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, December 22, 2009


And, this is the ode I wrote for Messi which was published in the latest issue of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review...

by Yago Cura

You’re a meñique Loki—
an algebra prodigy, a mischief wick
Pre-Cambrian fireworks display
nighttime diving from the Concussion Quarry
Messi, your tech is so untextbook—
stun each cell of the reel calling shots
faster than fast surpassing speeding
catalysts of exponential, radical acceleration
Messi, you are ten ton cubes —
pins, toothpicks and shattered Tara Donovan plate glass
slide tackle currency, malicious cleats
the genetic credit of petite assassin panthers
embedded in the hormone Barcelona bought
maybe supersonic lures, colibrí piety
what type locura drives you to greyhound
around the pitch, unmuzzled. and spewing ducats

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


A friend of mine in Tennessee who I haven't talked to in years came across an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education titled "Teaching Grade 13". Written by David M. Perry and Kathleen E. Kennedy, the article attempts to squeeze a difficult answer about how responsible/liable a college should be in getting remedial students, students who come from poor-performing high schools, up to snuff, in terms of content difficulty and proficiency. For example, "According to the 2009 ACT College Readiness Report, only 23 percent of high-school graduates have the requisite skills to earn at least a C in entry-level college courses in the four general areas of English, mathematics, science, and reading. That means that 77 percent of all graduating seniors have serious deficiencies in one or more areas" (par. 1)

The first thing I would like to do is question what their criteria for college-ready is because colleges are full of spectators or students that just get by and don't really imbibe in the research and love of investigation. Do they mean these students? Not, really. The article makes several mentions of the No Child Left Behind Policy which is educational legislation enacted by Bush Two which many educators have big problems with. What I have big problems with is people not being able to call it as they see it. For example, the majority of legislation for No Child Left Behind targets failing schools, and if you have ever taught in this country you know of the huge disparity between urban and suburban schools. I think I would be oblique if I didn't point out that in the U.S. failing schools equal minority-heavy urban schools. So, how much of this has to do with race and ethniticy? And, how much of this question has to do with class?

And class permeates the thinking in this article as well because how many people once they enter college are one hundred percent ready to delve into the numerous academic calisthenics that college-level work requires of its students? I know that I was certainly deficient, but at the same time I realized pretty quickly that if I didn't take command of my weaknesses, they would eventually take command of me. So, I searched for answers and didn't wait for answers to come to me; I gave my inquisitiveness a purpose and used ink as my currency.

I guess the question I am asking is how much of this should fall on students, even if they come from crappy schools and get substandard high school educations. But, the greater question is when did college professors start becoming so us and them; I understand that there are skills that are more appropriate coming out of a high school teacher's mouth, but if a professor cares about his students, and genuinely wants them to learn then they will not make differentiation such an issue. The problem is that many professors come in thinking they are above teaching certain skills, as if teaching those skills would lessen their academic prowess. I have seen it numerous times, where a professor will not lower themselves to teach a class on emphasis in composition or active voice for fear that students will get the wrong idea and think they are actual teacher!

Lecturing has been the mode for eons, but it does not work for everyone. Just because the greeks invented it and it was adapted by most cultures, why should it be the only dominant mode in education. Another timely idea that this article brought about was the idea that in the digital where information is so accessible and easy to manipulate, what is the role of content-knowledge. In other words, what skills should we be teaching our high school kids so that they will excel in college. Obviously, the curriculum is staid, especially in the face of new digital realities. but, what exactly should change and where should we placed our educational emphasis?
At least Perry and Kennedy know something has to change. They offer a solution: "We need more tenure-track experts in basic skills to teach remedial courses and advise faculty members". I propose making professors actually vary their mode so that lecture is not the only trick they know. How about a little socratic seminar, a little discourse?

Sunday, December 13, 2009


So, Theater makes me drowsy. I can't even watch a Shakespearean play without yawning through the third act. The only play I was ever able to sit through was The Tempest; I had seen the play in 1996 in London at a park and the weather had become a character in the play because as Prospero was doing his sorcery, the weather followed his command. But, I fell asleep to Rosencratz and Guilderstern at the Barbican, and have felt drowsy at most other theater related functions. Damn, I can't even go to a reading without feeling that less is more, like a lot less, like let's do a reading in twenty minutes or so and spend the rest of the night, the good portion of the night in a bar drinking pints and talking about anything but the poetry that we heard or read or had in our heads as we were reading.


Well, after seeing the show on December 10th, I thought that I would add some ammunition of praise to the discourse being generated by this dramatic work. For one thing, the choreographer Bill Jones seems to be a big deal. I don't know squat about dance but the NY Times says, "the choreographer and director Bill T. Jones has come up with startling visual equivalents for the primal and sophisticated fusion of cultural elements that is Afrobeat, the music of Fela." Sensuous doesn't even begin to describe the manifold gyrations, gyroscopic iterations, and jiggling that took place on stage. I couldn't describe the level of dance with any technical terms, but it was hot, sexy, and like butter churned with jet fuel.

The set was decorated as if it were the Shrine, the fabled bar and venue owned by Fela Kuti. It was not only a venue for him and his music, but it was also where he would subsequently launch his political programs ("Black President") and where he cooked his ideology. It was also were the Nigerian military apparatus killed Fela's mother, Funmilayo. The history of the music is just as important as the message, and there are many orientations that the playwrites include which guide us through the narrative that is Fela's life. However, history is not of primary importance; response to history, or Fela's response to historical events, is what propels the narrative. For example, "In giving physical life to Mr. Kuti’s songs of political rage, sorrow and satire, Mr. Jones and company offer exciting music and its social context in one breath. There are occasional filmed images of Nigerian crowds and narrative segments meant to orient us in history." This is done seamlessly so it's not pedantic, but enough context is given so that even a person unfamiliar with Fela's life would be able to grasp the consequences of narrative events.

Fela, the Musical! is also very sexually charged as Fela's life was a sexually charged occurrence as well. The choreography is such that you can tell the individual relationships that Fela had within his harem, and a harem he did have. The women range from squat and muscular to sinewy and tall and they all share a common fate as the man. Or as the NY Times says, "Fela’s group marriage to his back-up girls makes saucy and elegant use of one of the show’s greatest assets: the deliciously self-possessed, vulpine women who play Fela’s adoring “queens,” who are always on hand to towel his brow and light his joints between numbers. Some are actually, mutilated and tortured after Fela is taken to jail. And their stories are flashed on the screens as well to denote their similar fates.

In terms of narration, I loved it most when Fela was messing with the Nigerian goverment. The story tells of this one time he was arrested for have a joint in the Shrine so he ate the joint; they took him in hoping that he would release the joint after his stomach had digested it and it would come out naturally. So, they keep himin jail but Fela waits until the guards falls asleep and he mixes his shit in with the rest of the stools. The actor playing Fela relates this while burning one down on stage; it is a great stoner moment, actually.

Last, I just want to give huge props to Antibalas who were just amazing, playing all the standards that Fela was famous for; they are a band from Brooklyn that are not just socially conscious, but amazing jam musicians. I have one of their albums and like it a lot; they have been around for ever, playing concerts at Summer Stage in Brooklyn and playing venues like S.O.B.'s. Or as Ben Brantley says, "As played by the Brooklyn band Antibalas, standing in for the army of musicians that accompanied Mr. Kuti on his world tours, this is music that gets into your bloodstream, setting off vibrations you’ll live with for days to come."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Hopefully, later this week I will interviewing P. Scott Cunningham, the proprietor of the University of Wynwood, and member of the Miami Poetry Collective. I thought of ten questions I would like to throw his way. Let me know what you think?

