Help Me (Remix) Produced by Isaac Ali, ft. GabrielAV, Ray Hiiway, Ted Bear, Lyrical G, and Deezy

Happy Halloween! I see you all out there preparing for Dia de Los Muertos. After listening to the Help Me (Remix), I have to ask that you please add the photo below to your ‘ofrenda’ because the 5 artists on this track just killed the beat, lol. These verses are not only relatable and debatable but meant to inspire, innovate, and promote a realm of hip hop with slow crafted instrumentation and contemplative, evocative lyrics…what I like to call ‘Soul Speak’, if you will.

I told you I would have a remix on hand this morning so here we go. Isaac Ali showcases his young talent as his drive readies him for more musical genius to come. Click on the link below. Listen. Like. Share. Support. Because it’s the right thing to do.

Help Me (Remix) Prod. Isaac Ali, ft. GabrielAV, Ray Hiiway, Ted Bear, Lyrical G, and Deezy

Help Me Remix Art Work.jpg

Shout outs to Grayniac out of Oakland, CA for the mentorship, big ups to the homie AP1 the DJ for supplying the live samples, True & Forever Loyal to all my brothers who worked with me on the song and had that quick turn around for the verses, and all my friends and family that supported in any capacity.

Whether you’re showing us love on social media or in the real world, you’re supporting a movement of hip hop that has purpose.

Keep your team strong, add us.

Instagram:
@volition_62
@rayhiiway
@lyrical_gee21
@deezy219

@isaacalii (Production)
@tablesofturn (Live scratching)
@graybaybay (Sound Engineering)

Twitter:
@GabrielAV219
@RHiiway
@Ether47
@Lyrical_Gee21
@Deezy219

Advertisements

For the Culture

Help Me Cover Art .jpg
Cover Art by Natalie Moyado, Instagram: personatalieart_fx

 

What’s up world!? I have recently taken a jump into the music realm and got on a track with close friend and local Hammond, Indiana talent, Ted Bear. The hip hop song titled ‘Help Me’ brings culture and correctness to the mic, representing the area I am originally from.

While the bars on this track are something to listen closely to, I would like to have you recognize the young talent on the team, producer Isaac Ali. At only 16 years old, Isaac is a new face from the Bay Area who’s early education in music and sound engineering have propelled his musical potential into purpose. This is his first official production within Hip Hop and he has been mentored along the way by sound engineer and producer, Grayniac, hailing out of Oakland, CA’s well known Grill Recording Studio.

Click here to check out the song and be ready for a special treat on Halloween when we bring you the Help Me – Remix featuring other local up and coming names such as my partner in crime, Ray Hiiway, local Chicago rapper Lyrical G, as well as rising star and Gary, IN native Deezy. With the five flows combined, I know you’ll get a kick outta this one!

Big shout out to the twin and close friend/artist Natalie Moyado of Personatalieart_FX. She’s brilliant and steady working out of Long Beach, CA with roots in Portage, IN. If you’re considering art projects or want some out of the ordinary work, holler at her! She does it all from pencil work, to charcoal, acrylics, watercolor,  and multi-media.

Please share the link: GabrielAV and Ted Bear’s first single produced by Isaac – “Help Me”

All shout outs the 219/The Region especially everybody back home in Gary & Portage, IN. Big ups to the Bay for elevating my platform. Again, thank you to my family & friends who inspired me to find my voice and who continue to support me. BE READY FOR HALLOWEEN and stay tuned for more updates from Ray Hiiway & GabrielAV!

Spinnin’-N-Winnin’ II: Deuce Ellis ‘An Electric Ride’ EP

cover
Album art by Jenna Clayburn & Edreys Wajed

Fellow citizens of the world, with no further adieu, my second Spinnin’-N-Winnin’ music showcase is here. This album is the first project produced and written in completion  by #TheCult leader Deuce Ellis. As a fellow lyricist, I have to tip the hat to those who can approach this kind of task and see it to fruition. Having a few friends who produce music, I’ve seen the amount of time it takes to perfect a sound and get multiple orchestrations together. When I found out he was going to be heading to California for some business, I made mention of being in the Bay Area. We ended up hanging out and discussing each other’s current standing with our creative art.

At the time we met in March, this project had not yet been finished but he made mention of having something in the works. I had to compliment him because seriously, who do you know that makes music with a traveling studio hopping city to city, state to state en route to his counterpart? Deuce made the journey part of his art form with An Electric Ride and it makes for one hell of a story if you ask me. I told Deuce that I could empathize a little with sacrificing time in order to create. I mentioned taking some time to focus on developing my own craft in screenwriting and we realized the events I had planned to go to and participated in that week were actually part of the Cinequest Film Festival that our infamous artist Deuce Ellis was attending here in the Bay Area. The portion I was a part of took place at the San Jose State University campus, where writers could learn to pitch scripts and were given advice from some of the pros in the industry. Deuce encouraged my efforts and we spoke about his excitement for the latest music project he was looking to release as well as the film he is in.

