hook and saying they had no claims to it since go-go music was just remakes of other people’s music anyways. I’ve been rewatching the Sopranos and this is literally what Hesh used as a defense of the record producer guy threatening to sue him over some royalties. Hesh was like, “oh yeah, well you sampled this other thing which I’m gonna countersue for.” That’s what Jay-Z did with Rare Essence.
Two hundred years from now, I guess people may remember Jay-Z, hard to say. How many musicians and artists do we remember from 1819 or before? I’m not even sure. Most everything I talk about has been since the ‘50s lolol. But I doubt anybody will remember Rare Essence then. And yet somehow they are a beautiful piece of the sediment of go-go music which makes up the cultural fabric of DC, which is – like most cities – being gentrified into a pasteurized version that is becoming a giant faux independent Starbucks playing Beyonce music style diversity of sameness. As an artist, I’d much rather be a Rare Essence than a Jay-Z. But also I’m old so I’m going the fuck to bed way before 8 am. Can we get an early dinner and get the overnight scenario done by 1 at the latest? Please?

TH3 0NLY T1M3 1 F33L L1K3...

"the only time I feel like
I exist" existential
crises on post-modern Earth

Wednesday, March 20

W34LTHY M3N G3T T0 R34L1Z3...

wealthy men get to realize
their cocaine visions, land scaped
to give them what they desire


the full (fool) moon (glowing orb) has tag teamed 
our collective psyche with vernal equinox 
the crows have begun to caw with more force 
announcing the return of getting some shit done 
red buds of tree (not the purple of redbud official) 
are popping up high on the mountain above my basement apt. 
as well as along the interstate I pretend to move upon 
yellow forsythia flashing me sexily 
contemplation upon finally building 
that pyramid of creeping phlox 
angled towards the sky 
an altar of earthen work 
dedicated to nothing 
except the power 
of lounge 


cheap metal buildings full of
slow dying American
dreams, bound for chapter sevens

Tuesday, March 19


practice of sanctuary
lost in recent translations
of them books people thump hard

SONG OF THE DAY: Braggin' Writes Revisited

The wonderful aspect of a true and living sub-culture as opposed to one just manufactured by capitalist based materialism, is there's so many sediments and layers to the true and living sub-culture. I'm currently involved in helping with organizing a local community hip hop festival, and as part of it last year, they had a panel talk discussing the history of hip hop shows and groups and endeavors locally. It was amazing to watch that, and piece together the history of this one small southern city's hip hop. It's like that everywhere too - an art form (always with the dream of becoming business) where all these people, at generations level now, got to express themselves in this thing that blossomed from the South Bronx in the 1970s. Shit man, writing raps and freestyling carried me through the '80s as a rural kid, and in retrospect it's amazing to me that little ass Farmville, Virginia, had an AM radio station that played hip hop back then, which a lot of cities didn't even have. It's amazing that the club which had been Ernie's Disco, owned by my first grade teacher's husband, which we took a field trip to back in the day, just to dance and shit. Fevers has seen a ton of touring acts come through over the years, and has a pretty crazy reputation, but fuck it you know, people need places to go.
With all that in mind - the layers and sediments of hip hop culture - it's crazy to think of all the legends, absolute geniuses who exist in these tendrils of that culture, who are probably hardly known at mainstream level. J-Live is one such legend, just a beast of a lyricist and MC, and also public school teacher in Washington, DC (last I knew). I go through lyricist fetish periods, as all semi-educated white males who love hip hop tend towards (lol), and whenever that happens, J-Live usually pops up. An absolute legend, whether people know of him or not.

Monday, March 18


the silhouette of beachfront
hotels on a cold winter
night, but still partially lit

SONG OF THE DAY: Ex Girl to the Next Girl

Damn did I love Gang Starr at one point, personally thought of Guru as one of the top five MCs of all-time. One thing that's lost in modern hip hop is that MC/producer tag teamsmanship, with producer generally also being a DJ in those days. I guess it's sort of come back around because we do get all these pretty interesting projects where an MC does a whole project with a single producer. I don't know, I feel like Illmatic tricked people into thinking having a multitude of producers over a project was a good idea all the time, but not every project does it like Illmatic did.
Anyways, Guru's end of life where he was sick and all caught up in an abusive friendship/relationship with MC Solar, that's some wild shit, but also not wild because it happens to way more people than we realize. But at one point I remember constantly thinking how the sign of a dope MC was when they get snippets of their lines sampled for hook for someone else's song. That was gonna be Guru at one point - like on par with some of the all-time greats. But the wheels came off that shit. He got separated from Premier, lost that hot tag teamsmanship, and ended up paired with MC Solar, which ultimately ruined the last years of his life.
This song carried me through a bad relationship or two. I still got the 12-inch single in fact. In the old heads arguing about classics, I put Gang Starr's Daily Operation up there with almost anything. RIP Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal.

