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.

Friday, October 14, 2016


My favorite library patron is a biker named Sully. You might think that an Irish-American biker in South Central might be out of place but you would be wrong. Sully practices Calligraphy and has read widely on the art of living your life through Zen practices. Sully is definitely a standing member of a historic biker social club, and is definitely a letter writer. In the very near future, I hope to work with Sully to help him tell his life story and publish it through HINCHAS Press. Let's see what comes of that, but this calligraphy of a poem I wrote for my friend James Foley is just amazeballz!!!

Monday, April 18, 2016

METRO(polis): 705

Cadillac? How about that?

This firetruck-red accordion
on wheels is picking me up
on Cadillac and Venice:
an alien car-
toon of a comic hoisting up
the King of Cars on a boule-
vard known for speed demons?
It stops, kneels
to kiss curb and begins to belt
a succession of beeps for me
to embark on my blerp blerp blerp.
I pause aloud, step
into thorax of accordion and
there are zero seats, zero.
there are two Babyzilla Destroyer-
Strollers, eight cotton-candy-on-a-stick
vendors, 18 blind wenches on sentient
Rascals, 64 Identical Eminems, jabbing
bars into black books, and 3,421 unicorns
with security guard uniforms on.

In other words, this bus is thick,
always and forever, with the promise
of raises, increases, and aumentos.

At least they turned the tundra on
is what everyone is thinking, except,
maybe, they are also thinking
variety is the spice
of strife, both in genetics and
interpersonal singularities.

Maybe, they are thinking, I
thrive in a province of fossils
and ride a beast to work?

Regardless, Crenshaw creeeps
up repositories of things that have
transpired, some singular
and devastating and some just
this side of a yawn at work.

Like, I read somewheresss that
Puerto Rican women are closest,
genetically, to the ideal of perfection
in a geneticist’s playbook.

It was an article wielded by a woman
wearing Sphinx earrings who told me
her information baton is at the heart
a battery of inconclusive printouts.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

METRO(polis): 105

I might blow the whole pot of my morning commute on this one transfer.
Might spot bus as my Expo car pulls up to the stop at La Cienega
and biff the tempo of the movement, might turn the corner as the 105
is already onto its next gesture, next angina of time compounded location.

The 105 swoops through Coliseum to MLK to hook up with Crenshaw
and thus Vernon through Santa Rosalia Drive, a nest of Black communities
hanging on by scruff of the starch in uniforms and scrubs and stiff walks
in purple dawn day after day after day for what (to be pushed out to Lancaster?)

I’ve caught the jackpot connect and avoided the squinty wait in pure sun fuckery
on Venice smack dab in front of the Keiser Wellness Fortress with the overpass
of the Ten impudently whizzing blurs past the offramp of the West Ten a los pedos
a garrison of homeless centurions hidden by the hungry concrete shadow.

Today, the 105 unclenches pneumatics and exhales into idle, and I enter the silent
wagon of thought this bus represents in all the quadrants barreling clean periphery
down La Cienega from Sunset to Rodeo then vectors left on Vernon and doesn’t heel
until the Long Beach Blue. I am on one line thinking about the trajectory of another line.

I’m on the eastbound Expo because I don’t always take the 733 to Cadillac;
sometimes, I might debark Robertson, and Expo-line it to La Cienega and Jeff.
whoop down four flights of steps like a deranged ibis before sprinting to foot
of self-storage galpones and the non-descript front of a See’s.

Monday, March 28, 2016

METRO(polis): #33

There's this spot in the back
that you cop once you hop on
at Windward Circle that is not
a perch per se but more quizas
like a spot of honor so you can
lay your forehead on your fore-
head as Venice Blvd reels out
the panes of this orange reggae
whale, this diesel sperm lozenge
unconcerned with the unholy numb-
er of stops, the swift currents
of speedwash and effervescent
lullaby suds, dirges de polvo
that the turbo sign will ding get-
ting out of the gate from shore
to garden hardware stores, from
the statue of Youth sculpted as
a silent movie starlet to Oaxacan
wizards slicing the heads straight
off obstinate pineapples and not
even wincing before catastrophic lob.
By LaBrea, the seat is grinding
vibratto spine therapy and the sun
has turned you into a giant cat-like
moosh, a puddle of short-haired
fur, a coin-op suntan spot with
yellow-and-black striped emergency-
tape over your sunburnt face, or
what is left of it after the were-
wolves get on at the Bzyantine
Gates of the Dead, those stifled
by mofla gigs and minimum
sentinel circuits. And so Venice
tributaries into Main at this junc-
ture and you are still on spot
so behold The Mayan, Pershing
Square and past Little Tokyo's
doorstep into the Union berth
at the foot of the builders
of jails, of Oz, of brown brick
driveways and escalator bling.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Thank you for coming out tonight to help us celebrate the release of "Ghazals for Foley," an anthology of ghazals or guzzles or khazils, a nearly ancient Arabic poetry form that Hafiz, Rumi, Mahmood Darwish, Mirza Ghalib have all used at one point in their careers.

