Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Tag Archives: poetry

Poet/visual artist Cecilia Vicuña


I had the pleasure of seeing a talk/performance by Chilean visual artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña at the Neubauer Collegium at the University of Chicago last week. She began by walking onto the stage holding large colorful paper glasses up to her face and hummed for a couple minutes. She then began to speak about her life with a biographical chronicle of events of her time as an exchange student in Chicago while in high school. There was a poetic manner in which she spoke – the way she broke up her sentences into shorter phrases, sometimes whispered (which was frustrating at times because she was hard to hear) and then raised her voice surprisingly quickly for the next line. She was so cute and fragile, and yet full of wisdom, assertiveness, and passion.


She spoke in detail about a practice in which she breaks down the syllables of a word to identify the meaning of each syllable and how they relate to the meaning of the word as a whole. For example:


Palabra – word; arma – weapon

Meaning – words as weapons

Granted, this is a word she has made up, but she does it with actual words as well. I think it’s fascinating to break a word down to discover that each of its parts means the same thing, or something similar, to the word in its entirety. She delved further into the philosophy of language and argued that it primarily analyzes western beliefs and the western structure of thought and speech, and it fails to take into account eastern thought or any other systems of language.

She talked about our powerlessness in the control that we have over our lives – not that we can’t have autonomy over our actions, but that there is something greater than us breathing life into us, and we can’t take credit for that. In fact, we have to understand and respect it. She also brought our attention to Hindu beliefs regarding breath that I wish I could remember, but she was just so full of insightful anecdotes that I couldn’t catch all of them. I wish I could have recorded her performance and play it back when I’m in need of some encouragement. She was wonderful.

Untitled I


Thinking perpetuates thinking

What’s past, what’s ahead, what’s now?

Questions unanswerable, but knowable.

Floating in time


Floating in time

I was rescued by the past

The present doesn’t exist

And the future is too far ahead



Image, look

What you see is what you get

Don’t be fooled

Hidden behind the curtain lies the same thing you see in front of it


What’s that? You know

You told me. Or have you forgotten?

An Ode to Love


Dabbling in a bit of poetry…here’s the first of a few to come.


Start. Stop.

Always fading.

Consistency hides in the background,

peaking out when it desires.


You. Me.

One, two. The same? Separate?

Similar, and each our own.

But together once in a while


Loving, hating

Never liking

Talking in whispers

Scared of what might come out


Always hoping

Never satisfied

With the constant almost

That defines our ways


Regret, fulfillment

Too scared to accept either

So both lurk above

Our very distant bodies


Forward or backward

Which way do we go

When uncertainty leads the way

Time will tell our fate that lies ahead