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, May 16

SONG OF THE DAY: Hot and Nasty


Black Oak Arkansas is the soundtrack to me not giving a fuck, hopefully blasting outdoors, with regular clangs from horseshoe pits, and the smell of a barrel fire going somewhere nearby. Barrel fires are highly underrated ambiance, in the country or city. Much respect to all those unthanked warriors who somehow distribute burn barrels throughout America off weird trailer loads on Facebook Marketplace. Y'all are doing God's work.

PH0N3 4PP R3M1ND3RS T0 PVLL...


phone app reminders to pull 
purple amethyst tasbih 
out of pocket, speak dhikr 

Sunday, May 15

SONG OF THE DAY: Polk Salad Annie


Elvis Presley popularized this song, and is well-known for ripping off black artists. But in this case, he ripped off a white one, although I guess the originator and composer of it - Tony Joe White - probably got paid, so it wasn't necessarily a rip off. I'm sure Tony Joe White's raggedy swamp ass lived off the royalties of Elvis for the rest of his life. Mostly when I hear this song, I realize how much I've forgotten from reading Euell Gibbbons' Stalking the Wild Asparagus back in the day. One day wild foods will be our only foods. Then again, Euell Gibbons famously ate a bicycle one time, so the future is hard to really figure out. Shit, the present is hard to figure out.

FVLL C0L0R V1S10N MVT3D...


full color vision muted 
by mirrored sunglasses to 
only see what you wanted 

F0CVS1NG MY GR3Y M4TT3R...


focusing my grey matter 
on the shapes the outlines give 
life to, not the lines themselves 

Friday, May 13

Thursday, May 12

SONG OF THE DAY: Riding High (chopped and screwed)


At some point, I’d like to do a deep dive into all the funk classics (or reggae) that made DJ Screw mixes. A friend sent me the new DJ Screw biography, and I enjoyed it for the information it had, though it didn’t really reach a good conclusion (symptomatic of academic-style books according to another friend). It inspired me to start fucking around with my record collection again. Simultaneously, I’ve been on a hardcore Rick James kick lately, so really having a Rick James jam riding slow with its wings fully stretched off a grey tape has been an absolute constant in the dinky Corolla soundtrack rotation. In fact, I might have to blast this bama this evening after work and go to the train yard, for a little me time, down by the river. It’s what Rick James, and DJ Screw, would’ve wanted for me on this day. And any day.
The amazing thing is, much like "Be Thankful For What You've Got" being mislabeled as the more popular Curtis Mayfield instead of William DeVaughn, "Riding High" is not even a Rick James song. It was done by a group (or dude) called Faze O. But damn if it don't sound like a really great Rick James song. 

W3 M4NVF4CTVR3 0RD3R...


we manufacture order 
from the visions we possess, 
regardless of whether right 

Wednesday, May 11

SONG OF THE DAY: Ordinary Guy


Joe Bataan is key figure in Fania Records and the Latin Soul sounds of New York City in the late ‘60s. Bataan, who had been in a Puerto Rican street gang and grew up in East Harlem, was actually the child of a Filipino pops and Black mom. Please note, I’m just cribbing from the Wikipedia page, because mostly I just know Joe Bataan because of all these Fania Records retrospectives I’ve been playing the past couple months. But apparently he had a falling out with the owner of Fania, and left the label, but while still there, secretly started his own label – Ghetto Records – funded by successful criminal. Kinda want to hear all that stuff now. Anyways, Bataan helped coin the term “salsoul”, and that dude is still doing shit to this day, and should be considered a national treasure. Why the fuck did we end up with Hamilton’s Starbucks drive through ass cultural event, and not Joe Bataan doing something real? Oh yeah, we hate real in America, and love the superficial. This song is a banger though. One of my faves by Bataan.

P34C3 1S N3V3R P3RF3CT3D...


peace is never perfected, 
as conditions remain in 
flux - chaos and order 

Tuesday, May 10

SONG OF THE DAY: Stage Fright


A weakness of mine is shitty ‘70s rock that definitely was solid American step between British Heavy Metal and metal blowing up officially in America as well. Shit like Legs Diamond that sounds like you’re trying to get genital warts. It’s just a wonderful genre that sadly was murdered by grunge, and at the time, all the shitty dirtbag white people were shamed out of owning guitars, so started rapping instead. Now, all we have is bourgeoisie indy rock left, and it’s all so Trader Joes-y and there’s zero chance you’re gonna do anything fun enough to risk an STD.

