An (Imperfect) Retrospective: Post-It Note Poetry 2013-2022

Christina, bless her heart, invited people to share their Post-It Note Poetry journeys in a post this morning on IG. As the creator of the event, it is a long look back on the history of PINP  and my emergence as a poet. (Thank goodness for finally working out IG’s search function!)

The Start

If you remember, Adam and I began this in 2013 as a dare.

In 2012 I had spent February composing very bad haiku as a form of creative rehabilitation (because I had no emotional investment in it, compared with writing fiction) and in 2013 I was willing in inflict bad poetry on my writing partner. He upped the ante daring it to all happen in the space of a post-it note.

We posted our intial efforts to Facebook (back in the days when people’s posts actually appeared in your timeline!) and friends joined in. We set up a Facebook to curate what had gone from a dare to an event.

Fast forward 11 years, here we are ready to go around the block again.

With A Little Help From My Friends

No retrospective would complete without a tip of the hat to my past curators — first Adam Byatt who shared “parenting duties” with me for the first two or three years.

Sean (S.B) Wright also helped out in the early years (especially in 2014 when I decided to take a few weeks digital sabbatical in the early weeks of the February). When I look back, the future of Post-It Note Poetry probably sat on the shoulders of Sean until it really baked itself into my soul.

I became aware as the calendar clicked into a new decade that I might not do this forever; at someone point I might need to hand it over to continue. So either consciously (or unconsciously, probably a bit of both) I let go a little and started asking for help.

In 2020, I invited eight new(ish) and foundation PINP poets to be Ambassadors to help me promote the event. My thanks go to: Sean, Christina, Rob Cook, Kim Bannerman, Maria (M.X.) Kelly, Denise Sparrow, Jude Smith and Marion Taffe. Each of these posts has a collection of wisdom on how to navigate the month from people who’ve been there.

And in 2021 I asked my Poetic Bestie if she’d come play with me in an official capacity. Thank fuck Christina said yes!

Three years in, Post-It Note Poetry is in the best shape it’s ever been. Doing anything is always much more fun if you are doing it with someone you love and who loves what you create together as much as you do.

(It is worth nothing — Post-It Note Poetry pre-dates “instagram challenges”. It flowed through to that platform in 2016 or so, really getting traction in 2017. Prior to that it was very much a Facebook thing which I very imperfectly resurrected and nurtured each year.)

My Retrospective

I am still absolutely floored this continues and I continue on with it.

If I ever try to tell myself I am not patient, that I lack follow through, that I am incapable of committing, I just need to return to this post!

Here is my poetic journey with PINP, from February 1st, 2013 to February 28th 2022

2013

These are the first words committed to Post-It Note Poetry — before anyone but Adam and I were doing it.

And the last words. As you can see by the end of the month I was already bending the parameters of what constituted “a post-it note”.

2014

This was the first year playing around with more intentional forms of multi-media. Probably inspired by Maria Kelly? Here are the first and last for the month (technically the 24th — no idea what happened to the final four poems that year?)

 

2015

I believe I still have all these poems, pasted away in a journal. That journal is currently AWOL though.

They got weird that year!

2016

This was my first year, experimenting with cut-up poetry in a committed way. These were all pasted onto wee origami squares. I don’t remember now what I cut-up. Possibly Six Memos for the Next Millennium by Italo Calvino. These were sent across the world to anyone who wanted them. I believe my friend Kris still has hers somewhere.

2017

“Get In Trouble” was my first themed month. I combined an exploration of Zentangle with cut-up poetry; words taken from Kelly Link’s collection of short stories of the same name. The intention was to use these for a postcard project to encourage people to write and send postcards. The combination of black paper, sparkly pencils, plus black and white print made these impossible to reproduce.

2017 was the year #pinp17 hit critical mass on Instagram (back before the algorithm fucked it for community). Someone of these poems have more than 50 likes — something that would be impossible for me now.

