Absurdicollab on Twitter

Absurd little tale in a series of tweets. I had fun. Not sure if Fizzy did, but she was a good sport all the same.

Continue reading Absurdicollab on Twitter

triptych — a poetic collaboration

©2022 krista marson | michael raven | towint

Below is a “blind” collaboration several of us put together based solely on three random tarot cards drawn from a standard deck, The Crow Tarot as designed by MJ Cullinane. Krista, Towint, and myself independently wrote three poems with no more than 100 words total based on those random tarot cards. None of us was aware what the other had written while we wrote out own contributions. The text colors are consistent for each author throughout the piece: Krista=beige, Towint=yellow, and Michael=blue. The text follows each panel of the triptych for those people who utilize screen readers or only have handheld devices.

This post is best viewed on a full screen tablet or monitor.

Continue reading triptych — a poetic collaboration

Follow-up

©2022 Michael Raven

I honestly didn’t expect responses regarding my Call Out post yesterday. I’ve post such things in the past and largely received radio silence. And then, Towint and Krista both actually responded with raised hands and I had to actually think about what I might do if I were to work on a collaborative effort with not only someone, but sometwo.

Thinking is hecking hard when you only have two brain cells and they’re not currently on speaking terms.

In the past, I’ve directly contacted folks when I’ve gotten it into my head to collaborate (and may still do so, depending on the results of this post), or they have contacted me — but as I was thinking about the “how” of what I might propose, I started to have dangerous monsters rear their ugly heads inside my head (see: two brain cells, not on speaking terms, so it must be monsters). And I thought I’d propose something, well, weird.

Continue reading Follow-up

The Ultimate Price | A Collaboration with Lauren M

©2021 Lauren M and Michael Raven

I can't let you hear
            ragged panting breathing
  I need to be hidden
                            below
                    so cover me
                      whole with
                          your body
           smother & jetblacken me

                  maybe I'll come up for air

                                  eve nt ually

bloodkiss
        hot lips   your teeth
  tear the sutures clean to drinkme
                          eatme
                        fuckme

                           alive

                      fill me lover
          make me banshee howl
             nightsongscream
           wash my limp skin rags
     scrub my worn flesh clean

           an umbra eye-witness
 to sickness and laughter 
          nails clipped rough 
   from their beds
           as we assume 
             our positions 
      [in the funeral home
                           after]

pale legs wrapentraptwine
       and draw hold tight
     in wine-stain'd lace
          neither of us will
     sleep this winter night

   NOW:

               nail me down 
           bury me|six inches deeper
          bone grinding in the morgue
             & the director weeping harder
                 than the preacher
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Lauren, from The Lexicon, once again lets me ride on her coattails for this, as she described it, a nec/romance piece we wrote together recently. I always enjoy when I have the opportunity to work with Lauren, as the pieces we have collaborated on over time seem to write themselves (okay, she does most of the heavy lifting, who am I trying to kid? I get to be the slacker).

I haven’t put the call out recently, but I am generally open to collaborative writing as long as the chemistry works between all of the writers involved (I’ve worked on pieces with as many as five poets on a single piece in the ancient past and it was only possible because we all shared a very warped sense of humor and it bled the piece through and through). Post a comment below, or use my contact form, if you’d like to try to work together on a piece of writing or DAW-based music.

Opium | A Collaboration with Lauren M

© 2021 Lauren M | theweesmirk and Michael Raven

A little over a week ago, I had featured Lauren’s site in a Follow Friday post (which due to circumstances beyond my control, not limited to losing power for part of the day, did not get replicated last Friday) and we chatted a bit since then and discussed working together on a few pieces.

In ways, Opium is more her poem than mine. I just went along for the ride and she didn’t kick me out of the car while it was still cruising down the road at many miles an hour. But seriously, this piece was in her style and I tried to fit my stuff in. As per usual, I don’t care for obvious delineations for who contributed what, so I did my best to emulate her atypical approach. The result is the image shared above.

Why an image? Well, Lauren’s use of white space and alternate emphasis wreaks havoc with your standard post editor. She was having problems getting it to look good and I said, “I have an idea”. I proposed the above and she gave me the thumbs up. I took some liberties with the formatting when I pulled it together, add some color to mix it up, a suitable background image. And, like that, it became a picture. Problem with formatting and fussy editors solved.

Except… it didn’t. Thank you, theme creators for not making all pictures dynamic and responsive [/sarcasm].

So, anyway — this really belongs more on her site. And I think we’ll get it so that the internet gods accept our goat cheese sacrifice (feta works wonders, let me tell you) and she can have it on her site — but we’ll have to tease it into working, I think.

Lauren drove the car, I went along for the ride. I look forward to future collaborations when she has the time. i can’t tell you just how pleased I am with the result.

