Spicaresque:

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, April 29, 2011

INVOCATION FOR JAMES FOLEY

"Still sipping wishing well water imported from Pluto/ 360 milliliters for all the believers and mouths of kilometers, most cats can not proceed us"--Mos Def on Black Star's, "Definition"


Foley, Jim, Jimmy James, I say Humongous Jimena
Hueso de Caballo, trident quiver, wolverine slipper,
solipsistic fibrosis, sloth yokel, discreet in the sleet.

I say, Former Fox Navigator, Operator of the Teal Bassmobile,
miliner of jargon, billboard dimmer, aperture craps shooter,
Snake Eyes vanguard, Cobra Khan Do Jo Floor Supervisor.

Digo, Athlete's Foot fomenter, boner knight errant,
gristle apostle, sheer tactician, squirrely progenitor,
lanky stevedore, New Hampshire Catholic Vortex,
Bumbling Bouillon Buble Bard, sylvans of Sleuth, Inc.

Foley's a rider in the Public Enemy Armored Low-Rider,
a buxom battery of sixbynines in the personnel Jeep carrier,
Bantam star ship contortionist, Ginsu Elbow Forward,

Check my Timberland Dowry, dude. Check my little brother
Dickensian Coal Dumper, and my roomate, the Quasar,
the hard-on chef that thinks you should stop
inviting the rappers over.

Friday, April 22, 2011

PRESS RELEASE FOR LOS ANGELES FREE_FOLEY READING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4/21/11


L.A. POETS CALL ON LIBYAN GOVERNMENT TO RELEASE JAMES FOLEY, AMERICAN JOURNALIST CAPTURED BY LIBYAN MILITARY IN BREGA.
SATURDAY, MAY 7TH AT 6 PM @ AVE 50 STUDIO

LOS ANGELES CONTACT:
YAGO CURA (646)207-9441

Los Angeles, CA—On Saturday, May 7th 6 Angelino poets— Billy Burgos, Rafael Alvarado, S.A. Griffin, Jeff Rochlin, Luivette Resto, Annette Cruz, Yago S. Cura, and Dennis Cruz—will read their original work at Ave 50 Studio (131 North Avenue 50 L.A., CA 90042-3903 / (323) 258-1435) to publicize the plight of James Foley, and call upon the Libyan government to release James and three other journalists that were detained with him (Clare Gillis, Manu Brabo, and Anton Hammerl).

According to eyewitnesses, Foley, one of the first journalists to arrive on the scene of the Libyan unrest, was stopped by security forces outside Brega on April 5, 2011. Foley was an independent correspondent working for the Global Post traveling with three other journalists (Clare Gillis, an American correspondent for The Atlantic and U.S.A. Today, Spanish photographer, Manu Brabo, and South African photographer Anton Hammerl), when eyewitnesses report their vehicle was fired upon and they were taken. They were later spotted in a Tripoli detention center. No further information has been reported on their safety, anticipated release or any charges against them.

Raised in New Hampshire, James Wright Foley worked for years as an inner-city teacher with Teach For America in Phoenix and the Cook County Boot Camp in Chicago before pursuing his journalism career. He attended the graduate program in journalism at the Medill School of Jouralism. Following graduation, Foley embraced war reporting and traveled to the Middle East in 2008, where he embedded with the Indiana National Guard and 101st Airborne in Tikrit, Samarra and Mosul. Following Iraq, Foley covered the war in Afghanistan as a multimedia reporter for Global Post. He worked from the frontlines during the 2010 troop surge on volatile mountain outposts and the offensive in Kandahar. His story for Global Post, “On Location: A firefight in Kunar Province”, September 19, 2010, is a 2011 Webby award honoree.

Please help us press for the release of James Foley, Clare Gillis, Manu Brabo, and Anton Hammerl!

