There are officially two things that I am most worried about in my life at this moment.
1.) my mother, an immigrant to these United States by way of Argentina by way of Tucuman, is boostering for McCain in the upcoming election. This is no singular travesty of taste, mind you because my mother boostered for Jeb Bush to be elected the governor of Florida. In other words, my lefty, San Miguel de Tucuman, Pantera Alpaca Amaru, ex-communist scourge, possessor of a copy of Mao's little red book, surveyor of the Dirty War as it was transpiring with the Ford Falcons and the nocturnal tactics. And if that is not enough, my father, her partner in crime,the one that taught her how to elude tear-gas pellets and chant like a fucking hooligan. He tells me the other night when I was home visiting them that the problem with America is the immigrants. And I'm like Dad you are an immigrant. And he is like yes, but not like them.
2.) it irks me how no one is really making fun of obama except the daily show. their final day coverage of the dnc is pretty stellar stuff, especially because they are like o.g. correspondants, the hardest news group out, son. So I have included the hule episode for august 29th the night of the nomination. you should see it and laugh a little at obama and his big ass ears and try not to blinded by hope and change. i fear obama may be offering too much and we don't have the chutzpah to back it up. i mean when he says change, hopefully that involves everyone, including him.
here's the link for the video: http://www.hulu.com/watch/32855/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-fri-aug-29-2008
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, August 30, 2008
Jacinta could be heard outside the offices, and even if you didn't know it was Jacinta on the other side of the flimsy, particle door you knew it was going to be someone with superb noise quotient. No, Jacinta Revuelto was not loud as much as through loud, distilled by decibels. Her son and her rang the bell and were promptly buzzed in.
"Preguntale que hora es Carlitos" she told her big-ass progeny as they walked in, and Carlitos, twelve years old, one hundred and fifty pounds, announced to the secretary that it was, What time is it time. Carlitos was born with Asperger's Syndrome, but had only recently been diagnosed; his parents, Jacinta and Romulo Revuelto just thought that Carlitos was a really thoughtful, quiet baby. And they had fought diagnosis since kindergarden when Carlitos' teachers intuited that something was not firing on all burners in his head. Therefore, he walked around as if he had petite aquatic flippers on. The benefits of diagnosing Carlitos at a time when, pathologically, they could rehearse future habitual nuances had long passed. In fact, in many ways, Jacinta refused to believe that there was anything wrong with her Carlitos. And if you brought it up in polite conversation, or opened a line of inquiry, Jacinta would deny Carlitos was anything but normal. In fact, I made the mistake once of inadvertently ridiculing Jacinta by saying that I was looking at Carlitos' I.E.P. from school and that it clearly said, "Asperger's Syndrome". Jacinta rocked back and forth saying, "ay, no, misterd, Diosito santo, Carlitos es sano...el no tiene nada".
The secretary responded, a little thrown back, that it was 6:02. Carlitos, equally assured, announced their last name, Revuelto, and the name of the lawyer appointed by Family Court they were here to see: "MissQuimbeeee."Jacinta asked Carlitos to get her las Peoples magazine or Vanidades. Carlitos scanned the selection and handed her the closest magazine as if he were using it to stopper a hole. She frowned at the cover, but licked her thumb and read it anyway. She read it because she was tired of the magazines that haunted the shelter where she lived.
Jacinta's movements were filtered through a sieve of deliberate wake, and her utterances were goofy yet nasty,so it was hard to render deadpan with Jacinto. Or even straight-face, and there was always a real danger of laughing and snickering, pulling your shoulders in for a hefty guffaw, in and around her proscenium.
An athletic ankle sock peeped through her ragged bra, but not in an obvious way. No, in fact, in her disheveled cabernet, an athletic sock peeping up through her bra, seemed like a piece of flair, an accent of sorts. Also around her neck, Jacinta wore a gold-plated cross of Lorraine on an electric aqua piece of shoestring, with the knot frayed and puffed out like an asterisk.
One of the counselors at the Women's Shelter had given the cross of Lorraine to her "girls" as they braved their daily obstacles, like finding a job and living off the grid so their psychotic husbands didn't locate and neutralize them. Jacinta's counselors explained the Lorraine cross was associated with Joan of Arc and other women who had set out to define themselves despite the consequences.
Jacinto was one of these women and she wore the cross of Lorraine as if it were a identity-dictionary. It defined her as much as it was part of her new identity. Since Romulo had kicked them out, Carlitos and Jacinta, nine months ago, and forced her to turn to the Bronx shelters for shelter, she had become a new woman, ready to die at the stake like a savior popsicle if necessary.