N4V1G4T10N THR0VGH D4RK C4V3S...


navigation through dark caves 
of civilized creation 
is piece of the seeker’s path 

Monday, May 9

SONG OF THE DAY: Lonely, Lonely Nights


Not been sleeping well lately, nor unwell really. Just your basic toss and turn with lack of comfort in any part of existence, but fatigued enough the body shuts down for five hours solidly, before waking up so that I can study the darkness with wide awake eyes, worrying about a whole lot of nothing. Life feels pretty good for the most part, if I actually think about it in that light way of thinking where you don’t go digging too deeply. Not entirely sure life can feel good within modern civilization if you go digging deeper though. Hate to think superficially, but we’re so removed from a deeper existence, interconnected with anything more than a couple days ago, that superficiality is kinda necessary. There’s a strange loneliness to existence currently, where you have the electronic impulses of being surrounded all the time – and we certainly as humans crave those connections still. But it disappears easily, and also has a hollowness to it so that when you’re fuckin’ losing your shit in the car outside the grocery store because you forgot about an insurance payment, and it triggered overdraft shit that’s got the chance to spiral the fuck beyond control by midnight, none of those digital connections can actually sit in the passenger seat and pick a song to play or just sit there uncomfortably while you freak out, and then when you calm down, go, “well, fuck it, you know?” I see sleep depictions or mattress promises where it’s like falling into clouds that wrap around you, and maybe I’m just poor and have never had a new mattress, but I’ve literally never had an experience like that sleeping. I’m tossing and turning, or my back is aching from some soft ass mattress not built for broken people like myself, so I have to sleep in my stomach because it feels like I’m tucking myself into a spoon and I better do it backwards lest I be half-crippled in the morning. The lonely, lonely nights of a rapidly decaying empire, that is going to enter the forced part of its empirical history, demanding compliance or be damned. So I’ll probably start sleeping even worse. Well, fuck it, you know?

P3RS1ST3NLY R3S1ST1NG...


persistently resisting 
these sensory distractions 
as the ultimate in truth 

Sunday, May 8

Saturday, May 7

Friday, May 6

TH3 P4TH T0 B31NG D1RTG0D...


the path to being dirtgod 
is relatively simple… 
stop forcing things into place 

N0T L3TT1NG MY GR3Y M4TT3R...


not letting my grey matter 
get ruled by these black or white 
binaries which don’t make sense 

Wednesday, May 4

SONG OF THE DAY: My God Has a Telephone


A gospel souldies revival song that I was briefly playing the ever-living fuck out of. Somehow I got sucked into the souldies trend. I think I follow too many vintage cholo graffiti accounts on Instagram or some shit. This, even though a recent song pretending to be an olden days song, is still the type of jam that makes you shimmy across the linoleum sort of like a hybrid Charles Bradley/Axl Rose/bantam rooster, while washing the dishes but taking a break to scratch the neck of the black cat pushing up against your leg when the shimmy pauses. Black cats always know what’s up.

Tuesday, May 3

SONG OF THE DAY: Why Can't We Be Friends?


Been trying to think of something to write for this song coming up for like four days in a row. Brain just ain’t thinking of things like I’d like it to, although that’s not entirely true, because I dropped a long ass thing at my patreon today, and am either writing or doing some sort of nonsense art constantly, reasonably so. I need more external outputs, for sure, but having a haiku slam a few weeks back helped, which I guess I didn’t even write about here. That’s sort of the problem with me – I scatter my shit in nine different places, it’s impossible to have any one space be the complete picture. Anyways, we’re having another haiku slam on Saturday, May 21, outdoors, south of Charlottesville. If you wanna come make new friends, or connect with old ones, let me know. Not so sure we live in an age of sharing everything openly and publicly anymore. Western civilization keeps hyping itself as expressive but keeps getting more and more repressive. And the weird thing is the people who claim to be protecting expression are the exact same ones actually repressing shit (like that oligarch billionaire that looks like a bleached frog). So I don’t know. Get at me though. Or go away. Maybe both.

