Saturday, October 31, 2015

Presenting RENTED MULE - Poems by Wolfgang Carstens, Illustrations by Janne Karlsson!

NightBallet Press rarely posts back-to-back announcements, but this past month has been unusual, so here we go!

It's always exciting when a new manuscript comes sliding across NightBallet Press' desktop, and this one promised to be exceptional from the start. The themed poems are straightforward narrative delivered with wry humor, and the skillfully-rendered illustrations accompany the poems like a sweet but twisted music.

Rented Mule with poems by Wolfgang Carstens and illustrations by Janne Karlsson, well, it kicks ass! 

Rented Mule contains 21 poems and 15 illustrations, printed on textured, palest-of-pale gray paper. The dove gray cover boasts a color photograph taken by Jeffery Alfier.  The cardstock insert is a textured concrete gray. 

Of the book, Rob Plath (former student of Allen Ginsberg and author of A Bellyful of Anarchy) says

"This slim collection of unadorned, narrative poems...and dark, heartbreaking drawings...belongs in the back pockets of all who suffer the soul-crushing teeth of the daily or nightly grind."

Tony Moffeit, cofounder of the Outlaw Poetry Movement, says

"Wolf Carstens takes us down the dark avenues of a strange world and the haunting reverberations of the MegaMart, the hopelessness of being a "rented mule."...Janne Karlsson's artwork enhances this strange and supercharged landscape."


i asked you

to work the freezer today
and yet, for the last three hours
you've been spinning the milk cartons.

hell, you've spun them so much
the milk has started to curdle
and customers are complaining.

what i'm trying to say here, Trilok,
is that your 70s porn moustache is offensive,

your Old Spice aftershave is really getting on my nerves,

and don't think i haven't noticed
the way you've been stroking the Ukrainian sausage.

ahh, fuck it, Trilok.
just get back to work, you smarmy bastard

and for fuck sakes
stop spinning the goddamned milk!

Go here for a Live Reading of "Trilok" by Wolfgang Carstens!

Wolfgang Carstens, in his own words, lives in Canada with his five kids, wife, grandson, dog, mortgage, and death.  His poetry is printed on the backs of unpaid bills. You can find him at

Janne Karlsson, in his own words, is a Swedish artist who uses pens as therapy.  His dark, surreal art is widely spread over the globe.  For more information, visit


 In these sample pages taken from Rented Mule, Carstens refers to the NBP book Louisiana Calling by Bill Gainer.

Rented Mule is officially published today, and you may order your very own copy right here on the NBP website!  For buyers in the USA, the cost is $10 + $4 postage/handling.  Please note that Canadians will pay $14.00 but will still pay only $4 postage handling.

Please choose your country

Be among the first to obtain this fantastic, collaborative book by Carstens and Karlsson...order now!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Get Ready to Smack Your Lips Over Season Five (and Lipsmack Over Season Four)!

Welcome to Season Five of NightBallet Press!  The season, or year, officially began in September of 2015 and will continue to September, 2016.  We traditionally begin the new season with the publication of an anthology containing new poems by the poets published  the previous season.  To continue this fine tradition, we are very pleased to announce the release of Lipsmack! A Sampler Platter of Poets from NightBallet Press Year Four 2015.  If you think the title is a mouthful, just wait until you sink your teeth into the delicious nuggets of poetry contained within!

Lipsmack Year Four contains 16 new poems of moonlight communion, the Terminal Tower and Mountain Dew, of allegory, beauty, illusion and fear, of a singing bird, a red-eyed bull, a yellow lotus and endless, foreign blue, of Joan of Arc and the Big Gulp, of shoegazers and moonbeamers and coat pockets sewn up, of instant cinéma vérité and overheard conversation, cranberries and juice jars, and ekphrastic ice cream...the shape of dreams by these outstanding poets:

Steve Brightman
Marisa Moks-Unger
Jake St. John
George Wallace
Ra Washington
Russ Green
Margie Shaheed
Alan Catlin
Lyn Lifshin
Connie Willett Everett
Geoff Landis
Mary Turzillo
Kathleen Cerveny
Mike Finley
Andy Roberts

You can get your very own copy of this delectable serving of poems for only $5 plus $3 shipping by buying it through PayPal right here, or you can find it on Amazon!  Order Lipsmack Year Four here:

NBP will be producing one book a month for Season Five, and we are excited that we've already published September's book:  Beat Attitude by John Burroughs!  You can read about it and then order it here:

Stay tuned for more exciting news...and a very special publication - October's offering! -  to be announced tomorrow!

NightBallet Press has set the table, everyone's welcome, and mouths are smack those lips...and dig in!