It's the 1994 La Joya Coyotes senior prom and I'm 18 years old. I got my fancy suit on, looking all GQ. On my arm, I got a pretty woman clinging to me like she's walking a tight rope. Perhaps it's the heels that can't come easy when you are wearing a tight, form-fitting dress and looking all glam yourself.
We bust through the quadruple doors of the entrance to my high school. Everybody is looking at me like, "Is that Gabriel walking in with that angel? Who is she?" They were all confused of course because my date was not one of them. She was an outsider. In fact, she was a bit older than me, so she wasn't even in high school at that point. So it's quite an impression I made coming in with what looked like my girl, since I was never seen promenading around with a girl in the hallways throughout my high school career. I never even had an "official," public girlfriend back then. I was never known for being a Casanova, in spite of the fact that most girls thought I was a player for some reason. I guess it was my quiet demeanor. My sleepy, love-me-tender eyelids. The fact that girls always found it easy to connect with me. That always raised suspicions.
"Tiene la musica por dentro," is the local saying. In other words, he's got a well-hidden bad boy side.
As we join the crowd in the cafeteria now converted into a dance hall, we see the band on stage. An unbelievable manifestation, like seeing ghosts. How was it possible that we had gotten this band of all bands to play at OUR PROM?!
And the band was?
None other than
Los Palominos were just one of many tent poles in the Tejano Music genre that swept the nation's Spanish-speaking communities throughout the 1980's and '90's. To me, they were my favorite band. It's hard to describe just what their music sounds like if you have never heard it, but it's a mix of Mexican cumbia and norteno music with a tinge of U.S. rock & roll oldies...at least in spirit.
Aside from them, those bands that seemed to be the ambassadors of a vibrant, unique, and proud (though very much humble in style and presentation) music tradition were powerhouses like el Grupo Mazz, La Mafia, Emilio Navaira, and the mega star, Selena Quintanilla. Of all of these, the three most influential in the Rio Grande Valley, as well as nationally and internationally were Mazz, Emilio, and Selena.
Let me get right down to the conspiracy theory here. In 2008, Emilio Navaira was in a terrifying bus crash that nearly took his life and survived only to be killed off by a massive heart attack eight years later. Joe Lopez, lead singer for Grupo Mazz was tried and convicted of raping his niece in 2007. He was given a 32 year sentence of which he served 10 and was released a mere ghost of his former self. And of course, Selena Quintanilla was murdered in cold blood by Yolanda Saldivar in 1995. Only a year after my prom.
Really, after the death of Selena, the Tejano Music industry took a dive. It was the beginning of the end. It is peculiar that all these (and others) Tejano singers met such negative fates. Their destinies are rivaled only by hard-core gangsta' rappers who occasionally get gunned down or o.d. Which begs the question, what's behind this very rapid death of an entire music genre? What are the forces behind it that brought about these results?
In the case of Joe Lopez of Grupo Mazz, there are still alternate versions of the rape accusation. It seems that certain evidence that could have proved his innocence was not admitted in his court case, and so he was convicted.
When it comes to Emilio, I'm always suspicious when someone of a young age, comparatively speaking, just up and croaks one regular day. He was only 53 years old! Did someone slip some poison in his Chivas Regal? He was at his home, for cryin' out loud. One of my uncles died the same way. He was found alone in his home, dead of an apparent massive heart attack. But questions remained of people that had access to him, and who might have had a motive to kill him. Did Emilio face such a danger as well? There had already been one brush with death. The media chalked it up to him driving his tour bus without a license and under the influence of alcohol. But you know what Trump says about the media, right? Hmmmm...
Selena Quintanilla, the queen of Mexican Americans, was not only at the top of her game in 1995. She was so far above all others in the genre, that she couldn't help but break the music industry into pieces, unwilling to conform to only one musical tradition. She was a true star in every way. The inspiration and hope she gave to all the millions across the U.S. and the world was really something noteworthy. Especially if it is your business to keep populations in check. After all, music has the undeniable power to move people, to create social awareness that bring about movements that lead to structural change. Someone had to do something about these bad hombres and nasty women of the Southern border.
