Aqueous Red explores the deep shadows of love. In Kit Ingram’s spellbinding poetic exorcism of violence, intimacy, and dreams, illicit liaisons surface in fragments of interconnected lives. A boy watches his father pour scalding water onto his brother’s hands, and later rescues a doll, promising to protect it with a kiss. A priest blesses a prostitute with holy water while a son drowns in a painful memory. In the sequence ‘Red’, a married man falls in love with a drag queen, and they play out fantasies of violence in a theatrical blaze that threatens their destruction. Intimate and voyeuristic, this collection plumbs the unseen moments that bind us all.
What readers are saying ...
‘Kit is a master at chiselled versification, at crafting powerful yet aesthetically restrained images. There’s an alluring delicacy of touch behind the savagery that often takes place in these poems. Concealed behind the emotional distance the poet puts between himself and his subjects, there’s a steady, ticking heart. And guess what: it’s red! —Alberto Fernandez-Carbajal, PhD
‘This is a masterwork of short-changed alchemy, whose estranged offerings are presented to various gods in the form of gin, salt-water, and skulls. Careful sonics sear the ear’s inner lining, pared back to equip silence with stealth. These lithe vignettes, full of the cloth and cull of lived experience, turn in erotic and longing lights, blood-tinged with the nuance of regret and are at once darkly humorous. The gesture is betrayed, the dagger sweats behind the arras, the instinct to love is polluted and pilloried in the soft, flexing light of neon. Ingram’s perception operates by scent and sleight of tongue in this charged and deceptive theatre of brilliance. —Kirsten Norrie, author of An American Book of the Dead