WARNING: Cruise Missile Liberals contains few proper poems. That is, poems with proper manners, proper etiquette, or proper service to our national narratives. Poems that reassure the powerful.Poems that lie inert--with the smell of the museums. Poems that are, in a word, nice.
Instead, Spencer Gordon's debut smoulders with explosive contradiction--with a charismatic voice that rewires what we could ask for in a collection. Blending gaudy lyrical excess with blemish-ridden found material, it presents the reader with guilty pleasurable collisions. It is of the wretched present: online, urban, urbane, and sweetly ironic. These are poems of play, rant, irreverence, and lip; of sparkling newness haunted by the opulent, hungry dead. Works brimming with cheek that, every so often, stiffen to a punch to the gut.
Like an updated Civil Elegies for a digital generation, Cruise Missile Liberals is a blistering debut from an author leaving his own bite-mark on "Canadian Literature."
Spencer Gordon's Cruise Missile Liberalsis, as its title suggests, a very funny, often despairing book. Jammed with on-point pop and breathtaking turns of phrase, this collection of poems is genuinely compelling: it is hard to stop reading, so sweetly twisted is Gordon's world.
--Lynn Crosbie, Author of Where Did You Sleep Last Night, Life Is About Losing Everything, and Liar
"Hot, hot, hot! Spencer Gordon's Cruise Missile Liberals is an exquisitely detailed and passionately directed collection which finds vibrant resolve at the intersection of nation and art. With considerable heart and thrilling precision, these poems gratefully adopt the argot (and trouble) of the times and they discover a much different Canada, sweet with chipmunks and as untameable as Sk8er Boi."
--David McGimpsey, author of Asbestos Heights
There is a generosity of spirit on offer here for we who are tired, placeless, saturated in social media, and wasted on the bright horror of a future that never arrives. This collection is deft, intelligent, and tender, if tenderness is something that can also crush you--an intimacy that panics shut. For we who are "Nature Woke," "alchemical kids with gold teeth," "wanting to live as I do, shockingly new," Gordon sings and memes against "Canada the Good" and presents us with an arresting portrait of our present moment.
--Liz Howard, Griffin-Award winning author of Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent
"Spencer Gordon’s poetry debut, Cruise Missile Liberals, might be the oddball balm you need … Gordon’s poems are completely submerged in the zany, disturbing thick of it … Gordon doesn’t just question the place of poetry (here in an overtly political Canadian context), he interrogates the role of the poet as a citizen, directly implicating himself in the critique."