1.) Why is Miami the center of the poetry world? Why is Miami not the center of the poetry world?
2.) Given: Hialeah can birth mythical creatures. What mythical creatures can you attribute to Hialeah? What are their powers?
3.) Does Miami have it's own sound, in terms of poetry?
4.) What is the University of Wynwood? Why create a fake university to promote the written and spoken word in Miami? Are you saying that academia is a vacuous pit of make-believe?
5.) How much Spanglish should it be legal to use on a daily basis? On a literary basis? Why is the United States of America afraid of Spanglish?
6.) With the advent of e-books and readers, what might happen to Poetry? Does the current technology present opportunities for burgeoning poets?
7.) Why isn't there more Jai-Alai in literature? Can you think of any literary works that feature Jai-Alai? If you had to pit two literary figures in a Jai-Alai Death Match, what two figures would you like to see fight to their Jai-Alai death?
8.) If Campbell McGrath were to be exposed to large amounts of radiation, what literary monster would ensue? And, what cities would he destroy?
9.) In Personalism, Frank O'Hara says that writing a poem should be like making a telephone call. Are the poems that the Miami Poetry Collective creates once a month at its events like a transcript of a phone call (i.e., between recipient of poem and poet)?
10.) Do Miami poets write more about nature because nature is so prevalent in the landscape of the city? Why don't Miami poets write more about silicone breast implants, expensively-detailed automobiles, and designer bronzing lotions?

Saturday, December 5, 2009


*This image is the official ball of the 2010 World Cup
O.K. so the results of the drawings are pretty much common knowledge by now, but there is still a lot to discuss in terms of phantom scenarios, viable difficulties, and the stench of history. Besides that, Brazil is heavily favored to win their sixth cup and this probably sits well with no one except Brazilians and fans of Brazil. Let me be frank with my bias as well: I want Argentina to win, not only to close the gap (in terms of cups won) between itself and Brazil. The N.Y. Times has a popular soccer blog and I appreciate all they do to keep the American masses informed.

In "World Cup Draw Sets the Stage for Drama" by Rob Hughes, the fate of Argentina is given a full paragraph, "Argentina, after its trauma to qualify for this World Cup under Diego Maradona — who appears nothing like as great a coach as he was a player — has Nigeria, a physically powerful African opponent. South Korea and Greece, the other teams in the group, are stronger than sum of their individual players might suggest."

I agree with Hughes' assessment of Argentina's group but I had to read another article to understand the particularly difficulties Argentina is facing. For example, the article, "World Cup Teams Draw Mixed Fortunes At High Altitudes" was very interesting because it relates the fact that all of Argentina's game are going to be played at high altitudes, "Argentina seem to have fared the worst of the top seeds, playing all three of their group stage games at high altitude in Johannesburg and Polokwane, in the north.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009


I found this the other night on Wikipedia, and would like to give credit to Enriquecardova at en.wikipedia as he was the original uploader...However, you can also find this image on the Wikipedia article for Maradona's Hand of God goal.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Impressive that you scored all those headers
being a little over five and a half feet.
More impressive that you scored all those
headers while on duty as a defenseman.
Usually, it's only the lankiest, gangliest
offensivemen can unsheath that cerebrum beam.
Problem is, Passarella, to whom do you really
belong? River Plate? the Argentine National
Team? Fiorentina? Internazionale? Uruguay?
Even if your affections prove nomadic
You have proven to be a player who can conduct.
You are a straight shooter, almost someone who is
Un-ignorable, unrelenting, psychotic, and yet acutely
divining the rod, crunching intergers, and delegating.
You garnered muchisimo controversy for ballbusting
on players with long hair or earrings, implying that
if they are going to wear the celeste, they must represent.
Maybe, you went a little overboard thinking you were
un Gardel of propriety. Maybe, censoring a player’s expression
excesses was like a tiny bit Galtieri. Maybe, the whole country
needs a swift shunt to the ass, a little musk of atten-hut!
Maybe, the altitude in Quito really does warp the otherwise
normal physical trajectory of a #5 for pitch when you get spanked
by the Bolivians yet again. Tecnico Narcissus and millions of Argentines
would follow you into the Djoub with a bottle of Coke and a messload
of dessicants if you told them you could recreate the glory of 78 and 86.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Even though you are commandant against racism
in the beautiful game, race has little to do
with that egregious hand ball that knocked
Ireland from the South African running.
You have admitted that game should be replayed.
But F.I.F.A. won't budge because they have
no concept of pixelated hindsight, no hindrance
in stating that what the ref sees is reality.
What is a young striker with beacoup endorsements
from Gilette, Renault, Pepsi, and Nike to do
with the remorse of sticky hands? Let's not even
bring up your hard scrabble petri-dish days
in Essonne, or the delinquent elements you escaped.
My, how this ode about a goofy French kid
with sniper-dreams makes for a troublesome entretemps?
Your name resides with Arsenal, that much is fact.
During your Juventus twilight not even
Catalano could detect the finisher in you.
You flopped around like a gangly Wahoo
slurping oxygen through a coffee stirrer.
On the wing you were ineffectual--as if
on power down mode or revenant android.
As striker though, you were like crouching
clever, rogue as clover, diabolical as dander
running roil over defenders like tiny tsunami.
Reunited with Wengner at Barcelona, you came
into your impala wings and left the airstrip
to smaller craft, gnatty weekend vessels.
Not even a kibosh floating eye from the keeper,
nor a corner bot, nor sweeper unit, nor petard plug
Can arret his goatshin bombast blowtorch.
Ever since his showing for France in 1998,
he has been collecting manada of accolades.
In 1999, the cap for the national equipe.
In 2004, the European Golden Boot (Botín)
In 2007, more goals scored than Platini.
In 2009, more sighs than the scientists
claiming their gigantic collider is being
sabotaged by the future.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Number one thing that people want to talk about when they know that I am a librarian is whether or not I believe that books are going to go the way of the dinosaurs.

Actually, the first thing people want to know when I am a librarian is whether or not I had to go to school to learn how to...shuffle books and like have a mean face at the reference desk.

The answer to both is a snarky yes! Books will go the way of the dinosaurs, and the content knowledge that they cram in your head in library school definitely makes your face take on that demeanor.

But, I run across really interesting articles and blogs in my daily navigations, and I ran across one today. Actually, the post from this blog was posted to the Queens College listserv and since I haven't desubscribed I still get posts. Anyways, this is from a popular blog called "Everything is Miscellaneous" and the post is by davidw.

I really liked this post because it puts things in perspective and gives readers a criteria for scoring whether or not they think the new crop of readers will outplace pbooks (physical books). I would like to talk a little about the criteria and point out the ones that make the most sense from my point of view as an academic librarian.

More importantly, I would like to state, even before we start, that in my world, pbooks will never go out of existence because books are the extent of my material wealth. In other words, all I own is books so if they are becoming defunct, what the hell am I going to do with all the books I have amassed. Let me be clear, I can't afford for my books to become defunct, however, I would be crazy if I didn't also admit that I have a deep personal connection with my books.

In terms of davidw's criteria, there are myriad: Readilbilty, Convenience, Annotability, Affordability, Social Flags, Aesthetic Object, Sentimental Object, Historic Object, Historical Objects, Specialized Objects, Possessions, Single Mindedness, and Religious Objects. Now, I should clarify, these aren't really criteria but things to consider. This list is one of the more comprehensive ones that I have run into on the net, so I thought I might point out some of the more thoughtful criteria/considerations.

One of the main reasons why my books are such a part of my life is because I always write in the margins. Many of my librarian friends look at me weird when I tell them that I write in my books, as if books were made for literate robots. I believe engaging with the book you're reading by making notes in the margins is an essential requirement of literacy. You can't really be reading the book you are reading if you are just reading the words on the page. In my book, to read, you have to engage with your pen and read with your pen. If not, you ain't really reading.

