Spicaresque:

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.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

IMMIGRANT CROUPIER by YAGO S. CURA

Immigrant Croupier
by Yago Cura


My great, great grandfather was a Lebanese ocean croupier.
Rolled the dice on Argentina as payout with my tatara abuela.
Debarking Buenos Aires, tongues calloused by Spanish knots,
they handsplained their way through racist-ass aduanas.

Teleported themselves to the middle of the country to secure dough.
Raised a family flanked by immense grass deserts of desiccant wind.
Without their gamble, my parents don’t ante on that freight ship’s hold.
They don’t overstay tourist visas, or buy a house in Brooklyn to fill with din.

If neither I nor my sister are born, the junta wins, and my parents lose.
The existence of this very poem becomes ensnared in red date stamps?
Relax, I make it to California because my tatara abuelos establish abuse
of odds as their hedge in the face of exile, erasure, and military gavels.

It is not luck which brings me to the brink of this continent
to commune with my predecessors, and polish the wilderness
of their bruise.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Oda al Masche


Maradona says the squad is you plus 10.
In interviews, he amps you up by calling you a pitbull
(he should’ve called you a dogo).

What Maradona’s ig’nant-ass means is that there
are few who will sweat or bleed more
for the Albiceleste than good, old Masche.

Quizas, what Maradona doesn’t have the nuance
to say is imagine how far Argentina might get
with an entire squad of Masches?

For Christ’s sakes, you’re only the second
Argentine in the world with two gold medals!

And, little beast, your slide tackles are guided,
precise strikes, all-in, all-ball, that leave strikers
blubbering indignities to the ref.

Your instep decimates plots, foils chance volleys,
serves to redirect possession, served to bulwark Barça’s
almost impenetrable perimeter.

You bark at the strikers and bark at the lumps
and somehow are always dragging forward the threshold
of a dire future we are about to escape; you’re known
for bringing teams back from their brinks.

Masche, 8 years you built at Barcelona,
3 or so at Liverpool, Corinthians, River Plate
and now, Hebei China Fortune Futbol Club?

Back to Pellegrini, I guess, your trainer at
River Plate, your salad days at the club that
broke you and Tevez off, so you fools might shine.

Sure, you lost some time at West Ham.
You might have developed a mild case of soul cirrhosis.
Guardiola might have molded you into something you don’t like,
a solid, center defender, but people say Masche
and that stands for something, it means something resolute.

Masche stands for slide-tackling Robben’s incursion in 2014,
even if it means tearing your anus; Masche means limping off field to fanfare.

Masche stands for frustrating divas like Ronaldo with a little too much contact
because every cop’s got to have some criminal in her and every criminal has got
to be able to think like a cop.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

SOUTH CENTRAL LIBRARIAN MANUAL: CUSTOMER SERVICE SCENARIO INVOLVING DOLLAR TREE MOTHERS

Jamila throttles into the lobby of the library; there is blood in her eyes, which forces her to squint deep.
She wants the name of the motherfucker that told her mother the only place she can work is Dollar Tree.
She wants his name, his motherfucking badge number, and the FICO score of his old lady.

I tell her I am the motherfucker she is looking for, which comes out all wrong (I don't clinch the emphasis).
But, that I never would have told her mother the only place she can work is Dollar Tree. I tell her, I told her.
I told her that the only place that might accept papers applications in this neighborhood is Dollar Tree or Family Farms.

Jamila in a NY JETS jersey and sparkly sandals; Jamila, tough customer on a vendetta query, looking through motherfuckers.
Jamila, all employers force applicants to pilot their websites, so they can assess their protocol-pulse and proclivities.
Jamila, I would like nothing more than to be the motherfucker that helped your mother get a job, but I can't.

Bring her to my computer class on Wednesdays so she can learn some new skills and come hang out in the air conditioning with us.
Jamila, libraries love your mother, libraries love mothers in general, libraries are full of motherfucking mother-lovers, Jamila.

Monday, June 12, 2017

JESUS ALDANA-ALBA REVIEWS CAVITY'S "AFTER DEATH"

Cavity, After Death, 2017
by Jesús Aldana-Alba


This is ugly music for ugly people with ugly friends who like it that way. Now, I’d never heard of Cavity before being asked to review this album, so, I’m not going to be comparing it to any of their past efforts.

I’ll start by saying that, “After Death” is reminiscent of so many other records that have done that sound well. Nonetheless, it is far from a mediocre endeavor. Whereas Sleep is heavier; Neurosis more intellectual; Boneworm, more psychedelic; and, Sub Rosa and Pallbearer, more elegant, Cavity’s latest is as reliable as winter rust.

By the 3rd track “Fangs On Beyond” the album begins to sound exactly like what you might guess it sounds like from the title: a couple of bare, mid-paced, super-aggressive tracks that pound away on heavy, dirty distortion-drenched guitars and vocals, exemplified on side 1, for example, by tracks like “Scalpel A.D. and Neanderthal.”

The vocals are captivating throughout though; they do have a very scratch-your-eyes-out sort-of feel to them. And the lyrics - what I could make out of them, anyways - are thoughtful


The cymbal work on the first track gives it a bit of Industrial flavor, at first; then, the track gives way to a slow, bluesy churn that makes one want to get ink. “Neanderthal” starts to feel like an unfolding, of sorts. Maybe, it’s the slight wobble between the instruments, as if the time signature is just a suggestion, but, this unmooring ends up working in Cavity’s favor.

