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, November 25, 2008


So I am doing a little bit of leisure reading and I picked up Suketu Mehta's Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, and have found it an extremely fascinating read, especially because my knowledge of Bombay/Mumbai is practically nil. What I like most about Mehtu's book is his characterization of the politicians, thugs, holy men, and common Mumbai denizens; Mehtu catches them displaying their truest emotive trappings.
First published in 2004, Mehta's book chrocicles many events. The first section of the book is devoted to "Power" and its many manifestations like "Powertoni". According to Mehtu, "powertoni" is the word that Mumbains use to denote the power of attorney, but it so much more than that. "Then I realized what the word was: a contraction of power of attorney, the awesome ability to act on someone else's behalf or to have others do your bidding, to sign documents, release wanted criminals, cure illnesses, get people killed. Powertoni: a power that does not originate in yourself; a power that you are holding one somebody else's behalf" (2004, pg. 58).
Mehta expands on his idea of Powertoni and says "it is the only kind of power that a politician has; a power of attorney ceded to him by the voter. Democracy is about the exercise, legitimate or otherwise, of this powertoni" (2004, pg. 59) According to Methu, the organization that has the most powertoni in Mumbai is the Shiv Sena, and the leader of the Shiv Sena, Bal Keshav Thackeray. The Shiv Sena is the political organization that advocates heavily against Muslim influence in Mumbai and were the catalyst for the riots of 1992-1993 between Hindus and Muslims. In that riot "317 people died, many of them Muslims" (2004, pg. 40). And most of the rioting was carried out by the thugs of the Shiv Sena.
According to Mehta, the Shiv Sena or Shivaji's Army was formed in 1996 and named after the "seventeenth century Maharashtrian warrior king who organized a ragtag band of guerilla fighters into a fighting force that would humble the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and, in time, hold sway over most of central India" (2004, pg. 41). Mehta interviews and writes about the thugs that make powertoni happen for Shiv Sena, Amol and Sunil. These "thugs" have made their way from the bottom castes of Mumbai into positions of influence and power, solely based on the powertoni they have exercised on behalf of the Shiv Sena.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Messi is menique Loki
like some algebra prodigy with
stringy squaw hair, like mischief
wicks and ancient fireworks like nighttime
diving from a promontory at a quarry
like ten ton cubes of pins, toothpicks,
and shattered plate glass by Tara Donovan
like faster than fast surpassing speeding
bullets and malicious slide tackles like
the growth hormone FC Barcelona bought for
him had the genetic credit of petite assassin
panthers or the supersonic lures that drive
greyhounds bonkers and make them exasperated.


According to Pelevin,
during the late 80's
breakdancers descended
on Moscow in hermetically
sealed track suits requesting
to be shot into space.

Fearing cultural incursion
the Russians speeded production
on a line of Gummi bear Kalishnakovs
and chocolate sickles.

They entertained launch
of a galactic pod of wall-to-wall
Linoleum and Loudspeakers,
but could not secure cosmic
rights to Bambaataa's "Planet Rock."

Furthermore, to enhance their
failing prestige the Russians
prototyped shapeshift Colonels
and several shewolf Lieutenants.

Particularly, they experienced
immense success conditioning
a squadron of Bics to pen
the biographies of scions
and utilities magnates to be;
their geneticists isolated
the gene that prompts
indiscriminate, compulsory
roaming and knighted it
the wanderlust chromosome.

Last, they manufactured teeth
that could aria for sweet coffee
and bypassed copyright on millions
of Hawaiin shirts and knapsacks.

Russians traveled in unprecedented
numbers to the bosques of Central Russia.

Many stumbled upon clandestine werewolf
summits,and even more were turned into
radioactive gypsies.

