Yago S. Cura and Abel Folgar, Odas a Fútbolistas (Hinchas de Poesía Press, 2010). paper, 36 pp., $10.00
|Odas a Futbolistas by Yago S. Cura and Abel Folgar|
Louse dream of buying themselves a wig, fleas dream of buying themselves a dog, and I, (to use a term coined by Yago S. Cura) poor “fútbol cretin” turned poet still dream of playing a World Cup alongside fútbol’s biggest names.
In Odas a Fútbolistas, Yago S. Cura and Abel Folgar compose a cycle of humorous odes (with illustrations by Chaz Folgar and Martha Duran-Contreras) that pay tribute both to the sport’s greatest players and to the Wikipedia-age fan that recreates the dazzling virtuosity of those players through YouTube videos and yes, also, by writing celebratory odes. The writing of poetry is, after all, the closest one can get to playing true fútbol and playing fútbol is the closest one can get to writing true poetry.
But the beauty of Odas a Fútbolistas lies not in its humorous celebration of the player’s dizzying and physic-defiant skills: Where Iranian striker Ali Daei’s goals leave behind the scent of “sweet turmeric, saffron, reshteh, pepper, sumaq and coriander,” “the scent that lulls goalkeepers” and makes Daei “deadlier than a Katyushka rocket;” or where French striker, Michel Platini’s surreal goals turn his “boots drippy like murderous swords.” Neither is it to be found in the amusing description of the players’ physical attributes; where Wayne Rooney’s Shrek-like face is described as a “wallop physicist with poppy-seed eyes,” or Carlos Tevez, whose lack of visible neck gives him a “quasi-hunchback appearance.” Like the bow-legged Garrincha, Tevez gets his fame both from his unbelievable skill and physical appearance: “a result of the malnutrition he suffered as a shanty rat in Fuerte Apache,” the barrio from which he gets his nickname: El Apache Tevez.
|Copyright 2010 Martha Duran-Contreras|
Like Tevez, Riquelme too is celebrated for his ability to escape Latin American poverty and become “one of the many scions the slums of Buenos Aires manufactures and puts into circulation.” But alas, the real beauty of these odes is in their celebration of “Técnico Narciso,” an anonymous Argentinean coach that informs and drives the speaker of these poems to celebrate the sport and in celebrating, to collaborate with pass or two in the success of these giants of world fútbol. In “Ode to Batistuta,” for example, Técnico Narciso introduces our speaker to Batigol:
“Técnico Narciso speaks marvels of you killer,
saying that you don’t pardon lives, Oh, you can watch
the clips all day. There are depots of clips, terrabytes of best-ofs
and PowerPoint duty reels set to German Pop ensembles.”
Técnico Narciso is not your classically self-centered fútbol star who dizzies the “balón, combing it back and forth like diaphanous Kevlar hair.” Narciso is like the creative midfielder who resembles the humble baton on the hand of the orchestra Maestro, the hand gets all the glory but the baton keeps the music flowing on the stage and on the pitch. Like the midfielder Juan Verón in “Ode to La Brujita Verón,” coach Narciso is:
“[…] like the F150 Técnico Narciso lends
you when you winter in Miami. The hood is bald,
and the chassis rattles like an ingot piñata.
But, give that truck a throttle of gas pedal
and the hood releases torque wake cackles.
Therefore like Técnico Narciso, these odes are
“unbeatable horse power
beyond solid block presicion.”