Our minds were blown to think we met randomly some 7-8 years ago on a college campus and now we were kicking back in Cali enjoying conversations about the film he was supporting called “The Dunning Man”. After showing interest in it, he introduces me to the co-producer Brent Butler (follow him) and the writer of the original novel, Kevin Fortuna. Kevin thanked me for my support and offered me a copy of the book along with a bottle of his own sparkling wine called Karma Lion. Now that’s generosity! We watched the film and got to sit through a Q&A thereafter. Great film if I should say so myself, so shout outs to the team for putting that together and to Kevin for his generosity and kindness.

Fast forward to today…

The wait for the project Deuce spoke of is ending! An Electric Ride is out for free download and if you missed the train, you can still purchase the copy.

Track One: Vibes High
This opener hopscotches from the concrete jungle and makes its way to an amazing place of creative inspiration. Deuce tinkers with melodies that set me drifting “—so high, I gave God five.” The ultrasonic baseline meets jungle fusion flow and you’re in tune with your environment as Ellis pays homage to mother Earth, stepping into psychedelic rhythm and harmonizing with her island vibes. Now that is what The Cult calls An Electric Ride. This is an introduction to the escape from all “our petty little fascinations, fetishes, and infatuations” that constantly drain our lives and can be overwhelming. Vibes High is a search for a clearer sense of self. Seeing as how he went from NY to HI just to stop and smell the flowers, I think this man is serious. Can’t lie, he took me to another dimension on this one. Just one question, did Deuce actually sample a fake or real monkey? Because I can definitely see Diddy Kong and Donkey Kong rolling through the streets on this one.

Track Two: 3 Stacks & The Gypsy (Insomnia)
In case you didn’t catch it, the title is a direct reference to living legend Andre 3000 of Outkast and the ’98 single Rosa Parks. Deuce’s 3 Stacks & The Gypsy has some hints of 3k between the metaphors and mania in this shadow chasing track. He manipulates a moment in the setting of a bus interior where he and a gypsy have a conversation on dominance. The advice is simple…handle the f*#%ing business and help out your team. I took this track to be the abstract confidence of decision making in song form. If you can catch the wordplay, this one may make you smile. Another bit of advice everyone relates to at some point in life is to “Get yourself a different crew if your crew don’t do shit for you.” Respect.

Track Three: Naked Language
With a chorus like “Lick the walls, just tease the party. Reality sucks, just leave your body. Silver bells and sunshades, takin’ selfies tryna be somebody,” how do you begin the assessment…

Okay, off the jump, I had to give this song at least 10 playthroughs the first time around— kinda like my first Bone Thugz-N-Harmony experience. But this time it wasn’t because of fast rhymes, it was due to the actual lyrical content. The bars are out there but you gotta be willing to ride a comet if you want to surf the cosmic waves. It’s psychedelic satisfaction with a hard

Artwork by Melanie Isaacson

 attraction toward instrumentation. Deuce’s inflection sways with each verse, leaving you to figure out where reality meets perception. Just a heads up, this bass line is a nice touch. By the way, for the sake of self satisfaction and boost in confidence, I am no longer considering it sweating but “dripping wit’ fluorescent confidence.”

 

Track Four: Altered Beast
This funky track is fun and sensual. Try and imagine it meanwhile, keep up with the quick spit rhyme style of Deuce as he “turns her moans into a song”. The uptempo shift makes a break for excitement, still flashing fluorescence from the last track. You’ll be feeling yourself with this one as it brings the heat in the heart of summer. Think you can leave the heat alone? Just remember Ellis warned you of what the doctor said, “You need a little funk in your system ‘fore ya start to flip out. Cuz all this time you’ve been dancing by yourself, it’s time to feel the heat from somebody else— Oooow!” Try and sit still to this one, I dare you!

Track Five: God’s Mirror ft. Justo Ontario
Even poet Dr. Antony Theodore feels we “mirror God’s light” when we live “life through a core of love,” So it’s no wonder Deuce’s Electric Ride sparks so many deep vibes on this luminescent voyage. God’s Mirror shows you love and pain while Deuce tells a story of a [she] who chases dreams of success. With those treasure filled dreams come haters and violators so you always have to be aware what road you’re on. If it’s a jealous one, you should proceed with caution. Super chill and spacey slow mood with this one. I like the melodic rap verses Deuce puts together but I wonder how it would sound if created outside of this psychedelic/synthetic skin. However, the lyrics are quite thought provoking but “Heaven only knows if [I’m] right or wrong.” Take a listen for yourself.

19051526_278182755924587_6991790283499241472_n
Photo Courtesy of Marvin Anthony Photography

Track Six: Methods & Madness ft. San Ity
Deuce Ellis starts trippin’ on this one. Talkin’ LSD and Cocaine could be a risky way to set yourself aside from crowds too unfamiliar or scared to take it on. “But never a worry,” as Ellis sets the stage with his one liner remembrances / influences then battles ghosts and spirits through a tip of the tongue sing-a-long that will get stuck in your head if you’re not too careful (late night may not have been the best time to finish reviewing this track haha). He’s not the first artists to do it, but he is one of the ones with the most expansive mindsets. I had to let him know I was mad at him and San Ity for this chorus right here because as reckless as it is, it’s too fun not to sing.

