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.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Daniel Johnson was in town this week, and he left me this beautiful little poem by Portugese poet, Eugenio de Andrade. We were quite tickled by the randyness and simplicity of this little poem, and of course what the speaker names his goat when he gets one: Maltesa!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Alabama's state law H.B. 56 that passed on June 9th, 2011 is a racist piece of legislation because it deputizes state officials to carry out federal appraisals solely based on appearance and circumstance. In other words, if a child is entering kinder garden in Alabama, the school is required to determine the child's immigration status before enrolling that child. If you are thinking about getting a doctorate at the University of Alabama and subsequently renting an apartment in Tuscaloosa, you have to prove that you are a U.S. citizen. Before you take that job in Montgomery, make sure you can prove that you are authorized to breathe in the United States.

Alabama's H.B. 56 prompts Alabama school system officials to verify the status of any child entering kinder garden. But, this is not a regular function of school officials; this law burdens school officials with more bureaucracy and paperwork than they already ignore. So, worsy case scenario, Alabama's H.B. 56 creates an index of all "undocumented" children in the state of Alabama. A slightly more-worse case scenario looks something like the internment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. Except, what does an "undocumented" child look like? Or, why stop there? Why not proffer legislation that requires school officials to make a list of all the red-headed children, or all the children that don't want to play dodgeball because of the inherit violence in the game.

Moreover, Alabama's HB 56 is sure to be shot down by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union. So, Governor Robert Bentley is going to have to go back to the ole' drawing board and draw on a slightly less racist piece of legislation, creating more bureaucracy and government oversight. You know the conservative sectors of the political spectrum talk a great game about not wasting taxpayer time, and making government smaller. Do they understand that wholesale repeal of hard-fought accords create more government and more need for cult of personality politicians that will tell you everything you want to hear?

One of their favorite yarns is that undocumented workers don't pay taxes, that "undocumenteds" are the only ones using food stamps or social services, that they're the reason there are no jobs in the U.S. What conservative officials don't mention is that bills like Alabama's H.B. 56 have already been proven unconstitutional. In 1982, the United States Supreme Court denied state laws that attempted to block funding for illegal aliens in Plyler v. Doe. In Plyler v. Doe (1982) the U.S. Supreme Court found that "any state funds for the education of children who were not "legally admitted" into the United States, and which authorizes local school districts to deny enrollment to such children, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."

Alabama's H.R. 56 encourages xenophobia and wholesale racist doctrines, decrees, and diatribes. Moreover, it creates more government oversight, not less, by unduly involving the federal government in what is clearly a state's right issue, or a problem encountered by state governments. This law speaks to the worse in Americans because it punishes people in the country with the least assurances. I understand that they are undocumented and illegal, but I do not think it is fair to prosecute those with zero options or demonize their desire for better lives. Maybe, the U.S. works just hard enough to ensure that undocumented workers don't throng into our country. But, undocumented workers are here, and they're an integral part of our service industry, our states, and our country.

Friday, June 24, 2011


planetoid rules don't govern molecules
planetoid rules are all philosopher's stone
molecules are lil' anvils made of lil' anvils
they tyro their heft to better gravity's raiments
hair is the epicenter of every avatar's esteem
no, hair, nonsense, is your genes' state i.d.
the argument is about the Earth's age in years
the argument mostly coming from admiral flaneurs
telescopes that size can even pick out corpse noise
telescopes size that signature, but the calculator-
interfaces do all the aggregate recognition
piano octaves, born of woozy sentiment, sound like
guitar whineys in the pressurized cabin range
and whether you are drunk, like a Pepsi legionnaire
and whether whence is enough of a thirsty posture.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Spare Parts and Dismemberment by Josh Fernandez
R.L. Crow Publication (2011)

Fernandez's 70-page book of poems is heavy on the lyricism, but medium-rare on voice and scope. Ultimately, the ethos of his message gets gets muddled by the various incantations of wry, ironic, and vengeful that Fernandez imparts to the narrators in his poems. However, poems in which he uses simple registers convey great, undiluted wisdom.