Friday, November 14, 2008


So I am spending the holiest of American holidays in West Virginia, Morgantown to be exact. Many people would say that Morgantown is not really part of West Virginia, but those are the same people that say the city of New York is country unto itself. People like me say that, and I have also said that Morgantown is not part of West Virginia because it is a college town and as such, privy to a modicum of rebellion, mayhem, and subversion. Sure, the kids all wear those curved bill caps and dress like they just stepped out of a rugby ad, but they like to drink and they like to fuck hence they like to keep out of other people's business. Maybe that is the root of all liberal, democratic thought: the ability to realize that your democracy ends where the taboos of your neighbor are aired out in public.
Therefore, my Panda and I are off to Morgantown to visit la Cochina, aka Miss Riivald, our sister in arms and Panda's former roomate. Which is to say that we are going to drive and we are taking our friend Mikey, whom I like to classify in my head as L.A. Mikey because, well, he is from Louisiana and Los Angeles. Explicitly we are going to see our friend Adam, whom was diagnosed with cancer not too long ago. He is going to meet us halfway at La Cochina's house in Morgantown because he lives in Kent, Ohio. So, we want to put together a little zine for Adam because he used to teach in NYC and still has fond memories of being used up, trampled on, and slapped silly by the high school childrens of NYC; the funny thing is I do as well, everyone who teaches in NYC will say the same; it might be the closes thing we have to a mantra.
We are thinking of writing about memories that we have shared with Adam so when he misses the cesspool, the open hydrant and gutterwater, the oily prism of pigeon baptisms, then he can read out little zine and will be cheered the fuck up. Thus, the following are the ten most supreme NYC memories that transpired while I was with Adam.

1.) Adam, Pillipino Elvis, and I bumping butts like transvestite cheerleaders at the Slipper Room for Cochina's barfday.
2.) Referring to the black squirrels in Central Park as cabroncitos, and talking shit about the French because they act like banlieus don't erupt every summer in orgies of disenfranchised violence.
3.) Administering an Atomic Wedgie to Cochina in the parking lot of an Econolodge on the outskirts of Springfield, Taxachusetts.
4.) The Cool Kids show at the Natural Museum and Kanye showed up and we watched from the handicap ramp rung of Saturn, the planet with all that suspended debris.
5.) Hicupping vociferously outside the show because I had had no dinner and needed a slice of pizza to not upchuck the money that I didn't have but spent on six dollar beer.
6.) Taking pics of Panda and you as you pose like Bronx kids, that is pushing your butt out and posturing an aggravated sexuality well beyond your years.
7.) Playing futbol with you and realizing that you weren't lying about people playing soccer in Ohio, although do they play futbol is what we really discursively assessed.


Thursday, November 13, 2008


In thinking about the practical applications of a book like this it is usually instructive to discuss the author's intentions. And, we get a glimpse of what that looks like in the preface; for example, Galeano writes, "The author does not know to what literary form the book belongs: narrative, essay, epic poem, chronicle, testimony...Perhaps it belongs to all or to none" (1986/1988, pg. xvii). In addition, in terms of objective or raison d' etre, the author writes that "he relates what has happened, the history of America, and above all, the history of Latin America; and he has sought to do it in such a way that the reader should feel that what has happened happens again when the author tells it" (1986/1988, pg. xvii).
Therefore, a sense of urgency come standard, from the factory, for Galeano's literary triptych on the history of the world. Our focus is his third installment, aptly sub-titled, "Century of the Wind." Not only does urgency come standard, it comes standard in a form that has either just been created by Galeano or has no real precedent in Literature. In other words, how many books could you enumerate that were an amalgam of 5 disparate genres (or none of them) or a newly wrought genre? Galeano's work covers the period from 1900 to 1984, but how he covers it is just as important as what he covers. To be sure, Galeano covers topics from the viewpoint of the little people and not the oligarchs of history; in this way, Galeano is similar to Howard Zinn and his seminal work, "A People's History of the United States" (1980).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Gates doesn't make much mention of cinema in "Colored People" (1995) although he does talk in detail about the ritual importance of television shows like Amos and Andy and Leave it to Beaver and Dragnet and The Lone Ranger. He does, though, talk in detail about the movies Imitation of Life (1934)and The Greener Pastures. Imitation of Life is a movie in which a poor white woman (Bea) and her child (Jessie) take in a poor black woman (Delilah) and her light complexioned child (Peola). The four live in realtive peace until Delilah hits on an idea to make them money: pancackes. They open a pancacke restaurant and strike it rich. The movie then jumps fiften years into the future and we get a glimpse of Peola as she attempts to pass for white. Delilah falls sicks and there is a chance that Peola will not come to her side because of race, but in the end she does. A further synopsis of Imitation of Life can be found on IMDB here
The Greener Pastures (1936) is a movie in which all of the Old Testament's stories are embodied by black actors; the movie was made by white people for a black audience because its characters and scenarios transpire in a black world. I am not really sure what this means because I have yet to see this movie, but I can surmise that this practice was evident and is evident even to this day. I mean the list of blacks who can green light a film isn't exactly a list, it's more like a pair: Spike Lee and/or Tyler Perry. But the specific role that the television and cinema played in Gates' life is actually hard to tell. He does say though that, "The simple truh is that the civil rights era came late to Piedmont, even though it came early to our television sets" (1995, pg. 19) Later on, Gates writes that "It was the television set that brought us together at night, and the television set that brought us together at night, and the television set that brought in the world outside the Valley" (1995, pg. 20).
The role of cinema was to bring the outside world, regardless of how white-washed and inauthentic it was, into the hearth of the Gates family. This served to educated the Gates family, but also to bring them together under to contemplate the perception that was given to them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