2018

It was an odd year. I failed PINP dismally, creating fewer than a week’s worth of poems before disappearing. This is the first of the handful of poems I did.

It’s the year that PINP could possibly have died but I was determined to come back bigger and stronger the following year.

However, these few shitty poems created a foundation. They were my first digital effort, which allowed so much else to happened as the year progressed. It  was my biggest year for poetry — doing two big projects (including one that was 121 consecutive days of poetry) that eventually opened the way for The Daily Breath the following year (which remains my most prolific and profitable year of poetry ever).

2019

I decided to create a paper quilt in 2019. I used fragments from a plethora of baggies of off-cut text and returned to origami squares as the canvas.

And, the finished quilt…

2020

I started here cutting up John Berger’s G

…but I felt these were too raw and personal to share publicly, so pivoted on day 5 back to handwritten poems. It felt like a necessary shove out of my comfort zone, back to free-form. Across the month I combined it with a tarot pull.

It ended up here, in the true to 2020’s chaotic style, with a digital poem.

2021

It was the call back to cut-up, this time to a favourite, Tim Winton short story collection The Turning (and my beloved British Paint Squares).

I’ve used this collection of poems, on and off, with clients as a kind of keepsake oracle. (And yes, last year, when I wasn’t sure exactly what I was experiencing, a random pull from these poems firmly cleared up what was and wasn’t happening!) At least one friend has a poem from this collection sitting next to their computer.

2022

It was our first year of a Post-It Note with a theme.

We went with forbidden | pleasure and I went with a morning set of poems and an evening set.

The mornings were entitled Small Notes to a Non-Corporeal Lover. I used Taubman’s paint swatches  left over from painting our house in 2013/4 (They’re different dimensions to the British Paint ones.) I cut text from Jeanette Winterson’s Sexing the Cherry.

The collection ends with not one, but two poems. I could never decide which one was the “true end”.

These poems now live with Cristina Rombi in her Italian mountain home.

And then there were the evening editions, remixed from Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1748) by John Cleland.

In 2022, I built/composed 92 poems in a kind of Herculean effort that I will never need to return to, for out-performing, in future years.

Thanks for being here, and following all the way to the end.

You can find more about Post-It Note Poetry in 2023 here.

Jodi xxx

POETRY CHALLENGE CELEBRATES THE RANDOM ELOQUENCE OF A TENTH ANNIVERSARY

Post-It Note Poetry (PINP) celebrates its 10th anniversary in February 2023. The original 2013 challenge between writing partners Adam Byatt and Jodi Cleghorn was to write bad poetry on post-it notes for 28 days. It quickly caught the quirk and imagination of poets and non-poets alike.

“If someone had told me in 2013 a silly dare could inspire people to come together and write poetry on sticky notes for 11 consecutive years, I wouldn’t have believed them,” said Jodi, a multi-passionate word witch who uses poetry as one of her four professional pillars. “But here we are in 2023!”

As a much-anticipated community event, PINP unites seasoned and fledgling poets in the joy of words that breathe outside the lines. In the past three years the challenge has evolved to include Christina Hira as a co-curator, introduced themes and offered participants the opportunity for publication in a digital collection each March.

In 2023 the Hira-Cleghorn duo offer the theme random | eloquence for participants to explore.

“I love the invitation to playfulness that comes each year with PINP. To show up as many days as possible with whatever weird and chaotic words is its own beautiful eloquence” said Christina, a messy human who finds home in making spaces for art and poetry on Patreon. “I can’t wait to stir up the beautiful community of poets on IG once again.”

“The last 11 years have taken me from someone writing terrible haiku to finding a powerful voice through cut-up poetry,” Jodi said. “And through cut-up poetry I first connected with Christina. I feel as though our partnership is the epitome of random eloquence.”

The 10th anniversary also marks the shift of the event solely to Instagram, leaving behind roots at Facebook.

Hashtag for this year’s event is #pinp23

The new addition we have this year, in order to foster more community, is to bookend PINP with zoom events.