Sunday, May 1

1 R3M41N 4 B3DR4GGL3D...


I remain a bedraggled 
mess, but still upright, scratching 
another year from the Earth 

Saturday, April 30

TH3Y D0N'T BV1LD M0NVM3NTS T0...


they don’t build monuments to 
those bound by being born to 
lose; but birthrights can be wrong 

Friday, April 29

SONG OF THE DAY: (Loose Booty) Is A Real Thing


On one hand, people will have you thinking nothing is real, that the complete clusterfuck clutter of “information” with an endless array of semi-factual seeming items that have the all the hallmarks of “facts” but are just random ass speculation made up by somebody with the ulterior motivation of confusing truth entirely has made it so you can’t possibly know anything any more at this point. But on the other hand, you’ll get an impassioned plea – such as this song – very precisely explaining how loose booty is a real thing. Hard to argue with, to be honest.

THR1V1NG 4T M4RG1NS 0F...


thriving at the margins of 
dark and light, finding balance 
in imperfect existence 

Thursday, April 28

SONG OF THE DAY: Night Fires


Country music back in the day was weird, because it’d be like 100 weeks of shit radio-friendly songs (still is like that), but then you’d get some weird ass Side 2 jam like this where Conway Twitty just wasn’t even fuckin’ around one bit. How the fuck do you make a song like this and not look like Conway Twitty? Impossible. Universal magnetics sneaks into even country ass music more often than folks realize.

N0 M4T3R14L S4V1NGS...


no material savings 
are worth sacrificing the 
only life you’re guaranteed 

Wednesday, April 27

SONG OF THE DAY: Heart of Gold


I know I saw Charles Bradley perform once before he died, and I think maybe twice, but I know the one time I did actually see him, not only did he tear it down during his performance, but while the Budos Band was playing, he was out in his brown leather pants and 1982 shirt, dancing like a fool. Dude just had that aura about him.
I’ve been trying to cut back on useless shit I hate, or resent, which can be difficult in a late capitalist society, where fake ass people hoard all the opportunities, and regular real life people you actually know will laud some of these fake fuckers as “authentic” and “real”. It holds me back to be worried about that shit. Just gotta let my aura shine, act the fool I am, and bring joy to myself, as well as others, and the rest will either fall in place or not even matter. Been trying to remind myself of that on a daily basis, multiple times each day.

WH3N 0N3'S T00 D33PLY ST33P3D 1N...


when one’s too deeply steeped in 
self-doubt, they tend to choose those 
who dull their natural shine 

Tuesday, April 26

Monday, April 25

SONG OF THE DAY: Driving My Life Away (slurred & blurred)


Another classic slowed down to through the slurred and blurred stylings of dj_brilliant (you have to spell it like that with the underscore or you end up referring to somebody else). On weeks where my youngest is with me, since her official address is with her mom the next county over, I have to drive like 2.5-3 hours a day, to get her to and from school or practice, and damn man, that shit gets tiring as fuck. That’s way too much time just in a fuckin’ car. So I feel this song. For more information on dj_brilliant, consult your local search bar.

41N'T N0 SH0RT4G3 0F D4RK H0L3S...


ain’t no shortage of dark holes 
to get lost in; sometimes they 
become too comfortable 

Sunday, April 24

SONG OF THE DAY: Searching


Been a lot of "searching" themed songs in my fluctuating soundtrack lately. Not sure if that's a sign or not. I mean, it's a sign, but my understanding of it is limited still, as I'm only human. Imagine thinking humans can figure everything in the universe out? What kind of egotistic asshole do you have to be to think like that?

PR4CT1C1NG L0V1NG MYS3LF...


practicing loving myself 
as revolutionary 
act against poison culture 

Saturday, April 23

Friday, April 22

TH3R3'S GR4C3 1N 1MP3RF3CT10N...


there’s grace in imperfection, 
despite the devils in our 
ears suggesting otherwise 

Thursday, April 21

W3 4R3 0NLY N3W T0 TH1S...


we are only new to this 
world once; after that, we have 
to accept our blemishes 

SONG OF THE DAY: Hifidelics Groove


Everyone should have their own groove, even if they share it with others or it's a collective or crew groove, or whatever. But there's not nearly enough grooves. People want to be owning everything, intellectal propertying things, trying to keep ideas and doing things from being free, but few grooves. More grooves in 1444.

