Product Placement

The Bad Sequence by Phil Hall published by Book Thug in 2004 and reprinted in 2007 is built out of a series of repetitions (The Bad Sequence is… The Bad Sequence does…) with one eye-catching exception:

Priests are torturing The Good Sequence. Apparently there are laws against removing the ghosts of history and story from dictionaries. Meanwhile, Sunlight‘s unflappable surrealism measures and swabs the room.

Some may think of Sunlight as dishwashing liquid. It first appeared in 1884 as a brand of soap for washing clothes and general household use. And what is it doing here in a segment of poem?

I venture an answer by way of Gerald L. Bruns “Karen Mac Cormack Among the Pagans” and my initial reading of “obsessive” for “objective” in the following passage:

Recourse to source texts or found language is a poetics that subjects the writing subject to an objective language (or linguistic field). It is a poetics of finitude […]

Bruns is here discussing the use of chance operations confined to a restricted source text. For my purposes, I would like to suggest how a brand name is a fragment of found language and how its placement in Hall’s sequence, so close to the mention of torture, reminds me of mouths washed out with soap and the surreal survival of poetry in quotidian lather of non sequiturs where the objective is obsessive.

And so for day 1110

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