As For the Front of the Fridge…

The Poem on the Fridge
Paul Hostovsky

The refrigerator is the highest honor
a poem can aspire to. The ultimate
publication. As close to food as words
can come. And this refrigerator poem
is honored to be here beneath its own
refrigerator magnet, which feels like a medal
pinned to its lapel. Stop here a moment
and listen to the poem humming to itself,
like a refrigerator itself, the song in its head
full of crisp, perishable notes that wither in air,
the words to the song lined up here like
a dispensary full of indispensable details:
a jar of corrugated green pickles, an array
of headless shrimp, fiery maraschino cherries,
a fruit salad, veggie platter, assortments of
cheeses and chilled French wines, a pink
bottle of amoxicillin: the poem is infectious.
It’s having a party. The music, the revelry,
is seeping through this white door.

Comments always are welcome.
For more information on poet Paul Hostovsky, please click HERE. 
For Allan Burns’s “Refrigerator Haiku,”  more illustrations by his wife Theresa, whose cover art is shown above, and information about the Haiku Foundation,  please click HERE.

113 thoughts on “As For the Front of the Fridge…

    1. There are a few magnets that are constant, Jim. One has the vet’s phone number, one the kitty sitter’s number (priorities, priorities!) and a few are souvenirs from here and there. My mom was the refrigerator magnet queen, but I only kept three of hers. I’m not fond of clutter.

      Now and then I’ll put up a grocery list, or an appointment reminder, but they don’t stay. I will copy out a good quotation and pin it up, or even something that seems it might want to become a poem: just so I can ponder it.

    2. You probably already know this, but I just found it. There’s a link between our refrigerator magnets and particle accelerators. That would be the Halbach array. Those extruded, flat magnets that form the basis for so many museum souvenirs are pretty interesting.

      When I read the phrase “one-sided flux distribution,” all I could think of was the famed Flux Capacitor from “Back to the Future.”

      1. That was an interesting article. The shaping of magnetic fields is an art, sometimes voodoo, as one particle physicist I know called it.

        Try this with your refrig magnets. Get two that are similar. Place them sandwiched together so they attract strongly. Now slide them apart slowly so they slide across one another. You should feel a vibration as the flux patterns interact. Cool and amazing.

        1. That’s the image, all right. I may need to watch that movie again, just for kicks.

          I already had done a little experimenting with the magnets. I have two that are identical in size, but if I sandwich them, the attraction is so strong I can’t slide them. However, if I can manage to keep one just above the other, I distinctly feel the interaction. On the other hand, if I turn one 90 degrees to the other, they’ll attract, but not nearly so strongly. I’d say the force of the attraction is easily 50% less, and maybe a good bit more.

    1. Isn’t that the truth, Terry? Except, I don’t remember tacking things up on the refrigerator with magnets when I was young. We had a corkboard in the kitchen, with red, yellow and blue pushpins.
      But the principle’s the same, and you’re exactly right that it was the center of the family.

      Funny to think of the movement from pushpins to magnets as technological advance, but it surely was.

    1. I have this vision of your refrigerator, Z. There’s a big, multi-colored gecko wrapped around it: tip of the tail at the bottom left, body wrapping around the side, head staring out at refrigerator raiders from the freezer compartment at the top. On that other side, maybe one gecko foot, and an assortment of tropical leaves.

      See? I may not paint, but I get the concept!

  1. The poem is a really good one. Pretty much covered it all. The front of my fridge will not hold a magnet- at all. But all my other ones could but I seldom used any magnets back then. Just does not appeal to me for some strange reason.

    1. I tend toward what I call “memory magnets.” When I visited Crystal Bridges Museum, I picked up a couple showing favorite paintings by Edward Hopper. And I have a couple by Debbie Little-Wilson, another favorite artist. Some of her pieces are just wacky, like this “Chicken Pot Pie. Every time I see it, I laugh.

      When I was looking for an illustration for this post, I browsed a lot of refrigerator-and-magnets photos. I hadn’t ever seen the magnetized letters. Handy — you can rearrange them to leave short messages right on the fridge, or play word games with kids.

      The nice thing is, even in a magnetless household like yours, Yvonne, you always can use tape if you just have to post something. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and etc.

  2. There are quite a collection of fridge magnets and photos of rellies on the freezer door of my fridge, including a group of magnets I got at Sea World in Florida, which are photographs of wildlife glued to that magnetic plastic, as well as a similar group of photographs of portions of adobe buildings from Santa Fe. Photos of the children and grandchildren of cousins from both sides of the family. No poems though.

