Finalist for the 2012 Governor General's Award for Poetry
Chicagoland hot-dog stands are open late.
What the fuck you want?' one cashier asks me.
What the fuck did I want? Hope? A car? To write?
Jesus, I knew – just give me a Pepsi.
David McGimpsey's ﬁfth collection of poems takes to new levels the melding of the deeply personal and the culturally popular that drove his acclaimed book Sitcom (nominated for the A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry). This is confessional poetry as written by a chronic trickster and a committed liar.
Written in part as an homage to the poetic idols of McGimpsey's youth, John Berryman and Robert Lowell, Li'l Bastard is a collection of 'chubby sonnets' – sixteen-line poems organized into eight longer sequences – that explore the poet's obsessions and engagements with America and Canada, popular culture, love and death, aging, baseball and beer and Barnaby Jones. Adopting a wild array of tones and artistic strategies, from picaresque to fantasy, to observational humour and the simple song lyric, these poems map the poet's midlife crisis on a wild ﬂight that touches down in Montreal, Chicago, Nashville, Texas and L.A.
Poignant and often achingly funny, Li'l Bastard will no doubt cement McGimpsey's status as a beloved and ever-surprising original.
‘McGimpsey’s unruly, uncontained poems marry formal ingenuity and a
raucous, hilarious sensibility. He’s also unafraid to poke at the eyes of our more inflated literary pretensions.’ – Quill and Quire
‘McGimpsey writes descriptively, singing the world as it actually is ... A truly inclusive and scrupulous feast, caloric, chaotic and free.’ – National Post
‘Hilarious and brilliant ... These chubby sonnets spill ingenuity over their
waistbands.’ – Winnipeg Free Press