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, April 5, 2014

HINCHAS TWELVE/HINCHAS DOCE


Hinchas de Poesía (www.hinchasdepoesia.com) is pleased to introduce Mo Fowler, Lauren Hawley & Ghada Seiffadine. Other poets include Laura Jensen, Pamela Stewart, Nancy Aidé González, & Amalia Ortiz. They also feature fiction by Donna Vitucci & review new books by Chip Livingston, Roberto Bolaño & James Cervantes.
This is their 12th issue. Their next issue will cover the World Cup and celebrate five years of publishing writing (poetry, fiction, and criticism) from the Americas. They don't sell advertising so you might say their model is a little off, but it's obvious to all that Hinchas is a labor of love and driven by passion. Please linger on their new issue and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

LOS ANGELES COUNTY JAIL SONNET #7

I bring Rivas Richard Price’s Lush and a novel by Elmore
Leonard. Bickers, I bring Roth’s Human Stain and some Don DeLilo,
White Noise or Underworld, I forget. Escaleras I bring a Jackie Collins’s
novel, Lucky’s Revenge, I happen to find on Amazon for fifty cents.

Turner, Ronald, and Chico, we give copies of Zinn’s A People’s History…,
with which to scale deeper suppositions; I give The Plague to Sal Mahmoud,
praise the patience of a story inside of a story, as prisons of novels or jails of books.
Aguirre, I bequeath, Harold & the Purple Crayon, and a handle of Listerine.

Into the facility, I bring battle-axe dictionaries, primers on Corporate Accounting,
blanched copies of National Geographics on the Silk Road or Nefertiti’s shadow,
the entire series of those blasted Harry Potter novels, and a D.M.V. driver’s manual.

Mostly, I hear, “Mister, bring me a James Patterson or one of those Bourne joints.”
But, I don’t shy away from bringing biographies on Ghandi or Churchill,
pick your own adventure books, or liptick-pirate harlequin jobs,
self-help books on defeating ego terrariums.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY JAIL SONNET #6

In the fall, I bring in a poet that did time
in the 90's for possession, or petty theft?

The poet brings seven mimeographed copies of his hefty
book of poems “in,” in an Amoeba tote to better line

the vomit-beige cinderblocks and municipal spider-
tables of the pods, the innards, per se, of the martial dressing-
down of self to threshold of ser, a severe devolution.

In the winter, I bring in another poet, the World Stage's Leimert-
Neo, but, real talk, I need must drag all the L.A. poets I know through control bubble.

I must inundate the joint with novels and books of poems, primers on the troubles
of living the lessons in the Bhaddekaratta Sutta, or of reinforcing tiers
of xenophobic regimes in dormant dragon barracks.

I must waterlog the nightmare steed, the scribes that breathe the break
from Information Systems to Incarcerated Prisms and invite them to pit.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

JAIL GRADUATION SPEECH

Students of Educational Based Incarceration; Deputies and Correctional Assistants of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, and assorted non-profit administrators, functionaries, and English-teacher groupies:

My name is Yago Cura, and I am the English Language Arts teacher for John Muir Charter School. I would like to say a word or two about the students graduating today—the students obtaining their high school diplomas, the ones joining the millions of other high school graduates the world over. And, hopefully, the ones extending the trajectory of their education past the high school diploma, and into the territory of bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Ladies and Gentlemen, I know there must be professors with doctorate’s that have spent stints in jail, or run afoul of the law once in their lives. I have been the ELA teacher for John Muir Charter School since January of 2013, so I am still completely green. I do know this, though, John Muir Charter Schools is about second chances and new beginnings, but our students have to earn the privilege of being in our program by keeping at least a “C” average and exhibiting traits of mindfulness, self-knowledge, and confidence.

First off, I would like to assure you folks in the bleachers that if they were students in my English class, I made their lives very difficult by having very high expectations and assigning an inordinate amount of essays, quote response sheets, and journal entries. Students in my English class were inundated with at least five weeks of college-level vocabulary, and can rely on about 400 new words to their lexicons. Yes, sirs and ma'ams, just thinking about all the writing I assign to my students makes my Carpel Tunnel flare up. And, imagine, you and I get to use actual pens, not those horrible golf pencils.

Second, every morning from 8:00-8:30 our graduates were at their respective spider tables, reading a literary work in a sustained, silent manner. Our graduates were engaging with research conducted by Emanuele Castano and David Comer Kidd, two psychology researchers at the New School for Social Research in New York City; they found that "after reading literary fiction, as opposed to popular fiction or serious nonfiction, people performed better on tests measuring empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence — skills that come in especially handy when you are trying to read someone’s body language or gauge what they might be thinking."