We will host a PINP opening party on 1st Feb at 11am NZST and a closing party on the 28th Feb at 11am NZST.

Opening Party: Bring along your questions, your excitement and your process to share

Closing Party: Bring along your favourite poem of the month to share together

The link for both zooms will be the same

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 849 3948 2573

Passcode: 143490

Find your local number

For more information contact:

Jodi Cleghorn @jodicleghorn

Christina Hira  @wild.dark.magic

 

ABOUT POST-IT NOTE POETRY

Post-It Note Poetry’s mission is simple:

    1. To encourage people of all skill sets and persuasions to explore and have fun with poetry – whether they are seasoned poets or curious souls attempting poetry for the first time.
    1. To create within a confined physical space (the size of a post-it note) as a positive exploration of limitation. It is also a way of making poetry composition possible for 28 consecutive days.
    1. To come together once a year as a community to write, read, share and amplify the joy of poetry.

Check out 2021 and 2022′s poetry collections.

 

THE “RULES”

The rules are simple for those who’d like to play along at home (at work, on the bus or in any of those in between places perfect for scribbling poetic words on small squares of sticky paper).

      • Write/build/create a poem every day of February*.
      • Poems must fit on a post-it note (or be an equivalent sized poem – ie. no more than 8 lines on a larger backing).
      • Poems must adhere to the original light-hearted spirit of permission to write badly – in which poems can tackle serious content, but internal editors/critics all get a break over February.
      • Post poems to social media with the hashtag #PINP23
      • Follow the hashtag , comment and enjoy what others are creating.

 

*or as many days as feels comfortable and capable for you.

The Self Replenishment Diaries – Jan 3

Tuesday, 3rd January

I dream I am on a public bus that takes a corner too wide because it’s going too fast. Then it misses the turn off into the suburban street it’s route is meant to include. At the end of the street is a wide sweeping right hand bend. The bus misses it totally, shooting across a grassed area, through a fence and we are hurtling over a cliff. This is just a dream, I say to myself. Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!

This is the first time I ever remember being conscious inside a catastrophic dream that it’s  just a dream. (More often than not I dream I’m on an plane that’s crashing! Or there was the serious of tornado dreams. And let’s not forget all the apocalyptic dreams that ranged from all the oxygen being sucked from the atmosphere to an atomic bomb.)

*

My FitBit’s data doesn’t marry with my sleep experience. I suspect the truth lies somewhere between. I’ve been waiting for my sleep to properly reset since I had an iron infusion on the 23rd December. The bruise on my arm is still there. I’ve been weaving the story I will feel myself again when the bruise finally fades. I’ll finally have a proper night’s sleep when you can’t tell I had to have a needle stuck in a vein to top me up with ferritin.

*

You know how kids whine: are we there yet?

The calendar year feels a little like that. Today, Tuesday, finally brings life back to normal.

So I let go of the dream and go to the pool. I love the feeling of the water over my naked body. I’m committed to doing this for 365 days.

I wonder what it will be like to do this in the middle of winter when it will be more like cold water immersion than a pleasant swim before the heat of the day arrives.

Immersion in cold water is one of the things on the list for regulating the nervous system (there’s part of my brain that says wtf though about this — and the cold-pain matrix has kept me from really exploring it properly).

Yoga makes me feel unco, old, sweaty and amplifies my feeling that I am not well anchored in reality. The opposite to what I had hoped it would do for me. It doesn’t inspire me to want to do it tomorrow.

*

Despite how I feel about yoga, my morning stillness practice is forming itself up.

I also pull an oracle card from my new deck (thanks Cath!) and see what the photo of the day is in Patti’s Smith’s A Book of Days.

Small, simple, touchstone rituals.

*

I don’t feel emptied out. I feel cracked. Fractured. As though me, as a container, can’t hold energy. It’s a deeper understanding, from within the shit storm, what the emergency triage part of self replenishment is managing and healing.

You can’t fill a container that’s lost its structural integrity. It’s a minimum requirement for functionality.