    1. I was going to say there weren’t any photos on my fridge, but that’s not true. Mom gave me a silver-cat-with-a-dangling-ball-of-yarn magnet that has a little space in the cat’s body for a photo. You can guess whose photo landed there.

      Fashion in souvenirs changes, just like everything else. I’m glad that the magnets seem to have replaced the felt banners and car window stickers of our childhood. And not all are commercial. One of my favorites is a friend’s watercolor painting that she had transferred to some sort of magnetized “stuff.”

      Family photos are elsewhere. But I do have one clip magnet that I use for recipes — either ones I want to remember to try, or one I’m actually using.

  3. I love this quirky poem and illustration! My favourite fridge magnet says this: “Many people have eaten in this kitchen and gone on to lead healthy lives”. Still trying to find the person who put it there!

    1. Anne, I can almost guarantee this: the person who put that magnet on your fridge is at least psychically related to the person who used to not only write in my dust, but date the message. That’s just unnecessary.

      Glad you like the poem. I think you might enjoy Burns’s haiku publications, too. Maybe you should find someone to read “The Poem on the Fridge” at the Childrens’ Wood benefit. I can imagine a big, white, cardboard fridge where the kids could write haiku and other poetry. You’re welcome to any of my crazy ideas!

  4. I have a friend who has magnetic letters on the fridge. Each morning she leaves hubby a message before she goes out to work. “Pick up the dry cleaning” or “Feed the cat”!
    Hope all this rain you are getting is not putting a ‘damper’ on your work. Any inside stuff you can do?

    1. Well, look at this. I just mentioned those alphabet magnets up above, Sandi, and you have a friend who uses them.

      In a more-than-one-person household they could be fun. I don’t think Dixie’s literate, but even if she were, she’d have trouble reaching the letters. I’ve have to leave them at ground level, and get down on my knees to read her messages. I suppose that would be perfectly fine with her, since she is fond of people bowing to her every wish.

      Oh, the weather. It’s been wearing on me a bit, but there were two (two!) sunny days last week. Onward and upward!

  5. Great poem. The front of my fridge used to be smothered with magnets and messages and poems etc but one year I decided to remove everything except a beautiful bird magnet. I like the clean look.

    1. Maybe that was the actual beginning of your great de-cluttering, Gallivanta. I began culling when I realized there was so much tacked up I hardly could find the ones I enjoy. So out went the bulk of them, and it’s much nicer.

      I just discovered today that one of the magnets I kept from my mother’s collection actually was given to her from a friend in her knitting group. It’s by artist Linda Grayson. It has a cute cottage with a picket fence, a copper foil edge, and a verse that says: “When friends are united in the heart, It matters not, they’re miles apart.” Isn’t that just the truth?

      1. It probably was Linda. I put most of the magnets away in a drawer but it probably is time to get rid of them. I don’t believe I have anything as sweet as your mother’s cottage magnet in my stash. I do have friends miles apart though. :D

        1. I talked to a friend yesterday whose fridge is covered with magnets. She confessed she’d be happier with them gone, but she can’t quite bring herself to do the deed. I offered to come over with a tupperware container and take care of the issue for her, but that didn’t fly, either, even though I promised I wouldn’t throw them out.

          In the midst of all this discussion, I’ve found there are collectors who have thousands of magnets. Louise Greenfarb of Henderson, Nevada, had 35,000 at last count. I can’t even imagine.

  6. Nice follow-up to the last post. :) I used to have pics of all the grandkids on the front of mine, but the stainless steel doesn’t hold magnets so it’s bare, except for a notice that Kaitlyn taped up telling me that I’m invited to the volunteer luncheon at her school. :)

    1. When you talked about your new appliances, Susan, it never crossed my mind that you’d be forced into a magnet-free existence, but of course that’s true. I keep a magnet in my tool box to test hardware on the boats. If a magnet picks up a screw, it’s not stainless.

      Kaitlyn did exactly what I suggested to Yvonne as an emergency measure, if she didn’t want to keep magnets around and had to post something. Tape. Of course, there are those post-it note thingies, too, but I’m convinced their glue doesn’t hold as well as it used to. Either that, or penny-pincher me picked up a bundle of lower-quality notes without realizing it.

