Time is not linear
and neither is she
If she once knew
where she began
and where she finished
she no longer does.
And she thinks.
Art by Atey Ghailan
“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.”
Emily Craven gifted me the little Typo journal above for Christmas in 2013. We have been writing in it every day since January 2014, responding to the journal prompts and the other prompts we’ve added to avoid the repetition of prompts like: ________ is a total babe.
Instagram and Twitter chronicle our our daily adventures and sometimes we’re lucky to have someone play along at home. We’ve been blessed this year to have Typo’s social media person on board with us.
AUGUST A to Z
August has a cluster of prompts (brain child of Em) to create an alphabetical list of advice. Rob Cook joined and it was one of the most interactive and fun set of prompts we’ve done. I missed out on writing them last year (it was the precursor to The Churn) so I’m looking forward to next year when I’ll be able to do a compare and contrast.
For now, advice a la 2016.
Always be your most authentic self.
Behave with kindness and integrity.
Care of yourself IS a priority.
Devote time, energy and focus to the pursuits you love.
Focus on the present; nothing can be done about the past and the future takes care of itself.
Go after your dreams; passion is your ally.
Hope keeps the glass half-full.
Judge no-one, especially yourself.
Keep the faith, especially when despair threatens to swallow you.
Listen to your favourite songs in the shower.
Meditate. Appreciate. Invigorate.
Never give up. It you can’t be your own cheer squad let your friends shake the pompoms for you.
Open to adventure, curiosity and absurdity.
Perfection is only found in imperfection.
Quiet time is essential – however or wherever you find it.
Rest. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Bodies get old and tired.
Sing. Loudly. Offkey. For your own pleasure. Because you can.
Time travel will enrich your life.
Utilise your inherent skills and talents. This is how dreams bloom.
Voraciousness is not a sin. Celebrate your hungers.
Wing it. Sometimes the best plans, best ideas come together in motion.
X marks the spot. Know where your inner treasure is buried.
You are both your best friend and worst enemy. Choose wisely.
Zebras; because sometimes its good to be black and white.
If you were to collect your advice for life in an A-Z, how would it read?
On the weekend I was talking with Adam. I wondered what would happen, the poem we would each create, if given the same page of a book as the starting point.
I chose page 95 of Wordsworth Classic’s version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Upon taking up my black marker, I realised something that struck me listening to Anna Gibbs’ essay at the Ficto-Critical approaches to a Writing Architecture colloquium I was lucky enough to attend several weeks ago at UQ. There is a physicality in cut up that isn’t there in block out. In cut up you literally take up scissors and glue, dissect and rearrange the page to create something new (at least that is the way it is for me). Block out, in comparison, feels far more passive to me.
I also realised as I started blocking out words, there is a freedom in cut up that does not exist in block out. There is no ability to shift phrases around. It’s incredibly locked down.
A Bright Idea
Lived at the bottom of a well
Took interest in questions
Eating and drinking treacle
To fancy herself extraordinary
My brain was working in cut up mode – looking for phrases to fit together, rather than singling out words and stringing them together.
Block out is a very different way of approaching the page. One I’ll need significant time with in order to override the cut up default of thinking.
The Only Regret
I wished I’d had a copy of the page to do a cut up. There were some sublime phrases in there I wanted to remix. There is no doubt cut up would have elicited a very different type of poem.
I’m so excited (and relieved!) to release The Heart is An Echo Chamber into the wild today. Proof that good things are worth the wait and amazing friends will always stand by you.
Many thanks to the authors — Adam, Tom, Kristin, Stacey, Ben, Lois, Helen and Rus — for their patience in letting me see this through in my own time, at my own pace. A double thank you to Stacey who debuts as a cover artist who also earns special stripes for being the ultimate motivator in getting-shit-done. Thanks to Rob for his proof reading prowess and Kim for being sanity at the end of a text message. Last, but not least, thank you to my Mr Ds who travelled the ever-so-bumpy road that ran parallel to the publication of the chapbook these last two years.
The collection is available as a limited edition, hand number chapbook ($12) or an ebook (pay what you want), each bundled with a digital copy of the companion collection No Need to Reply.
More information can be found here.
Anyone following me on Twitter during the month of February, would have seen me building poems from existing texts using the cut up method.The poems were cut from Calvino’s “Six Memos for the New Millennium”, glued to rice paper and origami squares then mounted on re-purposed cardboard. I used Post-It Note Poetry as a kind of boot camp to see if I was able to build ‘on-demand’ as well as trialing a commission-style way of building for others.
At the conclusion of the month the answer to both those questions was ‘yes’.
AN EXTENDED FIELD OF CREATION
Two weeks ago I started sticking the poems to the zentangles I had been drawing as part of my sleep training practice. The ones not sent off for birthday presents I put up for sale on Twitter and Instagram with no expectation of what would happen next. I was unprepared for the speed in which they found new homes (thank you Chris and Sophie!).
My most recent foray into birthday presents have left five poems for sale (these poems are the second half of The Turquoise series).
Each poem square is:
Would you like one?
Poem Squares are $15.00 each, including worldwide postage.
You can claim yours by clicking HERE and adding in the comments the poem you’d like to purchase (each are numbered for ease of identification).
SHOP, COMMISSIONS AND BIBLIOMANCY POEMS
I’ll be opening to commissions and bibliomancy poems in the next few weeks, along with rolling out an official poetry shop that will include poems built during February.
In the interim, please email author(at)jodicleghorn(dot)com if you are interested in a commission or a bibliomancy poem.