The problem is that no one wants to listen to Jactina; the lawyers don't want to hear what Jacinta thinks should be done with Romulo. Romulo Revuelto is a schizophrenic bodega owner from the Dominican Republic with a penchant for painting the walls of their bedroom with fesces in the middle of the night because he also happens to be coked up and whisekyed the fuck out because he had to work a double shift at the bodega because Guillermo and his wife had to go to the JFK building.
And even now as she waits for Miss Quimby to emerge from her hamster wheel office, Jacinta remembers the more embrassing and hurtful memories of a fourteen year marriage. She takes a seat in the corner and Carlitos takes a seat in the circle of back to back chairs in the middle of the waiting room. He unsheaths his Playstation from it's microwelded carry case and turns it on so the selection screen for Super Mario Kart throws the powder of light onto his face. It'll be a couple of minutes before Miss Quimby will come out. Mostly it's because her 5:00 showed up at 5:50 and her 6:00, Los Revueltos, showed up on time. Miss Quimby took a righteous joy from not attending to her tardy appointments. Why should she extend herself and take tardy client. If the clients didn't have enough foresight to plan on being there on time, then why should she make time for them and discombobulate her schedule.
She walked out to meet Los Revueltos and tell her 5:00 that she was very sorry but that she could not in fact with them because her six o'clock appointment was on time and because they had not been on time at all (in fact they had been 50 minutes late). The 5 o'clock looked at Miss Quimny like, this bitch could have met with us for ten minutes but had us sit for ten minutes...que puta. And the whole time Miss Quimby has this officious smile on her face that says I will not urinate on you if you spontaneously combust. She asks another gentlemen in the waiting room if he is the interpreter at the same time that that gentleman asks Miss Quimby if he is the interpreter. Which sounds weird and the interpreter realizes this and laughs at himself recklessly and with great humility. The interpreter introduces himself to Jacinta and says to her, "hola, Senora, voy a ser el interprete por hoy. Por favor, pasemos a la sala para hablar con la Senora Quimby." Jacinta likes that the interpreter calls her and Miss Quimby Senora which is way too formal but is nonetheless appreciated.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Roy picked up the couple at La Guardia. Or, rather, they snuck up on Roy as he waited in the yellowcab cue skimming the Post. He popped the trunk,got out to greet them, and asked them with feigned zeal, "Where you folks going today?" The man, burly but polite, responded, "138th and Lenox."
Roy nodded his head in agreement even though his shoal was typically the Columbus Circle and midtown circuit. He had not ventured above 96 yet, but had woken up with the zest of a man twenty years younger. He had decided to start his shift at La Guardia because he was guaranteed at least 25 dollars without tip. And chances are he was going to pick up a couple that were just starting their New York City vacation and would want to tip munificently.
Regardless, Roy had trouble exiting La Guardia, but after an initial meandering, zeroed in on the path most treaded. The couple in the back, noticed, and managed to sprinkle it into the conversation. Roy couldn't understand because it was mongrel English peppered with Spanish, or he thought so. Roy heard them whisper something, though, about Roy Orbison, and thought about how curiosity compels all tongues.
No, he wasn't related to Orbison because his name was Harbison and he chucked up the confusion to how the word Orbison is pronounced in Spanish. Was the name Orbison pronounced in Spanish the same way his name was pronounced in English. Maybe if he moved to Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico he could convince people that he was Orbison's, I mean, Harbison's brother or cousin. For a second, Roy lost himself in a bit fantasy in which he is pawed by voluptuous brown women in leopard print uniforms with atrocious,red lipstick at an outdoor concert aerated by Caribbean jetstreams and coconut incense.
The silence is broken by the couple which asked almost in unison about the weather. Roy responds in a token manner that the weather's been pretty good, almost as if he's rehearsed his lifeless, insipid answer. If the previous three days have taught him anything it is to stay focused because the obstacles and stimuli come at you pretty quick. The man says something about it being in the mid sixties a couple of days before leaving which he thought was pretty uncharacteristic. Yes, Roy says, that is rather strange for mid August and is going to add something small when he realizes that he is about to reach the toll on the Triboro. He thinks, Jeez, that went by real quick but instead of commenting on the trajectory of the trip decided to confirm the address, more importantly the cross streets.