    1. I’m glad you like the poem. It really did make me smile.

      Your comment made me smile, too. I grew up in a household where the first thing we did at Grandma’s house was open up the refrigerator to “just look.” Oh, my. She always lectured us on “letting all the cold get out.” It was worth the lecture, though. She kept good things in there.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting – and for bringing back such a good memory.


  7. Smiling. Thanks for sharing this.
    Is the refrigerator a gallery? A frame?
    I’ve just glanced over at ours. On it are magnetized photos of our children–our son dressed up like an “army man,” our daughter riding her horse. Reminders of their childhood. There is a magnet with Albert Schweitzer’s Prayer for the Animals and a reminder of Lent from Blood Water Mission. A Quaker devotional calendar, Klimt, Goya and Bayeux Tapestry magnets and a Granola recipe.
    The fridge is having a party.

    1. I think I’d say a gallery, Bill. I like yours, especially the fact that the Bayeux Tapestry and a granola recipe are snuggled up together. The other nice thing about magnets is that friends can carry them back from trips or send them as gifts: hence, my reminder of the Cayman Islands, and a wonderful sea-photo magnet offering advice from the ocean. To wit:

      Be shore of yourself.
      Come out of your shell.
      Take time to relax and coast.
      Look to the horizon.
      Sea life’s beauty.
      Explore your own depths.
      Make waves!

      All that, on a 2-3/4″ square that’s also pretty. Show me a life coach who could do any better.

    1. Isn’t it a good poem, Martha? I can just see it tucked up on a fridge somewhere.

      You know what really stopped me? The reference to maraschino cherries. I can’t remember the last time I’ve eaten one, but the mention reminded me of fruit cocktail, and the importance of having at least one cherry in each dish of fruit. I’ve been told that the small fruit cups they sell these days don’t have any cherries. I’m adding that to my list of signs the end is nigh.

      1. I remember when I was very young, one of my uncles who served in WWII submarines told me the juice in maraschino cherries was what they used in torpedoes! Isn’t that a wild thing to say!? And I never forgot that and stayed away from them for a long, long time!

        1. I had an uncle with the same tendencies. I’ve always been fairly gullible anyway, and he could tell me the most absurd things with a perfectly straight face. I can’t remember anything specific now, but I do remember saying, “REALLY???” He never cracked a smile. Not a twitch. He was fun to have around.

    1. Of course you should try poetry, twainausten! Write it, “publish” it on your fridge, and if you decide you don’t like it, write another one. You’re even free to throw away any you decide aren’t just right.

      I mentioned to someone this morning a humorous bit of verse from my childhood days. It went:

      “You’re a poet, but you don’t know it.
      Your feet are Longfellows.”

      I’ll bet you could be a poet, too, no matter what size your feet!

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and commenting. You’re always welcome here.


    1. Do you have any of your own artwork hanging in the “kitchen gallery,” Becca? Or have you ever made any of your paintings into magnets? One of my friends who did just that said that they sold very well at arts and crafts fairs. Not only that, people who couldn’t afford a print or painting would buy some magnets, and then come back later — maybe even a couple of years later — and buy a piece of her original art. It’s something to think about.

      And yes — the refrigerator really is a place where the past (memorabilia) and the future (reminders) come together in the present.

      1. Someone has suggested it to me in the past, and I forgot all about it. I went down the path of note cards for some, and forgot to visit the idea of magnets. I think I will check it out. Thank you for the reminder!

    1. Have you ever posted any of their art, Bella? I don’t remember seeing it, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t. It would make a wonderful blog entry (or entries, as the case may be). Maybe you should let them decorate the dog, too. When a visit’s going to take place at a seasonal change, let them know that it’s their project, and see what they come up with. I’d surely be interested.

  8. Thanks for sharing this. I like all the allusions to food and poetry, but was actually more taken by the “publication” piece.

    When I was in grade eight or nine, my teacher sent one of my poems to the Edmonton Journal, and it was included in an article on education. I guess that was my first “publication”. My mom cut it out of the paper and affixed it to the inside of one of the cupboard doors that she frequented. It would have been too boastful for her to put said poem on a fridge for all to see! It stayed on that inside cupboard door for years and this understated instance of “publication” is my favorite.

    1. As I suspect you realize, it was the heart of the poem — the nature of casual and essentially familial publication — that caught my attention and made me set this poem aside for use some day.

