Big things are small soft things, here. In his debut full length collection from Salò Press, “Actual Cloud,” Dalton Day talks fear of death, dependence, and existence in a way that feels more bubblegum than knife. Maybe bubblegum encasing knife, bright pink and glistening with life-spit. More happy than sinister, it holds you down and makes you feel all of the good that comes with being a human.

At a time when writers are praised for being raw in a sense that means they are being open about their darkness, something lovely comes from a writer reveling in their own light. Despite Day’s focus on mortality, it is a collection that wonders about life and death without choosing a side. It feels believable.

         how things fall
& make other things happen
         I love a lot of things really
Like you you you you you
If you touch my neck
From such a          distance
           won’t change that much
You won’t change that much”

Day poses questions that make the nonsense of life make more sense.

“How hard can it be / to eat water” is a thing I didn’t know I needed to consider until I saw it.Click To Tweet But how hard can it be to think differently? To carve bad stickiness from our brains and make them better? Even though this sounds hopeless, and isn’t a real, possible thing, there is warmth to be found in having the thought to begin with.

“How do we use our limbs
So that we are at
our most little”

Clarity comes in this collection not from easy reading but rather from the friendliness of the writing. The tone feels like smart sunshine.

“I didn’t notice
the trees today

Crackling like antlers
toward some
Unknown field

What I mean is

There is so much

There is nothing fast about these poems. It feels a lot like being very very small and within carpet or ocean and just looking. Not even waiting for answers, but just observing. Being content to observe and to think in an absent sort of way.

“It was snowing
just now
even though the sun is out

Two things happening
at once

How else
Would I live”

This collection feels like digging deep into a coffin of the fat and muscle and heart of everyone who’s ever lived with smiles and bonding all along the way, like yes we are living and it is hard and we will all end up here, in this coffin, in this dark depth, but isn’t that maybe alright? Isn’t that maybe not so bad?

“Good grief is still bad
                            & you
could make the world
do something”

We grow and change and get fucked up and fuck each other up, but maybe we can make sense of it through the objects around us and through our own bodies and by living new lives within whales and figure out how not to hurt.

You can buy a copy of “Actual Cloud” from salò press here.