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.

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.