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.

Friday, August 30

SONG OF THE DAY: Terroir


THE 99 WAVES OF AN EXTENDED REMIX TO LAST SUMMER WEEKEND 
laborwave callouswave 
brokewave serfwave peasantwave 
rainbowgadsenflagwave 
beebalmwave creepingphloxwave forsythiawave 
synthiawave synthwave mystwave 
starrcadewave royalrumblewave 
brazodeplatawave doubledropkickwave 
heelwave sheikhwave fireballwave 
scrappymcgowanwave 
vistawave vaporwave mistwave 
chincoteaguewave ocracokewave lordsburgwave chillicothewave 
thegreatwillieyungwave catchemslippinwave 
halfpricethighswave 8piecewave alldarkmeatwave 
gothiccwave fvtvrismwave 
skynyrdwave freebirdwave 
pawgwave dawgwave 
gaspwave okiewave 
backroadswave twofingerwave nodwave 
crowwave vulturewave 
tendrilwave melatoninwave 
metastasiswave saviourwave 
thriftwave fleawave junkwave floatwave driftwave 
globalsouthernwave newearthwave oceanraftwave 
thorheyerdahlwave joyharjowave 
terrorwave 
rustwave phosphoricacidwave omega3wave reishiwave 
supportticketwave 
paintfumewave huffwave courtorderwave 
recoverywave harddrivewave 
slawwave purplecabbagewave 
purplehazewave beezlewave bezelwisdomwave 
loungerwave 
dhikrwave tasbihwave martyrwave 
zincwave cubiczirconiumwave blavatskywave 
snakewave adrianstreetwave welshminewave 
hustlewave strugglewave jihadwave 
validwarrantsonlywave marginallyinnocentwave acabwave dornerwave doomerwave 
segundavaporwave maradonawave chivowave gringowave 
alhamdulillahwave subhanallahwave 

Wednesday, August 28

SONG OF THE DAY: Scuffle Town



Thankful people don’t actually read websites any more so that nobody actually sees this and either gets mad at me or has their feelings hurt. Punk music has always seemed like bourgeoisie bullshit to me, a performance of rebellion before slowly leaking back into the cul-de-sac futures your parents envisioned for you all along. Richmond in the ‘90s built that perception for me. The punk scene was insular, self-important, and progressively misogynistic, not to mention mostly afforded to folks to at a higher class status level. For as much posturing of slumming it up that punk does, there’s still a basic financial investment in wardrobe and constant shows that an actual poor can’t do.
The local scene was dominated by one group, and I dealt with all those dudes to one extent or another at some point in my time. Some were more chill than others. They had a set of reunion shows recently, and it was very weird to see the old class hierarchies back in effect, people clamoring for elusive tickets and making a high school reunion-like weekend of it. I’ve never been one to really understand the notion of being like “oh 20 years ago was the shit!” because shouldn’t your creative drive continue throughout life? But what struck me most was the level of economic comfort how many old punks had achieved. Having access to wealth, even through family, even if it’s tacitly, to get down payments on homes in cheaper neighborhoods you swear you’re not gentrifying, or to be able to support self-employment efforts that wouldn’t be sustainable without that adjacency to wealth from time to time… I don’t know, it’s weird, and it again confirmed all my suspicions about the class issues inherent to punk rock. Back then, a lot of the punks felt like assholes, and not in a fun “let’s be contrarian to the system” sorta way, but just in a regular old white guy asshole type way, juts with tattoos and patched hoodies instead of normal white guy asshole attire. Age has probably mellowed that outward expression of asshole, but that’s also because a certain level of comfort has afforded them that.
Clique-y scenes will always be bullshit, and just extensions of the existing status quo bullshit, but done through the act of being different. It is far easier to assimilate and appear counter to mainstream culture when you have access to the safety nets to make your daring countercultural jumps not a danger to your existence. There’s a lot of old punks, in Richmond as well as many other cities, that have been part of older gentrifying waves of urban spaces, and somehow consider themselves a voice of everyday people, or the poor and marginalized, or at least feeling sympathetic to those causes. I don’t know man, you’d think I’d not be shocked at people’s hypocrisy in this pyramid scam of wealth that is American existence, but I still am shocked by it.

Monday, August 26

freestyle sonnet #103: RECESSION IS COMING...


Recession is coming, but I'm already broke, 
duct taping my minimum payments together, 
economic vegan when it comes to making 

ends meet, plus completely paralyzed by too woke 
timelines streaming my consciousness into whether 
my children will survive in-real-life Earth shaking 

with more climactic extremes turning dreams to dust, 
no gods left to entrust; plus, feeling my own age 
and knowing I can't fend off the wolves like once could. 

