Greenpoint, October, 2015

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why Not Just the Ford Glück?

Relient-K on Roosevelt (Alliterate that!)
It's well known that, in 1955, the Ford Motor Company invited the poet Marianne Moore to contribute suggestions for new model names. Her list included the "Intelligent Bullet," the "Ford Fabergé," and the "Mongoose Civique." While Ford politely declined to use any of these, I believe Honda owes the Moore estate some royalties for the last one.

As an update on the Poet-Names-the-Car angle, the Research Bureau invited another New York-born poet, Louise Glück, to submit her own ideas. The request must have been lost in the mail (or the imagination), so we took the liberty of extracting a few possibilities of our own from her work. We limited ourself to the selection available on

Here is the Research Bureau's top-five contenders (brands courtesy of RB):

Ford Persephone ("Myth of Darkness")

Chevrolet Solace ("Night Migrations")

Kia Poppy ("Red Poppy")

Toyota Vespers ("Vespers")

Subaru Wanderer ("Persephone the Wanderer")

Some names I liked but the RB nixed based on its extensive marketing research: "Expiation," "Negative Creation," "Witchgrass," "Sex in Hell," and "Frank."


  1. Sometimes maybe one ought to man up and lock the RB in a closet overnight, thus showing who's boss and clearing the path of everlasting righteousness so as to allow one's own lovely originary brainlight to shine. The Ford Expiation is a beautiful, crown of thornsy thought, and when you come to think of it -- as we're spinning off here from the unfortunate phenomenon of the famous poet who hitched her wagon to the trailer of a dead star by standing on a towering hill of suburban dry-snitchy dreams crowned with the astonishing karmic insult of a poem in which she derides her own father, dying of cancer, viewed coughing and hacking up sad terminal gobs of phlegm as he looks out miserably over the arid plastic lawn of a Long Island ranchstyle "classic American home" -- there is much to be expiated, in Ford and Other Worlds.

    Oh this terrifying Ford Memory Cluster! Quelle desastre, n'est café?

    Not that your original list (pre-censored) doesn't contain some other pure gems. The Ford Negative Creation has a lovely ring. The Ford Witchgrass, perfecto (see Long Island suburban landscape mentioned above). The Ford Sex in Hell, wouldn't she be so lucky -- but no, to paraphrase someone, Hell Is For Other Fords. But the Ford Frank -- now that has so many possible windows of creation in it, beginning with the rearview, in which we see that large suburban wiener which (witch?), if the bathtub Joseph to whom I refer in comment on post below, had one, might have solved all these conundrums... in an of course absolutely immaculately conceived white-bread suburban way... that is, ab ovo.

    Really though, as I'm sure you are aware, history tells of Other Fords, Other Epochs, hatched from the drawing board perhaps even before the stellar entities of today's Emergent Avant were so much as wee wiggly ovums. For example, I know you will remember with fondness the classic Fairlanes, like the one pictured in top shot here, a veritable magnum opus of powerhouse Detroit Iron, 427 cubic inches of purposeful engine (are you listening, Louise), front power disc brakes, super wide-oval tires, and a dreamy blonde in red shoes, red everything, plus White Stripes for contrast to remind one just how hot red everything is, with vague thoughts of one, and maybe of a few others as well, in mind, if indeed that is a mind hid behind all the wandering wonder, all the potential neo-Aryan minstrelsy, all the hope, all the belief, all the deceit that we must now so weakly think of as History.

  2. TC Thanks for your Ford Freelancing! My father had a Ford Falcon, which was anything but raptor-like. Tan, if I remember correctly, nothing like the formidable Fairline pictured in your blog. Maybe this was the inspiration for the White Stripes aesthetic.