D33P GR33N R3S1ST4NC3 T0 WH1T3...

deep green resistance to white
people's persistence that they
really are bout it bout it

Saturday, March 16

SONG OF THE DAY: Cali-Tex Connect

I am not afraid to listen to some really horrible music from time to time. In fact, nobody should be. Everybody acts like they're a cultural critic online, that you are curating for eternity only the most important things to be consumed (as if any of this pop culture we make is strong enough to stand the test of even a decade much less eternity), but we are not. We are people who are consuming things. If it makes you feel good, and is not poisoning you, then fine. (When you figure in the subconscious, and how much of our pop culture is poison for the subconscious, it becomes more complicated, but that is a conversation for a Tuesday morning, not a Saturday afternoon.)


under the shadows of night,
wandering this small city
in couple hour increments

Friday, March 15


swimming before a lightning
storm, after eating at a
Chinese buffet, 'cause fuck it

SONG OF THE DAY: Jacob's Ladder

I think I'm finally coming out my latest Rush phase, which doesn't happen all that often, and usually in colder months. It doesn't necessarily feel all that great, but there is a certain cleansing nature to it. I guess it's like getting a really shitty flu every now and then, and simultaneously vomiting and shitting a bunch of toxins out of your body accidentally as the virus momentarily seizes control of your system. And you're a little wore out afterwards, but a week later, you actually might feel better than before, plus you're immune to that strain for now. Until it mutates and shows up again somewhere down the road. So thankful I'm over it now. My apologies if I've accidentally infected you with Rush in the process.

25-Man Metaphysical Roster: Burnley F.C.

[25-Man Metaphysical Roster is a football dork methodology meant to establish a listing of players who have been most active for English Premier League teams in their past 100 non-friendly matches. Essentially, it is calculated by minutes played, but weighted towards most recent games. The end result is a listing of the 25 players in a team’s recent history who have had the largest hand on their metaphysical sporting trajectory. The English Premier League was chosen because it is the highest level of football played in an English speaking country, and I speak English. Also, it is what comes on TV here in the USA, where I fucking live. And yet still I should clarify I hate English, and also America. Thus maybe I hate myself. Should I not fail in maintaining my unpaid deadline, a new 25-Man Metaphysical Roster will appear on the 1st and 15th of every month.]

WORKING THROUGH A MISSED YEAR BECAUSE WE RE-LAUNCHING THIS BITCH ON JUNE 1ST, 2019!!! This would’ve been Burnley’s run-through on March 15, 2019.
#1: JACK CORK (up from #7 last time Burnley was metaphysically ranked on 15-Apr-2018; thus also his FIRST METAPHYSICAL STAR)
#2: BEN MEE (down from #1 last time)
#3: JAMES TARKOWSKI (up from #9 last time)
#4: CHARLIE TAYLOR (up from #22 last time)
#5: JEFF HENDRICK (down from #3 last time)
#6: ASHLEY BARNES (down from #5 last time)
#7: ASHLEY WESTWOOD (up from #19 last time)
#8: JOHANN GUDMUNDSSON (same as last time)
#9: CHRIS WOOD (up from #20 last time)
#10: MATTHEW LOWTON (down from #4 last time)
#11: PHIL BARDSLEY (up from #21 last time; also previously ranked #24 for Stoke City on 01-May-2018)
#12: STEPHEN WARD (down from #2 last time)
#13: AARON LENNON (up from #24 last time; also previously ranked #23 for Everton on 01-Aug-2018)
#14: KEVIN LONG (up from #17 last time)
#15: NICK POPE (down from #6 last time)
#16: SAM VOKES (down from #12 last time)
#17: JOE HART (previously ranked #20 for West Ham United on 01-Mar-2019)
#18: TOM HEATON (down from #13 last time)
#19: STEVEN DEFOUR (down from #11 last time)
#21: ROBBIE BRADY (down from #16 last time)
#22: SCOTT ARFIELD (down from #10 last time)
#24: BEN GIBSON (previously ranked #1 for Middlesbrough on 01-Apr-2017)
#25: GEORGE BOYD (down from #15 last time)