This night is special for several reasons. For one thing, this anthology we celebrate tonight is a volley of light, love, and solidarity for Jim (and other combat journalists like him) and our Syrian brothers and sisters who have born the brunt of the Syrian Civil War. To date, since 2011, the civil war in Syria has devoured more than 200,000 civilians and created one of the largest refugee emergencies since WWII. In many ways, Jim fought to bring to light these atrocities, and so we dedicate tonight's readings, performances, and ethos to Jim (and other combat journalists like him) and the people of Syria.

Two, Jim lent me the $300 to buy the two years of initial server space for Hinchas de Poesia, and we are currently working on our 18th issue, all the while not selling a single scrap of advertisement. So, let's just say that if it wasn't for Jim lending us the money, Hinchas would not exist. That is mostly why I felt such a responsibility to put this volume out and help to shape the narrative of who Jim really was. And in true Jim fashion, his senseless death has pushed Hinchas to become a print publisher well ahead of any timeline we had envisioned.

To me, Jim's latest incarnation as combat journalist was at the bottom of all the roles he had already played. Many of you who knew Jim for a minute know he came to journalism already an experienced, combat-proven teacher, and that he has an unpublished novel called, The Hungry Sons. Why am I telling you this? I am telling you this because there were several integral facets of Jim that you are not going to get from media outlets who are trying to sell their side of the story. And because Brian Oakes, the director of the "Jim" documentary and his childhood friend, focused on Jim's work as a combat journalist, I feel a YUGE part of who Jim really was keeps getting left out.

Third, to me, first and foremost, Jim was a TEACHER. He was the type of teacher that was so good that he taught other teachers how to teach. He was that good at teaching teachers. He taught me how to teach, teaching alongside his example from 2000-2001, as we helped to get countless pregnant Puerto Rican young women to pass their GED. After I graduated from ZooMass in 2002, Jim stayed on a year longer and changed even more lives in the part of the Pioneer Valley which isn't very pioneering and most forgotten and overlooked. You will not hear this story, but in Martin Espada's poem, "Ghazal for a Tall Boy from New Hampshire," this fact is front and center.

Jim was also an enthusiastic writer of fiction. Wait, let me say that again, Jim was a voracious reader of Fiction, not only being familiar with works in the America canon, but also hard at work rooting out new and exciting fiction writers that don't exist in English. He loved Saramago, for instance, and I remember him really getting into "Blindness" when we were in grad school. I myself turned him on to Ernesto Sabato's "The Tunnel," a harrowing work of fiction by an Argentine master. Jim and I talked a lot about Argentine fiction writers. Actually, let me rephrase that, I talked Jim's ear off about how awesome Julio Cortazar's novel, "Rayuela" or "Hopscotch" was and why he should definitely read, "La Invencion de Morel" by Adolfo Bioy Casares. In 2001, I think, he won an award at the University of Indiana for a short story he wrote. The story is called, "Notes to a Fellow Educator," and it highlights his teaching in Phoenix, a job he was wholly unprepared to helm.

In other words, like most writers, like myself, he could not compartmentalize all his forms of being--like most writers he had a messy ser and was not afraid to display it and use it in his writing. It is no coincidence that a young man of color that has gone through the Cook County Youth Authority Boot Camp figures prominently in his novel. In fact, in January of 2013 when I was given the opportunity to teach for a crappy charter school inside the LA County Jail, I jumped at the opportunity after having hashed it out with Jim. Jim was very sincere with me about teaching in a place like a jail. He said I wasn't going to understand most of the behavior inside, but that teaching that sector of society was probably going to be the most fulfilling for me. And, he was right. I still don't understand most of the things that I saw while teaching inside the LA County Jail, but two of my students got perfect scores on their CAHSEES, which is not an amazing feat per se, except if you think about the learning conditions inside of jail. For example, all students have to use golf pencils to write essays, regardless if it's for a class or for the essay portion of the ELA/CAHSEE.

And, like him, I was unable to disassociate my teaching ser from my writing ser and had no better idea than to write a crown of sonnets titled, Los Angeles County Jail Sonnets, which I have placed in journals like Huizache and others. Make no mistake, we are here tonight to remember our friend, but also to let the cowards in balaclavas know that we have their number, and disagree vehemently with all the being in our souls against their literal, disingenuous, fake interpretation of religious text to fuel their myopic, murderous, women-hating zeal. We are here to take back the beauty, mystery, and scholarship that we can gain when we open ourselves up to a form that is nearly ancient and most concerned with helping writers to express their love, camaraderie, and light.

Monday, February 15, 2016