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, March 21, 2015

HINCHAS PRESS: GHAZALS FOR FOLEY VIA KICKSTARTER

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.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

LOS ANGELES COUNTY JAIL SONNETS #13

Don’t talk about commissary on commissary day,
or the Lord of Hot Water will snatch that privilege
due to dues you have not yet paid with the makeshift
bridge of comfort afforded by municipal strangers
scrubbing trays

in Waterworld, or emptying pod bins in the trash
barracks, buffing sparkle paste into the loam of county
corridors trill with linoleum hinges of time-served,
suspended sentences or recognizance released into
the wilds of the streets like a dirty, old bastard, tryant.

When you write your man, don’t write another dime’s
name. Watch out if your bunky tends to hide, she could
be cooking Pruno or assaulting another female in there
when you at class, on your dayroom-game.

Read your book with one eye on the rec room, read the space
like a text, like a cipher armed with ominous nuance, like
scratch-ticket loot spent on roses, graduation bears,
gas-station sunglasses, and Lady-tazers.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY JAIL SONNETS #10

Indict me for lurking and creeping, I find seven
copies of A Raisin in the Sun in the trustee book
vault. Eight copies more: we got a class set!,
an exalted salt that allows me to hear my students
boom Beneatha’s sorties

vis-a-vis Walter, tender Lena’s orders while nursing
a soggy, imaginary plant. Indict me for making my
students laugh heartily despite being in county blues,
2 days in without shower, scaly as croc. mocassins,
despite missing kids, husbands, baby-daddies.

Indict me for my nasty tongue while addressing
my undisciplined students; their failures in lexicon
inhibited by the model of exchange I had exhibited.
Indict me for doing project-based learning on the
Watts Riots and dissension over lies our Tio Sam
continues to dispense like lunches in crates in the pod.
Indict me for their squares are shrink-wrapped bologna,
two slices of sad bread and either oriental mix,
muffinroll, or rancid O.J. in little, schoolhouse-carton.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY JAIL SONNETS #9

The school closes Outpost Twin Towers, after jump from
Men’s Central, citing hemorrhage via operational costs;
they’ve been in the red for two years because the school
thought pure stomach and hired too many credentialed
teachers. The school realizes client agency has no desire
to honor memos, or directives.

Speaking of directives, isn’t there a false positive?
Isn’t this simply a case of elective missions being fiercely
at odds. Jailers count inmates; but, we’re trying to build
leaders unafraid of beheading pipeline to jail, roadblocking
road to sleek, crystal streetcleaners, of ceasing County’s pithy
blueprint for min. ed. reqs. dredged from lectureinstrumentals.

The women, inmate-students, at C.R.D.F. eager their learning—
they don’t self-segregate, or sabotage more than they can afford to.
But, when there is drama, it is inevitable there are going to be tears,
a spigot of tears, a county spigot of tears with a gang of gnats
and chunks of sick on the side, and petitions on bunk from family
court, divorce papers.

And when they say they are doing something for their kids,
I tend to believe that augury more than men talking about Jesus
for when they get out they leave him in their cell
with that stare.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY JAIL SONNETS #8 (FINAL)

Let me hear you read aloud, but please speak
above the traffic on the 105 East, the sandblasters
and leaf blowers. Speak above the buzzard,
vectoring in glove of restricted airspace
a transfer or high-power movement under
 riptides of wind by rotors.

Read loud enough so that the nurses must re-check
their meds. list. We are in the rec. room reading very
aloud a dollar-store edition of Frederick Douglass,
but the graphic depictions still stir heavy connection
tip in their remorse tills. It is hard not to fall in love
with the Douglass saying cavernous, gravity things.

Read Demby’s murder by Covey aloud in the rec. room
until silence indicts. Let me hear you read Douglass
deposition himself from our past-future, far-fetched ears.
Let me hear you read Douglass eyewitness himself
from a young age in this light.

The rage indignity breeds, the lack of laws to address
overseer standard-operating-leers. The whole machine
noise of it; how the jail hums with agents, how the gears
tooth upkeep, how even as you earn your keep, some
were just made to be noise-throttled.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

WATTS SHADORMAS


(Los Angeles Public Library Photo Database)

Watts Shadormas #1


“Willowbrook”
Green, Imperial
Section Eight,
Plaza Mex,
busy-bee Long Beach Bull-vard.
fueling, fixing, please.

One oh five,
east eighty miles per
stitch in time
‘sixty-five
east of pass. or west of pass.,
big invisible.

Reverand
Pike’s candid report
card, effort-
lessly tells
Yorty, Parker they’re hiding
delicate praytells.

