Hamburger Valley, California
Canadian poetry, well done, with everything, to go. Hamburger Valley, California is David McGimpsey’s funniest and most compelling collection to date. With his unapologetic love of popular culture, he presents an elaborate lyric postcard, which explores, from a most unprivileged seat on the cheapest bus, love and (somebody else’s) fame. McGimpsey challenges the bonds of place in a global (American) economy — with personal warmth and characteristic wisecracking — daring to dream of escape not only to an impossibly meaty Southern California, but to the sous-sol of the poetic heart. How can we best celebrate the Los Angeles subway? What’s Wayne Gretzky doing in retirement? What fantasy stems from a British soap opera star? How is life like aging daredevil Evel Knieval? What did Mike Pearson say to LBJ? Who the hell is Vili Fualauu? How does cutting classes lead to absurd fantasies of Toronto? What will happen in the next millennium? What rhymes with Liberace? McGimpsey answers these questions in a way that will make you think you always wanted to know the answer. The daring, hilarious title poem, though, is the pièce de resistance: it braves every aspect of hamburger lore as a response to what Shakespeare called, “the plague and sighing of grief.” No quick snack, Hamburger Valley, California is a poetry lover’s grand buffet.
David McGimpsey is a poet, essayist, and musician. The author of two previous collections (Dogboy and Lardcake, also published by ECW Press), as well as the recent critical study Imagining Baseball: America’s Pastimeand Popular Culture, he currently writes and teaches in Montreal.