And so, this is the first of the considerations I thought davidw does a comprehensive job of pointing out. For example, "the current crop of ebooks make highlighting passages and making notes so difficult that you have to take a break from reading to do either of those things. But, that’s one big reason why the current crop of ebooks are pathetic. With a touchscreen and a usable keyboard (or handwriting recognition software), ebooks of the future should be as easy to annotate as a pbook is. And those annotations will then become more useful, since they will be searchable and sharable."

Imagine if there were a program that automatically compiled all the notes that you took while you read. Well, if you are using an e-reader than it stands to reason that those functions should be readily available. Especially since, the e-reader is primarily going to be targeted at students and leisure readers. The program that allows you to do this may already exist but since I don't have an e-reader then I am completely ignorant.

Books are also historical objects and should be treated as such. For example, "As John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid have pointed out, as has Anthony Grafton, books as physical objects collect metadata that can be useful to historians, e.g., the smell of vinegar that indicates the book came from a town visited by cholera. Ebooks, however, accumulate and generate far more metadata. So, we will lose some types of metadata but gain much more…maybe more than our current norms of privacy are comfortable with." I forget the name of the researcher but there is someone who is experimenting with the idea of having smells and other ambient iterations appear in books, like smell and taste so that people who love their pbooks will still get their fix, etc.

The next consideration or criteria is for me the one that I hadn't even thought of and am kind of embarrassed to admit. When you buy an e-book you are buying a license to use the e-book, you are not buying the book per se. In other words, "We are headed towards a model that grants us licenses to read books, but not outright ownership. (This is Cory’s main topic in the interview.) If we lose ownership of ebooks, then they won’t have the sentimental value, they will lose some of their economic value to readers (because we won’t be able to resell them or buy them cheaper used), and we won’t be as invested in them culturally. Whether ebooks will be ownable, and whether that will be the default of the exception, is unresolved."

Now, this gets sticky if you take into consideration the fact that we interact with the books that we own, not with the licenses that dictate how much of them that we own. Taken like this, the problem comes into stark relief. Will we be able to invest culturally in books in which we have no stake. Conversely, it's not like I enjoy a novel any less because I can't make a statement after I am doing reading it. And, it's not like I own the rights to that novel as I read it. It would be illegal for me to copy that book, change it according to my design, and resell it. So, what is all the fuss about?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Hinchas de Poesia Press
Invincible Court
NYC, NY 10030

Dear Mr. Customer,

Hinchas de Poesia Press would like to thank you for your purchase of "Rubberroom" for Che Christ. As you know, Hinchas is a magnanimous press. Its operator ("handler") and bustling staff work hard to ensure that the Xeroxes which comprise their codices are accurate toner renditions of printed matter. However, machines make the mistakes they have been programmed to make. Therefore, if you ever receive a zine from Hinchas de Poesia Press that is not of the highest dot-matrix caliber, please do not hesitate to notify me via email directly.

We like to believe that we are engaging in capatalistic vigor with aplomb. At Hinchas de Poesia Press we feel that capturing the ethos of our our times ("in the parlance of our day") and of our states (as in "plasma") onto reams of grossly mimeographed paper is of the utmost importance. We like to believe we are providing a service akin to reading circles, lector bathyspheres, and lantern talks; we are combatting the privelege of letters over the largesses of bare-boned expositions of narrative prestige skill.

In accordance with our sincerest thanks, we send our fondest wishes, our most sincere and tyrannical invectives, our hopes that we can still save the republic of lectors from the cathedrals of mediocrity, abject violence, and touchstone squalor.


Monday, November 16, 2009


This is my first post in an attempt to understand and inform my readers of the Google Book Settlement in which the Author's Guild sued Google for their work to digitize millions of books. According to the court documents available on the Author's Guild resource page, the Author's Guild is "the nation's largest organization of book authors, which has as its primary purpose to advocate for and support the copyright and contractual interest of published writers." On the other hand, in this court document, Google is described as "a major Internet search engine...that provides access to commercial and other sites on the internet."

The crux of the problem seems to be that Google in creating "archives" of books wants to be able to use them as they wish. Unfortunately, this means that Google can "reproduce and retain for its own commercial use a digital copy of the libraries' archives". If I understand it right, Google is digitizing these books and they want to control how the digital archive they are creating is going to be used. And, they want to be sure that if they decide to sell electronic or digital versions of the books they digitize they can do so because they have put in the technology, effort, and manpower to do so.

Obviously, they want to cut out the middle man which is the Author's Guild and here is where the problems start. Everyone wants a piece of this new pie, but no one is willing to share the costs of creating the pie, or the costs of making sure the pie eaters obtain what it is they are looking for as well.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


is a who seh we dun type affair.

But, no place for old fogey cry babies
ornithologists with no favorite species
Pilipino residents who trickle down
from Harlem Hospital.

They seh when we done; they crick
the sibilant affricative.

You stroll strong into presence
like an incident of affection;
the hard wood shiny with carpet
glaze of intense overhead lighting.

And no matter how many goals
you bury you better refrain
from antagonizing the mongrels.

Monday, November 9, 2009


(Image taken from the popular blog, The Future of Reading, www.thefutureofreading.com/)

Tom Peter's article in the November 1, 2009 Library Journal is worth a read for a variety of reasons. Peter expounds lyrically on why libraries should not find themselves left out of the equation as they transition to predominantly digital holdings.

There are a couple of sentences that stick out because of their virtuosity. For example, Peters says that "Books are the primary brand of libraries" which is a simple idea I have never really thought about. It means that when people think of libraries then automatically think books. Why mess with that? Why change the recipe? Librarians should continue to champion books, but they should not miss the forest for the trees and dislocate themselves from new forms of reading.

Peter also discusses the new forms of reading that are present in video games like Second Life and The Sims, etc. Peter also discusses "skimmy dipping" which is when a user "rapidly skimms[ing] through long lists of bibliographic citations, dipping into the abstracts, references, tables, citations, and full text as their interest is piqued." The interesting thing about skimmy-dipping is that it wasn't even possible a quarter century ago. The recent launch of Google Fast Flip (fastflip.googlelabs.com) may make skimmy-dipping even easier and more respectable."

More importantly, Peter argues for readers to agglutinate into a critical mass and devise a "Reader's Bill of Rights." Tenet One: "The reader should be empowered and able to control the mode of reading on his or her e-reading appliance of choice." Tenet Two: "The reader should be empowered and able to control the presentation aspects of the ebook. For visual reading, this includes factors such as font size, font type, font color, and background color." Tenet Three: "Readers, individually and in groups, have the right to add to and embellish a text, as long as the embellishments (e.g., notes, highlighting, marginalia, new characters, new episodes) are clearly distinguishable from the primary text." And so on and so forth.

These are some of the reasons why I have decided to blog about this article, and to push it on my readers, colleagues, peers, and friends.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Bryan Hanley is the brains behind the new website, www.imafricanamerican.com. This website is going to be part archive and part database, as it will allow users to upload their anecdotes and images of what it means to be African-American in the U.S.A. Basically, the website is a resource that champions the fact that African-Americans belong to a diaspora which contains myriad iterations. As the definition of what it is to be African-American comes into relief, I hope that www.imafricanamerican.com and websites like it will be at the forefront of that process. I was fortunate enough to interview Bryan and get a sense of what it means to be African-American.

Spicaro: Why should people be allowed to define themselves on their own terms? What good can come of this? Where are the pitfalls?