In 2021 I couldn’t even begin the process of filling up until my cup was whole and well formed again.

While I don’t want to insert brokenness into the narrative of self replenishment, an un-regulated nervous system has lost (or is rapidly losing) its integrity to hold energy. It is why everything else becomes impossible.

And fuck — that’s what I’m feeling. I’m losing my connection possibility.

Combined with an ongoing sense of deflation.

Space shrinking, inside me and around me.

*

The drive to the cafe gifts me serendipity. A moment of synchronicity. Magick at its best. A moment I shouldn’t have even been able clock across four lanes of traffic moving 60km.

I fill all the way up in the space of a few seconds. It doesn’t last though, this expanded space. But it lingers. It reminds me that possibility never disappears.

*

Magick isn’t the only powerful refilling agent. So is hope.

*

I don’t stay long in the cafe. The nausea bests me and I go home and try to sleep. I hold out for acupuncture in the morning. And of course … I hold out for another dose of magick as I drift on the edge of sleep.

I hold out for there being an end to where my nervous system has landed this side of solstice.

 

The Self Replenishment Dairies – Jan 1 & 2

Sunday, January 1st

I overtaxed my physical body dancing in my friend’s Rave Cave (once every two years he turns his garage in the space for a rave — complete with lights, smoke machine, industrial air con and very loud EDM!) so today is a day to sleep, and sleep, and you know, sleep some more. But I do get to see the first light of the first day of the calendar year — which  can now enjoy from my bed!

I marvel that I don’t hurt as much as I should. Revel in the fact that because I no longer drink I don’t have to contend with a hangover and the after effects of too much dancing. And for brief moments I sense my nervous system almost re-settling (solstice threw it out and its been unable to find a way to properly regulate again).

Well that’s a lie. When I was dancing everything was still inside. As my body continued on in perpetual motion.

For me, God is a DJ.

The dance floor is an altar.

My body is the divine offering.

And this is how I survived my late teens and most of my 20’s. Dancing was my therapy. I’ve known this for many years, but this was the first time I’ve been well enough to really experience it again.

I am  clear also that dancing in layers and layers of satin is a special kind of madness. But I cross it off an item I probably didn’t realise was on my bucket list: raving while dressed up as a flamenco dancer.

This is the joy of going to a party that has two different but connected parts.

Monday, January 2nd

This is the day the rubber meets the tarmac I guess — even though my New Year is still 10 odd weeks away, waiting for me on the March equinox.

Today is the day when I consider the things I can begin with the calendar year, because it’s an easy way to measure a start point and end point. I adore the subversiveness of it – starting on the second because it’s a brilliant fuck you to all or nothing thinking that say you’ve only got one shot at anything, and that’s on January 1st.

I want more stillness at the start of my day and at the end — and consider what I can do to build a stillness practice (that elegant bundling I mention in my talk, that neurodiverse people are really good at. I’m just really into habit stacking!)

I realise part of my nervous system’s inability to regulate is the fact the festive season has demolished my usual routines. So I think about the things I want to experience across the rest of the calendar year (things like trying to do couch to five ks, swimming each morning, getting all the way through Adriene’s 30 days which is perfectly themed “Center” this year).

I enact what I can (swimming is lovely; yoga I’m waiting for tomorrow to do because then I can do it in the morning!) A fledgling morning stillness practice is birthed. (Today it’s in service of Emergency Triage, but once my nervous system settles I know it will be part of the new Tending Structure I’m creating).

I shower. Get dressed. Wrangle my hair. Paint my eyes. Leave the house with a slight skip in my step, looking forward to returning to my favourite cafe. The walk up the avenue starts with a house-block stretch of red geraniums growing by the foot path, a canopy of poincianas lines the majority of the walk which is sprinkled with magick born in red-bricked post-war house at the top of the hill. I love the red theme.

Except, true to form, today is the public holiday for yesterday so I drive on to a cafe that is opened.

