The poems in Hell and High Water offer the gritty reality of a poet, husband, provider, father and shady romantic wrestling with life's responsibilities and his own primal urges. From the familiar dinner table to disastrous family vacations and mail order sex toys, Wolfgang Carstens presents us with vulnerability, humor, rawness, regret and the rejoicing in twenty-five years of intimacy with another as no other poet can. Carstens has wickedly disguised Hell and High Water as a twisted yet tender guide for the rest of us in maintaining the wildness among minivans, mortgages and matrimony.
“HELL AND HIGH WATER is like a thoroughly enjoyable roller coaster ride. The collection is sexy, funny, and deeply authentic. Each poem is like a short story that leaves the reader wanting more.”
—Arya F. Jenkins, WRITERSNREADERSII
“HELL AND HIGH WATER is Wolfgang Carstens at his best. These poems are reflective of the human spirit in all its complexities and contradictions.”
—Matthew Hall, Screaming With Brevity
“HELL AND HIGH WATER is a perfect mixture of darkness and humor. If razor blades could be coated in laughing gas these are the poems of Wolfgang Carstens. I think it should be handed out at weddings.”
—Rob Plath, author of A BELLYFUL OF ANARCHY and other books
These poems blaze short and hot like matches... they both praise love and raise the level of pithy skewering to new heights..."
—Dianne Borsenik, publisher of NightBallet Press, author of Age of Aquarius (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016)
“Wolfgang Carstens writes to save his life. There’s no bullshit...no pretense...no art. No pose. Just middle of the night gut-bucket blues and truth.”
—John Yamrus, author of ALCHEMY and other books
“What can I say, you have to have guts to write this stuff, and Carstens has guts. Five star guts.”
—Bill Gainer, author of THE MYSTERIOUS BOOK OF OLD MAN POEMS and other books
Wolfgang Carstens is a liar when he says, "I don't write love poems." HELL AND HIGH WATER is all about really living and really loving. The tenderness and bluntness of these poems bring tears to my eyes, as well as laughter out loud...
—Marcia Epstein, suicide prevention specialist, and host of Talk With ME podcast