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.

Thursday, September 29

SONG OF THE DAY: Duke of Earl (kudzu'd)

I don’t have a low rider to cruise around in, so my Corolla will have to do. But fuck if I don’t love this silly assed old “Duke of Earl” song slowed down. There’s a pretty great Jesus movie on the youtubes, named after this whole song. The purped out video clip I used for this is from that movie. If I remember between the time I wrote these words and I post this on the rojonekku blog, maybe I’ll include a link.

Wednesday, September 28

SONG OF THE DAY: The 900 Number

Now that I’ve returned to record dorkdom, I maintain an internal list of select 45s I’ve yet to find at a reasonable to my broke ass price. This is near the top of that list. And as my 45 collection has gotten stronger, I've often thunk about what kinda 45 collection The 45 King must have had. By the way, I've been doing my Slow Hand weekly at WTJU in Charlottesville, and you can scope out the previous two weeks' shows online.

Tuesday, September 27

SONG OF THE DAY: Vuelve Mi Negra (rebajada)

Seent a news story this morning about a state record blue catfish getting caught in Tennessee, well over 100 pounds, and those stories always bum me out, because all they focus on is the size of the now-dead catfish. Those bad boys are likely well over 20 years old, and could be as old as 40 to be honest (we don’t know, and have no easy way of knowing). Imagine being some fat ass catfish that’s been poking around, bottom feeding in some giant ass lake since the drunks on the shore blasted Bell Biv Devoe, since before the age of “Chattahoochee”, and some overzealous redneck with three month’s pay worth of fishing equipment “lands” your big ass, bringing to an end a long and wild run, thriving in the subaqueous crevices men neglected to get at. If you catch a fish older than yourself, in lieu of actually executing you as a crime against nature, I think you should lose all right to fish for the rest of your life. So go for it, oh ye of mirrored sunglasses dominion over the semi-rural Earth… but beware the glories you seek, for there may be dark consequences.

Monday, September 26

JVST 4N0TH3R 1D10T...

just another idiot 
wandering the Earth’s surface 
(pretending I have purpose) 

Saturday, September 24

W3 4LL D0 WH4T W3 C4N T0...

we all do what we can to 
make our mark while still living 
(but it’s all impermanent) 

Friday, September 23

T00 0RG4N1C T0 3ND VP...

too organic to end up 
rusting away, stubbornly 
(sweet release of worms in mind) 

Thursday, September 22


accumulating wasted 
moments, burned out by what’s passed 
(trying to remain present) 

Wednesday, September 21

C4N'T H4VL 4W4Y H1ST0RY...

can’t haul away history 
like a broken corner lamp 
(it sits there, often ignored) 

Tuesday, September 20

4LL TH4T GL1TT3RS 41N'T G0LD, 4LL...

all that glitters ain’t gold; all 
you need is within your soul 
(most of us pawned it away) 


railroad tracks and river beds 
keep me of a simple mind 
(but even that was “progress”) 

Monday, September 19

SONG OF THE DAY: Cheating In The Daylight

Been doing a radio show called Slow Hand on WTJU out of Charlottesville, where I play old 45 singles at 33 speed. I was going in every other week, then got knocked out by covid for a month, but have been doing it weekly the past few weeks, and really enjoying the vibes of it all. I'd say it's been over half old funk, but a lot of other stuff feels funkier slowed down, because the bass thickens and the vocals turn into ghostly warbles. Last night, I dip dip dived through some old country, because I ate some fried chicken gizzards from the Valero last week, and it reactivated my bumpkin soul. I love that stretch of southern Virginia/eastern or central North Carolina that has unique vibe to it, where you're bound to still find chicken gizzards at a gas station, and the racial mix between black and white was always a lot closer to an even break than the rest of the country. It's Swamp Dogg country.