That morning Osvaldo was not necessarily running late. He was just another person with an urgent sense of time. He had one appointment with a lady over on Urumburu at 10 to fix the drum in her washer, and then he had to rush by another lady's house before noon to adjust the main. But first,Osvaldo had to pass by the clandestine bachelor pad Osvaldo kept with his brother, Eduardo. You see Eduardo owned a bar downtown so that meant there was a constant bevy of broads to dingle. And since they had used the pad last night to entertain the hostesses from El Mareo, the bar across the street, Osvaldo had to make sure that the place was presentable for that night's tryst.
Naturally, this means that Osvaldo didn't really see the gunmetal Ford Falcon that was peeking its schnoz from behind the parapet. Not only did Osvaldo not see the Ford Falcon he did not automatically register that he was going to wallop the nose of a car belonging to los milicos (the military). After the smoke and initial ringing of metal on metal, four men came out of the car. While not in uniform, Osvaldo could clearly tell that the men belonged to the military moonlighting as police. Even though they were military men, the occupants of the Ford Falcon did not belong to the military either. They were invisible aggressors and agents in dirty, secret doings. But mostly, they were interested in the doings of students, artists, lawyers, and generally stayed out of the way of civilians trying to keep their heads down and mouths shut.
They came out of the car and opened the door without knocking on the window. While there were four of them, they moved as on; and before he knew it, Osvaldo was surrounded: two of them stood outside the left door, and two sentineled by his right door. Instead of getting out of the car, the men grabbed his elbows and made sure his exit was smooth but brusque. Almost as if they were pulling him from danger. It was hard to tell which one was the leader because they all had moustaches, charcoal shooting glasses, and combat boots with the pants tucked into them. They were on Osvaldo as soon as he got out of the car, submitting him to various exams of vital signs. They smelled him to make sure he wasn't drunk; and then, they shoved their fingers by his eyes and opened the eyeball to ensure the pupils weren't dilated. Then they searched him and smacked him a little when his instincts kicked in and made him flinch.
The two that were by his passenger door asked him to open his trunk; he complied and after rifling through the contents asked one of the two officers that were arresting Osvaldo to come and take a look. Osvaldo couldn't think of what they found so interesting in his trunk, but knew they had found something questionable because one of the men went to their crashed car, still sputtering with steam from the impacted radiator, and pulled out an M1. Before Osvaldo protect himself from the blow, the man had taken the rifle's but and stabbed him in the ribs with it. Before, he was put in a transfer vehicle to be taken to the comisaria, Osvaldo ran through the items that he knew were in his trunk, and realized that he had several timers in the trunk. These timers were used on the drying machines and used to tell the machine when to turn off.