For starters, you shoot to kill the biggest, most influential among them, because that's the way it's always done. Look at MLK, Bobby Kennedy, JFK, Lincoln. There's no other sure way but a bullet to cut down the towering figure. This was Selena's fate. Was Yolanda Saldivar a Manchurian candidate set upon the queen of Tejano to end her life? What might have been Yolanda's trigger? "Bidi bidi, bang bang?" like Howard Stern so succinctly, if disgustingly, phrased it?
And as happened to people around these powerful historical figures, those secondary influential people got dealt with in various ways. Poison, for instance, is very efficient. Some times undetectable (according to my research watching many episodes of Forensic Files, and when done correctly by professionals). It's the perfect way to quietly remove someone of prominence from the scene. Perhaps this might explain Emilio Navaira's fate?
But you can't rely on poison alone to dismantle the tent poles that keep a movement standing. That's where allegations come into play. Is Joe Lopez truly a child rapist? We know that a conviction isn't always definitive proof of guilt. Just ask the many people who have been exonerated and released from prison years or decades after being wrongfully convicted. It happens. I don't know all the facts about the Joe Lopez case, but if there are factors that were not analyzed, I think it is only fair to do due diligence because, after all, this is a person's life we are talking about.
So the question remains: who was behind the conspiracy to kill Tejano music? The US govt? The Hispanic U.S. media groups seeking to replace a strong Mexican American identity-driven music movement with a more neutral, and less potent music genre that is based on simplistic, repetitive beats that never change no matter the song, or the artist, or the passage of time?
Yes, I'm talking about you, Reggaeton. If there is such a thing as playing Mozart and Beethoven to your baby while in the womb to help her or him be born a genius, then playing Reggaeton at any stage in life has got to produce the polar opposite. (Some songs are aiight, tho ;p).
But to what end? What would those Hispanic media groups gain by killing Tejano Music? Well, it's no secret that Mexican Americans comprise the strongest (numerically speaking) category of Latinos in the U.S. Other Central and South Americans who come here represent a tiny fragment of the Latino populace, yet it may be in their interest to shape the body politic of Latinos in the U.S. by diminishing the Mexican influence and replacing it with a more universal Hispanic identity not rooted in any one Latin American nation. And the ultimate goal of such an effort, you ask? That is the million dollar question.
I tell you, this is a mystery just begging to be explored. And as the chief editor at The Raving Press, I will make a pledge to you here. If anyone out there is able to take this topic on and produce a manuscript of at least 18,000 words be it a fictional novella or non-fiction text, we will publish, promote it, and share the royalties 50/50 with you. So let's see what you got.
Gabriel H. Sanchez,
The Raving Press
P.S. I love Reggaetoneros. Where are my Reggaetoneros?
Are you a writer, thinker, philosopher, person with thoughts and the ability to create a Word document containing a post of no less than 300 words and no more than 600 words in length? If you submit your post, we can publish it here on TRiP Wire.
*Blog post must be in English or Spanish
*Previous publication is NOT REQUIRED
*No less than 300 words and no more than 600
*Free of HATE SPEECH
*Can include foul language as long as it enhances the piece
*Include a picture or illustration about the topic chosen
*Include the author's picture or an avatar, along with name, pen-name, or anonymous (if anonymous, controversial topics may not be published)
Possible topics: border wall, solution to a possible nuclear holocaust, practical and philosophical views on space colonization, presidential election 2020, the feasibility of democracy in a post truth world, the merits of a monarchy in the United States, the abolition of the U.S. Congress, the practicality of the use of X for gender inclusion in Spanish language terms (like "LatinX"), the "Resistance," or any other topic you believe should be part of the discussion in our public discourse.
Chosen authors and their works at large will be promoted by TRiP Wire (The Raving Press) and its associated websites, social media platforms, and groups.
