A Soft That Touches Down & Removes Itself
David Tomaloff used to be a Lion tamer. I’m assuming he was heavily influenced by the seminal band “Wire”. While he doesn’t state he’s an ex-lion tamer he does appear to have mixed feelings about the decision. His Tumblr name says it all: Lion Tamer Blues. You know, they don’t build lions like they used to. Now Lions suffer from chronic laziness, drinking Red Bull and Monster at night, playing World of Warcraft after school, and generally being a drag on society. The next morning, after the night of staying up accomplishing nothing online, you have to train them and they half-heartedly respond to you. Man that would give me the blues too.
“A Soft That Touches Down & Removes Itself” is quite gorgeous. I mean that in every way. The cover looks beautiful, with a schematic of a heart. Guess all hearts need to be built up. You don’t get them pre-made. Love is like Ikea, some assembly is required. People won’t do it for you and sometimes it hurts. I’d like to give kudos to Miles Donovan for that excellent design.
What is contained inside makes my heart ache. I found a lot of this pretty lovely. “Mohawk Sideburn Attachment Kit” shows a tiny gesture. Describing the before as better than the after (caterpillars are the new butterflies) it speaks about relationships. How what we don’t know, what we hope and anticipate happening could be better than the outcome. A lot of relationships start out promising or bleak. The benefit we get depends on how we approach it. Will we decide to just isolate ourselves in a self-contained environment with our own references and perspective (the cocoon) or will we continue crawling around, looking curious.
“It’s Always July” continues in this vein. Describing the joy of ‘fornicate a riot’ they leave. The idea of seeing the entire “Godfather” trilogy almost makes the narrator walk into a door. For who really has the hours necessary to see all of it? At the end is where it hits, where they could come into the heart at any time but never go. People are afraid of strong emotions. Having a heart is much harder than it sounds. Exploring yourself and your true self takes time and most people don’t have the time, just how they never bother seeing the “Godfather” trilogy. Rather each one is reference but neither is fully known.
Love is expressed earnestly in “Yin & Yang”. Here we have a couple willing to admit to each other that they care. Each person is blunt and upfront about the other. There’s no ‘internal monologue’ like there was for the previous poems. Instead they are perfectly comfortable sharing information with each other based off of dreams. How dreams protect one another and separate a good dream from a bad dream.
The book is mostly in lowercase, excluding use of the word “I” which avoid the lowercase fate. I liked the simple yet effective language. Going through David’s website I see he’s been published in multiple places, including Ana C’s well known “NewWaveVomit”. A pity I hadn’t encountered his work before now. You can check out his chapbook at NAP Magazine, a place that I’ve been quite fond of lately. Enjoy!