Track Seven: No Sins
So you just took a dive into the deep end. Where there is no more floating. Succumb to the sinking as your seat on An Electric Ride hits the high road, surpassing the intergalactic heavens. I’m talking White Rabbits, Unicorns, Savages, Rock-n-Roll, Golden Chimes ringing, the Queen, and Choir plus more all in one place. No Sins “shoot[s] for a moon for a dream so spectacular” and explodes through your mind. It’s one of the funnest tracks during the electric ride. Too many good lines in here, one of my fave? #NoSinsInHeaven

Track Eight: Cosmic Rays (Deuce’s Lightpad Remix)
The stars tell the story of the night and on An Electric Ride you’ll see constellation Ellis. The beat patterns are crazy with this one, just as crazy as the bit on Cosmic Rays delivered by the leader of The Cult in the beginning of the song. Pay attention. Deuce’s analogy of self and star embody one and make you consider the existence of self and the influence of your atmosphere.

Track Nine: For Jenna (Cracking the Code)

19227130_838081793011102_5060047051845271552_n(1).jpg
Jenna Clayburn and Deuce at the Screening of “The Dunning Man”. Photo Courtesy of SOHO International Film Festival.

I am appreciative to Deuce for including this instrumental production. A great shout out to who I could imagine is none other than Miss Jenna Clayburn, artist and novia to Deuce Ellis. Jenna was part of the album cover design and creates a number of art pieces among other works. I guess you can say she’s down for the ride! TeethRatedR needs no explanation, just click.

Track Ten: Magical Solutions
The bravado lays a banger on you as Deuce performs the cosmic danger side of rap music. The opening verse is met with heavy, smooth tones and a blunt creed of life. It’s a banger for the night out that gave some sick cadence changes and rhythmic bars.  Ellis is once again lighting up the night. Remember the Cult don’t sweat, we just drip fluorescence ’round here on the Electric Ride. The tone of the keys give that floating feeling a lot of the album carries with it and Deuce uses this groove to steamroll the second verse and beyond. Remember to set a reminder to detox.

Track Eleven: The Product
Opening line: “This requires no description”
19932309_503972129957993_7045291389730422784_nBut I do have a suggestion: Get the album

Track Twelve: I Am Somebody ft. Aloe Blacc
This final production is a literal soul glow. You can’t help but feel good about yourself while ending your journey on An Electric Ride. Deuce says, “You’re unstoppable if you don’t stop yourself,” and it couldn’t be any truer. With so many things going on in life, sometimes we gotta take time to remember that our efforts, actions, and existence matter. Many times we are our biggest critics so I found it fitting that at the end of An Electric Ride, Deuce mentions his infatuation is power in music. At the beginning of the album, he was heard mentioning the need to disconnect with our infatuations etc. We all need to find time to unwind and be at peace. At least with Deuce, when he does it, you get a pretty decent album out of it.

If you would like to hear the album for yourself, feel free to join the pre-order list at DeuceEllis.com. I will say it grew on me more and more as I continued to take the journey through sound and electric excitement produced by Deuce. Top tracks for me are Vibes High, Naked Language, No Sins, and Magical Solutions but check it out on your own and let me know what you think!

Til the next time, thank you for the read and remember to support local artists and venues, peace!

From My Cold Petty Hands

I walked into the church hall. The chilly marble basement probably looked cool as shit in the 70s but in 2007 it now seems to have proved a more lima bean complexion than regal sophistication. Such sophistication could be found nowhere in this mob of geriatrics. There are wrinkled and veiny hands reaching for every item of food. Toasted tough bread rolls and foil-paper butter packs, smushed or gone. Wet cold deli meat rolled and chopped then prodded with a toothpick, all but the shiny plastic tip picks demolished. The table-top looks like a war field where the elderly frontline spills a bowl of cherry tomato grenades. They detonate and darken the clothe to the dissonance of walker wheel squeaks and slides of neon tennis balls. Scrumptious chopped cheese delights for these stale palette old fogies are quickly devoured and backed by hardcore caffeinated and decaffeinated Catholics who use dentures to bite through styrofoam cup rims. Can’t help but think it’s due to nervousness; their subconscious feels father time nibbling on their near-end life cycle.

This time none seem to care about the dead ‘Father’ upstairs, filled with formaldehyde and menthol, dermis pretty and powdered from make up he never wore. They made him look like a cold practice prop of some pressure cooked mirror/make-up packet producing company. I imagine my namesake, standing up out of his coffin, eyes sunken and seeping with vapors as he makes his way down the marble staircase into the hall. By habit, he’d greet people and reach for a cigarette not knowing his embalmed body is two shakes of a man’s hand away from fuming and kabooming across the devoted to death congregation. It would be so serene. A meat and make-up cocktail bomb, silencing and saturating the crowd as he puffs a posthumous farewell; a modern day magic act for the ages. It would be a re-enactment of what was talked about each and every incense induced Sunday. The ‘flesh of my flesh’ symbology resurrecting from the dead, having died for the sins of the prideful and gluttonous et ceteras squawking like seagulls over genetically modified foods after his demise.