Bryan Hanley: One’s personal definition is so personal and so complex. It’s hard to define a person in any one particular way and it’s always a catastrophe when someone else tries to ascribe a definition to a particular person or group. Like take for example trying to define someone like Jay-z, the media may categorize him only as a rapper, thug, former drug dealer, womanizer and other things that add to negative stereotypes of black men. But there is also the Jay-z that is an artist, a husband, a fundraiser for the families of 9/11, a business man, a record executive, etc. And I think a little of that happens to all of us. When it comes to black people in the United States, there is such a rich and diverse experience of life that tends to get oversimplified in the eyes of the general public. There are a lot of images and depictions of blacks as simple characters with a limited impact on society at large and a few character archetypes like the basketball player or the singer or the rapper and not the many things that we are. The best we can hope for is that people see us for who we really are, unedited. One of the things that can be seen as pitfalls are some may take self expression as an opportunity to badmouth others or “spew the hate.” I don’t want to be a catalyst for that kind of thing.

Spicaro: How much does it matter that there is a black president in white house? Do people make more about the president's race than he does? Do you feel people judge the president more harshly because he is African-American?

Bryan Hanley: It matters immensely that the president is black. That has been such a big boost to the African American community in so many ways. For one, it holds black men in America accountable to a higher standard than in the past. Guys can’t be like, “oh I have such a hard time because I’m black” that shit is over. If Obama did it, what can you say? Either you’re not trying hard enough or there’s something wrong with you if you don’t go out and make things happen. It’s also a great source of inspiration to the 20 and 30-somethings who were living their lives thinking this could never happen in their lifetimes. We feel like we can really make whatever we want happen in our lives, like there is no black cloud hanging over our heads anymore simply because we are black. And for the kids, it shows them that all dreams really are possible with hard work. I mean of course the everyday realities of being black are still there. We still have the same discrimination and institutional racism we always had, in addition to this anti- Obama backlash that’s been going around but now all these things have less of a sting than they used to have. They feel beatable finally. The president himself treads really lightly on the issue of his race. People definitely make a bigger deal than he does. He also has to take it light these first 4 years. People have made a major jump but America’s general public (non minority) is not ready to feel the reality of what being black or being a minority really is. The anti-Obama backlash is also something is also something he has to watch out for. If he responds too strongly, a lot of white America will feel alienated. He has to worry about reelection in the next 3 years so he has to take it easy. It will be interesting to see how he acts after his reelection in 2012 (God willing). I think that we will get more into the issue of race then. I think that we would never have seen a congressman scream “you lie” at a presidential address had it been a Ronald Reagan or even a Bill Clinton. He is being judged a little harshly and I do think race is an issue. His awarding of the Nobel peace prize, instead of producing great pride, has some Americans saying that he didn’t even deserve it. That’s ludicrous.

Spicaro: How much diversity is there in the African-American Diaspora? Is there a lot of internecine fighting within the African-American community? What can the African-American community to unify and strengthen itself?

Bryan Hanley: It’s hard to answer the question, “how much diversity is there in the African American community? “ I don’t know if I’m the right person to codify the stats on the community’s diversity. But there is an amazing amount of diversity in the African American community. When I say African American I use a very broad definition. I think of people who are descended from Africans who are in the United States. In this definition, you have black Americans who are descended from slaves in the south, descended from free people in the north, descended from slaves in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and that’s just the ones who are endemic to the states. There are also the African Americans who actually come here from the continent of Africa and either they are naturalized citizens or are the first generation born in here in America. The same classification applies to citizens and first generation people from the Caribbean, Brazil and any blacks from anywhere else. That’s just the demographic diversity; there is also economic diversity and cultural diversity. I can speak for myself when I talk about fighting within the community. I am from a Caribbean background and we don’t really have beef with the other groups so to speak we just have critiques of the other groups. I think that that’s all it really is between the groups, critiques of one another. The key to strengthening the black community at large is realizing that all of us have a common link culturally and ancestrally which is Africa. If we were to recognize that we are all the same people in different locations then it would be a lot easier to pool our resources together and work together to get the things that we all want, which for the African Diaspora at large it is freedom from poverty economically, socially an educationally for everyone, not just the chosen few.

Spicaro: What format is best for self-definition? What is the best way to allow people to speak for themselves? What media best captures that endeavor? For example, do you feel that a picture (jpeg) is stronger than an mp3 (audio file)? Is there a medium that is superior for self-definition?

Bryan Hanley: There is no best form for self definition for everyone I think. I just chose to give people a chance with words and pictures because I figured that people would be able to produce those easiest to put on the site. I think that some people are better suited to express themselves in song or in visual arts. There isn’t a perfect or most efficient way of expressing oneself and we got to thank God for that. My grandmother, for example, best expresses herself through stories of what she did that day. I think for what I’m doing with ImAfricanAmerican.com a picture and a story behind it speaks volumes. It lets the observer capture your essence without having to over analyze it.

Spicaro: How will technology allow African-Americans to better define themselves? What advances do you see the African-American community championing? What is the role of technology in a community?

Bryan Hanley: In the world that we are dealing with today, technology is the great equalizer. People can reach each other all across the world much easier thanks to technology. With the increase of blogs, websites like mine, online video, and other content driven media geared toward the black community, African Americans are shaping the way they see themselves and how the world sees them in a very meaningful way. While the community still deals with some of the issues I spoke to earlier, everyone has access to the internet. Everyone. There is an economic divide but the digital divide is very small to nonexistent. In today’s digital age, the barrier to entry to produce content that can reach a wide audience is very low, so this spurs a lot of development in the web creative space. In just the last 2 years there have been a plethora of new and meaningful black blogs that have sprung up. For example Danielle Belton’s (if you don’t know about it you better check it out www.blacksnob.com) black snob has only been around for about 2 years and has made a major impact on black political thought for people in my age group. In a community, technology’s role is to bring people together in a more efficient manner. The prominence of social media has shown that.

Friday, October 30, 2009


What is the difference between a mash-up and a hip-hop song? How far into hip-hop territory can mash-ups venture before the two are synonymous? I mean to the best of my knowledge, a mash-up (a.k.a. mashup) is a song in which disparate elements (country and reggae) are fused to create a new song. According to Tech Terms, the term mash up is "used to describe songs that meshed two different styles of music into one song. For example, a classic rock song put to a well-known hip-hop beat may be considered a mashup. It is also used to describe videos that have been compiled using different clips from multiple sources."

But that still doesn't answer our original question: to what degree is a mash-up and a hip-hop song really different? Haven't hip-hop artists been mashing up songs now since the late 70's. Is the main difference the fact that hip-hop cites from songs in what are traditionally "black" genres like R&B, Soul, and Funk. For example, I own Girl Talk's "Night Ripper" and love it. One of the stand out tracks for me is the mash-up of Elton Jon's "Tiny Dancer" (a.k.a. Tony Danza) and Biggie Smalls "Juicy". What has especially stuck in my head is the B.I.G. refrain, "i let my tape rock/till my tape popped". This song, along with many, many other, is pure, unadulterated musical mischief and about as catchy as a three-alarm flu.

Which brings me to the reason for this post. Panda and I saw this amazing documentary called RIP: a Remix Manifesto on the documentary channel and I had to say a couple of things about it. Directed by Brett Gaylor, the documentary explains the concept of copyright as it relates to music and culture, and champions the Philadelphia disc jockey, Girl Talk. Also know as Greg Gillis, Girl Talk is more than a d.j. in the conventional sense; in their own ways, Gillis and Gaylor are making the same movie, they are just doing it using different media.

The thing that really got me about RIP is the director's choice to put segments of the documentary on open source outlets and allow for viewers to edit, reconceptualize, and "mash up" Gaylor's original film footage. So in essence, the documentary is a mash up of informative, aesthetic, and historic strands, and that only adds credulity to Gaylor's enterprise. Even though Gaylor did this to escape prosecution from the copyright police, it works to his advantage because it is like putting your mouth where your money is. I higly recommend you see this documentary!!!

