Posted in Bibliography, Gargoyle, Morbidezza, My Bantam Black Fay, Spectral Realms, Speculations: Poetry from the Weird Poets Society, terza rima, Thalía, The Baleful Beldam, Vampire Vigil with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

A listing of my published works and appearances.


Thalía (poetry): Spectral Realms #9 [Hippocampus Press]


Morbidezza (prose poem): Spectral Realms #10 [Hippocampus Press]

Gargoyle (prose poem): Spectral Realms #10 [Hippocampus Press]

My Bantam Black Fay (poetry): Speculations: Poetry from the Weird Poets Society 2018

Vampire Vigil (prose poem): Spectral Realms #11 [Hippocampus Press]

The Baleful Beldam (poetry): Spectral Realms #11 [Hippocampus Press]

Night Hag (prose vignette): The Phantasmagorical Promenade [Planet X Publications]

The Fell Fête (tribute fiction): The Averoigne Legacy: Tribute Tales in the World of Clark Ashton Smith [Pickman’s Press]


Satanic Sonata (prose poem): Spectral Realms #12 [Hippocampus Press]

Kiss of Life (prose poem): Spectral Realms #12 [Hippocampus Press]

My Bantam Black Fay (poetry/revision): Spectral Realms #13 [Hippocampus Press]

Hell-Flower (poetry): Spectral Realms #13 [Hippocampus Press]

Moribond (poetry): Spectral Realms #13 [Hippocampus Press]

The Baleful Beldam (poetry/reprint): Speculations II: Poetry from the Weird Poets Society 2019

The Hell of Mirrors (fiction): Penumbra #1 [Hippocampus Press]

Rosaire, Master of Wolves (tribute fiction): A Walk in a Darker Wood [Oxygen Man Books]


H.P.L. R.I.P. (poetry): Spectral Realms #14 [Hippocampus Press]

Greetings from Krampus (poetry): Spectral Realms #14 [Hippocampus Press]

Update 05/14/2021: Slenderman gets thumbs up…for the moment.

Posted in Gordon B. White, Phil Breach, Sarah Walker, Slenderman with tags , , , on May 14, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Got a message from Phil Breach last night approving my revisions and saying that as far as he was concerned my Slenderman poem was good to go for the Urban Legends anthology, but he still had to send it to his fellow editors for the final say. I know Sarah Walker already liked it so I doubt she will require any other edits. Gordon B. White, however, is an unknown entity. I have never really dealt with him before, so I do not know his tastes. Fingers crossed.

Update 05/12/2021: No love for Gothilocks.

Posted in Classic Monsters Unleashed, Dracula, Errant Jenny, Frankenstein, Frisson Comics, Gothilocks, James Aquilone, The Wolf Man with tags , , , , , , on May 12, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Well I finally got a response a couple days ago from James Aquilone, editor for Classic Monsters Unleashed, and he very politely rejected my girl Gothilocks. I figured that might happen because the characters are never openly identified as the characters they represent (Dracula, Frankenstein‘s monster and the Wolf Man, respectively) and the story is obscure in it’s macabre references and farcical in a dark way. It’s meant to be taken as a playful stab at these horror icons. I fear, however, that it was a bit too obscure for their purposes, and I can appreciate that. I may try sending it to S.T. Joshi for Penumbra, although I do not expect any a different result.

I did get to look at the files from Frisson Comics and it seems that Errant Jenny is one of several prose pieces that are presented intact with accompanying illustrations. The one at the end of my little story shows a murky pond with the frightful countenance of Jenny in her cadaverous manifestation lurking just beneath the surface of the water. It’s pretty cool actually, but I was really looking forward to seeing graphic depiction of the corpse fires and Jenny dragging Owen into the water, kicking and screaming. I will keep you all informed of any updates on when it will be available for purchase.

Update 05/10/2021: Errant Jenny accepted for folk-horror comic!

