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.

Monday, June 3

SONG OF THE DAY: Knockin' on Heaven's Door

The first time I did a cross country Greyhound trip, it went from Farmville, VA, to Oklahoma City, then up to Colorado, and then back to Keysville, VA. The night before I left, I watched Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, and filled a flask with Jim Beam that I carried with me on my trip. The bus station in Farmville at that point was at a country store in West End of town, and my dad gave me a ride there on his lunch break. An outlaw woman my folks both knew worked there at the time actually, and my dad was kinda freaked out about me disappearing, but whatever fuck it, to him it would’ve been gay to express emotions like that, so he let me disappear. The Greyhound showed up, and two guys got off the bus to grab snacks, one of them proceeded to pass out in the store because of some pills he’d just taken, and we were on our way.
A lot of hilarious and fucked up memories from that trip – spending four days drinking alone in a shitty OKC motel room in a sketchy motel, wandering Boulder and realizing how out of place I am with a lot of society, making my way home to what was home then but now I feel horribly disconnected from. I walked to the pay phone at the gas station about a half mile from where the Greyhound dropped you off back then in Keysville (at the old video store/arcade place), called my mom to come pick me up, singing “Walkin’ Back to Georgia” by Jim Croce the whole time. Sat on my backpack and my mom picked me up, and now we are estranged, and thus I am estranged from my home, with no desire to fix it. I’ve had a couple of broken relationships I’ve recently considered repairing, but it felt like more work to keep them broken than reconnect them, but it’s only caused me to return what caused the break in the first place, and honestly that shit ain’t on me.
I am feeling my mortality now more than ever before in my life. Previously, I assumed I’d be dead by now to be honest, following the path laid before me by my dad and his dad – dead in mid-40s, a tombstone that eventually gets visited less and less because everybody has moved on, both emotionally and geographically. I labor in ways that don’t satisfy me, and the things that do satisfy are seen as lacking value to our culture. There’s always that saying “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life!” and it pisses me off to no end because that’s not realistic, at fucking all. I am filled with resentment and anger, and feel as though I have spent my energies on others, and not on myself. This would be fine if I got a return on that energy expended, but I ain’t feeling it. So I feel like disappearing again, and doing so by the warming light of an arsenal of burned bridges. Thus, music like “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”  – a personal soundtrack for saying fuck it – seems to sound louder than normal to me lately. The seeds of saying fuck it are sown over generations, and they always still sit inside somebody like me. You can break a lot of cycles and habits and cause them to be more dormant, not bear fruit automatically with perennial persistence. But still, the conditions get right, your life is composted with just the right combo of frustration, dissatisfaction, and going nowhereness, and a seedling of fuck it sprouts again. And you might want to weed it out right away, but they start sprouting a lot, and you’ve weeded so many out, and you start to wonder, “why the fuck am I weeding this out and nobody else is?” And you contemplate letting it grow, and bear fruit again, even though you know that fruit is mildly poisonous (and fatal in abundance… like my father and grandfather taught me). But it feels like a futile effort to keep weeding the fuck its out. And that’s where I am right now.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You are such an incredibly talented writer. This piece is so powerful to me. Much love, homeslice, always.