Wednesday, April 20

SONG OF THE DAY: Angeline


I don’t really listen to electrified guitar-based music made in the past 25 years to be honest. They kinda gentrified that whole genre, but before we all knew what “gentrification” even meant. I have fond memories, being a natural born piece of shit, of degenerate rock music blasting as the background soundtrack as I made poor choices and did reckless things which culminated in horrible scars and wonderful stories and thankfully no deaths (that I’m aware of). Sometimes I wish there was rock to love, that didn’t sound so master’s degreely and certified organic, but you can’t be mad at the way the world goes, or how art changes to match the people trying to figure out how to do art in this crushing existence we done gave ourselves.

3V3N S41NTS H4V3 M4NY P4THS...


even saints have many paths, 
and behind every bend 
is a possible rebirth 

Tuesday, April 19

4S L0NG 4S 1'M ST1LL VPR1GHT...


as long as I’m still upright, 
can’t ever say my best days 
are only found behind me 

Monday, April 18

Sunday, April 17

N4V1G4T10N 0F D4RK P4THS...


navigation of dark paths 
requires random guidance from 
above, else one get too lost 

Saturday, April 16

P3RF3CT10N 41N'T P0SS1BL3...


perfection ain’t possible 
for those born with dirt on their 
soul, from one foot in the grave 

Friday, April 15

SONG OF THE DAY: I've Been Searching


searching for something resembling meaning in this mundane 
rabbithole with the metaverse I landed in 
curse-blessed with consciousness 
attempting my absolute best to just vibe 
but so many electronics cloud existence 
leaving me feeling angry and down 
and full of resentment rather than 
excitement 
are there protonic devices as well 
which would boost my natural orgones 
and aid me in not running on 
deficit dopamine with diminishing 
returns as well as a more solid 
serotonin infusion 
from time to time 
to time to time 
perhaps the time part 
is root of the problem anyways 
limited ass existence 
complicated by existential crisis 
all the god damned time 
and yet still my dumb ass 
seeks 
searching for something 
that feels halfway okay 
in a world teetering on crooked axis 
dangling precariously over an 
imagined abyss 
which like the horizon never 
arrives 
on time 

S0VTH3RN G0TH1CC H1ST0R13S...


southern gothicc histories 
cause a mind to kudzu through 
a lifetime of “if only”s 

N0N3 0F VS CH0S3 0VR L4ND1NG...


none of us chose our landing 
spots - just thrust by chance unto 
manmade world, casting our lots 

Thursday, April 14

Wednesday, April 13

W4ND3R1NG STR4NG3 4LL3YS 4ND...


wandering strange alleys and 
back roads due to nocturnal 
spirit, bound to seek darkness 

Tuesday, April 12

H4D MY D4YS 0F D3L1NQV3NT...


had my days of delinquent 
self-indulgence in attempts 
to numb myself to heart ache 

Monday, April 11

Sunday, April 10

Saturday, April 9

HVM4NS D0N'T TRVLY DR1FT...


humans don’t truly drift, 
no are we fully rootless; 
the truth always lies between 

Friday, April 8

SONG OF THE DAY: Mountain Roads


Apparently all I’ve been listening to lately is imaginary wrestling entrance music for a non-existent territory called Greater Appalachian Championship Wrestling, COMING TO THE CIVIC CENTER SATURDAY NIGHT! OUR MAIN EVENT IS A STEEL CAGE GRUDGE MATCH FOR THE GREATER APPALACHIAN HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE, AS… and then you can just let your brain run from there while the song plays. Somebody’s gonna get piledrived though.

P3RS0N4L H1ST0R13S C4N'T...


personal histories can’t 
be edited… only learned 
from; too many censure past 

Thursday, April 7

SONG OF THE DAY: Lonesome City


This is such a great song. This was my entrance music when I was wrestling in Puerto Rico as The Super Destructor, with my bright lime green mask with black star and crescent on the side of the head. Such a great time, teaming with Kareem Muhammad, helping him with the Puerto Rico Heavyweight title one time. Still great wrestling crowds back then, where if you did your job right, you might get stabbed in the parking lot. Never did get stabbed, at least not by wrestling fans, or specifically about wrestling.

