Sunday, August 08, 2010

Magnetic Poetry

     There is was, right in front of me, covering almost the entire freezer section of Baby Doll's s refrigerator: a magnetic poetry set.  You know the kind, Company.  It's the kind with all the words on white squares that you can take and re-arrange to make little messages and whatnot.  I am so into it at this point.  The poem came together pretty quickly as it were: "What universe is old, when it could be young?"  That was the first line of something that was going to be epic in it's scope and simplicity and greatness and all in a pair of couplets that probably wouldn't even have had to rhyme.  It was going to be incandescent and opaque and harmonic and a whole bunch of other words that sound like they would pertain to poetry but don't really but people apply them to the arts because they want to seem hoity-toity and superior.  It was going to be all those types of things displayed on the one place that everyone longed to have their arts displayed when they were children: the refrigerator.
      One problem, though.  I couldn't find the "be."  If you notice the beginning of the poem, the "be" is a pretty important part of the whole deal.  I mean, it's the most important verb, right?  It's existence, it's to be, it's être if you are French or in a French overseas dependence, it is so important that I can't even begin to think about defining it for you.  How do you explain the verb that confers existence on something?  You can't unless your last name is Webster.  So if it is so important how the hell was my poem going to come together? How was it going to reach its epic epic-ness without the "be?"
      It wasn't going to.  So I left it.  You have to do that sometimes; you just have to set it aside if it isn't working out for me.  It's the same with everything sometimes: editing, cooking, riding a bicycle, and then oftentimes when you pick it up the next day it's a fresh perspective and you can make headway.  So after looking at, oh I don't know, every fucking magnetic thing on her fridge I just gave up.  And the same the next day.  And the next.  Day after day it was the same thing: and no "be" to be found anywhere.  I was even looking at some of the other people's work in case I could cannibalize it.
      So I gave up.  Sometimes in life you have to give up, Company.  That's just how it works.  So I was standing there reworking the most basic interior bit and pieces of my now less epic with every passing minute poem, and I was slightly sad.  And a little pissed.  So I am standing there, wondering what pieces I can use to fix up my shattered dreams and shattered poem (and yes, feeling a little over dramatic about the whole thing) when it appeared there before me.  It was a "be," nestled within a single line sort of thing that someone had whipped up.  Nothing worth saving, either, especially when a "be" is concerned.  So I stole it.  I blatantly and cold heartedly stole someone's "be"' in order to make my creation complete.  And it all fell into place after that.  In the words of Jacobin Mugatu, "It's glorious."  And it is, and it is still there so that I can see it every time I am there.  It's right at eye level, in the corner, if you ever get a chance to be near Baby Doll's refrigerator.  I would highly recommend it.  Be warned though, it might blow your mind.  The FDA and OSHA and CDC have actually come in and told me that I have to put a warning label on it because it could be hazardous to your health.  Sara "Cumberbun" Tants from the FCC, who normally regulates the Big Dave and Company Podcast wrote me a letter that said I couldn't put it out on the Internet, that's why I can't type it for you.  Suffice it to say however, that it is the best poem in the history of the written word, and it wouldn't be without the "be," which I wouldn't have found if I hadn't given up looking for it.  My success came through giving up.  How's that for a message?