By the way the youtube page for all episodes of this documentary can be found here...

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Hampster Hipsters is a zine that recounts the virtues of coupon living in NYC (am I the only one addicted to Duane Reade); in addition, the resemblance between ipod earbuds and spiritual beads is discussed (am I the only one that sees the resemblance between a pair of ipod earbuds and a rosary). Last, the design of popular air freshners is expounded on in minor detail (what shape would you say that is...conch-shaped, etc?).

If your interest has been piqued, please proceed to the Hinchas de Poesia Press' online catalog and buy your copy today! And, now, for your convenience, we are taking payments via paypal; our account is associated with croto26@yahoo.com, or as previously stated, you can buy it directly from our online catalog!

Monday, October 19, 2009


I stumble upon the wolf by the dumpster.
Squat, hairy mask with Ginsu jowls, sniffing rifle.
The sight of the wolf petrifies my mechanism.
Moreover, I am carrying two especially rancid bags
of garbage from an exquisite ration of loam.
Slowly, I extend my arms in an attempt to puff up.
I concoct an intricate rebar of animal fortaleza.
I walk toward the dumpster, evacuating fear pheromones.
If this is about territory, a large shadow can anchor flight.
And, I think, this housing development is called The Presidential.
There's no way I can die, mauled, in a habitat with that moniker.
(The Presidential is not just one of those modular ghettos with
the designation of sylvan masturbation groves [The Meadows, et. al.])
But, naturally, appearing larger, more menacing, than a gray wisp?
Faced with a toss-off jockey like myself, the wolf retreats to its shrubs.
I am left holding two bags of garbage in terror fighting stance.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Dos Crotos Culos Rotos is a new zine collaboration from Hinchas de Poesia Press. Abel Folgar and Yago S. Cura put it together with the help of many associates at Staples on OneTwoFive and Lenox Ave.

You can purchase it straight from Hinchas de Poesia Press for $5 by sending a check or money order to Hinchas de Poesia, 112 Odell Clark Place Apt. #5D, NYC, NY 10030. Hinchas de Poesia also have a paypal account, if that is easier. Their paypal account is connected through the i.d., croto26@yahoo.com.

Abel Folgar and Yago S. Cura have been collaborating on zines since their undergrad days at FIU when they ruled the blue tables. Other tidbits of note: both would be considered "bears" in the gay community, both have Lebanese ancestry, and both's parents are from Latin America.

Last but certainly not least, both are librarians and employed as such.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I came across a really interesting article on The Chronicle of Higher Education. Written by Marc Parry and titled, After Losing Users in Catalogs, Libraries Find Better Search Software, the article highlights current attitudes felt by students that attempt to find sources at their school libraries. The article is recent and relevant to the work that I do at Bronx Community College.

Published in September 28, 2009, this article also serves to further what I know about search engines, searching, and indexes. This article starts by posing a scenario in which a University of Virginia student queries the library catalog for Thomas Jefferson and comes up blank. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, "The problem is that traditional online library catalogs don't tend to order search results by ranked relevance" (par. 3).

And what is wrong with regular, standard, run-of-the-mill library catalogs? Well, they don't rank results by relevance. And if you don't write the phrase or word exactly like it has been inputted in the catalog, then the catalog comes up blank. For example, if you write Tomas Jefferson instead of Thomas Jefferson, the catalog retrieves a blank. In addition, it does not interface with the user, trying to second guess where or what the user is trying to find. And it doesn't search by "media type, language, and date" (par. 6). So, for example, if a student is looking for books and articles from magazines, they have to use different indexes: one that searches books and one that searches magazines. If the index

The weaknesses of the catalogs that universities and colleges employ is that they don't resemble the search engines that students find on Google or Sears or Amazon or any other of the indexes they encounter on the world wide web. These engines are not better per se but they do offer single entry points into the content that they have inputted. So it doesn't matter whether you are searching an article, monograph, book, DVD, congressional hearing, or "herbarium specimens" (par. 13).

Saturday, October 10, 2009


By this time, nos hemos sacado las madres.
We've fought and cursed at each other like wraiths.
She knows the type of underwear I wear when I have run out of underwear to wear.
I have seen her in her grandma chonies and ratty sports bra and it still makes me Randy (object and adjective), sometimes.
Intimacy is not the romantic chambre titillater they lead you to believe.
It has no bells and whistles or gps or Indiglo beacon or cooling system.
Intimacy lays bare the things loved ones do that we hate yet tolerate.
That intimacy joint will make you want to hurt the person in your bed.
It relies on the jagged plank of your loved one's tongue.
No hesitation before puncturing skin: a modicum of savagery.
No, what's intimate is uttered most in public, delinquent invectives.
Domain is the most intimate stance a modern couple can approach.
Like whatever I say I say in a voice loud, clear, and direct.
Is not be to neglected, naysayed, noodled, or malnurtured.

Friday, October 9, 2009


The woman drizzled out of focus intermittently.

Katya decides, bulldoze from this chambre, light!
But, outside the chambre are not her protector's arms.
(The colonel is in his bunker mounting bullet slides.)

Outside there is the nautilus of the stairs,
that shaft of dark horizon, and the oblong mouths
of morbid other doors.

The aberration is the eye itself, no?

A rove drone floating in a socket
that reads upside-down the right-side.

Katya descends the stairs, careful not to
torch the tapestry or plank of curtains
with the candelabra engulfed in candle riot.

Katya can not tell the lady to stop shadowing
her if no one is going to tell the lady that
like the house, she has passed unto other hands.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Your tios three-story brownstone in Weehawken
purely haunted by that feminine Jodorowsky critic

beholden to volcanic temples of blood
the diorama of Tenochtitlan with conquistador toads
& Aztec lizards. Lady tourists with gold-plated pussies.

That specter has sat flush on the berth of that house
for years, hovering over the blankets of visitors from Los Angeles,
slow-dancing with gas-masked Gestapo in the bunker ballroom.

Whenever we eat outside, I look anywhere
but the sadistic windows.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


La vieja liked to torture us with her folklore: the contraband vinyl she had amassed working at Broadway Records in Buenos Aires, 1969. Los Chalchaleros, Los Nocheros, Los Grandes Exitos de Jorge Cafrune, and Mercedes Sosa records alongside Lou Reed's Transformer, Black Sabbath, and Credence.

I like to think my mother and Mercedes Sosa were going to retire together and build schools in Nicaragua, ghost write harlequin novels with a protagonist that looks a lot like Ernesto Che, or head up a casco azul (ONU) batallion devoted to rescuing child slaves or adolescent prostitutes or albino HIV orphans.

Anything but Sosa's death in a Palermo hospital at the age of 74, even though she had gained an immense amount of weight in the last couple of years.
Anything but my mother, a phlebotomist in a rude bloodmobile, or the proud mother of two gringitos born in Brooklyn and raised in the People's Republic of Miami.

My sister and I would put cotton in our ears as "Gracias a la Vida" or "Alfonsin y el Mar" pounded out from the speakers; we despised both ladies greatly, and meditated on ways of giving my mother an aneurism by ice-grilling her.

She had to be stopped from making us listen to Sosa at ungodly decibels as if we were cosmic peasants or filthy industrialists with blood on our hands or deliberate serial busses of her musical affinities!

We despised my mother's crazy, but we respected her nostalgia; after several years of trying not to listen to Mercedes Sosa, la Negra's juju spreads over my crying throttle. And I imagine how lonely my mother and her sisters are at this moment.

Especially since my mother and Mercedes Sosa are both negras from Tucuman.
They both know exile, knew tierra lejana, forever singing to each other as they tidied their homes, forever tethered to Tucuman, el Norte, and the nickname, la Negra.