SV1C1D3 R4T3S H4V3 SH0T VP...

suicide rates have shot up 
during digital era 
(charting like a blue chip stock) 

Sunday, September 18

SH1N3 VP TH3 P4ST H0W3V3R...

shine up the past however 
you want, the oil stains remain 
(please accept imperfection) 

Saturday, September 17

N3WN3SS 1S 1MP0SS1BL3...

newness is impossible 
to maintain, so why bother? 
(“Sisyphean” repurposed) 

C1V1L1Z3D SH1N3 G3TS R3PL4C3D...

civilized shine gets replaced 
by abandonment’s Earth tones 
(“dust to dust” makes supreme sense) 

Friday, September 16

SONG OF THE DAY: Tulsa Turnaround

“If a man’s gonna eat fried chicken he’s got to be greasy” is tattooed across my shoulders in Olde English 800 letters. Ever since I was a kid, and the power went out at our house I grew up in, down in Meherrin, Virginia (the home of Roy Clark), right as that song was playing and Kenny Rogers was singing that line, so it warbled down slow and ominously – “IF A MAN’S GONNA EAT FRIED CHICKEN HE’S GOT TO BE GREEEEEAAAAAASSSsssyyyyyyyyyy” – I hear it in my mind as a warning, and yet also a proud mantra. If one loves fried chicken, they should not be ashamed of the grease on their fingers necessary towards the joy of fried chicken. Just be careful not to wipe your fingers on your Homestead Grays throwback. There’s napkins from Subway in the glove box, get you a couple of those. No, don’t use that towel, that’s my shoulder towel for walking around. Why would you think it’s okay to wipe your greasy fuckin’ fingers on my lavender shoulder towel? What the fuck?


industrial sand castles 
washed out easily enough 
(nature makes no humane claims) 

Thursday, September 15


“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” was once a useful metaphor, because maybe folks still heated with wood, or just as general practice, if you saw a lot of smoke, make sure some shit wasn’t on fire and about to consume your whole world. However, the modern digital landscape utilizes fog pretty much out of control, like there’s content creators and political grifters with the fog machines cranked to 27 on a 10-point scale, constantly, around the clock, just filling any and every available timeline with fog, so as to overwhelm (shock and awe) any algorithms best intentions (if they even have that). So it’s just fog everywhere you look (online), which becomes this self-perpetuating bullshit, because then all the grifters will go, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire!” and trick knowledge the deaf, dumb, and blind into believing horrible things are happening, when in actuality, it’s all just manufactured hype. It’s a lot. I’ve been trying to limit my digital teat-sucking lately, and it’s made me sleep better, think more clearly, and not feel quite so doomed. I mean, we’re still doomed, but then again we always were, from the very beginning. No reason you can’t have a functional, partially satisfying existence even when condemned to doom. Shit man, some folks been doomed for seven or eight generations, but they’re still out here, doing their damned thing.

P0W3R 0F L0VNG3 M34NS HVM4N...

Power of Lounge means “human” 
and “nature” aren’t opposites 
(civilized egos run wild) 

Wednesday, September 14

SONG OF THE DAY: Call My Bluff

I find the smart markery of GOATdom proclamations annoying as fuck at this point. People throw GOAT around all the time, to where a local rapper with a couple notable songs in a thus far short career is hyped up with GOAT ego boosts in every social media post, even though they only left their little world a couple times, one of which was a pay-for-play SXSW scam in all likelihood. And that’s no diss to anybody chasing their dream, by any means necessary, so much as saying lolol can’t everybody be the GOAT or else you demean the superlative. But I guess we do live in a time of instant proclamation and demeaning superlatives.
My music listening process for shit on an old iphone used as music box is a slow boil. New releases come out, and might not even get into the mix for a month or more, so I’m always behind the curve of saying, “Wow! This new XYZ album is definite Album of the Year!” I might not listen to that shit until next year. And being from Virginia, where ain’t shit to do but, well, fuck around on the internet like everywhere else at this point to be honest, when Pusha T drops a new project, it registers, even on my old contrarian head radar. So the songs slowly started making it into the old iphone in the car. This ended up being my favorite song (so far), but it’s not like it’s anything groundbreaking or amazing. It’s good though.
Calling constant GOATification a smart mark act is fitting, because fuck man, everything is like pro wrestling nowadays in the performative digital world we have had manufactured around us while we were standing still for too long. There’s a nostalgia to albums by folks with long-term hip hop careers like Pusha, so people always overhype them as being way greater than they likely are. It’s a lot like seeing a former WWE superstar wrestling at the state fair for some local indy promotion, and folks mark the fuck out for seeing the former Intercontinental Champion who main evented Wrestlemania one time, right in front of their eyes again. But ol’ boy ain’t hitting like he used to, or he’s just going through those things you remember from back in his prime. Sometimes it actually is still good, but a lot of times it’s just mimicking old shit, and something’s missing completely.
Most of the time, it’s not just individual effort that creates those shining moments though – there’s the wrestler you were working with, the environment at the time, how you were coached to pace yourself and how much time you were given to do what you do. So it’s interesting to me in actually looking up the album notes to Pusha’s latest, that Pharrell produced a bunch of it (and most of the songs I enjoyed), including this track. Neptunes’ production helped create a sparse but engaging foundation for Clipse’s prime, and Pusha’s whole delivery is built off flexing on that type of beat. To be honest, I kinda hate Pharrell as a whole, because I guess I resent Virginia’s hip hop reputation being so pop-oriented, due to his influence (and Timbaland too, I guess). But the man has been involved on some absolute bangers, and knows how to get grimy with his fruity loops. So this song worked well, not as some groundbreaking new era shit that sets a new aura and aesthetic for music that I’m gonna say is Album of the Year like some stupid fucking mark. But it’s a great song, like going to the state fair and seeing wrestling and like two dudes who used to be on cable TV twenty years ago every Monday night have a match and they absolutely nail the magic for three minutes, even though they used to be able to go an hour. It’s great for what it is, and that’s just as necessary, because our whole life can’t be GOAT shit, or else GOAT means nothing.

