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.

Monday, April 27, 2009


The impetus for these two lessons were born from our experiences facilitating synchronous bibliographic instruction at the collegiate level. Both Zinnat and I have worked as information assistants at the Rosenthal Library; in addition, we have also worked as high school teachers, so we chose goals and objectives that we felt were the most relevant and most important.

From our experiences, we have noted that one of the largest obstacles that incoming students face is their ignorance of databases, and their overuse of search engines. 17-20 year olds run to Google or Yahoo for all their reference needs, despite the pedigree of their queries. In high school a general knowledge of a topic is acceptable, but once you become a college scholar you are expected to delve into a topic and not subsist on topical knowledge.

The sad reality is that most college freshmen come to their first year of college without a proper foundation in research strategies. As a result, they believe that all their information needs can be satisfied by search engines and condition themselves to utilize the databases sparingly. Colleges spend a great deal of their operating budgets on database subscriptions, so it is in the best interest of academic libraries to condition their students to utilize, engage with, and rely on databases for all their information needs.

We thought having two bibliographic lessons would assist students (or at least surreptitiously condition them) to retain the knowledge they have gained. We thought that having 90 mins for each lesson would be ideal; the lessons we designed don't take 90 mins to "teach", therefore this gives technologically-impaired and late students time to catch up or pursue questions at the end of our sessions. If we designed our lessons for 90 mins and then used all of the 90 mins that would leave zero time for students to clarify misunderstandings.

It was our aim to have students obtain a conceptual understanding of databases so that they can apply that knowledge to use any database that utlizes a controlled vocabulary. This is why we incorporated a discussion of cost benefit analysis in the Introduction of lesson one. We feel that students would be positively motivated to use databases if they realize that access to databases is a service covered by their tuition and fees. Specifically, we ask students to consider if they would pay for a service that they don't use. Even though we are appealing to their pocket books, we are hoping that they will see the benefit of increasing their database usage.


The tattered man shrank back abashed
afraid that the gospel of hosts, the spiel
of spite directed towards the exploding gentry
were not a wall of ammunition but a colossus of speakers

Come alive, at the beck, of a villager with meager dowry
who comes to realize the extreme good fortune, the Fortuna
of a grove near the river, a surge protector fortified
with the doctrine of a mortar landed from outer space

The villagers threw out their chocolate because decadence
feeds on the brine of the stratosphere; they knelt and thought
a species of kelp that grows from all the colors except
India ink, Two-Tone Chloroform, Brackish Turpentine
and flat Jolt Cola (minus carbonation, of course!)

And now when I close my ears off to the city, when
I wade in ipod embolism audio conflation booster seat
I swear I can hear them villagers kneeling in silent asking
and it sounds like Chaka Demus and Pliers or Spragga Benz!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Fleas dream big dog dreams
follicle forests and the thick
dimension of scruffaluftwaffe

Ricardo, the lifeguard
es un salvaje de light eyes
a flea on a parasol tower

Los perros dream flea jelly dreams
pummeling fleas into compote of fist
at whatever is in front of white
layer of sponge skin cake

Cats, in contrast, don't eat
diamond pineapple chunks unless
they're on a white spork telescope

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


My Father's 59 birthday is on May 1st. The Panda and I sat down and tried to strategize what we would get him for his birthday. This list represents, literally, our best ideas. I never said I wasn't a mama's boy.


This morning at around 7:25 I got a call from my pops. I was thinking that it was like important because we rarely talk that early. When I answered the phone, my Dad asked whether or not I had seen the World Digital Library Project. I said I read something about but had not seen it. Well, this morning, at work, I had a little time to check out the site and was completely blown away. Imagine an encyclopedia that allows you to zoom in on the artifacts, like they let you on Google Maps. I would also like to congratulate the World Digital Library Project on its taxonomies, categories, and cooperation that is has brought to the world. Join me as the WDLP says, Hello Cool World!The website can be found at http://www.wdl.org/en

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I am not going to cry all the time
I will mire tantrums in syrup of gristle
Flock to cadres of emotional black transparency
Be mine own worst brown shirt
Just to say that my woobie was swiped?
No Sirs! Release your own damn hounds!
Raze your own filthy, incontinent dreams
I will thrust back tears to ducts
Flank my quivering lip with stiff-upper
Permeate the emotive wigwam of consolation
with a fog of war, a fog machine of war
Munitions with sobriquets so that every kill
shall know the line being squished underfoot
extinguished grits smoked to butt are thee
incendiary crouton cylindered by fiberglass
Will pull your card when you least expect it
And there won't be tears enough, monster
to inundate the fury of unattended pets

Saturday, April 18, 2009


In "The Lesson of Creative Writing's History" (1994) D.G. Meyers writes that there are "two distinct ways to account for a literary text". He believes that you can account for a literary text as "determined" or "created" (1994, par.1); according to Meyers, the literary scholar chooses to look at literary texts as finished and "determined"; writers choose to examine and treat all textual artifacts as "created".