“Oh, you love me? Ta-da, Here’s my heart. Oh, you need me? Ta-da, here’s my knee. Oh, you are touched by my Christian efforts in the community? Ta-da, here’s my hand. Oh look! It came with a holy rosary. All you have to do is pry it from my cold dead hands.”

I see his spirit in the coffee, steaming with anger as they take away the tough treated chunks of him. While they speak false truths, their tongue and lips are singed with each sip. Do they act as he asked? Do they perform as he preached? Or are they here for the acknowledgement, an attention seeking scheme? Zoning in my emotions, I fixate my eyes back on the scene. My family is hungry but their mind’s are too busy to acknowledge alarms all screaming ‘eat’. Too bad really because the spread is pecked, the juice is dripping off the placemat edges, and the children are crying and tired.

Instead we serve the red-eyed seagulls. I rush for more conchas, ducking swinging arms as they embrace other funeral goers. The amount of petty that percolates inside me is enough to boil water. My father stirs his straight black breakfast. Too old-school to sugar coat anything, especially his coffee. As he excuses himself from the table, I notice the look in his eye— I don’t want to be here. I drop my tray of conchas making my way toward him and stepping on velcro strapped feet, interrupting the repose of the toes atop the insulated soles.

We’re outside our hood cathedral and he breathes out a cough as his ashy fist covers his mouth. His eyes are also sunken and seeping but with the agony of loss. His head is Bic’d to represent his ‘Fuck You’ stance against cancer. I can’t help but think of the battle he emblazoned.

“Hey cigarette, me and you- outside, now.”

A reoccurring fight he’s willing to face unsure of a win. I don’t know if he’s stuck on stupid for smoking or just stuporous and stuck on his brother’s death. We talk in fragments and short matter of facts, using sighs and head shakes as emphasis. I want to speak in epics and muster some sort of joy but I fall silent as the breezeless trees and the choke of sadness simmers between the place where my heart and throat meet. Some of the gluttonous gulls make their way out the church hall and attempt to bid us farewell before heading to their nests. Flocking around my father and me while mentioning our similarities to the deceased, I can’t help but think how they’d all react to mine or my father’s departure.

I wish my dad would’ve saved his rebellious ‘Fuck Yous’ for some of them. Instead they’ve been spent on cancer causing puffs of cigarettes, proving aliveness is the only spoil of war, regardless of what you’re fighting for or against. Making my way back in the hall, I see my family… serving and cleaning, their way of keeping busy. Some smile, others stare, others socialize. Me… I suppress. Pettiness coursing in me like the sickening menthol from cigarettes. It’s not good for me, but I don’t care. It feels good for the moment. It deadens me just for the moment. Dead in me; just, for the moment. Pettiness filters through focus and stupors my senses and so… I smile just for the moment.

To a Friend who Served

Today they lay you to rest and I haven’t quite figured out how to stop thinking about our last time together. You had just come back home and I was doing who knows what at that point in life. I remember thinking how you changed, a bit more mature but different. I was happy for you, Nate. I was happy to see you and was mad that I hadn’t kept up with you as often as when we were in school. It will be one of my very few regrets in life…

Because time passes on and apparently so do amazing people. Some we shouldn’t have to lose because we can’t help but to think, “I’d just like one more moment with them.”

It is in these moments where a perfect part of friendship makes life that much better or bearable. You were one of those moments, Nate. This country should be honored to have had a person like you sacrifice your time and dedication to serve in their military.

Thank you for letting me experience life as your friend. Thank you for offering your services to this country. A bravery such as yours will forever be remembered.

ChildHood

Imagination Gabe, paper planes and a fleece vest.

Rockin’ knock off clothes clean with a steam press-

Grandma Josephine , yeah, she coulda been a seamstress-

Grandpa, soul gold , shoemaker never seemed stressed.

Breathe breaths of Gary Mill sweetness, soot caked home

close to Aetna. Miller beach is—

A place memories of my childhood reaches

A child’s hood teaches more than a childhood’s teaching.

If your fire don’t work, better prepare for grim reapin’.

Those aren’t fireworks but AKs and gats speaking-

Crackheads run for base sold by cons in no sequence.

While Glorified pimps sold hoes in old sequins,

Ghetto child sees sex and the profit it brings in.

Done behind stores and empty lots come evening,

while mental patients beg for change. There’s a paradox, even

I beg for mental patience to change how I see them.

 

HELP ME! Help me, OD.
As we proceed
to get to- get to know me
Then we gon’ see
All these MC’s
o.d. on me- o.d. on me. [overdose x2]
My hood tendency tends to see bars and beatens.

My good tendency tends to speak bars in beats. When

this soul goes, you think Peter ought to greet ’em?

People ought to offer no weak bars to beat em.

I’m hot Summer, fall back to winter off season-

Spring yourself forward, still too short to see ’em.

~*~

For the ghetto I got God to stop moms from grievin-

Jesus, these thugs aren’t Gs just weak men creepin’-

Huffin & puffin sacks. Bad wolf oughta be them-

nervous piglets tuggin cigarettes, Cop squealin’.

