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Poem of the Week: “In Which God Shows Me Their Dress,” by Dalton Day



Center for poetry intern, Lydia Barron, expresses why she chose this poem: “I chose this poem because Dalton Day was my first real experience with queerness, concrete form, and surrealism in poetry. These themes were all things which have influenced me as a poet to look at the world differently and write in a style I feel is more my own, even to make new forms of poetry which are my own.”


In Which God Shows Me Their Dress

by Dalton Day


Hair reaching into the wind

which isn’t you

          but something

you possess                               and your

                         throat              its

apple hidden in the dirt

which isn’t you

              but something you

                                                     grew out

from                  how it permits

              you to hold the many birds

you breathe into

                               like song

                               like bleeding

                here in this field of sunflowers

you would let me                   die

           here in this ballroom of moons

you would let me                   walk

                                there are beasts

                                 in these woods

                with paws capable of more

noise than yours

This piece was published online in PANK, but Day also has many other collections available for purchase such as Exit, Pursued; Spooky Action at a Distance; and Alternatives. You can find the poet on twitter @lilghosthands and online at
Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week : “Spring Sunshine,” by Ellen Ni Bheachain

Center for Poetry intern, Amy Potchen, describes why she chose this poem: “Every day for the past few weeks I have been checking the weather forecast to see if my day will be blessed by sunshine. The sunshine of the spring feels warmer to me than any other season because my Michigan body has been deprived of it for so long. This poem seems fitting to how I, and many others living in a cold climate, feel when the sun returns, as it seems to have this week. I enjoy that this poem is lucid and perfectly depicts the feelings surrounded by the beginning of spring.”

Spring Sunshine 

by Ellen Ni Bheachain

After all the chills and winter blues, 
The staying warm and staying in, 
Meetings indoors for outside is cold, 
Then comes the spring sunshine, 

The sun breaks in like a door open wide, 
With the burst of sunlight, 
That lasting and warm, 
Bringing smiles back on peoples faces, 

While in the chilling season it brings, 
Us all to hibernate and stay in, 
Not getting out much as weather is cold, 
Until the spring sunshine brings us back outdoors, 

It is the time for new growth, 
It is the time for new beginnings, 
It is the time for buds to bloom, 
It is the time for nature to sound its sounds of nature again, 

For all the while when we shelter from the chills, 
Winter is chilling, 
And springs getting ready, 
For all the new beginnings, 
Brought forth from the old, 
Of last seasons blossoms, 
Spring will bring new growth from its roots, 
And bloom again with spring sunshine rays, 

Spring will start again, 
And a new year to begin it with, 
That starts with first, 
The spring sunshine, 
Of first days of spring, 
That brings the smile back, 
To all our faces, 
With warm sun rays, 
Of spring sunshine.

found on


Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: “Jubilee,” by Gabrielle Calvocoressi

A note from the RCAH Center for Poetry’s interim director, Cindy Hunter Morgan: “I love where Calvorcoressi finds music in this world, and I love how (and where) she sees the possibilities for music: in snare drums, yes, but also in hubcaps, trash can lids, and car springs. What are the instruments of this world? Surely there are more available to us than we sometimes realize. This poem is tightly constructed, and in some ways it ghosts the sonnet form. Sonnets are famous for their arguments, of course, but what does Calvocoressi argue for here? Joy.”

NOTE: Gabrielle Calvocoressi will kick off the RCAH Center for Poetry’s Spring Reading Series Wednesday, April 3 with a 3:30 talk in the LookOut! Gallery and a 7 p.m. reading in the RCAH Theater.



by Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Come down to the water. Bring your snare drum,

your hubcaps, the trash can lid. Bring every

joyful noise you’ve held at bay so long.

The fish have risen to the surface this early

morning: flounder, shrimp, and every blue crab

this side of Mobile. Bottom feeders? Please.

They shine like your Grandpa Les’ Cadillac,

the one you rode in, slow so all the girls

could see. They called to you like katydids.

And the springs in that car sounded like tubas

as you moved up and down. Make a soulful sound

unto the leather and the wheel, praise the man

who had the good sense to build a front seat

like a bed, who knew you’d never buy a car

that big if you only meant to drive it.


“Jubilee” by Gabrielle Calvocoressi, from “Apocalyptic Swing,” © Persea Books, 2009.

Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: “for the poets who gather here,” by Grace Carras

The RobinThe Robin Theatre in Lansing’s REO Town neighborhood, and home to The Poetry Room. Photo by The Poetry Room

This week’s poem is by our own Grace Carras, currently in her third year as an intern here at the RCAH Center for Poetry, and co-founder (with Masaki Takahashi) of The Poetry Room, a wildly popular open mic now in its second year. We’re celebrating Grace this week in light of the news that she is the winner of the 2019 Ritzenheim Emerging Poet Award (administered by the Lansing Poetry Club and judged this year by Robert Vivian of Alma College), which includes publication of a chapbook of her poems by Finishing Line Press. For now, you can also find this poem down the street from the Robin Theatre, etched in the sidewalk at the northeast corner of South Washington Ave. and East South Street.


for the poets who gather here

with thanks to The Poetry Room and The Robin Theatre


this is for you,

who overcome the trembling

dance of your own pulse

to blossom in the stage light.

you, who dig your roots in deep

and sprout from rock bottom.

go forth and devour, you

conquerors of concrete,

who put the we in weeds,

you brilliant bouquets of breath;

i’ve seen you carry explosions

in your mouths.

you hungry poets,

i’m in love

with the shrapnel of your bravery,

with the way you become the light

that you need to grow.