4LL 0F VS H0P3 F0R H4PPY...

all of us hope for happy 
lives with personal freedom 
(forgetting collective thoughts) 

PR3-3X1ST1NG C0ND1T10NS...

pre-existing conditions 
never gonna be perfect 
(making do while making due) 

Tuesday, September 13

SONG OF THE DAY: Beautiful Eyes of Virginia

Been having to pull more and more P4TR10T FR0NT stickers off stop signs around here. The one at the end of the road I’ve took it off a few times, to where there’s layers of sticker remnants now, and somebody keeps putting that shit back up. But then today going the back way to the store, past the railroad tracks, saw one on a side road, so looped back around and scraped that one off. Sadly it means somebody around me is brainwashed and throwing that shit up everywhere. It also sucks because to a regular redneck passing by, it looks innocuous enough (by design) – just an American flag acting like “hey man, I love this country!” But I don’t want any more people than already have falling down them rabbitholes to where they think people that ain’t white and whatever from of christianity these weird evangelical prosperity types are who have completely overlooked like 2/3 of the bible for the couple of passages they wanna get mad about all the time. My girlfriend’s uncle lived in the nearby town, and he didn’t even wanna put out American flags this year for the little town’s big 4th of July parade, because of how the flag’s been co-opted and completely lost to the prejudiced types in the past half-decade. Fuckers out here flying half-confederate half-American flags, unironically thinking that shit represents them. And now it does. My girlfriend said her uncle said to her, “once you’ve lost the flag, what do you have left?” Anyways, that’s what’s going on along the back roads of rural Virginia today. Some folks got way too much time and way too much internet and it’s made them think they know some raw, unfiltered truth, when it ain’t even close to that. No common sense to none of it. Country comic Jerry Clower had a line I always think of where he says somebody was “educated beyond their intelligence”. In his simple country comic context, it was likely applied to a college boy pontificating on some political shit, and I know these country boys these days think it still applies to that. But damn if most these folks ain’t educated beyond their own intelligence, too. Brain thick with bullshit, but somehow thinking it’s better than somebody else’s bullshit. Fuck it, maybe I’ll just print up some “educated beyond your intelligence” stickers to start slapping on stop signs, giant ass F150s, and Teslas, too. Slap one on my own forehead three days out of five, too.

N3VR0L0GY 0F D3S1R3...

neurology of desire 
keeps us lusting after gold 
(though the shine comes from within) 


the remnants of being worn 
out gets piled up and ignored 
(“can’t stop won’t stop” attitude) 

Sunday, September 11


running around in circles 
in our daily lives’ routines 
(racing to get nowhere first) 


things fall apart after their 
forgotten and neglected 
(eternal newness ain’t real) 

Saturday, September 10


I need an antisocial club. Fake ass people appropriated “hater” to apply to them when you’re not a hater, you just don’t tolerate or abide fake people’s bullshit. But fake people establish reality at a cultural level, both nationally and locally. They got access to the purse strings. So like I said, I need an antisocial club. Maybe I’d stop burning so many bridges.


unless you are property, 
America will not care 
(respect the rights of nature) 

