Spit Temple is a compilation of poetic performances and autobiographical memory by Cecilia Vicuña, one of the greatest visionaries of our time. The 2012 release is a blending of metaphysics, aerodynamics, humor and honesty, unlike anything else.
Vicuña shows us how the body is a wave that can tremble with ecstasy or sorrow, and how being in the presence of the poem is like being in the presence of the sea.
The text is ancient & present–beautiful documentation of Vicuña’s power of incantation and improvisation that creates music by playing with the sun and wind.
Spit Temple explains Vicuña’s non-method, which brings us closer to the non-knowing of mystery and the eternal trust required for being an outsider rambler jangle planet eye bloom.
A poem only becomes poetry when its structureis made not of words but forces. The force is poetry. Everyone knows what poetry is, but who can say it? Its nature is to be felt, but never apprehended.
This is an important assessment: the forces are the poetry; the words are the lips.
Vicuña describes being in animal presence—and how we can be the slick black wings over ice sky. We can use animal instincts to pay attention to the receptors of fur, a natural sixth sense always communicating with the earth. Spit Temple describes how Vicuña grew up with no separation from the land; as a small girl a rooster literally watched over her in a field for hours, telling her how to see and crow. Vicuña tells us about her other art ancestors as well, such as Violetta Parra and Gabriela Mistral.
A native of Chile, Vicuña emerged as a performance poet during a time when genocide was being committed against her peoples—the 1973 Chilean coup. Spit Temple discusses Vicuña’s political, spiritual and artistic foundations, and shows a continuance of her roots—using poetry as prayer, healing, political commentary, incantation, and defendant of humanity and nature.
It’s especially divine how Vicuña describes her childhood of inventing ways to overcome her fears:
“When kids threw rocks at me, I imagined that I wasn’t a few feet away, but high above, among the galaxies, watching us on that tiny planet below.”
“I was afraid of going blind, so I healed my fear by rehearsing blindness. I rode my bicycle with my eyes closed, trying to guide myself by sensing the irregularities of the pavement beneath the tires, like reading braille. “
Vicuña is an ambassador of seed survival:“farmers losing crop varieties as species dwindle dwindle dwindle dwindle ? Remember that song? 80 percent of seeds available a century ago now extinct extinct extinct extinct extinct and now I speak of other forms of extinction People wanted to know how this music of the seeds how the seeds’ song began for me it began on a hot summer day”
She parallels destruction with the divine, and environmental consciousness with natural reality.
“everybody knows that Antarcticaa good part of it is about to kkkwaaak onto the sea the water lapping us Bill McKibben I’m sure you know him he was telling a story of how in a place in Tibet people started planting trees and this had changed the speed of the wind so people instead of being attacked by a brutal wind would be TOUCHED by a soft stopped by trees”
She explains a universal truth: just as the peril we inflict on nature comes back to harm humans, the love we give to nature comes back to protect us.
Vicuña shows how repetition of breath can create song, and how threads pass between our hearts invisibly, as well as ceremoniously and symbolically in her performances, to create living poems.“I’m awake now and I’m taking the bus and I’m riding the bus and all of a sudden and what do i see? Threads coming from a building to building but they were not empty like this, the threads have pictures and photographs on them and what is it? it’s the photographs of the desaparecidos of the people that had been killed by the military so the women had devised a thread installation to run all across La Avenida de Mayo between the Congress and the House of Congress threads white threads with the pictures there hanging”
Cecilia Vicuña reminds us of the stories of the innocent killed, and of the lifeblood we share and struggle to protect today; how the spit inside my temple is the same as the sap inside the tree.