Third, all the students that have been through the literacy-bootcamp of my class can write a five-paragraph essay using a template that forces them to state a main idea or topic sentence, an example sentence, a sentence of analysis, and a sentence that links one body paragraph to another body paragraph. My students know they must always organize their ideas before putting pen to paper because writing is fundamentally a process, one that involves several steps. More importantly, my students have proved themselves to “readers” employed by the California Department of Education; they have drafted original essays that have served as currency for them to pass their California High School Exit Exam.

Now, maybe, you have a more elaborate idea about why we are so proud of our graduates, and why we are so keen on celebrating them with all the excellent folks of Educational Based Incarceration, and all the service providers that toil under the E.B.I. banner. And, now graduates, I would like to leave you with a couple of words by that sage, old, fatman: Buddha. Now, I am not a Buddhist, but in the Bhaddekaratta Sutta Buddha gives us a pretty good idea about his attitude concerning the past and future.

Buddha says,
“You shouldn’t chase after the past/ or place expectations on the future./ What is past/
is left behind./ The future/ is as yet unreached.”

Please be patient with those things that you have yet to reach, and don't be too harsh about the things you fail to secure. The important thing is that you have the confidence to begin to reach for those things that have been "unreached" by you in the past, and in doing so, change the past you would have written had you lacked the courage to change. You should listen to that fat man and learn the secrets of his breathing.

Congratulations Graduates!


REFORMA TRI CHAPTER DINNER @ DTLA/LAPL COURTYARD

PERSHING SQUARE "POESIA PARA LA GENTE"

Monday, December 2, 2013

LOS ANGELES CO. JAIL SONNET #2

The commissary’s rigged with gouging, the bologna’s inedible,
the shower in F-pod’s been on all day for the last six months
and depending upon which Deputies C.A.R.P. you get your Lump
Card pulled despite your best intentions, despite devious or fallible?

They can pad the pod roster with bunks stacked two high until the pod’s
glass walls are covered in bunks, blankets, and refugee bedding,
newspaper clippings, sign-up sheets for tattoo removal or sick bay.
But, mind says, So much pressure to withstand before the crush drugs

the mind into a Centipede’s Rung, a stirrup you keep mounting
in a hurry, as if your “time” were a beast to domesticate
I got these people in here with acronyms on their lanyards

And lacquered picture badges who are very good at doubting
the extent of my extant, the candor of my hesitation,
but are exceedingly mediocre about the fast forward.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

RIGO: DETECTIVE PROJECTIONIST

El Tio Rigoberto
Veterano del Vietnam;
su sonar bien chingon
su tecnico muy technical
se convierte en D.O.D. contractor
guey del barrio guey que ha triumfado,
veterano de le Era de las Escopetas
en East Los Angeles me dice
que todas las paredes adonde trabajo
estan enlaced con microfonos
so that I should be careful
sumamente cuidadoso unless
I want to oppose los Sheriffs
que todos son gurol (good-old) boys
con Biblias en sus pistoleras
y gran bigotes de Justicia.

Le tengo miedo a los microfonos
como Gene Hackman en "La Conversacion"
me quiero poner guantes para hablar
pero no me cabe el pulgar en el cogote
de mi basusero, no me digno a respetar
que todo lo que digo tiene consequencia
con tu splendor de boca improvisational.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

DETECTIVE PROJECTIONIST

A canister of film washes ashore
in the Sun, off the coast of the peninsula,
of the Sun, irremediably thick with algae.

Let’s agree this film is called Florida,
1983
. In this film, your best friend
has white, perpetually-barefoot, hair

whereas, before, your friends had names
like Nick, Nicky, last names like Nunciforo
names rife with racketeering connotations.

Your new best friend will teach you how to fish,
to scale fish, to handle a paddleboat, to string
up a floater, to unhook a bass without impaling

Your beer. Sadly, funding for Florida, 1983,
will run out shortly after development, shortly after
a junket tour of investors gets inhaled by Haitian Ghosts.

During the interim, one of the producers will have a coronary
shortly after convincing the mistress of the Cinematographer
to pick up and plop down more than 1,000 miles away.

While the project is sidelined, the real Florida will encounter
hordes of miscreant immigrants, paramilitary pyramid schemers
and masochistic, coke-head, bank slalomers laundering proceeds.

One of the writers at the studio will spring clean across
a dusty copy of a slim volume of poems by that poet that
shogun of imagination, that intrepid interloper, bastard.

And that writer will play tennis with a short, bald executive
that will one day wield some real green-light power,
and is just beginning to stretch out the knuckles

of his talons, and they will get their green light to induce
the budgetary Dobermans to relent, release, and renegotiate
any and all terms relating to Asian & European Distribution.

The marketing harpies will descend on Florida, 1983 as soon
as Basil Edgar Thomas is cast in the role of the narrator; and,
Shiraz Jones will follow suit as the taciturn, eager father.