For example, the narrator in "The Outsider" begins with a simple rumination, "I wonder what happened/ to that kid/," about a kid with a kinky physical defect, "who looked like/ a dropped potato-one cruddy eye/ too close to his nose," and ends with, "And I wonder if he knows/ that we still think of him/ from time/ to time." And the poem, "There Were More of Us," in which the speaker discusses his cousin, "Carlos, the dark-skinned boy/ built like a wild mustang" that joined a "SureƱo/ gang/ and inked 3 dots". The speaker's cousin is dead by the end of the poem, "a cliche," but the final image is of Carlos' stone-cold hard demeanor, even in death, "At his funeral/ he still looked mad/ even with his eyes/ closed."

Fernandez is a journalist by trade, writing music and concert reviews for publications like Spin.com, and covering crime for the Sacramento News and Review. Therefore, Fernandez is a writer that has seen a substantial amount of municipal malfeasance, personal trauma, and chemical addiction. And, there is no doubt that Fernandez has at one point have inhabited some or all of the bleak scenarios in Spare Parts and Dismemberment, but there is little in the way of guidance, redemption, or the bigger picture to take away.

And, pretty soon all that holds the book together are the anecdotals of human frailty, and the power of personal saviors (like Crystal who appears in many of the poems; the book is also dedicated to her, albeit not solely.) To be fair, the book stands as testament to the health of independent publishers, like R.L. Crow, and the hale book market present in the U.S. and specifically in northern California. If you like Bukowski or John Fante, and find their fiction entertaining then this book might be for you. If you like Sharon Olds, or Jim Carroll, then Josh Fernandez poems might be for you. Say what you want about the poems, this young poet has poured their heart into this endeavor of a book, and any missteps must be taken at face value. This is, after all, a 70 page book of poems; with that number, some poems are just going to be stronger than others.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Hinchas issue number four is finally ready to be consumed by the masses. Guest-edited by Jim Heavily, the fourth issue of Hinchas represents two months of stellar work, compiling, editing, and localizing the work contained therein.

What writers are represented in the fourth issue of Hinchas you ask? Well, we got two poems by Campbell McGrath, an amazing poet and teacher. I had the great fortune of taking several semesters with him at F.I.U. as an undergrad. We have three poems by James Cervantes, and a short story by Agustin Martinez.

In terms of art, Hinchas was able to use the work of visual artist, Ambiorix Santos, and photographers, Jennifer Therieau and Brian Hawley. This represents a new trajectory for us as we generally like to include photographs and art and have tried to for each of our issues.

I would love to hear your comments, suggestions and feedback. Next up for Hinchas and Jim Heavily is Postcard Feat #2 which was created from August 2010 to March 2011.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


It was crucial that the 2010 Census included illegal, or undocumented, and legal residents currently in the U.S. Doing so has ensured that Latinos have a more equitable dispersion of federal, municipal, and community services. A successful Census should ensure that everyone receives their share of the municipal largesse, and that the political realms cut up by politicians adhere to population and districting rules. Politically, the U.S. Census has always had an adulterous affair with the figures depicting illegal immigrants. However, undocumented immigrants use community services (like libraries, schools, and parks); undocumented immigrants pay taxes (sales tax--many own homes--property tax) and use community services, incorporating themselves into our lives. So, their need should be taken into account; leaving illegal immigrants out of U.S. Census has everything to do with the politics of intolerance.

Pretending that the needs and services consumed by illegal immigrants are negligibly invisible is not only irresponsible, it's akin to cutting off our noses to spite our faces. The U.S. Constitution instructs the Census to count all residents; whether or not the Constitution instructs the Census to count illegal residents, a.k.a. indocumentados, is not readily obvious, and arguments, I believe, can be made for both camps. However, one thing was blatantly obvious from the 2000 Census: "Hispanics", "Latinos", "Spanish" were egregiously under counted in the 2000 Census. According to a December 22, 2009 article in the N.Y. Times, "Latino groups contend that there was an undercount of nearly one million Latinos in the 2000 census, affecting the drawing of Congressional districts and the distribution of federal money."

