I have been using magnetic poetry to create “Choose Your Own Poem Adventures” for the last couple of weeks. Here are some tools that finally helped me make this fun tool readily available so that I actually use it.
The problem with magnetic poetry? It is easy to lose track of them. They sit in odd containers, a Gordian Knot of magnetic piles that make it nigh on impossible to see the words. Too much friction for me. What seemed like a good idea becomes a pain to untangle.
Then I adapted a tool from auto repair to poetry–the magnetic parts holder.
These cost a few bucks at a Chinesium big box store like Harbor Freight Salvage. They also come in different shapes and sizes. I had this one handy and un-besmudged with oil and grease. On its own, if you put these in the magparts holder, well…it is just another magball of words with slightly more visible. That’s where this little tools comes in handy A metal Altoids Mint container.
Most of the words are stored here and thence inside the magnetic parts holder.
I store these within reach over my desk.
Now for the second part of my plan for world magnetic poetry dominance–the whiteboard. I keep about a third of the magnetic words “in play” and on the board at all times.
I put down some Dry Erase tape on the whiteboard as both background and as a helpful way to add punctuation or words or letters that I don’t have in my magpo supply box. You always lose the little letters (or at least I did).
Play, play, play. Here’s one I did today.
And then I took it and used an iPhone app, Prisma, to translate it once again.
Time to clear the decks. How to do that? All those tiny magnetic words. What if you don’t have good fingernails for prising them from the whiteboard? Use a strong magnet, of course. (Be careful not to get your magnet close to your monitor or to your phone. They might remove the magic smoke that is at the core of the phone.) Here’s video showing me fumbling around doing this. Fumbling is my normal course, so don’t worry.
Last, I put all the words back into the Altoids tin and shake the holy hell out of them in order to randomize their magnetic whatsits. I dump a few into the magnetic parts holder and then put them back on the board. Probably not enough. That’s OK, I can shake it some more and add more.
All of these tools are cheap, readily available, and if kept at hand will likely make you magnetically attractive.
Here’s a draft of a new poem.