My mother the ancient Commie and Mercedes Sosa the world's guerillera lyricist.

Sosa with her vermillion poncho, her indigenous mask of skyscraper cheekbone, the voice that could lay the sea out, that diaphragm wisdom plus plans to spank the generals and lay bare the official memory.

My mother in her bloodmobile, a virtual stranger in a lab coat, finding that vein that is the you ore, slipping in a proboscis of very fine and sharp metal, and extracting the song in the blood.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I work at Bronx Community College as an adjunct librarian. Even though I love this job, it is unfortunately part-time. Therefore, I am always on the prowl for full-time gigs; recently, I used a database (Academic Search Premier) to obtain an article on what the preferences of employers are in terms of receiving resumes and cover letters.

I often feel that I am sending my resume out into an administrative void, or that there are incompetent secretaries and jaded mailroom associates that don't want my poor resume to get into the right hands. But, I have never actually queried a database to see what research has been done to find the preferences of employers. The other day, though, I found an article that speaks to what these preference might be.

The article is titled, "Employer Preferences for Resumes and Cover Letters" and it was written by Nancy M. Schullery, Linda Ickes, and Stephen E. Schullery. The article can be found in the June 2009 issue of Business Communications Quarterly between pages 163-176. Not only is the article comprehensively informative, it delineates what those specific preferences are for the benefit of potential employees sending out resumes.

The data that informs this article was culled from "Company representatives at our career fairs" (Western and Eastern Michigan) and was prompted by the refusal of many company representatives to "accept a printed resume while speaking with students" and their preference for potential employees to proceed directly to the "company Web sites" to upload their resumes and cover letters (pg. 163). The introduction to this article is littered with dialogue about scannable resumes and the use of keywords. There is also a smattering of 90's data about employer preference to whet our appetites for what is coming next and show us where we've been.

For example, "A 1998 survey of Fortune 500 companies found that only 19.7% accepted resumes by email, whereas 98% accepted resumes fax" (pg. 165) But, honestly, when is the last time you sent a fax: 1998? I mean the change has happened over the course of 11 years and yet the standard nowadays is surely sending and receiving resumes by email. It's interesting to note however that before the fax there was only snail mail and before snail mail there were uh pigeons, I guess.

In terms of findings, the researchers found that "A large majority (71%) of employers prefer standard chronological resumes, with another 21% preferring them in text format. Five percent of the companies have no preference or want their own application" (pg. 170). It is interesting that even though the technology has created things like scannable resume readers, a lot of people find little use for them. In addition, "Email is the most preferred modality (46%), with 41% preferring the resume pasted into the body of the email. The second-most prefered mnodality is entry at the company's web site (38%), with 34% preferring the resume copied in it's entirety and 4% preferring entry in sections" (pg. 172).

Moreover, "The standard chronological style of resume is the 'the standard' irrespective of company size, location, or industry, or the job function of the hiring contact person" (pg. 174). And, "Electronic delivery of resumes appears largely to have replaced paper. Eighty-four percent prefer delivery either by email or by company Web site, and only 7% want paper" (pg. 174). However, because the motivation for the researchers involved knowing employer preferences so that they could teach their business classes what these preferences were, the researchers had some interesting caveats to add. First, "construction of a basic printable resume probably remains a wise investment of time" (pg. 174) Also, "a complete, organized, and well-phrased inventory of an applicant's skills and experiences would be convenient for multiple potential delivery venues, including submission by email as either attachment or text" (pg. 174).

This has implications for internet security because due to their hard work people are now more liable to open just any old attachment, regardless of its possible equine virus capabilities. In other words, since internet security has been ramped up and bettered, it has allowed for other technologies, like scannable resume readers to go the way of the dinosaur. Last, despite all this technology, the researchers who wrote this article suggest always having a paper copy that you could always press into the palm of a potential employer "in the event of a chance encounter" (pg. 147).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


To begin with, research is a very abstract concept. When we say research, what we mean is investigation that moves through stages. Reading an article in the Post or Daily News or Wikipedia article is not research as you don't really do anything with the information given. For it to be research it has to have steps; once those steps are learned, you can replicate, or repeat, them every time you sit down to do research. Learn them well as they will serve you as you progress at BCC and hopefully transfer to a four year school and a master's program. Regardless of what you study and where you study it, you are going to have to know how to conduct research and then write research papers.

Before we start, I would like to place an idea in your head. The hard part about doing a research paper is that you have to be able to look at something through a telescope and a microscope simultaneously. I mean that, the work of research is being able to look at look at the same object with a telescope as with a microscope.

The first thing I tell students to do is find a topic you have always been curious about. This is the stage where you should consult encyclopedias, almanacs, dictionaries, and handbooks. During this first stage, you will have to ingest large amounts of information which means that you will have to read quite a bit. This is the most time consuming part of research, but it has to be done; during this time, you should be reading with your pen and using a pen and a higlighter; you must really pick out the more interesting parts of the information you read and stick to reference books.

From the information that you have read, you should be able to form questions, you should ask yourself what sticks out the most to you. In reality, you should try to move from what/who questions into how/why questions. For example, once you know what the Renaissance is and who brought to life, inevitably you must ask yourself, how "they" brought about the Renaissance?, and why was the Renaissance even started? In other words, you will know you are ready for step three once you have answered the what/who questions about any topic and you are moving in for further details about the how and the why. Remember, research is about being able to move between the telescope (what/who) and the microscope (how/why).

Before we move to step three I just want to ask you whether you would give your car to a mechanic that didn't know the name of that thingee that gives electricity to like the whole car. In other words, how important is vocabulary in the day to day life of an expert. Do you think experts at anything use the wrong vocabular, or do they know exactly what stuff is called. They know what an alternator is and how many amperes of electricity go through a car's batter. Using the right vocabulary will also help you to be a better researcher. Please pay attention to the words that you are using to look for articles and books and journals, because unless you are using the right words, or subject terms and descriptors, then it will appear as if nothing has been written about your topic.

The third step is look for and locate primary and secondary sources. Primary sources are objects created during the time under study or consideration. A memoir written in 1961 by a Dominican man or woman about the assassination of Trujillo is a primary source of contemporary Dominican history. The memoir of a Katrina survivor written during the devastation of New Orleans is a primary source of Hurricane Katrina
According to Princeton University Libraries, "Primary sources are diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records, creative works like plays, poetry, television programs, etc." One could make the argument that Scarface is a primary source of the illicit Miami cocaine industry of the early 80's.

Secondary sources respond to and talk about primary sources. So a book written by another author criticizing or explaining Ernest Hemingway's fiction is a secondary source. An editorial about how rude Kanye was to poor Taylor Swift would be a secondary source because it is commenting or explaining the video of Kanye dissing Taylor which is the primary source. A history textbook is a secondary source, as are textbooks, encyclopedias, and magazine articles.

Step four is make an argument.
Step five is disagree or agree with what the experts you have found are saying.


Another find on StumleUpon. I love lists and I am going to go through and see each and every one on the first snow day of the winter. Let's just pray I have the proper acoutrement on that day.

The list for his url is http://www.youshouldhaveseenthis.com/


I found this amazing gif on StumbleUpon today. I have been warned about the addictive resin within this website. That is why I wore my resin stain resistant pants today.