The woman says, "Lenox and onethreeeight" and asks the man something that makes him have to troll the front pocket of his book bag. Roy continues on the Triboro but realizes that he has no idea how to exit when he sees a sign that says, East 138th. He decides not to ask the man if this is the right exit because it might transmit his ingenue status and Roy would rather not deal with that today. The man looks up right as the Bruckner Expressway reels its awesome berth onto the landscape. At that moment, the man begins his litany of "shits" and the woman presses herself into the corner of the cab, like a cat in a carrier. The man announces, "sir, you're in the Bronx, not Manhattan" but it takes a minute or two for Roy to fall into this understanding.
First off, the man nodded his head when Roy asked him to exit on East 138th. Second, Roy never said he could do the Bronx, but Ivan the dispatcher told him that on his fourth day he could surely handle the Bronx. "Vhat, Roy, there's one street in the main, the Concowrse, and then everzing else iz going to ze stadium, and then zat direction is you go." Roy wanted to strangle Ivan right now but thought that keeping his composure was more important than anything else. He kept it together.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
This is my Rubberroom. If you would like it to become your Rubberroom, please send check or money order for five dollars to
112 Odell Clark Place, Apt.#5D
NYC, NY 10030.
The Rubberroom is a colletion of poetry about the reassigment centers that NYC's Department of Education uses to administratively punish teachers that have been arrested or accused of committing a crime.
I spent two weeks there in 2004 but was helped along by various people who saw that a wrong was being committed. But I was extremely lucky. Supposedly, there are teachers who have been at these reassignment centers, or Rubberrooms, for years.
My Rubberroom is a cycle of poems written like a play. The plot is driven by acts and scenes and there is one narrator that monologues his way to understanding the motives behind the actions that landed him in the Rubberroom.
My Rubberroom has been passed around public high schools in the Bronx by first year teachers, administrators, and haggard veterans. I addressed the 2005 and 2006 class of NYC Teaching Fellows at Lehman College, and my story comprised the much larger story titled "Human Resources" that aired on This American Life in February of 2008.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Argentina beat Brazil, 3-0, at the Olympics. If you would like to see highlights please click on this link:
And an original poem titled,
"Argentina Beats Brazil":
mantra to my father, the port-city Sudaca
Boca Jrs. booster hoodlum totem
cortizone to his cronies, the pawn shop vultures
of Seybold Building, the pantheon of Lazarus
disciples and bootleg gold plating specialists
official story is Argentines despise Brazilians
because of futbol technology gradiants of tact elan
but Brazilians have more World Cups in their pants
and the Zeus, Mamon, Jonas of all soccerdogs: Pele
Maradona is no Pele, never was close
to no Pele, could never approximate
the Pele of Pele's Pele.
Is why Argentines must gloat every time Argentina
wins against Brazil is why they got me to say it lyrically
Besides, gaggles of Brazilian tourists gadfly Miami
beg the question, when questions put to blot electronics
return answers like,
Yacht with sunglasses on
and boat shoe mocassins
By all means gloat accordingly.
Monday, August 18, 2008
In the Sugar salon
stuccohillsides and papier mache
a cover band of flogged dogs
doing double time on the drums
free cans of beer and sangwichitos
eybody in skinny jeans and atrocious
footwear, all the boys fey and discriminate
like the hongos of Audrey Hepburn's toeshold
the VietCong and choloplatoons
tucked away in places like Los Globitos
or El Compadre, places where Mariachis
dress in colors that blacklight-standout
highlight the Cuervo piss, the unfortunate Tequila
does not even make it over the ten or the pac coast
highway, the sandlots of blueprint animus poking
through Wilshire swine and the savages in rancid
pussy pants so tight me fight the curve of dongrake
in Versailles, the portal of garlic chicken and maduros
in the aorta of Venice but not the one on La Cienaga
or how the Yoruba wench in headwrap paper caught a 'tude
when there was relax enough to get a load or her
and her snowdrift daughter in law and the mocca baby
the scrupulous uncles in trainer suits and fashion kits
Mexican waiters at a Cuban restaurant and the dykes
with photogs in the employ and the lifeguards of dismal
stank, that kind of stank that is supernatural versus
the smell of the searot that comes traipsing in through
the wind chimes that were a dreamcatcher in a former
novelty-item life before they were snadragons or black cats
or upholstery stitched in Tijuana that a Mexican used
to smuggle themselves into the country of their future hearth.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Astronauts trace their concepts
of sexual desire to the Arcade.
Voluptuous blinking intermittent
Astroids & QuasarRakers & Centipede.
The way a toggle resembles a nipple.
How joysticks catch zero-gravity conditions
for di youth;
the unadulterated drool joy visionary.
The physics of quatersgalore.
The powder of light from the console.
The thrusters roaring from speakers.