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!


Henry Denander said...

Cheers, can I order from Sweden? Please add something extra for postage and give us a nice button!

Unknown said...

I hope you have been hooked up, my friend!