Posted in Errant Jenny, Folk-Horror, Frisson Comics, Knock Knock with tags , , , on May 10, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Well, it seems that my little fairy tale horror story, Errant Jenny, has finally been accepted by Frisson Comics for the Folk Horror issue of their Horror comic Knock, Knock. I just got word this weekend, and they sent me a file with some of the artwork for my approval, but I am having a dickens of a time trying to access the file. It doesn’t help that I am limited in what I use for online access, so I don’t have the luxury to fool with it. The staff back at Frisson have been very helpful, I just need some tech coaching on my end. I have a co-worker who is tech savvy, so I will ask him when he comes into work if he can help me.

Update: finally got access and it seems Jenny is one of the few actual prose pieces in the collection, and there is an illustration at the end featuring the pond and her face just beneath the surface, nice and creepy! I will let you all know how to procure a copy once I am apprised of the specifics.

Open Call ad for Folk-Horror issue of Knock Knock

Update 05/03/2021: Slenderman gets a makeover

Posted in Phil Breach, Slenderman with tags , on May 3, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

This morning I received a message from poet/editor Phil Breach in regards to my submission to the upcoming Urban Legends anthology. He liked my Slenderman poem, and had many complimentary things to say about it, but he noted that there were a few instances where it still needed some work; he then offered to help me in that regard. Mr. Breach said he would take a look at my little poem and get back to me in a week’s time with his thoughts on how I might improve it. I am very excited to work with him on it, although a little disappointed as well that despite my efforts I still couldn’t come up with a poem good enough to meet expectation. This is why I have been leaning more towards prose these days.

That said, I did write a saucy vampire limerick at the behest of a friend for a vampire fiction forum I subscribe to on Facebook, and it seems to have gone over very well. Perhaps I shall someday include it in a collection of miscellanea.

Update 4/20/2021: First steps

Posted in Book of Shadows, Dan Sauer, Jackanapes Press, Scott J. Couturier with tags , , , on April 20, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Yesterday, I sent the rough draft of my manuscript for Book of Shadows to Dan Sauer of Jackanapes Press and just this morning forwarded the introduction, which I just received from fellow weird poet Scott J. Couturier. He claims to have written it “…on an eerie night with boiling clouds & a cold wind from the east….” It really is a lovely tribute and I am honored by his kind and thoughtful words. I am very excited to see what Mr. Sauer eventually comes up with, as he has a way of turning a simple trade paperback into an objet d’art with his attractive layouts and lush illustrations. More on this as things develop.

Update 04/19/2021: broken teeth, car crashes and vaccines.

Posted in Classic Monsters Unleashed, Gordon B. White, James Aquilone, Phil Breach, Sarah Walker, Scott J. Couturier, Slenderman with tags , , , , , , on April 19, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Well hello there, been a while since my last update so I figured I would check in. Some time near the end of March an old tooth filling fell out and I had to replace it. Just a few days later I split that same tooth on a wafer thin chocolate square, and it had to be pulled. This was the Friday before Easter. On Easter Sunday, I was barely healed enough to have dinner with my parents, which I enjoyed, when on the drive home, which takes a good 35 – 45 minutes, depending on traffic, I had an accident. I was feeling a bit out of it at the time and I remember being very thirsty. I was only about 10 minutes away from my home when a car appeared out of nowhere in front of me. I tried to veer out of their way as I honked the horn and ended up t-boning them. My airbag deployed and banged me up quite a bit, especially my hand, and the front end of my car was demolished.

After speaking to the officers on scene, I learned that witnesses claimed they saw me run a red light, so I guess I must have, although I don’t remember doing it. Anyway, my car was eventually deemed a total loss and I had to get a replacement car, plus deal with all the bureaucracy that comes with a citation for that particular traffic violation. The following weekend I got my second COVID vaccination and it sent me for a loop. I am finally beginning to feel more or less normal, but I didn’t feel well at all for most of this past weekend. I had the sore arm, body aches, joint pain, fuzzy brain, sniffles, dry raspy throat, fatigue and, as a parting gift before returning to normal, I had a bad case of the chills. I do not regret getting the shot though, because all that discomfort is nothing compared to what I would feel if I actually got the virus.

