Arc’s current Poet-in-Residence Rob Winger spoke to poet, journalist, professor and Groucho-Marxist David McGimpsey. McGimpsey is the author of four acclaimed collections of poetry, including most recently Li’l Bastard, published in 2011 by Coach House. Rob Winger: Like many Canadian writers, you seem to wear a lot of hats: writer, musician, professor, Yankees-fan-by-default. […]
(How Poems Work, April 2005)
Each of David McGimpsey’s first three collections of poetry–Lardcake, dogboy, and Hamburger Valley, California–includes installments in what are commonly referred to as his “chubby sonnets.” Sixteen-lines in length; dividing equally into four four-line stanzas; picaresque in tone–the poems carefully locate and straddle pathos and bathos, sentimentality and irony. Part character, part caricature, the speaker is, to borrow from “KoKo,” “one of the great defectives,” a resident of Loserville, described by McGimpsey elsewhere as the “demented but proud and gated community / that will not let the winners in.” He is perhaps most-aptly described as a warm-hearted Travis Bickle, or, inversely, a cold-hearted Quixote….