Friday, September 9

Thursday, September 8

SONG OF THE DAY: Little Hero

My first tattoo was homemade, with my dad in the living room of the trailer we lived in, just me and him, after my parents split, when I was like 15 or 16. We just called it homemade, as stick and poke (as well as mullet) weren't things said until the internet homogenized slang globally. I did a peace sign on my arm, with LOVE written above, an ahnk on my left hand forefinger, and a NO $ on my upper shoulder which never took (because I'm destined for vast riches). I've done a few other homemade tattoos over the years, and still do to be honest, just as a general rejection of tattoo snobbery, but also because sometimes you just want an extra star on your leg at 9 in the evening or you need DIRTGOD on your thigh. I have nice shop tattoos now too, plus some really dumb ones (because it's my brain thinking these things), but I have never been ashamed or wanted to cover up my fucked up, fading homemade tattoos.
A weird thing happens though, and I had it happen recently when in a room full of well-meaning self-identified progressive white men talking about some art shit, where when I find myself in certain environments, all the homemade tattoos start to throb. I used to think it was a pain years ago when I first noticed it, and it came from anxiety about well-to-do people realizing I'm a natural born piece of shit. But over the years, as I've come to trust the guiding hands of ancestors looking out for me, I realized the throb is not pain or anxiety but warning, "These are not your people" or "You are in a dangerous environment, protect yourself." And they're not dangerous physically, but culturally/systemically, dealing with people who have always had some sort of power within our society who don't even need to use physicality because they've transcended use of their body for survival. They live off the abstractions, embezzling the labor of others, either directly or through inherited or familial wealth, and thus their danger is also in the abstract realm.
In our society though, the goal is for "economic liberation" or to gain that abstract comfort so that you don't have to destroy your fuckin' body the rest of your life. Like that's the individual goal (and our society is built to mainly think about individualistic goals, not communal or collective ones, even amongst the progressive types). Any sad sack out here suffering through whatever hustle/grind/pray combination they're dealing with in our capitalistic society says they're doing it for their kids or family or future or something like that. You are sacrificing, working hard to get that bag, money before hoes... there's no shortage of euphemisms for this individualistic moral compromise.
That's why I'm thankful for my shitty homemade tattoos which ache when I find myself in the presence of too many abstract devils at once. That No $ that you can't see starts vibrating with warning, like a rattlesnake tail only I can feel saying, "Beware these snakes!" And I realize, I would much rather lounge than grind, and definitely prefer hoes way more than money. Ultimately the goal of not using your body to survive capitalism is so you can lounge around and fill your brain with serotonin. Why deny it now to chase an abstract carrot version of it you'll most likely never catch?


repurposing detritus, 
the fool bedazzles his home 
(as this is the place I’ll die) 


we worry about our thangs 
far more than human neighbors 
(nature ignores our worries) 

Wednesday, September 7

SONG OF THE DAY: All Cried Out

Pro wrestling as it exists now (bunch of comic book dorks acting like they’re tough with each other) is pretty bad, as is the genre of singer-songwriters (bunch of art school dropouts acting like they’re tough). But I like to imagine in my mind that the two worlds crossed over, and in order to be called a “singer-songwriter”, it meant you had to go wrestle somewhere in southern Appalachia, and Richie Havens had been imbued with the spirit of Porkchop Cash, but also a bit of the violence of Abdullah the Butcher, and anyone wanting to claim singer-songwriter status had to get through a blood feud with Richie Havens, culminating in a barbed wire cage match, but not a nice cage but one of those raggedy ass ones made of 2x4s with the barbed wire sort of staple gunned to the whole thing, so it was all very precarious and fucked up but perfect. I mean, that’s the essence of a good singer-songwriter too, instead of being some suburban jack ass who dabbled in punk music in their youth but now wants to think of themselves as working class so has ironic Nascar flags. Time machine Porkchop Cash Richie Havens BURNS YOUR FUCKING FAKE ASS Nascar flags, and then throws the warm ashes into your eyes.


accumulation of thangs 
which once filled us with desire 
(stacked up in forgotten piles) 

Tuesday, September 6

SONG OF THE DAY: Sitting in the Park

My official political position is sitting in the park. Like that’s my literal politics – sitting there, watching shit happen, or not happen, maybe talking shit with some folks. Maybe not doing nothing but sitting there, for hours. Don’t text me, my phone is off.


things slowly disintegrate… 
impossible to control 
(unless you’re the creator) 

Monday, September 5

Sunday, September 4

SONG OF THE DAY: You Sexy Thing (kudzu'd)

Pretty sure this song is about me, especially when I'm wearing some fucked up obscure European basketball jersey throwback with matching Polo crew socks, and my dimples are turned up to 12 (on a scale of 1 to 5). Eyeballs are the soul windows, but when it comes to me, my dimples work with the eyes so it's like double pane glass window, so you can see my eyes shine but then the dimples do too sometimes because I'm feeling extra like myself.

