Exploring Interglacials by Dalton Day

Powerfully dreamy and occasionally haunting, Dalton Day’s poetry book Interglacials is a separate reality made of tender, unformed memories and dogs that grow on trees. Every word builds an amalgam of mystery and curiosity, weaving the reader directly into the art. The collection creates an experience that feels both unique and inherently familiar.

Dalton Day uses each page to develop a slow intimacy, one that blooms like a photograph dipped in chemicals. Dozens of lines are directed at “you,” a deeply personal device that effectively keeps you pinned against the page, unable to wrestle yourself from the moment. Day succeeds at pulling you into their world, but never makes you feel welcome. Each encounter is more alienating than the last, but this is by design—you should not feel comfortable here.

Reading this book felt like walking barefoot through a forest: overwhelming and mystifying. In “The Only World,” Day writes, “nature, by its very self, operates under wonder & fear.” Each poem in Interglacials is a study of the narrow path that crosses those thresholds. Day even brings a menagerie along for the journey, visions of owls and horses and dogs and bears, and the results are enchanting.

Something ethereal surrounds Dalton Day and shines through their writing. Each poem is like a kiss: brief and alive. Their words are often vulnerable and bittersweet, capitalizing on the gentle emotion of a moment rather than the moment itself, like in the piece “To Breathe I’m Too Thin,” where they write, “If / I walk any further I’ll lose my feet to traps. There / are hunters in these woods who want my feet my / fur my heart dipped in honey. Don’t eat my heart / I will say given the chance.”

Day’s first collection with Fog Machine Press is a stunning endeavor, the kind of book that makes you turn back to the first page as soon as you’re finished so that you can pour over every word. Interglacials is a small patch of sunlight in an otherwise dark room, and if you find yourself in need of that kind of warmth, you know exactly where to turn.

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