In other news I submitted my Gothilocks to the Classic Monsters Unleashed anthology and got an acknowledgment of receipt from the editor James Aquilone. Hopefully I will have an answer before too long. I have been working on a poem on the Slenderman for Sarah Walker‘s Urban Legends anthology, which I have completed a rough draft of and sent to Scott Couturier for a beta read. He, likewise, has sent me a draft of his Fish Story, which I have just barely begun to read but expect will be just as brilliant all his other works. He has a new collection in the works with I am very excited for and will definitely fill you in on once the details become available.

Update 04/20/2021:

Got back my poem from Mr. Couturier, and applied his editorial recommendations before sending it on to Ms. Walker, who has acknowledged it’s receipt and sent it on to her editorial partners, Phil Breach and Gordon B. White.

Update 03/25/2021: Gothilocks gets a makeover

Posted in A Walk in a Darker Wood, Gothilocks, Sarah Walker, Scott J. Couturier with tags , , , on March 25, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

I have just completed what I believe are my final revisions for Gothilocks. It is a much different tale now from what it once was. I kept the basic story, but cleaned up the language and put in a lot more detail. I am currently having my good friend Scott Couturier read through it, then I shall save it for something special because, with it’s low word count (1500 + or -) and it’s macabre quirkiness, it will be a hard one to place. That said, I am hoping to pass it on to Sarah Walker for an anthology she is planning to announce in the near future that will be a spiritual successor to A Walk in a Darker Wood. More on that as things develop.

Update 03/30/2021:

Well I revised it yet again! Now it clocks in at 1606 words, and I think they’re all the right ones. Mr. Couturier has acknowledged receipt of the version I sent him, which is actually the one before my most recent revision, although it doesn’t differ from the latest version by too much. I just want to see what he thinks about the story in general. I am alternately excited and perplexed as to what to do with it. It’s definitely a parody, albeit a loving one, but it is still very dark. I fear most serious horror publications may balk at it’s humor and any other publication would be freaked out by the funereal imagery and gallows humor. I may end up having to just put it out myself someday.

Ms. Walker’s anthology turns out to have a theme of urban legends so it will not fit there. I have however sent her Errant Jenny in the hopes that she might give it a look. Still, I am not holding my breath on that one either.

Update 04/01/2021:

Got a response from Mr. Couturier (hopefully I fixed those grammatical errors in my latest draft!):

“…I loved this tale, find it charming w/out falling prey to any sense of the ‘precious’, both funny & unnerving. I’d love to see the comic adaptation!…perhaps a revised version is in order, supplanting this text? I did note just a couple minor grammatical errors, but it’s a marvelous read, & would also make a good stage show or puppet routine, as you suggest. I may have previously mentioned I can get my hackles up against erroneous ‘fairy-tale logic’, overemployed and & not properly understood by many who choose to write/depict it; I never get any such feeling from your work.”

I am also a stickler about depictions of fairy logic & lore, so I take personal care to make sure my characters act true to their respective natures, be they fae, demons, ghosts, etc.

Update 03/16/2021: Revisions

Posted in Errant Jenny, Gothilocks, S.T. Joshi with tags , , on March 16, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

I am working on revisions for two of my tales… well, technically one, the other is already finished (I think) and awaiting word from S.T. Joshi. I am currently reworking Gothilocks with the intention of submitting it for a collection of stories based on the classic monsters. I am really pleased with the results so far and believe it sounds a lot more professional. Gothilocks was one of the very first stories I ever wrote in the early oughts and, although inspired, always sounded a bit amateurish to me. Submissions for that collection begin the second week in April.

The other story is Errant Jenny, which I have submitted to Mr. Joshi to consider for Penumbra #3. If all goes well, I hope to hear from him by the end of this week, or next week latest.