Feeling the heat, while knowing this cold world's unjust, 
unsure of whether to grab white sage or 12-gauge - 
through techno logic, they've even gentrified "good", 

so that ev'rything feels bad, poisoned, and polluted... 
deep breaths to keep heart unmuted, mind heart-rooted. 

Sunday, August 25

SONG OF THE DAY: Buddies


I suffer from lack of a circle, where most of my brainstorming is done solo style. The place I live has a conflated sense of self due to the large university here that's listed as a public ivy, but a lot of the shit I see coming out of here artistically lacks a certain possessed spirit. Maybe I expect too much. Maybe I'm full of shit. I don't know. But I know most of the ramping up of my self, the inspiring of self, unfortunately has to come from myself. That shit is tiring, and also leads to being too secluded without outside shit being funneled in.
Couple years back I was reaching out to various folks, seeking mentors so to speak. I've been very lucky to have navigated the self-destructive minefields I have without fucking myself up so far, but also realize I never had access to mentors, to people to guide me through the shit I don't understand culturally coming from the direction I came from. None of them really worked out. It left me feeling unmoored.
Fuck it though. Do what I can even if as lonely nomad without elder guidance. That makes me weaker, especially as I get older, but this world is poisoned by a culture of possession, where folks are either monetizing their elder knowledge, or their charging for lesser knowledge when they're not even elder status because everyone's so desperate to have better understanding. We've got no lineage of culture, no chains of deep knowledge. The older I get, the more lost I feel, and the more times I make a big circle around this American land mass, the more I realize the only real solution to most of what is fucking up everything is a return to ways more akin to what existed pre-Columbian, albeit complemented by modern technology. But fuck, I wish I had somebody other than the mirror to give me guidance.

Thursday, August 22

SONG OF THE DAY: Washing



There shall be a cosmic space jam/southern gothic futurist haiku slam in about a week in Blacksburg, featuring my man Boogie Brown and his Blue Globe Beats, as well as me doing whatever the hell it is I do. I am hopeful we have competitors. I don’t recruit people hard enough, but all this shit I do is a lot of work sometimes, and I’m fucking wore out. All I wanna do is sleep, like for 29 days straight, catch up on my lifetime loss of sleep partially. I’m excited about the event in Blacksburg though, mostly because it’s beautiful people that I know are involved. I hope to connect with more beautiful people too.
Everything feels fucked up in this world right now if you focus on the information you’re being fed, but if you walk around outside, talk to actual people, there’s still a ton of beauty to this world. It’s not as bad as it seems. Even the animosity humans feel for each other, it’s all magnified by these digital splitting mauls we get channeled with. People are people, and that remains a natural fact.
Too many manmade facts today are not natural facts. We need more natural facts. Also, yesterday I thought about giving myself a “takin’ care of business” tattoo, like throwback trash ‘70s style. Why? Because even if I don’t recruit competitors for slams like I should, or contact local media, or do all the normal people shit that normal people would do, I’m takin’ care of business. It’s just my business is more loungin’ than all that other stuff.

Monday, August 19

SONG OF THE DAY: Beautiful Mistake



(ten beautiful mistake haiku)

beautiful mistake
walking this bizarre life path
entrusting magic

beautiful mistake
broken brain whole-heartedly
still moving forward

beautiful mistake
of existing while brainwashed
that bootstraps are real

beautiful mistake
car won’t start by the river
forced to sit idle

beautiful mistake
fading tattoos which record
heart on piecemeal sleeve

beautiful mistake
considering nation-state
perfect, without fail

beautiful mistake
wasting time at work (meaning
indulge self instead)

