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, February 14


Over the past decade, at first inside my own heart, but then as it has spiraled out into a larger community, both at in real life physical events as well as online communities, I've enjoyed the expanding ripples of people embracing the haiku form. It's been such a constant and positive influence on my life, both as a personal practice as well as what others create and share with me and these communities.
I've contemplated in recent years launching a literary journal of some sort, based in the James River basin of Virginia, as that's the part of Earth where I've lived most all my life, so it the land and river there has had a profound influence on me, but also because it's where what we consider our current western American culture first laid its tendrils down four centuries ago. There's a lot about that I've seen many people I care about work hard to undo some of the bad parts, while holding up the good.
Poetry, and writing, or language, or however you want to describe it, has always been an important of life for me. It's a meditative practice that helps us be safe, and then okay. It can help us survive storms, and then hopefully heal and thrive when the emotional weather is calmer. And that has always been my creative philosophy. But the language of the land I've lived on most all my life - the Monacan - is mostly lost to that aforementioned history. There's a story of Thomas Jefferson collecting a dictionary of indigenous words at one point, and robber barons stole the trunk with that particular hand-written compendium, but saw it was just a book of writing with no value, and tossed the trunk into the river. I don't know how true that story is or not, but I often think how sad it is to have a language lost, but also how appropriate it would be that somebody saw no monetary value in it so it sunk back into the bottom of the river, literally.
We do, however have a few Powhatan words still with us, from further down the James at the mouth. One of those words is opossum, commonly known as 'possum (though I have re-inserted the colloquial apostrophe). Recently in thinking about what Sovthern Gothicc Fvtvrism means to me in a philosophical sense, some mythology about seven 'possums of Sovthern Gothicc Fvtvrism came to me. (This will be in issue six of my zine, which you get when you are a supporter of my patreon, or you can buy at haiku slams.) I chatted about all this with my brilliant painter/artist/philosopher friend Dave Moore about this recently, and asked him to maybe conjure up some 'possum imagery to be used for this. And he sent me this picture.
Thus, it is with great pride, but also apprehension at taking on another thing, I announce the launch of a print-version Sovthern Gothicc Fvtvrist haiku journal, called Seven 'Possums. This art will be the cover of the first issue, which has no deadline. If interested in submitting, contact me at sovtherngothiccfvtvrist@gmail.com, as we'll be setting up submission guidelines in the coming weeks.

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