Update 03/18/2021:

I finally got my response from Mr. Joshi regarding Errant Jenny, but it wasn’t the one I was hoping for. He said it didn’t work for him, but he couldn’t quite say exactly why, chalking it up to a subjective reaction. He then wished me well in placing it elsewhere. I think I will just set it aside for a while until I can find a home for it in a chapbook or a future collection down the line a stretch. I am very disappointed to say the least, but if that many people have turned it down, maybe it is deficient in some way I am not seeing, being too close to it.

Update 03/11/2021: Strange dreams

Posted in Uncategorized on March 11, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Just before I awoke this morning, I had a very strange dream wherein I was a podgy and pasty-faced agent provocateur for some secret cabal. I wore a tricornered hat, and was dressed in a short jacket, waistcoat, and breeches in the manner of an 18th century common man; my attire was colored pea green from head to toe. In my left hand, I carried a bantam book which looked like an old Spanish pictorial dictionary I had as a child. It was of a tawny color, about 3.5 inches tall, 2 inches thick, and boxy. I had a notion of being somewhere near the docks of a New England town, possibly Boston, although the layout was complete fantasy and did not corelate with anything in reality. I had approached the great Georgian house of some influential personage and furtively knocked on the door. Upon opening, I saw the bewigged & jowled old gent inside raise his eyebrow in dismay as he tried to close the door on me, but I held it open with my right hand and placed the book into a recess in the door to which it adhered and sunk in starting its mischief on the inside of the house, trapping the residents inside, as it grew a fuse, which ignited of its own accord like an incendiary device. I ran away nervously, down the narrow lamplit street, peering over my shoulder periodically. At one point, I looked, expecting to see a conflagration, but instead espied a mural of a fire on the wall of a brick building.

I looked for my cronies in the growing tumult, but none were to be found. That is when I saw a gaunt woman covered in soot, or soil, who glared from her under bony brow and pointing to the ground made a sweeping gesture saying gravely “…and there were twenty Megan Morgans lying on the ground!” Upon her prompt, a group of begrimed cadavers in tattered winding sheets appeared on the thoroughfare in two groups of 5 (I know, the math doesn’t match, but that’s what I saw) lined up head-to-head like a pack of sausage links. Across from me, in close perspective, a slight, unrefined, but not unattractive young woman, in her early twenties, with stringy blonde hair and fair skin, said, incredulously, through a snaggletooth grin, “And I was hitten (sic) by a bear!”

I awoke soon after, in a befuddled state, wondering what the heck I just dreamt!

Update 03/10/2021: Errant Jenny submitted.

Posted in Errant Jenny, Penumbra (Journal), S.T. Joshi, Scott J. Couturier with tags , , , on March 10, 2021 by Manuel Paul Arenas

I have been trying to find a home for my wicked fairy story, Errant Jenny, for some time now. I have re-written it and honed it into what I believe is a very creepy weird tale. I sent it to fellow weird poet/author Scott J. Couturier, who used his editorial skills to give it a quick beta reading. I got his response yesterday which had some minor amendments (mostly grammar). He had some nice things to say about it:

I’ve read through your ‘Errant Jenny’ several times, & taken the liberty of doing a copy edit over the whole piece — which I love, & fell has a wonderfully bewitching atmosphere. Hope I didn’t overstep the mark w/ my edits; it reads like a black river, flowing & fast, & I just worked to smooth & accelerate the current.

Of course, I always welcome Mr. Couturier’s sage advice! FYI: he is working on a new collection of his own stories. I will definitely keep you all posted on any updates, as he is a master storyteller and definitely worth looking in to.

Excited by the aforementioned endorsement, I decided to send Mr. Couturier’s edit of my tale to S.T. Joshi for possible inclusion in Penumbra. I had a little panic afterward because I thought I had forgotten to include some revisions I had done and wasn’t sure if they’d been included in the draft I sent Mr. Couturier, but reading the edit this morning, I believe the version I sent Mr. Joshi reflected all of my recent changes. Again, I will let you know of any developments.