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.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


A path through saw-grass
scrub to quarry where they cull survivalists,
anti-Castro guerillas, Dade gator-wranglers.

Past the confederation of Big Gulps
blanched by the stroke-heat.

Past two gajillion hidden lakes
founded by heathens of speed-metal,
the Fraternal Order of the Black Shirts.

Over the brigadoons of ducks and egrets
tip-toeing through continents of flood water,
the rain depressions.

Past the colossal vectors of concrete
that bulwark turnpikes, expressways—
Oops, on-ramps—drainage ditches

pulverized by skateboarders and dis-
enfranchised bulldozers.

Past limestone moguls pouring loot into a spore
for corral foyers and pampas of parking lots—rotundas.

Past the medians, pedestrian atolls and embankments.

Past the wallop of manure
in the loam of the fog.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"U.S. English", I Spit on Your Haircut

I would like to be the Minister of Bellas Letres in the future United States of Spanglish. In other words, I believe that Spanglish is a viable dialect that is already in use by Latinos and Hispanics in the U.S.

One of my first actions would be to relocate U.S. English to Tijuana and force it to hire Mexicans to man the administrative endeavors. And I would force U.S. English to hire American janitors and gardeners, but they would have to be highly literate. Maybe I could get some of the countless Doctoral students or lawyers that the U.S. produces. I would, however, give them forgiveness for their student loans; I am not a monster!

You may not know about Spanglish, but that may be because you are only tuned in to media in one language, whereas Spanglish speakers watch ABC, NBC, CBS but also Univision and Telemundo. They not only know about Pat Sajack and The Wheel of Fortune, they also grew up watching Don Domingo ham it up on Sabado Gigante.

You see, if you grew up speaking Spanish in your house, and that house was in the continental U.S., chances are you speak Spanglish. And more importantly, you should never feel that speaking Spanglish is wrong or an bastardization of the Spanish and English.

You see, my intrepid quates, English has no Academy, no body setting the rules, ordinances, and taboos. This doesn't mean that it's a free-for-all, but there is definitely room for evolution and transmutation.

Gringos, English has never been in danger of being swamped by Spanish. Latinos do not want to stage a lingual coupe d'etat in the U.S., we just want to be left in peace to speak how we wish. At home, we want to talk Spanish, and in public we want to talk English when speaking with an Anglo and Spanish when speaking with a Latino.

My roomate, Andrew, is from Minnesotta. And he tells me that there are still Norweigan villages there where there is a premium placed on speaking in Norweigan. There were also several Norweigan villages in Brooklyn, and at the turn of the century, the big xenophobia movement was against Italian and German schools.

Recently, the principal of the Khalil Gilbran school in Brooklyn was coeforced (coerced/forced) to resign because of her views, and because the instruction was going to be carried out in Arabic.

In "The Mother Tongue"(1990) Bill Bryson writes that "according to a 1985 study by the Rand Corporation, 95 percent of the children of Mexican immigrants can speak English. By the second generation more than half can speak only English" (1990, p. 241). I think what this means is that children growing up in the households of immigrants must force themselves to maintain their acquisition of their parent's language. I know this certainly was the case for me; since turning 18, I have been reading novels in Spanish to brush up and have visited Argentina several times.

The interesting thing about Bryson's books is that it was published in 1990. So we are talking about 18 years ago. Even then the figures were staggering. Bryson cites the Census Bureau, "According to the Census Bureau, 11 percent of people in America speak a language other than English at home. In California alone, nearly one fifth of the people are Hispanic. In Los Angeles, the proportion of Spanish speakers is more than half. New York City has 1.5 million Hispanics and there are a million more in the surrounding area...All told in America there are 200 Spanish-language newspapers, 200 radio stations, and 300 television stations. The television stations alone generated nearly $300 million of Spanish language advertisers in 1987" (1990, p. 239).

So U.S. English and Senator Hayakawa, I would like you and your cronies to think about how much the figures of Spanish speaking peoples has increased and I want you to think long and hard about what your views on Spanglish. If you want to reach me to discuss any of the things I have written here, I will be at the Institute for the Dominicanization of English in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Even though I am not Dominican, I stand behind their endeavors. We are thinking of renaming every street in Washington Heights and are in talks to develop more enclaves in Orlando, Boston, and Hartford.

Yago, Minister of Bellas Letres, United States of Spanglish

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Immigrants are the Real Problem in the U.S.!

Ain't that the truth! It's immigrants that are making everything difficult in this country. They sneak around using fake Social numbers and eat up the welfare silos and pop out babies by the truckloads, and then we have to give them citizenship.

