The house

©2022 Michael Raven

Of all the things I found myself liking about Sandman, the Netflix series, I didn’t realize that I missed the house the most.

Having been an early fan of the graphic novel series, well before the name Neil Gaiman had become a household name, I watched the series with some trepidation. How bad are they going to ruin it? That was the primary concern rattling around my head.

As a fan, I’m pretty easygoing. I don’t expect much from these translations from one media to the other, so I was pleasantly surprised that the adaptation was firmly in the not-bad camp, maybe even good.

But this isn’t a review of the show. I’m not even going to really explain myself.

As the season rounded out and the credits rolled, I realized that I really fricking missed that house that Rose Walker stayed in. Hal, Barbie and Ken, Gilbert, Lyta, Rose and… Zelda and Chantal.

While Matthew (The Raven) has always been my favorite character after Death, that household brought back memories of similar people and places from when I was younger and I found myself pining a bit for those people and places as I watched.

I wanted to go back, even as only a tourist, to the late 80s and early 90s — so I could connect again with such things. I wanted to watch Hal perform onstage (Zar would have been his name in my world) and follow it up with a long chat about a dark and stormy night with Zelda and Chantal. Or, at least, with Chantal unless Zelda had a bout with extroversion for the night.

That’s it. I miss that kind of community in that kind of household, much like a few I used to know. Nothing terribly profound.

outside garden walls

©2022 Michael Raven

i drag scrape raw belly
unable to stomach
more doppio dulce
words' sticky pages
treacle thick
from one instamatic
prismatic train-wreck
to the next

passionless fumbling
for an ecstatic fugue
this is heresy that i whisper
outside shadow garden walls

mushin || day 222: be 有る

©2022 Michael Raven

many mornings
it takes a very large cup
of coffee
just to exist
without drifting away
on a gentle breeze

This series of writing explorations that I call mushin are an attempt to grasp the concept of mushin no shin (mind without mind, 無心の心, often shortened to mushin, or “no-mind”). I am using prompts from 365 Tao, largely because they are Zen and Tao themes for meditation (which suits this exploration), not as an endorsement for the book from which they are derived. The daily prompts can be found in this table. Anyone wishing to participate is welcome to do so, either post your own response to the prompt below or post a link to your response in the comments.


©2022 Michael Raven

slipping away
dull day doldrum drink-in
wishing popculture
would just leave me
and mine alone

obligatory coats of
saccharine angeldust
force-injected inbetween

they will rubber erase
all graffitied charm away on
this thing too

maybe i need to
trade my name
change my trains
wear a fresh
black beret
and rise up rise up
to vomit up all the
oldnew stuff