Therefore, the "larger impersonal forces" that the writer must have dealt with are of less importance to the writer than the literary scholar (Meyer, 1994, par.1). And, this particular truth informs the history of creative writing programs in the U.S. Meyers believes that "What is now called creative writing is a historical effort to treat literature as a creative activity rather than an object for interpretation"(Meyer, 1994, par.2).

Creative writing programs churn out writers that have lived like artists for two to three years; their thesis, a body of original work, is what MFA students have to show for themselves. Creative writing programs are academic factories that green light former interpreters of English to man up and gamble on the production of original pieces, and an ouevre that is dire, despite the propensity among burgeoning writers to be derivative and borrow ignominiously.

Creative writing aligns itself with Aesthetics because it's heavy on technique; the emphasis on aesthetics is exercised in "workshop" classes where a professor facilitates peer feedback of a work (whose author is known or anonymous). Students in creative writing programs are encouraged to develop a style and a language of their own.

In many respects, creative writing "owes its existence to an anti-scholarly animus that was originally directed against philology" (Meyer, 1994, par.2) so it is no surprise that historically, "Creative writing in fact evolved out of the genre of English composition that was taught at Harvard starting in the 1880s, and it reached its maturity at Iowa in the 1930s when it was installed in the curriculum of a graduate school of criticism"(Meyer, 1994, par.5).

Creative Writing was "professionalized" about thirty years later (Meyer, 1994, par.6); in 1967 the Associated Writing Programs was established at George Mason University to aid in intent and direction of U.S. Creative Writing Programs.

According to the Associated Writing Program's website, there are currently "822" Creative Writing programs. Within those 822 are institutions that grant AAs to PhDs in creative writing with the bulk of the number, "318," going to programs which offer creative writing as a minor with a BA or BS ("2009, About AWP"). Overall, in 2009, there were 153 programs nationwide that granted Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing ("2009, About AWP").
Of those 153, four programs belong to the City University of New York: Hunter, City College, Brooklyn, and Queens.

These four programs have a varied and distinct history. For example, Brooklyn College is where Alan Ginsburg taught for many years; the program is buoyed by a state of the art library and progressive interaction with the Education Department and the greater Brooklyn community (Day of the Poet, etc.). Hunter College is also buoyed by a state of the art library; in addition, students who pursue their MFA in Creative Writing would have access to the archives at the Centro PR. Students at Queens College would benefit from the newness of the MFA program, and also the fact that it contains an alternative slant in Literary Translation. The program currently has Kimiko Hahn


August 12, 1996

Dr. Ronald Epps
Rockford School District
201 S. Madison Street
Rockford, IL. 61104

Yago Cura, Director of Acquisitions
Cook Memorial Public Library District
Cook Park Library
413 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Libertyville, IL. 60048

Dear Mr. Epps,

Thank you for your letter regarding Luis J. Rodriguez's biography Always Running(1993). Your letter asks that we remove Always Running from the shelves of the Cook Memorial Public Library District as a gesture of solidarity with the decision reached by Rockland School Board members to restrict access to Rockland high school students of Rodriguez's biography.

Dr. Epps, even though Cook Memorial Public Library District librarians work in concert with many high school teachers in the Rockland School Board, this does not mean that the Cook Memorial Public Library District agrees with the actions taken by the Board. Censorship is antithetical to the very nature of the Cook Memorial Public Library District. Our main interaction with the public involves providing information service and facilitating access to information. We are not in the restricting business; we are ardent enablers, as long as what we are enabling is unrestricted access to information. This is why the Cook Memorial Public Library District can not join you as you choose to censure Always Running.

I understand that members of the Rockford School Board have found much of the content in Always Running objectionable. Specifically, I understand that Ed Sharp and David Strommer were the most vociferous in their objections to the book. They have been very public about their beliefs that "a kid may get aroused by reading this," and suggested that the book is "pornographic." Their objections imply that reading about drugs and violence make readers want to resort to drugs and violence. But, we do not share that belief, and our core belief system, embodied by the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights (1996, 1948), carries specific provisions that "Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation". It especially forbids libraries to "proscribe or remove [materials]because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval".