Send us your blog post to: email@example.com
Please share this call for guest blog posts with your fellow thinkers, writers, and people yearning to be heard.
Happy new year! Out with the old, in with the new! (It's gotta be a new year somewhere in the world on a different calendar than the Gregorian.)
Our blog is now officially "The Raving Press Information Wire". AKA "TRiP Wire". That's why in the graphic above, the words share the little i.
Before anyone out there, like The Wire in the U.K. gets all bent out of shape for us seemingly borrowing from their name, we didn't, okay? This idea is actually something we had come up with years ago. About a decade ago, actually. Although back then the idea was for the project to be a newsletter/zine/arts and entertainment thang, and it was actually going to be called "The TRiPpin' Wire".
Obviously, that title itself was a bit more complicated to pull off. As it turned out, the project itself was also a bit hard to pull off. It was a question of manpower, time, and mula. So the project was shelved indefinitely. But now we have partially resurrected the name at least, and it is good! Better, don't you think? Let us know what it conjures when you sound it off in your head. It is a play on words, of course. We think it's pretty clever, but do let us know your take.
The purpose for the change is to try to steer a little back into the original purpose of The Trippin' Wire, this blog, and The Raving Press itself as a whole. To try to talk a bit about the state of the Rio Grande Valley and the U.S.-Mexico Border from a literary, artistic, historical, and sometimes news-driven point of view.
This blog (and for now it will remain just a blog, but maybe at some point it will become something bigger) will only be getting much more opinionated, so don't take offence. The best response is to engage and hash it out. We're lovers not fighters. Let's talk it through. ;-p
Anyway, more to come about this change in direction. Here's a working tagline:
"TRiP Wire: more opinion, less news".
Hmmm....meh. Not sure yet. Need to think it through some more. But we welcome suggestions on improving this tagline. Send us your suggestions by commenting or sending a private message.
Get the Bad Hombres & Nasty Women anthology by The Raving Press for FREE for a very limited time. This is a collection of poetry, art, and short stories for the times we are living in. An important collection to own on Kindle or Paperback.
Please give us a review on Amazon and LIKE our page on Facebook.
Meet over 25 authors, artists, photographers, musicians, actors, and more.
I want to invite you to come to our yearly book festival and meet many authors, artists, photographers, musicians, actors, and artisans from the Rio Grande Valley, New York, California, New Mexico, South Carolina, Mexico, and beyond.
This is our 3rd year and we are holding our event at the Speer Memorial Library in Mission, Texas again. We want to thank the library staff and patrons, and in particular, Lulu Garcia, for all of her work and effort in helping us put this event together.
The event is on February 16, 2019, from 10 am to 4 pm. Our local Barnes & Noble store representative will be on site selling local books and other items. Authors will also be at their booths selling and autographing their books, artwork, music, and more. And for those not looking to buy books or other products, come out for our open mic segment from 1 pm to 4 pm MCd by yours truly.
So don't miss out on this event. There will be books for all ages and literary tastes. From children's books to YA novels, acting manuals, poetry books in English, Spanish, and bilingual, horror books, sci-fi titles, and historical fiction.
See you there!
Are you a published author with a book to sell, or an artist, photographer, musician, actor, or artisan who has items to sell? The Raving Press Events is hosting its 3rd annual book festival at the Speer Memorial Library in Mission, Texas on February 16, 2019 from 10 am to 4 pm. We are offering a FREE BOOTH primarily to authors, but also to artists and others. Limited booths available.
Last night we had an event at the Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library in Edinburg, Texas. (thanks to the staff there) where we had a signup sheet for the free booth at our next event. But since the book presentations were moved to another spot at the library, many people never found us. That is why we are extending this invitation to everyone who came looking for us and anyone else who might be interested in joining us in February.
We'll have the lobby area where the vendors will be greeting the crowds, and a conference room with a sound system where authors, musicians and filmmakers will be reading, performing, and or presenting their works. If you are a poet or writer who only wishes to read/ perform, feel free to come and join the open mic presenters.
