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.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ode to Pelé

Michael Jordan is the Pelé of Basketball, except Pele has no High-Top Legions
Jeter is the Pelé of Beisbol, blondetastic accompaniment, and brash hype
Lebron is the Pelé of the Phenomenal Tax Bracket
Michael Tyson is the Pelé of Boxing, pandemonium bleachers, and placard bimbos
Tony Hawk is the Pelé of half pipes, product placement platforms, and secret tweaks on the joystick
Gabriella Sabatini is the Pelé of Women’s Tennis, more importantly, Sabatini is the Pele of brunettes in tenniskirts
Sandy Koufax is the Pelé of Baseball-Loving Jews and catchers with broken thumbs
Larry Bird is the Pelé of White guys playing basketball
De La Hoya is the Pelé of Chicano boxers
Andres Cantor is the Pelé of howling Goal!, imagine a whole career on a trademark intonation of the word for score in Spanish
Lando Calrisian is the Pelé of Cloud City Malt Liquor
Kissinger is the Pelé of Rumsfeld’s simulation platoons, Nixon the Pele of Bush’s belligerent scrimmage
Xiu Xiu is the Pelé of Pandas released back into captivity
Chewbacca is the Pelé of the Wookie Peoples
The Pixies were the Pelé of the 90’s Rock Pantheon
The Clash is the Pelé of Soundsystems, Dub Subcommandantes, and Audio Dynamites
Han Solo used to be the Pelé of intergalactic smugglers
Beethoven was the Pelé of prodigious little, snot-noses who play in their first World Cup at the age of seventeen
Chuck D is the Pelé of Terrordomes and Jeep Beat Cavalries
Bill Gates is the Pelé of blue screens of death and educational philanthropy
The Harlem Y is the Pelé of all the other YMCA’s not under the authority of the Harlem Y Indoor Soccer League

Resolution for the Delineation of Function

My function has always been Defense.
from the time I could trot to the hardwood now.

One, because I am an Instep Ozymandias.

Two, because the Defense Function radiates
Romantic wishbone connotations of gallant

On the hardwood, I Othello versus Turks
like Babaka, the Wiley Scottsman,
Ken, Ibrahim, or Wesley Snipes.

For my Cyprus is clear, what is assailed—what is threatened
is the holy-rotten box, the silhouette of the goalie on full-on lurk.

To me, there is a violent shame that accompanies
letting a forward through your battlement when that forward
can intuit the parameters of your response.

To contain the box, minimize offensive telepathy
and feed the goalie so they can, in turn, feed our forward
driving pressure into their holy-rotten box.

And on the Seventh Day, the Lord created Futbol

On Sundays, I play futbol cinco at the Harlem YMCA. This outfit is better known as the Harlem Y Indoor Soocer League. We have a myspace page, www.myspace.com/harlemyindoorsoccer, and snazzy shirts with our alises on the back.

I have been working on a series of poems that address my devotion to futbol Sundays; I have written odes to Pele, Johan Cruyff, and of course, Maradona. I love to play futbol but I am not such an avid follower when it comes to the teli. I fast when the World Cup comes to town, but aside from that I don't really watch soccer. My father, on the other hand, is a devout Jesuit of Boca Jrs., and has been since he was like eight years old.

I have tried to ecllipse my culture's predeliction for futbol for many years. I started playing at six, but as soon as my dad started being the coach all the time, I gave up futbol and switched to the electric guitar. But now, I love it and breathe it and want to know as much about futbol as I possibly can. That means, reading great books on soccer like Franklin Foer's, How Soccer Explains the World. I recommend this book for anyone interested in the scope and reach of the beautiful game.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Jimbo's Burger Palace

So I live on W 138th in Harlem and there is a greasy spoon called, Jimbo's Burger Palace, on 137th and Lenox. All the staff inside the restaurant is either Mexican or Latino/a. Like two weeks ago I saw a hand-made sign that was calling for a "boycott" of the Jimbo's. Now, I feel that perhaps because they primarily service the black community in Harlem, there should be an African-American or Black-American in the restaurant as well. My girlfriend, the Panda, thinks that that shouldn't matter and says, justifiably, that they can hire whoever the hell they want; they just can't pick and choose who they want to serve.

Now, because the neighborhood where I live is predominantely black, then I thought that this might be an interesting thing to explore. I mean, is it right for only Vietnamese to work in a restaurant that is predominantely Dominican. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 "prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." But I don't find support here for hiring someone based on their culture, which is an aggregate of all the criteria in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Because the owner of a restaurant is a certain culture, does he or she have the right to hire people only of that culture.

As more and more non-blacks populate Harlem, I foresee this problem becoming stickier and sticker. For now, though, I would advise anyone, tourist or otherwise, to eat at Jimbo's because their turkey burgers are divine. Just one turkey burger can fill a moderate size room up with delectable grease fumes. Everything on the menu is pretty damn good, in relation to its price. Just today, I got two bacon, egg, and cheeses for less than seven bucks. Because of the proliferation and predeliction in Harlem for cheap Chinese restaurants and Palaces of Fried Food (Kennedy Fried Chicken, etc.) Jimbo's is a welcome and totally functional part of the neighborhood.

Which makes me think of Super Magic Laundry and how all the employees are Chinese and no one has said anything. I mean, if this emotion extends to restaurants, then why shouldn't it extend to laundromats, clothing stores, and supermarkets. I mean at the Met Supermarkets the cashiers are predominantely Dominican and Senegalese and no one says anything. Is Jimbo's being unjustly dealt a dose of race relations. Why Jimbo's?

Needless to say, since seeing the signs, Jimbo's has hired a black waitress. Which I guess says something about the pressures of affirmative action even in an racial or ethnic enclave.

Que Viva Jimbo's Burger Palace!!!!!