Magnetic Mummery – Introduction
“I think you may the only person in the world who can claim that a refrigerator is your greatest tableau,” he says.
“I mean, seriously,” he says, turning to the rest of our cohort. “You need to check this out. He’s a wizard with magnetic poetry. We’re not talking the hackneyed innuendo most people slap together. I mean honesty good poetry.”
The masses filter into the small aisle of my galley kitchen, hovering around the inset icebox. I avert my eyes, at once proud and utterly embarrassed, staying huddled in my chair at the table.
“I mean, isn’t this good? I think you missed your calling, Ben.”
“Perhaps,” I say, trying to dismiss the uncomfortable attention.
“You have a gift for rearranging preexisting words on cold, white metal,” he says.
“Imagine what he could do with AlphaBits cereal,” one of the peanut gallery chimes in.
My friend clearly isn’t aware that there’s an industry of magnetic poets. You can find pictures, books of collected works, and guides to the fridge as an artform all over the place. It’s impressive and strange for the most part, though I’m not that surprised. I’m just another dabbler with slightly-less-movable type.
I have this strange tendency to get halfway through cooking, when I have important things waiting for me, and distract myself with my mass of magnetic poetry on the fridge. I have multiple sets still in their boxes: French, kids edition, and a second set of the original. On the fridge though, are the original, artist’s edition and Shakespeare edition. One set doesn’t nearly feel like enough, but sometimes three or more feel like too much.
I thought about putting more magnetic poetry on my beer fridge, but it just doesn’t feel like a large enough canvas. Plus it clutters the room. And I don’t want to think about poetry when I’m thinking about beer… Then again…
Recently, I’ve noticed many of the most important words are mired in poems sitting on my fridge. It’s harder and harder to produce new ones without destroying the old ones. I have this attachment, though, which makes it hard to dismantle the ones on the fridge.
But this is the mutable, fickle nature of magnetic poetry.
As I dismantle each poem, I plan on photographing and posting them here, each in its own post. That way, I can peacefully repurpose the words for new works.
And maybe, just maybe, one will be as good as my overly complementary friend believes.