If you have questions or for more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please share this with fellow authors, artists, vendors, and performers so they can sign up while there are still some booths (only 8 left of 28)!
Download the Bad Hombres & Nasty Women: Anthology. This is a book of poetry, short stories, photography, and art responding to our current president's most outlandish rhetoric from the start.
For the greatest effect, SHARE THIS LINK with friends and fellow creatives.
Limited time offer ends 11/29/2018.
Get Lost: Children of the River for FREE for a limited time from November 19, 2018 to November 23, 2018.
Just click the photo above or the link below to download your copy.
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Please do consider providing even a single-word review or feedback on Amazon.
This is not required for you to get the book entirely FREE, but it would help us greatly in alerting others about our publications and our press.
THANK YOU SO MUCH. ENJOY!
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The Raving Press would like to thank Democracy Chronicles for publishing a wonderful article titled: Poets Facing The Wall: New Anthology Of Sonnets Take On Trump’s Wall by Ana Maria Fores Tamayo, one of the contributors to our latest anthology by the same title Poets Facing The Wall (The Raving Press, 2018).
Click the image or CLICK HERE to read the entire article.
A podcast to remember
Ever wonder what's the story behind The Raving Press?
Listen to the REMEMBER THE SHOW Podcast Below to catch some of the chat I had with Enclave Magazine's Hector Luis Alamo on topics ranging from life in Reynosa, Mexico, the Rio Grande Valley, publishing in Texas, the origins of The Raving Press, and the question of being (identity matters). It was a great time talking to Hector. I hope we can do it again sometime. I promise to work on my time-fillers. :)
BTW, if you are thinking of getting our latest anthology, follow this LINK HERE to purchase a copy of Poets Facing The Wall at a 10% discount.
The Poets Facing The Wall anthology is officially LIVE!
"Does the GREAT BORDER WALL looming on the U.S. border with Mexico reinforce the American ideal which says that people are 'endowed by their creator with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...'? Or does THE WALL represent the death of the American experiment?
Poets from across America and the world come together in this anthology to address the meaning and the effects of building THE WALL. Perhaps the biggest, most impenetrable wall to be revealed is ultimately not the physical one between USA and Mexico, but the one inside us, preventing us from seeing our immigrant forefathers and mothers in the current immigrants and refugees on the southern border."
Get a COPY OF THIS BOOK which will break the walls of division like a wrecking ball. This is the most exciting, powerful, and highly sophisticated publication by our press so far.
It's been a journey from the moment the idea for this anthology was born to its completion. In that span of time, so much has happened to inspire or necessitate the publication of different anthologies addressing such things as family separation, child detention centers, #metoo, and so on. But quality requires time and thoroughness. The good thing is that this upcoming anthology, Poets Facing The Wall, does cover some peripheral territory related to what the wall represents. And, for that reason, you will see poetry that might seem to divert from the central topic.
Ultimately, it does not, for it is an anthology for, about, and by the unwanted "other," the disenfranchised voices of America, and the enlightened citizen refusing to allow this to be done in her or his name. We dedicate this publication to them and to posterity. For the American dream cannot and will not die. It will overrun oppressive forces and topple the barriers to freedom. Here the American people make a stand, joined by their fellow citizens of the world in recognition of the universal truth that might does not make right, and human rights and dignity trump political expediency.
Poets Facing The Wall will be officially released on November 6, 2018, a.k.a. VOTING DAY! Go fulfill your American duty as a citizen and vote regardless of your political leaning. Then head on to Amazon (linked on the picture below) and get your copy of the anthology as a gift to yourself for being such a great patriot!
And now, the official cover reveal...
Drum roll, please.
Poets Facing The Wall
(The Raving Press, 2018)
Thank you all for liking, sharing and helping us out in every way. We want to see what you think about the cover and the book itself, so please share your comments with us when you have gone through the book.
If you are so inclined, feel free to share this email with friends and family, and or, also on social media.
Here is the LINK to the Amazon product page.