      Your story is marvelous. I think it’s no mistake that Garrison Keillor chose this poem for his “Writers’ Almanac.” The lines of connection between Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery in Lake Woebegon and your mother’s approach to posting your poem is so obvious — at least, for anyone who understands upper Midwest/Scandinavian/Lutheran culture.

      There’s a fine line between appropriate modesty and self-abnegation, of course, and walking that line is part of what makes Keillor’s stories so funny. The so-called “Lake Woebegon Effect” is an utter misunderstanding of the culture: a point Keillor himself makes in his reponse to this letter.

      I couldn’t resist browsing the sidebar on that page, and turned up the question: how do I get noticed as a writer. Keillor’s response is classic, and I suspect would be approved by your mother.

      1. Thanks for the Keillor reference. I love his advice on being noticed. It kind of reminds me of my experiences of befriending cattle on the farm. The trick is to sit down on the grass near them and utterly (just about a pun there) ignore them, and they simply cannot stay away. Of course, the shadow side of the experience is you might get the kind of attention you weren’t looking for…

    1. I think whatever gives you pleasure should be on your refrigerator, Nia: poetry or photos, family pictures or travel souvenirs. Even nothing is all right! I have a friend who puts up a new quotation from an artist every week. That’s what’s so much fun — we’re the ones who get to choose.

      Here’s a quotation she posted recently that you’ll like. It’s from Mark Twain: ““Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.”

  9. My shiny kitchen refrigerator doesn’t hold magnets, but the garage fridge just out side the door holds the all-important vet’s number, and on the door is a sign which says :I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow doesn’t look good either.” Other than that, I’m generally a nice person, who had treasured grandchildren art on the fridge until they stopped making art. Now they have their own children’s output as fridge decoration.

    1. I believe I’m going to have to get one of those signs, Kayti. No, not the vet’s number. The other one. I’ll put it right next to my copy of “The Collected Dorothy Parker.” Then I’ll grin to myself every time I walk past it.

      I imagine there were a great many projects undertaken at your house with the children/grandchildren. Of course it’s the involvement that counts, however artistic the parent, but you surely had a little something extra to offer when it came to art.

      I wonder if anyone’s written a history of children’s refrigerator art? That really could be interesting. There certainly are some great cartoons.

  10. ‘Tis a broadening thing to look at life from the vantage point of something we consider inanimate, Linda! What fun, imagining the fridge thinking of magnets as lapel pins. If that’s really the case, why, ours must be in hog heaven!

    Of course, the things affixed thereon have changed over the years, from little colorful plastic ABCs to Domer’s prized artwork to handy-reference phone numbers. And we’ve still got the OBESE Sheltie pinned up so we can work on weight control for Darling Doggie, ha!

    1. If the robot makers have their way, Debbie, there’s no telling what’s going to be going on with our appliances in the future. Personally, I’d rather just imagine them as sentient creatures, but who knows what the geniuses will cook up next?

      I suspect that nearly everyone has had a motivational photo tacked up at one time or another — canine, feline, or otherwise. A few years ago, Dixie Rose was sentenced to weight loss by her vet, and a larger version of this image stayed on the fridge for a while. At least it made me laugh while I was listening to her yowl for the food she couldn’t have.

      One interesting note: I don’t remember the alphabetical magnets, because they weren’t introduced until about 1960, well past my childhood. And there’s an interesting section in the Wiki about how the “sheet magnets” that form the basis of so many souvenir magnets are produced. They behave differently than the horseshoe magnets of my grade school science class. They’re made stronger, for more holding power.

    1. Feel free, Hippie. There’s some ham and pasta salad on the second shelf, and there should be a piece of coconut pie left. I wouldn’t tell just anyone about that pie, believe me.

  11. So Linda, your poem forced me to go take an inventory. Mainly our refrigerator is a family gallery. Our kids check it out whenever they visit to make sure that they and the grandkids are adequately represented. I also found two sayings. One was a reminder: “The only normal people are those you don’t know very well.” I also found a political button, “Yes On 99,” which was a California Initiative I helped create in 1986 and an “I am loved” button that Peggy gave to me and insisted that I wear on Valentines Day in 1990 right after we had met. Shocked the heck out of her sister. There were other things, but that is enough. :) –Curt

    1. That’s some wisdom of the ages on your fridge, Curt: “The only normal people are those you don’t know very well.” That made me laugh. I smiled at the thought of both your kids and the grandkids checking out the family gallery, too. Everyone wants to be included.