Frye Brothers,
catalyst-riding
Armyman
little ‘bro
two blocks from Ma’s casa
come out in rollers.

Public homes,
courtyard laundrylines,
fuzzy all-
eys and lots,
Crips, Bloods, mafia spinsters,
grizzly mattresses.

Compton Ave.,
east one oh third street
Alame-
da, Mona,
sticking in, out of city
line like jaggedshards (green).


(Los Angeles Public Library Photo Database)

Watts Shadormas #2


Pacific
Electric Comp-
any, gets
land from Watts
of Pasadena for rail-
loot combinations.

Overpass-
es and junctions, con-
verge pillars
flashing sign-
age and four way stops under
lonely extensions.

Garage-lawn,
oilrainbow vortex,
Willowbrook,
east one third.
M-L-K Polytech Mall,
guarded by half-cops.

Copious,
black plumes of gasfire
neglected
catalyst,
Utopia Cleaners and
Pastrami Burgers.

Cue ball helm-
ets and hipped shotguns
or roof fires
and peace tanks
never an in between, never
the ranch town it plays.

Shadormas
for your Spanish ghosts
quemado
sleep cycles,
blinds slicing white-hot coins, shade
from distant arcades.



(Los Angeles Public Library Photo Database)

Watts Shadormas #3


Lavande-
ria y café
de olla
Kaiser Perm-
anente, suavemente
free sonogram truck.

Chicken coops,
Old Slauson Tower,
May Day Dance,
perp. line-up,
Vermont Ave. stores, Jordan Downs
bungalow picket.

An immense
wave of years plummets:
Headstart Tent,
McCone Rep-
ort bullhorned Alameda
Ave., Central., Cent-ry (rhymes with Gentry).

Railroad roads
ringing barriers
silos and
cisterns and
Regional Operation
Centers and bum lairs.

Bungalow
stone, cottage prison
bars, over
the windows,
slippers and pajamas, corn-
er store door mid block.

Depth charges
lurk places din’s scared
to emit,
emote, re-
sound gruff decibels?



(Los Angeles Public Library Photo Database)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

MAR VISTA SHADORMAS

Mar Vista Shadormas


Origin-
aly named Ocean
Park Heights, des-
pues, trite, Barnes.
The post office established
1925.

Dubious
statue-cage, Myrna
Loy, silent
movie act-
ress, graduate Venice High,
mascot, Gondoliers!

Vintage fight-
er jet crashed into home
on Wade Street
North of Stew-
art, west of Sepulveda,
retardant foam spill.

Scattergood
Steam Plant, bare hands fish-
ing in grand
Ballona
Creek, Centinela Improve-
ment Corporation.

Savages
vandalize “Venus”
though headless,
in a cage,
Van Orden gallops through surf
spraycan “L.A.’s Best.”

Union troops
from close Camp Latham
used camels
and not mules
sentinel Catalina
from Mar Vista Hill.


(Los Angeles Public Library Photo Database)


Mar Vista Shadormas


Pepy’s Gal-
ley, Mitsuwa Mall,
soft ball gar-
dens, mansions
down Inglewood and Palms,
shiny commuters.

Zapotec
spoken here, Oaxaq-
ueños rule
this beach hamlet.
Se visten niños dioses,
popular placard.

Beach bum wake
walks Venice, Ocean.
Lounge under
four-o-five,
ten-lane shadow embankment.
Plant flag in sidewalk.

Mar Vista
Gardens, el Super
South of Cul-
ver, grass walk-
way, Ballona Creek Bike Path,
Sawtelle to Del Rey.

Detour through
Horrid 4-way stops
Sixty miles
An hour, through
Studio executive
hills, plots of ranch shelves.

U-S-A
Donuts, Sabor de
Oaxaca
library
Mar Vista Branch used to be
douchebag bookstore front.


(Los Angeles Public Library Photo Database)

Mar Vista Shadormas


Back-door screen,
portal construction.
Workers ham-
mering riv-
ets into pomo vigas,
indivisible.

Laundromats,
retirement pods.
Cadillac
Semper Rome.
Infernal bus, drive-thru crowd:
the cue at Menchis!!!!

New comic-
Bookstore on Old Ball-
ona gas
station turned
norm-core curiosity,
Geek Charcuterie.

Well Baby
Center, Douche Johnson—
signed-copy jail—
Post Office
on Grandview, city’s first planned
community, gated.

The softball
stinky, burnt, trashpits,
when Grandview
stopped at Palms.
The saline air in alleys
making ravens green.