The idea for the "Poets Facing the Wall" anthology was born right on the U.S. - Mexico border. It has been both the anti-Mexican/immigrant rhetoric and the deafening silence or apathy of most Americans including many living along the border that made the need for such a publication a must. People need to realize what this wall truly represents. At a time when border crossings are down, and many immigrants are actually going back south to their respective homes, why is the wall more needed now than when the influx was higher? Is its true purpose to stop people from coming in? Or could it be that it is meant as a symbol to cast a message broadly and clearly to the world beyond our southern border?
"DON'T STEP IN MY YARD. EVEN IF YOU ARE RUNNING FROM DANGER. I DON'T CARE. STAY OUT!"
The Statue of Liberty stands on an island turning its eyes toward Europe with a soft demeanor, gently posed holding the torch to light the way for the weary traveler seeking refuge from the darkness of the world they have left behind. The Statue of Liberty's torch is the light that represents the dream of a better future, where the sun shines equally upon all who look to it seeking its warmth. The statue itself is the guardian and guarantor of that promise.
According to the National Park Service's website,
"The torch is a symbol of enlightenment. The Statue of Liberty's torch lights the way to freedom showing us the path to Liberty. Even the Statue's official name represents her most important symbol 'Liberty Enlightening the World'."
By contrast, what does a non-human-like and unnecessary barrier say when its faceless and eyeless semblance stares coldly at our neighbors in Latin America? It speaks of a greater problem than illegal immigration. It speaks of an inability to recognize that without immigration, the U.S. would have been impossible. People in our country like and respect those who "tell it like it is". And in this case, it is a fact that our country was founded by illegal immigrants first, then legal immigration became the preferred institutionalized method of entry. But there are exceptions. Asylum seekers and refugees must be given a chance to be heard and helped. Especially, since data shows that the vast majority of all immigrants actually prop up our economy; they do not drain it.
But then the question of race comes into play. And that is the biggest obstacle to our future. Perhaps, more than anything, the wall will represent not the need for security form evildoers, but the failure to defeat false beliefs of racial superiority. This has been the greatest stain in our past. The cement holding the construction of those false beliefs must not be allowed to solidify, for like all walls that have ever been erected to divide it will not succeed. Only bridges and roads can take humanity onward toward the future. Let this anthology assist in taking a step in that direction.
Below is the list of accepted works and their authors. (Not in order of appearance in the final publication.)
An Inheritance of Fear
By Jill Evans
As We Forgive Those
By Roger Sippl
Seres Jaime Magaña
By C. R. Resetarits
BLUES FOR JOSE ANTONIO ELENA RODRIGUEZ
(Traditional 12 Bar Blues Song)
by Laurie Jurs
Construction of First Border Wall Segment to Begin
in a South Texas Wildlife Refuge
By Kristin Barendsen
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HELD AND HELD
by Catherine Lee
By Richard Nester
-The Greatest, Most Beautiful Soliloquy EVER!
-Ten Commandments Updated
By Rick Blum
Guardian of the Mountains
By Michael Garrigan
-I Am Chicano
-You Make the Call
By Sammy Ybarra
Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By Miranda Rocha
Myopia of belonging
By Sunayna Pal
By Ana Maria Fores Tamayo
By Xanath Carraza
Oh, Say Can You See
By Wendy Baron
On Day 1, We Will Begin Working
By Natalie D-Napoleon
-The Fool’s Game
By Teri Garcia-Ruiz
-ok | walk on the way
-yr assignment spend a day here along
By Steven Alvarez
-Blood, Sweat and Tears
By Vanessa Caraveo
By Sharon Lundy
by Sheena Pillai Singh
-Song for America XXIII (the nation’s anthem)
-Song for America XXV
-Song for America XXVIII (for Marvin Gaye)
By Fernando Esteban Flores
-De este lado del muro
By Gabriel González Núñez
Ten Feet Higher
By Richard King Perkins II
The Promised Wall
By Kimmy Alan
-This Just In
By Sandra Anfang
-more harm than good
By Linda M. Crate
-Walls Divide Us
-Mr. Trump Tear Down This Wall
By John “Jake” Cosmos Aller
By John M. Bellinger
by Johnny Barboza
-Lament for Emma Lazarus
By Robbi Nester
We are Sisters!