What measures a man? Arrest records, triple beamin?

I don’t think so, I don’t need blow to breathe in.

Childhood memories tend to be bout some teasin’.

Cousins called me Dumbo the feeling was displeasing

Now I’m coming in for landings & they cant wait to see ’em.

Sit back, spit raps, even slip stacks to mom in secret.

Light a candle on church mantle, got good manners to deal wit.

God bless the dead, that’s where pride for my degree went-

Don’t need Louis , Gucci, Prada. Nah, to be with

the fam and friends, to me, reminisce on memories

gives a ride or die feeling that a child hood believes in.

Imagination Gabe, loses focus yet he breeze tests-

Got As for days like he’s from Oakland, now he sees it.

After a Kiss

Running in circles, my cyclical bliss

of love ever after, run after a kiss.

Chasing a moment, imagining us

loving together. I gather your trust

into these hands and hold it to heart.

We tangle in talking, our arguments farce.

My lovely, you love me. We run all about

in circular chases of being sought out.

To capture you would be the end of a run

but what a beginning the ending has brung.

Dizziness, silly bliss, this is to seem

to others for whom love is deemed but a dream.

Around and around through our youth into age,

our story gets sweeter with each turn of page.

So I went to church …

I attended a mass this past Sunday that was meant to honor a woman I love. I arrived and immediately lit a candle. The candles are different now than they were when I was a child. You no longer light a  wax coated wick with a wooden stick. Now, you insert your money into the metal or wooden tackle box that’s mounted by the statue of whichever patron saint the church is named after. Then you press a button and there you have your lit prayer candle for whatever allotted time a prayer is supposed to last until now-a-days. How do they get that time? I imagine there’s an angel or soul of a saint somewhere with a stopwatch who clocks the average time someone needs to soak up God’s divine grace.

Deciding my need for grace was then and now, I looked upon all these buttons. It’s like the table top of an arcade game that gives your pixelated eternal soul the power-move prayer to destroy all evils and demons that attempt to corrupt you. All for just $2 non-tax refundable.

My knees bend and I am elbows up with hands gripped together. Oh wait, I need not forget to make the sign of the cross before my adult peers judge me. Judging in church? I know. I close my eyes and try to focus. The smell here takes me back to older Sundays some years ago when the family was still a pack and we’d move through the isles, a noticeable force that had a usual sitting area. Looking at the ceramic face of this statue, I begin my prayer. I miss her, I need her, I love her, I thank her. I stand.

Finding a  seat in the back where all non-practicing holiday Catholics and runaway-now-returned repenters hull up, I find a seat. I am either one that fits for the moment. While sitting down, I realize I am actually interested to see what happens with the homily during this mass. Having had an interesting and sad turn of events this week in the U.S. of America, I figured there would be huge talking points and a heavy message that would help me make sense of all the turmoil and hate going on.

That never came. The mass was standard. Mom with baby who always smiled and walked out when it was fussy, typical Latino and Filipino families who sat across from me and looked very proud, the puffy haired old women who sang out choruses and hymns, and the awkward moving alter boys (and girl…progressive, I know) nervously focusing on their candle flames, hoping to not accidentally breathe on it and snuff it out. The gospel was a trite passage of the Good Samaritan and the homily only glazed over the idea that your neighbor is who you may least likely expect but should  look after and because of that we should love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. Thereafter, the priest gave out the Eucharist and when mass was ended he made sure to send out second collection baskets and inform us that this was going toward the education and recruitment of new members and members of the flock that have strayed. Meanwhile, I sat in the back chewing cud and bleating noticeably.

Clearly, I am no big bad wolf, but having not been to church since January when my mom last visited, I openly admit that there is a reason people are leaving the Catholic church. There is a reason why as someone who has turned away from my faith, yet nostalgically holds on to it like a frail hand squeezing the thin slipping kite-line under an immense gust of original sin, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to this church, let alone explain why the faith is something to be had. Now, that may hurt or concern many of my readers who are close to me, it’s an honest truth that I am openly living with and have faced many strangers with when the question is posed in coversation. Shocking to move to California and have open healthy discussion of faith, religion, and life, wow.

I asked myself over and over again on my way home, “Why hadn’t the priest spoken about the relevant world events? Alton Sterling/Philandro Castile/ Turkey bombings etc.?” Maybe he knew his crowd and had decided against touching on taboo subjects like these due to harsh feedback from parishioners. But I countered that thought with the thought that as a church leader he should be bold, it’s his duty to be be evangelical in his beliefs and the positive effect God would/should have on it’s congregation and how it is to act in times like this.

I didn’t get that response though. Instead I was asked to give the church more money and tell my friends about the growing love of God’s grace, yada-yada-yada. After this experience I went home and explained to my girlfriend how dissatisfied I was and afterward I thought to myself, how dare I be upset. I don’t attend mass every day. Why should I deserve to just pop up and expect to be moved by something someone says? So I stayed trying to contemplate the issues I was feeling within myself and am left with resentment and confusion. I’ve stressed before that I am not a super religious person but having grown up in the faith, I still look to it and base my morals and ethics around what I once learned. A lot of people may feel like this is where the problem is, you can’t have a backpack Jesus faith that you take off and put on when it’s convenient. But maybe that’s just it. Maybe I’m just not ready to accept body armor Jesus because there is this whole new world of questions and qualms that come with it.