They pollute our neighborhoods with their ethnic music(loud, always loud)and restaurants(spicy, always spicy)and their children are slow and refuse to speak English and join gangs and hang out on corners. Immigrants are a timebomb, and there is no fuse in sight.

The real problem in this country is that they pay Jose 7 dollars an hour to shuttle goods from NYC to Phila every day when they could be paying an interstate shipping agent triple that to shuttle the same goods. That's the real problem in the U.S.; that, someone is willing to pay a person cash(because they don't have a Social) instead of having to pay some middleman established by a hyper-capitalistic democratic gov't almost triple that and deal with the paperwork (taxes, etc)that that service will generate.

But my Gringo brethren, isn't that the whole point of Capitalism? Isn't maximizing profit and minimizing loss the credo that dominates our America. Why do we hate Jose; why do we demonize him and the millions like him within our borders? What is up with our fear of immigrants, even though, to be honest, immigrants are reviled throughout the world. Do we hate them because e know they are beneath us, because their status as illegals makes them easy to pick on? Do we hate immigrants because it is easy to bully them?

I implore you know to wake the fuck up. Immigrants are not the real probem in the U.S. In fact, like most countries, we are probably going to need more and more immigrants to fill cheap service jobs. Because the U.S. is a service-based country, it needs people to fill various levels or tiers of service functions. I wholeheartedly believe that if we get rid of the immigrants that are doing all the crappy jobs no one wants to do that isn't going to make our economy, patriotism, or standard of living any better.

The real drain on the economy at this moment is, obviously, the Iraqi Occupation. According to Martin Wolk, the chief economics correspondent for MSN, "the tab grows by at least $200 million each and every day." I don't think that any Jose or Maria or Ignacio or Rigoberto will ever drain that much from the economy.

If we are to take current estimates that there are approximately 12 million illegals in the country, they would have to generate (each and every one of them) $16, 667 dollars of revenue in one day to reach $200 million. Now, we all know that this is impossible because the usual wage for an illegal is probably between 4-7 dollars, depending on the state.

Even if each and every one of our immigrants toiled for 24 hours a day they could not generate that much loss in one day. Please, my beautiful countrymen, stop picking on immigrants; they are not the problem, they are the reason that we can spend $200 million a day to occupy a country almost three thousand miles away.

Really, no shit. I promise that this is what's happening right now. They are fucking with your heads and you are letting them, and they are winning because they know you are eating this shit up.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Evo Morales is my Ninja!!!

I just read that "The Daily Show" established a website where you could see snippets of their episodes; I believe it's because of Viacom suing Google for a Billion dollars. I don't really care where I catch the episodes as long as I don't get a cable bill for it, although because I have DSL that's kind of besides the point I guess. I jsut watch such little television that it doesn't even make sense for me to get my favorite channel: Comedy Central.

I missed the Sept 15, 2007 interview that Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, did with Jon Stewart. The interview went pretty smoothly but Morales does get to jokingly ask Stewart that the U.S. not think of them as on the "axis of evil" for having political relations with countries the U.S. likes to bully, like Venezuela and Cuba. It was pretty refreshing to hear Evo and what he has to say about the changes in Bolivia, etc. Interestingly, I read an article from the NY Times not too long ago talking about the vested interest that Morales was giving to an issue about soccer stadiums and the heights at which they are found in Latin America, i.e. the higher the altitude the stadium, the harder it becomes to engage in aerobic pursuits.

You can see the video at http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=103275&title=president-evo-morales

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Web 2.0

For class, I had to read an article titled, "Exploring Web 2.0 and Libraries" published by the ALA. And I guess this article sheds some light on software, like blogspot, which would be considered Web 2.0.

The reason is simple, Web 2.0 is "software that gets better as more people use it," likewise, with you Web 2.0 you can, "consumer and remix data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing your own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an 'architecture of participation' and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0"

If you have a facebook account or flickr account or a blog chances are you are working within the bounds of Web 2.0. What I find most interesting is that with Web 2.0, "the Web is shifting from an international library of interlinked pages to an information ecosystem, where data circulate like nutrients in a rain forest." What's happening is that all this software that is considered Web 2.0 is helping us to transform the Web into a ginormous brain that can cognate several streams of volition, edition, and configuration.

Another student from my class e-mailed everybody yesterday to tell us the similarities he saw in Web 2.0 with the philosophical tenet's of Noosphere. In 1923, C Lloyd Morgan came up with an idea that said that the most interesting evolutions that had taken place in history had been discontinous with Evolution. In addition, he said, "Rather, evolution experiences jumps in complexity (such as the emergence of a self-reflective universe, or nöosphere). Finally, the complexification of human cultures, particularly language, facilitated a quickening of evolution in which cultural evolution occurs more rapidly than biological evolution."