      Here’s an interesting tidbit. I began my varnishing business in 1990, the same year you and Peggy met. My “anniversary” is in Setpember. Have you had yours yet? I’m sure you and Peggy have the same thought I do, from time to time: “Twenty-five years? Are you kidding me?!”

    1. If you have an impulse toward writing poetry, maggieclaire, you should write poetry. I’ve always contended that the best way to learn to write is to write, and that holds true whether someone wants to write fiction, poetry, or advertising copy.

      As for advice, the best I know of comes from another poet named Wendell Berry. He wrote a poem titled (appropriately enough) “How To Be a Poet.” It begins:

      “Make a place to sit down.
      Sit down. Be quiet.
      You must depend upon
      affection, reading, knowledge,
      skill—more of each
      than you have—inspiration,
      work, growing older, patience,
      for patience joins time
      to eternity. Any readers
      who like your poems,
      doubt their judgment…”

      You can read the rest of the poem here.

      Thanks for stopping by, and for commenting. You’re always welcome here.


  12. If the contents listed are in a state anything resembling ours, then along with the poem should be an inventory to keep things moving…maybe that has already been mentioned? No doubt, the fault is ours for having a refrigerator large enough to invite lots of stored items that disappear into the back, never to be seen until an aroma gives away their location.

    As to the actual outer residents, coupons (many of which that are past their expiration date…just like some of the fridge’s contents), shopping lists, post cards, magnets holding hot mitts and dish towels, more coupons, recipes that have yet to be employed-but as we haven’t any progeny…no art work…and alas, no poetry. :-)

    1. Ah, look at you, anticipating what’s yet to come. There will be another refrigerator post before I get off my kick — with a slightly different emphasis, and a certain amount of personal confession. Let’s just say it’s easier to keep the outside of a fridge under control than the inside.

      Your mention of coupons is interesting. I used to have a clutch of them hanging around, but over the past two or three years, as my eating habits have changed (more farmer’s market produce, more seasonal/local foods, almost no frozen food or boxed mixes) the coupons have disappeared. When someone starts giving coupons for romaine or salmon, I’ll be right there, but I don’t expect to see that any time soon.

      Once upon a time, I had a kitchen so small I not only put towels and oven mitts on the fridge, I rigged up a utensil holder there, too. It worked fine, although you couldn’t slam the door too hard.

      1. We rarely use processed foods and most of the coupons we use are for things like dish soaps, laundry detergents, toothpastes etc. It still adds up and helps. Our winter farmer’s market here is pretty sparse on choices so more grocery store type shopping and there are coupons for produce at times. The majority of what they offer is not on our list though.

  13. As part of the so-called Internet of things, over the past few years some high-end (i.e. expensive) refrigerators have come with connectivity to the Internet. A digitally connected refrigerator could be programmed so that a screen on its front door shows whatever words and pictures a person wants, much as a screen saver does on a computer monitor.

    1. The phrase “digitally connected refrigerator” stopped me cold. I suppose by this ime they’ve figured out how to get one of the things to make grocery lists, and probably order, too. But I can’t imagine what i’d post on its screen.

      Truthfully, I didn’t think I had any connection to the Internet of Things, but as it turns out, my car certainly does. The “Service Required” light that comes on is part of the IoT (as I’ve learned to call it), as well as the low tire pressure symbol. That one caused me no end of anxiety in the middle of nowhere, until I used human reasoning to conclude cold temperatures were responsible. I was right. Forty miles down the road, the tires warmed up and the light went off. Take that, IoT!

      1. IoT is sometimes more like IDIOT. When I was in Albuquerque last fall the “check engine” light came on. I decided to be prudent and take the car in to the Hyundai dealer there before heading out into less-populated areas where there wouldn’t be any Hyundai dealers. It turned out that the light had come on “in memory of” (my words) a past coming on of that light, and nothing new was wrong. I never could get an answer to the question of why the light would suddenly have come on again when nothing new was wrong. I also have had the tire pressure light come on a few times (including on that trip) even after the tires were warm—only to have the light go off just as mysteriously.

  14. You write the most creatively observant pieces. Love the magnet like a medal image…can just see the proud beaming page.

    I really dislike clutter but we have a few thing stuck up there we need to remember. LIke right now lawn fertilizer schedule – we blew it off one year and the lawn revolted and left to more caring or greener owners or something.