I‘ve always felt like I was a good person. I needed to grow up a little and accept my faults for what they were and fix them but I never wanted to be the super religious kind of person. There was always a stigma to that, which is a bit ironic. Christians can bring that upon themselves at times. They are so on fire for Jesus that they can overwhelm their unintended audiences and even intended audiences with the flames and burn people out that way (pun intended). With that being said, I guess I just like the good news in strong, meaningful doses regardless of the medium as opposed to the in your face, dull drumbeat that has become the Catholic church. I try to respect all Christian based religions and even non-Christian based ones like Islam, Judaism, etc. Knowing people of different cultures has helped me get a sense of world outside of my Roman Catholic Mexi-Rican/American childhood bubble. Plus with all the wars that have gone on for centuries over who’s god rules, it makes me not want to advocate for a side.

Now, on occasion, I  attend ceremonies that are of different religious backgrounds in respect for those unlike myself. But like I said I don’t seek religion out unless it is on occasions like honoring a dead relative. I don’t really know what I expected to get out of this little rant but, it felt good to air out the thoughts I have been having for quite some time. Maybe there’s someone out there who has the answer I am looking for. If you think you do, great. I’ll hear you. If you relate, great. I thank you for seeing me. I may be able to create a dialogue from this that can help others beyond myself. Who knows?

Much love and positivity!

-Gabriel Antonio Valtierra

Prejudice Precedence

Another soul gone.

altonsterling

Dear America,

You killed them.

It was a life and then it wasn’t.

You killed them,

hiding behind laws and a precedence of prejudice.

You killed them.

Mothers, brothers, sister, fathers, aunt, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and friends.

And for what?

By basing your judgement off history’s hate, subconscious fears that were built over years,

You killed them.

As they lay dying, as their loved ones are crying…you stay justifying

your actions on black men and women, subtract them

from this world. You mad men,

You killed them.

Prejudice precedence stays killing my family.

Court systems will damn me as media spins a web full of stories.

You killed them.

They drop dead as flies, as flies fly above eyes

wide open at skies while their souls ask, “Why did I die?”

Prejudice precedence, You killed them.

Irresponsible fears raised by ignorant hate,

You. Killed. Them.

B Negative

SAMPLE STORY FROM A HORROR/COMEDY INVOLVING A VAMPIRE WHO’S ADDICTED TO ALCOHOLIC BLOOD.

I once had a hunger. I would consume and continue my wrath of devouring with an insatiable appetite. Their attention wasn’t enough, I had to have it all. Their time. Their thoughts. Their bodies, some pure as a temple. She was more of a mausoleum…meant for dead. She smoked, popped pills, laid, and swallowed liquor back with anyone that gave her the time of day. Some nights— all together. I’d be with her time to time, not too close but not too far, watching as she took men home. Her place, their place, no matter… I’d follow.

About a month prior, I saw her sitting on the stool next to the bar counter. Right across from the dart boards where the assholes hulled up. They’d stare at her and some would try and talk with her for a while. Then she’d swallow a pill or two chased by her whiskey beverage. Disgusting how she’d polluted herself right before leaving with a different one each week but she wasn’t theirs. As much as she’d flirt, she was unknowingly mine. Sometimes they’d go to an alleyway, the backseat of a sedan, sometimes an old grimy apartment on the other side of town… typical sad song frivolity.

Her method was stupid. The mix of chemicals would lead to a sloppiness I detested, yet it was spectacular in matter of completion. A few times she’d been close to getting caught but cold sheets, cold bodies, and cold cases were all she left thus far. Who was she— this spinstress of flattery and sexual favors, turning weak men to flies catching them in her web of deceit? Sorry saps didn’t even realize they were buzzing through their last few hours of life.

I contemplated skipping her and finding another, but each time I tried I couldn’t get past her bothersome method. It scratched at my mind like an incessant claw. If she was caught then what? A woman capable of so much death wasting away in a prison cell would cause a void to swell in my brain, weighing me down in malignant agony. The forgone satisfaction of killing her would surely lead me to ruin. I couldn’t have that. Tonight I was to sit next to her, start conversation, then end her in sweet arousal. I’d mention some music she was into and lie about a crazy concert where I’d gotten wasted and fooled around with someone. She was sure to relate. Over a couple drinks we’d click like a safety belt. Hah, safety belt. Oxymoronic how there was to be no safety between us. It wasn’t meant to be safe. Night after night watching her bubbly, promiscuous ways drew me in closer. I had to be careful not to become a fly. She was deserving of all that was to come.

BAR

She bumped me on her way to the bathroom and that was my opening.

“Apologies, miss. That’s my bad.” As my hand slid across her lower back she gazed backward smiling as she pushed the bathroom door open, her tongue flirtatiously sticking out at me. She followed with, “I bet it is.” I could smell the type O blood through her skin, oh the vapors.

