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, February 23, 2008


Your feet are ordnance from the future.
A pair of cleats we might call, The Lazy Magician,
if they weren’t so caked with clumps of loam.

In your head there is a police scanner, a blotter
of crimes of passion (committed in the box),
nine alibis, the randy dance in vogue by the port,
and seven sailors with stilettos in their boots.

The way you entice them to you for ridicule;
saying, you poor, headless rooster, I told you
not to hunt grubs by the sparkly whetstone.

When I ask Coach Narcissus about you
he says you are not superfast striker, you
are a prospector, an engineer of podiatry,
if such a thing exists, a condor with the
torquetalons of a smaller bird of prey.

Then, let’s dispel the elephants in cleats
in the room. You are a scion of the slums
the province of Buenos Aires manufactures.
You wear Diego’s ten in the Bombonera.
You incite the homicidal fans to tear chunks
of skin from their jerseys, or to brain each other
into fighting-song compote.

There is very little that you can do
to stop them from wanting to machete
you in the shins; however, if you keep
smiling, they might never get the satisfaction.

Friday, February 15, 2008


After describing what the Rubberroom is, most people will ask, and what did you do all day? And after I tell them, nothing, you just go in and sit down and read all day, most people shrug their shoulders and say, oh, that's not so bad.

But the truth is that you are in this nether place. And you can read all day, sure, you can read the paper, all day, and scour all the sections. Shit, you can even bring in a portable DVD player and watch movies all day. But then, after the first week or so, you realize that you are not being kept in but kept out. Out of sight, out of mind, out of cognition, out of place and out of order. You are all out and you have to share this shame with other broken souls.

There are chess marathons and people will read aloud headlines to bounce them off the walls and you better hold on to your chair because many a fight has been started by taking someone's chair. There is a creepy, jail vibe. No one discloses what they have done to get there and people are all secretive about who they know and what they know. But there is also this like Laboratory of Jurisprudence going on like they do in prisons where every inmate is a counselor and every counselor is an inmate.

The whole time I was there I felt like I was being kept out of the way of proceedings; I felt like an democratic orphan because the machinations that were to spring me or keep me interred were never transparent to me; it was really like that Kafka novel where the protagonist wakes up and he is being charged against things that he doesn't understand. Almost as if his persecutors are speaking a different language.



As some of you know I was interred in the NYC/DOE's Rubberroom for a little over than two weeks. While this moment in my adult life was traumatic and jarring, I did manage to learn leagues about myself. It made me confront the matrix of who I was becoming.

I was an eager, anxious young Latino educator, and I still fit that bill, except I now know that theaters of anger are best kept to oneself; you need to know when to walk away from a potentially embarrassing situation, especially in front of adolescents, because you are liable to do something boneheaded.

Was my indiscretion a token of my inexperience? Most certainly, but at the same time I can't but help feel that if you have ever helmed a class in the inner-city then and only then can you begin to empathize with me. But at it's core this is a faulty assumption because acute pressure is something that a lot of people put up with, some not even receiving renumeration.

Case in point, have you ever seen a young mother carry a stroller up a staircase during the tumult of rush hour. Ever seen a cop hold the line at a rally or parade?
Ever seen a taxi driver encroach on the BQE during rush hour? You get the picture.

After my stay, I composed an original work that was a response to my experience in the DOE dungeon. The work now comprises chapter three of my poetry manuscript, Spicaresque. Last year it was picked as a finalist in the National Poetry Series.

My "Rubberroom" is written as if if were a play, every poem can be seen as a different scene, or a different monologue. In fact, if I had to characterize the work, I would say it is a monologue written in the form of a poem. The "dramatization" of my work is only to reinforce the idea that teachers are actors, and their lessons are structured, systematic monologues.

The funniest thing for me is that any and all interest in my work has been generated by this chapter. I have had the pleasure of reading it at two venues and I even read it at my 30th birthday blowout when the majority of people in the bleachers were teachers or educators of some sort. What is funny is that this piece has generated the most interest and at the time it seemed like my life was falling apart and this event was the straw that broke the camel's back.



Friday, February 1, 2008


So I am marrying my Panda on October 11, 2008. We have already started on the small scriptorium of invitations, RSVP's, and notices that have to be produced. But one idea that we hit on which I have been given the honor of executing involves the music selection. We are thinking of having people mail us playlists in the hopes of not having to do this onerous task ourselves. I mean we want the music to be right, but we don't want to have to worry about it. You see, we figure if we utilize the cross-section, the swath of friends at out disposal we have a better chance of music we actually like being played at this thing.

The following is my letter:

Dear Future Guests of the D/C Wedding

You have been selected to submit a playlist of songs to be played by the magnanimous shuffle mode of the colossal Ipod dock we are building to play music for our guests. You were picked because of your keen ear, intrepid taste, and erudite opinions (you are all not really good at anything else). We require that your playlist be sent to us as an ITunes playlist you have burned on a CD.

And, we also request that you keep in mind the songs you pick should not have profuse profanity or intense periods of screaming, cooing, grunting or the graphic repertoire of sounds associated with sex, bestiality, improper grammar, Nihilism, and/or Reagonomics. In terms of censorship, we know the Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint but the fact of the matter is that we would really like not to offend anyone who might have bought us really nice crap from our registry.

Also, this is a day when A and Y are going to celebrate their love with a coterie of close friends and family; they would prefer not to have to field questions about the pendejo that put Rage Against the Machine and Barry White on the same playlist. Our wedding will be attended by a full spectrum of peoples; we would rather not have to fidget with our colossal Ipod dock once it's set to shuffle or have to assign someone to sit there and intermittently press the forward arrow.