Therefore, I hope you understand that we are forbidden by professional decree to not censure materials; the actions taken by the Rockland School Board are antithetical to the core belief system of the Cook Memorial Public Library District. However, we would be more than happy to schedule a time for consultation wherein you can suggest materials of equal aesthetic stature and recognition which document the millieau of Los Angeles in the early 80's. In other words, at your earliest convenience could you please provide our offices a bibliography of alternative resources that document the millieau of Los Angeles in the early 80's. My request springs from another tenet that forms part of the Library Bill of Rights (1996, 1948): amendment 2, which states that "Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues". Dr.Epps, I respect your right to disagree with the way that Luis Rodriguez recounts the millieau of Los Angeles in the early 80's and invite you to help me diversify our corps of knowledge on this subject.

Thank You

Yago Cura

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Cell phone charger, check, ipod
synchornization chord, check, eticket
print out orgami, check, plastic
bag cumulous system, check, chewing
gum rubble (now with Xylitol), check
security slippers, check, trove of
nickels and dime, check, driver's
license science fair posterboard,
check, hairdryers and leaf blowers,
check, professors of talk your ear off,
check, distraction tome and codex
flotsam, check, boarding pass sudoku,
check, loading zone gaze, check
shoestring maelstrom, check, metal
detector wand, check, liquids more
than 3 ozs in ziplock, check, aspirins
in pill terrariums, check, toothpaste
plastic explosives, check, Klingon lozenges
check, babies that pterodactyl shrill, check
milfs in hoochie yeans, check, baby stroller
aircraft carrier, check, thesis satchel, check
accordion folder with velcro latch, check
labtop battery surplus, check, bootleg DVD
mediagraphy, check, Headphonesausaurus, check
digital optomological interface (10.0 megapixels),
check, Kalishnakov vibrating tooth shearer, check

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


U.S. Latino Poets use English and Spanish interchangeably in their work; this is commonly referred to as code-switching; and, it means that when U.S. Latino Poets decide to use Spanish in their verse, they are wittingly excluding all their readers that don’t understand Spanish. For example, Lorna Dee Cervantes’ book, Emplumada, requires that readers know the noun “pluma” which means feather in Spanish. While this stylistic choice might seem divisive and ethnically chauvinistic, code-switching stands as a literal representation of their bilingual identity. But, if U.S. Poetry is to remain integral through its use of Standard American English, then the work of U.S. Latino Poets seems like a drive-by bastardization of our national language. U.S. Latino Poetry stands in opposition to lingual assimilation because it asks its readers that don’t understand Spanish to fill in the gaps and root around for definitions of Spanish words.

U.S. Latino Poetry is eminently pluralistic, engendering a cultural curiosity and respect that exists in most multicultural societies. It is also singularly sonorous and complex as it stands as an artifact of two distinct languages and cultures. Perhaps the most interesting thing about U.S. Latino Poetry is that it is either a record of the degeneration of Standard American English, or the prototype for a new American dialect, like Spanglish. Regardless, as Latinos poise themselves to become the largest minority group in the U.S., the fate of U.S. Latino Poety looms large. And if you take into consideration that Latinos are garnering gains in education, the production, creation, and teaching of U.S. Latino Poetry does not seem destined to abate any time soon.

Monday, April 6, 2009


The Galley Boy at Swenson's
hamburger jerk rattling off
the 17 milk shake flavors
The Peanut Butter custard
at Stoddard's and the XXL
shirts with old lettering
The heathens of Ravenna
with their backwards ways
and their yokel hovels
The death of four students
embossed in the parking lot
with mystery cairns and quartz
headstones of ire yore
The CAK is a godsend
because it makes sure
we don't have to Cleveland
Darlene, the lonesome social
worker, in her milieau
at the heard-it-all-before
Robinson Hospital
And the friend of friends
shape shifted and converted
by ions of radiation
little chemo waves
that destroy the body
into reckoning.

Friday, April 3, 2009


You want to know the vocabulary
because the way stuff is organized
you might never stumble upon
Japan as a panther of currents
or protocols for sheep brooking
deep inside Waziristan
The vocabulary is got chords
that like to strike the jealous
proprietors, those that hold on
lovely, coccoon jacket and the messiah
of much dimmer number crunchers
Rules is the robots that churn
the future of turbo, receipts
soft targets, and a brand new stadium
in the maw of the old stadium
Everything goes back to the namers
whack jobs with dictionary predelictions
jotting down the way the terms pony their deal
to the uninitiated bootleg swipe idiot
When you go to a time before namers
the sheer index of what knows to know
is beyond writing larger numbers for sport
When you go to a time before namers
the need to know softens ripe ayatollahs
is beyond the concept of hells and exurbias