Asbestos Heights by David McGimpsey
Winner of The A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry in 2015
Asbestos Heights is the poke in the eye that misses and ends up somewhere else.
If you tore off the tops of canola —
yellow canola ﬂowers — would you
jump in a tub of canola margarine
just to make the best of despair?
Implored by concerned readers to be ‘classy’ and ‘real’ for once, David McGimpsey has composed a sequence of canonical notebooks on all things ‘poetic’ and ‘poetical.’ Birds! Flowers! History! Sad leaders! The word ‘aubade’! They’re all here, in a serial, State Fair–bound collection of lyrics set in the working-class belvedere of Asbestos Heights.
Among the refreshing lemon-lime sodas of the world and the rousing lyrics to ‘Bootylicious,’ Asbestos Heights amps up McGimpsey’s trademark sideswiping of formal rhetoric and prosody with pop savoir faire to ﬁnd his boldest collection. Imagine Petrarch in a Tweet war about where to buy a good pair of dad jeans. Imagine Yeats but with a lot fewer swans. Imagine a poet who was told long ago that nothing good ever comes out of a place like Asbestos Heights.
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