I imagine that if you could slow time down to a crawl, and be a fly on the wall inside of an Internal Combustion Engine, you’d hear the sounds of After Death’s side 1. After that roar, naturally, follows the paranormal rust and blues of side 2. If you’ve ever heard Neurosis’ Sovereign, (Cavity’s track) “Fangs” will sound familiar. It’s noisy and jarring and tribal--a bit Sci-Fi, too. The track scrapes across the sky like nails on a chalkboard (but we, that is my ugly friends and I, like a little pain here).

The album’s closer, is gold. “Collision” is so sparse, at first, that it feels quiet, despite it being loud, as loud as an unexpected thrah-rattling while walking alone in the desert. The percussion is adroit. And the vocals - THE VOCALS!!! - they go from sweet and delicate to reckless, ebullient hooting, like Michael Jackson at a Mr. Bungle hostage situation.

All in all, After Death is a very satisfying record, perfect for drowning out unruly neighbors while you solder cables or cycling through your yoga routine. Personally, After Death has a meditative quality you might want to blast while you slap some glue on some art, which if you think about it might be the highest compliment one could pay to a band.

Buy the album, here: https://www.secretserpents.com/products/cavity-after-death

Friday, February 3, 2017

QU'EST-CE QUE C'EST, "BAD WEEK"

Was about to drive to Fatburger for pick-up lethargy (well-done)
when me steed clonks out and refuses to turn over, which
makes me think battery, but could also be alternator not
keeping the charge, or even the fecund distributor on that
grassy knoll of toil.

was about to call the cops when the madmad woman come in crying
blubbering about people laughing at her, so much so that my colleagues
cloistered her at a table to see if they could calm her down from
peal upon peal of laughter that kept zinging from her maw.

was asking administration buffoons to peter out and hold dome
for four solar lowrides past our immense Pelagic Blue marble
and now they want to hand revolvers out at pill call and skull
fuck orphans and collateral parcels from our illicit corporate darning.

was asking law school Augustines and loot-filled philistines
to sit down on the airport carpet and commandeer all the sockets
to R.P.G. motions down the gullets of our most scary platforms
and dockets and comprobantes and the sweat of fire hydrants.

was asking nationalists and Leninists to stop colluding
over the fiber(fiver)-optic cable dot com Rasputin.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

SEYBOLD BUILDING: LORE

Jewelers have lots of friends because some are naturally gregarious, but all jewelers have lots of friend because they expect discounts. Discounts from their middlemen, discounts from their priests and rabbis, discounts from the children garden or synthetic oil club. Jewelers need you to cut from the top because they are always the one left holding the cup; they buff and sparkle the fuck out of that bauble before wrapping it in tissue and laying it in its silky, plastic zip-lock sheath.

Just like the Phoenicians invented written language for commercial reasons, every sale, alteration, or consultation that jewelers make are based on a story, a narrative, un hilo or thread that carries the transaction from need to want to satiation. Jewelers are hubs from which emanate legions of anecdotes, cuentos, jokes, practicums and symposia. In our rush for k-pod singularity and 3D print articulations, jewelers might be some of the only remaining samurai artisan businessmen. Forget the retail chains or diamond wholesalers, many of those proprietors are just as privileged as your common portfolio manager; I'm talking about a hunger you can't teach in the U.S.

I am talking specifically about the jeweler that puts food on the table with their craft and their neck. These women and men can associate a story with every point of purchase, and as we continue to accelerate the loss of our physical memory to make way for the android memory server, let no one say I was not at the helm shouting down from the oxygen tanks that jewelers are repositories of stages in the life of an artifact, and that objects and artifacts used to matter. Maybe, I am being a nostalgic dick, a petulant post-millennial, or a gigantic mamon. Truth be told, I am heavily all three, but that does not preclude me from seeing the importance of jewelers.

But, I will never forget the tale of Eduardo and his loose wedding ring. Eduardo had recently gotten married; purely by mistake, he makes his ring a little looser than his fiance's. Because he was pressed for time, he decided to wear it loose and alter it the second he had a minute. Two months later, Eduardo is coming out of the Seybold, and while walking to Government Center, two dudes approach seemingly out nowhere and snatch his men's leather satchel, which the dudes probably mistaked for a bank deposit bag. While giving chase, the two dudes jumped over a fence with abundant ease; Eduardo gives chase, and manages to scamper up the fence with little difficulty.


But, as Eduardo nears the crest of the fence, he manages to slip a tine of the fence between his finger and the ring. At the same time, Eduardo looses footing as he throws his weight over, and the actual wedding ring ends up severing his finger. It pulls through the flesh, bone, and tears. The subsequent screaming that Eduardo looses upon the cold edifices of downtown Miami makes the santeros leaving dead chickens on the steps of the court house think twice about how they exit. Even though gold is considered a soft metal, it can still cut through skin and bone without much hesitation.

We need to see the serrated edge to know it cuts, but given enough weight and pressure, a ring of gold can act as a plasma slice of coin and cut through bone and plastic to yell its historical theater. .