    I like the art image magnets and if I bought souvenirs anymore, those little reminders would be it. We do have 2 very small decorative frame magnets that hold pages up and circle why they are there – like appointment times. And there’s a USS San Jacinto magnet we got at the commissioning ceremony. And one that says “Hello, my name is No No Bad Dog. What’s yours?”

    SUN! Everyone outside!

    1. I hope you didn’t put out fertilizer before yesterday, Phil. I know it’s good to get it out before rain, but I’m not sure it wouldn’t have washed away. I felt sorry for the guys moving docks around all day for next weekend’s boat show. They surely earned their money.

      I do like magnets as souvenirs. They’re small, portable, and personal. At one museum, I choose O’Keefe. At another, Edward Hopper. I’ve often wondered if museum visitor choices don’t say something about the relative appeal of exhibits or artists, too. Hey! We could turn that into a study, and get funding. Ahem: “Self-selection of Magnetic Souvenirs: Socio-Economic Class as a Determinant of Choice.” I think it would fly.

      Love the “No, No, Bad Dog” name. Of course, I have no idea why that would be on your fridge.

      1. The guys at the feed store south of us got in their next level dose of fertilizer on Thurs – we ran over and got ours since it sells out quickly. But it’s in the garage for at least 2 weeks. We dumped small amt of leftover of the winter combination on a couple of weeks ago while it was still winter. Randy Lemmon local plant guru is even delaying normal spring dose 2-3 since we’ve had such late chill. So we’re on hold. With all this heat, I hope the ground doesn’t just bake early and crack up before the grass gets a chance.
        What a year for outdoor events – another front due next weekend…get out the boats for real.
        I’ve often thought art magnets could actually become the mosaic front of a fridge. (Looking around for grant guidelines ….)
        And now we are in stage 2 drought water rationing for system repairs…how ironic is that?
        8 muddy paws (and one clean quadro set) are amused.

  15. Love, love, love. This may have to go on my fridge, too — if there’s room.

    The poem itself prompted a journey to the kitchen (doesn’t take much!) and a look at my fridge, which (for better or worse, probably worse) has two and a half sides available for magnetic musings. Here you will find: More photos of Rick, me, the kids, the cats living and dead, good friends than you could ever want to see, even if you like us; the sale postcard from the hardware store (probably expired), at least four or five recipes, an appointment card for the dentist, a Mark Twain magnet from Diana (Oh), a little magnet that says what temp to cook meats; the sheet music for “White Christmas” (don’t ask), the cartoon where Rick was mentioned in “Frazz,” a couple of New Yorker cartoons, the month’s film festival schedule, a magnet with substitution guidance, magnetic notetapds, and several handpainted cat cards by my friend Kate. There’s more, but you get the gist. I think I can find room for this, though.

    1. So, here’s what I see in my mind’s eye, Jeanie. Your fridge is your art table, gone vertical. The contents are different, but the basic nature is the same: a wonderful conglomeration of bits and pieces of life.

      I did have to look up Frazz. I didn’t have a clue. While I was skimming through the Wiki, I noticed some references to the fact that Frazz reads biking magazines, and races bikes. That explains Rick’s appearance. It’s so nice that you have that little memento of Diana, too. A daily reminder — or at least an occasional reminder, when you see it — of such a wonderful person always is good to have.

  16. What a marvelous poem!! I did enjoy it……my fridge is now integrated so is hidden by a cupboard door….I really miss being able to pin notes somewhere!xxx

    1. That’s a new one on me, snowbird — putting the refrigerator behind another door. I’ll bet it does make things look neat as a pin, but that’s two doors you have to get through to get to the ice cream!

      Well, maybe you need to go old school and get a corkboard and push pins. That system worked well enough in “the old days.”

      All joking aside, I’m glad you liked the poem. Sometimes I come across one I like so much, I just want to share it. This was one!

  17. Wonderful! And it immediately reminded me of this poem, which, while it was written in pre-fridge magnet days, definitely offers a close association between poem and fridge (ice box, to be precise):

    This Is Just To Say

    I have eaten
    the plums
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    you were probably
    for breakfast

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold

    1. I was right on the dividing line between eras. We called what my grandparents had a refrigerator, but they called it an ice box. And of course we all had recipes for such things as Ice Box Pie. I’ve never thought about it, but perhaps that move from ice box to refrigerator/freezer accounts for the early 1950s fondness for frozen salads and desserts.