I sit at the bar with an empty stool to my right that was planned for her. This way as she approached the dartboard area, I’d be prepared for her. Unbeknownst to me, that’s when her prey strutted in with his fitted jeans, polo shirt and suede jacket. I had gone over my approach to lure, obtain, and then devour but of course the regal one with his perfect bone structure, broad shoulders, and a buff appeal struts on sitting at the stool I’d saved. He was in the way but could play as a good distraction, a fall guy in case this goes awry. He orders a whiskey and ginger. On her way out the restroom she eyes him while approaching. I stand to offer my seat and attempt conversation. She reaches forward.

I begin, “I was wondering if you’d come ba-“

Passing me, her soft embrace was not for me but for him. It slides across his left shoulder to his right shoulder. Tingles of jealousy linger down my spine as I take my seat and her prey turns to face her. Her hazel eyes explode with excitement. Having watched her for some time, I’ve seen this routine before only I’d expected her to try and chance it on me.

“Sonny, oh my God, you haven’t changed!”

The prey’s cheeks blush as she’s hugging him and jumping up and down, grabbing his hips, kissing his face. The hairs on the back of his neck must be rising because the astonishment of his eyes says he’s caught off guard. She spurts out about Sacajawea Summer Camp, 2004 prom night, and the Ellis twins. Lies.

“At first I couldn’t figure out who the hell this gorgeous creation was,” she says, “Now…how’s your brother Davey doing?”

“Auuh, Davey…that guy— same old same. Forget about him! How’re you?” he says taking a drink of his whiskey mix. Every single one of her victims has taken the bait. Can no man be truthful to a pretty face? If they were, maybe they’d live to see the next day.

This fly boy prey is pushing out a laugh smiling and patting her shoulder. He offers her a drink all the while I’m thinking about her scent that bounces from her every movement. Had I just brushed into her a bit more I’d have it stuck on me. If all goes well, her blood would mix with the sweet scent of perfumed cucumber melon. Lodging the scent into my brain, it hangs in the front inner corners of my eyes as I inhale and my sinus takes it faster than water to dried earth. She keeps blabbing, too stupid and focused to even notice me next to them.

“Drink?” The bartender says. It seemed more like a shout catching me off guard.

“Uh yes, Bloody Mary….real bloody,” I slide a five dollar bill to him.

“Extra bloody huh? What are you a mosquito?” The grey toned man standing behind the bar asks. He has tough looking, damaged skin with a hipster-half shaved head.

“Those virus hosts wish they could hold a candle to me,” I seethe.

“Whatever, you’re 3 dollars short. If you got card we can start a tab.” He slides me the drink and I secretly untwist a warm red vial in my coat, waiting until it’s clear to pour the most prized B- elixir in my drink.

“Sure, fine,” I say as a bit of the blood dribbles down my celery stalk. Scrumptiously rare. Less than 2% of the world’s population, a bit tart though. Lovely compliment to the olives that follow.

I’m doing my best to seem casual. The bar tender begins glaring at the girl’s breast never asking for my card. Could he be more creepy?  The woman pushes the man next to me and I’m bumped by his shoulder almost knocking my sweet BAC drink out of my hand.

“Sooo, why didn’t you ever ask me out the night of the bonfire?” Her breasts are perky, her lips are pursed in a smile, and the vein on the left side of her neck throbs as she flexes her jaw at him. Aggressive…not for long.

“I don’t know, it was the wrong time.” He guzzles down the rest of the drink. Liar, then again so is she. Aren’t we all?

His red ears burn hotter than summer seat belts to skin as she leans in and whispers,

“You never were good with timing,” then she kisses him on the cheek, her hand rifling into the inside pocket of his jacket pulling out some dollars from a money clip. He fails to notice. He’s  such a mark. My heart’s pounding as my knee bounces on the stool. Her low cut top beckons for attention while her finger hangs on it, lowering the cloth for his eyes to see the bright garish trimming of a yellow and pink lace bra. My eyes go adrift as well and my nose catches more cucumber melon, while her chest mock the undulating fruit. She’ll be devoured and it will surely be as sweet as this fragrance breasted fawn can realize.

“Wait Sonny, what happened to your birthmark?” Oh, she’s good.

“Birthmark?” He’s a bag of nerves now.

This is where she makes her calculated advance and after she’ll lure him back. I’ll follow suit and end her. Maybe even dump her remains in a vat to drain, skin, and tinker with later. Plopping an expired and bloodless carcass into a river or marsh is so old fashioned, neanderthal even. Creativity with parts is art and she’ll be my showcase soon enough. Her type is a specimen for consumption as well as admiration. Just thinking of it all excites my loins and quickens my beat of heart. But as for this waist low muscle of lusting blood rush, I must manage to adjust without notice. Damn you, straight fit denim.

“What do you mean,” He asks as her personality flips. She shifts her body, pulls out a pack of Marlboro Reds, empty. Wadding it in her palm,

“Your birthmark, that was shaped like an upside down heart? It’s not there. You’re not Sonny… you don’t know Davey, you aren’t the guy I hooked up with after prom! Ew, you creep,” she throws the wad at his chest, “Get away!”  People are beginning to stare.

