Writing as revolution helps shake up and even smash the establishment.
The Constitution, the Communist Manifesto and the Hairy Messenger (a subversive underground newspaper I founded in 1969 when I raised hell as a Susquenita High School senior in rural Central Pennsylvania) comprise only three radical acts of printed rebellion that required fighting words.
My decades-long repertoire of aggressive mainstream newspaper columns also required a militant approach. So did the erratic online Gonzo Today national magazine pieces I wrote as the designated “White House Correspondent” for 17 months. Then last year I quit working as a guerrilla member of the press. Why did I stop?
Today’s news business lacks backbone. Gone is yesteryear’s two-fisted street grit as too many Generation Zero publishers, editors, reporters and alleged local columnists get lazier, more timid and increasingly fearful of an outlaw agitator in their midst.
Short stories now command my attention. I want to be the best short story writer I can be. Reality-based fiction offers another way to step into the arena and mix it up with the chaotic times we share. All my fiction is true, anyway. I create made-up tales from reality. My short stories run the gamut from war and peace to love and hate. Wanton violence defines and shapes American reality, so expect blood to flow and madness to prevail over reason. Unhinged characters push the limits of rationality. Anti-heroes abound. Losers lose. Winners lose, too.
My stories awaken sleeping senses.
My words provoke reflection.
That’s why Jerry Langdon, editor and publisher of Raven Cage Zine, an international English language journal of poetry and prose based in Germany, has published two of my original short stories in the most recent December 2022 edition. Langdon will publish in subsequent monthly releases two of my original stories not available anywhere else. The online version of Raven Cage Zine is free. The hard copy magazine is available to buy at bookstores worldwide, including through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
“With Raven Cage one can never know what to expect except that with all the different genres and poets there will surely be something there for everyone,” Langdon wrote in an email.
Sally Johnson of Bellingham, Washington, one of my most faithful readers, guided me to Raven Cage Zine through her free spirit and thoughtful social media presence. When I asked Sally her opinion of Raven Cage Zine she said, “I think they’re good eggs. Jerry Langdon is all about the writing. He writes some, mostly dark poetry, and with him it’s about the writing not fame and fortune and getting it out there.”
Getting ideas out there matters.
Sally also said Jerry Langdon is “not a capitalist oinker.” No editor I know ever got a better recommendation from those of us who defy and reject mainstream America mores. Systemic profit-driven porkers need not apply. Corporate swine not welcome here.
I write to write.
Jerry publishes to publish.
Sally and countless people read to read, think and feel as their perspective helps challenge authority and fuel more power to the people.
Other than sharing my fiction with more readers I want nothing in return.
Eccentric Chinese poet Han Shan lived in the Tang Dynasty and wrote poems on fallen leaves he dropped into rippling crystalline streams. The wild-haired recluse wrote poems on the bottoms of rocks and replaced them poem side down in the mud. He wrote poems on biscuits and fed them to starving stray dogs.
I’m not Han Shan, but we’re kindred spirits.
Laughing and drinking wine, the Cold Mountain hermit scribbled visions of serenity and anarchy that pricked the madness of existence. Laughing and drinking wine in the refuge of my own monasticism, I, too, confront the insanity of societal breakdown.
I go crazy on my own terms.
Psychedelic rock god Jimi Hendrix got it right when he said, “If you can just get your mind together… then come on across to me.”
So come on over. Let’s be experienced together. Through the pages of Raven Cage Zine we’ll face modern-day mania. The door to my cage is always open.
Let the raven fly.
Find Raven Cage Zine at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JQkJbvaCtcErea4wzXGn84WqH1kZCFBj/view