      I love Williams’s poem — always have. It was part of our curriculum when I was in junior high: a just-right introduction to poetry, especially since we’d all had the experience of getting into that icebox and eating something we weren’t supposed to.

        1. PS: We called our fridge an ice box, but when we went up to Lake of the Woods in Canada in the summer, we had the real deal. Our first stop on the way to the cabin was at the ice house to get a supply. Great times, those were.

  18. The front of my refrigerator is much emptier now than it was when my children were small. Back in the day, it was covered with the kids’ artwork. Now that they are adults, I seldom have anything on it.

    1. In other words, there’s an empty fridge-front syndrome that goes along with the empty nest syndrome. I never had thought of that, Sheryl, but it makes sense.

      It crossed my mind that someone might have made magnets from military insignia, and even the WACs. Indeed, they have! Not everything on the page is WAC related, but there are some neat things.

  19. I like “A Briefer Bio” from the poet’s website:

    “Paul Hostovsky’s poems appear and disappear simultaneously (Voila!), and have recently been sighted in places where they pay you for your trouble with your own trouble doubled, and other people’s troubles thrown in, which never seem to him as great as his troubles, though he tries not to compare. He has no life and spends it with his poems, trying to perfect their perfect disappearances, which is the working title of his new collection, which is looking for a publisher and for itself. He is the recipient of such rebukes as You Never Want To Do Anything and All You Care About Are Your Stupid Clever Poems.”

    1. I knew I liked Hostovsky’s poems, and now I like him, too. That single paragraph certainly evokes my mother’s presence, particularly the bit about having no life, and that pair of closing rebukes. The fact that Mom favored “All you do is play with that stupid computer” doesn’t matter. The words may differ, but the sentiment’s the same.

  20. I loved this witty, funny poem with its wonderful use of food as metaphor for a poem’s contents. I’ve just had a fridge front clean-out. Now it looks so bare and empty I must restore its sense of importance again with a few poems and photos.

    1. It is a fun poem, isn’t it? I especially enjoyed the addition of the Amoxicillin. It reminded me of the brown glass bottle of “multicebrin,” a liquid vitamin for children that was part of my grade school years.

      Don’t leave your fridge bereft — add some photos or a poem. Fridges have feelings, too, you know.

    1. Ah, the Kramdens. I had an aunt and uncle who lived on West 16th in Manhattan, and when I was a kid, I always imagined their apartment looked just like that. When I finally visited and discovered that wasn’t true, I was chagrined and amused, in that order.

      It was a very good time, Cheri: those Honeymooner years. Not perfect, but good. Thanks for reminding me of them, too.

  21. What a delightful post, the poem, illustration to go with it and I loved the banter among you, Steve and Jim in IA.

    I must say when I first saw your post, it occurred to me not to reply but just e-mail you photos of all the treasures on the country frig, but alas!, I’m in Houston now and the frig is, well…not here to photograph. I’ve been so busy I have marked my calendar “take photo of frig.”

    That said, yes, I used to post short poems and quotes hoping the girls or Rick would catch them. Now, I thank wp for a place to put these gems so they don’t fall victim to drips, stains, or falling on the floor and getting tossed. I have placed them neatly under the category of Citations. I distinctly remember the following quote stayed up on the frig for years.

    “Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers. ”
    Rainer Maria Rilke

    1. That back-and-forth was fun, Georgette. There’s no telling where these comment threads will lead. That’s part of the fun. Besides, who doesn’t love a little word-play?

      I’m not surprised you have a “full fridge front.” Art work, of course, and photos. Recipes, too, probably. Important phone numbers, and if you’re like me, some reminders of important appointments since, even if they’re recorded elsewhere, redundancy is a wonderful thing.

      I just laughed at your reminder to yourself to take a picture of the fridge. I hope you’re enjoying all that busyness. I’m sure you are.

      While I have my own place in the cloud for such things as that wonderful Rilke quotation, I’m feeling a little nervous about leaving everything important in cyberspace. I spent an entire day a couple of weeks ago recreating my WordPress drafts on my hard drive, and then backing them up elsewhere. Now, I’m working on my posts. One or two more rainy days, and they’ll all be saved and backed up. It’s the modern, cyber version of Grandma’s “stitch in time,” I suppose.

  22. The refrigerator door – in most places – are like a short story of the family living in the house – with poems, notes, photos, and collectibles. It’s the ultimate home culture displayed.

