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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1 Comment

Filed under literature review, manifestos, poems, protest song ancestors, truth speakers

One response to “Spit Temple, Cecilia Vicuña

  1. “I cover myself with clouds to feel as the earth feels” –Vicuña

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