beautiful mistake
honeysuckle and kudzu
reclaims factory

beautiful mistake
of “fuck it” thoughts triggering
greyhound destinies

beautiful mistake
created by accident
blossomed as dirtgod

Saturday, August 17

SONG OF THE DAY: Blikka Bam


Went to a demolition derby at a country ass fair last night, in the borderlands blue ridge areas that make up a certain dynamic of VA/WV/KY/TN/NC - that central Greater Appalachia area. I consider myself culturally a greater appalachian, because I read the relevant parts of that academic dork book, and that shit all made sense and applied to me. Demo derbies have always been big part of trash culture (lol as I explained to my gf's friend last night assorted nonsense about demolition derbies, I remembered to say I was a "trash culture anthropologist"), but in the feature event, the big body welded classics, there was a fuckin' car flying an Army flag and a goddamn Blue Lives Matter flag. This disgusted me, and I was actively and openly rooting against this fucker (unsettling the people I was with, as they looked around at our budding fascist footsoldier environs) because the act of wrecking up fucking cars is a desperate art built from fucked circumstances, and in no way whatsoever should somebody from that environment be flying a goddamned Blue Lives Matter flag (which is thinly veiled racism, and not even veiled fascism). Fuck that.
I'm often thankful my dad died when he did because sometimes I'm afraid if he was still alive he'd be pro-Trump and talking to me about Q Anon shit. As it stands, he was frozen in time and I can hold him as a good-hearted addiction/alcoholism-inclined man who disliked government and cops, which is how it should be. HOW THE FUCK DO YOU LIKE COPS?
Anyways, the stupid blue lives matter car was painted nicer than all the rest, and barely got smashed before breaking down along the way and just sitting there, looking nice to the undiscerning eye, but ultimately fucking useless during actual conflict, so I guess it ended up being a good metaphorical representation of cops. But the abundance of boot-licking foot soldiers for fascist ass military police states who have had their thin suppressed racism be switched into outward expression of lack of tolerance because somehow they feel like they're the ones who have been oppressed because they can't say dumb shit to everybody, the sheer abundance of these types that have been fermented in rural America really has started to freak me out. On a personal sense, I'm not into having guns, because of personal history and shit that has happened, but I've never been against them in principle, although I think the way people's brains are broken as fuck today, we probably don't need everybody having assault rifles.
And yet, these blue lives matter fascist adjacent fuckers who somehow think they are about god and freedom even though they're thinking is full of judgment and hate and fear, the preponderance of them, and how armed up some of them are, it has me worried about the immediate future. It's just dumbass message board people going wild with these shootings so far, who fell down rabbitholes and broke their brain too hard to think straight. But wait until something happens (or some bullshit leader like the one we got dog whistles people into action, around an election or something) and all these militia wannabe fuckers with blank gazes go wild. They are the fuckin' police, or at least cousins with the police, so it's not like any public officers gonna stop that shit right away.
Thus I'm re-evaluating my guns stance, on personal level. I think more folks need to have better critical thinking skills (to reduce the blank gazes) as well as weaponry skills (to reduce the sitting ducks I see on the horizon). Writing poetry and practicing shooting - draw up that venn diagram, and where it intersects you'll find your real soldiers.

Thursday, August 15

SONG OF THE DAY: Dankasa


Been seeing way too many white dudes in that weird pseudo-para-military gear of black shirts with blacked out American flags, always some military blue lives matter adjacent bullshit. Y'all gonna end up being Amerikkkan Death Squads, I know it. Fuck y'all. Fuck America if that's what America is. You suburban redneck clean new truck two-story house with a basement asses didn't get enough chicken grease on your shirts growing up. Chik-Fil-A ass eating bitches.

Tuesday, August 13

UPCOMING HAIKU SLAMS

The 411 on upcoming Sovthern Gothic Fvtvrist Haiku Slams.
  • WEDNESDAY AUGUST 14 - CHARLOTTESVILLE VA - TWISTED BRANCH TEA BAZAAR

Our regular gig at Tea Bazaar for August. 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 (except in July, which will be on the 8th instead), hosted by your boy Raven Mack.

  • SATURDAY AUGUST 31 - BLACKSBURG VA - ODD FELLOWS HALL

We're gonna have a Sovthern Gothic Fvtvrist Haiku Slam in Blacksburg on Labor Day weekend, along with my friends at Workingman Wreckchords, so it'll be some sort of creative nonsense gibberish shape-shifting jam/slam. Also hoping to set up a writing workshop earlier in the day with local homeschooler/unschooler/oldschoolers.
  • FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 13 - RICHMOND VA - ELECTRIC NOMAD DANCE STUDIO
  • WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 9 - CHARLOTTESVILLE VA - TWISTED BRANCH TEA BAZAAR
  • FRIDAY OCTOBER 11 - RICHMOND VA - ELECTRIC NOMAD DANCE STUDIO (RVA ZINEFEST!)
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.

Sunday, August 11

SONG OF THE DAY: Put Your Love In Me


I am regressing momentarily, to recharge. Or maybe forever. JUST GONNA KEEP PUSHING THIS ROCK UP THE HILL I'M SURE IT'LL REMAIN IN PLACE ONCE WE GET TO THE TOP!