And since this blog is dedicated to not only cultural but lingual evolution, I thought it would be a good idea to explore. Is Spanglish, a quickening of the evolution of English and Spanish. Does it possess a brain much different than both English and Spanish, and what about the evolution of Spanglish. Why has it evolved so quickly and why are people so remiss about this dialect?

Food (arroz con pollo) for thought?


Monday, October 15, 2007


Someone should agitate
that monkey so that monkey
has a better flavor
Someone should purge
the illicit districts
only to bestow a Medeco
Someone should stop
illegals from toiling
for less than minimum wage
Someone should after-
school children to ensure
the children don’t rob and steal
Someone should tell the super
the boiler’s broken, because
my hot water’s shiftless
Someone should call the city
and tell them the fire hydrant
has been on for weeks
Someone should tell the Red-
woods to move it or lose it
for they like to hog bosque
Someone should query
my congresswoman and
tell her I seek an audience
to solicit sectioneightcheddar
Someone should tell Columbians
to stop making such fine grade
cocaine and switch to maize
Someone should tell the Mexicans
this Manifest Destiny thing is coming
back to bite us in the culo
Someone should clean this mess up
before Mom gets home because
I’m going to Hot Wheels tonight
Someone should refrain from poking
the sad animals before they bare teeth
reel-to-reel an infinite hiss
Someone should tell these hoes
to back up from me for they are
invading my personal air space
Someone should tell the bad news
to the mongrels before they realize
the valves have been decapitated

Friday, October 12, 2007


The Rubberroom was Bellevue without meds. or smocks, but it had its share of sulking megaphones hollering, corridors!

its lot of madmeticians psalming gospel of imaginary numbers.

Anthony, The Mayor, was an ex-lawyer and Fellow who’d berate you with halitosis if you took his chair.

White-boy Ken taught P.E, ponytail and all; his shirt repertoire was either silhouettes of Haleakala or Molokai.

Connecticut-Mark was burly Gnostic in beardfleece; and, he had the ire of a saber-tooth with which he scoured the Daily from his village to sleep between pages of zoning-editorials.

Francisco gravitated towards black leather: Kangol de leather, chaqueta de leather, attaché; his bald head made him look like the Dominican Mr. Clean

like his name should be Brillantino, Mister Mistolín, Senor Sacamugre.

No shit, this loco self-published a novel about sugar peons
storming a plantation and murdering the owners

extracting their teeth with implements.

On the inside jacket:

Francisco’s wearing
a svelte tux—
muy, pero muy, svelte.

What is the "Ruberroom?"

I came across an article, yesterday, about NYC's "Rubberroom." For those of you that aren't teachers, this may mean zilch to you, but it is a very real place if you have ever taught for the NYC/DOE.

I actually spent two weeks in the "Rubberroom" during the last two weeks of November in 2004. So, Samuel Freedman's article, "Where Teachers Sit, Awaiting Their Fates," dated October 10, 2007 in the NY Times really struck a chord. Mostly, it struck a chord because the "Rubberroom" is a place I got to know intimately, even though I was there for a little over two weeks.

For those of you that don't know, the "Rubberroom" is a place where they send teachers that have supposedly commited a crime. For example, if you are a teacher and you get a DUI or arrested for anything (unpaid partking tickets) you end up in the "Rubberroom" because the NYC/DOE keeps tabs on you here until your criminal case is sorted out. I guess, this is a good precauation, but the place is a depressing black hole, where nothing seeps out.

I met some of the most brilliant teachers there and some of the most vile, whiny, lame teachers I have ever come across in my life. The reason is simple: everyone there is there under a presumption of guilt. But it's not that easy, because as we all know (teachers), all a student has to do is allege something and it's a wrap. Even if that student has a history of lieing, the NYC/DOE has to move on their allegation and re-assigns you to the "Rubberroom."

When I was there, I experience many of the things that Freedman writes about in his article, like the territoriality of the inhabitants. I once got into a shouting match with some crazy dude because he said that I took his chair. While we shouted, everyone went about their business, as if the natural mode of the place was loud and inconsequential. I hated every minute spent there, but I did come out of it with a cycle of poems called "Rubberroom."

I will include a poem here from that cycle; I've wanted to publish it for ever but have failed to find a home or publisher for it. No worries, it is the third chapter of my Ms, "Spicaresque" so if that ever get's published, we in bidness. The cycle's written in Acts and Scenes. What follows is the prologue for Act Three.