    1. It is rather like a gallery, or a museum, Otto. Certainly, like most galleries, the exhibits change, too. I suppose the difference is that Life itself serves as curator.

      Just a couple of nights ago, I was sitting here at the computer and noticed that, after a cloudy day, the light outside had changed. I’m learning — I got up, walked on to my balcony, and found a photo opportunity that’s now printed out and on the front of my own fridge.

    1. Knowing you, Friko, I suspect it may already have changed. In case it hasn’t, I have a suggestion for you — one of my very favorite spring poems, and one of only a few by cummings I return to regularly.

      I was going to write an Ode to Millie for you, but then I realized I wasn’t sure what form an ode should take. I must educate myself.

  23. I like your refrigerator themed posts. Why, thoughts frozen in time, preserved and wrapped for savouring for some time to come. Only in the freezer of course. So, for thoughts that are not frozen, have to dish them out and use them soon, for they are perishables. Great, waiting for more fridge writings. While those stored in frozen state can be defrosted whenever they are needed… to counter future writer’s blocks, maybe. :)

    1. Love your comment, Arti — so creative in its own right. Once in a while (like once every six months) I get to the point of having a post ready that I can pull out and use whenever necessary, but I’ve always thought of those as “money in the bank.” I think I’ll change my metaphor to “dinner in the fridge.” Defrost and serve!

      I just posted my last real “refrigerator” piece. Now, it’s on to other things. I was delighted to see your post about the second “Marigold.” I’ve not read it yet, but I’ve already sent the link to friends who have been waiting for the film. One liked your review so much she started browsing your site. I suspect you’ll gain another regular reader.

  24. The “revelry” had me smiling, Linda. My 4 months new refrigerator has a broad range of vocabulary — some of which might be in the revelry category. It chirps, hums off-key, percolates, squeaks, chatters.

    1. Even the most insistent anthropomorphizer (me) understands that appliances aren’t sentient beings. On the other hand, they do seem to have their own personalities. Yours seems both social and cheerful, which I’d think would make it perfect for your household!

  25. Have been meaning to stop back by this post because I love all the stuff on the front AND side of my fridge. I have the usual assortment of family pictures and little notes from my granddaughter, post cards from friends, but I also have three comics that have been there for years and which still get me:

    One is a picture of a mosquito couple on the sofa together with a bunch of little rice shaped things on the floor in front of them. The female mosquito exclaims “Darling! Not in front of the maggots!” I thought it was hilarious. Its by Callahan.

    One is political commentary from Open Season by Schiller &b Greg. Two guys in jail are commiserating. One says “I blew up a Federal Building, You?” The other guy replies “I smoked in one.” First guy complains, “Geez, they put me in with a smoker?” My father in law was smoker it came from him I think. Not recommending..

    The third is a Calvin and Hobbs piece showing Calvin trying to read in bed,then floating in the air in one direction and the book in the other, tossing and tumbling in the air. In school the next day he tells his teacher “I couldn’t read it because my parents forgot to pay the gravity bill!”

    Why do I keep these?? Every cleaning spell they end up stuck to the fridge still.

    And, don’t get me into the collection of magnets I got from the good room at the Romance Writers Convention in Atlanta which I attended with my writer sister. Romance…when you care enough to read the very best!! :) ( really I am sci fi)

    Thanks for a fun post!! Now I’ll go put these comics back on the fridge…soon they will need archival treatment.

    1. Judy, I swear I’ve seen that Callahan cartoon. I took “The New Yorker” for years, and always was clipping cartoons: including a good many from Callahan. Either the cartoons have changed or I have. I haven’t clipped one in some time. Years, really.

      One of my all-time favorites stayed on the fridge for years. I liked it so much I even scanned and saved it. I think you’ll get a kick out of this one.

      Speaking of sci-fi/fantasy, have you read “Boneshaker” by Cherie Priest? I haven’t, but I’ve just had it recommended to me again. I keep coming across it when I’m fooling around in the steampunk corner of the universe, and I may give it a try if the library has it. It’s old enough now that it might even be at Half-Price books.

      Before you put those cartoons back on the fridge, scan them! If something awful happens to them, you can print them out again.

      1. Considering I am in the throes of scanning and repairing old family photos, I should include those comics too!! Your scan looks great. I do not know of Boneshaker but the title alone sounds interesting. I’ll check it out!! And here’s to messy refrigerators and all the history they have tacked all around.

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