The numbers are clear, though. For instance, there are currently 308, 745, 538 residents in the U.S.--of those, 50, 477, 594 were Hispanic or Latino residents. So, I guess you could say that Hispanics or Latinos account for a little less than one-sixths of the total U.S. population. In terms of numbers we are looking good, however, what has so many people reading the augury in these figures is the rate at which Hispanics or Latinos grew, and the rate at which Anglos and African-Americans shrunk. According to the 2010 Census, the most dominant Hispanic or Latino type is Mexican. Currently, Mexicans are 63% of the total Hispanic or Latino population; Puerto Ricans on the other hand constitute 9.2% of the total Hispanic or Latino population with 4, 623, 716. My people, the Argentineans, make up a pretty small fraction of the total Hispanic or Latino population. According to the 2010 Census, in 2000 there were approximately 100, 864 Argentines in the United States; by 2010 that number was 224, 952 which means that from 2000 to 2010 there were only 124,088 added Argentineans in the U.S. for a .1% growth in ten years (which might make many very happy...don't get me started!)

The great news is that, "The Hispanic population accounted for over half the growth of the total population in the United States between 2000 and 2010." This can only mean more leverage for Latinos at the national level and possibly at the district level as some districts get shifted. Also, if Latinos, legal and illegal, are lending their increasing numbers to the future of this country, this country has to address the inequalities in education, salary, and quality of life it has historically dispensed to Latinos. Also, even California, Texas, and Florida are the three states with the greatest amount of Hispanics and Latinos, there are several states which are seeing increasing numbers of Latinos. For example, "The Hispanic population in South Carolina grew the fastest, increasing from 95,000 in 2000 to 236,000 in 2010 (a 148 percent increase). Alabama showed the second fastest rate of growth at 145 percent, increasing from 76,000 to 186,000."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I get up at 7 and make coffee. By 7:30 my wife is looking for her keys to jet. By 8 my son is already rolling around in his bed, waiting for me to change his diaper. We gargle syllables for a spel, then I change his outfit. Shortly thereafter, I plop him in his bouncer and play a Baby Einstein video while daddy sips his coffee and seeps into his e-mail accounts. By 9 or 9:30, I switch on the Pandora or NPR and let him crawl around on his stomach. He works up an appetite and I mix some cereal and banana baby food in a plastic saucer and crane it into his mouth. If it's not too hot, we walk to the park three blocks away, and go on the swing for a bit. By the time we get back, he's ready for a nap. After noon, it's pretty much the same drill of changing diapers and feeding until my wife walks through the door and I can be relieved.

Sometimes we go jogging, and I am somewhat taken aback as middle age women give me thumbs-up a as I jog by. I also get a lot of looks of derision from my masculine contemporaries that feel that I've turned soft, somehow, by stepping up and raising my child while my wife works. Those people don't pay my bills, so I am not really interested in what they're trying to sell. Most of the time, though, I am most happy when I know that I am giving my child my undivided attention and care as he grows from infant to toddler.

According to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of June 3, 2011, "the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 9.1 percent." Therefore, if at least almost one in ten Americans is currently unemployed, then there must be many more men in my situation. I am a Stay-at-Home-Dad via unforeseen consequences, but it has turned into one of the most fulfilling accidents of my career as a Human. After teaching high school in the Bronx for several years, I realized the best thing I could do was bestow the best of my attention, creativity, and patience to my son so that he does not grow up maladjusted, and helpless. I had seen too many kids that were going to end up statistics; instead of a statistic, my kid was going to become a Statistician. I have been there every morning he's woken up, and there are few diaper changes I have not had a direct hand in.