I thought I went to grad school
to never end up at the Fordham Police Station
in an interrogation room for four hours
while a detective runs me for priors.

Next is hunting acronyms
on the seventh floor of the R.O.C.
that will reassign me to the maw
of the South Bronx.

My U.F.T. rep. says
they call it the Rubberroom
because you get to bounce
off the wallslike a regular 'tard.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Que es Being "Latino?"

I grew up in the People's Republic of Spanglish, a.k.a. Miami. My folks still live there, and last time I went home my Dad and I got into this huge argument over what it means to be "Latino" in a Mexican restaurant in Homestead, an enclave of rednecks and migrant workers.
I stumbled across an interesting article written by Taylor Gandossy that appeared on CNN.com called, "The Complicated Measure of Being Hispanic in America." In this article, Gandossy makes a couple of points that I would like to share with you. First, there are approximately 44 million people in the U.S. that consider themselves "Latino." Now, when taken with the approximate population of the U.S., 300 million, one will see that Latinos make up about 1/6 the population of the U.S.
Gandossy goes to explain that from a "census standpoint, being of Latino or Hispanic origin means a person identifies himself in one of four listed categories: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban or 'other Spanish, Hispanic or Latino' origin. In the latter more open-ended category, respondents can write in specific origins, such as Salvadorean, Argentinean or Dominican."
But this seems limiting, especially when you take into consideration a study conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center/Kasier Family Foundation that was conducted in 2002. The researchers found that "54 percent said they primarily identify themselves in terms of their or their parents' country or origin." And that's exactly how I see myself; when people ask me where I am from the answer that I usually give is, I am Argentine-American.
But this category never shows up when I am asked to delineate my ethnicity. I usually have to mark, Hispanic, and then, Other. Which means that the designation of Latino is really a political construct and one that may not even fit all Latinos. In the article, they interview Suzanne Oboler a professor of Puerto Rican and Latino studies at John Jay and she says, For me...there is no such thing as a Latino identity...There's certainly a cultural understanding...and a political identity.
It seems sad but the only sector of society that I have seen that has done the requisite research and investigations into the true identity of Latinos is the advertising world. First, I would recommend that anyone that can youtube (i.e. the verb form much like Google) a commercial for Gallegos Bros, an advertising co that operates out of LA. The commercials are spot on and, I believe, talk to the appetite of Latinos. The commercials are playful, picaresque, and ultimately spot on.
According to the article, David Chitel and New Generation Latino Consortium, have coined a term to designate Latinos: "new generation Latinos". A NGL is a person that has "grown up here in the US in Latino households, most likely with their parents speaking Spanish at home, eating certain foods at home, certain values and traditions that are insilled into them, from music to religious beliefs to the importance of family, these sorts of things."
Carl J. Kravetz, "a long time veteran of Hispanic marketing" and the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies "embarked on a Latino cultural identity project last year." They found that in general there was little cross-pollination between different Latino groups, but there was definitely some "clusters" of shared traits. According to Kravetz, "Those areas include interpersonal relationships (Latinos tend to emphasize family; individuality is not as important), perceptions of time and space (they have longer time horizons and have a relaxed sense of privacy) and spirituality (religion and spirituality have a strong influence on Latino life and perception of the world).
So, Dad, a Latino is a political designation and it is a term created mostly by political and mercantile combines vying for a slice of our honey pot. It is basically another way for people from Spanish-speaking countries to designate the complexity of what it is to be for me and 44 million people in this country. So, if you want to consider yourself white, then I guess that's fine, but that's a reality that my bronze-ish skin will not afford to me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Resolution for the Raison d’Etre of the Harlem Y Indoor Soccer League

To kick something and chase it down, to pursue a soccer ball as if it were a leather gazelle, to place your palms on your thighs as you trap breath and exhale seeps

With your feet, to conscript your hips and shoulders, to say I can blow past this cretin because that will put me in the box, and in that holy-rotten box I got a shot.

To bear down on the buoyant toy boulder, to confine its ramble with the sole of your foot, to juke some goon that has ideas of their own for the #4 for pitch between your feet, to trip over an

Intersection of ankles and yet through bumble advance past their ankleclot, past their defensive convergence, past their Maginot line, past their 38th parallel, past their Green Zone

And into that box—the goalie habitat—which is to indoor soccer a church of fanatical chagrin through which none shall pass, none shall dribble, none shall heel it in, none shall bend it

Because the sanctity of that box is all we cherish—the fact that it is inviolable—and when breached, we become ominous doves, trickles of blood, and fierce aerobic pillars.