on Dave Awl
by Ayun Halliday
I get a lump in my throat whenever a moment such as that one is granted a reprieve from the vast ordinariness of everyday life. If the dishwasher's lovely reiteration of a Chicago sky is Whoville, then Dave is surely as caring a believer as Horton the Elephant.
I should note that before I clapped eyes on The Buddha Receiving a Gift of Heart-Shaped Chocolates as something to be read on the page, I heard its author speak it from the stage of the Neo-Futurarium. I've always loved the way he permitted those estrellas to shimmer for just a tiny bit longer than anything else in the poem, the amount of time it takes to exhale. Somehow it managed to encapsulate the fatigue at the end of the shift, the side work yet to be done, the country the dishwasher had left behind, the sadness of a night on which there was no moon and the beauty of two near-strangers looking for one. Nice one, Dave.
The last lines of the poem reference a hypothetical time in the future when
"these lives end, and events become meaningless
Yeah, lives do end (and eulogies are grand provided the eulogized is around to enjoy 'em! It'd look good on a tombstone, don't you think? (¿Estrellas solamente?) As for the lack of meaning... forgive me but I persist in the belief that the author doesn't believe it either.
Continue to Christopher Piatt's observations on Dave Awl.