If you are interested yourself, the url is http://www.stumbleupon.com/s/#1FhFTI/www.demonbaby.com/pics/americanworld.gif/

Monday, September 14, 2009


The decorum is scant on the production
of fan videos. Digital satirists the lot of them,
they run the clips through with the music of their
exertion, as if it were that person’s very own aerobic
theme song, those scrappy notes that push peons
past finite reps & into the Warrior Dome Zone.
Like, you and me, we’d probably pick the theme
from Rocky, or that fancy piano puddle in the theme
from Chariots of Fire. But these fans, they have the taste
of deaf leaves. They honor the players by butchering
the sustained intent of their volleys into highlight-reel petards?
They honor the players by making them marionettes
to White Horse or We are the Champions, or some
Norweigan death metal band scorching churches?
When did we start letting fans architect theme music ardor?
But, who is left to pen guitar whines to accompany
Verón’s sinister gallop mode? Who could headbut
the speakers into trilling a sound not unlike a witches’
mix-tape of Vikings crashing into moribund jetties?
There is overkill information about Verón to consider.
Verón’s known as little witch because his father
was one hell of a sorcerer; and, they both played for
Estudiantes, on some circle-is-complete-shit.
Verón’s not your man if you like flash, dang custard,
showoffatron maneuvers or tantric arithmetic.
He’s like that truck you drive, your father’s truck,
whenever you visit them for winter. The hood is bald;
the chassis rattles like an ingot pinata; the rear fender
is rust confederated. But give that truck some gas and
the hood buckles bold releasing gibbous torque wake.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Ode to Wayne Rooney
by Yago S. Cura

Maybe, Rooney’s a wallop physicist
with poppy-seed eyes, Captain England
inside the cavernous gun range.

Perhaps, Rooney’s a shy statistician,
a shylock prawn, a litigant against the Sun
for libel and defamation, an adolescent-plated
street arab with size-up on the mind.

I think we can all agree, Rooney’s a carnivore,
the stevedore of an Integrated Torque Cannon,
occupant of a Man U oxygen tank, and
harnesses a Howitzer caliber despite
his metatarsals.

My man Rooney marquise the poise
of a druid transmitting Control Totem:

An amplitude of control past
mere absorption of the balón.

Rooney’s repertoire includes chipping it
over goalies’ heads when they forget themselves
in relation to the skirmish in play,

And lambasting a barrel-down, zero-tolerance
policy against whomever stands in the arco
the transcept, the pulpit and the lintel.

He plays like an ambitious intern
at the Patent Office where plans for
a Goalie Death Ray are discussed
by querulous agents.


Thursday, September 10, 2009


My wife just started her sixth year as a high school Spanish teacher. When she first started teaching a teacher gave her this old book on how to teach Spanish. This book has become like a talisman for her. Recently, she showed me this book, and I am trying to convince the art editor to let us use this to make banners and the hull of issue #2. Well, Adolfo Barandiaran, what do you think of these images?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Your father had to be a butcher to have given you
Omar as a middle name. Omar, the butcher's kid, a
striker of unpardonable efficiency, a Terminator
cleaver made of volcano ore and Skytel metalurgy.
And then his mane made women dedicate themselves
to follicle cults and galloping kerotene chambers.
El Bati scored so many goals that they had to start
designating the prettier ones Batigols. Came up
with Bielsa, locked horns with Passarrella, so you
have definitely come through the Argentine Mythology
Combine. Tecnico Narcisas speaks marvels of your killer,
saying that you don't pardon lives. You can watch the
clips all day, the depots of clips, the terrabytes of
bests of and the duty reels. It's just that Bati can
lambaste the corner of that post with spitfire precision;
and, that's from well outside the box, the ball meteoring
past defensemen, whipping the toothpaste white netting.


This is Amanda Duran's zine, Oskar and Oskar's Autospielen Cafe. I advise you to click on the image because it's hand drawn by Mrs. Duran. Amanda is a high school Spanish teacher in NYC and a native of Los Angeles. Her favorite color is purple, and her favorite movie is Willy Wonka. Over the summer, Amanda was in Germany and was inspired to make this zine by Oskar Schmidt, the gorgeous little mann of Jurgen and Yvon Schmidt. The Schmidt's live in Ravensburg, Germany and like to drive a Volvo station wagon in excess of 200 kilometers per hour on the Autobahn.

Monday, September 7, 2009


The reason your name doesn't gong more eternal
in the Adirondacks and Denali of 90 minutes play
is because you wore the colors that suited
you when you needed them to matter and the fans
don't have that option. If their hearts bleed blue
and gold then they had you on lock when you were
busy peeling out in the Bombonera, but you were
also very prodigious playing for the Plate? Shit,
you've even played for the Rangers in Glasgow and
the rabid sheiks that run the Qatar Sports Club.
In other words, it is as if you've been Maradonized.
As if Maradona had come down from on high and clipped
those little wingtips of prolonged celebrity quotient.
I mean, Caniggia, had it in spades. It being a dollop
of the demi-god, a reverence reserved for the prettiest
Aryans, those model fucks with luxurious hair bounties.
My man could glide with quickness, I think some Peronists
probably timed him silly in the barn of some futbol club
and the news spread like unmitigated flu purloin. Maybe he
could sprint 100 meters in under 11 seconds, but how much faster
could he go if the sins of Father Maradona were not some
unforeseen dumbbell, some aggregate riposte on the albatross.
Caniggia was possibly the last albatross in the land
where the toilets flush backwards. An ass, no doubt, but
at the same time, he is a manner of the celeste and white
that typifies the Argentine national team. But back to the
bird metaphors, let's just say that Caniggia was largely
believed to be the fastest white soccer player playing in
the world and to watch the clips you would think that
there is no way a man's stride could cut so much distance
could mow down the green continent spread out before him.
Caniggia could run fast, like wow, because he was a stringy
and tall god-like motherfucker that could run like an animal.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


After Maradona calls you a monster, what do you do?
Do you: a.) careen feetfirst into the feet of an Inter striker?
b.) sideswipe opponents like a squirrel sumo? c.) chest bump
the referee and push off your coach who has to eyefuck you
so that you shut your mudhole and cool your fool. So you lost
some time at West Ham and blamed London on the your soul cirrhosis.
At least you got to play with Tevez which must have made the team
like a River Plate two-seater. But now, now, you have come into
it thick at Liverpool. The ghost of your own Nike botin follows you
around the training grounds; the gravy train was delayed for a bit
bit it is coming ladden with sports drink endorsements and power
gels, aerobic rocket powders. Your moon is up, son, and remember
that endorsement from Maradona. Him calling you a monster is like
the ball crying that the foot is a brutal counterpart.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Young-ass, no-neck-having, endorsed out the wazoo
undecipherable governor. Captain England in the gun
range, mumbler, shy statistician, grotesque ducats
in trade ploys and blackmail jousting in the Sunfor libel tournaments when all my man wants
is to field a volley from midfield, absorb it in some
turgidly benign way with swollen gravity and Howitzer
on the poor sap they've sentenced to deflect his meteors.

My man, Rooney, marquees the poise of a physicist
calibrating the Goalie Death Ray. His little black eyes
(almost too small for his cranium) like mediocre poppies
with aftertaste wallop. It's like you can almost spy the
deliberate assessment, the size-up this adolescent-plated
street arab has on his mind. And then he is known for chipping
it over goalies' heads when they venture out too far, forget
themselves in relation to the skirmish in play. And then he is
known for bringing the full hip wrath, the torque shoulder canon
the barrel-down carnivore, the lambasted targets, the pity of the
oxygen tank, the lameness of the metatarsals.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Schomburg's collection, The Man Suit, is a surrealist iteration of Americana in line with the poetry of Russel Edson and Philip Lamantia. Imagine Wood's American Gothic painted with slapstick acrylic of absurdist tints. Imagine if Darger had illustrated the minutiae of the Midwest Schomburg's poems are rife with haircuts, Barons, Town Killers all interacting in a quaint, almost kookily universal register


Thursday, August 27, 2009


That's right y'all and I plan on visiting all 50 and writing a little about them and their function. This little project might entertain me for long time. The url for the issue Time has devoted is http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1918031,00.html

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Oh Messi, the words don’t like to heel;
they rear up like a coked-up Clydesdale
to stamp the tales of your devious feet.
It’s just that you’re a meñique Loki—
an algebra prodigy with filthy squaw hair,
a mischief wick, Pre-Cambrian fireworks
display, you’re like nighttime diving from
the Concussion Quarry. Messi, your tech is
so untextbook—I want to stun each cell
of the reel where your feet call the shots.
Faster than fast, surpassing speeding
catalysts of exponential acceleration:
Messi you are like ten ton cubes of pins,
toothpicks, and shattered plate glass
by Tara Donovan. Your currency in malicious
slide tackles, oodles of shin splits and cleats
in the muscle’s mignon. Maybe the growth
hormone Barcelona bought for you held
the genetic credit of petite assassin panthers
or the supersonic locura that drives grey-
hounds bonkers and makes them chase
lures in fashionable muzzles and a jersey
with a number that corresponds to a ticket.