TRVLY B0RN T0 L0S3 BVT T00...


truly born to lose but too 
loosely focused to notice; 
so I just keep on flowing 

Wednesday, April 6

SONG OF THE DAY: Freak Like Me


At one point in my life, I was living with an soon-to-be ex-girlfriend who had detached emotionally, way the fuck on the southside of Richmond, and I didn’t have a car, was finishing up college, so rode a 10-speed bike all over the place, crossing the Nickel Bridge so many damn times. I worked as a housepainter part-time, usually meeting the dude I worked for at Byrd Park, riding out to west end somewhere or another to work like 6 hours, then rode my bike hard as fuck to Carytown, where I was a kennel attendant at a vet there. There was an older black dude, chill as fuck, who was the other kennel attendant, in the mornings, from like 6 to the afternoon, then I held it down the second half of the day. Tight time was like until 6, but after the owners and all the other vets left, so it was two hours of vibes, just letting all the dogs out and cleaning up their shit, making sure all the cats were good. That other dude, Reggie, who always had the radio on Power 92, and I’d just leave it on that, because fuck worrying about a radio station, plus they had the 5 o’clock mix show most weekdays back then anyways. Sometimes Reggie would leave me a joint hidden under the radio in the kennel, and sometimes I’d do the same for him. Two songs used to fuck me up though back then. One was “Don’t Take It Personal” by Monica, because like I said, the woman I was living with had become disconnected as fuck, and I was miserable but stuck (a pattern in my life), and that song would get in my feels. But then this song by Adina Howard would come on, and I’d be like, “WHY THE FUCK DON’T I HAVE AN ADINA HOWARD IN MY LIFE?” That was some hard times man, sitting there in the kennel cleaning up dog shit, buzzed, knowing after I got off work I was gonna ride my bike back across the river to an emotionally cold ass house. But it also was a total vibe, so I didn’t necessarily mind it I guess. I mean, you can’t mind shit like that all that much anyways, because life is what it is, and a lot of times you don’t control all that much of it. Like you can customize the trim plenty, but you’re sorta stuck with the base model. So fuck it.

H4RN3SS1NG F4LS3 3N3RGY...


harnessing false energy 
to overrule the red light 
inside screaming exhaustion 

Tuesday, April 5

Monday, April 4

SONG OF THE DAY: Funky Virginia


This is a song about Virginia being funky, by a band or dude called Sir Guy, and this should be the official state song. Of course, “official” anything as determined by the state requires a bunch of mostly white people, mostly men, to hash it out in Richmond while wearing suits, and none of them get falafel from Aladdin’s, like ever, and most all of them are assholes because why would you be a politician if you weren’t? But even beyond that, the boundaries of a map are a fuckin’ lie too, and just because of this, and the inherent regionalistic pride that comes with a fucking map, if you rocked this song at a party just across the border in like Roxboro, unloungers would be tempted to complain. That’s the problem with the way our society is structured – politics is made by unloungers, and those philosophies become encoded as law, which means all the legal shit we have to navigate around to enjoy our lives, to the fullest extent possible. So then regular folks have that shit trickle down into their brain, because news talks about that dumb shit all the time, and cops enforce that stupid shit, and the notions of legal states just poison a regular person’s fucking brain. So then regular folks, even amongst true loungers, trying to have a good time, might be gathered hypothetically in Roxboro, which is North Carolina, but just barely across the border, and hear an old ass jam like “Funky Virginia”, and somebody might be tempted to talk down on it. That’s why the Power of Lounge is more important than ever before, because technology has enabled unloungers to just run rampant, in the opposite of wild, but coordinated engineered bullshit. One must practice the Power of Lounge as much as possible to combat all this unlounge. And today, I do that by playing “Funky Virginia” on the yard speakers, pointed down towards the river, 69 times in a row, while the clankyjangers spin and I sit there spray painting more railroad spikes, because I got a fresh batch out the 5-gallon bucket of Coke yesterday, that had been sitting on the porch, “conditioning” for a month or so.

Sunday, April 3

Saturday, April 2

Wednesday, March 30

BV1LD1NG MY S4NCTV4RY...


building my sanctuary 
one found object at a time, 
making something from nothing 

Tuesday, March 29

Monday, March 28

M0NVM3NT4L 3N3RGY...


monumental energy 
shifts are always lurking just 
beneath surface, to make change 

Sunday, March 27

CVLT1V4T3D C0NN3CT10NS...


cultivated connections 
which poison far more than they 
fuel… unsustainable ways