“Gabriel Kruis is a really formidable poet. Acid Virga is rather terrifying, also a tour de force and a formal breakthrough. . . a blend of narrative and lyric the way the mind is. . . ” —ALICE NOTLEY
“As wildly visionary as it is linguistically alive, Gabriel Kruis’s Acid Virga drills down into the bedrock of American life to produce a book unparalleled in its exploration of how visionary experience and social upheaval collide in ways that are both transformative and annihilating.” —TOM SLEIGH
“If you’ve ever been conscious, and felt a little disturbed about it, of life as ancient and ephemeral or that falling apart is an integral force, this is a book to read over and over.” —STACY SZYMASZEK
“. . .a great affliction and affection inform Acid Virga, fast-moving with strophes like brisk moving cloud banks over the mind in your heart.” —MAJOR JACKSON
“Meanwhile, in el mal pais, leaned out on mucinex, mixing dexy cocktails in the haloed pharmacy of the car...”
An unusually assured debut, Acid Virga is a memoir in verse cutting between a vivid Southwest upbringing and modern O’Hara hustle in New York City, deeply and seriously reckoning with the psychedelic heritage of religion and the psychological clarity of chemical consciousness. It is both thrillingly propulsive and dense enough to read again and again, always offering up something new. Language is boundlessly specific, evocative of states internal and external, reading at times like a melancholy memoir stuck between stations, an epic poem or even a philosophical tract, always a true and important record of our American lives as lived now—an endless and reliable ticker tape of the soul.
Gabriel Kruis is a New Mexican poet and educator living and writing in Brooklyn. He is a cofounder of Wendy’s Subway Reading Room and his work has been published in A Perfect Vacuum, PEN America Poetry Series, OmniVerse, The Brooklyn Rail, Atlas Review, Frontier Poetry, among others.