R3P3T1T10N 0F P4TT3RNS...

repetition of patterns 
in nature as well as art 
(if you’re paying attention) 

Saturday, September 3

SONG OF THE DAY: Caravan of Fools Remix

Ain’t no qualified Working Class Whisperers because our concept of what’s working class has been distorted. Labor Day weekend is perfect example, because the notion of a three-day weekend is alien to a vast expanse of wage laborers working in the sprawling and rootless suburbs that all look the same no matter which city they’ve show up as freedom tumors upon. We got two political parties deemed feasible in American life, and both of them speak to fake working classes that have middle class wealth – one not necessarily with college education and living off the actual land and coin wealth of their earlier generations, and the other often depending upon a college education but still lifted beyond the crushing struggles of actual daily poverty. It’s all so performative, and these dueling middle classes – both of whom manipulated to the benefit of the actual hyper-wealthy, spit and jeer at each other, and it’s become a dueling vision for America’s late empire fascist state. And I want to be clear – I’m not “both sides”ing this thing, because the right gives zero fucks about destroying us all who don’t fit their vision of a pure American future. But the liberal left, despite (in my mind) being the lesser of the two evils, is still a very evil and entirely unsupportable entity as well. The Dark Biden memes gave way to him living the gimmick, standing in front of red and black background with Marines flanking him this past week, looking like the bad guys from V for Vendetta.
Riding actual roads (not interstates), walking actual streets (not cul-de-sacs), and talking to other people is the only thing that will ever break through this. And I’m not even sure that’s as possible as it was even 6 years ago. I remember reading a dude who engineered some Latin American elections through use of digital means how the Clinton/Trump Presidential campaign was, to him, very clearly two propaganda machines working double time to defeat each other. Neither was benevolent, or resting on their own good; they both were manipulating human consciousness as best they could, with the digital tools at their disposal. That has only worsened in the ensuing six years, and people’s brains are heavily poisoned at this point, to where they don’t even see the strychnine in their thought processes. I still think actually talking to folks long enough to break through the politics can help, but also folks are so heavily poisoned, that there’s fewer and fewer folks willing to entertain your conversation from the beginning, because they look at you and decide who you are by the stereotypes the poisoning has implanted in their thinking, and they might not even be listening to you even if they let you talk. Shit is fucked.
But like always, when there is too much chaotic undergrowth, some sort of cultural fire will come along and clear it out, open the landscape back up, and folks will see more clearly again. That fire might be destructive, and painful, but at this point, ain’t no way around it. Too much shit has been allowed to digitally grow, creating a tinder of kindling for some sort of cataclysm that’s always just around the corner right now. We can’t escape it; just gotta keep an eye out for the smoke and make sure you keep yourself from getting consumed in the actual fire when it inevitably happens.

Friday, September 2

SONG OF THE DAY: El Ultimo Trago (rebajada)

I’ve decided to be intolerant of drunkards, which unfortunately means I have to exile myself from western civilization, especially with American football season cranking up.

Thursday, September 1

SONG OF THE DAY: Heartbeat

War is somehow the perfect band for balancing feeling good as fuck about how beautiful the world is while also being tired of everybody's bullshit. And you kinda need both. If you are just sick of everybody's bullshit, but don't remember all the beauty in the created world, it all becomes a bit too pointless to keep bothering with. And if you're overwhelmed with the natural beauty of our random existence, you might leave yourself blind to a bunch of assholes taking advantage of your time with their self-indulgent whatever-the-fuck. Balance is always needed, even if you embrace chaos. Chaos still stands on two feet (centering the human experience) even if it's jumping around illogically. Logic is fucked half the time anyways, because it centers the human experience so hard it expects everything else in the universe to replicate human patterns. That's a philosophical foundation bound to crack by the metaphysical tectonics of actual existence.