Yes, the title of this piece was influenced by the song I had posted earlier. It seemed to fit.

reach/

Multimedia collaboration with tara caribou

©2021 tara caribou | michael raven

I asked Tara if she would be interested in working with me on another collaboration, but with a different approach than what we’d done previously with the mixed contributions towards a poem. Instead of infusing each other’s writing to try and create a cohesive whole, I tossed her a couple of fragments of a song I was working on, something that was not very cohesive at all, and asked, “Do you think you could write something to some or all of these pieces? And then read it into something an mp3 format and toss it my direction for some production?”

She bravely accepted the challenge, added some visual content after I got done messing with her vocals and fusing it onto my music (I have yet to delve into video production because I’d be OCD about it and drive everyone I know crazy, and the few friends I have would leave).

Tara wrote the words, which I’ve included after the video. I wrote the music and did the audio production, with special effects by Loonatik & Drinks (just kidding, it’s only me — I couldn’t resist the nod to a song that some of you may know). I did some minor rearrangement with her original vocal work, and you’ll find some more repetition than evidence in the text provided.

Update: WordPress Reader is borking the video at the moment, please visit the site to watch until I can resolve the problem.

Update 2: The problem seems to be limited to the mobile version of the WordPress Reader. I cannot seem to resolve the issue on my end, so I recommend visiting my site directly to view the video. If you prefer to stay within the Reader environment, I’ve uploaded the ‘audio-only’ version of our collaboration following the video.

words and video: ©2021 tara caribou | music: ©2021 michael raven
Audio only version if you encounter loading issues with the multimedia version, which seems to be an issue related to the WordPress Reader.
reach for me
reach
step down in me
inside
headswirl
edging down my slip-painted sides
reach
pour out inside
drip-drops outside
beside my mind
reach
stretch out with me
expertly guide
inside my mind
reach
deep inside me

I’m blessed to have Tara so willing to work with me on this and I hope you enjoy the finished product as much as I enjoyed working with her on it.

Once again, if you are interested in what I’m doing either as a musician or as a writer and want to work collaboratively, please feel free to contact me and propose an idea or two. I prefer that both people have an artistic stake in the collaborative effort, and I am not currently looking to monetize anything I do with someone else — it would be strictly for fun.

shadowfell/ [collaboration]

tara caribou + Michael Raven | ©2021

artwork ©2021 | tara caribou, used with permission

through the damp wood
dim and heavy,
humid with the tears
of Danu’s children
from ere they dwelt
in their mounds,
where betwixt and ‘tween
the misty veils
lies a fortress forbidding 
bare and stark
built of
black mud,
river boulder,
bone and feather

in single file dressed
all alike, 
black robed and solemn,
they
walk the pathway
climb the tower
up the stairway
‘round cold bricks about my heart
tight, so tight, i cannot breathe!
worms trying to
shatter those stones
reshape my world, theirs

                     yet… 

‘neath the soul’s window 
on the ledge 
there stands a raven 
black and dark
her feathers silky
beak so sharp
eyes that glitter
in the night

upon stairs tread
by boots of traitors
line they then 
of one accord
first the one
and then the other
bend a knee
lift arcane stave
as one voice
murmur dark curses
known only to those 
across the vales
 
all at once 
with sudden vigor 
raven surges upon her wings 
takes to air 
caws and cries 
an eerie shouting 
a dismal spell all her own

to their horror 
and great amazement 
notice they,
the twelve of cloak,
within her claw 
she holds a blade of silver 
etched with runes 
they cannot bear

rending these speckled sill
maggot interlopers asunder,
them vying for a premature seat
at the funeral feast

This is a collaborative effort with Tara Caribou, who provided the starting material which we both built from over the course of several editing periods over the past few weeks. After reading her initial suggestion, I felt it should appear as a seamless piece that could have multiple authors, or a single author. She may have had other goals — we hadn’t discussed that element during the process of creation. That goal, in my opinion, was largely met with the results above, although I suspect you could probably extract who did what if you really wanted to make such an effort. I honestly wouldn’t waste your time doing so — you’ll just get annoyed because it isn’t by stanza and I won’t admit to anything.

I’m very pleased with the results and look forward to working with Tara in the future (assuming she’ll continue put up with me and my weird habits of notetaking on other writers’ writing and abstract, nonsensical comments).

As always, I am interested in collaborative efforts, should you wish — be it with fiction, poetry, music, or some combination of all of the above. It makes a different part of the creative mind work than that which creates solo efforts, and I feel it has the potential to make both participants better at what they do as a part of their overall growth. It won’t always work, sadly, and I will honestly (and yet politely) say so if it comes to that — but we’ll never know if we don’t attempt to work together.