EVENT DETAILS-
SATURDAY, MAY 7th @ 6 PM
AVE 50 STUDIO—(131 North Avenue 50 L.A., CA 90042-3903 / (323) 258-1435)
FEATURING: Billy Burgos, Rafael Alvarado, S.A. Griffin, Jeff Rochlin, Luivette Resto, Annette Cruz, Yago S. Cura, and Dennis Cruz.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

TALLY

After you were corralled in Brega, before they transferred you to Tripoli, Berlin starts teething hard, I mean I can hear the teeth
coming in and it sounds like slack getting waxed;
meanwhile, several other journos have disappeared,
and some have recently been released, the whole
thing is a mess of nerves, a hive of manners colliding
with a thick oak trunk. So, I'm not sleeping as I imagine
you're not sleeping so possibly there is some telekinesis
we might discharge, except I can't find sleep, whereas
you're obstructed from sleep as a way to standardize
or control the exhalation of your incarceration. Teeth,
funny conspirators, take brunt to flower, but easily
wilt away into maw, as when in dreams you chew your teeth
and the sensation is not unlike a mouthful of pebbles.
Then, I wake up at night and make homeopathic concoction
and Berlin's mother, Panda, rubs his gums until he hushes
up and whimpers to sleep so then I am up watching ribald
contraptions and flashing numbers, pure distraction but
soothing nonetheless, soothing longitudinal duress on
the glowing idiot box with zero news of your status.

Friday, April 15, 2011

PROLOGUE

The first time regime-ists detain you
on the fringes of the accidental skirmish
mortars flop down on bazaars in Tripoli;

Accountants man machine-gun pick ups in Brega
and Adjabiya is like some stratus of gun-brunt powder.

Fools have rigged minivans with anti-aircraft missiles,
and the conscripts keep prostrating on the skirmishfield
or firing wildly in the air without having secured
a victory in ink, courtesy of the play-by-play machine.

All those indivisible bolts we've been peddling
assembled on the blanche Sahara tableau,
poised against the indignant citizens.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

FREE JAMES FOLEY STENCIL: IMAGEN DETRAS DEL MOVIMIENTO!!!

These are the images that you can download and use as your profile pic to generate awareness about the plight of journalists arrested and detained simply because they are doing their job and bringing to light abuses and civic injuries perpetrated by dictators and their beneficiaries. Without the important, balanced work of these journalists, dictators get to operate with impudence and turn on their own citizens.

The work of James Foley, Clare Gillis, Manu Brabo, and Anton Hammerl is an important function of Democracy. We can't fund dictatorships across the middle east, and then tell the citizens living under those conditions to be patient, that Democracy takes time. The work of these journalists highlights the important work Libyans from all walks of life are willing to fight and die for.

Please support their work and if you would like to apply pressure on behalf of James Foley, there are several things you can do.

1.) Sign the petition! (click here)

2.) you can write a letter to the mayor of Chicago, or Congressional reps asking them to push the State Department--Jimmy was a model Chicagoan and they can apply pressure too!Jimmy's been slugging it out in Chicago for several years, and taught at a boot camp for young offenders.

3.) Write Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) right now. She is one of Jimmy's senators. Write her office and advocate that she do something for him & the other journalists.

4.) Watch Jim's video on the Webby's awards page (click here), or on the Global Post website (click here).

5.) "Friend" and "Like" all the pages that appear in support of the four journalists, and monitor the situation, yourself. (click here)



This is a larger version of the image that was on here earlier.



This is a version that is best for web and similar devices.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

FREE JAMES FOLEY!!!



Journalist James Foley is currently being detained by the Libyan government. According to the Associated Press, on April 7, 2011, "An American correspondent for GlobalPost and three other journalists were taken prisoner by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. (article)

Jimmy has been working in the middle east now for some time, with stints in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya. Mr. Foley has written for several local newspapers, Stars and Stripes, Global Post and has had video picked up by CBS Nightly News.

The very important video work (click here) he has been doing in Libya on the rebel forces is widely viewed on the Global Post website and forms a necessary part of the debate about Libya. For example, Ghadaffi has repeatedly said that the rebels in his country are part of Al Qaeda while hiring mercenaries from Sudan and Somalia to come and kill in Libya. Foley's videos clearly show the work the average Libyan is doing to free their country of Ghadaffi's rule; Foley's videos show accountants and offshore welders picking up arms and telling the corrupt Libyan government that they are fed up of the terror and instability.

What makes people run towards gun fire? What kind of constitution allows the headlong rush into danger, the rapport with mortality most of us only see on television and in the movies? Independent journalists that cover these hot spots of strife and rebellion often do so without the drivers and handlers and resources that established journalist can rely on, and yet these independent journalists break stories, and since they aren't beholden to newspapers which are beholden to advertisers then the only obligation they truly have is to the story. And regardless of the lede technology you studied, the seminal part of any piece is the story that gets related when the journalist sutures the threads.