There’s growing despair when I need to leave early (because my guts are playing up.) The beautiful anchored expansiveness I experienced up until solstice is dying. I feel as though I am shrivelling. The spaciousness is collapsing on me. I barely feel tethered. I’ve had constant headaches. I feel rattled. Slow. Tired. I feel like I felt in all the months and years before graduation in September, and The Expiry Date in October blew everything open in the most incredible ways.

*

Christina reminds me that Mercury and Mars are still retrogade — but there’s a creeping fear I’ve done something to fuck everything up.

*

We have a wonderful text conversation and spark of what’s ahead when we discover Jessica Dore’s Offering for the week speaks about Uncertainty (our theme for this year, having got all the way through The Depth Year). And I light up because values are spoken about in terms of Uncertainty and that’s something I’ve been grappling with for my new offering The Poetry of You. It also links to self replenishment in talking about being full of life.

…(another way to talk about values work) is about locating and broadening your margin for immanent choices that are gratifying, full of life, and possibility. It is about learning how to spend more time in the spaces that you’ve been too afraid to be in, or to little-by-little hone the skills you need to go places you wouldn’t have dared go, before. Put this way it’s an exciting prospect, really. And in some ways it’s actually made possible by uncertainty, because if you were sure about things, you wouldn’t be doing this work to begin with.

— Jessica Dore, Weekly Offering

Yet, the things I know I need to initiate with it, I can’t seem to get my head around. It’s as though the fire has gone out.  The battery has been unplugged — and yet my nervous system rattles on like it is its own perpetual motion machine.

*

Kate, my shaman, has set me the task of finding five hooks that are dragging my momentum (and I know what the five are and two have an obvious fix, the other three, I’m sitting with) Again, there’s a but. I don’t think it enough to regulate my nervous system.

*

My breasts/chest hurt (probably 5 pain rather than the 9 pain of 2021). I’m getting random prickles down my arm. I’m trying hard to keep my anxiety down. To not react as it will just make the pain worse and the pain will make the anxiety worse.

I remind myself this is all just my nervous system not coping. I am not dying.

I am not dying. I am not dying. I am not dying.

Jesus fuck, seriously? How did this happen? Again?

*

I make an appointment to see my esoteric acupuncturist, knowing if anyone can reset my nervous system and whatever energetic borking I’ve done — it is Joolz.

*

I have my fortnightly massage and when I come out everything feels right with the world again. And I breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe, maybe, it will all be okay now. Except I doubt it will last,  because I’m still nauseous.

The Self Replenishment Diaries

Hello.

On the 29th of December I gave a talk called The Self Replenishment Reframe where I talked about why we have such an aversion to self care and why using a different language (self replenishment) and a new framework with multiple entry points was a game changer for prioritising ourselves.

You can watch or listen to it here.

In short, the five parts of self replenishment reframe are:

    1. self fidelity (the not abandoning ourselves piece)
    2. replenishment as a word of empowerment, wholeness and wellness
    3. emergency triage (tending the nervous system)
    4. structures of tending (addressing the deficit in our allostatic budget and refilling)
    5. self replenishment (the overflowing piece related to peak experiences and the “hard work” of healing)

I speak of 3-5 as having porous edges, often blurring between themselves. I also not replenishment is both linear and non-linear in nature (without a regulated nervous system everything else becomes really fucking difficult to access!)

The Self Replenishment Diaries are my (probably imperfect) commitment to documenting this next leg of my journey across 2023 — to show how erratic and unpredictable tending, nourishing and nurturing yourself can be. To see if I can articulate what it feels like and what happens when that state of overflow arrives. To turn up for at least ten minutes a day to share what’s happened in my day from the self replenishment perspective.

As well as space to create a scrapbook of quotes, articles, additional resources and whatever else I come across as I get curious and start to use my framework to place others’ work into. (My final two days on Instagram were just incredible with serendipity serving up some really potent opportunities to situate the existing body of work within my framework).

Thanks for joining me here.

Jodi xxx