By Patty York Raymond
-What I Need Now
By Dorothy Baird
-The Travel North
-Keep my dream Alive
By Jose Rafael Castilleja
-WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE
By Jude Brigley
by Octavio Quintanilla
Thanks to all of the poets who submitted their work for evaluation. The accepted submissions are of great significance and literary quality. The poems along with the introduction by Enclave Magazine's founder and editor, Hector Luis Alamo, make this anthology one of the most important and well-crafted we have put together. I am proud to have my name associated with this project. It should become required reading for public schools, colleges, and universities. We are looking to a late October or early November publication. We will announce an official publishing date in less than two weeks.
The submission deadline for the upcoming "Poets Facing the Wall" anthology (The Raving Press, 2018) has come and gone. We have received an abundance of amazing poetry. We were astounded at the level of sophistication of most of the submission material we received. This anthology will be our first to include three different languages, and contributions by writers from as far as New Delhi, India, making this not just an international publication, but a global one.
Many of the works you will see in this anthology come from prize-winning authors, as well as from writers relatively new to the publishing process, but who exhibited a lot of heart and passion. And that is why we went to the poets primarily for this project.
It is the poets who speak from the heart. It is the poets who are historically willing to risk liberty, life, and limb to stand up for justice, for humanity in an inhumane phase of history, and for beauty in an otherwise savage world. Poetry may not bring riches. Poetry may not win wars. Poetry may not even sway the masses when the track that's been laid before them leads the train down a dark and irreversible path to their own destruction. But poets (as opposed to historians, politicians, media talking heads, and Monday-morning quarterbacks) call the plays as they should be in real time regardless of the fury and fire they may spark in those whose interest is to keep the people blind to the truth.
We hope that this project and future ones (here's wishing the First Amendment a very long life still) will inspire and fill with hope everyone who comes across it. That they may sample the brilliance of the minds that contributed the sacred fruit of their ponderings to this publication and feel elevated. That they may repurpose the walls that ignorance and hate erect to divide people and use them as bridges on which all can walk in each other's shoes and see a common humanity.
Thank you, poets, friends, authors, editors, reviewers, our introduction writer (soon to be revealed), collaborators, teachers, family, and compatriots. We will be announcing the publishing date in early Fall.
Until then, keep writing and reading books. If you are ever in need of reading material please consider getting yourselves a copy of one of our latest titles like "Lost:Children of the River"
or "Bad Hombres & Nasty Women".
The deadline to the "Poets Facing the Wall" poetry anthology is approaching fast! We have received submissions from around the country from writers with an impressive array of past publications. We are also receiving submissions from poets who are relatively new to the publication game. This makes for an interesting time sorting through the submissions, since neither of those two backgrounds is a true determinant of the quality of individuals' works. But the result will be the selection of only the top material for this very important publication.
We want to encourage individuals who are still considering submitting to do so asap. Don't let the deadline pass you by. Once we go past the deadline we will be moving on the selection process "like a bitch" (LOL) to determine the shape of the book and its flow. Get in on this now. The surprising thing about it is that, although it is a publication about a topic affecting primarily people of the borderlands of Mexico/U.S., most of the submissions are from outside of this area. Strange because the border is filled with poetas who have things to say. This is your chance to join a diverse crowd of wordsmiths from around the country.
No notices have been sent out to authors who have submitted material. So if you are one of those authors, please know that we won't send out any notices until AFTER the July 1 deadline. Thank you for your patience and for taking part in this project. It's going to be a great book. You will be proud of the final product when it is published.
Remember, only 6 days left. Go HERE for submission guidelines!
Gabriel H. Sanchez is an author, poet, actor, editor, and publisher from the Rio Grande Valley.
Fueled by RPM