I should really play this game past the first section, but each time I do… Senua’s voices in her head get to me. But, from what I’ve seen — it is as well done as they say portraying her psychosis and the period’s worldview.

Short sample below, queued to the voices as she walks through the forest.

only a dream/

©2021 Michael Raven

everything left behind
given to the flame
it was only a dream
after all
only rust in the dustbin
of memory
only tears in the
river of time

turn to face
the setting sun &
watch it slip
under the world
to live in the
eternity of dreams

shakespeare dark matter/

©2021 Michael Raven

this is not a game
this is not a game
this is not a game
this is not a game
this is not a game
this is not a game
this is not a game
i didn't want this
this is not a game
take your medicine
dave . . .. ,....


©2021 Michael Raven

zen monkey brain
bullshit generation
stutter stop grind
kick it kick the eye
with your fist
not here there
it's the living end
psycho psychology
consumption masturbation

single flower
rising from
broken brick
fracture in
a sea of ash....

Between youth

As the person who snapped this picture back in, I dunno, probably ’86 or early ’87 (maaaaaybe as early as ’85), “So serious?”

Even back then, at the tender age of 15-17-ish, I guess I was serious AF when I was writing. Everything in that little book I was holding was me pouring myself into my writing. I took myself very fucking serious as a writer back then. I didn’t have illusions that I was ever going to make it anywhere with my writing (and the rejections letters I used to post on my apartment doors later on helped remind me that getting famous from my writing was a pipe dream at best). But I was, and largely still am, a serious writer.

I’m not sure what the hell I mean by that, honestly.

I guess I always try to be 100% into my writing when I’m doing it. I never expect it to go well, and I don’t slash my wrists when it doesn’t (I’d not have any wrists left, were that the case), but I am the act of writing when I am writing. I’ll admit that I am quick to move on. But each piece, while written is deadly serious. I’ve always been that way.

Which is why I probably rarely look very happy in pictures people take. I’m often toying around with an idea with writing and I forget to smile nicely for people. Not that my smile will win any beauty contests… And when I say “often”, I mean almost 90% of my waking moments.

It’s probably a mental health problem, but I redirect you to an earlier post that explains that I spent too many years drinking, then antidepressant-ing, and other mood altering things where I couldn’t think very well about writing and it’s like my brain is trying to make up for the lost time.

An even more serious picture, sent by the same HS friend:

She probably interrupted my writing to snap the picture. Really.

What the fuck, Kate? Can’t you see I’m in the middle of writing. Jeeze.

Yeah, that’s probably the exchange that took place. I can hear it in my head as I write it.

In the park

Back in the park with my eldest. She’s learning how to use a jo, aikido style, again. A jo is basically a hardwood dowel and, if you ever watched The Walking Dead, it is the weapon used by one of the characters to take out zombies using techniques much like those she is training for.

It’s the first relatively cool day in well over a week. There are clouds in the sky and a gentle breeze. In the shade, the breeze occasionally chills my skin, which is a nice feeling after so long in the heat.

I find myself glancing over at the young woman with mermaid green hair, fascinated by her training of her obviously young husky pup. Okay, more of a juvenile dog, but young all the same. He’s a beauty, and I really wish I were a dog person, but I discovered that cats are all I’m able to deal with. But I watch her playing training games and wonder why I had such bad luck with my last foray into dog ownership. He didn’t exhibit any of the behavior that made Floki so difficult to manage. I won’t go into it… That’s the past. But slightly jealous.

Now another woman with pink hair is taking a break from her bike ride to eat lunch near me. I wonder if she really wants to sit in the yellowed grass or if my taking up the picnic table to write is off-putting. I don’t bite, but she doesn’t know that.

I can’t be all that bad… I have my Sodastream bottle showing 🤣. Yeah, I invested in one of those things mostly to keep the kiddos interested in having fun this summer by making their own soda. I admit, I love my flavored bubbly water but, along with making ice cream in a jar, it was to entertain the kids.

I’ll use it more often.

Some things don’t change, however. I don’t know why I bother with social media most days. I’m still the butt of the jokes on most cases, though I probably deserve some of it. But it’s not much fun to be nice to people, only to have them find ways to mock me.

So I might drop out again. Not much point.

Ahh, pink hair did want to sit at the table. Good.

I’m not that scary.

after the love/

©2021 Michael Raven

dark the water
face running over
into the hollow
labyrinthine rock
river follow
river grass her hair
flowing through
and through
river rock her heart
over and under
cool black water
keeps on moving
carry carry her down

in the time of/

©2021 Michael Raven

dead man
dancing with skeletons
mandrake high stakes
shrieking in the mud
howling with the moon
one step two step
three step six six six six
feet under with
the falling of the moon
stone carved epitaph
danse macabre again