A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Martín Espada

Ghazal for a Tall Boy From New Hampshire
For Jim Foley, journalist beheaded on video by ISIS, August 19, 2014

The reporters called and asked me: Did you know him?
I was his teacher, I said many times that day. Yes, I knew him.

Once he was a teacher too, teaching in another mill town
where the mills have disappeared. There, they knew him.

He taught the refugees from an island where the landlords
left them nothing but their hands. In Spanish, they knew him.

They sounded out the English, made the crippled letters
walk across the page for him, all because they knew him.

He ate their rice and beans, held their infants, posed with them
for snapshots at the graduation. Ask them how they knew him.

Beliza, Mónica, Limary: with him they wrote a poem of waterfalls
and frogs that sing at night, so he could know them as they knew him.

We know his words turn to rain in the rain forest of the poem.
We cannot say what words are his, even though we knew him.

His face on the front page sold the newspapers in the checkout line.
His executioners and his president spoke of him as if they knew him.

The reporter with the camera asked me if I saw the video his killers
wanted us to see. I muttered through a cage of teeth: No. I knew him.

Once he was a tall boy from New Hampshire, standing in my doorway.
He spoke Spanish. He wanted to teach. I knew him. I never knew him.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Welcome to the third installment of a collaboration between Gus Harper and the literary journal, Hinchas de PoesiaHinchas is an electronic journal that specializes in poetry  from las Américas; I am able to publish Hinchas by reserving a tiny portion of the generous salary I make as a public librarian in South Central Los Angeles.
Gus Harper continues to be a generous partner and a busy painter. His paintings grace the background of the Death Row office in the new N.W.A. biopic, Straight Outta Compton; and, one of Gus’ paintings hangs in the background of Al Bundy and Sofia Vergara’s house in the popular television show, Modern Family. These are potent visual victories, and we salute his verve and hustle. The next time you are in Santa Monica, please check out his new mural 

Before we start, I think that I should let you know that this night almost didn’t happen. About a month ago, I almost called Gus and asked him if we should even have an event on the 22nd. What I originally wanted was to mark one year since the death of my friend James Foley, and have a reading more tribute than anything, but what ended up transpiring was a reading in which Rebecca Gonzalez, Thelma T. Reyna, Trista Hurley-Waxali, and Peter J. Harris brought very different things to the reading.
The next time, we need to work on sound and light. Some of the lights were out at Gus' so while it created a "romantic" ambiance it might not be what we should have been pursuing. Also, it was a humid night, so maybe I can roll my little portable A/C unit over during the next reading because it got a little hot. But, there was ample space and the small group shared an intimate, unforgettable performance.

(Thelma T. Reyna)

(Thelma T. Reyna)

(Peter J. Harris)

(Peter J. Harris)

(Peter J. Harris)

(Peter J, Harris)

(Yago S. Cura)

(Rebecca Gonzalez, Peter J. Harris, Trista Waxali, Thelma T. Reyna, Frank Escamilla, and Yago S. Cura)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015



I just wanted to send you a reminder of two special events HINCHAS (www.hinchasdepoesia.com) + Gus Harper Arts (www.gusharperart.com) are hosting this weekend.

Both events are FREE to the public, and will be hosted at Gus Harper Art

Gus Harper Art / 11306 Venice BoulevardL.A., Ca. 90066 (corner of Venice Blvd and Sawtelle/Sepulveda)

Friday, May 15 @ 7 PM: Screening of feature documentary, “Crying Earth, Rise Up” (Prairie Dust Films, 2015), directed by Suree Towfighnia. Urlhttp://www.cryingearthriseup.com/

Saturday, May 16 @ 7 PM: Francisco X. Alarcon, omus Simpson, Ruben Cruz, Claudia D. Hernandez, and Angel Garcia.

Please join us this weekend!

Thank You

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Guest-edited by Chip Livingstone, the fifteenth issue of Hinchas de Poesia contains at least 40 contributors!!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015


I am trying to raise some moolah on Kickstarter to publish a book of ghazals commemorating the life and work of James Foley, American Journalist. We are going to call it, Ghazals for Foley.  met Jim in grad school and we quickly became compinches. We suffered through helming Freshman Comp classes, and Jim taught me a lot about teaching; we even taught together at the Care Center in Holyoke, MA.

To this day, I don't know if it was Jim's moral sense that drove his work in Syria and Lybia, or his naivete, our specific brand of American innocence. These are the facts though: Jim was a freelance combat journalist; he had to sell his reportage to continue to report on Syria; he worked in extremely dangerous situations, with extremely sanguine and unsavory characters; the area he was reporting on was highly contended, with both side willing to commit atrocities (documented) against civilians.

(screenshot of the Ghazals for Foley Kickstarter Page)

I would like to use the ghazal because it is such an old form. According to Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature, the ghazal is "a lyric poem, generally short and graceful in form and typically dealing with themes of love." In terms of structure, the ghazal "begin[s] with a rhymed couplet whose rhyme is repeated in all subsequent even lines. The odd lines are unrhymed." It is a very Arabic, middle-eastern poetic form and it's used a lot in music and lyrics.

What I find most interesting about the ghazal is that it was introduced to the west by the German Romantics, guys like Goethe and Schlegel. According to LitFinder Classic Collection "ghazals are essentially lyrics distinguished by having a limited number of stanzas and by the recurrence of the same rhyme." Those of you who know Jimmy like I knew him knew him to be extremely discursive and recursive, always spitting rhymes and talking about "bars". One of his characters in a novel he had just finished, "Hungry Son," likes to write rhymes while doing his "time" in a youth camp for incarcerated youth in Cook County.

According to The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (3ed.), the ghazal is a "short lyric poem written in couplets using a single rhyme (aa, ba, ca, da, etc.), sometimes mentioning the poet's name in the last couplet." Authors have to be inventive in how they repeat and replicate the line, and it is very personal because the poet signs it at the end with his or her name. When people think ghazals, they think of Rumi, and I think they are right to. I have yet to discern in which ways Rumi and ghazals diverge.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

On Saturday, March 7th at 11306 Venice Blvd. Luivette Resto, Ryan Nance, Rey Macias, Jose Hernandez Diaz, Ashaki Jackson, and Yago S. Cura are going to read their work for the 6 for 2015 poetry event at Gus Harper Art.

I made the above flyer to help publicize the reading, and my printer is acting all weird so it printed the top and bottom all jacked up but it kind of makes sense if you ask me.

The above flyer is the one that didn't make it but I wanted you to at least see that this is definitely not the one that I should use but to get to the first flyer I had to mess it up with this one.