“Watch out bud,” I tell him and smile. Here’s a good time to interject and swoop her away. He seems to be falling for her ditzy girl facade. She’s brilliant when it comes to picking them. Lying only gets you so far in life and her prey always has a one track mind. If their bug eyes could only see their wings slowly being spun in her sticky web of conversation.

“Look,” he says, “I’m sorry if you feel left out of my life but don’t bitch me out and embarrass me, try and save some face here. That upside down heart you were so fond of turned out to be cancerous. That Davey you claim I don’t know—screw him, still! And that amazing prom night…well, how’s this for a reminder?” He pulls her in and lays one good long kiss. This is a first. The bartender gives a long stare as if he’s lost something. Bothered, I suck down my B- concoction.

“I beat cancer so do you think we can still catch up?” The fake Sonny thinks he’s won.

Clenching my knee to stop the bouncing, I’m surprised they can’t smell my anxiety. I can’t lose her. If she takes him to bed she deserves this death just as much as he does.

“Cancer, really??” Looking away and rolling her eyes, her spinning web tightens.

“Doc said the birthmark was a malignant tumor.” He’s so full of shit. Even if she was truly interested there’s no scar as proof. Now, I want her to kill him even if she has to screw him first.

“Sonny, oh God, I’m sorry— what are you drinking? Let me get your next one.” Baring her fangs to stun, he must be blind.

“Whiskey ginger.” Tonguing his front teeth, he leans back in his stool proudly. I’m tonguing mine and can almost feel her poked goose bumped flesh on them.

“MY GOD, I love those! Two whiskey and ginger’s bartender, he freaking beat cancer!” She slides his stolen twenty on the bar top.

“Sure thing, Mary,” the bartender sighs.

The prey is looking at Mary probably trying to figure out how he’ll complete a good sympathy screw. He kicks the wadded cigarette pack back toward her feet.

“Cowboy killers, huh? What’s a sweet girl like you got against cowboys?” he jeered.

Her choice of poison, whiskey gingers, while a Marlboro Red sat in between her lips, later leading to dirty climaxes. Life can be so unfair sometimes. I’ve been the one calculating and plotting on her for so long. Meanwhile, this fool has no clue. He just shows up tonight and that’s it? But that is why he’s prey. He’s oblivious and easy. She smiles her toothy smile, that same expression she used to bulls-eye the dartboard boys with.

“We gotta cowboy here? Does my cigarette choice offend you, sir?” Mary says leaning in toward his groin with her hip.

“Don’t call me sir, Mary, please. You’ll age me faster than cigarettes!” He said to her as her big eyes glistened from the neon Genuine Draft bar lighting.

“I’m sorry, umm, what should I call you then…Cowboy Sonny?” she straddles his lap bumping my knee. People are starting to stare again. “Will that do?”

“Only if you plan on putting those lips on me and taking a puff later. I’m a gentleman though, so we’ll see.” He’s such a tool.

“We may be able to work something out. Save a horse right?” Grabbing his chin and giggling, she hops off. The rush I had has now heightened. Watching his eyes scan down her backside, I smile imagining cucumber melon Bloody Mary’s. Wouldn’t that be a good drink? One I must devour.

The ice cold watered down B- drink I attempted to babysit makes the airy rush sound through my straw. The vials of blood are warm against my chest and I’m fingering the top of the cap, anxious for another.

“Another Bloody Mary, bartender!”  One day I’ll stop sucking tainted women’s blood but for now I’ll have another.

As he’s sliding the mixed drink to me I am focusing on not being noticed as I attempt to pour the second double shot vial in my drink unnoticed. Then another bump against my shoulder happens. My beautiful rarity of B- falls from my hand and is spinning and splattering across bar goers’ shoes and the dirty wooden floor. The prey’s leaning into me as Mary is dry hump grinding on him to a sorry top 40s song.  A rush of rage makes me yell as I lunge to the ground attempting to salvage whatever is left within the vial. Barreling through knees and ankles, pushing down townies who are cursing and screaming at me, I’m scanning the floor between bar stools and boots, high heels and flats. There by the bar against the footing I see the remains of what once was my vial of blood. Now just a few drips in the reservoir with flakes of dirt, the vial is cracked in  half lying in grime, loose hairs and cigarette butts. As I turn to look toward Mary and her prey, all I can think of is peeling that man’s skin from his face, starting at his eyelids. To my astonishment they’re gone.

The paleface bartender is flagging me down waving a receipt.

“Sir, sir! You need to close out your tab and then I’m going to have to ask you to leave.” He was angry but not as angry as me, I can guarantee that.

As I look at the crowd, I see a few individuals rubbing at their shins and legs. One man complaining that I spilled my drink on him. That’s my poor B- oozing into his cotton sweater, damnit! My nostrils flare and I crumble a twenty dollar bill up throwing it at the bartender as I storm out of this piss stained watering hole. I’m going to find those two and kill them both. She is going to pay for this.

…TO BE CONTINUED.