3 Poems by Adam Stengel

Dead City

My horse drowns, so I find a canoe
and taxi down Styx to where
the river congeals like bisque.

I check-in to the Elysium—
mini-bars stocked with feces,
faceless doormen, televisions
tuned to static—and there I stay.
The guy in the next room
claims Satan’s a woman-hater,
says that’s why Hell’s a sausage fest.

From my window,
the only noise is screaming.
Up and down the plush halls,
humidity packs an aftertaste of liver.


“Static” image by Flickr user Gabriel McIntosh

New Statesman

A product of the late eighties,
two weeks overdue,

I’m cut from a ProChoicer’s belly.
Outside, in February’s half-sunny/
half-denim sky, birds float like spy satellites,
ice comes close to melting.
Dad forgets the oil
on the news, flicks ABC off,
and runs to purchase apolitical tulips.

Sobbing and sedated,
Mom clutches me like a decisive vote.
The OB/GYN says, “He’s a moose!”
Welcome to Arkansas!”


“Motel Haven” image by Flickr user Christopher Robleski

Rimbaud at Eleven

All night he sat up on his piss-
stained mattress, on the bed
of shameful blemishes his mother,
like a Molly Maid,
had tried to bleach out in vain.
Charlesville’s moon,
a grey-toothed druggy
in the window,
coaxed his skull off the pillow.
He counted sheep
or doodled decapitated
stick-figures in his hymnal.
That jaundiced suburb
looked worst in the hour
right before dawn.
It turned his mind’s cock
into a capon, awake and clucking.

imageAdam Stengel is a poet, blogger, and freelance writer.  Up until now, none of his poems have been published, so he is eternally greatful to Black Heart Magazine for breaking the seal.  One can follow him on Twitter @AdamStengel or check out his dope-ass blog: stengali87.wordpress.com.