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, September 9


I climbed the highest mountain within seven crow flights, seeking answers to questions that hadn’t even yet formed coherently in my soul, trudging to the top through blackberry bush thickets as wide as a European football field, carefully treading across slick granite stones larger than my family’s entire existence, having to remove my worn boots at times to utilize the extra precise grip of bare foot against raw stone, finally getting to the top, where the old wizened figure sat in pentagram position, in rhinestone overalls and large flowing grey beard wisping off like smoke into the clouds. I contemplated upon my timid approach how to frame my question which had been fermenting in my heart since birth, though the words have never been clear, a basic innate searching or yearning that has existed inside me perhaps even pre-dating English words, I don’t know, maybe that’s why I can’t figure out how to ask it. I made my final approach, and the old person – I guessed a man because of the beard but they were entirely effeminate as well, so I can’t say for certain about any gender specifics, as there seemed to be some pretty dope breasts trying to peek out from around those glittering overalls – the old person said, “There is a question eating at you, but my statement will only poke that question with deeper questions that will be easier for you to answer.” I said, “cool” like a fucking dumbass because I was simultaneously in spiritual awe but also wondering what the old figure’s nipples were like, and whether they had cursive tattoos on their chest. The old sage, still smooth in the face as if river waters had rippled over it for centuries, said, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” This confused me. I was trying to escape the manufactured discourse, the engineered divisions which push us all to the brink of violence against each other on a daily basis. This is not what I expected.
“Does that mean… should I get some guns then?” Was it time to prepare for the darkest futures, the delusions the most evil amongst us have been wishing for decades? Uncivil wars among each other, for the scraps of the American empire’s diminishing returns?
The old sage opened their eyes, and looked at me. Their eyes were the color of rose quartz, with a comforting gaze, like staring into your father’s mother’s eyes and your mother’s father’s eyes at the same time, as a baby, adrift into this Earthen existence but with the protective gaze of elders who knew more about the maelstrom you’d been launched into than your own folks did. “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. Think about it.”
I thought about it, but I hadn’t expected a pop quiz, and was struggling with the anxiety of being impressive to weirdly sensual old spiritual figures at the top of unrealistic mountain ranges. “I don’t get it. Why guns? Should I start having guns again? Because my uncle killed himself a long time back, and it’s always kinda made me not want to have guns because of my own depressive episodes. Plus, my kids…”

“Settle down,” said the old spirit. “This has nothing to do with guns. People kill people, so beware people. People with guns kill people more efficiently than ungunned people. They have combined the mad philosophies of human beings with the mechanical actions of industry. Get the fuck away from those people. Wherever there’s a bunch of them, get the fuck away. Even if you have to jump over fences, both physical and unseen, some even mandated by constitutions. Get the fuck away.”
So I’ve been trying ever since. But it’s only been a few minutes. I think.

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