Print shop spores,
in the maw, typewriters,
piñatas
of Sponge Bob
alongside los niños dioses,
child divinities.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

HIGHLAND PARK SHADORMAS


(Los Angeles Public Library Photo Database)

Highland Park Shadormas


Nestled
between Debs and Ox-
y College,
South Pass-Uh
and Mount Wash.,
Highland Park plug-and-plays
dry corridor-living.

San Rafa
Hills of nooks and shelves.
Brown Craftsmen,
Mission-style
section 8—Lummis from O-
hi-O, pioneer.

Land of Tramps—
bars spill out York. Fig.
gallops gin.
These channels
exceed most tread of bunga-
lows—stowaway toes.

Masonic
Chicken Boy, U.S.
Office Ma-
chine Arts, Crafts
exiles from city entre temps:
highest densities.

Shadormas
for your Spanish genes
for your burnt
sleep cycles
for blinds slicing white-hot shade
from another din.

2 council
votes distort our girth
mordida
collusion
rampant under Renewal,
both ways before led (this time.)


(Los Angeles Public Library Photo Database)

Highland Park Shadormas


Rancho San
Rafael fissures
for the rent
the rent split
between family and
threat of friends,
abandoned couches.

Annexed and
annexed and taken
from the Spanish
from Mexkins
even Martians. Spoil the rod:
barrio bounty.

Why so man-
y hits and runs? Why
not slow down--
brake pads grind
brake pads shouldn’t save more lives
than bright bike corrals.

Christmas on
York proves barrios
feed themselves
choicest cuts.
The loam I cut is tender—
water-cut, old roads.

Doing the
wash on damn day off,
pyramid
dirty dishes
let’s hope el virus no me catch
unawares y que?

Elephant
Figueroa bones,
street horse trough,
Sycamore
Grove public bowling green lawn,
Sparklett’s oasis.


(Los Angeles Public Library Photo Database)


Highland Park Shadormas


Let’s move in!
City’s first suburb
north of smog
arroyos
invaden tus neighborhoods
bien lomos.

Elephant
Figueroa bones,
street horse trough,
Sycamore
Grove public bowling green lawn,
Sparklett’s Oasis.

Arroyo
Street pole erection
Origin-
Al Libra-
ry, railroad tracks in flood sod,
detonated books.

Judson Art
School in Garvanza,
stained-glass shop
three brothers
regulated with fifteen
craftsmen at a time

Glassell Park
Hughes Aircraft, Chrysler
Air Raid Si-
ren, Optimist Home for Boys,
mud seeping through wall.

Patio
of grand Lummis Home
El Alisal
eon home-
stead to last a thousand years,
built by looking back.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

GHAZAL FOR JAMES FOLEY






“Mr. [James] Foley converted to Islam soon after his capture and adopted the name Abu Hamza”—Oct. 25, 2014 N.Y. Times article, “The Horror Before the Beheadings”

 
 Hard for me to believe Jimbo didn’t convert under duress.
Although, I have always known him spiritually curious.

Easier to believe he proved syrup at fangs of alien vampires
intent on making him pay, leaving us lot spiritually curious.

Jimbo adopts name Abu Hamza because Hamza’s famous
for riding into Battle of Badir with an ostrich feather in his turban.
(how spiritually curious of him, no doubt!).

Hamza was late convert to Islam; Jimbo came to journalism a seasoned teacher.
Both proved paladin interlopers, distinguished ball-busters of spirit: curious.

También, the manner in which both are cut down early in life, apenitas
after egress of civilians on H.D.M.I. proves too easy, of little spiritual curiosity.

Tell me Abu, how does an Abyssinian slave gamble on their manumission
by chucking a javelin into the abdomen of an O.G.-General, spiritually curious?

How does one roam into a sitch so egregiously far from Lake Winnipesaukee?
How does one prevent their liver from turning into jewelry of spiritual curiosities?

Jimbo picks Moe’s right-hand man (I’m talking about Hamza here) because Jimbo knows Gabriel only shows himself to deniers of emerald escalators, not the spiritually curious.

Tell me Abu, why should I forgive the rabid—the rabbled, wracked with graphic cabals?
Estos matadores en balaclavas tyranny the Just, pimp Justice, and claim spiritual curiousity.

Torture ain’t stop Jimbo programming: specialist lectures, tournaments of Risk, faux
wrestling matches between the captives. For what? Morale, and to not lose spirit and curiosity.

Abu is kindness performed with militance; Jimbo is witness subsumed with service.
Quizas, juntos, as adjuncts they eradicate flags, shatter cisterns, dissuade countries to stand behind their spiritual curiosity.