At the tail end of National Poetry Writing Month, I want to sneak in this story of a way my creative juices were unexpectedly activated. Several years ago I traveled to L.A. to participate in a group experience. A friend of mine flew down from Denver to accompany me. We would be staying with friends who had recently bought an old mansion in an area undergoing gentrification. It was an incredible place—three stories’ worth—with a conservatory and even a library. The new owners envisioned it as gathering place for the arts community, avant-garde thinkers and adventurers, as well as their home. They were intent on bringing it back to original condition.
While I went to the event, my traveling companion—a horticulturist by profession—had volunteered to design a garden and brought his computer for that purpose. When I returned a day later from my group activity, I discovered that things hadn’t progressed as planned. It would be some hours added to our original departure point. There wasn’t much room for me in the design process. Everyone was crowded around the computer screen in the breakfast room. I was more interested in enjoying the ambience of the house anyway.
Next to all the design activity was a huge old-fashioned kitchen, a big island in the middle and a formal butler’s pantry. My eye caught the jumble on the refrigerator door: hundreds of words on little magnets, arranged into witty sayings, others silly or downright gross. That was the first time I’d seen magnetic poetry—and I was intrigued.
The longer I stood there looking at the possibilities, words became fragments and then merged to form a thread. After an hour of fun, this is what presented itself.
We must be mad
soaring playfully like a thousand storms
under the winter moon.
Will you think me crazy
for smearing my skin with a diamond symphony?
Ache deliriously, run frantically
when I shine,
drunk on beauty.
Magnetic words now grace my own refrigerator door. I couldn’t wait to get home and purchase some. I keep some finished pieces displayed. Others are phrases lodged there to remind me they could be worked more when I’m in the mood. I threaten to publish them all one day in a little book called Refrigerator Poetry, maybe illustrated with my artwork. But what I like best is how these word magnets work on your creativity. They’re almost irresistible. And I always chuckle when I discover some poems or messages that friends left, unbeknownst to me. The latest was a brief note from my latest house sitters, discovered weeks after I’d returned home. If you can’t wait to have some of your own, you can find magnetic words here. But I warn you: You’ll find yourself dawdling in front of your refrigerator consistently—not to tempt yourself with ice cream or pie—but to feed your inner poet!
This story recalled through The Daily Prompt: Unleash Your Inner Dickinson.