Wednesday, August 7

SONG OF THE DAY: Wrestling Rock'n'Roll Girl


everything is stupid, including this song
I'm too damn tired, and trying to cut down on impositions including self-imposed ones
things I don't have enough of in my life right now:

  • crowbars
  • down time
  • 20 mile hikes on railroad tracks
  • $10 supporters to my patreon
  • crows
  • joy
  • ciphers
  • alone in the woods time
  • 80 mile hikes on railroad tracks
  • horseshoes
  • chicken flocks
  • finished books
  • 300 mile pilgrimages on railroad tracks
  • passport
  • rest
  • actual rest
  • actual restorative rest


and yet thankful for what I do got. it could always be worse.

Tuesday, August 6

Monday, August 5

SONG OF THE DAY: Quarter Life Crisis



Culture is trash. There is a Wikipedia page about quarter-life crisis, and it all comes from presupposition that one is going to have higher education and move out on their own from family and wrestle with career choices and romantic relationships and shit like home ownership or investing. The majority of people don’t live like that. Stop assuming your bougie ass existences are the foundation for everybody. But that is the basic way for those with wealth, or discretionary income, and most generational labels are not scientific, even socially, and more about applying marketing techniques to those who come from wealth who have money to spend. And most of marketing, which has always been justified as psychological so the individual allegedly has free will, is likely more neurological than psychological. So if marketing and cultural norms are all built from the perspective of those with wealth, who have discretionary income, that means the rest of us suffer these neurological triggers incessantly, literally everywhere (alongside the road in billboards, shit I was just at the beach and they were flying overhead), thus the rest of us who are not beneficiaries of the wealth of this trash culture we’re living get neurologically triggered into feeling guilty that we’re failures, that we’re not normal, feel emotional depression because we don’t have access or the ability to achieve what is displayed as our cultural norms. So fuck western culture.

B4S3M3NT WR3STL1NG M4TCH3S H3LD...

basement wrestling matches held
in abandoned buildings ten
dollar cover charge you dorks

Saturday, August 3

Thursday, August 1

MY 3NGL1SH 1SN'T P3RF3CT...

my English isn't perfect
but the woods always made sense;
that's why I write poetry

SONG OF THE DAY: Waves



Got to see Ibeyi perform earlier this year, which was cool because I didn’t really know shit about them but had enjoyed some of their music. It’s two sisters and they obviously love each other deeply and are both hugely talented. My takeaway as an observer is that one sister is like a really good Democratic politics PSA, which sort of turned me off because I have no faith in electoral politics or voting or politics or democrats or America or shit man I barely have any faith in faith itself any more. The other sister who maybe didn’t have the same level of perfect voice the political sister did had a beautiful voice with just a touch of harshness, which somehow made it better in my fucked up opinion. Also the second sister (who might be the first in their relationship, but is second in how I retell this as an outsider observer) could twerk with abandon, in a way that showed she enjoyed enjoying herself, despite how fucked up the world is. This perhaps will sound fucked up and objectifying, but you can actually tell a lot about a personality by their twerk. Much like scrawny white girls used to pretend they had ass back in the old days of Sir Mix-a-Lot, a lot of people who lack twerk personality will performatively twerk, mostly due to social media posturing. But there’s a certain metaphysical aura about being able to shake your ass with apparent abandon while still being in control – definite metaphor for how you live your life. Some asses lack the abandonment foundation, or just don’t even have the ass meat (which is metaphor for life experiences) to truly twerk. Other asses are just too wild, and you know that person is fucked up and you will make horrible mistakes ever involving them in your life, even for something as simple as bumming a cigarette. But some folks can shake with reckless abandon, all while maintaining perfect control, and you know they got their shit together but also will let loose when they need to, which is for me the perfect politics. Too much politics is goddamned serious and always woke and still somehow in that woke state from an extremely economically privileged position where you can afford to stay woke all the time because you are sheltered from the storms of actually existing like a piece of shit in a system that works to crush your spirt every goddamned day of your life. Fuck politics and fuck being comfortably woke. But good lord, the lumpen masses plumpy asses that can be woke but wild, educated yet feral, can be politically aware enough to know the world is fucked and we should fix some shit, but also self-helpful enough to know you gotta still shake your ass and get wild and rub on each other and try to manufacture some serotonin and dopamine in the ancient ways to stay hype enough to remain properly woke… that’s what the other Ibeyi sister was doing. And it made me love her, forever. She is the one singing on this song, and her voice crackles with imperfection in the most perfect way. Nothing real is perfect. Political purity tests pasteurize us of being real. Fuck politics, shake your ass, smother the patriarchy in enjoyable ways. Hard work will always be hard work, but if you don’t make it fun, everybody will just quit and go fuck around behind the building instead.