Monthly Archives: January 2013

Spit Temple, Cecilia Vicuña

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.

Vicuña muses,

A poem only becomes poetry when its structure

is 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 Antarctica

a 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

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.

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ohm, yo la tengo

we try not to lose our hearts, not to lose our minds

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because her beauty is raw and wild, jonathan richman

this gorgeous jonathan richman album tingles our skin with euphoria.  the feminine divine gets glorified thru richman’s signature acoustic folk style & poem lyrics that are so compassionate & catchy.

“her beauty is raw and wild and she don’t need to put nothing in her hair, it’s curly and wild just like her;” this song expresses richman’s love for the natural woman who doesn’t need to worry about making up her appearance because she’s so wildly stunning and powerful on her own.  richman loves his mother and honors her.  the entire album is a kind of tribute to matriarchal kindness, manifest clearly in songs like “as my mother lay lying” and the title track, “because her beauty is raw and wild.”

the album instructs us how to be vividly alive and in love with the light.  “we want the moment, we want the wind” richman says in “es como el pan;” just like bread, it’s got to be fresh.  Even a day old is getting to be too much.  We don’t look back and are open to being our best selves in this moment so we can radiate joy to others, who are an extension of ourselves.

two of our favorite songs off the album are “our drab ways,” where richman reminds us “you are the light of the world, so why is your world so gray?”  we have the light of the sun inside us, and it’s sad to cover it up with drab shadows

and the song “when we refuse to suffer,” is also stellar: “when we refuse to suffer, when we refuse to feel, that’s when the Prozac wins and your body and feeling lose.”  with great wisdom, richman understands that we’ve got to allow ourselves to feel pain and sorrow in order to also feel beauty & love.  big heart and raw emotion is the best idea, says richman.

heeding richman’s words can put us on a good path to political action via counterculture.  we will be lovers full of spit–sweet sap we share with the trees–and “our party will be on the beach tonight.”

if you get this album on vinyl, it comes with a bonus 45 containing an alternative take of “when we refuse to suffer,” and the song “you can have a cell phone that’s ok but not me.”

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unified pulse

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this is where we live, the eye-balming place where water, air and plants feed and protect us, and birds and animals have the same hearts and eyes as us.

we support indigenous peoples standing up for human and land rights thru idle no more and other actions.  we believe in protecting the earth–our precious mother, friend, and magic maker.

we feel it’s not okay to kill life for profit or fear; it’s never been okay.  the haunted should be allowed to heal.

“what happens to the land and what happens to people is the same thing” said linda hogan.  to pollute our streams puts meth in our veins.  to separate ourselves from nature makes us go insane.

fracking, tar sands, clear cutting, dam building, pipelines, genocides, war and other assaults against the earth are unjustifiable desecrations that need to end now.

we plan to work together and make art, in order to recreate the world.

“whoever degrades another degrades me, and whatever is done or said returns at last to me” – walt whitman

Global Day of Action News:
On Friday January 11th, First Nations leaders from across Canada will meet with Prime Minister Harper to discuss the dispossession of First Nations lands and the dismantling of vital environmental laws for the benefit of the oil and gas companies in Canada. We have been asked to stand in solidarity with the First Nations peoples as they stand up for their own rights and for the protection of Mother Earth. Please join us as we gather to show our support on this important day and as we send a strong message that our support will not waiver as a result of a symbolic meeting.We will continue to stand united…until the Indian Act has been dismantled; until all First Nations lands are adequately protected against exploitation; until all of the environmental protections that have been set aside are put back in place; until all Indigenous peoples are freed from Apartheid, we will continue.What will be left when all of the Indigenous lands have been forcibly taken out of Indigenous hands and given to Industry? What will we eat and drink when the waters are all poisoned and the soil is destroyed? The words of Cree ancestor, Obomsawin, are as prescient today as they were when first spoken:”When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, and the last stream poisoned, you will realize you cannot eat money.”  The Indigenous people have realized this from the beginning and have been standing up for the rights of all living things. Today we ask all people to stand with us and be IDLE NO MORE.
FOR THOSE IN MAINE: 11 Jan 2013, 12PM–The location of the rally is off of Exit 305 I-95 North. The very last exit right after the 1st Houlton exit. Right before the American/Canadian border. If you’re coming from Rt. 1 get on I-95 and head to Canada. If you’re coming from Canada go past the over pass and immediately take your first right on exit 305 around the sharp turn. Drive Safely and hope to see you all here.

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