War correspondents are fashioned out of necessity and meddle. Some are born just nosy enough, but don't have the acumen for description and analysis that necessarily makes them correspondents. Some have great writing chops, but could not connect with an Italian prostitute, and thus are resource-poor and awkward and hard to trust. Regardless, the squares out there, like myself, believe that whatever composite goes into making a war journalist, one of the ingredients has got to be a blatant disregard for one's own well-being and safety.

However, someone's got to relay the abominations as they happened, someone's got to transcribe the actions of the desperate as they transform into monsters, someone's got to stand up to these motherfuckers because they are wiping out whole brigades of humans, people, citizens in the middle. While it is true that war correspondents speak for those who can't speak, they are also referees, in writing, framing the conversation, reporting what they see like some musty camera, or absentee landlord surveillance system.

However, if you are just un-square enough, you could freely speculate that war correspondents are vital to democracy. What gives me certainty about my last statement is that one of the first things that regimes do when pressed with civic unrest is switch off the internet. This makes it very hard to get a real-time, accurate picture of what is transpiring withing the country. Dictators have an amazing propensity for fiction, and the justifications they spew to corroborate their actions provide quite a mezzanine for future absurdities, which are surely guaranteed to elapse.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

LATINOS & GRADUATION RATES

One of President Obama's goals is having the "highest degree attainment rate in the world by 2020" (Kolowich, par 3). If this is to happen, the United States must seriously consider how it is going to booster Latino graduation rates, both at the secondary level and in higher education. Are Latinos facing obstacles that other demographics do not experience? Why is the achievement gap so entrenched when it comes to Latinos? Are we so busy ensuring Latino kids get into college that we haven't the slightest clue how to teach them the self determination and academic discipline that is going to keep them engaged and willing to play the game and graduate?

If you think this is a problem that doesn't have to be addressed, I can guarantee you that it is going to get tremendously worse. According to Excelencia in Education, "Between 2005 and 2022, the number of Hispanic public high school graduates in the United States is projected to increase by 88 percent, while the number of white school graduates is expected to decline by 15 percent." This is not a matter anymore of class versus ideology, of bitter inequalities that plague the system for the endemically destitute. The bottom line is that with a quarter less Anglos receiving degrees and an almost 90 percent increase in Latino high school graduation rates, to remain technologically equal and retain supremacy over nations on the up and up, the United States is going to have to rely, more and more, on Latinos for it's skilled as well as manual labor.

To remain competitive in the world, the U.S. and specifically the administrators of the Obama legacy must find ways of engaging with the Latinos that drop out after the first year, or more likely, have to leave school because they can't afford to be a student. One often forgets that to be a "student" takes a lot of money, not because students spend ostentatiously but because they apportion nothing to the market by studying Moliere or re-reading a Hemingway with a Marxist lens or translating one of Pessoa's alter ego nom de plumes. The simple fact is that only the middle class can really afford to dawdle on campus in track pants and skarf on falafel or vending machine trophies like Twizzlers and Sunkist.

One of the biggest problems that Latinos students face is that they have to work while they go to school; the majority of Latino students are forced to either take the mantle of the wage-earner or watch their families suffer as their earning power is diminished. For example, "At Northeastern Illinois, Green and Thill have found that Hispanic students are more likely than others to be working full-time jobs and supporting families" (Kolowich, par. 6). In Sam Petula's article in Inside Higher Ed, he mentions the report conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities that "recommends that higher education institutions search for ways to be more flexible in accomodating working students. Latino undergraduates had the highest average work-study aid award of any racial or ethnic group in 2007-8" (2011, par. 8). Another accommodation that schools and especially personnel that service Latinos are going to have to make is patience. Many of the Latino students have had to serve as translators of important school documents, and in essence, solo navigators.

People that service Latino students are going to have to realize that many Latino students would rather figure it out than ask for help, and that might include the schema that will allow them to navigate the brick and mortar library. Maybe the best thing we can do is predict the aspects that require instruction and place landmarks along the way so that we assure ourselves that these students are getting the academic attention they require while allowing them to retain some of the wonder and meddle involved in inquiry and discovery learning.