OCLC Minority Fellowship Essay

I want to participate in the Online Computer Library Center's Minority Librarian Fellowship Program because the scope and range of the O.C.L.C. phenomenon can not be ignored. As you know, the O.C.L.C. liasons with over 70,000 libraries and contains almost 142 million bibliographic records in well over 100 countries. I call it the O.C.L.C. "phenomenon" because these figures alone make the Center seem supernatural, a veritable colony at the forefront of bibliographic technology. In addition, I want to participate in this Minority Fellowship program because the roles and functions of libraries are in flux, and I would like to form part of the organization that is helping define what libraries are becoming.

I also want to participate in this program because the O.C.L.C. and I both believe that the aim of information institutes should be to provide unrestricted access to the world's information; while I would not consider myself an open-access maven, I do agree that information should not be obstructed by petty commercial restrictions, classist interpretations, or jingoistic tendencies. I understand this is virtually impossible and rather naive, but it is also what is just when it comes to allowing people to make sense of their world in the way they see fit. I believe my background in education would benefit the Question Point reference management service most, and I am especially interested in learning real-time assistance and the nature of the formation of knowledge bases

If you would like to know how the Online Computer Library Center has contributed to my short-term goals, all you have to do is proceed to WorldCat (www.worldcat.org) and conduct an author search, typing my name in the query box. This will bring you to the record for the first thesis I wrote for grad school, hyphen-American (2002), a collection of poetry I completed at the University of Massachusetts--Amherst to receive my MFA in Creative Writing. It is still my intent to publish my thesis from grad school, even though the title and direction of that piece have changed dramatically. However, WorldCat has become an inconsequential agent in this production, a partner in my pursuit of publishing a full-length collection of poetry. The scope and range of the O.C.L.C. phenomenon is such that my relatives in Argentina can check the world's catalog for signs of their literary relations.

If you would like to know how the Online Computer Library Center has contributed to my long-term goals

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Ronaldo roadrunner with a sovereign ring.
A disciple of flair, purveyor of ridonkulis
pomp; possibly, the prime material for
Peacocks, lightning bolts, and aneurisms?
A disciple of flair gets highlights in their hair.
Who the fuck cares? He dizzies balón,
combing it back and forth like diaphanous
Kevlar hair or spider web cotton candy
with drool-jewels of lewd dew.
Ronaldo is an Atomic Squid with thousands
of tentalegticles. On each foot, a sneaker signed
by speed certificates. He is rather a supple
unstoppable? Ronaldo is like ink black garden
snakes that stitch through scrub until they flash
the eye photography. When Ronaldo fakes,
a wake of whatif precludes his intent. I mean,
the man wears hazard yellowrange cleats and
bandages to hilt. Look, the designer jeans’
depots and Techno music—Maserati loafers
were invented for a minotaur like Ronaldo.
Dope cologne and power point presentations
with cascading flaming swooshes. He’s got this
one rubber band move which is the bane of D's
existence because as D-man you must commit
to a lunge; you can't half-lunge now, can you?
You can't flux capacitor back once you gigawatt.
You lunge, but he just blows past—as if your life
were a stop-motion parable set to Hawaiian music.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I have never worn those spaceman goalie gloves
and wanted to push a cork into the Winchester of a striker.
Never wanted to be the general in yellow Lycra
barking orders at Easter Island lieutenants of defense.
Nor sentinel the post and strike zone on full tarantula.
But goalies do nightmare seraphim like Kaka.
I know this because I have seen the clips.
Certainly, those in need of the least from their cohort
shall be considered conspirators, but in an inestimable caliber.
True, the Kaka Show was almost like I pledge allegiance to Jesus,
in Milan, which is President Oz's private futbol cabernet.
And now, after the trade, Kaka is set to douse the Bernabeu
with naptha godspeed, jet-engine sprinter nozzle rabbit.
Seems like the kid has never had an invitation to squalor;
father's an engineer, mother's a teacher, and yet he can slick
the low shot under the goalie like a bread thief or stevedore.
Reviled in the Republic of Argentina for the psychosis-spanking
in the 2004 Cup; revered in the city of the Sforza as a conifer
of talent or an elm of elan, a true army of righteous celebrity.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Maliszewski's Hoaxers, Con Artists, Counterfeiters, and Other Great Pretenders is a deft little page turner; at times, it reads like a manual on literary graft, at other times a treatise on aesthetics. There are interviews with integral fakers like Sandow Birk, a contemporary satirist who uses a paint brush, and Joey Skaggs, a performance artists with a penchant for writing press releases that titty-twists the media's nipple. In some ways it defies categorization: the first chapter is a mea culpa written by the author, that tries to come to grips with the ethical crimes attributed to his sword-pen as a correspondent for a business journal in Syracuse.

Maliszewski's very at ease in chapters like Paper Moon which details the series of extracts that the New York Sun published about what "John Herschel, a British astronomer working at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa," managed to see through his new and powerful telescope. Maliszewski writes that "The publication of this newspaper series even today is remembered as one of the country's most elaborate hoaxes."

The hoax was perpetrated by Richard Adams Locke and "With the publication of the fourth, most sensational installment on August 28, the Sun became the largest circulation periodical in the world. Regular subscribers in New York City numbered 15, 440" Maliszewski's contention is that New Yorkers of the day were pretty media savy, "The more than 270,000 people that lived in New York in 1835 enjoyed extreme media diversity," and that they believed Locke's "satirical" piece because they wanted to believe and because Locke's writing was powerful.

Of course, there is a chapter on James Frey, the memoirist who penned A Million Little Pieces and was later spanked by Oprah because Frey took liberty with his recounting; there is also one Stephen Glass, the engenue at the New Republic and made famous by the movie, Shattered Glass. Again and again, though, Maliszewski returns to his premise, which has him justifying the white lies that these writers and writers in general take when they create the fiction of the stories that they enrapture us with. Maliszewski believes that "Fabricated journalism can tell us plenty about journalism as it's practiced today--if, that is, anyone cares to consider it as something more than aberrant"

Let me retract a sentiment that I have inserted haphazardly. Maliszewski is not justifying lying in journalism, but he is interested in how "fabricated journalism also raises questions about how the profession prizes, and gives prizes to, stories that feature great characters and dramatic leads, literary qualities which may not be, strictly speaking, incompatible with reporting the truth, but which may...encourage some reporters to shade that truth a bit here and there" Maybe Maliszewski is saying that there is much truth that is created when a story gets told because the craft of the novelist and the journalist are working in tandem. Maybe Maliszewski is harkening to Marquez who said in a famous interview that "In journalism just one fact that is false prejudices the entire work. In contrast, in fiction one single fact that is true gives legitimacy to the entire work."