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, 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.